It is possible that your husband is a pastor and a jerk! I think it can be. The church and the community may often praise him for how AMAZING he is. You likely smile and nod. But deep down, you know that he lives in two realities – one where he is a wonderful pastor skilled in teaching biblical principles and loving God’s people, and another where he is a terrible, insensitive husband. He is neglectful, arrogant (largely due to how praised he is by the church), and a rotten father. The children’s dislike for the church may stem from his careless treatment of them and using them only as props. Additionally, your husband may not even know how to be a good husband or father as he has never been exposed to either of those roles. It is challenging to live with this reality, and it can slowly eat away at you day by day. If you don’t address and redirect this disappointment, it may lead to bitterness, which is a dangerous state of being.
Face it: your husband can be both a pastor and a horrible husband.
When a pastor prioritizes their ministry over their marriage, they can become a bad husband. This can lead to neglecting their spouse and causing them to feel like just another member of the church. It’s important for pastors to balance their responsibilities and make their marriage a priority.
This is gonna be a long post. You may need to revisit it Little by little.
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Aside from having to deal with his selfishness or ambition, it’s just so stinking hard to be married to a pastor in general.
Yes, being married to a pastor comes with its own unique set of challenges. Pastors often have demanding schedules and responsibilities that can impact their personal lives and relationships.
They can leave you high and dry while ministering to people who don’t even belong to their families!
I always try to come up with solutions. So, here are a few ideas that may help. I can’t guarantee it because every marriage is different. Some husbands are just jerks. But I hope they do:
Thought 1) Try…attempt to keep open communication:
Communication is key in any marriage, but it becomes even more crucial when one partner is a pastor. Listen. I know how hard it can be to talk to someone you have disdain for. I’m not good at it myself. When I’m hurt, I tend to shut down and not talk at all.
This is the worst way to handle it because then over time, you get more and more angry. It makes things worse and you can’t find your way back to each other. Instead, be open and honest with each other about your feelings, concerns, and needs.
Regularly check in with each other to discuss how you’re both coping with the demands of pastoral life. We used to do this and it helped prevent bad feelings from piling up and making us stone-hearted toward one another.
Thought 2) Set Boundaries:
This is going to sound impossible and it will be very hard to do. But, you have to set a “fence” and protect your marriage and family. This means saying “no” when the walls of the church encroach upon the boundaries of your husband’s personal life.
Pastoral duties can be all-encompassing, leading to a lack of personal time and space.
Establish clear boundaries between ministry responsibilities and personal life. Allocate time for family, relaxation, and personal hobbies, and try to ensure your husband has time to unwind and recharge. Your success in doing so is going to be dependent on his willingness to set those boundaries. If he is not willing, you’ll have to create another strategy for your own survival in this “thing” called ministry marriage.
Thought 3) Supportive Community:
Being part of a supportive community of fellow believers can be helpful for both you and your spouse. You also need your own community.
As a pastor’s wife, you need a tribe. By tribe, I mean a safe group of friends who are devoted to you and not enamored by your husband’s gifts. Those people will never fully support you because they see him as a deity. They will find a way to blame you and make your feelings seem insignificant. No, find yourself a tribe of your own. It can be online or it can be in real life.
I tried to create one on Facebook, but I couldn’t stay on top of it. Plus, Facebook was depressing the heck out of me, so I had to take a hiatus. If you’d like to join it anyway, it’s called “Married to a Pastor with Teri.”
You can also connect with other pastor couples or church members who can relate to your experiences and provide understanding and encouragement. This does not work for me, but it may for you.
Thought 4) Find Your Own Identity:
Hey, if you’ve been following me, you know I’ve advocated for this for years. I’ve even written blog posts or two about it. You must find or maintain your own identity apart from your husband. For me, it helps to be in the workforce. I can make my own friends and just be me. It’s critical to my mental health and social identity.
As pastors’ wives, it’s essential to maintain your own sense of self and interests outside of your partner’s role. You are one flesh, but you are NOT one person.
