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Home » CHFWeb Libraries » Titus Two Library » How do I encourage my husband who is unhappy in  (3) 3 Vote(s)
How do I encourage my husband who is unhappy in [message #84816] Sat, 28 January 2006 13:48 Go to next message
mom4  is currently offline mom4
Messages: 40
Registered: September 2005
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his job, is having life regrets. He tells me he can not go after his dreams because he has me and kids to worry about. He is so negative, he paints a picture of failure before he even tries. I have always encouraged him, believed in him. Now I feel like I am responsible for his unhappiness. He is not fullfilled by being a father and husband. He has given me my dreams of being a wife,mother.He says he wants adventure. He says he feel like he is just a machine that brings home a paycheck. Please let me know if you have had similar experiences. I want to be his help meet.
Re: How do I encourage my husband who is unhappy in [message #84823 is a reply to message #84816 ] Sat, 28 January 2006 14:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Michele (Queen of Cheap)  is currently offline Michele (Queen of Cheap)
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What sort of job/career does your dh feel like he can not do because of his family?


Michele, The Organic Queen of Cheap!
(aka Shelly the Swamp Frog)

Happily posting on CHF since 1995


Re: How do I encourage my husband who is unhappy in [message #84825 is a reply to message #84816 ] Sat, 28 January 2006 14:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Deana  is currently offline Deana
Messages: 516
Registered: May 2005
Location: Mississippi
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Hi, there,

I had some questions as I read your post. I will be logged on most of this afternoon and will check back for your reply.

First of all, what does your husband's job involve? How long has he been in it? Is it something he once loved to do and is in a rut?

What does he want to do that you would hamper him? What are his dreams? Is there any way a hobby would help him fulfill his dreams? How long has he felt this way?

I have been in sort of a similar situation. My husband got a degree in agriculture but the type of job he wanted never opened up. However, I have been able to stay home with our 3 children for almost 13 years. He has not always liked the jobs he has had, and went through some depression b/c of it. Now I am doing my internship as a supoprt therapist in the schools and I will have my kids schedules and a great pacheck as well as doing something I love to boot. I wish he had had that. But his way of dealing with things has been to get involved with some people he works with and do some competition target shooting a few times a month.

We were so committed to keeping me home with the children that I think he would have done anything, b/c things were very tight for a while. We don't regret it.

Has your husband been able to contact a career counselor? How much education does he have, bachelor's, master's high school, GED etc? Is there a trade he would like to learn and could do part time? There are also a lot of internet courses, too.

I look forward to hearing your answers Smile


Deana
one other thing [message #84826 is a reply to message #84825 ] Sat, 28 January 2006 14:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Deana  is currently offline Deana
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you are NOT responsible for his unhappiness, Sweetie! Keep trying to encourage him and we will help you any way we can.


Deana
Re: How do I encourage my husband who is unhappy in [message #84830 is a reply to message #84816 ] Sat, 28 January 2006 14:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
denise d
Messages: 6330
Registered: April 2005
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I don't think this is uncommon. Be an encourager to him, remind him of all the things he is besides "a paycheck"...

I believe that many men hit a certain age (and that age varies) where they do a self-assessment, and perhaps a life assessment or they get so bogged down in the routine-ness of life (or all of that) that they do feel that they are of little more worth than the dollar amount they are bringing home to you.

People change careers all the time. The things Deana suggested are wise. We are a military family. Retirement is normally occuring in the 40's or even late 30's and military "retirees" go on to have a second or even a third career before going off to play golf all day. (we don't play golf, and I got asked by a retired guy at the gym 'well, whatever will you do when you all retire?' so I had to add that).



Pray for him. Love him. Encourage him.


