Marriage Missions International

Why Women Leave Men – ALSO – Why Men Leave Women

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Here are some of the reasons women leave men and then we’ll follow with some of the reasons men leave women:

  • “I hurt all the time because I feel alone and abandoned.”
  • “My husband is no longer my friend.”
  • “The only time he pays attention to me is when he wants sex.”
  • “He’s never there for me when I need him the most.”
  • “When he hurts my feelings he doesn’t apologize.”
  • “He lives his life as if we weren’t married; he rarely considers me.”
  • “We’re like ships passing in the night, he goes his way and I go mine.”
  • “My husband has become a stranger to me —I don’t even know who he is anymore.”
  • “He doesn’t show any interest in me or what I do.”

Women tend to be more concerned about their marriages than men. They buy most of the books on marriage to try to improve them and initiate most marriage counseling. They often complain about their marriages to their closest friends and sometimes to anyone who will listen. And they also file for divorce twice as often as men.

Why do women seem so dissatisfied with marriage? What do they want from their husbands? What bothers them so much about marriage that most are willing to risk their families’ future to escape it? Why do women leave men?

Each day I’m confronted by women who are extremely frustrated with their marriages. They usually express no hope that their husbands will ever understand what it is that frustrates them, let alone change enough to solve the problem. From their perspective, marital problems are created by their husbands who do little or nothing to solve them. Wives tend to see themselves as the major force for resolving conflicts, and when they give up their effort, the marriage is usually over.

When I talk to their husbands, they usually have a very different explanation as to why their wives feel the way they do. They often feel that the expectations of women in general and their wives in particular, have grown completely out of reach. These men, who feel that they’ve made a gigantic effort to be caring and sensitive to their wives, get no credit whatsoever for their sizable contribution to the family. They feel under enormous pressure to improve their financial support, improve the way they raise their children, and improve the way they treat their wives. Many men I see are emotionally exhausted and feel that for all their effort, they get nothing but criticism.

The simpler role of husbands in decades past has now been replaced by a much more complex and confusing role, especially in their relationship with their wives. Some conclude that women are born to complain and men must ignore it to survive. Others feel that women have come to expect so much of men that they’re impossible to please, so there’s no point in even trying. Very few men, these days, feel that they’ve learned to become the husbands that their wives have wanted, and the job seems to be getting more and more difficult.

Grounds for Divorce: Men’s perceived failure to satisfy their wives is punctuated by the fact that women file for divorce twice as often as men. In other words, their unhappiness with marriage often results in divorce. The most common reason women give for leaving their husbands is “mental cruelty.” When legal grounds for divorce are stated, about half report they’ve been emotionally abused. But the mental cruelty they describe is rarely the result of their husband’s efforts to drive them crazy. It’s usually husbands being indifferent, failing to communicate and demonstrating other forms of neglect.

Another reason for divorce reported almost as much as mental cruelty is “neglect” itself. These include both emotional abandonment and physical abandonment. Husbands that work away from the home, sometimes leaving their wives alone for weeks at a time, fall into this category.

When all forms of spousal neglect are grouped together, we find that it’s far ahead of all the other reasons combined that women leave men. Surprisingly few women divorce because of physical abuse, infidelity, alcoholism, criminal behavior, fraud, or other serious grounds. In fact, I find myself bewildered by women in serious physical danger refusing to leave men that threaten their safety. Simply stated, women leave men when they’re neglected. Neglect accounts for almost all of the reasons women leave and divorce men.

I have little trouble convincing most men that verbal and physical abuse are legitimate reasons for their wives to leave. And there has been increasing social pressure on men lately to avoid hurting their wives physically and verbally, which makes my job even easier. But neglect is a much tougher sell, and it’s also much more difficult to overcome than abuse. While it’s the most important reason women leave men, it’s hard to convince men that it’s a legitimate reason, something they should avoid at all costs.

Some of the common complaints I hear from women is, “He ignores me except when he wants sex, he sits and watches television when he could be talking to me, he rarely calls me to see how I’m doing, he hurts my feelings and then never apologizes: Instead, he tells me I’m too sensitive.”

Most husbands are mystified by these complaints. They feel that their wives demand too much, and that most other women would be ecstatic if married to them. Their wives have become spoiled, take their efforts for granted and have unrealistic expectations.

Do women expect too much of their husbands or are men doing less for their wives than they should? I’ve proven to husbands over and over again that their wives usually don’t expect too much of them, and when they understand and respond to their wives’ frustration, the complaining ends and a terrific marriage begins.

What’s more, their wives aren’t expecting more effort from them. Instead, they expect efforts in a different direction. It isn’t more difficult to please women these days; it simply requires a change in the priority of effort.

What are women looking for in men? They want a soul mate, someone they trust who’s there for them when they have a problem, who takes their feelings into account when decisions are being made. Someone to whom they feel emotionally connected.

I use a house as an illustration to help husbands understand how their wives feel. Each room in the house represents one of the husband’s roles in life. There’s a room for his job as a production manager, there’s another for golf, another for his new sports car, one for his garden, one for his children, one for church, and, yes, one for his wife.

As he makes his way through an average day, he visits various rooms when he’s faced with the role the room defines. And when he’s in a certain room, the others are blocked out of his mind so that he can focus his undivided attention on the role he plays at the time. He does his best when he’s not faced with distractions, and prefers to deal with each problem with all his energy and creativity so that he does the best he can in each role he plays.

The wives of most men are only one of many rooms in this imaginary house. It represents the “husband” role. When they’re in that room, they usually try to give their wives undivided attention and make a special effort to meet their needs. They also go to that room to have their own needs met, particularly the need for sex.

What frustrates wives most is that they’re relegated to only one room in their husbands’ imaginary house instead of every room. In other words, they want to be integrated into a man’s entire life, not relegated to one corner. Without such integration, there can be no emotional bonding, uniting of the spirit, feeling of intimacy, and in many cases, no sex.

To help husbands learn to avoid this unpleasant outcome, I’ve tried to show them how to become and stay emotionally connected to their wives by inviting them into each room of their house. They learn to become more than the role of “husband” to their wives. They learn to integrate their wives into every aspect of their lives.

When I counsel a husband, I explain that he’s to invite his wife into each room of his house. Regardless of his role or responsibility, his wife should be considered in each decision he makes. Once the invitation is made, the results are startling!

When a husband invites his wife into each room of his house, she helps change his priorities. She reminds him that her feelings are very different from his. As a result, he begins to live his life in a way that’s compatible to her needs and values. He learns how to avoid habits that cause his wife to be unhappy, and he learns how to meet her most important emotional needs. He also learns how to give his undivided attention to her and schedule time to be alone with her.

THE POLICY OF JOINT AGREEMENT: To help men integrate their wives into each room, I’ve encouraged husbands to follow the Policy of Joint Agreement: NEVER DO ANYTHING WITHOUT AN ENTHUSIASTIC AGREEMENT BETWEEN YOU and YOUR SPOUSE.

This policy helps men take their wives’ feelings into account whenever they make a decision. They avoid thoughtless habits, learn to meet emotional needs with mutual enjoyment and resolve their conflicts. All of this creates marital compatibility and emotional bonding.

The word “anything” in the policy applies to all the activities of a husband that go on in each of his rooms. So whenever he follows it, he learns to think about his wife’s reaction to everything he learns to think about his wife’s reaction to everything he does, not just what goes on in the “husband” room.

Some argue that just an agreement would be a big help, why insist on enthusiastic agreement? It’s because I want couples to avoid agreements that are coerced or self-sacrificing. I want couples to learn how to come to agreements that take both of their interests into account at once. I’ve encouraged couples to continue to negotiate until they arrive at an enthusiastic agreement because they’re the ones that stand up to the test of time.

Most men complain that if they invite their wives into every room of their imaginary houses, their wives will take over completely and they’ll lose all their peace and freedom. They imagine their identities shriveling away and find themselves a shadow of their former selves. But the Policy of Joint Agreement prevents that unfortunate outcome. Joint agreement means that both husband and wife must be enthusiastic together, and no one risks losing their identity or subjecting themselves to slavery when they themselves must be enthusiastic about each decision. The goal is to become united in purpose and spirit, not to overpower or control each other.

How easy is it? Couples that are already emotionally bonded have little or no trouble following this policy because they’ve already learned how to behave in sensitive and caring ways in each of their life’s roles. But emotionally distant couples have great difficulty with the policy at first. They’re accustomed to doing what they please regardless of its effect on each other, especially when they play certain roles. But if they follow the policy for even one day, they begin to see how their thoughtlessness has created emotional distance.

As couples apply the policy to each of their daily plans and activities, they begin to feel cared for by each other and are encouraged by each other’s thoughtfulness. Over time, their emotional binding becomes more and more firm, and the policy becomes easier and easier to follow as they become soul mates.

Men who follow the Policy of Joint Agreement think about their wives throughout the day, because as they make decisions they ask themselves how their wives would feel. Phone calls are made whenever there’s doubt. As time passes, these men become increasingly sensitive to their wives’ feelings. If men consider their wives feelings in each decision they make, asking their wives when there’s any uncertainty, they create a compatible lifestyle.

The Policy of Joint Agreement helps create understanding, emotional bonding, intimacy and romantic love in marriage. Men that learn to take their wives feelings into account meet their most important emotional needs. They also learn to overcome the selfish habits that make their wives so unhappy, because these habits don’t meet the standard of mutual agreement. Over time, they experience what every couple hopes to create in marriage: A loving and compatible relationship.

A woman doesn’t leave the man who has invited her into every room of his house. That’s because she doesn’t stand outside the rooms of his house feeling like a stranger. She’s welcomed into his entire home as his cherished life partner.

The above article was featured a while back in New Man Magazine, which provides wisdom and encouragement to men from the approach of real masculinity and Christianity. Even though this is an American Magazine, it also provides international subscription services which you can learn about on their web site at Newmanmag.com, plus you can read some very interesting articles there also.

Dr Willard Harley, who is a well known author and speaker, also has a great web site that you may want to check out at www.marriagebuilders.com because it has a lot of very helpful articles plus a Discussion Forum that is also available for your use.

— AND —

For those of you who want to know why men leave women, the article we found is posted on the E-Harmony web site. To read what they have posted on this subject (plus comments they have posted below the article), please click onto the link below to read:

3 REASONS MEN LEAVE WOMEN THEY LOVE

If you have additional tips you can share to help others in this area of marriage, or you want to share requests for prayer and/or ask others for advice, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

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Comments

75 Responses to “Why Women Leave Men – ALSO – Why Men Leave Women”
  1. MS says:

    (USA) I truly believe men need to be sensitive to their wives because they are sensitive in nature. To "love their wives as Christ loves the Church". This is critical to a healthy, happy marriage. With that said, to say that people sin because of stress etc. does not give ok to the sin. If a wife or husband leave (divorce) their spouse except for what the Word of God states as the only reason for separation, it is a sin and continues to be so until repented from and reconciled to. There is far too much compromise in the Church to be comfortable with, and in ourselves, all the while ignoring the commandments of God.

    Yes, let us call sin a sin wherever it rears its ugly head, but enough with the loop holes and misinterpretations. We must hold ourselves responsible for what we do and not write it off as a mistake or a pass in judgment. God can restore our lives, especially in a damaged marriage, but if we do it His way and "not lean on our own understanding". Marriage is one of the most important promises we make towards God, and it is for a lifetime here on earth. I pray that the Church will be better examples, accountable to God, and stop the upward trend of divorce and begin an upward trend towards reconciliation and restoration.