Focusing on yourself – it’s not a sin.— Teri, Married to a Pastor.com
Being consumed with your self is.
Pursue your passions and hobbies, and don’t let your entire life (or identity) revolve around the ministry.
Manage Expectations: As you know, being married to a pastor can involve excruciating sacrifices and challenges. He may spend a lot of time away from you – this could be healthy and unhealthy. The choice is his.
Either way, manage your expectations and be realistic about the demands of ministry life. Understand that your spouse’s work may sometimes take precedence – even if he is an attentive husband with a good sense of balance. In other words, in the best-case scenario of being a pastor’s wife, your husband will be stretched in ministry – which may leave you wanting to snap.
Prioritize Self-Care: Oh my goodness, this is so important. You know, in my experience, self-care takes lots of different forms. For example, one of my girlfriends is all about the mani-pedi life. Me, I’d rather drink muddy water and sleep in a hollow log. Just not a fan.
Another friend of mine goes and gets massages weekly. I, myself, don’t want anyone touching me unless they are maritally obligated to do so. 😀 Seriously, massages stress me out more than help me.
Self-care for this pastor’s wife includes time out with friends or the minister’s wives at my church. Another thing I like to do is watch old movies. That is self-care for me.
Nonetheless, both you and your spouse need to prioritize self-care. Take breaks, rest, and engage in activities that bring joy and relaxation. After all, anyone burned out will be more likely to act like a jerk.
Seek Professional Help: If you find that the challenges are becoming overwhelming and impacting your marriage significantly, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a marriage counselor or therapist.
Professional guidance can provide valuable insights and strategies for navigating these challenges. However, if your husband is anything like mine, he won’t go.
That doesn’t prevent you from going and getting the support you need. In fact, I think the more adamant your husband is about not going to counseling means he is a butt head and you REALLY need counseling to live with him and have some degree of mental balance. Choose a Christian one though. That’s my advice.
Help! My husband is a pastor … and a jerk!
You know, I’m going to just say it. It is very possible your husband is a jerk.
I’m sorry. It’s true.
We make excuses for them. We endure them, but just like any other man, pastors can be jerks. Nobody knows this more than pastors wives.
There. I said it. Your husband is a human being and all humans have some degree of jerkiness – including you and me.
Being in a relationship with a partner who exhibits jerk-like behavior can be incredibly challenging and emotionally draining. Whether it’s occasional bouts of rudeness, a persistent negative attitude, or frequent disrespectful behavior, it’s essential to address the situation and find healthy ways to cope.
Notice the word choice: I said cope.
Some people are not going to change.
Let me just offer some practical tips on what I do and on how you may be able to deal with it.
Note: I often omit the apostrophe from “pastors’ wives” or “pastors’ wives”. It’s intentional for SEO reasons.
Take an assessment of your feelings
Before taking any action, take some time to assess your feelings and emotions. Is your anger or frustration about his role as pastor or is it him as a man?
Truthfully, the two can become blurred the longer you are married.
Acknowledge the impact your husband’s behavior has on your mental and emotional well-being. I recommend listing them out. You won’t list them to share with him or use the list as an archive of his misdeeds. The point of it is to see what is really going on. This is beneficial, in my experience as a pastor’s wife, because it helps me see what is causing my unhappiness.
Recognizing your emotions will help you better understand your needs and set the stage for constructive communication. Again, do not use the list as a tool for attacking him.
Communicate Calmly and Clearly
I tend to be a passionate communicator and I have a habit of thinking I know everything. I do not.
Clear the slate before talking to him. Look at your assessment list above. Pray about it for a day or two.
I’ve never done this, but I think I will in the future, but journal a couple of days before talking to your husband. This could be a great way to flesh out what is bothering you and categorize the causes. Good idea, Holy Spirit!
When addressing your husband’s unpleasant behavior, choose a moment when both of you are calm and relaxed. Timing is everything. Don’t talk when you’re stressed or when he’s tired. DEFINITELY don’t have this conversation during that time of the month.
