Reconciling with a Wife Who Has Hardened Her Heart

Reconciling Adobe stock Gefangen“I’m trying everything I can, but my wife just won’t consider reconciling our marriage.”

“I’m doing all I know how to do, but my wife still wants a divorce.”

“My family is split apart, but my wife says ‘no’ to working on reconciling.”

Those are just three of many statements we’ve heard here at Marriage Missions, where the husband is seeking to restore and rebuild their broken marital relationship. Despite their outreach to her, the wife will have no part of it.

They ask us for help and to be perfectly honest, we often aren’t sure how to help them. First off, Steve and I are not Marriage Counselors —we’re Marriage Educators. And many of these types of couples need more help than we can give them. When you’re talking about deep-seeded problems, have been going on a long time before they approach us, it’s seldom something that can be resolved with an obvious solution.

Good Starting Point for Reconciling

But I’ve done some digging into coming up with at least SOME type of “answers” for husbands, hoping they will be a good starting point. When a person feels they are drowning ANYTHING of any substance is better than nothing. This is true, at least, for the immediate moment. And that is what I’m offering here —something of substance to help you in your immediate desperation.

You will need to work through this journey together with God to see how He helps you to unravel this complicated situation. It may or may not end up with the result you desire. However, who knows? It may end up better. I don’t know. But when God is invited in, you can be sure that you will find a place of peace, at some point in time. And it will be the best solution that you can grasp, given the fact that we live in a fallen world. With the Holy Spirit as your “Wonderful Counselor,” you have more going for you than any other way you could ever go.

That doesn’t mean that God won’t use other human counselors and advisors to help you at some point, but as the familiar term goes, “He’s got your back.”

The Bible says in Proverbs 30:21-23:

Under three things the earth trembles…” One of those three things is “an unloved woman who is married.” You may be screaming inside that you WANT to show her love and are willing to do what it takes to give it to her. But for some reason her availability to receive your love is slammed shut.

I don’t know if it is your fault, her fault, the fault of “the perfect storm” of emotions all tangled up, sin run amuck, and/or someone else’s fault. But whatever it is, it is. It’s best to work with what is, rather than work in denial of the truth. It’s important to work with what you CAN do, rather than what you wish you could do. Denial will take you to a dead end, as far as getting any positive results in reconciling with her again.

I’m going to present an article for you to read, to pray over and consider. It may or may not be for you. Or there may be parts, which the Holy Spirit may use to speak to and help you. It’s the gleaning process, in action.

Start With Prayer

Please read through it. Then ask the Lord to help you to keep your mind open to what He wants you to know. A good prayer for you to sincerely express to God is:

Search me O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me
and lead me in the way everlasting.
(Psalm 139:23-24)


There IS a reason your wife’s spirit is closed off to you. It may be one or many or all of the reasons I pointed out earlier. However, you need to know that it didn’t happen overnight. It may seem to you that it did because of how it all came down. But in reality, it has been closing off to you for a while and it just now came to a final closure —one that opened your eyes to the final door slamming shut.

Closed Spirit

A number of years ago, I heard Dr Gary Smalley talk about the process of how a spouse’s spirit closes. He showed an open hand with all of the fingers splayed wide apart. He likened the heart being in the place of the palm of the hand. It’s the soft part of who they are and very vulnerable when nothing is protecting it.

And then he gave examples of different “events,” which can cause a spouse to close a protective finger over their heart. Because of these events, they felt too vulnerable to being hurt again by the “offending” spouse. Sometimes confession and repentance opens the fingers again. But sometimes, the offended spouse never opens up in the same way ever again.

He then showed that sometimes a spouse has been hurt so much over time. The result was that he or she will completely close off in spirit, from the other spouse. The hand looks like a closed fist. There is no part of that “heart,” which is open and vulnerable to the way you can approach it. And sometimes it never opens again.

In his book, Winning Your Wife Back Before It’s Too Late, Gary Smalley writes the following.

He wrote:

Although there are probably hundreds of ways to offend your wife and close her spirit, we consistently see several that top the list. You can close your wife’s spirit when you:

• Speak harsh words.

• Tell her that her opinions don’t matter.

• Act unwilling to admit when you are wrong.

• Take her for granted.

• Make jokes or sarcastic comments at her expense.

• Show that you do not trust her.

• Force her to do something that she’s uncomfortable with.

• Act rude to her in front of others.

• Dismiss her needs as unimportant.

Your wife could probably make up her own list of the things you’ve done to close her spirit.

