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When Your Husband Says, "I'm Done."

disrespectedmen

 

When a husband says,

“I want a separation. There is nothing you can do or say to change my mind. I’m done.”

A wife has the biggest challenge of her life ahead of her. How will she respond?

God’s Word gives us His wisdom in I Peter 3:1-6 and I Corinthians 7 about if an unbelieving spouse leaves.

I have seen wives respond in very different ways.

1. I have seen wives try to tighten their grip and verbally force their husbands to stay – they fight, argue, cry, beg, nag, criticize, lash out, cuss and scream to try to MAKE their husbands do what they want them to do – to stay and repair the marriage.

2. I have seen wives treat their husbands with respect and honor, repenting of any sin on their part, seeking to learn to treat their husbands with dignity. I have seen wives respect their husband’s choice to leave and trust their husbands to God.

Have you ever been in either of these situations? What did you do? What was your husband’s response, if you are free to talk about it?

—————–

I am so thankful that some wives have shared a bit about their stories. I pray these might bless you. I am not an authority on this topic, but I hope to start a meaningful and helpful discussion that might greatly bless some who are in the midst of much pain right now. My goal is to point us all to God and His Word. He IS an authority on this issue, thankfully!

WIFE 1:

I was number 2!!! He even got a divorce, I never participated or went to 1 day in court. He went off and had another relationship and children.  I stayed faithful and stood in prayer everyday for the restoration of our marriage. On Nov 21, 2009 we remarried. He is a completely different man than the boy I married in 2005 we are so much in love and I would do it all over again even though it was the darkest part of my life.

God is good!! I got my strength from the scripture that tells me how God feels about marriage. I knew what my responsibility was and I knew that did not change because of my husband’s choices.

I knew God would bless me and I prayed for my husband and his soul. I prayed over him when we were together even if he was sleeping – I would lay hands on him. I stood firm in God’s word and He came through. We have done the Love and Respect conference as well as taking a class at church on 5 Love Languges. We also attended marriage retreats. This thing is WORK but it is worth it. I have 3 stepchildren now who are a full part of our family, after court battles we get them once a month. Our God is a Restorer. We were high school sweethearts and I can’t imagine my life without him.

WIFE 2:

The more I do #1, the worse things get. When I work on #2, things come to a stalemate, which isn’t necessarily good, but at least they aren’t getting worse. I have lost control while in the midst of #2, and reverted back to #1, which did not help at all. Now, I need to work on #2, and trust God, long enough to see positive, long term results.

It is definitely a challenge, but I’ve also noticed the peace that starts to fall when you give the entire situation to God. It’s hard to do, but there is a relief that sets in, and if you stop yourself in time, before freaking out again, you feel a sense of freedom. It’s not your responsibility. You can only control yourself, your behavior, your thoughts. Anything else is in God hands.

WIFE 3:

I have done the first, and have attempted/am attempting the second with God’s help. I am not perfect, I am a sinner saved by God’s grace, and this is a hurt more devastating than anything I have ever experienced, but with God’s strength I can learn to let go and give my husband to Him. It’s hard to let go when things are not going the way I want them to, but I never had control over his actions in the first place. It is all in God’s hands, and always has been. This is a battle in my mind – please pray for me and for all marriages.

WIFE 4:

My husband asked for a separation and we were separated by distance at the time. It was then that I found the Peaceful Wife’s blog and took the steps that April suggested. I asked for his forgiveness and took my own steps to repair my heart and my relationship with God. I was finally able to rejoin him in July and our marriage has only grown stronger! We had an initial period of quietness and getting to know one another again. After that, he learned to trust that I was not the same wife that I had been (the demanding, overpowering, and disrespectful wife that I had not realized I had been). We have grown closer and things are going really well!

 

FROM APRIL:

I haven’t been through this kind of excruciating, devastating situation. I have had my husband totally shut down on me for long periods of time – not look at me, not talk to me, not want to touch me – earlier in our marriage. That was very painful. (In my case, he was responding to my control and disrespect – I just didn’t know that for a long time.) But for a husband to want to leave – that would be so much more painful. I can’t begin to imagine the temptation to completely panic for a wife upon hearing these words from her husband – particularly when a believing wife wants to make the marriage work. I believe that separation and divorce can be more painful and devastating than losing a spouse to death. My heart just completely breaks for each of you (women and men) who are living this kind of nightmare.

A bit more detail about the two ways wives generally respond when a husband wants to leave or does leave…

1. A wife completely freaks out and reacts in her flesh.  She may:

  • cry
  • beg
  • try to force her husband to stay
  • scream and maybe even curse at him
  • lash out in anger
  • say very hurtful, hateful words
  • threaten him
  • throw things or hit him
  • think if she can just explain herself more and use many words, that he will understand and change his mind
  • try to cling tighter emotionally to her husband
  • argue
  • try to control him
  • try to make him do things her way because she believes she is right
  • lecture her husband about his “ungodly decision to leave”
  • try to use guilt to manipulate him.
  • respond with a victim mentality or a the mindset of a “martyr”
  • try to turn the children against him
  • want to seek revenge
  • want to hurt him so that he will feel as much pain as she does
  • make demands
  • criticize him
  • list all of his faults and sins
  • blame him

These tactics will not work, my precious sisters! They only cause more damage and destruction. Everything in a man’s nature will be repelled by this fleshly approach.

For a husband to return to his wife in this situation, he would have to be willing to submit to her. That is not God’s design. He needs to be able to make this choice freely and willingly and return on his own. Only a very spiritually/emotionally unhealthy man would be willing to submit to a wife’s demands like this. And if he did what she demanded, she would likely immediately question his motives and lose respect for him. This is just not the way to win a man’s heart, ladies!

2. A wife seeks to live in the power of God’s Spirit filling her and to respond to her husband in obedience to God. She may:

  • cry
  • seek God first, not reconciliation with her husband, not allow her husband or reconciliation to become an idol (Matthew 22:37-38)
  • spend a lot of time with God in prayer, journaling and seeking His face, His wisdom and His direction, crying out to God, laying on her face before Him in total humility, adoration, brokenness, weakness, faith and trust (Many Psalms describe this kind of intense searching for God and His will)
  • wrestle, grieve and struggle with weighty emotions and decisions
  • seek to treat her husband with honor and respect in any way that she believes God is revealing to her that He wants her to (Ephesians 5:22-33, I Corinthians 11:3, I Peter 3:1-6)
  • seek not to respond to her husband’s sin with her own sin, but seek to repay evil with good from a position of great spiritual strength in Christ (Romans 12:9-21)
  • allow him the freedom to make his own choices
  • focus only on what she has control over – herself and her walk with Christ
  • respond with dignity, grace, and poise in the power of God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
  • guard her heart against bitterness
  • sing praises to God all throughout each day
  • write out all of her fears and then write out Scriptures that combat those fears and help her to focus on the power and sovereignty of Christ
  • seek to speak respectfully about her husband to others, especially her children
  • guard against human advice – many friends and family members will not understand waiting on God and will encourage a wife to  “just divorce him” or “just move on” not understanding that marriage is a sacred covenant
  • seek to bless her husband and to pray for God’s best for him and for his welfare
  • focus on laying down her dream of her marriage being healed and not cling to that dream, but cling tightly to Christ alone, determining that Jesus is sufficient for her, trusting her husband and their marriage to Him
  • pray for healing for her marriage and for salvation for her husband but rest in God’s sovereignty to work out the end results and seek to be God’s partner in bringing beauty and good to the situation
  • share her needs and desires respectfully, generally once
  • seek godly support from family and friends
  • realize that in some cases, this may not have anything to do with her but may be issues that the husband has and not take responsibility for things that are not her fault
  • confront her husband about sin in his life only as God reveals to her that it is a good time to do that and as He shows her clearly what He wants her to do and say and how to approach her husband humbly, respectfully, and gently (this is usually not something to do right away when a husband wants to leave the marriage, God will give opportunities for this in time. But, when a husband has decided to leave, he will generally not be open to hearing about his sin)
  • extend the grace, mercy, forgiveness and love of Christ to her husband, understanding that he is hurting and may be spiritually dead or in bondage and he may not be able to give her what she wants from him at the time
  • set healthy and appropriate limits on her husband if necessary according to God’s wisdom and prompting (i.e.:, I cannot live with you if you continue the relationship with this other woman)
  • seek to allow God to change and transform and refine her faith and character during this time of intense suffering
  • focus on Philippians 4:4-8 things
  • focus on waiting on God
  • focus on being thankful to God in all circumstances (I Thessalonians 5:16)
  • focus on not  arguing or complaining so that she might shine for Christ (Philippians 2:14-16)
  • focus on obeying God’s Word for herself and seeking to not get in the way of anything God may want to do with her husband
  • be willing to allow God to change her first, even if she believes her husband has “more sin” in his life than she does in hers
  • take responsibility for her own sin and repent to God and to her husband for it and take responsibility for her own obedience to God and her own spiritual growth and her own emotions

Approaching things in a godly way is the only way that may win a husband back. It is not a guarantee.

Some husbands may choose not to return. But a wife who lives this way will have no regrets and can breathe healing into her marriage. If a husband is going to respond, it will be to this approach. He will feel honored and God will be honored.

I am praying for God’s wisdom, His Spirit’s power, His will, His glory and for great faith for each of you who are facing fiery trials right now in your marriages. I pray for God to draw each of you closer to Himself than ever and for Him to draw your husbands to Himself – to bring any to salvation who do not know Him – and to make something beautiful from the painful mess that things may be right now at this moment. Just because a wife responds in a God-honoring, Spirit-filled way does not necessarily mean that her husband is definitely going to come back when she wants him to. But it will mean that God will be glorified in her life. My prayer is that each of you might cling to Christ and that you might grow in your faith and trust Him more and more and that He might use this time to make you more and more beautiful in His sight.

Men and women are welcome to share on this topic, I would especially love to hear ways that God has inspired you to respond in similar situations (I am not able to publish manosphere-type comments – but other masculine comments I can publish).

Much love to each of you!

RELATED:

Kristin’s Story – A Peaceful Separated Wife

A Separated Wife Finally Begins to Experience the Peace of God in Her Life!

Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected

Why Your Husband May Not Immediately Do What You Want Him to Do

A Husband Answers – “Why Won’t My Husband Lead?

When I Shut Up, My Husband Heard God

Being Married to a Man Who Is Emotionally/Spiritually Shut Down

Choosing Our Counselors Wisely

Why Men Sometimes Need Space – a Peacefulwife Video

Non-Verbal Disrespect –  a Peacefulwife Video

To Speak or Not to Speak – a Peacefulwife Video

(Note #1 – If your husband is involved in drug/alcohol addictions, infidelity, has uncontrolled mental health problems or is abusive, please seek appropriate help ASAP. I am not able to address these kinds of severe issues here on the blog. You may need much more specialized help. And you may need to separate from your husband in such cases, at least for a time. Some resources that may be helpful are The Salvation Army, Celebrate Recovery and Al-Anon.)

(Note #2 – if you are a wife who wants to separate from your husband or divorce him, please be extremely careful about doing this. I know there are times when separation is unavoidable in extreme cases and circumstances. Sometimes separation is a necessary step for a couple being able to work things out and eventually reconcile. Sometimes it is not safe or wise to continue to live together. I do understand that. And maybe there are some – even more rare cases – where divorce is necessary. But there are also some times when we choose separation or divorce when we actually could stay and focus on becoming the wives God desires us to be and we could trust and wait on God to work miracles. If the issue is that you are just not happy, or you don’t feel your needs are being met – I pray you will wait and seek God wholeheartedly before doing anything rash. If you are considering divorcing your husband, please check out The Bible and Divorce. I want to be sure that we are listening to and trusting God’s voice, not our ungodly culture’s wisdom. God hates divorce (Malachi 2). I don’t want you to live in a broken marriage. I long to see God heal your marriage.  I want God to say to each of us, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” I want to see you and your husband have a strong, healthy, vibrant, godly marriage as you seek to do things His way. Please check out the posts at the top of my home page as a place to start. There are many other posts on my blog that may be encouraging and inspiring to you, as well. If there are severe issues in your marriage, please seek appropriate, godly, biblically based help. Or you may need medical help, legal help or help from the police depending on the situation.)

222 thoughts on “When Your Husband Says, "I'm Done."

  1. Re wife # 1 — “Wow!”
    That’s a HUGE (April’s favorite word) 🙂 testimony right there.
    This is a timely post April. It has reiterated many things I have been praying about in the last week.
    “I believe that separation and divorce can be more painful and devastating than losing a spouse to death.”
    In “many ways”, I believe that statement to be true.

    1. Prayinglikehannah,
      I know you have been on this road for a long time. I’m so glad that this post, especially Wife #1’s testimony, was a blessing to you.

      You know me so well! 🙂 Ha!

      Praying for God’s will, His power, His miracles and His greatest glory in your life and your husband’s life, my sweet friend!

    2. This is so true. When someone dies, there is nothing you can do and the love they brought into your life lives on. We know death is inevitable. But when your husband leaves, you know he is alive , they just stopped loving you.

  2. I’m currently going through a separation. Its such a hard time but I have to say….I am so thankful for what God has done through me in this time. Even though my husband’s sins are more obvious, the Lord has graciously shown me my sin. My sin can be hidden more and it can look “prettier.” But all sin separates us from God. I was very prideful to think that he needed the cross more than I did. I was very prideful in thinking I could and needed to be in control. The Lord has allowed me to come to a place where I can lay down my wants and fears and know that no matter what happens, that Jesus is enough.
    I’m 5 months into this separation (we still saw eachother daily) and 2 weeks into a complete separation where I have been counseled to cut out all communication with him in accordance with Matthew 18 church discipline. Its amazing to have so much peace. I even questioned how I could feel so much peace as I was talking with my prayer partner last night. I thought maybe this peace was showing a lack of care for my husband, shouldn’t I be a basketcase?? After talking through how God gives us peace, it seemed almost humorous that I would question that this peace would be only from God.
    I love this post and I do hope that any wife who finds herself in a separation will be able to find encouragement that God can use this time for your greatest good and that is a closer relationship with God and knowing that He is better than anything.

    1. Jeanne,

      Goodness, how I hate to hear that you are in the midst of a separation – but I am so greatly encouraged about what God is doing in your heart! Yes, I have to say a HUGE WOW, here! 🙂

      Praise God that you are finding that Jesus is enough. How I long for all of us to know that on a deep and tangible level.

      And praise God for His peace that passes all understanding.

      Thank you so very much for sharing, my precious sister! I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you!

    2. I have been seperated from my husband since Jan 13 physically 3 times now we got back together last march for three days. And at the end if may till the third week of Sept. I moved out and dgot an apt because I was wore out from sleeping in my car. We lived with his family and shared a bedroom with his 24 year old nephew. My biggest priblem has been control and pride. God is still working on me and everything you said is so true. God works on one spouse first usually. Then starts to work on the other. I am at a pojnt now where I dont really know what to do. I ask God to show me but just feel very uneasy the past few days. I dont know why. This is the worst time of my life this seperation. My heart has been shredded in a million pieces and thrown on the floor and stomped time and time. again. Please keep me in your prayers. My name is Valerie. And thank you April Cassidy you have helped menin such an awesome way.

      1. Valerie,

        Goodness, that sounds like a very rough time. Are you safe? Do you have spiritual support and godly counsel with anyone you trust there? Are there major issues in your marriage like addictions, uncontrolled mental health issues, abuse, infidelity, etc?

        How is your walk with Christ going my dear sister?

  3. I realize this is a woman’s blog, but I follow it because it is encouraging that there are women out there who understand the importance of marriage and following Christ. That being said, I was wondering if I could give a husband’s perspective? The reason being that “Wife #1’s” story touched me. I am not sure how hard it would be to hang on like that, after three stepchildren and an affair?

    My story goes like this. I fall in love with K, we get married. She was married at 19 after getting pregnant, divorced three years later, struggles with sexual sin for 5-6 years, but has an honest desire for Christ when we meet. I do my best to be an example and lead her, though I fail at times. I, too, have a son from a woman from when I was younger, but have since led a life of abstinence and wanting to glorify God as best I can. We blended families, got married and made the best of it. We had a rocky start with finances and her health issues that came on after a kidney stone and taking some high powered antibiotics, and then a year into our marriage she leaves and goes home to her parents. She cheats on me and initiates a divorce even though I was pursuing her the entire time to come home. I heed the advice in 1 Cor 7 that if the unbelieving want to depart, let them do so, so I give her the divorce uncontested. She continues to cheat on me with multiple partners including her ex-husband. Then 4 months after she left she asks to be my wife again, and I welcome her back and don’t file the final draft of the divorce. We try for a couple months, but it isn’t enough. She wants the freedom she has at her mom and dad’s and I think her infidelity ruined things for her, so she asks me to file the final judgment on the divorce. And I do. She tried to keep in touch with me, but I wasn’t willing to be one of her many “ex’s” who do, just so that they can keep a promiscuous relationship with her. I changed my email, my phone number, and halted all communication with her. She took her daughter to see my mother once, but I didn’t ask the details.

    I was a father to her daughter, reading bedtime stories to her every night, and putting up with her dad calling everyday — the same man she would later have an affair with, her ex-husband. I provided for my family. I was a little impatient when it came to her work ethic because she refused to work outside the home so I expected a little effort around the house, which I never got. I cooked, cleaned and worked. Then the moment she left for her mom’s, she had a job lined up at a tanning salon through the owner, who was one of her old flames.

    I’m not perfect, but I held onto the marriage through her infidelity as long as I could. Correct me if I’m wrong, but once the divorce is final, it is final. You are no longer bound to that person. I no longer harbor bitterness towards, K, by the grace of God and battling thoughts for 6-7 months now that it is final. And I honestly don’t want to go back to the pain and suffering. We were unequally yoked in some aspects of our marriage that were really important to me spiritually. Though we were very comfortable together, and I know deep down that she loved me physically, she just doesn’t understand what love is spiritually, which is obedience to Christ and His instructions for marriage.

    I feel cheated in the sense that I gave everything. She was the only woman I’ve ever loved and now I’m starting over. I’m not dating, I’m waiting. I’m asking God to heal my heart completely so that I can give it to a truly virtuous woman that He might bring into my life, and I don’t want her, whenever she comes, to feel cheated — like I gave my heart to another woman. I want all those feelings and effort that I put into my marriage to be renewed for someone else. I’m not saying I wouldn’t take K back, but it would have to be completely different — she would have to be a completely different person. I don’t feel like I’m obligated to take her back since she left, demanded the divorce, and sealed it with adultery.

    If wife#1 monitors this blog, maybe she could anonymously weigh in, if led? Others?

    1. John:

      You have dealt with a lot! I trust that you will find God’s peace and wisdom.

      I too wonder about how wife # 1 handled that ordeal. I thought of asking April to ask wife # 1 if she was able to share more about her road to reconciliation and how God strengthened her to handle it all… But I figured I loved to ask for those things too much :):)

      I have read/watched maybe every restoration testimony that is available online! There was once a time in my walk, when I had to tune in to what God did in the lives of others, to really help me understand if what I believed He (God) was asking me to do was really something He wanted me to do (weird, but I hope that makes sense).

      I have found the greatest joy and peace in, letting go of everything else and finding joy regardless of the circumstances. Of course it’s not easy….but I know that God is in control of everything, so if He allows me to walk a road, it is for a good cause, even if I;d much prefer another route!

