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Living With A Bitter Spouse

Please give me practical everyday solutions for living with a bitter spouse who continually lies, cusses and is generally abusive. Of course it is a given to be extremely respectful, avoid arguing and to pray for the situation. She claims to be a Christian, but refuses Christian fellowship and church.

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 ---Tom on 1/3/10
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I would get good christian counceling, and a seperation for awhile. Set yourself an alone time with the Lord, read the Word and pray for wisdom. Remember you are loved and cherished by the Lord. Would you let your child be abused .Take care of yourself and no that is not selfish. Pray for balance in every part of your life. God Bless.
---Patty on 7/23/10


Greetings! It can certainly be a major task to live with someone who is bitter and unforgiveness has gotten a hold of him or her. One may attempt to help them, except to them the problem is 'you'. Only constant and faithful prayer,for your own safety and sanity and many other things that come w/ living w/ a bitter person affecting you & love ones. Praying for self allowed me to also live in the Spirit lead life instead. I lived 7 yrs with an abusive husband, a lot of Christian counseling, prayer helped me. The Lord lead me out of it, and I pray that it may not be a trend, instead living Spirit filled, with Spirit filled behaviors as in the book of Galatians. Praise God always. Lee. Thanks for allowing me to post.
---Lee on 7/20/10


I am convinced that the Bible has the answers to this dilemma-not necessarily Christian counseling. Being married to someone for over 20 years and who is totally ashamed of Christ (no, I didnt stutter), I too, have had my bouts with extreme frustration after they look you in the face and tell you they know God and act as if He does not exist. However, the book, Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas put it all into perspective. I could go on and on but realize that Christ gave you that spouse for a reason-and it may be just to have your focus on Him versus on your spouse. He does not make mistakes. God bless and we will be praying for you.
---Cynthia on 1/15/10


Thanks for the followup. Yes, I have gone to joint counseling before and am getting some counsel now. I have decided to keep things in prayer for now and see if God through His mercy will give a break through, otherwise my options are becoming very limited. Thanks for your continued prayers.
---Tom on 1/15/10


Tom, how are things going with you and your wife? and have you gone into counselling at all? What have you decided to do?
---Donna on 1/15/10




While one may not be able to give thanks for an abusive spouse, one could give thanks for God's faithfulness, and constant love, which is gentle and full of mercy, during the trial of being with an abusive spouse.
---Trish9863 on 1/6/10


I wish to add one more thing...and maybe this is what mima and bill are referring to.

When Jesus was on the cross, He said of his enemies that were crucifying Him, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

You can choose to forgive your wife Tom as I chose to forgive my husband, but I certainly couldn't give thanks for the situation, instead I cried out for help. So maybe that's what people on this blog are referring to - forgiving her. I was able to walk in continual forgiveness towards my husband, but I never thanked God for him (sorry, I know that sounds hard, but I don't believe God sent me that kind of a husband, I picked him out myself).
---Donna on 1/6/10


"in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:18) "making melody in your heart to the Lord," (in Ephesians 5:19) "And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations," (in Romans 5:3) "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses,

for Christ's sake.

For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:10) "'But as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.'" (Genesis 50:20)
---Bill_bila5659 on 1/6/10


Hebrews 12:15 the root of bitterness defiles many, meaning that the bitter person will defile those who are around them. Remember the verse that says stay away from the angry person lest you learn their ways? The only way things are going to change is if the root of bitterness is removed from them by their repentance.know them by their fruit. The fruit of the spirit is: Love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control. Does your spouse have these attributes? See Galatians 5:19-21. What fits better?It doesn't sound like she is pleased to dwell with you. The bible says if an unbelieving spouse is pleased to dwell with you, stay with them, if not, what do you really hope to gain by staying in that situation?
---grant on 1/5/10


Mima, I respect and appreciate your suggestion and as stated believe that if only to keep my own attitude and thoughts straight your comment is welcome. Please continue to pray and if the Lord gives you any more wise words please let me know. Donna and Trish the same goes for both of your comments also. Thank you.
---Tom on 1/5/10




To Donna and Tom, I'm in the wrong. I wish to apologize to both of you you are completely correct I do not know your problems and I should not have offered any suggestions.
---mima on 1/5/10


mima, I understand that scripture, but put yourself in my place (and Tom's place too).

When you are being beat up and he is being verbally abused, the last thing I did was give thanks.

I believe in HONESTY - so I kept praying, "God help me, please help me, Father, please get me out of this situation, please help me Father God."

That was my cry for 8 months, THEN the Lord moved MIGHTILY after that night I prayed in the Spirit for 3 hours.

It's easy to give advice and say "Give Thanks", but if you are in our situations, you'd find it VERY hard to do.
---Donna on 1/5/10


Ephesians 5:20 "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,"
---mima on 1/5/10


Sounds like your situation had crossed the line into physical abuse too often and called for a stronger response. My situation is extreme verbal abuse and frequent abandonment for days at a time of me and the kids. There are occasional normal days, but they seem to be getting fewer. I work the job and take care of the kids, house, etc. She comes and goes as she pleases with no respect as to how this affects other family members.
---Tom on 1/5/10


Tom, I will share this with you. Towards the end of 8 months when my ex-husb. was beating me up, the Lord impressed upon me that I was to stay home on a particular Friday night and pray in the Spirit for 3 hours. I obeyed. I never questioned, just got myselt alone away from my husb. and prayed in the Spirit for 3 hours.
The next day, God took control of the situation. The police came, arrested him, took him out of the house and told him NEVER to come back again. Then the Lord led me to file for divorce. "Cast ALL your anxiety upon Him for He careth for you." Do this everyday, keep asking God, what should I do Lord? Prayer is powerful.
---Donna on 1/5/10


Donna you are correct, I will not be giving God thanks for the demons working through my wife. As in your situation, things can get physical if I don't keep a distance because as you stated these are demons. However, a daily prayer if only to remind myself that God is in control regardless of the situation my family finds itself would be helpful. Thanks for the book title. I will purchase a copy. Thank you everyone for your concern and prayers.
---Tom on 1/5/10


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mima, can you please give scripture reference for your advice? If Tom's wife has a ROOT OF BITTERNESS, which I suspect she does, that demon will not respond to giving thanks to Jesus.

