She Wasn’t There For Her Son

She Wasn’t There For Her Son

Written by a man who wants to remain anonymous.

“A wife’s place is in the home.”

“Wives should be keepers at home.”

For the greater part of my life, I was always ambiguous and uncommitted to what these sayings mean. When I married my wife, we were both of the opinion that husbands and wives were just equal partners in “the contract,” and we never sat down together with a premarital pastoral counselor to hash out exactly what this contract we were entering into meant. No one told us that God has expectations for husbands and expectations for wives, and that these were different from each other in the same way that males and females are different from each other. And, I suspect, that’s the way for a lot of us, if not most of us, when we started out. We are young when we make this decision.

My views on this subject changed over the years as I read more of God’s word, learned from godly preaching of the word, and older married couples in the Church, and, frankly, from my own experience as I grew older. Ultimately, I came to view marriage as God has defined it in scripture, and especially that the role that God has placed on husbands is different from the role God has ordained for wives.

Unavoidably, this began creating conflict in the marriage when one of us has one view of marriage as an ordered hierarchy that God ordains for marriage, and the other thinks it’s a free-for-all.

About ten years ago, I asked a believing couple that we were friends with and whom I respected, if they would sit down with us and discuss this matter. But they decided that they really did not want to get involved and that’s okay. Our problems are not their burdens, and I fault them nothing. They have been good friends, and I do not want to burden them with these petty problems.

It came to a head when my wife decided that she was done with the whole arrangement and began preparing for her exit. She began dropping “hints” in front of me and the whole family (“I’m leaving…,” “I’m just going to disappear one day, and no one will find me…,” “I’m moving out after Christmas is over…,” etc). I know that when the last of the kids are grown up and moved out, that’s when she is going to leave. I’ve confronted her on it a number of times, and while she’s never confirmed it, she’s also never denied it.

I’ve done all that is in my power to avoid it (including pastoral counselling numerous times even after she walked out of it), and made sure that I am doing what the Lord requires of me, which I can control without focusing on what the Lord requires of her, which I cannot control. But ultimately, the power is not in my hands; it is in hers. If she is determined that she is going to leave, then there is nothing I can do to stop her. So, I focus on my relationship with the Lord and with my brothers and sisters in God’s family in the local church, and leave the rest of the matter in God’s hands. She abandoned our marital relationship almost seven years ago. This is pretty much permanent, as far as I can tell.

What really made the disagreement stark and plain to me was my youngest son. He was 12 at that time. He is the last of our children still growing up at home. We have two other teenagers, but they have jobs, friends, their own transportation, and are often out of the house. Three others that are adults now and on their own (kind of). So, my youngest son is mostly at home.

My wife has decided that she is going to enroll in college and start working towards a medical degree. Without saying such, I know that this part of her “exodus” plan. And I’ve been supportive of it. Since I cannot change her behavior then if she’s going to leave, I at least want her to be able to provide for herself. I don’t want her living alone on minimum wage income into her old age. We are both in our fifties. So, I’m helping and supporting this, against counsel to do so. I’m being told by pastoral counselors that I am aiding and enabling her to sin. But, in the end, I really have her welfare at heart.

So, this final straw was simply one day when I came home for lunch. I live close enough to work that I can get home for lunch, so I often do. This day, Ben was the only one of our children home. My wife told me that she is leaving to go study with her “college study group” and that she will be leaving in about an hour. So, by roughly after noon, she’s gone and Ben is at home by himself. I don’t have a problem with that. He’s old enough to keep himself occupied for a few hours.

But when I finally finish work that evening, and got home at about 10:30 pm, I find the house is dark, and he is still home and completely alone. My wife is still at her “college study group” and Ben has been home alone all day long and all night long from a bit past noon all the way until 10:30 pm at night. I’m a bit peeved at this. That is an understatement. I am intensely angry. I understand going to a study group for a couple of hours, but this has been all day and long into the night with Ben home alone the whole time. It is one thing for her to abandon me. I am used to that, and I am equipped to deal with that but to abandon our children? That is the final straw.

I ask him if he’s eaten anything, and he said, “No.”

About the same time that I get home, Ben’s older brother, who is about 30, shows up at the house with his girlfriend. And he’s brought some fast food that they picked up at a restaurant. And I sit there, watching Ben watch his brother eat.