      1. Thank you for the comment. I, too, would be interested in hearing more of the details of wife#1, but that is up to her and the Lord. The Lord has definitely taught me peace in letting go. I have found more peace in being a single man now than I ever have in my life, and I’m now 31 years old. At the end of the day, my days are written in His book, and this is the path He has ordained for me to walk at this time, knowing it is for a good purpose, and to learn something more about His glory. I find hope, like you said, in reading the stories of others. I think that’s what drew me to this blog, just trying to surround myself with stories of hope and others who take the institution of marriage seriously.

        1. “….. just trying to surround myself with stories of hope and others who take the institution of marriage seriously.”
          Yes, I understand that.. It can be soothing to the spirit.

          I find what one of the wives said interesting… that she has found peace when not in communication with her husband. Now whether or not she she should be in communication with her husband is for her to decide based on what God is telling her about her own situation. Indeed, he does work in various ways. However, I can relate to that thought. In fact, in my devotions this morning I said the same thing to God — that I find that I have way more peace and that I am closer to Him (God) when I withdraw from my hubby.

          Sometimes we have good communication and sometimes when he spends time with us, it is wonderful! But somehow it is always as if it’s a ticking bomb… when I spend more time in communication with God and not with my husband……… I ultimately find stronger and more long lasting peace. So at times, I do know that God wants me to withdraw from my husband. The emotional space gives me time for spiritual growth.

          1. I couldn’t agree with you more. Two months into my wife’s separation, I finally cut off communication with her. I let her know I wanted her to be home and that I wanted to continue the marriage but that if she wanted to be disobedient to Christ and continue with the separation that I would give her just that. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back and she came up later and initiated the divorce. And even that day when she was removing things from the house and asking me to sign things I asked her to stay. So, I think there is a point that you must, as the believing spouse, act according to God’s word. I just wrote a post recently about how even the Apostle Paul turned over beloved church members to Satan, in order that their flesh would be destroyed and their spirit saved in the Day of the Lord. The loving thing to do sometimes is to let go.

          2. Prayinglikehannah,
            I just wanted to clarify what I said. Just in case there was any confusion, I didn’t choose this separation with my husband. He left me and told me he was done with our marriage. I didn’t give up though and we’ve been being counseled by my church but he wasn’t turning away from his lifestyle, although he had expressed that he would like to work on the marriage. The decision to not communicate with him came after months of prayer and counsel from the elders and pastors at my church. I would have never taken this step right off the bat. I spent the last 5 months allowing him in our home each day but felt led at this point to do this as the most loving thing I could do for him in hopes that it allows him to reach the end of himself and return to God in repentance. I just didn’t want anyone to think I left him and quit talking to him and that I think thats what one should do in a difficult marriage.
            The Lord gave me so much peace during the 5 months and has given me peace now as this new arrangement has just started. I thought this being totally out of control would cause me to panic but I just feel total peace that my husband is in God’s hands fully. I would say I’m not necessarily finding peace in the lack of communication, although it does change things as our environment isn’t walking on eggshells now, but I’m finding peace through knowing that God is at work and taking care of me and my husband.
            Your comments and insights are always so encouraging!

          3. Jeanne,
            Thank you for this clarification. I love how you sought to obey God and honor His Word and cooperate with godly counsel. I love that you are being sensitive to God’s Spirit.

            I know God will use this to bring much glory to Himself and to do something beyond our imagination. I’m so thankful for His promises and His Word. Praying for you to abide in Him and rest in His peace, love and sovereignty.

          4. Thanks for the clarification Jeanne. I completely understand that no one who wants their marriage to be what God intends for it to be would “desires” to be “out of communication” with their spouse. I know it is not a “choice” that you meant you “chose” to make.

            However, I do believe that in some cases – and only at the clear instruction of God and for the time and season that he allows, sometimes it is the best decision to make.

            Sometimes communication just allows room for strife, contention, foolish arguments etc., and in that season, for a while — it might, in some situations be good to withdraw communications. That is something that each person would need to find their own answer for. Sometimes the “space” allows one to spend more time talking to and listening to God.

            I am only speaking based on my personal opinion. Healthy, constant communication between man and wife is certainly what I would love to see all the time….

          5. In my experience, my husband said he wanted to separate/divorce. After
            a broken heart, weeks of prayer and godly counsel, I told him that he must leave. I would not live with his indecision to be with me wholly and faithfully. I told him I loved him and wanted our marriage to work but I would not sit on this fence with him. He did not want to leave, but he did. I didn’t scream and act foolish in that particular moment because I understood that God would take care of me regardless of the outcome. I had more peace that evening and following day….I severed contact for one night. That is the one night my husband needed to hear God. The following day he came to me having “seen the light”. I was very hesitant and guarded but trusted God. I am thankful that our reconciliation was so speedy. Men do not respond to way#1 at all. It is not God’s way. during that time, God spoke to me, showed me my sin that I foolishly had not seen and didn’t think it was as “serious” a sin as my husband’s. My heart changed for the better and continues to grow in Christ even now. That was close to 2 years ago. My prayers do go out to those hurting and praying for reconciliation. I pray with you. The most peaceful SCARY prayer I made during that time as for God’s will in my life and marriage. It brought me peace. God bless !

          6. Prayingwife79,
            Thank you for sharing your story. I am so glad you were sensitive to God’s nudging to you. How I praise God for what He has done in you both!!!!! 🙂

        2. John, I love what you said here about knowing that your days are written already and that God has ordained for you to walk this path right now. I am in the same place. I’m dealing with multiple affairs, a possible stepchild, and my husband, while not currently in an affair (that I know of) is unrepentant of his lifestyle. As I’ve studied what marriage is in God’s eyes, I don’t have peace about leaving my marriage at this time. I do believe its a life long covenant that represents how Christ doesn’t leave us even though we commit adultery each day towards him. I honestly don’t know if I’ll end up divorced or reconciled with my husband. If I’m honest, like you, I don’t want to go back into the relationship. I don’t want to deal with going through this again, but I am trusting that if God leads me there, God will give me what I need to go through it. Also, I think it will be after my husband repents and comes back to the Lord, so hopefully I’d be entering into a new marriage with my husband.
          During this current separation, I’ve spent so much time learning about God’s sovereignty over suffering and that has brought so much comfort. Just knowing that this isn’t an accident that i’ve ended up here is so comforting. God has this path ordained for me and through it I’m learning more of His character than I would have without it.

          Also, it is so important to surround yourself with others who view marriage seriously. I love that you are seeking that out too. I have done the same thing and it makes a huge difference. If interested, along with this blog, you should check out sermon’s from The Austin Stone Community Church on marriage and God’s sovereignty over good and evil, The Village church has many sermon’s on suffering, and the Church at Brook Hills has some on suffering also that have helped me. Can find most of those on youtube. Revive Our Hearts is a women’s ministry but can still be so helpful. They have one of the strongest views of marriage and can be so encouraging. That website is full of encouragement.

          I’m praying for you this morning.

          1. Jeanne,
            I am so glad you are seeking to hear God’s voice and that you long to obey Him alone. I pray that you husband might repent and return to Christ.
            Thank you for sharing these resources, I know they will bless many of our sisters and brothers!

          2. Thank you, Jeanne, and my heart goes out to you this morning. You are still in the thick of it, apparently, yet you speak with boldness and peace. I remember when K came back and said she was sorry and wanted to be my wife again, I knew I had to forgive. Granted it would turn out to be pretense and she again left and asked to finalize the divorce. Yet, when she returned I didn’t know how I was going to do it. I knew it would be hard. I knew there would be bitterness within to be fought. I knew that the ex-husband would still be a presence in our lives, etc, etc. But, I think that is the beauty of Christ’s love. When we are faced with a mountain that we know we can’t move or climb, His love carries us, and its really a miracle. The hurt, the pain, the bitterness, the jealousy, are all something we have to fight through Christ. But I believe if we go through it, it can lead us to an understanding of love and forgiveness that only very few people can appreciate. And in that sense, those who do stick it out are privileged in this life, because they understand the sacrificial love of Christ more than others. I hope your husband does repent eventually, and I hope for you peace in Christ no matter the outcome.

    2. John1323,

      Thank you for sharing. What a heartbreaking story you have. 🙁 I so wish that no one ever had to experience this kind of pain in marriage. Such a complicated situation.

      Legally, you are not bound to your wife once you are divorced. God has a different view of marriage than we do, though, as you obviously are well aware. It is supposed to be for a lifetime. It is supposed to be a covenant. He hates divorce. Obviously, what happened in your marriage greatly grieved God’s heart and was not His perfect will for your marriage.

      There are different interpretations about divorce in the New Testament. Most believers hold that someone whose spouse cheated on him/her is not bound to stay in the marriage based on Matthew 19:9. Some believe that the spouse who was cheated on is free to remarry. Others don’t believe they are free to remarry. And then there was a passage in Deuteronomy in the Old Testament that prohibited a wife who was divorced from her first husband and who remarried to come back to her first husband. So, to me, this subject can get very confusing.

      Hosea is a fascinating book about a husband in a similar situation as yours, who was called to continue to take his adulterous wife back in order to show God’s love for His unfaithful people. But that doesn’t seem to be a universal command, from what I understand, to all believers. However, God does sometimes call individuals to forgive their wayward spouses and to restore their marriages to demonstrate “covenant” the way He has a covenant with us, even though we are unfaithful to Him. I’m so thankful you attempted to do that. It seems that your wife may be unrepentant, and that she may be far from God. How I pray she might find Christ and that He might regenerate her soul for His glory.

      I totally understand why you would want to see some real repentance and fruit of repentance before considering taking her back and why you wouldn’t be too excited about living through that kind of pain again. That seems wise to me. It is my understanding that you wouldn’t be obligated to take her back because of her adultery. But, God’s opinion is much more important than mine. I pray He will give you clear direction every step of the way in your specific situation.

      I am glad you are waiting and not trying to rush into anything new. I can’t imagine the scars and wounds you have. I pray for God’s wisdom and healing for you, my precious brother in Christ. I am sure many others will join me in praying for your situation.

      1. Thanks for the reply, I thought for sure I was Hosea when going through all of that. I told my story to an older woman on a plane ride back from a bible conference in Dallas back in March who told me the same thing…maybe I’m supposed to be Hosea. But I, like you mention, began to realize that without true repentance, the effort is futile on my part. Christ has to do a work in her life for something like that. She has to get to the point that she’s tired of wallowing with the pigs before she decides to return to her father’s house, so-to-speak. Perhaps its the repentance/returning that initiates meeting them “afar off” and welcoming them home, but repentance has to be made before that encounter happens.

        And truthfully, I am growing in this process, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. God has a way of revealing our own sins and shortcomings, and that has been my own pursuit lately. I don’t like to place the blame on others, knowing full well that I am chief of sinners. There were things I could have done differently, for sure.

        1. John1323,
          I am so excited about what God is doing in your heart!

          And I definitely agree that a wayward spouse would need to truly repent and be willing to be transparent and rebuild trust before the cheated-on spouse would ever entertain any ideas of reconciliation. This will take the power of God’s Spirit opening that spouse’s eyes to his/her sin and bringing them to conviction and real repentance and godly sorrow over their sin.

          I don’t personally want to see a believer attempt to take back an unrepentant adulterous spouse.

          Thank you for your humility and willingness to acknowledge and take responsibility for your own sins and shortcomings. I love how God is using this to refine your faith and your spiritual maturity. What an inspiration!

    3. Well men like you are few left in this world! I have has three marriages, and each with a child. Yes three children with three different people. The first one cheated on me, raped me and could never provide for me. Secon cheated on me, stole from me, could never provide for me. So I had to provide for all of us. But I had enough wen he lied about me cheating on him!!! I found someone that was responsible, and made me feel worthy even do I already had two kids from two different people. But as soon as I got pregnant he changed he hit me during pregnancy, after and right wen he left me! God knows I tried I don’t know if I gave it all but I wanted it to work

  4. It truly amazes me how spot-on your advice is, April, even though you have never actually been in a separation situation! In my mind it just goes to show how in line with God’s Word you are! 🙂

    Sadly I started out by reacting in a very flesh-centered way when my husband told me about his affair and that he was leaving. I think I must have done everything on your first list (crying, swearing, throwing things, etc)!!

    But God is so gracious and I received wonderful counseling from a lady at my church the very next day. From then on I was ONE HUNDRED percent changed!!

    By God’s grace I was able to look at my own horrible sin and the awful disrespect I had toward my husband. This REALLY helped me see my husband’s side of things, and any bitterness I harbored against him was little to none (and remains that way two years later!!). I had SO much peace and strength through the Holy Spirit. I KNOW that sounds impossible but God can do anything!!

    I went through the quiet phase. My husband stayed in our home but was often cold and distant. This was one of the hardest parts for me because I longed for comfort and love. However, God was teaching me to seek comfort in Him alone! I learned that He wants us to see Him as the pearl of great price, seeing SO much value in a relationship with him that we would let go of EVERYTHING else in our lives for Him!!

    I also had to be OK with the fact that my husband may leave, and knowing that the Lord would work everything out in that instance (Like you said, April, “laying down the dream of marriage”). Easier said than done! I spent so much time praying and being in God’s Word. I was dependent on Him at every moment because my struggle was so intense.

    God transformed my husband’s heart, and graciously led him (and me of course:)) back to the Lord.

    I know this is not always how it works out for people, and sometimes spouses DO leave anyway, but I REALLY want to be an encouragement and say God is ABLE to transform hearts that are cold and far away from him! So that’s a little bit of my story 🙂

    1. KD,
      LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this! Thank you so much for sharing your story! Thank you for sharing what God did in your heart. I know you will bless many men and women today. I praise God for what He has done and continues to do and will do in your life and your husband’s life and in your family and marriage. 🙂

    2. I agree with your thoughts KD about April’s words.

      I even wonder why she always puts “I am not an authority on this topic” when she discusses certain topics… 🙂 No one person will be able to experience every situation… otherwise, every pastor would have to clarify what their own marital struggles are before they attempt to counsel others.

      We all have different challenges… but we are all challenged.

  5. Dear sisters in Christ
    My heart goes out to John and all the dear women who serve our Lord that are suffering through painful trials right now
    I too am in the midst of a storm in my new marriage, almost 5 months now
    I had expectations that the incredible courtship we had shared would carry on in our marriage and I am devastated that it ended only a few days after getting married
    I come from a past filled with hurt and pain and betrayal and struggle enormously with insecurity, loss and abandonments issues as a result
    I have tried to cling or cleave to my husband and admittedly it is likely idolatrous in nature.
    My husband has responded in the way April describes in her marriage during the early days when Greg shut down
    This is causing me such profound hurt and grief I struggle to function although I still perform my work duties and maintain a orderly home
    I feel so deeply abandoned and rejected and profoundly unloved despite my husband’s attempts to show me love in his own way
    He loves and serves the Lord but I always feel like last on his list and the least important part of his busy life 🙁
    He says I am selfish and care only about my own desires and my desperate need for all his time to be spent with me.
    He has issued an ultimatum to me and I am emotionally train wrecked right now
    Please know I love Jesus with all my heart and long to serve and honour and obey my King but cannot get past this agony that consumes me
    I am greatly blessed and encouraged by this blog and pray the Lord will carry me through this season of intense heartache and pain
    In Christ

    1. Tracy,

      I am so sorry to hear how painful things have been and how quickly things went downhill. Kind of reminds me of our story. Things went wrong one week into our marriage. Such a painful, painful time.

      You have a lot of wounds and scars to heal from. This trial is bringing all of that to the surface and I believe God can and will heal you as you lay these hurts before Him – and work through the wrong ways of thinking you have and rebuild your life on Christ and His Word alone.

      I have a lot of posts that address these kinds of issues that I pray might bless you.

      please search these terms:
      – idol
      – idolatry
      – needy
      – husband emotions
      – husband perspective
      – bitterness of soul
      – bitterness
      – waiting becomes sweet
      – fear
      – expectations
      – stages of this journey

      What is the ultimatum, if you are free to discuss it? If you want to, we may be able to prayerfully talk about some ideas.

      What are the ways he shows you love in his own way?

      Are you able to lay down your expectations and allow your husband the freedom to be who he is, even if he never changes? Can you accept him for who he is?

      Why do you feel that you are last on his list?

      What is it you have been asking for?

      Much love to you!!! We are here to walk this road together. I am praying for you!

    2. Thank you for your sympathies, Tracy, I hope and pray your situation turns up for the better. Have you read anything like Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, by Nancy DeMoss? I actually read that book trying to understand my wife, yet I got so much out of it myself. Emotions can get the best of us and be one of Satan’s tools to keep us in bondage to fear. All the best to you.

        1. April — is John1323 the new blog librarian? 🙂
          I guess Raphael is on vacation. 🙂
          I will have to check out that book

          1. 🙂 Not sure who Raphael is, but thanks for the shout out there. 🙂 I also read Love and Respect while married, it helped me to understand my role, and the wife’s role much better. I find instead of reading men’s self help books, I get more out of the women’s stuff. Its hard to crack that code if you know what I mean, I need all the help I can get — you ladies are difficult to understand. In a good way, of course.

          2. John1323,
            Raphael used to comment a good bit and would quote from Christian biographies and books to encourage everyone. Prayinglikehannah dubbed him the blog librarian. 🙂

            Many men read this blog. In fact, more men read my blog than read my husband’s blog. They often find insights that are helpful as they seek to better understand their wives here. Lots of husbands use my site to “reverse engineer” things.

            We appreciate the men who are here and are grateful for their comments as well as the ladies’ comments.

  6. I am living through this right now. The most frustrating part is the God has done SO much healing in our marriage that very recently, my husband told me how happy he has been…..and I was so happy because it seemed the man I married had come back to me. Then Friday night happened. It started out so lovely….then, through some careless, stupid words of mine, we ended up having a huge fight. I tried to defend myself, show him that I was right and he just wasn’t seeing things the correct way…..and that made it WAY worse. By the end of the evening, he said the words “we’re done. I’m getting a hotel room tonight and moving out tomorrow”. I was crushed and I responded the first way…..in the flesh, begging and crying, pleading, yelling so he would hear me. I basically had an embarrassing meltdown. I am SO ashamed of. It’s not the woman I want to be. It’s not the woman God has been changing me into. It was me, at my most human level. He did agree to stay until he figured out what he is doing. He repeated that we are done on Saturday, admitting that he loves me, but thinking that “is not enough”. 🙁 I tried following the second path….giving him lots of space and time alone as I leaned into God and repented of my sins. Yesterday, I tried to revisit and apologize again. I wanted him to see how brokenhearted I am over hurting him. He still pushed away, but would talk a little. He re-expressed his anger and hurt….and that he loves me, but cannot live like this. We agreed to act normal until things are and I know he is trying in his own way, but I am forced to accept that I have no idea how long he will be here or stay married to me. I grieve the loss of what we very recently had together, but I know that God had to shake me up again to get me to loosen my hold. I love my husband so much that I made him and the marriage into an idol. I spent much of yesterday praying and doing spiritual battle by choosing to be thankful for the things I have today. As I choose thankfulness for what God has given me today, I find that the enemy attacks of fear or sadness for what could come tomorrow fade and I enjoy some peace for a while. This is without a doubt the HARDEST thing I have ever had to do, but I will tell you that at least there is some peace with following the second path. Please continue to pray for us.

    1. NW Girl,

      Oh no!!!

      Well, I am really glad that you are refocusing on God now and pray that you are able to rest in God’s Word, in obedience to Him, in His sufficiency and that you might tear out any idols and repent of any sin God shows you. I pray for healing for you both spiritually and for restoration of your marriage – not to what it used to be – but to something that God desires it to be.

      I pray that you might be able to find joy in waiting on God and trusting His provision and His sovereignty. I pray that you might hear and be able to absorb all that He wants to speak to your heart in this time of trial.

