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When There is No Happy Ending in Sight

broken-promises
This is an email from a wife who is in an email support group for wives whose husbands have committed infidelity or have abandoned them.  God is doing HUGE things in these women in the midst of some very dark and difficult days.  This precious sister in Christ allowed me to share her story this week.  I’m so thankful for her.  She tried to stop her husband from divorcing her, but he is not a believer and he refuses to stay.  

Sometimes a wife can do everything “right” but her husband will not stay and will not change.

Sometimes it is impossible to prevent divorce.  Sometimes separation can be necessary to bring healing – and couples may reunite.  Sometimes they may reunite after divorcing.

Some couples may never salvage their marriage covenant.

A wife cannot force her husband to stay if he has decided to go.

This is an excruciatingly painful time for this wife – and several others in our group.  Please pray for God’s wisdom, for Him to empower her not to be overcome by bitterness and for His greatest glory in her life and for her husband to come to know Christ.  Only God knows the ultimate ending of this story.  Christ is still with this beautiful woman.  He has never left nor has He forsaken her.  Her faith has been growing by leaps and bounds this past year.  It has been a VERY HARD year for her.  But God is able, somehow, in the midst of the destruction and ashes to bring beauty:
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Having quite a day here…
I started attending a national class called Divorce Care.  This week it was about anger.
Today is very emotional for me, as my attorney and I spoke about the agreement and what all goes into it.   He wants me to hold out and make dh show what the properties are worth and get an appraisal on his business or keep my share of the business…blah blah blah.  He wants me to get a fair settlement and come out ahead. He is on my side. I know that.  Struggling though because dh agreed to something that I think will be fine for me and I don’t want to go any further. I don’t care about worth and all that. I want to sign on the dotted line and get it over with. So that was upsetting.  Also, I read an email that dh sent to his attorney, which was copied to my attorney and then forwarded to me.  I broke apart reading these words, “My wife’s counsel will be sending you an agreement”….
He called me his wife.  I’m crying again.  I know that technically I am… but he hasn’t said those words to me or called me his wife in so long and to read those words in an email to his attorney…  Just heartbreaking.  I’m an emotional nightmare today.   My attorney’s last words to me were, “Let’s have this conversation again tomorrow morning when you are in a better frame of mind”. As I cried to him and slobbered over myself.
One huge reason for my hystericality…is that.. the most poignant thing said in the class, which I reviewed this morning and really went through in my heart and mind was that

I have been keeping my husband in a prison.  I have kept him locked up tight in the “you hurt me” prison.  Our entire marriage since the first affair.  I am his prison warden and I have seen to it, that I have kept this guy locked up tight and doing time for what he did to me.

Well, where do prison wardens reside?
In prison with the prisoner.  We are just on different sides of the bars.  But sure enough, I have been locked up in there with him for years and years.
  • I’m ready to set him free.
  • I am ready to open those prison doors and let this man go.
  • to stop holding onto the hurt and the pain
  • to stop holding onto the need to be right
  • to stop holding onto the need to make him pay
  • to let go of the need to have him acknowledge me and my pain.

There is so much pain in opening those doors and releasing him.

I know there will be much healing too.

I don’t want to be in prison anymore.  I want to be healthy and whole and I want to forgive him and want to stop rehashing all the things he has done and I want to heal.
My head is pounding from crying all day and I have to see him tonight.  I want so badly to share all this with him, but now is not the time. There may be a season for that down the road.
I read this poem this morning on a friend’s FB, reposted it to mine, and am sharing it here.  Of course it made me cry.  I might have to accept today will be a crying day for me.  Take some Tylenol and get used to it.
“After a while you learn
The subtle difference between
Holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And you begin to learn
That kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises…
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes ahead
With the grace of a woman
Not the grief of a child
And you learn
To build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is
Too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way
Of falling down in mid flight
After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden
And decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers
And you learn
That you really can endure
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth
And with every goodbye
You learn again.”
– Veronica A. Shoffstall
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From PEACEFULWIFE:
God has GOOD things in store for everyone who puts all of their hope and trust in Him and who desire to obey and please Him alone.
ROMANS 8 NIV

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.  And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[d] because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[e] his Spirit who lives in you.

12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[f] And by him we cry, “Abba,[g] Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Present Suffering and Future Glory

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[h] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified;those he justified, he also glorified.

More Than Conquerors

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

10 thoughts on “When There is No Happy Ending in Sight

  1. Thank you so much for sharing. I felt as if she was sharing my story. So many are going through this right now and to read or hear this it gives me strength and hope. I pray daily for my husband and I to reconcile but I also have to remember this may not be God will. But with God all things are possible.
    Thank you both! My prayers are with you.

  2. Thank you for sharing this story,
    My husband and I are separated. I pray that one day he too will follow Jesus!
    I will keep God first in my life knowing that He knows best and that His will be done. Believing that He has a plan for my life and it may or may not include my husband.

    1. Rita,

      I will pray with you that God will open your husband’s eyes to Himself! I pray that you are able to focus on becoming the woman God desires you to be for His glory. Much love to you!!!!!
      I am here if you need prayer or want to talk. 🙂

  3. April, thank you so much for this post, and thank you to the dear sister that penned those words. I feel very much like this too. I hate that any wife needs to go through this, but at the same time it’s good to know that I’m not alone. God bless xx

    1. Suzi,

      You have been on my mind so much lately! I have been praying for you. I know many wives are in similar situations. It breaks my heart! But God is right there with each of you. He is with the wife who wrote this. She is learning the depths of the love of God in ways she has never known before. He is right there with you, too, my beautiful friend!

      Much love to you!

  4. This was a hard story for me to read. I am praying for this wife that she can let go and find peace in her mind and heart. I hope that she gets the freedom she needs and that blue skies are coming her way.
    I always hear the saying “let go and let God,” but how do we really do this and stop living in fear? Most of my spouse’s actions are those of a husband who loves his wife. But the second I mention the state of our marriage, he reminds me that I can’t be trusted and that our marriage is tainted and over and pointless and that when our lease is up he wants to be free. It is so hard to continue fighting without any trust and when a person is willing to go through the notions, but refuses to make a commitment. I feel like I am being used. Like we will just pretend up until he’s ready to go. It makes me want to withdraw completely just to protect myself? I keep praying for more direction, but I don’t know if I’m getting a real answer.

    1. Oc,

      Yes- it is a very sad story. Her original post on my blog is “God Stops a Wife’s Divorce Plans”

      I can’t begin to imagine the pain that she and many other women have been through.

      I am praying for you!

      My suggestions, for whatever it is worth, are:
      – don’t mention the state of the marriage or ask for a “label” for his current feelings
      – focus on being the wife of God’s dreams and give it all you have for CHrist because HE deserves it – not because your husband does.
      – Focus on learning to give lots of grace and meeting your husband’s needs even if he doesn’t meet your needs because that is how God loves us.
      – Find all your purpose and joy and meaning in life in Christ alone.

      I definitely understand why you would want to withdraw. But I pray that you will be a warrior in God’s kingdom for your marriage – by His power – to breathe hope, life and healing into the marriage. And we will trust God with the results.

      Email me if you need to! 🙂

  5. God bless these women. And you, April, as you walk with them. As a husband who didn’t want the divorce but couldn’t dissuade my wife from pursuing it (and doing so with great bitterness and vitriol), I feel their pain. But God is with them, either way.

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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