Why are they so rude? Ignore you? Lie? Act so happy and arrogant? Why do they treat you with kindness one moment and disappear the next? Or have gone no contact for years? For some, they lash out and blame you for every single thing and wear you down. 

They must not love you. They must really be done with you and there is no way of things ever getting better, right?

Those who trust their own insight are foolish, but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe. Proverbs 28:26

Leave it to Proverbs to be blunt and right to the point. When we come to our own conclusions by what we see in the natural, how our spouses are acting, we are in jeopardy of being fooled because we really are clueless and for some reason, the human mind tends to believe the worst about how someone is treating them. It’s a safety precaution. A guarding of the heart to come up with “Well they are ignoring me because they don’t care.” Or worse, you start to think they are horrible human beings, worthless and despicable because they can’t give back simple human kindness in situations that call for it. 

Wisdom introduces insight into the human heart and mind that will explain what is really going on into the hearts and minds of lost spouses and what they are really feeling. 

As a Stander, we are always looking for outward reactions. We are looking for them to display love, kindness, and a real genuine concern for not only our wellbeing, but the children, and even the pets. We are looking for proof that our marriage meant something, that we are still on their minds and hearts. That we STILL MATTER TO THEM. 

And what we get is coldness. Rudeness. Silent treatment. We get used and taken advantage of. We can walk away feeling worse after going all out and treating them with kindness only to be snubbed. 

The heart of the lost is not an easy thing to understand. Especially when you see them acting perfectly toward other people. To the other person children, while they ignore their own. They can’t help you with bills you created together, while they are wasting money having fun in their new life.  All the unfairness of this situation is enough to make the blood boil and the Stander quit over the selfishness of their “lost” spouse. 

When a person makes the decision to turn their life over to this selfish, rebellious place. Many things take place in the heart. It’s not only hardness that comes, but they are now susceptible to shame and condemnation. 

These two things will completely twist and contort how they hear, see, and perceive things. That text you sent where you shared a photo of your child playing, shared with the intent of sharing a moment with your spouse you found precious, is not received the same way as you delivered it. That photo comes wrapped up in a box of finger-pointing. “Look what you missed out on because you left. Look at this beautiful child that no longer has your full attention. Look at the kind of person you have become. They don’t need this. You are horrible. You have failed them because you are selfish.” And that is why you get NO reply.  Because they are overcome by the voice of shame, guilt, and condemnation by the enemy. They may even believe that the whole reason you sent the photo was to make them feel bad and expose to them what they are missing. 

The Stander who sent the photo? They lean on their own insight and the enemy is right there to say “they don’t care. They never loved you. They love the other child more than your own. What a horrible human being that can’t even text you back and acknowledge the photo. They are not worth standing for.”

When you share about bills, not having enough money, how your child is doing in school, if they are having any behavioral problems, ANY  problems that come up at all, these are ALL opportunities to be packed with shame, guilt, and condemnation.

I know for a fact that I LOVED to share problems with my spouse with the hope that it would heap coals on his head. When I told him problems, there was this underlying hope and wish that he would realize that these problems would not be there if only he was not making the choices he was making. 

But I know there are some Standers that have matured past this and no longer share with the spouse to bring any condemnation upon them. But the enemy still will. Especially if the lost spouse is walking in a cloak of shame. 

Shame is a horrible accuser. They can’t walk through life the way we do. Shame won’t allow someone to ever experience the feeling they are good enough to receive what is given. It tells them they are not worthy, not qualified, and prevents them from hearing anything but the lies of accusations. Over time, the heart will become so angry from hearing this over and over that it fights back. But through pride and rebellion. Turning more cold and selfish to compensate for being so hated by the world. Shame turns our lost spouses into survivalists who live off the crumbs because they are not worthy to come to the table. 

What does that look like to us? They won’t come to family gatherings. They will stand you up. They look like they would rather hang out at parties, bars, with the bad crowd of people instead of the loving family they have. That is the crumbs. They chose to have the crumbs because that is what shame and condemnation have done. Captured them in lies and placed a stronghold about them which prevents them from being at the table. 

On the flip side. There are some that are SO filled with pride and arrogance they will force their way to that table and put on this GRAND show while they parade how much they enjoy being here. How great their life is. How great God is that He would release them from being in a horrible marriage to you, bless them with this other person and finally make their life worth living. As they flaunt this they are so convincing, the Stander will start to believe the lie. 

Standers need a true understanding of what is really going on in the spouse’s heart. But that is not always possible. What is possible is to just be still in how you come to judge and perceive things, not letting yourself lean on your own insight through what you SEE. 

Trust in and rely confidently on the LORD with all your heart And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. Proverbs 3:5 AMP

Telling yourself that what you see is not what is really going on, no matter how convincing it is. Telling yourself that the heart of the lost is perishing in their sins because they are departing from God through their choices and that opens the door to deception.  Guard yourself against the influence of the enemy who comes to devalue your spouse and convince you they are trash and not worthy of your love, time, prayer. 

Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD [with reverent awe and obedience] and turn [entirely] away from evil. Proverbs 3:7 AMP

 How do you pray for your spouse?

While shame and condemnation are very dark and deceptive. It’s not a natural thing to walk in and bear. I lived under this dark and heavy cloak for many years until one day the heart’s desire of the Lord for me to be free overwhelmed me. I woke up one day crying out to God to set me free. I no longer wanted to listen to the voice of hatred telling me I was not good enough to be loved. I know I was terrified. The fear of not only becoming free of this evil but actually becoming accepted almost stopped me from asking. But God’s will was stronger and through His love, I was able to ask, and shame left. Just like that, I was set free. 

That is what you pray for your spouse. For their inner man to WANT to be free from shame. For them to WANT to know and be known by the Father and to be love and be loved. For them to be so tired of listening to the voice of hatred and reacting out of pride that they do something about it. Do the RIGHT thing by calling out to God for help. 

And when he was in distress, he besought Jehovah his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 2 Chronicles 33:12 ASV

Standing with you,
Sheila Hollinger


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(~Marriage Revealed Ministries Inc. is committed to helping bring healing and restoration to couples who are struggling in their marriage. We do this through the revelation of Who God is and His heart and design for marriage which never intends abuse in any form. If you suspect abuse in your relationship, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit them online at thehotline.org~