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To the Wife Who Is Always Disappointed by Her Husband

I welcome my friend, Marriage Counselor, and Life Coach to #ChosenandWorthy today! Beth Steffaniak is a wealth of information, strategies, and encouragement. Her corner of the blog world is a place I frequent to keep myself intentional about my own marriage. Today she gives us insight into the roll our identity plays within our marriages.  Do you fit the description of the disappointed wife? The one who keeps waiting for her husband to say and do the right things to fill a void in her heart or make her worthy? Join me for today’s conversation about chosen, worthy, and the victory of a living in a healthy marriage!

Do you find yourself struggling with your worth every time your husband says the wrong thing? Could you be guilty of making him your savior because of a broken identity? | Disappointed Wife|

To the Wife Who Is Always Disappointed by Her Husband

I had a very messy marriage back in the day which was directly related to an even messier view of my identity. My lagging sense of self worth set me up for pursuing my husband as my savior, instead of pursuing my Savior as my Savior. Oh sure, I’d received Christ as my Savior when I was a child. However, as I began following Him in my life, and especially once married, I let the distractions of my insecurities draw me off the narrow path and into a ditch.

I’m not saying I lost my salvation, but I surely lost my way when it came to understanding who Christ was in my life, as well as who He wasn’t. In other words, my Savior was not my husband, nor could my flawed human husband replace Christ in my life. Nonetheless, I was determined to make that work! Most of the time, my faulty focus played out when conflicts and challenges in my marriage would erupt. I would immediately turn to my husband to be my savior—to save us from the tumult we were experiencing. Now I know better.

Based on my own foolish and messy experiences, I’d like to share what I’ve identified as . . .

4 Signs You’re Making Your Husband Your savior

1. You expect your husband to completely fill up your need for connection.

Ironically, it didn’t seem to matter how much my husband tried or didn’t try to connect with me—it was never enough. I was a bottomless pit of neediness, because I was looking for a sense of connection that could and can only be provided by Christ.

If only I had embraced the truth found in Colossians 2:10, So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.”

2. You look to him to bolster your sagging sense of self-worth before or instead of looking to Christ.

Instead of turning to Christ to lay the foundation of my sense of worth, I had expected my husband to carry this heavy weight. I finally realized Christ alone was and is the only One who could make me feel, as well as stand worthy in Him.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9

3. You expect your husband to change and improve so that your conflicts and difficulties will also change and improve.

This can be so subtle in our lives. There are many ways our husbands (or we, as wives) can and should change in order to improve our situation. So it seems logical to expect our guys to lead out in this effort, even before or instead of us making those hard changes in our own lives.

Somewhere along the line, I realized doing this was taking on the Holy Spirit’s role in my husband’s life. Add to that, my hubby was much more receptive to the conviction of the Spirit than he was to my criticisms and controlling ways.

Instead of looking to my hubby for strength and help, I needed to follow the psalmist’s http://www.health-canada-pharmacy.com wise counsel, “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” Psalm 105:4

4. You find yourself thinking more about your husband and your marriage than about Jesus.

Ironically, when my marriage was at its worst, I was still reading my Bible and praying. However, I wasn’t really making Christ my main focus or priority each day. Instead, I obsessed about my husband and his failures. It was all I could think about! It took years to allow Christ to pull me out of that vortex of self-pity, bitterness and desperation.

Do you find yourself struggling with your worth every time your husband says the wrong thing? Could you be guilty of making him your savior because of a broken identity? | Disappointed Wife|

One of the verses that really helped bring perspective and conviction for me was Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” This verse helped me to realize how I was making my husband a savior—an idol—in my life. That was the first step toward freedom and the connection and worth I so longed for.

Here’s what I’ve done to keep my eyes on Christ—my true Savior:

1. I work hard at replacing my former and faulty ways of thinking and relating with God’s truths. Truths anchoring me in the reality that I am completely connected and loved by the Lord.

I am completely connected and loved by the Lord. #ChosenandWorthy #hope #marriage @BethSteffaniak Click To Tweet

2. I integrate the truth that Christ has made me worthy in Him, so I can kick my insecurities to the curb whenever they surface! And yes, they still surface!

Christ has made me worthy in Him! #ChosenandWorthy #IdentityinChrist #marriage #hope @BethSteffaniak Click To Tweet

3. I also meditate on the reality that I am not just my husband’s bride. Rather, I am the bride of Christ. I really spend a lot of time considering this. Finding comfort in my Savior’s embrace all throughout my day . . . every day!

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m describing an ongoing effort to “rest” in Christ’s pursuit of my heart, rather than running after a savior of my own making. I hope you’re willing to give yourself to this ongoing effort that really is about “resting” in the Lord’s pursuit of your heart as well.

