Are You Married to a Selfish Spouse?

Does your spouse define you? Do you live out a marriage of reaction to their sin and selfishness? What if they don't ever change? Will you? Your marriage does not define your heart, God does. Here's how to honor him with a heart of worship, even in a marriage that is struggling.

Victoria (not her real name) is married to a selfish spouse. She prays for him. She encourages him. She seeks ways to serve him. Her husband soaks it up but hasn’t learned to give half as much in return. If I give examples, I may blow her cover, but most of you know marriages like this.

Maybe you’re in one.

Somewhat understandably, Victoria struggles with bitterness. If her husband only knew how much just a small bit of giving back in return would mean, how if for one hour of a weekend he could make it about her instead of about him, the relief she would feel would be enormous, but her husband’s selfishness seems to run through his core.

They have talked about it, even with a counselor, but the thing about selfishness is that the more selfish you are, the less you realize it. Her husband thinks he’s doing “better,” but not by much, and usually only when Victoria brings it up, which ushers in a new kind of pain.

Victoria’s husband tries to be a little less selfish so that he doesn’t have to listen to his wife complain about it. So he’s fighting his selfishness with, yes, selfishness.

Victoria has prayed. She has gone to a counselor. She even brought her husband with her to the counselor—everything advice-oriented people tell her to do. But the situation hasn’t changed much, and doesn’t appear likely to. In that light, she asks me, how do you maintain a godly attitude?

Keep in mind—I wasn’t talking to the couple. I was talking to Victoria, and about her spiritual attitude, not resolving the situation (that’s a different discussion). What I’m about to say may make some of you married to selfish spouses angry, but I believe this advice is rooted in spiritual reality.

“Victoria,” I said, “you need to start thinking of yourself as the postal worker, not the store. You see all this good stuff that you do for your husband coming from you, but in reality, it’s coming from God. Your graceful attitude, your servant’s heart, your inspiration and motivation are all evidence of the Holy Spirit at work in your life. At root, though, you’re just the postal worker delivering God’s package to your husband. A postal worker doesn’t expect a thank you letter when she delivers the gift.”

I said this because I didn’t want Victoria to let her husband’s selfishness engender poisonous pride in her own heart. This wasn’t to chastise her, but to protect her on her journey toward God.

“Second,” I said, “and here’s the hope—if God is the owner of the store, and we’re just the postal workers, God can use any number of postal workers to deliver what we need. You’re acting like what you need can only come from your spouse, and since he refuses to deliver it, you’re stuck. With some things, that’s true. There are certain things only a spouse can provide. But God can deliver a fulfilling, meaningful life through any number of channels.

“If I keep waiting for a package from the U.S. Postal Service that has been sent and resent a dozen times and is always lost, eventually I’m going to ask God to send something via U.P.S. or Fed Ex. Maybe you can buy your own flowers, and thank God that your husband earns enough, together with you, for you to enjoy the weekly luxury of fresh flowers in your house. No, your husband didn’t think to buy them, but in a way God used your husband to make their presence in your home a reality. And no, your husband might not think to send you to the spa, but if you need a ‘pampering day,’ perhaps you’ll have to set up the appointment. Yes, it would be much more delightful if it came through your husband, as that would show his care for you, but think of it in this light: there are a lot of wives who could never afford to have a day like that even though their husbands would be inclined to provide it if they could.”

Every particular application is going to be different, so I won’t go on any further with Victoria’s story. But if you’re married to a particularly selfish spouse, hold on to these three points:

  1. Fight pride by remembering you’re just the postal delivery person. Everything God gives to your spouse through you comes from God. Your desire to serve, your creativity in serving, your commitment to serve, your conviction to love—that’s God’s work, not your own heart. You are choosing to be faithful in delivering those blessings, but without God, you wouldn’t have the blessings to give, nor likely even the inclination.
  1. God can deliver life’s blessings through many channels. We’d all like them to come in a certain way, but wouldn’t it be rather ungrateful of you to complain about a pair of diamond stud earrings if they came in yellow wrapping paper instead of red? Ask God to bring what you legitimately need as He wills, in His timing, and in His way. It may not be your ideal, but even in this, your spouse’s selfishness is simply helping you to press deeper into God. That, in itself, is a gift, when you think about it.
  1. Don’t stop giving. Don’t allow someone else’s selfishness to infect you. Set the positive example rather than join in the negative one. There’s a certain fulfillment that comes from being faithful when it’s done in the right spirit; seek to capture that.

I write this because some of you may live the rest of your lives still married to a selfish spouse, and the last thing I want to see is your spouse’s selfishness affecting your spirit with resentment, bitterness, and eventually your own selfish demands. Nobody gave to Jesus a tenth of what He gave to them, yet He lived a supremely glorious, powerful, faithful, and joyous life.

In other words, don’t allow what your spouse isn’t to define what you become. Yes, in one sense this is an act of “spiritual self-defense.” But when a spouse sins in a way that doesn’t rise to the cause of divorce, and traditional methods haven’t worked, what else is a spouse to do? There may be a time, further down the road, when you can re-engage with this issue. But when you know it’s time to just accept it for the time-being, these three steps will keep you on track spiritually and even help you to grow in love rather than collapse in bitterness.


Gary Thomas

(If you’d like to learn more about Gary’s newest book, A Lifelong Love: How to Have Lasting Intimacy, Friendship, and Purpose in your Marriage click here: http://www.garythomas.com/books/lifelong-love/)

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  1. This message was so timely, I appreciate it so much. I’ve been married for nine years to a man whose primary concern is himself, and it’s so upsetting. You mentioned in the article that the ways of resolving the situation (of a selfish spouse) was a different topic of discussion. I’m hoping that you might impart some wisdom on practical ways to respond to a selfish spouse (particularly one that is very defensive when concerns are brought up?) I would be so grateful for some guidance. Thank you.

    1. I have been married for 25 yrs to a selfish spouse. It is very hard to know how to respond correctly- without selflessness of my own at this point because our tendency in the flesh is to put up walls and protect. Many times I stuff my feelings until l can completely let them go with the Fathers help. My spouse see me as unsupportive. He does not see his actions for what they are.
      Thank you for this article

      1. I’ve been married 20 years this spring & can relate! I’m praying that the Lord give me a willing heart to trust in Him! My hope is as I keep my eyes on Jesus that the Lord will give the desires of my heart as the Bible promises. God bless you!

    2. I’ll keep this in mind for a future post. Thanks for the suggestion. In the meantime, I go into this topic rather extensively in my book for wives entitled “Sacred Influence.”

  2. Thank you, I appreciate the spiritual response and perspective you suggest. It is so exhausting, when I dwell on it. But I try to think of it as serving Christ, and then it is a blessing.

  3. I just recently retired after a long and continuous stay at a big company. My children and grandchildren wanted me to be home and my husband seemed to want that also. The problem is, I was on the younger end of retirement and I do not have any cash flow coming in since I had to put my earnings away until a later age to avoid tax penalties. All of our household money is in an account just for him and he considers it his money and I get a very small allowance. Once I purchase groceries and put gas in the vehicle, the money is used up. I can’t buy the smallest thing for any of my children or grandchildren. I can’t even go out for fast food if I want to. Therefore, I cannot purchase anything extra like flowers or go to a spa. He can buy himself elaborate gifts, for example: a motorcycle, but I am scolded if I ask for anything beyond what I am given and told to make it work. I am thankful that I get to be at home with my family but part of me feels like a prisoner. He also does not like to talk when he gets home and we definitely never go on date nights. Since he is the one working all the time he gets to do what he wants in his free time and it usually does not include me.

    1. I feel for you… I imagine i might be you in the future because i am going through that now but we have our children. I am only 34. I too feel like a prisoner because i hardly ever get to see friends or family. Also i am always told I’m wrong and i can’t handle the finances so i never see any money unless it’s given to me, and usually that’s ten dollars here or there for gas. We don’t have an apartment of our own, we live in someone else’s, but I am grateful for what i have because there are even some women who have less. I thank God everyday. I love my Jesus and that will never stop no matter how i am treated here on this earth. I just pray that one day i might get a loving gesture.

