I am thirty-two years old. I’ve been married for five years, and we have a five-year-old daughter. Recently my wife and I have been having arguments. Every time we have a disagreement over the slightest thing, she hides the car key and the house key, and tells me to get out of the house. I’m tired of this situation. It makes me want to leave, but then I think about my daughter and just put up with it.

Dear Friend,

We are sorry to hear about your marriage problems. Almost all couples have disagreements, so that is not unusual. However, in successful marriages, although the spouses certainly have arguments, they learn how to resolve their differences while minimizing the emotional damage to each other.

We will assume that you are not physically abusing your wife nor belittling her or calling her names. No one has the right to do those things to another person, no matter what the circumstances.

Unfortunately we don’t know what you consider to be “the slightest thing.” It is possible that some things that are very important to her are not at all important to you. Some women tend to get emotional about things that many men consider trivial, and those emotions have been known to provoke irrational behavior. It is important for your wife to know that you are willing to listen to her and consider her feelings, even when you believe that the issue is unimportant, and that her feelings matter to you because you love her.

You say that she hides the keys, but you don’t say what happens before she hides them. She obviously feels that she can’t get your attention without resorting to drastic measures. This may be immaturity on her part, or it may be her desperate way of getting you to communicate with her. There is no way that we can guess which of these is true in your case.

Instead of leaving the home, please find a marriage counselor and make an appointment. Then go with your wife to at least four sessions. Your marriage can be saved if you will both put some work into resolving your conflicts. Yes, counselors can be expensive, but breaking up your marriage would be a lot more expensive.

We also recommend that you begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins and to help you put the past behind you and to begin again. He will give you the supernatural wisdom and guidance that you need to make the right decisions for your family.

We wish you the best,