      I am so glad you are choosing thankfulness. What a beautiful thing! Please don’t focus on the future, but just on today.

      Right now, your husband is still in the house. God may have opportunities for you to demonstrate the changes He is working in you and to show genuine honor and respect and to let go of control and give space and respect. I pray you will seek Christ with all your heart and continue to hold your dreams loosely, allowing God to work as He sees fit for your ultimate good and His glory.

      Thank you for sharing! I wish I could hug your neck – and the necks of everyone else here who is hurting so much today!

      Much love, my precious sister. I’m so glad to be on this journey together.

      1. Hi all,

        I am currently going through something similar to NW Girl.

        It truly is the hardest trial I have ever been through, so hang in there and know you’re not alone. I’m truly trying to put my trust in my Creator who is capable of all things.

        At the start I was in such a panic I cried, begged and tried to defend my previous ways to win him back…but now I am trying the second approach. We are still living together almost leading double lives with very little communication. We are waiting for God to decide between us.

        I have a few questions for April or anyone else with ideas,

        1. What does it mean to give him space? He wants this and I know I shouldn’t be smothering but when is too much distance not good.

        2. Does anyone have some tips for me to try? Please give examples. I’m not looking for a miracle word or gesture to change him…just guidance on what men prefer to see in this situation so I don’t make mistakes. Any resources online (I can’t purchase any books right now)?

        3. I was told to give him his space by acting respectfully normal and let him see me enjoying myself. I’m scared about this since wouldn’t that make him think I don’t care and that this isn’t affecting me? If I laugh at something, isn’t that hypocritical of my previous sobbing?

        I am at lost in how to act or speak.

        Any advice would be appreciated.

        Thank you all!

        1. holdingon,

          My precious girl!

          I’m very glad that you stopped the begging, crying, and acting like a defense attorney for yourself. That doesn’t work! When we defend ourselves (particularly our disrespectful, needy, clingy, smothering, mothering, or controlling behavior) – we push our men much, much farther away. If they point out our sin – which is what these things are – and we defend ourselves, they know we are saying that we choose those sins over the marriage. NOT GOOD. NOT WISE.

          1. I had to laugh when I read this question. Oh how I hated learning to do this! Greg used to ask me for space during those first 14 years of our marriage. I would get SO angry, “What do you mean, you want space? You don’t want to be with me? So you don’t love me? You can’t stand being around me? Space is not a gift! Emotional intimacy and closeness and talking are gifts!”

          I expected Greg to think and feel just like me. I expected him to have the same personality and priorities I did. I expected him to be another woman and had no room in my heart for him to be a man with different needs from mine and no room for him to have a different personality. To me, back then, different = wrong.

          God showed me that Greg is an introvert and he is a man. He is energized by being alone. That blew my mind. I thought everyone was energized by being WTIH the people they loved most – like I was. Greg wasn’t wrong to want space. He was just a man, not a woman, and he has a particular personality (many engineers tend to have similar introverted personalities). How destructive it was of me to demand that Greg be another April!!! I tore down my husband and marriage because of this expectations.

          Laying down expectations is PAINFUL! I invite you to search my home page for “expectations.” Please read the 5 part series and the Respect Dare Day 1 posts. I believe they will bless you!

          Ok, to give space means, you let him come to you. You don’t hover over him. You don’t smother him with affection and attention. You may be in the same room at times, but you will not be talking all the time. I know that to you, if you are like I was, this may seem like punishment and the “cold shoulder.” But – when done with proper attitude, respect and godly love, it is a blessing and a gift to give your man the space and alone time he needs to recharge.

          I have a Youtube video “Why Men Sometimes Need Space.” My channel is “April Cassidy.”

          You don’t really have to worry about too much distance. He will begin to miss you as you give him space (over the coming weeks and months), and, most likely, will begin to come to you when he is ready.

          What are you going to do with all that extra time to yourself?
          I suggest you do what I did. I spent literally hours every day for about 3 years studying books on being a godly wife and on godly femininity. If you don’t have money, that’s ok. You can read every post on my site! And you can watch my Youtube videos. That will take you a good chunk of time! 🙂 Spend time in God’s Word, in prayer, seeking His face, begging Him to change YOU and teach you His ways. Ask Him to help you lay down all of your expectations and fears. Write them all down. Compare what you are thinking to yourself over and over to the truth of God’s Word. Write down the truth compared to your fears and your expectations. Allow God to totally renovate your soul. This takes a LOT of time. And God can meet your needs for emotional and spiritual intimacy in ways that your husband never, ever could. I promise! Then He will flood your soul with His peace and joy and you will come to savor those precious private moments together with Him.

          2. See above. 🙂

          What does your husband like to do at home?

          What do you usually do when he is home to try to connect with him?

          What if you just sit quietly and read in the same room (or, if he prefers at first, a different room)?

          Tell me something, have you ever had a cat for a pet? Men are a lot like cats. The more you try to force them to cuddle with you and give you attention and affection, the more likely they are to bolt. But, if you are calm, pleasant, friendly and just hanging around – in time, when they are ready, they will come to you for affection and cuddling on their timetable. Then, it is beautiful!

          3. Do things you love to do around the house. Take a bubble bath if you can. Do a hobby you enjoy. Spend time with God. Smile when you are around the house and see him and walk through the room. Right now, fewer words are better. And if you do need to ask him something, try just briefly presenting an issue as you are going through the room doing laundry or something, then leave and continue doing whatever you were doing, give him time to process and think through things.

          Men think VERY, VERY, VERY differently from women. No, he won’t think you don’t care about him. He will feel respected. And when a man feels respected, he feels loved – that draws him to his wife. When he feels smothered, mothered, disrespected, pressured and controlled, that makes him want to run far, far away.

          If you are focusing on being thankful for what you have, on Philippians 4:4-8 things, on the joy and peace you have in Christ, you are not being hypocritical if you laugh at things. I am not talking about being fake. This journey is about total heart change by the power of God. So, no – you won’t be faking it or hypocritical. You will learn to savor what your husband does give you and to be ok on your own in Christ whether your husband is available to connect the way you want to at the moment or not.

          I have a number of posts about this. Some of the terms you can search are things like:
          – husbands
          – husband emotions
          – husband space
          – how to ask respectfully for things
          – stop pursuing
          – bitterness of soul
          – how to make your husband an idol

          1. Thanks for your response April. I have been trying your suggestions…things are moving slowly.

            I really do feel like I’m being rude and not giving him enough attention but I’m trying to be strong with this ‘space’ thing. Sometimes I get so nervous I don’t look up if he comes into the same room. Is this bad?

            As for my husband, he’s a big reader so that’s what he does in his spare time. Sometimes I quietly sit in the same room on my computer (reading your blog, of course).

            I’m also working on a lot of the issues you mentioned above as well as other things on this blog.

            …but what’s wrong with us? I mean, shouldn’t we have learnt this in life??? Men have always been men and women have always been women. I really do think this ” New World” culture is to blame. I see and hear of women from other cultures who are naturally submissive and respectful! I’m not saying their cultures are perfect, but in this regard they are so much more developed than we are.

            Anyway…still holdingon.

          2. holdingon,

            You are learning to speak your husband’s language of masculine respect. Yes, it feels like you are not being “loving enough” because you don’t have the same needs he does. But, as you learn and practice this over time, it becomes more natural. And you will see that you truly are blessing him – so then it makes it much easier to do out of a joyful, giving, loving, respectful spirit. 🙂

            What are you nervous about, my precious sister?

            Yes, we should have learned this and been prepared for marriage much more adequately. But, our culture taught us that men and women are the same. It also taught us that men and women have the exact same needs and that men should be just like women. That really messed us all up! Of course, if we had seen godly examples in our families and in the culture, it would have been infinitely easier for us to learn and understand these things. We have a huge learning curve with the whole respecting our husbands thing because of the culture we have been immersed in all of our lives.

            Be sure to stay in God’s Word and in prayer, seeking to allow Him to change you however He wants to. He is your power source!!!

            Much love!
            April

        2. I have been struggling in my own marriage, my husband being emotionally distant. We are still living in the same house, but the emotional separation is very obvious. I purchased a video on love an respect, of their conference. It was $87, but I would tell anyone if you can afford it, it is worth it. It definitely gives ladies examples of what NOT to do, an how you can show your husband respect, even when he’s not loving. It really helped me to understand how my own behavior is causing his distance. I can’t recommend this eandnough to wives-and husbands- who struggle with with their marriage.

          When you give your husband space, pray that God gives you peace and helps you give up all control. Thats why husbands want space. They don’t want to feel controlled. Sometimes we don’t even realize that our actions are doing this, and giving him space will help reset his feelings of being controlled. The love an respect videos explain this so perfectly it really opened my eyes! Go to their website and look around. A lot of really useful stuff.

      1. Thank you for the hugs, April and Julie. I need those and I so appreciate them and your prayers. 🙂

        He is still distant, though he did answer a text and a phone call yesterday. He said “I love you, too” when I told him I loved him. He still won’t give me a full hug or kiss me back when I kiss him (he only allows a cheek kiss). I am being respectful of this and not saying anything, though I am feeling a great loss of the closeness and happiness we very recently enjoyed with each other. I trust God. I am fully immersed in God’s word, teaching, prayer. It does help, but I find that I am having a hard time doing anything else right now (and I have work to do!) I do believe God had more work to do on my heart and that is the reason for this. Even though I was MUCH better about showing respect, in my heart, I harbored resentment towards him for making his work the number one priority. ALL ALONG, I should have been giving that to God and trusting HIM with it. I see that now…..I also see how my attitude crept into daily interactions. The one thing that this forced distance has brought about is I am able to give that to God because I have no choice. There is a great deal of freedom in this. YES, I miss my husband terribly…..but, I MUST be out of the way for God to do His work. I am trusting God in this.

        holdingon – I am praying for you, too. Keep drawing close to God.

        1. NW Girl,

          I am really proud of you! This would be extremely painful. It would be tempting to just lash out or beg or make demands. I am glad you are being patient, understanding and respectful. I hope you can think of the time frame here in terms of months, not hours or days. And I am really glad you are focusing on God and what He desires you to change.

          I am praying with you for you to be where God wants you to be. That is the most important thing. And for healing for your marriage and God’s glory through this trial. This is a perfect opportunity to practice resting and trusting in God’s sovereignty and peace.

          I am here if you need to talk through anything.

          Much love!!!!!

        2. NW Girl,
          Thanks for checking back in. I continue to think of you and your situation and ask God to do amazing things as you find your rest and confidence in Him.

          I have found, the hardest things I’ve had to face in life did not feel like blessings at all in the midst of them (having cancer twice, for example). But looking back, they’ve brought blessings upon blessings in so many deep and wonderful ways, now on the other side.

          God builds strong spiritual muscles in us when we follow close to Him no matter what the trial. And He loves you more than we can even comprehend! Nothing you go though has caught Him by surprise, and the love that saved you, is the same love that is going to carry you through!

  7. KD my heart rejoices for you 😉
    Sounds like you went through many of the things I am experiencing now and are emerging victorious in Christ
    I am learning the immensely painful lesson of learning to rely on Christ alone for comfort but still so desperately want my husbands love and comfort
    I pray I will find the peace in surrender you have found 🙂

    1. Tracy, I have been praying for you since I read your comment earlier. Please know that it is a precious thing to God when you are enduring and staying faithful in spite of trials (1 Peter) and that you are so so loved by Him!!! I love Isaiah 43, it helped me a lot during that time. God bless!

  8. Off subject.

    I was watching your videos. My daughter saw you and said “She’s pretty! ”

    I said “Yes and she’s sweet too”

    My daughter “she looks sweet.” My daughter is ten years old.

      1. I sure will give her a hug for you (I’m happy that we are friends too) .I also asked her for forgiveness for all I’ve done. She was so happy she have me a gift (a watch she got from the swap and shop) she forgave me and blessed me. It’s a watch with a second hand. (I’m a nurse and I needed a new watch just haven’t gotten around to purchasing one. Now I don’t have to) 🙂

  9. My husband left last Monday morning without warning and hasn’t come back. Things were tense and have been the entire year we have been married. This is a 2nd marriage with 9 full time children between us, crazy ex’s, money stresses, a house fire… and to top it all off I moved my 8 children across the country for this marriage. 4 of my children attend a private school (our church school) and the other 5 children are in public school (always homeschooled prior to the move). I have fought custody battles since 2010 and just recently went to trial and came out very well. NOW, 3 months into the school year (after I battled the kid’s dad to even “allow” them to go to school and ended up exercising my “authority” to do so) my husband is upset about the money spent for school. I had no idea why he was so angry and left like he did and wouldn’t even speak without hateful words (email and texts). We met with my pastor, he is an unbeliever, and I found out how angry he was about the school expense… along with tons of other things, some perceived and some real. I am at a loss as to what to do!!! I can’t simply pull my kids out of this school after only 3 months and let their dad file papers with court screaming “unstable.” Remember I had to give all my reasons this was the best choice for them when I was battling him to get them there! Not to even mention how devastated the kids will be and they have already gave up everything to be here. This has been a HUGE positive experience and has anchored them here… versus the possibility of taking off to their dads because they are so miserable here. I feel like it’s a no win situation. I should honor my husband… but he is being selfish. He even said in meeting with pastor that we could use that money to eat out more, etc… nothing grossly important. I could lose custody!!!! My kids will certainly be completely devastated even more than this move/marriage has already done to them. I simply don’t know what to do… I feel like I am being forced to choose between him or my kids. I have always put him first… I don’t have an issue with that. It’s THIS issue that is a problem. To add…. my mom helps with tuition but I spend a lot on gas driving them… all “my” money. Good news though… he said he wanted divorce and now we are back to getting another meeting with pastor to try and work things out. I just don’t know how to work this out!!!!

    1. My two cents:

      Coming from my viewpoint as a man who has lost his own son, having gone through 5 lawsuits in 6 years initiated by my son’s mother, and each time with me trying to work things out without the courts, I would never give the advice of suing anyone for custody, nor battling for your children. The scriptures simply teach otherwise. If the father is loving, let them be a part of his life. If he is stable, let them be a part of his life. Work together with him. It is best for your children.

      My 2nd wife left me and it hurt my son because he didn’t understand why his new mom and sister left and didn’t want to see him anymore. I should’ve probably used better discretion in whom I married, but you never really know until someone changes inside a marriage. During my divorce, and afterward, I stopped exercising my custody as much because I had to move, and because I wanted Jack, my son, to be in a stable environment with his mom and stepdad and newborn sister. Children benefit from that, and it is giving me time to get my feet back on the ground. He is 6, and I still FaceTime with him 2-3 times per week. Granted, it was hard at first because while he was growing up, I had him every other week with dual custody. I potty trained him by myself, if that is any indication as to how involved I was in his life.

      The problem with children in second marriages is that they should take a second seat to the spouse as they should in first marriages, yet that isn’t always the case. It is hard to do when you are trying to blend a marriage with that many children.

      Far be it for me to offer unwarranted advice here, but if the unbelieving want to depart, in this case your second husband, let them depart, for you are no longer under bondage in that case. Unfortunately, if you are a believer and the man you married isn’t, then you are unequally yoked and it wasn’t a wise decision, nevertheless, it happened. It may be that the Lord is showing you and your children mercy. I might consider a move back to their father and allow him to be a part of their lives, as long as he is mentally sane and not abusive, which he doesn’t appear to be if he is fighting for his rights as a father, and the courts could grant him custody. That is, if your current husband files for divorce, after all. Not knowing all the details, perhaps your mother and family live close to where the father of the children live and could offer support?

      However, if you truly love the man you are married to now, and know that your children are going to be ok with their father — even if they are “miserable” as my son’s mother has spoken about my own son’s visits with me (I’m simply a disciplinarian and she isn’t) then perhaps you would consider allowing the children to live with their father and work on being cordial with him so that they can come and visit, while you put your priority on your new husband and the success of your marriage.

      Sometimes in life we have to give up our lives (the very things we hold dear to us) in order to gain the life that Christ would have us live. What sacrifice Christ will require of you is between you and Him.

      All the best,

      John

  10. This is such an excellent list of the things to focus on April! WOW! Thank you! I just went through my own separation and against all of my own logic chose to follow #2. My normal self would have opted for #1 but I have been following this blog and learning so much and have been pulling 1 Peter 3 apart- so when the separation hit I chose #2.

    It was painful mainly because I felt like I was not fighting for my relationship by being still and focusing on me!! Surely I should be focusing on fixing it?? It was also hard because I was willingly subjecting myself to the Master Surgeon’s knife- allowing Him to pull out all the sins that I was carrying. I didn’t think I carried so many fears and crazy thought patterns that I had allowed to become strongholds in my mind! 🙁 I don’t know where they came from- it was so humbling.

    It was difficult to be separated because I missed HTB A LOT and often felt hopeless because I had no idea what was happening but this period has been my most important period of spiritual growth and I experienced such a peace it was incredible. I got to work on me, to really get closer to God and to really think about the relationship. I am grateful for that period – it has changed me and put me on a better track.

    I gave HTB the space he needed and Praise God we recently reconciled. He missed me and had time to think and hear from God on his own. I gave him the gift of missing me! It is such an honour. And I gave him that gift without me falling apart- I kept on doing things and kept going, kept in shape, kept pursuing my ministry, kept looking stylish (lolol), kept the process of the apartment we are selling going etc. I think it is important to show that you don’t fall apart- not in the sense of “I don’t need you- I am independent” but in the sense of “I am your vice president and since you are not here as president I take the responsibility to hold things up and continue the vision and keep working on myself to be better and now that you are back I hand your responsibilities back to you.” As soon as he asked about the flat sale I gave him the update and said I really missed you I would be grateful if you could take that over as you are better with it. Which he is!!! But it was a simple gesture with few words which said to his heart “I love you, I trust you, I need you etc” – without my usual monologue! Lololol God is so good – I am learning to speak the language of men lolol!

    Reconciliation has been so sweet and I am humbled by what God is doing in our lives. Slow progress, but we are keen to build our relationship, friendship, and, God-willing, marriage on His Word ONLY. I am grateful that we had some time out and can now CHOOSE each other as spiritually powerful individuals restored to God rather than going through the motions and emotions of a relationship that is not God centered and end up with a big wedding but a bad marriage :(.

    I would not wish separation on anyone – but sometimes it’s where we learn. Sometimes we need to be completely broken before we give God our full attention. I pray that we learn to put God in our primary position and to cling to Him and His Word and experience transformation without crashing first. But whatever the case, God is good- He calls you to Himself to strip you off the heavy weight of sin so you can be lighter, freer and more joyful. He empties you of the unnecessary crap we carry so we can be filled to overflowing with His Spirit. It is for our good and to His glory.

    Thank you April for your blog- it really was the catalyst to me learning the correct response. It was such a lonely road as all my closest prayer partners said “walk away” including my mum- all with good intentions and from a place of love for me. When I look at the reconciliation now I shudder to think I could have walked away from the incredible love of this man who, like me, is broken – not bad – just broken. 🙁 Be careful of who you allow to speak into your life during this period, focus on healing yourself and co-labouring with God to pray for and bless your hubbie/partner, search His Word, saturate your mind with His Word and books that are uplifting, pray pray pray and when in doubt- worship. X

    1. HappyWife,
      Love this! What a testimony you have for Christ even as you are just fresh from this battle. If you had gone with a sinful, fleshly response, you would have no glory for God in this situation. But because you chose to trust Him and rest in His sovereignty and peace in the uncertainty, and because you chose to obey Him even when it didn’t seem to make sense and others were telling you to give up – you got to see miracles happen. We don’t know in advance what the outcome will be. But if you had done this whole thing your old way, you would not be where you are today. That is for sure!

