My Husband Isn’t Worthy of My Desire, Respect, Trust or Kindness

Wife angry

I received an email from a woman in her mid 30’s wondering how one can honestly desire, respect, trust or be kind to a husband that “doesn’t deserve it.”  In her own words, her husband isn’t “worthy” of her desire, respect, trust, or even kindness, that “the real problem is that this advice (my blog’s advice) is EASY to follow when you are married to a great guy and you haven’t ever had any hardships or resentments or relationship issues.”  That if you manage to get engaged early, marry the perfect man, have a dream proposal, etc. that you won’t have to work hard, or put any effort in at all, to have a good marriage.

This is based on the societal lie that the only people who have good marriages are the ones who got lucky in their picking, the stars aligned and behold, they acquired their “unicorn,” or mythical creature of perfection in marriage.  It is also based on the societal lie that women can treat their husbands “like crap” (her words), and still expect to somehow create a beautiful marriage, or at the very least, be angry or annoyed at someone (like me) suggesting that they should treat their husbands with respect, desire, trust and kindness if they want to have a good marriage.

Abuse, adultery, and alcoholism are things that ruin a marriage, and no, this woman’s husband was not guilty of any of those things.  He was simply an imperfect man who failed to meet her high expectations of carrying out a fantasy and dream romance.  She said in her email that she knew she carried some intense anger and resentment from the engagement into the marriage… and it was still there, 7 years later.  Because he messed up at the beginning, one time, she decided to make the rest of the 7 years full of anger and resentment.

For any wife reading this, let me give you some of the encouragement that I gave to this woman.

You need to let go of any grudges or resentment or anger you have toward your husband.

We are all human.  People make mistakes, your husband makes mistakes, and most importantly, you make mistakes.  If we as wives cannot learn to forgive and look beyond the mistakes that our husbands make, we are going to be miserable, terrible wives, and mothers who choose to live as an unhealthy role model to everyone around us.

If something happened in the past, choose to forgive, move on and let it go.  Never use old hurts or disappointments as ammunition to throw at your husband in the heat of an argument.  And never use past decisions to destroy the future of your marriage!  There is an interesting article at The Rational Male talking about a woman who never respected her husband in the first place, and when the time was right (several years into the marriage) decided to try her hand at attracting other men to get back at her husband for failing her several years before.

Marriage takes work

Your marriage is designed to make you grow and mature.  No, seriously, it’s how God designed it!  Living together with another person of the opposite sex, learning how to communicate in a healthy, adult way.  Learning how to be unselfish after a whole lifetime of putting yourself first enough to try to think about what he may want or need from you.  It is hard, but it is wonderful growth if you embrace it!

Part of the feminist society that we find ourselves living in tells women that they don’t have to work to have a good marriage, that being a “good wife,” that freely gives her husband a fulfilling and passionate sex life – that wants to please her husband – is degrading or beneath her position as a strong woman.  Cooking for her family is beneath her, instead women now take pride in never taking the time to learn to cook a simple meal.  Keeping a clean house is oppressive… who has time for that drudgery?  Nevermind that children need and crave a peaceful, stable, organized, reasonably clean place to come home to and be nourished in.  Loving her children and serving her family in these ways are outdated, and were oppressive for the women in the 1950’s era.  Women who still do them are backwards, old-fashioned, or at worst, doormats to be so submissive to their husbands.  These are the real, feminist lies we live in, and they do not promote self-less care and love for others, but they do promote selfishness.

So what we end up with is the ugly realities of a reoccurring feminist ideology that women should not have to do anything for men, except to show up, and then expect to be catered to for being female.

Instead of feeling entitled to a dream romance or the perfect marriage, we as wives need to be ensuring that we live and create our dream romance, by making an effort to be romantic with our husbands. By romancing him first if need be.  Not by complaining that he isn’t worth our efforts to begin with.

If your husband is the typical, normal husband who works for his family, providing for them, being a dad to your kids, the men that I see all around me whenever I go out, believe me, he does deserve your respect, love, desire, compassion, kindness, faithfulness, and gentleness.

