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134 Comments on “Leaving, Cleaving and Becoming One”

  1. Bailey
    How can I get my spouse to see that his prayers are being hindered because he does not honor me, his wife? He speaks to me in harsh and unglued tones and he becomes angry so quickly and always finding fault in everything I do. It is to the point where, I don't want to be around him much .
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Bailey; If he is the same with everyone else then he may have some anger issues. I would suggest the CD - "How To Be Angry & Right" by Dr.Clarence Walker - http://www.clarencewalkerministries.com If he only treats you that way he may have developed bitterness towards you. See if he can tell you what he is angry about. You may need a Christian counselor to help him talk about what he is angry about. Check yourself - if you are a person who is aggressive with your mouth when you are angry he may have said nothing but held onto the bitterness long afterward.
  2. DOROTHY WAGSTAFF
    Does leaving and cleaving mean that a man should condone and stand up for his wife when she blatantly disrespects his mother? For example, not inviting his mother to the wedding, the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, family functions (even though all of HER family is invited). Should a man condone everything a wife does, no matter what it is because they are "cleaving"?
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Dorothy; That is not what leaving and cleaving means however for a bride to not want to invite his mother and family there are obviously some issues, healing and conflict resolution needed. Perhaps your pastor can help to negotiate some peace and build better relationships.
  3. Mike Sorcinelli
    incredibly insightful (especially the parts on "leaving" your mother to let your wife now be your helper). loved it! I was wondering if there's a book you could recommending that would teach me more on leaving, cleaving, and becoming one flesh? thanks for your time.
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Mike; There are several books with the title on Amazon - Two Become One - I haven't read them but this would be a good place to start.
  4. Dee
    Just wondering , is it right for the woman to leave all of her family, move awayover800 miles to be with her husband because he does nn His family. Mostly his mom because she's elderly . . So is mine. I'm struggling with that. There's no compromising to a halfway point.HELP !!
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Dee; It is difficult dealing with aging parents - the two of you need to talk about how the needs on both side can be met, you may need to consider bringing your mother closer or making sure someone is living with her or find a care facility. Call her a lot, pray with her. You may need to take a trip home to make sure things are in order. You didn't do anything wrong moving to be with your husband but you should make sure to share with him your feelings and concerns and pray about them together. Peace Dr. Ja'Ola
      • anonymous
        Thanks for throwing light on this issue. If we all follow this fundamental instructions by God, marriage would be heaven on Earth. I am encouraged by the several comments below as I can see am not alone in my experience. My husband lost his father when he was 4 years old. His mother, who had a daughter from an earlier union in which she was also widowed did not remarry. My husband often reiterate how he is indebted to his mother and families, on both sides for bringing him and his brother up. He is paying that debt by placing all of them above his marriage. He says by mouth that he loves me and am most important to him but acts otherwise. Our issues are discussed with his mother and family with no restraint nor apologies. The most painful was an occasion where his mother went to inform family that I was unfaithful. This was a situation we discussed overnight while she was in a room two doors away from our room. Without confirming from me, she took the matter home. The only 'apology' I got was for him to call her and put his phone on speaker that he was mistaken in his allegation. That of course put a strain on our relationship, particularly as she had been controlling and always wanted me to be under her, in my home. God has given grace to forgive them because infidelity is a serious issue for me but it still hurts. While his mom was with us, visitors are sprung on me without notice and when am upset that I was not informed beforehand (I have to provide meals for their entertainment!) he hurts me the more by saying he didn't see any need to inform me since they are his mother's visitors. His relatives also stay with us till they can find their feet and when they misbehave, he won't correct them but tells me to keep quiet and not express myself so that they won't make me out to be a bad person. You can imagine when you do household chores all by yourself when others in the home are playing. These are very depressing and mostly I feel better when alone. At a point, he had informed his family that he wanted a divorce or separation from me: I was the last to hear this in the house where we both lived and I heard first from his distant relative who called him to ask if he had discussed the matter with me: the phone was on speaker. I was summoned by his stepsister and told in his presence that I spend my earnings alone. I was outnumbered at that meeting and because I was tired of being told always that I was the problem, I asked what he wanted: I was not comfortable with the idea of joint account because he often says what he owns belong to his extended family and that he is to control me and my resources. I felt that was wrong. The idea of Bible marriage is joint union, not one controlling the other. He eventually didn't keep to the resolve we agreed on at the said family meeting and years later, my hunch proved right as he lied to me about some huge sum ofmoney, his, which he spent on a relative. I confronted him but he embarrassed me sorely before his concerned cousin by shouting at me. From that point, his family think I don't want him to help them which is far from the truth. He owned to lying to me six years later when he raised the infidelity allegations against me: to prove my innocence and to stop him from relinquishing his pastoral call, I had to tell to let us wait and hear from God who doesn't lie. He told the Holy Spirit told him the problem we had was from the lie he told me and that he should confess to me. How do you satisfy need for intimacy when your hubby rebuke and corrects you before his family? He does this in the day time and at night wants intimacy in bed, even without asking why you are unhappy or upset! Mostly, I feel used, abused and unhappy but my son keeps me there. He blames me for not being a team but he makes it difficult to flow in that regard. I take the blame while he refuses to see how he is not helping matters and this stance is not helping our resolution of issues. I bottle up mostly. I sincerely want happiness and fulfillment in this union but I don't understand him at all and I know deep down that am not a bad person, neither is he but these family issues and finance has created a big hole in us, courtesy his views on marriage, particularly leaving and cleaving.
        • christianlovers
          This is a tough situation my sister, I think it is wise to have your own account just in case you have to leave. I think you must start talking about how you are feeling and stop stuffing these things down. He cannot deal with all of this at once but each day try and set aside 30 min to talk with him about one issue that bothered you that day, let him know how you feel, speak the truth in love and suggest some resolution. It would be great to be able to pray at the end of that session. You have a lot of concerns, he cannot handle fixing all of them at once. See if he would go with you to a Christian counselor. Don't worry about what his family thinks about you. Focus on working on your relationship with your husband. Of course keep growing in the Lord, He is the only one who can help you through this, you must also forgive people so your hurt about them does not consume you. Seek healing for your heart, ask the Lord to release resurrection power in your soul and heal all the wounds in your soul. I pray you find peace.
  5. Mary
    Understanding the Mind of a Woman by Ken Nair is a great book. Garden of Peace by Rabbi Shalom Arush. for those marriages who have been in suffering for some time, there is a need for healing -- because there is an underlying anger issue (which is not always manifest with physical mistreatment, but oftentimes with control issues and bitterness towards the wife) so I recommend "Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them" by Dr. Paul Hegstrom (he also wrote Broken Children Grown-up Pain, which deals with the mother-son issues, too)
  6. Michelle Maroney
    I can really relate to this article. I have been trying to explain this to my husband. He has lived (on the same property but in different dwellings) with his parents for most of his life. He has a 20 year old daughter who was 14 when we met. We have been married for 3 1/2 years. His ex was very abusive, verbally and physically to both him and his daughter and after 25 years of marriage, she filed for divorce. I believe some of the "emotinal ties" he had was not only with his mother (and father) but also with his daughter. Him and his daughter shared a special bond because they were each other's saving grace and refuge from his ex. He got the emotional things a man needs from a wife from his daughter, and he got the nuturing and safety from his parents. He is not "leaving and cleaving" and I feel that my only functions are that of a sexual partner, cook and house keeper. I feel like the "other woman" often times is his daughter. Have you heard of this before?
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Michelle: Yes I have heard of this, especially since they had to cling to each other going through that other abusive relationship. I would encourage you as much as possible to sow into your marriage, you need to attend marriage seminars, retreats, purchase books, CD's, the FCLO curriculum would be a great resource for the two of you to go through together. Watch the DVD together and talk about each other's needs. It would be good if you could plan a weekly date night and pray together daily. You must build a relationship with him and connect with him spiritually. Find out what ministry the Lord would have for the two of you to work together. Keep a good relationship with his daughter and parents, be a vessel of love and healing for them. Forgive any bitterness you may have with them. Strengthen your relationship with the LOrd so His peace and healing will keep you. We have other resources at http://www.clarencewalkerministries.com/ I have a book "The Eight Powers of A Woman" It helps you understand the influence you have in your husband's life. Peace...Dr Ja'Ola
  7. Martie
    Thank you for your help in understanding leaving and cleaving. What happens when your daughter-in-law tells you she expected that her husband would be absorbed into her family, who do not like our son, which she says is the norm and then quotes the leave & cleave scripture as the reason why they should spend all holidays and special events with her family only. She also believes my husband and I should not expect to see our grandchildren. She would rather have them in daycare 3 days per week and with her family 2 days per week when our son would prefer they could be with us 1 day per week. Again she quotes leave & cleave. Is this true? She is sort of like a tyrant and treathens divorce if our son questions her motives. She calls me and tells me to never ask to see the kids because it puts my son in the middle. It is not just important for us to see our grandkids it is important for our son - is this wrong?
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Martie; A couple must set boundaries for in-laws on both sides, your son is going to have to insist on balancing time for the grandchildren and for visits between both families. It should be fair. All you can do is make suggestions to him, pray and try to stay positive with her so she doesn't keep your grandchildren away. If he feels bullied he will have to stop being afraid of standing up, he needs some training on understanding his Biblical role as the head of the home. Neither husband or wife should be controlling and manipulating each other. Eph 5: 21 - Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God, it goes on to say that wives submit by honoring authority and husbands submit by loving. The FCLO marriage curriculum has a DVD training that explains the balance of loving and submitting. It would be good training for them. Meanwhile you pray, do not try and build your life around your grandchildren, there are still things that God can do through you to minister to others. There are many children who need someone to love. Sow love in others and you will reap a harvest of love. Peace ... The Walkers
  8. Martie
    Thank you for your help in understanding leaving and cleaving. What happens when your daughter-in-law tells you she expected that her husband would be absorbed into her family, who do not like our son, which she says is the norm and then quotes the leave & cleave scripture as the reason why they should spend all holidays and special events with her family only. She also believes my husband and I should not expect to see our grandchildren. She would rather have them in daycare 3 days per week and with her family 2 days per week when our son would prefer they could be with us 1 day per week. Again she quotes leave & cleave. Is this true? She is sort of like a tyrant and treathens divorce if our son questions her motives. She calls me and tells me to never ask to see the kids because it puts my son in the middle. It is not just important for us to see our grandkids it is important for our son - is this wrong?
  9. salome
    I have been married nine months and am now 5 month's pregnant. I live in a flat in the yard with my in-laws on my wedding day my husband made a speech and said his mother will always come first. I had to cook for his family since day one he built this flat with stove everything but all I can do is dust and clean it I never use the stove pots or anything we bought we share electricity so he doesn't want me to cook here. He won't contribute to anything I buy wether it be his toiletries or cleaning products. If I refuse to iron or cook and we have argument his mom gladly does it for him she would even let him sleep in her house when we argue. He tells her everything about me even the most personal things. He expects me to even wash his mother's hair and dry it for her. I am in tears coz when I speak to him he get's angry I don't know how to put it anymore I have tried all different ways I even begged him on my knees just for us to move but he says I disrespect him they are here to protect him against me but in the same voice he says he loves me. I don't want to divorce that would be wrong coz God instructs us only to divorce if sexual immorality occurred. I feel like I am being punished for something I had done. I never thought marriage would be this way.
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Salome; I am so sorry about the challenges you are having. It will be very difficult for you to bond with your husband until he leaves (emotionally and physically ) his mother. All you can do at this point is to focus on building your relationship with the LOrd. I Peter 3:1, 2 tells us that a husband who is not obeying the Word can be won by the godly lifestyle of the wife. You are going to have to minister God's love and forgiveness. If you can find another godly woman who cares about you who can pray with about your marriage on a weekly basis. There is much power when women come together and pray. Pray that the Lord will break the unhealthyly tie that he has with his mother and that He will give you wisdom. The Lord can give you peace in the midst of your storm, He is your provision, strength and peace. Take your expectations off of the man and put them on the Lord, He is the only one who will never fail you. God Bless... The Walkers
    • Cindy
      Salome: It is not wrong to confront your husband about this issue. You said, he made it clear that his mom is his priority and that is just not acceptable, as a man of God, his new family (you+children) are his new priority and he is in open disobedience before God. I think that you need to set your boundaries as to how much you will put up with the situation. The Lord can certainly give you peace, but it's about growth. And your husband will not grow, years and years can go by and the situation be the same. I don't recommend that you divorce him, but you should definitely confront him about it. Pray and ask God to help you... God will be pleased if you take the road of growth, where you seek also how to grow in this area and how to deal with your mother in law and your husband.