Then Ben says to him, “Can I have any leftovers if there are any?”

And my heart just broke. It took all I had not to cry in front of him. I cannot express in words the grief I felt in knowing what had happened to him all that day while I was at work, unaware of what was happening to him at home. I spent hours at work, completely oblivious to what was happening to him at home because he was alone. I was heartbroken for him. I get home to a dark house, a hungry son, and a missing wife.

Here’s a 12 year old boy who has been home all day and all night, alone, basically begging table scraps from his own brother. Why? Because his mother has not been home all day and all night to even so much as prepare a meal for him because she’s out pursuing worldly ambitions with her “college study group.” I try my best to suppress my outright hostility towards this “college study group” that is so much more important to my wife than her own son, let alone her own husband. I’m a grown man, capable of handling such treachery. But a 12 year old boy?

My heart broke with sadness for my son, and simultaneously burned in anger toward my wife.

I took him to McDonalds to get a burger and fries at almost midnight. And I think to myself, “Where was his mother all this time?” Ben is capable of making a sandwich, or a pizza, or some such, but he hasn’t and he shouldn’t have to. He has a mother, whom God himself has tasked with the keeping of her husband, her children, and her home. (In fact, she was gone that night until well past 10:30; showing up back at home about 1:30 am the next morning.)

On school days, I ask her if Ben has a lunch prepared for the next day, and she will tell me “No. He knows how to make his own lunch. He can go in kitchen and make a sandwich.” But I think, in the long run, when he’s an adult, wouldn’t he rather look back on his childhood and remember a mom that LOVED and CARED for him, and didn’t simply tell him to go forage in the kitchen for himself?

Wives are to be “keepers at home” for this exact reason – to avoid this exact situation. This is the role God has ordained for wives, and laid out explicitly in scripture. I am considered anything from “old fashioned” to outright “abusive” if I bring these truths to light and tell her that I believe God expects us to work in the roles he has designated for each of us.

God has not tasked wives with providing for the family. This is the husband’s role. God has tasked the husband with working and providing for the family, not the wife.

And God has tasked wives with taking that providence that God has given the husband, whatever it is (and however much, or however little that may be) and taking that and using it frugally and wisely in running the home. She is not the provider for the home, she is the administrator of the home.

And had the administrator been home, my son would not have been begging table scraps from his older brother.

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31:27

27 thoughts on “She Wasn’t There For Her Son

  1. Wow sad story, its imperative that we are in God’s word and obey Him. This situation should never happen. Every day I’m hearing people getting divorces and just leaving. Choosing who you marry is everything. Divorce shouldn’t be an option and both should be living Godly lives.

  2. This guy should listen to his pastoral advice and not provide funding for college. As for his son, if at all possible I’d go home and get him when he came home from school. The family has been torn apart. It wasn’t supposed to be this way but the industrial revolution was the weapon used. The family used to work as a unit but they enticed the men away, locked the kids up in mandatory school and lured away the mothers. He is right in that he can’t force his self-centered wife to do right but he can make dramatic changes for the sake of his son. If he doesn’t his son will be left to the world.

  3. The cynic in me thinks the “study group” consists of simply two people. Not that my comment helps at all, but does convince me that you are right M. I too think enabling this woman is no longer helpful anymore. If she wants to stay out all hours, leaving her son for a “study group” , then so be it. But it should not be with the financial support of the husband.

  4. This was such a sad story. I don’t think the food itself was the problem (as the dad points out, a 12-year-old can feed himself) as what it represents–presence, care for the child, love. This kid was alone for hours and hours, no one thinking of him enough to make him something to eat; even when his siblings came in, they hadn’t brought him any food (I am not saying it was their responsibility to do, but imagine how he must have felt). So when Dad took him out for fast food, he was feeding him love–saying you’re important to me.

