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Restoring Christian Marriages

“I don’t know if I love you anymore.” One of the most gut wrenching sentences a wife or husband could ever hear. If you’ve ever walked through that kind of difficulty in your marriage, you understand how that one simple sentence can completely rock the very foundation of your life. I want to give you a different perspective on what is behind those words and hopefully give you a new way of approaching a strained relationship.

You know that 2 people in a marriage are not always going to feel loving toward one another. In your mind, you know this and agree with it. But when it’s your spouse saying “I’m not sure I love you,” all logic and head knowledge flies out the window when those words are driving a knife into your heart.Marriage advice needed

Is there any hope for the relationship? There absolutely is hope and it’s a simple solution. Simple does not mean easy though. Look at this as an opportunity for growth. 🙂

The person who is saying: “I don’t know if I love you” is generally thinking something like:

  • “I’m not happy in this relationship.” 
  • “My spouse just doesn’t make me happy any more.”
  • “I don’t like our situation and I think a change of relationship will solve the problem.”

If we make decisions, be it a relationship decision, a career decision, or a financial decision, based on feelings, we are letting our life be run by emotion and not by truth. There’s more on controlling our emotions here.

A Covenant with God

Although most of us get into marriage because of how we feel about another person, you will not stay married if you continue to rely on your feelings to keep the marriage intact. Once we stand before God and enter into marriage, we have entered a covenant; A binding agreement between two people and God that says we are sealed together under His promises. In the Old Testament a covenant between God and His people was a “solemn and binding force” not to be taken lightly nor broken easily. It was a gift or guarantee, given from a superior party to an inferior party.

Keeping this covenant is like keeping a legal contract. It has absolutely nothing to do with how we feel, it has to do with our integrity, our promise to God to honor our side of the agreement. Breaking this agreement is tantamount to taking a gift from God and later rejecting it because we no longer “feel” good about it.

The problem comes in because we have this misconception that it is our spouse’s responsibility to make us happy, or at the very least, we should easily and always feel happy when we are with them. If we don’t, then we assume there must a problem with the marriage and the best fix is to break up the marriage and find a new situation. We are looking for our external situation to provide happiness.

Time to Grow Up

It’s time to take responsibility for our own lives and stop looking to outward situations, or other people, or even our own feelings, to determine our course. As a married Christian, you have entered into a three-way relationship and the God of the universe is the majority partner. He is there to oversee, to guide, and to provide for everything you need out of the relationship.

Isn’t that a wild thought? Your spouse was not given to you to fill all your needs. They were never meant to love you unconditionally, at least not in their own power or out of their own feelings. God is your provision. He loves you though your spouse. He loves your spouse through you. Your job is to seek greater intimacy with Jesus, to subject every part of your life to His will, to understand and live out His ways. In keeping your focus on the Lord, He will be free to move through you into the lives of the people around you, including your spouse. While we’re at it, here’s another way to Revitalize Your Relationship

If I haven’t totally cramped your brain with wild thoughts yet, here’s one more:

God is love. God is not a feeling, He is a being. Thus Love is not a feeling, it is His spirit. When we choose to put God first in our life, to make Him central to every aspect of life, we are choosing love; Choosing to receive it and choosing to let Him be Love to others through us.

Back near the beginning I mentioned that people say things like “I don’t know if I still love you” because of thoughts in their head like, “I think a change of relationships will solve the problem.”

Actually, that is true. What’s false is WHO we think we need to change our relationship with. The change is not between us and our spouse, or between us and that attractive co-worker. The change needs to come between us and Jesus. When we deepen our relationship with Him, He will cause the joy in our heart to grow and fill us. We will no longer look to our partner to fill that need and we will be free to love them, even when we don’t “feel” loving toward them.

About Susan Scott

Comments

  1. I read this and I was sooooooo blessed. Thank you for sharing this amazing article. This is the truth the world should know. Love is not a feeling, its a choice. Thank you again

  2. Carlos Rios says:

    on November 13th 2013, my wife came to me via e-mail and told me that she wasn’t in love with me anymore. talk about a surprised. since then I have been going back and forth in my mind wondering what went wrong and such. she has said that it has been a year since she felt that way, yet through out that year I have felt real moments of love.

  3. Susan Scott says:

    Wow. I am so sorry that happened, and by email. How terrible. How we feel is completely tied to the stories we tell ourselves. If your wife is telling herself that love should feel a certain way, or if you really loved her you would act a certain way, then when that expectation isn’t being met, she believes she isn’t feeling love. The only true, lasting, love is that which comes from God. Sometimes, hopefully most of the time, it comes through our spouse, but it’s ultimate source is God. When we are seeking Him as the source we will “feel” that love, be filled with it and be able to be in love with our spouse, even when they don’t meet our expectations. I pray for reconciliation in your marriage.

  4. carlos rios says:

    it has definitely been a hard and trying journey for me and my restored relationship with god. I love my wife dearly, and I continue to pray for not just us, but for her as well. but it gets harder. she now says that she is single and wants to be that way. I had considered giving everything up, then I received a heavy word last sunday at church. the story of hosea and gomar. and as my pastor kept reading the story, my heart just continued to give in to the lord.

  5. Susan Scott says:

    I am so sorry you are going through this. I have another friend whose wife of many years told him she wanted out of their marriage and he would tell you that while he went through a deep dark depression for a time, he came out of it with joy and peace. You can have the same. If you are willing to let God shine His light on any areas of resentment, bitterness, jealousy, unforgiveness, anger, or any other ungodly thoughts and feelings that are hidden in your heart, and then submit those to Him, He will help you release those feelings. When we allow God to work in our heart, He is then unhindered and can pour His unconditional love out to others, through us. Not only are we then free to bless those who have hurt us, we get to experience that unconditional love as it pours through us. I can tell you for sure your wife craves unconditional love and God’s plan is for husbands to provide that love by His power, to their wives. I can’t guarantee you’ll win her back, but I can guarantee you will come through this with a new joy and peace in your life that surpasses all understanding.

