When A Wife Treats Her Husband Like A Child

Sometimes, I overhear a woman speak to her husband as if she were his mother.  It might sound something like this, “Where are all those receipts, I’ve told you and told you, to let me know how much you spent.” or, “Don’t you think you should be going to church more?” or, “Maybe you could get a better job, one that pays more.” or, “I have to do everything around here; can’t you do anything right?” “I can’t trust you to take care of the kids while I’m gone.” I’m certain all of these words are very demeaning and belittling to the man.

Surely, you must have the right to be fed up when your husband doesn’t act responsibly, or do what is acceptable in your eyes. Frustrated, you might be  rude or disrespectful to him or resort to silence when your husband disappoints you. You might believe that it is necessary to point out the obvious things you see that need to change in your husband. How will he ever get it if you don’t tell him? If you don’t take over now won’t the entire household fold? You might believe that if it weren’t for you, your family wouldn’t survive, certainly not your husband and certainly not your kids. Why you are the glue holding the family together!

Ever thought about how the words you speak to your husband affect him? Every mention of his failures, every reminder that he has disappointed again – it sounds as if you are speaking to a child – he can almost expect to be grounded, sent to his room if he doesn’t shape up. Ever think about how your actions speak volumes to him? You might not say anything about not trusting him, but you take over all the child care, the checkbook, planning, spending, decision making and pretty soon…you find that you are not only exhausted but you have officially taken over. You look around for the leader you so desired and he is nowhere to be found. You know why he can’t be found? Because you have crowded him out! There is no room in the drivers seat – you are sitting there! Your husband has been forced in the back seat, like one of the kids. You tell them to get in, buckle up and be quiet. And woe to him (your man) if he has any comments on the way your are driving and leading the family. How dare he have the nerve to make a comment after all that you do!

You’ve been driving the family for so long you may think you are the only reason the family has stayed on the road. Surely if you allowed him to take the wheel, he’d drive the family over a cliff – or would he?20120417_KB_0651

Your husband doesn’t need a mother, he needs a wife who will walk beside him, respect him, love him, cheer him on, encourage him, and most important, allow God to teach him how to lead his family. Well, what about the man who has grown comfortable sitting in the backseat? It isn’t too late for him either. He would probably love a chance to jingle the keys, slide into the drivers seat and drive in circles if he so chooses – just as long as those in the car believe in him. It may seem like a very scary thing to do – to relinquish control to your husband, but if you remember that up to now, your control and mistrust have been based on fear. It is important for you to realize that its really God you are trusting or rather not trusting.

It comes down to this truth: You are either going to trust God, or you aren’t! It is God’s desire for your husband to lead. It is God’s desire to teach your husband how to lead. It is God’s desire that you to wait upon him to teach, and lead your husband! This all may sound well and good, but, what about if your husband has no desire to lead? It still comes down to that truth: Are you going to trust God or not? If you are sitting in the driver’s seat, more than likely, your husband has learned that he can’t push you out of it! So, you are going to have to make the first move. He isn’t going to move out of the back seat, until you move over! Move over, begin to pray that God will show you how to be his wife, not his mother. Ask God to give you a measure of trust in him, to teach your husband, to teach you to be a wife to your husband, not a mom.

For those of you who have excused your husband’s sin and have not taken a stand when necessary – again, sometimes, the most loving thing you can do for your husband might seem like a very unloving thing to do. At times, there are actions you must take and God will give you the wisdom to act accordingly.

Imagine how glorious it could be…your man in the driver’s seat, you beside him…humming along, down the road. A much better picture than you driving and your husband/child sitting in the back seat, longing for a chance to drive! Relinquish your control and set your heart in the direction to trust God. You may find that you need to repent for your sin as well as ask forgiveness from your husband for how you’ve treated him. God’s desire is that your husband lead the family. It’s God’s design that your husband sit in the driver’s seat!

 

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47 Comments

  1. Kristen
    Jul 17, 2012

    Thanks, I really needed to hear this!

