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. God is good! This was very encouraging to read. True, as Christians we have to become like Jesus Christ. We as women of God need the fruits of the spirit an be really connected to the true vine in order to be victorious in our lives dealing with adversities from others. Thank you very inspirational. Have a divine blessed non stressed day in Jesus – The Christ Solid Rock I Stand.

  2. I am three and a half years into my marriage. Sometimes I think I loath my husband. There is no affection from him other than being teased like I’m one of his buddies. Not a day goes by that something doesn’t make him mad and he has to rant on about it. He bullies me to get what he wants and/or to get his point across. If I don’t agree with something or some plan of his I’m simply told to deal with it. A few months ago I backed our car into a pole and I was having anxiety just thinking about the amount of yelling I would get and possibly another divorce threat. Then I thought to myself, “why am I doing this? Why am I married to someone who could make me feel so terrible? Something isn’t right about this marriage!”

    We have a 1 year old. It’s probably the only thing that keeps up together. My husband wants nothing to do with a church. There are some days when things are ok. Overall I can’t help but think that I’m wasting my life in an unfulfilling & loveless marriage and I have no doubt he feels the same way.

    1. Cinnabunny, God has a plan for you. There are different circumstances to different couples and I feel that yours can be helped. I knew a couple just like you two where the love was one-sided and it eventually ended in divorce. I also understand that sometimes a baby can be the last thread holding two together and it’s sad. What I can say is don’t give up on your husband. Pray and do whatever humanly possible that you can do to love him. You see, your love is strong but God’s love is everlasting! Hold on, Miss. Look to your help, which is Christ Jesus.

    2. It sounds like your relationship is abusive. As someone who has been in an abusive marriage and God is currently walking me out, I know for a fact that God has not called us to endure abuse. Those who have not experienced real abuse or who do not understand how damaging the effects of abuse are. We actually go against God by remaining in an abusive marriage because we often end up putting the needs and wants of our husbands over the truth of God’s word.

      I would encourage a period of separation so that possibly your husband may see how damaging his behavior is. If he is not willing to change after a period of separation then it is best to remain separated as abuse is dangerous and will destroy you mentally, emotionally, physically, and even spiritually over time. It’s ok to fight for your marriage in prayer from a safe distance. You do not have to subject you or your children to abuse for the sake of love. Just because you choose to separate does not mean that you love your husband less. It actually shows true love for your husband because you are showing him and addressing the evilness and sin that he is operating in against you and your child. God does not leave us in sin. He shows us our sin and often leaves us to deal with the natural consequences of our sin so that we can have a catalyst for change. Thankfully he does not condemn us, but he does not enable nor pacify our sin either.

      When we as women do not stand in God’s word in truth and address the sin and evil that our husbands commit against us, we are passively enabling sin. This doesn’t mean that we argue or go tit for tat. We still show them respect, but we do not have to endure abuse. I thank God that he showed me this truth or I would still be dying on the inside getting farther and farther away from God due to the abuse I was enduring. Me leaving my husband saved my relationship with God because I was not free to worship him in spirit and in truth.

      1. I think there is definitely a balance to this. I do think we should love our enemies and respond in a “Jesus Nature” but I do believe if it is a viscous cycle that outside help should be considered. It can eventually turn into emotional abuse if the behavior continues no matter how you respond lovingly. Eventually, some form of help needs to be involved to heal the cause of the constant anger, outburst, hatred. Think there is a balance of prayer and seeking wise counsel. I do think when we sit back and just “pray” and continue being hurt, it can cause damage within a person. Has to be a balance of wisdom there.

      2. Yes!!! I cannot tell you how much I agree with this!!! Amen. Amen. Many people need this balance of wisdom told to them. So many women in these situations are just taking on abuse and it’s destroying them.

  3. I know I need so much of God’s help. My husband and I have been married 34 years, and we still get into spats now and then. He yells, I withdraw. It’s a vicious cycle. I am afraid I have harbored bitterness in my heart towards him for his insensitivity. There are times I have spoken ill words to him too. May the Lord give us more grace to control our tongues and out tempers!! Thank you for this article.

