Dealing With The Unlovable Husband

Unlovable Husband AdobeStock_288239917It is easy to live in harmony together when your husband is treating you well. But what if you are living with an unlovable husband? What if he’s not acting towards you in ways that you believe he should? How do you treat your husband when he is moody, unloving towards you and is difficult to live with? What do you do then?

Living With an Unlovable Husband

Here’s what Jesus says regarding difficult relationships:

“Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayers for that person. …If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.

“Here is a simple rule of thumb for your behavior. Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? …I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never —I promise —regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.

“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, and criticize their faults —unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back —given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.” (Luke 6:27-38, The Message)

Walking in the Spirit Even with an Unlovable Husband?

One way you can tell that you are walking in the Spirit in your marriage is to ask: Is my husband’s response my goal, or am I doing this to please the Lord?

God will enable you to be compassionate to someone who doesn’t deserve it, just as He was and is to you.

Ask yourself, “Why is my husband moody and sharp with me?” Often the answer is that you are simply catching the overflow of what happened to him at work, with his parents, or with some other problem. Is this fair? No, but life isn’t always fair. Consider other possibilities as well: Is he stressed about something in particular? Is he fatigued due to extra house he’s putting in at work? Is he going through a difficult time with someone? Ask God to give you understanding and patience during these times and continue to treat your husband lovingly, regardless of how he may be treating you.

Don’t be so sensitive that you let your feelings and emotions be set by another’s treatment of you. Jesus didn’t do that. He continued to live His life with honor, dignity, love, and mercy through the most difficult times. Don’t be judgmental or unfriendly. Don’t allow yourself to be too easily wounded, crushed, or hurt. Guard against bitterness and being quick to forgive. Ask Jesus to help develop these attitudes in you when you face challenging times.

Be a Blessing

Your job is to bless (1 Peter 3:9, The Message). Put another way, it reads like this:

Never return evil for evil or insult for insult —scolding, tongue-lashing, berating; but on the contrary blessing—praying for their welfare, happiness, and protection, and truly pitying and loving them. For know that to this you have been called, that you may yourselves inherit a blessing [from God] —obtain a blessing as heirs, bringing welfare and happiness and protection. (1 Peter 3:9, AMP)

Holy, beautiful women never return harsh words, but instead give a blessing back! One way to do this is through prayer. Do you see that the blessed outcome of our unselfish prayer for our husbands’ welfare, happiness, and protection is that we inherit these things as well?

Caught in a Cycle

Have you and your husband ever been in the following cycle? He raises his voice; you raise yours. He becomes louder; you retaliate.

This is an endless cycle, but the dynamics of it can be broken quickly if you no longer react. You can choose to act instead in a manner the Bible says is right. Your consistent, sweet, silent response to poor behavior may be the very thing God uses to change your husband. Don’t give in to the urge to let your silence be cold and stony.

When Jesus was oppressed and afflicted, He did not open His mouth (Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 26:63; Matthew 27:12-14, NASB). Mark says that Pilate was amazed at how Jesus stayed silent in the midst of the accusations that were swirling around Him. Only when He was placed under oath and asked whether He was the King of the Jews did He humbly reply, “Yes, it is as you say(Mark 15:2).

Dealing with Unlovable Husband

If your husband is short-tempered and impatient, try remaining silent in love. Stop participating in the vicious cycle of “he gets angry; I get angry.” Choose not to react during heated times. Wait until your husband has cooled down or is more rested before discussing things.

Suppose you had two dogs. Let’s say one was red and the other blue. What would happen if you fed only the red dog and not the blue one? The red dog would become bigger and stronger while the blue one became weaker. Over time, Red would thrive, while Blue shriveled away.

Every time you act in a loving way toward your husband, it’s as if you’re feeding the red dog and refusing to feed the blue one. It’s simple to show love: Feed Red, and starve Blue! Each time you do this, it becomes more and more a part of your natural response. What you’re doing is training your mind to think in a new way, and each successive attempt becomes easier.