When you have the talk, clearly express your feelings and concerns, using “I” statements to avoid sounding accusatory. For example, say, “I feel hurt when you speak to me disrespectfully” instead of “You always treat me badly.” By focusing on your emotions, you create a less confrontational atmosphere for productive conversation.
Identify Triggers and Patterns
Try to identify any recurring triggers or patterns that lead to your husband’s jerk-like behavior. Understanding the root causes can provide insight into his emotional state and allow you to respond more empathetically. My husband is edgy when the house is not as tidy as he would like or if my son is doing his chores. He’s sure to act like a jerk in either of these conditions.
I act like a jerk when I feel ignored or neglected. We all have. our triggers. Bear those in mind and see if you can minimize behaviors that cause your husband to act like a jerk. Yeah, before you say “My pastor husband is a jerk”, check the surrounding issues.
Sometimes, external stressors or unresolved personal issues can contribute to negative behavior. If things are not going well at the church or his staff is underperforming, he can often bring that home. Yes, he can take it out on us. He’s not abusive to use physically or verbally – that would be reason enough to change my blog name to “WAS Married to a Pastor.”
Seek Professional Help
Yes, I’m back to this again. Look, mental health therapy is not a bad thing nor a sign of weakness. I don’t know why Christians think it is. This is especially true in the Black and Latino communities.
Look when I hear strange sounds from my car’s engine, I take it to someone who knows how engines work and knows how to fix them. The same goes for the human brain and relationship dynamics.
A neutral third party can facilitate constructive communication, offer insights into the dynamics of the relationship, and provide coping strategies. There that word is again – COPING.
Focus on Empathy and Understanding
Don’t shoot the messenger, but try to understand your husband’s perspective, even if his behavior is hurtful.
Empathy does not justify his actions, but it can help you see the situation from a more comprehensive perspective. Empathizing with him might lead to a deeper connection and pave the way for positive changes.
I understand it is so hard to do when he’s hiring you. But, the same way I want people to empathize with me, I got to emphasize with my husband. It’s hard but try it. I’ll try to do it more too.
Handling a difficult husband can be challenging, but it’s crucial to address the issue and work towards a healthier, happier relationship. Through open communication, setting boundaries, seeking support, and practicing empathy, you can navigate these challenges together.
Remember that relationships require effort from both partners and seeking help when needed is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Together, you can foster a more respectful and loving connection that strengthens your bond in the long run.
Sometimes your marriage can stink like everyone else’s.
Being a good pastor does NOT equate to being a good husband.
When a marriage is going through a rough patch or you feel it is bad largely because your husband is a pastor and a jerk,” it’s essential to figure out how to live through it and not lose your joy.
As you well know, your joy can’t be taken away. But I believe it can be surrendered. You can give it away by choosing to become a victim and fall into a depression, growing angrily bitter and becoming a jerk yourself, or by totally checking out of the marriage and living as though it doesn’t exist.
Amidst the challenges, try to remember the positive aspects of your relationship and the reasons you fell in love. List the things you loved about him when you were dating him. Remind yourself of the good times you shared, and use those memories as motivation to work through the difficulties.
When your husband is a pastor and a jerk it is nothing to laugh at really. It is heart-wrenching. You feel regret and heartache. You may criticize yourself for even marrying him.
Who knows. Maybe it was a mistake to marry him. But, you did. So just as with any mistake, you have to suffer the consequences and figure out how to make things right.
Fixing it will take lots of time and effort. Be patient with the process. Regardless of the stage of your marriage, it can be hard and can require toughing out the silent treatments and the negligence. Most importantly: recognize that progress may not be linear, and setbacks can happen. Stay committed to working through the challenges.
I’m no fool. In some cases, despite best efforts, the marriage may not be salvageable. If you have exhausted all options and the relationship remains unhealthy or harmful, it might be necessary to consider separation or divorce as a very last resort.