      1. Stacy.my situation is same as yours. A housewife prisoner i was lamenting but now i am happy to find many like this.i appreciate yr faith.even i am gonna confess iam happy in the lord.

  4. This is amazing!!! Thank you so much! A true blessing! May the Lord bless you and keep giving this clarity of His word.

  5. Several times a week, I stumble across articles written on marriages. How to improve them, keep the ‘spark going’, how to truly honor the Lord in them…all very well meaning articles. This one is no different. With heartfelt sincerity–and it is clear that you are sincere and want to help others–the author will paint a picture of ‘tips and ideas’ of what the wounded spouse may do in order to help alleviate the pain and or discomfort of their situation. But oh how short these ideas and advice often fall. I am someone who is married to the exact spouse that you have displayed here. It is a very painful and lonely existence. I in no way want to paint a picture of my perfection–I bring plenty of faults to the table as well. And I am well aware that my spouse is also a work in progress. However, the reality is I am a woman who is searching and seeking the Lord with her whole heart. My spouse has no desire what-so-ever to seek the Lord. This creates a very wobbly environment for a marriage to in any way thrive.
    You say that we should not (paraphrasing here) look a gift horse in the mouth, and enjoy the gift no matter the avenue it is received. While I understand the premise here, it’s simply not true. I have some wonderful loving and kind friends who the Lord has placed in my life, who bless me so much and I hope I bless as well. However, the gifts that they give to me—kindness, true concern, love, sharing—cannot take the place of what should be between me and my spouse in a Christ centered marriage. How can I say, “Well, the friendship that I have with “Lucy” makes up for the friendship that I long for with my spouse? The marriage relationship is unique; we know from His Word that it is the union that is set to be a display of Christ’s love for His Church. No other relationship holds this weight. To further say that ‘buying the gift yourself’ will somehow alleviate the blow of a habitually emotionally absent spouse is even more empty.
    In the end, what I always find is that the spouses who are subjected to these pains are the ones who are told to always “suck it up and count your blessings.” We smile, wipe our tears, and just say, “You’re right. I’m just ungrateful,”—and walk away more wounded than ever. I’m afraid that more often than not, these ‘tips and advice points’ end up sounding more and more like Eliphaz to Job (Especially Job 5:17). Now God’s Word certainly calls for us to love the ‘unlovable’, –and I could not agree more with you on the postal worker analogy. You are spot on (John 15). And even I definitely needed that reminder. But let’s not for one second pretend that these analogies will in any way really alleviate the emptiness felt by a spouse who is hungry for true love, and true companionship. The only One who is able to in any way fill that hole is the One who created the purpose of the union in the first place. Seek Him, abide in Him, ask for His grace, trust that He will supply it, and know that He is working all things to our good and His glory. (Rom 8:28)
    Thanks for listening.

    1. I felt that same pain for 20 years, until my husband disclosed a hidden sexual addiction that began in his early childhood. It was like pieces of a puzzle coming together. All his past selfish behaviors made sense as I learned about addiction and what it does to the brain. In true recovery, he is a changed man. I didn’t believe it was possible, but I am a witness that God can and does work miracles. For us, He did it through 12 step (and a spouse support group), which we will attend indefinitely to stay in recovery and to help others find healing!

      1. 12 step? Can you elaborate on that? I would like to know more about that please. Thank-you.

        1. Catheryn,
          I was specifically talking about 12 steps for addiction. Most programs are based off the original Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) program. SA is Sexaholics Anonymous. S-ANON is for the family support. There are countless programs out there. Just Google a 12 step recovery program in your area.

          And honestly, I have seen spouses of addicts work the steps as well and find healing from all kinds of other unhealthy behaviors.

          1. there are christian programs for addiction, hurts, habits and hang ups, it is called celebrate recovery and is sponered by local churches.

      2. Bless your heart Sara! For holding on to Jesus in those dark valleys! Glory days can come!
        I have been married over 30 years. I still love him. Some days we still like each other too. I like him more days. I had to accept some things I so did not want to even admit. Like how crippled he is, sometimes by that selfishness I didn’t see when we dated. It was always there, and G-D even sent a good friend to warn me about! But that person wasn’t his friend and I couldn’t see, or wouldn’t open my eyes long enough to ask some difficult, much needed questions…eventually I have accepted some cold hard facts, like the fact that he can be very selfish and immature. I get to grow in G-D’s grace too, to love well, much and without hypocrisy. We have walked thru some really hard seasons in our life together and that is totally to G-D’s credit.
        Thank you so much Gary! You are a dear precious brother, a real Biblical purist, not one who twists the Word like some people do. One day I will hug your neck for Sacred Marriage! The truths in that book have helped me so much over the years. To live to please the Lord first. To recognize, confess for real anger, bitterness and receive cleansing and even let go of some of the hurts given, often totally cluelessly and even those evil things done with devilish deliberateness.
        Jesus has shown me He can be trusted, totally. He redeems our sin completely. He redeems our pain too, when we trust it to Him. AND He even has a good plan for our weaknesses, as much as our strengths, gifts, talents…trust Him each new day for His mercy, especially on those days the devil tries to discourage you on.

    2. Amanda, thank you so much for your comment. I had the same reaction as you to this article. Others simply cannot fill your need to be loved and appreciated by your spouse. As long as your spouse is selfish, you will be in pain. Many people endure all kinds of suffering and this is no different. It hurts. No matter how loving, affectionate and caring my children and friends can be, an absent spouse is an absent spouse.

    3. I agree with your comments. Leslie Vernick wrote a book called ‘The Emotionally Abusive Marriage’ which validated my situation. I needed to understand the difference between selfishness & emotional abuse.

    4. Amanda- Thank you! that is EXACTLY how I feel! You said it with kindness, empathy and truth!

    5. Amanda, I can empathize with your pain, and the last thing I want to do is try to minimize it or pretend it isn’t real and/or understandable. But what would you say to a widow who misses her husband’s early morning cup of coffee–something she will never receive again? What do you say to the husband of an Alzheimer’s patient who many times doesn’t even recognize him when he visits? Do they have no hope? Marriage isn’t and can’t be our only source of hope and peace and joy.

      All I’m saying is that when it is clear a selfish spouse won’t change and you don’t have cause for divorce, you try to find as rich a life as possible in Christ. I’m trying to offer self-defense against poisonous attitudes of bitterness, not to make already wounded spouses feel worse about themselves. That’s the spirit of the blog post, and if I wasn’t clear enough on that end, I certainly apologize.

      1. Is it biblical for my husband to divorce me because of my selfishness? I have been selfish. I want to break that cycle. I want to know why I feel so disconnected at times.

    6. Amanda,
      I totally agree. Married almost four decades to selfish man who lies and deceives to get his way or to get out of taking any responsibility for his actions. And yet, counselors and pastors seem to want to tell the wives what they should do. Nope. Men need to grow up and take responsibility, period. Change must come from within, and only the man can change himself. No wife can change him, no matter what she does. It’s NOT her responsibility to do anything.

      The wife’s only responsibility is get help for HERSELF. To realize that she got ‘conned’. She had the old ‘bait and switch’ pulled on her by a man who pretended to be Prince Charming and hid the fact that he was really a toad.

    7. Yes! The answer trying to find a happy place in my heart only digs a deeper hole when I feel ungrateful, but the reality is a selfish spouse is sinning. It is very difficult to move past that ongoing hurt which can only be mended by your spouse. I can relate.

    8. Thank you for your comment–this is exactly my situation as well! Well said with thoughtfulness and clarity.

  6. I have to agree, my husband is not a selfish spouse. He’s very giving to me and many others. His “motivation” is Christ’s example. Wanting the best for the object of his love. just as Christ wants the best for us. I actually feel like the unselfish spouse because mine does give so much. After 36 years of marriage we still love and respect each other. God’s grace and love is continuing to work in our lives.

