Dear Dr. Buckingham,
My husband has kids from another relationship. And I’m struggling because my husband does not put me or his marriage first.
His kids and his mother have a great influence on him. And I am disrespected by all of them, and I’m tired of it. We have been through three therapists and nothing has worked. My last resort is to see a male therapist who may get him to understand what the real issues are: His kids are able to do or say whatever they want to me.
My husband says that I’m the one causing the problems with the kids and his mother. I need help convincing him that all I want is to have our relationship come first and that his kids cannot disrespect me in any way. How can I convince my husband to put me first?
Thanks in advance,
Stepped-On Step Mom,
Dear Stepped-On Step Mom,
It is unfortunate, but too often, husbands do not know how to rule their homes because many are uninformed about the duties of marriage. Many marriages fail because of this problem. I hate to say it, but it is extremely difficult to convince a man to put his wife first if he is not a Godly man.
The roles of married men and women are clearly outlined in the Bible. For example, Ephesians chapter 5, verse 25 states, “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ also loved the church” and Ephesians chapter 5, verse 29 states, “Nourish and cherish her, just as the Lord does the church.”
A man who fears God does not need to be convinced to put his wife first. The best thing that you can do to address your husband’s behavior is to understand and play your role as a wife.
Try to maintain a respectful attitude toward your husband with the hope that he will delight in you just as he does his mother and children. Generally speaking, marital problems are present where affection problems are also present. Besides not obeying God’s Word, your husband might be struggling with feelings of affection toward you.
His disregard for how you feel, as compared to his children and mother, might be symptomatic of negative or inappropriate feelings toward you. While you cannot convince your husband to put you first, you can work to develop an affectionate bond with him.
Your husband has to see you as his ally, not enemy. Although you might be entitled to respect and unwavering commitment, your husband will probably continue to deny you these basic marital rights if he perceives that you do not like, care for or feel jealous of his children or mother.
If this is the case, please strive to eliminate any jealous feelings that you might have toward your husband’s children or mother. If you are preoccupied with jealousy, you will not be dedicated toward winning your husband’s affection.
You and your husband could probably benefit from seeing a professional Christian counselor, who can help the both of you gain insight about how to live together harmoniously according to the Bible.
If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.