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“He Broke My Trust. I Can’t Forgive Him.”

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ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE:

I am going to need to take an email break for the next few days, maybe 4-5 days or so. Thank you so much for your patience and understanding! You are welcome to post comments.

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A dear wife commented on the post “I’m Going to Stop Pursuing My Husband (in the Wrong Ways)”

FROM THE WIFE:

Hello Peacefulwife,
Wow. Your post has touched many hearts, including mine now.  I’ve been searching for answers on how to be the best I can for my husband or if I’m doing the wrong things, saying the wrong things or wanting the wrong things. My way and not his way, the second he gets home from work its always about going upstairs to see his family (we moved in after he got out of the marine corps) I’m always on his tail about making me feel like I matter more than anyone to him. Because I do those things for him without asking. And he always takes it the wrong way when I say anything about it. I tell him he doesn’t make me happy when he does these things, but I feel like if I back off from him he’s going to mess everything up or hurt me again.

I don’t feel like I trust him since he broke my trust and lied to me about getting another woman’s number right after we had married.  He promised me that he would never do anything to hurt me again and he even admitted to being wrong and foolish, begging for my forgiveness on his knees. But still, I have this hurt, this scar and ache inside me that just won’t let me forget what he’d done. That was almost 2 years ago.

After that happened we started fighting very badly he verbally and mentally abused me because I’d never let that go. I took the beatings to my heart and have kept them since. It got so bad that I had to leave to be with my family for a little. Shortly after he followed and did what ever he could to keep me. I know I’ve got a novel going but what my problem is, Peacefulwife, is that I feel like I’ll never forget what he did. Even with God’s help.

I am a strong believer in Christ and my parents are pastors/missionaries but I just have no trust to believe he won’t mess up again. Him. My husband. The man that is supposed to love me. The man that is not supposed to hurt my heart. Ugh. I’m confused. I’m weak. I always feel like my husband should be my happiness but I know that’s not true. I need prayer for strength to keep my mouth closed and to be still and pray to God for guidance because I feel not in control of my actions and I’m causing fights. He is a good man and I know he loves me but we are both hot headed and stubborn. I just want to know, will my heart heal?

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

It is great to hear from you! :)

So 2 years ago, your husband got another woman’s phone number – and you have fought with him and won’t forgive him and can never trust him again? Is that correct?

My precious girl!!!!

I am very sorry that things have been so difficult and painful! It sounds like a very rough two years for you. I am glad that apparently things are somewhat better and it seems that your husband has tried to improve things for you to be willing to get back together with him.

When you are a believer in Christ, your trust in not ultimately in your husband. Husbands are wretched sinners just like wives. Your trust is to be 100% in Christ Jesus. You can forgive not because your husband deserves it, but because Jesus forgave YOU for your mountain of sins and because the blood of Christ is sufficient to cover any sin.

Thankfully, a husband getting a woman’s phone number and lying about it is forgivable in Christ! Quite honestly, he is probably going to sin against you a whole lot worse than that many times in this marriage. And, it looks like you have already sinned against him a whole lot worse than that, too.

PRAISE GOD we have access to the grace, mercy and forgiveness of Christ for ourselves AND for those we love when they sin against us!

If Jesus is your LORD – He commands you to forgive or God will not forgive you (Matthew 6). Unforgiveness is HUGE SIN. I held on to unforgiveness, resentment and bitterness for many years in our marriage, and I had no idea that what I was doing was – choosing to cherish bitterness instead of Christ.

Those are my choices. I can have Jesus or I can have my bitterness. I cannot have both.

Bitterness is ugly, nasty sin that starts as a little root and grows into an evil tree that overtakes my entire soul. It is idolatry of unforgiveness. It is toxic poison.

I think that you may possibly be putting your husband and his behavior in your heart as more important to you than Jesus. I did this, too. You may expect your husband to meet needs in your life that only Jesus can meet – expecting him to be responsible for your happiness.  A Fellow Wife, who wrote this post, did that, too. Many, Many wives do this today – it is just “normal” now. But, this is idolatry. There is no greater sin than that. You may also have SELF as an idol, you may be trusting self more than God – I did that, too. And I also had being in control as an idol. I said I trusted Jesus, but I lived as if everything depended on me and I was ultimately responsible for making everything work out “right.” I completely missed the sovereignty of God. I lived in fear, worry, anxiety and loneliness. My pride and self-righteousness and contempt and resentment and bitterness repelled my husband away from me – and it grieved God’s heart so that God did not hear or answer my prayers.

Turns out, I am a WRETCHED sinner. I didn’t really and truly get that before 5 years ago.

If you need something to be happy and content in life – and that thing is not Jesus – there is a really good chance that you are committing idolatry.

  • It is not your husband’s responsibility to make you happy.
  • YOU are responsible for your own emotions and your own contentment and real contentment is only found in Christ. If you find that you are discontent and anxious – that is often a very clear sign that you are putting something or more than one thing above Christ in your heart. Idols always bring discontentment, depression, anxiety and fear.

You cannot have the fruit of God’s Spirit when you are clinging to sin and idols. It is time to lay down all of the sin and to tear out anything that has become more important to you than Jesus, and repent in tears and humbly turn back to Christ.

You can be content in Him alone. Seek Him alone. He can handle your husband. The more you try to force your husband to do things, the more you destroy your marriage. Rest in God’s love for you. Trust in Christ. He can give you the strength and power to deal with things if your husband sins. And when you are not pressuring and trying to control your husband, amazingly, he is going to be a lot less likely to sin the way you fear he will.

You have a LOT of sin in your own life to deal with right now. If your husband is like mine, he will probably be pretty forgiving, thankfully!

Get into God’s Word. Humble yourself before Him. Allow Him to remove every trace of sin. Submit yourself fully to Him as Lord and trust Him with all these things in your life.

The more your husband feels respected and honored, the more he will care about your feelings. Please don’t follow him and scold him for talking to his family first. THANK and APPRECIATE the good things he does. Tell him you are proud of him for being a loving son. Be a SAFE place for him instead of a constant source of negativity, criticisms, lectures and contempt. Smile, Praise the good in him. Beg God to change you into the wife He desires you to be and seek to please God and bless your husband. All the other selfish motives have to go.

I hope that your husband can have another chance. How awful to feel that there is never anything he can ever do that will be good enough again and that it is impossible to earn back your trust or have the relationship he wants to have with you.

Check out “Signs Your Husband May be Feeling Disrespected”at the top of my home page, and the post about disrespectrespect and biblical submission– and what is attractive/unattractive to husbands.

You have come to the right place, my friend! If you are ready to do things God’s way, I am glad to walk on this journey with you.