    • Ray says:

      (USA)  My problem is that my wife is demon possessed. She is completely evil to the core. No matter what I think she has to subvert it. For years I litererally begged her to do something together. She hated my being happy with even 15 minutes of relief. She kicked me when I was down. I never measured up to her high standards. She set me up for me to leave her.

      For years she has been trying to break up the family because she hates the idea that the kids love me. Sick doesn’t even begin to cover the mental craziness of her. I am writing this on my birthday the 22nd of February. She took the kids to Florida because her friend was having a birthday, so she goes all the way to Florida, 10 hours away. She would not even drive three minutes out of her way for me.

      I think I owe the kids an apology for making them with her. I went out of my way thousands of times for her. She has total hatred for me because I am a Christian and I try to live the Bible. She will not even walk with me or even sit with me unless I am buying her a meal at a restaurant.

      She will burn in hell forever for her wickedness, and I think most women will. Ladies- get ready! God says “I will not meet you as a man.” Forget proverbs 31! Most ladies should read Isaiah 47!

      • Wildflowers says:

        (USA)  Hello Ray, so so sorry you got married to that awful, awful woman. You may be right about her intention to leave you was her plan. I know that if a relationship is important to most women, be either married or boyfriend, women will bend over backwards to please that man. Period.

        So for her to treat you like she did (and you went out of your way to try and make her happy) was cruelty on her part. Sorry to say this, but that was the nicest thing she could have done for you was to leave you. What goes around comes around… she will get her own medicine.

        • C says:

          (US) As I read the previous comment I do not read specific instances or examples, but it seems to be a perception of how the wife is behaving. I wonder what the wife would say if she were asked. This could very well have been a post by my husband. Oh, he has a list of what I don’t do, how I don’t do the dishes right, don’t fold the clothes correctly, don’t put the papers where they belong, don’t do enough, clean enough, you name it he has a list.

          Unfortunately for me, when I address one area there is another list. He thinks all I have to do is “learn to do it the right way”. Mind you I am highly educated, work and study and care for a home, come home from work, cook and make sure the house is clean. However, he would probably say what this man says. And, to boot, when I get so fed up I say something he will call me a b***, use the F word, and tell me how worthless and useless and how I am nothing and have nothing. Then berates me for hours. When I try to interject he bashes and bullies me… I never respond in kind only ask him to consider his words.

          And oh, I forgot to mention, we are Christians at least I am. He withholds finances, requires me to pay 400 a month from my part time salary for the “household” expenses and we have no joint savings or any accounts. I agreed to save for my retirement just so I didn’t have to hear him berate me. The house is his, and everything else… but, if you ask him, I have a pretty sweet deal. Perspective is important. Please, before saying this woman is evil perhaps finding out why she is behaving this way is best. It sounds quite abusive to call someone the names he has, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has called her more than that!

          • BlueEyesFr from France says:

            I agree with you C. I come from a family where my dad left my mother with 6 children to raise on her own and did not provide for them or enquire about their well being, apart from leaving the farm to them to live on when he left.

            I always wanted to be financially independent. I’m glad I have a job and work. I have dated men but found that either I could not trust them or they were hightly selfish and most of the time both.

            All around me, I see women who have to take care of the family and have a job and a very demanding one at that, and not being compensated for it that much either… and many who are divorced with no child support to help them but just happy they’re no longer with a man and would not want to be in a relationship either.

            So in the end, even though I was very much in love with a man once, and wanted to have a family and children (not tons but a reasonable number), I’m glad I made the choice of having a job and staying single. At least I didn’t find myself in the terrible situation of being alone with children and not having enough money to provide and/or being abused or cheated by a man and/or finding myself with no retirement because my husband left me for a younger one and is not paying any support and being exhausted because I have to fulfill so many roles. In clear, I made the best choice I could in the circumstances that were mine and are many women’s circumstances in this world.

            Every time I tried a relationship with a man, it turned out to be a disaster of men taking advantage. So I made the right choice of having a job and not marrying. If I had it to do again, I would make that choice again all the more so that it’s hard to trust men for a long lasting, faithful relationship. The prospect of getting hiv or other bad consequences is scary enough to be happy to be healthy even though single and to be even more fortunate to have a job that allows you to live and enjoy life all the same.

        • Courtney says:

          (USA) I am not sure what scares me more, Ray’s posting or the comments left. The guy is saying most of us women will burn in hell and for that you write sympathy posts. I think a good counselor is in order. Ray if life is that bad, get a back bone and leave. Life is what you make it. If you choose to stay DEAL and if it is that bad in your home find the greener grass on the other side. Good luck to you and I hope you find some much inner peace.

    • Luis says:

      (USA)  It’s funny how women always complain about men but they never mention what they are doing wrong. Men have to understand women but I never see anything about women understanding men. Most of the time when I read something, it’s just a bunch of women upset putting men down. Maybe we men should do like women do, just tell it like it is with no mercy. I can generalize because it seems it is ok for women do that to men but we can’t do that as well back at them. Too much double standards.

      Women divorce a man and it is ok and people feel sorry for her. A man does they same and people look at him like “what is wrong with you?” They come with some lame excuse for everything but men’s excuses are no good. I see a lot of “he” at the beginning of this article of women complaining. Guess what? some women do the same. They complain about men but it is acceptable by the society we live.

      I don’t really see the equal treatment at a social level. I went out on a date and all I heard was how evil her ex husband was. In 30 minutes I found out why that relationship didn’t work. I would leave her too.

      • Monica says:

        (USA)  Luis, my husband left us on December 30, 2012. His reasoning… he thought I was heading towards depression again and said he couldn’t take it. I was depressed, very, very, very depressed, partly because of a tragedy that happened when I was a child and partly because of postpartum. I admit that I didn’t do all I could to get better. I refused to take medication. The only reason I can think I did that was because I didn’t want to appear weak. I refused to go to counseling when he wanted to.

        I would spend large amounts of money on frivolous things, money is very important to my husband and is very controlling, which I overlooked because I loved him deeply and that is what you do! He stopped paying attention to me at home due to his busy schedule, so instead of sleeping with another man I chose to shop.

        Even though I have been dealing with my own faults for the past 5 months he still isn’t coming back. I have admitted my shortcomings and have asked for forgiveness for them to no avail. Coming to terms with my own demons has been the hardest thing I have ever been through. I thank God everyday for my strong faith that I am doing the right thing for me and my kids. But I am still sad, very sad, that he hasn’t come home and won’t go to counseling at all with me.
        So yes, the women do admit fault, in some cases.

        • Mikah says:

          (USA) Monica..I’m sorry your husband left you. My husband left me 2 months ago and it’s been very depressing. I wonder what did I do wrong. I didn’t do everything a wife is supposed to do, and we both were on drugs; he abused me mentally all the time, kissed another female back in Dec. He started to be sneaky, would leave and stay gone for hours and I wouldn’t know where or when he left. With that said, we had everything then drugs took everything away. Before he left, he was just going to Colorado to look for a job since he lost his here. He was gone for about 2 weeks then said he was done with me and my daughter, who is 10 and was 2 when he came into our lives. Anyway, he left me because I would text him a lot and call him but it was because I felt abandoned when he left. I was left with him changing his number, still don’t have it, a house payments, no car, no job. I’m his wife and I felt I had the right. So ever since he has been gone, I’ve been clean and sober, I’ve got a job now, and I’m trying my best to take care of my baby myself. I go to church, which I couldn’t ever get him to do, and never pushed it upon him at all, never. He is still in Colorado with no job, still doing drugs, and his mom is paying for his truck. But that’s OK, I’m doing good so far. Still hurts sometimes, but this was a lesson to learn. And my first time to get married. Hope all is well with you and good luck.

      • Candy says:

        (Somewhere) I truly believe that men that are scorned take it out on their new wives or new partners and are always taking out their anger out on them because of all the hurt that was caused on them!

      • BlueEyesFr from France says:

        Be a woman for on year and do all she has do to: shopping, cleaning, ironing, arranging activities for the whole family, shopping, cooking, taking children to their sports, schools, decorating plus her job, which is as demanding.

        Let’s switch roles for a bit… and see how you would feel doing just that since in today’s world women are doing already what men do in the workplace but I see rarely men doing what women do (all of it) in the home and regarding children. And then we can talk.

        Not to mention all the other problems of abuse, exploitation and cheating.

  2. Tony says:

    (USA)  Here here to what was said above. I remember sharing the rooms analogy with my now ex-wife when I was working with Dr Harley. She didn’t care. She just said I didn’t understand. Yet, when I asked her to help me understand, nothing. No response. She was too involved with her affair partner to notice her husband was really trying.

    My former wife was invited into every room in my life. I BEGGED her to join me, to be a part of my life. Instead, she wanted to give all of her energy to the children, and then, like a slap in the face, instead of being with me, she chose to have an affair. Seems like the blame is once again being placed on men.

    I thought marriage was about what you gave, and not about what you get. So while I buy Dr Harley’s theories about the Love Bank, I spent thousands with him in counseling trying to win my unfaithful former wife back to the marriage without success. So what Dr Harley says here is only half the story. Because while the woman has this perception that her husband didn’t invite her to be part of ALL of his life, I suspect the reality in many, if not most cases is that she STAYED out of those areas, or tried to tell him that she doesn’t belong there.

    What of the faithful (but clueless) husband who finally gets it, and she refuses to hear him, has her affair, etc? I think if you combine this willful unwillingness to listen or to try on the part of the wife, with the likely indirect messages she’s been sending to him for years you have the makings of a marital disaster, and not just because of the clueless man. As Dr Harley says, these marriages don’t involve abuse or infidelity. They involve a woman who doesn’t feel she’s invited in. While I don’t deny she feels these things, look at how many times our feelings deceive us. How many have told you they don’t feel loved by God?

    Goodness, if someone doesn’t feel loved by God, how will they ever feel loved by another human being? So while they may have those feelings, In many/most cases I don’t think it’s due to a failure of their spouse. But I don’t think her feelings, even if they have a concrete basis in his refusing to invite her into those rooms is a valid ground for choosing divorce, let alone choosing to have an affair. In many of Dr Harley’s other writings, he equates affairs with the rape of a spouse. Yet this is not addressed here.

    Again, the man is bad in the tacit message here, but nothing is said about how if she chooses to have an affair to have her emotional needs met, that she has abused her husband in a nuclear fashion, compared to the abuse known as emotional neglect. Choosing an affair is far and away far more hurtful and damaging to the marriage when compared to his neglect.

    I’m not saying he should keep his wife out of all the rooms of his life. He shouldn’t. But let’s not assume that just because a wife is invited in, that she’ll go running into the room. Many times she won’t and STILL blame her husband for how she feels. So I’d call the men clueless, or focused on the wrong things. I know I was. If you would have asked me, I would have said, I’m at home every night, even changed jobs so I could be home like she asked, and then she didn’t want to be with me. I made a good living, so she could be a stay at home mom, drove the kids to school and to doctors appointment or soccer practice, etc. And when I asked her how things were going, how we were, the answer was ALWAYS "fine!."

    I’d say probably 9 out of 10 men who had unfaithful wives have a similar story. We have our head down, working for the family, checking with our wives and hearing the "fine." Then BAM! She’s unhappy, wants to find herself (which is code for I’m looking for myself in another man’s bed) it was a mistake to marry you, etc.

    Then you go to your church, ask them to assist in getting the marriage back on track, and they blame YOU for her affair. "What did you do to cause her to have an affair?" — Nothing, people choose and are responsible for their own behavior. "Did you beat her?" — Nope, didn’t even yell at her, even when I found out about the affair. "Well, you must have done something wrong?" — I’m sure she has valid complaints about the marriage, none of them justify an affair, do they?

