When You Love a Broken Man

Is the man you love “a diamond in the rough,” “a work in progress,” or “a piece of work”?

  • Does he shut down?
  • Get angry easily?
  • Disappear for hours at a time?
  • Do you feel like you need to fix him?
When You Love a Broken Man

We don’t always notice at first.

But if we do see red flags, we tend to ignore them with a love-conquers-all attitude.

The truth is, most men are simultaneously healthy & broken (to one degree or another), simply because of the way they were created & have been treated throughout their lives.

It’s called normative developmental trauma.

The Truth (with a capital T) is that The Creator has a deep desire to heal every man’s brokenness – as well as every woman’s pain.

When you love a man – no matter how broken or emotionally healthy he is, you will need an ongoing dose of Divine Wisdom. Here are 3 things to keep in mind as you move forward.

  1. Men usually respond well to women who are healthy, so that’s a great place for you to begin.
  2. If he doesn’t respond well, he may be in a deadly trap that requires more than you can give. He needs Divine Intervention.
  3. Because his woman is also broken, she cannot save him alone. In fact, she may need Divine Intervention, too. Which brings us back to #1.

A Broken Man in Adultery

Sometimes a man goes outside his marriage. For things his Creator intends him to enjoy within his marriage.

Most guys I’ve known who are broken in this way did not set out to have an affair. But with each encounter, he dives deeper into the emotional abyss he is trying to avoid.

That’s how evil works.

Abandonment by a Broken Man

Plagued by fear, shame, and doubt, his autonomic nervous system initiates the fight, flight, or freeze response. Usually, that means a wall of protection for himself.

As a result, you feel left out, left behind, or all alone. Chasing after him only makes matters worse by triggering more fear, shame, and doubt.

An evil trap designed to separate you both from Love.

Addiction for a Broken Man

No man starts doing something harmful because he wants more pain.

At first, the behavior is a way of coping with his painful emotions. Alcohol, drugs, sex/porn, work, or food provide a way of escaping that soon takes over his soul and ruins his life.

As with adultery, each step sends him deeper into the emotional abyss he is trying to avoid.

Yes, that really is how evil works.

Abuse and a Broken Man

Physical, psychological/emotional, sexual, and spiritual abuse are attempts to feel in control by controlling someone else.

We most often think of men as the perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse. However, a broken man may be – or may have been – a victim himself. Sometimes he’s both.

Either way, safety is the primary concern for all. Without safety, fear runs rampant.

Which is always the end goal of evil.

So What Does Divine Intervention Look Like?

Our Creator works in many mysterious ways. Sometimes directly. Sometimes through others.

What He does in your situation will depend on how He sees what you need, as well as what your broken man needs.

  • My personal favorite is the way He speaks straight into my heart, and I pray you both hear His voice in that way.
  • Our Creator also intervenes through education, support groups, and counseling, to name a few.

More Resources

Additional Article:
When God Answers Your Prayers

Are you in an abusive relationship? Domestic Violence Abuse Questionnaire

Celebrate Recovery or AA and Al Anon

Books to Help You Get Started …

Affiliate Links to books: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


You’ve forgiven a thousand times. You’ve bent over backwards to make your partner feel loved and accepted. But the only reward for your loyalty has been anger, indifference, infidelity, or abuse. Your spouse may even be ready to walk out the door.

Do you feel like all is lost? Are you ready to give up? There IS still hope.

Dr. James Dobson’s “tough love” principles have proven to be uniquely valuable and effective.

Unlike most approaches to marriage crisis, the strategy in this groundbreaking classic does not require the willing cooperation of both spouses.


Written by respected pastor and marriage counselor Dave Carder, this revised and expanded version of Torn Asunder sorts through the factors that contribute to infidelity and then maps out a recovery process for both partners. With compassion and wisdom rooted in the Bible, Carder offers insight for the victims of adultery, the perpetrators, and those who seek to help hurting couples.

Pastor Dave & Ronnie


When doors slam and angry words fly, when things just aren’t working out, and even when your spouse has destroyed your trust, there is still hope.

If you feel like your marriage is near the breaking point, or even if you’ve already separated, Gary Chapman will show you how you can give your marriage one more try.

Dr. Gary Chapman


Life often looks so very different than we hoped or expected. Some events may simply catch us off guard for a moment, but others shatter us completely. We feel disappointed and disillusioned, and we quietly start to wonder about the reality of God’s goodness.

Lysa TerKeurst understands this deeply. But she’s also discovered that our disappointments can be the divine appointments our souls need to radically encounter God.

In It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, Lysa invites us into her own journey of faith and, with grit, vulnerability, and honest humor.