  7. #3 is where I failed. I let every selfish act turn me bitter and my 13 year marriage ended in divorce.

  8. Mr Thomas,
    I need your help with this. My bitterness has grown into disrespect for my husband. And he is not the type to earn it back. He’s just baffled by the disrespect. He’s an awful communicator. I’ve prayed about this, of course, and one of my answers was to remember that he doesn’t know how to love me. Yes, he should take personal repsonsoblity foe this but he doesn’t know what that looks like either. So, I’ve been guarding my heart and asking God to help me love him better and submit and respect him as I should. What I need is support. Someone to talk to. His job relocates us a lot so having a stable church home has been difficult. My friends are all married but they have their own problems. And my parents adore him because he really is a good man. Ive already done somenthings im not proud of. Please help.

    1. There are many counselors who now “meet” with clients via Skype. For those like you who move around a lot, I’d suggest exploring a relationship with such a counselor.

  9. This was truly eye-opening as it appears, after reading this, that I may very well be the selfish spouse in my marriage. Although I acknowledge my husband’s postal deliveries all the time, do my best to show my gratefulness to him, thanking God that He is the one making all these things possible, I may still be too wrapped up in my own self and my own needs… Like I said: eye-opening and will pay even closer attention to our relationship dynamic. Thank you!

  10. I completely agree with this advice. I was also married to a selfish man and it climaxed with him walking out the door after 20 years of marriage. Although I didn’t believe in divorce, a part of me just wanted to move on, find someone else, and prove to myself that I was still desirable. Yet, I felt the Lord wanted me to stand in faith, so I did. We started going to counseling and 9 months later he moved back home, a completely different man. He had a new appreciation for me, our family, and even the Lord. I couldn’t believe the change in him and understood this was the Lord’s doing. I actually found myself thanking the Lord for my husband’s mid-life crisis; I now had the marriage I had always wanted. The Lord recently showed me there is more joy in loving than being loved. But don’t we all need love you may ask? Yes, but the Lord will satisfy that need if we will let Him. The Lord also told me that if He were to withdraw from me, I’d be capable of anything. ANYTHING! He alone is good and we are all selfish at the core. It is only Him in us that enables us to live and love selflessly.

  11. The way I look at it. This is how feminism was born!!! You want a man to do it for you but his selfish butt won’t. Do it yourself. Then we as women obviously don’t need a man. Gotcha!!! Boom. Divorcing my selfish husband.

    1. I hear ya, there doesn’t seem to be help from the church for this. These men are created in the church, I think. They hear the word submit and run with it!


      In the Same Boat

    2. Anoymous
      Good thing Jesus didn’t divorce you or me because we are all selfish. If we made a vow to love our husbands in sickness or health, rich or poor, good or bad til death do us part then we are to keep that vow to the Lord. Hard hearts divorce their spouses and give up. My dear mother-in-law said the first 59 years of her marriage were extremely hard and then one day God did a miracle and my father-in-law was a new man (she loved his selfish being all those years) and it was worth the wait because it was so amazing. Waiting on the Lord and “being Jesus in your husband’s life” is hard but then we can do all things in Christ who strengthens us! No man is to “do it all for you.” Only Jesus can.

      1. Sheila you nailed it. Out of all the comments that I have read so far, you are basing yours on scriptural truth. There is not enough room or time here to go into the degree of selfishness and deceitfulness that I have lived with in my marriage….needless to say, God’s word has made it perfectly clear that there is no “out” in marriage, and unhappiness is definitely not one. What is clear is that these men are scripturally defined as being unbelievers, even going by their objective disobedience to the word. What is the wife told to do? Respect them anyway, submitting to them as to the Lord (saved or unsaved, they are still our heads in authority), and to win them without a word by our own pure and chaste behavior. God and His word never changes. So, just as we have been to Him, they are to us…when we see what we have been reborn out of clearly and are actually grateful for God’s mercy and grace to us, it truly helps us extend that to them. Considering all that I have done to a high and holy God myself and that in this world I will have trouble…it refocuses me in truth. Our marriages are our number one ministry. To our husbands. Staying grounded in the whole counsel of God, being given everything that we need in the bible for all…ALL…things pertaining to life….we may be lonely and unhappy sometimes, but only when our eyes are on ourselves…which is selfish…and off of what is truly important…glorifying and honoring God ourselves in our marriages. It’s the distinction between a vain profession and a woman reborn through the biblical Jesus Christ.

    3. Timely message for me. Grappling with a wife that is a recovering addict( the apex of selfishness) has had a affair with lingering emotional attachment and is also turning her back on the truth of the gospel. The trifecta of destruction that just keeps on giving. This after 15 years of marriage and a first wife that had many of the same destructive tendencies. The battle against bitterness has reached epic proportions for me. I would so welcome healing but know that she has to have a heart open to Him. So I just pray He can keep mine open and fight the bitterness demon with all I can muster. My home has turned into a place I stay so that I can be in my children’s lives full time. There really isn’t a marriage here or any kind of intimacy. As my children get older the only thing that I have to look forward to with my wife is more spiritual warfare as she embraces the worlds wisdom more and more.She once was a believer……I think. This is not what a family was ever supposed to be. Profound disappointment stocks my every day and night. Prayers appreciated if anyone reading this sad saga feels so led.

      1. My prayers go out to all those trapped in addiction and to the families affected so painfully. I agree that an addict is synonymous with selfishness, which is why I hope people will at least learn about addiction if they are living with a truly selfish spouse. It is so much more common than people realize.

        I find a spouse and family support group to be SO beneficial and healing. I hope you have found support, because it is just too painful to do alone. And I know that once an addict finds true recovery (not just sobriety), their behaviors do a 180°. I hope that comes for your wife…for the sake of your whole family. Blessings:)

        1. I would like to find a support group. I am the selfish spouse. I want to work my marriage out. What are these groups called so I can google? Thank-you

          1. The groups I mentioned are specifically for those with sexual addiction (IMO addiction might just be the definition of extreme selfishness)and companion classes for the spouses of an addict.

            SA (sexaholics anonymous) and S-ANON (support for the spouse or family member) are probably the oldest and most established groups out there patterned obviously after AA and A-ANON.

            Many religious groups also have versions of 12 step programs for sexual addictions. All programs that work, will include God and some form of these steps.

            You do not have to pay to find a good and effective group. SA and S-ANON (and any of their splinter groups) do ask a voluntary donation, but church run groups usually do not. At least that has been my findings.

            I go to feel that I am not alone in my suffering and hear what works for others living in situations like mine. We share our faith in Christ and in His ability to heal our loved ones in addiction and our own hearts.

            But healing does take time. And both the addict and the “loved one” have to surrender EVERYTHING to God in order to be healed. Some people go in after hitting their “rock bottom” and have immediate results. Others struggle more to let go, they won’t work the steps fully, and they don’t get the results.

    4. No matter what you decide, please know that his attitude is not how He was supposed to treat you and it is not a reflection of other men……especially not a reflection of God. Please let your anger go so it won’t define the path of your future. Feminism is not an answer, but a deceiving hatred. Be free. Take care and grow!

  12. There’s selfishness, emotional abuse, manipulation, no responsibility. It’s like living with a teenager but worse as they spend all the money too. How to look past all that and then some. Needing to be medicated just to get through each day. The sad thing is he doesn’t ‘see’ any of it!!

  13. I’ve been married to a verbally abusive, selfish man for 30 years. I have been waiting for my pastor to finally tell us women how to live with these men (because i know I am not the only one with a husband like this). They talk about men loving their wives, women submitting to these men, but I never get a chance to see what this looks like with an abusive and selfish man. I want to see what this looks like. The more I do, the more he needs. He only takes care of himself, and goes through his retirement looking out for himself only, after sending me to work after he was fired for his selfishness. I raised the kids, while working, cleaning and cooking, now I am working for the rest of my life while he enjoys retirement. It’s such a terrible “witness” to others, even Christians, and unfortunately non-Christians too. I am so frustrated, and bitter. I am again looking for somewhere else to live. We have no friends, he has chased my friends away, and his friends and even family believe the lies he tells about me. He evangelizes with his friends, and judges me cause I don’t always make it to church due to extreme fatigue, and overload. Does anyone know how to live with a man like this and bring him along? I have needed help for so long, but no one can help me.

