Question:We have been married for close to 20 years and my husband informed me around our second year that he married me mainly because I was pregnant. Ever since then his relationship with me has been based around the family and not us as a couple. The other day he announced to me that when our kids leave home, he's considering possibly leaving also because there will no longer be a place for him. My youngest is 16. How am I supposed to feel that God wants me to fight for this marriage in which I was never really valued as a partner, but part of a family unit? Am I supposed to try to convince him to stay with me? I have struggled most of years just trying to feel like I matter to him as a wife and not just the mother of his children.
It appears that you have spent a good deal of time in your marriage resenting your husband and trying to make him do what you know to be right. The problem is that you can't force anyone to do what is right. A person must be persuaded that doing right is in his best interest. That is why Peter stated, "Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear" (I Peter 3:1-2).
I suspect that much is being left out in this description. Men tend to be pragmatic and few would consider leaving a marriage to a godly and loving wife.
Your focus ought to be on fulfilling your duties as a wife and mother to the best of your abilities because in doing so it brings honor and glory to God. "That they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed" (Titus 2:4-5). The decision of whether he goes or stays will be his own. He will have to face the consequences of his choices and if he leaves a marriage for the reasons you list, I'm sure God won't be happy with him. But you to will answer to God for what you choose. If you know what you ought to do, then live righteously before God and let God handle the retribution if it is needed. "Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:17-21).