When You Feel Unloved in Your Marriage…

This is a continuation, so start with yesterday’s story if you missed it. (The comment section has info you won’t want to miss… like why he wants intimacy when the relationship is struggling… and I’m sorry for the disconnection this week with the posts and email – battling flu.  Seems to affect my brain. :P )

“Do you feel disrespected or unloved by me?” she asked.

“No, not at all, you are great!” he replied.

She was calm and gentle when she began speaking. She sensed she walked within His will, each step ordained.

“Oh, good. You are important enough to me to continue making that effort – and it sounds like I’m doing okay at it. I need you to know that I’ve been patient. And I have asked you for what I need from you, and you made some effort for a little while, and I gently reminded you a few times, but I need to let you know that it feels demeaning to me to have to continue to ask you for affection. I feel like if I have to ask you to do it, you don’t really want to, or I’m not worth enough to you to put in that small continued effort daily. I am starving for affection, and I need human contact from people who don’t want something from me at that moment, and from people who build me up just because they love me. I feel you are not loving me the way God wants you to, and it breaks my heart. I want us to have a great marriage, but I feel like a part of me is dying inside. I am going to start having an evening with my friends once a week in an effort to get some love in my life from somewhere. I am also going to find time to engage in a hobby I love that brings me joy. You’ll have to figure out dinner for yourself and the kids on the nights that I’m gone,” she stated, tears in her eyes.

He simply looked at her.

A long empty silence hung between them.

A chasm of quiet separated their two hearts.

“Are you saying you are going to have an affair?” he asked slowly.

She looked at him, and her heart felt the stab of recognition that he knew her so poorly. She took a moment to pray, and His peace and compassion filled her again. He’s afraid. Somehow she knew he was afraid of losing her and was reacting from that. She was tempted to manipulate him with this knowledge, but she prayed again.

His Great Love won out, filling her.

“I’m not seeking to have an affair,” she began. “But you should know that many marriage experts say I’m at risk for another man’s affections to steal my heart right now. My girlfriends love me well. I need affection from you, and because I don’t see sustained effort towards me, and because I have been clear about what I want, I can only assume that you do not want to give this to me. I still need love in my life, so I’m going to figure out how to get my needs met without you. I also think that we will need to meet with our pastor and a counselor so you can work through whatever is keeping you from loving me well. I haven’t asked for anything difficult or complicated. They are small things that couples who love do for one another. I don’t know if you are aware of this or not, but your lack of loving behavior towards me is sin, and it breaks my heart that you are stuck there. I will continue to pray for you, but you need to be aware that I want to model a healthy and good marriage for our kids, so you will have to take some action yourself and sustain it, or…”

Stop,” she sensed. She did.

He put some more effort into loving her well for a few more weeks again. He kissed her before he left in the morning. He hugged her when he saw her at the end of the day. He told her she looked pretty a few times. He seemed awkward, but trying.  One morning, God revealed to her that her husband simply did not have deep enough relationship with Him to love her well. It was more than her husband didn’t know how…he simply didn’t have the Spirit within him to do it.

What happens now? Have you seen this play out?

We have.

Dare you to read Matthew 18 again today. Double dog dare you to share the learnings you see (or have experienced by living this situation yourself) by commenting here today – you’ll be a Titus leader (one that instructs and coaches the younger and learning generation) and you will add breadth to the dialogue.

We’ll have more Thursday.

Know you are personally invited by me to take the journey with us by signing up in the “follow” or the “subscribe” box – know we never share your email with anyone for any reason. And we only send out about 3 blog posts a week. Sometimes 4 if He leads that way. And sometimes, like over the Christmas holiday, we just rest. And you can unsubscribe any time you want with no hard feelings. Promise.

At any rate, we are simply glad you are here.

Oh, and if you haven’t done The RESPECT Dare e-course with us, enrollment is now open through January 25th. There’s more information about it here.

Can’t wait to see you there or here or both!!

Love to you,



  1. Heather says

    I can’t even begin to respond. I’m in a similar situation, only I’m not responding quite so “Christ-like”. I have actually had the exact same conversation with my hubby…. recently. (Funny how we women are so similar) We just want to be loved. It’s so much more important to be told and shown. Guys think we should just “know it”. I told my husband the other day that I need him to tell me every day how pretty I am. His response was, “but you should know that already.” I told him how can I? I ask how I look after getting ready for work or church, and his response is always a simple “fine”.