I’m right here if you have any questions – I will do my best to point you to Christ and His Word. :)

(NOTE – God is able to heal marriages even after porn addiction and adultery. I have seen Him do it countless times. It is possible that trust may have to be rebuilt. But God can give us the power to forgive, and if our spouse is truly repentant, we can move towards rebuilding trust. If there are SERIOUS issues in your marriage, please seek godly, biblical, experienced counsel!)

FROM THE WIFE:

Wow.

I can hardly find the words! I’m so ashamed.

I didn’t even think to realize how God would be feeling about the way I’ve been acting, I know He probably has been hurting because I’m not crying out to Him for this – thinking I could do this all on my own. I was so wrong. It’s so good to hear this from someone who has been through these motions to realize what I’ve been causing in my marriage! I didn’t even see the signs! Its like a slap in the face. But I’m thankful for it, and for you. You helped me wake up to see the true root to my sin. I’ve never been able to talk to anyone about these insecurities I’ve been having.  Now I truly see that it is selfishness, bitterness and idolatry.

I have chosen to put God first. I’m putting my foot down in front of the flesh and asking Him for my complete undeserving forgivess. I’m going to constantly seek Him humbly and choose prayer instead of giving into my selfishness to choose my route. Thank you, Lord, for awesome loving unselfish caring people like you! I bet that you are at peace. Because you have chosen to put your strength and trust in Jesus as am I from this day on! I receive that in Jesus name! I will be checking out your links as well as God’s Word to help guide me through this that I realize now that it is the only way. And I am ready for my storm to calm finally! <3 Thank you so much for making room and time for my sin and worry.  Wife to wife, God bless you.

RELATED:

Exploring the Depths of Bitterness

Bitterness is Contagious and Toxic

Finding Victory over Bitterness

Forgiveness

Bitterness of Soul – A Wife Desires to Be Her Husband’s First Priority

65 thoughts on ““He Broke My Trust. I Can’t Forgive Him.”

  1. The tendency for a wife to make her husband responsible for her own happiness is a great insight, April, and I commend you for speaking out on this. Should a husband permit this to happen, neither husband nor wife will ever be truly happy in the marriage.

    1. Navigator1965,
      This is an almost universally accepted line of thought today, it seems, unfortunately. But it is a critical issue for wives to get straight – that we are responsible for our own emotions and contentment and that we can only find true contentment in Christ and that feelings are not to be in charge, we are to be in charge. Feelings can easily become idols and tyrants over us if we give them the highest position in our lives. That is not honoring to God at all.

  2. Wow. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at your response but I still am. I don’t disagree with your stance but she left her husband for a period because he mentally and verbally abused her. Where’s a little compassion for her?

    1. Alot of times, we have to understand as a wife, who has verbally abused her husband for many years-me, that alot of times, Husbands just get pushed and pushed to that point of exhaustion to where they are hurt from all the nagging, and unforgiveness we give them that they may get angry at our sin and we can tend to play the victim like we are right and they are wrong. We do bring alot on oursleves, and I feel we need to look directly a tour sin, and the problems we are causing as wives-before we look at our husbands sin. It takes two in a marriage. I believe Peaceful Wife gave her a great balance as to pointing out her sin, and not so much her husbands sin. We need a rod instead of a hug in these situations so that we may wake up to what we are doing and repent and turn from causing problems in our marriage. Im using this in logical sense, we just need to wake up to what WE are doing and the PROBLEMS we are causing.

  3. Hie April
    I was going to send u an email on my story which also centers on trust. this has helped a bit. A bit because i still dont understand why my husband did what he did.
    This is what happened, my husband started sending images and videos of himself masturbating to my cousin, whom we stayed with and who was my maid of honour on our wedding. she sent back to him images of herself naked and masturbating too…
    This is how i found out. i wanted to send my husband a message but my phone started acting up so i took my cousin’s and thats when i saw the chain of messages, pics and videos. to say i was shocked is an understatement because i trusted my husband 100%.
    i am a Christian and so is my husband (though he drinks alcohol – been praying for that). i have never cheated on my husband. it still hurts me to this day. he apologised and so did my cousin but i told my cousin that she had to go. i told my family and his family and they urged me not to give up on my marriage but to consider our one year old son…
    i decided to stay because my husband was genuinely remorseful but to this day i dont understand why! he says he cannot explain why because even he does know what got into him… he thinks it cld be african magic or some such thing that caused him to act so though he admits he was wrong…
    u know, prior to me finding out this wretched business, i had started following ur blog and praying to God to make me the kind of wife He would want me to be. even discussed about disrepect with my husband. and i started a young mothers prayer group (both single & married mothers). the ladies call me the Pioneer of the grp sayng i inspire them etc. this cousin of mine had a child with a married man but i totally trusted and she has no family (my mother took her in). i even woke my cousin up everyday at 3am to pray when i woke up the other ladies on my group to pray. to think she would kneel beside me yet doing stuff behind my back!!? its hard for me to forgive her.
    my husband swore they never had sex but i go to work on saturdays and these guys spent the day together.
    i am learning to forgive him. its a shame i love this man with all my heart! but to trust him?
    its a long story April… one i wanted to email you about.

    1. Paida,

      Goodness! What a horrible situation to discover. 🙁 I am so sorry!!!!!!

      I think that the answer is – your husband is a wretched sinner. That is why he did it. The sinful nature was clearly in control there. 🙁

      It would be really important for him to rebuild trust. Has he been totally transparent since then? Has he offered to allow you to see his phone and texts and emails, etc?

      How long ago did you find out?

      I have seen so many miserable situations similar to this when someone comes to live with a married couple. Breaks my heart!

      I praise God for what He has been doing in your life!

      From what you have said, I am not sure if it is wise to trust him yet. I don’t know what he has done to try to rebuild trust or how long this has been. And – I can understand your concerns about whether they had sex. Those are legitimate concerns based on what they were doing. 🙁

      Do you have a godly pastor that the two of you could go to?

      It is possible to forgive this through the power of Christ. There will be MUCH hurt to wade through. And, it will be important to slowly rebuild trust. I am glad that he admits he was wrong.

      Does he have a godly man who can keep him accountable?

      Much love to you!

      1. yes, he has been transparent since. even before the incident i really thought we were okay because we shared everything. i have always had access to his phone and emails but i had not opened either prior to the incident because i totally trusted him.
        i found out in November last year.
        i told him we shoud go for counseling but we are relatively new in this small town and not sure about where to go for counseling.
        we do go to church but he doesnt have a Godly man who can keep him accountable.
        i think what might have drawn these two together is porn because my husband loves watching porn and has even asked me to watch with him. he says he learns different sex styles from watching porn! my cousin also had lots of porn videos on her phone which my husband once asked me about when he came across them while fixing some application on my cousin’s phone.

        i told him that it will take some time for me to trust him again and he said he was willing to work very hard to earn my trust back again.