    1. Please look into sexual addictions (pornography, fantasy and m, sex). This problem is widespread in today’s world. I’m no expert, I’m only saying its worth a look since the situation sounds like a classic case.

      I attend multiple spouse support groups per week, and I have heard dozens (probably hundreds if you include my reading) of real stories just like yours. It really rattled my faith at first, but I have received many answers from God to comfort me along the way.

      It may just be worth a look, in case. Knowledge is power:) If it isn’t helpful to your situation, it still may be for someone else you know. Blessings:)

  14. My husbands selfishness was like a treadmill that kept speeding up. The more I did the more he expected, and now that I supported him through two degrees, while I worked, cleaned, cooked, and he went to school full time, he wants a divorce. All our dreams were in that degree, and he was going to take care of me the rest of my life. I’m 58, with no skills ( because he went to school, not me), no retirement, house or insurance. I’m also my mothers full time caretaker, living now with a friend, while he lives with his sister and dates before we are even divorced.

  15. Great article. Although from the example provided in the article, it appears that this woman may very well be married to a narcissist.

  16. Thanks for the article. I have been married to my selfish husband for 20 years. We are currently separated because he needs his space. He is actually a little bit more nice and cooperative with us living separately. I think it is funny that the illustration was postal workers because he is a postal worker.

  17. Thank you, Gary, for maintaining this position. The LORD has been showing me exactly this attitude to have about who gives me what. The woman that commented about divorcing her selfish spouse has “had it”, understandably. For those of us who have been married for decades, and with no end in sight to our spouses’ selfishness (I have also learned that selfishness is a “foolish” attitude), ONLY The LORD God Himself can sustain us.

    Your article blessed me deeply (bringing me to The Throne of Grace, Holy Spirit’s side for “help in time of need” yet again…thankfully, HalleluYAH!), and I’m sure is a timely message of encouragement. May The LORD continue to use you, your acute sensitivity to Him, and your commitment to those who are suffering immensely in an “unequal marriage”.

    “Unto the furtherance of the Gospel”, “Glory to God in the HIghest, and on earth, peace to men of good will”, and Shalom!

  18. Unfortunately men aren’t the only ones being capable of being selfish spouses. And to respond to Anonymous, your spouse being selfish is not grounds for divorce. I’ve been married for 5 years to a selfish spouse, but that doesn’t give me the right to divorce her. As difficult as it is, every day, I need to remember to love her like God loves me.

    Thank you for this article, it is extremely helpful.

  19. Well I look at it this way . You can ask him to help with the dishes . I can can ask for him to take out the garbage . That hurts my pride to ask . Like, he should know to do those things . We ask our Heavenly Father for help . We are a picture of the asking. Husbands are glad to help then ,and do because you asked . So is our Heavenly Father . We go to Him and it hurts our pride a little to ask . So we do because we want . But do you expect God to just give give give and not ever say anything to Him ? Eve messed up . Us woman pay the price . Let it go girls . They are all selfish . You can’t change them . Pride comes before a fall . Take a big swallow and say . Honey could you help me tonight . I’m a little tired . Or sweetie could you help me with this . He wants to be your night an shining armor . So get creative. Don’t stew . You look ugly when you do that .

    1. I couldn’t agree more! Nobody is a mind reader, so we should stop pretending that they are. I can’t say my marriage has any major problems, but one thing I know for a fact is that we are ALL selfish, no matter how much you think you aren’t. Be sure you aren’t martyring yourself. Yea, there needs to be a two way street on this, and I recognize that not all spouses are aware of their shortcomings, so if you haven’t ever talked to your spouse about the issues you have, don’t resent them for not knowing what you want or need. You are there to serve your spouse, but you are not a slave to them. You do need to take care of yourself. Some of you might need to stand up for yourselves more, and some of you might need to stop being so defensive (I am one of those). You can pray for your spouse, and should, but als pray that God opens your eyes to your shortcomings. Maybe you are too supportive…some spouses want a spouse who will speak up or stand up, or give an opinion, and if you think that by NOT saying anything, you are being a gracious spouse, then you are only building a path for resentment. If however, your spouse doesn’t want to hear you out, shuts you down, belittles you, I recognize that those things still may be needed but won’t come so easily. Yes, you are a servant to your spouse, but you are not a doormat, God gave you a voice a free will. Choose to stand up and take care of yourself. Leaving a VERY unhealthy marriage does not have to equal divorce, but it can sometimes serve as a wake up call. This would not be my first suggestion, but rather a last resort. It may not seem like it, but if you are so busy serving others and fail to take care of yourself, you do a disservice to all of them and yourself. Have you “let yourself go?”. I know we say for better or for worse, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t put or best selves forward if we are capable? Don’t get mad at the author of this article, he makes good points. He said he doesn’t cover it all, and he said that he wasn’t talking about severely abusive relationships. We can ALWAYS work on ourselves, and that is always the first place to look, and it is the only place where we can actually make a change, so starting there is what we need to do!

  20. Thanks so much for these “words of wisdom”. I felt this article was written for me! I have bought myself flowers and he asked to pay for them. I just smiled and said “no thanks – it’s too late now”. Better then the time when he bought me grocery store flowers that were 1/2 dead. This article is a keeper for sure!!!

  21. I find this approach acceptable for couples who do not have children, but tolerating a selfish spouse, IMHO, just raises another generation of narcissists and codependents. Not cool.

    1. This is my struggle also. My husband was taught/modeled by his family that this behavior is acceptable for men and wives are to be supportive always. We have three children and I don’t know how to break this cycle. I’m desperate for his eyes to be opened! 13 years and still trying to pray for change. It’s so depressing.

  22. I appreciated this article so much. It had practical advice that I hadn’t heard before.

    My husband has high functioning Asperger’s and I mistook some of his behaviors for selfishness for years. Once I realized that he was indeed putting in a lot of effort, I began to see things differently. I still had to deal with the issue of not becoming bitter after giving and giving and yet not having some of my needs met. With all his good qualities, it is hard to acknowledge the pain of what comes off as selfishness, thoughtfulness, a lack of interest or consideration. This article addresses that well.

  23. Imagine my surprise when after over 20 years my selfish spouse tells me that he is not happy and goes to move in with another woman and her kids. He wants a divorce and don’t even consider counseling. Initially, I felt like a failure, but after accepting his decision, I began doing things for me and my child first. No more tiptoeing around so we don’t bother daddy. It has been the best gift, the gift of finding me again.

  24. I believe the main channel God wants to use is Himself. This was his point to the Samaritan woman. That all these other relationships would continue to leave her thirsty, but if she turned to him, her thirst would always be quenched. God’s love for us is unfailing and unconditional. That is something we all seek from every spouse and some are better channels than others, but God is always the perfect channel. His love is always turned on and ready to fill us up. I believe marriages like this cause us to finally drink from the Living Water. Otherwise as humans, we settle for lesser “broken” cisterns and all of us will be disappointed because every spouse is going to fail to love us at some point or another. Jesus doesn’t disappoint. I’ve learned this through a difficult marriage like you’ve described, but found the blessing in it because it has pressed me into a deeper search to know Jesus better and find him to be my “all in all”. Now whenever things are “of the Spirit” between my husband and I, I rejoice and thank God that the “channels” are open and He is flowing through both of us. But when they’re closed, I turn to HIM. He is my Heavenly Bridegroom. In Ephesians 5, it says that Christ nourishes and cherishes his Bride, the church. He has promised to take care of me. I look for his faithfulness everyday. Thanks for writing this.