Begin now to pray that you will have the strength to do this, and begin praying scripturally and fervently for your husband.

How to Pray Scripturally

There is an example of a powerful way to pray contained in the book of Colossians. You might consider praying for your husband in such a way. Pray that he will:

  • be filled with the knowledge of God’s will,
  • have spiritual wisdom and understanding,
  • walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, living a life full of integrity,
  • please the Lord in all respects and do those things that bring glory to God,
  • bear fruit in every good work,
  • increase in the knowledge of God,
  • be strengthened with all power according to the Lord’s glorious might,
  • attain steadfastness and patience,
  • joyously give thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. (Colossians 1:9-12)

The above article comes from the book, The Politically Incorrect Wife written by Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby, published by Multnomah. You’ll find that the authors confidently write as “voices of experience.” They say, “Between the two of us, we bought into the modern-day thinking regarding marriage, for nearly 40 years!” You’ll want to read this book to find out what they learned.

Used by permission of Multnomah Publishers, Inc. Do not reproduce this excerpt without the prior written consent of Multnomah Publishers, Inc.

– ALSO –

To help you further in dealing with an unlovable husband, the following link takes you to various Revive Your Heart recordings that were originally set up in the form of a six-week Bible Study. Each session is approximately 30 minutes long. Here is a description they give of the series. In this six-week Bible study,

“Journey along with Abigail as she uses her influence in two men’s lives—with different results. See how the empowerment of the Holy Spirit can help you deal with difficult people . . . without becoming difficult yourself! With Scripture memory, daily study, and group discussion questions, this resource is ideal for both individual and group study.”

This is your link, as you try to live with an unlovable husband in a Christ-like way, to listen to:

ABIGAIL: Living with the Difficult People in Your Life

If you have additional tips to help others, or you want to share requests for prayer, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

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228 responses to “Dealing With The Unlovable Husband

  1. My husband constantly embarrasses me in public by speaking to me in a loud manner. He has become more angry since my diagnosis with breast cancer and my refusal to have chemo and radiation but to go the natural way. He says he stands by my decision but has since become bitter and enraged, seemingly with me. We are both strangers in a foreign land and have no children. All we have is each other. Please pray for my situation to change. I lift him up in prayer daily. I would like to give love and return love but it is becoming more and more difficult. I watch him treat other people so lovingly when we are outside. He speaks to them with gentle words and sometime hugs them but I am left on the side and never get that side of him when I am home. Please help!

    1. I’m so sorry that you are going through this alone. God’s got your back, even though your husband is being selfish; he may think you are being selfish also due to you refusing treatment. Please focus on you and your health. Please try to enjoy life as much as possible. Stay positive and keep praying, God loves you.

      1. How dare you scold a woman when she is going thru this sickness. Would you scold her husband who refuses to get treatment for his genitals? Be realistic and fair.

        1. I’m sorry you took that as me scolding her for not taking treatment, That’s not what I was saying. I was being realistic. That’s probably how her husband probably feels. I would never scold anyone for their choices when comes their health.

  2. I’ve read all the articles and prayed; it seems to get better so, I’ve decided to just give up. There’s no help for women, I called the police last night due to my husband attacking me get again while I was lying on my bed. The police took his side, of course. I’m so frustrated with this whole ordeal. I’m not saying I’m going to commit suicide….just have to get on mission to keep myself safe. So,thanks to all the wonderful people out there who really sincere and loving, you did make me feel better. But I can’t take it any more.

  3. I’m so frustrated. I’m praying for change in me to try and have patience, be strong and to understand my husband’s alcoholism. But to keep going through this constant disrespect, mental, and starting to get physical abuse is becoming unbearable. I do really love my husband but this becoming ridiculous. The constant arguing and fighting is for nothing. Please, I pray for peace in my marriage or I will have to leave him.

