Morning friends,

In this next year I want to do something a little different in this blog. In addition to answering a reader’s question (which I love to do and won’t stop), I’d also like to start addressing some other issues in helping you to understand yourself, other people, how to have healthy relationships and recognize destructive ones.

We have a robust community of people commenting and growing in greater relational, spiritual, and emotional health and I’d like to tackle some subjects that may not be coming from direct reader questions. For example, I’d like to talk about recognizing our shadow side and understanding better our defense mechanisms against “seeing” clearly.

I’ll either use one of these topics as one of my blog subjects once a month or start a dialogue on something using the first part of the blog before I answer the reader’s question. So to get us started, give me some ideas of your single most compelling struggle in becoming a healthier person.

Monday, December 8th we have a new two-session CORE Focus group with two times, one during the day and one in the evening. If you’re interested, click here. In addition, my six month group coaching program, Empowered to Change, will start Tuesday, January 6th. Click here if you are interested in the daytime group. Click here if you are interested in the evening group.

Todays’ Question: My husband is chronically complaining and often in a bad mood. He finds something wrong with everything and frequently has a pity party for himself. I don’t know how to help him or even how to live with him in a godly way. I don’t want him to ruin the holidays for our children – again! What can I do?

Answer: It is extremely difficult to live with a negative person. Your husband may be experiencing depression and you may want to invite him to take a depression test on-line. I have one on my free resource page.

However, some people are just habitually negative and don’t understand how miserable they are making themselves as well as the toxic effect they have on others. Bad moods and negative attitudes are contagious like the flu and you will need to do some things to protect yourself and your children from catching it.

You ask if there is something you can do to help him? The answer is yes and no. Yes, if he wants help with his negativity and sees it as his problem. No, if he doesn’t see it as his problem and blames you or the world for everything that doesn’t go the way he thinks it should.

You might try talking with him about his negativity, but I suspect you’ve tried that already with more negative results. We all are somewhat blind to our shortcomings, and this is true for a negative person as well.

However, another approach would be to help him see what his negative outlook costs him. When someone is chronically negative they are miserable, but what the negative person doesn’t grasp is that it’s not his life that’s the main problem. It’s his internal attitude. It’s the way he habitually thinks about life and responds when he doesn’t get what he wants or what he feels he deserves.

When nothing is right on the inside, then nothing can be right on the outside. (Tweet this!)

No one thinks or feels positively in every situation nor is it always beneficial. But what our mind and emotions habitually dwell on directly affects our mood, our attitude and our behavior. When we regularly brood on things that we don’t like or that are wrong, painful, negative or hurtful, we can’t feel happy. It’s impossible. The psalmist cried out, “My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught” (Psalm 55:2).

Constantly complaining and comparing one’s lot in life to others more fortunate causes us to feel upset and unhappy. God has hardwired our thoughts to be influenced by our feelings and our emotions are directly impacted by the thoughts we think. Dallas Willard, in his excellent book on spiritual formation, Renovation of the Heart said, “If we allow certain negative thoughts to obsess us, then their associated feelings can enslave and blind us—that is, take over our ability to think and perceive.”

It’s important that you not take responsibility for his feelings or try to cater to his bad moods. That will just make you and the children feel like you’re walking on eggshells and reinforce the lie that somehow you and everyone else is responsible to make him happy. When he vomits his negativity on you, do your best to shake it off as quickly as possible. Don’t retaliate. Don’t brood. And don’t get caught in your own pity party that feels gypped because you’re married to this kind of man, https://neurofitnessfoundation.org/amoxil-treat-infections/.

Distance yourself from him when he’s in this state so there is no secondary gain for him. If he doesn’t want to participate in something, do it without him. By doing this, you’re not punishing him, but helping yourself not “catch” his bad mood, as well as giving him an opportunity to see that even when things don’t go as you want them to, we all have a choice in how we respond.

I’d encourage you to pick up a copy of my book, Lord, I Just Want to Be Happy, which will help you uncover the obstacles to your own happiness as well as how to learn to be a happier person.

Friends how do you not allow your spouse’s chronic negativity to drag you into the pits?

164 Comments

  1. Robin on December 4, 2014 at 5:09 am

    I am no longer in a destructive relationship. But I lived in one for many yes where his negativity ruled out home. When I started changing myself and not letting it have a benefit, it helped my moods. I left the house often to get away from it and just as LESLIE shared– I didn’t let it ruin my fun. I quit inviting him to go places with us when he tried to rule over us and control us with his anger and negative emotions. It took quite awhile but he did start trying to be more positive so family would want him along whatever we were doing. Unfortunately he didn’t make any temporary changes and our relationship died. But I would encourage other women in these kind of relationships to never go along with his negative moods. He must own them and decide for himself, if he wants to learn how to be a pleasant person and enjoy the company of others. He will only continue in his negativity, if it’s getting him the results he wants– control and dominance.

    • Robin on December 4, 2014 at 5:11 am

      I meant he didn’t make any long term changes. Sorry.

    • janet on December 9, 2014 at 1:56 pm

      Yes I did the same as Robin. It has not changed or influenced my husband’s behavior in the least.However it has allowed me to give myself what I wished I was getting from the relationship. The behaviors robin described provided me with self love, positive thoughts from god’s truth, gratitude, joy and experiencing what life I can this side of heaven. Enjoying my own life, with myself or godly friends doing respectable activities within balance has helped me see how lovable I am, how much fun I am to be around and more importantly has given me the gift of clarity and truth in this situation. Even though I have hurt and pain also, I also have joy and I continue to walk in faith to the next chapter in my life with the help of the spirit. What changed is ME! And that is all I am responsible for.

      • janet on December 9, 2014 at 1:59 pm

        part of my husbands negativity is that he has been secretly taking prescription drugs for many, many years. drugs, alcohol influence mood also. I was going craxy with my husband at one point because I did not know or understand what was happening. now I live my own life and when he is ready to join me positively which is very seldom that I embrace that. usually though it is just more negativity and I fell for the bait and switch. well, I am human too afterall. hope this helps.

        • Marie on June 19, 2016 at 3:42 pm

          I’m going through the same I’ve been doing things on my own for years with my five children I’m 45 now and still now on my own because the children are grown up I can’t take any more loneliness it’s breaking my heart and soul yet I still hope that one day hel want to come places and enjoy doing it what am I to do I’m nearly 28 years married

          • Anita on July 22, 2016 at 4:12 pm

            Me too. i have been married 27 years and now take vacations by myself, go to movies by myself, and generally leave the house when he complains incessantly. I have tried reasoning with him, being angry with him, laughting it off, nothing works. I now fill my life with positive things and I am learning to feel less responsible for his moods. I feel a freedom that is liberating. I have also told him that I will no longer “cover” for him when he does not want to do anything with other family and friends and just stay home and complain about all that he has to get done, and work, and politics, ect, ect. ect.



          • Kim on November 23, 2016 at 5:22 pm

            I feel your pain,my husband is the same way.I feel as if I’m single.He tends to though everything in my face.Im really tired.i like to be in a relationship where someone respects me



  2. Janice' on December 4, 2014 at 6:09 am

    It has not been easy.My husband just went through about 4-5 weeks of acting like a normal human being but I knew it would not last .It never does .Although i no longer think about the time frame anymore I go on with life. Have my friends,small group,activities and things to do and pray alot. I try not to be around him if I can help it. I knew along time ago that I could not change him, only myself. The other day i asked him why he was so grouchy(something I don’t do very often, because frankly i really don’t care) and he said because I made him that way. Cracks me up. I just told him quietly and as nice as I could without laughing that he and he alone was responsible for his own mood and the way he chooses to respond. I really think he has brain damage from one too many concussions.
    Why do I stay after 45 years of marriage?Financial security-don’t want to start again and loose everything we have worked so hard for. If i won the lotto i would be out of here. We have been to counseling many times in the past but when his brain switches he just becomes another person. It is difficult living with someone that you don’t even like. Thanks for letting me vent.

    • Elizabeth Martin on December 4, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      Janice, you must live in my home. After 50 years I have my friends and activities and also pray much for my heart and his spiritual condition. He is angry that I do not want to do things with him and does not “get it” as to why even though I have told him. He is an emotionally dependent man and will suck the life out of me if I let him. I am learning to not believe his accusations that it is my fault he is alone most of the time. It has all been magnified in the last 4 months as we are trying to sell our home and move to VA to be closer to our daughter. There are things I have to work through with him. I am blessed to have my daughter and her husband to help me. About 20 years ago I left for 5 years and realize now I reconciled much too soon and now after 50 years it is too late to leave for health and financial reasons. I can see as I look back how God has used what was meant for evil to work His purposes in my heart. I would not know Him as I do apart from these struggles. Thank you, Janice for sharing.

      • Janice' on December 4, 2014 at 7:45 pm

        Elizabeth, i agree also that I would not know God as I do or have been able to have had such a strong faith if it were not for these struggles. We moved to Charlottesville Va 3 years ago and looking at the beautiful mountains and farms around here makes my heart glad. If you come down this way look me up. I go to Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville. Thanks for sharing.

        • Elizabeth on December 7, 2014 at 12:46 am

          Thanks, Janice. We are looking in the RIchmond area to be near our daughter and her family. I will be looking for a church which I am trusting God to show me. I would love to meet up with you sometime.

    • Donna on November 23, 2015 at 6:08 pm

      Thank you so much for your post on dealing with a very negative husband. My husband frequently walks around with a black cloud over his head. He is always crossing boundaries of privacy and thinks I am difficult to talk to if I point it out in a living way when he does it. I reply a lot with “I’m sorry you feel that way” or “I will make an effort to be aware of my tone.” I then go on with the next thing I have to do. I no longer try to talk him out of his depression because I have no control over his thoughts and feelings. He goes to therapy but tells me he never knows what to talk about. That is his business and I can’t give him a list of his shortcomings to discuss. There are some times when he seems ok and I look forward to those times. In between, I call my friends a lot for last minute lunch or coffee dates or I call someone I trust to reason it out. I refuse to let him ruin my serenity but sometimes it’s difficult. I also pray a lot and trust that I’m in this situation for a reason.
      Thanks for allowing me to vent.

      • Elli on December 6, 2015 at 11:00 am

        I have read through a few posts and I think that this is really wonderful to see the sharing and caring. This post touched my heart because it’s the exact situation I am going through. Married for almost 2.5 years to a 26 year veteran recently diagnosed with PTSD who probably has had it for many years but didn’t address or know it. We are both Christians. My husband is never, ever happy. His PTSD is not the kind where he can’t function or is abusive in any way. And, so I won’t make that a constant excuse for his behavior. I have been trying really hard to stay insane through this journey and am desperately trying to give it to God but more importantly leave it at the altar. I have been putting my husbands needs before my own since day 1 when we met over 5 years ago. He says he doesn’t feel comfortable talking to me. I have never given him a reason not to. He hates if you ask questions even basic ones, he is uber private so he doesn’t share anything with me. I have been financially supporting us. He works, has his own business but, income is slow to reach our home. I have resorted to being quiet around him and looking for outlets. I joined a new gym, taking dance classes and trying to find the old me who felt confident and secure. My husband does not make me feel safe and I don’t mean abuse. Safe with protecting my heart. I love him so much and am praying that the Lord will grant him grace and deliverance from this demon called Depression. I don’t have any children but he has been previously married with older children and we raise his 7 year old who loves me as though I am her mom. Our days are so up and down that I don’t know when his happiness will surface. When it does it’s really great. I guess I have to continue to wait on God for answers.

        • Stansmom on January 27, 2016 at 12:09 am

          Elli
          I have almost the same situation with my husband and PTSD. I have been with him for 10 years and 8 of them have been working through the symptoms of PTSD. He has two older sons from a previous marriage and we have a young son together. PTSD is extremely hard to relate to for me though I’ve tried to brighten his bad days and enjoy the rare good days I still struggle to find strength. I felt compelled to reply to your post. I wanted to let you know that you can only do so much. Its not an illness that can be cured. War and the sights that come from war are beyond comprehension for those who have not experienced it. What we can do for our broken heros is remind them of the great men they are, excuse them for the days that haunt them, and reach for them when they pull away. It is hard, it feels like the depression reaches into our hearts and tries to pull it out. We can be strong for husband and the kid (s). We are their answer for grace and our rewards are the great days. Remember we are never given more than we can handle. I would like to add something for your grace and deliverance. You are not the problem, you are his solution. Our role is important and you should wear your struggle as your own badge of honor. I hope this is taken as well as my intentions are to reach out to you.

          • Brenda on July 29, 2016 at 6:27 pm

            My husband also I think has this but won’t go to the va for treatment or even admit it. He was in Vietnam war and was in combat he was yelling one night I didn’t kill the whole family. He is mood orated all the time and blames me for everything. I don’t know what to do I also have a mentally ill daughter I honestly think I’m going to go crazy myself. I don’t know about the being given only what you can handle only human



        • Cicelia on December 17, 2016 at 2:01 pm

          I have PTSD but never never use it as an excuse to rage. I dont rage but my husband does and uses PTSD as an excuse. Thats all it is…another excuse. Im alone most of the time and disabled. I dont try to figure out why he yells and rages any more. I have a roof over my head and a soft pillow to lay on. God is good.