  4. Sadly this is not strictly true. I’ve been married for 30yrs. I’m the one that acts nice after a fight. I’m the peace maker almost 99% time. My husband doesn’t react. He doesn’t say sorry. He doesn’t make amends. It’s about him and his needs constantly. It’s not right nor fair to ask me to respond nicely all the time to this.

  5. I really feel like I try to do these things as much as possible. However, my husband feels like he is perfect and everyone else is below him. He would never admit that, but it is true and how he is. He judges everyone, even people at our church that I have known all my life. I know I am not perfect, but he has a way of making me feel like I am not important at all. He doesn’t listen to me, he doesn’t agree with me in anything, he is very judgmental, uncaring and very self-centered. He talks about people at our church and it really hurts my heart how hateful and negative he is towards them. It is mainly men and not women unless he has heard about some things that they have done that he disapproves of.

    I am mainly tired of the negativity and hatefulness towards others and me. He makes me feel like my feelings and dreams are not important at all. He does work hard at his job and it is stressful to him. We, as a family, try to support him as much as possible but he is very distant and unloving towards me and my three children. However, he does show less harshness towards our oldest daughter who is 23. He adores her and never talks bad or anything about her. He puts her above our other two children who clearly see that she is his favorite and can’t do anything wrong. I just find it sad on many levels that he adores her. She can tell him anything and he not get mad at her. If I would tell him the same thing, he would have some rude remark towards me and not even consider that I might be right.

    I had breast cancer 8 years ago and had many surgeries are such. My husband has not touched me in over 8 years. No hugs, no hand holding, no intimate relations at all. I’m not even sure if this is normal or not. I feel like sometimes I could explode, but then I remind myself that Jesus is enough for me. I don’t need the affection of my husband, because Jesus is enough. I keep telling myself that, however, I really find myself longing to be held. To be comforted when I’m sad or uncertain. I have none of that from my husband.

    Thank goodness I have my Lord, my savior, and my God who will never leave me or forsake me and has been with me all the days of my life. Or I would not have any Hope.

      1. I have been married for 48 years. My husband’s mood swings are very upsetting to me. He can be happy one minute and moody the next minute and simply refuses to tell me what is wrong. His moods can go on for hours or even days and suddenly everything is right with him again. He refuses to get help. I have tried to tell him how his actions affect me but I get no response and this life continues.

        I do admit he is controlling. If I do something that he doesn’t agree with his moodiness kicks in. I always feel when he gets moody that I have caused it. He is an angry unbeliever but doesn’t complain about my faith unless it involves him. I often contemplate leaving him but talk myself out of it. When he is happy life is good but still, he doesn’t consider my happiness.

        1. I am in the same situation with one difference; he is a believer. That’s makes it all cut so much deeper. I feel his mood swings have affected our daughters ability to find her own husband. She doesn’t know what it is to have a man in her life she can lean on and trust.

      2. Please open up to some people at church about your situation and ask them for prayer and moral support. I pray that God will strengthen you and pray for His peace to reign in your home and in your heart. He can bring good out of this. In time you’ll learn how to thrive despite your husband’s behaviour. I know, I’ve suffered similar for 7 years. Stay strong. I pray that your husband will heal, know God’s love and will become increasingly respectful and loving.

    1. I will pray for you too. My heart breaks for you but Continue to look up at Him Our Father and Savior and not inward.

  6. I thank God for the various sites of prayer & inspiratioal readings. I pray day in and day out…Psalms 51, “Trust in the Lord with all your Heart and Lean not on your own understanding.” My marriage is on its way out due to the wicked and Evil…Father God I do believe all things are Possible!!!! … I ask for prayer whereas 2 or more…In Jesus Name…Amen!

  7. I don’t see anything on your site about how husbands should love and treat their wives, this is so sad. Women are living in abuse and you are telling them they need to be better wives. A loving God would not want any women to stay in a marriage where she is being abused.

    1. Debra, The information that Cindy and Steve post on their website is actually quite well balanced, challenging and encouraging both husbands and wives. If you want to read posts written specifically for husbands to verify this, click on “FOR MARRIED MEN“.

