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Hey all first time poster. I've been going to church my whole life, saved at 15, and recently baptized publicly, late 30s.

I've been seeking additional counsel online and stumbled on another website where I received really poor non-christian advice that led me down a path of anger, resentment, and distrust. So I'm coming over here now to reinforce advice that is faith-based. It turns out that all of that advice was bad, and very inaccurate.

Long story short, my wife feels like she lost love for me a couple years ago after we had kids. Maybe it is midlife crisis, post-partum, or us just not working hard enough on the marriage after coming down off the high of the "in love" feeling.

Since May we have been battling this in a variety of ways - fights, counseling, cordial discussions, then back to fighting again. Divorce has been threatened a few times, to the point where we actually discussed the terms of an uncontested divorce.

For the past 6 weeks it has been a loveless, sexless marriage. I feel deserted and hopeless. Some days I have knots in my stomach and can't sleep and it causes me to lose weight. I feel like I don't have the stamina to stick this out.

I pray on it. And at times I am able to regain strength for a period of time, but it subsides again. I'm a very logical, driven person, that does a lot of reading and works really hard to fix things. My wife on the other hand is a retreater. She finds it hard to follow through on reading the counselor assigned books, she shuts down easily, is entirely guided by emotions, and gets into a rut very easily and cannot get out.

I tried being very passive for the last 2-3 weeks, to stop pursuing her so she could relax and feel like she wanted me again. It didn't work. Now I am taking a very active stance and I'm forcing certain exercises on her. For example, we were assigned the 5 languages of love book, and I am making us do all those recommendations of making love deposits.

I also feel like my wife's faith and trust in God is weaker than mine. She is embarrassed to pray with me. She won't see a church counselor, only the therapists at the doctor's office. She doesn't have any friends or family that know how to give good Christian advice. We go to church on Sunday and she says she believes, but she just won't surrender to God. I admit, I am not very good at surrendering either, probably none of us are, but I know I'm much further along in trying to become more christ-like.

I'm not sure what will happen next, but both of us are at the end of our rope, and we are terrified of divorce. Neither of us have abandoned the other person (physically). We need help!

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8 minutes ago, onedirection said:

Long story short, my wife feels like she lost love for me a couple years ago after we had kids.

 

9 minutes ago, onedirection said:

I also feel like my wife's faith and trust in God is weaker than mine. She is embarrassed to pray with me. She won't see a church counselor, only the therapists at the doctor's office.

I'm going to assume both above are true. It seems to me you need to build her up in God's Word and together have reading devotions together out of the bible. You are not off the hook although you painted a picture as if you are the 'good guy' in the relationship. Her faith needs to be built up and you as the husband are the one to help her in that regard through praying for her and reading with her.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
(Eph 5:25-26)


Relearn the Gospel truths together.

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Yes I'm starting to realize that now more than ever. She has a bit of a wall on the topic, let me give you a few examples.

  • She sits in the back of the church
  • I asked if she would pray with me and she said no
  • A few months ago after we had a few significant fights, I had a spiritual experience during prayer, I finally felt what it means to turn my life over to God and then I got baptized. I'll admit there has been some backsliding, but I'm trying to get better every day. When I communicated my revelation to her she said it was bull****. Eventually she supported me in baptism, but prior to that she was very negative about it.
  • My mother is always giving her spiritual advice, and comes off like a holy roller. This turns my wife off and she always has something negative to say about it.

Any advice of how to deal with a person like this? I'm starting to send her emails regularly with small snippets of scripture and an explanation of how it ties to our situation. By keeping it short and sweet, I think she'll read it, and eventually it may stick.

On the other hand, I can't just drag her to the pastor and start plowing through the bible every day. We can pray for that opportunity, but it is far from reality.

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3 minutes ago, onedirection said:

Yes I'm starting to realize that now more than ever. She has a bit of a wall on the topic, let me give you a few examples.

  • She sits in the back of the church
  • I asked if she would pray with me and she said no
  • A few months ago after we had a few significant fights, I had a spiritual experience during prayer, I finally felt what it means to turn my life over to God and then I got baptized. I'll admit there has been some backsliding, but I'm trying to get better every day. When I communicated my revelation to her she said it was bull****. Eventually she supported me in baptism, but prior to that she was very negative about it.
  • My mother is always giving her spiritual advice, and comes off like a holy roller. This turns my wife off and she always has something negative to say about it.

Any advice of how to deal with a person like this? I'm starting to send her emails regularly with small snippets of scripture and an explanation of how it ties to our situation. By keeping it short and sweet, I think she'll read it, and eventually it may stick.

On the other hand, I can't just drag her to the pastor and start plowing through the bible every day. We can pray for that opportunity, but it is far from reality.

The situation first and foremost needs prayer, and I'd advise you to post this matter in the Prayer Forum. And remember, this all didn't reach this point by her actions alone, you need repentance as much as her.

BTW Welcome to Worthy  :)

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Yowm beat me to it. Above all else, pray, fervently, daily, ceaselessly. No one can truly come to God unless they are called. The Spirit needs to work powerfully in your wife's heart to draw her to the truth. Pray pray pray that God will soften her hear to Himself and the Bible first, and you as well. Pray that God gives you the opening to be a Biblical husband.