The wreckage of addiction lies scattered around too many people–from the one who is or was addicted to those in relationship with that person.

Age-old culprits of drugs, alcohol, and gambling are joined by newer addictions, such as food, prescription medication, shopping, pornography, and technology.

Left unaddressed, addiction devastates lives now and makes it difficult to see a positive way forward.


Do you feel manipulated, controlled, or lied to? Are you the focus of intense, violent, and irrational rages? Do you feel you are ‘walking on eggshells’ to avoid the next confrontation? If the answer is ‘yes,’ someone you care about may have borderline personality disorder (BPD)—a mood disorder that causes negative self-image, emotional instability, and difficulty with interpersonal relationships.

Stop Walking on Eggshells has already helped more than a million people with friends and family members suffering from BPD understand this difficult disorder, set boundaries, and help their loved ones stop relying on dangerous BPD behaviors.


The numbers of males abused in childhood are sometimes listed as low as 5 percent or as high as 33 percent.

Though statistics are controversial, no one disputes the fact that childhood abuse is a continuing problem―or that such abuse can have devastating effects on future relationships.

For all women who know and love a survivor of sexual assault, best-selling author Cecil Murphey has penned an honest and forthright book about surviving―and thriving―despite past abuses.

(NOTE: Much of this applies to any type of abuse he endured.)

The Most Surprising Thing I Learned About Men

The Most Surprising Thing I Learned About MenThe most surprising thing I learned about men just might surprise you, too.

Unless you’re a man, that is!

In this video you will learn that:

  • Men tend to be far more sensitive than women.
  • A man’s sensitivity often brings him shame.
  • He puts up a wall to protect his heart.
  • Women’s words often shame men.
  • Women stop nurturing men.
  • He needs your nurture.

Simple facts that make sense … when you think about them. Because I’m all about helping women make sense of men in terms of how men think and what men do.

This video was recorded live on my Facebook page on January 30, 2020.

Learn more in the Quick Start Guide to Understanding Men.

The Truth Every Woman Needs to Know

The Truth Every Woman Needs to KnowThe Truth every woman needs to know? My work and my writing are often intense, and I’m sometimes accused of being “tough” on women. Because I desperately want women to know the Truth that no one told me.

My Love Story started like this …

I was born a blue-eyed blonde who was the apple of her daddy’s eye. But shortly before I turned 3, my mom packed her friend’s car with some essential belongings and left town with my older brother and me … while my dad was at work. He had no idea what was coming. None of us did.

We were always safe, and Mom took very good care of us.

But for most of my life, I experienced a haunting loneliness that I couldn’t explain and didn’t understand until more than 37 years later. My mother had kept me from my father. She had been abused as a child, and she was very confused about men and their behavior. She adored my three uncles, but didn’t really trust any other men … including my dad.

So she poured herself into being a mom and helping others. A very creative woman, she spent her days cooking and baking and sewing beautiful dresses for me with all kinds of ribbons and bows. How I loved to dress up! But life wasn’t always simple, and most lessons were painful.

Being from a divorced family was much more unique in the 1950s than it is now, and apparently something for a child to be ashamed of. I didn’t realize that until my Bluebird Troop visited our local radio station when I was 7. The announcer engaged in a live interview with each of the girls. I was so energetic – all twirls and smiles – and so excited to get to be on the radio. When the man came to me, he asked the same questions he had asked of the others, but there seemed to be something very wrong with my answers …

“What’s your name?” “Debby”
“What does your daddy do?”
“Oh, I don’t have a daddy.”

The expression on the nice announcer’s face changed drastically, and he quickly removed the microphone from in front of me and started talking to the next Bluebird. I was immediately flooded with an overwhelming sense of shame.

It was clear to me that I’d said something terribly wrong, but no one told me what it was. And I was too afraid to ask. So I filed the experience away under an enduring belief about myself: “There’s something drastically wrong with you, but no one will tell you what it is. No one will give you the slightest clue. You’ll have to figure it out for yourself.”

I’ve never forgotten that day, nor the sadness of my dad’s absence. In my little-girl mind, he’d left me for unknowable reasons, setting the stage for my belief about my perceived faults and my conclusion that I would always end up alone.

The Number One Lie vs. The Truth Every Woman Needs to Know

So there you have it. More than likely, you’ve had similar identity issues … also based on your early life experiences. Lies about yourself, to be sure, but also about the opposite sex. These issues can limit our romantic success by clouding our understanding of who we are and why we’re here.

As you contemplate your own story – past, present, and future – I pray that you’ll see the Father’s loving hand in it. No one can change what happened, but you can gain a better understanding by allowing your Heavenly Father to show you the Truth about yourself.

from The Truth About Love