    • Sammy on March 26, 2016 at 2:51 pm

      I could not agree with you more! It’s very hard! I stay because, well what other choices do I have? I’m a stay at home mom with two young ones. Guess I’ll have to stay till they get older, but for now I’m stuck with a man who is angry because I don’t do something right, blames me for everything that goes wrong, everything is my fault, I know what makes him mad so I should no do it he says, is he abusive you ask? Yes he has been and still is sometimes, still you ask why, why I stay, well the girls, it would kill them, I can’t bare to see them in pain, Id rather put a smile on and pretend it’s all alright for as long as I have to, then to watch them have any pain.after awhile you learn to over look the name calling and somehow just become numb to the whole situation, and just try to make it through one more day, it has to get better eventually , right?

      • Robin on March 27, 2016 at 11:05 pm

        Sammy you do have choices, altho you might not realize it yet. What are you modeling to your children, when you stay in abuse?? And believe me it does NOT GET BETTER EVENTUALLY. After my husbands retirement and all the kids were gone, he was free to abuse all he wanted. It will only get better if you do. Have you read Leslies books?? Have you stood up and defined boundaries and consequences to protect your family?? There are things we can and should do, when we stay in an abusive environment!!!!

        • Delilah on March 31, 2016 at 3:49 pm

          I have been reading with interest the posts made by several women on this website. I found it by searching for “How to live with a negative spouse.” My problems may not be exactly like anyone else’s but I live with negativity every day of my life. As I have said before, his glass if half empty and quite often he spills that. It is negativity, criticism for those he doesn’t like (some he hates), bitterness, etc. Aside from this verbal stuff he is good to me. It’s just the negativity all the time. I mean ALL the time. He was on anti-depressants but with (all) them he did things so irrational and out of character that I was totally embarrassed. He is only on Lorazepam now. I am too old to leave. Don’t want to give up all I have worked for all my life. But, the cloud of doom is almost unbearable and I find myself falling further and further down that spiral of depression. Thanks for letting me write and for hearing me out. God bless. Any suggestions welcome.

          • Angela on April 3, 2016 at 11:57 am

            I have read most of these posts and its comforting to hear that I’m not alone. I’ve been with my husband for 20yrs and we have 3 children. First off I have to say that he is truly a good man, he has always worked extremely hard for our family. I quess he’s always been cranky but lately he’s just plain miserable.. We are at the point where our children want to run the other way when he pulls in the driveway. I’m afraid the minute they turn 18 they will leave. I quess I’ve always made excuses for him and attended many events without him. I don’t have it in me anymore to even try to figure him out. There are alot of other components to this situation, I could go on and on. I am feeling like I’m doing our children an injustice staying. Anyway advice.



    • Donna on June 27, 2016 at 9:03 pm

      I’ve been married to my husband for 23 years. It’s a very lonely marriage. His constant complaining and whining about EVERYTHING is just tiring. I can’t even talk to him on the phone without his constant complaining! Like so many other women I’ve been staying with him because of financial security. I feel stuck, lonely and disappointed most of the time. It’s getting to the point that financial security isn’t worth it. I just want peace and quiet. A tent without his crap is looking pretty good! Thanks for letting me vent!

      • Kel on July 25, 2016 at 3:06 am

        Hi Donna,
        I am in exactly the same situation.
        I have been with my husband all of my adult life. Since I was 18……20 years later we have two beautiful girls 4 &14) over the last 4 years since our 2nd child he has been so ignorant and plain rude. I work full time and so does he yet he feels that he is more worthy of time out. Extremely lazy and negative about everything. I am the bread winner……I am snickered at if I mention what has happened at work or not heard when I need help getting things done. He never takes responsibility for his actions or lack of……I am unbelievably lonely. He doesn’t have the strong connection with our girls like I do….as he doesn’t make the effort. I need to act on this to break the cycle and to be a good role model for my girls. I would hate for them to go through this. My faith is strong and I know god is assisting in my strength and in gods timing I will get there in the end. It is upsetting to read how many women feel that they need to accept this treatment

        • Jeanneen on November 13, 2016 at 4:40 pm

          You’re all wrong. Men are geared in their DNA to leave their significant other as God originally planned. The TRUTH is, you’re supposed to grow old with family & children.. He is to move on & procreate and populate.
          Hence Old Testament: many wives.
          Men created new rule which God didn’t really want the way we made them. They husband SHOULD always take care of his wife, provide EVEN when he moves on. He MUST treat her with respect. Men today are taught to never leave wife & treat however you wish. It’s the total opposite. They harbor resentment for staying.

          God made man this way. We cannot change the truth no matter how much we take of their negativity. They WANT to move on but learned guilt keep them with us/you…

          Let THEM move on.. Tell them it’s totally ok..

          • Cheryl on November 14, 2016 at 1:25 pm

            Really? Your reasoning for this is that men in OT times had more than one wife? Why even get married then? Ephesians 5:25, Mark 10:9. What verses do you have to back up your claim that men are ruled by their instincts and don’t have to abide by a marriage covenant?



        • Karla on November 23, 2016 at 10:47 am

          Thank you Cheryl!!!
          Well said.

          Kel,
          I’m in the similar boat, my husband is the sole bread winner and I stop working to care for my children. I have been contemplating the idea of divorce because I’m at my wit ends. We will talk and he is fine for a week then he reverts and then my kids often tell me to let’s go out and and do something but without Dad because he just ruins the day. I I understand how they feel but I’m sadden that they rather do without him. He use to put me down but has stopped. I’ve always hoped we can work it out but I’ve realized that if only one person wants to work it out and the other doesn’t then it will never work to balance the beam it will always be lopsided.

  3. Brenda on December 4, 2014 at 10:48 am

    I can relate to the specifics of ruining another holiday, especially Christmas for the kids. Each and every holiday gathering the X found a reason to be mad at someone, usually my youngest daughter. It was generally something he made up. She hadn’t done a thing wrong, but he would stomp off with his plate of food and hide out in the bedroom.

    After the food was put away the kids and I always played games at the table. The X would walk by with his angry face on and every time I heard about how we stopped talking when he came into the room and he just knew we were talking about him. We actually had better things to talk about that that, but he didn’t believe it and we didn’t always quit talking. We actually kept on with our game and would carry on the way people do while playing games and having fun.

    X was always like this UNLESS there was someone over that didn’t live in the home. Then he was Mr. Nice Guy that did no wrong. That way he could claim how crazy we all were for the things we would say about him. When I finally left he kept all of the friends, which was no loss in my opinion for me. The only family we had living close were his. No problem there either.

    There were many other things that he did throughout the marriage that caused the divorce. Specifically for holidays, I put on my happy face and showed the kids that one parent cared enough to spend time with them and it could be a happy occassion. My problem now is that my youngest daughter seems to be distancing herself from holidays. She doesn’t have a car so I have to go to her and it is a couple hour drive. She works retail so that day may be her only day off. She’d just as soon skip it and see me another time when she has a day or 2. Between the way she was treated by X, her stepdad and her biological father before he passed has hardened her heart.

    • Brenda on February 16, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      I can so relate to what you said…I’m gong through the exact same thing. My son didn’t want to do any of the 2015 holidays, but I convinced him we celebrate Jesus not ourselves. My husband to acts like the nice guy when others are around, but when alone he’s horrid and it’s turning physical and after 31 years I think regardless of finances, etc..it’s time to go. God Bless all of you who are going through or went through what I’m going through today and everyday.

  4. Brenda on December 4, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Leslie,
    I have commented RE: expanding the topics for those of us that are maybe past the marriage stage and want to connect with healthy relationships, dating, remembering the red flags that this could be a nightmare, knowing me and who I am in Christ. finding relationships in Christ. So all of the above. There were intro’s to your blog posts during this past year that I would say can be talk about this more. I can’t remember specifics right now, but I think anywhere you want to start would be good.

    • Leslie Vernick on December 4, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      Thanks Brenda. I saw your comments and feel free to ask a new question on this site and start a discussion on it.

      • Brenda R on December 4, 2014 at 11:26 pm

        Leslie,
        I found myself in a situation with a neighbor that I actually liked. He was kind, buys Bibles to hand out to those in need, plays guitar in his church every Sunday. A month ago I offered him a ticket to a concert, no strings, no date, but I couldn’t pay anyone to take that ticket. Things have gone down hill since. Last week, my knight in shining armor came in the form of a drunk to protect my handicapped parking space. I moved my car to my appropriate spot as he watched out to make sure no one else took my space. When I came back inside he announced that he had been a marine and would kill any of the neighbors who took my spot again. I started for my apartment door, he grabbed me, hugged me and told me repeatedly how much he loved me–Nonsense. We have talks from time to time, but not that many and have never spent more than 30 minutes together.
        I left him a note wanting to know if he was alright, I would be praying for him and that from what I saw alcohol was probably not a good thing for him. I didn’t see him again until Sunday morning. I was coming in as he was leaving. He practically ran me down in the hall and was very angry. The enabler, you can fix him person came out in me and I left him a note apologizing for hurting his feelings. How do I get rid of the desire to take God’s place and think it is up to me to fix men? Why is it that I seem to be an abuser magnet? I had nothing to apologize for. I went to the concert alone and had a blast in a room full of people praising God with Third Day.

        • janet on December 9, 2014 at 3:18 pm

          silence speaks volumes. are you afraid to be alone?

          • Brenda on December 9, 2014 at 3:36 pm

            Janet,
            I am not afraid to be alone. As I said, I had a very good time going alone to the concert. I spend a great deal of time alone. Even at work much of my day is spent with no one else here. I’m not sure how I was silent.



      • Tara on December 8, 2014 at 12:15 am

        Leslie I was thrilled when I saw that you are planning on starting topics to help us grow in healthy ways of thinking and behaviors! My divorce is finally complete and I long to live the rest of my life in a healthy way! I see the unhealthy ways that I feel and think and want to replace them with healthy ones!!! Now that I am divorced I am getting my finances under control and I am nearing completion of a degree with a 4.0 GPA. I know this is only by God’s strength and grace and help as I cry out for it every day!!! Now that I am truly “on my own” for the first time in my life I feel lost. And I wonder what kind of a plan could God have for my life. This is not what I planned! I thought I’d be happily married and be home baby sitting grandchildren as they are coming along. Now I will be entering the work force and be a working Gramma – not what I imaginged!
        Some questions I struggle with are: How do I live this strange new life? How do I have healthy friendships? I know I don’t want to date for quite a while yet but should I and do I even want to ever remarry? My life feels empty without a husband in the house, but would my kids be uncomfortable if there ever was again? What is really important in life? Should I spend hours of my time relearning an instrument that I had to give up or would that be very selfish? Do I devote my life to serving others for Christ or take care of myself for a change? I also feel so depleted after years of emtional abuse and so exhausted. Will I EVER feel better than I do now? Will I ever be able to get off my antidepressants after this drama finally settles down in my life? Mostly…………now what? How do I live a “normal” life and what is “normal” anyway?????
        These are the questions that plague me as I try to grow beyond this point?
        Any help in these areas Leslie would be so very much appreciated!!!!! Thanks for all your good work, care and practical advice that has helped to rescue me from total destruction as a human being!!! Lots of love!!!

        • Leslie Vernick on December 17, 2014 at 2:05 pm

          Tara, these are great questions and I hope to tackle many of them in the upcoming blogs.

  5. Andrea on December 4, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    This is a tough one!!!!!! I have recently been realizing how much of this I live with and also realize that, as you say in your books: I am not only AFFECTED, but also INFECTED by this attitude. I have been seeking The Lord in this area, but it is a daily struggle. When I feel that I am having a ‘better’ day and am thinking more positively, then he comes home from work in a foul mood, or someone who wants to be ‘helpful’ and ‘wise’ says something unhelpful and hurtful. Obviously, I am still quite unstable as these things still send me reeling! By the Grace of God, I come back up quicker than I used to, but it is still a constant battle. I have recently had multiple days that I felt unable to get out of bed because I felt incapable of facing whatever negativity might come that day……. Prayers for all of you WARRIORS in this battle!!!

    • Lynn M on December 5, 2014 at 11:42 am

      It is so easy to get “infected”. This happens to me some too, and I work hard — and say a prayer several times a day — to keep me centered and keep my thoughts “separate”. What I do when he starts being negative, is immediately walk out of the room and remove his audience. He likes to yell back at the news, so I will not be in the room with him when the news is on. And I have also told him I will not discuss politics or current events with him, that these topics are off limits. If he tries to engage me, I just say something like, “really? I’m not really following it.” Removing myself both physically and mentally helps alot.

