Posted August 8, 2012

I just want to praise God right now, because as I was stumbling around on the internet looking for answers and help for my situation, I found this site! I certainly hope someone can help me and keep me in prayer.
My husband and I are separated and have been for 3 months. This is not my doing, but his. He is currently staying at an apartment of our neighbors and is still paying the bills for our home. I am devastated by this because we have 3 children (14 yr old daughter who is mine – her father, my late fiancee, passed away when she was a baby, 3 year old boy, and a 2 year old boy). I am a God fearing woman and raised in a God fearing family, but my husband is not. He is a believer and he prays probably more because of me, but his family does not really practice the faith.
My husband and I have had a variety of relationship problems throughout our relationship and marriage, although nothing in the ways of infidelity, etc. The past few years of our marriage have been extremely hard as I became a stay-at-home mom, finished a graduate degree, had a new baby, my husband became our soul bread winner, he finished an online graduate program, etc. It has been a very stressful time here in our home and things started to unwind with us. While completing my grad degree, my husband started to become abusive a bit with his words, telling me he only married me because of our children, etc. Over time, we both became more disrespectful, more rude, more unwilling to work for the benefit of our family, be selfish, etc. We did try marriage counseling last year for about a month, but stopped going as things got better – big mistake! I have come to find out just recently that I was depressed for almost a year and although my dr. put me on meds last year, they had stopped working a few months into taking them and we were not aware. Now my sadness, ignorance, irritability, etc can be explained. I can tell you that I was not the Godly wife that I should have been and was very short and rude to my husband. It was hard for me to go from working full time and having my own money, to taking care of 3 kids (2 little boys who are 15 months apart!) It became really easy for me to become increasingly mean too because my husband had become so verbally abusive to me and I just could not let go of my pain that he had inflicted upon me with his words. I knew that our daughter had heard him and it hurt their relationship because she wanted to protect me and although she once adored this man, she began to hate him. Therefore, even if months went by without incident of his words, he would come home from work and if I was thinking about something he said, I would be rude. It was a terrible cycle and we were aware of it. So many times my husband promised he would go to therapy for his anger, but something always came up and he couldn’t go. Another big issue we had was that I began suffering last summer with 2 dislocated discs in my lower back as well as IBS stomach issues. I could hardly move at times and my stomach issues became so severe that I couldn’t eat. I became increasingly ignorant and short and my husband did not help as all he would tell me to do was go and get my problems fixed! There was little compassion to my health issues, and it hurt me deeply. Maybe my expectations were more than he could give? He would take care of me, but I don’t know…maybe I wanted to be babied a bit.
Anyhow, another issue we have is my husbands mother. She is literally the epitomy of Monster in Law. She has isolated everyone away from their family and therefore my husbands only family is his mother, his father, his grandmother, his sister (her husband) and an uncle who calls occasionally from across the US (and never visits). I have come to find out throughout the years of being around this family that no one wants to upset his mother because she is weak emotionally. She suffers from OCD and her home is pristine (we can’t even bring our children to her home to play without her flipping out over things being out of place), she cannot keep a job because she doesn’t get along with others very well, she talks about people behind their backs, she has to have the best of everything – let’s just say she is a complete narcissistic woman. Therefore, I never fit the mold of her wanting me within her family and she has always put things into my husbands mind about me – whether pointing out that my blinds are dirty, my baseboards need wiped off, toys are on the floor, my laundry should be put away better, etc. These things that she does in her home, has caused problems within my home and my husband is constantly trying to please her. He has mentioned on occasion that parties we have without his family are so much nicer because we are able to relax and enjoy our time, rather than cleaning up and trying to make everything perfect. It’s sad really, but they strive for perfection. I wanted us to start our own rituals in our own home, not do things a certain way because my MIL does, but this has proven to be hard to understand by my husband because his mother has such a hold on him.
After a huge fight and my husband went to stay with his folks for a bit, his own sister (who ranted and raved to me about the mother and how her mother talks about me and my children and how she’s caused so many problems for my husband and I) defriended me on facebook, his mother called our home and told him to get to her house now or else she was coming to get him (we are both 34 years old!) and they pushed my husband into getting his apartment! They even helped him clean it out! My family has pushed for me to get back with my husband, to search myself, fix myself, and restore my marriage, but his family tells him to leave me and our kids. They help him with everything and his mother has even come into my home and taken items she bought us off of our walls! My husband says it was him, but I know better! I’m just trying to do this the Godly way and in the way that it pleasing to our Lord, so there are no regrets for me.
I have tried to be nice, buy little gifts, text him, call him to talk, etc, and he still won’t come home because he says he doesn’t want to live that way anymore with all the drama. He told me the other day that the does want to try and do everything possible to do so, but he won’t go to counseling, won’t read any books, etc. How is this trying? I’m so confused by this. It’s like, when he’s around, we are getting along, flirting and having fun. But then it’s like he talks to his mother and it changes and he’s not as nice and is a bit distance…not texting me back quickly, etc.
I know that he is listening to them tell him to be sure, instead of fixing what is broken and he has told me before that they have influenced him in the past within our relationship. So I’m not assuming here. What more can I do here? I want to save my marriage! I’m so hurt though, especially for our children. My neighbors know everything now obviously and his mother has even talked about me to them, but then turns around and would talk about them to me! I don’t want a relationship with his family, because they are too negative and mean hearted for me, although I would always show respect if I saw them.
Please provide me with some Godly advice. Thank you so much! Blessings!