I challenged this woman to try to emulate these beautiful characteristics into her character, and she turned it down, still adamantly assuring me that my husband must be perfect and hers just wasn’t, and although she felt sad about it, that he just wasn’t the man she wanted him to be, and should never have married him in the first place.

Dear wives out there, take my challenge.  If you want a good, healthy marriage, you absolutely need to give him respect, and be nice, kind and compassionate – you need to give him a healthy passionate fun and loving sex life!

Try these things for a month and see if it doesn’t make a difference, I’ll bet it changes everything.


44 thoughts on “My Husband Isn’t Worthy of My Desire, Respect, Trust or Kindness

  1. Yes, please try it and see how he reacts or note how he responds to it. Don’t do it out of manipulation though, do it sincerely because it’s part of the “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” kind of morality of treating others with kindness because they are human.

  2. You’re so honest. It’s ok, part of the mystery of loving someone is that when you start to do the actions, you can’t help but start to grow the real feelings behind them.

  3. We never did have a perfect marriage, but we have been working on it for 59 years. I think the struggle of trying to make it work was worth it.

    Besides, I have male optimism. For example, I finally learned that after we get mad, we make up, and then we make up–Make up sex is great.

    Also, my wife loves See’s Candy and red roses. I provide those with ulterior purposes. It is fun.

    I was surprised yesterday. She asked me to see if I could find a sweet basil plant. I did and when I handed to her, it hit some kind of male/female connection chord. It surprised me, but she was super romantic. That caught me off guard.

    I don’t know much about the modern woman and what they want. I hope the find some marital happiness. I have notice that the words marital and martial use the same letters. I have seem marital bliss and martial mess.

    This is another excellent post.

  4. This is actually a common theme in the sphere (I’ve noticed…folks can correct me if I’m wrong). “Apex fallacy!” and so forth. Maybe I do have apex fallacy because (like you) I married young to a great man and have a great life.

    I don’t share (typically) bad experiences I’ve had because I don’t think about them. I lived with a woman who liked to pretend she was a martyr and complained constantly all while claiming she “never complains” out of the other side of her mouth. However, we’ve been through a LOT in our long married life together. He didnt’ even have a job when we first married (he was on a waiting list for pilot training…delivered pizzas for a while in the meantime) and we spent a year of our life living with his parents while I was trying to finish school (and they REALLY hated me back then, they couldn’t believe their smart son married me so quickly and thought it had to be some sort of trick). That’s just the beginning.

    It ain’t just luck. Or, to quote (name escapes me) fortune favors the prepared. The more I practice (being the spouse I should be) the “luckier” I get.

  5. “The woman” I mentioned above was my mom…just rereading there and it seems vague, thought I’d clarify. 🙂
    Also, I should add, when we talk to others about our experiences through the years as a couple (and then family) we put people in stitches laughing. It’s like something out of Monty Python it’s so hard to believe. And none of them can believe we “made it through” that’s a very common theme.

  6. “Because he messed up at the beginning, one time, she decided to make the rest of the 7 years full of anger and resentment.”

    You’ve got to drop this. Yesterday.
    I hate to say that, but there is a point of irreparable damage that can be done in a marriage by holding on to this sort of resentment. I don’t mean you, but your husband. If you have been resenting him for the past 7 years this cannot be something that is lost on him.

    Consider the purpose can only be to elevate yourself at his expense. A marriage isn’t an “ouch contest”…you’re family, and he’s the head. That’s the ONLY way it can work.

  7. Yes I wish he knew this! I am in the lead role in so many areas. He’s bipolar and can’t handle money at all so it’s up to me. I get really tired of being the strong one. I have to pay bills, shop, take care of the house (he does dishes).

    He’s inconsiderate and selfish. I get really tired of going to eat something I was looking forward to and it being gone because he doesn’t bother to think I may want something.

    I don’t mean to vent but it’s coming to a head. I leave and don’t come back all day because I can’t stand being around his misery-and he is always miserable. He has more bad days than good days. He focuses on the negative and isn’t thankful for the good things in life.

  8. Sorry, A Place to be Real. 😦
    Bipolar is a tough one. I don’t really know your situation and it is very difficult and draining to be around negative energy on the day to day.