    1. My husband a week ago Friday, ambushed two men with an axe handle on our deck after they presented me with a CPS order to take our son back to the Midwest and place him with my husband’s sister after his father had the order issued there > Several times he had told his father that he had better try a legal means by going through the state we live in now. My son has never been in the state we lived in 3 years ago. That’s where his father lives, I was going to do as the order said and handle everything through the court. But The last time this was tried my husband had said if they did not come with the Sheriff here he would consider it as a kidnaping and kill them. This time he came out of the barn and spotted them on the deck and went up behind them and wacked both of them.

      He was going to leave them there and take off with me and our son but I stayed to make sure they received medical attention. My husband left with our son going first across the Montana border into Canada. The two went home with bad lumps on their sculls. The sheriff wanted to know why they went out there without first telling him, second getting our states take on the situation, because they had never seen abuse from my husband against his son. His father called and told the sheriff my husband was not raising him with the proper values.

      Under this states law that is not considered abuse. My husband took 15000 and his clothes and crossed the border the Saturday before last with his passport and our sons. All I want is them to come home. That’s the prayer of a mother, safety for my 2 year old. There are other complications in this.

      In July my husband had a aortal heart valve replaced. He has to get regular anti rejection treatment. I worry if he is trying to avoid detection he might skip getting it. I have Emailed him, Traced him to Calgary for a day then nothing. for the last week he could have found a back door back into the country.

      I just wanted peace. Now I have a husband that doesn’t want to be found, who hated his father and his friends so much he will never cede any thing to his father and his friends. He trusts that I would just roll over and do as his father wants. In 32 years of married life I have never been certain who was right and who was wrong. I guess I took the path of least resistance, and for the most part has now continued to ruin my life. All over Social rights.

  4. Good day, I have had a very long and abusive 5 years. I got married at 22 years, believing my husband would take care off me, but ended up with a husband who refused to work. I paid the rent, bought groceries and took care off him. I prayed every day for him to get a job. I took a loan to buy a car for him. He wanted a cell phone and promised to pay but in the end I ended up using a credit card to help him. It got so bad financially that I had to sell the car to pay rent.

    I finally fell pregnant and it was a hard pregnancy to the point where he used to kick me out and make me sleep on the floor pregnant! My baby was born. I love him and don’t mind working for him, but my husband doesn’t even buy napkins for him. Finally after 5 years he gets a job and a company car. I praised God, but now he is so boastful. He spends his money drinking. He comes home late partying, so whether he works or not it didn’t make a difference. Being a Christian wife God has always given me the strength to forgive him. Its been like a year that he hasn’t sleep with me. I get no attention. I find woman’s clothes in his car. He chats sexually with other women. So now a lot of people will say the Bible says don’t divorce! But what and who can help my situation? I am suffering with him, but what can I do?

    1. Marisa, You are allowing yourself to be a rug that your husband is wiping his feet upon and walking all over. Yes, we are to love and serve our husbands. But we are not to enable bad behavior. I love your heart. I can tell that you are a good person–one who has a lot of love to give. But allowing him to stay out drinking, and partying, and chatting sexually (or any way) with other women? No. You need to stop that. If he has a propensity to cheat, let him do so outside of the marriage. He needs to decide. Is he in the marriage, or is he out? Is he a partner in raising your baby, or is he a “single man” without the responsibilities of a wife and child?

      Marisa, you need to get a spine. You need to be strong in the ways your husband won’t be. I’m not saying you should insult him, or act disrespectfully, but you have a right, as his wife, to expect some important things from your husband. If he works, he needs to contribute to the finances of the household. Drinking money takes a backseat, and rent and utility, and daily expenses come first. If he isn’t working, then you need to make him make sacrifices as you are. Don’t pay for a phone that he will use to cheat on you. Don’t sleep on the floor while he’s sleeping in the bed, ESPECIALLY when you’re pregnant. Women’s clothes are in the car? No, no, no. If women are removing clothes in his car, then he needs to sleep there, rather than in your marital bed. And the diseases he can bring home?… You’re blessed he ISN’T sleeping with you. You need to protect yourself, ESPECIALLY for the sake of your child. If he gives you AIDS, then what will become of your child?