  6. Wow. I’m not sure where to begin. The opinion expressed in this post sounds so condescending and unhelpful. What is your point, exactly? To shame the person desperate for relief into blaming him-/herself for what ails the marriage and quietly swallowing more and more pain? A good number of spouses delivering the “I’m not sure I love you” news are crying for help. It’s a euphemism for STOP HURTING ME BECAUSE YOU ARE CRUSHING MY SOUL WITH YOUR CRUELTY.

    Very disappointing and self-righteous post.

  7. Susan Scott says:

    Jean,
    I am truly sorry if you have been subjected to a toxic relationship. Thank you for sharing your perspective. Having been on the receiving end of intolerable amounts of cruelty myself, I know how devastating it is to receive abuse from the very person you are expecting to love you. As I said at the end of the post, the person we most need to be in relationship with is the God who loves us unconditionally. When our self worth is based firmly on His love, in Him we can find the strength and wisdom we need to either get out of a dangerous relationship, or if God calls us to it, to love that other person despite their faults. I am praying you find what you need in Him.

  8. shamarke osman says:

    Hello my name is Sham, i wanted to tell you that i really enjoyed reading your blog 🙂 thanks.

  9. My wife and I have been married for almost 12 years now and very recently she told me she wasn’t in love with me. She wasn’t happy. This completely blindsided me. We have been fighting or anything like that. Everything was going great. We were remolding our house, planing vacations and spending time as a family. We have two amazing daughters together, one is 6 and the other 3. My wife went on to say that in all the years we have been married she has never been in love with me. That she was trying to be someone else, that she needed to find out who she is. We are both christians. She has changed her whole personality. She started using langague and phrases I have never heard her use before. She is wanting to go places that she never wanted to go before. It’s been a week now. She comes to the house and and still t
    helps around the house while she’s there. I love her with all of my heart. I’m not angry with her or upset, just hurt and confused. I miss her so much. All I want is for her to come back home. We married while she was young and I don’t know if she feels like she missed out on life or what. She says this isn’t fixable, yet I’m the she still calls or texts when she is not feeling well or needs to talk. I don’t know what to do. I’m trying to stabd still and let God be God but my strength is starting to give. Thank you for listening.

  10. Sorry that should say we haven’t been fighting

  11. Susan Scott says:

    Sonny, It must be so hard on you to live through this. I’m glad you are able to remain loving and forgiving for the sake of your children. So many women are conflicted today. They are hearing what I call the “Oprah” message which says “Be your authentic self, do what’s right for you (even if it means leaving your family).” Christian women are also hearing the still small voice of God calling them to lay down their lives for their family. It causes tremendous conflict and if a wife has a bit of a rebellious spirit, she’s likely to choose self over sacrifice. I mention rebellion because the fact that your wife is using what I suspect is foul language, it’s a good sign she is rebellious. I might gently suggest you are enabling rebellion by being there for her whenever she calls and not holding her accountable for her actions. However! I’m speaking from a great distance away. I don’t know your specific situation. I would strongly encourage you to find a Christian counselor or trusted pastor and get support for you and your precious children through this trying time. I am praying for you.

  12. To Sonny….my wife said and did the same thing to me at 13 years. I love God and so did she. We have now been married 18 years. At that time she was in a true rebellion against God and me. She had multiple affairs and 2 abortions. She came to me last year in repentance and told me everything. I was blindsided as well. All i can day is the love of Christ brought her back to Him and me. While we have our struggles and i have a difficult time trusting sometimes, GGod empowered me to forgive. But i did NOT hold her accountable and i wish i would have. great advice from Susan. Hold on to Christ with everything you have. You are responsible for yout actions, not hers. in time, we pray Gid will bringbher back. Please feel free to email me also if you need a male to speak yo who has been through this.

  13. Susan Scott says:

    Eric,
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I hope Sonny reads it and find encouragement. What a wonderful testimony to the goodness of God. We are responsible for our actions, not those of our spouse as you said.It sounds like you and Sonny are both striving to be faithful to God in the midst of your struggles.

  14. I am so happy to have read your blog. I am the one who just told my husband last night “I never loved you” .. Honestly it felt honest. Yet it grieved me. I know everything you said in the blog is true. Its what has held me in this marriage for 13 years. We have 3 children. But I have come to a place of thinking .. “How can i stay in this when i have never respected the type of person he is or his decisions. Funny thing is .. I have been the Christian these years and not him. Being unequally yolked has taken such a toll on me. I have felt so alone and lately i just want to throw in the towel.. The ONLY thing that keeps me is the Lord and my children. But if its just that then is there a point. ?? i know that this life we live is temporal.. but just thinking of living all my years in this empty marriage is heartbreaking.. Regardless i know i need to focus on God not my “feelings” which change like the wind.

  15. Susan Scott says:

    You are in a very difficult situation. Being unequally yoked is a mistake many of us make and we end up paying a price. However, nothing is beyond God’s ability to redeem it for good. Do you know you don’t have to love your husband? You can ask God to love him, through you. Spend some quiet time in prayer asking God how He wants to love your husband, and then ask God to allow you to be the means He uses to show that love. You may even have to pray that He would make you willing to be willing to be used in that way! One thing men need above all else is the respect of their wife. You say you’ve never respected him, but that can change. You might consider taking a look at the links on the menu bar at the very top of this page. One of them says Personalty Types. Try identifying which personality type your husband has, and look at the strengths of that personality. Now, I’m going to challenge you here. Every day for at least one month you can’t say anything critical of him. At all. Nothing. Instead, commit to saying something uplifting and encouraging at least once per day. If you’re stuck for something to say, look at the list of the strengths of his personality. Perhaps you can ideas from that. It could be something as simple as acknowledging your appreciation that he put something away instead of leaving it out, or that he took time to engage with one of the children in a positive way. Ask God to open your eyes to what your husband needs most and the Lord will be faithful to guide you. Blessings to you both. Let me know how it’s going.

  16. I thought your article was great. I have stayed with my husband for 19 years because I felt my covenant with God was more important than my own feelings. I have prayed for so long for peace in our marriage but as he says, “If you take one stance, I will take the other”. I am tired of being criticised and put down. I used to be so in love with him that I let it all pass but now, after all this time I just feel nothing for him and am glad when he is gone. I have prayed so much and lately have been fasting every week and yet though I see my husband changing a little and coming back to me, I feel like I no longer want him. I am struggling with this a lot.