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  1. Sandra

    If you stumbled upon us, this may be hard for you to take, believe me, it was hard for me the first time I heard it. My advice-the very first thing you need to do is read Created to Be a Helpmeet by Debi Pearl. If you are independent and liberated by today’s standards, it will be a hard read, but it is the truth and will save your marriage. However, you cannot go in light-hearted it is either all or nothing and it is hard. From reading your post, you want to place much of the blame on your husband and his family. What are your faults in this? Do you know you are to honor, reverence, obey and respect your husband? Do you know you are to do all these things regardless of the way he responds or acts? Do you know what it means to honor and reverence your husband? It means you show him respect and delight in him-even and especially if he is having a bad day and is short with you. You say it was hard for you to come home and be a stay at home mom, which to me suggests maybe you too have some issues with being in control (I know this because I was and still do sometimes have the same issues of wanting to control or do everything because I’m the only one who knows how to do it right). If you have control issues and need to be the leader of the home or money or whatever, you are usurping authority over your husband and this may be some of the reason you are being verbally abused as he doesn’t feel like he is fulfilling his God-given role in life–leader, provider, and protector of his home. You see, the world today wants us to believe men and women are the same, but a quick anatomy lesson will tell us this isn’t true. Men and women are not alike and women are most of the time more driven by emotions and imagined slights against us. Also, I have no daughter, but I know it works with my son-Your daughter will respect and honor your husband when you do, she knows you are “hurt and feeling disrespected and are resentful” and she’s following your lead. Your other children will do the same as they get older. Yes, being a woman is hard sometimes, but there is no greater thing than knowing I am obeying God by following His word and honoring and respecting my husband. Our entire family is in the “sweet spot” when this mama obeys, honors, and respects her man. When I let myself become complacent and start half-heartedly obeying and respecting on the outside but resentful in my heart, the whole family pays. You see, my husband (and I’m sure most husbands) know when it is just out of obligation and when I am TRULY reverencing him.

    Also, I think you are also being a bit selfish-if your husband is staying in an apartment yet he STILL pays all your bills-you just don’t realize you have a good man. You said while you were sick he took care of you, but maybe you wanted to be babied???? The man took care of you, what more did you want? It is our job to serve our husbands, not his job to serve us and while you were sick, he went against his nature and tried to help. Do you know how many men would have done that? Not many. You appear to have a good man (I don’t know him personally, but from what you have written) you just want him to be your helpmeet. You said he started getting verbally abusive when you were in graduate school, did he want you to go in the first place? Maybe he thought you were trying to take his role in providing for the family?

