Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can trust it?”
One day I told my husband that I did not love him anymore. There were ten years of hurts and a series of events that led up to that day, but the truth is I did not feel any love for him. Not only did I not feel love, I was beginning to feel hatred. I did not know if I could ever regain the feelings of love that I once had for my husband.
As I considered my options, I prayed. I told God that I was done. I said, “I do not want to be in this marriage anymore. I hate him. I want out! It would be easier if he would die.” I quickly had two thoughts come to mind. One was, “What about the vow you made, for better or worse?” And the second was, “The enemy wants to destroy your family.” I truly did not know what to do.
I attended a Bible study with a friend and one of the verses we read hit me hard. I John 3:15 in the Amplified Bible says, “Anyone who hates his brother [in Christ] is [at heart] a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding within him.” My prayer revealed that hatred was turning to murder in my heart. I knew the first thing I had to do was to confess to God the resentment I was harboring. When you let anger and hurts build up in your heart without resolving them, it not only causes resentment to develop, it gives the enemy a foothold in your life. (Ephesians 4:26-27).
The second thing I had to do was to confess all this to my husband. That is when I told him I did not feel love for him anymore. I let him know that I allowed years of hurts to build up by holding things in and not dealing with them. He knew that I had some good reasons for being hurt and angry and he was not that shocked by what I said. However, he was shocked when I followed it with, “I don’t feel love for you anymore, in fact sometimes I feel like I hate you (feelings), but I am choosing to continue to love you (action) because I committed to and because I know God wants to love you through me. I pray feelings of love will return someday.” These words affected my husband in a serious but positive way and we both began a journey of bettering our communication, our marriage and ourselves. In a few months, we will celebrate a very happy 27th wedding anniversary.
Every marriage goes through phases where the feelings of one spouse or the other are not what they were at the start. The key is to choose not to act on those feelings. Feelings change like the wind. They flow like water in a river, sometimes deep and still. Other times, they are pouring through rough and rocky paths. The good news is that we can stay the course, regardless, knowing that a better day is coming.
- Learn to communicate and resolve issues daily as they come up.
- Give your partner room to fail, grow and change, forgiving when he or she fails you personally.
- Decide ahead of time to not give your feelings the right to make your decisions.
- Remember we act our way into feelings, not the other way around
- Keep a running list of all the things you are grateful for in your spouse. Choose not to keep a record of wrongs or a list of negatives
- Get outside help if needed
P.S. – If you are wrestling with out of control feelings and do not know where to turn, call us at (866) 903-0990 or use the form below to request more information about our Marriage Helper workshop for troubled marriages. We can help you save your marriage even in cases of infidelity, loss of trust, anger, sexual problems, and other issues. (If you’re thinking your spouse would never come, contact us by phone or the form below and we’ll tell you what others who felt the same way did to get their spouses there.) We will keep everything you tell us completely confidential. Our motivation is to help you determine if this workshop is right for you and your particular situation. We also offer solutions for couples who can’t attend the workshop.