      As far as divorcing him? I can’t tell you what to do on that. That is a decision between you and God (NOT these other “people”). Scripturally you have the right to divorce him because of his infidelity. But that doesn’t mean that you have to exercise that right. You and God need to decide that together. God knows whether there is a miracle around the corner, or not.

      There is an article on divorce scriptures that you should prayerfully look through: Also, we have additional articles you should prayerfully read through in the “Separation and Divorce” topic of this web site. Pray, read, ask God to give you wisdom, and talk to your husband in a clear, strong way telling him that the cheating MUST stop. If he wants to cheat, and he won’t partner with you in the marriage AND parenting, he can’t enjoy the benefits of marriage. Your heart is not a revolving door for his fancies of being in and out. HE makes the decision of whether he is in or out. God doesn’t tolerate cheating, and neither should you.

      I pray the Lord gives you wisdom on this. I pray for a miracle. If your husband won’t participate in a miracle then I pray God shows you what to do so this type of suffering stops. This is man-made suffering (of your husband’s special brand). Draw a line in the sand for your husband to stop the running around and stomping on your heart. “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ —to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11)

    2. I think you are taking liberties with what you think Jesus said. We want to show love but we do not have to endure abuse and become doormats in the name of love. People do regret allowing themselves to be exploited. Love of self and others and sharing honest communication are vital in a relationship. People become angry and can become codependent when they are not allowed to be themselves in a relationship.

    3. It very sad, but I pray the joy of the Lord would be your strength and also that he would unveil mysteries in your marriage to you and make you have a mastery over the situation in Jesus name. May the most high God supply your needs according to his riches in glory.

  5. Please pray for my husband who is acting very rude and arrogant, I try my best to keep peace with him but still I feel something evil attacks me through him. Now I have gone through a lot of adversities because I have a developmentally disabled daughter and my son underwent 2 major corneal transplants. It’s just my faith and prayers to the Lord Jesus that I have been able to keep my life going on. He is dutiful but totally inexpressive and has no patience with me or my daughter and son. I just surrender everything to the Lord. He is also closed and does not express and communicate in improving or having a healthy relationship. I am also human and hence at times I react with the same demeanour that he acts with me. However I try to follow the Lord most times but it is extremely difficult to keep cool all time. At times I feel so much pressure and stress due to work and my personal situation; please pray for me. Thank you Lord.

  6. My husband spent $7000 (2015) and over $10,000 (2016) to date on a house he bought for his now deceased wife from 2003. Our home and I are no longer his priority. He says I need to be more understanding. He does nothing to help with our mortgage & nothing to update/upgrade our home. I had to get angry & argue just to get him to cut the grass. Yet, when the inspector calls, he runs north to fix the problem. I am angry, & feeling emotionally and financially abused. If it were not for my deep faith and trust in God, and my desire to honor my commitment and commandments from God, I would ask for a divorce. I suffer from two debilitating chronic illnesses as well as a constant debilitating fatigue. I am on chemotherapy but that doesn’t faze him; I am on my own. He mistreats me and I find it so difficult to carry on as if everything is alright. I continue to pray for God’s strength, comfort and peace. I know Jesus Christ will not fail me if I just hold on. These types of articles are so encouraging. I want to do the right thing; not take the easy way out, but it is painful. Please pray for our restoration as is pleasing to God.

  7. I’m hurting emotionally and physically… from being neglected and abused. How long should I wait for a unloving, sarcastic man to come back? He has been disconnected from the marriage about year and a half.

    1. Val, I really can’t tell you how long you “wait” for him to come back. How long did you pledge your love and loyalty on your wedding day… a pretty long time, wasn’t it? I don’t know what’s going on in your marriage. I don’t know the behavior that’s happening behind your words and how abusive it is. I do know that from what you’ve written, that you are going through a very tough time. Truly, my heart goes out to you. I remember going through feelings that sound very similar earlier in our marriage, so I know how hopeless it all can seem. We came very close to divorcing at that point. Thankfully, we didn’t. God stepped into my life and then Steve’s and worked within both of us. I pray this happens with you and your husband.