Jesus casted demons out of people, He never said, "I thank you Father for this demon I'm about to cast out." Where is that in scripture?

Tom, I have lived with a bitter person. The root is unforgiveness towards people. It is a demon. If that demon does to you what it did to me (teorrrize me with a loaded gun) then you could be in danger. Demons don't listen to giving thanks and you can't cast a demon out of an unforgiving person - read the book, Pigs in the Parlor - you need understanding. I'll help you in any way I can.
---Donna on 1/5/10


Mima thank you for your advice. You make a good point and must admit that I have not given God praise for the situation. By taking your advice, at least I may have more peace of mind. Everyone please keep me in your prayers as this as caused me undue stress.
---Tom on 1/5/10


Tom, you are Christian therefore nothing can happen to you except by the directive will of God or the permissive will of God. Now finding yourself in this situation of long-standing it is time to take a different tack. One of the most radical and seemingly hopeless courses to pursue is to thank the Lord Jesus Christ for your situation as it existed this very moment.
The situation exist, you are not noticeably being able to change the situation ,that being true, why not give thanks for the situation. The results of doing so you may find exciting and unexplainable!!
---mima on 1/5/10


Donna, was your husband ever healed?
---Tom on 1/4/10

Tom, no. Unfortunately I just ran into someone here at work who recognized my last name and said she and the Pastor of the church my husband attends have been counselling him for EIGHT years (since our divorce) and telling him to let the bitterness go towards me and she said, "he won't let you go Donna and he's out for blood."
Your wife can't get healing or delivered from her bitterness because she has unforgiveness towards many people in her life.
You may have to leave her and I'm so very sorry to say that to you. Please read the book, "Pigs in the Parlor", it will give you much understanding.
---Donna on 1/4/10


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Yes, not to argue (Philippians 2:14-16). But being "extremely respectful" > this can be giving in too much . . . to letting someone else have emotional power over you. I'm not saying you are, but . . . . I have done the cowering bit, the nasty reacting in secret bit, but now I'm finding it does me good to in prayer get strong in love and positive cheerfulness so I am ready to stay this way with someone who is nasty. And when one snaps at me, be positive, not hurt, and either be quiet or give a positive and caring answer. And, at times, ask if I can help with something. And stay emotionally fit, like this > this has me staying ready for good relating with others. Invest more in sharing with Christians who are good for you.
---Bill_bila5659 on 1/4/10


Tom: I do not know if I would have seen the Truth of my behavior had my husband not left me. It took the loss of my marriage for me to see things clearly. I tried to change before the divorce, but he said it was too little, too late.

If your wife is unwilling to go into counseling with you, then seek it for yourself. It will help you get a reality base for yourself.
---Trish9863 on 1/4/10


My concern is my spouse has bitterness against most people since her childhood forward and exhibits no desire to let things go toward anyone. I fully agree with your daily prayer. Outside of a move of God, how can one in a practical sense help set an environment to help the person to repent of the bitterness so they can have a normal life including for the people around them? Donna, was your husband ever healed?
---Tom on 1/4/10


Tom, your spouse sounds exactly like my ex-husband. I tried EVERYTHING from the silent treatment, to telling him I love him. I agreed to go to THREE marriage counsellors to try and save our marriage but the counsellors allowed him to sit there and blame everything on me.

A bitter person cannot see truth. It takes the Holy Spirit and hours of prayer and a deep working of the Lord Jesus for them to see their faults, weaknesses, mistakes. A root of bitterness has formed in your spouse. You can bind it up every day. "I bind you in Jesus name, you shall not have authority over my spouse in Jesus name." You can't cast the demon of bitterness out because there's unforgiveness there and until she forgives, it will remain in her.
---Donna on 1/4/10


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Trish, short of divorce what would have helped you? My situation seems close to yours. All I can see is either a miracle from God or a divorce. If you would have got a few close Christian friends into your life at that time, could that have made the difference? How did your husband need to approach you in conversation to keep peace?
---Tom on 1/4/10


Tom: What it took for me to get the help I needed was an ultimatum from my now ex-husband. He threatened to leave me if I did not get professional help. My fear of abandonment sent me to a therapist who was able to diagnose my problem, and it took years for me to see the problem as mine and not everyone else's. What eventually took the scales off my eyes was when my husband left, and filed for divorce. Denial can be very difficult in a person who is hostile and mean. In me, those were protective ways of preventing people from hurting me.
---Trish9863 on 1/3/10


Trish, thank you for taking the time to answer my question. It's mostly verbal, but at times can become physical. I have learned to not escalate the situation and to walk away. She wasn't sexually abused as a child or adult. Her condition doesn't neatly fit into a specific psychological profile other than she appears generally as a mentally disturbed person. She refuses any outside help or counseling from anyone. She holds bitterness towards most people she has any meaningful relationships with. Any ideas?
---Tom on 1/3/10


Is the abuse physical or verbal?

Has your wife ever been treated for mental illness, or been in psychotherapy? It sounds like she and you might benefit from her getting some professional help.

You see, your wife could have been me 25 years ago. I was a believer, but had so much pain and negative behavior to unlearn, and heal from, I needed professional help and medication to help me with bipolar depression and other issues.

God bless.
---Trish9863 on 1/3/10


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