I deal with a significant number of women who are in loveless marriages. The women in these marriages are devastated and live in a world of pain that goes so deep that they tell me sometimes it feels as though it could split them in half and wash them away.
These women married in good faith, believing their husbands would love them for the rest of their lives. Sometimes the trouble started on the wedding night and other times he’s had a slow but steady fade from the relationship. She’s got a large, gaping hole in her life because he won’t give physical comfort, and he is either emotionally dead toward his wife or he’s is perpetually angry and hateful.
She is very sad and disappointed and usually tells me she doesn’t really want a divorce, but she cannot imagine living this way for the rest of her life. She has asked her husband over and over what is wrong, what she’s done, and what she can do to change things. His answers are always the same; she hasn’t done anything wrong and she can’t do anything to change how things are. Rejection in marriage feels unbearable. It is such a deep hurt because often it is not her actions that are rejected, her personhood seems to disqualify her from being a part of her husband’s life.
A woman in such a marriage understandably has a great deal of hopelessness. She cannot force him to love her or want her, she cannot comprehend what’s happened to him to cause this to happen. She’s very lonely and if another man comes along who listens to her and pays her attention, the outcome can be emotional or even literal adultery.
The inborn response of her heart is to become angry at him. The anger is very deeply rooted and will become bitterness if left to remain and fester.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Ephesians 4:31(NASB)
Scripture tells us that bitterness is what ensues when the pain of rejection is not dealt with biblically. And from that anger and bitterness disastrous fruit is born. The wrath bound up in her wounded heart determines he is going to pay for how she has been hurt, and this destroys any possibility furthering the relationship. Every day she decides to keep that bitterness alive in her heart, a malicious spirit grows and in the end her heart becomes hard.
She no longer has ears to hear the soft voice of the Spirit as He wants to convict, rebuke, and warn her of the deadly path she is on. Often, she blames God for not intervening in her husband’s life and in her marriage. She does not believe God is hearing her pleadings, or concludes He does not care about her plight. Since God isn’t going to intervene, she takes matters into her own hands. These are dangerous, dangerous waters.
And always remember, there is nothing you can do to make him love you again, but God specializes in the impossible.