      Thank you for sharing your heart and your story and what God is doing in your life. You are such a blessing!

  11. Hi April
    thank you so much for your love and support and words of encouragement.
    Last night was the most painful night of my life!
    My husband said that I have until this morning to stop doing all the things I have been doing or this very day our marriage is over and he is leaving 🙁
    He says I have criticized and disrespected and dishonoured him in every way. He says I am the most selfish and controlling person he has ever met and he does not want to be married to me any longer! As a matter of fact he said he hates being married to me 🙁
    So to answer your question, the ultimatum is today is D-day so to speak.
    He tries to show love by spending small amounts of time with me most days and longer periods once a week. He provides for me and my children and does his best to lead our family. We are a blended family and he has accepted my children and does all he can to “train them up in the way they should go”
    He works from home and does many things in the home such as renovations and the typical “masculine” type of tasks. I work full time and maintain the home and do all the typical “feminine” type of tasks.
    I struggle enormously with laying down my expectations to be honest – no idea how to do that. I hate the way I feel inside every day and am so afraid being himself leads him far away from me.
    He says I don’t accept him and he is likely right. I am threatened by the things he does and wants to do as they generally do not include me.
    I feel like I am last on his list because he makes time for so many things and does so much for so many people but my time with him comes only after all of those things are done. I feel everyone and everything else is more important to him than I am.
    I have been asking for time and attention and physical love and affection as physical touch is my primary love language. Quality time is my 2nd love language.
    My fear is he will eave me and abandon me emotionally and otherwise and has reinforced this fear in me by threatening to leave.
    My fear is he will no longer love me and will resent me. I already feel this is the case. He said last night he feels no love for me.
    My expectations are that he puts me first AFTER God and gives the best of his time and energies to me and our family. I also desire love and affection and words of reassurance and affirmation. I want to be part of the things he does and want to be included in his activities. I just want to feel like he wants to have me around and loves me regardless of my many short comings, insecurities and fears.
    Sorry this is so long April, just trying to answer the questions you had asked.
    I am in a haze of agony and grief this morning 🙁
    Please pray the Lord will carry me today as I am at work and have many to care for
    Bless you for this blog and your Christ like example to all of us

    1. Tracy,
      Yikes! That is a lot of pressure!
      This journey is a long one – I haven’t really seen any women be “perfect” at it suddenly one day. I hope your husband will be able to give you more grace very soon. We will pray for God to work in his heart about this.

      What is a “small amount of time” by your definition, that he spends with you?

      It sounds like he is actually a pretty good husband. Are you able to accept the time that he wants to give you right now and that even though he has other things he is doing, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are not a big priority to him?

      What do you do to try to control and smother him?

      How do you respond when he doesn’t give you the amount of time that you want him to give you?

      Let’s get started digging through your thought life. That is where the problems always originate. I hope you will read those posts I mentioned -especially the ones on expectations. I think that is where we will need to begin.

      Why are you threatened by what he does without you? Do you realize that you have a choice to be threatened by those things or not. Do you realize that you can look at things in a totally different way – and that power is all yours to change your perspective. This is part of what the post “Bitterness of Soul: I Want to Be My Husband’s First Priority” is about.

      You CAN choose to write down your thoughts and expectations and fears i.e.:

      – I am afraid that if my husband only spends 15 minutes/day with me that means I am not his first priority.
      – I am afraid that other people/things are more important to him than I am.
      – I want him to spend 4 hours/day with me.
      – I want those 4 hours/day to be him gazing into my eyes, talking about deep, emotional, romantic things.
      – I am going to resent him if he chooses to do something else during those four hours I want him to be with me.
      – I am going to assume evil motives on his part if he doesn’t have the exact same priorities I do as far as time spent together.
      – I refuse to appreciate what a giving, generous, thoughtful, responsible man my husband is and how he is ministering to others.
      – I am going to pressure my husband until he caves in to my demands and gives me exactly what I want when I want it.
      – I will throw a fit if I have to, to get him to understand that my needs and desires are much more important than his needs, desires, or priorities and he better submit to me or else.
      – I need quality time and affection, so he better give those things to me. My needs are more important than the unity of our marriage and the intimacy in our marriage and they are more important than God’s commands for me as a wife to respect, honor and biblically submit to my husband.
      – I am entitled to be resentful if my needs are not met the way I want them to be met. I will hold a grudge about that and become bitter. I will not forgive. My sins of disrespect, control, bitterness, resentment and selfishness are totally justified because I don’t have my needs met when and how I want them to be met.

      Ok, so that may be what your thoughts might look like when you write them all out. I don’t know. I am not you – so these may or may not all match up with the secret thoughts of your subconscious. These are similar to the thoughts I used to have. Of course, I would not have said these things out loud! And I wouldn’t have admitted a lot of them to myself, even. But these are the kinds of ungodly, sinful thoughts that can be the foundation for our controlling, prideful, disrespectful behavior many times.

      Then, I would need to go through each of my thoughts, and ask God to help me see – is this thought accurate? Is this thought sinful? Is this thought honoring to You? Show me the sin in my heart, Lord. Help me to see all of it so I can turn from it and allow You to radically change me into the woman You desire me to be.

      Please check out the posts on:
      – fear
      – bitterness
      – idol
      – idolatry
      – expectations
      – bitterness of soul

      And we will work through this stuff together.

      Write out I Corinthians 13:4-8 and put your name in the place of the word, “love.” How are you doing with your job of loving your husband in a godly way? How are you doing at meeting your husband’s needs? Are you willing to humble yourself and focus on God’s will, pleasing and obeying God and blessing your husband whether or not your needs and desires are met? That is the kind of love Jesus has for us – and that is the kind of love He calls us to love others with in marriage and outside of marriage.

      Much love to you! I am excited to get started on this journey together!

    2. Tracy – I am so sorry for what you are going through. I am praying for your for God’s wisdom, strength and power to carry you and for you to be overwhelmed by His peace. You need to tap into His peace – it is only there that you will find rest. I am also praying for your husband – that he will find grace to give you in this difficult situation. It sounds like he is really hurting and when men get to the point that they are desperately hurting they can say all sorts of things – in anger. 🙁 Remember he is human who is hurting and broken and listen to his words in that light. HTB said “I’ve made up my mind” to me. I was devastated?! When I asked him about it recently (once we reconciled – when he said it initially I said – thank you) he said “yes that’s how I felt at that moment – its not how I feel”. He need to drop that bomb to get my attention – otherwise honestly we would still be going around in circles with me trying to understand respect and also needing to feel loved and putting all my expectations on love on him 🙁

      Please write down your fears as April suggested. I really didn’t understand the power of this until I tried it myself. It is so powerful to put down in black and white the lies that we feed ourselves on!!! When you write it down you can see it for what it is – then really query each one. Is it a reasonable fear? Is it based on any reality? Is it true? Is it respectful to your husband? Is it based on God’s Word. I was astounded when I did this – and it really was the first step to healing because you have got to stop the broken record that’s going around in your head. You will drive yourself crazy with all that NOISE 🙁

      Put them down and take your time to challenge them. There are so many things we start to believe about yourselves – because of our past, because of unresolved hurts/injuries, because of things people spoke into our lives. As an example, I held unto a lie that I wouldn’t be a good wife because I don’t like cooking. People said that about me (i.e. I am too corporate and don’t like cooking so I could never be a good wife) and somewhere along the line I accepted the lie as true. I took that truth and reacted from it and beat myself up that I wouldn’t be a “perfect wife” and my reaction from that one lie resulted in my becoming insecure on that topic (food and being a wife) and condemning myself that I couldn’t be more “wifey”. I then built on it with other things so if HTB made an innocent comment I would freak out – he was confused because the comment was harmless but the comment was another drop into my festing pool of fear… it was so damaging. It sounds pretty silly now but it was a REAL FEAR to me – because I allowed it to be real. I explained it to HTB and he looked at my blankly and said “but you told me at the start you don’t love cooking and I love you like that. I love that you cook sometimes and we eat out. I am fine with that”. I was shocked. I spent so much time berating myself for something that didn’t even matter. It was not a real point. 🙁

      Don’t partner with satan by allowing him to access your thoughts by planting fears and expectations and assumptions etc. We partner with satan by coming into agreement with him. He has NO AUTHORITY over our lives – we give him that authority by accepting the lies he feeds. PLEASE Write them all down then challenge each one with the reality (what your husband actually says NOT what you think he says based on your interpretation/fear/insecurity) and God’s Word (who God calls you to be and how much He LOVES you! And you have certainty and confidence in His love and it is from that foundation that you reach out to your hubbie and everyone else).

      Sending you a huge hug – and lots of love. Praying for you/ Please keep logging into this blog space. There are so many women here to encourage you with godly advice on this journey – this was my daily read. Lots of prayers dear Tracy.x

      1. HappyWife,
        Thank you so much for pouring GOd’s wisdom and healing into our precious sister, Tracy. Yes, it is SO critical to unearth each little lie we have been repeating to ourselves – over and over for many years. We have listened to these same lies so many hundreds of thousands of times that we believe they are true. It takes a very careful, methodical, slow, deliberate search to pin down the things we truly believe and tell ourselves, to dig up our true motives and to allow God to shine the light of the truth of His Word in the darkest corners of our souls and remove all the filth that is in there, replacing it with the light, freedom, truth and blessing of His Word.

        Tracy,
        HappyWife offers some incredibly helpful suggestions here, in my view.

        You are loved here. You are accepted here. We are all on this journey together. You are not alone. Let’s just take it one baby step at a time.

        Much love!
        April

  12. This entire post has been a blessing to me. I have been wife #1 and #2 at different phases. I’m much more #2 than #1, and that gives me so much more peace. I don’t know what the future holds, but it’s not my concern, because it’s all in God’s hands….and I feel pretty good about that. Thank you!

    1. LaShawn,
      Love this!!!! Thank you for sharing your beautiful faith and trust in God. We pray with you for you to become the woman God desires you to be, for your husband to become the man He desires him to be and for God’s greatest glory in this trial.

      Much love!!!

  13. Hi April
    So sorry to hear you are unwell 🙁 As a nurse I just wish I could come care for you and hug your neck 🙂
    Rest up dear sister and push fluids!
    To answer your questions
    A small amount of time is approx. 15 minutes daily to chat and catch up on family issues, etc
    Once a week we spend about an hour or so talking or going out for coffee/meal
    He says I control him by objecting to him going anywhere without me and demanding to know where he is going and what he will be doing. He says he has no room to breathe and I am “on his back all the time” always looking for time and attention. He says I do not support anything he would like to do such as attend men’s fellowships and perform tasks for the church that take up a lot of time. I always express my hurt when he goes places without me and ask if I can go with. He feels I am jealous of the time he spends with anyone besides me such as his son, male friends, etc.
    I respond by crying and asking for time with him, suggesting we go out for coffee, sit and do devotionals , etc. I make him treats he enjoys and serve him snacks, drinks in his office while he is working and offer physical intimacy if he would like it
    How do I love my husband? Well, I serve him in every possible way and speak to him in a kind and gentle manner. I always ask his permission or at least opinion before I make any decisions and always keep him updated on my schedule or any activities I plan to attend. I discuss issues with him regarding the kids daily and try to stick closely to the budget he has set up for various expenses.
    I always defer to his decisions are allow him to discipline my children without any resentment
    I am extremely physically affectionate and always receptive to anything he would like in that department.
    I am trying to focus on the Lord but have an insatiable desire to be loved and especially for physical touch as I have lacked this my entire life and never had the love of a man before I met my husband.
    Any time without him hurts and I feel lost and alone and unimportant.
    I know I have major issues from a lifetime of pain and I am in counselling in an attempt to address these issues.
    The Lord is the only one who can heal my broken heart and make me whole
    Bless you for any encouragement and support you can share with me
    Tracy

    1. Tracy,

      Thank you for reminding me! Sometimes, it is hard to keep track of all of the loose threads. My apologies!

      Are you able to see why he feels smothered?

      Is your way of showing love meeting his needs to feel loved and respected?

      Are you able to be content if things continue on like this?

      Can you be content with what your husband is willing to give you?

      How is your walk with Christ going?

      What does your counselor suggest you do?

      Are you attempting to have your husband meet needs that only Jesus can meet for you?

      Are your feelings telling you the truth?

      Are you lost, alone, and unimportant if your husband is not there?

      What are your motives in wanting to be with your husband so much and in showing him so much love, affection, and attention?

      Are you able to lay this dream for constant time and physical affection from your husband down before God and let Him have that dream, letting go of it, in order for Him to do His will about this issue?

      What are your greatest fears?

      Are you believing any lies about yourself, God, or your husband?

      Is it possible that you could be putting your desire to feel loved or your husband above Christ in your heart?

      Much love to you!

  14. My husband spoke these words to me about a year ago. He said he was done! I was shocked and scared! I simply told him quitting was not an option! I reminded him of the promises we had made to each other on our wedding day and the commitment that we had verbally made to each other that divorce was never an option and the “D” word was not to be spoken (done is a “D” word so it counts!) I tried to encourage couple counseling, but he refused, so I went by myself! I did this for a couple months attending counseling sessions for me. It really helped me see my side of the problem! Things are much better now and we communicate much better. We have not had a serious fight/argument for awhile! In six months we will celebrate our 10 yr. wedding anniversary!

  15. Hi April
    Not sure if you were going to get back to me on my last post.You had said we would work through the issues together.
    My husband has totally shut me out as he plans to leave in January and I am reeling in agony.
    I have no idea what to do or how to respond to him.
    Any thoughts would be much appreciated
    In Christ
    Tracy

  16. Hi April,

    I found your blog this week, and I have been desperate for the hope that it brings. My husband and I have been married for almost three years. We are both twenty-five, and we met at the beginning of high school. We have been witness to each other’s growth and change for eleven years, but we are at a point in our marriage where we don’t even know each other anymore. Our marriage is in severe trouble; tonight my husband said, “If things don’t get better, we will get a divorce.”

    I am having mixed feelings about our conflict, and I have been trying to weigh them against God’s Word. To what extent do I take my husband’s criticisms to heart before they tear me apart? How do I distinguish between where I am falling short of fulfilling my role and responsibilities as a wife and where my husband has unrealistic (and possibly selfish) expectations and a misunderstanding of my role and responsibilities as his wife?

    Thank you so much for your guidance and support.
    Sara

    1. saragivens,

      It is a pleasure to meet you! 🙂

      I believe you are in the right place. God leads many, many wives here – and I have seen Him do countless miracles. Usually – first – He changes wives hearts. And then, in time, He often heals marriages.

      What is it that your husband is unhappy about? I’d love for us to talk about it.

      The posts at the top of my home page are a great place to start. How about reading about disrespect, respect and biblical submission.

      How is your relationship with Christ?

      What do you desire to happen in your marriage?

      Much love!
      April

      1. Hi April,

        Merry Christmas! Thank you for the quick response.

        I have been reading your posts about biblical submission, disrespect, and your journey to becoming a submissive, respectful wife. I don’t feel like I am deviating far from the submissive and respectful path.

        My husband feels disrespected and unsupported- all of our issues (deceit, finances, and priorities) all funnel down to a lack of respect and my unwillingness to change. (These are his words.) A couple of examples of our contention: -Deceit (this is the episode that spawned his lack of trust): I went on two work trips about two years ago with three of my superiors. They were all men. Although I knew that, I didn’t tell my husband. I didn’t think anything of it because it was a professional trip, and there have never been any exchanges with them that would have warranted concern. Regardless, I kept the fact that I would be leaving town for multiple days alone with other men that my husband didn’t know well. It took me a long time to reconcile that just because I wasn’t worried doesn’t mean that my husband wasn’t; therefore it truly took a long time for me to reconcile the offense. I am now working for a small firm of only women and minimal travel, and I have worked hard to build hedges to avoid situations that would even appear as though I am not loyal. -Deceit: Our last house had a detached garage behind the home with access from the side of the house. My husband was out of town, and I was leaving on an errand. As I was pulling around to the front, I was distracted and got too close to the house. I hit a PVC pipe coming out of the house. It scratched my fender and shattered the pipe. I didn’t tell him. He found out because I didn’t pick up all of the pieces. I have apologized, but my husband’s apology language is reconciliation. I have not reconciled. -Finances: My husband’s work schedule changes about every 4 months, and he works day or night depending on that interval’s schedule. Once I found out that he would be off to be home with our dog, I told him (via text) that I wanted to participate in a Christmas Family donation through work where we would provide presents to a specific family in need. He texted back that would be great. The time came for me to buy presents, and I went overboard. The coupons and sales hadn’t worked out how I expected, so I brought everything home to figure out how to hit my target and what needed to be returned. I didn’t tell him that I was shopping specifically for that family that day or confirm that my target goal was acceptable. -Priorities: I am still trying to figure out a work-life balance. The new firm I am working at is more respectful of that and I am not frequently expected to work overtime on my salary. I haven’t been getting strong evaluations at work, and I don’t ever want to appear like I am slacking. He can get so mad if I leave work 10-15 minutes late (typically the amount of time for me to shut everything down after we close) because he expects me to be home on time as he will have been waiting for me to have dinner. I am telling him now every time I leave work and if I hit any obstacles on the way home, but it doesn’t seem to make an impact on his anger level- I am still coming home late.

        There are also many smaller issues, but they end up digging these and others.

        Unfortunately I haven’t gotten through all of these situations without dishing out some attitude, but I also haven’t slandered him or put him down. I also bring up with God only when I feel the tables are turned and my husband has been deceitful and disloyal; I avoid criticizing him so he can feel my respect and support. I have been trying so hard to show him the change that he wants and that he believes will make us better. I want it so badly. I honestly feel helpless and scared.

        Sara

        > >

        1. Sara,

          What was his parents’ marriage like?

          How long have you been married?

          Have you been honest since these situations?

          Does your husband ever forgive, or does he hold onto offenses?

          Some of the incidents you are describing were quite awhile ago. Has your husband been able to get past those?

          What does he want you to do in order to reconcile?

          Did you take back things for the family that were above what your husband wanted you to spend?

          Do either of you have any mental health issues, ADD, learning disabilities, addictions, etc…?

          What happens if you are a bit late coming home and you have let him know that you would be late? How does he respond? Then what do you do?

          What was your parents’ marriage like?

          How is your walk with Christ going?

          Much love to you!!!!

          1. Hi April,

            Tyler’s parents marriage is great. They have been married for 28 years I think. They are loving and respectful; they have God and each other at the top of their priorities list. They are always a united front, and they enjoy their time together and with family. They value quality time and being able to bless that they care about; they have invested in me as much in the last three years as they have my husband and his brothers. Neither of them had really dated before they met, and they sacrificed a lot to be together. They got married and started having kids right away. My husband is their middle child of three boys. My mother-in-law has been able to be a stay at home wife their whole marriage. They have had expectations for their sons to have purpose in their lives, to invest into interests and hobbies, and to be committed to Christ. All three of their sons are very intelligent and witty. Their family dynamic fits; it works very well.

            Tyler and I will have our three year anniversary in March.

            I have been honest in situations like these; however, I am not fully comfortable being honest about when he is disrespecting me or what I want (this can be anything from “I really want Mexican food for dinner” to “I feel like you have been choosing your hobbies and friends over me”).

            My husband does not forgive with me or with others. I have seen him through many phases of having specific people close to him; but once they offend him, he realizes they “really weren’t ‘friends’ anyway,” they “just had (interest/hobby) in common.”