    What about church discipline, you know, Matthew 18? "We don’t do that, it doesn’t work." — It’s in the Bible, we are to try to resolve differences by first going to the alleged sinning party, and then take a few witnesses if they don’t respond and finally bring the matter before the church. "We don’t do that, it doesn’t work."

    So what’s a Godly man supposed to do when his wife’s sin, such as choosing an affair, or choosing to divorce because she feels neglected goes unchallenged by those who have set themselves up as the pro-family beacon in our society?

  3. Gaylen says:

    (USA)  This article expressed exactly what I feel. My husband is not unfaithful. He just tunes me out of everything. Even sex, he doesn’t listen when I say I like or don’t like something. Matter of fact, I get the impression he doesn’t care what I want, need or like.

    Another thing to think about is the issue of respect in the marriage. I think this is a BIG thing. A woman respects a husband who is doing his best to be a good father and provider. But she will absolutely not respect him if he doesn’t respect her, regardless of how well he does in other areas. If he doesn’t trust her, or value her opinion…why should she respect him? Instead she will feel like there is no trust in her intelligence and why should she do this at all?

  4. Natukunda says:

    (UGANDA)  Thanks for this. I have been struggling with my husband who does not want to provide. Eg. food, milk for children, or to dress me — basically nothing. He just pays rent and that is it. Currently we don’t have electricity and water in the house. They have cut us off. He says he sees his relatives suffering so much that he prefers to look after his relatives than us.

    We married in church. He does not stay with us. He stays in another region. I am so frustrated. We are both born again but he is not bothered. We recently started counselling but he is not changing. He does not even call to see how we are. I am tired and am considering separation and divorce because it has been going for 3 years.

    He has a son. I found him with him and he takes good care of him. Actually he stays with him. Where are we as his family? I need advice/help urgently, because I am really tired. I have to make a decision before this ends.

    He cheated on me with someone else and practices masturbation. He so disgusting. When u tell him to seek for deliverance he is just arrogant saying that he does not need it.

  5. Cindy Wright says:

    (USA) Dear Natukunda, I can well understand your struggle with things the way they are. I would struggle with them as well, if my husband was treating me the way your husband is treating you. You have my sympathy and my prayers.

    A few thoughts come to mind, as I read your comment. Prayerfully consider what I am going to say and do what God tells you (above anything I may say). Being a human “adviser”, treat my advice in light of what God tells you, not above.

    The first thought that comes to mind is, why are you putting up with such terrible behavior from your husband? The Bible says in 1 Timothy 5:8, “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

    If your husband is indeed “born-again” then he is denying “the faith” and is acting “worse than an unbeliever” in the fact that he is abandoning you in how he supports you. You can’t be any more of an “immediate family” than being his wife. According to the Bible, as husband and wife you are to be cleaved together as one and not allow anyone else to “separate” you. If he supports his extended family and neglects you — that is abandoning the provision he is supposed to make for you as his “immediate family” and he is allowing the priority he is making of his family to “separate” you as husband and wife.

    The Bible also says in James 1:22, “Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” At the very least, your husband is being disobedient to doing what the word tells him to do. Ephesians 5 also tells him to love you “as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” It doesn’t appear that he is “giving himself up” for you. He is making his priorities the ones he follows, period! There is a difference between being charitable and still living up to the proper priorities, and being downright neglectful of taking care of your immediate family first and then being charitable with what is left over.

    It also says “Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.” Let me ask you, is your husband treating you with the same love as he is treating himself? It also says in Ephesians 5, “He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church.” Is your husband feeding and caring for you as Christ would? Is his masturbation and self-pleasuring and cheating on you with others carrying through with caring for you “just as Christ does the church”?

    It’s commendable that your husband wants to help his family if they are in such dire need. That shows a good heart deep inside. But if he neglects loving and caring for you in the process, he is being sinful.

    You say that you and your husband are “born again.” I don’t personally know his experience, but I wonder if that is true of him because his actions don’t appear to be “transformed” by the love of Christ within. If he is not supporting you financially, or lovingly, and he has cheated on you and practices having sex with himself — neglecting you– living with a son from another relationship instead of living with his wife, I wonder if Christ is really within him.

    The scriptures come to mind where Jesus says (as quoted in Matthew 7:21-22), “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evil-doers!’”

    From what you have written and what I read in the scriptures, I wonder if your husband is really born-again. I’m thinking that you are dealing with an unbeliever — someone like the pharisees that SAY they believe, but they are more religious and go through the motions of doing what they perceive they should do from the outside but in their hearts, they aren’t transformed with Christ.

    Again, the question comes to mind: why are you putting up with this behavior from a man who is your husband and marital partner? There isn’t much partnership going on here. If he CAN’T do something, then that is one thing. But if he CHOOSES not to do what he should, then that is a different thing altogether.

    I advise you to pray and even fast and pray about this situation, asking God what you can do and say to your husband to help him to wake up and live as he should with you. Do what God tells you in your heart as you pray and make sure you are listening to God and not following outside forces above what lines up scripturally.

    I would pray for the right words and lovingly, yet firmly challenge him to make a choice. “Speak the truth in love.” If he wants to live apart from you (or is forced to because of work situations), he still is supposed to put you first as his wife. Jesus is quoted in the Bible as saying (Matthew 19:4-6), “Haven’t you read that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

    This does not only involve being united sexually but in every way — two becoming one. It doesn’t appear that your husband is taking this seriously.

    I would talk to my husband after much prayer and gently but firmly tell him (at the right time and setting) that he is being unfaithful in how he is treating me and he needs to make a choice. Either he is IN the marriage, or we live separate lives and don’t pretend to be together in marriage. The choice would be his.

    I’m reminded of 1 Corinthians 7 and allowing an unbelieving husband to leave if he chooses to. (He is acting as an unbeliever in his unfaithfulness on so many levels.)

    But I would do all of this in a very careful, prayerful, humble manner. Galatians 6:1-5 says, “If someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.”

    So if God leads you to do this, make sure that you don’t carry your husband’s example of being arrogant. If you are called to do this, “restore him gently”, “watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” I pray this helps Natukunda. I pray the Lord ministers to your heart and helps you to do what you need to do so that you are able to bring resolution and peace to this situation.

    • Jules says:

      (USA)  That’s some advice that is open to debate Cindy… My first point is that it is not for us to decide who is a believer and who is saved.

      Beyond that, if you want to read the scripture on this topic, start with the instructions or marriage that are well illustrated in both Old and New Testament. “Wives are to submit to the husbands in everything”. Where women are cursed to struggle with sin is in their desire to have the position of the man, explained very plainly by God’s word in Genesis. This is pretty point blank stuff in scripture!

      Scripture does not call for equality in marriage. It calls for the man to lead and for the man to have headship and it explains this in several ways in several books both Old and New Testament.

      I will also add that I see some of these descriptions wives here are offering of their husbands and I do want to express my empathy. It is tragic to imagine a man who smokes and drinks and parties his way through a marriage and is never home. I could become ill at the thought of such ungratefulness and deranged behavior, or a man who neglects his wife without any cause for a month while she wastes away with MS, this is deplorable. That is unreal and I pray God helps me do better than that at “Loving my wife as Christ loved the church”!

      However, the scripture is extremely clear on what to do in these situations – slave serve our masters well so they might be convicted. It is more important to lead people to Jesus than to be focused on ourselves or fall into sin as a reaction. It also says point blank that a woman is never to leave her husband. If you want to see what divorce does to a society, visit the United States – Scary!!!

  6. Tray says:

    (US)  "I hurt all the time because I feel alone and abandoned.”
    “My husband is no longer my friend.”
    “The only time he pays attention to me is when he wants sex.”
    “He lives his life as if we weren’t married; he rarely considers me.”
    “My husband has become a stranger to me—I don’t even know who he is anymore.”
    “He doesn’t show any interest in me or what I do.”

    UGH……..you have no ideal how many times the above statements, I have thought about and said. It is so very upsetting.
    Being lonely is hard for me. I’m trying to understand what is going on with my husband is even harder esp. when he shows no interest in me, chooses not to be involved and lies to me.

  7. Cindy Wright says:

    (USA) Hi Tray, My heart really goes out to you over what you are trying to cope with and understand. It’s a terrible place to be — to be lonely within your own marriage. I’m so sorry you find yourself in this situation.

    I’m afraid this is such a complex issue, that you may or may not find the total reasoning your husband is buying into. But I’ve got a suggestion that MAY help. There’s a great DVD that Pastor Mark Gungor put together (which is part of his “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage” seminar). It’s called “The Tale of Two Brains: Men’s Brains… Women’s Brains.” It’s GREATLY helped so many women, as well as men better understand each other.

    I’m not sure if this is what you need, but it’s sure worth trying. I think it could open your eyes to some things that you may not have realized. If nothing else, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the time you watch the DVD. Mark could be a stand-up comedian. We’ve watched the DVD at least a dozen times (plus we’ve seen him in person several times) and we laugh hysterically each time and are amazed at his wisdom. Learning through laughter is the best way to do it!

    He also has a book out by the same title as his seminar (although it’s not as funny), but I would greatly advise you to get the DVD first. You can obtain it by going to his web site at http://www.laughyourway.com. I recommend the whole seminar, but if you only order and view the first of the series, I believe you will be greatly enlightened (and entertained).

    We also have other articles on the web site that might enlighten you as well as you pray and read them, asking the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to what you can learn that could help you in some way. I sincerely hope and pray this helps.

  8. Brenda says:

    (USA)  I am in the same situation where I simply don’t exist in my hubby’s life. We have been married for 4 yrs. Things have been going downhill for the past one year. Hubby is a non-believer. We live like roommates. We only talk when necessary and mostly it’s about the kids. God knows I have tried to do my best to change the situation. I am physically and mentally exhausted coz I do all the housework by myself, participate and plan kids social activities, etc.

    Whenever I have tried to talk to him about the situation, I always try to do it in a very respectable way hoping that he will open up and share his views, but he clams up completely. I even tried to email him my thoughts (15 emails counting), thinking it will be easier for him to open up but he has never replied to any of the emails or verbally acknowledged that he read them and given feedback. Is that someone who really cares about saving a marriage?

    Then to top it off, he tries to get intimate with me. I have no more feelings for him at all, and even cringe at his touch. We have not been intimate for the past 2 and a half months. (Yes, I keep count). I have prayed about it so much. I am not trying anymore. I am exhausted. I’ve left it to God. I cry at times when I feel the need to be hugged and cuddled and hubby is not there for me.

    PS. I have talked to a few elderly women in church, they tell me withholding sex coz you’re angry is wrong. But how are you expected to get into the mood with all the anger and resentment within you?

  9. Jamie says:

    (USA)  Hi Brenda. I attended a marriage matters seminar for eight weeks, and one of the speakers, who is a Christian, and very credible, spoke on this subject of withholding sex. He validated women, and said that God gave women emotions for a reason. They are an inner gauge that let us know when our boundaries have been violated. Like the way you are being treated. God did not make us to be able to engage in sex with someone whom we do not trust, or who is hurting us. It is a sign that something is wrong.

    The man who spoke about this, Dr. Jim Bedel, said it would actually be damaging for the woman to engage in sex when she feels violated. God loves us. He made us who we are for a reason. We must study scripture yes, but make sure it is in context. Be wise in who you seek counsel from.

    I have also been married for 4 years, and it is exactly the emotionally distant man. I have sought counseling throughout our entire marriage, and read so many books. I know now that I cannot live with the abuse anymore. God loves me and knows what I can and cannot handle.

    I also talked with the pastor of caring ministries from my church who said that women tend to make divorce to be the worst sin, but allow all other sorts of sin to go on in the home. Sure God hates divorce. So do I. It is all the sin that occurs within the home that causes divorce to happen.