    I’d suggest trying to do considerate things for him, yourself instead of focusing on his inconsideration. Sometimes that sort of thing is contagious…just as negative energy is contagious, positive energy can be too.
    I agree with Dragonfly girl that people “grow” together in a marriage. I’m not the person I was when I married (23 years ago!) and he isn’t either. We’re both entirely different people now, but actually far more considerate toward each other than ever (probably because we have more time).

    Good luck to you!

    (just as a side note, I do all the bills and taxes and things like that too…I’m better with money than my husband is, we had to work that out a long while ago, although he’s capable and could do so I’m sure)

  9. I agree, Liz, about trying to focus on doing considerate things for him yourself instead of focusing on his inconsideration. As wives, being respectful to our husbands is a mindset and major attitude adjustment. I’ll post more later when I have time, but thank you so much for adding to the discussion!!!! ❤

  10. Drop the expectations, not the love. When you lower the bar on what it takes for a partner to please you life gets exponentially easier for yourself. Be honest. Act faithfully – not as in sex but be true in your actions to how you want to be perceived by your partner. Be rock solid and openly discuss when you are not. Let them have somewhere to anchor and they will. Encourage a place in them for you to anchor. Marriage is not about you, it’s not about them, it’s about we/us/our. When you act in a way that is not for we/us/our you remove their anchor point. When a boat is adrift without anchor what do you expect of it?

  11. still adamantly assuring me that my husband must be perfect and hers just wasn’t, and although she felt sad about it, that he just wasn’t the man she wanted him to be

    Your husband sounds so great, not only because he is, but because you choose to see the good in him and to let the bad go. We married men. No man (or woman) is perfect. But we, as wives, decide for ourselves how we not only behave toward these men we love, but how we perceive them as well. Do we choose to only see what we perceive as the bad or do we take the time to step back and see all the good that they do for us as well? What we focus on so very often will determine how we see the men we have married. Look for the good in him and let what you think is bad go (and I can tell you from experience that a lot of those things we think might be bad, when looked at from his perspective, actually end up being quite good. We just have to tweak our perspectives).

    Decide right now to look for the good. It’s there. You just have to open your eyes and let yourself see it.

  12. Somebody smart once told me, “it’s not about who he is, it’s about who you are.” In a marriage context this puts the ball back in your court, it’s not about whether or not a husband is worthy, it’s now about who you are going to be in the relationship. When we focus too much on the other person, it’s like handing our own power away, so how we love, how we act, becomes totally dependent on the behavior of someone else, behavior we often have no control over.

  13. Oh thank you for clarifying, I thought it was a roommate probably.

    Wow! It sounds like you have some great stories at least… so admirable that ya’ll have made it through so much, and still have a great marriage and can laugh at the past ❤ That is beautiful.

  14. I totally hear you on the in-laws thing… lol maybe it just comes with getting married so young. We had double trouble… my parents kicked me out when I got engaged to my husband. They really liked him before I got serious about him, but they wanted me to finish college and have a job first before they would support us. They didn’t go to our wedding :/

    Our in-law problems were more with his close-knit extended family, his mom had sisters, and she would gossip about me to them, and then they would say rude/offensive things or treat me really badly at family functions for their pleasure… until I finally snapped & my husband put his foot down about not seeing them anymore. Nasty drama. Glad it sounds like you and his parents eventually got along! My in-laws took the side of his extended family, and we still haven’t reconciled.

  15. “She said in her email that she knew she carried some intense anger and resentment from the engagement into the marriage… and it was still there, 7 years later. Because he messed up at the beginning, one time, she decided to make the rest of the 7 years full of anger and resentment.”

    She probably should not have married. If there are major issues before marriage, don’t expect a wedding to change that.

  16. A Place to be Real, are you the one who wrote that? I’d say maybe you made a bad move by marrying him. If they’re are major issues before marriage, a wedding doesn’t change that. You indicated there were issues during your engagement. If they were serious, that was the time to cut your losses and bounce.

  17. You are sweet and a good husband, H. Your male optimism has served you well.

    Modern women want what women have always wanted: to love and be loved.

