When Your Husband Has Given Up

I know the heart-ripping hopelessness of a relationship unraveling.

The silence. The rejection. The harsh words. The absence of intimacy. The questions. The lack of answers. The hurt feelings.

The first five years of my marriage were really hard. Two sinners coming together with loads of baggage, unrealistic expectations and extremely strong wills.

My heart aches for anyone in a marriage that’s struggling. Many of us have been there.

But I think the deepest hurt comes when one spouse resigns while the other is still trying. There is a panic that arises to somehow make the other person wake up, stop their resignation and help you fix this relationship.

A situation like this is much more complicated than simple answers I could offer here. But might I give you one stepping stone upon which to stand, to stop the panic and balance yourself?

Decide today that you are worthy.

Because you are. Worthy. You may not feel like it. But a quick glimpse at Psalm 139 assures me, you are.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:13-14 (ESV)

You are fearfully and wonderfully made by a loving God who cares for you. Who loves you. And I’d rather depend on the solid truth of God than the rollercoaster of fickle feelings.

You are beautiful and captivating and attractive and smart and capable. But if you are in a relationship full of unmet expectations, unresolved issues and frustrating communication, I suspect you feel a little less than all I’ve described.

Broken-down relationships can really break down a woman.

And if you’re anything like me, when you feel broken down, those around you get your worst. Then upon all the hurt and anxiety you layer regret, shame and the feeling that you’ve lost yourself. You’ve lost that girl inside who used to be so positive and happy and ready to take on the world.

Can I whisper a tender truth to you? The only way to recapture her is to come up for air and remember: You are worthy because the Creator of the Universe says you are.

Then you can act worthy.

And step aside from the emotional yuck to make some levelheaded decisions. Get a plan. Talk to wise people who love you, provide godly counsel and will walk this tough journey with you.

Draw some boundaries with your husband, if some are needed.

Pray like crazy for clear discernment. Because Jesus is the best source of help.

Honest cries for help, lifted up to Jesus, will not go unheard. He sees. He knows. He loves. And Jesus will direct you as long as you stick with Him.

Remember, you can’t control how your husband acts and reacts, but you can control how you act and react.

Reclaim who you are.

I pray your relationship survives. I pray it with every fiber of my being. But if it doesn’t, I pray most of all that the beautiful woman you are rises above all the yuck, still clinging tightly to the only opinion that matters — the One who forever calls you worthy.

If you’re in a hard place in your marriage, leave a prayer request or comment that says “please pray.” And then let’s rally around one another with prayer. My team and I will personally be praying for you. You aren’t alone.

I’d also love to help encourage you with a 5-day challenge I put together. Click here to sign up for “Praying Boldly For Your Marriage.”


  1. says

    This is just what I needed, thank you! Please be praying for my marriage. Long story but infertility, hubby’s PTSD and infidelity have all led to the ending of my marriage. My husband is done trying since I can not have his biological children. We are in the process of a legal separation and I pray he has a change of heart and comes to a place of wanting to work on our marriage and love me again. We have been married 14 years, very difficult for me to just want to be done with a marriage. Thanks for the prayers.

    • Lauren says

      Please Pray,
      My husband and I are on what seems to be the very last leg of the horse just balancing in the tip of the huff. I made a major mistake and have asked for God’s forgiveness and it’s actually brought me closer to him. I confessed to my husband and we of course have not been the same. I’m just asking to please pray that God works in our marriage and heals my husband and for God to work a miracle and bring us together again. He’s all I want in this life. Him and his two little girls are my entire life and I can’t imagine living without them. It’s too late to go back and change what I did, I will regret it until the day that I die. I feel so much shame I wish I could change it but I can’t. Please pray that we make it out of this. I love him so very much. I’m just sorry that I realized it too late.

    • Pam says

      Is your husband a Christian?
      Either way, prayer is the answer
      Only God can help him to see things in a different light and make different decisions. Only God can heal him in the places which are causing his pain and driving the destructive behavior.
      Best thing to do:
      #1 Be sure you are keeping short accounts with the Lord and staying very close to Him. Trust Him.
      #2 Pray, pray, pray. Wait. Pray.
      #3 Find things to enjoy each day, even if they are little things. Practice gratitude to God and be aware of His blessings to you. He loves you

  2. Lori says

    Please pray for me. This is just what I needed to hear today. He has vowed to never leave. Which is physically but he checked out several years ago. He struggles with alcohol and is only starting to see that it’s a problem. I’ve asked him to leave if he won’t get help but right now he is ‘trying’ to get help. It’s been 4 weeks and only 1 broken appointment. I’m not to know who he meets with etc etc. it’s so hard to know what to do and just this morning on my walk I realized I’ve lost the fun side of me through all this. God has been there and good and He sent me here today through a web search. Thank you!