    I am working on my relationship with God right now and have been separated from my husband for 1 week now. I don’t feel as though God has abandoned me. I am learning His love for me and that He will get me through this. I don’t know what will happen, but I trust God no matter what. I guess I’m venting a bit. But this is my perspective at the moment.

  10. Tony says:

    (USA)  I have to take exception to the advice about withholding sex. The Bible is clear that one is NOT to withhold sex unless it’s a mutual decision and ONLY for the purpose of coming closer to God.

    So anyone telling you that it’s biblical to withhold sex because of your emotional state is not correctly sharing the word of God.

    1 Corinthians 7:2-6 "But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command."

    Again, focus on verse 5, where it’s by MUTUAL consent.

    So while I understand the feelings aspect of it, resentment is ultimately a decision.

    Personally, if resentment was building, I’d stop doing the things that are optional, such as domestic chores. I don’t think the Bible tells us to withhold domestic support, but only for a short time so we or our spouse is not tempted.

    Therefore, if you are going to withhold something, I think sex is the WRONG thing to withhold.

    After all, if your complaint is about oneness and not feeling connected to your spouse, the last thing you want to do is to withhold the one thing that typically makes a husband feel connected.

    So if you are withholding sex and then complaining that you don’t feel connected to your husband, then he’s going to logically say, well of course we are not connected, the greatest means of connecting is being rejected by you.

    So I think, based on scripture, any call for UNILATERAL withholding of sex is advising you to disobey the Word of God. In other words, it’s advice to sin.

    • Ajushi says:

      (USA)  I agree 100% Tony, and have noted that many of the responses are loaded with human/emotional responses (instead of God’s commands) and/or bastardizations of scripture.

      If a woman feels emotionally drained due to being with an emotionally distant man, I guess I’d like to read when, where, and how that started and why something wasn’t being done about it as it went along, rather than waiting until you decide it is a good idea to withhold sex (this will lead to infidelity and divorce and massive destruction of family in most cases).

      I would also add that one partner’s job is in fact NOT to meet and coddle the emotional needs of another. At the deepest level, we need to walk into a relationship on day one understanding that our partner will NEVER be able to meet our unmeetable human needs. That is what God and our extended support system is for. If a woman feels distant, I wonder how often that is merely an issue of the woman struggling with sin and emotional issues and not being loving enough or expecting more happiness than marriage can ever actually offer (try growing old alone by comparison!) and so on

      I will close by saying that divorce is never supported in scripture or by any true believer. A woman is never to walk on a marriage at all, as stated plainly in scripture, much less walk on it over emotional issues (!?!?!??!!). And I will finally say that divorce is not only the worst possible thing that can happen in a family, it is profoundly destructive and denigrating to community and society, even where it happens when there are no children involved.

      Women walking out on marriages in modern America has become a profound crisis in this age. Our society no longer has glue and as a result of divorce, single mothering, and fatherlessness, this has become a wicked and ravaged generation. God help us and forgive us and have mercy on us in these scary times.

      • John says:

        UNITED STATED)  Some of the answer given by you the therapist are somewhat far fetched; I can’t speak for every man for their situation but allow me to for mine. I think most marriages end because most wives are not understanding of spirituality in the way I believe God has meant for it to be perceived.

        Let me attempt to make myself clear with this statement. First I am not a hater of women in any way; as a matter of fact I love them to the hill from when my help cometh. But Godly women – if you are, and Godly men – if you claim to be, we must ask God for true understanding in the hardest thing that either sex will ever have to deal with and that is cohabitation. Now lets get to the point, when we are bot godly people there are things that are gong to be said by both sides and then other parties should never be afraid of using the word to confront the disagreement that they are in.

        If we are not truthful in this aspect I believe this is where most marriages get off track, ladies you are not always right and men (yes even when it seems to kill us when she doesn’t seem to understand) we must remain a Godly man – yes even when they think otherwise. No ladies this is not a shout out for the man; this is a shout out for the power of God. I speak this way because everything I say I have experienced personally and I will hope that both man and woman would take the time and think before you act so irrational toward one another. Why? Because that last act you take may or may not be the one that determines on what side you both end up on.

        Ladies, your men are not the heavely Father on this side nor will he be on the other side, but God tells him to treat you like he treats the church and I say if he’s not putting his hand on you nor cursing you and using any and all kinds of ungodly lanauage against you do you think he deserves to be heard by you with loving and spiritual ears? And men when you are talking to your wife, don’t think of her as that woman that’s in the world and then speak to her in that way.

  11. John says:

    (NAMIBIA)  If you read this article, it is pro women, in other words it’s about what women want and how we should provide it to them and ironically, it is my wife who referred me to this site. It’s fair enough to claim that we as men don’t satisfy women but it should be made fair enough to explore mutual grounds in proportion of needs satisfaction, biologically we are totally different and the biggest struggle is to try to adapt by compromising our natural characteristics to be able to accommodate one another.

    There should be sacrifice from both sides rather than women demanding and expectation created for us to supply those demands; and women should also try to think of the other better half rather than themselves.

    I think the needs should be based on average satisfaction rather than total. I had no Idea that marriage is a difficult thing but we should always remember that it’s been made difficult by the people involved and not necessarily the union of marriage. There should be a lot of understanding, sacrifices, respect, from both sides.

    • Laura says:

      (UNITED STATES)  That is true for this article, but this is how some of us feel, but overall in several articles that I have read pertaining to saving your marriage and such, women are ‘required’ to sacrifice a lot to better serve their husands. Equality is supposed to be nonexistent in marriage, although I think it should be.

      • Jasperst says:

        (USA)  Laura, Read the scripture on this topic. Wives are to submit to the husbands in everything. Where women are cursed to struggle with sin is in their desire to have the position of the man, explained very plainly by God’s word in Genesis. This is pretty point blank stuff in scripture!

        Scripture does not call for equality in marriage. It calls for the man to lead and for the man to have headship and it explains this in several ways in several books both Old and New Testament.

        Lots of men who are frustrated with modern women, are going abroad to find more Godly wives who have not been poisoned by feminism and the women’s liberation movement (which has turned out to be more like women’s imprisonment – imprisonment to singleness, single mothering, divorce, and excessive freedom and independence, and growing old alone).

        I will also add that I see some of these descriptions wives here are offering of their husbands, and I am having a hard time imagining where they found such ingrates for husbands and I do want to express my empathy. It is tragic to imagine a man who smokes and drinks and parties his way through a marriage and is never home, or a man who neglects his wife without any cause for a month while she wastes away with MS. That is unreal and I sure hope I do better than that at “Loving my wife as Christ loved the church”!

  12. Joe says:

    (USA)  Like Tony above, it’s obvious to me that my wife is focusing all of her energy on the children. I make a conscious effort to help her with household chores; bring flowers home; carve out time for just the two of us. But I am increasingly made to feel that I’m not important to her. I invited her to marital counseling, and she went … 3 times. After that, she said she wasn’t going anymore. I went a few times by myself. I’m emotionally exhausted and tired of trying and giving. She spends her free time watching tv, talking on the phone to her sister, and saying no or not engaging when I ask her to spend time with me, like playing board games or something. And sex? What’s that? I don’t know what else to do.

    So I ask the question – how does a husband reverse this cycle in his wife? I’ve tried everything I can think of, including implementing the things our counselor recommended. She has done none of that. I’m sure at some point I’ll be blamed for it all.

    • Daddy L says:

      (USA)  Joe, Try getting your wife to do things outside of the house. Maybe plan a nice dinner, with the movies or dancing afterward and have a hotel booked. Have a baby sitter for this night. The goal is to get her looking at you in an intimate fashion. Right now you don’t have this, and many of us know how painful that position is.

      • Joe says:

        (USA)  Tony, I have tried getting her out of the house. I tried doing a weekly date, but at first she would bring one of the kids along instead of arranging a sitter, and she wouldn’t let me arrange a sitter either. She always wants to have something or one of the kids between us, like a little kid who won’t part with a favorite blanket. After awhile, when I would ask where she wanted to go she told me she had grocery shopping to do. After a few weeks of that, I quit asking and we quit dating.

        I have tried to get her out of the house on a weekend away, but she won’t go. Most recently I tried to get her to go on a weekend away for Valentine’s Day, but she kept objecting. I finally gave up trying. I try to arrange more special dates, but she won’t commit to anything or she says no. We did go out for Valentine’s Day this year and that was our last date. When she wouldn’t commit about that, I asked her if she really wanted to go. She said yes, so I just made plans and told her what they were.

        Now I’m at the point where I have no desire to spend time with her on a date. She makes it too difficult and there’s so much between us that it’s uncomfortable. The problems in our marriage are certainly not because I haven’t tried to avoid them and repair our relationship. I have exhausted every possibility I can think of and now have exhausted myself. I have turned her over to the Lord. I pray daily for her. But I often find myself blaming God and accusing Him.

        The last time I met with my counselor (the one she refuses to go see anymore) he said he could tell I was broken and stuck. The only recommendation he had was to push forward and hope she eventually wants to come along. My only problem is that I’m too exhausted at this point to make any significant push forward, and I told the counselor that. Unfortunately, after that he kept canceling my appointments, and now I’m all alone in this struggle to keep from losing my identity.

        I feel like I have to suppress every feeling I have and every dream I have to stay married. It’s a depressing thought. Right now I’m willing to do it for the sake of my kids, but I know it’s not helping our marriage. My only game plan right now is to hope things get better when the kids get older, but that’s a huge gamble.

        • Daddy L says:

          (USA)  Joe,

          It sounds like she is intentionally ensuring that you guys cannot connect like that. This is going to be alot more difficult that you may think.

          How to get her to come up with the idea that she WANTS to connect to you and commit to you in every way possible?

        • Carolyn says:

          (USA)  It sounds as though you are trying very hard, but I wonder if your wife has any built up resentment that you are unaware of and maybe that is why she keeps you at bay? Have you asked her what you can do that would make her life easier? You are doing everything you can think to do but is that what she wants you to do? I remember when my children were young that hubby wanted to go out but I was so overwhelmed just trying to FIND a babysitter that the dates never happened. There were NO babysitters available. I couldn’t get over the first hurdle to get to the date. Maybe if you started there. Find the the babysitter. Buy her something nice to wear and make the date happen so that she has nothing to do but get ready to go out. She might actually enjoy it. Or simply ask her what you can do to make life easier. Raising children is exhausting day in and day out.

          Once my husband arranged a weekend away and he made all the arrangements for childcare. I didn’t want to go because I was too tired to even pack a bag. He insisted I go. He even packed my bag. He told me we were going even if I did nothing but sleep and then he jokingly told me there would be NO SEX… absolutely NOT… he made a joke of it. He was not going to be used as some sex object… we were just going to get away from the kids… peace and quiet was the object of the weekend. I thought he had lost his mind.

          The room was beautiful. The flowers were beautiful. The champagne was nice. He drew me a bath. He repeated… NO SEX… (and I was too tired for it). I slept until 2:00 p.m. the next day and the rest of the weekend was great. We found out we really did need time away from the kids. After some rest, nature took its course and I remembered why I fell in love him. It is easy to forget among dirty dishes, dirty diapers, crying babies and all the other demands upon us day in and day out.

          Send her to a spa alone for two or three days. That might help too!

        • Jack says:

          (USA)  Joe: Been there and it sucks. I hate to say this but the reality of the situation is that she is either having an affair or an emotional affair or is on her way to having one.