      From working with so many couples, I know that men and women can easily misunderstand and hurt each other and can shut down from thinking there is hope that things can change. Perhaps this is what your husband is feeling. I sense this is happening with you. Or maybe it is something else we both don’t know. But when something like this happens, the best solution is taking it to the Lord and opening our eyes and our hearts to what we can learn in and through all of this. Those seem like “easy words to say” … but they are harder to do. I know this from being on the receiving end of them. And now I am passing them onto you. How I wish it were simpler than this.

      But I’ve seen horrible marital situations turn into good ones –very loving, and wonderful ones. That is what happened to us. It sure took us a while to get here, and even now, we still have to work on our marriage. We are very different people and we can easily offend and hurt each other, even though that is not our intent or aim. Please know Val, that you are early in your marriage. It may seem like forever, but you are still in the newlywed stage, even though it sure doesn’t seem like it. There is a lot of adjustments that need to be made. Married life is much different than you thought it would be (and what your husband thought), but it really can get to a good stage again. Please read through the following newlywed quotes. I think you will find many of them to be insightful: And then it would be good for you to read the following article because it seems that you have gone past Stage One of the marital stages, onto Stage Two: You CAN get past this stage. Learn from it, study marriage, and your spouse, and see what comes of it. That’s what I did and others have done and we have gotten to a MUCH better place. Is it easy? Is it fast? No. But is it doable? Yes, almost assuredly.

      Lastly, there’s a book I highly recommend for you to read that could perhaps give you insight into his “love style” and what you can do about it. It’s a book written by Milan and Kay Yerkovich titled, How We Love: Discover Your Love Style, Enhance Your Marriage. It’s published by Water Brook. The authors of this book “draw on the tool of an attachment theory to show how your early life experiences created an ‘intimacy imprint’ —an underlying blueprint that shapes your behavior, beliefs, and expectations of all relationships, especially your marriage. They identify four types of injured imprints that combine in marriage to trap couples in a repetitive dance of pain. The principles and solution-focused tools in this book will equip you to… –identify the imprints disrupting your marriage –understand how your love style impacts your mate –break free of negative patterns that hinder your relationship –enhance your sexual intimacy, and –create a deeper, richer marriage.” I heard the Yerkovich’s talk about this subject and could see how it could absolutely change the lives of couples in positive ways as they better understood each other’s communication styles. It’s truly an enlightening book –revealing things I’d never realized before. I’m thinking it would do the same for you.

      There is another book we highly recommend: Talk Easy, Listen Hard: Real Communication for Two Really Different People written by Nancy Sebastian Meyer, published by Moody publishers. This is a book we highly recommend because it has shorter versions of some of the important communication info we have read through (that helped our marriage) that will help you to better understand your wife or husband. As the book says, “it helps you tackle your communication barriers, not each other.” Many of the things covered in this book (which is laid our very simply), are things we learned through many different resources. But what’s great about this is that it’s all in one book —some of the highlights of the best, within the same resource. How I wish I would have had this book earlier in our marriage. This book can really open your eyes. I hope this helps Val. None of this would be a journey we would choose. But eventually, it’s one that can eventually help us get to a better place than any road we may take that SEEMS easier, but in the long run, it isn’t the best one to take. I pray God helps you through this difficult time.

  8. My husband and I have seem to have grown apart. We live more like roomates. I am a Christian but he is not. I know I still love him, deep down but he is moody, emotionally distant and uncommunicable. He confides in his sister but not me. Both our parents have passed on and I feel like he and his sister are making life difficult for me so I will move on. It’s just how I feel .

  9. If a husband is unlovable, it’s not the wife fault. Let’s try to see people for what they are and not blame wives.

  10. My husband is selfish and arrogant. I had almost made up my mind to leave him when he was diagnosed with lung cancer. I have stayed with him thru out the chemo and radiation; he is very mean, and I could not pray for him. Please pray for me. He is 74 and I am 65.