            I am not sure he has gotten past my offenses. He hasn’t brought them up recently, but that isn’t to say that he won’t in the future. Anytime something happens that is along the same line, it will come up to support his position that I do not change.

            I did return everything that was over my target goal, but my husband felt like it was the act more than the excess that was the issue.

            Neither of us do. My husband is a police officer, and he has been for the last three and a half years. His parents and I have noticed how hard his heart has become since this transition in his life; but if you were to ask him why his heart was hard, he would refer to the stress and disrespect in our marriage more than his job.

            My parents will have been married for 28 years in February. They raised me and my twin brother while both working full time as pharmacists. They have had expectations for us to excel in school and work and to pursue passion in our lives. They did not raise us in church or with God’s Word. They were not always able to be there at dinnertime or to take us to this practice or that lesson, but they did their best to bless us otherwise. I have no doubt that my parents love each other, but I have seen my mom disrespect my father often because of her strong will and her belief that she is right. They (especially my mom) feel that there is always so much to do to keep their lives and house in order that they don’t invest in quality time with us.

            My walk with Christ – this answer will probably be a little more jumbled. I have been baptized and have accepted Christ as my Savior. When my husband’s schedule allows, I participate in Bible Study Fellowship; and I love it. I love the studies; I love the fellowship. I love hearing the other points of views that I don’t reach on my own, but they still help me to grow in Christ. In the past, I have kept prayer journals which I also love. That is something that I keep meaning to get back to. I am ashamed to say that there are many things that I keep meaning to get back to. On my good days, I will read the bible and meditate on what I have read first thing in the morning and right before bed. Throughout the day, I will ask God to really just come upon me and help me to keep calm or to help me get something done. However, I can be much more rash with Tyler where I don’t even ask God to take over before I respond. I am working on that. I try to have the majority of the books I read or listen to be Christian books either focused on my marriage or my spiritual life; I really believe that these influence my perspective on life and the prevalence of God in my mind throughout the day. Especially after reading some of your posts, I am setting aside time to identify my sins. I’ll be honest though that I’m not confident that I’m realizing all of them; part of that is because I don’t feel I fully comprehend the depth of His Word and because I don’t feel I see all of my sin. Also in my honesty, I will ask how I get to this point that you and other wives have shared where dying to self is so painful? I so badly want to receive the Fruits of the Spirit that I want to do whatever I need to to get there.

            The last part above is something I have felt stuck with in my marriage as well as other things in my life. I can usually identify a problem (for example some of the specific criticisms that my husband has), but I cannot always identify the solution or the process and actions to get there. I so often find myself asking, “But, how?”

            I know that you have received so much affirmation from other wives, but I will again say how helpful you are. That you are taking the time to ask me these questions and the care of delving into my issue while providing me a safe place to lay it on the line, it is something that I haven’t had before; and I am so grateful. You are so gracious, and I cannot tell you how much it means to me and how much I appreciate it. Thank you so much.

            Sara

            >

          2. Sara,

            You are most welcome. This is what younger wives need – someone to help them identify issues and to point them to God’s truth. I didn’t have a mentor. So, it took me SUCH a long, long time to learn and understand all of this stuff. Felt like I was learning Chinese without a teacher. My prayer is that God might use me to help put the dots closer together for the wives coming behind me.

            I am glad to hear about Tyler’s parents’ marriage. That is a blessing! And I am glad that your parents are still together and love each other. I am a pharmacist myself – and I can relate to your mom being possibly a bit OCD about the house and being so strong willed thinking she is “right.” That was me! Pharmacists have awful schedules – especially in retail. It is an exhausting and stressful job most of the time. I can understand that she didn’t have a lot of energy left after working full time and trying to get the house cleaned up. There may be issues here for you to work through in your own heart. What your parents’ marriage was like programs you to think that is “normal.” So, it will be important to look at your parents’ marriage objectively by the Word of God and examine any wrong ideas or fixed beliefs you may have picked up – not to blame them – but to see where you may need to correct your thinking and find healing in Christ. I hope that makes sense. 🙂

            You do not feel safe to say how you feel or what you want sometimes?

            Your husband has been very stressed the last few years? Being a police officer is an extremely stressful job. And, if he is feeling disrespected, that can be very stressful for a husband – as stressful as it would be for a wife to feel unloved.

            Hope to get to finish addressing the other issues in a bit! Have to go for now.

            Much love!!!!!!

          3. Sara,

            One of the greatest challenges I believe you will face is to learn to discern when something is your responsibility and when something is your husband’s responsibility. You can learn to be respectful and you can focus on stopping disrespect on your end. But – you cannot be responsible for any sin on your husband’s side of things. I hope that makes sense. If he is overly sensitive, overly demanding, and/or unforgiving. You cannot own that.

            So, I believe you will need to cling to God and be willing to get rid of any sin in your life, and then ask God to help you be very sensitive to His Spirit so that you can discern rightly and wisely where your responsibilities end and your husband’s begin. And then don’t take the bait to be responsible for things that are really his responsibilities. You can take any criticism he has of you to God and write it all down and ask God to help you discern what is valid criticism and where God may desire to sharpen and refine you – and what criticism may be invalid that God doesn’t want you to focus on.

            If he doesn’t forgive – that is his issue. Only God can change his heart about that. You can repent and apologize and ask God to change you where you have sinned. But if your husband continues to bring up things that he supposedly forgave, you don’t have to feel guilty about those things. And God may even prompt you to say something like, “Yes, that was wrong of me. Thank you for forgiving me for that,” if he said he forgave you. But if he continues to carry resentment – that is something that only God can open his eyes to and that is his sin.

            You are responsible to obey and honor God and to love and honor your husband and respect him. But you are not responsible for hardening your husband’s heart. He is responsible for his spiritual growth and his emotions. You are responsible for yours. Control and Boundaries may be helpful. Also, The Snare of People Pleasing may be helpful.

            I would love to see you carve out time to spend with God daily. This is your power source and your nourishment. You cannot be a strong, godly, Spirit-filled wife if you are spiritually starving and only “eating” once a week or a few times a month. I want to see you read a chapter in your Bible each day and journal all of your negative thoughts, feelings, concerns,sins, questions – and allow God to expose any sin in your life so you can turn from it and turn to Christ. Write down the things you are saying to yourself and compare it to the truth of GOd’s Word. Reject anything that is not of God. Here is a post about taking our thoughts captive.

            If you continue to ask God to reveal all of your sin to you, He will. 🙂 It is good to take those things to God and ask Him how. You can ask your husband what he believes you need to do – and then pray about it.

            Much love to you!

          4. April,

            Thank you so much for helping me to create a plan and to clarify that it isn’t in my hands alone to discern. I am going to get started, and I’ll let you know how it goes!

            Sara > >

          5. Sara,

            I am right here if you want to talk about anything. I am praying for you and your husband and for God’s healing and His greatest glory in both of your lives individually as well as in your marriage.

            Much love!
            April

  17. Hi April. Quick question- or for anyone else with any Godly input- what if your husband has always said he was done, but not in words. For instance, refuses to combine finances or have joint accounts, refuses to use the words “our” or “we”, thinks very single-minded when it comes to the household, bills, the future, etc., doesn’t have a desire to make a plan for getting out of debt, no desire to plan getting a home, no desire to join finances and save money together, no care about your debts only his own, anytime you bring up the concerns you get shut down within 1 minute of speaking or less. (He will put in his headphones, or tell me I go on and on and tell me to shut up already when i literally was talking maybe 30 seconds). When asked what it wrong and is something going on, I proceed to tell him….but when I do I get shut down once again with him putting his headphones in or asking me what time this convo will be done he has things to do (very rudely).

    I have been learning the respect thing for a while now and applying it. I am not perfect and fail from time to time of course. While that is going on so is all of this. I am told I try to be in control and be leader …….YET he refuses after 3 years of marriage to join accounts with me or consider it “our” bills. Its always compartmentalized and separated. It is VERY hard for me to be leader of my own bills, my own work schedule, my own “things” but then try to let him be the “man of the house” and leader over just his own things.

    I have tried yelling, screaming, talking calmly, shortening my sentences, not saying anything, crying…. you name it and any way I try to discuss what I feel is a big issue, I get shut down and literally ignored. He has since left b/c there is too much arguing going on in front of the kids. I asked for that for the kids protection and said I would leave and stay at my moms if need be. He left. HOW THE HECK do you deal with someone like that?!

    I am a believer. I am in church the Word, prayer, etc. You can see it in my life (no i am not perfect); however, he claims to be one yet I see it in no other areas. When I tell him I don’t think keeping yourself separated from your wife like that is Godly, he does not care. Oh and he also has his phone password protected for calls/texts. When asking him why he has that he said he doesn’t want me going through his phone. Clearly I feel he has something to hide then. This is a disaster. I do not even know where to go with this besides giving it to the Lord and not wasting another minute crying or being upset over this since this has been happening for 3 years and after 3 years of prayer, nothing as changed in those areas.

    1. Sk,

      It is a pleasure to meet you! I can feel your pain and I so wish I could hug your neck!!!

      Before I get into specific recommendations, I am going to ask you to do a bit of homework, please.

      Would you please read the posts at the top of my home page about
      – spiritual authority
      – disrespect
      – respect
      – biblical submission

      And, please search my home page search bar for “lead” and “leader” and read those posts.
      Then I would love to hear what God is speaking to you, and we will talk about what God may desire you to do.

      Much love my precious sister! I believe you are in the right place if you are ready to allow God to change you and if you are ready to seek Him far above anything else. I am praying for healing in your marriage, but first, I am praying for God to work powerfully in your heart, mind, and soul. 🙂

  18. My husband told me 8.5 weeks ago that he wasn’t in love with me anymore and that he loved me only as kids mother. He said he was willing to stay for a period of time to see if those feelings could change. I am seeing a counselor. He is unwilling to go with me. He also is not a believer.
    Through prayer and this site, I can see how disrespctful I was. He is still here but insists that his feelings haven’t changes and he still wants to leave but doesn’t want to hurt our kids. I’m trying to give him space while still maintaining normalcy for our kids (ages 1, 4 and 6). I’m really struggling with fear of divorce, single parenting etc. thanks.

    1. NE,

      How my heart breaks for both of you!!! But I praise God for what He is doing in your heart and I pray that this might be the beginning of a much deeper faith for you and that you might turn from your old ways and walk in obedience to God by His Spirit’s power. I pray for your husband’s salvation above all else, and for you to become God’s partner in bringing that about. I pray for wisdom for you to treat him with respect and to not try to control him, but trust him into God’s sovereign hands. I pray for healing for your marriage in God’s timing for His great glory. I pray for healing for your heart and wisdom as you seek to raise your precious children to know and love God and set a godly example for them.

      All,
      Please join me in surrounding NE with God’s love and with prayer for her husband, for her, and for their children!

  19. About 3 weeks ago my husband told me he was no longer in love with me and doesn’t want to work things out. Initially I said I was done also but I decided to fight for my marriage. I was wife #1 at first I cried and begged for us to make it work. He agreed to go to counseling for the past 2 weeks but he still said he was done. My flesh took over and I started contacting lawyers and started looking for a place for my son and I to move. But then I found this blog and I stopped attorney and house shopping and began to understand how my marriage got to this point. I have been disrespectful and controlling. We had some porn addiction issues on his part but I worked with him on that. I’m confused at this point because he sends me text telling me to have a good day, he also texts me he loves me but he hasn’t said anything else about separation. This blog has helped me so much, I’ve been going to church, journaling, and reading my bible. I am wife #2 now and I am speaking life into our marriage, I pray God speaks to him and guides my husband to Him. I believe this had to happen to bring me closer to God.

    1. Hopeful Wife,
      I am praying for God to work in each of you to draw you each to Himself and to full submission to Christ as Lord – and for healing for your marriage and family!

      If you are still staying with him, and he is not mentioning separation – I vote to thank him and tell him to have a good day, tell him you love him if you want to. And primarily focus on allowing God to radically change you to make you more like Christ and more and more the woman He desires you to be.

  20. Continued…please pray for us. Pray that I can continue to give him his space. I feel he’s hurting and all I wanna do is hug, hold him, and tell him everything will be ok. My husband is like yours April introverted and unfortunately it took almost 8 years for me to seek Christ and this blog to help our marriage.

  21. Sometimes it’s not always the husband who says, “I’m done.” My wife recently said those words to me, and I’m struggling to find the words or thoughts to imagine moving forward. She said that she’ll be consulting with a divorce attorney, so I’m unsure on how to proceed. Do you think there’s anyway I can salvage this?

    Alex

    1. Alex,

      I’m so very sorry to hear about what an incredibly painful situation you and your wife and your family are facing. 🙁 Breaks my heart.

      I don’t know you or your wife or anything about your situation. But I do know that in Christ, there is every reason for hope.

      Do either of you have a relationship with Jesus?

      What does your wife say she needs? Why does she want to leave?

  22. I am happy to have come across this blog. It has been 3 weeks since my husband told me he wants a divorce and he is not willing to try.

    He is a wonderful and caring man. He gave me so much love when I was not happy with myself. He would provide comfort and support with nothing in return. I pushed him away at every turn and made him feel worse about himself. I was lost in my own selfishness. He spent years feeling unloved and disrespected by me and still hung on. .

    Now he is unwilling to forgive me for the way I treated him. He does not want to continue in our marriage because I am “undeserving” of his forgiveness ( his words). I continue to pray for him to find the light to forgive and not let our past sins ruin a chance at fulfillment. I love him very much.

    I continue to focus on myself and I feel that god has given me this chance to reexamine who I am and become a better person but I struggle with the pain of my spouse and knowing that I caused it ( in part). Sometimes its difficult to remain positive. I am realizing that I have made him my idol. I never was satisfied with my life or him. I am working daily to build a better relationship with god and trust in his guidance but I feel lost and scared at times,

    1. Trying,

      Such a painful situation for you both! Goodness. 🙁

      None of us deserve forgiveness. We don’t deserve forgiveness from people or from Jesus. And yet – Jesus is willing to extend mercy, grace, and forgiveness at His own astronomical expense. How amazing our Lord is!?!?!

      I would encourage you to continue in Christ and to allow God to change you and help you to grow and to seek to bless your husband. I would encourage you to seek to be sensitive to God’s Spirit and His prompting about what exactly to do and what not to do and when to just wait and pray. We will trust God together to work in your husband’s life. It may take him some time to believe that this change in you is real and it may take some time for him to forgive you. Or – it is possible that he may not forgive. But you cannot change his heart. Only God can. My prayer is that God might continue to change and heal you both and bring healing to your marriage for His glory.

      You have Jesus, my sweet sister – so you are never lost or alone. I hope you will listen to Kari Jobe’s song on YouTube – “I Am Not Alone!”

      Much love to you!

    2. Trying, I could have written this post. I am so sorry for what you are going through. It is oh so very painful. It has been 5.5 months. My husband is not a believer. After 4 months of prayer, he finally agreed to marital counseling. We have gone 8 times. He moved out 2.5 weeks ago as well. My relationship with God and myself has grown tremendously in this time. It’s not to say that there isn’t much pain but it’s a process. prayers and hugs to you.

      1. NE, it is comforting to know I am not alone. There has been so much pain in this short time that it is hard to imagine 5.5 months. I pray that you and your husband find peace and I will continue to believe in god’s plan. Thank you for your kind words.

  23. My husband and I have been married 5 years with two children and one on the way. I am about six weeks pregnant. We have always had cycles of pretty ugly fights where I unfortunately now realize I took the role of wife #1. I have recently come to understand a lot of the damaging ways I have behaved during arguments. Still, I am incredibly hurt by the way he has treated me. It’s like the hurt compounds and I can’t get rid of it. And I have no one to talk to because all the people who might understand in the Christian sense (we are Catholic) are also friends with my husband. I don’t want to embarrass him or cause friends to lose respect for him.

    Over the course of different arguments, he has brought up divorce, threatened to hurt himself, left in his truck and turned off his phone (while I freaked out thinking he could be hurt or dead), tried to drive off then locked himself in the truck when I blocked his way, and has punched a hole in a crib mattress. During one argument he told me I was overweight because I stress eat and asked why I don’t just stop doing it (after that I cut out sweets, started exercising, and lost 15 pounds). He told me he didn’t love me anymore and that we were better off if he left recently. After that blew over he apologized and promised to never do that to me again. Well we had an argument a few days ago where he told me he wasn’t sure I was worth it, and he wasn’t sure if the kids were worth it.

    I am so hurt, I am so desperate for him to realize how deep my scars are. I don’t trust that he loves me unconditionally. I want things to be OK so badly. I want to trust him and I know I have brought this on myself because I am not always the most pleasant person. I know he doesn’t cope well with shaming and blaming and now that I see that I am trying to correct my behavior cold turkey.

    I am struggling most of all with a desirw for him to notice how much I hurt, but I feel like I need to hide my hurt because what if he gets upset by me and hurts me more? He is a good man, and he tries, but I am so afraid of what he will do next time.

    Please help me!!! God bless your work.

    1. Vanessa,

      Congratulations on your new pregnancy. 🙂 It is wonderful to meet you!

      I’m very glad that you don’t want to air dirty laundry to your husband’s friends. That is wise.

      Goodness, if he is threatening to hurt himself – what do you do? Have you called for help? Do you believe he is serious?

      Does he have any active addictions or mental illness?

      Do you believe you are safe?

      Is it possible that you may be locked in a sinful cycle where one of you sins against the other, and then the other one has a knee-jerk sinful response – and then it just spirals out of control because you are both contributing to a destructive cycle?

      How is your relationship with Christ?

      Is it possible that you are BOTH deeply wounded and scarred by one another?

      What do you do when you are hurt? What do you say to him?

      Is he willing to go to a godly counselor with you or by himself? This is a pretty serious situation, it sounds like. I don’t want to see him hurt himself.

      How do you believe God desires you to change?

      What if your husband is even more hurt than you are and can’t meet your needs right now? What can you do to bless and strengthen him?

      Have you read “Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected” or “A Wake Up Call for Wives“?

      I would also encourage you to read, “How to Make Your Husband an Idol.” and “The Answer to All of Your Marriage Problems.”

      Please let me know what God speaks to you in these posts and then let’s talk some more. 🙂

      I pray God will direct you to the resources you both need for healing and that you will seek the help you and your husband need ASAP! You are most welcome here. I believe you will find much encouragement, truth, and hope here! 🙂

    2. I too have been gripped by this need and am in the same boat with the ugly arguments and disrespect the for 18 years.

      It was only when I focused on changing ME and not trying to demand forgiveness, or try to “teach him a lesson” about his own sin that I started to prioritize this process. I really had to put my own pain aside and focus on all the ways I hurt him. It is two battle fronts you are fighting.

      – One is as a “victim” the little girl who is hurt and sad and scared. GOD will help heal her in time. You can also talk to your husband about your feelings. When you learn how to detach a bit emotionally and talk about it without blame and criticism.

      – But until you recognize that the same hurtful “monster” lives inside of you and your husband ALSO feels like a hurt, sad, scared little boy who is wishing the same thing you are, you will both continue this cycle.

      Someone needs to step off the hampster wheel first. Since you are reading this blog…I advise it to be you, you will be so glad you did. It is not easy, it is sometimes painful and exhilerating. But it is soooo worth it. I suspect you both are prisoners of your emotions and are codependant.

      April has some great posts on boundaries, taking the log out of your own eye. Please focus on what u out CAN control, which is YOUR OWN reactions, actions, thoughts, emotions, feelings. You cannot be the judge, jury, or executioner.. that would be you trying to convict him. Only the Holy Spirit can do that with your husband. If you concentrate on becoming closer to God and honoring him, you will realize you are asked by God to treat your husband the way you would want to be treated.