    • Renata
      Salome, God is not against divorce in all circumstances. He understands the times we live in and he knows our hearts; he forgives; he LOVES. Your husband is very disturbed psychologically and needs help. Sometimes you need to get away from a satanic situation in order to be closer to God. You must yes talk to him, pray about it, pray together, pray alone, seek help, seek counseling. If he does not want to change, though, then you must leave. You must protect yourself, you must protect your relationship with God. You must not have children with a man who is that far from God. We are living in very satanic times (if you study the bible with a gospel based church you can see this easily) and God doesn't expect you to be in a relationship with a man who is married to his mother; a relationship that is indeed incestuous even though it may be physically sex-less. With God's power, people can change though, so it all depends on that; on your husband.
      • Renata
        If you make a marriage vow without understanding the bible, and then you refuse to understand the bible, that marriage is not necessarily one under God- so why would divorce be going against God's word?? If the marriage wasn't with God, why would the divorce be against God?
        • christianlovers
          Blessings Renata - I believe there are some Biblical grounds for divorce but this is a very controversial issue in the church. Each person needs to study the scripture, pray and make a decision. I do not believe women need to stay in any relationship that is dangerous to themselves or their children. Even if you don't divorce someone you can love them from a distance. Many women have been counseled to stay and were killed. Peace Dr. JaOla
    • Lana
      I have yet to find an example in the scriptures where a woman was given the right or authority to divorce her husband. I cannot say that they never left their husband, the woman at the well apparently did. Abigail must have had it pretty tuff, but she stood be her man and God blessed her for it. I know this is a very unpopular idea, but if you search the scriptures and stand by what God intended, even when it is not comfortable, popular or easy, then you have fulfilled trust in God and HE will bless you and change your circumstances. I speak this totally from experiences of own for the past 32 years of marriage to the same man as well as being an observer and ponderer of many other situations. MOST people are just too selfish to trust God to work things out according to His will and therefore never reap the rewards in their relationship that they could have. If your spouse has a problem, tell God on him, pray for him, that is the most powerful thing a spouse can do. Jesus promised that what we ask in his name HE WILL DO! Not might, not maybe, not anything else. If something is so important that I feel I need Him to move a mountain, I remind Him of this promise. He has NEVER failed me. Now what you need to know is that my husband came from a broken home that went through infidelity more than once, horrible custody battles, multiple remarriages, deaths, etc. etc. Trust and anger has been a major issue most of our married life. My home had its issues as well. BUT, God is faithful. I have begun a ministry called For Better or Worse simply because I feel called to remind people that a vow of marriage is a vow to God. A vow to God is the most important vow you will make. You will be tested and rewarded on how seriously you vowed. After hearing a sermon a few years ago, I made one of the most important discoveries of my life. I couldn't even begin to tell you anything about that sermon except the concept and picture I walked away with. The discovery is that this is the difference in when I have problems in my life and when I don't. The picture/concept? When Jesus hung on the cross, His blood was shed and it ran down. When I am kneeled at the feet of Jesus at the foot of that cross in humbleness, His blood runs down and covers me. When I raise myself up in pride and look down on anyone else or their situation, I am no longer humbled at His feet and He cannot raise me up. Staying humble rather than prideful prevents a whole lot of problems and embarrassments in my life. And yes, the scriptures that says a wife by her conversation (behaviour, attitude, etc.,) can win her husband? That's another one I have observed and found that the word WILL actually means WILL, not might, not maybe, not anything else. Just a few pointers that were given to me along the way: 1. Always remember: "....and this too, shall pass." 2. An older woman once told me, keep your man happy at home and he won't look somewhere else. 3. Take James 1:5 very seriously: as for it every few minutes as needed. He will give it liberally when asked. Don't be your own God (guide), let him be the light that shines through you, that is what brings glory to Him. 4. A plaque hanging inside the door of the Muddy Pond General Store says: MISERABLE: If you want to be miserable, think about yourself, about what you want, what you like, what respect people ought to pay you and what people think of you. (I looked it up and this is accredited to Charles Kingsley) I think this pretty much sums up the state of mind that most people in an unhappy relationship or situation have. Most every divorce I know of or witnessed had selfishness at the core. Is that harsh or honest? You decide. I live with the results everyday of my life and see the results in the life of some others very close to me. God is the heart doctor, only he can fix a heart that seeks self rather than Him. However, that is the prescription for what ails most relationships. When you turn your face and seek God with your whole heart, which is the first and greatest commandment, YOU WILL SEE GOD MOVE IN YOUR LIFE! So much more I could and would share if time were not an issue. Blessings on all who are troubled, may the all seeing, all knowing God open your eyes to what the real problems are and heal your relationships as He continues to heal mine. Thank you Father above!
    • christianlovers
      It is important to realize when we take marriage vows we are starting a new family unit and our love does not change for our family but our relationship has to change. The two become one flesh, they are connected spiritually, physically, emotionally, financially, and legally. It takes time to work on the relationship, there will be struggles.
  10. Tonya
    My husband and I have been married just a little over a month. During that month we have received 4 invitations from his parents to join together with them and family to do things. My in-laws live over 3 hours away from us, and while I love his family...I find this to be extreme. If I say "no" or attempt to limit our visitation time with my in-laws, my husband becomes defensive saying I must have some animosity towards his family. I find these comments very hurtful as I work very hard at maintaining a loving, healthy relationship with his family. We are newlyweds and I feel these are days of bliss that we will never be able to recapture or relive. While we didn't accept all 4 of the invitations...we fought over all 4 of the invitations because my husband feels an obligation to spend time with his family. For example, my in-laws are throwing a wedding party for us next weekend for family who couldn't make it to the wedding. Since getting married, we have sold a house and moved. Our lives have been extremely hectic and are just now settling down a little bit. Since we just recently spent time with family at the wedding and will be seeing them again over the Thanksgiving holidays...I suggested that next weekend we drive to the in-laws on Sunday for the wedding party. (The party is on Sunday). My husband suggested we go on Saturday and spend our entire weekend with them because we "owe" them that since they have gone through the effort to host this party. This Saturday will be our first free Saturday since getting married and instead of bonding and spending time starting our marriage off...he wants to spend his first free Saturday with his family. If I point out that we just saw them and will be spending 4 days with them over Thanksgiving, he immediately responds with comments stating I have angst and animosity towards his family and always find it necessary to minimize our time with them. We are both christians and I've tried to discuss the importance of changing the relationship with his parents and focusing on our marriage especially since we are newlyweds. He doesn't seem to know how to make the transition and put his wife first without having feelings that he has abandoned his parents. He has even made the remark that he owes his parents for his life. I am having great difficulty displaying patience with my husband since he doesn't seem to understand how critical it is to the success of our marriage to establish healthy boundaries with his parents. How can I better communicate with my husband that this is very hurtful to me and unhealthy to our relationship?
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Tonya: Fighting and arguing about his family is not helping your relationship. I would confirm with him that you love his family and then set some boundaries on your time and compromise. Maybe go with him 2 times and the other two let him know you need down time and he can go alone. Avoid fighting about it, that only gives his family fuel against you. Negotiate some regular time for the two of you, maybe a weekly date night. Of course for wedding parties given you would be wise to go and show gratitude for them doing it.You have to move out of an adversarial mode, move out of the worry and stress mode and start praying about the situation. Ask the Lord to help you two to bond, ask for wisdom to deal with your in-laws so you will know what to say and when to be quiet. We have a good resource that would help you called Inlaws, Outlaws and God-Laws. It is a CD teaching that is available at www.clarencewalkerministries.com Also we cover some of these issues in the For Christian Lovers Only Marriage Curriculum. Strengthen your relationship with the Lord so you can find the peace and contentment in His presence and remember you cannot make your husband change, you can only change your behviour and mindset.
  11. sad no more
    This is the cause of my marriage break down. After 36 years in hell, I have separated from my mama's boy husband. On our wedding day, mother-in-law, told me his son promised not to have any other woman aside from her (sick). Then lied, telling friends, she and her husband has given us hose and lot, great but not a single nail was given to us, then one time, at a church outing, she told my husband not to bring anything except "rice". In front of her three friends, with a smirk, asked loudly, "What re you going to eat with the rice?" I told my husband and all he said, "She is just joking." Then another time, came to our house and asking why I was keeping a distance and when told about her lies and slanders, would slap me on the face. She only stopped because I grabbed a pair of scissors and told her to go ahead and she'd be dead. Husband, just standing there like an idiot. I thought when the mother dies, he'd be better. Nope, she died last December, husband has replaced the mother in accusing me (with no basis, at all) of being covetous, greedy, He is miserable, probably blaming me for taking him or his time away from his mother. But threatening to punch me on the face, just like his mother, was the last straw. Mama's boys are husbands from hell.
  12. Amber
    My boyfriend of three years is 26 years old and still lives with his parents. He has no desire to marry and his mother has no desire for him to leave the household. She does everything for him, and clearly does not like it if I try to fill the role of caretaker for him in anyway. What advice do you have? I've shared these verses with my boyfriend prior to reading this, but his response was "I am not married". How will he ever become prepared for marriage when his mother continues to enable him to be "mommy's little boy"? Help!
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Amber: If he is getting all of his needs met he will probably not get married. Everyone around him is enabling him to be a kid. Not saying you are but if you are supplying his sexual need and mom is doing everything else there is no reason for him to leave. Unless you want to keep things as they are, if you want to get married he doesn't sound like he has the same desire. You must decide how long you want to be in this kind of relationship.
  13. jepense
    In today's world technology is rampant in everyday life. People can remain better connected with just the tap of a few buttons. My purpose isn't to shoot down technology, as I am obviously using it and it definitely has its uses, but to ask people's opinions about its use and how it might encourage cleaving to parents. In my situation my spouse is a texting addict who sees nothing wrong with including the mother on a list of frequently texted, which means multiple times a day. In my opinion it doesn't encourage separation or independence when done on such a frequent basis . I want to keep an open mind but just see this a tool that is preventing leave and cleave in our marriage, or am I just out of touch with the times?
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Jepense: The key is do you feel like you are getting enough quality time with your spouse and you are both working on building your relationship. As long as you are setting up consistent time and meeting each others needs, frequent texts shouldn't be a problem. Of couse any good thing in excess is a problem. It depends on what they are texting about. If they are just sharing where they are, what they are doing that is different from the mother directing them about all their life decisions. If it bothers you, you need to set up a time to talk about it.
  14. Charck
    Aside from being doused in legalism this makes sense, I just hope people can take away the message and leave behind the law aspects hidden in the sidebars.
  15. Annah
    your article on leaving to cleave is simply amazing.my husband and i share the same views based on God's word but my mum has serious issues with that.she insists that herself,my dad and my sibling must come first since my hubnd is the outsider. A younger sibling of mine was becoming a causing some strain betww my husband and i but my mum insists i put my sibling first and let her continue staying in my house. What do i do cause she seems to take me on a guilt trip by saying must honour my parents according to God's word
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Annah, You are supposed to honor your parents and as a child you obey them but as an adult the Word tells you that your husband must cleave to you and the two of you become one flesh. You are one with your husband, you started a new family. How can a part of you be an outsider. You will always honor your mother but that includes speaking the truth in love and setting boundaries. You don't bring anyone into your house that will stress your marriage. You need to send her out of your house. You will need to get the strength you need to put your foot down, give your sister a time deadline to move out. Tell mom you love and respect her but your husband comes first. She does not have and understanding of the marriage in the Word. She will get angry but you remain calm and loving but stick to what the Word says.