    1. Yes I’ll definitely be praying for you. Dear Heavenly Father I pray over this couple you united through marriage the unity they did before you Lord. I ask you to soften her husbands heart; enable him to filter his eyes though your eyes so he is able to see how much of a provider his wife has been. Lord, allow her to open her heart fully to you so she’s able to make the changes within herself first and being able to be vulnerable to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Lord dwell in her Lord; show her your love ❤️ show her how to love her husband with a forgiving heart despite the meanness; show her how to look past that and to teach her husband forgiveness and the love of Christ. Lord, I pray healing over this marriage and most importantly I pray peace, love and rest in her in the mighty name JESUS. I pray amen. I’ll continue to pray for you love! At night when you lay for rest ask God for something he wants from you every night. If you don’t hear it the first night, listen and wait; he will reply!

  11. It’s kind of hard to be positive when it just seems like you’re telling the wife to keep putting up with it almost like he is a child and it’s OK for him to act in this manner. I think that a true Prayer should be offered after maybe you took the time to get the full situation of the person in need instead of have the same thought for everyone… Every one situation is different… where does this let God remove those that no longer serve a purpose or that people are in your life for a season?

    What if a person is praying to find out if he is truly for her and every selfish and ignorant thing he does to her and her child is the answer that she keeps overlooking? And what about the children and what they are exposed to and see? Are they to believe that is how marriage is …verbally and physically abusive? It seems like we take things from the Bible and put it in terms that we feel it’s saying instead of the truth. What kind of life would I have to keep having someone hurt me like this or to forgive and have them do it again? Why liveries like waiting around for a heart attack with all the stress?

    I know that we are meant to be like Jesus but really isn’t and wasn’t he different? Isn’t that what we are supposed to get close to? Beings don’t get it or understand the thoughts process here. We are sin. He died for us. So how can you compare how he was and acted to us…especially in today’s society?

  12. This writer of this article would be wise to clarify that this advice does not apply exactly as written to women being abused. It could be dangerous to follow this in certain instances. Otherwise, this article is somewhat negligent for omitting that despite otherwise great advice.

  13. My husband says that he loves me but I tell him actions speak louder than words. He’s verbally abusive to me. He’s a very weak man but acts strong to people. He’s nicer to strangers than his own family. We argue if I ask him to call my oldest son. He doesn’t want much of a relationship with our son. My youngest son is his favorite and he loves his children. My daughter and he clash. The only child he’s close to is our youngest. I love him very much but I don’t like him. I pray and have been praying for over thirty years for his salvation. I go to Bible study and my husband thinks it’s useless for me to attend Bible study. I stay because I can’t afford to leave and pray that he will change. Am I beating a dead horse?

    1. Have you read the book called The Power of a Praying® Wife? I’m sorry you are going through this but 30 years is a long time. Have you tried allowing God to change you fully? Surrender to God’s love. I learned submitting myself fully asking God to show me what he wanted to change with in me. I was able to see God work in my marriage once I started changing myself first, being loving, slow to anger, not fighting back with my husband, but praying a powerful prayer.

      Have you seen the movie War Room? It’s a movie in Red Box. It’s easy to locate. It taught me the power of prayer. I believe God is sovereign almighty. I believe if you try to ask God to clarify the manner with you maybe asking him at night quietly listening to his whisper, and wait and listen and ask him what does he want from you! We must make the changes within ourselves before everything else aligns in.

      I know it sounds so crazy but with that book The Power of a Praying® Wife I saw the difference in my husband. He was hot tempered mean, just got mad easy for everything. But I saw God soften his harden heart and I see slow change in praying for him with a loving heart daily. God sees that manipulation controlling etc. God sees and I don’t know if that’s in your marriage but God’s on your side!

  14. Loved this article. It really helped me focus that I’m here united in this marriage not only through Christ but that I have the Holy Spirit that dwells in me so I’m able to be informed in my actions as well as directed and reminded! I loved this. Thank you.