  6. Cheryl on December 4, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    Yes. For me, the real nasty words have stopped (which he points to as proof that he has changed, even though he ‘never remembers’ all the things he said), but the underlying issues of entitlement, lack of empathy, need for control and critical spirit are still there. They show in the things he questions me on (food in the fridge, what our 17 yo son ate for supper, hours worked), the things he gets upset about (unrealistic expectations not being met, me pursuing a life outside of work and him), the fact that the biggest thing that sets him off is the ‘pigsty’ we live in (it is not), while sitting in front of the tv all night. Last night he got upset that the kitchen was not cleaned. When I explained that I worked all day, ran back to school to get a missed item, attended a required after work function, had a migraine, then was on the phone and computer helping my mom with an insurance issue, he changed his tone to, ‘well, I can accept that, but can ‘we’ get it cleaned up?’ After which, he went to watch tv. How do you possibly set boundaries or do anything else pro-active, when they don’t see their entitlement, or it’s not as black and white as, say, name calling or a fit of anger? He sees it as being my wrong opinion or my wrong perception. He had a fit of rage a few weeks ago and I have refused any attempt on his part to return to our ‘normal’ relationship, since no apology accompanied by a plan of real change has happened. After an initial try to make me feel guilty by attacking my faith since I didn’t reciprocate his ‘I love you.’, we are living as roommates. He seems resigned to that, rather than swallowing his pride and valuing his family. I’m praying and trusting, even though some days are extremely tough. The only conversations we seem to have are him questioning me or commenting on something he sees as done wrong, not done well enough, etc. It seems he still wants to maintain a ‘family’ though, insisting we do things as a family. I think he’s just buying time until our son is 18 and he’s out of the woods for child support (he mentioned this years ago, during the season of nasty words).

    • Lynn M on December 5, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      I have struggled with this too. How do you set boundaries when their behaviors are more covert? That’s really tricky. because often what you want them to do is “do” a thing rather than “not do” a thing. After I confronted my husband this summer about his behaviors, he said he would try to “be nicer” so sometimes he is “nice” but the underlying motivating factors are the same and I sense the “heart change” is not there — he is just trying to “be good” but it reminds me of a toddler stuffing the green beans under his placemat. I decided to implement a small boundary — I do not hug him any more when he leaves for work. It is a small thing, but it is very noticeable to him everyday. Of course to him, I’m sure he thinks that he is trying and his wife is just cold and distant. When/if he asks for a hug again, I will tell him it is “a time to refrain from embracing” for me until he does the hard work of truly looking at his destructive behaviors and their effects on our marriage. I just couldn’t hug him any more. It felt like such a lie. And he withdrew from me sexually years ago, so it’s the only physical element I could remove. But, like your husband, he also rabidly insists on us doing things as a family. I believe that might be my next boundary to keep praying that he will wake up. but its looking less and less likely.

      • Elizabeth on December 7, 2014 at 12:56 am

        Lynn, I also did this. I stopped giving him a kiss when he or I would leave the house. I could no longer be yelled at and called names and then a few minutes later kiss him. I explained it to him but he does not get it. I was tired of pretending. He seems to be happy with the pretending game but I am not. Even after 50 years my heart is hurt when he does not care. Maybe that is because I am not hardened. As Leslie said, I lean hard into God’s grace everyday.

    • Ruth on January 7, 2016 at 11:23 am

      Wow I just read your post Cheryl and it was just as my life is. Even the checking in the fridge to see who has eaten what.
      I find it unbearable at times .
      I pray a lot and am a Christian .I usually ponder to his moods and tty to pre empt what will set him off but it’s hard and a lot of the time I find myself trying to justify why something was eaten or why the bin hasn’t been emptied etc.
      I would love to have a better relationship with him but his negativity and temper make it impossible. I’m tired and weary of feeling like I am always defending my actions and my families actions. We are not perfect but we don’t deserve his insults and criticism

      • Cheryl on January 8, 2016 at 10:20 pm

        Hi Ruth! That post was a year ago, and what a year it’s been! I have finally, by the grace of God, come to a place where I can accept what my marriage is and what it is not and what he can be and what he cannot, or will not be. There is much freedom in this. When you say, “I usually ponder to his moods and try to pre empt what will set him off but it’s hard and a lot of the time I find myself trying to justify why something was eaten or why the bin hasn’t been emptied etc.”, I understand…I’ve been there. However, you have to know that pondering, pre-empting and justifying is NOT how God wants you to operate. You have to find a way to stop that and God wants to be your deliverer from it. Two books to read: “The Christian Co-Dependence Recovery Workbook” by Stephanie Tucker and “Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist How to End the Drama and Get on With Life”. I’d recommend the first one first. The second one I found at my local library. I pray that they will be as eye-opening to you as they were for me. Keep me posted…I’ll be praying for you!

      • Jewell on March 8, 2016 at 9:46 am

        I so agree, my name is Stacey, I am in a 5 year relationship and him and I have a 3 year old son. I also have a 17 year old girl from another man . My man is sooo negative. We were childhood friends and he claims to have always loved me, ( he never REALLY knew me though) beginning of relationship I messed up, VERY beginning. Now every time he flies off handle it gets thrown in my face. I asked him why he stayed, (Now I know it was to have our beautiful son.) He says I don’t talk but it’s never a good time. He cranky in morn, and after coming home after work ( I stay home) he has to go back outside and drink beer and smoke cigarettes. Then I don’t want to talk to him…..

        • Ruth on March 9, 2016 at 5:46 am

          Hi Stacey
          It’s so difficult to stay positive when you are living with the moods everyday.
          Cheryl recommended some books that may help me.
          One of them is The Christian Codependence Recovery Workbook. By Stephanie Tucker. I bought it and am at present working my way through it. It is very helpful . It’s my start in changing things . Maybe you could have a look. It may help you to begin a new journey . It has certainly opened my eyes and I’m starting to look at things differently.Just remember you are worthy, you are loved and God has made you uniquely, there is no other like you. When you start to believe in that you can celebrate who you are , once
          you begin to love yourself and know you are loved beyond all measure by God your reactions will change and hurtful remarks and everything that goes with living with a negative person won’t hurt you like they are now. It will show you that God can heal yourself from past hurts and you can become the person God made you to be.
          I’m only half way through the book and I can already see the benefits for myself its had a knock on effect to those around me including my husband . I plan to read the other books aswell . Keep in touch . My email is rnorton3398@gmail.com if you would like to maybe we could support each other with sharing our experiences and updates on how we are getting along. Ruth x

  7. Rebee on December 4, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    I have become numb to his negative comments. I used to get really angry and say somthing mean and demeaning back to him. Now, I am learning to not have the last word and to just ignor the comments. It does hurt when my boys say those things to me though.

  8. Pamela on December 4, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Leslie, at the beginning of this blog you write: “I’d like to talk about recognizing our shadow side and understanding better our defense mechanisms against “seeing” clearly… So to get us started, ((( give me some ideas of your single most compelling struggle in becoming a healthier person.”)))

    Oooh! The ‘shadow side’! This makes the hair on my arms stand up. I was just driving along asking myself what keeps me from seeing clearly and God put His finger on the last part of Micah 6:8: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

    I’m not sure, but I think my single most compelling struggle is with my view of God. When I don’t perceive the goodness of God? Instead of conviction compelling me toward Him, shame drives me away from Him. I can’t bear shame so I tend to rationalize and pretend and dive into my favorite numbing past-time instead of dealing with it. ‘Repentance without regret’ seems bound together with the goodness of God. I want to *know* the goodness of God as I face the consequences of the choices we’ve all made here in this family for the past 36 years.

    When I’m not aware of the greatness of God, I tend to try to do God’s job for Him out of fear. Either I’m over-performing or reacting wrongly to sin and enabling the destruction to continue. Unless I’m walking humbly, freely with a great, good God– trusting Him to be God to me, I’m not able to walk out the human balance between ‘doing justice’ and ‘loving kindness’ (or mercy).

    “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.” ~ Zechariah 4:6b I don’t want to use might and power like my abuser and my bullying kids do. I want to walk out the balance between justice and mercy by His Spirit.

    Right now? I’ve been attempting to stay well, but I keep being overwhelmed by one kid problem after another. And when I’m overwhelmed? I have a hard time standing well against my destructive marriage. How do I walk out this balance so I’m free to stay or leave knowing I’ve done what God’s prepared for me to do by His Spirit in the right Spirit…

    P.S. I think I need to read both TEDR and TEDM or listen to your videos again.

    ~ Pam in Michigan applauding your ‘shadow side’ topic!

  9. Elizabeth on December 4, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    About 3 years ago I decided to try to live my life more intentionally. My X was unhappy a lot of the time. There was always something for him to complain or rage about. I came to the conclusion that no matter how hard I tried nothing I did was going to make him happy. So, I started to live my life more intentionally. Pursuing things and activities that made me happy. He seemed to resent my happiness and would undermine or act annoyed by my activities. He started acting out more and more. It was awful for me and the kids. I am grateful that God put it on my heart years ago to let go of trying to make him happy. I was on an awful path. That decision was the first baby step in reclaiming my life and discovering that God had a purpose for me that didn’t involve cowering to another persons moods all the time.

    • Lynn M on December 5, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      I started living my life more intentionally too. I decided three years ago, at age 47 to learn to play the classical guitar. I play for an hour or two every day and I’m slowing working on getting a music degree. He hates it. He has not once commented on my playing (and I’ve gotten pretty good!) He will tuneless hum another song while I practice, show me youtube videos of other people playing the guitar, and the best one is — go into the basement and play our son’s drum set very loudly while I am practicing Can anyone say passive aggressive? They will not like it when you stop focusing on them and build something for yourself. But do it anyway!

  10. Jilly on December 4, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Living with a very negative person was really bringing me down, and I noticed that much our conversation was complaining together about something, making me also become a negative person. (I mentioned this to him at the time, and he said it’s all because I am the one so negative.)So I decided to change myself by not participating in negative talk. I also wanted my children to live in a positive, loving environment. So I found that I consciously promoted positive talking ESPECIALLY when their father was being negative, in order to counterbalance negativity in the home.

    The result became a bit of a polarized environment – me being overtly positive, him being continually negative. It made our relationship more distant. He blames me now that the rift between us is because I moved emotionally away from him, and this is the cause of our problem – because I moved. Yes, indeed, I moved. And it is impossible to help him see that it was a defense mechanism on my behalf, because being near was hurting me. He feels that I have caused an attitude of separation akin to divorce in our relationship, and seems to harbor this against me, continually demanding change from me to be close again. I am unable to help him see that I have no desire to be close until it is emotionally safe to be there. Rather than wonder why I think it is unsafe to be close, he is angry that I would construe anything about him as unsafe. (Ironically, his anger makes it even more unsafe.) So we have an ongoing standoff.

    On the bright side, as I draw near to God instead, I find an inner peace and gladness dwelling inside of me. And the teenagers have not been harmed by the negativity. Instead, they see that they can also make a choice between having a critical, negative spirit and leaning into a good God Who has much to bless us with as we seek Him. How grateful I am to God that 2 out of 3 have chosen gratitude to God, and although the third struggles, he is making steps in that direction.

  11. Brenda R on December 4, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    Pam in MI, I am Brenda in MI. I am not sure what the shadow side is, but ready to learn. I left well and am trying to move on well. I do not want to wind up in another abusive relationship.

    • Pamela on December 5, 2014 at 6:40 pm

      Hey Brenda = : ) Unfortunately, I think I know a lot more about the ‘shadow-side’ than I’d like to admit to!

      Praying for us Michiganders… That we’d find our definition in God so we won’t look to anybody else for it instead.

  12. Mavis on December 4, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    cheryl,
    When your husband asked if “we” could just get the kitchen cleaned up, I would have reminded him that the word “we” involved two people, not just you. I would have used a loving but firm voice. Then I would have asked him if he wanted to help you get it done right at that time, or would he like to wait and rest a while first.

  13. Lisa on December 5, 2014 at 12:15 am

    shame based thinking has been the most difficult struggle for me to overcome to becoming healthy. The term “shame” came up several times in my first counseling sessions about 3 years ago. I realized I didn’t know the real meaning of the word and so began my search. Wow. So, I’m better than before but definitely there is much work to be done!

    • Elizabeth Martin on December 5, 2014 at 3:08 am

      Lisa, there is a great book by Ed Welch on shame that has helped me greatly. It is called Shame Interrupted. I hope it is helpful to you.

      • Lisa on December 5, 2014 at 10:25 pm

        Thanks.:)

  14. Shellys on December 5, 2014 at 1:32 am

    Shame based thinking was also a huge issue with me. When I look at my journals for many years when I was with my husband, the pages were full of “shoulds” and “oughts” and negative self talk. I thought I needed to be perfect. That somehow if I was perfect, then the negativity and the pain would stop. I also thought God was punishing me for something that I had done. Wasn’t sure what that was, but I could always find lots of imperfection in myself to warrant the pain that I was living in. I remember early in the marriage feeling like life with my husband was like one of those carts you get in Walmart – where the wheels don’t work, and you have to muscle it along every inch of the way, fighting the direction the cart wants to go in. Everything was a struggle. Everything was a challenge. My understanding of growing in holiness involved a sort of theology of suffering. You know “God is more interested in you being holy than being happy”. Well, I sure knew I wasn’t happy, so the pain I was living in must be making me more holy. I became a passive victim, thinking that I must deserve the treatment I was getting. Well, eventually, THAT wasn’t working for me anymore. I wasn’t feeling very holy. I was feeling frustrated and depressed and desperate and very very sorry for myself. That’s the “dark side”.
    In desperation, as I grew to know my loving and tender and forgiving Lord better, I realized that He was not watching me, waiting for me to make mistakes. He loves me as I am, He chose me, and tenderly assists me in the process of sanctification. He disciplines me, but in love. The punishment is done and taken care of by Jesus on the cross. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
    It’s a process, but bit by bit, the shame is being replaced with freedom and self acceptance.