    Anyway, back to my non-Christ-like behavior. After years of dealing with his porn addiction, years of I’m sorry, i wont do it again, I’m trying, …..this last time has hurt the most. He has never actually physically cheated (but he has many times in his heart) and to me, that hurts just as much. Then he reconnected with an ex ( his first love) and was conversing via text with dirty talk and sexually explicit details. i have completely lost ALL respect for my husband. I am angry and even though I say I forgive him for his actions…. I’m hurt. I want him to try to “make it up to me”. I know I’m ordered by God to respect him. And I’ve been asking God to show me how….but I want to do it because I DO respect him. He acts like since he’s gotten right with God for his betrayal, and told me he was sorry, that its over. I should just forget about it. My response is that I am not God. I can’t forget. I want to. I DO LOVE HIM. I love him with all my heart. But my heart is broken. He broke it, and he seems to have no desire to fix it. I’ve begged him to see a Christian marriage counselor. Someone who can listen to each of us and not be biased. But he won’t. He would rather things stay the same. He asks me every day to respect him. But….that is after a day of (its an every day thing)… Insults and put downs. Lectures and beradings on how I don’t do this right or I don’t do that right. How I’m not good at this or I’m awful at that. And recently, I’ve just snapped!!! I’m not gonna leave him. But I have to be honest….. If I had somewhere to go, I may have. Anyway, I just don’t know how to respect someone ( or show respect to someone) who I absolutely have no respect for.

    • Nina Roesner says

      Heather, so very sorry you are going through this right now. My heart goes out to you and we are praying for you. I’d encourage you to read the “When it Doesn’t Work” page in the Resources tab, and Dr. Kevin Leman’s “Have a New Husband by Friday.”
      Love to you,

  2. says

    I had a very similar conversation with my husband last night. I had taken a personal day from work to do some home chores, and when he came home from work,(About 4:30 PM) we continued to work together. I had a pretty bad headache, but wanted him to feel like he could trust me with the task, so I pushed on. We had put in a movie and were about two hours into a mountain of clothes we were folding when I felt his frustration in the task, and I knew how it would affect our evening. It has happened a thousand times before. He started to get bogged down with the amount of work before us, not only that night, but how much work we had to get the rest of our brand new home in order so we both felt comfortable in it. I tried to give him a break, a chance to walk away, and asked him to get me some tylenol for my head. “Sure Thing” he said, eyes glued fixedly at the TV. and didn’t move. I waited 15 minutes, and silently, even cheerfully, got up myself. Once in the bathroom, across the hall from our Bedroom, he shouted “Hey, I said I would get it.”
    I’m already up,” I smiled, and rejoined him.
    “I was thinking that since you had a head ache, I would go out and get some food, so you don’t have to cook. Taco Bell?” He began, and I agreed. But he still didn’t move. I waited another half an hour.
    Then the discussion took place. (Time is now about 715-is)
    I asked him what I could do better to make him feel like he can enjoy the time at home. I asked him what his ideal was, so that we could strike a compromise, we could both get what we wanted out of the evening. He snapped back that he just wanted to do whatever I wanted, because 3 years ago, he made a promise to put me first always, so his opinion didn’t count. I let him know (this has been happening so frequently) that I wasn’t happy. I told him again, gently, and with love, that the way things have been for the last year was hurting me, draining me, and changing me into a woman I knew God was not happy with.
    I told him that my greatest desire, before children and before selfish happiness, was pleasing God, because that would lead to joy overflowing.
    Eye roll.
    I asked him what was wrong, and we launched into a 2 and a half hour conversation about God letting him down, him wanting control over his own life, and being disappointed that his only choice in being a Christian was to be a door mat. The conversation escelated until I felt God telling em I needed to walk away.
    “Honey” I said.”this is going to be the last thing I say on the subject. Then I am going ot take this basket downstairs and work on the mending. I think that a lot of your personal issues come from you telling God to get off the Throne of your life. You were tired of waiting for His timing, so you told Him to beat it. And He loves you too much to force Himself on you, so He stepped aside and let you drive. And you keep crashing and you keep making a mess of things, and you keep blaming Him and telling Him that if He loved you, He would barge in and save the day, but He doesn’t work that day. He knocks at your heart, but He never breaks down the door and forces you to do things His way. and Honestly, I don’t know how you can say you KNOW God, and how you know there is a God who is Sovereign and Holy and Good, and how you can say that you have a relationship with Him, but you do not trust his word, or trust His promises. You need to fix your relationship with Him before you are going to be able to help us.”

    I then got down on my knees in the other room and prayed to God through sobs and tears that He would strengthen me and help my words to be true first in my own life, so that I could glorify Him, in my own actions, words and heart. I think that my husband has a lot of work to do, and I just pray that God will change his heart. He is verbally and emotionally abusive, and that is only recently, int he last 2 years….Praying God’s patience and strength, so that I will be able to wait for His timing, and not lose heart!!!!

    • Nina Roesner says

      Prayers for you, lovely. Do not despair. Do not be swayed in this world – God is using you while grooming you.
      Love to you,

  3. says

    My heart ache for this wife and for her husband. They are in a special place – knowing there is growing to do, healing to happen – and yet it is so fragile. God is there, of course, but from experience I know I have to let go of things to let Him work, I have to be quiet to hear Him speak. When we can be still He can move hearts. And He does.