    • Beth
      Mar 8, 2015

      I will be married 25 yrs in May , I really needed to read this . I have taken over leading my family for years , God FORGIVE me , please pray for me as I relickwish everything to Him and be the wife God has called me to be

      • joymcclain
        Mar 9, 2015

        Beth,
        Thank you for the encouragement!
        It isn’t easy, but God will honor you in this…no matter his (your husband’s) response.
        Grace & Peace
        Joy

  2. Jean
    Oct 5, 2012

    Thank you so much for this. I really needed to see this. I think sometimes its hard to practically know how to do this. Its very easy to think that he won’t care if I do this or handle that so I need figure out ways to give him the opportunity step in and lead me.
    Thank you.

  3. Kara
    Jan 1, 2013

    Wow! My husband has said, your not my mother!! But, it wouldn’t get done if I didn’t do it. I’ve been driving this marriage deeper into the ground than it probably would have been had I allowed God to drive! I’m making big changes this new yr and I’m adding your advice to my list!! This is going to be hard because I have control issues with the way things are run in OUR home! Thank you

    • joymcclain
      Jan 1, 2013

      It is hard, isn’t it? We get so used to being so independent, without sometimes even giving them a chance…then they figure why bother…so they stop trying. I’m glad it spoke to your heart, Kara! Praying for you, that God would do a mighty work in your heart! Much love to you and Happy New Year!
      Joy

  4. Lisa
    Jan 1, 2013

    Thanks Joy I needed to see this. I’m quite guilty in this area and need a lot of work. i also need to get a copy of your book to read.

    • joymcclain
      Jan 1, 2013

      Guilty too – that’s why I was able to write it! If you have a kindle or nook you can get it on eBook for only 1.99 through Jan. 4. Or, you can get deals on line most often from Amazon. I’d send you one, but I don’t keep a good supply. Hope you are well and enjoying the warmer weather. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year dear and precious friend!

  5. Chris
    Jan 25, 2013

    Convicted!

  6. Kelli Worrall
    Oct 5, 2013

    Thank you for these words, Joy. My husband and I discovered shortly after we were married that we had a lot of work to do in this area. We had a lot of history to undo. Both of my parents were disabled, so I took a lot of control in our household from a very young age. He, on the other hand, had a controlling father who took things out of his hands. I learned over-responsibility and he learned passivity. Bringing our marriage into a better, God-honoring balance has required allowing Christ to heal both of our hurts and fears. My fear of what would happen if I reliquished control. And his fear of his own incompetence. Thanks again.

    • joymcclain
      Oct 6, 2013

      Thank you for encouraging me, Kelli. We often don’t even realize just how much we step into that role…and certainly how in affects our husbands. So grateful that the Lord is working in your marriage in this area. Have a blessed weekend!
      Grace & Peace,
      Joy

  7. Rebeca
    Oct 6, 2013

    I believe this too. But I tried to step back on many occasions and let my husband take the reigns without my intrusion and on every occasion he has failed the task. I stayed the course thinking he would learn from his own mistakes but it has become clear that he passive-aggressively fails intentionally so as not to be expected to do these things on the future. My perfect credit is now destroyed. I’ve lost homes and vehicles. And to this day I can’t come home from a 12 hr day of work without having to drag the trash in past the overgrown lawn, walk into a kitchen full of dishes , and if I’m less than cheery in my response to his hugs, he reminds me of how unpleasant I am on the way back to the Xbox. And that is the Reality of the man-child most of us are dealing with.

    • joymcclain
      Oct 6, 2013

      Oh, Rebeca,
      I know it is so very hard when your husband isn’t willing to step up and be the man God has called him to be. I realize that there are those circumstances when, even when a woman does step back, she isn’t going to see her beloved take the reigns. What you are describing is unfortunately the norm for many women. The enemy of God is at work within our families and if he takes the father and the leader out of the home, or out of commission, there is certainly felt consequences for the entire family. I would highly recommend that you connect with your pastor or leaders within the church body. You aren’t meant to walk this alone, Rebeca. You need a covering within the body of Christ, help if you need to establish boundaries and sound Biblical counsel for you – and ideally for both of you if your husband is willing. I know this may seem like a sound-simple but in reality won’t work answer, but I know if you have someone encouraging you, walking alongside of you, helping you love him and yes, set boundaries – it can make a difference, even if the circumstance is slow in changing. I am so sorry that you’ve had to deal with this…I
      know that you are so very tired and weary and your shoulders are sagging, having felt the brunt of the responsibility for so long. I am praying for you now, asking the Lord to bring relief, open the eyes of your husband and give you contented rest. There is a great need and I believe many leaders are addressing this crisis of men not being willing, or not rising up…and may we be praying for this kind of movement and revival within the hearts of our men, just as we pray for revival within our own hearts. Take care and thank you for sharing, thank you for voicing what many women deal with…I know this one thing: you can trust God, even if you can’t trust your husband. Let me know how you are doing…grace and peace to you.
      Joy

