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 traumaOpens in a new tab..

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 and 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

ABUSE
Are you in an abusive relationship? Domestic Violence Abuse Questionnaire

ADDICTION
Celebrate RecoveryOpens in a new tab. or AA and Al Anon

Books to Help You Get Started …

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


Adultery

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.


Adultery

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

Abandonment

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

Abandonment

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.


Addiction

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.


Abuse

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.


Abuse

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.)


DrDebiSmith

Dr. Debi is passionate about helping Christian couples & single adults learn more effective ways to apply Biblical principles & the findings of psychological research to everyday life. She is an author & former *professor, as well as a California Licensed Psychologist (21711) & a Texas Licensed Psychologist with Provisional Status (38600). At this time, she is not accepting new patients so she can devote more time to writing & creating educational programs for couples. * Dr. Debi has taught psychology courses at MidAmerica Nazarene University, Azusa Pacific University, & Biola University.

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