    Your sweet basil plant moment shows it so well: you took care to find and give her something she wanted, and she appreciated it as a gesture of love. Really, that’s all there is to good marriage, when we strip off the various bells and whistles: giving and reciprocating.

  18. Are you the woman who wrote in? Please seek advice from someone who has experience working with people with mental illness.

  19. Thank you Kate… I don’t have any experience at counseling wives who have a spouse with a mental illness, this post was speaking to the topic that was kept in the mail (which had no mention at all of anything like that).

    But with bipolar disorder, if he is diagnosed, he needs to be doing something about it (taking meds or counseling, which he may be). As long as he’s not abusing you, committing adultery, or in some kind of addiction that is pulling your marriage down (porn only counts if he is so obsessed that he can’t work), then the wife still is commanded to respect and submit to him biblically. Nabal and Abigail would be the biblical example…. There are many resources out there with good advice for a woman who is married to a Nabal.

  20. Please find a copy of “Love and Respect” by Eggerichs, Sounds like you want unconditional love from your man without being willing to unconditionally respect (love) him back.

  21. Pingback: ‘My Husband Isn’t Worthy of My Desire Respect… | Honor Dads

  22. “….or in some kind of addiction that is pulling your marriage down (porn only counts if he is so obsessed that he can’t work)”

    What if he’s so obsessed he can’t play with his kids, help them with homework, feed them or give them a bath? What if he’s so obsessed he spends more time with porn than he does with his wife or any other member of his family?

  23. “Yes I wish he knew this! I am in the lead role in so many areas. He’s bipolar and can’t handle money at all so it’s up to me. I get really tired of being the strong one. I have to pay bills, shop, take care of the house (he does dishes).”

    Does he at least have a job?

    Did you know about his BPD before marrying him? If so, why did you marry him?

  24. No Marriedgal,

    modern women love money and status. I almost give up on modern women by seeing how my frie ds are treated by their so called wives

  25. This was so good Insanitybytes:

    “When we focus too much on the other person, it’s like handing our own power away, so how we love, how we act, becomes totally dependent on the behavior of someone else, behavior we often have no control over.”

  26. “A marriage isn’t an “ouch contest”…you’re family, and he’s the head. That’s the ONLY way it can work.”

    Putting a bipolar person at “the end” of almost anything is dangerous.

  27. I need to ask this question here after reading some of your posts…I truly want some honest answers. How in the world am I to admire and respect a man who won’t/can’t support his family financially? I am struggling in the depths of depression right now as I sit back and look at my 12 year marriage. It is hopelessly empty. My husband loves me deeply and wants nothing more than to love me passionately. But when I look at him, I feel nothing. Physically, emotionally, nothing. I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed sex with him. He thinks I am just not interested in sex, but I am, just not with him. When we were engaged and first married he was in firefighting academy, I was under the impression he had future plans and would be able to at least help support a family (never mind that I refused to see the warning signs of financial disaster as I had to pay for everything we did while dating, our wedding, honeymoon, etc.). Within 6 months of being married, he fell apart, sleeping all day due to depression, unable to keep any of the part time jobs he had due interpersonal problems, dropped out of firefighting academy due to “back problems.” Here we are 12 years later and he is now on SSA disability because he discovered over the course of the years that he has uncontrollable ADD, OCD, PTSD, anxiety and a myriad of psychosomatic physical complaints. He has tried to kill himself twice and I always get stuck with the hospital bills. I have always been a motivated, hard working woman, completing my BA at night, working hard to get a job making over 6 figures. We now have two beautiful children who I have no desire to damage by tearing them from their father, but the reality is, I resent him in every way. When we got married I thought I was getting someone to go places and do things with and someone to help raise a family financially. Neither of those things panned out. Is he a nice person? Sure. He always means well. He is not mean-spirited, although his ADD has caused some damage because he has no filter on his tongue but I suppose everyone says things they don’t mean now and then. I am the first to admit that I am not perfect, I tend to be bitchy and moody sometimes, although I feel it’s mostly because I am completely disappointed with how life with him has gone. Every article directed to women suggests that you just need to “admire and respect” your man and all will be well. What if you just can’t? What if you carry so much anger and resentment for 12 years of disappointment that you can’t even make eye contact with the man you are supposed to love coming home to every night. Every time he opens his mouth to talk I want to punch him in the face and yell “shut up, just SHUT up”. I have no interest in any of his hobbies or interests, in fact anything I am interested in that he tries to get involved in is ruined for me, I immediately drop it because I can’t stand doing things with him because of the lack of respect I have for him. And admiration? What? Do you have any idea how embarrassing it gets having to answer the “so what does your husband do?” question? “Nothing, he does nothing but babysit”. We live in a wealthy community and have a beautiful home, nice cars, etc. because of ME. Most of the other women in this town have the same, but only because they have MEN who work and take care of them. I have no plans for divorce because of my children but thinking of living in this passionless and meaningless relationship for the next however many years causes me SUCH depression that if it wasn’t for my kids I probably would have just run away by now. Advice? I know I probably sound like a selfish person, but honestly I feel like a relatively selfless person right now having pretty much flushed my life down the toilet to care for and pay for everything for this man. Is this really how it’s supposed to be? And will “respect and admiration” fix it? Would love to hear anything you have to say that might help shed some light on my dilemma.