  17. Susan Scott says:

    It sounds like you have a heart to put God’s will above your own. Thomas Kelly was a Quaker author from the early part of the 1900’s who wrote this about suffering in the lives of those who truly desire a deeper walk with God: “The Cross as dogma is painless speculation; the Cross as lived is anguish and glory…God has planted the Cross along the road to holy obedience. And He enacts in the hearts of those He loves the miracle of willingness to welcome suffering and to know it for what it is – the final seal of His gracious love.” We don’t fully understand the role of suffering in God’s eternal plan, but we do know He is there and He will turn it to His glory for the heart which is submitted to Him. I pray God will fill you with His approval, His affirmation, and His love. He will be the husband you need.

  18. Sylvia Gomez says:

    Unfortunately I’m going through a bad the worst time in my marriage.. I pray everyday for the holy Spirit to enter my husband’s heart.. He says mean and unloving things to me.. He said hurt me over and over.. But yet I’m still holding on praying everyday for him and me for us..

  19. What should you do about sex if your spouse does not love you anymore?

  20. Susan Scott says:

    Sylvia,
    God sees you and He loves you. He knows your pain. He wants to work in your life to draw you closer to Him. He wants to help you be more like Christ and as your life is transformed, He will be able to work through you to transform your husband’s life as well. That is not to say God condones abuse or is calling you to remain submitted to a man who is harming you. You are a woman of prayer, turn those prayers inward, ask God to fill your heart and speak to your mind with His will, His plan and His purpose for you and He will be faithful to guide you. Read Psalm 143. I’ve been memorizing it and asking the Lord each day to cause me to hear His lovingkindness in the morning and cause me to know the ways in which I should walk (verse 8) God bless you.

  21. Susan Scott says:

    If your marriage is in difficulties, physical intimacy must be put aside temporarily while you work on the relationship. I would encourage you to find a biblical or pastoral counselor that you can talk with in person. They can help you restore your marriage and ultimately restore the intimacy as well.

  22. Susan, I hope I can receive a response quick. I only been married 2 years now and we have fought everyday even before being married. Our relationship has never been well, we don’t communicate and with my hands I can count the times I seek her in our intimacy. I know its wrong to compare but I had a relationship before her and it was so different, I fought the world for her, I loved sharing time with her and we both Loved each other in a huge way; but her parents took her away to another state because they did not agree with my past. I used to be a homosexual, had an encounter and met that wonderful young lady in the church. we were both young, but we wanted to wait for the right time. As time passed by I moved to another state and met my wife. we became friends for a very little time when I then find out she was pregnant. she was one of those cases you see on TV “I didn’t know I was pregnant” till she was on her last day. I met her at the ER with the surprise that she had a baby with a guy who just dropped her and left her pregnant. I without thinking gave the little baby my last name and pushed my self to marriage for the baby. Ever since it has been 2 years, we fight constant, it has gotten abusive, she don’t trust me and all I do is work and church. I in my behalf well don’t love her, I don’t look for her, I don’t kiss her and its hurting me because I know I’m in sin for denying her, and if I leave it would be wrong. I feel like I got married loving someone else, and I know it was incorrect. We are now talking about a divorce, I been sleeping on the couch and I just cant stand this situation anymore.

  23. Susan Scott says:

    I’m afraid there is no quick response to your challenging situation. You deserve a lot of respect for what you are trying to do and the difficulties you are working to overcome. I’m going to tell you something that you probably never expected: marital love has very little to do with how we “feel” about the other person, and everything to do with honoring our covenant before God. The love you feel for your previous girlfriend is a romantic love (called eros in the Bible) and if you stop feeding it, it will eventually wither away. The love you are called to share with your wife is found in God, it is called agape love. The bible says God is love. True agape love is not a feeling, it is an attribute of God and can only be experienced when we are in union with God. Because you are married, you have entered into a covenant with God and He is the senior partner in this agreement. I know you think you made a huge mistake and perhaps you feel you should have a “get out of jail free card” to get out of this marriage because of the circumstances, but God doesn’t make mistakes. He takes our messy lives and transforms them. As the senior and most powerful partner in our marriage covenant, He takes on the responsibility of turning our marriages into a reflection of Christ’s love for His bride, if we are willing to submit to Him. Here is some good news for you: you don’t have to love your wife at this time. What you can do is to ask God to love her, through you. Devote yourself to becoming all that God is calling you to be as a father and as a husband and let Him do the work of transforming your feelings. For now, just ask God to show you how He wants to love her through you and then do it. As you continue to submit your will to His, your heart and hers will be transformed and true agape love, in the form of God’s presence in your life, will bloom. I strongly recommend you find a local biblical counselor or therapist to help you. God will bless a heart that is motivated to put Him first.

  24. Gabriel says:

    Susan, wow….I have to say I’m blessed to have found this on the internet. You have opened my understanding and taken it to another level. Its not only a privilege but an honor to be able to receive information guided by the spirit. Because I Love God…and you gave me hope….I want to do right and over all do his will. I reject in this moment every negative thought, and I fight for what was not in incident but a plan predestined for my life. I will definitely recommend you to anyone going through this.

    Stay Blessed and continue doing the good works of Christ.

