I consider my husband, Edric, to be a strong leader, especially as a husband and father. Yet there are seasons when he is emotionally and spiritually down. It’s during these occasions that I must love him by being his strong ally and supporter. Being strong doesn’t mean I take over his role or start wearing the pants. Rather it means that I must come along side him to help in whatever way he needs me to, which very often translates to encouragement and prayer.
This past week, Edric got into one of his emotional slumps due to our finances. Because of his decision to let go of ANC’s On the Money, as well as turn down speaking invitations for corporations to focus on the home education business for the balance of the year, he began to worry about our dwindling personal income. Although he tried to process his anxiety with spiritual lenses, it was one of those moments when he was yearning for assurance and needed someone to talk to.
When I was a younger wife my style was to point out the mistakes that Edric would make and challenge his decision-making by offering my own supposedly “great” ideas and advice. My intentions were to “help” by course-correcting – redirecting his decisions or telling him what he should do. However, I’ve come to realize that this approach only made him feel more frustrated with himself and others. In this sense I was doing him a disservice. I had to recognize that my role was to help him fix his eyes on Christ when he began to feel the weight and burden of leading our family and the organizations he was entrusted with.
What does this mean? When my husband is feeling emotionally or spiritually weak, I should…
Elevate God to his rightful place in both our hearts — as sovereign, all mighty, and good.
Be thankful for what the Lord has given us. Avoid dwelling on what He may be purposefully withholding. In doing so, my attitude of praise can have a positive impact on Edric.
Pray with and for Edric to keep following God, honoring Him, doing his best to be excellent in everything he has been called to do, to be endowed with supernatural wisdom and capacity, and to trust the Lord’s plans and His ways.
On the afternoon when he opened up to me we took a walk in our backyard to survey the progress of our garden project. I could sense Edric’s readiness to confide in me. Apart from the financial concerns there were a number of business issues that disappointed and frustrated him. So, I had to ready myself. Don’t add to Edric’s discouragement by complaining, belittling, judging, or getting anxious yourself. Tell him instead, God has never let us down. He will continue to take care of us and provide for us.
I believe this with all my heart. God is always faithful. Although I too worry when Edric gets anxious about his business decisions and our finances, I settle my emotions with the reality that God is bigger and greater, and He is ever in control. When I come from this point of truth, I am able to minister to Edric during his moments of honesty and vulnerability. I am able to come alongside him and speak life into him, reviving his spirit.
Our husbands need this from us, wives. I wish I could say that I had a perfect score for encouragement but there are times when I let my mouth speak before I’ve thought through how to respond and Edric. As a result he feels no better for having confided in me. In fact, he will sometimes think that he ought to have kept his woes and fears to himself, since I only magnified them with my panicky reactions.
The good news is that when I do a good “job” as his encourager, it makes him want to share with me again and again in the future. More importantly, his hope in the Lord is restored and he feels spiritually and emotionally strong enough to re-embrace his role as a leader.
Personally, I feel the best part is when he actually turns to me and gestures for a hug. He needs a big, long embrace after we talk, just to know that I am there for him, that we are in this together, with the Lord, as a team.
That afternoon, Edric and I hugged for a while. Then we lingered on the patio, enjoying the breeze of the evening air while taking in the last rays of light that faded into the backdrop of a darkening sky overhead. We ended our heart to heart moment with prayer.
Immediately afterwards, God brought his comfort and assurance. He let us hear the sound of our children laughing in the background, as they romped around in the yard, among the holes and dirt mounds that the laborers had worked on that day. Edric and I directed our attention to their playful banter, so amused at their merriment that we couldn’t help but smile ourselves. We watched them jump from one dirt hill to another, barefoot and soiled, neither tiring or caring that night had settled in as they continued in their play, oblivious to our conversation or the concerns we had exchanged.
Their laughing voices were a wonderful reminder from the Lord that there is much joy in our lives to praise Him for! To hear our children enjoying themselves so unreservedly while playing in the dirt! They were happy and well, by His grace. What more could we really ask for?
More significantly, we dwelled on the reality that we have the God of this Universe as our Heavenly Father. What other riches can be better than the fullness and infinite largeness of Him? If we have less and own less, our God’s capacity to provide isn’t lessened. He remains the owner and sustainer of all things. And He will continue to care for our needs as he always has so that we can also care for the needs of others.
“For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.” (2 Corinthians 9:10-11)
Lastly, if our children found ways to celebrate holes and unremarkable dirt hills, might we not learn to see the win-less seasons of our lives with the same childlike wonder and faith, anticipating that we are merely stepping on a portion of God’s greater canvas? There’s a beautiful plan coming to fruition while pieces of us (our husbands’ lives as well as our lives) are under His divine construction. So why not perceive the mud as part of the adventure and enjoy it together?!
Well, the good news is that the Edric awoke the next day renewed in Spirit. God also spoke to Edric through His word and comforted him with promises.