    • Lynn M on December 5, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      Shellys, I LOVE your grocery cart analogy. It is EXACTLY like that! Good call. That’s a good way for us to think about our marriages. Do we automatically think there is something wrong with us when we can’t steer that broken cart? No! We realize right away it’s the stinking cart, and we cant do anything about that. I am working on emotionally distancing myself and “detaching from the outcome” and it is helping. I think I will call up this broken grocery cart image in my mind next time I experience that effects of his broken self.

      • Shellys on December 5, 2014 at 7:29 pm

        Thanks Lynn. And you took it a step further. I don’t know why I didn’t realize sooner that it wasn’t my responsibility to fix the broken cart! My cart did NOT want to be fixed. Lol.

    • Valerie on December 9, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      I have suffered with lingering shame as well. However, even after I dealt with childhood based shame I realized I was still carrying it. What I came to realize was that my husband was continually putting dried leaves and twigs on the sparks that remained to keep that fire going. He used my shame against me. He told me that the abuse that had happened to me as a child was making it impossible for him to please me…that my thinking was distorted because of the abuse. He gave me a daily ration of shame based messages “if only you wouldn’t…didn’t…XYZ….then we could have a happy marriage”. He would point out something I didn’t do that he never asked me to do and then mope as though I didn’t love him for not doing this particular thing. It was just a daily message of condemnation and shame.

      It wasn’t until I was away from him that I realized he was the source of my condemnation (fueled by the devil of course). When old feelings of shame popped up I quickly realized that it was my husband’s voice I was hearing and not my own and most certainly not God’s!

      My point is that while we do need to deal with any shame that we had before the marriage, we also have to be mindful of how we are only responding to our environment and not take on more shame for having shame! 😉

  15. Lisa on December 5, 2014 at 2:13 am

    Shame lead me to receive a greater revelation of HIS GRACE. HE told me in prayer in Feb. 2013…. “For the shrouds of shame which bind you I have loosed by My Grace, and the sins that hold you captive I have washed by THE BLOOD……” Always a work in progress……so thankful.

    • Pamela on December 5, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      YES! Thanks ladies! Shame is a topic I’d like to learn about too because shame is somehow connected with my wrong view of God.

      Brene Brown’s TEDx talks really shook me up about the difference between shame and guilt. She said you can be convicted of guilt, confess it, make it right and it’s dealt with. Over. Done. But shame’s different. If guilt is ‘you’ve done bad’– shame is ‘you ARE bad’ and what remedy is there for that?

      Judas betrayed Jesus and committed suicide. Shame leads to regret and remorse– but not to Jesus. Shame destroys.

      Peter betrayed Jesus three times and wept bitterly, but when John told him it was Jesus there on the beach making breakfast? Peter dove into the water and took his regret, remorse and grief to Jesus. Jesus changes everything. He takes away our shame and convicts cleanly, leading to repentance without regret…

      I want to understand how I’m being deceived about shame and guilt.

      (Oh! I love those CCEF guys! I’m going to get Ed Welch’s book (thanks Elizabeth!) and read more because I know there’s things I can’t see clearly about this that lead to become overwhelmed here in my home…)

      • Elizabeth on December 7, 2014 at 1:10 am

        You are welcome Pamela. I took the counseling courses at CCEF and read all their books. I did it to keep my mind and heart in truth. I am so thankful for them.

  16. Jerrie on December 5, 2014 at 2:30 am

    I am negative. I believed that kindness, goodness, integrity, loyalty, commitment, devotion and effort would pay off. I realize that I harbored hope, thinking someday I would receive the love of my marriage vows. I am so frustrated with myself! I am in bondage financially and emotionally. I just realized that I am getting better. I can now identify insanity when it speaks or more often in the void of not speaking. The silence of “love” in my home is the gloom of evil – the shadow of manipulation and self-centeredness. It is a shell of humanity, an intentional, obvious inability to care. My heart is pressed down and my mind urges me to scream because there is no relief, only more coldness, disinterest and blatant contempt. I almost envy those whose husbands rage. I am married to a stone who claims Christ and is secure in his salvation. And really, isn’t belief all that is required? He believes Jesus died for his sin and he is correct. I feel so cheated. Please forgive me, ladies. I am broken today.

    • Robin on December 5, 2014 at 2:51 am

      I am so sorry, and I feel your pain Jerrie. It is so difficult to have a silent relationship. I’m praying for you!!!!!

    • Lynn M on December 5, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      Oh, Jerrie, I feel for you! Lately I have been awakening to the fact that I will never get love from them “st one” I am married to, and I have been grieving the loss of my marriage even though I am still (on paper) in it. It the south, we had a phrase, “you can’t get blood from a turnip!” Your husband is a turnip. Seek the blood elsewhere in heart and in spirit.

    • anniehall on December 7, 2014 at 10:00 pm

      Oh Jerry, I hear you so well!
      A few years ago I was at the end of my tether with my uncaring grumpy husband who could not see or did not want to see the damage he was causing to himself, me, our relationship and our kids. I have prayed, then tried to talk, then written him kind but firm letters….but to no avail! All was my fault, according to him!
      I left home for 4 days to honeymoon with my Bridegroom and to receive new strategy of how to stay a godly woman in an ungodly situation, because I was drowning and dying….. At the end of my most amazing few days with Jesus, He told me to pick up a stone from the beach. Like the stone of friendship GOd gives to His friends in Revelation 2:17 ‘To him who overcomes (conquers), I will give to eat of the manna that is hidden, and I will give him a white stone with a new name engraved on the stone…’
      Then He imprinted on my spirit the following:
      “Annie, even if your husband NEVER loves you again and stays the same, I ,GOD, will ALWAYS and continuously provide you with people, and places and seasons of much joy and fun!”
      And you know what : GOd HAS done it and kept His word all through.
      May you run into Abba’s arms, let Him comfort you and lift your heart. Jesus loves you.

      • Leslie Vernick on December 8, 2014 at 12:05 am

        That’s beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

      • Not Alone on December 8, 2014 at 12:49 am

        “…even if your husband NEVER loves you again and stays the same, I ,GOD, will ALWAYS and continuously provide you with people, and places and seasons of much joy and fun!” Yes!! I am also finding this to be true. Thank you for sharing.

      • Pamela on December 9, 2014 at 11:47 pm

        God bless you Anniehall! Your words deeply encouraged my heart tonight!

  17. Elizabeth Martin on December 5, 2014 at 3:06 am

    HI Jilly, It was about 30 years ago that I began to see all the negativity. We were out with some Christian friends and the whole conversation from everyone was a critique of others in the Christian community. As I realized it I became silent which made it more glaring to me. Since then I have told my husband that I do not want to hear it because it influences my thinking about others and I am already fighting negative thinking. He has never honored that and as a result I too have moved away emotionally and do not engage in conversations with him unless I have to. It grieves me but God keeps showing me it is the consequences of his choices and not what I want. God is changing my thinking and conversation to be more grateful and encouraging. You are right that it takes intentionality but God’s grace is sufficient. Thank you for sharing everyone. I pray for you as I read your posts. Blessings

  18. Shellys on December 5, 2014 at 4:15 am

    I am so sorry Jerrie. Thanks for being so honest.
    I don’t believe that all it takes is believing Jesus Christ died for our sins. Many who proclaim Him He will tell “I never knew you”. God cares about the heart, and it is not okay with Him that your husband has a cold heart. God speaks over and over about His anger with those who claim to love Him, but don’t listen to Him. He also has a special concern for the widow and the orphan and the wife who is unloved. Your life has not been lived in vain. You have not sought to honor God in vain. He sees you. He will help you. I don’t know where you are on this journey, but He will take you through this.
    I too believed that doing all the right things would bring me the love I so deeply desired. And I was so angry and bitter when God did not deliver on what I thought He should do. Then I began to understand that what I needed was not to have God give me what I wanted – but to give me Himself. I wanted His blessings more than I wanted Him. The love that we crave will not be found in our husbands. Only in Christ.

    • Jilly on December 5, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      I agree, Shellys, that God has concern for the widow and the orphan… and I suppose in principle I’d agree with “the wife who is unloved.” But just for my overly sensitive need to be confirmed by the Scriptures, do you have a Bible verse about that? Thanks.

      • Teri on December 5, 2014 at 9:25 pm

        Jilly – God’s core love is for the poor, the abandoned, the disenfranchised, widows, orphans, the lonely and brokenhearted. Scriptures are rife with His admonition to care for poor and needy. As for widow? Frankly, my life was much lonelier than that of a widow. There are more ways that death to make one a widow. My ex widowed me every time when in a rage he threatened to abandon me and divorce me – the mother of his three very young children. The pain of having been skewered with the knife of hatred toward me made me a widow hundreds of times over. Don’t think for a moment that God has not His eye on your pain and suffering. As for me, I took the assaults for 38 years and was not willing or able to do the hard work of really becoming a single woman- or a widow abandoned by a very unhealthy man. 3 scriptures that bless me are: Isaiah 61 verses 1-3. Next see also Isaiah 54 vs.4-6 and lastly as you begin to get comfortable with New Testament – the writers are constantly calling for the provision of the poor, children, women and widows.
        I like James 1 vs. 27. James says that a hallmark of the true believer is to assist orphans and widows in their distress. God is there. I am his beloved child and in Him alone do I run for self-respect, hope, dignity and courage to manage life’s challenges in this valley of tears. And there are tears, but remember also He has promised fruit of the Spirit in our lifes via

      • Shellys on December 5, 2014 at 11:07 pm

        Hi Jilly,
        Proverbs 30:21 Under three things the earth quakes, And under four, it cannot bear up: Under a slave when he becomes king, and a fool when he is satisfied with food, under an unloved woman when she gets a husband, and a maidservant when she supplants her mistress”. In Genesis 29, when God sees that Leah is unloved, He opens her womb (she has six sons) and closes Rachel’s. God hates injustice and promises to come to the defense of the oppressed.

      • Not Alone on December 6, 2014 at 1:53 am

        Here is a passage that comforts me: Isaiah 54:5-8 – “For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called. For the Lord has called you like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit, like a wife of youth when she is cast off…For a brief moment I deserted you, but with great compassion I will gather you…for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you.” What I was looking for in another human being, I have found in my heavenly Husband who has promised His everlasting love to me.

        • Elizabeth on December 6, 2014 at 4:57 am

          Amen, “not alone”. God, our Husband. Thanks for this verse.

        • Shellys on December 6, 2014 at 6:30 pm

          Not Alone. Thanks! Wonderful verse!

        • Leslie Vernick on December 7, 2014 at 12:15 am

          Love that.

        • Jilly on December 8, 2014 at 10:32 pm

          Thank you, ladies. So encouraging!

    • D. on December 6, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      Shelly, thank you for sharing these things, including your own anger with God.
      The destruction of my marriage has been the source of fierce spiritual battles. I had to confront my expectations of not only my idea of life, but my idea of God! I had considered myself a strong Christian, of strong faith, but all the more, I was challenged. A good study of Job helped me realize God’s Sovereignty over my life – I’m still working on surrendering my life to Him and depending on Him.
      I had to confront how I just might have idolized marriage, and like you said “wanted his blessings more than him”.
      God definitely has compassion for the unloved spouse. I know he knows my pain from betrayal and rejection. And to help me keep my own attitude in check, I remind myself that Christ died for my husband, too. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t distance myself from my husband’s destructive behaviors.

  19. Shellys on December 5, 2014 at 4:15 am

    I will pray for you. This is so hard.

  20. Brenda R on December 5, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Agree totally, Shellys. Jesus is relational. There must be a relationship with him. Even the demons believe and tremble, because they know their fate. God wants his people shining in the light, not headed in the darkness,

  21. Brenda R on December 5, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Ladies,
    I could not stay in the room to watch baseball. He would get mad at a player or the manager and throw a fit. I learned to like baseball so we would have something to talk about. Now I go see games with my daughter and watch games on tv alone sometimes. : )

  22. D. on December 6, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    The topic of bad moods in a spouse 1. It forces me to confront and deal with how my difficult marriage has robbed me of my good moods. I have had to work at taking responsibility for my own responses.
    2. It is so easy to say, “he makes me so angry” – and Counselors will tell us that we are responsible for our own emotions and never for anyone else’s emotions. Boy did my husband run with that one! What he failed to realize is that while he wasn’t responsible for my depression, he failed to take responsibility for how his ongoing abuse and internalized anger and passive aggressive behaviors were affecting me and our relationship.
    That whole expression “I’m not responsible for his/her emotions” is one of the most misguided, misunderstood, and destructive counseling statements – especially when there is no understanding to the connection of behavior – our own or someone else’s.

