I have been married for twelve years and have one son. My husband and I were happy up until he met one of our neighbors. He now spends all his time with her and pays no attention to me. He’s been acting so cold toward me that it feels like I’m no longer important to him.
I love him, but what can I do so that he’ll change? He doesn’t listen to us anymore. My son and I feel alone. I need some advice. I would never want to leave him.
We congratulate you for being committed to your marriage. You say that you would never want to leave your husband, and that demonstrates to us that you are willing to work things out instead of giving up, like some people would.
We’re not able to give you any specific answers because you left out so many details. We don’t know how long ago your husband began spending a lot of time with the neighbor, whether a few weeks or a few years, nor if the neighbor is much older than he is. And as if that weren’t enough, we don’t know what your husband and your neighbor spend time doing, whether watching sports on television with your neighbor and her husband, nor whether she is a widow who needs help with repairs in her home.
You imply that your husband is romantically attracted to your neighbor, but we’re not sure about that. It could be that you would prefer to be included in everything that your husband does, and so you are jealous of his time rather than jealous of the relationship. Or it could be that you believe that your husband is neglecting your son by helping out someone else instead of his own family.
You want your husband to change and you want us to tell you how to change him. But that’s impossible. No one can change anyone except themselves.
We don’t know how you are handling this conflict, but we would caution you not to verbally assault your husband every time he is at home. If you complain and scold and threaten him, that will make him want to stay away. One of wise Solomon’s proverbs says, “Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.”(1)
You need a professional counselor who, having learned all the missing details from you, can give you and your husband advice on how to improve your marriage. It is likely that both of you need to alter some of your actions in order to strengthen your relationship and create a more stable home for your son.
We believe that God not only cares about how you feel, but also wants to help improve your marriage. So we recommend that you talk to Him in prayer and ask Him to help you with the next steps.
We wish you well,
1 Pr 21:9 (NIV)