We consistently get calls from men all around the world who are desperate because their wives just walked out the door. The most devastating part is that many of these men fail to realize that little by little, their actions closed their wives’s spirits. Because this happens internally, many men don’t realize they’ve offended their wives.

And one day the husband comes home to find his wife’s spirit rolled up in a tight ball, like a sow bug. You may not always be aware of what you do to deposit anger into the life of your loved one. However, when it comes to relationships, a preventative rule of thumb is this: whatever dishonors another person usually closes her spirit!

If you have been wondering why your wife left or perhaps why she resists your efforts at reconciliation, the answer is usually found in a closed spirit. The sad reality is, the more a man steps on the spirit of his wife, the more resistant she becomes to him.”

Gary goes on to then state the following:

“Our purpose in writing about a closed spirit is not to make you —who may find yourself with a closed sow bug, instead of an an open wife, feel guilty. It is to provide hope. I have done many things to close the spirit of my wife and the key to reconciliation is to learn how to reopen her spirit.”

I realize THAT’S what you are trying to do. Dr Smalley’s book gives you some ideas, which you may find helpful. They have worked for many husbands. They haven’t worked for others, but you never know until you pray, read, and see if God is leading you that way. For this reason, you may want to obtain the book to consider his advice.

I want to give one more illustration, before I move on from this point. I’m hoping it will help you to see what could have happened with your wife. It was written by someone named Camain, who asked for prayer on the Internet for his wife’s hardened heart.

Referring to his wife, he wrote the following:

“Someone said that she is really hurt, and you’re right, she is. I may not have hit her, or degraded her, or anything like that. But it’s the little things that have added up over the years. Each of those little things was a brick in a wall. Little by little with time being the mortar, that wall has gotten big and hardened.

“At first I tried to bang myself against it, repetitively hitting it. I can’t break this wall down though. The only thing that can is time, Gods help, patience and perseverance. I have to be patient, loving, and humble. I’m trying hard to find and identify all the issues that have caused harm to my marriage. No matter how big or small, I’m trying to ask for forgiveness of them, and stop doing them.”

I can’t help but think of “the earth trembling” because of a wife who feels “unloved” so she closes her spirit, walled off from being open to her husband again —at least, not at this point.

True, we don’t know the circumstances. And true, sin is involved somewhere —you can count on it. But nonetheless, her spirit is closed.

A Helpful Article on Reconciling

I came across an article, which I referred to earlier, believing you will benefit from reading it. I’m hoping that at least SOME of what the author, Reb Bradley has written will help. At the end of this article, he offers additional resources. I need you to know that I don’t know much about Reb or his resources. As a result, I can’t really recommend them. That is up to you.

All I can say is that I saw a lot of credibility in what I was able to read and glean. I encourage you to prayerfully consider all God shows you, for your situation. Below is the link to this article.

Please read:


Above all, I hope that your ultimate goal goes beyond reconciling with your wife. If that is the case, your “solutions” will be most likely be temporary, when and if you do. Ultimately, I hope your ultimate goal is to go to GOD and make sure your life is clean. Do not give your wife added “excuses” as to why she could remain closed in her spirit in reconciling with you.

Also, realize that giving forgiveness and reconciling the marriage are two separate steps. Your wife may have much, which she needs to forgive you for, and much that she needs to surrender to the Lord. But that does not mean that she will seek reconciling with you as husband and wife again. If she doesn’t feel safe with you (physically, spiritually, and/or emotionally), she may decide to forgive you, but she still will not live with you.

Live For God

I can’t account for her actions, and neither can you. This is between her and God. You will need to come to the place where you will live for God, EVEN IF your wife doesn’t join you in marriage again. Are you a man of God who can live like this? Are you a man after God’s own heart?

If you are, and you are sincere, then there is hope for you that you can be reconciled to God AND to your wife. But I don’t know what your wife will do.

I do know though, that God wants to work in and through your life. He wants to do this whether your wife comes back to you or not. It is my sincerest hope you will participate with Him in this mission.

Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.

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Filed under: Bitterness and Forgiveness Save My Marriage

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458 responses to “Reconciling with a Wife Who Has Hardened Her Heart

  1. I’ve heard this over and over. Forgive but not take back. It’s a lie to believe you’ve forgiven someone when they’ve changed and done everything right to reconcile. When you make a vow to God it shouldn’t be broken. The person really isn’t forgiving; they remain with a hard heart or fist as they use. To forgive someone is to not hold them accountable for what they did. Just like when Christ forgives us. These lies are corrupting the church to the point to where divorce statistics are no different. God help us.