      Your husband is a child of the most high God…just as you are. It grieves Him to see either of you hurt, but you are not your husband’s god. Let God “father” him and allow God to “father” you. That is not your job or responsibility. There are a few great reads out there. April has a good list on her site. Start with Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerich. I also thought Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend was super informative.

      Start walking your own race. If you can “clean up your own junk” (sin, disrespect, being emotionally out of control, criticism, unloving reactions, remper, idolatry, etc.), then later, he will only be left with his own junk to clean up. Right now, you both only see the others’ faults and sins.

      Start putting positive thoughts into your head now and build a foundation on that. U ou are not guaranteed that it will work, but IF it is going to work, you need to start there, otherwise the only guarantee you will have is a failed marriage without positivity and hope. Really take some time to read through April’s posts. I have been for the last 8 months and I am just starting to see turn around.

      When you feel dissapointed, upset, frustrated etc, check your true motives. Are you trying to control an outcome, control his feelings, make things go your own way, have fear you need to deal with and are projecting your fears onto your husband or others, trying to make him responsible for your happiness, feelings of safety, love etc? Look to God for all that. If you were suddenly all alone, how would you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and find joy in your life and purpose? Only God can fill that never ending, needy greedy hole of comfort for you. It is way too much to ask your husband to do…and it is not his job, it is yours and God’s.

      This blog became my safe friend. We are all here for you, my sweet sister and undertand. Please know I am praying for you to grow closer to God. Pray that he shows you your own sins first, so you can feel the power of HIM through you.

      1. LMSdaily,

        WOW!

        Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to reach out to Vanessa and for sharing a bit of your journey. This brings happy tears of joy to my eyes to see the way God has changed you and continues to change you and how He is using you to bless others. WOOHOO!!!!!

        Much love, my precious sister!

  24. Me again…

    I definitely find the words of encouragement on this site to be deeply helpful.

    However, I am now further into the grief of my marriage. My husband has now filed for divorce and is living outside the home. He did this all within 2 weeks of telling me he wanted a divorce. I love him and respect him so deeply and I want our marriage to work. I continue to trust in god but I am so scared of losing him. I have been focusing on growing myself and recently discovered that I suffer from depression which is why I pushed my husband away. I was so selfish in my pain that I isolated myself from him and he began to have overwhelming feelings that I did not love him. Now that I am focusing on myself and growing deeper in my connection with god he feels I am manipulating him to stay in the marriage as it is “not who I am.” I am hoping that I can find some peaceful words of encouragement here as I am so distraught by his actions.

    I love him so much and it seems he has “checked out.”

  25. I have read through many of the replies to this post and I’m encouraged by the stories of reconciliation. My husband walked out on me almost 3 months ago. It was totally shocking and unexpected and I’ve been in so much pain. We’ve only been married 3 years but have faced many fiery trials in that short time- financial/bankruptcy, job issues, chronic health problems, and infertility to name a few.

    The Lord has made me fully aware that I was controlling and disrespectful and selfish, out of my own pain and fears. I tried to tell my husband all of this and repented of my sin and asked for forgiveness- for the most part I reacted like wife #2. He still left. He said he didn’t believe me and that I had “abused” him emotionally. I didn’t know it at the time but he’d started talking to his ex-wife a few days before he told me he wanted a divorce. The reason they divorced was b/c she committed adultery (one physical affair and then one emotional affair) and was unrepentant. He’d always told me that he’d never cheat b/c of how badly it hurt him when his ex did it– so I naively believed that I didn’t have to worry about him ever having an affair.

    Now it seems that he has been involved with his ex-wife since 2 weeks before he moved out. I have phone records of hundreds of text messages and hours worth of phone calls- and he admitted to seeing her in public on several occasions since then too. It’s definitely an emotional affair if not physical (and I have no proof of whether it has turned physical.) I also found that he’s currently involved with another woman as well- she’s much younger than me, and from the things I’ve seen online she’s quite a party animal. I have seen pics of my husband out partying with her and it’s heartbreaking.

    My husband took all the money with him, changed his phone number, and filed a lawsuit against me to try to get me kicked out of our home and to be “financially independent” of me, even though he was the provider during our marriage and I don’t even have a full time job. When he left me, he didn’t even leave money for me to buy food or gas, etc. He immediately changed his insurance policies and removed me as the beneficiary and opened up a new bank account with his mom as the beneficiary– he wants NOTHING to do with me and wants to make sure that if something happens to him before our divorce can be finalized (it takes a year of separation first) that I won’t get anything from him.

    I’m praying daily for his heart to be softened and changed and for the Lord to restore our marriage, but so far I’ve seen absolutely no sign that this is going to happen. My husband is so cold and is so far away from God. He said he blames God for all the horrible things that happened to us and feels like God hates him and is punishing him and therefore he doesn’t want to go to church and doesn’t have faith anymore.

    I’d appreciate your prayers and any advice you all may want to offer. I’m trying so hard to cling to hope but things look impossible right now.

    1. Katherine,

      My heart breaks so much for your situation and the pain you are experiencing. 🙁 You and I have communicated recently – so I am going to let the other ladies (and men) speak to you as they feel led.

      I know you know what I have suggested – to pursue Christ with all your heart, to not be discouraged because God is sovereign – not your husband. To cling to the promises of God. You are walking in obedience to what God has called you to do since He opened your eyes. You will have no regrets – and that is my prayer for you – that you will please God in all of this and that God will use this to help you grow in amazing ways for His glory and your ultimate good.

      I am praying for God to bring your husband to repentance and to his knees before God – that he might fully appreciate the weight of his sin and repent in godly sorrow and be reconciled with Christ. I pray for healing for your marriage.

      Sisters and Brothers,
      If you have encouragement for our dear sister or prayers to offer on her behalf – please share with her. I know it would bless her greatly.

      Katherine – I removed your last name for your privacy and your husband’s privacy.

      Much love to you!

      1. I just recently found this site a few days ago and I have spent hours reading the countless posts and replies. My husband recently separated a month ago and it has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with! We have a 15 month old daughter which makes it even more heart-breaking.

        At first, I had a victim mentality…how could he leave us?! We are both Christian so I felt he was sinning by separating and abandoning us. Although I still hurt by his decisions, I have never been awakened so abruptly to my own sin. It wasn’t until recently (probably the last couple of weeks) that I have realized how controlling and disrespectful I have been during our marriage.

        Although we have been to counseling off and on throughout our 2 1/2 years of marriage, I was not able to see my shortcomings. I was blinded by my own pain following an emotional affair he had when I was pregnant with our daughter. Although I forgave him, I do not believe I took the right steps to truly address my own contributions to our failing marriage. I also now know that I did not turn to God at this most fragile time…I relied on my own strength, which was doomed to be insufficient.

        He says he is willing to continue counseling, which I am grateful, but he has not been willing to discuss anything regarding our relationship right now (the last few attempts, I was wife #1). He is still very emotionally distant and times together are very scarce. I have not had the opportunity to express to him how I have come to understand my disrespectful ways (this was always his #1 complaint, but I never truly understood what this MEANT)….in all honesty, I DID NOT UNDERSTAND that I was being controlling/disrespectful!!

        This is such a scary and uncertain time and I try to look at it as an awakening and have been trying to focus on Christ. I have been an unserving Christian for so long and I didn’t even know! I’m ashamed of so many of my behaviors and hope that my husband can see the small changes despite the recent set backs. I try to be positive when we are together and space when he is away but it’s so hard with some of the trust issues.

        I’ve read numerous books in the past month and am now reading the Surrendered Wife as recommended on this site. It gives me so much enlightenment and hope. Please pray for me during this journey.

        1. Humbled Wife,

          It is shocking to me how we can deceive ourselves. I had no clue I was disrespectful or controlling either. Greg never said a word about my sin to me. I was absolutely mortified when God revealed all of my sin to me in December 2008 after over 14 years of marriage. I thought I had been the best Christian wife ever, and that Greg being so shut down, unplugged, passive, and unloving were our “real” problems. I had zero clue that I had contributed to any of the issues. Until God showed me my part. Ugh!

          I am so very sorry that your husband left and that you are both hurting so much – and with a precious baby in the middle of it all! I wish I could give you a huge hug!

          But how thankful I am that God has opened your eyes and you are able to see things now. That is the biggest first step! Until we see what we are doing wrong, we can’t fix it.

          I am praying that God might show you how He wants you to apologize to your husband. Before you do, check out this post, Apologizing Stories. It may be a blessing to you and give you some inspiration.

          I am very glad to hear that he is willing to continue counseling. That is AWESOME! I’m glad you are giving I’m space and focusing on Christ and studying to learn to be the godly woman and wife God calls you to be.

          I’m so honored to walk beside you on this journey. I am praying for God’s healing for you both individually and together as a couple for God’s greatest glory!

          Please let me know if there are things you want to hash out with me and we will talk about them together.

          Much love to you, my dear sister!

  26. As I read through these stories I realize my story is so different.

    About a month ago, my husband would come out the blue during argument’s saying “I don’t want you.” Mind you, I’m 5 months pregnant and we will be married three years next month, I wasn’t sure where all this was coming from, then he wouldn’t sleep with me, kiss me hug me or anything, so painful. Then I felt led to go in his phone and found that he had been seeing and texting and calling another woman, (my husband is NOT saved) so I confronted her first just so she was aware that he is married with a family and a new baby on the way, and what I got from her is my husband didn’t want me and to take care and focus on my children, so of course I went off on him.

    Within a week I put him out because he came in after 5 in the AM, I’ve been begging crying for him to come back home, and he continues to blame me and says if I didn’t kick him out he would still be home, but he has told me he don’t want me and wants a divorce. we have two other children, 10 and 2, now he no longer wants to help with bills and tells me daily he don’t want me, I want to be that wife of number 2, but it hurts so much. This is crazy and I feel so rejected…

    1. Phoenix,

      Oh no!!!! My precious sister! I just grieve for you and for you whole family. 🙁

      If he is unwilling to stop the affair – I think that being separated is probably best, although unbelievably painful. I long for you to be able to reconcile. But most of all, I long for God to open your husband’s eyes to his need for Christ and bring him to salvation. I also pray for God’s wisdom, power, strength, and healing for you – that He will give you the light you need to see each step ahead of you.

      Do you have any godly wife mentors or supportive prayer partners?

      Are you interested in hashing through any of this together with me? Or do you have a godly counselor you plan to see?

      How is your walk with Christ going?

      Much love to you! and the BIGGEST hug!

      1. I do have a few godly wife’s in my corner, but at times feel their judging because I was the Christian and could’ve acted in different ways, but I was hurt by my husband he loved to be with his friends in the streets, (he’ll be 40) he told me his children (from previous relationship) come before me, he called me names and didn’t put me first so I became angry and resentful, I really don’t know how to act, he wants me to be mature about allowing him to come to the house and see the kids and wants me to act like I’m happy my marriage is down the toilet, it’s hard for me to pretend that I’m not hurt to pretend that I’m not pregnant and my husband isn’t sleeping with another woman, let me be honest, I can’t pray it’s very hard.

        1. Phoenix,

          Goodness… I am sure that you are very hurt. It is hurtful for a husband to say that his children come before you. It is very hurtful that he is having an affair and that you are pregnant and he is not fulfilling his marriage vows. Those things are NOT okay.

          I don’t think that God wants you to “pretend to be happy” about any of these things. But I do think that God desires to heal your heart and give you real joy.

          Are you angry with God?

          What would you like to have in your walk with Christ?

          What would you like to have in your marriage?

          Much love to you!

  27. After 3 months of being completely shut down, emotionally and physically, plus many lies and much secrecy, my husband agreed to go to counseling.

    Well, he was extremely angry in the session and bashed me and basically said how miserable he has been for 14 years and that he is only there to seek how to get a “peaceful” divorce for the sake of our children. He said he is completely done. That he has seen me change over the past few months but doesn’t believe it is real.

    He said he wants to be “happy” and does not care that he doesn’t have Biblical grounds for divorce. He took no responsibility at all for anything he has done, or the lies and secrecy. I suspect he is being unfaithful. I have repented and apologized to him over my part. I spend hours every day in prayer, fasting and reading scripture and other books.

    The Lord has opened my eyes and changed me dramatically over the past few months.. I was the kind of woman who submitted to the point of never saying anything because I was so afraid of upsetting him and rocking the boat. I see now how wrong that was, as was my pride, my idolatry and my unforgiveness.

    I have let him know that I do not want a divorce and I want him to stay and work on the marriage. My question is, at this point, if he pursues a divorce, what do I do? Do I go along with it pleasantly, as in sign papers, etc., even though Biblically I do not agree with it?

    He also does not want me to talk to our pastor about this but I desperately want prayer and advice from him. I have not up to this point because I am afraid my husband will stop going to church and lose any godly influence he now has (he is still going to church with us). Do you have any thoughts on this?

    Thanks you, I so appreciate this site and your godly advice and prayers.

    1. hummingbird,

      Well, I am glad he was willing to go to counseling and that you were able to hear what he was upset about.

      What did the counselor say?

      I’m so glad that you are listening to God and becoming the woman He desires you to be and that you are not living in fear, but seeking to be a godly wife who uses her influence for good and blessing in the marriage.

      If he is being unfaithful and/or he is unrepentant of his sin – there may come a time to let him go. Especially if he won’t stay. You can share that you do not agree that this is biblical and that you do not believe it honors God and you don’t want a divorce. But then, follow I Corinthians 7 on this issue.

      If your husband wants to destroy the marriage and doesn’t want to continue to honor the covenant – he is giving up being your spiritual authority. I think it could be appropriate to seek godly counsel. But this is something about which you must seek God’s will and His wisdom. I don’t know the answer to this myself.

      Praying for God’s wisdom for you, my dear sister! Thank you for the update.

      Ladies, let’s surround Hummingbird with prayer!

      1. Thank you for your prayers and sharing wisdom. The counselor didn’t say much at all, just asked questions. She did ask him if he had any glimmer of hope for the marriage and if he wanted to work on it and he said no, to which the counselor said then he did not need to come back, unless individually. I agree about him giving up the spiritual authority….I was more concerned that I don’t want to be responsible for him not hearing the word anymore due to my talking to the pastor/making him feel uncomfortable at church. I do feel that he desperately needs the word and my heart is broken for where he is going with this. I know it is his sin, but I am so incredibly sad that I had ANY role in the hurt that led him to this point. I feel so responsible and I don’t know how to let that go. But maybe this is me just trying to control things again and not having enough faith to understand that God can do all this without my help, even if my husband stops coming to church.

        1. hummingbird,

          Let’s pray that God might give you wisdom about where to look for help. Perhaps there is another resource other than the pastor – that wouldn’t feel so disrespectful to your husband?

          You are only responsible for you, my sweet sister. Take responsibility for what you did and attempt to make things right and to obey God in all that He shows you to do. But then – your husband has his own journey and his own decisions to make. You can’t try to be responsible for that. You can try to make amends. But you can’t force him to stay. And that is painful!

          God absolutely CAN do all of the work your husband needs in His heart without your help. Yep. You don’t have to be the Holy Spirit. He’s got that part covered. 🙂 Yes, even if your husband stops coming to church or stops all communication with you – God can get through to him in ways you never could.

          Praying for you to have the wisdom to know what is your responsibility and what to trust to God and your husband and to rest in His sovereignty, goodness, and love, my dear sister!

  28. I am currently seperated from my husband of 14 yrs. (His choice after he found himself having feelings for someone else) He moved out for almost a month. However he stated he could not afford to maintain two households and now for finacial reasons we live in the same house.
    I have done the begging, crying and nagging. I have said some things I did not mean. We both have said some rotten things to each other. The person I was before him would not tolerate this situation and would have bailed by now.
    My love for him will not let me be that person now although I have every reason too.
    He says he loves me and cares about me but does not want to be with me because he can not promise the same thing will not happen again. We have dinner together almost every night and watch tv together about twice a week. He avoids all conversation about our situation and even gets upset or walks away if I try too.
    We do things as a couple occassionally but very rare about the only thing we do not do together is share a bed. He tells people we are seperated. His current mindset is to sell property and items we have together and work together financially so he can afford a divorce and us both be able to live comfortably.
    Problem is I do not want a divorce or the seperation for that matter. I can not make myself. He tries to be a butthead from time to time but he turns around and does something nice. He has not convinced me or himself that a divorce is what he wants. I really think he is just lost…he needs God! So therefore I have turned more towards God to help me handle this “situation” as it is now dubbed. I now pray constantly for God to light his path, lead him and deliverer him from the self destruction path he is now traveling on. I also pray more for me..for understanding of Gods will, Gods time and Gods way. I have found all my strength through prayer. I do not know how this will all turn out, but I do have faith God will heal or marriage.
    Sorry this is lengthy but I am lost, hurt, angry and confused. I am not sure of the path I should be walking. We have been at this for almost 3 months now. I have noticed some small changes in his attitude and his outlook, but nothing in the way of not “saving” our marriage. Help!

    1. Husbandismyroomate,

      Ugh! Such a PAINFUL situation!

      🙁

      My heart breaks for you, my sister! I can’t imagine the stress of this. I can certainly understand why you are feeling the way you are. I can also imagine that healing from a chasm this deep is going to take some time. I’m so glad you don’t want a divorce and that you want to see God heal your marriage! WOOHOO! I am in full agreement with your prayer!

      How is your walk with Christ going?

      What do you believe that God desires you to do to move toward healing and to begin to pour life into the marriage?

      What are you doing with any bitterness you may be experiencing?

      What are your greatest fears?

      What do you believe you need to be happy?

      Has your husband shared what he needs?

      What do you believe he needs?

      Have you read any other posts here yet? 🙂

      Much love to you! And a BIG hug!!!!

      If you would rather share this stuff privately, you can private message me on my Peacefulwife Blog FB page. 🙂

  29. My husband (unsaved) told me today that he is thinking about leaving me. We’re in our early 40’s. I’m acting like wife #2. Apologizing for everything. And accepting that everything is my fault.

    1. robinlk225,

      Oh no! I am so very sorry that you are in such a painful time!

      But do please keep in mind – you don’t have to apologize for everything or take blame for everything – only for what you actually did wrong, my precious sister! You are only responsible for your sin, your actions, and your obedience to God. Your husband is responsible for his stuff. There are very few situations where one person is 100% responsible for all of the problems. If you want to take responsibility for what you did that caused harm or pain – that is awesome. But do be careful not to take full blame for even things that he did. I hope that makes sense. You can show respect for him and for yourself at the same time. 🙂

      Sending you the biggest hug!

  30. I married my husband the first time 11 years ago. We were only married for a short time then we seperated. We were young and i wasn’t a very good wife and i wanted to be in control. It wad physicalli abusive on both parts. I then committed adultry and had a child. We later divorced due to my infidelity. (He moved on and lived with a women for 7 years and had 3 kids.) I accepted Christ 6years ago and prayed that he would give me another chance to fix things. Last year we remarried (10 years) later. We have been married for a year and it has been very rocky. He is very stern and often mean to the child i had 10 years ago. We now also have a 2 month old. And he talks about leaving me all the time because i am not submissive enough. I try to the best i can. He says that i have to do everything possible to keep him since it was my fault 10 years ago. He is emotionally abusive and i am drained from trying to keep him happy so that he won’t leave. Please help i dont know what else to do.

    1. Tina,

      Goodness, y’all have been through a LOT!

