Advice: My Family Makes Me Feel Used

Dear Mel:
I am so angry right now. I am tired of letting people (especially my family) use me. I have wasted almost my entire inheritance paying for other people’s bills. My husband hasn’t been providing for the past 6 years or so. He hasn’t a clue how to manage his own finances, because I keep paying things off. I am so stupid, and now I am really angry and feeling like I just keep giving and giving in the guise of “wanting to help” but I just feel used. He pretends to be something he is not. Everyone else sees the “Christian” spouse, but I get the verbal and emotional abuse. He is just a taker at this point. I don’t know where to even start. He doesn’t think that my issues should still be a problem for me, (maybe because he wasn’t with me when they happened). I am just supposed to “snap out of it” and get over it. We’ve been married almost 20 years, but I feel so alone. We have one teenager still at home, who needs more help than I can give him. I know this was rambling, but that is how my head feels right now. Help!
~ Giver~

Dear Giver:
I can feel your pain and anger in your letter. What a hard situation you are in. I’ve been praying about your situation. When it comes to the financial part of everything, you may try a family meeting where you tell everyone the buck stops here. It’s time to stop bailing everyone out. If you do decide to give, do it because you want to, not because you feel pressured to.

May I suggest seeking a Christian counselor? Just for you. If your husband is willing to go, you two can go together but I think you need someone to talk to. Someone who is safe and you can vent and get godly advice and prayer. If you are comfortable ask your pastor who he would recommend.

Another suggestion I have is to write some letters to whom ever is on your list right now and vent. Then burn them. Or write them on your computer but don’t save them. I suggest destroying them so they never fall into the wrong hands. It’s a safe and healthy way to say what ever you feel without hurting anyone. You’ll be amazed at the relief.

Continue to pray over this situation. Complain to God if you need to. Ask Him for guidance and discernment. Pray for your husband and your relationship with him.

Praying for peace for you sister.

In Him,



If you have advice for ‘Giver’ please feel free to leave your comments below! The more wisdom, the better!

* Legal disclaimer: Dear Mel is not professional advice but for entertainment purposes only. Melinda Todd, nor her readers, is not legally liable for actions taken by participating parties. Professional help should always be sought. Dear Mel is opinion only. The advice is not legal, medical, or otherwise and is   to replace advice from a doctor, attorney, or other legal authority.

*Dear Mel is an old column I used to write and no longer available to submit questions. You can always email me though!


  1. “Just get over it” or words to that effect may be meant well, but are probably the most hurtful of all. It means they don’t understand that some of us can’t “just get over it” … if we could, we would’ve done so already.

    Mel, your advice is spot-on. Prayer is the big thing, as is perseverance. As difficult as I know it’ll be, “Giver” does need to stop giving, unconditionally. Since Mr. & Mrs. Giver aren’t on the same page of the budget, I suggest transferring as much of the remainder of her inheritance as possible into a separate account that is not shared. Some will find this to be “uncaring” or otherwise hurtful, but sometimes it must be done.
    Joe Sewell recently posted..The Capped Idol of Copeland-Hagin, Part 7: More on the Image of God

    • Joe, I think that is very wise advice. I know several couples who have to operate this way because one has an issue with finances. Thanks for popping over to share your wisdom! And you’re also right, if we could just get over it, there’d be no issues!

  2. I think Mel gave some amazing advice! I also recommend picking up a copy of “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud. He is a great Christian man, and the book goes through setting healthy boundaries AND enforcing them. Praying you, sister!

  3. Dear Giver,

    This is a very hard place where you and your husband find yourselves. You’ve found a bottom to your ability to keep giving, and that is a hard realization. I agree with Mel that seeking counselling would be wise, for you at first, and then your husband.

    The trouble we giving women have (and I’ve struggled with this, still struggle with it) is that with our giving we teach those we love most how to treat us. It is so hard to realize our part in their actions. They are not blameless, do not misunderstand, but if we find ourselves at the end of our rope without a word, then we too need to take a hard look at the situation.

    You are both Christians, but maybe you need to sit down with each other and really pray and define those husband and wife roles again. Don’t be trapped into thinking you have to each assume set roles. Find roles for each other where there is mutual respect and love. That will be something you can work on to model for your children as well.

    Find someone to pray with you, and pray for each other. Pray for your husband, pray for those things which you value. Share them with him in non accusing ways. Honour him by remembering what you fell in love with, and then share that with him. Go gently, you’ve had years to make habits, it won’t come undone, even a little, over night. But nothing is too great for our God. He can create in you both new hearts for one another, and renew your love.

    Don’t quit, don’t blame and don’t stop praying. Praying for you, and for your family.

    (a small caveat – if you ever feel threatened or unsafe get away. Abuse is not something that can safely be worked on alone.)
    Shanyn recently posted..Woman of God

  4. Lost and Found Lady

    Hey there Giver,
    I hope that you are brave to read what has been written. It’s very good. Some people think that God has favorites. Romans 2: 10-11 … but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.

    Would it surprise you that God wants ‘everyone’ (that means you too) to have glory, honor and peace [John 14: 23a] Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

    As far as trusting people, Psalm 146:3 says “Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.”
    I guess if I sum up the whole thing in one sentence it is that your spiritual self funds your life .. not your funds supply your sense of self. Does that make sense?

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