  25. Anonymous wife says:

    I’m trying very hard to be open minded on your article but having trouble reconciling the idea of viewing the marriage soley as a covenant with God. I do agree I’ve made a vow before God to be true and honor my husband, to be faithful, to love him through the good and bad… But it’s difficult for me to see how you can remove all of the adjectives of that vow and continue the marriage without honoring the actual vows. How do you hold on when it’s not you who has lost the love, but your spouse who no longer loves you. How do you allow your children to watch you sit in a marriage without respect, honor, communication, etc and make them believe it’s ok? No matter how patient I can be towards my husband, it does not seem to mean that he will ever rekindle any of his former feelings, which would generally be the motivation to be true, honest and respectful to your wife. He seems to stay in the marriage because of his vow to me, yet can be deliberately cruel (emotionally) to ensure he gets his way. He will answer his phone as if I’m the last person he would ever want to speak with, he shows disinterest in anything I have to say, so I tend to just not talk anymore. And though we have blessed moments where things seem good, I have a suspicion that it’s spillover from other good things in his life that have left him in too good of a mood to be upset with me. Though I recently questioned on whether he was done with our marriage, to which he adamantly replied it had never crossed his mind and that I was way off base- and even followed with weeks of such kindness from him that I felt so much secure in where we were heading. But it faded and we are back to the avoidance, back to cruelty. And back to loneliness. The worst part is how different it is from our first 5 years of marriage- which were truly remarkable when compared to these last 4 years. I realize I can put everything I have to God, but also worry I will have to emotionally detach myself from the toxicity of my marriage. I’m mostly worried which is worse- staying and allowing my kids to grow up believing this toxic marriage is healthy and good, or leaving and making them think it’s ok to bail when it’s too much.

  26. Susan Scott says:

    Your comments reflect a thoughtful, caring, godly mother and wife who is sincerely trying to find God’s best in a difficult relationship. It sounds like you are dedicated to honoring God with your attitude and actions toward your husband and God will bless that. I hear you. God hears you. He knows your pain and your longing.
    There is so much I would like to tell you, to listen to you, and to encourage you. But to boil it all down as simply as possible, it comes to this: we very often cannot control our circumstances and we cannot control other people. All we can control is our response to what happens. I would encourage you to focus not on your pain and challenges, but on putting God first in your life. Spend more time seeking Him. Find godly counsel. God will guide you, support you and give you all you need through this time. If you work on becoming stronger in the Lord and focus your energy and attention on Him, He will take care of your marriage.

    You mention having only two choices of what you can model for your children:
    Letting them believe a toxic relationship is ok; or leaving and teaching them to quit when things are tough. Would you be open to considering a third alternative? Could this be an opportunity to teach them how to rise above life’s challenges by changing the way you approach this relationship? You have the right to set (and model for your children) appropriate boundaries about the way you are treated. You don’t have to be selfish or demanding about it, but you can gently and kindly express to your husband when you feel he has crossed the line into rude and disrespectful behavior. In this way you can teach your children to have respect for themselves and how to communicate their right to respect and dignity to others. Dr.s Cloud and Townsend have a classic book on this called “Boundaries.”

    I am praying for you.

  27. What if you don’t believe your spouse was a gift from God, rather your marriage went against His will?

  28. Susan Scott says:

    Emily,
    I am praying for you and this is what I believe God would say to you right now: God loves you. He loves you more than you know and He wants you to walk in His blessings. Your husband is a blessing to you but not in the way you were expecting. God’s ideal is for us to marry another believer and for both of partners to be in a covenant relationship with the Lord, seeking Him first in all areas of life. When we miss the ideal (and, frankly, we all do in some area of life or another) God is neither surprised nor disappointed in us. He is well aware that we are imperfect, immature children compared to Him. His only expectation is in what Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can do in our lives if we let Him. Since He knew full well who you would marry before you did, it can hardly be said that you went against His will. His will absolutely, irrevocably shall be done in the lives of those who love Him. That means He will take even the things that look like total mistakes, dismal failures, and complete screw-ups, and turn them to good. Remember, “we know that for those who love God ALL things work together for good.” Romans 8:28. Our role is to trust Him. Trust Him when things don’t look so good. Trust Him when you don’t like your spouse very much. Trust Him when bill collectors come calling. This is hard. We want to understand the whole plan and to do what looks right, or feels good in the moment. Often our so-called friends are encouraging us to just walk away, to look out for ourselves and our happiness. That is certainly not God’s will. I don’t know your situation, but God does and He is asking you to trust Him. Keep your eyes on Him and not on your situation. You will weather this storm and one day have an amazing testimony of God’s faithfulness in your life.

  29. I’m confused. I am in a terrible cruel relationship. I don’t think it was His will but did it anyway. Not sure if he is a Christian even. I married for wrong reasons. I want to honor my vow, but how when your emotionally beat down, don’t recognize yourself anymore and he is trying to get you to leave by being cruel.

  30. Susan Scott says:

    Karen,
    If you are so confused that you don’t even know yourself, are feeling lost, scared, or uncertain, you need to find someone, live and in person, who can help you sort this out. I’m talking about a godly, mature Christian pastor, counselor or church elder who can act as a guide and mentor for you. Trust me, if you are being abused, mentally, emotionally or physically, you are probably not in a position to make the best judgments right now. You will really benefit from outside help. It is very important to seek help from someone who is a mature Christian, someone whose life reflects Jesus, someone who loves you unconditionally as a sister in Christ. This may not necessarily be someone you are really close to or someone you feel comfortable with because you know them well. I am praying God will bring someone to mind who has exactly the wisdom you need. Please reach out for personal help.

  31. Thank you Susan. My partner and I have dated for years. After months of confusion in our relationship we both agreed that we needed to choose whether we were going to get married or break up. We chose to break up and I’ve been having trouble adjusting to this. It has been several years since I’ve considered myself fully devoted to religion and God. Some of the things you said in your article and in your responses reminded me of the peace I felt when I identified as Christian. When God was in my life I was able to trust someone other than my own judgement. If I had Him in my heart and mind I almost certainly would have chosen differently. Bringing Him back into my heart will undoubtedly bring me clarity in this and many more aspects of my life.

  32. Susan Scott says:

    Julie, It is sad to let go of a long term relationship – our lives become so entwined that a break up leaves a lot of threads unraveled and needing restoration. Absolutely trust God’s judgement! He is the only one who can see the whole picture. I would encourage you to focus on devoting yourself to Him and not to religion 🙂 So many religious practices, dogma, and traditions are man-made and not really of importance to God. Part of why so many people fall away from the church is their dogma doesn’t match someone elses and they get into disagreement over who is right or wrong. This harms the church and destroys Christian unity. I pray you can find a wonderful, encouraging, uplifting, God honoring congregation with which to worship.