“…No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
What did I learn (relearn) as a wife? I need to love my husband and support him through his difficult and trying seasons, when he doesn’t always feel strong or in control. These are occasions when I get to live out what being a helpmate means — spiritually and emotionally supporting Edric (and giving him big hugs and affectionate embraces) so he can go out and fight the battles God has called him to with renewed vigor and resolve!
Let’s stand by our husbands, ladies!
10 thoughts on “Loving Our Husbands When They are Weak”
Our marriage and character were also tested when my dear husband (dh) had health issues and a torn ligament on his ankle last October this year. He can’t barely walk causing him to take a leave on his work and just staying on his room to rest. As a wife, I need to be strong for him. It helped me prayed for my husband more and anchoring my trust and faith on God. Difficult times indeed since I need to take care of our 2 kids (4 yr old and 6 mos old) and also the taking care of my husband and managing the house and also doing my best to beat my deadlines in my online job.
Eventually, week after week with physical treatment and medication my husband’s health is restoring. God is good. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things in HIM who gives me strength”. It reminded me not to give my husband unconditional love and support. Not to overlap the role of husband. During this trying times, we realized true friends and noticed that this experience change our hearts and deepen our love to each other. Truly entrusting our lives to God.
Thanks Sister Joy for the reminders. I always follow your posts, learning and relearning from them to become a better helpmate to my husband and a steward to my daughter. Thank you so much 😘
i went to church with a heavy heart today because of rifts with my husband, it’s about finances too..and sadly, our discussion went to the other way, your ‘younger wife’ ways..thank God for your post, timing is so perfect, thank you!
Thank you Joy for sharing! This article is very timely in our situation now. We are always blessed to hear your stories full of godly advice and wisdom! God bless your family always ❤️
My dad is a toxic husband to my mom and same as a parent to his kids. He’s been like that for many years. No matter how much compassion we give him, he never truly appreciates it… which is hurtful. He’s neither a spiritual or religious person but we never ceased praying for him.
There are times when we complain in our prayers that why we ended up with such difficult person. In the end, we realized that Dad needs the help and guidance the most. If we leave him, he’ll look totally helpless. It’s hard and painful…. but we pray for strength and wisdom to stay altogether.
Thank you Joy.
But unlike the others who have commented… i am a husband.
I guess i’m saying thank you because what you shared affirmed something for me. That i’m not mistaken to be longing all these years for my wife’s understanding, patience, love, affection and support.
My wife saw me as a kind of superman when we were starting out long ago in college. Not excessively, but i had the smarts, money, personality, athleticism to be attractive to her.
Fast forward, five years into our marriage i lost my job and slowly depleted my money until today’s status that she is the breadwinner.
I feel normal. But my readings tell me i am undergoing severe depression. I still can’t see it myself.
My wife also doesn’t see any signs of it either as she treats me so far off from before. She berates me, disrespects me even more, showers me with derogatory remarks, blames me for everything bad that is upon us right now, among other unencouraging things.
I’ve been told “gusto mo mag annul na tayo e”, “i shouldn’t have gotten married to you.”, and other things i wouldn’t say to somebody i love.
I admit my productivity has gone down gradually and drastically since the year of my downfall. I have been less responsible, more unreliable, messed up more here and there, and i have even become less mindful of my health. (if my hunch is right, this is probably the depression working on me) And so this is what probably fuels my wife’s growing hate for me.
And in the middle of all these i ask myself, don’t i deserve to be understood, supported and loved even more? Am i wrong to yearn for these from her because i’ve turned into something so unlike the superman she once looked upon? And day by day i am starting to slowly believe that i really am all to blame and i deserve to be treated this way.
In my heart i’ve always felt i’ve deteriorated because she lessened nurturing me, supporting me, loving me. But this is also counteracted by her ill treatment of me, and i sometimes tell myself that perhaps i do deserve all this because of my actions and current state.
I am a very persevering and very positive person. An optimist of the higher kind. This is what keeps me afloat and perhaps sane still (somewhat)(maybe). But i must admit, being treated by no less than your spouse this way is really an uphill battle for me. I am trying my ultimate best to defeat all this and stand myself up to what i was once before, to be that superman again she laid eyes on. But it’s so, so not very easy to do. All by myself.
After reading what you shared here, it affirmed to me that my feeling of longing for that affection and support was but natural. That i deserve to be treated much better.
I still don’t know how this is going to improve things for me. I am not the type to show her what you wrote here in order for her to realize something. It just wouldn’t feel natural. I won’t feel it’s going to be sincere. I want her to realize it herself. Discover it herself.
But since you’re the only one i’m sharing this to, it’s going to be a remote chance that she’ll discover this for herself. Heck, i am even doubtful it will strike her if she comes across what you wrote here. For her, she’s blameless and i’m everything to blame.
Edric is so fortunate to have you. Seeing you guys in that Trulife weekend before, i never realized a situation like this would befall your family. But oh how wonderfully you help manage it with him.
Anyway, like i said, thank you again for making me realize i wasn’t wrong to feel i deserve to be treated differently. I’m still very much in the woods with all my problems. To be honest, how i’m being treated all this time has turned me blind on my other values, that in my growing hate, i’ve done things that are so not me — that may never get me out of the woods at all.