  8. Heather
    Oct 22, 2013

    Just where did u obtain the points to post ““When A Wife Treats Her
    Husband Like A Child | Joy McClain”? I appreciate it -Hubert

    • joymcclain
      Oct 22, 2013

      If I understand your question – they came from my own experience and from all the years I’ve walked alongside women…

  9. Darren
    Nov 10, 2013

    What about a wife who dose not go to church and dose not believe in god and calls her self a christian?

    • joymcclain
      Nov 10, 2013

      Then, Darren, I would set my mind and heart to praying for her salvation! There are many people who believe they are Christians because they are “good” people, but don’t have a relationship with Christ. It isn’t about religion, its about a relationship with Christ. Pausing, right now, to pray for your wife – that she come to know Christ as intimate One. Be encouraged, God will woo her…as you continue to love and cherish her. Don’t give up – and don’t give up your serving and loving her. I know it’s hard, but God sees your heart and motives and He desires that she walk fully with Him, even more than you do!
      Grace & Peace,
      Joy

  10. Amy
    Feb 22, 2014

    I came across your blog and FB page about a week ago now, and I cannot tell you how much of a blessing it has been to me. For a long time my husband has been an alcoholic, lost 2 jobs with 2 DUI’s. Right before Christmas he got his old job back, and though there have been a few nights that have not been pretty when
    I have gotten in from work (I am a nurse) I have been praying for the Lord to change me, convict me, change my attitude towards my husband, etc. The Lord has been merciful indeed as I have seen subtle changes take place yet fearful of the unknown of the future. One of the things my husband has said numerous times through sober and drunken moments is….I have a mother, I need a wife. Cuts to the heart and truth and stings yet convicts me of my sin. I have asked forgiveness, and my husband has forgiven me. Please pray that he will lay the alcohol completely down and trust in Christ….something I pray for several times a day. Thank you for sharing your story and your blog.

    • joymcclain
      Feb 24, 2014

      Amy,
      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. It is a very long and difficult road – I know that full well. Sometimes its hard to know just exactly what your husband needs. Therefore, it is good to ask God to teach you how to be the wife your husbands needs, not necessarily wants all the time. God will be faithful to give you wisdom. The Holy Spirit will be faithful to lead and teach you. If you haven’t read my book, Waiting for His Heart; Lessons from a Wife Who Chose to Stay, I would highly recommend it. It speaks openly about my struggles and control – all stemming from the fear that life would never change. I encourage you too, to reach out for yourself. Find some good Biblical counseling or a mature believer who would be a faithful woman and friend to walk through this hard season with you. You aren’t meant to walk this alone and you certainly aren’t meant to shoulder all the responsibility – and I know how much that can mean when you are carrying much of the weight on the home front.
      If you would like to be invited to a private page on face book for praying wives (you will be so encourage by these women all over the world you face what you face daily) – go to the book’s face book page – Waiting for His Heart and leave me a message.
      Hang in there, Amy. God is working all around you. He’s not ignoring you, He isn’t angry with you, He sees and knows and He will lead you to those calm waters.
      Grace & Peace,
      Joy

  11. Ben
    Aug 5, 2014

    Impressive, I am relieved, I thought I was the only man who is suffering but now I know there are many of us. Joy you really have the Spirit of God within you, your heart of compassion and sound advises really helps. May you continue this good work. I am going to show my wife this blog

    • joymcclain
      Aug 7, 2014

      Oh most certainly, we do all struggle, Ben. God is so gracious to us, to extend His rich mercy. Thanks for your encouragement to me!
      Joy

  12. Kibs
    Jan 31, 2015

    I like to be treated as such.

    Kind regards,

    Kibs

  13. Becky Thomas
    Mar 6, 2015

    I was fortunate to realize early in my marriage what I was doing. I noticed every time I left the house my husband would ask me what to feed the kids and what to let them do, etc. I knew this meant he did not feel like he was in charge of our family. So, I refused to answer his questions. I just kept telling him to do what HE felt was best. It worked! He feels much more in charge and is much more confident as a husband and father. I agree with this post so wholeheartedly. When my husband wasn’t leading it was because I wasn’t letting him lead. I will admit that I still struggle with letting my husband make his own decisions and giving him confidence instead of a bunch of my rules he needs to follow. But it’s a process, I think.