        1. Paida,

          It sounds like you are on the right path together. Porn is so destructive. It has ruined countless marriages – it takes our men far from God. The enemy loves it. I pray for God’s healing for you both and for His greatest glory in your marriage.

          I’m glad that he is repentant and willing to earn your trust back.

  4. Just curious, exactly what constitutes mental or verbal abuse? I hear the phrase thrown around a lot, but no one ever explains what it is. Is it something only men are capable of, or can women be equally guilty?

    1. Ted,

      I didn’t ask the wife specifically what her husband did that she called “verbal and mental abuse.” It seemed that they had gotten over that part and worked through it, so I didn’t press her about it.

      This phrase is thrown around a lot. And, in my view, often over-used. I believe that practically all wives and husbands could be accused of “verbal abuse” or “mental abuse” by a very loose definition of the word when we speak in anger, say things purposely to hurt the other person, try to attack/assassinate character and attempt to humiliate, belittle and verbally crush/attack someone.

      By my definition, for whatever that is worth, true mental/verbal abuse would be much more involved and serious than just the “normal” kinds of hateful things spouses tend to say to each other. I have seen both husbands and wives do this to each other.

      Some examples I have seen that I believe are true mental/verbal abuse:

      – “You are demon possessed. I am god to you. You better bow down to me and worship me. I’m more important than Christ to you.” (a husband said this to his wife, demanding her “submission”)
      – “If you were a REAL MAN, you’d have sex with me right now. You obviously aren’t a real man, or you must be having an affair, because any red-blooded American man would JUMP at the chance to have sex with me. You’re worthless. I need to find another man who can meet my needs. I have needs, and you better meet them. I can find another man who will if you won’t.”
      – “If you don’t do X for me – I’m going to leave you and destroy your life. I’ll turn the kids against you, they’ll never love you. You are the worst mother/father ever.”
      – someone who commits deceit and manipulates with lies and then attempts to alter reality and convince the other person that what they knew happened didn’t really happen – brainwashing.
      – someone who isolates his/her spouse and won’t allow them to have their legitimate physical/medical needs met.
      – someone who takes his/her spouse’s keys, hijacks his/her email/FB, attempts to keep them from having any contact with anyone else insisting the spouse is always wrong and even the church and everyone else on the planet is wrong and only this person understands “truth” and is “right.” This can almost become kind of like a cult-leader situation.
      – incessant cussing/screaming/yelling/name calling in an attempt to completely break the other person’s spirit (like a drill sergeant would treat his recruits)

      This is not an exhaustive list, of course. And, I am not an expert on this. Just some of my thoughts.

    2. Ted: Women can be equally guilty, and at least sometimes even more guilty, but very few other than PeacefulWife are willing to acknowledge that. In my own situation, my (now ex-) wife would routinely resort to name calling, character assassination, and the most hurtful criticisms possible. Yet her divorce filing accused me of “emotional abuse.”

  5. Learning to trust again has been a great battle for me! I need to look more to Christ, plant my feet in him, where my security truly is. Man will always disappoint, but God is God and I just want to rest in him!

  6. Thank you for your reply April. Like you I think that the phrase is greatly overused.To be clear I don’t advocate ,either husbands, or wives speaking to each other in anything other than a kind and loving way.Apart from the fact that it’s wrong in God’s eyes, it just doesn’t work to promote the relationship.I do think the examples you’ve given would probably be valid examples of abusive behavior.In this particular case , it seems wise to consider the proverb, One man seems right until another man examines him.For what it’s worth I think your response to this wife was right on target.

    1. Ted,

      I added the part this morning (after Tiffany’s comment) about that I was very sorry for the pain she has been through. That is why Tiffaney felt I was lacking in compassion, I believe.

      To me, any sin against our spouse is abusive, if we want to be technical about it.

      But, there are, of course, degrees of abuse. Some are much more severe than others.

      I agree that we should only be speaking to our spouses in the power of God’s Spirit with the fruit of God’s Spirit in our lives towards them: peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. AND, we should be loving our spouses with I Corinthians 13:4-8 love. AND, when we are sinned against, we can respond the way God commands us to in Romans 12:9-21, by repaying evil with good.

      I Corinthians 13 – THIS should be how we as believers ALWAYS treat our spouses.
      Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8 Love never fails.

      Thanks for sharing your insights and concerns, Ted.

  7. Real life for us all to learn from. Love it! My husband lied to me and it crushed me and started our relationship on a different course that lasted many years. He did ask, on bended knee, for my forgiveness but I held on to enough of the hurt and bitterness to cause me to be suspicious and cynical.

    When I realized how sinful my behavior has been all these years, it helped me to actually, truly forgive. The damage I did and hurt I caused seems much larger than the actual event (his lying)I had built up in my mind so much. I certainly want to be forgiven but I had failed at forgiving him.

    A marriage lasts for many years and a lot of things can happen in that time. The book of James says we all stumble in many ways. My husband is so willing and quick to forgive. I am very humbled by this

    1. Learning ever,

      When I did eventually see all of my sin against God and Greg – 14.5 years of every minute trusting myself not God, putting SELF before Greg, disrespecting Greg constantly in my heart, disrespecting God every moment with my idolatry of my feeling happy and trying to be in control, my self-righteousness every waking moment, my clinging to bitterness and cherishing it for years… And I asked Greg to forgive me… He forgave me in two seconds.

      I was so humbled.

      I was awful at forgiving. I didn’t give grace at all back then, not to myself or to anyone else. Probably because I hadn’t truly seen how much God forgave me for.

      When I look at my sin against Greg now, it seems very obvious to me that my sin was MUCH greater than his. I don’t know that it matters. It all grieves God’s heart and all sin hurts others and ourselves. But for so many years, I was blind to my sin and just pointed at his and demanded that God change him to make him more loving and a better leader.

      I am so thankful that God didn’t continue to allow me to go any farther in my wretched condition. What a gift His conviction is.

      It does hurt to be sinned against. I praise God for the forgiveness, mercy and grace available to each of us in Christ.

