When Loving a Spouse is Difficult

Ask Angie: I cannot seem to find love for my husband. We have been through difficult times and we were not able to work together on anything. There were months when we did not speak to each other and just went on with our lives without communication. I have been hurt so much…. It is wrong but I cannot find forgiveness for him nor seem to be able to detach with love. Our children see the problem we have and now have issues in their lives since we did not show them a good marriage/ family…I have been working on my spirituality so much but still find that my heart is heavy.

Ask Angie: Dear Angie, It's me again. I was reading the stories about the women who are married to alcoholics. My husband is not an alcoholic though he displays the same kind of behaviors. Life with him is unbearable at times. He told me last night, again, that most of the time he does not want to be married, and during those times he treats me like he does not want to be married. The few times he does want to be married, he looks at me with kindness, it's very short lived. Then the cycle repeats itself. I am tired. I am getting physically sick from it. How does a Christian woman stay with a (Pastor) husband that 95 percent of the time does not want to be married and shows his wife no love?

Marriage Guidance: I will address the issues that are italicized above. Both of these women are experiencing similar issues in their marriage. Although one is having difficulty loving her husband, the other's husband is having difficulty loving his wife. Please print out this marriage column and give it to your husbands. Read through the article resources together. Talk about the questions at the end of the articles. Marriage needs both husband and wife to be willing to put in the effort.

Love is Patient – Love is kind (1 Corinthians 13:4)

Real love is not something you can turn on or off like a water faucet. But the feelings "to love" can be wishy-washy, superficial, and downright unloving at times. How can I say this with such conviction? Because God loves you and He will never stop loving you. His feelings for you do not change because of what you do. He may become disappointed in some of your decisions, but He will never stop loving you.

LOVE MUST BE SINCERE.

Did you know that YOU are made in the image of God? Not only that but Jesus Christ Spirit is living within you. Jesus is already here! You have the ability through Christ to love your spouse unconditionally, even if you disapprove of something he or she has done! That's because real love is patient and real love is kind just like the bible says. So then knowing all of this, we can see then that both issues above are based upon "how someone feels" and not the principled actions of love.

There is nothing wrong with having feelings, we need them. But we should not allow negative and resent-filled feelings to control how we will love the person we married. That's not right. We should not base our feelings on love.

Love does not envy, it does not boast, and it is not proud. (1 Corinthians 13:4)

The world is based upon feelings of desire and lust instead of the principle to love, and unfortunately that is why marriage and families are falling apart. We have to ask God to take away our bitter filled hearts and teach us how to love others in the proper ways – that is where peace and happiness are. Couples do not fall out of love – they simply stop doing kind and loving things for each other.

Real Love Takes Sacrifice

If a spouse is too absorbed within themselves (selfish) to let go of something they love or want for the sake of their spouse, then they are lacking in love within themselves. The person who blurts out of his or her mouth "I don't want to be married to you anymore" has the inability to love, at this time. He or she is allowing negative emotions to take over their being. A spouse who decides they will not have feelings of love for their spouse anymore or behave with principled actions of love, are people who are resentful and bitter. They can't love, even if they wanted to.

Love is not rude – it is not self-seeking – and it is not easily angered (1 Corinthians 13:5)

Walking with Christ means to grow and mature spiritually with Him. If people are just going through the motions without any meaning in their life, they are not character building and growing in Christ, but staying within the confines of their own negative attitude. It is not a very mature thing to say, "I don't love you anymore". "I don't want to stay married to you anymore". This is someone who is living in their feelings – they desire something but can't seem to attain what they desire.

Whatever Happened To Communication?

Is saying "I wish I wasn't married to you anymore" communication. I think not. This sad statement is because there is NO COMMUNICATION in the marriage. It is brought on by resentment and possibly anger. But just because one spouse is having a difficult time with their emotions at this time does not mean that you have to be a chameleon. Talk to your spouse and see what you can do to help them overcome the negative feelings they are dealing with inside.

Love keeps no records of wrongs. (1 Corinthians 13:5)

Spend more quality time with your spouse. Stop going your separate ways. This is what is detrimental to the marriage. The intimate bond you once shared when you were first married has been broken. You both need to do what it takes to repair it. Read the bible together every day. Don't wait for church to get your wisdom and guidance. God talks to us through the bible. It is our guide for living.

Work On Changing Yourselves Through Christ

What does God encourage wives to do for their marriage? Work on what you can do for yourself and marriage, and stop worrying about what your husband is or is not doing. What is a God encouraging husbands to do for their marriage? Work on what you can do for yourself and stop worrying about what your wife is doing or not doing. Then after you take care of yourselves you can be the spouse that God wants you to be.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man I put childish ways behind me. (1 Corinthians 13:11)

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. (1 Corinthians 13:6)

In what ways can you become more committed to be there for each other and to stay married? Happiness is not found through the person we married, but through our relationship with the Living Christ. No one said marriage is going to be easy. But the fact is, you're married. God expects couples to work through the tough times and become better people for each other through those tough times.

Where Is Happiness Found?

Too many times couples try and find happiness within each other only to be disappointed. It's not that you can't be happy with your spouse, because you can, but happiness is something only you can find within your spiritual self. Don't expect your spouse to make you feel good twenty-four hours a day – its not going to happen. Sure we can turn our feelings off and on like the setting and rising of the sun, but that's not real love.

Love always protects, always hopes, always preserves. (1 Corinthians 13:7)

Sacrifice is real love. Jesus showed the world what real love is. Now it is our turn. God is where happiness and love abound. Go to Him. Ask Him to help you understand how to love – He will show you how to stay happily married for life.

LOVE NEVER FAILS (1 Corinthians 13:8)

Take care and God Bless!

Angie

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Copyright by Angie Lewis.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Angie is a noted author of

How Do I Detach From an Alcoholic Spouse?

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