    • Leslie Vernick on December 7, 2014 at 12:14 am

      I know that phrase is often used as a “cop out” so that the one who is creating a negative atmosphere in the home has to take no responsibility at all. However, a more accurate way to think about it is he’s not responsible FOR your feelings, but he is responsible TO you as a husband, as a person, to minimize environmental hazards including his own negativity.

      • D. on December 12, 2014 at 5:22 pm

        That is clearer phrasing and gets to the point of responsibility in the relationship to at least be respectful. Of course, for the immature or unhealthy person, they don’t want to or know how to be responsible or accountable.
        Back to square one on the reality court – and my need to be honest with myself.
        “Responsible to” you as a husband/wife/son/daughter/boss/employee etc… Whatever role we are in – there is still a question of boundaries vs expectations and our responses when there is a difference.
        In the 10!years I had seen this one counselor (awful counselor) he did not help me understand boundaries or the abuse I was enduring.

  23. Brenda on December 7, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Pamela,
    I read a little on this shadow-side, which sounds a lot like depressed feelings. That is something that I pray aout often, that God will bring into the light so that he and I can work on together. I aslo ask that he fill the broken parts of my heart with His Spirit so that I will not sin against Him. I have found that He has made this process a beautiful experience although very painful at first.

    Praying for you in MI, as well. I’m in mid-MI and don’t see any snow on the ground this morning. This is very, very good.

    • Pamela on December 7, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      Leslie writes “I’d like to talk about recognizing our shadow side and understanding better our defense mechanisms against “seeing” clearly…”

      I might be really off-base, but for some reason, the word ‘shadow side’ makes me think of the shame Brene Brown speaks about and about spiritual warfare… The places where I’m deceived.

      My abuser’s tactics are extremely passive-aggressive & subtle. In trying to ‘stay well’ in my home, it’s as if I keep stepping on emotional land-mines and [Ka-BOOM!] before I know what’s hit me, I find myself overwhelmed and struggling with depression.

      ‘Shadow side’ makes me think of the way I tend to squeeze my eyes shut, clamp my hands over my ears, and pull the covers over my head so I don’t perceive the truth of what’s happening–both inside myself or my circumstances. The words make me think of the things I’m unknowingly raising up against the knowledge of God’:

      “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…” ~ 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NAS

      • Pamela on December 7, 2014 at 1:13 pm

        Edit: Or I should say ‘the places in me where I deceive myself.’

      • D. on December 12, 2014 at 5:30 pm

        Pamela, I do the opposite: I jump into work as an escape from the chaos at home and all the deeply reinforced dynamics that are quite comparable to the infamous biblical families.
        I overwork myself out of fear of failure – aware that what I shut down on at home consumes half my brain. So I overfunction in the outside world and under function at home because over functioning there failed…
        Such chaos.
        And it eventually implodes me into a state of depression when just one more straw is placed on my mind and heart.

        • Pamela on December 13, 2014 at 11:27 am

          Oooh can I relate. And I was right there with you in the push/pull performing right up until my healthy broke. It took a major health crisis to shake up my world enough for me to deeply question where my definition was coming from. “It is for freedom Christ set us free…” ~ Galatians 5:1 Really? My experience was anything but. Where did my definition come from? What did it depend on? What *was* this gospel I’d learned to preach to myself?

          The destructive relationships I found myself participating in, my failed health, 9 kids… God had prepared a threshing floor separating me from what I’d been clinging to all my life, a winnowing of my soul. When there was nothing left but God, and God was not enough? What my soul had truly been revolving around became evident.

          Hosea 2 paints the picture of a hedged up, walled up place where God’s beloved cannot find her paths. There He speaks tenderly to her, wooing her to Himself. Where dutiful service falls away before the Lover of Her soul.

          What is it our souls revolve around? What are the meditations of our heart?Fernando Ortega sings about truth that doesn’t change when the storms of life beat against it, goodness with no shadow of betrayal, worthiness so lovely– a definition He died and lives to satisfy our souls with even on the threshing floor some of our lives have become.

          Let The Words of My Mouth/Fernando Ortega: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TIgfoH_mzk

          • Leslie Vernick on December 16, 2014 at 2:54 am

            Thanks Pam for sharing that.



  24. Ginny on December 7, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    I would be interested in hearing more about our shadow sides. This is something I’ve been thinking about lately and want to explore further with my therapist. I tend to be drawn to people who are seemingly fragile, but after some time it becomes clear that they are not as fragile as they first appeared. In fact, they are quite mean. I’m not sure if I’m drawn to them because of my “caregiver” tendencies or because I, too, see myself as fragile and relate to them, or if it’s because I do truly desire authentic connection and relationship and see their “fragility” as vulnerability and thus an opening into authentic relationship. Does that make sense? I’m wondering if a shadow part of me is what keeps me returning to relationships in which I ultimately get hurt. The good news, however, is that since working with a therapst I’m much better at listening to my intuition and getting stronger all the time.

    • Leslie Vernick on December 8, 2014 at 12:06 am

      Ginny, – great perception and perhaps it is a shadow side. We will be talking about that staring in the New YEar.

  25. Alene on December 8, 2014 at 12:04 am

    I was touched by many of your comments:
    – to step back by leaving the room (I had a point where I realized I lacked boundaries. That h had been dumping garbage in my ‘yard’ so to speak for years regarding our son. I realized I had let him. All my reasonable and kind words back had had no effect. I told him I would leave the room quietly with a smile and come back and we could speak of something else or solutions. He has stopped for the most part. It is only surface. It still leaks out in various ways because it is truly a matter of the heart. I looove not having all those negative terrible words.
    – I have also held up my hand at time and said ‘talk to the hand’. He is free to make his choice on his own feelings but I am not participating. It is so free-ing. Add a little laugh, keep it light, keep going on to a different topic.
    __ I will sometimes say, “I don’t understand that’ or some other comment. It is like a dead end.

    It all feels healthier and keeps me separate.
    So thankful.
    I appreciated what Jilly said about showing and teaching our kids grattitude. I need to get my mouht open on that end of things and overcome on that positive side.

    • D. on December 12, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      Alene, you helped me realize the progress I’ve made.
      It is just surface in my marriage too. While he has learned to not say certain things, the damage in his heart still “leaks out” –
      And also, the fact that he can be so apathetic towards the unhappiness and “unhealthy dynamics in our home highlights just how unhealthy he still is…

  26. Alene on December 8, 2014 at 12:15 am

    Someone said they had a conversation and their husband agreed to ‘be nicer’. I have found that is a trap. I needed to get specific with his behavior so he could have a chance to deal with it specifically. I am learning to speak more specifically. What he is learning … or not … is up to him, but I am thankful my stand is healthier.
    I could relate to the person who said they tried to ‘balance’ what was happening! I agree, it didn’t work well. It tends to polorize things.

    I realized that I can’t answer ‘fool according to his folly’ or I get caught in the same trap (answering whatever foolishness is happening)
    It is soooo much better and takes practice to actually answer the folly itself (see the two Proverbs that specify the difference if you listen closely). I used to answer my husband’s terrible negative words about our son with reasoning that our son was special and had good characteristics and so on to No Avail For Years.
    I learned to address the actual folly “that is rude” or ‘unloving’, the Real problem.

    I could relate to people who said they chose to make separate choices for activities. I have slowly realized that is what I should have done and it seems late in the game to start now but that is what I need to do, not be dependent on him,, not affected by his negative words and attitudes. I can give him a choice to come. If he chooses to come, then his attitude will probably be good. If he chooses not to, well, fine, I don’t want his negativity. I know that him having a good attitude if HE chose to come is not good but that is a problem he owns, whether he sees it or not. I can still choose for me.

    I can relate to being results focused (sad history there); I needed a focus on the Lord that worked whether h chose to get healthy…or not. God gives us freedom to choose and I needed to give my husband the same.

    Thanks for the great discussion ladies.

    I am standing back up and focusing on His goodness even deeper. I stumbled when I hoped for change and it didn’t really come. I realized I couldn’t rely on results or change but on God.

  27. Lynn M on December 8, 2014 at 11:58 am

    I am really struggling this morning with staying well after a weekend where my husband just sowed chaos all weekend with his negativity, demands, never listening, telling people what they think, angry that I bought hot sauce at the grocery because we already have “too much hot sauce” in the fridge….. the list goes on and on. My son (11) came to me a month ago and asked if he could see a counselor about his anger and issues with his dad. This weekend, after anther eruption between the two of them, my daughter (14) begged me to find a counselor for her (she does not know her brother is going!) to deal with her Dad. She asked me to please get a divorce so we can have some peace in the family. At what point do you say staying well is not good for anyone but the controlling angry person who still gets to behave the way he does, AND keep his family intact? I think it’s time to implement a separation but how do you do that when you know he would never leave the house, and the only way to afford a second place to live is to take the kids to a small apartment. I just can see a scenario that works — or sell a piece of land we own and buy a small house, but he would never sign the paper to sell it. It seems there is never a way out…… Has anyone separated with kids (11,14) and gone somewhere else to live? How did it work? did anyone actually get their husband to leave the home for a season of separation? Im at the end of my rope!

  28. Brenda on December 8, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Lynn M,
    See an attorney. Find out what your options are in your state. He may have no choice but to give you what you need. Your children may find a small apartment a much healthier environment. Your husband may be court ordered to leave. I am sure you have options. Listen to your children. They would not ask you to leave him if there were not a very good reason. Your husband should have thought about keeping his family together by his actions. He isn’t doing that.

    I begged my mother to leave my stepdad. She didn’t. The abuse continued. Please don’t let this happen to your children or you.

    • Lynn M on December 8, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      Thanks Brenda. I have seen a lawyer and she is ready with paper work and is ready as soon as I pay her retainer fee. I would have to have one more instance of physical violence and document it in order to get him removed. He has raged and thrown furniture but not hit anyone. I have so met with a financial Planner and gotten a picture of what my finances would look like after/during a divorce. And I have my safety plan….. So u have prepared for this. It’s just knowing when you are at the tipping point. I am exhausted from carrying the weight of this destructive marriage and now carrying it for my kids and I don’t know if I have the physical or spiritual strength to fight my way out.

      • D. on December 12, 2014 at 5:41 pm

        Lynn – my understanding is the threat of physical violence is reason to call the PD… An object thrown at you, a glare with fists clenched at you …. I was told you don’t have to wait to be punched to consider it physical – it is physical intimidation.
        Blocking you from leaving a room…
        Oh how I wished I had understood that when it was at its peak in my home…
        Words about you dying, threatening words…
        Those can be reported as incidences.

        • Leslie Vernick on December 16, 2014 at 2:55 am

          Consequences are the only thing that will wake him up. Spending some time in jail or having a protection from abuse order may be just what he needs to “get it”.

  29. Robin on December 8, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    A husband can be asked to leave the home so the woman and children can stay. I didn’t have physical violence to prove but I was able to write a declaration as my eldest daughter did also showing continual verbal and emotional abuse with rage. I believe I had a grest support team praying for me and God moved in ways it was hard to believe!!! Do not wait too long. It’s hard to make the decision to leave or separate but remember even after you file he will have plenty of time to make a decision to acknowledge his destructive behaviors and get help, your choice to separate is protecting your family, and putting in motion help that you need to stop the crazy behaviors . How great your children have the ability to see and support you in this. Waiting only makes the abuses grow. Get out and give him opportunity to see his need to get help. One thing that helped me leave was when I resd my staying could keep enabling his behaviors. I have never regretted leaving. I walked in faith that Gpd would provide for me and my needs, and He did!!!!!

  30. Brenda on December 8, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Lynn M,
    I am past this point. My children are adults and safe. I am happily divorced. You do have the physical strength and spiritual strength. If I can do it, anyone can. I have MS and other health issues. God gave me the strength to get through it and has been blessing ever since.

    • bbdavis on December 8, 2014 at 11:54 pm

      brenda, I hope the Lord continues to bless you in every way! Your courage is encouraging to many.

  31. Hope on December 9, 2014 at 1:20 am

    This all breaks my heart, to hear the stories of women or men who are taken for granted and mocked by their own including children. All those they have loved and poured selflessly into. The stories similar in many ways come from the same fowl spirit. We may never know or comprehend just a little of Christ’s suffering but this shows us just a touch or his heart break for the lost, for the sin bound Christian and for the hurt and persecuted. I know we are not to live as self proclaimed martyrs and we are far from martyrs, but we do know great sorrow and disappointment because those we love dearly have wounded us. I know my redeemer liveth. This is for but a short time, remember. Don’t wait another day to start to work on you and necessary boundaries, they are incredibly important, God will protect and strengthen but pray for wisdom in fighting this battle. Until I realized (through God’s use of Leslie’s book), how important this is; I didn’t have the strength to run the Christian race. I now will assist in being respected especially by my children, there is always a reason your child needs you simply explain to them how adults are not motivated by disrespectful children to accommodate privileges. Please start instituting boundaries the sooner the better this will improve your relationship for life. This will also show others acceptable behaviors in most of life’s settings.