  5. Hi there Lori, I am still trying to work out why the 30-year-old son/brother didn’t get the 12-year-old something to eat! My sister is 9 years older than me and I know if this had been me and her, she would have fed me first! Perhaps he takes after his mum!?It doesn’t say a lot about the girlfriend either – so very sad!?
    I pray this family can in some way heal and stay together; maybe she always wanted to be a doctor and the desire became bigger than her desire to be a mum and wife?
    I have seen that happen and it almost never ends well.
    If only her and other mom’s like her could see the utter joy of being a SAHM and wife! Sadly the world doesn’t place much value on being a Mama and Wife and I know I have had to stand in the face of so much criticism for it; there were times I stood alone and just kept my eyes on God and His precious Word and I have never, not even for a second, regretted my life choices!
    Being home for our precious children has been such a blessing to me I was always able to have the joy of Afternoon Tea with them (Afternoon Tea was a big thing in our family) it was a time to catch up with the day and a chance to talk about their day and mine as well as hear about all their friends and teachers – it was a treasured time. I look back on it with such joy and delight! There is a lot to say about the good old
    kitchen table; I have had many a wonderful and God appointed time with my precious children there; I think that is why I am so close to them now and can talk about anything with them – because I build the foundation of home when they where little! Something I look forward to doing with my beautiful Granddaughter!
    All praise goes to God, it is only Him (and my precious Antony) that helped me be a SAHM!
    Love and Blessing to you Lori.❤️❤️❤️

  6. Also, if your kid isn’t getting companionship and nurture at home, he’ll be getting it from his peer group and from the Internet. At that point, you’ve lost most of your influence on him. Definitely could be problematic.

  7. The 30 year old most likely didn’t know that his little brother had been alone all night and needed food.

    Yes, she is making a grave mistake pursuing a medicine over her family. She will one day regret this foolish decision.

  8. Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. The older brother probably doesn’t live at home, and probably had no idea his little brother was home alone.

  9. You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink. Yes Our Saviour gave us guidance for a happy and fulfilling life but none are forced to take the right path. This man’s wife has chosen to go against that which she had knowledge of. She will suffer the consequences of her actions and make those who depend on her suffer. That is a matter between her and our Father in Heaven. In the meantime the man of the house needs to put the needs of his child first because “whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

    We are in the End Times. No one will be allowed to sit on the fence. This man needs to save himself and hopefully his children. He needs to take his thoughts away from what his wife does or does not do. Her choice to abandon responsibility his her own and she has taken it.

    He may be crying out to save his marriage but even the scant details show everyone the truth of what is going on. It’s over and he should stop pretending he has control over that.

  10. Perhaps I’m mis-reading this, but is dad only getting home at 10:30 pm? It doesn’t sound like he works 2nd shift if he came home for lunch. My husband works long hours, too, but if he was out consistently in the evenings, that would be a discouragement to me. I’m not making excuses for the wife and mom in this situation, just questioning if this work schedule is consistent.
    As for the wife’s choices, unfortunately I’ve seen this before in large families. By the time the youngest are adolescents, the moms seem burned out or bored from the monotony of running a home and desiring intellectual and social stimulation.
    Distraction comes in many forms, though. I’ve observed young mothers go off to college/work with little ones at home, too.
    Thank you, Lori, for continuing to point us to God’s Word!

  11. Heartbreaking. Jesus, I ask that you bring healing to this family. Please change the woman’s heart. Please protect the young son. Place Godly and encouraging men around this husband. Amen.

  12. I wonder if this man prayed over his decision to financially support his wife’s college expenditures, and felt at peace that God was pointing him towards this? The post doesn’t say (unless I missed something). Sometimes we feel that we are doing the best thing for a loved one out of our concern for them and their well-being, but in truth it may not be the Lord’s will. That’s why it’s so important not to rely on our own judgement and what we want or don’t want for someone, but stay with Him and His word and pray, pray, pray for His will to be done, not ours.

    It’s a very sad tale, and also sad to see comments suggesting the finality of the situation, as if there’s no hope. Anything is possible with God! Therefore we should always have hope. This man’s wife desperately needs prayers to turn her to Christ.

    I know it’s just a movie and real life is much more complicated, but the Christian film “Fireproof” is a great one that goes into this: a husband’s response to a wife who has seemed to give up on the marriage. It’s an inspiring watch.

