Chapter One: The Desperate Housewife

Chapter One The Desperate Housewife

Photo: ©dragana991 from Getty Images via Canva.com

I met Mable at a conference, where she approached me with a soft-bound copy of my Help! My Marriage Has Grown Cold booklet in her hand. She said that God had transformed her life and marriage through this little booklet. She asked me to sign it, which I gratefully obliged. The storyline is about a lady who decided to work on her marriage despite her husband’s unwillingness. I hope many more couples find the same hope and help as Mable did as they read and apply what I have written.

Help! My Marriage Has Grown Cold


As a career counselor, most of my counseling practice has been with married Christians who want to resolve their challenges. It’s not unusual for any couple to come for counseling. Whenever two people choose to live in a one-flesh union for the rest of their lives, there will be inevitable and understandable complexities that they will have to work through. They are learning how to go from their independent lives to transforming into an other-centered, interdependent, one-flesh union. Of course, there is the added sabotaging of innate fallenness that distorts each couple differently. Each partner brings baggage into their covenantal union; if left unchecked, their former lives can wreak havoc on future possibilities.

What a person was before marriage, good and bad, is what they will be during the marriage unless they make the necessary changes to live the rest of their lives in harmony. Participating in a wedding ceremony, making a vow to God, and saying “I do,” do not fundamentally change a person from what they have always been. Nor do these things release a couple from future problems. While the dating or courting process can be helpful, it is not a perfect filter to decipher the good and bad of a person’s character, presuppositions, attitudes, and behavior. Strangers marry each other, and there is no ideal system, except the marriage itself, to reveal our true selves. The crucible of marriage is an excellent process that will isolate and identify who the two people are.

After we learn who we are, we need assistance and guidance to help us get from where we are to where we need to be. The sad news for most marriages is that a struggling couple does not have a life coach to guide them through the intricacies of their newly established autonomous domestic empire. They mindlessly trudge along through the morass of marriage, not knowing who to turn to when, after a period of neglect, the relationship that began so warmly turns so painfully cold. This book attempts to walk through the pitfalls of two souls in trouble while offering practical help in working through specific marriage challenges in a God-glorifying way. The Bible, as always, will be our filter through which we interpret life. As Peter said,

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence (2 Peter 1:3).

Therefore, this book aims to apply God’s Word practically to two souls in marriage trouble. This book takes the form of a case study of a woman in a marriage that has grown cold. I interact primarily with her. However, the teaching presented is not gender-specific. If you are a husband in a marriage that has grown cold, you can easily apply the same truths to your life and marriage. At the end of the book, I suggest ways to win your unwilling spouse back to the marriage and, more importantly, back to God.

Rick's Books on Amazon

The Desperate Housewife

Mable was an attractive twenty-eight-year-old Christian who desired to be married. She completed her four-year college degree and landed an outstanding job with a Fortune 500 company. From all perspectives, her life was going well. Mable was young, intelligent, and on the rise in the corporate world. However, if you talked to Mable, she would say that her life was incomplete and passed her by. By nature, Mable was not impulsive, but from her perspective, she had a low-grade discontented soul. She believed she had done all she was supposed to do at this point, but there was still something missing. Mable wanted to be married. From her perspective, she was ready for the next big step.

Unfortunately, there were no eligible candidates in her local church, and her current job was not an option for finding a godly man that Mable would want to partner with for life. She told herself and her friends that she was not desperate, but whether it was in her mind or the conversations with her girlfriends, marriage and singleness always seemed to come up. Occasionally, others would tell Mable that she appeared to fixate on marriage. Mable would dismiss their observations as untrue. It wasn’t that Mable could not see their point, but she refused to acknowledge that the issue was to her as big as they were saying it was to them. However, Mable intuitively knew their assessment was accurate in her heart of hearts.

I’m sure you’ve had that experience that we call a gut instinct when we know something is amiss but dismiss it. Perhaps it’s our conscience. Maybe it’s the Spirit of God illuminating us. Regardless, we know what it is, though we might not perceive the origin. Wisdom would suggest stopping long enough to evaluate the “still small voice,” even bringing it before the Lord and an older friend who is competent in God’s Word. Mable did not do this. She suppressed what seemed evident to others and at her soul level, it was evident to her. Of course, those early instincts returned to haunt her after she tied the marriage knot. She later said,

When I was single, I felt as though I was in prison, though I would rarely be honest with myself because I knew it was temporary and there was hope that I would be released someday. In time, I met Biff. We fell in love and eventually got married. Now here I am, five years into our marriage, and I have no clue what happened. Truthfully, it feels that all I’ve done is switch prisons. I jumped from the frying pan of singleness into the fire of marriage. There is one big difference, however. The prison of singleness had an ending, while the prison of marriage appears to have no hope of ever ending. What can I do?

Leaders Over Coffee Web Banner

Biff seemed to be an answer to prayer when they first met. He was a pleasant, well-mannered, and likable guy who was a ministry leader in his local church. He seemed to be perfect in all the right ways. His pastor was the one who introduced Biff to Mable. After their first year of marriage, however, what appeared to be a good catch was looking more like a sinister trap. Biff had conveniently failed to mention to any of his friends or his future wife his addiction to porn, underlying anger issues, and a self-reliant spirit that kept these unmentionables under everyone’s radar. Within the first six months of their marriage, Mable found pornography links from a history check on Biff’s computer. In addition, it became apparent that Biff had many ministry friends and no real close friends.

He had the ability to hide in plain sight. Everyone seemed to know Biff, but no one knew Biff. He was adept at keeping people out of his life—until he married Mable. Mable thought she could confront Biff about the pornography, but when she did, he responded with rage, accusations, and threats that if she ever told anyone about the porn, their marriage would end. She was now afraid to say anything to anyone. Though against his protestations, Mable turned up for counseling, but Biff did say that it would be a cold day in Hades before he ever went to a counselor, biblical or otherwise. Mable was desperate; she knew that she would have to do the heavy lifting if her marriage would survive.

Call to Action

  1. What advice would you offer Mable?
  2. Have you ever made a significant decision that you later regretted? What was it?
  3. What do you think motivated you to make that decision? How keen are you at listening to your conscience or perceiving the Spirit’s guidance?
  4. Do you have a competent mentor in your life? If not, will you pray about how to find one?

Need More Help?

  1. If you want to learn more from us, you may search this site for thousands of resources—articles, podcasts, videos, graphics, and more. Please spend time studying the ones that interest you. They are free.
  2. If you want to talk to us, we have private forums for those who support this ministry financially. Please support us here if you want to help us keep our resources free.

Mastermind Program Web Ready Banner

Print Friendly, PDF & Email