  25. Hello. Thank you this was extremely helpful. I agree I couldn’t do this without Gods help. I often cry to God about the feeling of loneliness in my marriage. I pray that God would change this or that in my husband and it always falls back on me. How can I change the way I react to him. I can’t physically change my husband but I can change my self. I was brought up in a wonderful family with a loving father and mother. My husband was brought up in a dysfunctional home. I try to remind myself of that daily. I love hugging and kissing and greeting one another but it doesn’t come naturally for him like it does me. I am like why do I always have to be the first to do anything? Then I rememember God requires more of me. I agree with Ali I would like to see an article on how to deal with his defensiveness. I cannot disagree with anything he says NEVER. He sees it as disrespect. Thank you for your article.

  26. Is the husband not sinning? If he continues in this particular sin is that not “fruit” of an unbeliever? Shouldn’t this be treated like all sin. Confront, then confront again with two/three witnesses? Then taken to the Church?

  27. I’ve been married to a narcissist for 42 years. He is very selfish but very hard working and provides for all my material needs. My spiritual, emotional, mental and some physical needs are as you say provided by my loving relationship with God. If it were not for my husbands harshness I’m not sure I’d have the wonderful relationship I do have with my savior. Is this life style easy, no… But this life is so short when I set it next to eternity with my savior. Am I happy, most the time, because I’m human with feelings that get hurt and no one really enjoys being a post man to someone you give your body too and become one with in spirit.

    As one in marriage, you do have dreams and hopes that can turn to idols. Letting go of these idols and finally understanding that those dreams will never occur and then allowing God to rebuild within you new visions new dreams, life eternal dreams that are between you and God this becomes my greatest reward. My husband can be selfish and even a bully toward me, but God is ALWAYS for me and never against me and my husband knows that and also knows he’s missing out due to his own selfish desires, but can’t change without God.

    Can I be a post man, of course. But I can also recognize that my happiness is not wrapped up in delivering packages to someone who’s ungrateful or in doing special things for myself like spa days and flowers. God has called me to love the unloveable. Praying for the courage to go into this battle with Jesus is exhausting but it’s the right and holy thing for me to do for my own spiritual journey toward eternal life with Christ. When God calls us to battle for souls it is the highest calling and hardest challenge but the happiness you receive from doing what’s holy and righteous is enormous… Thank you for your insight.

    1. @Cathy… Thank you sooo much! That’s where I am. This is unfortunately my 2nd husband,and that within itself is another issue, but I know that he doesn’t truly know how to love me. I was out walking one day just to clear my head and I heard God ask me “why are you so upset with someone who doesn’t know any better ? If it weren’t for me you wouldn’t even recognize it. I loved you until you chose to start a relationship with me. Can you not choose to love me through him?”
      And that’s what I’ve had to CHOSE to do many many days.
      Is it easy? NO! But I have a much closer relationship with my Heavenly Father because of my selfish husband.
      He doesn’t realize his selfishness (of course) but he also doesn’t realize his immaturity in Christ.
      Soooo… I keep CHOOSING to love him even on the days I don’t like him AT ALL! JUST BECAUSE God NEVER gives up on me so who am I to give up on someone I vowed to love forever?! I won’t do that again!!

  28. It seems that articles giving this type of guidance is usually written by a man. Go figure!
    My husband lives as if the world revolves around him through his words and actions. I find it hard to feed his attitude even more. It is very frustrating and tiring.

  29. Great article but it seems pretty advanced for the audience who finds themselves in these kinds of marriages. I’ve dealt with this for over a decade now and after many failed attempts at finding peace, I’m finally getting to a place where I understand what’s at the core of this destructive relationship. He’s a narcissist (NPD), I’m codependent. I lack boundaries, he bulldozes over them. The more I learn about why he’s profoundly selfish and why I’m profoundly helpless to find freedom, the more God is showing me how. I’m no longer powerless and our marriage is no longer hopeless. But there are very few counselors who are equipped to navigate this topic, especially in more severe cases like mine. You most likely will have to do your own research and develop a massive trust in the Lord to reveal things to you.

  30. This is a VERY GOOD article. I was married to a selfish spouse. The selfishness eventually led to him having an affair that he would not give up. I learned (mostly before it got to that level), what this article states. God challenged me to be the best wife I could be in spite of what I did or did not receive from this man. This was really hard to put into practice, but I KNEW it was what was required of me. I knew God was asking me to be willing to be the primary source of His love to this man. I drew nearer to my God through the challenge, my own selfishness constantly rising up and being crucified as I submitted to God’s best. I wish I could say the marriage turned around and we are living happily ever after. No. It ended. One wife and five children, devastated…

    It was only after the marriage dissolved that I came to learn that there is actually a clinical term called a narcissistic personality, that described my husband. Wow. Do I sometimes feel that all my effort to be the “postal worker” was wasted in light of the end result? Yes. But, like in anything else, I remember my God, and my mind is renewed as I embrace a greater truth: I have been changed for the better forever. And so, God’s refining has had it’s work in me…. and my kids, now young adults, have seen the grace of God in me through a most difficult trial.

    God wants us to have thriving marriages and many other wonderful things. But He’s after something greater than all life’s wonderful blessings. He’s on a mission to make us more like Jesus… into the image and likeness of His Son, both corporately and individually. The process can be REALLY HARD sometimes. Sandpaper never feels good. But there’s a place of joyful and deep communion with Him in the process and resulting from it, that is matchless. God’s eye is on our character and on our eternity much more than ours is. Let’s trust Him and get busy following Him in the rain, sleet and snow.

  31. Only God Himself can satisfy us! He created us to first please Him. I had to memorize God’s verses/passages to wives so I could live to please Him & be empowered to prevent evil from entering me! God helped me to win my husband to Himself! 🙂 🙂

  32. I read all these comments and they made me so sad! I have been married for 4 years. My husband and I both have our selfish moments but we both realized in the first year that being married is a commitment to common ground. The selfish lifestyle you lived your whole life up to being married is now over. Now you both have to compromise and share different life tasks in the relationship. I know are marriage is still young and I have more to learn and grow from but I have one question. Why stay with a man that makes you so unhappy? Please don’t tell me it’s because of love and commitment and a devotion to your vows. Give me a real answer.

    1. Here is my real answer. I went into marriage “for better or worse”. I believe marriage is ordained of God. I made a commitment to God, to my husband, and to each child I brought into this world thereafter to honor that commitment. I put my all into it, into serving my family, and striving to create a loving environment in which my children could grow in the love and admonition of the Lord.

      Yes, my husband was selfish for 20 years, but I looked for things to be grateful for. It actually wasn’t until after his disclosure of a secret sexual addiction and affair, that I realized how abusive my situation had been. I have since learned to believe in my own worth and trust my gut.

      Even after the trauma of disclosure (for that is what it truly was), my commitment to my children held me in the marriage until I could see and believe that my husband’s heart was truly being changed by God. I would no longer tolerate abuse, for my sake or for my children’s (Emotional patterns pass down generationally.) But what better way for my chi!dren to see God’s atonement in action! They witnessed Christ’s power by watching their father repent, their mother forgive, and both be healed through Him.

      Why do we stay? Our answers are each personal. But for me, love and commitment ARE real answers. I don’t know…call me old fashioned.

  33. Today is my birthday and what a wonderful gift of spiritual wisdom your article is to me. I’ve been all but 5 months and yesterday called it quits because I could not see past my own selfish desires to be appreciated, validated, reciprocated and loved like never before. I couldn’t accept I was giving and my husband was taking through my eyes at least. This article is heaven sent!!!! His timing is always prompt and His ways are always good!! God bless you and all wIves reading this.

  34. Ef 5:21-25 Just as God through his word shows us wives our duties, just as well, shows husbands (head of family) his duties. Comunication is #1… study the bible together, pray together, and don’t let the sun set, being mad at eachother …

  35. What if not only is he selfish, but he does not provide and I do it all. From paying bills, to mowing, taking out the trash. I am even his form of transportation and he does not even put gas in my car. I am 7 months pregnant and very exhausted pulling this full load, how could I possibly stay positive.