      Sadly, we live in a fallen world and many marriage relationships are struggling. I sense that you are living in a painful relationship yourself. The heart of our loving God is to heal and restore broken relationships. What can we be praying for in your life, Debra? We will pray.

  8. My husband and I just signed papers outside his coworkers house on a vehicle good and trash can. I feel like that’s how much it means to him. I don’t feel as if our marriage has a Godly foundation. I question it. I want to divorce him but I don’t want to leave him. I want him to love me, I want him to kiss me, and hug me and compliment me. I want him to put me first, but he can’t and he won’t.

    I’m becoming bitter and very depressed. I’m making changes in my life but without my husband. I want to make decisions with him, but it’s hard to speak to him. He isn’t abusive, I know he would never cheat; he doesn’t put me down, he is a really good man. So I thought I could be with him forever. Until our last 2 children when I became sick and at some low points in my life, he wasn’t there for me at all. He was cold and distanced and I will never forget it.

    I’ve been in an abusive relationship for many years, but this one is so hurtful I’m crying all the time and praying to God to release from this heartache. I want to feel special, I want to feel pretty, and I need a partner. Not this empty shell of a man. -Jessica

    1. Jessica, our Lord is merciful; he can fight for you. He says …the hearts of the kings are in his hands. He will definitely fight for you…

    2. God created us to worship Him not want to be worshipped. Maybe you could consider having a change in your heart and live for God and not for selfishness. That what this post seems to be about. I always tell my kids just because one is bad doesn’t mean it’s ok for the other one to act bad. God has called us to do our part whether others do their part or not. I’m 100% speaking to myself in this too. I hope and pray God gives us the strength to love the hard to love people in our life.

      1. Kourtney, what Jessica is describing is emotional abuse. It appears she has been suffering post natal depression which is a very real thing. If love is a choice (and it is), her husband has chosen not to love and support her at the time she needed it the most. If the person you love has fallen over and broken their leg, you get help for them from a doctor! If your wife is depressed, you support her and get help for her! This would be the right and loving thing to do.

        I look at your reply, Kourtney, and I feel that you are pouring burning coals on Jessica’s head. We all need love, care and affection. It is how we are created! We certainly don’t need neglect. Jessica has been neglected, and none of us can live with that. It has nothing to do with seeking to be worshipped.

        Jessica, if you are reading this I just want you to know that you are loved by the Creator. He never intended that you suffer this neglect. Please continue to care for yourself and seek out good and loving people to help you. A counselor would be a very good idea. If your husband won’t go, then please go by yourself. God bless you Jessica.

  9. It is sad that you could be telling abused women to take more abuse. This is crazy lies. I tried more and more. It goes worse. Don’t stay and get murdered! There are some men who will take you for all you’ve got including your soul, so beware!!

    1. Autumn, This article does not talk about being abusive. It talks about being “unlovable.” When you are dealing with abuse situations you have to approach them much differently. You can’t even tell someone to leave, because sometimes that is even more dangerous than staying because they will hunt you down. You have to be very careful, and prayerful–to do what it takes to be safe. Sometimes it is best to leave; other times (as in some Middle East countries) you have to find ways to be as safe as you can. If you are dealing with an abusive spouse (and yes, sometimes it is the wife who is abusive) please go to the Abuse in Marriage topic to read what you can there. Pray, read, and glean through so you can apply that, which will best work for your situation.

      I’m so sorry Autumn that your husband was so abusive. I hope you have found a place of safety and are leading a more peaceful life. I pray that for you.

  10. I am so glad you wrote this and I read this. I really thank God for using you with this message. I needed to hear this in just the way you put it, simple truth of God’s word.

  11. “try remaining silent in love”? I’ve been in a relationship for 6 years with a man who claims to be a Christian but is emotionally abusive. I have remained “silent in love” and it has done nothing to improve matters. It has only robbed me of all of my joy to the point that I only want to die & be with the Lord. Telling women to remain silent is not always the best advice. There are a lot of men who just get away with ruining women’s lives because of the excuses that are made for them.