  8. I totally agree that our happiness must come from God, and our self-esteem from Him–and from within ourselves. It can’t be based on what our husbands do, think, or say. Although I know and believe this, I know how tremendously difficult it can be to keep the demon of doubt away, even long after one has chosen to forgive. Earlier, April, I was so grateful for the comfort and wise counsel you gave after my husband had told me my body was a turn-off to him (in spite of the fact that I looked and weighed virtually the same as I had six months earlier when we married). Later, when we attended his aunt’s wedding, he didn’t even seem to notice I was with him because he kept looking at younger women. I tried to overlook/forget this, but couldn’t because the hurt was too great. For a time I couldn’t go through a day without constant crying. Only after writing to you, April, and praying and studying for weeks could I begin to heal. I believe that he truly felt terrible for what happened and for what he said, and he asked me never to refer to his comment again because it hurt him. He said I am attractive to him now “because he knows me better.” But this is what happens: during intimate moments, the memory comes back. I often have to pray to have the strength to reveal myself and cannot just enjoy and love him without wondering what he is thinking of my body. This memory is still not gone, in spite of prayer and concentrating on trying to be a godly wife in every way. To some this might be a “little” sin, but to tell your mate that they turn you off is like mangling his or her heart. Please, PLEASE, don’t anyone ever do this! It takes time and much work to heal, even with God’s spirit and lots of prayer. I imagine the wife who wrote felt much the same way, as if she were half-way up a steep ladder and heard the wood crack. I believe it is a natural response to be shocked and hurt when our mates do or say such hurtful things, but we have to trust in God to help us heal if we want our marriages to be good. And this healing may take a long time, even with God’s help. I’ve read extensively about how men are different than women, how they think, how I can be a godly wife, etc., and our marriage is truly beautiful, even though the memory still haunts our intimacy. Since all things are possible with God’s help, I’m trusting in him to help me once again regain the open, free-and-easy feeling I once had with my husband. For now, I’m acting that way, knowing that feeling follows form. Please keep encouraging wives to focus on God for their complete security and acceptance, and thank you, April, once again, for all your love and work on our behalf.

  9. I unfortunately have been asked to forgive my husband of so much more than a single fairly innocent offense like taking another woman’s number. I know that god puts trials in each of our paths in his own way. Some women are asked to push the forgiveness cart around the block, and others he asked to push the cart over the mountain so I don’t judge, just share what I’ve learned – mostly from reading this blog.

    The first thing I learned to ask myself when my husband screws up is “was it malicious or was he just being stupid?”

    Most of the time it falls into the stupid category. Next I ask myself – “am I upset because of a my false expectation, or has he sinned against the holy spirit?”

    God has commanded that we “love one another” but he only recommends that we remain faithful in marriage (and for good reason). Today’s culture has warped the idea of marriage. Either it is non-important so people don’t get married, or all consuming. By that I mean that we go into marriage with the strong expectation that we have control over our spouses sexual choices. We demand faithfulness – when in reality that is robbing our spouse of their god given right to choose. God know’s we are all weak, usually stupid creatures who are here to learn. Unfortunately we often learn by seeing how our choices affect other people. Sometimes in a good way, and sometimes in bad.

    When a spouse strays it is insanely painful, and by all rights trust is broken. But they as our brothers as well as our spouses deserve the right to repent and try again. If you weren’t married to this man and he did what he did as a friend of yours could you forgive him then?

    Trust isn’t an easy thing to earn back, but it will need to happen if your marriage is going to stay intact. Two years is a short time frame for that kind of thing in real life, but you can’t keep that pain in your heart and move forward yourself. The best way to learn to trust god and follow jesus is to learn how to let go of the injustices we perceive we’ve had done to us by our fellow men. To learn forgiveness just as jesus has – to forgive all men of every offense they repent of and to lovingly welcome them back into his arms. Remember – that is Lovingly Welcome.

    I think in this case if the woman would lower her false expectations of her husband, let go of her need to control his actions, and try to learn like Jesus has to welcome sinners in love that she’ll find the answer to her hurting heart. It has been working on mine.

    1. Mindy,
      Thank you so much for sharing! I am so sorry that you have experienced so much hurt. But what an incredible story of grace and what beautiful things God is doing in your heart!

    2. “But they as our brothers as well as our spouses deserve the right to repent and try again.”

      This should apply to the way single Christian women treat their boyfriends as well. Far too many single Christian women have a “1-strike-and-you’re-out” policy in dating, and they sometimes classify personal objections as “major sins” when really they just had their feelings hurt. There are a lot of Christian men who should be receiving 2nd, 3rd, and 4th chances, but end up being dumed because those women just woke-up on the wrong side of their own beds one morning.

  10. I have learned to constantly remind myself of Jesus’ dying words – “Forgive them, Lord, for they know not what they do.”
    During challenging times, I repeat those words over and over and over again.

    I have learned that compassion is the key to forgiveness.
    I have learned to look upon my husband as the naive and weak “child” that we ALL are.

    When God forgives us, He has compassion for us. He doesn’t like what we do when we sin, but he understands us and our weaknesses. We are all children in God’s eyes – naive and challenged by our emotions.

    When our own children make stupid mistakes, we forgive them because we can remind ourselves of how much they just don’t know yet, and how limited they are in self-control. They don’t have the maturity to make the right decisions all the time. So, we forgive them and pray that they will learn from their mistakes and that WE can influence them in positive ways in the future, so those mistakes don’t happen again.

    I have learned that the same is true even for adults. We are all weak, naive, and immature in various ways. Even when someone knows that something is wrong, there is a weakness in their heart and maturity that allows them to do it anyway. They are not acting TO hurt us. Our pain is a by-product of their weakness.

    Just like it hurts God deeply when we sin. In the same way, we are very deeply hurt when our husbands sin.

    It is VERY hard to do, but I have learned that the key is to focus on what pain THEY are experiencing to cause them to act in such hurtful ways. That’s compassion – it is healing and it creates real change.
    For men, they are often looking for validation (often in the wrong places) that they are doing a good job at everything they do.
    That’s how we can have a positive affect on them – by making a BIG deal out of the smallest things they do right (even when there’s a million things they are doing wrong). Make them feel like a “rock star” for picking up milk at the grocery.

    I have learned to focus on understanding the insecurities that are in my man’s heart that would require the need for so much validation, instead of focusing on my own pain. It is a VERY TALL order to do, but it is an important one.
    Just like God understands that our own weaknesses and insecurities is what allows us to falter, so He forgives.
    When Jesus was dying, He focused on the weaknesses in his attackers, not on His own pain. (“Forgive them for what they do”)
    When anyone acts in negative ways, it comes from a pain in their heart that was caused before you even knew them.

    I humbly remind myself that God heals us, and we are called to use God’s strength and grace to heal others. I have learned that this is a big part of our role in our husband’s lives. I have learned to look at marriage as the responsibility that it is. It is a role of sacrifice, humility, and discipline. The same role that Jesus took when He came to save us. So, no matter how bad we have it, Jesus had it worse.
    The Bible compares the marriage relationship to Jesus’ relationship with the “church” – His people.
    We constantly sin against Him, and he constantly forgives.