      1. The church and it’s leaders have been the biggest hindrance to our marriage. More so than anything else.

        1. We pray God leads you to those who will help your marriage, and not hinder it! That should be our mission within the church–to encourage, and support and NOT hinder!

          1. There’s a lot of wisdom here but there’s one thing that seems to be dangerously overlooked. A lot of the advice circulating among Christians condones and promotes bitterness, which is SIN.

            There comes a time when a believer, even if deeply offended and sinned against, must forgive, just as he or she was forgiven. Yet too often these days, wives are given a pass on that. They are encouraged to nurse bitterness even while husbands do anything and everything to demonstrate that they are sincerely repentant…but to no avail. This is an ungodly, wicked situation but far too common among believers.

          2. You are right. Bitterness is never something we should embrace in any way. We are told not to “allow bitterness to take root.” This article is not all-encompassing. It doesn’t give every bit of advice that it could/should, and possibly would if it was much, much longer.

            Too many wives (as well as too many husbands) ARE given a pass on nursing bitterness. And some are given a pass on sinning, where it accommodates sinful behavior. We are not told that we have to reconcile with someone who has hurt us, but we are told not to embrace unforgiveness and bitterness. We are to forgive. That can open up the possibility to reconcile. But it doesn’t mean that they HAVE to reconcile (and it would be unwise to do so if it is an abusive, and/or a possible repetitive situation because the offender never really repented… and/or has a propensity towards repeating the same sinful behavior). But yes… you are right; Christians have no right to holding onto bitterness. It is a sin.

    1. The church and it’s leaders have been the biggest hindrance to our marriage. More so than anything else.

      1. We’re so, so sorry that you have found this to be true in your marriage. That should NEVER be! We should be encouragers, not discouragers. We should be supporting, and helping spouses to grow the best marriages. That is God’s desire. Marriage is a living picture of Christ’s love for the church. So, it is God’s heart that we do all we can to help spouses grow in their love for one another. I hope you eventually find that help within the church and with it’s leaders. May it be so, Lord. May it be so!

    2. I agree. I am in that situation and my heart is crushed. Churches need to wake up and instead of divorce care needs to be marriage care.

      1. Wow…agreed. Marriage Care. This struck me because I just joined a divorce care group. Unfortunately all I hear any and everywhere is one spouse speaking on how the other spouse has been unfaithful. Not realizing that the unfaithful spouse is dealing with so much internally and most times not even aware until they fall flat on their faces. It’s a spiritual warfare. Take it from someone who’s been on both sides. I know what it is to have a hard heart and to also have your spouse’s heart hardened toward you.

        We as a people are quick to call out the biblical exception to divorcing your spouse, but fail to read the remainder of that scripture including the rest of what God’s word says.

        Father have mercy on us, because we’ve got it all wrong if we don’t know and have the truth. We are to be merciful as He has been merciful towards us. Praying.

        1. Kristina, you have blessed us with the insight and wisdom you shared. Thank you. We pray it will cause others to think before they act. Blessings!

  2. I am a wife and I have read all of the above and that is exactly how I am feeling right now. It has not happened over night or in a few weeks; it has happened over 9 years of going through the same thing and me forgiving him and it going back to the same thing all over again. I have been accused of cheating, been embarrassed in front of family, friends, and church members, people on my job and most of all my three girls who are growing up in a home that is broken.

    I have made up in my mind that I cannot continue to live this way with him. I love him, YES, but love isn’t enough to heal the hurt and pain I have had to deal with, nor what he has had to deal with. My part comes from the deep hurt that I received from him. I had no right to do what I did at all. But I recognize my fault in it as well, spoke with an ex boyfriend about him to get advice, spoke with friends to get advice (girls), and I just gave up on our marriage. I would get filled with so much hope and it would crumble back down.

    I stopped cooking for him. I fell out of love with him, fell back in love with him and tried my hardest to work it out and to look forward and move forward with our marriage. I have talked until I couldn’t talk anymore. I felt so unappreciated I just stopped and became very depressed and didn’t know what to do. I prayed and gave it to God because I knew I couldn’t handle it anymore. I told him how I felt and he wants to try and work it out again and I had to tell him that I can’t give him my heart anymore; I just can’t. I am doing the right thing for me and my daughters?