  28. I would add to my comments that I know that men “need” respect and admiration, but what about my “need” to be supported and cared for, to have someone I can depend on, someone I am not embarrassed to call my husband?

  29. This is why I need to stay off the internet.
    SaeunnD, for starters, you’re asserting that you don’t want to damage the children but why did you have children with a man you actively despise and have no respect whatsoever for? It sounds like you have resented and actively despised him for very long while. Truly, it doesn’t get much worse than, “He has tried and to kill himself twice and I’m always stuck with the medical bills”.
    Your problems aren’t going to be solved here, that’s for sure. It might help if you put yourself in the position of a person who loves his or her spouse and is resented and considers him or her to be a parasite. It isn’t a healthy thing for the children to witness on the day to day either.

  30. SaeunnD, that’s tough. You’re not just fed up with your husband — you actively despise him and blame him for not measuring up to your expectations, that much is painfully obvious.

    But, frankly speaking, even from your unflattering description of him, he sounds like a decent enough bloke — he is nice, takes care of the kids, and even tries to join you in your interests and activities (that is rare), for which you reject him even more. He is also lost and ill with a host of real medical and emotional problems. Having to absorb his wife’s non-ending contempt does not help him heal. This man is in pain as great, or greater, as yours. He did try to kill himself twice after all.

    You bet he feels like a failure, and you reinforce it, wittingly and not. There are very few things as devastating to a man as that feeling, and seeing himself reflected as a failure in the contemptuous eyes of the woman whose love, admiration, and support he needs and craves.

    If you want to save your marriage, as you say you do, you will have to change your attitude. First, stop comparing your marriage and life to others. Believe me when I tell you that their lives are not as cosy as they appear to you.

    Close second, drop the contempt NOW. You must replace it with compassion for this man whom you loved once and who is the beloved father of your children. Putting yourself in his shoes for a second, if you can, as Liz suggests, may help in that a bit.

    There is no room for compassion AND anger and resentment in your mind. Once you consciously adopt the former, the latter will naturally dissolve. I promise you that. And you do have the capacity for compassion toward your husband — it still peeks through your anger and disappointment. Use it freely and abundantly.

    Third, and it goes with 1 and 2, you will need to reassess and likely change your values. All this wealth — nice home, cars, etc. — pleasant as it is and a point of your pride, is not really that important. By focusing so much on it, you are using a wrong stick to measure your own worth and that of your husband, particularly as you compare yourself with others in this respect.

    I believe almost any marriage (without physical and other gross abuse) is salvageable, if there is a will to do so. Here is a smart book which may help you in that:

    Last, but not least, you need to take care of yourself and decompress, so the tension and stress do not destroy you. I’m sure you have ideas about how to do it, whatever suits your needs, maybe even away from your husband and children.

    You may not have the marriage you dreamed of once — hardly anyone does; but you may yet have a good one. If that is what you want. I’m not just saying so — I’ve seen it happen, and have lived it myself.