    We all have our cross to bear and, obviously, some carry heavier crosses than others. Mine isn’t as heavy as others on this post. So, I feel compelled to share anything that I have learned along my journey that might help someone else.

    I sort of compare marriage to adopting a child. (I’m not an adoptive parent, but I hope to be one someday).
    I’m not saying that I am my husband’s parent! I’m saying that an adopted child has experienced things from other sources before you knew them that you had no control over. Some of those things were painful like rejection and fear. An adoptive parent is called to understand and accept any “brokenness” and challenges that others have caused in that child and to heal those pains with love, compassion and safety – and a TON of patience. The child’s fears might cause them to act in ways that will hurt and scare the parent. But, as a parent, that’s besides the point, isn’t it? The goal is to help the child to grow into a well-adjusted, responsible adult.

    I have learned that, in marriage, our role is to help our husbands grow into the men that God wants them to be. Even though we married them because we thought they were already “there” (the strong man that we dreamed of), we have to remember that they’re just not “there” yet. They have a LOT of growing to do (we do too!) And based on their past experiences, including childhood and other outside influences, our job might be much harder than we expected. But, we do it because we accept our role to support our husbands in their growth.

    I have learned to pray like a warrior and to turn to God with my pain, while turning toward my husband with compassion for his weaknesses. (It’s so hard to do – and lonely – but it gets easier)

    “Ask and you shall receive”. I am continually amazed at the resources that God continues to guide me toward in helping me to gain peace and strength through the pain I feel in my marriage.

    It might be obvious that I read A LOT of marriage advice and watch a LOT of marriage videos on youtube. (Check out Marriage Today for Christian marriage videos. I have no affiliation with them. I’ve just learned a lot from them).
    I am so thankful that God has guided me and literally carried me every step of the way.

    1. I’m sorry but for me it is very difficult to forget how deeply my husband hurt me by lying. I can forgive, but I don’t even like him anymore. I am just going thru the motions, which is totally unfair to me. I am a loving, responsible wife. I have never lied to my husband as I know this would break his trust in me, which is hard to rebuild and I don’t want to be a wedge in our marriage. Further, Christ did ask the Father to “take this cup from me” according to His Will, so what you wrote above is not completely the truth, as Jesus was looking for some relief as well. He did, however, ask the Father to “forgive them for they know not what they do.” Forgiveness is one thing – forgetting and living in the same mess that happens over and over again is a totally different animal.

      1. Joann,

        Sounds like a very painful situation, my dear sister!

        Forgiveness and trust are not the same thing, thankfully. Forgiveness is a command in Matthew 6:12-15. Trusting God is a command, but we are not commanded to trust unrepentant people who have wronged us. Trust has to be rebuilt and requires two people to do that.

        If you are interested in talking about finding healing spiritually for yourself in Christ, I would be glad to talk with you.

        Much love and the biggest hug to you!

  11. April, your posts (and responses to the comments to your posts) have been extremely helpful. Your candid sharing of your own struggles and the practical advice you continually give have guided me in many of my conversations with my husband!

    Thank you for allowing God to use you.

  12. For those who wonder –
    I didn’t address the “verbal abuse” stuff because the wife didn’t ask me about that. I only addressed the issues she said she was struggling with. And, it seemed to me that they had worked through the issues they had that caused her to feel she needed to leave – being that he came to her “willing to do whatever it took” for her to come back to him. If she wanted to go into more detail about those things – she is/was welcome to. But – lightbulbs came on with just one comment from me – and she didn’t bring up the abuse thing anymore.

  13. I have a question about women in general. It seems to me each woman has something they have against their husband, and how he has hurt them. I have often wondered if women look for things to validate their own feeling, and victim-hood, in order to keep the upper hand in the relationship? Just a thought. What are your thoughts? The reason I ask: is that each woman seems to find something in her husband, that he either says or does that hurts her, and once that issue is resolved then they find something else…

      1. I have been reading the comments on here and the story. I have been going through some very difficult times with my wife and I have done many things that have caused her pain and suffering for which I am terribly sorry. I just wanted to share the following quote because I felt that is very relevant to the topic being discussed.

        “””
        That also happens in marriages and other relationships. I can’t tell you the number of couples I have counseled who, when they are deeply hurt or even just deeply stressed, reach farther and farther into the past to find yet a bigger brick to throw through the window “pain” of their marriage. When something is over and done with, when it has been repented of as fully as it can be repented of, when life has moved on as it should and a lot of other wonderfully good things have happened since then, it is not right to go back and open some ancient wound that the Son of God Himself died to heal.

        Let people repent. Let people grow. Believe that people can change and improve. Is that faith? Yes! Is that hope? Yes! Is that charity? Yes! Above all, it is charity, the pure love of Christ. If something is buried in the past, leave it buried. Don’t keep going back with your little sand pail and beach shovel to dig it up, wave it around, and then throw it at someone, saying, “Hey! Do you remember this?” Splat!

        Well, guess what? That is probably going to result in some ugly morsel being dug up out of your landfill with the reply, “Yeah, I remember it. Do you remember this?” Splat.

        And soon enough everyone comes out of that exchange dirty and muddy and unhappy and hurt, when what our Father in Heaven pleads for is cleanliness and kindness and happiness and healing.

        Such dwelling on past lives, including past mistakes, is just not right! It is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. In some ways it is worse than Lot’s wife because at least she destroyed only herself. In cases of marriage and family, wards and branches, apartments and neighborhoods, we can end up destroying so many others.
        “””

        1. CM,
          I am so sorry to hear about what a difficult time you and your wife have been going through. How I pray you might find healing in Christ individually and together as a couple!

          Thank you for sharing this. 🙂

    1. David,

      Personally, I think many women actually do look manipulate their husbands with any mistake he makes. And I am going to get backlash for this but other than the things that April mentioned in her answer to Ted about what constitutes “verbal / mental abuse” that type of abuse is so misused and the words are tossed out like a weapon. Nobody wants to see themselves as “abusive”. So the very words are effective in that regard.

      The fact is that every husband has said or done something hurtful to his wife. Just as every wife has said or done something hurtful to her husband. It’s impossible to go thru marriage and not end up with “ammunition” against the other person. My husband is a complete idiot sometimes. And sometimes I’m really a jerk to him. Both sexes can be equally inclined to hold a grudge for as long as the grudge bearer wishes to hold it. But really at what cost? My husband has an awesome memory. He is getting better at forgetting things now but there was a time when he would bring up something from over a year or 2 ago. And I could neither confirm nor deny that I said it or did it because I would not have remembered the event or the argument.

