Do you have a husband who is selfish and treats you like his maid and slave? Or maybe you are the husband who’s struggling to overcome selfishness? I’m here to give you hope, no matter which spouse you are.
A man contacted me on Instagram yesterday, ” I saw your profile pictures and thought you were beautiful, would you like to have a relationship?” Oh, how this would have flattered me many years ago…
In our first year of marriage, Vance had this annoying habit of turning on the TV each morning, while I was sound asleep, and of course, the volume was on a high when it came on. The TV was in our bedroom, and every morning, I wanted to kill him!
I was furious, and I told him so, but he didn’t care. Vance kept doing this repeatedly day after day. I would threaten to burn his breakfast but I think he just liked annoying me and snickered at my empty threats.
My husband was like the big brother from your worst nightmare
One morning I had enough! I threw back the covers, stomped across our water bed parting the red sea, jumped down, picked up the massive TV and dumped it on the living room floor with a bang. I think he may have made a comment that I was overreacting…
That went over well!
Married to a selfish man
Most mornings we would get up for breakfast and Vance would sit at the table waiting for me to make his meal. When I brought him his toast which I had buttered and slathered with peanut butter, Vance would complain the peanut butter didn’t touch the crust. Back to the kitchen I would go and spread the PB to reach the edge of the bread. I delivered his altered toast to him, and he’d look at it and tell me it was supposed to be cut into four pieces.
By now I was thinking about smashing Vance’s plate over his head or how I could lace his peanut butter with arsenic.
I figured since I was his wife, I was responsible for his happiness 100% of the time. Vance agreed wholeheartedly that this was also my role. I could never seem to accomplish this goal and was always feeling like a less than perfect wife.
He wanted a mom instead of a wife
What Vance had done previously, was misunderstood his mother’s servant heart and took it as the law. His mother Marsha loved to serve her family. Her husband Barry owned a logging company and worked long hours in the forest. She was a full-time homemaker and was able to accomplish all the home’s tasks before Barry came home each day. Because one of her love languages was acts of service; Vance assumed this was also mine.
Lucky for Vance, I was June from Leave it to Beaver: you know the wife waiting at the door with a plate of warm cookies, perfect hair, a frilly apron and a kiss for my knight in crisp-blue-collar armour.
My new husband didn’t know what to make of his young, sassy, argumentative, foot-stomping wife.
Vance and I were fighting daily, and my original hopes of having a happy marriage were fading away. I had gotten to the point of actually hating my husband.
Our oldest son Kyle has severe autism and woke every night on average of ten times a night with night terrors since he was born. Vance refused to help with Kyle in the night.
I begged and pleaded and even cried while I was nine months pregnant and exhausted. But nothing could crack my husband’s hardened heart.
During this time I fell into depression due to our marriage problems, exhaustion, and had a lack of joy or happiness.
I began to pray daily for my marriage and my husband…
A miracle happened
Five years after we were married, Vance admitted one night to a couple of friends that he was a terrible husband. Vance had been praying during those five years for a changed heart, but he couldn’t gain victory over his selfishness. And it’s a long story but I’m going to keep it short. Vance told his friends he needed Jesus. He was already a Christian; so when he said the words, “I need Jesus” the other men just stared at him.
I know it sounds simplified, and there is a lot more to our story, which you can read in my book: Beauty from Ashes
My new husband
The change in Vance was so drastic; I felt like I was having an affair. I hardly recognized the man I woke up to each morning. And I held my breath, waiting for him to go back to his old self; but he never returned to that man he was before.
Vance started helping me with many of the household chores when he had some extra time. He also wanted to show our children that there was value in a father serving one’s family and that helping was just as important as working for money.
I grew to love Vance deeply and I felt like we were dating again. Our marriage bloomed and flourished. God had transformed a marriage that seemed hopeless – to be one that could glorify him.
-Cindy Seaton www.cindyseaton.com
Is your marriage hurting?
Do you have a husband like the ‘old’ Vance? Or maybe you ARE that selfish husband?