  33. I’m tryingto love my wife but I don’t even like her. She’s more my enemy then my friend. I am miserable but want to honor God.

  34. Precious says:

    Hi Susan

    I also have the same feeling about my husband, I’m unequally yoked.
    I sometimes get bored by him, and even when he touches me I feel nothing. The sex is a bore aswell because I sometimes just feel like we should get it over and done with.
    I also think he sees what’s going on because he questioned me about it and I denied it but deep inside I know it’s the truth, I’m trying to pray about it cause somehow I do think it’s an attack from the devil.

    He’s a good guy and I know he loves me and our kids, I just don’t know where it went wrong. we’ve been together 12 years and married for 7.
    Your help will be highly appreciated.

  35. Susan Scott says:

    Eric,
    The fact that you are reaching out and sharing your struggle tells me you have a strong desire to change the situation. That is a clear indication God has a hold of your heart and is working in you. Don’t let go of that or give up on the Lord’s ability to work a miracle in your life. Have you ever seen the movie “Fireproof” with Kurt Cameron? In that movie, Cameron’s character starts to lose touch with the relationship with his wife because he is so wrapped up in his job. She responds with anger and isolates herself from him. Kurt is encouraged by a friend (or maybe it was his father) to pursue a love dare, risking his heart to restore his marriage. Are you up for a challenge? Are you willing to put yourself on the line for your marriage and see what God can do? Please check out the resources on the Fireproof website: http://www.fireproofmymarriage.com/couples.php . I would love to hear back from you in 60 days to let me know how you are doing. In the meantime, I will be praying for you both.

  36. Susan Scott says:

    Precious, I think you already know what I’m going to say – finding sex as boring is a symptom, it’s not the real problem. The underlying problem could be one of many things – what you were taught about sex as a child, a history of abuse, lack of respect for your husband, physical issues, psychological issues or spiritual issues. Being unequally yoked is not an excuse. The fact that you mentioned he is not Christian makes me wonder if you are dissatisfied with your marriage and imagining that life with a believer would make everything perfect. If you have mentally “checked out” of your marriage, you could be emotionally distancing yourself from your husband and that would certainly account for the boredom and lack of interest. God can absolutely restore your desire, respect and love for your husband if you are willing to let Him. From a distance over the internet like this, I can only make a guess what is really going on. The greatest and most exciting thing that could ever happen in your life would be to have this marriage restored – nothing else could even come close to the joy you would experience at seeing a new and deeper relationship come into being with your spouse. Guard your heart carefully, guard your thoughts. The enemy is at work to steal your life and destroy your marriage. You are in a fight and it sounds like you are falling for the deception. Here is a great article from Focus on the Family about attitudes toward our spouse and how our attitude can poison our marriage: http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/communication-and-conflict/turning-your-marriage-around/my-attitude-toward-my-spouse I pray that you will take some time with their resources and seek the Lord’s help to turn your marriage around.

  37. Hi Susan,

    I do not love my husband anymore and he feels the same to me. We have been married for more than 2 decades already but he had not proven that he is the head of the family. I am an overseas contract worker and I provide solely for the family. We have been estranged for almost 10 years. Just recently, he joined us here in abroad and for the 1st week it has been a struggle on my part. I hate to look at him doing nothing. We have difficulties living with each other and it seems that he is more than an enemy than a husband to me. I want to honor and serve God, but every time I am home I cannot control my emotions seeing him idle and end up struggling- to keep silent or burst out my sentiments. I just recently started to be an active christian and I want to be more devoted but the moment I see him, i feel uncomfortable and challenged.

  38. I have really been struggling loving my husband and I really don’t feel like I do and am scrambling finding reasons why I even like him. Our first 3 years of relationship were pretty horrible with drugs and abuse. I thought sobering up and finding God everything would be amazing. If I had known then what I know to be true and right with marriage now I would have reconsidered but I took the vows and truly educated myself about God and now I know I need to learn to live with that and learn God’s way. I have tried to devote myself to our family ( our son and one due any day now). I went to school so I could get a job and support us all and my husband agreed to be the stay at home parent. I ended up working, going to school, plus taking care of house work and cooking because my husband would not and it took it’s toll on me. I just kept faith that things would change and took pride that I was able to do everything myself without having to rely on anyone. About a year ago I finally told him that I was giving up and losing faith in him and I needed help. I stopped talking about my problems and just learned to accept them. Now, I am in a spot where I don’t even feel like I don’t even know why I love him. I am in severe depression and have started having panic attacks. I am in a spot where I am asking myself why have I let him make me feel so bad? Why do I put up with the problems that never get fixed? Your blog says to grow in my relationship with God but how does that fix anything between my husband and I? I have been trying to reconnect with him by talking about my feelings and wants in the relationship. Usually these turn into a fight but sometimes we can find some common ground and come to an agreement but then when it comes time to take action on our agreements nothing really happens. Even just trying to have a friendly conversation with him is difficult and usually I end up feeling like it’s better we just don’t talk at all but I know that won’t get us anywhere. I finally told him yesterday I am at a loss of what to do. I just don’t know what to do anymore and I feel disconnected and am freaking out about having another kid in this situation but don’t know how to fix it. He didn’t say anything about it. Twice I said this and both times he changed the subject. Does he even WANT to work on things? He says he loves me and I’m his best friend and that he is willing to do whatever it takes to save our marriage. He is a good guy in the sense that he would never cheat on me and he is nice and can be really good to our son. I do worry about the care our son really gets because of all the hours of videogames my husband plays which is one of our problems but overall our kid seems to be on track emotionally and mentally so I am trying to take that as a sign that he hasn’t been too neglected. My husband has finally openly admitted to me that the fist two years of his life he wasn’t a good father because of the videogames and his addiction to working out. Took almost 4 years to get him to admit to it but he finally did. What I gather from your blog is that I just worry about my relationship with God and grow with that? What is the point of having the relationship with my husband? I could just as easily separate from him and not marry again and still be able to please God and grow my relationship with him.

  39. Susan Scott says:

    The world would look at your situation and say “why bother?” because in the natural, marriage is all about being happy and feeling good.
    As you so wonderfully said, as Christians we need to learn to live God’s ways. That makes us different from the world. We have a different focus, a different expectation.