Might I also recommend you look up Voddie Baucham's "Love and Marriage" sermon on Youtube? It's a powerful unpacking of what Biblical marriage is really supposed to be. I would start by watching it yourself, and then waiting for the right time to try to get your wife to watch it once her heart is more open.

God bless you richly! Also, don't go this alone; I would suggest you post about this in the prayer forum as well, many of us would be happy to pray for you and your wife daily!

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Posted (edited)
Quote

"

Since May we have been battling this in a variety of ways - fights, counseling, cordial discussions, then back to fighting again. . . . . . . A few months ago after we had a few significant fights,"

.

Stop fighting with her. It takes two to fight! Try and make peace with her. If she's not interested then leave her alone and see what happens.

Edited by HAZARD
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Hi, onedirection--

We have a dear Christian friend who is having the same thing happen to him right now. I appreciate all the above fellowship, and would like to add my own personal perspective.

1.  The phrases "fall in love" (and "fall out of love") make me cringe. This is an entirely worldly concept of love promoted by movies and novels. Love, and in particular married love, is a choice and a behavior (you could say, unending choices and behaviors). The 3 New Testament Greek words for love, eros, phileo and agape, illustrate the progression of human love. "Eros," sexual love, could be considered the "falling in love" experience--it is only a beginning, and cannot be the entirety of a relationship. "Phileo", translated as brotherly love, grows as we come to know and respect our spouse over time. This always includes forgiveness and the willingness to sacrifice for the loved one. (As Christ "gave Himself up for [the church]". Agape is the love of God--as John says, God is love (agape). This is the mature love of a Christian couple that develops over a longer time through many, many choices and loving behaviors, with personal experiences of Christ deeply woven into their human experiences.

2.  Since it looks like you are the person working to salvage the marriage, have you asked her open-ended questions without getting defensive? For instance, "Why do you feel that you have fallen out of love with me? What could I do to begin to win your love? Is there a behavior I could start/stop today that would help you to love me more?" If she is not ready to enter into mutual activities, take a step back and find what you can do on your own.

3.  Do you know of an action or behavior that she loves to receive from you? The tendency, when it looks like somebody is drawing back from you, is to retaliate by withholding yourself in return. This is natural but destructive. Look for one thing each day--does she love you to make breakfast? Can you watch her show instead of yours without a struggle? etc.--just one thing each day to show (not just say) that you are thinking about her and your heart's desire is to make her happy.

4.  Have you ever wondered why the Bible says, Husbands, love your wife, but it does not tell the wife to love her husband? I believe that this is because it is easier for the woman to express  her love than it is for the man--and we know that the poisonous "macho" culture is very damaging to men. Each day, ask the Lord in the morning, Lord, what one thing can I do today to show her that I love her? Ask the Lord in prayer, seriously but without condemnation, to reveal to you any (and all) ways that your behavior comes across to her as "unloving". This may not be your intention at all, it may only be her perception, but you have to address it.

I hope these things help. I pray for your success as you fight for your marriage.

Much abounding grace.

 

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I would suggest you take your wife to a "Weekend to Remember" seminar to strengthen your relationship with your wife.   I have known of people who had filed for divorce and stopped it after attending one of these weekends

https://www.familylife.com/weekend-to-remember/

 

One of my cousins was involved with the program and talked us into attending and even though we were not having problems in our marriage it did bring us into a tighter relationship.   

One of the things I learned that kept from turning into a problem was to meet in a secluded quite place and talk.....    and one of the things I was to ask was, "What have I stopped doing that would stifle your love.....     and I got an ear full.....    and we are still married after 48 years.....   and I think partly from the information she gave me that day....    and since  I had asked her it also opened up where we could talk openly without fighting.....     but you have to swallow your pride a bit some times....

Another thing I have learned over the years is that pushing being right about something sometimes has a price tag that is not worth winning an argument.....  

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We also attended marriage seminars.  Marriage lasted 54 years. Sometimes they were small retreats given by our church.   We also attended a Sunday School class on family relations and raising kids.  Our sons attended large ones.  They are going on 25 years and agree that putting the effort into improving a marriage is well worth it.  

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Hi onedirection,

Can appreciate your difficulty. And I must say that others have given such good down to earth advice.

Now I would like just to add that posting scriptures comes over as `religious` and `this is what YOU (wife) need.` (ug) God made us and the world and expects us to be REAL in it. LOVE, true God LOVE is the giving of yourself in humble, caring, non judgmental ways. Drop the religious jargon and show what those scriptures mean in everyday life. Jesus showed by  - washing feet, listening to others, walking the dusty roads, etc etc.

Do the dishes, take out the rubbish, clean this or that, without expecting any thanks or notice, but God sees and your, yes YOUR inner life will change and that is what your wife is looking for - a real down to earth, not religious jargon talking false person. It`s the inner life that needs changing and the focus, dear bro, is on YOU.

Your wife will respond when the real person comes forth. Also let me say that man`s religious organisations tend to breed religiously false people.

Seek the Lord to help you be real, humble, and serving without expectations. Smile at your wife, appreciate her, be interested in her day, her ups and downs and bit by bit the Lord will work through you to reveal who He is making you - not a clone of an organisation but like the Lord.

Remember - drop the religious stuff, for it has to be shown in reality not words.

all the best and praying, Marilyn. 

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