    • joymcclain
      Mar 7, 2015

      Thanks for sharing, Becky. Yes, I think it is a process and it takes time to trust and grow – each of us. I know it took me years to figure this out…and God wasn’t about to let go of me in the is area. My control was just as much an issue as my husband’s unwillingness. Your children will reap the benefits of seeing you step back and your husband step forward too. Grateful for your time to leave encouragement to me.
      Grace & Peace,
      Joy

  14. Karen Anderson
    Mar 8, 2015

    Very wise words, sweet soul, and well worth considering. I wish I had learned this when I was young.

    I would add one thing, though. If one of those reading this recognizes themselves, they must ask if their children hear that same tone of sarcasm and bitter criticism when they talk to them. If so, it’s time to dig into The Word and read what our Lord says about harsh words and the power of the tongue, because it may be more than just a husband’s heart that is being destroyed…

    <3

    • joymcclain
      Mar 9, 2015

      Thank you, Karen, and yes, I would agree with you whole-heartedly!
      Our tongues can be destructive in so many ways to so many around us.
      Thank you for your encouragement and wisdom,
      Grace & Peace,
      Joy

  15. Tayrina
    Mar 8, 2015

    Great post. Wise words. Thanks for sharing.

    • joymcclain
      Mar 9, 2015

      Thank you, Tayrina, for your encouragement!
      Grace & Peace,
      Joy

  16. Donna
    Mar 8, 2015

    My husband believes the bible is a great story book…he does not go to church….sorry…but sometimes the wife and mother have to be the spiritual leader in the home or the kids would be uneducated on Christ and of how to do on to others. So maybe what you say works on some, but not all. I do not undermine my husband but when it comes to the Lord….some women have to take the reins…

    • joymcclain
      Mar 9, 2015

      Donna,
      Yes, I would agree. I had to do that for years.
      There was a point, however, when I realized just how much I showed my husband that I did not trust him. It was harmful to our marriage. There are so many women who are going solo in regards to spiritual anything within the home and thankfully, they do not give up. Thankfully, there are women like yourself who will be faithful to teach their children the ways of the Lord. They will take their children to church, teach them to pray and be an example of what a Godly woman looks like I know, Donna, there are many and I was one for a very long time. There are also women, within the Body of Christ whose husband’s are believers…and mostly, that is who I was addressing within this post. I can sympathize with you as I said, I’ve been there. I am grateful for all that you are doing for your children. They will reap much from your diligence and from you steadfast faith. Keep going and I pray that you see redemption in your beloved.
      Grace & Peace,
      Joy

  17. Valleygirl
    Mar 8, 2015

    Wow this is a tough pill to swallow…it makes sense but thinking of truly putting it into practice is another thing. We have a son with medical issues….I have a medical background so naturally I take over his care and make all decisions. Yet I expect his help. For a long time I didn’t leave the house without the kids and for my sanity I have learned I need to…I outline what needs to b done and things are forgotten by my husband and it could have a drastic effect on my sons health. I don’t know how to work that one. If I leave all the kids he is on the computer and they watch tv all day. If I leave him to feed them it’s foods I would never choose for them. He becomes the fun guy and I am the one enforcing rules and chores and home work. I have the finances back to him and we have spent just about all and it’s coming down to him saying maybe I need to work…while yet I am homeschooling the kids! I don’t know how to fix it or trust without in the process things goig crazy and falling apart

    • joymcclain
      Mar 9, 2015

      Valleygirl,
      There so many women who would be standing in line to agree with you. It is hard. It seems like you cannot win – you try and something might happen or you keep doing what you know works – at least to keep everyone safe. Is there anyone in your husband’s life who can help him see the gaps in his family in a loving way? Is there anyone who he trusts who can speak into his life?
      While it may be a small step at a time, placing more responsibility in your husband’s lap should, eventually, help him to not only see the need, but act upon them.
      Tonight I will be posting a new post on raising a son so that he is a leader and not another child within the home…you might want to check it out. I know it’s hard. God sees. He knows. His desire is for men to lead within in the family.
      You aren’t being sacrificed here – I know it seems like you might be – but nothing you do is being wasted.
      If you can pray about someone speaking into your husband’s life or at least sitting down with someone who can mediate so that these things can be addressed, I think it would be beneficial.
      There is a great study put out by Family Life called: Stepping Up – it is an excellent study for men and if your husband would be willing…
      Speak to someone about this – not in a way to disrespect your husband but a trusted friend who can help you pray for your family to be united and for your man to feel confident to step up with the desire to do so -
      Keep me posted,
      Grace & Peace,
      Joy