          My wife did this to me after we had a kid and I did the whole grovelling thing and generally demeaned myself. I later came to find out that she was spending a lot of time with a male coworker in another office (she travels a lot for work). I confronted her with it and she said they were just friends although she said that “at one time” he was interested in her but not anymore. BS…… Anyway, we are separated now on the way to a divorce (I no longer trust her and doubt I ever will).

          The best thing I ever did though (after a copious amount of grovelling) was to essentially tell her that: 1. I don’t read minds and I would make absolutely no attempt to read hers and that if she wanted to say something to me she would say to me calmly, explicitly, and without hidden messages, 2. That I was done trying to figure out what was wrong with our relationship and that if and when she wanted to have a calm rational discussion about how to fix things I would be willing to do that (she did the rant thing a lot…) and 3. she should take the transfer offer that her company had made (she was offered a job at the office where her “friend” worked) and if things worked out great, but that I would not be joining her. Then I proceeded with my life very calmly, remained civil and took joy from the parts of my life that were working.

          The second, and most important thing that I did (which really happened before our talk), was to realize that the relationship issues were not all my fault or even mostly my fault. This latter point is important to understand. It was not an easy journey to get to where I am. I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown (and probably did to some extent). But at some point I regained the ability to think rationally and used what I knew to “fix” the problem I am a securities trader and a fund manager and when I am in a trade/trading strategy that isn’t working, I am trained to stop doing it (what was Einstein’s quote: insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result). I also know from my work that sometimes the counter intuitive and least comfortable trades are the best. So I did a 180, hence the 3 points that I delivered to her and more importantly my new attitude.

          If your wife is around the same age as mine (early 30′s) there is something else to understand. Michelle Langley wrote a great book (which I read only after my epiphany) on this (which I encourage you to buy – FYI I have no interest in Langley or the book so this is not a self serving plug – sorry a habit from my business side) which you can buy off her website. Her point is that women have a biological desire to diversify their children’s DNA so have the tendency to want to stray in their late 20′s through their 40′s. Apparently, this is largely hormonal (who hasn’t at least heard of the cougar thing) and is equivalent to being 18 and a guy except their desires to stray generally peaks after about 4ish years with a partner (generally the time it takes for a kid to be born and become mobile). This is not to say that all wives cheat, but that virtually all of them have the desire to. Additionally, when you combine this with the fairytale BS and feminist entitlement rhetoric that is fed to young women (ie, that a man is supposed to provide all of your psychosocial needs – your “soulmate” – and that you are entitled to be fulfilled even when your definition fulfillment is virtually impossible), it has given women an inbuilt excuse to cheat (“I’m not fulfilled so my husband/boyfriend must be at fault for what I’ve done”). It reminds me of the the quote from “As Good as it Gets” when Nicholson is explaining how he writes in women’s voice: “I think of a man and then take away all reason and accountability.” I know I’m going to catch it for that one…

          Langley also says a few other things which include: 1. by the time your wife is complaining about you it’s probably too late (you’ve already been “fired” and your wife is just giving you the reasons for your termination) and 2. given 1, you can’t really do anything about it and that groveling will only make you look pathetic in the eyes of your wife (in fact the only thing you can do is the opposite of what you think you should do – see above for an example).

          FWIW, my wife, now living in a different city after she took the job offer. While she couldn’t wait to get out the door, she is now “questioning some of her life choices” (her words not mine) and is trying to talk to me as much as possible and using our son to see me as much as she can. The thing for me is that, at this point at least, other than my son, I don’t really care what she cares about. I’m not saying that you want to end up where I am in terms of my attitude to your wife, but now I have the options and the relative power in our relationship. When my wife had that power she was a tyrant and consequently I no longer either respect her or think that she has anyone’s best interest at heart except her own (she was in such a hurry to get out the door that I kept all of the interests in my business and she agreed in the separation agreement to very little money on a relative basis). I know this is kind of sick (believe me, I don’t like it either), but it seems that in many cases what Langley illustrates in her book is correct. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean that the best course of action is to hide from it.

          Keep your chin up. To use another trading expression “It’s never as bad as you fear or as good as you hope.”

    • Laura says:

      (USA)  I feel the same way about my husband, he spends all of his time on the internet, or outside hanging out with the guys. We’ve gone to counseling, but he didn’t want to go back after the 3rd time. He told me he wants to go to church, but since the last time we went to counseling, we have yet to go, and that was 4 months ago.

      I too, feel like you. I am young, I want sex, but it has become awkward, we only have sex once a week, because he wants to. I feel alone. I work 10 hours a day, come home, and watch tv. He comes home about two hours after that, and then sits on the computer, then goes outside. We have become strangers, and I am so lonely. I feel like I am not important. I have mentioned divorce, but it is not an option for him. I feel your pain, it is hard to be with someone who it appears that doesn’t want to be with you. Good luck, all I can say is pray. I do every day.

  13. Joe says:

    (USA)  Daddy L, Sorry I mistakenly addressed you as Tony in my last post. I understand what I need to do to make our marriage work and enjoyable. I would like to think we can last together happily til we part in death. But she seems to be at a point where she expects me to do everything I do for her benefit; she seems to have an expectation that no matter what she does the marriage will hold together on its own indefinitely; she seems to enjoy the time we do spend together, but she’ll never initiate time together; she does nothing to make me feel like I matter at all; and lately I am have noticed that she is sending the message to the kids that I’m not important and am disposable.

    I have been seeking answers for a long time now. The only answer I can come up with is that this is “normal.” But there does not seem to be any way for me to intervene. The only answer I have is to do kind and loving things to her and for her all the time and at some point it will essentially make her feel bad enough to turn herself around. Unfortunately, I seem to be enabling her continued behavior and her continual thinking that as long as I am kind and loving she doesn’t have to be. In my mind this is a lose-lose situation that currently has no hope of getting better any time soon. All I want is to be loved by someone who wants me in their life, and although I’m a Christian I can’t help but entertain the thought of finding someone else to meet the needs my wife could care less about.

  14. Heather says:

    (AUSTRALIA)  Reading this article I have to say that it’s pretty spot on. For the last year and half – two years my husband and I have been having some major issues. We’ve been married for a total of six years. It started when we moved to a new city and snowballed when I became pregnant. My issue then was the amount of time my husband was spending away from home, longer hours at the office plus time for his sports (baseball practice 2x a week, plus games on Saturdays and golf on Sundays!). Things then went really nasty when he started partying like a teenager, including not coming home some nights. This was something he had never done before in our relationship.

    After putting my foot down and threatening to leave he finally shaped up and things got better for a few months (right after the bub was born). Three months later same story, he started going out and starting working crazy hours again. I don’t know if he was miserable at home, or having issues with fatherhood but once again I gave him an ultimatum and he shaped up then TWO months later same story again! Each time it happens it gets worse and this time it got really really ugly.

    We started seeing a marriage counsellor and now nearly 6 months later things are no better and worse in some ways. I have tried everything, giving him extra space, trying to show appreciation and respect, the marriage counseling. Then I realized it takes two people to make this marriage work and I can’t control him or the situation so I’ve just kind of given up at this point. I’ve prayed so much about our situation and for him, but it all feels so hopeless at this point in time. The last counselling session we had, the counsellor basically asked us both if we would be happy to stay married if nothing changed. My husband said he could but I said no way. I could manage another six months or so knowing that we were working through things but the thought of living like this for another 5 to 10 years is unbearable and I don’t see how it could be healthy for our daughter.

    My husband sleeps in a separate room, works everyday from 6am – 9pm, goes out every single Saturday night doesn’t come home until the next day and then plays golf every Sunday and is home late. Seriously, who does that?!? He obviously just doesn’t want to be married anymore and I’m tired of trying to convert him. So we’ve decided on a trial separation. My husband still says he cares and hopes he can work through his issues so we can get back together but at this point I feel so brokendown it’s going to take him moving mountains to fix this.

    I’ll keep praying, I know in the Bible it says that adultery is the only justified reason for divorce but I’m not a martyr. I want to have someone I can share my life with and eventually maybe more kids. I know life isn’t meant to be easy, and marriage can be really hard at times but I feel like I’m trying to win a losing battle with him. And maybe this is really wrong but I think it’s better to end things now while I’m still relatively young and attractive enough to hopefully meet someone else.

    Sorry for the rant, but what the counsellor wrote is so spot on. I’m not leaving my husband because of abuse but rather for what I feel is extreme neglect and in a way probably is emotional abuse. I can’t imagine going a day without hugging or kissing my child. And knowing that my husband hasn’t even so much as hugged me in the last 18 months crushes me.

  15. Bob says:

    (KENYA)  Correct something please;- you (rightfully) referred to the wife as one of the ‘rooms’ in a man’s imaginery house. How can it be possible then to invite a ‘room’ into other rooms?

    The article is good but one thing we should realise or notice is that all men are like that. Why not advise the wives to understand us instead? We shoulder so much a responsibility that what we need the most at home is peace of mind.

    I try so much to do good to my wife but I find myself being showered with complaints over everything. They are never satisfied. And I feel that when a women is married, she changes to the worse because she feels that she is now settled. While the man is still the same man you married thinking (or hoping) he will change.

  16. Theresa says:

    (USA)  I was married for 18 years to my husband and finally left. By the time I left, it wouldn’t have mattered what he did to try and improve things. The resentment and hurt was just too deep.

    I left my job to raise our son. I took excellent care of everything; the house, the bills, all the problems, child rearing, cooking, laundry, organizing..etc. There was never a word of gratitude or praise, though he would brag about his acknowledgments at work. There really wasn’t any respect shown for what I did sacrificially for our family. And on top of it, I barely received any help, especially with our son. I was bascially a signle parent.

    When I would voice my feelings, he wouldn’t say a word… not one word, or just roll his eyes. It made me feel that my feeling mattered not one bit. There was also, absolutely, no affection on his part… that is, except for sex. There also were no in-depth conversations about our feelings… I would try, but he wouldn’t say a word. Because of that, there was no intimacy, meaning emotional intimacy.

    Finally, when I was diagnosed with MS, well, over time, I couldn’t do as much as I could before. I was barely getting any help. Then, when I had an episode of horrible fatigue for a month, due to MS, I was completely ignored. I was literally wasting away. Thank goodness my sister come over and saw the horrible shape I was in.

    I think my husband bascially wanted a mother.

  17. Lorrine says:

    (UK)  I have known my husband way back from Uni. I have known him now for 16 yrs. But you know what? I shy away from some of his behaviours I cannot stand right now. He has very bad habits I have been trying to make him stop; he smokes weed, he’s not there for the kids for anything, he stays away from the house most of the time, but he wants sex all the time.

    I have tried to speak my mind out to him that he needs to change or else we have to go our separate ways, I cannot afford to risk my kids growing up with a dad who takes drugs.

    I am not sexually connected to him what so ever anymore. We cannot even have a normal conversation as a couple, he just puts me off living in the same house with him. I have had it right now with him. I have asked to move out, I have given it my best for 16yrs. I just need a break right now.

    I have tried to pray about it, I find it very hard, I must say. My kids are aware Mum does everything in the house, all Dad does is going out. Thanks – Lorrine

  18. Melanie says:

    (SOUTH AFRICA)  We have been married 6 years after a 5 year relationship. My husband takes no responsibility in our marriage. He sells coffee from a Franchise portable coffee machine which I purchased for him after he couldnt find work for 3 years. The money he makes goes into his daily needs to fund his drinking and smoking. When he drinks he is verbally abusive, swears and shouts, plays loud music at whatever time he feels like it and I am unable to communicate with him. Saturday is his Rugby day with the boys and we spend hardly any time together which is perhaps for the best as we end up arguing…

    I work fulltime and pay for everything, the bond, food, utility bills, insurances etc. He says I am blessed to have my job and that I should be happy to pay as a Christian wife. I understand that he feels bad about not having “real” work but he never says thanks or helps with the house or the animals and when I ask him to help he argues and says I am trying to control him. I cannot sleep at night. He snores so badly and I am not at all interested in having marital relations with him anymore. He will ask, “Are we ever going to have sex again?” Every day I pray for my husband to stop drinking and then I could be a wife to him but I hate the smell of alcohol and cigarettes when we get close.