Is this the scenario in your home right now:
Hubby puts his tootsies up while his wife is on her feet each evening; wifey is reading Harlequin Romances and dreaming of Prince Charming coming to rescue her from her chains of slavery to Archie Bunker? If you were born in the 1960’s or 1970’s you might remember this Lazy-Boy-reclining, TV-watching, grouchy husband.
When you go to bed, and your wife turns her back to you, think of how your day went. Did she feel like a maid or the lovely woman you dated a few years ago?
Treat your wife like a new bride and lovely maiden
If you come home and help your wife accomplish all the tasks your home requires to run smoothly, you’re giving your sons and daughters the impression that you are a loving, unselfish husband and father. You are honouring your wife by helping her meet your family’s needs, instead of expecting her to do it alone; you are cherishing her.
When you cherish your wife, your children begin to cherish her too! This helps activate the respect you desire your family to have for you.
-Cindy Seaton www.cindyseaton.com
I have been a full-time homemaker for twenty-nine years. Because Vance worked twelve hour days, I was able to get most of our family’s needs met while he was working. But we soon realized our kids saw this as separate roles for women and men instead of a family working together.
Two of our children on different occasions had said, “Mom, you don’t work, Dad works.” Vance and I had concerns that the kids saw it this way. Even though I went non-stop from morning to night and barely ever sat to eat, they viewed my role as serving and Vance’s as working.
They put the value where the money was made.
Not only did Vance begin to set an excellent example for our kids, but I also began to see him in a different light. Respect began to build between us. We were partners in this journey called “Marriage and parenting” and we were working together on common goals.
What would Vance and I tell married couples today, after thirty years of marriage?
Give to your spouse with all your heart, no matter how little they give to you. Serve them unselfishly. Be Christ to them; loving your spouse unconditionally. Don’t keep score. Build your treasure up in heaven by loving your spouse wholeheartedly on earth.
-Cindy Seaton www.cindyseaton.com
What the Bible says about the way a husband should treat his wife:
In the same way, you husbands must give honour to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.
1 Peter 3:7 NLT
For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body.
-Ephesians 5: 25-30
And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
-Ephesians 5: 21
As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
-Ephesians 5: 31-33
Stick with the marriage you have and ride out the bumpy road.
Maybe your husband is like the old Vance, and my heart goes out to you. I know you feel unloved and discarded, I felt that way too.
Yesterday, Instagram- man contacting me, wanting to have an affair, might have piqued my curiosity years ago. But now? Are you kidding me, why would I give up a man who loves me and serves me to go have an affair with some dude- from who knows where??? What I have, has taken twenty-nine years to build. We’ve been through hurricane Katrina and back in our marriage. I’m not throwing that away for a roll in the sack with a stranger!
Women, please don’t think I am telling you to leave your man if he is not helpful. There is hope for every marriage and working on the one you’re presently in; is always the best choice, unless it’s abusive, then you need to seek help and find shelter to keep you safe and your children.
I want to encourage you to pray for your husband; that he will find his servant’s heart and become the husband and father God created him to be.
Men step up your game and win your wife’s heart
Men, do you want to keep the wife you have or would you like to lose her to some guy on Instagram or at work? If you’re thinking that will NEVER happen: think again. You may come home one day to an empty house, it’s happened to many men before you. She could pick the Instagram affair over her Insta-selfish husband instead. You are easily replaceable.
We are living in a competitive world. The world is competing for your wife’s attention, and you need to get up early every day and determine to step up your game. Come home after work and do everything in your power to make her feel like a princess instead of your property.
Men, you were fortunate enough to be given a wife, and how you treat her will determine how long you get to keep her.
Don’t waste this opportunity or you may not get a second chance.
Be the husband you want your sons to grow up to be and the man you want your daughters to marry.
Each of you need to give 100% no matter what the other one is giving. Put your spouse ahead of yourself, and love them like Christ loved the church.
Embrace your marriage roles and do your best to fight with all your heart for your family and your marriage.
This is your greatest calling…to be Jesus to those you live with every day.
*Vance and I have come a LONG way in healing our marriage. Read: Wonderful Things In Thirty Years Of Marriage
*Take a FREE Marriage Assesment. How’s your Marriage doing? Free Marriage Assessment