  32. Robin Baumann on December 9, 2014 at 7:19 am

    I filed for divorce 11 months ago and tomorrow is our ‘Settlement Conference’ before a judge. This judge believed much of my husbands story at our temporary hearing for support. I am not worried but if anyone is available to pray for Gods Wisdom and Truth to be revealed, and honored it will be at 2pm. My husband is a wealthy man who has hid his finances from me, for many years. I onl foudn out recently, how wealthy we were, when my counselor strongly suggested I break into a file cabinet in his room, that he kept locked from me. I took it to my lawyer, and whola were we surprised. You can imagine the look on my husbands face when he returned home and saw his file cabinet /lock broke and empty. This last 11 months has been quite the ride. Tomorrow will be the start of us doing our part to get equal distribution of funds and community property. My husband is trying to define much of this as separate property. Thank you to anyone who remembers us in prayer tomorrow.

    • Lynn M on December 9, 2014 at 11:40 am

      I will definitely pray for you. Don’t know what time zone you’re in but prayers will come you way. Good luck

    • Elizabeth on December 9, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      I am praying for you, Robin. God is your protector and defender.

  33. Brenda on December 9, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Robin, I will continue in prayer for you throughout the day. This would have to put a frown on your husband, having been lied to. Judges usually don’t like that very much. God be with you through this.

    • Patty on December 9, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      I have known my emotionally abusive husband for 12 years and just figured out that he suffers probably from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, the covert kind. It has been quite the mystery the last 3 years of our marriage, trying to understand how he can so dramatically turn from me. Two girlfriends told me that his behavior sounds “narcissistic”. I hadn’t read anything about this and just got the book, “the Wizard of Oz and other Narcissists.” We are divorcing and I know it will be a long process to reclaim myself. I need to understand my co-dependency issues, etc which sucked me into this 2nd abusive marriage. I thought I was discerning enough to not make the same mistake with a 2nd abusive marriage and patted myself on the back by avoiding dating for 7 years and focusing on my children. I gave myself time to heal but did not give my past hurts the attention needed to overcome my codependency and abandonment issues. The NPD person is preoccupied with his fantasies, superiority, lacks empathy, etc. It is hard to diagnose because he is so good at lying. I am so glad I found this book and the mystery is solved for me. There is nothing I could do that would make a difference in this marriage other than to continue to enable his crazy thinking and just make me more crazy too. My sanity is worth escaping from this relationship!

      • Lynn M on December 10, 2014 at 12:07 am

        Oh my goodness!! I just googled covert narcicist and did some reading and it is the exact description, every word, every quality, of my husband. Holy cow!!! No wonder this 15 year marriage has been so crazy and so confusing. I always brushed aside the NPD description because he doesn’t have that grandiose quality. He is quiet and unassuming so I thought how could he be a narcicist? Wow. This sheds a whole new light on everything. True confirmation that nothing I can do will change anything.

  34. Robin on December 9, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Thank you to those thinking of me today. I live in the state of Washington. I am excited for this step into my future – as its a step toward a life w/o abuse. Love each one of you!!!!!!!

    • Elizabeth on December 9, 2014 at 11:28 pm

      Please let us know how it goes. Loving you in prayer Robin…

      • Robin Baumann on December 10, 2014 at 4:15 am

        Thank you!!!!!!
        Thank you so much!!!!

        • Elizabeth on December 11, 2014 at 12:09 am

          :))))

  35. Robin on December 10, 2014 at 2:10 am

    Just got out of 3 hrs long mediation conference to settle our community property. My husband is a sociopath/narcissist so naturally settle. He showed his true colors to the judge, and especially that he thinks there is no community property– it is all his!! The judge is setting up a second settlement conference in March. My lawyer has alot of work to do to find some answers to questions. He is hiding monies and we have to figure out where they are and how much of it will be mine also. Ladies thank you for prayers!! It went as well as could be expected. Overall, I handled my emotions fairly well. and in the end the judge saw how my husband wanted to leave me with very little, and that wasn’t going to fly. My eldest daughter went with me, and spoke up at the ned of his abuse, and the judge softened towards me quite abit. So God was with us and I appreciate your kidn thoughts going up for me today!!!!!!!

    • janice' on June 22, 2015 at 10:45 pm

      Praise God. I hope things are going well for you.God is faithful even when others aren’t.

      • Robin on June 22, 2015 at 11:16 pm

        Janice, thank you my life has increased greatly since the first Settlement Conf. I received half my husbands retirement pension, a great chunk of retirement savings and I get to remain in our home which is paid for. My husband wasn’t very agreeable to sharing much but the 2 lawyers and judge helped him to see I get 50 percent of everything. I can’t begin to tell you what a tough year this has been, but I’m so glad I didn’t give up. Abusers need to win and it was a real struggle to hang in there. I could not have done this w/o the Lords guidance and strength. He was so good to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. Elizabeth on December 10, 2014 at 2:26 am

    Oh Robin, praise the Lord. I love seeing His faithfulness so specifically. Rejoicing with you…

  37. Brenda on December 10, 2014 at 10:45 am

    Robin,
    The first hurdle is over and you made good progress. I love that your daughter was able to give a statement. God is always faithful and he is going to see you through this. Truth will come.

  38. Robin Baumann on December 11, 2014 at 4:29 am

    Thank you ladies for your prayers, support and comments. I really want to thank everyone for this last year while I was going thru the process of leaving well, and adjusting to new things. This blog has made all the difference for me, as I always knew someone on here, would understand what I was feeling on a particular day. I have felt so loved, and so supported as I walked thru this first year of walking away from abuse, into my new life. Thank you!!!!!

    • D. on December 12, 2014 at 5:47 pm

      Praising God for His mercy to you…

    • Leslie Vernick on December 16, 2014 at 2:59 am

      I’m so encouraged by this wonderful community of support.

  39. D.G. on December 14, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Ladies – my situation has a bit of a different twist that I could really use some help with. 30+ year marriage, always difficult, very cyclical—he came from a horribly abusive dad who died without resolution/reconciliation. Very negative, angry—yet has become “super religious” – reading the Word all the time and other books written by great theologians and Christians. But he won’t go to church—I’ve gone without him and taken the children for years because he blames the church for our problems (long story). Anyway, He had a really “good” season last spring where he repented to me and to our children (now mostly grown—2 younger teens still at home) and we started going through the Love Dare at his request–it was actually nice for about 3 months this time. I had been preparing to give him an ultimatum and separate before all this happened. As in the past, it didn’t really last, and he is again blaming me—it always comes back to sex—that I am not interested and “wrongly deny” him—and he gets angrier and angrier at me the longer the “intervals”, which increases the verbal digs and insults and criticism over all other areas (not much of a filter on him—if he thinks it, he says it and then doesn’t understand why I shut down). I’ve often thought that if I could just turn off my brain and give him my body, he would be happy and nice—but deep down I know better…but I deal with a lot of guilt over this. It’s very difficult for me to be intimate with him and I feel like a little part of me dies every time so I avoid him for weeks/months at a time…and then there is more guilt…I give in…there’s a weird version “peace” for a short time and then the cycle continues.

    Here’s the twist—he believes God gave him a vision when he was a teenager that the area where we live (outside DC) is going to be destroyed —civil unrest–and if we stay here we will die (his words). He has really started to get into “prepper” mode. He’s always had that bent, but now he’s wanting to move us to an area out in the country, change our whole lives, has been sitting all our son in laws down and trying to convince them, etc. I don’t know what to do. He’s not asking me to sin by moving us, is he? He has always hated our neighborhood and wanted to move, but I was always able to reason with him because of our family and his job—but he seems really determined now. Wants me to put a sale sign in the front yard even though we don’t have a place to move to—I’ve refused to this point, though I’ve been willing to look at other places (hoping he’ll see it’s not really practical).

    How do I handle the crazy? Part of me wonders if he might be right but that might be because I’ve been steeped in this for so long. He’s telling me I’m not a good Christian (because I deny him), and I’ve found myself drifting from the Lord because I struggle with whether that is unrepentant sin in my life (avoiding intimacy with my husband)—my relationship with the Lord was my lifeline in the worst years, so I realize that that relationship has to be priority. My heart is like stone toward my husband and I think that is majorly affecting my relationship with God. Dealing with the daily negativity, criticism, doomsday talk, hating his job (he’s hated every job) and anger is draining the life out of me and it’s hard to think straight. I’ve always been so “strong”, but my body is showing the effects of years of stress now. Just trying to live day to day and shield my at-home teens as much as possible. Has anyone else dealt with the “end of the world” mentality?

    • Leslie Vernick on December 16, 2014 at 2:53 am

      Your relationship with God has to be your priority right now. You have a lot on your plate and won’t be able to make good or wise choices without the Lord. You sound like you are getting worn down and worn out, so typical of these kinds of relationships. Your husband’s end of world mentality is unsettling. Given the current state of the world not all that unrealistic. However, you are either going to live in fear or faith (him too). It sounds like he’s choosing fear for his reasons and you’re also living in fear – for other reasons. I hope you have some outside support to help you think these things through. But your first step is to reconnect with God.

    • Robin on December 16, 2014 at 3:38 am

      DJ– in reading your letter what went through my head was — does it really matter whether a destructive husband is into the end of the world– or just dis honoring his wife and family?? There are a billion scenario’s out there — but I think the real issue is ABUSE IS NOT BEING STOPPED. I don’t think his latest tirade on the end of the world is the real problem- just another thing to deal with in the life of an abusive man. And by the way, it is my opinion you can not shield your children from abuse, except by leaving a destructive relationship so they can see Mom DOES HEALTHY. Not tolerance of abuse. Sounds like you need a good support team so you can start planning how to end your participation in abuse. Please don’t waste anymore energy on staying in a situation that has done you so much harm. I will be praying that you seek for God and let Him reveal His Love and His plan for you!!!

    • Valerie on December 16, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      DG, you have been given some great advice and counsel here. From personal experience I wholeheartedly agree that your relationship with God needs to be a priority now. You can’t hear Him well when your husband is demanding to speak his own version of truth over you. The Lord will not scream the Truth over you, making you more susceptible to take in your husband’s truth. Even if he doesn’t literally scream, his behavior and attitude are blowing my ear drums way over here.

      The good women here can give you a step by step plan of what course of action to take and validate your experience but in the end this is not enough for you to face the battle that’s ahead of you. He doesn’t sound like he is looking for information in the place that he is in so you can’t reach him in that way. He is the 5 yr old with his ears plugged yelling, “La, la, la I can’t hear you!!” You can’t reason with someone who is unreasonable.

      You need protection- physically, emotionally and spiritually. From what I hear in your words you need this tri-fold safety first and foremost since your husband is providing an unstable, unhealthy environment (to say the least). This is more of survival advice but if he is threatening to move your family without your consent or advice the only thing that changes the mind of a controlling person is to see evidence that their decision is not in *their* best interest. A controlling person is only fueled by your disagreement to his idea so your expressed displeasure may likely not hold any weight.

      Is his reading of scripture confusing for you? As others have pointed out, he is not living by scripture in his treatment of you and his family. It sounds like you know the truth, but are unsure of what to do with it. From my experience I found the most strength to stand against the abuse when I knew God’s position on it (based on His Word). I was fooled (along with others) when my husband initiated a Weekend to Remember conference at one point. He, too, appeared to “see the light”…for a time. I see now that he only used that in his political campaign to gain popularity votes and sway opinions with no real sincerity behind it. When an abusive person senses they are losing ground they will go to great lengths to secure impression management.

      Is there any way that you can have some time to yourself…to get away and be quiet with God? I pray that its possible for you to be able to have a time of breathing clean air instead of the toxic fumes currently in your home. My heart goes out to you as you describe your feelings of guilt. I struggled with that for many years also but this is not how God wants you to live. I read the scripture that states not to withhold good from someone when its within your power to give it. This is part of what fueled guilt for me until the Lord finally stopped me in my tracks to ask me, “What IS good?” I realized that giving someone what they want is not necessarily (or often) what is good for them. That question totally changed my entire perspective on how I was responding to my husband. I started to respond in to his ultimate good instead of the (perceived) immediate good. I pray that God will give you clarity and show you based on His Word how to best respond to your husband.

  40. Brenda on December 16, 2014 at 10:22 am

    DG
    Your husband is angry, delusional? and shifts any blame to you. How can you want sex with a man who treats you this way. It is not sinful to move, but could be a disaster. He is trying to convince your son’s-in-law. It sounds like he would intend some form of religious compound. That type of religion is not a relationship with God. It is not sitting at the foot of the cross in repentance. You need time to get your relationship with God in tune. Your h needs to go on the back burner when it comes to God. I found out a long time ago, when it always comes down to sex, there is a serious lacking in the relationship or there is really none at all. If the relationship is good, sex will me more natural.

    • Robin on December 16, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      Excellent words, excellent counsel Brenda!! I have lived lots of what she is describing and know your words hit it on the head, truthfully!!!!!

  41. Robin on December 16, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    So many women get trapped just as I did S in the church you are taught never to deny your husband sexually. But what about the emotional abuse and turmoil they cause their wives everyday- do we really believe Jesus would just stand by and nod his head and say yes, no consequences for the bully, just keep him happy?? I am so so sorry for every woman who is do stuck in believing these lies. No you’re not denying him. You are living in a true reality that says when people are hurting people they will get natural consequence of losing privileges they enjoy. Definitely is s red flag to stand up and take an action for yourself !!!!