God is Love.
Re: How do I encourage my husband who is unhappy in [message #84831 is a reply to message #84816 ] Sat, 28 January 2006 14:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mom4  is currently offline mom4
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It isn't just his job.I think he would hate any job he had. He wants to do personal hobbies, like karate, write books, he wants a new car, nicer clothes.Our budget does not have room for these things. He seems unhappy about everything, He says he loves me and the kids more than anything, but his actions and sour complaints tell me different. I feel like I have ruined his life.He talks of regrets he has from 20 yrs ago. I look at the road not traveled with thankfulness that I did not choose it. He looks at it longingly. I am reading Created to his helpmeet by Debi Pearl. It says that I was made for him, not him for making me happy. I do not know how to reach him, I adore him, and I show it every day. He keeps to himself, and often rejects my words of tenderness. I encourage him to write, to take a class, but he just says that he is too distracted with all his responsibilities, and the cost of the things he wants are too high, he feels trapped. He says he has traded his dreams in for a paycheck. I will move where ever he would want, but he says that is too risky to drag his family in case he fails. All this has been going on for some time now.
Sounds like midlife crisis... [message #84856 is a reply to message #84816 ] Sat, 28 January 2006 15:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Leigh  is currently offline Leigh
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Location: Tennessee
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It happens to the best of men. James Dobson talked about his (rather short-lived) and why they occur. I'm sorry he's turning it on you, though.

Maybe he needs a visit to the doctor and possibly to attend a good men's Bible study. He's not alone in this. I'll be praying.


Leigh
Tennessee

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

~~Benjamin Franklin

Re: How do I encourage my husband who is unhappy in [message #84860 is a reply to message #84816 ] Sat, 28 January 2006 16:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
LynetteMN  is currently offline LynetteMN
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It sounds like depression to me. I strongly encourage you to encourage him to see a doctor, and to find some male support.

My dh is a rather melancholy soul (just his personality) and would freely admit that marriage to me, and two dc, has certainly limited the lifestyle he might have preferred! However, it's been a long time since he complained about the limits. For example, dh would have loved to be a freelance computer engineer, heading off as an entreprenuer. But he has a wife with diabetes, so really needs the group health insurance an employer can provide. The other example is dh's desire to continue flying (he is a private pilot and member of a flying club). But right now, neither the time nor money to pursue this hobby is available. He doesn't complain, although he is quite unwilling to sell his flying club membership! He knows there will be another season when he may have more freedom.

BTW, a HUGE help for my dh has been a men's BIble study he's been in for several years now. When he was hanging out with coworkers who were all single, flush with money, and could do whatever they wanted, he was a whole lot more discontented! A weekly morning meeting with other family men doing the best they could to raise godly families has been a big encouragement to him.


Wife for 24 years
Mom to 22 yo dd and 19 yo dd
and Buddy the Wonder Dog!
Re: How do I encourage my husband who is unhappy in [message #84863 is a reply to message #84831 ] Sat, 28 January 2006 16:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Deana  is currently offline Deana
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Location: Mississippi
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hmmmmmmmm.......I really don't know how to respond to that on this board. Something has made him dissatisfied with his current situation, and you seem to feel frustrated that all your efforts haven't helped.

Does he spend time with the children? Is there any way to rearrange the budget to allow him to pursue some of his hobbies? You mentioned writing a book. I wonder if freelancing a few articles would help him there.

I agree with some of the other posters, depression could be a possibility. I know most men don't like doctors (mine is an exception, due to family history of health problems and I am thankful for that) but a check up may be in order.

Hugs,


Deana
Re: How do I encourage my husband who is unhappy in [message #84865 is a reply to message #84831 ] Sat, 28 January 2006 16:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sherry in NH  is currently offline Sherry in NH
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> He wants to do personal hobbies, like karate, write books, he wants a new car, nicer clothes.Our budget does not have room for these things. <

Is there anything you could do, to actually provide (even for a short time) any part of these...? Like a certificate for a certain number of weeks of karate...or time once a week by himself to write...

Would you be willing to somehow downsize your house/lifestyle/something, in order to free up a bit of margin in your budget? [I'm assuming there is something you can cut, somewhere...]

Is there any way that you can add to or subtract from the budget?? Homeschool for less money...be frugal on groceries...cut something somewhere (my friend cut her once a day Dunkin Donuts run and saved hundreds of dollars in a year)...in order to move *toward* his goal?

That doesn't deal with his heart issue, whatever it is. But it will show him that someone cares about his inside dreams.

A long, long time ago, my dh didn't express anything clearly, but he was slightly fed up with his job. I asked him what he would do, if he didn't have us to feed and insure and he said that he would go work as a carpenter. So I asked him what he would need in order to go work as a carpenter; what was keeping him from doing that....in talking about it, it turned out that it wasn't his *job* that he disliked, it was some of the changes that had happened within his company. And he was tired of some of the aspects of his job and the sector of society that he had to deal with, in his job.