  16. Sah
    I read your article and it brought me tears. My MIL moved in with us when I got pregnant and we had been married less than 2years, to help out with the baby. We are now headed to year 7 and I resent her very presence. He constantly spends more time with her (they are smokers) and when I ask for "our" time, he says I am nagging. I believe she knows what she is doing and has no plans to leave anytime soon. I know the issue is more with him than with his mom, they just make me feel like an outsider. I don't believe in divorce other than what God says but I have been praying about this for over 5 years now. Please pray that I can continue to wait on the Lord as HE grows my husband.
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Sah; I want to repeat some of the things I said to another person: The reality is you cannot change him. You have also set up a pursuer/ distancer pattern where you run after him and he distances himself from you. The only thing you can do is to change your behavior and mindset. Instead of sitting and waiting for his time and attention find some new interests, find God’s plan for your life – get involved in ministry, get some new hobbies etc. Another way to say it is ‘get a life’. When he realizes that you are no longer pursuing him he will look around to see where you are. You will have to forgive your mother in law, release your resentment and bitterness and move out of nag mode. See if you can invite him to some fun couple time, dress up pretty and invite him out. This way you can create some positive fun, loving memories. If not find some godly women that you can go places with so you can get out of that environment. It makes it extra difficult because she is living with you. Strengthen your relationship with the Lord, there is a deep place in your heart that only God can fill, much of the emotional need that your husband is not meeting will not be so rough if you are learning how to get your spiritual needs met in the presence of the Lord. Love yourself, take care of your, feel good about you and live your life. Share with him what he will let you share. Find another sister in Christ who can be your prayer partner and pray about the relationship weekly.
  17. Rachie
    I myself have been married for nine months and we lived on our own, however my husband spends the entire day when he is not at work at his parents house. He leaves early in the morning, sometimes before i get out of bed and returns late in the afternoon. Recently his mom passed away and he took time off from work and spends everyday at his parents home. I asked him to come home earlier, so that i don not have to be alone when i get home from work. he thinks that i am being unreasonable. I feel terrible for his loss, but i feel like we are not a family and his parents and siblings are more important to him than me. He also has a son that lives nearby his parents, so he uses him as an excuse for always being there as well, plus when we are together his son's mom is always callng. I have been very unhappy and lonely. i do not know what to do.
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Rachie: It does sound like your husband has not made the seperation from his family that is healthy for marriage. The reality is you cannot change him. You have also set up a pursuer/ distancer pattern where you run after him and he distances himself from you. The only thing you can do is to change your behavior and mindset. Instead of sitting and waiting for him to come home find some new interests, find God's plan for your life - get involved in ministry, get some new hobbies etc. Another way to say it is 'get a life'. When he realizes that you are no longer pursuing him he will look around to see where you are. Try to set some specific weekly couple time like a date night that he agrees to in advance. This way you can create some positive fun, loving memories. Strengthen your relationship with the Lord, there is a deep place in your heart that only God can fill, much of the emotional need that your husband is not meeting will not be so rough if you are learning how to get your spiritual needs met in the presence of the Lord. Love yourself, take care of your, feel good about you and live your life. Share with him what he will let you share. Maybe also work on developing a better relationship with his family and son as well.
    • christianlovers
      Blessing Rachie; You have a lot to deal with, he is still too connected to his family and you have a child and his mother to deal with, that's another issue. You cannot nag or force him to make time for you, it will only push him farther away. I suggest you make a life for yourself. work on strengthening your relationship with the Lord, get involved in ministry at your church, find something you are passionate about. Reach out and show love to others and you will reap love. Go back to school, learn a new skill, spend time with friends but also set up some specific time with your husband, like a date night to keep your connection. See if you can pray together daily. Look for marriage retreats and workshops to attend. See if he is willing to go to a marriage counselor, you need an environment when you can share your feelings with him. My book - The Eight Powers of A Woman" would be a helpful resource. (On Amazon) It will help you learn how to use your influence on the men in your life in a positive way. Peace Dr JaOla Walker
  18. AL
    This has been a blessing to me. I am 33 years old and I am getting married in July! My mother is having a hard time letting go and it has affected our relationship as well as the relationship with her and her future daughter in law. M father left at an early age so it was just her and I for years and I think she is having trouble with the transition. My mother is a Born again Christian, church leader and knows her word but when I try to do things with my intended that don't include her or if I opt to spend time with my intended and not mother it makes a great strain and she accuses my lady of trying to come between my mother and I and questions my loyalty as a son. When I give her the scripture in genesis my mother states that she understands that but she says that the young lady is not my wife yet and she does not have to relinquish her spot as first lady until the day we are married but I don't think it will all magically change on that one day. So my question is does the leaving and cleaving start at engagement or not until the marriage takes place. I pray you please respond. Thank you.
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Al; I agree with you, your mother needs to start making the transition in her mind and heart. She should realize that she is not losing you but the relationship has to change. She is also gaining a daughter if she can work on having a good relationship with her. You soon to be wife will be more that the first lady. She will be one with you in God's eyes. You will have to be the one to lovingly set boundaries for your mother and not get drawn into her accusations. Make time for mom but let her know your wife will be your priority. It will help if she begins to fill her life with ministry and helping others, sharing her love with so many around her. She can no longer make you the center of her world. That spot was meant for God anyway.
  19. Theo
    This article is a great vision into the scripture. I have a (soon to be) wife (June 1st) that I cannot wait to marry. My Mother, Father and Sister have gotten in the way of our happiness time and time again to the seeming point of no return. My parents and sister have not let go of my ex girlfriend and nor have they been respectful toward my new relationship and our child (1 years old). Over the last year I have continually damaged the relationship with my fiance by allowing them to act disrespectfully towards her and our child. I had a continued desire to help make things right because I know my mother and father are good-willed people, but very lost. This has cost me dearly because now my fiance has her deepest need of feeling protected permanently violated. I could never seem to pick up on the depth of the slight comments they would make that cut her deeply. If I did hear them I didn't react strongly to cause her to have faith in my desire to lead our family. It has gotten to the point of me removing them from my life so I may focus on cleaving with my fiance and our new family. The problems I face today is that regardless of their removal she still feels like she was never protected and them being gone only leaves the looming day of their return for this to all happen again. I desperately want to move on and better our relationship in other areas but she is hurt so bad by the track record I have for protecting her and sticking up for our family. It is a continued stress in our relationship and on occasion causes us to questions the future of our relationship. We had been to a counselor which only proved to not help. The continued problems of going over issues only allows dead issues to resurface. We are now going through a marriage encouragement class with our church based on the Love and Respect ministries from Dr. Emerson. This is a truly great class to help the general relationship struggles but doesn't appeal to our unique issues. If you have any insight or thoughts I would greatly appreciate it. Best, Theo
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Theo; I applaud you making the effort to protect your wife to be, all you can do is apologize for not understanding and picking up on how much they were hurting herearlier. Maybe you can come up with a signal agreed upon between the two of you when she wants you to step in and protect her. Some attacks are obvious but others are based upon her and where she is sensitive. Suggested signal- she would walk up to you and look you in the eyes and grab your hand, this would signal to you that she is feeling attacked and you would step in, verbally, physically by stepping between her and others and if necessary remove her from the situation. She is going to have to forgive you for the past and come up with a clear, specific plan. Find out what she wants you to do in situations. She cannot just say " if he loves me he should know what I want" Women have to be clear, specific and make sure their partner understands the message she is sending. Talk about it and work together to rebuild trust. Praying together daily will go a long way to help heal. The communication training in our curriculum, For Christian Lovers Only would help you a lot. Peace Dr Ja
  20. Chrissy
    Hello, I'm not married however I am engaged to a mama's boy. And I'm pretty sure and worried that this attitude will continue after marriage. The thing is, his mom does everything for him. If he doesn't feel to eat she feeds him, sometimes bathe him, never and I mean never allows him to do house chores and she picks up after him with everything (shoes, clothes, his personal items, etc.). Another issue is, his mother intervenes in every problem we have because he tells her everything. Even some confidential things which I have shared with him, he told her. It is not only hurtful but embarrassing. Also, when she intervenes, she always puts it in a way to make me look like the one who is wrong. He is being called to become a Preacher. He flirts, lies, swears, use indecent language when speaking to me, etc and his mother says to me that I need to stop taking him on and brush these things off. She says I can't be crying because it affects my spiritual life and that after baptism I can't be crying. Another problem, he wants to live there after marriage. And honestly, I do not. His mother and father fights a lot sometimes and he thinks he needs to be there for his mom and argue with his dad. Because his mom cries a lot. I care about her but I don't appreciate what she does to the relationship and what my Fianc
    • Laura
      Chrissy, Honestly, I don't think you should marry this man. At least not yet... he obviously feels responsible to protect his mother, and it doesn't look like he is ready to cleave to you. You also mention that he flirts with other women, he lies, and swears, and disrespects you. This too, should be a huge red flag that he is not ready for marriage, and you need to ask yourself, if this is the kind of man you want to marry. I still think you can do certain things to see if you can encourage him to make some changes, and that is to let him know that you are not going to marry him and that you will end the relationship until he is ready to be respectful of your feelings and ready to "leave his family and cleave to a wife". It is really frustrating that many men get married and treat their wives as outsiders. I really don't understand, it is as if they just marry so the wife can meet his sexual needs and that's all. It just seems to me as an excuse of his to cling to his mother, you know? That he needs to stay home to "argue" with his dad because his mom cries a lot? If he wants to live for his mom, that's fine, but don't let him drag you along with him by marrying him!
  21. Anonymous
    I read Leaving, Cleaving and Becoming One and for the most part I understand it but..... What if your wife places drugs above all else? My brothers wife has been an addict since she was 14. They dated for a while and split up. During that time my brother married someone else (who was also addicted to drugs). After a few years of marriage, one stint in rehab (for her) and a dwindling savings account my brother filed for divorce. In comes the current wife and former girlfriend. She manipulates her way back in to my brothers home saying she and her child have no where else to go. She told him she would only be there a short time. Well, a short time and turned into 2 years and a marriage. Prior to them getting married she was on her best behavior, showing no signs of drug use and doing all the things a wife and mother should do for their husband and child. After they got married the façade was gone. She had gotten what she wanted so there was no need to pretend anymore. Needless to say she got pregnant (while on methadone) and had a beautiful baby boy that was born addicted to methadone. Soon after Jase's birth she began to smoke meth. My brother caught on to the fact but thought that it was ok because she wasn't "doing it all the time or lying about it". It was not OK!! 9 months and 10 days later Jase was killed in a car accident with his mother driving. There was meth found in the car but not by the police by my brother, mom and myself while we were getting her things from the car. The police believed her story that she ran over the road and over corrected so she again escaped punishment. The truth is she was speeding and texting a drug deal with her mom at the time of the accident. She spent a few days in the hospital and we buried my brothers 9 month old son. During this time she kept quoting the versus that a man should cleave to his wife. He made her leave for a while and agreed to let her come back if she got off methadone so she went to a 7 day detox and BAM she was cured. She immediately starting abusing opiates and is now addicted worse than ever. She is also pregnant with her 4th child. She has one son from a previous relationship, then Jase (who died), then an abortion and now this baby. This baby is also going to be born addicted to drugs. She is still smoking meth and has pawned everything she could pawn to buy drugs. She sleeps all day/night if she can't get high. My mom has to go over there to make sure my brother gets dinner everyday. She is no way a wife or a mother and in my opinion doesn't deserve to be either. My brother is a hardworking man that works 60 hours a week to provide a nice life for himself and his dwindling family. She doesn't have to work but I think she needs to. My brother is nearing financial ruin because of her. He is depressed over the death of his son and she stays high all the time. She is a master manipulator and con artist. She only thinks about herself. Her 1st child and husband both sit on the backburner. The only time she cooks for her husband is when she needs something from him like money or something material like a new purse or shoes. I know marriage is supposed to be for better or worse but there has got to be a point, when you have given it your all, that you call it quits. How can you cleave to someone that has no respect for you? I just don't understand and I am so so tired of her throwing up this one verse from the Bible when she doesn't even go to church. I am by no means judging only being honest with how I feel. Please help me understand some of this. My brother is in dire need of prayers and advise!!
