What can I do about my bitter and angry wife?


Dear Minister,

Is it OK for my wife to be bitter, hate me, and punish me regularly, but then says she forgives as a Christian?

Over five years ago, "out of nowhere," my wife had a sex affair because she was "mad at me," when I had done nothing to her to provoke any such action against me. At the time, I was working all day, plus running a business on the side. She said, "I never paid attention to her and he did with nice words and listened to her, but I was too busy."

I didn't think anything was wrong at home, we have beautiful children and a nice house. She has always been grumpy or moody for all the years of our marriage. She is known as the big complainer in the family, among her own siblings too, never happy, never good enough, and always telling someone off or how wrong they were, but never, I thought, to the point she wanted sex from another man.

My spirit was completely broken, I was crying so hard I couldn't think and she acted like it was no big deal. Then anger set in, because she seemed so remorseless about it all and acted cold as she could care less, but she was also proud that she at least "admitted" it to me.

About a year later I slept with two women on a whim in bad circumstances and poor judgment on my part, hurting for answers on why she did that to me. These women responded with that's how to feel better about what she did. I never told her.

Since then our family has been completely in total chaos. My wife turned to prescription pill abuse, domestic violence, been to jail, and on probation, and in court-ordered counseling after a rampage one day. The kids all resent her immensely for what she did to me proudly, but apparently, they don't blame me either at the time, holding less against me openly to her.

Several months ago we both returned to Christ. We went back to church and re-dedicated our lives to Jesus. However, since then, it seems as if things are worse at home. My wife refuses to "move on" from our shortcomings. She constantly brings up the subject, always retrying me daily about what I did, and how far worse I am for doing what I did, even though she did the same first. She claims she has forgiven me, but really it is nothing but verbal attacks, torment, insults, and blame. I feel she doesn't mean what she says. I tell her not to judge me, but she does anyway. She has even gone to church and backtalked me to friends painting an ugly picture of things they never knew about me. I feel awful now, somewhat embarrassed.

I love her, but I admitted it was hard for me to admit what I did is why I never spoke of it. I was not proud, but just mad and out of my mind hurting when it happened, but she says I am a liar about it all, and keeps vexing me whenever she can, starting conflicts and arguments constantly over it, even while going to church praising and worshiping, leaving my spirit crushed as it will never get better it seems.

I am confused. I would never divorce my wife. I want to work out our marriage, but she is crazy at times. She is always angry or mad about something. The kids and I feel lost in our family on what to do.


"Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman" (Proverbs 21:9).

"Better to dwell in the wilderness, Than with a contentious and angry woman" (Proverbs 21:19).

"It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman" (Proverbs 25:24).

"A continual dripping on a very rainy day And a contentious woman are alike; Whoever restrains her restrains the wind, And grasps oil with his right hand" (Proverbs 27:15-16).

"Contentious" means a person who is never happy and always argumentative.

I'm uncertain why you started out asking what you did. You know your wife is sinning in her behavior. I doubt you need me to list the verses on bitterness, hatred, slander, and gossip to prove the point. You both committed adultery and there is no excuse for either of your sins.

Telling her she is wrong isn't going to cause her to change. As God points out in Proverbs you can't make a contentious woman behave.

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