May 24, 2012
When Your Husband Has Given Up
"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." - Psalm 139:13-14 (ESV)
The silence. The rejection. The harsh words. The absence of intimacy. The questions. The lack of answers. The hurt.
My heart aches for anyone in a marriage that's struggling. I've been there. Many of us have.
But I think the deepest hurt comes when one spouse resigns while the other is still trying. There is a panic that arises to somehow make the other person wake up, stop their resignation, and help you fix this relationship.
A situation like this is much more complicated than simple answers I could offer here. But might I give you one stepping stone upon which to stand, to stop the panic and balance yourself?
Decide today that you are worthy.
Because you are. Worthy. You may not feel like it. But a quick glimpse at Psalm 139 assures me, you are. And I'd rather depend on the solid truth of God than the roller coaster of fickle feelings.
You are beautiful and captivating and attractive and smart and capable. But if you are in a relationship full of unmet expectations, unresolved issues, and frustrating communication, I suspect you feel a little less than all I've described.
Broken down relationships can really break down a woman.
And if you're anything like me, when you feel broken down those around you get your worst. Then upon all the hurt and anxiety you layer on regret, shame, and the feeling that you've lost yourself. You've lost that girl inside you that used to be so positive and happy and ready to take on the world.
Can I whisper a tender truth to you? The only way to recapture her is to come up for air and remember you are worthy.
Then you can act worthy.
And step aside from the emotional yuck to make some level headed decisions. Get a plan. Talk to wise people who love you and will walk this tough journey with you.
Draw some boundaries with your husband, if there are some needed. Pray like crazy for clear discernment.
And read good books that will help you. I just read Dr. Tim Clinton's new book called, Breakthrough. In it he says, "By discovering God's definition of true love and learning to live by it, we can open the door to freedom. Our future is in God's hands. When you are able to see and embrace this truth — there's your breakthrough!"
Remember you can't control how he acts and reacts, but you can control how you act and react.
Reclaim who you are.
I pray your relationship survives. I pray it with every fiber of my being. But if it doesn't, I pray most of all that the beautiful woman you are rises above all the yuck, still clinging tightly to the only opinion that matters — the One who forever calls you worthy.
Dear Lord, my marriage is struggling. I'm struggling. Help me please. I need to hold on to Your truths that I am worthy. And God, please show me what steps to take to support my marriage. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
The book Lysa mentioned by Dr. Tim Clinton, Breakthrough — When to Give In, How to Push Back, is a great resource for those struggling with feeling controlled or manipulated by a spouse or family member. Order your copy by clicking here.
Each week on her website Lysa writes words to encourage your marriage, your relationship with God and your heart. Sign up for free reminders of your worth by clicking here.
It'd be an honor to pray for your marriage. Click here to leave your request and our team will pray for you.
Reflect and Respond:
Depend on the solid truth of God rather than the roller coaster of fickle feelings.
Remember you can't control how others act and react, but you can control how you act and react.
Isaiah 54:10, "'Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,' says the LORD, who has compassion on you." (NIV)
© 2012 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 24 May 2012.