    • Laura
      This must be a terrible situation for everybody... wow! And your mom must be really concerned, however, I think it's not healthy that she feels the need to cook for him dinner every day and bring it to him. That doesn't allow your brother to grow, to mature and become a stronger man. He remains married to this person regardless of how destructive she is, and continues to bear children with her. Your brother made the decision to marry this woman and stay with her and have children with her. So in my opinion, bringing him dinner every night is enabling him to continue in a state of immaturity, and is not helping him at all to become the kind of man who will put an end to all the nonsense his wife is doing to him and their marriage.
  22. William
    I have a question. I understand why the bible tells a husband to leave and cleave, but what are these aspects when it comes the wife. I take care of my home very well by the grace of GOD but she is so intertwined with her family that it affects us sometimes. She has went through a horrible marriage before, could that weigh in also?
    • christianlovers
      Blessings William; It is also important that a wife does not pull her family into the relationship, her family system sounds like they are "emeshed' or overly involved. The problem with pulling them in and telling them everything is after she gets over it, and you kiss and make up they will still be angry or have a bad attitude about something said and done. They will not be objective, they are not hearing both sides so families rarely give fair, objective counsel. If she is easily influenced by a negative family member they can encourage bad behavior It is much better to talk to the Lord about your marital issues and if necessary a older spiritual woman she respects or a counselor. Talk to her about your concerns.
  23. obedient wife
    My husband decides we were going to move in with his parents until the Lord provides a place for us to stay. Is this biblical? Is God going to honor my husband when he is technically out of the word?
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Obedient wife; It does make it more difficult to cleave. The ideal situation would have been for you two to talk about your budget and schedule and wait until you were ready and in agreement as to where you would live before you married. But it is most important that he leave mentally and emotionally. If he is able to set boundaries and not pull his family into your relationship that will help but unless you have a real good relationship with your in-laws it will probably be a bit uncomfortable for you. I think it is also important that you two really communicate before decisions are made so he really understands your perspective. He is the head but you are called the helpmeet who gives him the help he needs. He needs your ideas, prayers, thoughts, wisdom, creativity and knowledge to make a good decision. If you can't come to agreement that's where the submission and a lot of prayer comes in.
      • Josi
        I believe your article might be confusing and damaging to the fiber/core and very essence and beauty of the family unit as we've known it to be and as we know it in our current modern day. In ancient days, tribes were families, they all cohabited! It was critical to there survival. Modern day, we are so absorbed with self and that is what is causing the breakdown of family and society as we know/known it. Do you recall a tv program known as "The Waltons"....this family all lived, co-inhabited, worked and thrived in one dwelling. All having one mind, one accord...to love and serve one another. At worst, your article is harmful, contradictory and divisive. I do not believe it's entirely sound Biblically. At best, it describes the formation of Man and God's design on marriage...but the bible does not say cut off your family. The bible is all about unity and family and if done correctly, teaches us how to sacrificially serve and love one another as Christ loved the church, his bride...and through Him, how we should perform as one mind one body one spirit. I think you are teaching division and are leaving an awful lot out on how families should operate. Consider another Depression/Holocaust? That's what I love about the Jewish people, they are a clannish kind and they have always taken care of their own. We could learn something very important/special from that.
        • christianlovers
          Greetings Josi - There is the original plan of God, what He wants for us, the best way and then there is culture, tradition and what we come up with. Those ancient tribal families also had multiple wives and women were treated as property. God originally planned for one man and one woman but once sin entered into the world lots of things changed. I believe in the unity of the family and working together, I think the scripture addresses a man maturing and being able to pray and make plans with his wife for their family and future without being pulled in the opposite direction by his parents. If he is ready for marriage he has to be ready to be the head of his family, they should still maintain strong relationships with both families but in order to create a new one from the two families they must set some boundaries. Sometimes there are pressing financial issues that require families to live together, if they communicate and work together they can get through it but it will put extra stress on the relationship. The couple will have to function as visiting and abide by the rules of the house which is fine for short periods of time.
  24. john martin
    my wife has gives our food money to her mother who then gives it to her junkie grandson to buy drugs . i get angry and raise my voice when she won,t stop. wife wants to marry a rich doctor now who will put up with this nonsinse. The dr, is still married!!!!
    • christianlovers
      Blessings John; You have some serious marriage issues. Sounds like a lack of commitment and love. If she wants to marry someone else she doesn't love you and your relationship will not work if she was just looking money.
  25. Cher
    This article is great! My husband and I is married for 11 years and we have been together for 14 years total. We have four beautiful kids together. For a long time, since we got married, my mother-in-law wouldn't let go of her son, my husband. He still had to go to her house and help with her bills, help with maintenance on her house, maintenance on her car and he have to discipline and financially care for her kids (his little brother and sister) cause their daddies wasn't there for them. I told him it was too much to handle and he have to set a boundary with her. But all he said was he had to be there because she was a single mother. But most of the time, I felt like I was a single mother also, for him not being there for me and his children. She was leaning on him for everything and that had put a strain on our marriage. At one point, I couldn't take it any more and almost left him because of her. Don't get me wrong. He is truly a wonderful husband and son but he was trying to take care of two households knowing he couldn't do it financially, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Even now, till this day, she still leans on him to take care of her needs knowing that her son and daughter is now adults and still lives in her home with jobs. Also my husband and his mom got into an argument and she told him she thinks I'm jealous of her and his mother and son relationship. My husband has been trying to back away from it but when she can't get her way with him, she tends to throw things in his face and cause a argument. We are so fed up with it and want to move away from her but we know that isn't the answer. What can we do to make her understand that we or her son can't be there like how she wants it and if she doesn't understands and she still complains and argue, then what we can do for us to help our marriage about his mom?
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Cher; Many times single parent mothers will put their older sons in a substitute husband role, It sounds like he has been in the role of an emotional husband for a while. Encourage him to gradually set boundaries and slowly increase them to help her make the adjustment. For example he can say Mom please do not call me after 10:00pm or don't call me on Friday evenings that is my time with my wife. When she calls at that time he should not answer the phone. Her other children should also step up to help her since they live in her house. Make a scheduled time for him to spend with you and his children and he should stick to it. He has to make up his mind to set and defend the boundary. Let him deal with his mother you pray for and support him.
  26. Bralyn
    I am not married, but I have a child with a man. I am with this man still, and we were supposed to be married a year ago when I was carrying our daughter, but he said he didn't want to. He was raised extremely rough. He was starved, and abused by his mother who was on drugs, and drank, and his dad always tried to do his best working to try and provide but he didn't do much in the role of a "daddy." My fiancee always keeps his distance with me, he won't communicate with me, and I'm honestly wondering why he's even with me. At one point, I caught him talking to other women online, but he absolutely quit once I left him, and proved it so I took him back. I'm worried his past with his parents is going to affect our relationship and our future marriage. I keep trying to grow in my relationship with God, and keep praying but I feel like it isn't enough to help him. What else should I do?
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Bralyn; His troubled past will definitely affect his relationships with you and his child. He has to develop his own relationship with God and see that he needs healing. You also need counseling to determine why you would be with such a wounded person, you may be co-dependent. Continue to pray for him, the Lord is able to heal any emotional healing but he has to seek the Lord for himself.
  27. Nicole
    My husband refused to leave his mother's side and when I told him I was moving out of his parent's house, he divorced me. That was over 3 years ago. He is still living with his parents. I have a strong desire to be married and have a family, yet still feel bound by my vows to this man. When I read the word of God, I can plainly see that marriage is permanent institution, only broken through death. My ex-husband has made it plain to me that he does not want me in his life, and I have agreed to no longer attempt to make contact with him. If he has so plainly sent me away, am I freed of my vows to him? I know that if I would have stayed living with his parents we would probably still be together, which only adds guilt to my already mixed emotions. But I fear if I would have stayed, I would still be so unhappy living with his parents...
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Nicole; Your husband divorced you and wants nothing else to do with you so it is out of your hands. If you believe you have sinned the blood of Jesus is more powerful than any sin. Ask and receive God's cleansing and forgiveness and then walk in freedom. Go ahead and live your life, focus on what the Lord has for you to do. Peace Pastor Ja
  28. liz7777
    Wow. My marriage ended because of my mother and father in law. In fact my ex husband left me to BE with his parents. They were millionaires who controlled his life, picked his college, picked his major, demanded he worked for the family business etc. They destroyed his first marriage by interfering and violating all the proper boundaries he FAILED to establish so his first wife found another man and left him. I married him and he promised he would not let his parents interfere like they did with his first marriage. It was a lie. I was very angry with him for allowing them to abuse me verbally and emotionally and I was furious that he refused to stand up for me. Now I realize that he had no capability to stand up for himself. He was literally brainwashed from their control his whole life. They manipulated him and mentally tormented him into divorcing me when I was pregnant with our daughter. She is 17 and has only seen him 2 times in her entire life. It is such a tragic situation. He is not happy, he's gained close to 200 pounds since our divorce. His mother is dead now and so is his sister who told him to leave me. His father is sick with alzheimers and now he is living on his own for the first time in his life without his sick parents being involved in everything he does. I still have much anger towards them for destroying my marriage and destroying his life. He was so enmeshed with them it was sickening! I have forgiven him though and since seeing him about a month ago, I have begun to wonder if it's possible to reconcile now that his controlling parents are not there anymore to interfere. The problem is that he is mentally still bonded to them. Every time he attempted to get away from them they began to use psychological warfare on him. And they were very good at it having controlled him his entire life. He needs God to come into his life in a powerful way and either save him or cause him to repent and turn to God. I am praying for him to turn around every single day. Even though his mother is dead, he is STILL bonded to her! And he hates me cause of all the poisonous lies she told him about me and he believed all of them. We have been divorced 17 years. I know this is an impossible situation but I was wondering if you think it's possible for a man like this who is the most sickening extreme of mama's boy AND daddy's boy to ever change and turn back. His parents were so sick they gave him a free condo to live in for 16 years while I struggled to keep a roof over our daughter's head! His father even bailed him out of jail for non payment of child support and hired him an attorney, all so he could go to court and AVOID taking responsibility for his own daughter! While his father was taking care of him! And he was 40 when we split up, he is 58 now. So this man has been taken care of by his parents his entire life! It seems so insane cause it really is! But God could work in his life and change him right? That's what I've been praying for. But everything you said in the article is 100% true. A man will NEVER bond with his wife and only see her as a disposable commodity UNLESS he breaks ties with his parents. I did feel used cause I knew I was NEVER first in his life. His mother, his father, his children from his first marriage, ALL those people came first and I was absolutely LAST! I reminded him regularly that nobody was intimate with him except for me. But that didn't matter to him. I was still LAST on his list of important people. I was pregnant when he walked out on me and when I had the baby all alone, he came to the hospital the day she was born and said he was still divorcing me. Not even seeing our sweet little baby girl changed his mind! In fact, he was WORRIED ABOUT HIS MOTHER!!! The day I was in the hospital having our daughter all by myself, he was worried about his mother who was all upset cause she was having her 8th grandchild and she wasn't going to ever see the baby since he was divorcing me which is what she and his father told him to do! So even the very day I give birth to HIS CHILD, he is comforting HIS MOTHER! And worried about how SHE is feeling! Lord have mercy! And he recently told a mutual friend that he would consider reconciling with me IF I REPENT! This man is so pitiful! He needs prayers desperately for deliverance and reality to seep into his mind! I said lots of things in anger cause of how he and his family treated me and I was wrong to do so. But for him to think he needs no repentance after what he put me and our daughter through? Lord, have mercy! I have forgiven him and I am really praying for his life to turn around. BUT I also know he has a very hard heart and he has been lied to by his parents all his life and now he lies to himself that they are a 'normal' family and he just picked 'loser' wives. Please answer when you read my email! Thank you and God bless.
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Liz: It is most important that you release and forgive this man and move on with your life. In the same way he is still connected to dead parents who are still controlling him don't let your ex-husband control you by you focusing on his craziness. He will probably not change. Realize he is in bondage, it is all he has even known. You can be free, you seem stuck in the past, you have been divorced for a long time and your daughter will soon be grown. Focus on what God wants you to do with your life, you have a beautiful daughter, what is your calling, your ministry, business. Get focused on something else, pray for him and move on. God bless Dr JaOla
  29. Jessica
    Hello, I'm in need of help. My mother in law is a narcissist and pretends to be a very christian woman, yet her actions towards me show other wise. My husband and I have separated ourselves from her completely and well now he resents me for this. I'm stick in a place where I don't want him made at me, but I also don't want to be around her and certainly don't want my daughter around her to potentially brain wash her like she did with him. I know this causes him pain and I feel for him very much, but it's like he forgets all the wrong doings she has done to me and us. She had never said sorry for these wrong doings and puts him in the middle of it knowing he can't stand up for himself or us very well against her. My question is: Is there a book to help with this for me?