But i pray to Him to lead me out of this and into the family life i’ve so longed for.
Sorry for this lengthy post.
Sorry it’s me again.
Just to clarify some things i’ve mentioned above.
I don’t really do this posting stuff (actually my first ever), that’s why i just realized i’m mistaken to say that i’ve shared the above to only Joy. This is public nga pala.
But anyway it’s ok, what i meant was others may see it, but i’m still somewhat anonymous here so i guess it doesn’t feel as public to me.
Another thing, i mentioned ‘growing hate’. What that actually meant was that my hate for how i am being treated has been growing on me. Not a growing hate for my wife. It’s how she treats me that i hate. I still love her so much. That’s why i’m hurt. That’s why i’m still around.
And finally, to all the ladies who will come across this (because i just realized this is public after all) 😬
Just a little unsolicited advice i want to share with you based on what we’re going through right now.
Take to heart what Joy has shared here.
Take it really to heart.
Don’t ever take it lightly or brush it off.
If you do, you will play a big part in destroying your family. Seriously.
As i’ve shared, i have lost, become weak and lost control.
Blame your husband, degrade him further, make him feel alone, and i promise you, the hate you show him will manifest into your worst nightmare.
Modesty aside, i am a very good person. Been so all my life. No vices and the like. But because of this, eating me from the inside all these years, i’ve turned into something worse. Somebody i’ve never thought i’d become. I’ve done things i never thought i’d be able to do.
Because of the hate growing inside me. That i tell myself, i’ll do anything to get her approval back. To be that superman again.
And that anything, can turn out to be something the whole family will regret for the rest of their lives.
The health conscious person that i was, was turned into somebody who threw it out the window saying, ‘Why should i care about my health anymore? My wife, the person whom i love most, doesn’t care for me anymore. Why should i care about this health thing.
I wanna die na. That’s how she’s making me feel. Suddenly i’m not afraid to die anymore. Because i felt my wife and i were a team. And the moment she showed me resentment and all that, i felt alone. Very alone in all this. Alone to deal with my problems.
And you know why you should be afraid of this? That the person has felt he’s nearly over the edge?
Because if a person isn’t afraid to die anymore, what do you think can be next?
The person will have more courage to do something terrible. Like inflict harm on others or themselves.
This is what i’m going through.
Like i said, i may just be an exception because i still try to heed the Lord. He’s keeping me sane.
And i also love my son. So very much.
These are keeping me from going over the edge.
Someone with probably lesser resolve would easily go over the edge sooner.
What if your husband is that lesser kind?
Only now that i’m going through this do i understand, why good people can sometimes do terrible things.
As the wife, you are the most important pillar supporting your husband. If he loses you, it will manifest in all sorts of ugly things.
It will come out one way or another.
You can’t tell how it’s going to manifest. But i assure you, its going to be ugly. And his sadness will befall you just as much.
Somebody who doesn’t drink, may start to drink.
Someone who doesn’t do drugs may start doing it.
Someone who wouldn’t steal may start doing so.
And i’m not saying that this will be at a minimal level. Something he’ll just ‘try’ because he’s upset with his world.
It will be at a maximum level. He’ll drink, do drugs or commit a crime in his maximum capacity. All driven by his hate, depression, sadness and whatever have you push him into doing/becoming.
And you’ll be a big part of that if you choose not to heed the wisdom of what Joy here had shared.
So ladies, don’t push your man over the edge.
Support him, love him, understand him in his weakest, lost, and trying moments.
Yes it may drain your patience. You won’t know for sure how long he’ll need your support, love and understanding until he gets back on his feet.
But please don’t run out of it. Patience and perseverance. Because he needs you the most.
He’ll need you to be by his side from start to finish. Or else he’ll never make it through. And he’ll drag you all down with him.
Again sorry for the length of this.
It all just poured out of me. From midnight up to now.
What i’m trying to say is, REALLY BE WITH HIM,
in bad times.
He will need you the most in those.
Or else, i’ve shared with you what could be coming your family’s way.
It’s not a threat ladies. Not at all. I’m sharing from experience. And it’s not yet done for me. And i’m already afraid of everything that’s happening. And so i want to warm as many as i can, that do not take it lightly when your husband needs you the most.
Please include me and my family in your prayers. One time will be enough. I will appreciate it a lot.
God bless you and your family, who’s read this.
Praying for you too Samson.
Praying for you and your family, Samson. Don’t lose faith in the Lord. He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it.
My husband will always be telling other others (couples like us) that I am the braver and stronger person between us two. I have somehow embraced that thought and each time we are walking into some difficulties, I am always the one who will say comforting words such as “Kaya natin ito”/ “We’ll get through this in no time” and then we’ll just laugh it off. On the other hand, I will also say that my husband’s faith in the Lord is quite overwhelming that’s why I look up to him as my spiritual adviser as well. God is so good that when He created my husband He was thinking of me.