What do I do if my husband wants out?

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The Divorce by Van De Laar (public domain)

I’ve gotten this question numerous times from women in the mail:

How can I make our marriage work if my husband says he doesn’t love me and wants to call it quits?

I’m afraid to say that there is no magic formula to make a husband stay or to make him even want to continue to try and make it work. I am not saying things are hopeless. With God there is ALWAYS hope. It is important, however, that we realize that we cannot simply follow XYZ steps to have things wondrously change. Both the husband and the wife have a free will and can still make whatever choices they have in mind to make.

BUT, since we are not without hope, there are things we can do to 1) beseech the Lord of all creation to intervene and 2) make right and change wherever we have been wrong.

Prayer and Fasting

So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. Dan 9:3

This is a discipline that we seldom avail ourselves of today. But it is a very powerful spiritual tool. Not that it is a magic spell. It is a way for us to lay aside the physical desires (and even needs) to center in with God. It is a time for us to surrender to the heart and mind and will of God. It is a time for us to LISTEN, to LEARN and to OBEY. It is a time for us to pour out the deepest desires of our hearts before our loving Father, to tell our Dad our hurts anxieties and suffering and to let Him heal us.

If you are not setting aside weekly time to fast and pray for your marriage…the time to start is NOW. Remember, this is not a time to give God His “To Do” list of what you want in the marriage or from or for your husband.

  • It is a time to come humbly and submissively before God and seek HIS face on where He wants you to go from here.
  • It is a time to pray FOR your husband,  not ABOUT your husband.
  • It is a time to be real with God and to listen for His voice.


Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! Ps 139:23-24

“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matt 7:5

The first thing I would suggest is that WE go before the Lord honestly and humbly and ask the Holy Spirit to examine our hearts for sin, selfishness, areas where we have sown discord and bitterness in the hearts of our husbands. Please know I am NOT saying we are always at fault for our husband’s choices. But this IS a marriage, a union of two people. And it is a rare thing that one party is never at fault, never in the wrong, never a contributor to dissension and disharmony in the relationship. We need to find out where OUR fault lies and confess and repent to the Lord. We need to find out where and how God desires change in US and begin to make those changes.


If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Rom 12:18

Then we need to go to our husbands and confess. This is sometimes the hardest thing for us. We are afraid that if we confess we will be giving him ammunition to make a clean break.

It IS our responsibility to make sure that we are being at peace with our husbands by confessing our sins against them. They may or may not forgive us, but that is between them and God. OUR job is to confess and ask for forgiveness. That is between US and God.


But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Cor 3:18

Confession is not where it ends. We need to begin to ask the Lord to change us. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve counseled women in the past in this area. It seems  that many husbands give very little credence to confession of sin. It is the actual change in behavior that they are looking for. And not just a day long change. They are looking for long term change. So, this part takes time. And strength and reliance on the power of the Spirit working in our hearts.


I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!” Ps 91:2

When push comes to shove, in the final analysis, at the end of the road – it all comes down to this: I WILL TRUST IN THE LORD. Keep your hope and your heart nestled in the bosom of the Almighty. He will guide you, He will protect you and He will walk beside you, no matter what the final outcome is. And in all things, let the joy of the Lord be your strength.

Blogs I might be linking to:

Marital Oneness, The Better Mom, Multitudes on Monday, Hear it On Sunday, Sharing His Bounty, What Joy Is Mine, Domestically Divine Tuesdays, Time Warp Wife, Encourage One Another, Living Well Wednesdays, Raising Homemakers, Thought Provoking Thursday, Hearts 4 Home, Big Family Fridays, Faith Filled Fridays, Home Focused Friday, Homemaking Link-up Week-end, Legacy Leaver Thursday

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  1. when I saw the title on twitter, I had a pat answer: open the door for him and pray like there’s no tomorrow. Truthfully, one can only pray for wisdom, insight, and restoration. You gave good instruction there today.
    But you can’t hold something together with an iron grip, velvet gloves, and open communication are the most important tools beside prayer. Thanks for this, Kate!

    • Thanks, Nancy. Yes, you are so right. In these situations, we do the best we can with God shows us and leave the results in His hands. Sometimes, that is the hardest part for us. Thanks for visiting yesterday.

  2. I’m so glad you mentioned praying FOR him and not ABOUT him. Humbling ourselves to pray for someone in thier time of need – and recognizing they are in need – is not always an easy thing to do. Also, recognizing our own sin in the relationship is something beneficial to remember. Good words even for those of us not in danger of separation. Good words for all marriages.

    • Yes, Jenny. The longer I walk this Christian life, the more I am realizing how desperately we need to live humbly before God and with others. It goes against our grain, but that’s where the Holy Spirit gives us the power to walk this walk of surrender. Thanks so much for coming by and for your thoughts.

  3. Hi Kate, thanks for visiting my blog yesterday. I appreciate your comment.
    Your blog is uplifting. I look forward to reading.

  4. Wonderful advice. I really liked the point of prayer and fasting.Thank you for linking up.



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