Dear Wife Who’s Married to a Jerk…

Dear Wife Who's Married to a JerkDear wife who’s married to a jerk,

Nitty Gritty Love is a conversation. So when we hear the same feedback from readers, I want to address it.

We spend a lot of time here encouraging women, and we are equally encouraged, but when we get this question, I will admit, I sink a little inside.

What if I’m married to a jerk?

It seems some people want us to throw our hands up in the air and say, “Alright. You got us. You are correct. Divorce that creep.”

But you will never hear us say that, even though it is tempting. Why? Because we believe marriage is a reflection of Christ’s love for the church, and Jesus isn’t going to divorce us for being jerks. If He did, we would all be left high and dry. His love for us is amazing and relentless, its almost too hard to believe. But I do feel for people who are unhappy, and lonely and discouraged because its sad. By no means are we trying to be calloused or unfeeling. We started this blog because we care about marriages and want to support other wives and encourage them by sharing our own experiences. We are not professionals, but we are married, so we can relate with each other.

That said, if you are married to an insensitive jerk who isn’t kind, won’t keep a job, plays video games all the time, and is basically rude and uncaring, I’m sorry. I really and truly mean that. I didn’t make that description up. We hear about that guy every week from angry wives who are ready to give up. It makes me mad and I wish I could tell him off for you.

Instead, I spend hours and hours writing to faceless people, hoping that just a handful will snap out of it and start treating their spouse as a gift. Because that is what a wife, and a husband is. A GIFT. You are not OWED a spouse, so if one has agreed to spend their life with you, be thankful! Yes, the thankfulness should go both ways. In a perfect world it would, but as we know, this world is not perfect.

Maybe your husband missed that memo. Maybe he is self-centered and you can’t even stand looking at his face. Maybe you are on the brink and can’t take another day. If your spouse feels more like a cruel joke than anything else, then you have a longer, tougher road. You do. But it’s not hopeless. With Christ, all things are possible. I have seen marriages transformed, and let me tell you, it never gets old witnessing changed lives.

But back to the problem of your mean husband. I am sure you didn’t grow up dreaming of being ignored and disregarded after marriage. Zero people daydream of one day being demeaned by their spouse. Little girls don’t imagine sitting sadly on the couch while Prince Charming plays video games. And then watches TV. And then goes to bed without saying goodnight. What a shock to find out you are married to a checked-out, jerk. It is unfair. It isn’t what you bargained for.

But people can only be loved where they are at. They can’t really feel your love when expectations are looming over their heads. You are probably right in being mad. But the vicious cycle kicks in and then it goes from bad to worse. The more frustrated he knows you are, the less he tries, because what is the point? And then you get more angry and justified and bitter, which makes him retreat. Around, and around it goes.

There must be a reason you chose him. Find that reason. Sit and think about that reason. Force that reason to the surface and try to love him for that one thing he does well. Tell him you love him for that one thing. Tell him you love him for who he is. I imagine you have all sorts of changes you would like to see happen before you trust him or love him, but we have to start small in situations like this. And remember, God loved us while we were yet sinners. We were not a beautiful, perfect Bride. But His love changes us over time!

If your husband will not let up, reach out and talk to healthy, stable, people. Because you matter. Let others, and Scripture, remind you of who you are in Christ, and if you need to create a bit of space, then do so, with some help from a counselor or your pastor. Find things that make you feel happy and do them. It can’t hurt trying to love your husband as best as you are able, while you keep yourself in a good place. Get the support you need and don’t run yourself into the ground trying to do it all by yourself. Just don’t go try to find a less jerky guy. You don’t need more stress.

Thank you for communicating with us. We stand with you, and we pray for your marriages. Your tough situations tug at us and we feel much empathy for you in your struggles. We also celebrate with you when you see small victories. We prayerfully consider how difficult it is, and we want you to know you aren’t alone.

He may be acting like a jerk. But he is your jerk and you are his best chance at being loved well. At least you can rest your head at night knowing you are showing unconditional love, and that makes you a woman whose heart is soft, and who is bringing God glory. I can’t think of a more beautiful woman than that.

In Christ,
Michelle

Michelle Lindsey

Nice to “meet” you! I'm Michelle, a wife of twenty-three years, a mother to five, a homeschool mom, and a classical education tutor. I want to use this space to share with you the good, the bad, and the ugly that is my life. Maybe it will encourage you. Maybe it will inspire you. Maybe it will simply amuse you. Whichever it is, I am thankful you are taking time to be here.

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Comments

  1. Lonely says

    Thank you for publishing this piece. This is exactly where I am right now. The two reasons I can think of that I love my husband is that he gave me the opportunity to stay home with and raise our children and he is a good provider. I will try to make these two factors my focus, because there is little more at this time. When he is home, he does not speak to me or our children, he plays video games, he watches TV, and he fluctuates between being somewhat nice to telling me every detail about me that bothers him and all of the ways in which I need to change. When I try to tell him that this type of feedback is not helping me, he seems completely perplexed.
    Thanks again, for covering this topic.
    As a side note, IDK if you care to change it or not, but in the last paragraph, I think you meant for “who’s” to be whose.
    Have a beautiful week and a beautiful life.

  2. valeria brown says

    I HAVE THE ALL TIME JERK OF JERKS. MY HUSBAND KICK ME OUT AND NOW HE’S SEEKING DIVORCE. WE ARE LIVING IN TWO DIFFERENT STATES. HE HAS CALL ME EVERY THING HE CAN. HE SAYS I’M A WITCH. I USE THE BIBLE TO JUSTIFY FOR WHAT I WANT. ALL I CAN DO IS PRAY FOR HIM. I LOVE HIM. I KNOW GOD LOVES HIM BUT NOT HIS WAYS.