    And one more thing, being nice and buying him gifts and sending texts mean nothing if there isn’t a heart change. If he knows you haven’t changed and things are going to be the same, he probably isn’t interested. I really believe a man needs to be respected and honored by his wife, he may not admit it or even realize it, but I still believe it to be true. Be sincere in your words, and take responsibility for your faults in the relationship. One thing someone said to me one time is imagine your son was married to a woman just like you, how would you feel? That really opened my eyes, because I want my son to be married to a woman who obeys, honors, and respects him and I have to teach him that and the only way I can do that is to live it. When you look at yourself as others see you and without blinders on, it really opens your eyes to your own faults and it hurts but praise God he can restore you to what you were called to be.

    I hope I haven’t been to hard on you, I know how hard it was for me to read Debi’s book the first time, but when I put her advice into play I truly became happy and my family became happy and things were so much better in our home. There were still problems, but there was joy now. I still fail and fall into old ways and I have to re-read the book and get my heart cleansed of all the negative stuff and remember my role is to be a helpmeet. It happens more than I like, but I am thankful I have never gotten rid of the book so I can always re-read and remember my role.

    I will pray for you, I know it’s hard, but ask any wife who has applied the Bible and what it says about our role as wives-it is so much sweeter knowing you are doing what God called you to do.

    # August 10, 2012

  2. swifttohear

    Dear keepingthefaith,
    I guess it would be terribly redundant of me to say that your situation is just plain awful! I despair for you, especially in regard to your MIL. Based on the way you describe your husband, I think you can win him back, but the MIL is a loose canon, as it were, and will do everything she can to thwart you. What a trial of your faith this is, and will be. I can tell you right off that you have one of two roads to take. The godly, servile one that will bring you eternal blessings but much present humility, or the other one (the details of which I would rather not say). The fact you may need to accept right now is this: no matter what you do, or how “good” you are, you may still lose your husband. Whatever means you employ to win him back must be performed for the glory of God, and not for temporary gain. When we labor for Christ, to bring Him glory, the earthly result will not matter. If we labor for our own purposes, by our own will, we labor in vain, and we will be unsatisfied, no matter what the outcome. So right now, commit the outcome to the Lord, and be ready to do His will no matter what. I know it isn’t easy, but I also know that it is the only road worth taking.

    First, I want to recommend a resource to you. Dr. S.M. Davis has a CD entitled “How a Wife Can Use Reverence to Build or Save her Marriage”. It applies perfectly to your situation. You can find it from Please get it ASAP and do what it says!

    In the meantime, I encourage you to identify and accept your own failings. I know this is unpleasant, but it is so important that you hand them all over to God, permanently. Whenever you feel the anger or frustration or despair arise in your heart, commit it afresh to the Lord, acknowledging the fact that the Holy Spirit is mighty through God to help you, but you are too weak to help yourself. You have the power of your will to choose God’s sovereignty over your thought life and emotional life.

    I’ve been studying the woman as the weaker vessel (1 Peter 3), and found that weaker vessels (that’s us) are earthen, vulnerable, and breakable. The wonderful thing about this is that when a weak vessel carries within her the sanctifying blood of Jesus Christ, she is a vessel unto honour; a vessel in which the Lord’s strength is made perfect. “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7). Dishonoured, defiled, or unclean vessels break apart into pieces that cannot be put back together (Jer. 48:38 LXX), “as the vessels of the potter shall they be broken to shivers” (Rev. 2:27). Cleansed vessels are purged, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use (2 Tim. 2:21). This is the kind of purging I encourage you to do. The word of God purges us (John 15:3). Dwell richly on the Word of God, so that from it you gain your main sustenance, and all the answers you need will be provided to you by Him.

    Remember that he who loves not his brother has not the love of God in Him. Feel compassion for your MIL, and be truly kind to her. Know that as an unsaved soul, she will one day suffer eternal torment. Let that motivate you to treat her will gentleness. It will also keep you from feeling offended by her. Her acrid, cruel words against you will fall to the ground, where they belong.