    Good luck.

  31. SaeunnD, sorry it’s taken me a few days to respond. I had to really think about your situation and didn’t want to come off as unkind or not compassionate.

    I think Liz and Marigold both have very good comments and suggestions for you. There really isn’t much to add, except that if you’re looking to find the ultimate comfort and assurance in a loving husband, it will always fail you no matter how loving he is. I think sometimes we as wives really want our husbands to be everything to us, and that we’ll just lavish our love on him in return. My husband can actually be very distant at times and wrapped up in his own problems and decisions and thoughts constantly. We have a good marriage and with mutual respect and affection, but even still, there are times when I feel disconnected from him and lonely when it’s been awhile since we’ve had deep communication with each other. The only way that we can fill that deep need we have for love and assurance is to find it from God. In your trial it’s probably even more necessary to lean on Him for your comfort and sustenance so that you can get through this.

    Your needs to be supported, cared for and to have someone to depend on are all very valid, but you chose this man, red flags and all, and while it sounds like a very difficult marriage, since you say you want to save it, try to focus on the good things about your husband. It’s useless to think about how things could have been if you hadn’t chosen him. You chose him, flaws, red flags and all, and need to either come to a place to accept him as he is, or divorce him and move on as a single woman understanding the great cost, pain, and difficulty you will choose in being divorced for yourself and most of all, your children. Try to praise God that he’s nice and tries to be pleasant and kind. It is very hard to be married to someone who’s rude and callous and undemonstrative or critical toward his wife (there are men like this), but yet still provides wealth for the family. You might look in from the outside and think this wife has it made because her husband provides so well for them, when in reality, she would much rather have a husband who was easier to get along with, a kinder man, than someone who met their financial needs but made life very difficult and depressing.

    You made a vow to him (I assume) that you would be a constant companion to him through many different trials, sickness, health, richer, poorer, good circumstances or bad more than likely. All marriages have their own kinds of difficult trials, granted some are harder than others. Yours sounds very hard, but for the sake of your marriage and children, I suggest trying to make it work as best as you can. Trying to have a good attitude, keeping in mind that everything you do is to be to glorify God. If you feel like you’re suffering through failed expectations and having a husband who doesn’t provide, know that you’re suffering will be rewarded because all suffering like this is when it’s for the benefit of your children and marriage.
    I know it’s unpopular to think so, but I hope you understand how important this all is for your children… having a good relationship with their father, etc. Ideally, you want to pick a man that will provide well, and be a good example in that way, but for whatever reason (mental illness, laziness, I don’t have enough info to really know here) you still need to show your children that you love and respect their father. Maybe getting him to go to counseling or to talk with an elder or pastor could help him get his life back on track, but even if he doesn’t change, again, you only have control over yourself and how you decide to act. And everything you do impacts your children. Hope this helps a little and I’m so sorry you’re in this situation.

  32. Thank you , I do appreciate your reply. I think the hardest thing for me is that when I look at this situation, it just feels as if being with him shouts to the world that I am not worthy of a husband who can work and contribute to life for me and my children. That may sound silly, but I am coming from a place of never really having self esteem or accepting myself (probably another reason I “settled” for this relationship to begin with). He told me today that he would be the happiest man in the world if I would just love him and be happy with him. But it’s hard for me to do that when I feel that if I can’t have a whole husband, then he shouldn’t get a whole wife. How do I look at someone who couldn’t possibly begin to support a family and think that he deserves all the benefits of said family? Kind of a rhetorical question, I guess. Thank you for taking the time to reply 🙂

  33. You say that he “couldn’t possibly begin to support a family,” and I think maybe accepting that would be a start. Really search out the “why” in this – why can’t he possibly support a family? Is it a mental issue, mental illness, or is it laziness? Is there anyway that you could get him the help he needs through counseling or with a man you both look up to? Are you both Christians? Do you go to a church? It sounds like a lot of your unhappiness stems from getting your value and worth from what other people think about you and your situation. That’s normal and what a lot of people revert to, however, it’s much better to find your worth and value from God. I think your feelings are legitimate of wanting to have a husband that works and tries to provide for his family, even biblically men are commanded to do this. We all want to be loved for just who we are, but the reality is that we bring certain things to a relationship, otherwise we wouldn’t have relationships, so your feeling that he’s letting down his end of the bargain is valid… but you need to understand the “why” in order to come to terms with how you want to live with this.

