There is a difference between your husband not knowing how to leave and cleave and his being unwilling to leave and cleave. If your husband values the importance of leaving and cleaving, but does not know how to walk it out, that's where good communication between the two of you - and even help from a mature, trusted marriage ally - can help.
Be mindful that even for a willing spouse, learning to leave and cleave can be a process. Your husband might not always get it right, but appreciate and value his willingness to cleave to you.
In the case where a spouse is unwilling to leave and cleave, or is of the opinion that he has "left and cleft" but has not, it will likely take more than good communication. If your husband is an unbeliever, then God's Word is not yet His standard. Pray for your husband's salvation and ask God to show you how to be a godly wife in the midst of the difficult marital dynamic you are experiencing.
But do not stop there with your prayers. Whether or not your spouse is a believer, ask God to use the experience to transform you. When a wife is marginalized by a husband who places greater emphasis on his family of origin than he does on her, it can be a sad, lonely and disappointing place. Do not let bitterness take root in your heart. And do not allow the feelings of rejection or discontent to lure you into the arms of another. Instead, let your faith be proven by pressing in to God in prayer, in obedience, and in cultivating a heart of gratitude to your God. You will find that the Holy Spirit's transforming power will grow you in priceless and precious ways.
Many times we forfeit what God wants to accomplish in us through the valleys of our lives because we become fixated on getting out of the discomfort and pain of the valley. But no matter how determined you are to get your husband to prioritize you above his family of origin, the truth is that while you can posture yourself to influence your husband, you cannot make him leave and cleave. It is a decision he has to makes for himself. And whether insecurity, or misguided priorities, or a lack of love and care on his part are informing his choices, wrestling with him on the issue is unlikely to work in your marriage's favor.
If your husband is a believer, then it would be totally appropriate to share with him that you would like to meet with your pastor or one of the counselors in your church to help you work through this issue that is affecting you and your marriage. A godly husband should not be opposed to the wise counsel to be found within the church family.
Regardless of your husband's willingness or unwillingness in this matter, however, the foundational priority in marriage is for God to be glorified. So let Him have His way in you as you keep in step with His Spirit through this situation. He'll prove Himself to be faithful.
Dr. Dawn-Marie shares a refreshing blend of professional insights and personal stories in this encouraging blog.