    1. I’m so sorry–you’re going to need to get some help here or be buried. This is the time your husband should be stepping up, as it’s only going to get busier once the baby is born. Please, have a pastor talk to him. Seek some counseling. This sounds worse than mere selfishness. He’s adding to your burden, not just refusing to help take some away.

  36. I am in a relationship with someone who fits this to a tee! We have been together for three years & it just keeps getting more evident. We have discussed it & that has not made a difference. Like someone said in an earlier comment, he says “I’ve been doing better”…etc. I know (or I’m almost sure), his behavior will not change. Any advice is appreciated!
    *We are not married

    1. Since you mention that you’re not married and that any advice would be appreciated: don’t marry him! If you’re living together, move out. Selfishness will seep into all areas of your relationship, and when he says he’s been “doing better,” that’s just a cheap way of saying, “I’m only going to change as much as I need to get you to drop this issue or to bring it up less often.” It’s not conviction, so the selfishness isn’t going change. And it’s not healthy.

  37. Please, brothers and sisters, if you are in a selfish marriage, look into wether or not it is actually destructive or abusive, and take care to create healthy boundaries! It does not honor God to enable sin! Matthew 18 outlines and advocates godly confrontation of sin. “selfishness” is not a strong enough word for many of the stories in these comments. Domestic abuse hides in the church under doctrine like submission and headship and dying to self, grace, forgiveness and love when it is twisted to justify abuse. God hates abuse. Emotional. Mental. Spiritual. Physical. Please check out Leslie Vernick’s website or her book, “the emotionally destructive marriage” for more information.

  38. I think it’s really important to remember that there is a big difference between a spouse who tends to error a bit on the selfish side, and a completely selfish spouse who is emotionally abusive. Yes, let me say that again: a completely selfish spouse is abusive. God would never expect you to stay with an abusive spouse. For one thing, to stay with an abusive spouse is making you an enabler to your spouse’s sin. Do you remember what Jesus said about how men are to truly love their wives? They are sinning against God’s word when they treat you badly, and you do them no good whatsoever letting them do it. God loves you more than you can imagine so of course he wants you to be your best: a kind and loving person. However and unfortunately, sometimes people take things to the extreme. Don’t ever let anyone ever convince you that divorce is always a bad thing, and that you have to live with being treated horribly. People are too quick to divorce often in today’s world, but that does not mean there is not good reasons for it and that God would approve of. Abuse is one of them, physical and emotional. My heart broke to read some of the comments of the marriages some women are in. Do you really think a loving God would want you to allow your husband to treat you like that? And what about your children? Do you really think that your husband’s bad example won’t do them great spiritual harm if they see and follow it? Please my dear sisters in Christ, do not waste your precious life enabling a terrible husband.

    1. Ah, but a holy GOD…the God of the bible would. Your covenant is not simply with your husband, it is also a covenant with God. If you have a god that basically wouldn’t want you to grow through the difficulties of life, like a husband that is or is not selfish (subjective appraisal), you have more problems than just a marriage that doesn’t suit your own selfishness, you have a god that you have made up for yourself. That god neither saves anyone, because a false god can’t, nor does it expect you to grow in godliness. And that’s ultimately the bottom line for those regenerated by the biblical Jesus Christ, the biblical God…growing up in Christlikeness…for HIS glory. Perhaps it’s time to take a scripturally hard look in the mirror of the word of God and stop looking at your husband, another fallen human who is a sinner, like you, and who is guaranteed to disappoint, also like you….just sayin.

  39. Nicely done! My question should usually be “Is my spouse married to a selfish spouse?”

  40. That was deep and God definitely set this post in my Pinterest feed to read. It’s more than just my spouse; it’s being the postal worker period.

  41. After reading through the entire article and all the responses, I feel it was God talking to me. I am in deed married to a selfish spouse. This is my second marriage my first marriage ended when my husband announced he was gay, and only married me because he wanted to be straight. If I had an idea, he was not straight, I wouldn’t have ever married him, and had his children, My current husband shows his love by providing for us, but when it comes to satisfying needs his will always come first. Sometimes I think, I am treated more like a roommate than a wife of 21 years. I used to blame myself, because I felt, I wanted to be loved so badly I would accept any kind of treatment. At times I even wondered if I was flawed because I did not receive the love I needed, and craved. I would allow him to put his needs first, because I wanted a Godly marriage -where I put my husband first. Over the years, I sat back and watched him treat his family and his children better, than mine. I allowed him to buy himself the best of things while I settled for 2nd hand items, or was satisfied with little. We both worked, and we bought provided, We had separate accounts with money, because he did not trust me. He did provide for me the basic necessities, but if I wanted anything else I was expected to get it for myself. I was expected to care for my own children, although he did pay for the home and insurance. I just became more self sufficient, and I would try to provide that things I needed, that he wasn’t. I just kept on trying to rely on God to satisfy my needs, that were not being met my husband. I felt It was working until he retired and I was still working, I thought now he will have the time, and be more attentive to my needs. But that didn’t happen. Instead, I began to resent him. I saw him giving time and generosity to others but not me. It made me jealous and angry. I prayed to God to adjust my attitude again, and be a good wife. I prayed for my husbands happiness and kept reminding myself that he worked hard for years and deserves to have more time for himself. I began to treat him as he treated me, more like a good roommate. We look good on the outside, but I am feeling alone and hurt on the inside. Again, I would just justify things, telling myself, that God will take care of me. It was good for a while, until now, when my place of employment -cut my hours, and eventually let me go, because business is so bad. So now I have no income to take care of myself. Now I feel devastated and unsure what to do. Of course I am praying and asking God to provide for me. I know while I am almost 60 and still able to do some kind of work, I feel its is silly to work, when my husband has been retired for almost 5 years and has money in the bank to provide for both of us. He continues to spend money on himself, and keeps on doing as he pleases, all while he expects me to go find a new job. I am happy to keep giving him -what he needs, I love him, and want to be the postal worker, and I rely on God to satisfy my needs, and have lived as a selfless person my entire life. I work daily on my anger issues, and try not to resent my husband, but its hard. I do not want his selfishness to change who I am, but at what point do I get to see some rewards? Some fruits for my labor? I have had counseling before and I have begged my husband to also go, but he refuses. I guess it was assuring to hear I am not alone with this problem. Thanks for the article, and all the responses, I will continue to trust God, and try not to let all of these things change who I am. Any advice on what I should do next would be helpful?

  42. I’m so confused. I’ve been married to a selfish husband for 16 years. We survived his affair, and my financial infidelity. Laid it all out in the open five years ago and things got better. Actually things got great between us. We laughed, loved and were truly making each other a priority. Recently though he’s fallen into some old habits of being unappreciative and taking my grace and kindness for granted. Just this morning I woke a few minutes later than normal and was packing his lunch when he stormed downstairs in a terrible mood. I hurriedly put everything in his lunch pail and he burst out yelling about me always making him late for work. I was stunned and just stared at him and said sorry. He threw his lunch pail across the room and it smashed into a side table knocking my wooden cross and photo frame to the ground. Then yelled some more, went and grabbed his lunch and out it back in the box and left for work (leaving the mess on the floor). About an hour later I received a call saying he was sorry for being such a jerk. And just like that everything’s supposed to be okay. I prayed for me and for him. I forgave his, with grace. But tonight I told him I would no longer be packing his lunches because I felt he didnt appreciate what I do for him, and he said that if I’m going to stop doing things for him then he might as well live alone . I know he loves me, and I know he’s stressed but I can’t help but feel that I’m being tested. I’m at peace with divorce, and find myself praying he’d have another affair just so I can justifiably leave him. What do I do? Continue on as a postal delivery? Is this a form of abuse that I’m experiencing that God would condone my leaving? It’s not bad every day. When we are good.. we are great. But when we are not good.. well it’s sad.

