Unloved wife. It almost seems like an oxymoron, but sadly, it happens in many marriages.

The pain of being hurt, by the very person who promised to love you no matter what, is unbearable. Whether it hits you out of nowhere, or it’s something that you’ve watched happen little by little, feeling like an unloved wife will leave you broken and lonely.

I have a vivid memory of walking through the grocery store one day with tears running down my face. It was one of the first moments I had been without my kids since my husband confirmed he was involved with someone else, and it was like a dam had broken. Strangers looked at me like I was crazy. It didn’t matter. I had been keeping it together for so long, and I simply couldn’t do it anymore.

unloved wife

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Have you ever read the story of Jacob and Leah? It is found in Genesis 29, and I strongly recommend reading it.

He’s a quick summary:

There were two women, Leah and her younger sister Rachel.

A man named Jacob was in love with Rachel, so he arranged with her father, Laban. Jacob would work for him for seven years in exchange for Rachel’s hand in marriage.

After seven years had passed, Jacob took his bride, only to realize he had married Leah! Laban had deceived him because it was the custom for the oldest daughter to be married before her younger sisters.

Although Jacob was married to Leah, he was still in love with Rachel. He agreed to work an additional seven years for Laban, so he could also marry Rachel.

Jacob makes no secret of the fact that his heart belongs to Rachel. Even though he is married to both sisters, the more you continue to read, the more Jacob’s favoritism becomes evident.

God saw the heartbreak that Leah endured due to the rejection of her husband. He knew she was hurting, so He blessed her by giving her children. While Rachel struggled to conceive, Leah gave birth to several sons and a daughter. Each time she hoped it would cause her husband to love her, but each time she remained the unloved wife.

If you have found yourself in the painful position of doubting your husband’s love, you must remember a few things as you move forward.

1. You Won’t Change Your Husband On Your Own

Much like Leah, when I felt unloved, I would try different things in an attempt to make my husband love me. If I lose this weight or change my hair, or act a different way, he’ll love me again, I’d think.

The truth is, none of those things mattered.

While there were things about myself that I needed to work on, in the end, none of those things were what brought him back to me. The only thing that did that, was bringing those hurts to my Heavenly Father.

You can spend your time trying to change who you are for your husband, or you can pray that God will restore your relationship. One will leave you weary, the other will renew your strength!

2. Your Husband Wasn’t Made To Complete You

When people fall in love sometimes they say things like, “he completes me.” As lovey-dovey as that might sound, it’s simply untrue. Your husband wasn’t made to complete you.

It took me a long time to understand that if I kept waiting for my husband to make me feel worthy, he would disappoint me every time.

I love my husband, and his opinion of me matters. However, my value doesn't come from what my husband thinks about me, it comes from what Jesus did for me. Share on X

The more I focused on God’s love for me, the less pain I felt about being unloved by my husband.

Leah had spent years trying to win the affection and approval of her husband. Each time she gave birth, Leah tried to convince herself that Jacob would finally love her. Yet each time she knew he still loved Rachel more. When Leah had her fourth son, she didn’t dwell on the love she wished Jacob had for her anymore. Instead, Leah chose to see her son as a reminder of God’s love for her and praised the Lord for him.

Her husband may not have favored her, but Leah was loved by God.

Today if you find yourself with the uninvited feeling that you are an unloved wife, remember that you are loved by God, and that is a love that will never change.

If you are feeling unloved due to your husband being unfaithful, you won’t want to miss our course “Healing the Heartbreak: Finding Hope In Christ When Your Marriage Falls Apart.”

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I'm Meghan, a Christian Marriage Coach, Speaker, and Writer. I am passionate about helping others restore and revive their marriages.