      My view of forgiving is that it is like forgiving a debt. Once you forgive it you do not throw it out there ever again. Even if my husband brings up some past thing I do not do it back. Now on the other hand when it’s a big thing like an affair or something that completely breaks trust it’s on that person (wife or husband) to make sure they are accountable because they own rebuilding that trust. But as it’s being rebuilt the other person must be able to dish out trust.

      I think some of it is also our thought process. As humans not husband or wives in general. For example, Saturday there was a small thing that my husband did that annoyed me. But there were a lot of good things that he did that day too. But for some reason (hours after he did the annoying thing) it was stuck in my mind. And later that evening, out of nowhere, I just blasted him on something so unrealated. The reality is that I was worried about something that I had not even spoken to him about. It was something that I needed him to help with but I had negative thoughts about him brewing in my head all day so I just assumed he was no help at all.

      Basically here was his wrong doing in a nutshell: He was not helping with the thing I was worried about that I had not told him about that I need him to handle.

      I know what you are all thinking. The nerve of him. How could “he” be so blind.. 🙂 Thankfully it did not turn into an argument because once I recognized the look of utter confusion on his face, I realized he thought I sounded like a crazy person. So I took a step back, apologized and told him why I was upset. That did not clear up his confusion because he was unaware that there was an issue that needed to be handled in the first place and he was wondering how he missed it. I wanted to say because your head’s been buried in a new video game for 3 days but I didn’t. Because honestly I could have interrupted him at any time and said “hey, I need to bring something to your attention”. But I didn’t.

      Overall, that’s how little things turn into big things that result in hurt feelings and grudges. That simple, yet that complicated. It’s just a combination of not communicating well, not forgiving well and negative thoughts overtaking one’s sanity.

      Gail

    2. David, I agree with mcsprite when she says, “The fact is that every husband has said or done something hurtful to his wife. Just as every wife has said or done something hurtful to her husband.”

      I understand what you mean when you say that once an issue is resolved it seems that we “find” something else….
      I don’t think that women actually LOOK for ways that they are hurt by their husbands in order to have the upper hand, though. I see it more as a result of our sensitivities.

      In general, women are more in touch with their feelings than men. Did you know that a man’s skin is physically thicker than a woman’s? And because of our thinner skin, our nerve endings are closer to the surface which causes us to be more sensitive to physical pain than men? We generally bruise easier than men, too.
      Think of those things as applying to our emotions, as well. We love love. We wear our hearts on our sleeve. It allows us to love deeply, to be very giving and compassionate, but it allows us to be more vulnerable to emotional pain, as well.

      Maybe I’d compare it to a man’s sexual desire. Men don’t have to LOOK for their desire. It just finds them, sometimes when they least expect it. An underwear commercial on t.v. might trigger a man’s sexual desire. Whenever it’s not there, it’s never far away.
      Similar with a woman’s vulnerable feelings. We desire a lot of attention from our man. We love it when you want to spend time with us, and help us, and let us know that you’re thinking of us.

      So when something is said or done (or not said or not done) that leaves us longing for that attention from our man, we just feel sad and lonely, like “what’s wrong? am I not special to you anymore? Don’t you care how I feel?” (I know – we don’t act sad, we act mad, and we definitely need to work on that)

      But, I just wanted to provide feedback about where the reaction is coming from…. We’re not purposefully looking to hold something against you. Many of us just feel very intensely and managing all of those emotions can be overwhelming when we inevitably feel hurt. Not many of us are taught how to manage all of these hormones and feelings in healthy ways. We have to learn the hard way.

      It’s easiest to be hurt by those that you love most, so remember when she’s upset, it’s because she feels vulnerable and wants to know that you care.

    1. David,

      Goodness. That is an important and complicated question.

      Here is my understanding, for whatever it is worth. I don’t think I can speak for all wives, but I am speaking for myself.

      The things that were behind my unforgiveness were things like:
      – I didn’t see myself as that bad of a sinner.
      – I felt I could justify my sins, so they weren’t that bad.
      – I didn’t believe my sins were as offensive to God as Greg’s sins. (And I was extremely blind to most of my own sin)
      – I had SELF as god in my life – and I believed I was always right.
      – PRIDE, PRIDE, PRIDE
      – I subconsciously believed I was “above” having to forgive because I hadn’t sinned nearly as much as I had been sinned against. (in my mind)
      – Really, I put myself above God in my heart because I knew God could forgive, and that He commanded me to forgive, but I didn’t think I should have to forgive.
      – I cherished my bitterness and didn’t want to give it up.
      – My memories of when Greg sinned against me were VERY VIVID, tied to extreme emotion, I could recall everything in the conversation, every word he said, every expression with total clarity, even years later. So, whenever a topic would come up, that whole scene would pop up instantly in my mind and all the emotion was just as intense as if it had just happened.
      – I rehearsed his sins against me (and other people’s sins) over and over and over in my mind thousands and thousands of times. I didn’t want to. But I didn’t know how to make it stop. I would play tapes of the latest conflict I had had – with whomever it was most recently. The person’s words would just echo over and over. I would try to say I wasn’t going to think about it, and 2 seconds later it was playing non stop. It was torture! I didn’t know how to take my thoughts captive. I would also obsess over what I could have said or should have done.
      – I couldn’t forgive myself. I hadn’t truly experienced the grace of Christ for my own sin, and I couldn’t offer what I didn’t have.

      Maybe that is helpful?

      1. Okay, I think I get it. At the time your pride set you up as judge and jury. From a mans point of view, it seems the judgements are random, but the criticalness comes from a mindset of being above man and God! Did I understand correctly. It does not entirely come from wanting to be in control or one up? (Victim)

        1. David,

          Well, none of these things were conscious, but since I believed myself to be perfect and that God and my husband (and maybe everyone) should “submit to me” and do things my way, and that I was always right and other people were always wrong, and that I was “above” having to forgive people – I believed I could judge and condemn accurately and that it was my place and my right to do that. 🙁 And, if I was god (again, not consciously, but I did put self above God and did not trust God and did not understand God’s sovereignty and did not understand my sinfulness) – then everyone should see and accept that I had the right and responsibility to judge and criticize and condemn. But I was above criticism in my mind. If I set myself up as god, I believe I have the responsibility and duty to control others and God. It is essentially “blasphemy” to me for someone to say that I cannot control others or that I am not right.