We did the following:

1) paid 13 payments a year on our mortage to pay the principal down. We didn't owe all the much in the beginning so it didn't take very many years to pay it down and reduce that whole huge payment.

Which left him with a *lot* of flexibility -- we could live on very little.

2) one year, we homeschooled for $75.00 max...we went on no organized field trips; we borrowed curriculum; the $75.00 was a library card at a bigger local library where we could check everything out; we went hardly anywhere and spent very little gas money. That freed up more money

3) we worked really hard on being frugal -- maybe you are already doing these things, but we weren't -- hand-me-downs through the church; a budget; only shopping frugally for groceries; a garden; started burning wood instead of oil, etc.

I think this did a couple of things -- it made him really understand at the core that I and the kids were willing to sacrifice, too, in order to help him do something that he thought he'd enjoy more. I encouraged him *to* change jobs. I told him that he had to spend most of his waking hours working, so he might as well be doing something that he liked or enjoyed, if possible.

He explored the possibility of working for himself, but rejected it when he realized the situation with insurance and withholding and liability and all that. He explored the possibility of working with a well-respected contractor. He explored the possibility of going to the Philippines and working as a maintainance guy with our missionary friends. He explored the possibility of finding a job through Intercristo <http://intercristo.searchease.com/> working at a Christian camping organization [we actually almost interviewed until we realized that they did *not* allow their employees to homeschool kids! <weird>]...etc.

In the end, it just so happened that before he made a decision about what he was heading toward [he's the kinda guy who would really appreciate a sign in the sky and then he moves like lightning]...the guy who owned his company died, the company structure changed, and he asked about the possibility of 1) changing to a job description that didn't exist but that he was doing as a second part of his job -- he made the job up himself <grin> because he's a servant at heart 2) coming home one day a week to work at a home office. They said yes to 1) immediately and mmm, we'll think about it to 2). Within a few days, they figured out that they had to replace him and needed his office space, and so asked him whether he could work at home 100% of the time.

I believe that one of our kids prayed him home.

But anyway, those changes *in* his job made his job enjoyable again -- he has freedom, autonomy, goals, challenges, flexibility, and time with the kids.

He didn't end up doing any of what he thought he might....but it was *important* for me to try to help him (I think) the way I would want him to try to help me if I were all of a sudden struggling with homeschooling or feeling trapped at home or something.

That's all to say -- it may be discontent, indicative of something spiritual....but, it may be discontent, because God's calling him to something else entirely....or God's getting him ready for changes. If so, heads up!! <grin>

[I hesitate to say this, but I have a number of single mom friends and before several of the abandonments, some of the dads were working two and three jobs while the mom was home "playing" with the kids [from his point of view]....it built resentment. Not right on the dad's part, for sure -- because each of them went into sin....but more issues than just his sin underneath his decision. So I think it *is* important to listen and listen carefully. He's giving you a huge blessing by allowing you to hear what is actually going on inside of him -- many men do not open up that far....it could be looked at as a problem...or it could be looked at as an opportunity for God to do something very cool!]

I'm praying for God's wisdom for you...! Do you have a local church? Is your husband a Christian? Does your local church have free counseling? Or is there a pastor in your local area, whom he could talk to? Does your husband have a friend you could touch base with, in order to help the friend listen more carefully? [although I guess we have to be careful not to manipulate, eh?] How is his devotional/quiet time, any idea?

<hugs>

[Updated on: Sat, 28 January 2006 18:31]


In Jesus

Sherry from NH
Re: How do I encourage my husband who is unhappy in [message #84891 is a reply to message #84816 ] Sat, 28 January 2006 18:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Charity  is currently offline Charity
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How open of a relationship do you two have? Does he hear truth well? Does he allow you to speak into his life? Are you guys able to be candid and honest with each other?

If this was my DH, I'd probably be very honest with him about what I perceived as discontentment and spiritual deception (that things and circumstances are where happiness is to be found) - and that I felt he was being unchivalrous in blaming me and the kids for choices HE had made. Or that he was blaming marriage/family for not achieving things that he wasn't taking responsibility or initiative to make happen. HOWEVER....we have given each other permission to speak into each other's lives this way and have the kind of friendship where these things are done with humor and love. Not everyone's relationship is the same and if you don't have a history of very direct communication without defensiveness and anger, it would be very hurtful and dishonoring to him.