    • christianlovers
      Hello Jessica: I think you should leave it to your husband about spending time with his mother, you can choose not to spend time or take your child around but you need to not be operating out of bitterness. You should be able to send nice cards, note, even have a phone conversation with her to see if she is all right. You can set boundaries but you should still be operating in God's love. It is also sad that you child does not get any time with her. Maybe you could all try to bring some healing to your relationship.
  30. CS
    How does the leave and cleave principal apply to remarriages? My marriage REALLY struggles with my husband seeming to have more of a desire to keep the peace than honor the fact that unnecessary communication hurts me. He then throws at me that he's just "doing what God calls him to do" in being nice to her. My question is, where is that line? I feel as though he's also called to honor me before anyone else ("leave and cleave"). I'm not talking in a psycho you can't even breathe her name kind of situation here. She's just very manipulative and I don't trust her motives, or his boundary protection. Thoughts?
    • christianlovers
      Greetings Courtney; I encourage you to focus on building your relationship with your husband, do not make it a competition, it is ok for him to be nice to his mother. Think about how you can build your communication, encourage him , pray for him. Meet his need to be respected, listen to his heart and dreams. Speak positive things in his life. Spend quality consistent time with each other. Be kind to your mother in law, cover your marriage in prayer.
  31. Josi
    @Charck-----After reading/studying and given much thought to this discussion, I must side with Charck in calling out a tinge of legalism. Yes, Leave and Cleave is a very important event and season within a newlywed couples bonding experience, BUT! we serve a God who is relational and with that said, my take-away from this point of extremism is simply this.....BALANCE and keeping in mind the Love Chapter. If most families would just adhere to simple commandments and obedience God has put in place and has commanded us to follow, we would have more loving families then broken ones. Everyone has opinions about everything biblical, that's fine, but we must adhere to the facts and concentrate on those while moving beyond our bitterness and resentments. For example, just this year I had planned to spend Christmas with my daughters family about 4 hours away. A quick synopsis, I, having had numerous blows already even bf Thanksgiving had ended, was determined to keep an open mind and loving attitude, regardless of my negative experiences with a long-standing childhood friend...still I forgave and chose to love this person despite the pain this person had caused me. I live alone, Health is not that good and money is always a challenge while living on a fixed income, also-I suffer from a malady of physical challenges including NHL. But, even in all this, I was still willing to go to Tara's house (daughter) and serve them, fellowship with them and love them, just as I had always done. I was looking forward to a wonderful Christmas fellowship with my extended daughter's family. Unbeknown to me, I arrive, spend a week of utter hell and chaos like I've never seen bf. I knew Tara had been having difficulties with Mark (SIL) for years in their marriage and I knew better no to become entwined with any of it, however, I had listened attentively to numerous complaints about Mark's ungodly, immature behavior. Clearly, he was not leading his family in the ways of the Lord, and it grossly showed. So Tara open's up to me and I in turn, give her sound wise biblical counsel. On the Sunday evening before I decided I should cut my visit short, I discovered just how abusive this Man had been to my daughter. I had to sit there and watch Him make her cry. I had to take it. Do you know how utterly difficult that is? My shock turned to anger after a remark came flying in my direction. I was stunned as I am the type of parent who never became involved but merely would give wise counsel/advise if Tara should take me in that direction, which she did. I'd been telling her for years to seek Godly counsel to no avail...The scene Sunday evening was like tension in the air you could cut with a knife. I in the living room, Tara in the Kitchen, Mark in the Bedroom, I literally felt in the middle...very awkward very volital. I asked and prayed Lord, what is it you would have me to do? He clearly guided me to leave. So I left the next morning. For me, it was very deflating as I only desired to be with my grandchildren and see their beautiful faces light up Christmas morning after envisioning what my daughter described we would plan to do as a family. Come to find, Mark had no interest in participating or engaging. He decided He didn't believe in all this and made comments that your Mother is not my Mother so I am not obligated to any family traditions. I was dumbfounded and hit blind-sided. My efforts and sacrifices were futile and then later I came to learn that my only reason for them wanting me there was to conveniently over my babysitting services while they shuttled off to Florida for a wedding they had been planning. I also went to help my daughter with her up and coming surgery that got cancelled due to lack of Tricare's approval. How used and abused I felt. My point is there are so many of us who are clinging to our selfishness and self-centered ways who sadly, are so clouded and veiled by a "what can u do for me" attitude that they don't see what others might have to go thru or struggle with to please the one's they love. I had always been on the back burner since Tara married Mark and that I learned to accept and adjust to and I still loved and served as best I can with the Lords guidance and help anyway. I understood "Leave and Cleave" after battling for 7 years of my one and only marriage to a Man who was the biggest Momma's boy there ever was. But here I am, in the dog house for standing on what I believe is truth. Love and Truth are threatening and constructive critical love most can't swallow. Tara was understanding my biblical input until Mark persuaded her I was foolish. Not my words, Gods...this is where Tara is confused and wandering aimless bc she does not know what God's word say's so she takes Mark's word for most anything. Boundaries are vital in any relationship. I would encourage anyone reading this to get extensive counseling and even role play bf they commit to any marriage vows. My motto is "If you can't handle me at my worst, you sure don't deserve me at my best". There are so many examples i the bible about how families ought to treat one another. Problem is, nobody is reading His word any-longer or seeking God for guidance and discernment. So what ends up happening? We make major life choices and decisions that land us in a real mess bc we didn't trust Him first to choose it for us!! Consider the story of Hosea and Gomer or how Joseph loved his brothers who tried to kill him and eventually ended up selling him into slavery to shut him up...So to sum it up, God can take what was meant for harm and turn it for good but isn't it so much easier if we rely on him for our choices in life. Life would be so much more peaceful and fulfilling. God knows us better then we know ourselves. I would say that is a legitimate and critical point I am making here. To trust in Him. Just as I will even in my sorrow this Christmas. God had a reason for this happening. I regret I will be alone this Christmas, but I believe God has a bigger plan in store. God say's return to me and I will return to you! Blessing's to all this Merry Christmas!
    • christianlovers
      I totally believe in balance. I had a great relationship with my family and my in-laws, both mothers were potentially very controlling, by setting boundaries we were able to work together, they helped us tremendously in many ways, we helped them, we prayed together as families, visited and even lived with my husband's parents for a brief period of time. Setting boundaries does not take you away from your family it just makes new ground rules of respect that assist you to have a new relationship. The parents move into a counsel and consultation role and respect that their children are adults and must make their own decisions. It hurts to watch your children make bad decisions, you can advise, encourage and most of pray and trust that God will work everything together for their good.
  32. Kara
    How does this pertain advice pertain to dating? As the role of a girlfriend, is it okay for your potential mother in law to be overbearing and do everything for her son? Or should I expect different or want differently?
    • christianlovers
      Greetings Kara; You need to pay attention to how the potential boyfriend relates to his parents, is it a healthy, loving, respectful relationship but not overly dependent. How does he make his decisions, who does he consult, can he make an independent decision. Does he have goals, a plan? Dating gives you a great chance to talk, observe and pray before you get your heart all wrapped up. Use your head before your heart blinds you.
    • christianlovers
      Ok, you have a right to your opinion. I think it goes beyond physically leaving. You can leave them physically and still be controlled by them and in the same way some folk are able to stay with their parents and set clear boundaries.It is difficult to start your own life when there are two women in the same house, sometimes there are financial reasons that families must stay together but you must really communicate with all parties involved sometimes it can work for a short period of time but it will put extra pressure on the relationship.
  33. sadwife
    Hello, How do I get my husband to read this article without becoming angry? I've never met someone so controlled by their mother. He doesn't believe that she has any power over him but he believes and agrees with everything she says. I know i'm not perfect but I didn't get married to compete with his mother. I want my husband to confide in me and lean on me....not his mother. I told his mother that I know she is his mom but i'm his wife and the bible says that he has to put my needs before everyone else. She replied that I was being prideful and that she has been in his life longer than me and that him putting me first was not going to happen overnight and he agreed with her....:-( I'm so confused, upset, and disappointed. I love my husband and I've been praying for God to make the changes in me that are necessary to make my husband see me as a help mate. I sadly want out of my marriage more and more everyday. I feel useless.
    • christianlovers
      Blessings sadwife; I am sorry about the challenges you are having, there is not a lot you can do except try and stay out of situations where you are competing with your mother in law. You cannot set boundaries for your husband, you cannot change his relationship with his mother especially since he doesn't see a problem. Create a life for yourself that is not built around your husband, it may not be the life you dreamed of but you can co-exist, you will have to change your expectations and continue to pray that he will see the light. If you weren't married you would have to find a purpose a, destiny, your ministry and calling, why God put you here apart from being a wife. Find that and live your life.
  34. sadwife
    I forgot to mention...I am 100% supportive of him visiting and spending time with his family and I would even like to be included but his mother is very controlling which makes me want to stay away. I still speak to her when I see her. I still encourage him to see his family. However, he tells his mother everything that happens in our home....which makes for horrible and awkward moments when I see her again because she speaks on what he tells her. :-(
  35. Rachel
    Hello, My husband and i have been married for a year now. There have been a few issues i have had with his mother in reguards to her disrespecting me. I brought them up to my husband when it happend and never was resolved and has caused fights between him and I. It has also built up bitter feelings towards her. I just keep my mouth shut because i know everytime i bring it up it causes arguments. They speak twice a day EVERYDAY. I feel like he talks to his mother more than me. When we go out of town she is always she wants us to let her know when we get there and when we leave. If He doesnt answer the phone when she calls bc he doesnt hear it, she imediatly calls my phone. I am mentally exausted from it all!!! Any Advice?!!
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Rachel; You must make up your mind to adapt and work around it. First work on forgiving your mother in law and your husband for the past offense. Bitterness and unforgiveness is not good for you. As an act of your will choose to forgive and let it go. Ask the Lord to help you and pray for her when those bitter thoughts come. Recognize there is an issue and instead of focusing on their relationship focus on strengthening your relationship with your husband and if possible your mother in law. She is not as extreme as some others, if you want to make your marriage work you will have to let some things roll off your back. If you know you are going to get a call to make sure you are safe, thank her and decide that it will not bother you.
    • christianlovers
      Dear Rachel; Focus on your relationship with your husband, build and strengthen it. You cannot change his relationship with his mother. Lay aside feelings of jealousy and bitterness which will only poison your relationship with God, your husband and mother in law. Set boundaries for your life and involvement, try and develop and good relationship with her yourself. Make sure you have a full life apart from your husband. Find out your ministry, calling and purpose so you are not so focused on what you are not getting from your marriage. Peace Dr JaOla
  36. Debra81
    My fiancé is a mama's boy and it has caused us to break up two years ago. His mother was "counseling" and it really hurt our relationship, along with the fact that he would tell her our problems. Now we are back together and engaged, we both agreed if there was a issue between us we would pray through it and keep his mom out but I recently found out that he was getting "advice" from her again and she tells him Im not ready for marriage, he shouldn't get married again ( he's been married and has two children) because it could end in divorce and hurt his children. When I talk to him about how I feel he says his mom is the only one that gives him consistent advice and doesn't trust anyone else. In my opinion her advice is bias because we don't communicate and she bases her advice on our past not our present and Im really fed up. To make matters worse she is a christian women ( we all are christians and attend the same church) but she will misuses bible verses. We have talked about leaving and cleaving in the past but she swears that it doesn't mean she can't give advice. I have no idea what to do, I have prayed on this situation. I never dealt with someone who seems to have such malice intent towards me. Any suggestions on how to approach my fiancé differently or suggestions on what I should do?