      You can do all that you can do to obey and honor Christ and to be filled with His Spirit. But the marriage is not solely resting on your shoulders. Your husband does have responsibilities from God, as well. I think that there are some very major scars and wounds going on here – and I would encourage you both to seek godly, experienced counseling together to work through all of these issues, my precious sister.

      How is your walk with Christ going?

      What is your definition of “submissive”?

      What is his definition of “submissive”?

      Are there any mental health issues, addictions, or violence/abusive issues going on now?

      Much love to you!

  31. Am passing through the same situation right now Though we are still together in the house,when people see they think thngs are ok but not. We just wedded last year sept 2014. Nw we have got a kid two months now .He speaks thngs that i should give up ,but i dnt say anything am just praying for it .Funny thng he is a believer even people call him pastor .I know the devil is a laier .Help me praying. Maria

    1. Maria,

      It sounds like things are so painful. 🙁 Would you like to talk a bit more about what is going on? I’m glad you see who the real enemy is.

      I am praying for God’s healing for you both individually and for His healing for your marriage and family, my precious sister!

  32. I don’t know where to go or what to say to my friend going through this situation …her husband wants to leave, but it isn’t over her attitude or anything she needs to change per se. The wife and I met through a support group for a specific sexual disorder where we aren’t able to consummate…not without much mental and physical therapy…I’m married four years, my friend is married six, we are Christians, and her husband finally says to her he is done feeling “unwanted” and wants out because she can’t be intimate the way he wants.

    Having the same devastating ailment myself, but with a supportive husband, I know the lengths we go to overcompensate for our shortcoming…extra care and attention and submission just because we feel so inadequate anyway, broken. I agree with everything outlined here for a wife to do…but that is when there is nothing else. Thus poor wife hasn’t tried anything, she basically just crumbled when he suggested it and is making it very easy to transition out, she won’t even tell anyone what is happening. (We live in two states).

    If she has done all she could in obedience to save the marriage, then all she can do is rest in Christ’s providence and pray. But she isn’t talking, she even offered to sleep elsewhere already, almost like he told HER to leave and she is like “OK if it is what you want”. And she doesn’t want to separate, but he is so manipulative…I am barely able to think during the day because I’m so upset for her, I can’t imagine what she is feeling, but what can I say?

    She has written to me nearly daily for months for advice and encouragement and then it all fell apart. My husband just started writing to her husband who has said “love should be effortless, our marriage isn’t what love should be”… Effortless?? Secularists don’t even think that! He is completely ignoring Scripture…my husband doesn’t even know what to say.

    My biggest concern is that the wife will lose all sense of worth if he leaves over this, something that is out of her control and that she has been trying to remedy through the therapy. At the end of the day, he wants to leave because he feels he is owed something. It is marriage in sickness and health…she (and I) are sick, would he leave if she became paralyzed or something?

    How can I even encourage her to start stepping up to obey when she feels so worthless because of him?? How can my husband address her husband’s selfishness?

    1. Jessica,

      It is so wonderful to hear from you. 🙂

      I’m so sorry to hear that you and your friend have such a difficult sexual disorder. That would be extremely painful for both of you and your husbands.

      Did you both know about this before marriage? Were your husbands aware of this before marriage?

      I’m so thankful that your husband is supportive. What a blessing that is!

      I am sure you realize, this particular post is a very general topic – and what you and your friend are dealing with is a fairly rare and rather severe situation – so there would need to probably be some different approaches with such a situation.

      I know it is easy to demonize a husband in this situation – especially when you can so easily sympathize with the wife’s excruciating level of pain. But – if they have never consummated their marriage and he has stuck with this for 6 years – he has suffered an incredible amount of pain, grief, loss, frustration, and difficulty, too. As I am sure you are acutely and painfully aware, most people do not sign up for marriage to be forced into celibacy. There is an expectation that there will be sex after marriage or most people would not get married.

      This disorder may be entirely out of her control and out of your control. I’m thankful there is therapy and treatment available. That is awesome! I would love to see her try anything that might help her heal and that would allow them to have a healthy sex life.

      I’m not sure that he is manipulative. I don’t know him. But he may be getting to the point of desperation, extreme depression, hopelessness, resentment, bitterness, or that there is nothing else he can do. I would guess that this is unbearably painful on every level for him just as much as it is for her. It would be easy for a man to feel rejected, unloved, unwanted, disrespected, and like there is something wrong with him as a man if his wife can’t have sex with him – even if he knows that she has a disorder that is beyond her control.

      I am concerned about how emotionally tied you seem to be to your friend. You can empathize with her, be there for her, listen, make suggestions, cry with her, pray for her, share resources with her… but the weight of her marriage is not yours to carry. That weight needs to be laid at the feet of God. He is sovereign and He loves this couple. His shoulders can bear this weight – yours cannot.

      It would be awesome if your husband could be an encouragement to her husband. Love and marriage is hard. Their marriage may be much harder than a lot of marriages. But there is no such thing as effortless marriage. You are right. You can pray for God to give your husband wisdom. You can pray for God to work in this very broken and hurting husband’s life and in your friend’s life for His glory. You can claim the promises of Scripture for them. But then you will need to rest in God’s sovereignty and love, trusting this couple to God’s care or you will make yourself crazy!

      If this wife’s entire sense of worth is tied up in whether her husband stays or leaves – that is a problem. Her worth should be completely tied to Christ and what He did for her – not to her husband’s presence or absence. Yes, it would be painful if he leaves. It would be devastating. BUT – she has Jesus and God can use even this fiery trial for her ultimate good and His ultimate glory. I’d suggest that she read Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray. I think it would be a great blessing. 🙂

      This husband needs just as much spiritual support as this wife does. BOTH are precious in God’s eyes. Both are hurting beyond measure. Both are suffering. God loves them both with an unfathomable love and He can make something beautiful from this very difficult situation.

      I can understand a spouse leaving after 6 years if the marriage was never consummated. I don’t want to see that happen. I want to see them work together to salvage the marriage. But I can understand how someone might lose hope after so many years and nothing has changed, apparently. That is a LONG time for a spouse to feel rejected – even if the spouse can’t help what is happening. To be on the receiving end of constant rejection is REALLY hard for someone with any kind of sex drive and attraction to his/her spouse. Not a lot of people would be willing to stay that long.

      I don’t know what disorder y’all have. But – I think that a paralyzed spouse is something that people can wrap their minds around. It would be awful and painful and extremely difficult. But I think it may be understandable to a lot of people. But if it is a disorder that is more a matter of scars from being abused – hidden and unseen scars – that can be more difficult for a spouse to understand. It can be easier for a husband to feel like, “she should just get over it,” because he can’t measure the wounds or see the injuries. I would love for both of them to receive experienced, godly counsel. I would love for both of them to fight for their marriage.

      I’m so sorry for the pain you and your husband and your friend and her husband have experienced and are experiencing. I pray for God to intervene and for healing spiritually for each of you individually and for healing for each of your marriages.

      Much love and the biggest hug to you!

  33. This is excellent. I have been #1 more than I care to admit…and now I grown to #2..but I do slip up.

    This is exactly what I need.

    Thank you April

    1. hopeful,

      I’m so glad this was helpful for you. 🙂

      Keep in mind, you won’t be perfect. But – the more you slip up, the more you are setting the clock back and the longer it will take to rebuild trust on your husband’s end. Stay in Christ, filled with His Spirit all the time as much as you can. That is the only way to do this. It is all about Jesus being on the throne and His Spirit being in control and Him empowering you.

      Resting In Christ

      Much love to you!

  34. I am in the middle of our 4th official separation in 5 years of marriage, though he has left several other times as well, just not for as long. After much research I am pretty sure he has Aspergers… He’s high functioning.

    For the first time I feel released by God to make my own decision regarding this marriage. My husband is not a Christian and for a long time I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders to be the one to lead him to Christ by example. I have been released from that burden as well.

    When my husband and I have a disagreement or difference of opinion or handle things differently he shuts down and pushes me out of his life (stonewalls). After 2 months of this (this time) I had finally had enough and told him to leave after he said he was feeling like leaving again. I just couldn’t take it anymore. He chose to stay gone, even though I told him he could come home and we could work on things. We have lived in a sexless (7 times in the last 2&1/2 years) marriage with almost no affection from him. He is aware my love languages are physical touch and words of affirmation, both of which he has told me he can’t do because he feels forced. I do not force him, nor am I a shrew. I have been kind, compassionate, understanding, giving and non reactive, all to no avail.

    Tonight he said he didn’t know what he was going to do about us and I told him it’s no longer just about what he wants, as I am not sure I want to work on a marriage where my partner refuses to show love to me. In the positive and negative side I have been receiving some male attention (I am not looking for it nor am I going after it) and tbh it feels nice. I am actively working on pushing thoughts like that out of my head because that’s not who I am and not who I want to be. My main concern right now is my relationship with God, and like you’ve written, not my marriage being healed. I pray for my husband and am seeking God’s help with forgiveness, but every day he’s gone I move further away from wanting restoration. I love him, but I have no feelings for him at all.

    My best case scenario is an intact family and a healthy marriage with my husband and I’m feeling more and more everyday that that’s God’s thing to work on and not mine. My job is to get my self esteem back and feel worthy of being loved because of who God says I am. If God wants our family to stay intact then I have faith He will move in our hearts and minds to accomplish that. I want what God sees as best for all of us more than what I think I want and am willing to do what it takes to have a good marriage with this man. So this is where I am. I have done everything humanly possible and followed Biblical principles and am confident in Gods ability to take care of us no matter what happens. Right now I am exhausted from the constant emotional roller coaster and the pain of being consistently left.

    1. Jane,

      If you are dealing with Asperger’s, that makes things much more difficult, to be sure. Have you read anything about being married to an Asperger’s spouse? Is he willing to go to a trusted, experienced counselor with you?

      Please stay as far away from other men as possible, my dear sister! The enemy would love to take you down as you are in a very vulnerable state. I’m so glad you recognize what is going on.

      What do you believe would be realistic expectations for marriage to a man who battles something like Asperger’s? Could it be possible that the verbal affirmation and affection you desire might be extremely challenging for him to produce? But could it be possible that he actually does love you, even if he isn’t good at demonstrating it in the ways that you want him to show it? Is it really that he “refuses to show love” or is it that he doesn’t know how to show love or to understand your needs? There is a big difference, in my view, between someone purposely refusing and withholding love vs. someone not being able to do those things well.

      I know that my own husband is very introverted. I don’t think he has Asperger’s. But words of affirmation are VERY, VERY hard for him. And physical affection does not come easily for him – because that wasn’t what he saw growing up. One time, I asked him to write me a love letter for Valentine’s day that was at least 3 sentences. He got really upset. I thought I was asking for the easiest thing in the world – and it was free! What would it take, maybe 5 minutes? But years later, he explained to me that when I asked him to give me a love letter to prove his love for me (which is what he felt I was asking) – it would be like him asking me to “just build me a set of shelves to show you love me.” Um. Yikes! If I had to build a set of shelves – from scratch (not from IKEA) – to show Greg I loved him, I would be in a lot of trouble! That would be VERY, VERY hard for me. He explained that sharing emotional words with me felt that hard for him.

      I’m not saying a husband shouldn’t try to learn to speak his wife’s love language. That would be great. But – what helped me a lot was to learn to understand the ways my husband DID show his love for me instead of ignoring all the ways he tried to show love and insisting that he do it these two ways that were very awkward and foreign to him. He likes to show me love by doing projects around the house, or picking up something at the store, or sitting side by side without talking. Those things are bonding to him. I didn’t even appreciate those kinds of gestures for so many years because I didn’t understand that he was showing me love in those ways. Now, I can appreciate when he shows me love his way. And, I can encourage him when he does something that I like, too. But I don’t have to freak out if he is not doing everything I would want him to do – does that make sense?

      How is your walk with Christ going?

      Praying for you, my dear sister!

      Much love!
      April

      1. Thanks for your quick response. I told him once that I’m trying really hard to feel his love for me in the things he does in the house like taking out the garbage, the yard work, things like that. He told me he doesn’t do those things to show me love, he does them because he wants them done. Sooo… That felt pretty crappy.

        He doesn’t accept that he’s Aspergers, so he won’t see anyone about it. He accepted it last year and agreed, but says he doesn’t remember that. I have proof though as he said it in front of our marriage counselor.

        I feel if he were to educate himself on it and work with me to overcome obstacles, we would be ok. I don’t feel he will do that.

        My walk with Christ is deep, and the biggest issue I’m facing at this time is being tired of being stonewalled and walked out on over and over again. He says hurtful things to me and I feel foolish waiting for him to decide whether or not he wants to be married to me, so I’m fighting the urge to just file for divorce and be done. That urge gets stronger every day.

        1. Jane,

          If he truly does have Asperger’s – emotions are going to be quite elusive for him, I would think. His concept of love and your concept of love may be very different. Does he think more in terms of being a team? What is his definition of a strong marriage, I wonder? And what are his expectations of marriage? Do you happen to know?

          Has he ever articulated why he wanted to marry you?

          How were things when you were dating and engaged? 🙂

          I’m very glad that you are clinging to Christ. If your husband is not aware of the concepts of emotions and what love means to you – is it possible that he is not purposely trying to hurt you? Is it possible that your reaction doesn’t make sense to him because he has such a different paradigm?

          What do you believe God desires you to do, my precious sister?

          Much love!

          1. PS, Jane,

            “Normal” men and “normal” women have VASTLY different paradigms that make no sense to one another. it is like learning a different language to learn to understand each other. But with certain special situations there will be an even greater learning curve to bridge that gap of understanding.

            Praying for you both!

  35. Thank you so much for this post! I’m a newlywed and my husband recently said the exact words you wrote at the beginning of this post. At first I reacted like wife #1, he stayed but it was a band-aid. Recently we had a disagreement and he mentioned separation again and this time I saw my wrongs and I am seeking now to be more like wife #2. I ask for prayers for my husband and myself in this time.

    1. MO,

      I’m so sorry things are very painful. We had a tough start to our marriage, too. We didn’t talk about divorce, but it was the most painful experience of my life – our first summer of marriage. I wanted to leave! I can relate. How I wish someone had been able to speak hope and healing into my life and teach me the things I needed to know and help me see that my approach was actually super destructive and self-sabotaging.

      Praying for healing for you both and for your marriage, my dear sister! You are also welcome to join the new FB prayer group we have Peaceful Women, if you are interested. The ladies there will surround you with love, prayer, and encouragement.

      I am always glad to talk with you any time here, as well. There is MUCH to learn. We will all be learning our whole lives. But what a privilege that we can walk this road together.

      The posts at the top of my home page about disrespect and respect may be a good place to start. I am glad to point you to other articles that may be a blessing if you need anything.

      Much love!
      April

  36. I am going through this right now. My husband says I am 40% of the reason he feels this way. I am working on myself. I says he doesn’t want to work on us. Just call it a wash. I cried for a month and finally have given him the ok for separation. Now he is mad at me for giving it my blessing. We have two small children. Is there an online support prayer forum where I can receive encouragement? We live in a small town and I don’t want people to think poorly of him. He is a good man at heart and I know he will hate himself in a few years if he ever comes out of this midlife crisis. I know he hates himself right now for it but the other person in him that is inhabiting his body 80% of the time doesn’t care about the tornado he is ripping through our lives.

    I tell him when certain behaviors are unacceptable but I think it is probably better to be separate than have my 4 year old daughter and 2 year old son watch me cry after he says he wants to leave and that I am a horrific person who has made his life what it is today.

    I admit that I have been wife #1 for many years, as he left our marriage emotionally before we said “I do” 7 years ago. It wasn’t right and I am working on it.

    I come from a highly abusive and dysfunctional childhood. So asking for guidance or prayer from my family isn’t an option. I figure a forum is the next best place for support and anonymity.

    1. Mickey,

      It is wonderful to meet you! But – oh, yuck! Such a painful situation!

      Yes, there is an online support group affiliated with my ministry. The link is on this post.

      If you learned that abuse and dysfunction is how to have relationships, there will be a LOT of heart work to do to heal. But God is absolutely able to heal you and to transform your mind, heart, and soul! We are all in desperate need of His power in our lives.

      Much love to you!

  37. My husband decided he had enough one day and that the marriage was over after i handed him his keys, and wallet and helped him packe his bag. He didn’t come back.

    A little history, he was never ready for Love,respect,marriage ,children.

    I have always loved and bring that i am very nurturing, he became adpated to how i made him feel LOVeD. He was raised by an Abusive and Alcoholic father, and not loved as a child ,his father took the him.and his brother away from his mother ,after her stroke when he was 2. While dating he had others, but he was my only, that was already the disrespect as i didnt value my body enough.i showed him loves,expressed,said, it just spoiled him. Got pregnant ,1 month before delivering we.moved in together and i found out after our son was born he was cheating on me with girls from his past. It took me 3 years to forgive him and he finally admit to his wrong doing. But in the time span he was verbally and ohysically abusive, he was very disrespectful. I stayed because i loved him, i wanted him to see that what i had to offer would change him, i wanted a family, he went to jail and our relation just got worse over time. We got married still with the issues and now lies, cant orove infidelity yet. Again jail , for lhysical abuse .now the boys are hearing all this. I have never ever cheated, always have been loyal hoping that hed change and that all i want was respect, communication ,be loved.. 2 yrs later he cheated again 6 month affair and when i found out, 24hsr later i find out im pregnant. Devastating. He says he still.loved me, he never wanted to hurt me. This time around i went to jail for slapping him being 4months preggos, this tike around I’m angry and pregnant. Than one day he says im done, the marriage has been over, i begged, i cried, i cursed at him, i told him he needs to come home, i expressed how i am good woman, everything you cant think of. Well one day as we end 2 months of seperation as he lives 2 hours away ,i learned that he went to go look for his 1st love when he was 18, he is now 36. And he calls her babes and says he loves her and they are just talking. But the text messages shared a lot more intimated feelings. He calls me babes, but i read on text “i miss you babes”,i kove you babes, and than sexting. This girl.lives 5min from where his dad lives and has worked at kfc for 14 years.

    What i dont get is how can he says he loves her,and says he has always loved her, just like how i am always going to love you. First love he says ,but during a first kove its high school before your problems,before a job, kids and marriage. Though our marriage has not been perfectly, i love all his imperfections but understand that no.matter how much i love, how much i care, how much i tell him, he says im done, im not coming back. I have done all the calling ,texting ,the im sorry. And all he says is i know i ***ed up but im done.

    Well when infound out aboht this first love and his reconnection with her and the text i read from them both. I cried ,and slapped him and kicked him out the night he was here when i found out . I hve ezpressed numerous times ..all you had to do was give 100%,put your 2feet in ,give all u can the marriage we are partners not enemies.

    He has blocked my number , so i gave up .i have not contact him in 3 days so far, and dont plan it.
    We have e boys 9,6,1yr old.
    I pray everyday, but my connection with god needs to br stronger so he can hear it.

    1. Sin,

      Oh, no! What a terribly painful, awful situation. 🙁

      From what you are describing, I don’t think your husband knows how to love someone in a healthy way at this point in his life. I know that many women believe their love will change a man – and a woman’s love can certainly influence a man. But only God can change a person’s heart.

      I guess I am confused about why you would be fighting for him to come back considering all of his unrepentant sin and the abuse? Maybe he has admitted he was wrong and wanted to change? But it doesn’t sound like there has been any changing. There is a tremendous amount of healing that would need to happen on both sides spiritually and emotionally before y’all would be ready to try to live together in a healthy way, it seems to me, from what you are describing.

      It sounds like it is wise to leave him alone right now. I am sure your heart is completely broken. 🙁 But – right now, all that you could have with him would be a toxic, dangerous relationship, it sounds like.