I do think that depression is a possibility and should be looked into. I do think you should try to assist him towards his dreams as you can, but ultimately - unless you are being negative, ugly, non-supporting, unsubmissive, etc. - an ongoing decision (and that's what it is) to be negative and unhappy is not your fault and not your problem to fix. I also think your husband has a skewed spiritual understanding of what would make him happy. A man's true happiness lies in giving himself up for his family just as Christ gave himself up for the church. "For the joy set before him, Christ endured the Cross." I think he's telling himself some lies and needs a clearer understanding of God's truth for men. If you are able to speak truth into his life, combined with a great deal of prayer, perhaps he can see his error. If you are unable to speak truth into his life, then I would leave it alone and simply pray for a revelation of truth to him.

Charity
Re: How do I encourage my husband who is unhappy in [message #84896 is a reply to message #84816 ] Sat, 28 January 2006 18:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Charity  is currently offline Charity
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I should add that I talked to my dh about this and he and I were on the same page. I wish that men would approach other men the way we do here on the board so that men could speak truth into each other's lives this way. Sad So often, it's the spouse without the power to make the needed change who comes here seeking help. Sad There's little a wife can do to cause needed change in her husband. I often feel we're preaching to the choir because what's really needed is for this conversation to be taking place among the other genders. Smile Smile It would be so helpful if a man could come alongside your husband and say "Buck up! This IS what life is about! Dying to ourselves and giving ourselves up for our wives. This is where the rubber meets the road for Christian men. The down and dirty reality of love in action means going to work, bringing home a paycheck, laying aside the motorcycle for the orthodontic work. That's where true joy is to be found! You can do it and I'll walk with you while you do!" THAT's what Men's Ministry should be about....

Charity
Thank you for sharing about your life, Sherry! nt [message #84999 is a reply to message #84865 ] Sat, 28 January 2006 19:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sue C  is currently offline Sue C
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nt
Amen Charity... [message #85048 is a reply to message #84896 ] Sat, 28 January 2006 21:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Pamela  is currently offline Pamela
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Charity wrote on Sat, 28 January 2006 17:37

I often feel we're preaching to the choir because what's really needed is for this conversation to be taking place among the other genders. Smile Smile It would be so helpful if a man could come alongside your husband and say "Buck up! This IS what life is about! Dying to ourselves and giving ourselves up for our wives. This is where the rubber meets the road for Christian men. The down and dirty reality of love in action means going to work, bringing home a paycheck, laying aside the motorcycle for the orthodontic work. That's where true joy is to be found! You can do it and I'll walk with you while you do!" THAT's what Men's Ministry should be about....

Charity




Amen Charity...where are the men who have these conversations... I would LOVE it if men could come along side and do that..AND come along side and whack some out of line men back into shape!!! Remember back in the day when a group of godly men would take a wayward hubby out back for a little chat to realign his thinking (did that ever happen?)...would LOVE to know where those men went!!! Step out men, be brave, be of good courage! You CAN have that conversation!!! ...well there I go dreaming again!

Pamela

Re: How do I encourage my husband who is unhappy in [message #85053 is a reply to message #84816 ] Sat, 28 January 2006 21:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
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I would have to agree with Charity....he's not looking at all this from a biblical perspective. I don't know how to get him to accept the responsibility witha cheerful attitude, but the Bible is pretty clear about a man's responsibility to his family. Love,honor, cherish, etc., not gripe and complain and place blame. But that's not helpful to you--you probably are already aware of that! Getting him together with godly men to help him along would be an ideal situation. Praying for him is your strongest weapon.

Getting him involved in a hobby now might seem like the thing to do, and it might even help...but the problem is apparently in his heart,not in his circumstances, so a karate class or a writing class isn't going to solve the problem. I pray God provides the solution for you. Unless you are nagging and complaining and demanding yourself, then this is not your fault.


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: How do I encourage my husband who is unhappy in [message #85507 is a reply to message #85053 ] Sun, 29 January 2006 22:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Tonja L.  is currently offline Tonja L.
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Lisa R. wrote on Sat, 28 January 2006 20:16

Praying for him is your strongest weapon.

Getting him involved in a hobby now might seem like the thing to do, and it might even help...but the problem is apparently in his heart,not in his circumstances, so a karate class or a writing class isn't going to solve the problem. I pray God provides the solution for you. Unless you are nagging and complaining and demanding yourself, then this is not your fault.