    My own marriage was once on the brink, and although it’s not exactly peaches and roses now, it has been saved from the nightmare of divorce. If I had given up my faith in God’s ability to heal, or had tried to take things into my own hands instead of giving them to God and His will, it might be a different story today. But God is gracious, loving, and merciful, and can create literal miracles out of seemingly dire situations – if we just hold on to our faith, hope and love.

    God bless this man and his family, I pray the Lord’s mercy to blanket them all, I pray he remain steadfast in his faith. Thanks Lori for sharing so that we can all join our prayers for them.

  13. This is such a sad story. We know a dad in a very similar situation.

    I think this is why Debbie Pearl tries to focus so hard on showing women the power they have to change marriages. Women, by their submission and godly words, have a power over their marriages that men do not have. A godly woman’s influence can often bring around a bad man, but a man with a wife in rebellion is nearly powerless.

    However, there is always hope. My in-laws were in a “hopeless” marital situation for many years, and they are now both healed and happy. Never give in, never give up!

  14. I completely agree with M.
    If this woman wants to leave the family unit then she can get a job and provide for her own tuition for her “classes”, though I suspect she also has some candy on the side.
    Her behaviour is disgusting!
    Perhaps the husband could also tighten the luxury budget as well, until she starts being a mother again. just a thought

  15. I’ll take a somewhat different approach than some of the other responses. As someone who has dealt with somewhat similar circumstances in my marriage (though not this far-gone), to the man who submitted this, I would say that yes, God requires your wife’s submission to you, but it’s not something you’re likely to get by demanding it. I think you would be wise to focus some attention on healing your marriage. There are a lot of verses in Scripture that tell us how to get along with others, and particularly our wives. For example, 1 Peter 3:7… “dwell with them according to knowledge.” We are to love our wives as Christ loved the church, sacrificially. We are to be peacemakers. We are to do our best to “live at peace” with others (Romans 12:18). “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.” (Proverbs 19:11). I’m not saying you shouldn’t want your wife to submit to you, because she should. But that doesn’t sound like the primary issue going on here, in my opinion. I think you should lovingly work to win back your wife’s heart, as you won it in the first place, and let the Lord work on her heart and whether she gains the submissive spirit He instructs wives to have toward their husbands. Don’t give up hope. God changes people’s hearts every day. But this situation is probably not all your wife’s fault. You are the head, but you can make following you harder or easier, and I would suggest you try making it easier. Even with our children, over whom we have complete authority, God tells fathers not to exasperate them. I don’t think we should exasperate our wives, either. I have just prayed for you and your wife and your kids. I have heard it said that if you tune two pianos to the same tuning fork, they will be in tune, and just the same, if you and your spouse are both “in tune” with the Lord, you will be in tune with each other. Do your part to work toward that and keep praying, and see if things improve. Prayers for you, my brother.

  16. I suspect he isn’t so angry that his son went hungry once, as that it happened while his own wife was off getting “stuffed”. She spent over 12 hours, until 1:30 AM the next morning unaccountable with her study partner, and in complete disregard of her marriage and parenting duty. And like in every other case, the apostate whore-worshipping church is absolutely worthless, refusing to lift a finger to help a man and his family. He is right to be jealous of his wife’s time and attention. It is the character of God to be Jealous. While envy is wanting what belongs or is due to others, Jealousy is wanting what is rightfully yours, or due to you.
    Exodus 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

  17. It’s not the 30 year Olds job to provide food for his little brother. It’s the parents job. If she must go to a ‘study class’s ? then maybe sit down with her and discuss with her that either he needs to arrange for a babysitter. Or make a meal for her son ahead of time and find a babysitter for her son. Or, he needs to have access to adequate,healthy food and taught how to prepare it and safety rules. (I wouldn’t allow him to use the oven or stovetop incase it caused a fire) But he is not to be left alone for hours on end with no food prepared. She is also to leave the number of where she will be with her husband incase of emergency.

    This whole story is very concerning. In my country, you’d have child protection called on you and you’re child taken into care. I don’t blame the husband. The wife is at fault. She’s ignoring her son and his needs in favour of her own.

    I also question the nature of what she is actually doing. If she refuses to give her husband any information about her whereabouts, who she is with, a phone number or what time she will be home, I smell a rat. That information is needed for safety reasons.