    You are obviously making an effort to keep your integrity as a Christian and take the harder road of finding God’s way within a marriage that appears less than perfect instead taking the easy way out. I applaud you for that. It is not easy in today’s society.

    You ask why bother staying married and just have a relationship with God? The reason is marriage is a covenent, a legal agreement if you will, between two people AND God. In scripture one of the parties in a covenent is greater, more powerful and has a bigger stake in the agreement than the other parties. In this case, God is the bigger stake-holder. He agrees to join with us, knowing full
    well we have nothing to offer Him except our love. He knows He is the one to provide everything. We can’t make our marriages better, only God can do that. He does it through our willingness to submit to His plan and stay faithful to our covenent agreement.
    Do you trust God so much that you will even trust Him with your marriage? Are you willing to stop trying to fix things, accept your husband as he is and find peace and contentment in the Lord alone?

    There is nothing that happens in the life of one of His children that God does not allow. He doesn’t cause bad stuff to happen, but He knows in advance what will happen and already has a plan in place to use it to His glory. The big question is do we want God to be glorfied, or do we just want Him to make our lives happy? If you are willing to fully submit your marriage to Him and let Him use it to
    His glory, I promise you, ALL things work to good for those who love the Lord.Romans 8:28 The real key is are you willing to let go of what you consider a “good” outcome and accept God’s best? He will do immeasurably more than you could ever hope or imagine. Ephesians 3:20. Those are his promises to us and you can trust His promises.

  40. Susan Scott says:

    Marie, It is interesting that seeing your husband causes you to feel “uncomfortable and challenged” I’m going to throw the ball back in your court and ask you to explore that for a moment. Why do you think you chose those words? God is always at work in His children to guide and direct us into being more like Christ. He will use any and every situation to mold us into Christ’s image because God knows that is the very best place we can be, to be like Christ. When we arrive there, we will find the fulfillment of our every desire. When we are hidden in Christ we find perfect peace, love, joy, and contentment. Perhaps the Lord is challenging you to seek Him more so He can show you the changes He wants to make in your life and draw you closer to the joy and peace found in Christ.

  41. Hi Susan.
    My situation is the following. I have been in a relationship for 13 years now, 5 of those married, and its been 2 years we are separated. In these 2 years we have tried in 3 occasions to work things out. But we always end up fighting and getting apart again. Until this moment my husband refuses to get divorced and I have this fear of break that vow with God. And I guess his perseverance and the fact that I love God and am afraid of going against His will, is the reason why from time to time we talk things out and decide to try again, to be again disappointed and get separated. Something really important to mention too is that in these 2 years apart I met someone whom I had a relationship with, a solid relationship and felt in love we even make plans for when i finally get my divorced. But he is not Christian (even he has fotten closer to God now days) and that I know for a fact is not God’s will, and makes me not move forward in this relationship even tho I love him and can see myself having a family with him. I feel so confused and I have a battle between what I believe is the will of God which is fix my marriage putting aside my feelings and between the feelings I have for this other person in my life. Some moments its clear for me to just go back and restore my marriage and devoted my life to my husband and God. But then what do I do with the feelings I have develop for this other person. Im going crazy with this situation and meanwhile I’m hurting them and myself. They both are so loving with me sometimes i feel it would be better if i stay alone because i know im hurting them by being so indecisive and I’m so confused I push them both away but they won’t leave. I may sound so immature with this situation but I just need your advice. I don’t even know how to pray anymore for this situation.
    I will appreciate your response.

  42. Susan Scott says:

    Kloe,

    The enemy will go to a lot of effort to confuse us and to draw us off the better path. I suspect the heart of your problem might be in trying to make decisions based on how you feel about your situation in any given moment. Feelings aren’t a bad thing, but they lie to us. Just because you “feel” a certain way about something should not affect the choices you make. A Christian makes choices based on the solid, unchanging, truth of God’s word. That is why He gave it to us, as a revelation of Him and His wisdom.

    You said you fear breaking your marriage vow, and you should. The bible says the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. That fear is already working wisdom in you. That confusion you feel is the war between God’s wisdom in you and the pull of your flesh that wants to do what “feels” better. You have to decide which side you are going to follow, God, or your sinful flesh.

    You made a commitment to your husband the day you married him. You entered into a covenant between the two of you and God. God agreed to be part of that covenant and now He is even more committed then you are to keeping it intact, if you let Him. It is going to take one very important ingredient from you though – humility. Are you willing to set yourself aside, to stop thinking about your rights and your needs and fully trust in God to provide it all? If you do, you will experience God’s best in your life and in your marriage. He can bring you to a place of new and deeper love for your spouse and of greater joy and peace in your life overall.

    Trusting God and obeying His commandments brings you closer to Him and those who are close to Jesus walk in His perfect peace through any storm. God is just waiting to bring you to that place. You don’t even have to be able to do the trusting and obeying! You just have to ask Jesus to help you with those things and He will. He would be delighted to be all you need, He will BE the faith, the trust, the obedience and everything else you need at this time. Look to Him for all provision even for a change in your feelings, and He will take care of you. Humbly submit yourself to God, keep your eyes focused on Him, and He will do the rest in His timing and in His way.

    Here is just one of the books I recommend on having a better marriage http://amzn.to/1LGddZi

    God Bless!

  43. Doug Walker says:

    Hi Susan. Just found your website. My wife and I have been married 2&1/2 years but have been apart most of that time with me living in New Zealand. I am 60, she 58 and both married before. She likes to be in control of all situations and this has caused much strain in our relationship. We had said that we would work on the issues when I returned which I did a week before Thanksgiving. We have never sat down and tried to work the issues yet due to holidays and had several flight which resulted in a complete split Dec 28. Now she says that we made a mistake and are not a good match and wants to “move forward”. Will not even consider counseling since it did no good with her first husband who wasn’t a Christian. I asked could we invest another 3-4 months to see if we can make any progress since we have already invested 3 years. She refuses everything I offer. She is a Christian but no maturity in the Lord. I told her she would have to be the one to file.