  18. Cherie
    Mar 8, 2015

    How do I do hand over to my husband when he has a track record of addiction? He has abused alcohol and drugs for years. Although he has been clean for several months his attitude has not changed. We are in a codependant relationship and his mother still enables him at 33 years of age.
    Does this still apply in codependant relationships?

    • joymcclain
      Mar 9, 2015

      Ah, Cherie,
      My heat breaks for you! Please, please, please get help from someone. I know it isn’t easy to starting talking about all the yuck, being honest about all of it, but it will bring healing. I’ve so been there! We had years of bad we need to “vomit,” out of our lives. It took time, it took honestly and it took a willingness to allow God to heal and restore. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. Check back later tonight. I will be posting a message to mothers of sons…we don’t need more little boys who are meant to be men.
      There is much to your attitude that will help the relationship – something I had to learn and I write about in my book if that would be beneficial to you. It’s hard when all you see is sorrow and pain. But I promise you there is hope out there – Christ will be faithful to you. He will fill you with peace. That doesn’t mean it won’t take some work on your part – which is why I encourage you to reach out to someone. If you have a church ask the leadership to help. If you can find a Celebrate Recovery in your area – GO! Or, check out any Biblical Counseling in your area. Celebrate Recovery is hosted by churches and it is a good program. You can overcome this behavior, you can know peace and even joy. I am praying for your, right now.
      Take care and please, let me know how you are doing,
      Grace & Peace,
      Joy

  19. I can speak from experience; this is a hard and grueling lesson to learn, but it improves material strife, miscommunication, intimacy, and even relationships outside the marriage. My husband and I came from very different mothering backgrounds. I expected him to lead, and because of his mother being overbearing (his words, not mine), he doesn’t know how to lead. He has never seen a man lead the family. But God has taught us, grown us, and given bounds of grace in our marriage to constantly overcome these problems caused by sin thousands of years ago.
    Thank you for these words of encouragement and even rebuke!

    • joymcclain
      Mar 9, 2015

      Caitlin,
      Thank you for your encouragement. It does take time and it is worth it but so very hard in the process as you mentioned. If you could pray for the other women who have left comments here…they need encouragement and hope!
      God will be faithful to teach a man to lead – but that man must be willing and sadly, there are many who don’t and won’t…but God will be faithful to those women who seek Him. I am blessed to know that God is working in your marriage!
      And I don’t mean to rebuke outside of love…cause I’ve been there and it feels lonely enough without someone beating you up spiritually which I have no intentions on doing.
      Thanks for your beautiful words of grace and encouragement!
      Grace & Peace,
      Joy

  20. Christina
    Mar 9, 2015

    This cuts deep – because it’s true. When I think of my marriage I almost can’t breathe because I wonder if we will make it. How long can I hold on? Why is this so hard? How much easier would it be if it was just me and the kids! I literally fantasize about how nice it would be to not be disappointed or let down every day of the week. Why am I so angry toward him? Why can’t he just get it together and see that I’m working my butt off to provide for this family and I just need a little help? Yet I get an attitude of entitlement! I just want a husband who wants to help take care of me like I take care of him. Why is this so hard?