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Debra; In addition to them having some leaving/cleaving issues he sounds like he also has some commitment issues. She is allowed to give advice but if she is the only person he trusts there is no way that she will be objective. I would hope he could trust his pastor, professional counselor, a mature saint. He probably also has some unresolved hurt from his previous marriage. I would suggest some professional pre-marital counseling to get a new perspective. Marriage will not make this issue go away so try to get some help now.
  37. Julianne
    My brother in law passed away last year and my mother in law has been staying with us since then. She has another son but is in college out of town. He comes home (to our home) on holidays and breaks. My mother in law is not a bad person in any way. She were never mean to me. She did offer advise a lot in many things. What bothers me is that I never feel comfortable in my home. When family member visit us she always have something negative to say about my husband like how he does business, how he always get lost when he drives, etc. I know for her she's just complaining about her son, but for me she is bad mouthing my husband. She complains about almost everything under the sky. Ar first I would just shake the feeling off. I pray to God to give me a loving heart etc etc. I always convince myself that I'm the problem, not her. However, it's getting worse and worse everyday. Often times I get panic attacks when she returns home from works. Sometimes I wake up at night and unable to go back to sleep worrying about how long I have to put up with this. Is it bad if I tell my husband I want her mother to move out?? :(
    • christianlovers
      Dear Julianne; Have you ever asked your husband about how her negative comments make him feel. Encourage him to speak the truth in love. If her comment hurts, angers or saddens him he needs to say so. Sometimes critical people do not have a clue how they affect others. He should be the one to call her on her behavior. He can do it in a loving respectful way. Continue to pray about the situation. When she complains about things in general you can say something positive "yes mom I hear you but the Lord is so good to bless us ...." Redirect her complaining with positivity. Set up some space in your house that is for you, a get away, a place you can pray, relax and have peace.
  38. Toby
    How does this apply if your a pastors son? I have stood by my dad, until he crossed a certain boundary and broke trust. He overlooks his mistake as nothing, and does not support my decision to leave the church. He is wanting me to choose him(church) over my wife. He is blaming her for my decision to leave, taking focus off the problem he started. Whenever I try to redirect him back to the reason for leaving, he continues to point out mistakes I've made in the past, and that I should forgive him just as he forgave me. The only problem is that he crossed a boundary that should have not been crossed. If it happened at any other church, anyone would leave, but because he is my dad and we are a small church, he relies on me when he is not there. He is trying to make me feel guilty saying that if I don't come to church, that he will close down the church, and that he will never help me again. I am not wanting to put my wife & children in a position where the see me buckle under his intimidation. I expected him as a man of God, to respect my decision, but he has refused to do so. Every email he sends, he tries to downplay his mistake, and I'm listening to my wife. What do I do? Am I wrong to leave the church in defense of my wife?
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Toby; You are in a rough spot but you must make the best decision for your family. I think since you have tried to communicate with your father how he has hurt you and he has not acknowledged that you need to choose to forgive him for your own sake and continue to affirm your love for him but even though you love him you do not have accept ungodly behavior. So if is best for you and your family to go pray about where God is sending you and be led by Him. The church is not your responsibility, He will need to pray for the Lord to send Him someone else. You have to give an account to God for how you spiritually lead your family. He has to give an account to God for His behavior. It does not mean that you don't continue to love him but maybe it is time to depend on the help of the Lord instead of dad's help. You continue to protect your wife, work together, pray together and the Lord will help you.
  39. Walker S.
    My wife and I have been married almost 7 months. We are Asians, and for the wedding, my parents did not do something based on tradition and culture, which deeply offended my wife and her family. My parents honestly did not know they had to do this "thing", but my wife does not believe that and deeply resents my parents, to a point where she does not want to see them, and even threatening to not let our children see them if we ever had kids. I have done everything I can to urge my parents to do more to show my wife that she is loved and part of our family. But my parents only do a little bit whenever I ask. I want to ask my parents to apologize to my wife and her family, but I feel if I ask, the apology will not be genuine, even if my parents agree to do it. My wife and I argue about how my parents don't like her and all the resentments she feels every couple weeks since we got married. I really don't know what I can do, any advice would be really appreciated.
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Walker S; Your wife really needs to forgive to bring healing in the situation but you cannot make that happen. You can only encourage, pray about the situation and continue to be a peacemaker. Try not to be judgmental or condemning with your wife but model love and forgiveness. Peace Dr. Ja'Ola Walker
  40. steven
    hi, all the comments talk about Mama's boy. I have a problem with Mama's Girl. I put my parents in their place in my marriage. I discuss things with them only when needed. But my wife discusses every small thing that happens in the house and she is on phone with them all the time for last 8 years and when I confront that, she just ignores. She thinks about them day and night and creates havoc at home, if they are sick. my parents came to live with us after 10 years. it was good for 3 months, but as her father got sick, she started shouting and create havoc in the house. I told this to his father, and she created hell at home. she got anger issues like his father. i tried to tell her that Love is solution, you should love my parents and also me and everything that belongs to me. I keep quiet many times for all the years because, she abuses with her words all the time. she don't know about me in many areas. I was in fire for God before I got married. Due to her anger behavior, I was depressed and went away from the fire. I recently fired up for God and I don't want that to happen again in my life. does the word says only Man to leave his parents and not to Woman. Especially her mother calls every day. What should I do.
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Steven; Yes a woman also has to be careful about pulling her family into your business as a couple. I think you should continue to get close to God and use the Word to pray for your marriage. Only God can change her heart. You focus on the Lord healing your marriage, your ministry. Be light in the darkness, let God use you to minister love and forgiveness. Hope you saw 'War Room' in the movies it is a good example of the power of prayer. God Bless Dr. Ja'Ola
  41. Steven
    I find that Genesis 2:24 can be read in a sexist way. I am separated due to this. If a man is close to his parents he is a mommy's boy and needs to cut the cord. If a woman is like this she is just family orientated.
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Steven; It can also be a problem when a wife brings her family into the relationship in a negative way. The key is the two need to set boundaries around their relationship and work on it. They should not let family or friends pull them apart. Peace Dr JaOla
  42. Hopeful girlfriend
    Ive been reading a lot of the comments after having read the artical and it's been very eye opening. I've been in a relationship with a man for the past 2.5 years who's in his late 30's, and I'm in my late 20's. As Christians,everyone is beginning to wonder 'when are we getting married?' I've asked myself the same question - as I'm seeing my other Christian brothers and sisters tying the knot in less time than we've been together - some are really young men in their 20's making these bold decisions too - yet I look at my boyfriend in his late 30's and I feel disappointed that he hasn't been so enthusiastic about taking that step and proposing to me. Especially being a man in his prime who should be looking towards the future not retracting back into his little boy shell. We both knew and said that when we got together that we would like to get married when the time came. So over the duration of our relationship so far - we've been talking about it, in ways that convinced me he was happy and ready to talk about the whole concept - as I thought we'd both been preparing our hearts towards the commitment. It turns out id been mistaken we were both ready to take this step as he hasn't been preparing at all. However my boyfriend has explained to me that he'd like to not mention it as much anymore as he feels it's all moving abit too fast,which effectively is scaring him. Is 2.5 years too fast as a Mature Christian couple to seriously start planning your future together ? I'm his first ever relationship too - as he hadn't met anyone before hand, so he said he'd waited all this time- but he knew the only relationship he'd ever have would be his last as he'd intend to marry the woman he chose. Which Id hope is me - should it be Gods will. However now that he's found me - it's like he's finding excuses to put our future off as he cares more about his Mum. The main issue here is that he's never left home, and he's been raised purely by his Mum as his Dad left when he was a small child. He's a really decent man and I Love him very Much. He's gone out of his way to do things for me many times and he does that with his Mum too and his family. However over the last year or so Ive been noticing that he is so glued to his Mum and his duties to his family that he ends up making me feel inside like I'm constantly thinking 'when will you start showing your family that you're serious about your future commitments to me?' As he's always running around after them and whenever we go out for the day - (which is very rare at weekends - as instead he takes his Mum shopping - and I've spent pretty much most Saturday's waiting to spend what little of the day we have left in the evening with him') He'll still call his Mum up to make sure she's ok- as he feels that if he doesn't she'll feel left out or like her son doesn't care. Once he couldn't even bring himself to tell her where we were going for the day out - as he felt bad for treating me to a nice day out while she stayed at home. Not to mention he'd had to ask permission from his Mum a couple of weeks before if he could not go shopping with her in order to spend quality time with me. I've been feeling pretty rejected in his behaviour towards me - purely because he isn't showing enough enthusiasm to Leave his Mother and Prepare himself to Cleave to me. He's going backwards the more we've mentioned marriage - right now to the point that - I'm on the verge of breaking up with him and ending our relationship. I can't be In a marriage should he still be attached to his Mum. Like you said - he's been an emotional substitute husband to her for all of his adult life and doesn't know what it means to have his own life. I've tried to show him what we could have together by encouraging him.,but instead he said recently that he just can't bring himself to leave his Mum and that Marriage isn't something he's prepared to do - but it MAY be in the future. But I can't be in a relationship like this as it is unfair and unhealthy. He still wants us to be together - but just not mention marriage until it's in his radar.. Which is just selfish as its all on his terms. I've told him - that not right - and it's Not Godly. - I want to Marry him - and see him freed of the bondage he's created towards His Mum and family.. He said to me ' I never asked for any of this.' When he was referring to responsibilities he'd had to endure growing up being an only child with a Single Mum - effectively ending up her substitute husband. However it breaks my heart to think - even though he said he never ask for it - he's choosing to keep it that way- he doesn't want to change -in fact he thinks he's got MORE freedom by not having a girlfriend and future plans to worry about. He says he loves me and doesn't want me out of his life - but I' don't deserve to be something he just keeps on standby. Ive tried to be patient and understanding and help him with his situation with his Mum - as even he had said it's unhealthy, yet he still lets her get away with him making him feel he has a permanent duty to be at her beckon call. I do actually get along nicely with his Mum - and his Family. However I don't want to feel any future resentment towards her should I realise it's subconsciously been her that caused my boyfriend to feel he can't leave her. I don't want to say she's deliberately been controlling him - but what if she has been as she's scared of him leaving? It's either she's innocent and has no idea how her actions are causing us to suffer - or she knows fully well what she's doing. But she's a Christian so I believe and would hope she knows the righteous and just way around this. All of this time we've both been going to church regularly - attending house group with other fellow Christians / yet no one has any clue what we're going through - as they just look at us and think,' you two must be happy - youve got everything sorted.' On the surface everything looks fabulous. To my friends - my boyfriend is the ultimate man. However very few of them see how badly it's damaging us as a couple that were not being able to freely and joyfully be planning our future together. I'm really positive and enthusiastic for our future,but on his side - it's like he's so afraid of commitment he'd rather he keep things the way they've always been - and I've done nothing to pressure him at all - I would never do that to him. He's asking me to wait a little longer for him to decide if marriage is what he wants - as he doesn't want to lose me. But I can't hang around forever - unless he genuinely wants to marry me. He says he loves me - and I Love him - I know that we can conquer anything through Christ Jesus in the centre - but at the moment it's just so painful to think we may lose each other if he doesn't realise how vital it is for him to step up and grow into the real Bold man God has called him to be. He needs to be prepared to leave his Mum and cleave to me should we have any healthy happy future Marriage together . I really do pray we will be married one day - as I can't imagine my life without him being my husband - but only God can break these chains and heal the hurt- should it be His will for us to be joined as one. - Please can you tell me what are your thoughts on our situation please? Id be so grateful for any feedback. God Bless you for reading my post. Thank you.