Before you do, ask yourself how you would feel seeing him with one of the women from your church. Having her walk through your house or walk through a much better one with your man. Ask yourself how you would feel having her get the. best of him – reaping all the benefits of everything you taught him. Think about it.
Then ask yourself how God will feel about your choice.
Seriously, this decision is deeply personal and should be made with careful consideration and, if possible, with professional guidance.
When your husband is a pastor and a jerk … you need to turn to Jesus more than ever!
Remember that every marriage is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to fixing a troubled relationship. Take your time, be kind to yourself and your partner, and be willing to put in the effort needed to improve your marriage.
As Christians, we are called to live a life filled with hope, joy, and faith in God’s promises. However, staying positive in the face of life’s challenges can be challenging at times – especially when your husband is a pastor and a jerk. I want to end by encouraging you to maintain a positive outlook as a Christian woman, drawing strength from our faith and trust in God.
The Bible is a source of inspiration and encouragement for Christians – particularly for pastors wives. You have to regularly read and meditate on Scripture to find comfort and wisdom in God’s word. Verses such as Philippians 4:8 (“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things”) can guide your thoughts towards positivity and gratitude. It can prompt you to focus on things that are good and not only on the negative stuff.
Be grateful for the blessings so you don’t become bitter, Christian Sister.
How to Cultivate a Grateful Heart?
I’ll tell you how! By practicing gratitude. This is a powerful way to stay positive as a Christian woman. Make a habit of thanking God daily (or hourly) for His blessings, both big and small.
Girl, count your blessings, and even in difficult times when your husband is a pastor and a jerk, focus on what you are grateful for. Gratitude shifts your perspective and allows you to see God’s goodness in all circumstances. Amen!
Avoid other women who are in bad marriages! Avoid them like the plague right now.
Your environment can significantly impact your outlook on life. Surround yourself with fellow Christian women and pastors wives who radiate positivity, faith, and love. Engage in uplifting conversations, so you can get support and encouragement.
Don’t forget to pray! Prayer is a powerful tool for staying positive as a Christian. Take time to pray more often, not only to ask for help and guidance but also to express gratitude and praise. Through prayer, you can find peace in surrendering your worries to God and trusting in His divine plan.
Find ways to get yourself off your own mind.
One of the core teachings of Christianity is to love and serve others. Engaging in acts of kindness and service can bring immense joy and positivity to your life. Whether it’s volunteering at a local charity, helping a neighbor in need, or offering words of encouragement to someone struggling, serving others aligns you with God’s purpose and fills your heart with positivity.
It always lifts my mood when I bless someone else. Do it. Let me know if it helps.
When your husband is a pastor and a jerk, you can feel so alone. You know the congregation loves him and that can feel like they don’t love you. Whether that is true or not, life as a pastor’s wife is just hard. But as a Christian, you have the assurance that God is with you through every trial – including this one.
Lean on your faith in Jesus and trust in God’s sovereignty. Recall past experiences where God has shown His faithfulness, and let those memories strengthen your hope in the midst of struggles.
Lastly, remember words hold significant power. As a Christian woman, strive to use uplifting and encouraging language only. Speak life and hope into situations, both for yourself and when your husband is a pastor and also a big jerk. Avoid any thinking or conversations that drain God’s positivity from your life.
As a pastor’s wife and Christian jewel, staying positive is not about ignoring life’s challenges but rather about embracing a hopeful outlook based on your faith in God’s promises.
By grounding yourself in scripture, cultivating gratitude, surrounding yourself with positive influences, maintaining a prayerful life, serving others, and practicing self-reflection, you can nurture a positive mindset.
Remember that your faith in Jesus can be a beacon of light to others, inspiring them to seek hope, joy, and faith in their own lives. I think your light shines brightest when you are in a struggle. What do you think? Tell me below.
Remember that being married to a pastor can also be rewarding and fulfilling. Try to focus on the positive.
I love you. I believe the best is yet to come for you. But you absolutely cannot give up. I will try not to give up as well.
God’s got us, Pastor’s Wife.