    1. No, it’s never right to sin, sister in christ, it’s as simple as that. You know it. We all know it as Christians. It’s in the bible. All thats written about sin is never right. We are never to be wrongly closed. Never-to be wrongly closed is to commit sin. Sin is wrong. It says in the Bible the few biblical grounds there are for divorce. Yet in the case of sexual infidelity the wife or husband is still to forgive, be rightly open, and let God heal them of their pain, their wounds, and if possible seek to stay together as a married couple. And even when they divorce (or separate without divorce) they can still let God fix their marriage, unless of course one spouse (or former spouse) is unrepentant and still having an affair (or having a a lover if they are divorced). In which case, if the offending spouse (or former spouse) is unrepentant and is still being sexually immoral habitually then and only then does the offended spouse (or former spouse) have the biblical RIGHT to CHOOSE to NOT stay in marriage with their spouse.

      And if they’re already divorced then the offended former spouse likewise has the RIGHT to CHOOSE to NOT get re-married to their former spouse, BECAUSE OF THE UNREPENTANCE of the offending person, and their HABIT they STILL HAVE of sexual immorality. But another thing is if the two people have divorced and one or both of them marry another person, or have done so since getting divorced then they CAN’T BIBLICALLY get re-married to each other again, BECAUSE it would then be ADULTERY-as the Bible makes clear. So it is simple. It is clear.

      So when a Christian sins and tries to pretend they have the right to sin they KNOW they are LYING. Sin is NEVER right. What is not CLEAR about that??? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING… NOTHING… Instead it’s crystal clear. We all know it!

      My parents divorced when I was 2, or 3. Then dad, a Christian, wrongly married a Christian woman and it was wrong because he was divorced. So when they married it was ADULTERY-SIN-WRONG. I knew it even then, aged about 6. It was just before I became a Christian and God showed me I’m designed to marry… to be a helper to my own husband when I have one. And that includes staying with him. STAY, don’t LEAVE. My mother left my dad. It broke his heart, my heart, my sister’s heart, her own heart, and broke God’s heart. But I forgive, And I’m healed by God. But I have ‘SCARS’… and an intense, right passion for biblical marriage, and for husbands and wives staying together… until death do they part… or the rapture of the church parts them. Unless they have biblical reason to divorce, even then some could get re-married to each other as I’ve described above.

      I am 53 years young and am still waiting to get married. I thought I’d be married aged 18 or 19, 20, or 21 tops…HA HA!!! So much for that theory! GOD is in control. He will get me married in His perfect timing. I have prayed like mad to stay together as long as it’s God’s will for us to do so… and hopefully we WILL. But even if we didn’t… well, GOD would help me with that, and help the man with that. “THE LORD IS MY HELPER.” That is a Bible quote–God’s Word, Amen.

      When we sin as Christians we have guilt, until we confess and repent of it. So even if you have confessed and repented and don’t sin then you are still obligated by God to BE WITH your God-given marital spouse. Open heartedly, open in your mind, will, heart, soul/spirit/emotions/body/sexuality. Plus if you have sinned you must confess, repent, be RECONCILED with your God-given marital spouse-unless there’s the valid reason NOT to, as described in the BIBLE. So you’re pretending otherwise. Why? You’re choosing to sin, rebel, be selfish.

      All sin is in some way SELFISH. The devil was the first to sin. It was selfishness, combined with pride. Since then whenever anyone sins it’s really some form of selfishness, combined with pride. It is a hardening of the heart, of the spirit, of the will, of the conscience, of the emotions, of the sexuality, etc. It’s simple and clear. All sin is trying to sinfully make up sinful so-called “excuses” to sin. And it is therefore a filthy, filthy scam — a scam, rebellion, and wicked.

      So, if your husband, or former husband (if you’re divorced by now) is willing to be married to you and neither of you has married to someone else since you got married to each other then you should be married to him and open rightly in every way, whether he’s open or not, whether he’s being obedient properly to God or not. We are NOT victims anymore. “SIN SHALL NOT HAVE DOMINION OVER YOU, FOR YE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW, BUT UNDER GRACE” — a Bible quote, God’s word, amen.

      “WHAT GOD HAS JOINED TOGETHER LET NOT MAN (OR WOMAN) PUT ASUNDER” -Bible quote, God’s Word, Amen. So pray, get in fellowship, get true wisdom if you lack it and use it, plus the spiritual armor (as told in Ephesians) with a controlled tongue and temper. Be forgiving consistently. God has shown me who I’m to marry. But the red native Indian man is not a Christian yet. But he will become one very soon, and then God will get us courting and then married.