Totally agree with Lisa. I don't think it about hobbies or anything you can *fix*. It is a heart issue with your dh.

I think depression is likely, it sounds alot like the outlook of one with depression.

Also, agree prayer is your strongest weapon, and agreeing with the other ladies that a strong christian male or group of males would be a great encouragement to him and might help to set his perspective right.

Would he talk with your pastor?

Agree with Chairty, as well!


Growing in Gods' Grace and Truth,
Tonja
Re: How do I encourage my husband who is unhappy in [message #85688 is a reply to message #84816 ] Mon, 30 January 2006 12:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
deniseinpa  is currently offline deniseinpa
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I wasn't going to add anything, but I am going to afterall..

My dh went through a small period of this (and so did I at one point) but it was TRULY a spiritual matter, we were not looking at ourselves, or tasks, or our familys through spiritual eyes. It is so easy in this WORLD to see the PHYSICAL, what I have, want, etc....

What we did? Well I used the POWER OF A PRAYING WIFE book and prayed scriptures over dh for a months straight! The book is good, but what I went for were the scriptures, there is even a challenge to pray these prayers/scriptures for a month and see the changes in your dh AND YOURSELF! Those prayers will open up doors to your heart as well as dh's! It was an amazing come around for both of us. We still pray these prayers for each other, because it is SO easy to become sidetracked, with what the WORLD says matters, car, house, savings, etc...but what we are really called to do in scriptures as men, women, father, mothers, husband and wifes is COMPLETELY different.

So I agree with the last few posts...getting something like a hobby maybe a band-aid but the spiritual issues need to be delt with and bathed in prayer.


Deniseinpa
helper to Jason for 8 years
Mom to Zachary (6) and Joshua (5) and Stephen (9/6/07)
Re: How do I encourage my husband who is unhappy in [message #85788 is a reply to message #84816 ] Mon, 30 January 2006 15:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Pamela  is currently offline Pamela
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Praying that the veil that is covering your husband's eyes be lifted so that he can see what the Lord has provided! Why there is joy to be had! Why he can praise the Lord for his life today!!

Hoping to hear that your husband's joy has been restored soon!

Pamela
Re: How do I encourage my husband who is unhappy in [message #87838 is a reply to message #84816 ] Sun, 05 February 2006 22:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Becki in Tx.  is currently offline Becki in Tx.
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I think men need a little excitement and a change from their routine. I know thats what mine mentioned. Maybe you could do something out of the ordinary. Something fun and totally offbeat. It doesn't have to cost much. You just have to be creative on a budget. A date night is a good idea, as well as hobby. My hubby feels much the same as yours, so I can really empathize with you. He is not a strong Christian and I think that makes a difference. I agree that getting your dh to a men's bible study/fellowship is the key. Or just being around Godly homeschooling men. I will be praying for you guys.
Re: How do I encourage my husband who is unhappy in [message #87942 is a reply to message #84816 ] Mon, 06 February 2006 09:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kate Megill  is currently offline Kate Megill
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Dear Sister,

Quite a number of years ago Kevin went through a depression (I am writing this with his permission). He had spent 8 years in grad school getting a PhD only to find that 1) someone in Prague solved the problem first and 2) Purdue cut drastically short his time to finish his thesis and with it 3/4 finished they said he was not able to finish his work for his PhD and he got out with a Master's.

We were living in ND and he absolutely hated his job. He felt 'stuck' doing a job he hated with 4+ children, his salary had been cut by 1/3 as the college decided not to keep him full time when he lost his PhD (it had NOT been a requirement when he first applied for and got the job). He would never be able to do the research he loved (you really can't do research when you are teaching 15-18 credits per semester), he wasn't sure what God was calling him to do with his life anymore and he was angry. His anger was at many things, but mostly at me because I couldn't fix his life. He was 32.

God brought him through a lot, taught him a lot, reproved him, comforted him, trained him. He was meeting weekly with a godly man from our church (but he has always sought out at least one godly man to meet with for counsel and encouragement - like Charity mentions) and that too was good. But it took a whole year for the depression to pass and another several years for all the effects of it to work into beauty in his life.