  44. Susan Scott says:

    I can only imagine how hard this must be for you. It hurts deeply to love someone who has no interest in investing in your relationship. In my experience people who need to be in control have suffered tremendous pain in the past and now use control as a coping mechanism. They believe if they can manipulate the world to their liking, nothing bad will ever happen to them ever again. Unfortunately controlling people often end up getting exactly what they don’t want because they drive people away. It sounds as if your wife has some pretty solid walls built up around her in order to protect her heart. If she doesn’t trust you, she can’t let you in. It’s almost impossible to build a deep trust with someone you don’t see on a daily basis.

    How committed are you to the relationship? Enough to move to where she is?

    Have you ever heard of the Love Dare? It was introduced in the movie “Fireproof” that came out a couple of years ago. I would encourage you to take a look – http://thelovedarebook.com/ – to see if you might want to apply some of the practices from that book to your marriage.

    God wants His children to know His love and He will often work through one partner in a marriage to reach the other person. You can be the vehicle God uses to touch your wife. I pray God will guide you to be an example to your wife of the Lord’s unconditional, faithful love.

  45. Recently I told my husband I’m in love anymore. That’s not I want for our marriage!! I have been trying for two years to make it work and nothing changes. We are different on I feel every level except we both do love God. We parent differently, if I make a single mistake he is sure to point it out “even if it comes to putting my shoes in the wrong spot” he us overboard ocd, he does childish obnoxious things all the time I swear just to get under my skin, I could go on and on . I have anger built up towards him and I don’t how change how I towards anymore. I’ve been praying asking God to change my heart, to heal our marriage, I have cried, prayed, cried to husband, yelled at my husband, talked to my husband normally telling him how I feel, discuss how we need to change this, and it will change for a couple days and go right back to the Same old same. I have a hard time even looking at him like he is a man anymore… I see him as a child in a human body because of the way he acts so obnoxious at times and the way he parents. We have tried Christian marriage counseling and that didn’t help either. I’m at a lost on what to do. Daily I’m reading bible scriptures and watching sermons because if I didn’t do that I would walk away from our marriage and that’s not what I want, I want our marriage to work. I.might sound harsh on.my feelings but I just have so much built up inside of me on how I feel. Please pray for us!

  46. Susan Scott says:

    You are in a very difficult circumstance, but I want to encourage you that it is not hopeless. From what you’ve written, I suspect your husband may be narcissistic. Men with narcissistic traits tend to be highly intelligent, capable and competent. As the saying goes, opposites attract and your husband was likely attracted to you because you have an abundance of the very traits he lacks. They attract women who have a strong gift of empathy and compassion. Narcissists have a very low capacity for empathy. The world revolves around them and they do not feel compassion easily or even understand that other people have feelings.
    Please understand his behavior is not about you at all. When he insists on doing things a certain way, like putting shoes in one particular spot, it’s because he has decided that is THE ONE RIGHT place for shoes. It is a source of comfort and a way to control his world to have those shoes in that spot. When you don’t put shoes where he wants them, it literally feels like you don’t love him enough because you don’t care about what he wants. He needs extraordinary amounts of love and affirmation. That’s why he married someone who has been given the gift of compassion.
    I am only making an educated guess about your husband based on what little you wrote. I would encourage you to read up on narcissism and how to live with them to decide for yourself if the label applies to your husband. You can find out more, from a Christian perspective, at this link: http://www.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/doctor-david/married-to-a-narcissist-11636512.html
    There is a lot written on the internet about narcissists and narcissistic personality disorder but much of it is written by embittered ex-partners who have been deeply hurt and hold tremendous resentment against their narcissistic spouse, friend or parent. You can’t trust their words and advice to be completely unbiased and fair toward the narcissistic person. Try to find advice from psychologists and medical professionals.
    Don’t give up on counseling, even if just for yourself, to help you find ways to live with and perhaps even minister to, your husband. God has a plan for you and your family, even in this difficult situation.

  47. 3 years ago I was engaged to be married. I found out a month before our wedding that my fiancé was communicating with a woman he had had an affair with before me met. Their communications were via text and email but they were sexual. They had plans of meeting in person before our wedding. He went through Christian counseling for his sexual addiction and I agreed to marry him. I had slept with him before we were married so I felt that no Christian man would want me and that I needed to marry him since I had already sinned by sleeping with him before we were married. He was the only man who said he loved me and I wanted a family more than anything. I felt this would be my only chance. He says he is “sober” and has been faithful and I believe he is but I cannot get past what he did and I am disgusted by him. I regret my decision marrying him but now I feel locked in the marriage for life. I am not attracted to him, I never was but I liked that he loved me (or said he did) and that he seemed to be a good Christian man (until The lies were revealed). He is repulsive to me and I avoid looking at him. I have wanted children more than anything in my life but I don’t want his children. I’m afraid that they will look like him and that I will be disgusted by them as well. I know that sounds incredibly shallow but it’s how I feel and it torments me hourly. I want a new family with a husband that I am attracted to that hasn’t hurt me so deeply and that I want to have a family with. I would have left but I know I made a vow to God. I feel I already have been punished by my sin of sex before marriage that I know I would be severely punished if I left my husband. What I don’t understand is why God would want His children that He loves to be so unhappy and miserable. I made a mistake 3 years ago that I can never take back and now I have to pay for it the rest of my life by living with a man I am repulsed by? I often wish he would cheat on me again so that I would have a valid reason to leave. I have no hope for my life and have become very depressed. If I stay in this marriage, I might never have children and that is beyond devastating. But I also know it is not good to bring children into this world when our marriage is so loveless. I want to have a baby that is made from love and respect for the baby’s father. I can’t imagine a life with no children and growing old with a man I don’t like. Is that was God wants for us? To live our life on earth with no joy and no hope? What is the point of going through life’s motions in misery. How does that bring God glory? Every time these thoughts enter my mind I pray that God would change me. I know that I need to be less critical and to love inwardly but I don’t want the remainder of my life to be miserable and childless. I live every moment wishing I could take back my decision to marry him and it is destroying me. I want to have hope and be happy like I was three years ago.