      Yet already I’m truly so deeply in love with him, and long so deeply for him that I can hardly stand it. I’ve been in love with him for about 25 YEARS. That’s a long wait… a hard wait. As a woman I have to wait for him, Gregg, to be caused by God to pursue me, and propose, after he becomes a Christian. So there’s more waiting ahead of me and for Gregg too. And when we finally marry I don’t want either of us to make the mistakes my parents did.

      So please pray. I hope you get reconciled with your man, your husband. He is your “Adam.” You are his “Eve.” God rightly hates divorce and all sins, as do all of us Christians. Don’t play the victim. We are VICTORS. STAND in FULL VICTORY therefore, amen, HEAVENLY FATHER, AMEN TO THAT. I’m not being unrealistic. I’m being truthful. God gave me true wisdom in 2004, and spiritual maturity. Both make a drastic difference when used properly, yes, properly. ….Love, Jane, a CHRISTIAN WOMAN, unashamed, victorious, a warrior/soldier for Jesus Christ

      1. I think you’re confused about getting remarried to your spouse. The bible says you divorce then stay divorced unless you remarry your ex-wife or husband again. So you want to remarry then it must be to the original spouse. If you marry someone else that is adultery. It doesn’t say if you get a divorce from your spouse then you marry another person then divorce them that you can’t remarry your original spouse because then that is adultery… So please re-read the Bible on the topic of divorce and remarriage…

        1. I believe Jane is referring to Deuteronomy 24:1-4

          “If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the Lord. Do not bring sin upon the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.”

          Although we are no longer under the Mosaic covenant, it still tells us about God’s attitude to spouses marrying a new partner. What is it that defiles the wife in the passage above, in a way that is detestable to the Lord? Is it living in a new ‘marriage’ while the old one remains in His sight?

  3. It has been close to 12 years since something stopped my wife wanting to be intimate in any fashion with me and she cannot provide a coherent reason but says we just grew apart. She praises me as a good and loving husband and provider but cannot understand my love for her since she “has not done anything to earn that love” in 12 years.

    She wants to move back to her hometown in DE, we live in KY, where her friends and some of her relatives live where she says she will be happy as she is not happy where we live now or happy with me. Our youngest is still in college so I must still work to provide for her and to try to pay off significant debts accrued from my wife’s failed business.

    1. Many times it is the wife that has done wrong or has contributed to the suffering or failed marriage. But it seems that a woman is coddled or allowed to make excuses for their immaturity or yes even sin. Many women manipulate when they want to force something they want, just like men often do. However, it seems that women cannot see their role or refuse to see their role in the wrong they’ve done. It’s usually due to emotional and psychological immaturity.

      If your woman refuses to be with you sexually and is doing so without cause she is likely throwing a tantrum. She is trying to manipulate you into doing what she wants. So, if you submit to her adolescent behavior she will, without a doubt, use the same approach when she wants something else. Without God and maybe even counseling she will remain like a child. Pray for her and your marriage but don’t beg her to stay.

  4. Please pray for Me and Ashraf. Please pray that God re-unite us and make our love and bond stronger for each other in the mighty name of Jesus. Father God, reconcile us if it be your will. Father God, help us to forgive each other if we ever did or said anything that offended each other. Amen

  5. Family, I always ask couples if they are willing to let God heal their marriage. It isn’t always the wife who has a hardened heart; men do it to. Every rocky road we travel is an opportunity for God to work in our lives and for us to be Triumphant in Christ over the darkness that invades not only marriage but families also.

    The beginning of healed marriages is letting God’s will, not our will/desire, be done. When it is stated “I love him/her but am not in love with him/her anymore,” we are saying; we never had unconditional love for him/her. Because of errors in our walk, does God lose His love for us? Praise God that He doesn’t.

    Granted, there are times the hardened heart won’t be softened no matter the quantity and quality of prayers. At that stage, the one who wants the healing needs to pray for patience for God’s will to be done. The one with the hard heart should be praying for the Lord to soften their heart so that the Lord will be honored.

    Remember, in heaven we aren’t given in marriage. The sinner who prayed for forgiveness was justified, not the Pharisee. When an individual is justifying themselves by what they have done in the marriage or by the pain and suffering they’ve gone through, they’ll have a hard time being at peace. Most relationships lose their peace and joy, which becomes harder to get back, when their will/desires are at the forefront of their hardened heart.

    First, let God teach you how to love Him with all your heart, mind, and soul! Stay in grace and may the peace and joy in your lives not be stolen from you.