  3. Tiffany says

    Absolutely beautiful truth. God is on his throne and he does and will work in marriages. I know firsthand! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Tess says

    I find many of your posts very helpful, relatable and encouraging. I thank you for the writing you do here.

    However, on this one, I have to disagree with how this post may be viewed by the women who are in a physically/sexually/mentally abusive relationship. Women stuck in this type of relationship with abuse is usually not one where it started out with obvious abuse. The abuser has to “feel out” their victims before making them a victim. Once these women are in this situation, many times the emotional part of the abuse has been so much that they aren’t worth much and they are scared to leave. They are scared to leave for different reasons and most of the reasons aren’t true or logical to someone who is not in that type of relationship.

    While I agree, marriages are something to be worked on and people shouldn’t just move on to the next partner because they are tired of “jerky actions”, there’s also the stance that some people are in very dangerous situations that put their life or their children’s lives at stake. In my opinion, these are not relationships that can be easily repaired, if at all, because abusers usually have psychological problems that THEY (the abusers) have to accept responsibility for and work on it themselves. Even if this does happen, the abused spouse has emotional repercussions from what has happened to them.

    I’m sure your intention was not meant to disregard these situations, but at the same time, the audience could be someone being abused and on the fence about using their safety plan to get out of there. They may also need confirmation that it’s the right thing to do. When they come across something that states there is absolutely no reason to divorce, they have more thoughts pushed on them that it is wrong to leave their marriage. I wholeheartedly believe there are some exceptions to the “no divorce” rule. I do not believe that God intends us to stay with someone who intentionally hurts us in this type of way, and most people don’t wear a sign stating they have psychological problems as a warning to avoid them.

  5. says

    Thank you so much for this article. Yes I’m married to a jerk, but I recently found out he’s a jerk because he’s been using drugs on and off our entire marriage, 16 years. I’m truly saddened. I’ve given up fighting it alone and have given the situation over to God. I lift my husband up to the Lord everyday in hoping that he hits rock bottom soon and this vicious cycle ends. Please pray for my husband Nick.
    In giving it over to God, I have now began to refocus my energy on myself and our son, because the stress of trying to get him help has left me defeated and physically ill. Thank you again. Keep us in prayer. God bless xoxo

  6. Angie says

    Great article. Married for 8 years. He use to be semi nice to me. However, I’ve missed up. I controlled and manipulated a situation and he found out. That was over a year ago. Since then I’ve changed and asked for forgiveness to God and my husband. God forgave me my husband didn’t. He wanted a divorce. But, God keep us together. That was a year ago next month. The problem is he has now become very rude mean and uncaring towards me. He leaves every Tuesday to hang with a friend (I tried to get rid of….the controlling and manipulation part) he drink everyday now as well… (also the controlling and manipulation part-I tried). He is rebelling against everything nice he use to be towards me. He even stopped going to to church when this 1st happen. He now is going back to church. He claims to be saved and to be a Christian. He knows better…he is just been dark as the world instead of the light. I’m trying daily to give it to God and love him like Christ would. Some days are do hard…I don’t know what to do. The world tells me to leave him…but, I can’t. I don’t want to trade one problem for another. I’d rather just work on what We have. I won’t give up or give in until God tells me to leave. Thank you for your input and prayers. Looking forward in hearing from you.

  7. Christianne McCall says

    Ha ha. You read my mind right?? I needed this reminder; thank you. I wish it was easier; I truly do. I just have to find the strength to keep trying.

  8. Briana says

    I’m not sure what marriage book I read it in, as I’ve read too many to count, but i remember that it said that at the end of the day you had to be committed to your commitment. When you can’t remember why you married the jerk, when you can’t think of one reason to remain committed to him, then stay committed to the commitment you made with God. A holy covenant to love each other as God alsoloves us. That’s what I’m holding onto each day, that I have a good Father, who blessed this covenant, and I will continue to show my husband love as best as my imperfect self can, until death do us part.

  9. CL44 says

    Thank you.
    I needed this today, because this week I’m married to a jerk. Usually a semi jerk, but he’s reached full jerk status today. I’m feeling the work . I needed to receive this message today I believe God sent this to your heart just for me.
    Thank you again for being a vessel for God.

  10. Married to a Jerk says

    I feel like you are holding a mirror to my soul with this one! I am married to a jerk who is self-consumed, talks (and texts, e-mails, Snapchats, Facebooks, etc.) to other women more than he talks to me, sits at home all day doing nothing (he has a legitimate disability, but is not completely debilitated), spends my hard-earned money on junk we don’t need and then complains when we don’t have money to pay our bills, watches movies and TV shows and video games that I have personal convictions about and typically just doesn’t communicate anything with me. While it is REALLY easy to complain about him, I’m constantly reminded of the love of Christ for His church and my vow to my husband and God to love this man through thick or thin. Good-intentioned people often tell me that I “deserve better” and that I should “kick him to the curb.” But, I believe that as a Christian, I am called to love the unloveable and serve the undeserving. I can’t do any of this on my own and some days are SO HARD that I literally have to pray myself through from moment to moment. But, he’s my jerk, he is my ministry, he is my husband! God, use me as a vessel of Your love to my husband and to those who look on our marriage from the outside.

  11. Angela says

    Thank you for this article, I desperately needed to hear this. I’ve been with my husband for 19 years. We separated for 2 years 4 years ago and things are no better now than they were before. I try to make myself feel better by saying I’ve tried my best, honestly I don’t know what to do anymore. This has turned me into a person I don’t wanna be.

  12. Naa says

    This is one of the wisest and most godly counsels I’ve ever heard on marriage. God bless you and make you wiser. I’m definitely sticking with this blog!!!

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