I just want to start off by saying I enjoy your website. Thank you for providing that for us.
I am a Christian (member of the Church of Christ). My husband however is not. He started off as one and, well, just went back to his worldly ways.
He is a good guy for the most part (by the world's standards anyway). Lately, my husband hasn't been the nicest to me, he has become self-serving. Financially, I feel the responsibility mostly falls on me. I am the "fixer", the one who always "figures out" the solutions to any of our problems, whether it is financial or not. I always come to the rescue and the burden is starting to weigh on me.
I lost my dad a few years ago and then my mom last year. I feel very alone. I don't feel I can talk to my husband. Whenever I try to explain how I am feeling, he just kind of brushes me off and states that I have issues. He does not take my feelings into consideration.
I have done a lot for him in the past year. I am unhappy.
My question is, how do I respond as a Christian woman to the way I am being treated in my marriage? I try to be kind and I get further walked on. I try to stand up for myself and I am then the bad guy and things are worse. I pray all the time. I try to be an encouragement by bearing good fruits. It just seems like his heart is getting harder. Any advice on how to continue going about this marriage? Divorce is not an option as neither of us has been unfaithful. I just want to respond in the marriage appropriately and the way a Christian woman should. I love him, he can be wonderful as in the past he was. Feeling defeated. Feeling alone.
Any insight would be really helpful!
It is not unusual in a marriage for there to be periods when it feels like the husband and wife are drifting apart. Usually, it is because they have become comfortable with the relationship and less effort is given to understanding each other.
What I noticed from your note is that you are disappointed that he doesn't react as a woman would. For instance, you tried to explain your feelings to him, but men typically don't think in terms of feelings. It is almost a foreign language to them. It isn't that they don't have feelings, it is just that they spend most of their life trying to manage them and not let their feelings cloud their thinking. His response, however, is the typical response a male gives to another male. Thus, a part of the problem is that you both have gotten comfortable with each other and stopped viewing each other as different genders.
In almost all marriages, both the husband and wife contribute to the family. Their contributions will be different, but they are usually there. Perhaps it will do you good to list out the things that your husband takes care of. Don't rate what he does by its value or importance. I would like you to open up to realize what he does bring to the relationship. Then, every once in a while, insert a "thank you" when he does something positive. Appreciation goes a long way to encourage additional efforts. I think you will find that he will start reciprocating after he sees you are being genuine.
It would help if he learned to listen when you want to talk about your day or how you are feeling. Unfortunately, I'm talking to you and not him. He probably doesn't realize that he is missing something. The difficulty is that men are wired to solve problems quickly. When you tell him that you feel bad, his gut instinct is to "solve" the problem. You might just have to get some more girlfriends to vent your feelings to.
"Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband" (Ephesians 5:33). I would like to you go through Love and Respect. Your respect for your husband is being undermined. He stopped following Christ, and that is a severe blow to how you see him. He leans on you to handle various problems and you see that as a weakness in his character. However, I'm sure there are things that he does well that you can appreciate and show him respect.
Thank you so much for your response, as I really do value it. I enjoy all your answers to our questions, especially as you always have the scripture to back it up.
I will definitely heed this information, take it to heart, and make good use of it.
Thank you again!