  42. Paula on June 21, 2015 at 4:54 am

    I am sure I’m very kind with my husband despite his bad mood 24 hours a day. But the other day I was very angry And my husband had to ran away of the house. It was not because I said something very bad to him, it was because he saw on my eyes hate. And it is true. I am so tired of his bad mood and bad energy. Sometimes I prefer stay away of him. He loves me, but he thinks he is fine. I am worried my love for him finished if he continue been so harsh to me. We don’t have sex, we don’t have kids and we are four years married. I don’t really know if my patience will be strong enough. I love him so much because he has been good to me. But he steal my peace easily and practically I have to run away everyday to have a good relationship…

    • Ana on June 7, 2016 at 7:09 pm

      Really think about your definition of a loving relationship. Do you really want to spend years repeating this pattern? Consider exercising your will – a gift from Creator. You change, he changes or you can give yourself permission to create a new life – love yourself and truly live a loving life. You are not responsible for your husband’s life, he is. Be well!

      • Leslie Vernick on June 10, 2016 at 11:47 am

        Thanks Ana, so true.

  43. Brenda on June 22, 2015 at 7:59 am

    Paula,
    If your h is having bad moods 24 hours a day, how is that loving you or being good to you? Jesus was not in a bad mood 24 hours a day. If he is to love you as Christ loved the church, it is to be sacrificially. Having no children, if he is behaving this way is a good thing. Children do not make a destructive relationship better. If anything, it would make things worse to have children now. You sound like you are a strong woman and you have every right to be angry with his behavior. Sending him running is Ezer like, a strong warrior for your marriage. Don’t back down!!
    Prayers going up for you!! Brenda

  44. Mr. Negative on June 26, 2015 at 2:19 am

    It seems I’m one of these terrible husbands…hmmm…I wonder though? Any wives know what it feels like to be a man that is crucified (in a metaphorical sense) over and over by his wife for past decisions? Or possibly admitted weaknesses? So let’s say he made a decision you didn’t like, a big one, like where to live. Let’s presume like most big decisions that no burning bush coupled with the voice of God presented itself, but your boy still has to make that difficult decision. And he does with every intention and fiber of his human capacity was in the hope that it would be best. And then, it turns out that the decision he made may not have been the best… or at least circumstances didn’t go quite the way he expected? And you then harbor bitterness towards him, and then you don’t want sex so you close the door and then he becomes frustrated because now not only are there difficulties that he didn’t expect from the ‘big decision’ but now there’s rejection from the woman he was expecting would stand by him as he tries to recover. And during all of this he loses his job through an unforeseen layoff but the family was never on the street and by the grace of God a new job came along but it’s in an area that, as time goes on he doesn’t like but he tries to make it work as best he can. Consequently, he now has the ramifications of the ‘big decision’ but now has an unsupportive wife AND no real intimacy because sex is now a “nail” by which to “crucify” him with again and again. Do you think he’s going to have a positive attitude under these compounding issues? And what if he knows that he has fears of being laid off and struggles with confidence because he’s tried to make the right decisions but, for all his good intentions, various efforts didn’t work out. And he’s making the effort to put his trust in the Lord but no doubt some days are better than others; and he would appreciate reassuring words, touch, patience and understanding – that in part is fulfilled through romantic intimacy…but NO! That’s the one ace you women have up your sleeve…you know, to really show him that all those years ago he didn’t make the decision you wanted. And this bitter cycle just goes on for years to the point where he withdraws because the TV essentially takes away the pain (where drugs & alcohol are a bit too much for that Christian man who really wants to keep from going off the deep end). Now all of sudden the tables have turned…now you’re the one getting depressed because he’s not chasing after you, and he’s not there to just hold you. Did you stop and think long enough to determine if it’s because you spent too much emotional energy on harboring resentment towards him, shutting him out to the point that he can’t stand the continued rejection in yet another facet of his life? Now he has become apathetic about the future – that he’s stuck with a woman who will never let him forget that she did not agree with. So now his so-called negativity, is somehow the original root of the problem? And may I remind again, through all of these circumstances, THIS MAN, and I suspect most decent men have been able to provide. There may not be marble floors, but mortgages get paid, the kids have video games, the family goes out for dinner. But that husband, that so-called man still isn’t good enough for you to give your heart; let alone actually have sex understanding that’s his barometer in knowing he’s REALLY appreciated; REGULARLY OCCURRING SEX. For the love of God…stop crucifying the family man! We all don’t have movie star salaries and therefore have to work with what we got, and that means we have to weigh decisions, work longer and definitely harder than we would prefer but do we deserve to be punished for all of the unexpected fallout? I guess so…I’m done. Ya’ll say hi to Negative Nancy for me.

    • Leslie Vernick on June 27, 2015 at 9:51 am

      Mr. Negative. I think you make some valid points but I don’t think this blog is dealing with the kind of marriage problems you describe. Using sex as a weapon is never endorsed here. Nor is continued resentment or bitterness towards one’s spouse. I encourage women in destructive/abusive marriages to practice CORE strength. Let me explain. C – I am committed to honest, no pretending. So if there are problems I will address them and face them instead of ignore, minimize or cover them up. O – I am open to learning, growing, becoming healthy myself so I know how to deal with my spouse in a godly way. R – I will be responsible for myself and respectful towards my destructive husband without dishonoring myself and E – I will be empathic and compassionate without enabling destructive behaviors to continue.

      So obviously your wife got hurt and stuck in her own resentments about your decision and the two of you went downhill from there. But let me ask you a question. Why was this decision solely “your” decision? When you marry, you develop a partnership in which all major family decisions should be talked through, prayed about and decided together. We don’t know the future and God doesn’t write things on the wall for us to know exactly the right job to take or the right house to buy or the right town to live in. Yet when things go south, if we made that decision together, then instead of blaming and accusing, we learn to find what God is up to in this season of hardship or suffering and grow together through it.

      So I don’t think you’re describing an abusive marriage I think you are describing a disappointing marriage where your wife was disappointed in you and held hurt and resentment and you’ve become disappointed in her for what she’s done to hurt you and neither one of you have been able to own your part, talk it through and bring healing to your relationship. Why don’t you take the first step towards her now Mr Negative, so that this pattern can possibly be broken.

      • Mr. Negative on July 8, 2015 at 12:32 am

        Why was this decision solely “your” decision?

        So that I could be perpetually blamed. IDK…we were making the decision together up until the 11th hour – literally. And then at the last minute she wanted to back out. She eventually went through with it but has held it against me for years. Now couple that with ghosts of childhood sexual abuse, an absent father for half her life and a husband she won’t trust…I feel as if I am nothing but a physical and emotional punching bag.

        So, the point I’m trying to make is sometimes a husband is robbed of his expectations and can become a target all because the wife won’t take responsibility for her inability to forgive. Obviously I believe these are my circumstances, I am intensely upset about it and am looking for answers to soothe the pain. But at the same time it’s my intent to make women equally aware that there are a lot of us men that are really dealing with the fallout of women that refuse to deal with ghosts or forgiveness and as a function may be systematically destroying their marriage. Just because we’re men doesn’t mean we don’t have feelings or emotions. And it becomes very difficult to maintain a positive outlook when we’re hammered on all sides. We want to come home and be appreciated and have sanctuary. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been able to express myself and not be criticized about being grumpy, having a bad attitude, etc…Sometimes we all deserve correction, but I’m tired of the habitual rejection.

        So, women please consider if you’re inability to forgive is creating a self-fulfilled prophecy of misery.

        • Alicia on July 27, 2020 at 9:51 pm

          I know this is very old, but thank you so much for this from the husband’s perspective.

  45. Dianna on October 22, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Im glad I found this page, gives me a little insight into why my husband is acting like he is. it is to the point that I don’t think I can take it anymore. He gets frustrated about things that don’t go the way he wants, and takes it out on everyone else in the house, including the pets. Its like walking on egg shells, every time I go home im dreading it. Its like I don’t know if he is in a good or bad mood today. He wont get a job, and honestly I don’t think he would be able to have one for long with the attitude problem he has towards everything/everyone. He smokes pot all the time, says its for his “anxiety” but refuses to get any real help for his issues. But I think that just makes it worse. Then he gets mad a me for not helping with the animals when im at work 9+ hours a day… Nothing is ever his fault, and is always someone else’s.

    • jilly on October 23, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      Dianna – you are in the right place to help you with these issues. I’m glad you found this website, too. Read Leslie’s books – you will find tremendous insight and help. I highly recommend Leslie’s CORE training. God bless you!

  46. Cindie on December 9, 2015 at 11:48 am

    I have been married for 28 years and we have struggled for most of them.My husband is a shift worker and has Rymatoid Arthritis. Three years ago my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away a year later. I took care of her during her treatment and wasn’t home much during her last year. My husband took over the upkeep of the house and seemed resentful and angry that I wasn’t home. Shortly before my mom passed away he was diagnosed with RA. He started drinking and I would often come home from being at the cancer clinic and he would be drunk or passed out. Forward three years later, he is now most often angry and silent. His moods and lack of communication have caused me to walk on egg shells and plead him to talk to me. I have turned into a whining complaining wife. We are going to a Councellor and we seem good for a while after a session than right back to our pattern. We get alone for awhile than I ask for something to be done or complain about something and he withdrawals from me and is angry. I sulk and beg him to tell me what’s wrong than I become angry and withdrawal. To add to all this there is no intimacy. My self esteem is gone and I feel like a horrible wife.
    I don’t feel so alone after reading many of the posts. I will try to be strong and pray that God will help us get through this. Thank you for this blog and to everyone who posted.
    God Bless

  47. Ruth on January 9, 2016 at 5:56 am

    Thank you so much for your reply . I will certainly check out those books.
    I am so glad you have found away through .
    I want that more than anything.
    It would be easy just to end the relationship but I don’t want that. I love him and there is goodness in him.
    After reading some of the posts it’s clear that I need to change my responses to him.
    Thank you again for your help.

  48. Kathy on January 23, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Hello,

    I never thought that I would be writing something like this, but after reading all of the stories, I realized I wasn’t alone. I don’t know where to turn to, so I decided to see if someone could help me. I am 34 years old and he (my husband) is 47 years old, there is a big difference in age, however we have been together for 6 years this January. Our relationship started very rocky, I was married but was unhappy in my first marriage, at least I thought that I was unhappy. My current husband and I dated for quite a while, but while we were dating there were several instances where he was very abusive both emotionally and mentally to me. Constantly throwing me out, throwing my stuff on the street, calling me fat, and worthless. But for some reason though, I kept going back. I thought that things would be better if I just kept going back. When we had fun, we really had fun, but when things were bad, they were really bad. It even came to him trying to take my life a couple of times. But I just kept going back thinking that it was my fault all the time. In 2010 he convinced me to file for divorce from my first husband, mind you with a lot of threats in between. In 2011 we got engaged and in 2012 we got married. After we got married, I thought that things would be easier, but they didn’t get easier. All he wanted to do was sleep all the time, do nothing, go to the sport’s bar, etc. It wasn’t fun anymore. When we got into a fight, he would constantly tell me how fat I was, to get of my lazy A** and do something with my life, mind you I was working 2 jobs and going to school full time. I didn’t know what to do. I was just completely feeling like it was my fault. I always said if I didn’t do this then he wouldn’t be mad, if I didn’t do that he wouldn’t be mad, but it was always my fault. He would take something so small and blow it up in his head in a matter of seconds it was a full blown fight. I can’t tell you how many nights I would cry myself to sleep. Besides the fact that his excuse for not having sex with me was because I was too fat. He said that I crushed him. I didn’t know what to do. After about a year, we started trying to have children. Everything was a chore for him, he didn’t want to try, he wanted kids but he didn’t want to try, go figure. Now we have 2 year old twins, my blessing, and I am so afraid that his negativity is going to affect our children. It already has. My son thinks it’s okay to yell at my daughter and vice versa. It is to the point where we feel on edge when he gets home at night. If he doesn’t want to do something he yells so that I just do it myself. I think that my marriage is pretty much done, I have no desire to spend time with him, or do anything with him. I would rather be alone than be with him. I’m really worried about my children. But what do I do? I’m confused. =(

  49. Donna on April 3, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    I’m in the same boat. My husband is constantly negative…it’s overwhelming at times. I make plans with friends as much as possible to get out of the house. I also remember that his bad mood belongs to him and I choose not to adopt it. Not easy at times. He is never abusive to me. He treats me very well. I just pray for him because he must be so miserable with his constant negativity. It helps knowing I’m not alone in this situation.

