An Open Letter to Husbands Whose Wives Have Expressed Unhappiness in Their Marriage

by GfG on December 12, 2013 · 5 comments

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Dear Husbands of Wives Who Have Said They are Unhappy,

First of all, I want to thank you for staying married.  Thank you for honoring your vows.  Know that I have come to fully appreciate that being married through thick and thin is difficult.

I want to share a bit of my heart with you because I care about your marriage and I care about each of your hearts.

Remember that conversation that has happened numerous times now?  The one where your wife expresses how unhappy she is with the relationship you two have.  The one where she shares her heart and how it is breaking.  The one where she describes the awful feeling of being married to someone she doesn’t know anymore.

That conversation is painful to start and painful to verbally share.  It means she has been feeling it much longer than you realize and longer than she probably realizes also.

Don’t get me wrong, I know marriages go through hard times.  It’s a part of living a lifetime with someone.  I also know that marriage is difficult.  Again, living a lifetime (which is a really long time) with someone is not easy.

I also know that some marriages break during those hard times.  I don’t want that for you.

wedding-rings

I want to warn you about something I have observed in woman these last forty-ish years of my life: women get to a pivotal point in marriages. I wish this were not true. I wish I had not seen it on their faces and heard it in their voices.  I wish they would have hope always.

There is a point where a woman’s heart shuts down in regards to a man’s attempts at reconciliation and it will take near miraculous effort to bring her back to love.  I wish I could tell you I haven’t seen it in real life, but I have.  I’ve heard it in their voices and watched them walk away from marriages.

If you continue to ignore her cries for help, you continue to blow them off, or you continue to fuel the flame of distance, then you will find yourself alone in your bed.   Long term.

Please know that I’m not blaming you for all of the issues in your marriage.  I’m not.  Seriously.

I am, however, telling you that you two are in trouble.

I am, however, begging you to see these pleas for rescue.

I am, however, asking you to be the leader you are called to be in regards to saving your marriage.  Take the initiative to fix the problems.  Be the one who leads both of your hearts back to unity.

God asks you to “rejoice in the wife of your youth” (Proverbs 5:8b) and if the rejoicing is gone, action is necessary.

How can you do this?  There are lots of ways, but they all involve self sacrifice and humility.  I know, not popular gigs.

You will have to lay down pride, personal time, and maybe even a little money to do what is necessary to heal your wife’s broken heart and to repair the damage done to your lifelong covenant.

What could you do?  Go to marriage counseling, do a marriage Bible study, pray together every day, meet with a trusted older married couple often for counsel and encouragement, go to a marriage retreat, or other ideas that I am willing to wager your wife could bring to the table.

And though I’m not blaming you for the problems in your marriage, if your wife has expressed unhappiness in your marriage and also asked for a joint effort in fixing it and you ignore these conversations, then you will be to blame when she gives up.  When the door to adultery and/or divorce beckons her.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not condoning adultery at all.  I’m not condoning divorce for unhappiness.  Nope.  Not at all.  I am saying, though, that you have a responsibility in sustaining the love and fellowship of your marriage.  She can’t do that on her own.

Don’t leave her vulnerable.

I am betraying the chick circle a little bit by telling you this, but I am heartbroken to continually hear women talk about how they have told their husbands how unhappy they are, how they have wept in front of their husbands for their marriage, and how they state that they feel as if they have roommates instead of husbands.

They express a hopelessness in the one relationship that is to be grounded in hope.

I want joy for you and your wife.  I want love for you and your wife.  I want unbroken covenant for you both.

Please… please… take steps to save the love in your marriage.  You could be saving your actual marriage.

In Loving Concern,

A Woman Who Cares

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Virginia December 12, 2013 at 9:29 am

Love the article Mindy. And, of course, this same conversation can be heard from men to their wives. I highly recommend A Weekend To Remember. It is a great way to combine alone time, second honeymoon and counseling sessions in one. It has saved many failing marriages.

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GfG December 12, 2013 at 9:42 am

I’m sure it could, Virginia. I don’t have experience with that, though. No heart to heart chats in person or online with men to support it. ;)

I’ve heard great things about A Weekend to Remember. Thank you for mentioning it.

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Carrie December 12, 2013 at 12:09 pm

I love your letter because it needs to be said. When either spouse cries out in weakness for the marriage, the other must strengthen them through that period for their marriage to survive. After 11 years of marriage, we went to Marriage Encounter because I was curious & had wanted to go for years. We went when we were in a good place. So grateful that we did. There were weeds in our marriage that were starting to sprout that neither of us had seen. We’ve since weathered more storms of life, but we’ve done so much better after learning how to speak to each other from a place of love. Our marriage is better than when we first met & I am more at peace because of it.

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Jan December 12, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Hmmm. Love your heart for this issue. Unlike you, I’m a hard-a$$. I think your post may be misguided in that another person’s behavior must not be the hinge toward personal satisfaction. Waiting for another person to change his behavior in order to bring about personal happiness is a recipe for despair. From experience, I know that a woman can live joyfully through marital catastrophe…there is much joy in resting in God while digging out the weeds within one’s own heart…waiting for God to do a work in a husband. Much joy and great peace. Much digging. Much pain. But much joy and peace. I lived on “May the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be pleasing to you.” You get the heart thing right, you can endure. I know, it’s a lot to ask. It’s like asking someone who has lost a loved one to step it up and show compassion and care for people who step away or say silly things during grief. It’s where God does some of his greatest work…in taking a hurting, broken heart and asking that heart to be gentle, kind, forgiving, and loving to those who are unkind and unloving…or simply hurt or ignorant. My advice would be for heartbroken woman to share heart with hubby. But then grieve what she is longing for that she does not and may never have. Grieving helps us to rid ourselves of unrealistic expectations that can hamper healing and growth in a failing marriage. Embrace what is before her. Love that man like crazy. Leave the rest to God.

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GfG December 12, 2013 at 5:09 pm

I do agree, friend. Mostly.

Just as Scripture tells married couples to not abstain from marital sexual oneness for long periods because it sets up situations for temptation, I believe the spirit of this instruction applies in other marital “oneness” areas. I believe that leaving a wife unloved, with no affection, no connection, and feeling very alone puts her in a vulnerable spot, leaving temptation at her door. Of course, it doesn’t mean she must walk through it.

Prayerfully, she can persevere. It will always, always be a constant battle, though, if she is alone in her marriage.

Just as it would always, always, be a constant battle for a man if a wife refused to meet him in bed for marital oneness sexually.

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