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Hopeful Girlfriend; It doesn't sound like your boyfriend is ready for marriage. Some mothers who have only had their son end up having their son's become substitute husbands for them or they can become very dependent upon them emotionally or financially. I know some christian mothers who are very controlling and they sometimes see the girlfriend as taking their child from them. The reality is you cannot make him ask you to marry or want to marry you. You did not address this but I hope you are not sleeping with him. If so he can have his cake and eat it too, he will not have the need to marry if he can get the benefits without the responsibility. I would start having a life, finding other interests, taking trips with girlfriends, getting active in ministry. Stop building your life around him. I wouldn't bring up marriage anymore. If he loves you when he feels you pulling away he will begin to pursue you. If not I would not waste anymore time with him. Peace Dr.JaOla
  43. joe
    What about a wife does she need to leave her parents and what if the husband wants to be included in visits and his wife asks why can't I have alone time with her
    • christianlovers
      Blessings Joe; A wife needs to be careful about telling her mother her marital problems and bringing her into the situation. Especially if the mother is intrusive. It is doubtful that she will get objective counsel. When you work through your issues mother will be left with negative feelings toward you. Husband and wife need to improve communication skills and work on strengthening the relationship and keep their issues between them. It is ok for your wife to plan some time with her mother, just as long as you also have time planned for the two of you to work on your relationship. Peace Dr. JaOla
  44. Steven S
    I really want to thank you for this as i struggle with leaving and cleaving. my last relationship my ex would always tell me i was a mommas boy and that i am always running to her whenever there is a issue. And she was right. But with reading this i understand alot of what needs to be done then when i was originally thinking i was doing. Now that my faith is stronger reading this makes a lot of sense. So i will apply these in my next relationship going forward. Thank you.
  45. Sj
    Enjoy your words. I am married to a man that is from a legalistic family. The children were raised in tent meetings. They had a different upbringing. My husbands mother started giving me trouble when she saw she could not control me. My husband has no clue on how to leave and cleave. I tried over the last 12 years to talk to him calmly about it. It has not made much difference. They were all raised in this holy type religion and condemn any other belief. They follow a tent prophet and have all their lives. I walked into a snake pit. I have been isolated, talked about, etc. his mother manipulates him. It like bondage. I pray he will be free. We have no marital relations...he has no desire to. I have decided to leave and divorce. I can't beat it any longer. It's either follow them or escape. I have been staying in Gods word and praying about this. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you
    • christianlovers
      Hello Sj - I am so sorry for the challenges you have had. It sounds like you have already made the decision. Just pray your way through everything. You need God's direction and help whatever you do. God Bless Dr JaOla
  46. Annie
    We've been married for 25 years and in the middle of this, his family became wealthy and the family chose to leave the inheritance away from the spouses of the siblings. My husband concealed the facts about this to me and I'm not even sure what all is there for my husband. Now, my husband has separate property trusts and bank accounts that do not have my name on them. He worked on the financial plan for his family for years and is the creator of the trusts. This has sharply divided us because I feel like an outsider in my own home. Much of this remained hidden from me but God had me confront my husband about it. I was shocked and hurt beyond measure. I have been grieved and crushed in so many ways. I asked him to put my name on the properties so that we could be jointly making decisions about how this will be handed down to our children. My MIL detests me and sees me as a threat. It's been a nightmare. I know God is in control and is working, but how do I handle the lack of leave and cleave? My husband has told me he needs to be responsible for his siblings financial future, and the spouses of his siblings have no say regarding this. It's like being put on the outside of your marriage. My husband told me he choses them over me, but doesn't understand why I can't just go along with the ride? My MIL wants to leave her home to my husband at her death and sees him living happily there, but there's no mention of me. I'm waiting on the Lord
    • christianlovers
      Hello Annie - there is a love of money that is the root of all evil. It seems he is more committed to money than anyone else. Everyone is not capable of loving us the way we want to be loved. You need to focus your attention on getting your needs meet by God. His love is unselfish, eternal and healing. You will have to forgive your husband and get healing for the wounds in your soul, wounds of rejection. Ask the Lord to cleanse your heart of bitterness, unforgiveness and then ask God to release His resurrection power in your soul to heal the wounds. Pray this on a regular basis so you can have peace and have light in the middle of this dark situation. From a practical perspective since you know he is not willing to provide for you , use wisdom, work on your career and make sure that you are taking care of yourself. You need to have your own emergency accounts, save, get out ot debt and tithe, Trust the Lord He can take care of you. Peace Dr.JaOla
    • christianlovers
      Hello Lingo - Marriage is honorable and the bed is undelfiled. You or your husband may not feel comfortable but it is not sin to have sex in their house. Since it is their house if they tell you they do not want you to have sex in their house it is not sin but you should respect their rules in their home. If you live there you need to move. Peace Dr. JaOla
  47. Cami
    Wonderful article. I am engaged to a man who does not know how to l wonderful article. I am engaged to a man who does not know how to leave and cleave. he is a wonderful man but it has been clear from day one that his mother comes first always. I recently told him that I believe we should call off our engagement. If we are already having these problems then I don't forsee a marriage working out between us. This article literally put into words all my frustrations. Thank you for validating what I felt in my heart was true.
  48. Stephanie
    Hello. Please give me some clarity, if at all possible. My now ex boyfriend whom i've lived with for 7 years (would be 8 but I left him for a year) has an issue of leaving his mother (we all lived together and worked together in her house & her business). She's aging but not extremely old (she's 61) she's unmarried and is diabetic (non insulin dependent) and in my mind and observations, she's a master manipulator. I recently and abruptly left the relationship. I mean it was bound to happen but sooner than what i had anticipated. My issue is that even though we never married and he made it clear he had no plans to marry me "yet" because I needed to get my head out of the clouds, he didn't treat me as his top priority. Keep in mind we are both 33 years old. For probably a year or two I kept asking for that engagement ring and he would blow it off or think I was joking. Plus, he also made it clear that he had no intention of leaving his mother due to her age and diabetes. So my questions are... Did I make the right decision by leaving them because I felt like I was dating (serving) his mother as well and 2. If reconciliation were an option... What shall I do? Thank-you.
    • christianlovers
      Hello Stephanie - I think you made the right decision to leave, he never made a commitment to you and told you he would not. He was getting all the benefits of marriage without any of the cost. You are worth more than that. Move on with your life. Peace Dr JaOla
  49. JoDee Stratton
    I don't even know where to start. I had a very difficult childhood and first marriage. Through my first marriage falling apart I found the love of Christ and was forever changed. Didn't think I would ever remarry. I re-married a Christian man who is an only child raised by Christian parents. I had two small boys. 24 years later, my father-in-law passed away in March. My mother-in-law came and stayed with us from Oct 4th until 2 days ago. It was horrible. Our first day alone together when my husband went to work she wanted to discuss my weight issues. It just went down hill from there. Constant talking to my husband at night in the evenings when he came home, taking over my kitchen, laundry, etc. Constant comments like "You are interesting". Well I had enough when my husband was out of town and finally said what exactly do you mean by "I'm interesting"? Well you do things differently than me was her response. Well, we had an argument and at one point I tried to just move on as I could see we were getting no where and she said to me, "We had better get this straightened out before he gets home or you will have to leave." I looked up at her with my mouth wide open and she quickly said "Or, I will have to leave." It is way too much to go into detail here. There have been comments about my mothering, comments about my lipstick.....too many to list. My husband and I have had the worst fights of our 24 years in marriage over the last 3 months. He did not defend me until I said I couldn't do it anymore and now he is still worried about her feelings over mine. He tells me that's not true, but he shared that this morning he was worrying about what all he said to her. I am sick to my stomach and I can't hear God clearly and I don't know what to do.
    • christianlovers
      Hello JoDee - I am sorry to hear about these issues. I think you need to clearly express to your husband that the living arrangement is not working and it is putting strain on the marriage. It would be good to go to counseling and talk about where you are and see if you all can negotiate your next move. I think you should be very honest about feelings. Do not focus on her comments and opinions and trying to please her. Focus on your marriage, getting time with each other, trying to rebuild your communication. See that movie War Room and take back your house in prayer. Fight in the spiritual realm, not with confrontations. It has only been a few months, it is time to fight for your marriage. Peace Dr.JaOla
  50. Nate
    My parents have been too forthright with parental advice. They are Christian in name only. My wife has decided to tell them that they are not allowed to contact us again. No call, text, email, letter, gift for the grandchild. Even if someone dies, no contact. She considers it adultry and betrayal if I do have contact with them and grounds for divorce. If I tell her that I will honor them and keep lines of communication open, divorce. Should I ignore the 5th commandment to make her happy and keep the family unit together?
    • christianlovers
      Hello Nate -I think your wife is going to the extreme. You contacting your parents is certainly not adultery, If she is that controlling about other things in life then you are just switching from the control of parents to the control of your wife. She is supposed to submit to her husband. There should be some reasonable discussions and some give and take to come up with an arrangement that is good for you, her and your children. I can understand her not wanting your parents to run your lives but there has to be some balance. If she chooses to divorce you for sending a card or checking on your parents there are other major issues in the marriage. See if she would go to a counselor to help you negotiate something you could both live with. Peace Dr JaOla
  51. James
    I think people men and women want to do what they want to do when the word of God clearly states what is supposed to happen in a marriage. Then we wonder why things don't turn out the way we expected. Do what God is asking you to do and put down the selfish tendencies.
  52. Maria
    Thank you for such a well written article. I understand it's been awhile so I may not get a response, but I am wanting some advice as I have read through the comments and could not find a situation similar to mine. My husband has done fairly well with the leaving and cleaving, it was a process but the manning up he has done since we have been away from his parents has been phenomenal. His parents meant well for him but tended to exasperate him, it took time away for him to see he can truly lead without them on his shoulders giving conflicting "advice" - for example he would be pressed to make a decision about xyz, he would make a decision, then they would basically talk him out of his decision! Anyway. He grew up an only child as he was "an accident" to his parents, who were very young at the time (15 and 17). Thankfully they decide to keep and raise him. However, after he left for college, his parents became lonely and decided to have more children, 2 more. We got married and had children of our own. This situation has changed the whole dynamic between his parents and their true grandchildren, as they went into "grandparent mode" with their own kids right before our kids came on the scene. My husbands siblings are more spoiled than ever and live with hardly any boundaries, despite the success with my husband being raised on strict rules. We are fairly strict with our children, raising them with the same rules we were raised with. However, 30 minutes with my husbands siblings and the steps backwards in my children's behavior is evident. Because of this effect and lack of restraint on their end, it has made me try to limit seeing them. We both have very extensive family near us, so every month there is a birthday, every holiday becomes somewhat of a hassle to figure out, but either way, I feel that this is still plenty enough interaction between our kids and my in laws. While they want our kids and their kids to grow up close, I really don't. We aren't talking about minor parenting differences, we are talking about it's totally OK for kids to be out of control like animals while they (ages 5 and 7) can watch any kind of movie despite their ratings, spitting in the parents face, pulling hair, no consequences ...it's slowly dying down a little bit but with what i was raised with, there is no such thing as a 7year old tantrum because by then the kid has been learned to behave. Self control is biblical . We used to hang out with his side of the family more before kids, but after, we have learned the amazing effects peer pressure can have already. What frustrates me is this, his parents are basically on a mission to "let the kids "play" together", and not to spend time with their grandkids. After making a big point that we don't see them often enough, we go to spend time with them, their interaction goes along the lines of "hi Matthew and Cindy! Why don't you go downstairs and play with Brian and Isabel! " To me, it's like if you guys want to see the grandkids, spend time with them instead of shooing them out of your sight 5 minutes after we get there.....interact with them if it's such a big deal! Matthew can't draw a picture and show them without his parents saying something kind of nice for one second followed by how well my husbands siblings can draw. The age gaps between our kids and theirs isn't very much, 1-2 at the most, so we are more so uncles and aunts to them than siblings. Anyway, I guess my question boils down to this. Is it wrong for me to try to limit in law interactions to birthdays and important holidays? It won't be forever, just until my kids can resist and redirect toxic behavior. I only got to see my grandparents once a year growing up if i was lucky, so in comparison i feel its plenty of time. I just feel tthat no matter howhard we try it will never be enough time together to his parents - before having kids we used to live down the street from them and were relying on them weekly for laundry needs, on top of football game dinners weekly, and holidays and birthdays, and his dad was still very sarcastically saying "you live down the street and we see you once a month?" But what would contradict that is that he would schedule activities on nights we were supposed to be over there....i mean hello, if we arent here enough, why are you gone when we do come? So basically I think it's fine we do our own thing as our own little family despite what his parents want us to do. Is all this worth me confronting my in laws about? And if so, is it my place to tell them or should my husband? I'm sorry if it was messy or complicated, I just want some godly, outsider advice.