    • joymcclain
      Mar 9, 2015

      Christina,
      If you read my responses to the women above, I so understand. It is heart break, it is so very hard. I felt like that too – it would be so much easier if it were just me and the kids because I was doing it on my own any way and then at least, I wouldn’t have to deal with HIS SINS too. You aren’t alone, there are so many women who feel the same way and who are struggling the same way. It is an epidemic. God sees. He hears. He knows. He isn’t angry with you, He isn’t punishing you. Keep praying. Get others to surround you who will pray…see above response to the other women too.
      I will be posting a blog tonight about this type of behavior to mothers…who are raising sons.
      You are working hard, you are trying to keep it all together. God sees.
      You are angry because it hurts, because you want it so bad…but you are also disappointed and you had expectations – good ones, that aren’t being met. I was there too. My book, Waiting for His Heart is full of this – over two decades worth! I would encourage you to read it I think you will identify. Check back later tonight for the other post.
      It’s hard because you really do love him and you wanted this to work…and it should hurt because you were meant to be one.
      God sees…everything…all of what you are doing and none of it will be wasted.
      Don’t give up – take care of you and your children and look to Christ to meet your emotional needs.
      I know its easier said than done.
      Praying relief for you. Praying encouragement that God alone can provide.
      Keep me posted…
      Grace & Peace,
      Joy

  21. Shannan
    Mar 9, 2015

    In 18 years, he has refused to learn how to balance a check book, remember how to log in and check the accounts or set up his own access. He refuses to assist in meal planning. And then I find out he’s an addict. I have good reason not to trust him, and before he can come home he has to be able to manage his own affairs without my input. I think what happens sometimes is a guy will go from a home where his mother does it all (even the laundry) to a marriage with a wife who will do the same. The problem is that this guy is an adult who wants to spend and do, but in the blind (doesn’t know or care about the financial status). Although I agree with the article, I feel that you leave no room for the wife like me. Who was forced to do it, not knowing why, just knowing something wasn’t right. It has to be a team effort, with God first, to make it work and effect change.

    • joymcclain
      Mar 9, 2015

      Yes, Shannan, I agree. I’m writing a blog now on raising a son to be a leader in his home rather than another child for the wife to care for. It takes so much patience and a lot of frustration when dealing with a man who refuses to take responsibility. This particular post was for those women who do attempt to take the lead when their husband does want to. I know it seems hard to think about when there is an outright refusal to step up, but I’ve seen it in a lot of the women we counsel. I also deal, equally, with women who do have to do everything – and most of the time it is because he’s an addict. Remember, that was my story too – my husband addictions left me to be a solo parent most of the time. I can sympathize. I certainly have been in that place and it is extremely difficult. Try not to take this one to heart…cause as I said above, this was more for those women who don’t give room for him to lead and much of the time, don’t even want him to lead. I pray that you come to see a man who is leaning up on the Lord and leading his family in the way God intended. I also hope that you have others who are holding up your arms because when you are the one who is responsible for much of everything, not only is it exhausting, but it leaves little room for joy and to experience trust in others. I’ll be posting the other post tonight…I think you’ll agree with it much more. Thanks for taking the time to leave a response. Sincerely, I understand what you are going through – I’ve walked that journey and it is a long, difficult and exhausting one. Praying for strength for you – peace for your wearied soul.
      Grace & Peace,
      Joy

  22. Cherie
    Mar 9, 2015

    Hi Joy,
    do you have any advice to wives like me and Shannon that are in codependant relationships with mothers that enable their grown boys?
    Men that are addicts for almost a life time. I have been going to support group meetings which indicate you have remove yourself and stop cushioning and taking away their natural consquences for irresponsible behaviour.
    at what point do you draw the line when the relationship becomes manipulative and verbally abusive?
    I hear what the support group say but how does that coinside with biblical teachings?
    Could you give advice or refer us to a godly woman who can give more input into codependancy and addiction?
    Your help would be so appreciated
    Regards
    Cherie