          It sounds REALLY awful when it is all written out like that. But those were the underlying foundations of my understanding of myself and God – these very warped and sinful ideas that I began to believe when I was about 5 years old and could not articulate. I thought I loved and trusted God. I thought I knew God’s will better than anyone. I read my Bible and prayed every day, sometimes 4 hours/day. But inside, my heart was teaming with idolatry of self, idolatry of being in control, idolatry of my husband being responsible for my happiness, idolatry of my feelings, unbelief in God, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, pride, gossip, a critical spirit, self-righteousness… I was very much like the Pharisees whom Jesus condemned so severely.

          The forgiveness thing, I knew God commanded me to forgive. I couldn’t do it. I would try. But with all of these things being the building blocks I had built my “faith” on, I didn’t have the power or grace of God in my heart to empower me to be able to forgive.

  14. WhenI held onto what my husband did, and didn’t forgive, it caused bitterness, and IT blinded myself from my own wrongs. my husband was always quick to apologize for anything. Any wrong my hubby did was because he was provoked to anger, but he never just seemed to sin. He always was very loving and nice to me, but I always pushed him past a certain point, and would become bitter if he did any wrong to me.

  15. April,

    Thank you for sharing this insight. I guess that is what makes it so hard to comprehend for us men, that our wives actually believe they are above even God. But now it makes sense. They are not against us, or being critical of us, they are judgmental because; as you said they are above everyone. Thanks

    1. David,

      A wife can VERY DEARLY love and care about her husband – but if these things are at the foundation of her faith and motives – it is a huge problem! The difficulty is, they are subconscious and deeply held beliefs, often from childhood. It is VERY difficult and painful to get down to the bottom of it all and dig it out. And – to a large degree, God is the only one who can truly open a wife’s eyes to all of these things.

      I didn’t think of me as being against Greg. I thought of him as being against me. I thought he needed to change to be what I expected him to b – and all would be right with the world.

      Is this what is going on with all wives who are unforgiving? I don’t know.

      But it is what was happening in my heart. Quite a mess!

  16. April,
    This post was really encouraging, but I am struggling so much right now with trusting my husband. You know our situation from our emails, but I am consumed with fear that he is lying to me and having an affair. Whether he tells me he’s going to a movie with a guy friend, got stuck at work late, or helping a friend move I fear he’s lying. I have no reason to doubt except for how he distanced himself and when things like timeframes or something he tells me doesn’t add up, I examine it to death (in my head) and get this terrible feeling in my stomach. I’ve backed off and I’m not interrogating him, but I’m just really scared. I’m trying to just pray through it, give it God, listen to worship music, but its still so hard just thinking I’m being played.

    I took your advice and decided not to bring up the “issue” for a long time, unless he initiates talking about it. Part of this has to be irrational, but I do believe we have intuition about things and I have in the past so I’m not sure where I’m at in all this.

    Jeanne

    1. Jeanne,

      Trust is going to be a lot harder if there are good reasons not to trust. God doesn’t command us to trust our husbands. If trust has been violated, it has to be painstakingly rebuilt. If he isn’t willing to be open, transparent and vulnerable, that may indicate you can’t trust him, that he could be hiding something. I don’t know if he is or not. This will take you being extremely sensitive to God’s Spirit to know what step to take next and how to approach him. If he is hiding something, I pray it will surface soon. If he truly is behaving himself, I pray you can work together to rebuild trust. You may need to see a godly counselor for help.

      I am praying for you!!!

      1. Thank you. Well, I spent a lot of time in prayer yesterday just crying out to God for clarity. I really felt like I was losing my mind. I felt like I got some peace and then after he got off work, we were able to talk a little bit. I felt like he opened up a little more and it seems like he’s being honest about what he’s doing and honest about whats going on with us. I know that if he’s not it will be revealed when its time, I have to trust God in that.
        Basically what he said: He is so done with our relationship. He’s not leaving the marriage though. He said he’s just done too much in the past for us to recover and I’ve messed up too much for it to be worth saving. He says he loves me, but that he doesn’t know how to express that or feel it. One interesting thing he brought up is that he’s always wanted more tattoos and a dog. While we were dating, I said I wouldn’t want him to have more tattoos (I don’t think that I would ever really keep him from it, but it never seriously came up). So that is something he’s bringing up that I don’t love him for who he is bc he loves tattoos. And about the dog, I am not a dog person and told him that from the start, BUT we got a dog before we were even married yet he’s holding it against me that I might not want another dog. He and my daughter are huge dog lovers so I didn’t keep them from having one and I’m the one who walks her! I just don’t understand why these things are such huge issues for him. He said he feels like I never loved him for who he is and was always trying to change him.
        I used this conversation to briefly apologize for my actions, and told him that God was working on my heart. He of course doesn’t believe it, which is fine.
        I’m just defeated today. Its hard for me to understand how after all he’s done to me, I never gave up on him or us, yet he’s just willing to throw it all away. Makes me angry. Its hard to imagine how respecting him can make a difference because its hard to see where I can implement it with how things are. I am going to try though. Thanks as always for your encouragement.

        1. Jeanne,

          Well, it sounds like you took an important first step and that he was vulnerable with you. I’m really glad you listened!

          Maybe if he just hears you say that his body is his own and if he wants to get a tattoo, that is entirely up to him – would be a help. So that he wouldn’t view you as a “mother” figure who is trying to control him?

          You have both messed up. BUT – God is able to take ashes and create great beauty. If even just you are willing to do this God’s way and in His power – He can radically change YOU, at least. And, if He is going to change your husband, this is the pathway you will have to take. 🙂

          He said he’s not leaving the marriage. That is actually great news, in my view!

          God is able to change his feelings. As you continue to focus on Christ, we can trust God to work in him. This is going to take a LONG, LONG time, most likely. Like, a year or more.

          But- you are heading in the right direction, it sounds like to me!

          I’m so glad you are desperate for God and seeking Him for wisdom and strength! You cannot do this on your own, but in His power, He can give you victory!

          Much love to you! And a HUGE HUG!

          April

        2. Jeanne – God bless you!
          Focus on Matthew 9:29 – “It will be done to you according to your faith.”
          I, too, have times when I can’t see things working out the way I had always dreamed. But, I remember that all things are possible with God. And, it will truly be done to the level that I have faith in the Lord. And, for those of us who have trouble letting go of control, that reminds us that we do actually have some control of our outcome – to the level that we put our faith in the Lord.

          Actually, we have to believe that God can and wants to provide more peace and happiness in us than we can ever imagine, so let God know that you are letting go of your own dreams because you truly believe that God’s plans for you are so much better and bigger and brighter than your own. Feel the trust in your heart and praise God for the blessings that you KNOW he will provide for you in the future, as if you’ve already received them. Feel that peace. If you focus on it and pray about it, you can literally feel it, along with the joy that it brings.
          If only we can let go, and let God. It’s oh, so challenging, but it’s our calling. Think about the country song – “Jesus, take the wheel.”