    If he’s really mentally ill and unable to work due to this, and counseling, medication, outside help doesn’t get him back on track, then you need to decide if you’re going to honor your vows or not. This would fall under the “in sickness and in health” part. I’ve thought of this before with my own husband that if anything happened to him (physically or mentally), I already know that I’m going to stick with him through all of it, and take care of him and provide for him and our family if need be, and I’ve set up plans to implement this if it should happen.

    So if it’s something beyond his real control, and you still want to honor your marriage and keep your family together, then you may want to go through a grieving process of grieving the kind of life you wanted to live, grieving the kind of husband you thought you wanted, but then move on to accepting the life that God has given you right now so that you can find peace in God’s will for you.

    Again, there really is no benefit at all to wondering what could have been. And there’s no benefit in trying to make him pay for this by not being a “whole wife” to get him back. The only thing is to deal with the real issue (find our the “why”) and then decide whether or not you are going to honor your vows and take care of him.

  34. SaeunnD, one thing I notice is that you seem to care very much what “people,” ie people in general, think and feel about you, while your husband seems to care very much about what YOU think and feel about him. I’m more like him than you in that way, if I was with the right man (sadly not with anyone now) I wouldn’t care what the rest of the world thought but would care a lot about what HE thought. I’ve learned this is more common with men than with women, they really really care about what their woman thinks about them, and if she treats him with respect he can often move mountains.

    I don’t know what caused your husband’s depression to start, maybe it was something that happened, maybe it was chemical, maybe he was emotionally crippled, but my advice is that you TRY treating him with respect, out of bed as well as in it, and see what happens. Make the first move to break the deadlock. He may surprise you. Or, maybe he won’t, maybe he’s beyond hope, but you should TRY, and try with all your heart instead of grudgingly. What have you got to lose?

    Take it for what it’s worth, advice from a woman who has had her own very painful failures in love but still has hope for the tuture.

  35. Laurel, thanks for adding your encouragement as well. It’s kind of awesome that you women read my blog and are interested enough to comment and help people coming here with questions. Different ideas or people who come from different life experiences is valuable to me, and it’s great that y’all feel comfortable enough to comment with your own thoughts. So thank you!

  36. Hi…
    What if you try to be the good wife and he fails to be the good husband? Is two ways road you know…If you try to cook, to clean, to have a healthy sex life, to be kind and warm and he just blows up in your face? And then you blow up and everything escalates from there… Of course that’s not the man you married, but how can you find that man again if everything you do hits to a wall?And most important: how can one deal with this? There is so much sadness when you see that you try and there is nothing you can do…

  37. Hi Christine, sorry I’ve taken awhile to respond, I’m not online here everyday anymore, but still trying to find the time to continue writing. School, especially the beginning of school is crazy busy for us.

    About your question, there are quite a few women in your position right now that I’ve talked to that don’t have a husband who are willingly participating in mutual meeting each other’s needs, and one of the best things I’ve seen for them is to have some kind of support network and if you’re Christian, maybe an older woman you trust who’s been through that or at least knows how to walk you through it in daily life.

    There are some great books out there that talk about how one’s marriage can get into a toxic cycle which sounds like what may be happening – one of the top of my head is Love & Respect.

    Another thing you may want to think about is if you’re getting all of your self-worth from your husband and if you’re maybe allowing his opinion (or mood) to completely control your life and own feelings. MANY wives (including me when we first got married) looked up to our husbands so much as being so great that we actually put him into an idol position if that makes sense. Another writer and friend of mine that I love, writes a TON about this issue at her blog and frankly understands it probably better than me. Here’s her blog if you’re interested and it’s also on the right side of my blog page:

  38. There is a saying attributed to Katharine Hepburn which states that men and women should not live together, but should be close neighbors and visit often. Relationships of that sort appear to last longer and be better than traditional marriages. If I had it to do over again, I’d stay single.

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