One of the major things God taught him was that, as a man, his job is to 'embrace responsibility' (that's how he would put it). He had his dreams and hopes and plans (mostly for how he could be serving the Lord and glorifying God through his life - his plans were mostly not even selfish in nature) but God, like He did with Abraham and Joseph and Moses, seemed to dash those dreams to death leaving him feeling purposeless and directionless. BUT in the midst of all of this, God began to bring him back to Genesis to study Adam's creation and purpose and design as a man. And he eventually began to see that, for me, one of the essential parts of their make-up is the importance of embracing responsibility because this is at the heart of what manhood is all about.

During all this time I really wasn't able to be much of an encouragement to him. Partly because he struggled with being angry with me, partly because this was a path God had for him to travel alone. BUT one thing I made sure of. Whenever he needed to talk (and Kevin is a talker) I would be available. This meant when he paced the bedroom at 2am, week after week, I would forego sleep, get up and be his sounding board for the next 2-3 hours. I seldom said anything unless specifically prompted by the Holy Spirit, and when I did it was ALWAYS to share scriptures with him. I knew Kevin and his total committment to the Word of God. When he was stuck in error or deception in his thinking (and that is generally at the heart of depression, I think) I knew it would not be anything I would say that would reveal it to him, but it would be the very words of God.

I had to lay aside any "luxury" of thinking that his problem was my fault. That in itself is a lie from the enemy and I didn't have the liberty of falling into that pit. I trusted in the truth that God was doing a work in my husband's heart that I could not be a part of. I also had to trust in the reality that my husband's fulfillment and happiness could NOT come from me but from the Lord. His 'search for significance' was centered in Christ, not in me. That did NOT mean that he didn't love me or the children or that we were a rotten family to him. It DID mean that God calls a man to find his significance in Him and in the work God created him to do. But for me to fall into my own depression from the deceptive thoughts about all of this being my failure would never have helped my husband (because it would have heaped more guilt and burdens on him that were not his to bear) and would have abandoned my children so I refused to allow those thoughts to enter into my mind (but it WAS a struggle).

Our greatest asset during all this time was our ability to communicate and our desire to not wallow in our own suffering. Kevin shared honestly where he was struggling but he NEVER said things to hurt me deliberately. And he was always so open to scripture, deeply desiring God's will for his life. His deep and abiding committment to me and the children and the Lord was my lifeline. And I think it was important for him to know that I was willing to do ANYTHING to help him. (there were some things I did that were NOT a help...taking some of the responsibility off of his shoulders and carrying those burdens myself was NOT a help to him but a real hindrance and I had to confess that and ask his forgiveness) He knew I was willing to up and move anywhere, tuck in our belts any and every way we could to give him the liberty to do what he felt was necessary. And he knew I was always available for him above everyone else.

He never talked about his struggles in front of the children and I don't think he's ever raised his voice in the 21 years we've been married so none of our children, when asked now, had any idea of his struggle with depression. God, in His mercy, spared them from dealing with any of that.

All I can suggest is that you both try and talk more openly (if he is willing) and search the scriptures for God's design and plan for his life. Of course the bible won't tell him "be an accountant" but it will speak to the deception he has that he has traded in his dreams for a paycheck. Each one of us has to sometime come to grips with our dreams. If they are dreams from the Lord, He may bring a death to those dreams (Abraham with Isaac, Joseph in slavery/prison, Moses in the wilderness) and sometimes a double death before He changes our character enough to rest in HIS work and not in our own. If they are dreams that are our own and NOT from Him, we truly (somewhere deep in our hearts) do not want them anyway and need to be willing to sacrifice them for God's will.

I share all of this to speak to YOU, not to your husband. I think you need to understand some of the things he might be going through and why your tender words of encouragement are rejected by him.

Pray! I fasted (weekly) and prayed for Kevin continually during this time.

Be available! When he gives the least indication he needs to talk, be there for him NO MATTER WHAT!

Don't talk much! He needs to work this out with the Lord and hearing your words of gentle reproof or encouragement do NOT encourage him. Share scriptures (gently) ONLY as the Lord prompts you but be willing to ask if you can pray with him (or for him).

Keep your heart right with God! Do NOT allow yourself to fall into the lies of the enemy yourself. Keep your heart centered on God where you need to be and look at your husband with eyes of love and compassion.

Keep your trust in God! YOUR fulfillment and significance comes from God, just as your husband's does. Do not try to make your husband think (we do this very subconsiously sp? - never on purpose which is why we need to guard our hearts) that your unhappiness at his unhappiness is his fault. Guilt never produces life, only death. (learned that one the hard way!)

