When Your Husband Has Given Up
"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." Psalm 139:13-14 (ESV)
I know the heart-ripping hopelessness of a relationship unraveling.
The silence. The rejection. The harsh words. The absence of intimacy. The questions. The lack of answers. The hurt.
The first five years of my marriage were really hard. Two sinners coming together with loads of baggage, unrealistic expectations and extremely strong wills.
My heart aches for anyone in a marriage that’s struggling. Many of us have been there.
But I think the deepest hurt comes when one spouse resigns while the other is still trying. There is a panic that arises to somehow make the other person wake up, stop their resignation and help you fix this relationship.
A situation like this is much more complicated than simple answers I could offer here. But might I give you one stepping stone upon which to stand, to stop the panic and balance yourself?
Decide today that you are worthy.
Because you are. Worthy. You may not feel like it. But a quick glimpse at Psalm 139 assures me, you are. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by a loving God who cares for you. Who loves you. And I’d rather depend on the solid truth of God than the roller coaster of fickle feelings.
You are beautiful and captivating and attractive and smart and capable. But if you are in a relationship full of unmet expectations, unresolved issues and frustrating communication, I suspect you feel a little less than all I’ve described.
Broken-down relationships can really break down a woman.
And if you’re anything like me, when you feel broken down, those around you get your worst. Then upon all the hurt and anxiety you layer regret, shame and the feeling that you’ve lost yourself. You’ve lost that girl inside who used to be so positive and happy and ready to take on the world.
Can I whisper a tender truth to you? The only way to recapture her is to come up for air and remember: You are worthy because the Creator of the Universe says you are.
Then you can act worthy.
And step aside from the emotional yuck to make some levelheaded decisions. Get a plan. Talk to wise people who love you, provide godly counsel and will walk this tough journey with you.
Draw some boundaries with your husband, if some are needed.
Pray like crazy for clear discernment. Because Jesus is the best source of help.
Honest cries for help, lifted up to Jesus, will not go unheard. He sees. He knows. He loves. And Jesus will direct you as long as you stick with Him.
Remember, you can’t control how your husband acts and reacts, but you can control how you act and react.
Reclaim who you are.
I pray your relationship survives. I pray it with every fiber of my being. But if it doesn’t, I pray most of all that the beautiful woman you are rises above all the yuck, still clinging tightly to the only opinion that matters — the One who forever calls you worthy.
Dear Lord, my marriage is struggling. I’m struggling. Help me please. I need to hold on to Your truths that I am worthy. And God, please show me what steps to take to support my marriage. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Isaiah 54:10, "‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the LORD, who has compassion on you." (NIV)
Psalm 34:17, "The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles." (NIV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Write our key verse down on a sticky note or index card and put it in a place where you know you’ll see it each day. When a negative thought starts to cross your mind, say out loud, "God says I am worthy."
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