    It’s really hard and I try to contol my growing dislike of him every day and pray for wisdom and strength to get through it. He has to be the most selfish person I have ever met.

    My dilemma is in that I love the Lord and his word and know that God hates divorce and that we have to make an effort in marriage no matter what. I have been praying for God to give me a friend to share with as I feel very lonely, especially weekends which are taken up with housework and shopping. If there was someone I could talk to it would make things easier. I just know I have to thank God for the trials we face and that there are always people worse off than me.

  19. Jasperst says:

    (USA)  This post is 100% diarrhea. The Bible is extremely clear on the terms of marriage (that it is for life) the roles (incredibly hard for either men or women to meet in modern society, but clearly commanded anyway), and the instances where divorce is allowed (A man may divorce his wife ONLY for infidelity, and a woman may NEVER divorce her husband under any circumstances). Case closed.

    When a person finds themselves thinking or doing anything whatsoever that is threatening to their marriage or holds their marriage in any light at all other than one of profound reverence, sacredness, and life-long commitment, they need to repent immediately and seek counsel from other believers. This Truth is especially important for women these days, since pop psychology and women’s liberation seems to have created a situation where women hold this deranged notion that marriage is supposed to be happy and all about a man making the woman feel good all the time and meeting her emotional needs as well as her standards and expectations.

    God help our fallen and flippant generation, starting with me, as I continue to pray daily for a saved wife.
    .

    • M says:

      (AUSTRALIA)  I think there are many highly respected theologians that would disagree with you. If you look carefully at what the Bible says, the original meaning of words and the context in which they are said, you will find that God’s thinking on divorce is not only rational but it lines up with God’s character throughout the Scriptures.

      The thinking that God doesn’t allow for divorce ignores the fact that divorce and remarriage was not only legal according to Mosaic law, but also commanded by God in certain circumstances (like when the Jews took Gentile wives). Although marriage was designed as a permanent union to reflect the very nature of the Trinity, God knew that divorce would be necessary to protect women in the very patriarchal Jewish society. He declared Himself the protector of the vulnerable and oppressed, especially of the women, widows and children.

      Recently, I heard of a woman who asked her pastor if she should divorce her violent husband. He advised her to at least separate herself. But she knew that if she did, he would escalate his abuse, and she decided anyway that divorce was not permissible anyway, so she remained. The pastor asked the church to pray for her. A few months later, the pastor asked the church for prayer again, this time for her children – they were orphaned as the father was in jail for killing their mother. It was sad that she thought God was more interested in her marriage than her life.

      I like Bishop TD Jakes’ philosophy – that marriage is a sacred union not to be lightly esteemed, but where a person’s safety, survival or sanity is at stake, then God’s nature is to put the human soul above any institution. God values human souls far above any institution.

      75% of all abusive marriages break up. That’s just the consequence of abuse. You can’t expect them to remain whole. It’s the law of sowing and reaping. No human being can take that sort of treatment and build a respectful relationship based on lop-sided entitled attitudes. It’s nothing to do with trying to be happy or expecting to be happy. Most people I know who separated did so after countless acts of abuse and countless times of trying to make it work, based on the false belief that if they changed, the other person would.

      These poor souls were mauled and damaged on the inside by the time they got out, and some still felt obliged to go back. I don’t know why they kept going forward for prayer for emotional and physical healing when they would not get rid of the cause of the sickness. It’s like smoking then asking prayer for lung problems.

  20. Veronica says:

    (UK)  My husband had an affair during the past few months. I found out about it, then he stopped.
    I also asked him to move out. After 1 month we decided to try to work on the marriage. (we have two children 1y and 4y)
    He promised not to contact the person any more, after 3 weeks I found out that he added her as a friend on facebook. At first he lied that it was someone else , but I know it was “her”. We didn’t talk for a week, then 1 night he said he is moving out. He packed all his stuff, said that he will pay some money to support children, but he will never stay in contact with them because it would make him feel pity for his children and would come back, therefore he will not see them.
    He left us for his single man life and clubbing. I Am devastated that he is not strong enough to stay.

    Please pray for our marriage to be saved. How am gonna explain to my 4y old that she will never ever see her daddy again? And tomorrow is my youngest one first b’day! Any help or advice for me?

    • Drewman says:

      Veronica, I hate to hear about this tragedy that has befallen you, but as a child who was forced to endure a divorce, I would like to give you some advice.

      I cannot tell you what you should tell your daughters, only that the world is made up of people who make the world not fair. But what will help your daughters get through this time of great trial, is knowing that you are right there to hold them through it all. If that means listening to them, or exposing your shoulder so that they can cry on it etc, that is what you need to do.

      I realize that you must also be hurt by all of this, but do not let that keep you from being there for your kids. If you do, that means they lost two parents not just one. To help you with all this I would suggest doing things that you don’t normally do, like picnics, go for walks/hikes, camping, etc. This will help show your children that even though their father may have left, you are still there. I would encourage doing these things with some of your friends, so that you have someone to listen to you also, not to mention that your children will feel more likely to confide the feelings they don’t wish to share with you with your friends.

      When I was younger I went through a time of a huge trial also, but what really helped me get through it was knowing my mom was right there with me the whole time. Like all of us, we have no idea what tomorrow will bring, but she told me one thing over and over again which really helped me. “We will get through this together, one day at a time.” I hope this will be a word of encouragement to you.

  21. Frank says:

    (NEW JERSEY)  Most women today have become very independent. Their attitude towards men have changed a lot. These women must have been very badly abused when they were young or with the men that they once lived with. Today women have high paying jobs that they did not have years ago. They even make more money than a lot of men.

    I am a single man that was married twice. I was a very good husband in both of my marriages. My first wife cheated on me. My second wife is bipolar. We had other problems as well. I was always caring, loving, and very understanding but to them it was not good enough. I consider myself an average good looking man and now I am having a very hard time finding a good woman today. More and more women today are lesbians, which adds to the problem. I know other men like me that are having a problem meeting women as well. Where are the nice women today?

    • Siobhan says:

      (IRELAND)  Hi Frank, I’m so sorry to hear both your marriages ended and you feel this way about most women. Believe me, I am a young woman who took my marriage vows VERY serious but I married a pathological liar who had many false profiles on Facebook.

      I was convent educated in my home country here in Ireland and as a result of this also I did not take the decision lightly to separate from my husband. Divorce for me is not an option so I am praying hard to discern if I should start annulment proceedings.

      I must mention also he never supported me financially even though he would claim he did. I love children but I thank God at least no child is suffering now in this situation. I still believe there are good honest men with integrity out there and if it is God’s will I will meet someone again one day. God bless.

    • Virginia says:

      (UNITED STATES) Frank — The nice women are married to/ dating the jerk who takes advantage of them. Sad to say but abusive &/or user men can spot a nice girl a mile away instantly and they hone in on her playing nice until her heart is invested and then they show their true selves.

  22. Frank says:

    (USA)  Many women out there now are lesbians today, and a lot of them that were married to men at the time are leaving their husbands for other women. Very sad, but true. Then again, there are men out there that do not know how to treat their women.

  23. Michele says:

    (USA)  I have been married for 18 years and am the mother of two children, ages 17 and 7. I left my husband and returned to the US after 17 years in Italy with him. I asked him for a divorce at at a time when I felt I could not be married to him any longer. My heart was cold and hard and in pain for several years prior to leaving. I had asked him to go to counseling four years ago and he refused and only suggested it two weeks before I was to leave. I told him it was too late.

    We have been separated. I had to wait six months before filing for divorce to fulfill residency requirements. It is during this time that I began to reflect on what I had done and asked to reconcile with him. He has told me no, that it is over and that he will not allow me to hurt him again. I know that he is justified in this in his mind. He had asked me to reconcile and when I realized that it was the best thing for us and the children, he tells me it is too late.

    I am devastated. The guilt that I feel for causing my husband and children pain and for changing the course of their lives forever is so hard to bare. I have made a horrible mistake and harmed a loving and kind man who did his best for his family. What I wanted was to spend more time with him and to be closer and to not lose him as I did over time. When nothing seemed to work, I felt that all I could do was leave. I hope that God will forgive me for hurting my family for such a selfish and cold hearted decision that I made. I pray that God will open his heart and he will work with me to keep our family together. He says he will not and will be filing for divorce. I feel as if we are nothing now, that his pride is more important than his family. I know that he feels that he should so this. I pray he does not. I am so very, very sorry.

    • Deborah says:

      (UNITED STATES) Michele… that invoked tears. Your heart is beautiful. You made a mistake but neglect can make you feel like there is no other option. That’s why it’s so very important to put God first and our family second above all else. I’ve always said if home is good, it doesn’t matter what happens outside of that -the strength of the love from a family bond can overpower any issue outside that circle.

      I pray that you find forgiveness within yourself. We are imperfect. However, God forgives all that is brought to him with honest regret. If we could all only do the same for one another.

  24. Pearl says:

    (BOTSWANA) Hi i just turned 31. As for me, I have been in a relationship for eight years with the father of my child and all this time I have trying everything to please him. Yes, the first four years its been wonderful but then all the problems started when I started to expecting our daughter. That’s when he refrained me from making love and ever since then that had been a disease to a point where we could only make love once maybe in three months or could even go beyond that.

    I will visit him at his house and the only thing he could do was to watch soccer the whole time I’m with him and wouldn’t mind coming to bed midnight and wake up very early in the morning to watch the highlights, as if that was not enough for the whole eight years I’ve been with him. He will only tell me he loves me when making love, when I excel. Instead of complimenting me he will rather say it was by luck or maybe someone helped me. You know this has been frustrating.

    He wasn’t interested in building relationship with my family, especially my sisters and brothers. When we got invited for something he will say he is busy or I could just go and he never invited me for anything from his family side, let alone go to functions with me when invited by friends. He would rather come up with a reason to leave me behind, and this has been frustrating. Because of all these things we broke up three times and the forth time was final. What hurts me is that even when I did that, it’s not that I didn’t love him. I truly did, and somehow I think I’m still attached to him.

    For a while I thought I was over him but now somehow I think of him a lot and wish to get back with him. Unfortunately, I have asked myself what guarantee I have that he will change for the best. Before I forget I can tell you he is the best dad of all ages and takes everything of his daughter into consideration. The only problem lies with us. I wish I knew what is the major problem.

  25. Jimm says:

    (USA) I like your article, but where is the discussion about women changing the ways they do things to become more aligned with what their husbands want?

  26. Amanda says:

    (USA) Help! I love my husband. We have been married 2 years. He never wants sex and he makes me feel neglected. I don’t know what to do anymore. He always says he loves me and he’s happy but he has almost no desire to have sex. It didn’t used to be this way. What can I do? I don’t want to end up leaving him. But I’m getting tired of doing everything to make him happy and not getting my needs met.

  27. Linda says:

    (USA) My first thought after reading this information is that each relationship is different. It takes a lot of life experience to interpret statistics with the right amount of assumption testing. I believe there is room for some of those tests here.