    1. Don, we couldn’t have said it better. Thanks, Brother for sharing your heart, your wisdom and your passion. We hope you come back often to post on our web site. Blessings! -Steve and Cindy Wright

      1. Steve and Cindy, thank you for your kind words. My background is heavily dealing with cults. There are many similarities with cults and broken marriages. I’d love to do a snippet on “recovering from a broken marriage, whether it is healed or there is divorce.” Biblically centered, that surprises people. I have had the honor of teaching (one on one, with my wife) many women and girls how to profile men.

        With many believers, the remedy for healing is simple but it is the application that is the issue; think tooth ache. Ravi Zacharias said his brother never knew the woman he was going to marry. So Ravi asked him how can you love and marry her? His brother said ” Because I want to love her!” Awesome thought.

        Anyways, I retired from the work force this past November, as the Lord has allowed me extra time in the ministry. Enjoy your walk, for we are ambassadors of Christ; novel thought and honor.

    2. It is not true to say that there was never unconditional love. I agree that this is not an excuse to decide not to work on the marriage. When they say they no longer love their spouse, it sometimes means “I care for you and want what is best for you, but I don’t have romantic feelings for you.” Again, not a legitimate reason for divorce BUT it’s an indication that the needs of the marriage were neglected. You can display biblical love (patience, kindness, believes, etc) which is more solid and lasting than romantic love. Again, I’m not condoning it for a reason for divorce, just saying it doesn’t mean they never had unconditional (Biblical) love.

      1. I’m pretty sure you are. If you aren’t willing to stay in a relationship that you decided would be for life, then you didn’t love unconditionally. It’s pretty simple when you look at things. My wife walked away and moved in with another man before we were separated or divorced. Don’t tell me that she ever had unconditional love! It was only conditional on how the relationship was making her feel. Never mind the kids and their feelings, lives, future. I would still take her back; that’s unconditional! Not, oh things were bad and I couldn’t take it anymore. I don’t love you anymore. All excuses to chase your own happiness while neglecting your family and husband.

  6. I am reading this article in this time of lockdown due to the Covid 19, under a time of reflection. I have been separated (There’s no divorce law yet in my country) from my wife for the past 10 years. I have been consistently trying to reconcile with my wife but somehow, my desire to do so has diminished. A lot of sermons and pastoral advise that God is not pleased with divorce, only makes me feel condemned. Now I realize that I can still serve God (who loves both me and my wife) in many other ways even though I’m separated. I have stopped forcing the issue of reconciliation and I am instead placing everything in God’s hand. Thank you.

  7. I am the wife with a hardened heart, separated from my alcoholic husband who is now committed to sobriety. We are in counseling. I love him but I don’t have romantic feelings for him after years of alcohol taking precedent over me and our kids. Of course he is hurt to know that I have no romantic feelings for quite awhile (although he said that he had none either) and we are trying to rebuild intimacy.

    I’m struggling with when to reconcile if those romantic feelings never come. I stayed committed to the marriage for years without the romantic feelings before I set boundaries. Neither one of us *wants* to reconcile without romantic feelings, but I know how fickle and unreliable feelings can be. Praying for God’s wisdom for years on this (separated for 3 yrs) and not getting confirmation.

    1. Tara, while I cannot offer advice on addiction I can relate to a broken marriage. I am on my face in prayer and trying to redeem my wife/our marriage to bring myself, her -and us together- back to God. What I can do, however, is stand with you in prayer. We both made covenants with our spouses before God. I will pray that your marriage is restored, your covenant is strengthened and the house that is your marriage/family is rebuilt from the ground up on the firmest of foundations. Amen and amen!

  8. I have hurt my wife and family. Months after receiving God and his many blessings he has bestowed on our family, I have some issues with depression that I will not place the blame on the closer you get to God the harder satan comes at you. Brothers and sister you better hold on. The enemy comes at you like no other storm you have or ever seen or will see. He truly comes to seek and destroy. I would give all that I have to have my family back. I am struggling with life and God, only God, is keeping me alive again showing his unconditional love.

    I hope someday they forgive me and my wife will sing and pray with me again. I ask her everyday and she refuses saying that doesn’t work. That is the hardest thing I have ever heard. If you knew my wife she is a very strong, amazing Christian wife. She prayed for me for 30 plus years and got me to go to church and to give my heart to the Lord. I did that about ten months ago and it has been tough. But God will keep his light at my feet and guide me. I have to stay on God’s path. God has blessed our family soooo many times. I am ashamed to be in the situation I am in.