  48. Do you really believe this? I need it to be real

  49. Susan Scott says:

    I believe God loves you so much that He allowed His only Son to die a horrible, humiliating, and painful death just so you could have the gift of being God’s beloved child for all eternity. Whatever you are going through, whatever pain, heartbreak or betrayal has ripped your world apart, God knows of it and wants to be your comfort, your hope, and your future. God is real and His unconditional love for you is real.

  50. Susan Scott says:

    Emily, your story is heartbreaking and painful. I am so sorry you have gone through all this. God does not intend for His children to go through life in misery and sorrow. He is your answer. We can’t fix ourselves or change our heart attitudes. Only Jesus can transform us through the power of His Holy Spirit. I pray you would find a godly Christian counselor who can walk you through this challenging season.

  51. This post is extremely simplistic, superficial, and shallow. I can’t believe the advice given to Tye! That woman needs to give her husband-child the gift of consequences, and not be given superficial platitudes of trusting God more! God gave us truth on how to deal with ungodly behaviors in relationships. Which is to be proactive, not merely stepping into ones prayer closet to make personal pleas and change. Stop reducing the “I don’t love you anymore” to nothing more than emotional guilt and shame, as though boredom is the standard reason spouses spout this. Get real!!!

  52. Susan Scott says:

    Thank you for your feedback. You are clearly as passionate about this topic as I. As a counselor it is my great privilege to walk beside people as they go through life’s challenges. As a Christian counselor is it my tremendous burden to be responsible before God for how I teach and mentor the people He entrusts to me. James 3:1 “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”

    In my experience when people seek help, they don’t want advice. They already know what they need to do. They want to be heard. They want to be understood. They want to feel valued and affirmed. They also only share enough of their story to support their version of events.

    It’s similar to standing on a mountainside with the whole panorama of someone’s life spread out like a river running through the valley below. The details people share are akin to giving me a child’s telescope and pointing it toward one tiny sliver of the river. I get a somewhat distorted image of a minuscule part of the whole story.

    To give specific advice based on that sliver is immoral, unethical and in some states, illegal.

    So I made a conscious choice to:
    1. Respect and affirm the dignity of both persons in the relationship
    2. Point them back to the One who can see the whole picture
    3. Remind them Jesus is the answer.

    By the grace of God neither the ways of the world or the criticism of man will change my focus and keep me from pointing people to the Lord who is sufficient for all their needs.

  53. Steffen Weiss says:

    Hi Susan,

    I am married to my wife of 8 years. She has threatened me divorce since our first three months of marriage and now we have been separated for a month. We parted ways and she stated that before I left we will work on the marriage, however after a week of being on the westcoast and she on the eastcoast, she wants a divorce because she felt disrespected. She accuses me of emotional abuse because throughout our marriage I would avoid conflict and she would eventually get mad and yell and I would definitely walk away. We currently have no communication except by email. She will not let me see my kids and even though I bought a phone to speak to them she will not let me speak to them or see them. She moved out our house with no place to stay before we separated. She has been living in hotels since December 6th. She has moved our kids to three different schools and they don’t have a house and she refuses to tell me where she is located so I can know where my kids are. She says she wants to be happy, fulfilled, single, and live free in Christ and that I am the deadweight that has been holding her from her God given destiny and things that God wants to give her. I understand where she has come from as far as no communication, however before I left I validated her feelings(we talked three days nonstop and said we would start over this year). She has a hard time letting go of the past. My wife was abused every which was a child, she was raped, sexually harassed, assaulted, and she suffers from PTSD, mood swing disorder, major depressive disorders, and she tried to commit suicide before. Also, she went inpatient last year and was kicked out of the program for threatening other patients, suicidal ideations, and overall the program was not working for her. So she had to do an intensive outpatient, she is in the army and now she will be getting out on medical retiriement. I don’t know what to do, my wife says she is done with me and only wants to coparent, we have to wait another 11 months to divorce because of Virginia divorce laws. What sucks is that she is keeping me from my kids and we have a court date on Feb 1. I believe her mind is not right and she believes once she divorces life will be great and she will be blessed by God. She believes God gives you wisdom to divorce other than adultery if the relationship is not improving. She says in order to fly with the eagles God has to get rid of dead weight(me) in order to reach for her calling to Greatness. I feel like giving up because it seems like God is on her side and I pray for us everyday and our family and it seems like nothing is working in my favor. I really want this marriage and I’m drawing close to God.

  54. Susan Scott says:

    Steffen, thank you for trusting me with your story. If your wife was horribly abused as a child, her ability to relate to you is obviously going to be impaired. She never learned how to have a truly loving, respectful relationship with trust and open communication. You weren’t hearing the need hidden under her complaints because she wasn’t able to come out and say “this is what I need.” It is likely that all she learned was how to yell as a way to express her feelings. I understand why she felt disrespected and emotionally abused. She was crying for help, for love, for some indication you cared enough to fight it out and get to the heart of what was bothering her. Instead you walked away to avoid conflict. You weren’t listening because you didn’t understand the need to be heard and to be loved that was hidden behind the anger. She ran away to find something to fill the void in her soul. Secular therapy often counsels clients to do whatever they feel is right to find the happiness they are looking for. Clearly she got that message. Sadly, even some churches teach that God is in the self-help business as if He is only interested in helping us get whatever our self thinks will make us happy. It’s just another take on that same secular teaching with God added to the mix. As a Christian you know her answers will be found in Christ alone. Please don’t give up. God is not taking sides. His heart is breaking over this. He is not “giving her wisdom to divorce and dump the dead weight” Don’t fall for that lie, it’s the enemy trying to put yet another wedge in your relationship. I believe your wife needs help and understanding. For the sake of your kids, for their safety and for the chance to have their dad in their life, I pray you can find a way to love her unconditionally through this so you don’t alienate her to the point she disappears with them. It will not be easy. You will have to be the bigger person, recognizing her criticisms of you aren’t really a reflection on you, they flow from the pain in her heart. If you have any medical records of her past mental health history, please share them with the court. From what you described your wife is not in a condition to have sole custody of your children.

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