  28. Deborah says:

    (UNITED STATES) Love it!! I think this was beautifully thought out and written. If you read it carefully and without bias, it clearly states that BOTH sides need to compromise and be sensitive to EACH OTHER. If a woman is happy, her man will be a very loved and respected man. Men say we women are insecure but fail to admit that if we care for you and your not reciprocating our affections or efforts, it can create insecurities! What are we doing wrong? Why don’t we feel like his priority? He used to love to make me smile… And so forth.

    Yes, we are deeply emotionally rooted. While this may be confusing to some men, and even cause for irritation at times, it is also what makes us the loving, deducated and sexually aggressive (speaking for myself) beings that we are. The very reasons you fall in love with us. But when we don’t feel loved -the feeling of neglect hits and the insecurities start. Just as it happens when a woman doesn’t treat a man like a man needs to be treated. With holding sex, not being supportive or encouraging of his efforts to take care of his family or recognizing the little things he does to make you feel special.

    He starts to feel unappreciated or undesirable. When this happens to either partner, the problems start. The arguing, silence, tension starts to eat away at all thats good.

    My boyfriend and I have been struggleing lately. While he’s a wonderful provider and holds the most amazing intellectual conversations with me, he’s seriously lacking on the little things. QT – He works on the road a lot and he is always tired – exhausted really. But when he’s gone 6-10 days without seeing me, he should keep in contact at least daily. And when we do finally get to see each other, including our anniversary, he didn’t even bring a card, flower… nothing. Never has. He says he’s trying to get us financially stable and those things take from that! He makes decisions about money without me and thinks I should just be supportive of HIS plans. What about OUR plans? And a rose takes from our future? At what cost? $3.00 would have been deeply appreciated and way more meaningful than the lecture about finances!

    I compromised on the new job that took him away from us. He had other options. I respected that he thought this was the better option. When I see him, I always plan something surprising for us. I buy him special things for his time away i.e… food that he likes, warm clothes, cards… I make sure things are in order so that his time home is QUALITY TIME. I’m very down to earth and low maintenance. I don’t go shopping or need expensive clothes or gifts. All I ask is that he makes me feel like the woman I am! If I make sure he always feels like the hard working, intelligent man he is, why can’t I get the same respect? I WANT to do these things for him but I have needs to.

  29. Linne says:

    (CANADA) As a women, I think it is very selfish and incensitive for a man to expect sex from his wife when she is deeply hurting in the relationship – after all, sex is suppost to be an expression of love for each other. But if a man wants it and expects it while refusing to work/resolve the significant relational conflicts, then it degrades the woman down to a sex tool!

    Personally, I can honestly say that yes, I wish I could be there with my husband enjoying that intimacy (that’s what he wants), but living out love in that way when a woman feels very unloved in relational ways is impossible… well not totally, it would be possible but it wouldn’t be true intimacy (to me it would be emotionally hurtful). We woman need honesty, loyalty and partnership from our man and when he violates these basic marital foundations continuously, this is the true wedge in the marriage. Men, I believe women (in general) want to be intimate fully in the marriage relationship too, but don’t bribe her to do so with God’s Word quoting those verses. That’s heartless manipulation!

    • Tony says:

      (USA) Linne, It’s tough because one could argue the same thing from the other side of the scenario you describe. As a man, I think it’s very selfish and insensitive for a woman to refuse sex to her husband when he is deeply hurting in the relationship -after all, sex is supposed to be an expression of connectedness with one another. But when a wife refuses it because she claims she doesn’t feel connected to her husband, she is refusing the most effective means of establishing the very connection she claims is not there. She confuses her husband because on one hand her words say she wants to be connected, but her actions of refusing sex indicate that she really does not desire the connection she claims to want.

      Personally, I can honestly say yes, I wish I could be more romantic for my wife, enjoying conversations and walks in the part or neighborhood, but living out love in that way when a man feels unwanted and refused seems impossible. A marriage without sex is not a marriage. It’s like a relationship with my sister. Intimacy is impossible without regular and enthusiastic sex. Without it, the relationship is not a marriage.

      We men need to feel wanted, desired. We need honesty, loyalty and partnership from our wives and when she refuses to have sex on a regular and enthusiastically, she is violating the very foundations that make marriage unique from every other relationship in a mans life. Instead of drawing husbands and wives closer together, the lack of sex drives a wedge between them, downgrading the relationship.

      Men do want intimacy. We want to feel close to you. So wives, don’t discount the importance and godly purpose of sex in a marriage. Withholding sex to get him to behave the way you want him to behave is godless manipulation.

      • Linne says:

        (CANADA) Oh my gosh Tony…..the way that you worded that so honestly without “a fight” makes it completely impossible for me to argue. I never saw it the way you described it but ya, you’re right. Uh! You would not believe the revelations that God has allowed into my life just in the last 12 hours – it’s truly a miracle. Thank you for sharing….to receive these words of understanding from a man’s perspective…is bringing amazing healing into me for my marriage and my family.

        I write this with tears. A couple of days ago I was ready to file for legal separation, now it’s all flipped around. I can honestly say “I was so blind but now I see.” I don’t know you but there’s no doubt that God has used you big time in my life today. Thank you so much!

      • Tony says:

        (USA) Thanks for your kind words.

      • Renee from United States says:

        Tony, I believe selfishness is the root of many failed marriages whether it be manifested in financial problems, sex, or abuse. Any spouse who considers their own needs to be greater than the other spouse’s needs is just plain wrong and has sinned against God.

        After reading your post I must say that most women don’t necessarily feel connected to their husbands simply by the act of sex. That connection that women desire actually happens BEFORE sex. I believe you are misunderstanding your wife’s needs. It is men who use sex as a way to feel connected to their wives. If you were to ask your wife what her top 3 needs are, I can almost guarantee that sex is not one of them. However for you, the man, I’m sure it’s your number one need, if not the second most need.

        You say you need honesty, loyalty and partnership… well, I truly believe that if your wife lied to you about little things, randomly did her share of the housework, and didn’t contribute consistently to bills BUT gave you sex whenever and however you wanted it, you wouldn’t be complaining too much. Why? …because she’s satisfying your most greatest need… sex. I’m curious to know what makes you think that having regular sex with your wife while you (or any husband) continue to disregard her needs will actually make her feel connected to you? Has that ever worked?

        A woman who allows her husband to have sex with her while she’s hurting inside and feeling deprived will only feel like her body is being used to satisfy her husband’s needs. I can tell you from experience that a woman in that position has little to no libido. Her libido will continue to remain dormant as long as her needs aren’t being met. A husband can’t force his wife to develop sexual feelings towards him… and a husband cannot dictate how a wife should feel while having sex with him. Sure, every man wants his wife to show enthusiasm but if that’s not how you’re making her feel then no husband has the right to demand that she display it.

        Normally, when there is a lack of sex in a marriage, there was a lack of “something else” that occurred long before lack of sex became a problem. I don’t condone this but many times when a spouse is withholding sex, it’s not always about manipulation but rather making the other spouse feel exactly how they feel… insignificant, under-valued, full of pain. Have you ever considered manipulating your wife’s behavior by giving her what she needs so that you can get what you need???

        I never understood why a lot men believe that it is a greater sin for the wife to withhold sex than it is for the husband to withhold love. Both are equally important. The Bible never indicates which is worse. Both are considered sin and carry the same punishment by God. One spouse cannot be righteous in calling out the wrong of the other when they are just as guilty in doing the same thing. That’s hypocrisy. Both spouses MUST commit to meeting each other’s needs and I believe this commitment should be verabalized, planned out and put into action in order to bring life back into the marriage.

        • Tony from United States says:

          I don’t think I misunderstand at all. I said sex was A way, not the way. I think many are assuming that the husband has not tried to connect in the ways that are their wives top emotional needs.

          My ex-wife played her cards close to her vest. Apparently sex wasn’t a problem, since she was willing to have it with another man. The problem was she wasn’t willing to let me connect in any fashion, sex or otherwise. She was willing for me to work while she was a stay-at-home mom. She was willing to let me pay the bills, mow the lawn, do home repairs, etc. But to sit with me on the couch, or take a weekend away, or anything like that, nope. Sex, well forget that.

          I do agree, it’s selfishness. To believe that your preferred means of connection, male or female is the best is selfishness. There are ways that score more points with one spouse. Other means that score points with the other.

          My question was aimed at those wives who complain they are not connected to their husbands, and then they rule out the most effective means of connecting for most husbands. Their refusal, for whatever reasons they might cite sends a contradictory message to most husbands. I.E. they want to connect, but they don’t want to connect in a way that meets their husbands highest, most intimate emotional need. Mixed message, full stop.

        • Beryl (wildcat & Trojan) from United States says:

          Oooooooo Renee, wow girl. You said it just right. Not many women are smart or brave or aware enough to hold such insight. Many women have been so deceived and carry guilt about how they truly feel. They are afraid to speak up. I feel sorry for those women who actually believe women are to blame for everything just because we complain. Men complain too, but they are sneaky and sly in how they let their nag come out. Women are bolder with their complaining. But believe me, men grumble too.

          Women need to hush being so vocal and do it in a sneaky way, as men do. :) But anyway I am so proud of you my friend and sister. I was thinking of the same ideas, but could not write it as well as you did. Thank you girl!

          The moderators get angry with me because I express anger over double standards and unfairness.

          • Cindy Wright from United States says:

            Beryl, You are so wrong in saying that we “get angry” because you “express anger over double standards and unfairness.” THAT’S unfair… because we don’t get angry at all when people call out double standards and such. Doing that can be a good thing, and we’re glad when we can give someone the platform in doing so. But if name-calling, berating, or giving blanket statements like “all men” are this or “all women” are like that, or we’re encouraging behavior that is mean-spirited or prideful –we just don’t want to promote that kind of talk.

            The Internet is too “safe” for people to mean talk one another and act like we’re the judges of the world, and whatever comes to mind, we should be able to blurt out (even if we didn’t think it all the way through). We’re just not into adding to or perpetuating that type of behavior on this web site. We LOVE well thought out, prayerful verbal interchange –even if we don’t agree with what is being said. We’ve posted many comments from others that we don’t agree with. But when it is hurtful in an unnecessary way, or it promotes that which is blatantly untrue, spoken in a mean or prideful spirit, we just don’t want to give voice to this type of attitude or talk.

            We’re told in Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” What I see in that scripture (and others) is that it’s okay to disagree and it’s okay to be angry and speak your mind about a double standard or an unfairness going on that you see. It’s okay to “speak truth in love” and call out an unfair behavior as long as there is grace given and an attitude of trying to reveal truth and bring voice to “double standards” without being haughty –being bent on “right fighting” to the point where the goal is to hurt the person or people rather than help them to see another side to things. The goal is to change shaky thoughts and behavior, not to give him or her a 1,2 punch to the chops for seeing things differently. It’s the GOAL of what is being said and how it is said that makes the difference with us.

            So please Beryl, please understand that we WANT you and others to add to the discussion on this web site IF it is said in a spirit of bringing us together, rather than pushing us apart because of the way we deliver that message. We just need to be careful in HOW we say what we say, and the spirit we are taking in making our point. I hope this helps in some way.

      • Beryl (wildcat & Trojan) from United States says:

        Tony, just as you say that a marriage without sex is not a marriage, the same goes for a marriage without the affectionate, loving connection. This too is not a marriage. God made women to need that affection and emotional connection before sex. Remember, we do not have that strong urge or drive for sex. We really prefer our sleep. :)

  30. Mark says:

    (USA) Many of us good straight men that know how to treat a woman very well, are certainly having a very difficult time meeting a good woman today. I wish there were women like June Cleaver and Donna Reed around again, that would certainly had made it easier for us serious men that are looking.