    1. Did you notice the word “try” in that sentence? That doesn’t mean that is THE solution; that just means it can be A solution. If it doesn’t work then try another approach. But the whole tenor of the article is that yelling and screaming and explosively combating with your spouse only complicates matters. You need to use a wiser approach.

      Yes, there is a time to speak, but there also is a time to be silent. Speaking the truth in love in a meek approach is VERY appropriate. When I say meek, I don’t mean weak. The definition of meek is “strength under control.” But SOMETIMES, and I do mean sometimes… it’s best to let some things go. Choose your battles. Wisely choose what you speak about together and what just isn’t important enough to pick apart. Sometimes it’s just good to give grace and let it go. But other times not. Prayerfully decide.

      Also, please know that just because someone “claims” to be a Christian, it doesn’t mean they are one. Jesus talked about this in the Bible. He said that some people will claim that they are His, but in truth, they aren’t. You can tell they are Christians by their love, and the way they live. Do their actions reflect the love and compassion of Christ? Do they live their lives in such a way that they show they truly are followers of Christ? Or are they just going through certain motions and making claims that aren’t reflected in their lifestyle? The more you read the New Testament and read of God’s standards for living, you will be able to better know if what this man claims is how he actually lives. I just want to clarify that point.

      You don’t say that you are married. Marie, if that this true, you need to set your standards higher. Expect more of this man. Talk to him of what you expect if he wants to stay in any type of relationship with you. Pray, and ask God to show you how to do this. God doesn’t want you to be robbed of all your joy to the point where you “only want to die and be with the Lord.” Ask the Lord to show you how to live your life so that you are able to give love and receive it. This man could change, but he won’t if he doesn’t want to and won’t. Pray, talk together, look to the Lord to help you and make decisions about your future together based on the changes he makes that meets your needs. I hope and pray you will. I hope more for you than what you have received so far. May God bless you as you look to Him.

  12. Please help me in prayers towards my marriage, I’m slowly losing it. I have tried a lot of the things you stated, remaining silent in love, discussing issues when he’s more calmed but unfortunately it’s not working. It gets to a point where he refuses to give my daughter money for daily upkeep knowing fully well I have not started receiving monthly payments. Sometimes, it baffles me how I’m able to get food ready before he gets back from work and he eats it without questioning where it came from. I’m slowly but surely drifting out of the marriage and it scares me. Please help a sister.

    1. Heavenly Father, please help Philomina and her daughter, as well as her husband. We pray you meet the needs of the family even if the husband/father does not participate. May you remind him that he is responsible for taking care of the needs of his family and when he doesn’t do that may he feel your displeasure. But when he does, may he sense and see your blessing on his life. Please open his eyes and heart to take responsibility and to show love and care to his wife and family.

      We also pray that Philomina will continually walk in your ways. And as she does, encourage her, help her, and show your love for her and her daughter. May your Light shine in the darkness. May you give her help, hope and guidance as Philomina encounters different challenges that her husband presents. God of heaven, hold her together, be forever near her; lighten the darkness that is enclosing upon her, and pour over her your blessing as she looks to you.

      Philomina, as you look to the Lord our God, Who is “a very present help in a time of need”: “May the Lord direct your heart into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5) And “may mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.” (Jude 1:2)

  13. Hm, this is all too positive, at least in my experience. What is to be improved? Been married 10 years, he is still as vile as he was the whole time. Found out he was cheating with at least two hussys for a few years. That was a few years ago. I still hate him, I still have such venom. We have one child, can’t bring myself to have more. I have been a mess since finding out about all his cheating.

  14. To add: I am a Christian, but my husband comes home and treats me awfully… he says mean things to me, yells, criticizes me for anything I didn’t get done while homeschooling/homesteading/cleaning the house etc. I’m so angry. I work very hard at all that … and my own paid job as well.

    1. I am so sorry you are hurting so bad Farmy. Have you sought counseling? When someone cheats, they are breaking the marriage contract under God and have sinned. I do pray things will get better, but don’t let it destroy your life. Please get help and obviously pray 🙏🏻

  15. This is spot on the word of God, cutting through the bone to the marrow – the husband being the bone and the wife the marrow. Meaning, this is fruitful for the bone – a healthy bone has healthy marrow, vice versa.