  18. Is that the way that Christ loves his bride the church? Does He just go along to get along and focus on being nice to keep the peace or does he specifically instruct His bride in how she is to behave and (after applying a lot of patience, grace and mercy) discipline her when she does not respond appropriately?

    Does He not instruct all Christians to be teaching and admonishing others so that all may become mature in Christ? (Colossians 1:28) “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:”

    Does He not instruct us to directly confront those in the body of Christ who sin against us? (Matthew 18:15-17) “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.”

    Dwelling with a wife “according to knowledge” can be interpreted many ways and not “provoking a child to anger” does not preclude discipline and correction.
    (Proverbs 23:13-14) “Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell.”

    A husband is to love (agape) his wife by washing her in the water of the word to help remove her spots and blemishes (Ephesians 5:25-27) and part of how God agape’s those that He loves is to discipline them when they need it.
    (Hebrews 12:6) “For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”

    Yes, husbands are to love (agape) their wives (1 Corinthians 13) but that is not all of the instruction that God gives to us. Just trying to be more nice to them and do whatever it takes to keep peace with them IS NOT the right answer.

  19. I have real issues over a mother having a lack of concern for her own child, preparing to “take care of patients. That’s just in top of everything else going on.

  20. Sad story. I always want to pursue my Master degree but I lay aside as soon as I marry my husband. God give me the job to be a wife not a professional. My husband and son more important than my career. Sometimes we are women are selfish that is what I saw in America woman (I am foreign woman who marry American guy). Women in my country, they take a proud being a MOMMY. I cannot stand being away from my son.

  21. I am the man who wrote this account, and Lori can vouch for that, even though I am not using my real name. She knows my email address.

    It’s a late reply, but I just want to take a moment to address a few comments that were made.

    First, my wife was not “getting stuffed”, and she was not at a “study group of two”. It was a legitimate study group of about a half dozen students, and they met in a public restaurant. My wife is, and always has been faithful. Or at least, not adulterous.

    As several mentioned, my 30 year old son did not bring food for Ben because he had no idea he was home alone.

    As for why I am getting home at 10:30 at night: That night was unusual. I usually get home no later than about 8pm. I work a double shift. All day, then home for a quick bite to eat, then back again. At that time (and still today) we have an avalanche of work, and too few people to do it. (I am a software developer, and the Lead Developer at the airline company I work for). It was just a collision of unfortunate events. That does not excuse her being gone all day and all night, but just so you know, this is not the norm. I spent that whole night not worried because I expected my wife was going to be home in just a few hours, and I had no idea Ben was home alone that whole time. And he didn’t call me to tell me. Otherwise, I would have left work and gone home to take care of him.

    But the point is, I shouldn’t have to. That is why God tells wives to take care of their children and their home – so the husband can devote his full time and attention to being a good and faithful servant (and witness) to his master/employer without his time and attention being divided.

    My wife’s motivations for doing this are that she feels that I do not make enough money alone to provide for us (us, and six kids – only one of which is at home still). That is a long story, but I will answer it only by saying, I make over $100,000/year. Not in California. Not in New York, but in Kansas. I think that with a little frugal living, we can make it just fine, keeping in mind that “Godliness with Contentment is great gain.” It is contentment that my wife struggles with the most. She simply cannot, “with such things as ye have, therewith be content.” My wife is in complete control of the finances and the bank account because, frankly, she’s better at that than I am. And it frees me to focus on being a good servant at my job to not have to deal with the job, and the finances too. So, I’m grateful for her in that regard. And I, (for purely selfish reasons, I admit) even encourage her to go out with her friends whenever she wants to.

    Here, now almost a year and a half later, she has graduated and is working as a nurse. So, we have more money, but that’s not what I want, or even need. I want a wife. My kids need a mom. I want peace in the house. She’s gone now, from Friday afternoon, to Sunday morning, working or sleeping between shifts. And, after all this, having the extra money hasn’t changed anything. The house is still empty all weekend long, I still don’t have a wife, my remaining son doesn’t have a mother that cares for him, and she’s still not happy. Don’t think that more money is going to make you more happy. That is a lie from the devil. I’d rather be poor with a godly wife, than rich with an absent, quarrelsome one.

    The worst part of it is, now that she’s done the school, and started the job, she hates it and wants to quit. Sheesh.

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