    God please forgive me. We have been married for 34 years and I have been pretty tough on her most of them thanks to my alcoholism. I have a lot of work to do before I can call myself a devote Christian. By God’s grace I hope to reach Heaven with my wonderful wife and children by my side. The enemy will dig at scars and open old wounds. In my prayers God spoke very clearly and said I CANNOT HELP YOU UNTIL YOU TRUST ME. I am all that he says I am. I pray for forgiveness and I pray for a miracle to be reconciled with my wife and children.

    My advice from a sinner like me is never take your wife for granted and be there in her time of need, which is always. If you are reading this please pray for our family. I am dying day by day by not giving God total control. I have not touched a drink in 11 months. God has taken away all desire for alcohol. Pray for all marriages and families. God is saddened by our countries DIVORCE rate. Always take care of your wife and family.

    1 Timothy 5-8: “But if anyone does not provide for his wife and family, especially for those in his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

    1. Congratulations on your sobriety- that is no small feat! Praise God from Whom all blessings flow! Father, God, we lift our brother and his marriage up to You. Continue to transform his heart, let his mustard seed of faith blossom and grow into a tree that is firmly rooted in you. As he abides on You and Your word, let Him feel your love, peace and grace in an overwhelming fashion. Let him be reassured time and time again of Your love.

      May your love and influence be so powerful and abundant in his life that his wife and children can’t help but notice. Let their hearts be softened and open to him more and more each day. Yet Lord, if You have other plans for this season of his life – let him willingly and obediently accept them. May he live for Your glory and honor and be satisfied in whatever manner You bless him. Because we know You are a God of blessings and good. Bless him to stay on the path You have for him and count it all joy! Let him be faithful to end and rightly receive his crown. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

      1. Amen and amen! We agree in prayer for God to work within you so that all who are with you sense His love and grace. May those who are with you will want to know your God deeper than ever before! It is God’s work within you as you participate with Him that they will be drawn to. And may your wife and children sense His love within you as you look for ways to love and serve them as Christ would have you. As a result, your life together and marriage will no doubt be blessed. May it be so Lord… may it be so!

  9. There have been endless articles and books published on this subject. Sermons are preached from pulpits all across the nation targeting the husband and all the things he has done to hurt his wife and what he must do to save his marriage. One year at my church on Mothers’ Day, the pastor preached a sermon on how men should love their wives. A few weeks later on Fathers Day, the same pastor preached a sermon on how fathers and husbands should love and cherish their wives. Both were excellent sermons but why didn’t the pastor hold wives accountable?

    I have talked to other men and this is not unique. For once, I would like to see a pastor have the courage to stand in front of a congregation and preach a sermon about Proverbs 21:9 “It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop than with a brawling woman in a wide house.”

    Christian churches have adopted the same view of men and marriage as the secular world; men are evil and the cause of all marriage problems while the wife is innocent of all fault. Instead of placing 100% blame on the husband for the wife’s issues, take a realistic look at struggling Christian marriages and hold both the husband AND the wife accountable.

    1. I totally agree. It used to be sided in the other direction and now it is sided in this direction. This does not improve matters at all; both husbands and wives need to do their part to improve their marriages. We try to talk to as many as we can about this lopsidedness. Again, both husbands and wives need to do what they can to make their marriage relationships good ones. Thanks for pointing this out. Please know that we appreciate you!

    2. It’s the truth! Society and the church does not hold women accountable….. they, like the world, continue to perpetuate this idea that women are without fault in relationships. The whole idea is a joke and I’m afraid too many men are afraid to stand up and say, 50% of this is yours too!!!

      I’m sickened by the fact that I knew a pastors wife who agreed with mine…..said divorce was a good option even though there was no biblical reason, nor did that person reach out to find my point or my story.

      All a joke, divorce isn’t an option unless there is physical abuse or actual adulterous actions. But hey, who am I? Just a husband who watched his wife accuse him of cheating (falsely) and then immediately move in with another man without a divorce or separation. Yet, I’m the bad guy? Stop not holding women accountable for their actions!

  10. I am another wife with a hardened heart. He has said he cannot love me in my preferred love language (acts of service) but rather in his preferred love language (giving of material gifts – which means nothing to me). He has refused all counseling but has asked me to adapt to his perspective about marriage and and reconcile.

    I feel trapped and in despair having to reconcile when I not feel my spouse has got my back. I would happily remain divorced/separated and never remarry, than return to a state of anxiety and depression. I think it’s unfair that I have to be reconciled to honor God. I am not asking for remarriage – I just want my peace. God help me.