    Where to go from here

  43. I, too, am married to a selfish spouse. We have been married for 19 years, but none of his selfish behavior presented itself until 7 years ago. I trace it back to a “trigger event” that put my F-I-L in jail and 1-1/2 years of counseling for my then 7 year old daughter. On top of this incredibly heartbreaking and stressful time, my husband’s retail business took a nose dive and he quit paying himself in order to cover the basics to keep the doors open. Suddenly, everything became my responsibility as the sole breadwinner. I cut expenses to the bone and started picking up an extra 12 hour shift per week.

    Last year, I was diagnosed with renal cancer in May and had surgery in August to remove the tumor and part of a kidney. I told my husband he ABSOLUTELY had to start providing an income and start supporting our family again – after not speaking to me for 3 days and 2 months of pouting, he got a part time job, but rather than help me with the bills, he uses that income to pay bills for his business.

    I have prayed for the Lord to heal us, our marriage, to strengthen me and to help my husband to make wise decisions. How do I start the discussion with him about what the Lord says a husband and fathers responsibility to his family is? Should I even attempt that? My husband is a Christian, but it feels as if he gave up on my daughter and me.

  44. I usually don’t comment on articles I read. However, I felt compelled to share my opinion. I do agree that you should never let anyone steal your joy or victory. When you are the “postal worker”, life can be hard at times and it’s easy to lose your joy. I have been a “Martha” my whole life, even when I wasn’t serving The Lord. So, that brings me to my comment. Nonbelievers can have a giving heart. Being a Christian doesn’t make us all Martha’s. My desire to help, love and please others is who I am. Yes, God made me that way. Because even as a child, that was my heart. I’m a nurse because I have a true love and desire for people. Not all Christians have a servants’ heart though. This is my 2nd marriage and I picked two very different men, however, both are selfish. I don’t see how I can keep giving when I’m on fumes. My cup is empty. My husband does not financially support me, so I can’t be thankful for any money he receives as he spends it on himself. I’ve been seriously ill the past several years. In pain, refuses to rub my back, but I will hurt rubbing his… I can’t say it’s big stuff, but when I continually don’t feel loved, I have little left to give. I do get your point to some degree. Maybe having a “Pollyanna” attitude. But even she got down. When a woman/man is like me or in a situation like mine, it’s not realistic to never expect love in return. My parents love me, my kids love me, my grandkids love me BUT it’s not the same. Why suffer when all I have ever wanted was simply to be loved by my spouse? I don’t think that is too much to ask. Am I simply unloveable? I find myself questioning, what am I doing wrong? Sometimes, you can only be a “postal worker ” for so many years because even they retire…

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  46. I am commenting because I deal with this daily. It’s hard because my husband I have separate bank accounts. We have so much in bills and after all said and done I have$300 left over for the month. Having 2 boys makes it difficult. 1 mine and 1 his. But all he puts forth is his half of the bills and my income goes to groceries, my medical and kids medical, clothing, schoolsupplies, etc. needed for the house and raising kids. It’s a constant struggle. If i have $25 left and we need something. He doesn’t want me to ask him for money unless I have $0. But then I have to go to my parents for help because when I do ask, it’s my own fault I got in that situation. Not only that but I do the cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. except one day a month he will do dishes to use that to say he helped out. He has just bought himself a Harley, has money in savings but says it’s for our honeymoon but I still need to come up with my half. Before I was married to him, I was financially stable. I had my own home I own, car paid off, money in savings. I paid cash for our wedding. That he didn’t contribute to. I don’t feel right getting my son something and telling his son to have his dad get it. And when I take the boys shopping and tell him I spent this much on his son he says how nice it is I’m so caring. He doesn’t even attempt to pay me back. It’s hard not to have resentment. But I pray every day to keep pushing through. At what point is enough enough. Especially when he feels like he doesn’t owe me anything. I do everything so he can work his long hours and not have to worry about the house and the kids, but there is no return. Because of his income, I no longer get tax returns, were lucky if we don’t have to pay in. I feel like marriage was the most financially irresponsible choice I ever made. And I still seem to feel like a single mother. Now with one more child I can’t afford.

    1. I feel for you- not in as bad a shape but I do understand- something the
      se who have never been in these shoes can only attempt to comment on how much you need to hang in there. With God we can but there is more much more and one of the biggest lies is you are not worthy to have more from your spouse nor do you have the right to ask the Lord for it.
      Dear Bt- I truly hope you see this and heed the following words: Seek Legal Counsel. Your husband has been using and manipulating you to take his responsibility as a father. You have been taking financial responsibility for his child which by legal definition would constitute child support payments to a former spouse. He has preyed upon your tender heart knowing that you will do what is right by his son while he does not-he is feeling vindicated. Why seek legal counsel? You need support and help to look at the situation objectively and legally. Eventually with Counsel present whether legal or pastor- not a family member, not alone and not when the kids are not present, it is imperative this be confronted and he understands he is responsible. Secondly there needs to be a clear understanding of what his plans are as far as banking his money and using yours. He eats, sleeps, uses the home, etc therefor he is just as much responsible for not only the financial care of the family but to be invested as a husband and a father- not using his son as a pawn to control your heart leaving you feeling guilty and responsible. This may all seem extremely harsh and will draw criticism from some, however, scripture does not call us to to be suckers but to be strong: Matthew 10:16, 2 Timothy 1:7, Ephesians 6: 10-18 and so on. Doing nothing will continue to empower him and weaken your position, trust and love. Above all pray! Thank the Lord for your tender heart, thank him for the opportunity to show this child the love he is not getting from his father, thank him for what he is about to give you the strength to do. Pray for your husband to be humbled and surrender to the Lord- his surrender to the Lord is number one for all of you. You can and do have the right and responsibility to go to your heavenly father and present these petitions before him. You are valued and believing you have no right to ask of him to change your husbands selfish sinful behavior is a lie. Pray, it may take a long time but pray and thank the Lord for every step along the way. Though you are feeling very alone and helpless you are in the presence of the Lord who is mighty. Luke 17:6

    2. Dear Bt- I truly hope you see this and heed the following words: Seek Legal Counsel. Your husband has been using and manipulating you to take his responsibility as a father. You have been taking financial responsibility for his child which by legal definition would constitute child support payments to a former spouse. He has preyed upon your tender heart knowing that you will do what is right by his son while he does not-he is feeling vindicated. Why seek legal counsel? You need support and help to look at the situation objectively and legally. Eventually with Counsel present whether legal or pastor- not a family member, not alone and not when the kids are not present, it is imperative this be confronted and he understands he is responsible. Secondly there needs to be a clear understanding of what his plans are as far as banking his money and using yours. He eats, sleeps, uses the home, etc therefor he is just as much responsible for not only the financial care of the family but to be invested as a husband and a father- not using his son as a pawn to control your heart leaving you feeling guilty and responsible. This may all seem extremely harsh and will draw criticism from some, however, scripture does not call us to to be suckers but to be strong: Matthew 10:16, 2 Timothy 1:7, Ephesians 6: 10-18 and so on. Doing nothing will continue to empower him and weaken your position, trust and love. Above all pray! Thank the Lord for your tender heart, thank him for the opportunity to show this child the love he is not getting from his father, thank him for what he is about to give you the strength to do. Pray for your husband to be humbled and surrender to the Lord- his surrender to the Lord is number one for all of you. You can and do have the right and responsibility to go to your heavenly father and present these petitions before him. You are valued and believing you have no right to ask of him to change your husbands selfish sinful behavior is a lie. Pray, it may take a long time but pray and thank the Lord for every step along the way. Though you are feeling very alone and helpless you are in the presence of the Lord who is mighty. Luke 17:6

  47. I am celebrating and do not know where to start testifying. I have never seen a man as kind, wonderful, caring and helpful like Lord Kakabu. I am a living testimony of his wonderful work and i have made vow to my self that i will testify about him as long as i live. My wife told me that she needs a divorce despite all the caring and attending i gave to her, i tried to begged her but she refused and went ahead with the divorce and ever since then i did not set my eye on her again.As i was browsing i came across testimonies of people that Lord Kakabu has help so i contact him and he told me that a man cast a spell on my wife that was why she left me but i should not worry because he will help me destroy the spell cast on her and my wife will come begging within 12 to 16 hours. I did not believe him but to my greatest joy at exactly 12 hours later my wife came to me fell on her knees and started crying that she did not know what happen to her and that i should forgive and accept her back which i gladly did and ever since then we have been living happily. Do you need any help then contact Lord Kakabu today for help via email: lordkakabuspelltemple@hotmail.com or via VIBER: +1-518-460-6872

  48. I have a wife who’s more hurtful than I can believe. And if I have any problem with it, I’m told that I’m not understanding of her schooling and so she has to leave the house and get a way from me. She takes off and goes to a friends house as I’m crying tears and my heart is breaking. She says I don’t understand as she refuses to understand me.