    Reverence your husband. Turn your sadness into mercy. Often the deep hurts that we bear allow us to feel just the right amount of humility that we need to give mercy away freely. Your husband is miserable, and loves you. I don’t think he feels that he can trust you with his heart. No matter how much verbal abuse he can launch at you, you must never return it in kind. To a man, verbal disrespect is as bad as a dagger to the heart. Again, if he is unsaved, your mercy and compassion will motivate you to be gentle and kind to him. Read 1 Peter 3 and make sure that your conversation is chaste at all times. Make sure that you fear the Lord. I just came across a great verse the other day in Proverbs (we read the Septuagint for the OT in our home), “Life and death are in the power of the tongue; and they that rule it shall eat the fruits thereof” (Prov. 18:21 LXX).

    One more verse, “Give heed with your ears, and follow my ways: hearken to me, and your soul shall live in prosperity; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, the sure mercies of David” (Is. 55:3 LXX). Seek prosperity for your soul, keepingthefaith. I just love to imagine how a prosperous soul feels, with the sureness of salvation and the confidence of the faith. Fight the good fight, sister.

    # August 11, 2012

  3. Faith T.

    Everything the ladies said above is right on! Do get those resources and devour them as soon as possible!! Debi’s book has revolutionized and in many ways has saved my marriage. There is still hope for you!

    I think your husband needs to know that you are a changed woman. Certainly he hasn’t been perfect, but neither have you. Obviously, he has had enough and does not want to go back to the same old you. The way you were living together had become intolerable to him.

    You cannot change your husband. You cannot change his family. You can PRAY. And you can CHANGE YOU. You need a heart change, you need God’s way and God’s wisdom, and you need the Lord to fight this battle on your behalf. Do pray without ceasing, get Debi’s book, and begin fighting for your marriage God’s way!!

    By the way, just you changing and becoming the help meet God wants you to be to your husband, WILL cause him to change. Some changes may come right away, while others may take longer to appear. You being the help meet you’re meant to be is the single most effective tool you have to influence your man for the better.

    The best deal to purchase the book is on

    You can also order it directly from No Greater Joy:

    Faith T.

    # August 16, 2012

  4. raggedycottagegarden

    I too have in-laws who are similar to the ones you are describing and I had to LIVE with them for nearly 3 years. Imagine a MIL (or grandmother-in-law) coming in to your home (or room in my case) and finding something you made or purchased and stealing from your own possessions!! I’ve had in-laws get gifts they have given our family back too…..only because I didn’t want to take the time to have a watchful eye over little toys that easily get lost. I never took it personally.

    I think in your situation you MUST TRY to have a more “laid back” attitude with in-laws and with the things your husband says. Practice saying over and over in your mind all the wonderful qualities of your husband. Say “I like your [manly smile]” or other things of that sort. Have a positive comment as weapon against ugly verbal abuse and that will really help you ease the burden. Try to say 2 or more comments a day and that will help. Men give gifts….women need to keep their comments in line and peppy…..that is probably why your husband doesn’t respond very well. try googling pdf. fascinatingwomanhood and find a wonderful book that explains more about positive wife behaviors.

    Others who have had to deal with verbal abusive situations, write down the incidents on a calendar. Kinda like keeping medical records. That way it is written down, out of sight and out of mind.

    Speaking of having a similar situation to you, my GIL (grandmother) has similar OCD and I could not bring my children in to the house UNLESS I trained my 1-5 year olds don’t touch and they were solid on obedience 100% of the time.

    There are only two flavor’s of ALL women in the world. A perfectionist Angel and a Human being. PErfectionist Angel refers to Martha Stewart shopping magazine cleanliness……Human Being refers to green natured Hippy girl who burns the supper and forgets to sweep the floor. Find a balance between the two. Men have a tendency to “love” the PErfectionist angel in women……but always crave the Human Being because they really are ones for whom the man feels sorry.

    Hope this response is helpful in your situation. Nancy LEigh Demoss has also another good work to read. It explains that life for Christian woman may not be flowers and daisys to perfection because of the poor fleshly choices we so easily make. CTBHM is also good….but it a little condescending to the weaker women who may be in a situation of illness of some sort and may not have the ability to please husband even to the minor amount. A smile and forgiveness will do fine when we are ill and weak in our fleshly body.

    # March 26, 2013