Pray some more!


In His Joy and Grace,

Kate

Beautiful, Kate. [message #87951 is a reply to message #87942 ] Mon, 06 February 2006 10:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
denise d
Messages: 6330
Registered: April 2005
Senior Member
Good things for everyone.


God is Love.
Re: How do I encourage my husband who is unhappy in [message #87953 is a reply to message #87942 ] Mon, 06 February 2006 10:09 Go to previous message
Sherry in NH  is currently offline Sherry in NH
Messages: 9592
Registered: April 2005
Location: Small Town New Hampshire
Senior Member
Kate -- wow, what a great post...thank you for sharing something so personal with lots of tools.

One side comment about this (but maybe I should clip it and make it a Hot Topic? not sure...feel free to do so, if it should be):

>He knew I was willing to up and move anywhere, tuck in our belts any and every way we could to give him the liberty to do what he felt was necessary. <

That's a bit of what I was trying to say in my post upthread about my now-single-mom-friends.

From what they've said, I am quite sure that none to few of the husbands knew that they'd be willing for him to stop his second job, sell the house, downsize the lifestyle, etc.

All of that *doesn't* affect the spiritual problem in the spouse's heart.

But we can only do what *we* can do. And *sometimes* God is working on things in our lives, too.

Like peer pressure to keep up with the Joneses...or homeschool the way our friends homeschool...or give a certain lifestyle to our kids....or as simple as updating the living room furniture...or wanting more storage in a bigger house.

And sometimes it's as simple as "seeing potential" in our kids. We have very dear friends who have kids that are heading off to high school and college with unbelievable things on their resumes...but the family is constantly in fear of losing their house.

The dad works two jobs and is always talking about picking up contract work. The mom now works a half job out and a half job in. There's an *incredible* amount of financial pressure on the dad, with college coming up. He's not given any signs of "cracking"...but he could be an accident waiting to happen, if he doesn't keep his eyes on the Lord and duty (embracing responsibility, in Kevin's words).

It's difficult to even discuss with them, because the decisions that led them to this place were made more than a decade ago when they began to homeschool out of their budget. Now, they are paying the price for those decisions and the decisions can't be remade. We've talked about it (brought up by them...they always think we aren't doing *enough* for our kids <rolling eyes but loving them dearly <g>>)...

When you get right down to the core of it: they "saw so much potential" in the various kids that they 1) went out on a limb financially to help them learn those various talents 2) which made the dad have to work two pretty much full-time jobs which 3) gave him not enough time to deal with finances which 4) put the mom in charge of finances (and in some families that's a *good* thing <grin>) which 5)led to more and more debt as she juggled one financial commitment to squeeze out, say, updated ski equipment for each kids every year which 6) got them in deeper and so it goes. There *is* a ton of pressure on this dad -- he's said so himself. Then they 7) moved to a 'better' school district, which is a district with a lot of fancy houses and very rich people, which put a ton of pressure to 'keep up' on their kids as they ended up in school which circles back to Cool pressure felt by the mom to provide 'stuff' and 'opportunities' which puts an incredible pressure on the 9) dad to produce more money.

How he deals with it is purely from his heart condition. But sometimes there are changeable conditions *in addition* to the husband's heart-struggle.

Try to have clarity, and not sure I'm succeeding Smile

I guess it gets back a little bit to the "matriarchal society" that much of homeschooling is around by me. The moms are intimately involved with homeschooling, the kids, where the kids are heading, the coops, enrichment centers, field trips, the music lessons, the expensive sports and activities. *Some* of the families are stretched in various ways. Some of the dads are less likely to be involved with the kids *because* of the time involved in working to pay for all that comes with the "extras".

Which may not have anything at all to do with the original posting, but while we're on the topic, more or less, I'll just throw it in.

I'm praying for wisdom and grace for her as the original poster deals with it, with knowledge and sweetness. And I thank you again, Kate, for sharing. Thank Kevin for us for giving you permission to share that and how it worked out in your lives. Smile We appreciate that transparency.


In Jesus

Sherry from NH
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How Can I Pray? ... Christian parents, who have given their children so much, are amazed to see many of their children literally chuck all their labors of love and devotion. The temptations our children face are horrendous . . . and the consequences for failure to overcome them have compounded.

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