    • joymcclain
      Mar 9, 2015

      Cherie,
      I’m writing a blog now about just that! I’ve seen that all around me and it is so very exhausting. I do believe that God will give us the strength, wisdom and grace we need – to make decisions, to keep our heart pliable and to keep our hearts from bitterness…when we ask Him. One question I encourage women to ask is this, “What does love look like in this situation?” Keeping your motive from the perspective of love – what is best for everyone – does help. And with that in mind, that might mean establishing firm and loving boundaries. If you know anything about my journey with my beloved…it was necessary for me to remove myself and my children from my home for a few years. It was so difficult. I sought wise counsel and oh, how I prayed and prayed and fasted and prayed some more. I did not want to take extreme measures but for the sake of our physical safety (mind and my children’s) I knew I had to leave. I do not know your circumstance, but God does – every single aspect of it. I would encourage you to seek Biblical counseling – and I would ask someone you trust to be an advocate with you in that. You need someone to help you navigate this road, someone who will encourage you and help you align everything with Biblical truth. Whenever there is physical abuse – it must not be tolerated. However, there are such deep and scarring emotional wounds too. Which is why asking the above question is a good place to begin. It isn’t loving to allow a husband to treat his children/wife in an abusive manner. It isn’t loving to disrespect or dishonor him. It also isn’t loving to allow him to inflict such pain on his children. So, you see…there can be many variables which is why it is valuable to have others walk alongside with you. Because there is no way I can counsel you here – I don’t have the facts and we don’t have hours and hours…but, oh, does my heart ache for you. I had years of the same too and I really thought it would do me in. I never felt so hopeless as I did in those long hours when there seemed to be NO hope. But God did have a plan and it took years for me to learn to trust God – even when I didn’t trust my husband. I am glad that I waited it out because the man that emerged was worth waiting for. I do want you to realize this: no matter what happens in your marriage God’s love for you doesn’t change! I wish that I could give you a formula but it doesn’t exist. I wish I could say if you loved enough, trusted enough…but that’s not reality. Man has freewill and sometimes, he chooses selfishly. Keep praying, trust God, seek wise counsel and know that God is working around you – even though you cannot see it in every way. I hope this helps. The other blog will be posted tonight. Praying for you- right now. Hang in there – God isn’t going to leave your or forsake you. If you haven’t read my book, it might help I am brutally honest with my struggles that were so very real and the journey that took over two decades….
      God is near –
      Grace & Peace,
      Joy

  23. Cherie
    Mar 9, 2015

    Thank for replying to me and for the encouragement. I have never yet come across a godly woman that has been in a similar situation to as addiction.
    I live in South Africa. What is the name of your book and where can I get it? I feel it could be a great encouragement to me!
    I’m not too familiar with technology and blogging so not sure how to check when the new article comes through but ill keep checking your website and hopefully will find it.
    Thanks again for taking the time to reply to me
    In Him
    Cherie

  24. Cherie
    Mar 10, 2015

    Hi Joy,
    I watched both your videos and I am trying to get hold of your book somewhere in SA.
    I concern is that myself and my husband have separated many times and each time we get back together it’s cause he says the Lord has opened his eyes and he wants to change but that doesn’t last long (maybe a month or two) and then old habits and behaviour continue. At what point do you draw the line and say enough is enough?
    Or does God expect me to live the rest of my life like this?
    My husband is adamant again that he doesn’t want to be with me. That’s it’s over but he won’t move out and doesn’t file for divorce like he so often threatens (the work to do that is too much effort for him)
    Would I be sinning if I gave him the already drawn up settlement papers and said to him if he wants to divorce me than he must do so and leave the option of signing them in court?

    • joymcclain
      Mar 10, 2015

      Cherie,
      Your heart has certainly been jerked around…this makes for a very frustrating and discouraging relationship. I would encourage you to seek the wise counsel of those around you. By counsel, I mean counsel that would align your decisions with Scripture. I was separated from my husband a few times and once, it was necessary for me to seek a legal separation. I had to draw some firm and loving boundaries in the sand. It took years of standing my ground. I was taking a stand on the sin not the man but I knew I had to remove myself and my children from the chaos of that home. I cannot tell you what to do – but I know that God will give you the wisdom you need in this circumstance. If your husband is willing to receive any type of counseling – or is any available to you there? I would go and if he won’t go, I’d go alone. Do you have a church? Do you have any support system there? It’s exhausting when the one you love is continually manipulating. God sees every bit of this. He knows your man’s heart and He knows yours. He knows the underlying fears within your husband and why he isn’t satisfied. God isn’t ignoring your pleas. I promise you, He isn’t ignoring you. If you could immerse your focus on God’s love for you – on His perfect and unchanging love for you I think you’ll find that your soul is more content and the wounds from your husband won’t sting so much. In other words, you’ll be able to love your husband more, but NEED him less. This might take the pressure off of him, this will take that heart pressure off of you. If your husband decides to go he can go. If he stays, God will give you the strength and grace that you need. I would encourage you, seek counsel, continue to pray and know that no matter what…God’s love for you doesn’t change. You can order my book from Amazon. It’s published by Moody but I don’t think they ship out of the country. Let me know if you find it and how you are doing…praying for you!
      Grace & Peace,
      Joy

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