When You Feel Very Alone in your Marriage

Written by Sheila Wray Gregoire

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WhenYouFeelVeryAlone_290x220In the Christian wife/Mommy blogosphere, a lot of patterns are evident.  Many of us who write give very similar advice. Rely on God. Focus on being the best wife you can be, not on changing your husband. Care for your marriage & kids first. Create a nice home. These things are all true, and I hope that people can come here for some encouragement in doing the most important job in the world!

I think most of you who do come here come to get help around the edges. In general, things are going well, but they could always use some tweaking!  Most of my posts, I think, are written with these types of readers in mind. You have a family you’re committed to, and you’re trying to work the kinks out. You love your husband, even if he does have faults (which you can obviously name).

Sometimes, though, people live in a much more desperate situation. I was talking to a friend who finally ended a very dysfunctional marriage last year. She said that sometimes she would read my blog and feel so sad, because it didn’t matter how much she did what I said, nothing ever changed. The typical answers and typical advice weren’t cutting it.

Married, but alone

A lot of women out there feel very alone in their marriages, and if you’re in a marriage where you have found your soul mate, try to put yourself in these women’s shoes for a moment. Here’s a comment that was left yesterday:

I still can’t get myself to accept things. My husband does not have a physically demanding job. The past 4-5 months especially have been easy. He is admittedly not doing anything at work.

I cook, I clean. I care for the kids when they’re sick, no matter what time of day or if he’s off work. I run our special needs child to his three-days-a-week appointments. One of those days my other son has an appointment at the same place so of course he goes as well. Sick or not, I take care of the kids. I had the flu two years ago and the first day I was sick he dealt with the kids, but after that? He was pissed that I was still laying around and not doing anything so he got to slamming our bedroom door when he’d go out, not shushing the kids if/when they got loud, etc. That’s one of many times where he’s been less than considerate.

Of course if he has a headache and stuffy nose he’s swearing he has a migraine and he take several different types of medication and sleeps for 10-11 hours straight, yelling if the kids are getting loud.

We’re supposed to move and our house is nowhere near ready to put on the market. It should have been on by now but while he had 3 months to lay the new flooring in our house, he didn’t finish. One room still needs to be done. I, on the other hand, have all of the daily issues on top of painting every room in the house, getting the outside painted, repainting our kitchen cabinets, painting the cabinets in the hall and bathrooms, redoing the tile in our hall bath, rebuilding our master bath shower that he gutted two years ago and never finished, tiling both bathroom floors, de-cluttering and organizing so that the movers know what is storage and what goes.. I don’t have the money to hire those jobs out so I have to do it.

He occasionally mows the yard, and when our kids start a sport he’s gung-ho in the beginning but by the second week in he’s sighing and rolling his eyes when I ask if he’s taking one of our boys to practice. Inevitably they’ll have at least one practice or game per week that coincides with the other’s practice or game, and I count myself fortunate if they’re in the same park or building. Many times they aren’t and because he’s oh-so-worn out and has computer games to play, I’m running like a headless chicken. Throw in an active toddler and I’m busy, worn out, worn down, and just plain beat.

Yes, I’m bitter and resentful, not to mention completely jealous of women who have husbands who help out even when the husband has a busy work schedule.

Don’t suggest I have a talk with him because I have. Many, many times. And many times he’s sworn he’ll change and help out. The only reason I’m still with him is because when I left him a few years ago I couldn’t get a job anywhere and began having anxiety attacks. Not to mention lack of support from family and being made to feel like we’d worn out our welcome and I needed to quit being a child and just go back to my husband. So here I sit.

I can feel this woman’s pain. Can you? Honestly, what would you do if you were married to a man who did not care for your kids, played computer games all day, and didn’t lift a finger to help you? Now, admittedly, we’re only getting this woman’s side of the story, but I have talked to women who are living something very similar. It happens. Very frequently.

So what would you say to her? I’m going to take a stab at it now, but I invite you to answer in the comments, too. Perhaps we’ll have different approaches to it, but hopefully we can offer something that would be helpful.

First, let me say that To Love, Honor and Vacuum was written exactly for women going through this. In fact, I based the book on two women I was close to who were experiencing virtually exactly the same thing. So I know from whence I speak.

And let me tell you what I told them. You cannot change him; you can only change yourself. But you have a lot of power within you to change. God is there to help you create a godly home, where everyone respects each other and grows closer to Him. That is what He wants. Your job is to ask God to show you how to build respect and godliness within your home.

Part of that job may be to stop enabling others to act in an unChristlike manner. It sounds like you do all the housework, and he does very little. That means that you do a lot for him. You don’t have to keep doing this. You could sit down and tell him that you are exhausted, and some things are going to have to come off of your plate. Offer him alternatives. But show him that some of these things will directly affect him. (Laundry, for instance, or making the kinds of meals he likes. If you can live on sandwiches & cereal, it’s a lot easier to make, and it’s still nutritious!). Then take some of that time that you save and use it to do your devotions, to have a bath, to knit, to relax, to do what you need to do to rejuvenate. Don’t do it to punish him; do it to create a new dynamic so that you can keep going.

If you’re busy running the children everywhere, and he won’t help, ask him what it would take for him to start driving a child to soccer. Ask him if this is possible. Don’t ask him when you’re angry; ask him because you simply want help. If he can’t give it, you’re no worse off than you are now. But ask him what is keeping him from doing it? Is he not getting enough sleep?

Or take it from a different perspective. Ask him what are the most important goals he has in life. Share with him yours. Write them on your fridge. Now ask how he’s meeting them. If he wants to be a good father, then ask him how you can help him engage with the kids during the week. Does he want to take soccer? Bath time?  Bedtime? If he doesn’t, and he’d just like to play computer games, then ask him how he’d like the kids to think of him. Does he want them to remember him always being on the computer, or does he want them to remember him cheering them at games?

But if he just won’t, you have a decision to make. Can you keep living like this? If you were a single parent, you could not do it all. You could not run a house and keep the kids in all kinds of activities and hold down a job. You couldn’t. You would get help, or you would cut things out.

So if your husband won’t help, you basically are acting as a single parent. What will you cut out? Even if your husband has abdicated responsibility for the family, you can’t. And you can’t abdicate your responsibility to your marriage, either. I would suggest getting the kids out of activities as much as possible and making your schedule as easy as possible, so that you don’t burn out and you can keep going.

Finally, make family fun. Cut down as much as you can so you can get enough rest and sleep. And then use that energy to make your home fun. Play games. Go for walks. Laugh a lot. When family is fun, he’s more likely to want to be involved. When it’s all chores, he won’t. And the more unhappy you are, and the more you nag him, the more he will retreat.

Some people are just plain selfish. He very well could be one of these. Your job is to find peace and fulfillment in God, and then find ways to transfer that peace and fulfillment to the rest of those in your family. Don’t always resent. Don’t let yourself get bitter. Change your family life so that you do have more energy and things do get done.

Oh, and about the house: stop it. Don’t move. Stay there. Don’t put it on the market. So you lose money. I know that’s tough. But if you are always stepping in and doing everything, he never will step up to the plate. Talk about what’s reasonable for both of you to do, and then you do your part. If he doesn’t do his, then you can’t sell the house. Don’t nag him about it. Simply do your part. Whether or not he does his is up to him. And if he starts to suffer financially for it, then maybe that will inspire a burst of energy. Right now, he’s probably waiting for you to come through, like you always have in the past. Don’t enable irresponsibility.

One other thing about how to act biblically in marriage: there are two sides to the Proverbs 31 woman. First, yes, she did a ton and cared for her family well. But second, she had help, as someone pointed out in the comments yesterday. She had servant girls, but she also had a husband who was engaged in the family business, too. He was in the public square, transacting business, where he praised her. Yes, we’re to be the Proverbs 31 woman, but it’s difficult to do all of this without at least some help. If you don’t have that help, I think you need to readjust what’s expected of you so you don’t burn out.

God designed marriage to be a genuine partnership. Sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes it’s very lopsided. Now if your spouse isn’t much of a partner, that doesn’t absolve you of the responsibility to live up to your partnership. We’re to care for our homes and our kids and our husbands regardless. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy, and it doesn’t mean that we should do everything for those who persist in laziness, enabling very un Christ like behavior.

So that’s what I’ve got to say. What about the rest of you? Any thoughts on how to help her? Am I being too easy? Too harsh? What do you think?

This blog was originally posted on tolovehonorandvacuum.blogspot.com . Used with permission.

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239 Responses to “When You Feel Very Alone in your Marriage”

  • Susan Susan says:

    Hi Rashid,

    You are right.

  • Rashid says:

    Susan
    that is blessing
    I wish many of us can feel the same way that you feel.
    Divorce is hard on people including children

  • Rashid says:

    Hi every body
    is this true my understanding that woman are more unsatisfied from men than men are from women ? If true why not women should educate men to move forward.

  • Susan Susan says:

    Hi Rashid,

    I can say, I am blessed. I am just enjoying the presence of God and knowing how good I have! He is awesome! I still want to know Him in a deeper way. His ways so beautiful.

    God bless you!

  • Rashid says:

    Susan
    Hello
    I am doing very good and how are you doing? How is your life beside other anything new your way

  • Susan Susan says:

    Hi Shelly,

    How are you?

  • Susan Susan says:

    Hi Rashid,

    How are you?

  • cakemonster25 says:

    I’m sorry go hear about your frustration. I too feel the same way, I am exhausted from arguing with my husband to spend time with our family instead he feels drinking a day playing ball are way more important. I often feel lonely, unimportant and depressed. It has begun to effect me in every aspect of my life I’ve become angry with out even knowing it. I can’t seem to comprehend why he doesn’t want to spend time with us after all he chose to marry me …

  • Susan Susan says:

    Hi Banshi,

    May I know what you are going through?

  • Banshi says:

    Ridiculous advice! Cut the kids activity to save a marriage……mmmmhhhh. Cut out the time consuming energy sucking husband.

  • Chris Chris says:

    zelda….i am sorry to hear of your marriage struggles. all of us as married people have come to realize that we didn’t marry perfection. there will be times of disappointment and deception as we move through our married life. instead of letting this cause us to stumble and grumble, God has a way for us to overcome and to be happy in this world despite our marriage or life’s circumstances. by knowing jesus personally as our lord and savior and being with our true family, the Christian church, you will find that despite your husbands many defects, you can live happily and joyfully with the God of your salvation. to know more about knowing jesus personally, log onto…knowingjesuspersonally.com or click talk to a mentor above. who wouldn’t like to live a happy life? its available to you through christ alone. I pray now that jesus would confort you in your affliction. that you would truly know him who is life and receive your personal calling to follow him, though none go with you. in jesus name amen

  • Zelda says:

    I know how that feels I do everything in my marriage my hubby working now but for 6 months he was at home I was still working,cleaning,cleaninhg the garden looking after the kids and poacking write his gargage I feel so alone can’t speak to him I do it all never thanks never can I help you psp that he does well or he sleep late I am still up yesyterday my washing line broke he will not even help me to fixed it I have to try and do it my self I am so tried of feeling so alone

  • Doris Beck Doris Beck says:

    Hi Debbie,
    I’m sorry that you are in such a difficult position. You are right, that we need to be mindful what our behavior is teaching our children because they will follow what they see. That also means that they watch and observe and follow how we treat those that have hurt us.

    I often think of the story of Joseph in the Bible. He ended up in prison because of another person’s lies, and yet the Bible says that ‘what the enemy meant for ill, God used for good.’ Something to think about. How can you show your children how to love your enemies?

  • debbie says:

    I’m Christian, I went to Mass this morning, but I kick his butt out. Which ever way I could and what ever means to get as much child support as I could. Go to a support group. What a piece of work he is. What a way to raise children. It’s also about self respect, and this guy isn’t giving you any. They see all this and grow up to think that this man’s behavior is ok. God did not intend for woman to be treated this way.

  • Susan Susan says:

    Hi Cyjhae,

    God bless you! Let us know if you have any prayer request.

  • Susan Susan says:

    Hi Joi,

    Thank you so much for praying for us. God bless you!

  • Susan Susan says:

    Yes, I do agree woman play an important role in the family. But, in a godly family, husband and wife both have to play great role. What happens in a godly family, both husband and wife they trust God for everything, they ask God’s guidance for every situation they face and at the end God bless them. WOW!

    You are in my prayer Rashid.

  • Rashid says:

    Susan
    I am doing good except I am still single after 4 year
    Susan health is wealth and woman play important role to keep children and husband happy. What do you think? Inteligence people always late:)

  • Susan Susan says:

    Hi Alvara,

    Only prayer can change this and you need ask God for wisdom. These are the work of evil spirit because saten want separation so he work through either through husband, wife or children etc..

    I remember, I have experienced somewhat like this. But what I did was, I started praying about my situation and commit my situation to God’s hand and I started asking God, Lord, I need Your wisdom, Lord, teach me how to talk to or live with my husband and how to bring up my son etc..etc.. And Alvara, I have experienced God’s presence in my life and He really helped me.

    Let’s Pray:

    Dear Father, I commit Alvara in Your hand., Lord, bless her, guide her and teach her the way You want her to live. Lord, I pray for her husband. I pray that let Alvara’s husband realize what he is doing and give her respect and love. Lord, I pray that You protect this marriage and bless them. I pray for unity between husband and wife and children. Unite them and cover trhwm with Your love. I command every evil spirit which trying to destroy this marriage and family life to go from that family and I cover this family with the precious blood of Jesus. Thank You for hearing our prayers. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

    God bless you sister!

  • Susan Susan says:

    Sorry for the delay Rashid. How are you?

    You asked,”Do YOU THINK Is FOR better”? it can be for both. If God is in his/her life then great otherwise pride will rule them.

  • Chris Chris says:

    alvara…i am sorry to hear of your struggles with your husband and family. we understand when we marry, we are not marrying perfection and patience must be applied with understanding and wisdom in order to have a home where strife and conflict isnt reigning for our good and the good of our children. first, realize that yelling at your children is never jesus way. if discipline is needed, it should be administered in the peace of christ which we should never give up for any reason. 2ndly, let your husband lead in the family. that is his role and jesus will bless you for letting him take his role. how many wives would like to have a husband who took charge? try to understand your husbands approach to child rearing and flow with it. ask him about his ideas and try to be one with them even if you may not agree, jesus will bless you for your submission to him. submission is not a bad Word when its done biblically. you can trust jesus for the changes your husband needs. you wont have to try and change him yourself. it wont work anyway. you can check focusonthefamily.com for helpful hints on being a better mother and wife. as you concéntrate on your walk with jesus and pleasing him, you will find God taking care of your mate for you. if you would like more information on knowing jesus personally, log onto knowingjesuspersonally.com or click talk to a mentor above. remember too, if your husband doesnt know jesus, then he wont be able to show the love of christ to you either so dont take his sins personally but commit his life to God…now i pray for you that jesus would become real to you. that you would see him right there with you with your eyes of faith and open your heart totally to him so he can take control of your life, your husbands life and your childrens for his great glory and honor amen!

  • Alvara says:

    ten yrs later he still gots me in a box. he controls fi hv friends

  • Alvara says:

    everytime i talk to my kids on telling them what to do, my husband always jumps in expecially if i end up yelling at them after talking to them over & over he tells me in front of them dont yell at them and he takes over the situation making me feel like the bad person. i feel alot like im just a woman living in his home.. when i ask certain questions he gets upset. for instance whn asking who is this beer u bought for he sys its mine three days later he admits its for his friend at work…. i dont feel like his equal i it more like i get what i get and who [expletive removed] cares if i throw a fit….

  • Rashid says:

    Susan 5
    YOU ARE RIGHT MY Sister Do YOU THINK Is FOR better?

  • Susan Susan says:

    Agree with you Rashid. They change, their behavior and attitude towards us also change. Right brother?

  • Joi says:

    @Cyjhae I admire your strength.

  • Joi says:

    Let me just say that since I’ve subscribed, I feel so much support in knowing that you all are right here. While I have only posted once, I read every updated reply and I think about all of you everyday. You are all in my prayers.

  • Rashid says:

    Susan

    My children then family mean husband and wife. THAT A RELATIONSHIP God created first to start the world brother and sister will have their own family. Brother and sister are are in the family when they single after marriage every one change what do you think? Blessing

  • Susan Susan says:

    Hi Rashid,

    I’ll be praying for you. Especially for a restoration of your marriage. I really appreciate the way you taking care of your children. Good job. Feed them the word of God…

    I am sorry for the confusion. I mention ‘family’ is your family only.

    Rashid, keep in touch and keep me updated. Know that you and yours are in my prayers.

    Remain blessed.

  • Cyjhae says:

    Thank you all for your wonderful prayers…

  • Rashid says:

    Hi Susan
    Thank you for noticing and understanding I will say the way since I start as in change of my life and my children life. There is reason how it happen. Since childhood I alaway wanted to know more answer. One thing I want to know you opinion and strength. After God you said husband and wife and children which family. As I read through how Adam and Eve as pair live in haven but every thing God has plan what we have today this world I understood man is first because God created man first and then woman but when children blessing come to to any marriage then children come second after God and then husband and wife. That is the only way couple can stay in marriage because of common bond which is children tie them for ever. Other thing woman play important role in relationship because of Eve decided to eat the forbidden fruit and also giving to Adam that is why we have this world:) after divorce I felt empty mess even though my fifty percent of time children are with me this is the best time of any one life including me enjoying and shaping the life of my children even though I have Single life it can be hard but I am looking forward a head to creating some thing special for my children if my ex have put children first we never have this divorce she put her job first her parent second and then children that what my perception. Susan I pray to Mighty God to keep me and my children under his supervision in Jesus name Amen

  • Susan Susan says:

    Hi Cyjhae,
    Appreciate you my friend! You are trying to save your marriage and I feel, since you cannot do anything to change your husband, leave your situation to God’s hand. Allow Him to hand. And on the other side, you Cyjhae, focus on God, live like a godly wife, study the word of God, praise Him, pray for your husband, bless him and his people. Let others see Jesus in you Cyjhae. Let your daughter see Jesus in you.
    Let me pray for you Cyjhae.
    Dear Father God,
    We thank You so much for this time. Lord, I commit Your child Cyjhae, her husband and her daughter. Lord, I pray that You draw her husband closer to You. Help him understands what he is doing; Lord, You can only change Cyjhae’s husband. Lord, I pray that You restore her marriage and family. Lord, I pray that You provide a job for her daughter and husband and let her husband start supporting his wife and daughter. Thank You for hearing our prayers. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  • Susan Susan says:

    Hi Rashid,

    Agree with you. God is first and foremost priority and then family. Family means, husband , wife and children.

    I have experienced in my life that when I started focusing on God/ when I started desiring God more than anything, things started changing in my life like I have started experiencing God’s peace in my life.

  • Rashid says:

    Cyjhae
    I think we all are in many situation that close to yours but may be little different. I think I give credit we hat you doing and being so patient even though you understand the situation. I think many will agree that patient and pray is best for children sake.
    my believe is God is first immediately my children are second and wife is third family and last is job.you are lucky you have children and you are good care giver parent.for children sake you keep the family together no mater what it is help full to children if you keep the family it sound you doing great I pray to God that he guide you to path of happiness in Jesus name Amen

  • Cyjhae says:

    Hello,

    It seems that many of us are really suffering from this “feeling alone in a marriage”. I posted a comment I think 1 to 2 years ago and I shared my story to everybody here. I felt so bad about myself that I am still in the same situation, since there is no divorce here in my country. My husband changed a bit, but still, he is more focus on the problems of his family and concerns a lot about the well beings of his brothers and sisters instead of us. My daughter is losing respect to his father. He is not working for a year now, and even he does, still, he is not supporting us. But he used to come back home, but with empty pocket. I am always hesitating to ask why is that happening? Because if I will ask, surely, there will be arguments. Life is the same since the time I married him. He don’t care about us. He is here physically, but his mind and heart is not with us. And for a very little favor I ask of him, ex. help me with the household chores, he will not talk to you, and will go out to drink and be with his friends. I am really getting hopeless, but it helped me somehow. And I hope you too can do what I am doing. I learned how to value myself more. I learned how to ignore things. I just continue being busy to be a single provider in the family. I am focus about providing the needs of my daughter than thinking what should I do to make things workout the way it should be. I am very tired of all of these but I guess, I am bit stronger now after 14 years of suffering, crying, asking him to value our family, to look at me as his wife. Because even if I talked to him a million times, I really cannot change the way he was. This afternoon, my daughter told me that his father told her he wanted to get out of the house. She said, then don’t stay, just go. Because she knows what is happening. I want to save what we have, but if I am the only one thinking about this, it’s not going to happen. Marriage shouldn’t be like this. I just envy those family who are happy being complete and have unity. It may not be us, but I hope that those who are suffering and still suffering like me, be strong. Learn to value yourself more. Learn to value what you have (your kids and family). If the person doesn’t want to be ONE of the family, don’t let that bring you down. Instead be stronger, esp if you have kids. Make yourself busy so you wouldn’t think much of the problem. Learn to develop your talents. God is watching us. He listens to all of our prayers. He will make ways for us to be happy while we are here on earth. Trust in God with all your heart. Although sometimes I really feel so lonely, even though I see my husband, but I know his heart and mind is not with us, I just pray to God to give me more patience and strength to face my difficulties. God bless Us ALL!

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi mama, it sounds like you are talking out of experience. Have you seen a man in your life look to buy attention from other women? When was that? What lengths did you go to trying to turn his attention back to you?

  • Rashid says:

    Shelley

    Thank you
    first of I will pray to God any one who read this all we are doing to help ourself understanding that God is with me and us guiding to bring happiness to me, us and al in Jesus name Amen we all are spiritually here.
    When we chose to marry someone we actually sow a seed in each other to harvest love, sex , children, money, fun, happiness, joy, to not have loneliness, care, many many more.that what we expect from the seed we sow.
    we should forget we have some sacrifice y o make not one time I mean all the time to keep all blessing pouring toward us including to our children.we both going to have strength and bond to keep our relationship alive for sake of children and wife.
    greed are going out of window and wife will keep herself children top. And same for husband to keep children top.
    Marriage don’t believe on being alone.
    commit are on this article important to understand to accomplish basic relationship roles under God given education.
    To me my God first right after my children, and then wife way down is my family and way way down is job or business because if we sow the seed correctly money or business will come with it let pray to find our love whom we can together sow a seed of love I pray in Jesus name Amen

  • Shelley Shelley says:

    Thank you for your comment.

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