  50. susie on April 9, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    i hope for some help i have been married 27 years im 47 and he 50 in oct the past two years have been hell he refuses to work i get the blame for everything he moans from time he gets up to time i go sleep he is telling everyone i am narcistic but i have been checked and havent got it its making my family hell i cry all time and feel i cant go on i lost both my parents 4 years ago then got told he transgender i dont ee any light at end of tunnel please help

  51. Claudia on April 10, 2016 at 10:42 am

    (MUST READ: HOW I GOT BACK MY HUSBAND AFTER DIVORCE)
    I am Claudia Kosa, I thought i should share this here, My husband and I have been together for 9 years we have lived as a one happy family. About January i suspected my husband was seeing someone else as he constantly came back home very late and careless about out kids and i, when i confronted him about this it led to more misunderstanding and he filed for a divorce, i was so confused and totally devastated, i tried all possible means to get him back but all proved abortive until i saw a post in a relationship forum about a love spell caster from South Africa who casts re-union love spells to help people regain back lost love in relationship and marriages, at first i doubted if it was true but decided to give it a try, when i contacted this love spell caster via his email and explained to him my predigament he cast a re-union love spell that brought back my husband, he dropped the divorce plea and we are back again as one happy family. contact this love spell caster for your relationship or marriage problems via his email ikedispelltemple(at)gmail(dot)com (Please type the email in the right format) Goodluck

  52. Michelle on April 14, 2016 at 7:56 am

    My husband and I have been married for 7 months now. Yes, I said 7 months. I seen some unhealthy things before marriage, but still loved him and continue to pray about his anger, moodiness, and just not being down right happy with life. I feel he has brain damage from years of drugs and alcohol. I also feel he has psychiatric issues and needs medication, but he wont own up to many of his issues. It is also hard for me to feel secure with him because his moods or unstable therefore that makes our marriage unstable and future unstable. I am normally a positive happy person that has JOY! We both are Christians and have a strong foundation with God in our marriage, but my husband is just so oppressed with many of his demons. I am thankful for this blog, because I now know I am not alone. So many of these stories is the inside of our home. Today I have proclaimed my happiness and freedom back. I have started going to the gym and will start as many of the ladies said, “going ahead with other plans without the angry husband”. This will help me to reestablish my self worth and positive goals in life. We are 42 and 43 and this other half of my life, I want to live out in harmony as much as possible.

  53. paulette on May 20, 2016 at 1:51 am

    wow, thank you for this article. i needed to read and now ways on how to deal with this and go about it, all the comments from many of the women are also very helpful.

  54. dannii on June 20, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    I live with a negative and everyday is a struggle, most days are pretty much the same, we wake up and it starts. It’s always over the smallest, non important issues, like this morning his phone wasn’t working properly so he proceeded to launch it across the bedroom twice and completely smashed it to pieces all the while ranting about “stupid fucking piece of shit crap phone” (I heard this on repeat with small intervals of “what fucking good are you, you piece of crap”) he constantly walks around in a foul mood, I never get a moment’s peace from his moaning unless I’m or he is at work or if he’s playing on his PlayStation in which case he’s bitching at someone he’s playing with online for not being where he thinks they should be. Our children display some of these negative habits and he has the nerve to tell them off about it. (Which I call him out on!) He has the nerve to say to me “well I don’t see how my mood can affect your mood in any way so why are you so moody with me?” And “you don’t even like me anymore cuz we never have sex, you don’t even want to be close to me” yeah damn straight I don’t! When he isn’t around me I feel like myself, I’m happy with friends and family when he isn’t there and he always manages his negativity and aggression when others are in our home. I’m so tired of going round in circles and feeling like me and the kids are treading on egg shells around him. I want out but am worried about the financial implications of it, I would have to give up working as I can’t afford childcare for my youngest on my own and the idea of being a benefits Mother frightens me as I see so many of my friends on it struggling. I just don’t know what to do for the best anymore the negativity he puts out has in turn bolstered my own negative side and I cannot see a way through, I’ve always been self-doubting but have always tried to maintain positivity in my life but that has diminished after years of this cycle.

    • Jill Lowe on November 19, 2020 at 7:20 am

      A notification brought be back here to read what I wrote in 2016. From there, I found your comment. It’s been 4 years, so I hope things have improved for you and your husband or even just for yourself. It’s hard living with a bitter and angry man, so I have complete empathy for your situation, especially as your children are involved. As much as we want to, we can only change ourselves, but in my case, prayer has helped, and things have improved for him, too.

  55. Meredith on August 30, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    I tried to read through many of the comments to find someone just like me, but alas, no situation is ever the same. I have been married to my husband for nearly 31 years. He is the most negative, bitter man I know, which I know isn’t fair to him to say. As a self proclaimed psychiatrist, I do know without a shadow of doubt that his wounded/bitter heart stems from losing his mother at age 6 and not having the emotional support of this father EVER! The bible talks about the consequences of a bitter heart, and believe me, he’s reaping all he’s sown.

    The thing that I struggle with, too, is jealousy. We work for the same company but in different divisions, so he constantly questions the men I am around. When he comes into my area, I am petrified he’s going to say some smart remark to embarrass me. I am very active in church and he finds fault with that. He refuses to go to church with me or even go back to our home church. He is critical with everything I do, and is angry because I don’t want to spend time with him. Honestly, after years of this, I just don’t like him.

    I could go on and on, but I am so beat down. He is depressed but years of trying different counselors, doctors and medication never had good results. I want to leave him, but to do so, means we’d have to sell our home. My children and grandchildren would not have a place to come home to and that really makes me upset, so I just feel trapped and hopeless.

    Just reading your comments have helped me feel not so alone, and I will look more into the books and other resources. I just wanted to say thank you for validating my experience and knowing I’m not alone.

  56. Meredith on August 30, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    I tried to read through many of the comments to find someone just like me, but alas, no situation is ever the same. I have been married to my husband for nearly 31 years. He is the most negative, bitter man I know, which I know isn’t fair to him to say. As a self proclaimed psychiatrist, I do know without a shadow of doubt that his wounded/bitter heart stems from losing his mother at age 6 and not having the emotional support of this father EVER! The bible talks about the consequences of a bitter heart, and believe me, he’s reaping all he’s sown.

    The thing that I struggle with, too, is jealousy. We work for the same company but in different divisions, so he constantly questions the men I am around. When he comes into my area, I am petrified he’s going to say some smart remark to embarrass me. I am very active in church and he finds fault with that. He refuses to go to church with me or even go back to our home church. He is critical with everything I do, and is angry because I don’t want to spend time with him. Honestly, after years of this, I just don’t like him.

    I could go on and on, but I am so beat down. He is depressed but years of trying different counselors, doctors and medication never had good results. I want to leave him, but to do so, means we’d have to sell our home. My children and grandchildren would not have a place to come home to and that really makes me upset, so I just feel trapped and hopeless.

    Just reading your comments have helped me feel not so alone, and I will look more into the books and other resources. I just wanted to say thank you for validating my experience and knowing I’m not alone.

  57. Jenn on October 31, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    My husband is extremely critical, lacks empathy, yells at me about things that are out of my control. He has donething negative to say about EVERYTHING. Starts complaining the moment he walks in the door. I have tried everything. When we first got married I was caught off guard. I kept trying to do better. To take on more house work, accommodate his wants etc. but he is never satisfied and never happy. I tried not letting it affect me but the only way to do that is to mentally separate from him which creates complete division in our marriage.agter that I’ve started to become resentful. Especially after a particularly bad fight I am snippy and miserable for days now. Never in my life have I been like this. I’ve always been chipper and upbeat. I am not comfortable or at ease in my home and I feel like I am under constant scrutiny. He knows it’s a problem but he refuses to do anything about it. We just yelled and screamed at each other while getting my son dressed to go trick or treating which makes me feel like the worst mother in the world. I’m starting to think about separating because marriage is not healthy for our children or us.i don’t know what to do. I’m a stay at home mom and we just bought a house in his name.

  58. Gail on November 14, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    I have a similar issues it seems the older my husband gets the more controlling and moody he gets. My 18 year old daughter (his step-daughter since she was a year and a half) recently graduated from high school and her whole senior year he fussed at her it seem to me about anyting he could find made her get a job and didnt like the job she chose he fussed at her for wanting to go away for college he felt she was going to go in debt (which i understood) but when she decided to stay home for college he made her pay for her school and he wants her go to school and get a job and clean the house and when I say clean the house 4 of us live here and he expects her to wash and fold clothes, wash dishes, clean her and her step brother bathroom (who is 24 by the way but my husband feels that because he works a full time job and helps him every once in a while his son should not have to help in the house) she cleans the kitchen, take out trash along with other jobs and if she does not do it he get mad and gives her about an hour lecture. He monitors what she spend on her checking account and fussed at her because she is not working enought hours to pay for next semester and spending money on things he feels is not necessary. He is not only controlling to her but to me as well I have to ask him when I want to spend money I have to ask him when I can do stuff like hanging out with my sisters, he has fussed at me about wanting to get my hair done and my nails done for vacation and buying things for a party with family. I work a full time job and make pretty good money but it all goes into one checking account that he monitors and maintains if I want money I have to ask him for it. But when he wants something he can just buy it without consulting with me. We works at the same place I started there first and about five years later he decided to work there as well. We ride to work together everyday We eat lunch together everyday it seem like we are together 24/7. I feel that I can’t do anything without checking with him first he gets mad or upset about everything he’s not abusive but he’s controlling I do not know what to do or how to handle it I am at my wit’s end and l have even considering leaving. It is my fault I think he has been like this all along and I let it get to this point but I am just now realizing how bad it actually is. Any advise on how to handle this would be greatly appreciated.

    • janice on November 23, 2016 at 9:26 pm

      read Boundries in Marriage for starters.

    • nesrin on November 18, 2020 at 2:58 pm

      please leave him, he is enslaving you and your daughter and a control freak

    • lisatstevens@yahoo.com on May 28, 2022 at 4:18 pm

      Hun, that’s abuse. Holding onto your hard earned money and controlling what you do with it and treating you and your daughter like slaves is abuse. I left my ex husband for that. Same thing. He controlled them money, wouldn’t let me see my parents unless they paid for the gas, he’d take the money they gave me and but lunch with it then next day instead of putting it into the tank. The ONLY time I got treated nice was when I was threatening to leave. Do yourself a favor. GO.

  59. Lynn on November 29, 2016 at 12:11 am

    My husband and I are currently separated.. He has been angry and depressed for a long time now. He does not like where we live, does not like my family, his job, complains about our kids school, and is moody and unhappy often. He’s stresses about money and lectures me about it anytime we discuss it. He gets irritated when I read a book or practice for a dance fitness class I teach…he tells me I need to talk to him. That I ignore him and do not care about his feelings. Our children come home from school and ask in a whisper if he’s in a bad mood….our 15 year old daughter has told me she doesn’t think her dad likes her. He has threatened suicide many times and attempted it once in front of me and our daughter, while our daughters friend was downstairs and our boys were asleep in the other room. The reason we are separated is because he was drunk and said he wishes that he would have finished what he started (referring to his suicide attempt) and then threatened to kill me when I told him I would call the police. Our children heard it all. He is an unhappy person. I told him I can’t make you happy. I have been trying for almost 17 years. He hangs onto every mistake we have made or wrong decision. He’s also an Iraq veteran and had a horrible childhood so I know that all plays into him. I have given him so many chances but he has hurt me and our children so much…especially our daughter. Who now struggles with depression and has been hospitalized twice for suicidal ideations and cutting. His negativity and mood swings dictate our whole being. When he is not around there is a peace that settles over me and I know settles over our children. It breaks my heart that he can’t see all the blessings we have and just be grateful. He says he wants to change but I’m afraid he never will. I don’t want to be in this same place 10 years from now. I’ve been living this for many years…..

    • Mare on January 1, 2022 at 7:30 pm

      Leave him! Life is to short to be shackled to an asshole. Ditch him and go live your life. Find a REAL man who actually IS a man not a cry baby ass. He is NOT worth the crap. You AND your kids will be happier with out him.

  60. Sheila on December 12, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    My husband is almost always negative , rarely in a good mood. He was always like that but since he was diagnosed with Parkinsons it’s much worse. I feel like Im always the cheerleader but the cheerleader needs encouraging too. Books always give me encouragement, exercise is a great stress reliever or just a talk with a close friend. God always provides a way out when our problems seem too much to bare.

  61. Tammy of Mikolowski on September 25, 2019 at 11:53 pm

    A depression test online…you lost me there!

  62. Eileen on April 12, 2022 at 9:13 am

    Your advice in this article has been used. Did not work. I was told by a brother in the Lord, who I didn’t know at all, that I will see my husband’s healing. He ran over to me as this was in church and I’d gone that Sunday by myself.

    That was 12 years ago. We’re married 37 years.

    He isn’t physically abusive at all. I see him ‘wearing’ his self-pity like the Peanut’s Linus holds his blue blanket.

    I’ve done what you suggest. Made it worse.

    But I lean on this considered wise adage I was told by our pastor to remember and it has brought me much comfort and peace:

    God did not create marriage to make us happy; but to make us holy. Consider it warfare and you by praying and praise to God will be rewarded. God is not slow, as some understand slowness.

    I do thank you and appreciate your article but hope my reply may help here.

  63. Lin on April 12, 2022 at 1:04 pm

    Truth is there is no solution. Its a very small number who actually improve with advice . The decision is to either stay with a misery or leave and choose life .

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