    I’m happy to have read this article because it really shows me who God is and why He loves. But the thought of being married for a life time to a woman who only cares about herself and treats friends better than her husband is so hard to bear. All I want is to be loved and appreciated and have my love languages spoken but she has blatantly told me that her school is all that matters, regardless if we get divorced or not she needs to have a career in place. This is what she SAYS to her husband.

    I cry to God “why?” But then I remember my years of porn addiction, my years of treating my parents horrible, or being a selfish person myself and then I fall into a shame spiral like maybe I deserve this life. Will someone pray for me because I need so much prayer and help. 🙁

    I want to be divorced but I don’t want to break God’s heart and put my family through such pain. I want marriage to last for life but I want love in my marriage.

  49. Thank you for the encouragement. I am sitting at my computer waiting for my husband to go to sleep before going back up stairs. I can not express to those who do not understand how the lack of Spiritual connection with their spouse is starvation. The Jekyll and Hyde that lurks within the man I have committed to has left such deep wounds never knowing if he is loving or selfishly hateful from one moment to the next. His public face is not this` only those who are close have seen it and our children have known it all to well as well. My hope is in the Lord and He is my Love.

    1. Hi Debbie when I read your comment I felt relieve that I’m not the only one going through this situation .. The more I read the more a realized that both of us have the same kind of husband .
      I would love to be in contact with you… Because as you know sometimes it feels lonely and nobody can understand you more than another Gal that is going through the same circumstances

      1. Aminta- Please find Bishop TD Jakes sermans on youtube- there are a number of them I have been listening to lately with headphones so as to block out other sounds and just soaking in the truths of scripture and the strength. The current sermans in our own church are about Esther and the fact of being where you are for such a time as this.There is no way to fully express to others who do not carry the weight of a selfish spouse how overwhelmingly draining it can be. Hold onto the Lord He will not let you go

    2. Wow, I am feeling everything you said here to be true in my own marriage of ten years. I’m hurting deeply tonight. I have closed the door to my heart for two weeks now, because letting him in hurts too much. When the unexpected tantrums come because he is required at any moment to actually love me when I am weak, hurt, scared…whatever it may be that requires him to be selfless….it is just TOO much for my heart to handle. I have struggled with suicidal thoughts. I feel so alone and depressed. I feel like I have ruined my whole life. I am a devout Christ follower, and I have desperately tried to love him the way Christ calls me to, hoping he will change by my actions. It just makes things worse. I cannot hold in my feelings when he hurts me, and when he gets mad at me when I am hurt, it sends me spiraling into tears of worthlessness. I do need my husband to love me the way I love him. That is why I married him. To continue life like this is just entirely too painful. I feel like it has aged me so much, and I am not even myself anymore. I used to be so confident, strong, successful. Now I have no motivation. I’m hurting. I want to leave, but…this is against what I believe. We have tried counseling, and he ends up manipulating the session to look like he doesn’t get equal air time, and it’s always about me. Ugh. I truly have died to myself for him. I feel dead.

  50. My relationship IS this roller coaster. Between mailman and living a “detached”live together, married life. For 40 years I’ve told myself that things will get better. God will change his heart. But he doesn’t want God to change his heart! His demons demand selfishness and the sudo-happiness they offer, only he is miserable! Wrestling his own imperfections and failing, then beating himself up, self-loathing. But all this is the self-centered mire of the enemies swamp. He continues on the same road unable and unwilling to believe God for something better because this swamp is familiar and he is afraid to let go of it. Everyone close to him can see it and are affected by it. How do I view it? The only way one can and that is through the lens of Christ, sacrificially. This 40 year marriage has been a most difficult road BUT viewed as the threshing floor, the refining fire, and the potter’s wheel then it becomes bearable. I AM a better person because of it. It forces me to be better. At times I want to just run away…the fight or flight reflex is screaming RUN!!! But then God reminds me why He brought me into this relationship – for my husband. If it weren’t for me he would have no balance, no friends, his children would have abandon him to his own devises. I have become his advocate in life and before God. It’s tough. And I don’t want to sound like a martyr, but even though my selfishness screams to be noticed I have to check myself …. if I give into my selfishness then the enemy wins. There is balance – knowing how to skillfully handle this type of marriage relationship takes critical thinking, tactical skill, and willful energy. Living in discord is exhausting and we need all the wisdom of God to handle it. There is no pat answer. Each situation is as varied as human personalities. One thing I know is “Where ….selfish-ambition exist, there will be disorder and every evil practice” Jms 3:16 I refuse to sow into selfish-ambition and will not entertain and will resist the temptation to be selfish (even though I want to be!) I pray that God will give me His wisdom in handling my situation, my hurting heart, my emptiness for husband love without bowing to selfishness, bitterness, resentment. I try to console myself with the words of wisdom. God sees me, He sees my pain, He sees my needs,He is molding me, He sees the gloriousness of who He is making me to be. I will not be a doormat and I will not be selfish. Everyone has to work that out. (After re-reading this I want to point out that my husband brings many good things to the table and if not for him I probably would be the most lazy, unorganized person on the planet! He is a good provider and protector as the Lord had promised to me when He revealed the this man would be my husband. By focusing on the positives of a person it is easier to give grace and mercy!)

  51. After 9 years in marriage with my hubby with 3 kids, my husband started going out with other ladies and showed me cold love, on several occasions he threatened to divorce me if I dare question him about his affair with other ladies, I was totally devastated and confused until an old friend of mine told me about a spell caster on the INTERNET called DR. Okojie who help people with their relationship and marriage problem by the powers of love spells, at first I doubted if such thing ever exists but decided to give it a try, when I contacted him, he helped me cast a love spell on my husband and within hours my husband came back to me and started apologizing, now he has stopped going out with ladies and he is with me for good and for real. Contact this great spell caster for your relationship or marriage problem and all kinds of problem you find difficult to resolve and he will put a lasting solution to it. You can also contact him if you are unable to bear children. Here is his email drokojiespellhome6@gmail. com

  52. Thank You Mr Thomas. Your words are wise and made me open my eyes. Again Thank You. May THE LORD Continue BLESSING You

  53. I wish I had seen this article sooner. My husband and I have been together for 6 years, I ended up just shutting down and have been miserable for the past year and a half because all I wanted was my husband to pay attention to me, but his sister and even the dog got all of his attention and I felt invisible. A month ago, he just walked out on me while I was at work, and won’t even talk to me. I just came home and found all of his stuff gone. He moved in with his sister. It really hurts, and I am trying to just get up and going every morning. I love my husband and I miss him, but he changed about 2 years ago, and I have discovered that is who I miss the most. He was so kind and loving back then. I feel like I am stuck in limbo, because I don’t know if I am supposed to just wait, or give up, or what. He told me 2 weeks ago he wanted a divorce, but he hasn’t gone forward with it. I’m frustrated, hurt, and lonely.

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