  31. Christine P from United States says:

    Wow, this describes my feelings, which led to my divorce exactly. I’ve strove for nearly 15 years to keep this relationship growing and thriving, but finally gave up basically when I realized it wasn’t possible. I was the only one working at it. My life was hopeless and lonely. I’m certain that many men have legitimate complaints in their marriage and there is always “the other side” in any case. But if someone reads this and wonders if it’s true, I would say resoundingly YES. I wasn’t relegated to a single room, I was left out in the street looking in.

    • Mark from United States says:

      To Christine, i feel very bad for you as well, and it is just very sad that the good men and women just can’t seem to connect with one another nowadays. i hate so very much going out all over again after my wife of 15 years cheated on me which i was a very caring and loving husband that was very much committed to her as well. I am certainly not into the bar scene, since it is like a meat market trying to find a good woman for me. my aunt and uncle were very fortunate to have met one another in Junior High School many years ago which they have just celebrated their 65th year together, and i was there. back then it was much easier meeting one another, and now it has become so very difficult which it is very sad for many of us that are still looking.

  32. Kat from United States says:

    Hello. I found your site a year ago when I was looking up divorce papers, which I never proceeded with. Maybe someone will help with advice. We have what feels like unresolvable marital issues. Me and my husband are very, very poor. I am disabled, with a progressive illness. I was disabled when he married me. He was adamant that he did not care and will love me regardless.

    We are married for five years now, extremely broke because I can’t work and my husband is badly dyslexic and only can work minimum wage jobs. After striking it out in the big city on our own for a few years and nearly ending up completely homeless, we had to move in with his parents, which we of course didn’t want to do. My husband has been out of work for two years, but finally found another one and is working the minimum wage job now.

    We were started having issues very soon after we lived together, even in our own apartment when times where not that tough, mainly because of constant lack of money. We would have an argument (me asking him not to spend money on something, or me asking him to maybe get a second job, etc.), and he would physically attack me and get abusive. It has lasted two years. I had nowhere to go, to be honest, and each time he told me he loves me and it would stop. When we moved in with his parents, I told them about it after they heard me cry. They made him go to the Anger Management class, plus I promised him I will report him to the police, which the stopped physical abuse but he became very rude instead.

    It’s much less scary, but now it’s mostly rudeness and neglect. He admitted that he shouldn’t have physically hurt me and said he was sorry and he did not do it again. But in an argument he often tells me that I was responsible for ‘causing him to hurt me” and it makes me scarred because I feel that he is not sorry he can hurt me; he is just afraid to be arrested. He can be very sweet at times and completely ignore me the other. In fact, he comes home from work and sits and watches TV, and if I ask him to do anything he snaps and starts a long fight digging in my past, telling me that i should do chores too (I do a lot but due to disability can’t do too much), mock me., etc., and never stops until I cry.

    He often would lie about me in my face or call me a name and immediately deny he sad it. When one of his parents walks by he suddenly changes his tone of voice and acts like he has been sweet and I’m the one who’s crazy. He prefers not to be bothered about anything, just watches TV and if I talk to him gets snappy and God forbid I ask him to do a chore he promised, he always gets angry. Sex between us is almost non-existent, because I’m more ill now than I was when we met, and need more gentle approach and definitely need him to spend enough time with me on this, which I asked him many a time and he ignored it.

    He doesn’t even want to spend time with our dog that he says he loves, and when I try for us to do something together like walk the dog and play with him, he just rushes me to go home because he is cold/tired/mosquitos bite him/he left his cigarettes at home, etc.. In fact, all fights start when I either want him to talk to me, or ask him to do something I cannot do myself. He is only seemingly happy when TV is on, no matter what is on it, and when he play video games which we are both fond of but I prefer real life and he does not. We have been in the in-laws house for two years instead of 3 months like we agreed. We can barely afford my medicine and food for both of us although he promises me each week to start looking for a better job, but gets angry when I remind him of it. In fact, he got his current job because I found it myself, designed his resume for him, and helped him through every step of every job application because of his dyslexia, and dragged him to internet cafes to type for him to search for work, wrote emails to employers, etc.

    Whenever I’m with him, he just sits and stares at TV, and when I ask him to talk to me he says I don’t let him, which makes no sense. It’s just going more and more downhill. I feel constant guilt that I can’t go and make money for us, but I can’t even get better because we simply can’t afford to manage my illness. My husband feels like he is not doing anything wrong, and I’m just being a nagging wife. He promised me five times to quit smoking, on his own, without me asking, to save us some money, but each time he tried he became physically aggressive and told me he doesn’t want to be my ‘slave” and do what I want to, and it was over. I don’t really know what to do, and kind of gave up. I do chores in his parents house. I take care of our dog, I cook as much as I can, but I can’t work physically and can’t leave here. Maybe anyone have any advice?

  33. Paul David from United States says:

    I have a better explanation as to why women seek divorce twice as much as men. God HATES divorce. Satan LUSTS FOR divorce. Satan blew up Eden by going through Eve and tricking her. It is called Adam’s sin, because the man is the head of the house. 90% of divorces happen because one spouse does not want to work on the marriage. In my mind, that spouse is spiritually dead. To go against God’s will, intentionally and to honor Satan with his most prized victory, to live in unforgiveness and put one’s self before the Will of their God, their poor children and the vow them made to God is the essence of a spiritual death and someone choosing a life of the flesh over the new life God has promised to those who are born again.

    God is clear in scripture that the only way He sees a marriage ended is upon death -either physical or spiritual. His goal is to have saved married couples in eternity -so he is separating the wheat from the chaff with divorce.

    Someone in that marriage is either unsaved, not born again or spiritually dead -and the other is usually (and hopefully) saved. Sometimes it’s the man, sometimes it’s the woman. Sometimes it’s the cheater, sometimes it’s the cheatee. Sometimes it’s the divorcer, sometimes it’s the divorcee. In every single marriage and divorce that has gone on around me and in my life, and the more I read scripture, the more I see ‘easy-believism’ Christians making excuses for divorce and God hating it and the more I see one spiritually alive person and one spiritually dead person.

    That is up to that person and God on judgment day. I never understood why Jesus said that the path to destruction was wide and only a few would find the gates to heaven. I do now. I’m not legalistic and don’t think you are going to go to Hell for getting a divorce – I just think that a divorce is a SYMPTOM of someone who is not saved and not right with the Lord. It is the FRUIT of our salvation… or not.

    I pray for anyone in a divorce situation and their poor children. I pray they seek God’s will and don’t follow Satan down a rathole. Your story was written long ago and you will answer for how you treated your spouse come judgment day. And, like my grandfather taught me -it is not the sin for you will be judged for, but rather, how you responded to God and the person you sinned against, AFTER your sin. Repentance is not being sorry, but turning from that sin and reconciling your relationship you damaged.

    I’m not praying for the broken hearted – I’m praying for the ones who are not walking with Christ and not saved and that they be saved, repent from their sins and reconcile the relationships and choose love.

  34. Angela from United States says:

    My husband has been gone for over 15 months. It seems like I’m the only one trying. I read, read call, pray, pray, and pray harder. Some days I’m so nervous and scared that I text over and over looking for reassurance. I ask him, do you love me; are you coming home? Each time he replays, yes, yes, yes… I’m so confused because everything I suggest doesn’t happen, and he still hasn’t returned. I’m not a dumb lady, and although he blames me for all it, I know the reason is another woman, and that’s heart breaking.

    I don’t confront, because he is already gone, and I don’t want him to completely shut me out. I’m all out of reading material :(, and just tired. I’m broken, and I miss him so much. I’ve been strong, and believed everything he has said to me, and that is “he is returning.” What can a wife do? I do believe in God. I’ve tried being quiet, staying away, but it seems time isn’t my friend. I’m afraid if I do what everyone is teling me, no contact, he will just give up. Please pray for me and my husband. Pray for us.

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      Angela, I can sure appreciate your heart and the desperation you feel. It has to feel like you husband is slipping through your hands and if you don’t grab on all the tighter, you’ll lose him completely. But I have to ask you, how’s this working for you –to be grabbing at him in desperate neediness even though you know that he’s playing around with other women? (I read your other comment under another article). You and I both know the harsh reality is that he is dipping his toe in the pool of playing around. The text and such to other women (plus the lying to cover it up) is the tip of the iceberg here. I wish I could say it isn’t so but he is enjoying the chase and even though he shouldn’t, he’s running strong.

      I know this is breaking your heart and when our hearts are breaking and we feel we are losing the one we love, we can do desperate things. But if you keep coming off as being all needy and grabby… being a “high maintenance” person with no self-respect or self-worth going on for you, other than being his wife, can’t you see that it will crowd him and tempt him to want to escape that stronghold all the more? Your being “nervous and scared” and texting him “over and over looking for reassurance” can cause him to become “nervous and scared” to be saddled and strung up in that situation for life –especially when he has other women, who appear less needy (at this point) throwing themselves at him.

      As difficult as it is, you need to NOT appear so desperate. You need to reach deep within, asking God to give you the strength to put this in His hands, and to not be so needy. If he continues on this cheating path, which he shouldn’t –it doesn’t say much about his integrity or his commitment to the vows he made with you… your desperation won’t bring him back. As long as he sees you as this clingy, desperate, crying, nervous, confused, unsure, grabby person who is willing to be his rug that he can step upon or over to go where he wants to go, I believe he will continue to do so. Obviously, he’s not feeling sorry for you or his actions. Obviously, he is denying his conscience and is giving into the temptations that are presenting themselves. That’s a strong (and wrong) tonic to drink… and he’s doing his share of drinking.

      There’s a book I recommend you read. It’s written by Dr James Dobson and it’s a good one for you to read right now in your desperation. It’s titled,Love Must Be Tough: New Hope for Marriages in Crisis … I really encourage you to read it. The principles are sound. I looked through the chapters again to make sure it would apply here and it most certainly does. He even has testimonies in it from other women who were as desperate as you are to get their husbands back and what they did.

      Angela, what I’m trying to explain, even though this will be the toughest thing you will probably ever have to do, is that you need to stand up straight and approach this situation in a way that exhibits “strength under control.” As difficult as that will be, if you don’t, I’m afraid that your husband will feel suffocated and will run in the other direction. The other approach hasn’t worked so far. 15 months is a long, long time. Please try to look at this from a cheating man’s view. What will be more appealing? A woman who appears to have it together and perhaps appears to be “moving on” even though you won’t be… or a clingy, desperate, choking person with no self-worth going on?

      I’m not saying for you to bring another man into the situation and date and such. That would be as wrong as your husband is. But I’m saying that you clean yourself up, get a life, and do what you can to be an appealing woman who he will WANT to be with. This would be good for you, as well as for your situation. Please read the book, pray, do your best to take this one day (or hour) at a time, and don’t project into the future what will happen. I’ve seen worse marital situations completely turn around. There is still hope. But I dare say that there will be little if you keep going on as you are… at least that’s how I see it. Please prayerfully consider what I’m saying here. I hope you will. I pray for you Angela, and I pray for your husband. I’m SO sorry you are going through this. I pray you will have a brighter future… this is indeed a dark cloud time in your life. I hope those clouds blow away soon. My prayers are with you.

  35. Nobubele from South Africa says:

    I have stumbled onto this article in great agony as I too face the lack of empathy I am currently experiencing in my marriage. I am so lonely and neglected emotionally -my husband works long hours and the time off he gets he go out alone and never comes home.

    Being a Christian I have done all there is to do to try and resolve our conflicts by going to seek intervention both in Church and from psychologists and I have now come to a hurtful conclusion that it is time to let go as it hurts too much and I need to move on.

    I am sad for our children but I know that God will bring about a solution to the journey I am about to take. I cannot force someone to care, nor be interested in me.

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