Rest in Christ’s pursuit of your heart! #FromsaviortoSavior @BethSteffaniak #marriage Click To Tweet

If you see yourself thinking or doing what I did in my marriage so many years ago, I hope you’ll learn from my mistakes and turn your eyes back on the best and only Savior—Christ our Lord!

Beth is a pastor’s wife, a mom to three young adult sons, as well as one daughter-in-love. She works as a life coach, speaks at women’s and marriage events, and is an avid marriage blogger.

Beth believes that even though there is messiness in life and marriage, God calls us to see our ugly, brokenness from His perspective—the redemptive side. Where He has made us into beautiful mosaics filled with His light and color on display.

You can find Beth at her blog, Messy Marriage, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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  1. Beth, this whole identity thing is so easily distorted in light of our messy marriages and the baggage we all bring. I for one am grateful for your perspective and vulnerable heart here.

    1. Yes, it really can be distorting, especially when a young woman is raised in a culture where marriage is romanticized. I’m all for adding romance to marriage, but our spouses and our marriages are not what can complete us. (Eh hem, thank you, Jerry Maguire!) Thanks for stopping by to encourage me and Lori! You’re a sweetheart!

    2. It’s beautiful when people can speak through the mess to share how God worked in all of it, isn’t it Crystal?

  2. Great essay, Beth! And it’s very true for men, as well.

    Society does reinforce this tendency, through the “you complete me” myth. Christ completes us; no one else.

    1. Hey, Andrew! Thanks for finding me over here at Lori’s place! Yes, it sadly is a myth that people gobble up with ferociousness. Thanks for encouraging me here in this space, my friend!

    2. That’s such a great point, Andrew. Thank you. I appreciate you taking time to share from a man’s perspective as well.

  3. Thank you, Melanie! We sure do appreciate your encouragement!

  4. The message in this post reminds me of the message in my recent post. My identity is rooted in Jesus Christ not in my relationship status or my last name. He completes me. He makes me whole. He says I’m worthy whether single or married. So glad I know this. It’s the one thing that lets me live a great single life.

    1. That’s so true! Regardless of who God has created each of us to be, we know that He has made us unique, and has given us a purpose in this life. What an encouraging reminder! Thank you, Yvonne!

    2. Yes, Yvonne! It’s truly a game and life-changer! Christ needs to be at the center and it’s so easy to think He is, yet let other relationships and needs trump Him. Thanks for joining the conversation, my friend! I appreciate your heartbeat on this important issue!

  5. There is so much wisdom in this! I can remember a time when I would idolize my husband and that is probably a time when we had the most problems. I have learned that by seeking Him first, all other things fall into place. Thank you for this!!

    1. That’s so true, Natalie. When our priorities are out of line, things in life just don’t work as God intended. Great reminder, thank you!

    2. Great way to put it, Natalie! I know that anything or anyone who comes before Christ is going to trip me up and bring all sorts of calamity to my life and the lives of those I influence and live with. It’s such an important truth to remember and live out–following Christ above all others! Thanks for encouraging me, my friend!

  6. This article really spoke to my heart! I can tuck the main points in my pocket and pull them out when I stumble off track in my expectations of my husband. The point that I “may be thinking more about my husband and marriage and not enough about Jesus” really resonated with me.

    1. Yes, when our priorities get out of line, life can get out of whack pretty quickly. I’ll be praying for you, asking the Lord to make your path clear, to guide you gently.

  7. Great article, Beth. When we make our husband our savior, he can never win and we feel disappointed. Marriage can be so complicated with both of us bringing our baggage into this union. That’s why we need to focus on God. I know I have expected my husband to bring me happiness or do this and that. It never works and brings us both unhappiness.

    1. That’s so true – men aren’t supposed to be that top priority & they weren’t created to bear our burdens that only God can carry. Thank you, Theresa!

  8. Wonderful post. I think that one of the best things that Christ can do for us is allow us to realize our worth is only found in Him (not in our husbands). That is when we can really find our identity in Christ and soar.

    1. Erin, I agree! This can be a hard journey, but we do need to have that realization at some point in our lives. Christ didn’t give us our husbands to take that number one spot – they are to come first after Him. This is a good reminder – thank you!

  9. As I was reading this I realized I do all those things. I found myself asking why God He had me marry my husband, because he wasn’t the picture perfect myth I had in my mind. I have been constantly seeing his flaws. This was the most eye opening thing I have read. It opens the door for real change in my marriage. I mean really, this was written for me. Thank you so much!

    1. What a blessing for us, as bloggers, when God uses our words to minister to others. Thank you! I’m praying for your heart as God works in you.

  10. Thank you so much for writing this. I’d show it to my wife but she would be disappointed in me for doing so.

  11. I’d show this article to my wife but she would disappointed in me for doing so. Though I guess her disappointment in me couldn’t be raised much higher than it is.