For instance, his word takes on increasing importance in his own estimation; he pontificates rather than lovingly leads. As his self-focus grows, his regard for his wife's interests and input wanes. In his supposed exaltation, he will more and more expect to be cared for and catered to rather than demonstrate Christlike compassion and sacrificial love. His engorged self-reliance may move him to pray at his wife and children rather than for them.

Such a bloated internal bulk will eventually put his wife's emotional center in deep freeze. The darkness of loneliness will assail her as she is more and more marginalized. Such blighting of spirit is inevitable because her husband, in the human sense, is central to a married woman's life and being.

 

Feminine dedication and endurance are so enormous as to be legendary. They can operate, however, from a core of emptiness. If a woman is made to feel valueless in the very role for which she was created, her ice-shrunken heart can lie inert all the while her external self continues in its expected functioning. That emptiness is one result of HADD.

 

Another is vulnerability. A wife's shadowed heart is susceptible to the smallest flickers of warmth. Knowing that, Satan will see to it that some alternate source of warmth stands ready. It may be escape through fiction, or food, or ... it may be a man who offers what her husband has failed to supply: interest and appreciation.

 

Gentlemen, have I overstated the case? Is the seriousness of the warning exaggerated? No to both questions! Could your wife be suffering the first, or advancing, or even the final stages of HADD? Absolutely! Now come questions only you can answer: Do you care? Do you care enough to counteract the deadly illness?

 

The treatment for HADD is neither complicated nor expensive. The prescription comes in tiny, elementary grains:

  • Stop. Take a serious mini-sabbatical from your routine, oblivious days-not to refresh yourself, but to renew or rescue your wife. Chronic HADD can ultimately destroy everything you hold dear.

 

  • Look. See the state of your marriage for what it really is, not as what you assume it to be. See your wife with fresh eyes. Has her spirit lost sparkle? What does her facial expression reveal in unguarded moments? What does her posture and/or her personal appearance tell you about her emotional condition? Notice the details of her inner and outer self that made you fall in love with her, but which you lately have taken for granted. See her numberless contributions to your daily life, to your home, to your ministry success, to you. Give heart honor for what you see.