Teresa · August 10, 2020 at 9:32 am

Marriage is so hard a lot of the time, and you are so right that a husband cannot fill the void that only God can. I struggled in the early years of marriage. I’d unknowingly married a lost man. Thankfully, I didn’t feel like an unloved wife. But I did feel rejected when he didn’t care about what I cared about. But God taught me some very valuable lessons because of all the heartache. To God’s glory, my husband was saved after 14 years of marriage!! And today is our 35th wedding anniversary! 🙌🏼

    M. J. · August 18, 2020 at 10:16 pm

    Thank you for sharing that testimony! So happy that God worked in your marriage as well!

Ava James · August 10, 2020 at 3:24 pm

Beautiful post! Reminds me of that verse in Isaiah 54. I know and l understand but l am so glad God redeems everything even the broken parts of our lives to bring His beauty!

Adriana · August 11, 2020 at 2:33 pm

Hi! Thank you so much for encouraging other women who have been in a similar place as where you were. Thank you for reminding us that only Jesus can complete us!

Evangeline Samuel · August 11, 2020 at 2:56 pm

What a privilege it is to be known and loved by the very Source of love. What an encouraging read! Blessings!

Donna Miller · August 11, 2020 at 5:15 pm

I am so thankful that the Lord restored your marriage. I have so been there with the hurt and confusion of being the unloved wife. And you are so right, changing myself was not what restored my marriage. Yes I needed to work on myself but Jesus ultimately restored my marriage when I let Him in and we became a three fold cord. Thank you for this beautiful and heartfelt post. I loved it so much. ❤

Jessie · August 12, 2020 at 3:18 am

What a powerful read! I’ve been guilty in the past for saying “he completes me.” But you’re right, that’s not Biblical. Thank you for keeping it real and being open and honest.

Mary Rooney Armand · August 12, 2020 at 9:38 am

What a great post for someone experiencing this hurt in marriage. I have not experienced this but have friends who have. I will pin this to share with others.

    M. J. · August 18, 2020 at 10:13 pm

    Thank you Mary!

Timothy · August 13, 2020 at 4:46 pm

Working with both Men and Women dealing with active substance use and engaging in recovery – one of the greatest tragedies is hearing both share how they find themselves in a “loveless” marriage. One of the groups that I lead is about developing Healthy Relationships and has generated some really good conversations.

Relationships are hard – and difficult to navigate. Dealing with someone who does not invest their time and energy within the relationship definitely deals a harsh blow to that person’s soul. This is true in our modern day society where we have this Disney concept of love and marriage.

In the Midst Club · August 15, 2020 at 10:09 am

Praying over marriages is a powerful tool! I am so thankful that you made this post and extended that offer to others. You are so real and honest, something I love about this blog!

    M. J. · August 18, 2020 at 10:12 pm

    Thank you so much!

Elizabeth · August 16, 2020 at 5:09 am

It had to be hard to go through what you went through, but keeping your eyes on Jesus was the right thing to do. I’m grateful women can read this during their time when they feel they are alone.

Summer · August 16, 2020 at 2:27 pm

It always hurts my heart to read Leah’s story in the Bible. To remain in marriage as an unloved wife is a heavy burden. The easiest thing to do is leave, but I praise God for your testimony of perseverance. You stayed and prayed and saw restoration!

Rachel · August 16, 2020 at 8:45 pm

This is such a powerfully freeing concept! Once we realize it is Christ who makes us whole, even our healthiest relationships become better.

Lo Tanner · August 17, 2020 at 11:03 am

I have learned so much by studying Rachel and Leah’s stories. A lot about marriage, a lot about human nature, and a lot about God. I love that we can count on Him to complete us and love us perfectly.

Mamie · August 17, 2020 at 4:40 pm

Feeling unloved by anyone can be hurtful, especially a spouse. Using the word to remind us of our identity and that we are already loved helps to keep things in perspective, even in healthy marriages. Hey

Marilyn · May 28, 2021 at 8:46 pm

Thank you for being brave enough to share your own pain. May it be a blessing to someone going though the same thing.

    Meghan · May 28, 2021 at 8:54 pm

    That is always my prayer!

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