  11. There is no more male and female for those who are IN Christ Jesus, and following that means that BOTH husbands and wives must forgive one another from the heart at all times and do the work of reconciliation at all times (that’s outlined in Matthew) without letting the sun go down on their anger to build up in the days and years to come. Without doing so, living to honor and glorify Christ in all we say and do together, we are only leaving room for the Evil One to take root in us and lead us to the sin of divorce (once WE have allowed our hearts to be hardened through our lack of faithfulness to forgiveness and repentance). We can blame shift that away like our first parents did, but it will only bring the curse of further sin and death in our lives.

    Be equally yoked to a fellow believing disciple BEFORE getting married and none of this will become a problem without the tools needed to overcome them with the Holy Spirit. Any wife or husband who refuses to do that after allowing their heart to be hardened should take very seriously what Jesus said about His conditions for mercy and forgiveness. By the measure we put them into practice with others, He will do the same with us. They are NOT optional if Heaven is our goal! In Christ, Andrew

  12. My wife and I has been married for 41 years but three years ago she got a legal separation from me. She tells me she has forgiven me but does not want to reconcile. I still go to church and have a good relationship with God. I don’t even try to reconcile, but I do wish it would happen.

    1. Sorry dude, married 35 yrs, I am not too far from your issue. Last year my wife tells me she is not in love with me any longer. Asked me to move out, I refused, and lived on the other side of the house. I had to make up my mind that I make my own happiness. I still have not gotten to that point.

      We have never reconciled but I do sleep in my bed again. Later last year she had major surgery. I guess she was getting nervous and realized she needed me to take care of her. So that is when she started getting close to me again. I let my guard down, too far. As she got better, she pushed away. But she is back to 100%. Not as close. I realized this is that when she was barely able to drive, when I was home, she would take off to her sister’s house a few miles away. Hope things work out for us both.

  13. My name is Jacob and I just finished reading this article about a wife with a hardened heart. My wife and I married July 1, 2017 and separated twice before last August 28, 2021 when we separated and she decided she wanted a divorce. She had filed twice before and it never went through and we reconciled but ultimately sin got in the way and slipped under the wall.

    I am not proud of how I handled things. I know I caused it all in the beginning. I was not a good husband and I deeply regret what happened every single day! I’ve struggled with addiction and depression and suicide and many other things along the way, but it wasn’t until I realized that my identity resides in Christ and not in my marriage that I was able to finally see some glimmer of hope.

    Her spirit has been hardened against me and it’s been very painful to watch as it happened. We ended up divorcing June 28 of this year and I have to say it has been the most difficult year of my entire life. Through all of this, and even from where I stand now still going through the fire, The Lord has been with me. He’s said that when my life is where it needs to be He will bring me back home.

    I’ve begged for His forgiveness and I know He and I have been reconciled. Every day that passes I pray The Lord will reconcile her and I also, but even if that never happens, I know my hope is in Him alone. God is good even when life isn’t and faithful even when we aren’t and that is my strength. I may not have the answers to the vast majority of the questions I have, but when I come out on the other side of this valley I’ll be able to understand with more clarity than I do now.

  14. Your article said: “I may not have hit her, or degraded her, or anything like that. But it’s the little things that have added up over the years. Each of those little things was a brick in a wall. Little by little with time being the mortar, that wall has gotten big and hardened.” This is me.

    After 35 years of marriage I have learned something. I have seen her family treat her bad, 10x worse than I ever thought, but she quickly forgives them, not me. Here is what I have learned: Blood is thicker than water. I believe that is the cause of hardened hearts and my marriage issues. A man makes his wife ‘family” (or blood). He ‘leaves his mother & father’ and becomes ‘one’ with his wife.

    All that is required of a wife, is she must respect her husband. (EPH 5:33) So, please pray for us. Somedays we are better, then other days I will say something that will make things go south. Like this weekend. I have feelings bottled up and when I try to talk about them in an easy way, it quickly goes bad. I know to keep my mouth shut, but I have various feelings I would like to have a ‘kind answer’ to.

    1. Praying for you, Bob, and for your wife. Also, I encourage you to post a prayer request concerning all of this on the Prayer Wall. Melodee and many others see those requests and pray sincerely and deeply for each one. “May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” (2 Peter 1:2)

  15. I think that you have to work with your negative thoughts and heal and depend only on God, people talk too much and you know that what God has put together let no man put asunder that includes your wife ‘s will, wake up early in the morning and send her good wishes, love, only God is the one who loves you and gives you unconditional love so you can give love and get rid of the vices of anger, fear, rejection and defamatory words, also good company not gossip, hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil.