Emotional Abandonment: Shut out by your spouse

Written by Dr. Dave Currie and Glen Hoos

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It’s a complaint I hear regularly from people looking for help for their marriages:“I feel distant from my spouse.” “I try to get my husband to open up, but instead he just shuts down.” “My wife just doesn’t seem interested in me anymore. I feel like we’re a million miles apart.” “I don’t know if I love him anymore.”

What we’re talking about here is emotional abandonment. Instead of physically leaving the relationship, your spouse simply checks out emotionally. They stop investing in the marriage, leaving their mate feeling detached and unwanted. To the outside world the situation can still look rosy, but in reality the relationship is dying a slow, quiet death.

How does a marriage reach this point? Sometimes it’s a slow slide into complacency, and other times it’s a little more sudden. Realize that if it’s a sudden abandonment, there likely is some precipitating event or incident between the two of you that needs to be resolved. On the other hand, if the deterioration has been more gradual, there are probably a lot of little things that have gone unresolved and are taking their toll on the relationship.

Here are some of the specific, primary causes of emotional distance between mates:

  1. Unforgiveness. Emotional abandonment is unforgiveness taken to its extreme conclusion. When we feel that our spouse has hurt us and we refuse to forgive them, we look for ways to protect ourselves from being hurt again in the future. Closing off our heart from the other person is an easy way to do this, but it has deadly consequences. Unforgiveness always leads to isolation. Overcoming unforgiveness requires a willingness to humble ourselves and seek forgiveness when we have hurt our spouse, and it also requires that we be willing to graciously extend forgiveness when our spouse has hurt us. This forgiveness step is based on a desire to re-unite.
  2. Callous treatment. When I am careless in how I treat my spouse, it gets old really quickly. Whether it’s discourteousness, unkindness, or something worse, it creates hurt that may start out small, but can grow into deep wounds as it festers over time. To avoid this, each partner needs to look at their own behaviour regularly and consider whether they are treating their spouse well. A mate, above all people, needs to be treated with gentleness and respect. Remember, your spouse is a gift to you, and they deserve to be treated as something precious.
  3. Lack of effort. Sometimes the problem is a little less obvious than unforgiveness or harsh treatment. It is easy, especially for men, to just assume that the relationship is going along just fine, and so we don’t put in as much effort as we once did. We start to take our spouse for granted, leading them to think that they are not important in our lives. When the marriage slips from being one of the top priorities in the heart of one or both spouses, the other person feels abandoned. This causes them to feel unwanted and then to withdraw into their own world.
  4. Lack of time. Many of us simply try to pack too much into a day. Ruled by the urgent, we fail to make time for the truly important: things like romancing, talking about issues and really developing a friendship with our spouse. We stay constantly busy, erasing quality “couple times” from our schedules. A marriage relationship cannot thrive if our contact with one another is limited to a quick bite of supper or a brief chat before bed. A good marriage requires weekly face-to-face time – both talk and fun.
  5. Fear of talking through issues. Emotional detachment does not just happen out of the blue; there is always something behind it. If one or both of the spouses has an inability or fear of talking through the issues in their relationship, then this kind of disconnect will be the likely result. Usually both know there is something wrong, but they are hesitant to bring it up because they fear their spouse’s reaction. Or perhaps they feel like they’ve been through this before and it hasn’t helped, so why bother? In these cases, there needs to be a clear second look at what it means to resolve conflict in a marriage – how to have a “good fight,” as it were, that really bring things to resolution. Without these skills, and a real courage to step up and deal with problems, the emotional distance will just continue to grow.
  6. Living in denial. A lot of times, when things have started to go a bit sideways in the relationship, we don’t want to admit that it’s happening. Often the person truly needing to make some significant changes is most content to deny the existence of any real issues. We kind of live in denial, as if it’s not really happening, or it’s not that bad, or things will get better in time. But living in denial doesn’t fix things; it only causes the marriage to deteriorate to the point where the couple just does not feel close anymore.

Working through emotional distance

The first step to dealing with emotional abandonment is to identify the root cause and to begin to deal with it. Don’t settle for living in isolation. Ask God for more in your marriage and then trust Him as you faithfully try to make changes. Here are some suggestions for re-establishing a loving connection with your spouse:

  1. Agree to talk. At some point you have to agree to talk about the problems that exist between you. If you’re going to resolve issues, there needs to be a mutual commitment to listen to the other person’s concerns and to work towards improving the situation. Don’t corner your spouse with an unexpected lecture, but set a time and agree to start to work through your issues.
  2. Be prepared. Before you have the talk, take the time separately to think through the unresolved issues that you’ll be discussing. What are your concerns in the relationship? In what areas do you feel you need to improve? What are your expectations of your spouse? To put your thoughts down on paper may be best, but either way, be prepared to be open and honest with each other about the real issues between you. Be sure to take the time to really listen to what your spouse is saying. Give each other uninterrupted time to share your view on things.
  3. Be direct but gentle. Neither of you has anything to gain by holding back your true feelings. Remember: unresolved issues lie at the heart of emotional detachment. So lay all your cards out on the table by sharing your hurts clearly. Don’t allow things to get out of hand. Be committed to talk through things sensibly. Take breaks to cool it if necessary but agree to continue. Ask each other the tough questions, and talk through the difficult issues that have been eating away at your relationship. Regardless of which partner initiated the wrong, you both need to work at resolving the problem.
  4. Begin to meet unmet needs. Often a person pulls back from the relationship because, in their mind, their needs are not being met. A healthy marriage demands that both partners actively work to discern the needs of their spouse, and work to meet those needs. Seek to understand your spouse’s needs and ask yourself how you can start to better express love by meeting these needs. Make your spouse and sorting things out your new priority.
  5. Deal with your own stuff. If I am feeling abandoned by my spouse, I need to ask myself a tough question: What have I done to drive my spouse away? Now it may not be only your responsibility. Nevertheless, you have to find out what you are responsible for and take ownership for your actions. Really listen to your spouse. Of course, there are things that your mate needs to deal with, and they may be withdrawing from you for selfish reasons, but that can’t stop you from taking the steps that you know you need to take. Both parties must be prepared to make apologies and extend forgiveness as part of your recovery from the emotional detachment.
  6. Intentionally re-engage. If you are to re-establish your emotional connection, it won’t happen by accident and it won’t happen overnight. You need to agree to make your relationship a priority and spend some quality time together. Plan a few dates and put each other in your schedules. It’s time to re-enter one another’s lives again.
  7. Act kindly. This may not be a revolutionary new idea, but it can have that kind of an effect on your marriage. You must act kindly toward your spouse. Small gestures of warmth, acts of kindness, and efforts to rekindle the romance between you will go a long way toward renewing your bond with one another. Do this from the heart with real commitment to make the necessary changes.
  8. Love unconditionally. Somebody has to break out of the negative cycle of eye-for an eye, poor treatment for poor treatment. You need to step out of the insult-for-insult cycle and respond differently. You cannot control your spouse’s behaviour, but you can control your own. Regardless of how your spouse responds, you must choose to treat them with love. This is not easy to do when your partner is not reciprocating, but it is what you vowed to do when you promised to love each other “for better or for worse.” And nothing breaks down emotional barriers like unconditional love.
  9. Allow God to work. I’m going to challenge you to ask God to change you. God wants your best and He’ll always be ready to take full responsibility for any life that is totally surrendered to Him. That also includes re-engaging with your spouse and getting attached in love again. God wants that and He will guide you in that, if you’ll allow Him to.

We’ve all got issues to work through in our relationships. Whether your problems stem from bitterness, unforgiveness, dishonesty, lack of kindness, unfaithfulness, or something else, God offers you His power to enable you to live in a way that honors Him. There’s no doubt in my mind that God wants your marriage to work and that you desire to have warmth and a close connection with your spouse. That’s His design. Let’s go after it.

Elma felt completely alone in her marriage. Read how she survived.

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310 Responses to “Emotional Abandonment: Shut out by your spouse”

  • Ellison says:

    First off lady’s!, Your divine purpose is not to serve men. It sounds to me like a lot of your men need to wake up and pull there head out from between there legs. You are not there mom, You are there EQUAL! If your relationship goes south with your man because he is not putting in the work needed,that has nothing to do with your relationship with GOD! Stop living the lie that Eve was created from mans rib and belongs to him. Stand up and demand that your needs be meet words.Men are horrible mind readers. Then place a time line around those needs being meet. This is the only way you can get your needs meet. COMMUNICATION TO YOUR PARTNER.Men have a tendency to think if they a women cooks for them,takes care of the kids,the house and everything else and they make love at least once a week like a sex kitten, everything is good in life. Women need more than than that. The point being you both have to educate each other about your needs, because society did not do a very good job. Your not gonna grow up and live in far far away castle with king charming or be that Hollywood couple on your favorite Movie, with out doing the work, Writing a script and practicing the lines of love, your relationship will be empty as movie theater with out power. GOD bless

  • Elkay says:

    Rachael, as I read your story, a number of things came to mind but sadly, there is probably no simple way to resolve all of the issues you are facing but everyone who faces similar difficulties sympathizes with you. All wish that you and your husband were intimately connected because marriage is an institution created by God to reflect His image of a sacrificial and loving Creator.

    Step-children, especially older ones, are often just plain difficult and unreasonable early in their parent’s re-marriage. Consistent, unconditional love over a period of time usually overcomes their loyalty to their natural mother (or father) and at least gets things on an even kneel so patiently hang in there.

    Your husband said he “wants more than sex” but intimacy is absent. That’s a bit confusing so I am going to suggest that you hit the “Talk to a Mentor” button near the top of this page and someone will reply by email and come alongside you in confidence to address this. Meanwhile, continue your acts of non-sexual affection and respect his “not how I was raised” feeling. Your marriage is still young and adjusting to one another’s likes and dislikes takes time and patience. Re-read this article, especially #7: “Small gestures of warmth, acts of kindness, and efforts to rekindle the romance between you will go a long way toward renewing your bond with one another. Do this from the heart . . . ”

    The happiness you seek springs from inner joy and joy comes from your relationship with Jesus Christ. He knows human nature better than we do and at John 15:11, He tells us “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” The “things” He describes are abiding in Him which is not a spiritual emotion but implies: Solidarity – Christ as the Second Adam is our representative before God; Transformation – Christ by the Holy Spirit changes us from the inside out to be more like Him; and Communion –we relate to Christ with Him as our Lord. Please hit the “Talk to a Mentor” button and explore this more fully.

    “Heavenly Father, nothing is impossible or even hard for You and You have invited us to come to Your gracious throne to find mercy and help in our troubles. Rachael and her husband need Your grace to bring about intimate and sacrificial love. We do not know the specific issues that separate them but everything is known by You and so we ask You to intervene in whatever manner You know to be best for them. This is our prayer in the powerful name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.”

  • Rachael says:

    I am a 45 year old female… recently married.. it will be 1 year in a couple months from now. It is too early in our marriage for my husband and I to have the issues as we are experiencing… to include our “ADULT” children (From previous relationships) (He has 2 “Adult Sons, and I have 1 “Adult” daughter and 2 grand kids)…communication and most importantly lack of intimacy… I am not sure which way to turn… I have asked him about counseling on several occasions and he has refused… he has expressed to me that he know the intimacy is not there, but he also tell me he wants more than sex… I try to explain to him intimacy is more than just intercourse… may be a kiss, a hug, heck even a pat on my “azz”… but its nothing… he even tell me he does not like to say good morning to me because this is not how he was raised… he said even when he was living at home with his mom he never told her Good Morning… I am just at a lost right now… I can remember one morning I got out of bed before he did, showered put on clothes and was headed down stairs to start breakfast when he walked out of our bedroom… I gently placed my hand on his chest and leaned in to give him a Good Morning kiss… and he just froze and ask “What Are You Doing”… as if I was about to rob a bank or something… I just smiled kiss him and said Good Morning… he did not reply with anything… just walked away as if I had stolen his virginity or something…

    Now with our Adult Kids… while we were dating which we dated 3 years prior to us getting married… he his kids “LOVED” me, so I thought… we would have family gathering at our house they would come over etc… When we got engaged the family time was over… his youngest son refued to be in the wedding and has refused to to have any type of relationship with me at all… I have spoken to my husband about this issue and his only answer is, “its nothing against you he said he does not dislike you or anything… “that’s just how he is”… On Christmas day we were at my mother-in law house and his youngest son refused to take a family photo with my self his dad and his brother… because I was in the picture… my husband talk to him about it a couple days after and he said he did not want to take the picture because he did not want anyone to get me and his “MOM” mixed up… in other words he did not want people to think I was his mom… of course it made me feel some type of way, but my husband thinks I should just let it go because “This is just How He IS”… so because ” This is how he is” am I suppose to just accept this form him… “He is a GROWN 25 year old man”..

    Now his oldest son… who is the same age as my daughter 28…

    he feel as if I am an ATM machine…. he always make smart comments, such as
    “You are rich, you don’t have any worries”… another example is… he let his car insurance lapse and we did not find out until he was in a car accident… (which my husband is the co-signer on his car…) my work schedule is a lot more flexible than my husband, so My husband ask if I could take his son to his insurance agency to get his insurance re-instated… of course I said yes… I leave work, go to his apartment and pick him up, we have a decent conversation in the car headed to the insurance company… when get to the agency and the agent go over a few things with him as far as they will not be able to cover the accident etc… so he asked how would he be making the payment to reinstate his insurance… My husband had already told me that his son did not have the money to get the insurance re-instated… I told him I did not mind paying for it because if it was my daughter I would do it for her… so I give the agent my debit card to re-instate the insurance.. so his son blurts out… “Oh you know she rich”… and I look at him with disbelief on my face… and asked him “what does my financial status has to do with anything” and he just looks at me and says nothing… Nevertheless… the ride home was “Silent”…

    can some please give me some advise… Divorce in my book at this point is not an option… I just want to know how can I deal with all of this and still stay Happy

  • Carole says:

    I was married a little over 40 years and toward the end I too was abandoned. I had to ask him to even hug me. He passed exactly 2 months and 11 days after our 40th anniversary. Before that though he actually confessed we were broke. I woke up the day after he died to find I had $12.17. If it weren’t for a friend of ours paying my bills I would be living under the bridge somewhere. I had given up and it was hard to mourn him even. My church family and my friend were angels from God. I don’t know what to tell you other than you are not alone. I will keep you in my prayers and may God bless you.

  • Aldo says:

    Brandi, let me pray for you: Heavenly Father, You know and have heard Brandi’s plight concerning her marriage. Lord, I ask that You would intervene on her behalf and bring forth a revitalization of the relationship with her husband. Touch him in a special way with Your Spirit and reignite the flame which he once had for his wife, in Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

  • Brandi says:

    I have a great husband but don’t have a great companion. I busy myself with other things to have connections and fulfill God’s purpose. My husband is religious with his time, he works, then works out after work, he works out every day, then he goes to the store, and by the time he gets home its 8:30pm or 9pm during the week. He unwinds as if the whole time he was out didn’t wind him down enough. He comes home watches the game, eats, and then Jimmy Fallon. I wake up at 5am so going to bed late isn’t a good thing. I think he is happy with his life. I think he likes knowing he has me but not sure why he is with me. He is kind, faithful, and can be very sweet. He just doesn’t seem to know how to be with me. I express my feelings and back off. He seems like he doesn’t know how to respond so he doesn’t. I’m extremely frustrated. I want him to hear me and make some effort. He just have this look of surprise when I bring it up. It’s like she will get over it tomorrow. Well I’m not getting over it and now I’m sleeping in our sons room who is away at college. I feel anger. I don’t want to feel anything about it because I can’t change it or him and then feels like it affects my relationship with God because I have conflict with my husband. My relationship with God right now is the best thing going. Now I’m laying in my sons bed feeling like I have no control and can’t even connect with God who I need because I’m mad at my husband. I don’t know how to just accept he is incapable of connecting with me on a true emotional level and that I just need to learn to live with it and still fulfill my duties as a wife even if I don’t feel emotionally connected to do so. Thus I’d until one of dies. There is no marriage in heaven. Please pray that God gives me wisdom to find peace and contentment in an emotional dead marriage.

  • Elkay says:

    Dilani, I truly wish I could do something to do that would bring you and your husband back into a close connection because marriage is an institution created by God for our benefit and is intended to reflect His image of a sacrificial and loving Creator.

    In this article, the first thing listed as a cause of emotional abandonment is unforgiveness coming about as a result of feeling that our spouse has hurt us and then shutting down to protect from being hurt again. You said you have accused him of cheating on you but he denies it and you have no evidence to the contrary.

    I cannot say that your husband feels unforgiveness because of this but at least it a way to open conversations with him about the problems that exist between you. Read this article carefully, especially the suggestions about gentleness, kindness, unconditional love, and being totally surrendered to God. The bottom line is that re-establishing a loving connection with your spouse requires a deliberate effort because “it won’t happen by accident”.

    Dilani, if you would like for a mentor to come alongside you for support, hit the “Talk to a Mentor” button on this page and someone will respond in confidence by e-mail. Let me pray . . . “Heavenly Father, You have invited us into Your presence to find mercy and help in our troubles. Dilani and her husband need Your grace to restore their marriage to one of self-sacrifice and love. We do not know the specific issues that separate them but everything is known by You and nothing is impossible for You. So we ask You to intervene in whatever manner You know to be best for them. This is our prayer in the powerful name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.”

  • Dilani says:

    I am married for 5 years now and and having two boys 4 years and 5 months. My husband is not very supportive person bit he is not either complain type person. i resonantly accused his for cheating on me based on some hits given by him and and also due to things my my told me. i was not able find any evidence through his phone or laptop so i cant prove them. he denied my accusation and kept complaining about my mom. my mom did help us to raise our kids as i am busy working. my husband is failed to stay in job for long time due to performance issues. i have never complained about this and always have been helping him and doing all responsibilities myself. due to argument happened due to cheating which is not sure if it true. I distance my mom. now my husband is also not talking to me and feels like we are just two room mates at the house. i feel so lonely and broke do nit know what to do.

  • Elkay says:

    Christine, you are not “way off” and I am very sorry that your husband is being so insensitive to your needs and so irresponsible about your marriage. You have done very appropriate things to try to get his attention and sharing back to where they were when you first met and he is not being sensitive to your efforts.

    Clearly your husband does not appreciate that you need open, honest, patient and emotional conversation because this is how you enter into his world and that you want this because you love him. He has the responsibility to love you sacrificially and as he loves his own self (Eph 5:25-28) and so he should strive to meet your needs. He says he does not have time to invest in your marriage but doesn’t want it to end either. Somehow he has to see that he cannot have it both ways.

    Some things to consider are counseling with a Christian-trained professional or possibly your pastor or someone in a local women’s support group like those found in churches. Certainly continue to pray that he will return to the person he was when you married and in your prayers, use the passage from Ephesians mentioned above. You can also find help for marriages online at sites like marriagetoday.com and your husband may be willing to watch some of that material with you.

    Christine, yours may be a long journey so if you would like for a mentor to come alongside you for support, hit the “Talk to a Mentor” button on this page and someone will respond in confidence by e-mail. Let me pray . . .

    “Dear Heavenly Father, nothing is impossible for You and You have invited us come to Your throne of grace to find mercy and help in times of trouble. Christine and her husband need Your presence in their lives to remake their marriage with its original love and joy. You created marriage as a sacred institution in which man and woman become one in Your eyes, reflect Your image and worship You. It is our prayer that changes come in their marriage to bring about these God-honoring goals.

    Please help Christine and her husband remember that marriage is a decision to be committed to one another no matter what, and from that commitment, unselfish love can flow between them as they receive Your love. Help Christine’s husband recall and wish for the love and pleasure they shared in the past. We ask this for them in the powerful name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Lord. Amen.”

  • Christine says:

    My husband and I have been married for 4 years. When we first met he was incredibly attentive. He shared his feelings and his life. He has 7 adult children, yes 7. One of the challenges has been that 3 of his adult children abuse drugs and alcohol and my husband and his ex both do NOT believe in tough love. They both are enablers and continue terrible patterns. It seems as if it is mostly about control and less about love.
    Although I have two young children my husband allowed 2 of his drug using, financially dependent and verbally abusive kids to move in. Needless to say that cause major challenges because of my clear boundaries. It was as if my husband became a completely different person in the presence of his children.
    Long story short his children are now out and still using the father for financial support but not under the same roof as me.
    I have tried again and again and again to communicate effectively with my husband but he shuts down. He is always so busy at work and too busy to talk. This evening I even scheduled an appointment to talk (he agreed to the the time) but then he came up with other excuses why he couldnt talk. I have expressed to him that if he doesn’t want to work on progressing in the marriage to please let me know. Tonight he claims he dose NOT want it to end but that he doesn’t have the time to invest in us. He does have the time to idle on facebook. How and what my husband needs is important to me.. I am willing to make amends to work through what is needed. He doesn’t express any needs. He simply doesn’t want to discuss things. I love this man. I tell him that. I do things to show him too but I am not sure if he loves himself enough. He is a lone wolf in many ways although he wasn’t when we first met. I pray for him. I want him to know that God loves him. I want him to love God enough to do what the lord asks of each of us. There is a major age difference between the two of us and perhaps this is part of his aging process but it seems like he simply wants me to sit idle until he has the time or desire to re-unite. I expressed to him this evening that I need and want more and that I want him to make an effort and if he can’t or won’t then we need to figure something else out. I know God loves me but I should feel loved too and not simply feel like all my husband has time for is his business. Am I way off here?

  • Aldo says:

    Dennis, I agree with most of what you said about remaining married except for adultery or abandonment, but God certainly does not want a spouse or children to remain in a physically abusive situation. So, short of divorce, I would suggest separation.

  • Dennis says:

    Please do not listen to people who tell you to get closer to God but also to divorce your mate. You all married for life, and unless your spouse is in unrepentant adultery or has left you because you are a Christian, you are to remain married, You may separate, but that husband of wife of yours is yours for the rest of your life. That is what you vowed before God when you married.

  • Aldo says:

    Jim, I used to have a customer with five children. He was divorced from his wife who had gotten remarried. It was truly painful for him to not be able to spend time with his kids. After all of this, he experienced a spiritual awakening of being “born again,” and although he had found peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ he was aware that the mistake he had made was irreversible. So, he resigned himself to get on with life.

    Sometimes, that is the way things are. Although, we can be forgiven the mistakes we’ve made, at times we must endure the consequences of those mistakes and sins.

    What we must do is have faith, and find our strength in God. He, most likely, will give us a new life to enjoy. Jesus wants to be your redeemer, your comforter, your healer, and your deliverer. Turn your life over to Him, and trust Him to bring about what He knows is best for you.

  • rv123 says:

    What do you do when your spouse doesnt not believe in GOd.

  • Jim cozzolino says:

    Ok here we go. My name is Jim and I am 41 years old, married and a father of 5 children. 3 at home, 1 with a previous relation ship and last but not least my sweet angel Alayna watching over our family from heaven. Been married for 14 years. So my oldest daughter and my wife no longer speak. I am not allowd to speak to my daughter unless I tell my wife first. And then I have to tell my wife what we talked about. Anyway when my daughter was 7 my wife spanked my daughter. She left a bruise on her butt. My wife did get in trouble with CPS. That were it all began. Now my wife has never before or after this has ever done anything like that again. She was very remorseful and tried to do all that she could to fix the problem between her and my daughter. It was touch and go for a bit and then my daughter bio mom came back into the picture and it has been he’ll ever since. CPS calls left and right. All found to be false accusations . Well about 2 years ago and a CPS call later I had no choice really but to send my daughter to her bio moms house. Ever since then I feel broken inside. My wife is angry. Now my wife wants to move to Colorado. We live in California. My daughter still wants me in her life but my wife keeps telling me that my daughter made a choice not to be part of the family anymore. Well one day my wife was going to Colorado to see her sister so I asked if I could go see my daughter or even have her come over to see her brothers and sister. She told me know cause it maid it look like “the bad person is gone so I can go see my dad now”. She asked me to wait until she got back and so I agreed. And then I messed up and went to see her anyway. Well I took all the kids to the park so they could play. Then my wife called and well I couldn’t lie to her when she asked if my daughter was there. I told her she was. And then she said she wanted a divorce. She said I chose my daughter over the whole family. We are still together. We have been to counseling. Didn’t help enough. Ever since my wife said she wanted a divorce I have had no confidence in my self. I’m disconnected mentally. Heart broken and well afraid of how my daughter would feel if we moved. Well she’s not happy. Now I’m stuck. Bio mom and my wife hounding me to either move away and maybe loose my daughter forever or divorce and loose my family. I’m so lost. I don’t know how to even speak to my wife anymore about my daughter. I am in constant fear of it so we don’t even say her name anymore. My wife said she is done with my daughter forever and does not want her around her brothers and sister ever. I don’t want to loose either of them. I feel hopelessness. Loose 1 daughter forever or loose my wife 2 sons and daughter. So lost on what to do. I pray to god all the time. No help there. My brother and all my friends tell me my Marrage is over but I don’t want it to be. I can’t keep taking all these losses. I’ve lost my mom and dad and daughter over a 10 year period and now could be loosing more. We really only fight about my daughter. Other than that we are pretty good. She treats our children like gold. Always has. Just typing all this is breaking me now. There are times I wish God would just take me away. End the pain in my heart. all of this has left me a crappy parent with a short fuse. My wife and I barely spend anytime together. I can’t even really be playful with my kids cause all of this is in my head everyday. Any advice would be nice. I just want the hate, anger, pain, and fear to go away.

  • Jim cozzolino says:


  • Aldo says:

    Anonymous, contrary to your advice, many marriages are saved when the couple puts God in the middle of their relationship. Then, as each moves closer to God and what He desires to do in their lives, amazingly, they move closer to each other as well.

    The truth is that we were brought into this world, not to fulfill the desires of our flesh and our minds in doing our own thing, but to worship and serve our beloved Creator Who gave His all for us. (Ephesians 2:1-10)

  • Anonymous says:

    The best advice I can give about failing marriage (despite me trying to do everything possible to prevent it), is to not get married ! Best is to stay alone rather than living with someone and feeling alone ! If you think you are not in good relationship or in failing relationship, best is to quit, divorce, everything else will fall into place and you will have better chance of living your life a slightly happier.

  • Chris says:

    carolyn wharton…i regret to hear of your situation. having my wife leave me many years ago, i can identify with your struggle. the way i handle my wife leaving me was seeing her great need for jesus in her life. that is your husbands greatest need as well. he didnt leave you because he is close to christ. he left you because he is far from christ. as you direct your prayers for him keep that in mind, that its jesus he really needs because when he has jesus he will want to have you too. i pray for your marriage to be restored!

  • Chris says:

    sandi…so sorry to hear of your struggles…its important to see our situations through the eyes of jesus otherwise our own human sight can see things in a wrong way. what i mean is, your husband has obvious spiritual problems. he obviously doesnt have a close relationship with jesus and that is why he has not treated you and loved you as jesus does his church. dont take it personally. sinners dont sin because they want to but because they cant stop. he like we all need jesus to make us new people in him so that we can love others as jesus has loved us. that starts with you. why not log onto knowingjesuspersonally.com or click talk to a mentor above so you can start your own loving relationship with jesus and help your husband to do so also. who knows. your marriage could start afresh as you both allow jesus to be lord over your lives and your home. praying it be so in jesus name for you both!!

  • Sandi says:

    I would like to comment on Unforgiveness. How do you ‘Forgive’ something that continues to go on? What recourse does a person have when the perpetrator feels no remorse whatsoever, and refuses to even take the situation seriously? There is nothing to ‘forgive’ if the person who did the hurting and continues to do so refuses to see and, frankly, doesn’t want to – he doesn’t want to have to admit to the Elephant in the Room. I happened to run across this: I Forgive People. It Doesn’t Mean I Accept Their Behavior or Trust Them Again. It Means I Forgive Them For ME, so I Can Let Go and Move On With My Life. Only problem with my situation is the above quote would be easy!!! except for one little thing….I am too poor to leave but there may come a day when that doesn’t matter. So while I may ‘forgive’, his obstinate, his lack of caring is in my face every day. It’s been 24 years and I am now 60.

  • My husband and I met 36 yrs. ago. Our 30th anniversary this month, which he was’ t with me. We were really in love most all these years. Yes we had bad times but came out and he even planned to recommit a few yrs. back. We have 3 kids 1 girl and 2 boys and 10 grandchildren which have been our life. We started having problems when our son wouldn’t grow up . Always wanting a free hand. And he’s pitiful and we have tried for yrs. and my husband was tired of me giving in to him. And we were always watching grandkids an rarely made time for ourself. I would hint about things I would love to do with him and he gets so invoked in his work I seem to fade out. He’s controlling to some degree for as giving me any responabily with any decision making r showing me the bills. So this Christmas he walked out early morning and never look back. I was a stay at home mom . I help put daughter through medical school by helping with the kids. Since he’s left he hasn’t really explained anything to me. Never seen him but twice. Avoids most phone calls and still try’s to boss me around. I was heartbroken. I love him an thought he would never leave me. He’s mean at times and I’ve ask to go sit down and talk an he won’t. So I’m asking him now about meeting to come to an agreement before we go to court for our divorce. He filed not long after he left . He acts like he doesn’t even want to see me. Like he’s scared he may have feelings r maybe thinks I would fuss at him . I don’t know. But God has brought me this far. And I want to know is there any chance of a runaway husband ever coming back.?

  • Chris says:

    robin…so sorry you are struggling….the fact of the matter is, none of us as humans can change a human heart. there may be heart transplants but no one can get inside of a person and make them think differently except God himself. that is why its imperative for you to have your own personal relationship to jesus christ so he can lead you and guide you in your situaiton and even help your husband to know christ as well and not litter his life away in working and material things. why not take that first step for yourself if you havent already and log onto knowingjesuspersonally.com or click talk to a mentor above to begin your own victorious and life of peace in christ today. you wont regret it and your husband wont regret it either!!

  • Chris says:

    michaela….sorry to hear you are struggling. its true that marriage cannot guarantee us heaven on earth. we cant depend on our spouses to provide happiness for us, neither should we. i have found the only way to be truly happy is to have a personal relationship with jesus christ in my life so that no matter what happens around me, i can still find my peace in him. if you would like to live that kind of a victorious life you can. simply log onto knowingjesuspersonally.com or click talk to a mentor above. praying for you now that you find the peace that only jesus can give you!!

  • Michaela says:

    Me and my husband dated for 2 years before we got married. We’ve had our fair share of fights but it’s like he’s happier when he’s away from me. When we argue, he laughs at me when I try to tell him how I feel. When He’s mad or upset, he shuts down completely and snaps at me but when he talks to his friends they can cheer him up immediately. He acts like he could care less if I’m upset and I just don’t know what to do anymore. He doesn’t respect my boundaries. I have severe anxiety and depression, and he told me he would try his hardest to understand it but it’s like it has gotten worse. He can be happy one minute but change completely the next. It makes me physically sick thinking about it.

  • Aldo says:

    Robin, let me say right off that if that relationship which you are in is not a marriage relationship, it is not one that honors God. God instituted marriage to bring honor and glory to His Name. Those who choose to co-habitat and bring up children in that type of environment do not honor Him. And, of course, that is why we have been brought forth in this life to do. God blesses those who honor Him.

    I pray that you seek after a right relationship with God as well as with your partner.

  • Robin says:

    I have been in this relationship for 10 1/2 yrs. Blended family, 5 daughters together. We have had alot of issues about his children that completely suck the life out of him as well as financially drain him regularly. He owns his own business and works 6 days a week 10-12 hour days as well as takes care of his Dad’s meals and many other needs. I feel he resents me for speaking the truth and has completely shut down emotionally and typically doesnt talk to me about anything. He watches TV or reads a magazine and acts like I do not exist. I have told him he needs to invest some time into our relationship and he says he will try harder and the very next week it’s the exact same thing. I am about to call it quits, I feel he has nothing left for me once he meets everybody else’s needs and I deserve more. I refuse to beg for his time, attention, or Love any longer. Any suggestions how I can make him realize my issues before it is too late?

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience Marie. I don’t know if it is the size of the issue that makes change so difficult, or if there are other factors that come into play. I have seen some pretty messed up people have their lives radically transformed by Jesus. I have also seen some people go through a lot of therapy and still walk away with issues.

    I do agree that a person is setting themselves up for pain when they take on the responsibility to ‘fix’ someone else. Even when that includes seeking a miracle-transformation.

    How has your experience with your abusive relationship impacted your relationship with Jesus?

  • Marie says:

    One point. If someone is struggling with bigger issues like passive aggressiveNess or narcissism,there is nothing I can change in myself to change that. Many if the emotionally unavailable people we meet have these issues and the only way to deal with that is to get help from a therapist who is highly trained in these conditions. I struggled for years feeling inferior and did everything everything possible to work on myself, get therapy, etc. I struggled for 18 years before we called it quits. I had enough if being an mentally abused punching bag. My ex was abused as a kid, grew up without a real mother figure. If a person has been raised like that, it is a red flag and be AWARE there will be issues unless that person does a deep dive into true therapeutic work. Prayer will notake fix narcissism. Be aware and take steps to get yourself help. I have seen too many women think they can fix it for someone (I was one of these people) when in fact we cannot.

  • Chris says:

    butch kornegay….being a man myself, i think we do not need to be ashamed of our masculinity. no that doesnt mean we shouldnt feel for others and care for others, our wives included however its just a fact that God has designed women differently than men to be able to care for their children in a way that men often cannot. if we strive to be like jesus, then we cant fail in life. for more information on being like jesus and being saved by jesus log onto knowingjesuspersonally.com or click talk to a mentor above. i am praying that both you and will will be the husbands and men of God that jesus has designed us to be and not trying to be anything that we cannot be. jesus bless you as you do as well!

  • Butch Kornegay says:

    I am the one who has been emotionally numb in our marriage. I have been unable to open up emotionally. It has hurt my wife deeply. She is the ones who has tried. I am the one who has set idlely by motionless.qqqQI truly am sorry but my emotional lacking speaks louder than my words I do care BUT I am unable even shed a tear

  • Chris says:

    annika…so sorry to hear of your situation….your husband is not loving you as jesus does the church that is most clear. first, be sure you seek jesus in your own life so that you can have his direction and guidance personally. log onto knowingjesuspersonally.com or click talk to a mentor above for more information on how to have a personal and saving relationship with jesus as your lord and savior. as you allow jesus to take charge. you can deal with this situation according to the bible which is Gods manual for living for us. as you do you will have 4 options to pray about….continuing working with and praying for husband that he comes to jesus, or distancing yourself from him emotionally so he doesnt continue to harm your spirit, or seperating from him within your home or seperating from him outside of your home. jesus will show you the best path to take as you allow him to be lord over all of your life. praying for jesus direction and peace in your life now and salvation over your husband too. blessings!

  • Callie says:

    Kate I have been trying to find some point of mediation between my husband and everyone else since he was discharged from the navy in 1985. He came back with Seniority that had accrued under a UAW contract to the point with his honorable discharge he had more than 60 percent of the 7500 person work force. I should have greeted him like the returning warrior he was coming home after 956 days under water, He had seen other wives just about tackle there husbands when the returned after only 101 days gone, But his father had told me to stay out of sight the first week he was home, Seeing me would just cause problems in getting him to reinstate on his job, felt I would be a distraction causing him to be resentful and try and just do as he pleased, I was not that distraction, The second day home the house sounded like a full scale war was breaking out in the living room. His mother came in telling me I had to come help keep my husband from murdering his father, The first sight of my husband was him pinning his father straight armed to the ceiling screaming at him he had already hit his last nerve the day before between his cronies and him my husband had to go straight to the floor his first day home when under the contract he had 30 days to get his life started and arranged If I had not appeared when I did my husband said he was going to start tearing bulkheads out until he found me and then we would go find a place to live. His father was hitting the one arm and struggling to be let down, It was only my arrival my husband dropped him as he was turning blue. The next day when I told my husband that he had to let people get used to his return before using his seniority there fore I was putting our marital bed off limits for two years until the two years was up to make sure he would do as requested, I now realize this was wrong. The next 16 years was every time somebody wanted or needed the time my husband could take in vacation times holidays. even weekends the arguments that he had to understand the needs of others out weighed his. The first Vacation he was going to take was to Rome with me in 1987 My husband had three weeks he could take and then his father came and told me that a woman with 9 years less seniority wanted the slot so she could get married in Rome It was not the ability to add her to the trip it was if my husband took the slot at work that was the problem,
    I secured his cooperation again by swearing with my hand on my bible then signing two copies of what I had sworn to that upon my return from Rome ant time, any way and any place he wanted I would be both a willing wife and travel companion. I just was not expecting him to want to leave for California the second I cleared customs. We had talked about and not consulted my husband when we decide4d in Rome to keep him from stomping on any one else’s plans he could take his vacation in January His choice for three weeks any Time between the third and the forteenth of February in 1988, Because nobody else was in that slot, I was told why point blank by my husband that Christmas would take the funds needed to fly someplace, and he was not wanting as he said to ice skate across country driving in mid winter. I suggested he could just stay home and rest but I found out that if you stayed home without a major project on vacation they usually called you in to work, Insisted on it in fact. I could never think of a way to have a middle ground for him, Sixteen years went by before a day off, to get it he was put on an operating table and a hole drilled from over his right Eye to the center of his head in July 2001. His father and others yanked him off the floor mat he slept on six days latter telling him since he did not work standing on his head he could work instead of messing up vacations and holidays. His doctor wanted 60 days off. Then in November he started refusing any cooperation, He started his rebellion with a bang so to speak after I had begge4d him to accept my promise of a normal marriage, I even told him I could secure the time off he wanted without people yelling if he just backed off a job Bid and stayed where he was the last sixteen years on seconds. The resulting fight the morning the bid was coming down about my husband taking his name down left our front porch bloody and four men dying, So I continued with my refusals and he was even force at weapon point to go to work on holidays and vacations,
    I am going to explain we never forgot my husband was working 16 hour days on the holidays to allow the max people to have off, After the holiday dinner we made him a couple of sandwiches and called security to have him meet us at the gate, On Christmas I would give him a ten for a book or something as a Christmas gift.
    We feel out of the practice of doing anything for him on Christmas when he spent from October 2009 to January 2013 in rehab. When he came home that January we were dealing with somebody that I believe started hating us, I know those three years was very hard work relearning to walk after MRSA caused his spinal cord to be crushed. When he came home everyone hoped for a Reset to 1985 to try and get it right this time, Reaclimate him into our society in baby steps after his rebellion started there were hard feelings every where, His father kept saying if we let him get away with the first thing we will never get cooperation now We were hoping that the abuse of the 24 years before MRSA would be considered as past and done, It was not, Within a half hour after his delivery homer he was telling me the only person I was going with that evening was him, He did not care that I had made promises and expected him to come home in a wheel chair instead of suprizing everyone using a cane, and that night I was the first one that his refusals fell on. I was supposed to go to a fund raising dinner that evening when he came through the door standing with his cane in hand, I tried getting him to agree to meet us after the event in four hours where we could figure out how to address his grievances of 31 years, I was still praying for the reset. He told me as of that second there was only one judge and arbiter under the roof he paid for, That I was going to be the wife he expected when we married January 1982, He said that he was the only one to decide what was and was not allowed, And he was going to take his life back. He ripped every stich off me and forced me, The use of the cane has him incredably strong above his upper legs. and I have told you in other posts how its been since.
    I never meant for him to go from June 1st 1985 to October 24th 2009 with only six days off around the tumor, I had always hoped for a way to make up for his life somehow.
    There is a lot of his fathers trying to keep him excluded as a cripple. but I don’t think any thing will hold my husband back from what he feels is he has earned. And I don’t know which way to turn now, If I take up for my husband I will loose my friends, but if I take my friends and his fathers side the only good thing that came out of this mess my two year old son will be taken because I am bi polar. They would turn him over to my husband if I leave. I write on sites like this to try and think of what god wants from me. I know controlling my husband like we did was wrong but could not see any other way and not leave people hurt when they did not get the time they needed and my husband could enable.
    His father says that nobody could predict the MRSA he should not hold the years and decades before against us Because he would eventually had what he wanted with patience, and if he did not like how he was treated why didn’t he just up and disappear In last weeks session my husband said If he ever has to deal with his father again there would be somebody vanish. His father.

  • Annika says:

    I don’t think my husband ever really loved me. He doesn’t look out for me. He insults me, but says he’s just telling me how he feels. He sees my actions as negatively as possible even though it isn’t even rational. When I tell him he isn’t right about my motivations he says I’m lying. I feel so lonely and unloved in this marriage. I have lost my love of life. I don’t know if I can ever get it back.

  • Chris says:

    cyndi….i truly regret hearing of your situation….it appears your husband has some definite mental issues he needs to deal with. the problem is, so many times, people dont want to see their faults and needs and that is where only God can step in to help them to see. i would suggest that you first be sure you have a personal and saving relationship with jesus christ in order to be able to possibly help your husband have one too through your prayers for him. if you are right with jesus, only then can you possibly help your husband to be right with jesus too. for more information about that log onto knowingjesuspersonally.com or click talk to a mentor above. i am praying for jesus peace in your heart and home and in your husbands heart too!

  • Cyndi says:

    My husband has many times dealt with a difference or issue between us as “removing himself” from our relationship….. Emotionally distant. He doesn’t look at me, talk to me etc. He acts like I am not there. It normally takes me to go to him and bring him out of it. I apologize for things that I don’t even do, because I can not stand the disconnect between us. But this last issue I was not going to do that. I stood my ground because he was completely , unmistakably wrong. My husband believed that there was a light bulb removed from one of our lamps downstairs and he accused my son in law for taking it. And because of this , he set the rule that only one member of my daughter’s family would be allowed in our home at a time. In turn, my son in law and my daughter took high offense to this (I don’t blame them at all) and they have completely “divorced” themselves from him. My grandchildren will never see him again and they feel he is now “DEAD” to them. I have tried and tried to reason with him, that they did not have anything to do with it, but he is convinced that he did something with it. We even have receipts for 4 light bulbs and have 4 light bulbs in the house, but this does not matter to my husband. We went into marriage counseling , and we were both making headway as to how to go on . Now, yesterday, 4 or 5 quarters on the top of our dresser come up missing. He collects quarters and stacks them on the corner of the dresser until he puts them in his “quarter can” His response to me saying I did not know where they went is – Then I guess they just grew wings and flew away. What does that mean except ….. Cyndi is lying and she took them. What else can I think. Now he has said he is not going anymore to marriage counseling and he won’t talk about it anymore and it would be in my best interest if I drop it. What does that mean ….. a threat. Is this a real threat????? Don’t know. We do have a loaded gun in the house. He has never been threatened me in the past. But I must confess … I wonder. I have no idea what to with this now. I want to be able to continue because of the vow we made to each other, but this makes me very nervous and unhappy. I deserve to be happy. I don’t want to loose our home and possessions , but I want to be happy too. I vowed in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer. What to do, I do not know.

  • Sharon says:

    to Connery– father God I do pray for Connery for this person to reunite with the family again I pray for forgiveness and reconciliation I pray for a miracle for Connery I pray for the family to reconnect with Connery again for what ever reason the family disconnected I pray for a reconnection again and for your glory God I pray all of this in JESUS name amen I am praying for you, if this is a double my apologies it ended before I could finish– sharon

  • Connery says:

    Please help me to re unite my family. I have liked the page

  • Kate says:

    Dear Callie,

    I am sorry to hear of all that you’ve been through.

    In life we don’t often get what we expect or hope for. It doesn’t mean God hasn’t heard us or doesn’t care about it. We don’t often get the answers we expect because the world is broken, everyone is bent toward his or her own will, instead of desiring everyday to do God’s will. God’s will is for harmony and for love and well-being. When so-called friends or our family members hurt us, it is because they too are sinners, just like us. God isn’t going to stop them from being sinners, just like He hasn’t stopped us from sinning. BUT God IS willing to save us all from our sins, and in fact He has already done it, on the day the Lord Jesus died for our salvation. So when we pray, what we must do is put our mind and heart’s focus on the Lord Jesus, His life, His death and His resurrection. Then we will see that God has in fact already answered our prayers, because He has dealt with ALL sin and ALL sinners, but for this moment we have to proceed by faith. We trust God that He is good and that He will work everything out for good, even when it’s not happening right now in front of us in the way we might like or wish.

    Does that make some sense? If you would like a mentor, you can click on the Talk to a Mentor link on our page and someone will correspond with you by email and support you and pray with you.


  • Callie says:

    This Christmas turned into the most deadly day for myself my husbands father and many friends, We now live 1230 miles to the West of where we did in the Midwest. Many friends decided upon my invitation to come out to this really grand area. It looks like a Christmas card with the snow. But my father in law said only one thing we could do to keep my husband out of the Christmas Tradition, He thought offering my husband 4000.00 to go anywhere else and leave the traditions as they had been for 33 years was going to get my husbands cooperation, The only thing it got was to go to hell my husband was staying, I begged my husband just to go any where and keep the peace, his father could act as Santa to our now 2 year old. My husband said as far as his son was concerned his father had nothing to say.
    On Christmas EVE the first friend arrived with his wife and saw my husband, He sneard walked up to my husband and said he would do something to make sure he was not happy about staying so he should just go off and clean the stable or whatever he did in those boots jeans and cowboy attire, Just make sure he stayed away until he was gone. MY husband said there is a remedy for this. I know my wife invited you to stay out here , but she does not have the right to ask special people to stay in a stable mans house He opened the door and said you and your wife can have more private acomodations in that cave up there pointing at it. said I can drag a bail of hay and some firewood and you two can have a nice night not associating with the hired hand. They got in their car and said we might come back on Christmas.
    My husband left the Big wheel out the web cam to record our son when he came out the next morning and we got started on breakfast and dinner, My mother in law was very suprised to find my husband had made and baked her cinnamon rolls as well as her rolls for dinner. But the guests started arriving in their suits and finery a while later. My husband stayed in his western wear to feed and water the horses Take his son out to be nuzzled by them gave some tours of the canyon our home is in saw some elk at the back of the yard pointed them out, When the guy that my husband basically told to leave the day before arrived I could tell that he was one that my husband disliked intently So I got a dinner plate for my husband ready and handed it to him and asked him to take it to the pole barn. I found the plate all over me the next second His father and several friends grabbed him, tossed him out the front door told him not to return until he achieved some manners. I went to the bedroom to clean u and e and his mother were again in a talk. She said I heard you tell him to take his meal out to the barn, I said he had been asked to be any where else I just thought it was a good compromise for his staying instead of flaunting his defiance again, My husband did not come back through the door contrite, He came back through his front door with his lariate and his 30 30. through the loop around his fathers neck the other end of the loop was attached to my husbands saddle and he told the five men that helped throw him out they were to leave his home. or he was going to let his horse drag his father out, His father just had a look of pure terror on his face. When the people left hungry he took the loop off his father told him to get in his car and leave, he turned to me and told me to go out to the barn again he added I dare you, Everyone there just stayed very quiet, is father stood up and said. with tears running down his face, Why did he just have to defy everyone, Why for once couldn’t he just accept his place, He went to his car and asked where everyone was going to have Christmas dinner, My husband said in a slop for all he cared, Went and put his own plate together sat in front of the TV, another Christmas ruined.

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