    • christianlovers
      Hello Maria, The best thing is you and your husband are on one accord. It is your job as parents to limit negative influences affecting your children, wherever it comes from. When people are parenting late in their life, they sometimes function like grandparents with their children rather than parents, They probably do not have the physical or emotional energy to handle two small children and then grand parent two other small children. It sounds like they just want time with their grandchildren to give them a break from their children. They will probably never function like 'typical' grandparents so you need to stop expecting that from them. I think at some point you should talk with the grandparents, let them know the behavior of their children that is a problem and you don't want your children affected. You need to also express concern for them and the children, they will eventually collide with school officials and legal officials. When we do not teach our children to respect authority they will eventually have major problems in every area of their lives. Obviously in this date and time black youth with behavioral problems are in danger. Peace Dr JaOla
  53. Confusedman
    I am greatly appreciative of this article and find it eye opening in a number of ways. My wife of 8 years has recently become more irritated when I talk to my parents. We have discussed the purpose of "leave and cleave" before and I agree with God's design for marriage. The only aspect I struggle with is to what extent a man should "leave and cleave". Does this mean I can not call my family on a weekly or biweekly basis? We see them less than once a month and my conversations with them is merely to see how they are doing. I do not confide issues, concerns, desires etc.. with them during these coversations and the topics of discussion really are mundane. I am unsure what leave and cleave means as it relates to staying in contact with my family. I fully understand the intent as it relates to leading a family and removing any dependency on my parents, but, any thoughts regarding phone calls or texts in our modern day would be greatly appreciated.
    • christianlovers
      Greetings - Certainly you should be able to call and visit your parents and care for them as needed. If you are making sure you are taking care of your family. It is about balance, it does not mean you abandon them.
  54. Sims
    Hello, I can't get my husband to understand putting me first before his mother, means not being there for his mother. His mother and I do not get along. She feels like I took her son from her even when we were dating. I have told him on multiple occasions how she ahs been disrespectful to me and he waited 3 years before saying anything to her, only because she disrespected me to him. He stated he doesn't act when I want him to. He says he doesn't answer to me and as his wife that hurt. He talks to her about things that he is not happy with in our marriage. I feel like she encourages him to leave because she already has a disliking for me. He told me he will nto go against the woman that raised him because I feel neglected. I'm fed up and a part of me wants to leave in hopes he will see how serious I am. All I want his for him to let her know how much he loves me and wants to be with me and he won't tolerate anyone being disrespectful to me. I asked him would he defend me if I told him someone was disrespectful to me no matter who the person is and he said yes. Once I said well it was your mother, his demeanor changed. I feel he is scared to stand up to her. When we first met he did not have a relationship with her, I encouraged him to build that relationship. His mother also wants him to be with this girl he was dating back in high school who is now a family friend, he calls her "his sister" now. I TOTALLY DISAGREE with this. I'm between a rock and a hard place. I don't want to keep bringing it up but putting my feelings aside so that we don't argue anymore is not solving things. How can this be resolved if at all?
    • christianlovers
      Hello Sims, This is a touchy issue with your husband, the precedent had already been set up even before you married. I would avoid talking and complaining about his mother. Don't put yourself in situations where you have to deal with her. When you have to be around her be the bigger person and overlook the disrespect, it doesn't define or break you. Focus on strengthening and building your marriage, spending quality, happy time together, meeting his needs and keeping him content in the relationship. Cover your marriage with prayer, bind ungodly soul ties. When he has to women fussing and pulling on him he may eventually get tired and pull away from one you don't want it to be you.
  55. casey
    My husband and I have been married for 6 years now. We got married very young and lived with his parents for 3-4 years before we had our own place which was still on his parents property . he has worked with his father for most of his life since he was 13 or so and has been off and on with that, but his father is very controlling and wants my husband to do everything . we are losing his family's place and his dad has decided that he wants to move a across country with us and our 4 kids. My husband knows that he is controlling and that he puts him down and acts like no matter what he does it is never good enough for him. My husbands father wants to be on the phone with him 24 hours a day when he is supost to be spending time with us. With the move he has been away from our home for days to weeks at a time. My husband had a fight with his dad a few days ago and didn't turn out very well. But since then him and his father have made up, which I am happy for but i know that it will just go back to the way it was before. I have tried to tell my husband that we need to separate from his dad but the more he is with his dad the more i think he is pulling away from the idea. He has said separating maybe not but just not to be on the phone with him all the time would ne find, I'm not sure how to tell him that i feel that God is telling me different from what we have planned. I have been praying and trying to find spiritual help also. I am at my end.
    • christianlovers
      Greetings Casey; You can only point out in a loving way the things you see, your husband has to make the decision to act on what is best for him. Speak the truth in love to him. Encourage him to pray with you on a regular basis about that and other things. Be a place of encouragement for him. He sounds like he is still seeking the approval of his father which he may never get. He will have to come to that conclusion. You make sure you are building him up and speaking life to him.
    • Lana
      God can give your husband what he needs to know. I had to learn the hard way that God is able. When you see your husband on the wrong road in any way, pray for him, ask God to show him. Ask God what you should and shouldn't do, He will show you, if you let him. Reading the book of Esther helped me see the pattern God wanted me to follow when wanting to change my husbands heart....mostly i learned I needed to keep my mouth shut. God told be to read Esther when I was dealing with a situation with one of my children. Since that time, about 6 years ago, I have found that most of the time, God can handle a situation much better than I can, but I am often tested to see if I truly believe that "He is and a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him..." I have found that truly He is able to do a much better job than me. Time prevents me sharing the testimonies that would prove this, but they are multiple. Test God. Give these trials to Him. Turn loose of them, take your hands (and mouth) off of them, wait on the Lord and see what He can do without our help. It is amazing when you can learn and do this one thing.
  56. Inprayer
    I have been married 12 years. My mother in law has never liked me because I am not the woman she wanted her son to marry. Throughout our marriage she has never called me except to argue over why she shouldnt have to apologize. We have never spent time together or formed any relationship. She works ten min from our house but never visits. I have always been respectful despite her obvious dislike for me. Two days before our wedding she advised her son to ask me to sign a prenuptial. This caused alot of confusion and we almost cancelled the wedding. A couple years into the marriage she started slapping my butt when I would walk past her. She attempted a few times to touch my breast and has made very inappropriate non sexual comments to me all in front of my husbands family. I brought this to my husbands attention. He did not agree that her actions were sexually motivated so he wouldn't confront her. The behaviors have increased over the years. The last straw being given her coming up behind me grabbing my butt while attempting to put her hand between toward the middle of my butt cheeks. I yelled at her and never visited again. I have children. Who she has made feel "uncomfortable" on two occasions I caught her feelings my infant like a bird by placing food in their mouths from hers with her tongue. Over the years, I have had to set every boundary without the help of my husband which nakes me the monsyer. Mother in law claims she doesn't recall any of it. Husband has seen her grab my butt but says still it's not sexual and that I'm overreacting. His mom has also touched my siblings on different occasions. I am frustrated and am now deciding on divorce. This situation has destroyed our marriage. And husband reacts in depression and refuses to set boundaries. On mother's day he always spends time with her. Leaving me alone in our home. And claims to not understand why I don't want to ever be around her for dinner. I feel like I can't accept an apology that isn't genuine. She has never directly apologized to me, Only through my husband. And whenever I've gone back around her the behavior increases. Now with her saying she does recall at all I'm feeling no choice but to cut all of them off. On a side note this woman is head if HR for a huge company. So she knows very well what boundaries are. I'd appreciate your feedback.
    • christianlovers
      Hello Inprayer - It sounds like she has found the way to push you away from her son. I think she knows exactly what she is doing. I would stop talking about this. Avoid being around her, whether it is sexual advances or not you have a right to not have your body touched. She has manipulated things and made you seem like you are the one with the problem. You must make the decision to not let this destroy your marriage. If Mother's Day is the only time you have to give up so be it. You plan a great day for yourself and your children. You need to make the decision to forgive but avoid, this has become so overwhelming in your life. Thank God you are not living with her focus on your children, strengthening your marriage and having your life.
  57. Teardrop
    I have been married for five years. In the beginning I felt special and loved. Now I realize I'm lost and not sure where I belong. I moved a long distance away from my family. My husbands family lives a mile away. They see each other everyday and farm together. Last year I had a miscarriage and I feel so alone. My mom feels so sad about it. My mother in law is not loving and gentle like me and my mom. She's almost heartless. I won't say the words she said to me when we suffered the loss but there's no chance of us ever having a relationship. My husbands first priority is not me anymore. We have not traveled since our honeymoon. We have the money but no time to go since his parents always need something. Even on our days off, his dad will call at 7 AM and expect him to drop everything. God, help me. Maybe I need to go in a new direction. Maybe if my husband really loves me he will see where his priority should be. He's been so dedicated to his parents for so long, it will be hard for him to change. Your input is appreciated. Prayers to all.
    • christianlovers
      This is very sad Teardrop, you don't seem to have many support systems around you. I would encourage you to find a good Bible believing, teaching Church and pray about getting some good friends and even an older woman who can pray with you and support you. I would really begin praying about my life and what the Lord had for me to do in this season of life. If you have the money you may need to visit your family more often, or maybe bring your mother out to visit. It is ok to talk to your husband about what you need emotionally from the marriage and to let him know you are not happy. Give him small practical things he can do to make positive steps. Maybe you two could pray together everyday, have a date night once a week. Plan one vacation a year. Most of all work on building your relationship with the Lord, He is the only one who can be there all of time, who will love you no matter what. I find joy and peace in the presence of God that no one else can bring.
  58. nc
    I have a question my husband mom is elderly and sick and,I am sick to i need my husband but he tells me my mom was in my life first i am feeling so miserable from this he has to take from us to stay over there for days and weeks and let me say i tried staying over there but shes way to bossy for me its her place her rules not for anymore not interested my question is my husband right or wrong?And ONE more thing she has other children but nobody wants to help or her grandchildren.
    • christianlovers
      Sorry you are sick nc, right or wrong does not matter -you cannot make your husband be there for you. Work on some other support systems for yourself. Rather than letting this make you miserable which only adds to your health problems. You are going to have to forgive him for letting you down and find a way to create a positive environment for yourself. You would have to do that if you were not married. See if there are any resources you can get nursing care, friends coming in, your family. Focus on your health and getting well. Fill your environment with healing worship music, develop a life of prayer, you can even reach out to others over the phone, sending cards. Helping others makes you feel better. You must shake off the feeling sorry for yourself. Research natural remedies for your sickness, make sure you are eating right and getting whatever exercise you can, keep a positive mental attitude and get healing for your soul. Attend church if you are able, if not listen to great Bible teaching.
  59. Nicole
    Good afternoon, I have a question that deals with the family dynamic of prior children on husband's behalf. I should be celebrating my 6th yr anniversary at the end of this month, however I am struggling with how my husband handles life with his ex and their children...we have been together for 9yrs, and I have only been around his children on maybe 3 occasions and I believe that is only because I have griped about it. Whenever there is a function like birthdays, graduations, etc, we spend apart....we even spend the holidays apart like Thanksgiving and Christmas because he only spends time with them at their home and/or with them. He also has a granddaughter, that I also have no dealings with. I love him, but this is not how I planned to live my life with him, I thought we would be merging families, but that is not what has taken place and from listening to him whether I am calm or yelling, he says that this is how his life is and I either accept him or nothing. I feel like I'm living compartmentalized in this marriage, and it is unfair to me, his children, himself...basically all parties involved. Can you help with some insight.
    • christianlovers
      Hello Nicole; That is unfortunate but he has set up his own system from the beginning and told you to deal with it. So I would suggest you accept that and adapt. On special occasions you set up things to do, do with your family, get involved in church ministry, reach out to other children if you have none of your own. Travel, find friends you can have fun with. If the rest of your marriage is good and it is only holidays that present a problem work around that. Work on building emotional intimacy. Praying together as a couple, spending regular time together, traveling together and even ministering together helping others builds intimacy.
      • Nicole
        Accept and adapt?? I think not, of other areas of our life were filled with happy times, maybe that would be conducive, however everything revolves around him, his feelings/thoughts, his children, work then me. I am unhappy and do not see any other way out, other than preparing myself for divorce preparing

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