  3. Diane says

    Please pray for my marriage. We are unequally yoked. I became a Christian 20+ years ago ( we had been married for manat years at that point). I am growing closer and closer to the Lord and I’m growing further and further from my husband… It’s SO hard

    • Sandra says

      I am a Christian for 18 yrs my husband is not. We have been married 33 years. It never was an ideal marriage I was pregnant. He has always sought after other women but now for three years I believe that he is in love with someone else. It is very painful she owns a bar and he is a drinker. We have one son and three grandchildren. I am at a lose and don’t know what to do I don’t know how much longer I can live like this Help

  4. Denise Rudolph says

    My marriage has unraveled and I most recently discovered that my husband wasn’t faithful to me. I am experiencing unimaginable hurt and I need to be strong to hold my life together and move forward; not only for myself but for our twelve year old son. I still love my husband deeply, so the realization that this isn’t the person I will spend my remaining days with seems unbearable. I ask for your prayer to give me strength and guidance.

  5. Sonya says

    Please Pray!
    My husband and I have been married for more than 15 years and have had a pretty good relationship until recently. We are struggling with different views and values with a choose our 15 year old son has made. He is dating a girl of the opposite race. While I have taught my son we are all Gods children and from one race the human race, my husband has anger and unforgiveness from his childhood that he can’t let go of to allow him to see last and accept his decision. Hes allowing this anger to cloud his judgement and rule his heart. He has cried uncontrollably. He is unaccepting and is ready to give up on our son. I have prayed and prayed and prayed some more. My husband is strong willed and I’m afraid he may never come to terms. I don’t know what else to do.

  6. Kris Currens says

    Please PRAY!!!
    The spirit of divorce is closing in & my reality isn’t looking very good. We went through infertility for 4 years and the strain caused my husband to listen to the enemy and he cheated and found comfort in that person. He’s broken vows and my heart. Yet, I don’t believe in divorce. He’s divorcing me. He’s been gone a year, with the other person, and we have court later this month. I’ve been praying and standing in the gap for him, for us. I know God will turn this to good, I just want my husband and our marriage back. This post really hit home with me. All the examples and feelings I’ve felt and had. Its beyond sad when one person fights for what’s right, and the other plays with the enemy. Thank you & I’m praying for the rest of you.

  7. Catie Collins says

    My husband and I are currently separated in attempt to work out our marriage. At the time, I thought it was the best thing to do since we were fighting so much in front of our son; but it has only made things worse. He has now told me that he does not want me anymore and that he has moved on with someone else; that there is no way we will ever restore our marriage. I still haven’t given up, and I am continuing to fight. Please pray that God will soften my husband’s heart, and fill his heart with love for Him and me. Pray that I will be able to put on the full armor of Christ in the days to come.

  8. Cynthia says

    please pray for my marriage. I fear that my husband has found someone else but I am not ready to give up. I have asked Jesus for peace and for his purpose.

  9. Tiffany says

    My husband has files for divorce and our court date is 10-26-15. Please pray he will allow God to change his heart and his mind! God wants to restore and heal!

  10. Lynne says

    I’ve saved this post since April. It helped me then, but as I re-read it today, I realized I need prayers.

    Please pray.

    Thank you.

  11. Rachel says

    Please pray. Going through some tough times right now and I”m not giving up. Could really use the extra prayers right about now.

  12. Kristina says

    PLEASE PRAY!!! my husband has decided to walk away from out marriage of 6 yrs. in April he cheated with my best friend and begged me to not leave him and said how sorry he was and he would give me as much time as I needed 4 months later he decided that was enough time. He stopped reading his bible or having anything to do with God because he is mad at him. I have turned my life over to God and want to work things out but he continues to tell me things like I am walking away I don’t love you anymore. he is still living in the house with me and my daughter. He told me he sees the change and wish I was like this during the hole marriage but to him its to late his heart has gone cold.. but what shocked me the most was it was like it happened over night. God has shown me thru all my reading and praying that he will restore it in time. I am asking for prayer to unharden my husbands heart I see God working in him to crack it open then he yoyos back. I believe the enemy has a tight grip. Please help me pray for him and myself I feel weak at times and so emotional when he is cold distant not loving and I cry. I am learning to put God first and trust him I need prayers please this is so hard. thank you so much for any prayers.

  13. kathy says

    my marriage is coming to an end. 35 years. husband’s infidelity. life’s hardest to date for me. i just want the hurt to go away. but know that Jesus has me helps….but i am human. i am crying. fighting to stay above water. awful. no humility. no change in attitude. wow. being told that i am not special. hurts.