          So, don’t underestimate the power of respecting your husband. Look very hard for the smallest things he does and make a huge deal out of it. If he walks the dog for 5 minutes or spends time with your daughter, praise him and let him know how much you respect that he did that. Repeat it again to him every day for a week, or forever, even if you’re thanking him for the same thing over and over.
          Let him know that you’re not really focused on his tattoos because your favorite part of him is his heart. You see how much of a good person he is, and that’s what stands out the most. (if it’s hard to see the good parts of him right now, look very hard for anything positive that you can focus on. Make a list and ask God to help you grow that list)

          One more thing – (I do this) – men like to see their women happy. So, even if you’re not happy in your relationship, praise God in your head, hum a tune from church, feel God’s love in your heart and get your joy from Him. Set reminders to yourself to pray every couple hours to remind yourself of God’s support. He is with you in every minute. Feel God’s guiding light and the peace that it brings. It will help you to stand tall, feel calm, and wear a smile because you know that you’re never alone.

          1. Thank you both. I’m just really trying to give him to God. I guess thats a continual thing. Its painful to feel so unloved yet still have to find those things to show him respect. I just have to remember that its ultimately for God, not him.

          2. Jeanne,

            This is a really important part of the process, in my view. It is how God purifies our motives so that we do this ONLY for Him, not to try to get something for ourselves. If you need outside help, don’t hesitate to seek for it! I pray for wisdom for you!

  17. April thank you for this post. I am currently learning and trying to forgive daily. It is a daily decision i need to make and not a one off as the hurt is still very raw and real to me. My question is how can trust be rebuilt? I am seeing counselors and have done so before and everyone tells me to leave my husband as he continues to abuse me in many ways but then say he’s trying to change. My issue is that he has been dishonest throughout our marriage. He even admitted he would never have told me about this female friend of his that was not an innocent friendship as i had found out. But my issue is that he tells me i need to give him another chance and trust him, he’s a changed man etc. The problem is that i have heard this many times. Trusted him and been continuously crushed. At what point do i say enough is enough? How can you rebuild trust when a man is so good at lying and hiding things? I don’t want to become a suspicious nagging wife who checks up on things all the time, that has never been me but now i feel like if i were to give him yet another chance i would be blindly putting myself in another bad situation. I don’t feel like he has genuine repentance and doesn’t have a relationship with God despite saying he is a christian. I am lost and stuck. Does forgiveness mean allowing someone to abuse and betray your trust?

    1. Megan,

      Oh yuck. What a painful, difficult situation. 🙁 God does not command us to trust our husbands if they are untrustworthy. There are times you cannot rebuild trust if he is unrepentant and continuing to lie and sin. You can pray for reconciliation and healing and for him to come to Christ. You can focus on your walk with Christ and on treating your husband with honor and not sinning against him. But there are times separation is necessary until the husband is willing to sincerely repent and demonstrate honesty, transparency and true repentance.

      What are your counselors saying?

    2. God’s Spirit will have to be the one to show you when enough is enough. You will have to rebuild trust very slowly, and you may need a godly counselor to help moderate things and help ensure your husband’s transparency and accountability.

      Praying for God to give you His wisdom!!!!!

  18. I am having conflicting feelings about what Mindy said back in February. That God “recomends we remain faithful in marriage.” I have been lookin through scripture and have found nothing to back that up, He commands us to refrain from sexual sin and doesnt adultry fall under that category? I would appreciate if any one could give me some verses that confirm that but all ive found so far is commands in that area not recomendations.

    1. Nicole,

      God does command us to be faithful – it is not just a recommendation or suggestion. Of course, He gives us commands because He loves us and wants what is ultimately best for us, our marriages, our children and His kingdom.

      “You shall not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14 (from the 10 commandments)

      Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Hebrews 13:4

      Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

      “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’b ? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

      “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

      Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” Matthew 19:3-8

      “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

      Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. I Corinthians 6:12-20

      Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman,
      from the wayward woman with her seductive words,
      who has left the partner of her youth
      and ignored the covenant she made before God.a
      Surely her house leads down to death
      and her paths to the spirits of the dead.
      None who go to her return
      or attain the paths of life. Proverbs 2:16-19

      (Proverbs 5-7 also deals with avoiding adultery)

      Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer looks with favor on your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.

      Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.

      “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the Lord Almighty.

      So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful. Malachi 2: 13-16

      Is that what you were asking?

      Much love to you!

  19. Thats pretty much all the same I had found. I know its off topic but I cant stop wondering why many of the men in the old testament had multiple wives? If God created it to be one man and one woman why did they choose to marry more? Im confused with that…

    1. Nicole,

      I don’t believe that polygamy is God’s perfect design for marriage. God does not have laws prohibiting men from taking more than one wife in the Old Testament, or the New Testament, that I am aware of. It does seem to create a lot of problems many times on various levels when men do have multiple wives. But, I don’t see where a man having multiple wives is considered to be sin in scripture. In the New Testament, deacons and elders are to be husbands of one wife. But God never rebuked David for having multiple wives, only for committing adultery.

      I am personally quite thankful my husband doesn’t have more wives! I think that would be really difficult.

      From what I can gather, it seems to me that men had multiple wives in order to have more children to be heirs and to build their own bloodlines, primarily.

      Great question!

  20. That is really good advice. It must be hard loosing trust to someone you love. I recently lost trust in my bf still deciding if I still want to be with him or if it is worth it at all. I can’t get pass the fact that he watches porn. He said sorry and he won’t ever do it again. But I just don’t feel comfortable with him anymore. Do you think I should forgive him and continue our relationship?

    1. Annie,

      When did he start watching porn? How much does he watch? Is he addicted?

      What is your relationship with Christ?
      What is his relationship with Christ?

      Much love to you!!!!!!!!

  21. We are a blended family, and I’ve been verbally and mentally strained. I want the lord to take this away and I don’t know how to do it. I’ve asked my spouse for guidance and her just feels like he’s failed at his leading in the home. I can’t do or say anything right or he’ll get mad and be in controlling. I want my heart to stop being torn down and empty, worried of what to say. He tells the kids and others one thing abs I find out it’s been twisted. I don’t like to talk to anyone about my feelings because I feel I’ll be look down at. I truly don’t know what to do anymore. I feel Christ hates me.

    1. Heather,

      I hope you can see that your feelings are not telling you the truth about how Jesus feels about you. So, your husband is controlling? Are you safe?

      What is your relationship with Christ, my sweet girl?

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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