      If you are interested in finding healing in Christ for yourself, I would love to walk beside you on this road and share any resources I can that may help you to heal.

      Much love to you!

  38. I’m going through a difficult time right now in my marriage. My husband and I are separated by distance due to (his job). He hasn’t called me in ten days nor did he come home as regularly scheduled. Painful but necessary. I’ve put in him in the place where only God belongs and a man can only take that for so long. I’m trusting in God now. I don’t like that it’s taken this much suffering and hurting my husband to make me see my sin but I’m thankful I’ve seen it. I know no matter what choice my husband makes I’ll be okay because God is with me and is faithful and worthy of trusting my future to.

    I was just listening to the song “By your side” by Tenth Avenue North and there’s a line that says, “why are you looking for love, as if I’m not enough?” That’s it! He’s the one! God is the only one capable of meeting my needs, loving me the way I’ve longed to be loved all my life for the rest of my life, all I have to do is accept it. Anything more than that is a blessing but not something I should stake my life on because we all fall short, only God gives unconditional love.

    Another wow moment is when I heard the words in a song (i don’t remember which song, listening to a lot right now) , “I didn’t die for you to remain in darkness”. I know that If I continue to be controlled by fear I’m making what Jesus did on the cross nothing. There’s power in the cross, in his victory over death. We can live knowing there’s more to life than just the breath you breathe. There’s joy and peace in our suffering when we realize God is for us, not against us.

    With all that said, I want the chance to share this life God has given me with my husband, so please pray for many husband and the restoration of my marriage. And let’s thank God for his love and Good will in our lives.

    1. Shannon,

      You know what? Where you are now spiritually is SO beautiful! I LOVE what God is doing in your heart and the powerful truths He is showing you! THIS IS AWESOME! I hate that you and your husband have had so much pain. I pray that God might heal you both individually and as a couple for His glory. But how I praise God for your attitude and for the understanding and Light He has given to you in this time of trial!

      I can’t wait to see what He has in store for you, my dear sister! I pray against the enemy’s plans for you both and that you both might receive all that Jesus has done for you.

      Much love!

      1. Thank you April. Unfortunately he called last night and said he’s going to file for divorce. He wants nothing to do with me ever again. I’m devastated, feeling like life is over. I’ve been a stay at home mom, no college degree and am 34 years old, so what am I going to do to support myself and two kids. Please pray for my family. We’re all hurting very bad. God be praised I will get through this and one day I will feel like living again.

        1. Shannon,

          My dear sister! Oh no! This was not the news we wanted to hear. 🙁 How I wish I could hug your neck and pray and cry with you!

          Please do not despair! Please keep in mind that God is sovereign, not your husband’s feelings. You can respect what he is saying right now. You can understand that he is deeply wounded and maybe in the snare of the enemy. But this does not mean that there is no hope for your marriage.

          You are on the right track. Please continue seeking God with all your heart, my precious friend! How old are your children? Do you have family around or a place where you can stay? Do you have support from a church family?

          I pray God will open the doors for you. If you are interested, you are welcome to join my Peaceful Women FB prayer group. It is a closed group. There are women there who are going through similar things and women who will surround you with prayer.

          I will be glad to walk beside you every step of the way.

          I am sure you are grieving and hurting. My heart breaks for you and your family. But I am also looking on tiptoe with anticipation for all that God is about to do in your life and for the way He is going to change things from ashes and mourning to beauty and joy. He is with you. He will never leave you or forsake you. He has treasures and spiritual riches for you during this fiery trial. I pray against the enemy’s plans for you and for your family and your husband. I pray for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done in your life, your children’s lives and your husband’s life for His greatest glory!

          Much love to you!

          1. Thank you April. I will check out that page you suggested. My kids are 16 and 12. My husband isn’t living in the home and is going to sign it over to me so we have that at least. I haven’t been to church in a long time, not even sure I could make it through the door in one peice, though I think eventually I will need to. My family is very near by so that is another blessing. I can’t quit crying, it’s all I can do and I don’t know how I’m going to help my kids through this when I’m so deeply devastated that I can’t see past the pain. I’m so ashamed of the way I’ve treated my husband, that’s one of the worst things I’m dealing with, that I failed my family and God. I’m so distraught with grief right now. Thank you for being here April, I’ve followed your blog for about 9 months now and without it I don’t know what I’d do.

          2. Shannon,

            I am sending the biggest hugs to you and your precious children, my sister! I’m glad that you will have your home. Praise God for that! Right now, this pain is VERY fresh. Of course you are hurting deeply and need a bit of time to catch your breath.

            If you need specific support or prayer, I am here, and will seek to point you to the power and healing that is available to you in Jesus, my dear sister. I pray you will lay the pain and the mess at Jesus’ feet and just sit there and allow Him to minister to your soul. He can heal you! He can heal all of this and make something beautiful in His timing. But today, there are oceans waves and tsunamis of pain and grief. Feel it. Work through it. Express it to me or in a journal or to a trusted godly wife friend and mentor. Reach out to God. He is there. He is ready to hold you in His arms and He is there and ready when you are ready to take each baby step toward Him.

            As you are ready to talk more, I am here. I am praying for you, my friend. Please reach out to friends and to a trusted church if you need to – when you are ready. You aren’t alone. You don’t have to do this alone. I pray for God’s wisdom about how to help your children heal and grieve, too. Do they have a trusted youth minister or counselor they can talk with, as well?

            Much love to you!

  39. Please don’t ever take this site down! I have read and reread what you have said in #2 about living in God’s Spirit! This has been such a help to me during my times of suffering and asking what I should do next!! Thank you!!

    1. Julie Kidwell,

      It’s wonderful to meet you. I’m so sorry to hear that things are very painful and difficult now, but I praise God that you are seeking Him and can’t wait to see all that He has in store for you!

      1. I found this discussion a few days ago when I felt lost and alone! I definitely am SO GLAD GOD had me stumble across this. My husband has recently said he wants to be separated and I have been both wife #1 & #2. I am trying my best to follow god’s lead during this time but it is just so hard! We have a 6 year old and a 3mo old together. Have been married for 3 years and together for almost 8. I found out about his affair while I was 8mo pregnant and we said at that point he would stay to help but eventually wanted to leave. During this time we (or so I felt) re-connected and have been slowly moving forward but recently he emotionally disconnect from me due to me being “controlling”. I am in desperate need of prayer. I want to move foward from this nasty mess and I don’t want a divorce!! I just want my husband back.
        He has refrained from affection and intimacy all in a matter of a couple of weeks. I am trying so hard to be the wife that gives him the space he needs but it is just so hurtful watching him push me away.

        1. Danika,

          Congratulations on your babies! But goodness, what a painful situation. 🙁 My heart breaks for you!

          Has he stopped with the affair? Has he repented?

          What is your relationship with Christ at this point?

          What is his relationship with Christ?

          Has he been willing to rebuild trust?

          Are y’all seeing any godly counselors to help you walk through this difficult time?

          Much love and the biggest hug to you!

  40. I have been separated for nearly two years. The first year, I cried everyday and prayed using Storme Omartian books. Nearly a year later, I filed for divorce, but changed my mind and read Love and Respect. I also found this website. I did it! Everything was going great, my husband wanted us (daughter and I) to move into his place. I tried to sell the condo I owned and then one spat one day before I sold it and he said you can’t move in. I forgot everything I read about. I cried, pleaded and I said that’s it divorce. One month later, I said no I want my family together, let’s work it out. We talked about moving into his apartment, hubby asked “will you be happy living her for one year?” I said, “yes, I can do a year.” He said no cant move in because you didn’t yes! I’m back at square one-devastated. The respect thing work, but it’s hard when you’re disappointed. So now I’m moving to divorce since we will never live together again😪

    1. Veronica,

      Oh goodness. 🙁 This is a mess.

      How is your walk with Christ going, my dear sister? He is the One with the power to change and to heal. I hate to see you give up on your marriage. Perhaps God might change your husband’s heart?

      1. I’m a prayerful wife and I attend a church that worships on Friday nights and Saturday. I read my Bible, but not like I used when I started going through this which was daily. I joined the church while I was married, but did not discuss it with my husband. He a was deacon at a Baptist church, but refused to attend to church since we got married. He is ready to argue that the Bible is a lie. So I just avoid talking to him about God. Now my husband is mad at me because I always think the “worse of him” or I think “he’s out to get me.” It’s so frustrating because I want to trust him, but he has left the home five times-and of course all of them are my fault. I feel crazy! I can’t concentrate at work, I’m sad all the time, and I don’t do what I used to do.

  41. In mid December I found out my husband of 21 years is having an affair. He also is gambling. He since has completely abandoned our children and I. He does not want to work on anything or see any fault in how he is destroying our family. (DETAILS EDITED OUT TO PROTECT PRIVACY – BY PEACEFULWIFE) The affair I guess started in August. He has since moved in with her in January, has signed divorce papers to petition- gave up physical custody of our girls. He even said I am going to make you pay and be miserable. His slut, whore has stalked me…thinks this is a joke etc… She is a real LOSER. There is some part of me that still loves him( I am doubting that-at times ) even though he didn’t celebrate or participate/help with/in : XMAS, daughter’s 11th birthday, new years, CT scan of one child, influenza of another, musical play of another, First Reconciliation of one…it goes on and on. PLEASE HELP AND ADVISE
    He was my best friend and man that I loved.

    1. MP,

      YUCK. 🙁 This is sure a painful mess. I’m so very sorry to hear about what you and your family are going through.

      You can’t change him. But you can find healing in Christ for yourself. 🙂 And, if God is going to heal your marriage and family – I can show you the path that you would need to take for that to happen. But my primary concern is your spiritual healing and your children. Once you are stabilized in Christ, God can give you the wisdom and power you need to know how to respond exactly to your husband. I hope that makes sense. And we can pray for God to draw your husband to Himself and to change his heart.

      Much love to you!

  42. I recently asked my husband to leave, not because I wanted the marriage to be over but because I hade been lied to and disrespected so many time. I said it, and some other harsh things as a defense mechanism. He never seems to take responsibility for all the wrong he had did in the marriage. I myself have been disrespectful and I have belittled him.

    We have been married 6 years and he has a 2 year old daughter with another woman. A lot of my frustration comes from that affair. I have also recently found out about other affairs and I hurt deeply. He expressed wanting to work things out before he left, but since then is angry and wants nothing to do with me. His exact words were he needs time to get over me and that means no contact.

    I know we are both hurting. I have never prayed for my marriage and often wonder if that is the reason we are in this position today. I love my husband and a part of me wants to fight and have hope but the other part feels like he will never change. He says all men will lie that this is what normal men do. I am so lost. This is not what I wanted in a marriage. Advice?

    1. ccb83,

      Oh goodness! My heart breaks to hear your story! 🙁 Infidelity is not okay. It is a breech of the marriage covenant. And no, “all men” do not lie. It may be common in our culture – but that is sin in the eyes of God and there is no excuse for any of us to sin in any way with Him.

      Of course, God doesn’t want us full of disrespect, bitterness, hatred, contempt, resentment, etc… either. Those things are also toxic.

      I would love to focus on you right now and your walk with Christ and you finding healing for yourself in Him. If you are interested, I would be glad to point you to Christ and walk beside you on this journey. 🙂 Then, when you are filled to overflowing with the healing, love, and power of Christ, God can and will give you wisdom about how to reach your husband in healing, productive, edifying ways with appropriate boundaries about how to reconcile and rebuild trust.

      Much love to you!

        1. ccb83,

          Yay! I am honored to help you with this. 🙂

          Please check out these posts to get started:

          How to Have a Relationship with Christ
          Jesus Is My Only Source of Identity, Security, Strength and Joy
          My Identity in Christ
          25 Ways to Show Reverence for God
          Submission (to Christ) Means We Hold the Things of This World Loosely

          And I would encourage you to listen to/read David Platt, John Piper, and Francis Chan sermons.

          But most of all, I encourage you to spend time alone with God and the Bible. Read maybe a chapter – John would be a good place to start. Ask God to speak to you. Write down your thoughts, prayers, praises, thanksgiving, and any sins you see that you want to get rid of. Ask Him to help you grow and ask Him to have control and to radically change you to be more like Jesus.

          Much love to you! 🙂 This may help to get you started.

  43. My husband and I just celebrated our 1 year anniversary. Throughout our engagement process, things started to get rocky. My family had demands for our wedding that he didn’t feel we needed to meet. We worked through our issues with my family and had the most beautiful and lovely wedding. Throughout the last year we have had many many ups and many many downs. in the last 5 months, things have gotten worse. We have had a few fights where he threatens to leave but eventually decides to stay but the next time something happens then he swears he’s gone.
    From the beginning of our relationship, I struggled with putting him before my family. I am very close with my family and always used to seek them. It was a huge adjustment for me to seek my husband first and quite honestly, it still is. I have never been in a serious relationship before him and it has been difficult for me to cling to him instead of them.
    I struggle with being a good wife. Now I don’t blame myself for everything that’s wrong in our marriage but I know that I haven’t listened, respected and honored my husband the way I should. He says that I don’t put him first and that I don’t know him the way he knows me. Which unfortunately is true… I don’t do these things on purpose but I know I am hurting him. This past weekend he planned the most AMAZING weekend getaway and it was so romantic. We vowed to start over and work together to get our relationship to where we need to be. Unfortunately, by Monday I had already messed up. There was a picture that he wasn’t fond of and didn’t want anyone to see.. my mom had my phone and came across the picture by accident but to him it translated as me disrespecting him and not caring about his feelings in order to guard him. Now, this is a tiny problem compared to our others but this sent him in a whirlwind of how I am still the same person and how I go back on every word I ever tell him and has now started to bring up how he would be better off alone than be with me.

    I have been wife #1 each time he says he’s leaving because I truly felt like I could not live without him with me. I am now trying to be wife #2 for the first time. He has been nothing but sarcastic and rude with me all week and it is really testing my faith. I went for a two hour walk today just to be away and gather my thoughts. It is getting harder and harder to not stoop to his level and lash out with my tongue to hurt him just as he has hurt me. I’m not really sure why I’m writing this or what I’m hoping to get but I’m truly lost right now. I am trying to find strength to be better and work on myself and my relationship with Christ in hopes he can strengthen my husbands relationship with Him and with me.

    I just feel like all the prayers in the world couldn’t help our relationship right now.

  44. For the past 6 months most of my days were filled with sadness and heartache. My marriage was over and all I could think about was how I could get my husband back. He had been unfaithful and he had decided to leave our home. He had found a place to live on his own and all I could do was pray and cry. All I wanted was for him to love me like he did when we first married. I did most of wife #1 and after a while I just stopped reacting, I was numb. I recently started to feel like I needed to get my marriage back because I still do love my husband. I would search for prayers, bible verses in hopes of one of these prayers or verses to help. I was blessed to stumble upon your page and as I read your advice for wife #2, God spoke to me through the bible verses Mathew 22:37-38. My husband and reconciliation had become an idol. Thank you so much for opening my eyes and heart to what I should be seeking first which is Gods love, joy, wisdom and will. I have faith that my marriage will be restored but first I need to restore my self and most importantly my relationship with God.

    1. Christina. It’s so great to meet you. My heart breaks for your situation. It is incredibly painful to feel like you have lost a lifelong dream. I’m thrilled you came to this blog. April has exceptional advice here. With God’s help and a good support group, such as you will find here, you can learn about how to become a whole person again. Free from the chains of needing acceptance, security and approval from other people. Idols are tricky business, they lead us down the wrong path that always ends in pain, hurt, and death. When we learn to put our priorities in order, things start to go right. God first, taking care of ourselves in a healthy way, spouse, children, etc. The most important is God first. Without Him, we will never be happy. We cannot do this life without Him and truly find joy.

      I have found that over the last year and a half, being on the brink of divorce, it has been the darkest, hardest and most painful time in my life. Still is, but I have also experienced the most joy, and life learning, growing, thinking about life differently and getting to know who God really is, how to live a life that honors all He has done for me and how to love myself in a healthy way. I feel more wisdome. I feel like I have “grown up” a bit. I ferl I know what unconditional love is really about. Because of these things, I feel stronger, more confident and loved beyond measure.

      I pray that you seek and find the many blessings God has laid out for you. No joke, surround yourself with learning about God, finding ways to help others with no expectations of getting anything back and loving others even when they do not deserve it. Forgive others. Forgive yourself. Learn how precious and valuable you are to God.

      I believe your marriage can be saved, as well. Even if your spouse does not…you have so much more power than you know. Work on you, my dear sister. That is all you have control of anyway. I pray you come here for support, questions, encouragement and advice. I stumbled here on my journey for answers and have found a home here as well.

      You have already set a foot on the right path by recognizing your mission steps with idols. There is a mountain to move, but God will and does move mountains.

      What are your biggest worries?
      Has your husband ended his affair?
      Do you have communication pathways with your husband?
      How do you see God in your life?

      Much love and prayers for you to seek God to help you to heal. Only when you are whole again will you be able to be wholly there for others. Your best days are still ahead of you, my sweet sister. Hugs.

      1. Lmsdaily115,
        Thank you for your prayers and good wishes.

        My biggest worries are my daughters (we have 3)I hate the thought of shared custody, split up holidays, bdays and so many other moments. I also don’t want them to think that separation and or divorce is a norm.

        My husbands mistress is very persistent and won’t leave my husband alone, she would call me, have her friends call me, she even had the nerve to contact my oldest daughter through social media to ask about my husband and me. My husband has told me has ended the affair but I don’t believe it is true. He had changed his phone number supposedly because of her and her persistence and at a family outing he received phone calls from her but he wouldn’t answer the calls since we were all in the car. I recognized the number as hers. I can only assume the affair continues.

        My husband and I can now communicate without any outburst of anger and yelling. I can say we are friendly and kind to each other and can now even spend time as a family. He always puts a distance between us though, It is hard to explain but I feel like he walks 3-4 steps ahead of me not next to me or the girls. Like he is cautious of who will see us all together.

        I see God in my life as my best friend, my confidant, my support system, my shoulder to cry on and my one and only true love. He will never break my heart and will bring happiness and joy in to my life when it all seems dark and gloomy. I used to think my husband and marriage was what I needed to be happy again but all I needed was to understand that God is my only true happiness and with him by my side he will fix all that is broken.

        1. Christina. Sometimes I think having kids is what helps us learn to mature into unconditional love. I am standing for my marriage because of my kids, but now, because of God. My heart breaks for how hurt you must feel knowing your husband is not honoring you and your commitment to each other. I’ve learned that we all go through life transitions. They have different names and happen at different times of life. Toddler years, adolescence, 25 year maturity, mid life, golden years etc. It seems to be when each of us assessment our lives and decide if we are going where we want. If we find out we are nit, a crisis can occur. It is painful to find out we have been living wrong, hurting others, ourselves, lied to and believing the lie. Especially if we fully trusted other like our parents, teachers or religious leaders. Humans fall. They are not perfect. The only truth is found in the bible and Jesus as our human hero, mentor and example on earth of how to live in a way that honors God.

          Could your husband be in one of these stages? Are you?

          How do you react when the other woman calls his phone, or you see hear etc.?

          Righteous anger or jealousy is jealousy that your husband is not honoring you as his wife. Much like God os jealous when we do not honor him as our God or honor Him above all else. It’s okay to feEl this way. But how you react to it is another matter. Do you criticize, cut down, guilt and yell when you ferl hurt and betrayed? That is sin too. This is what we need to learn…how to respond, but not sin while we do it. Yes, he needs to know how you feel, but no, you don’t need to continue on the get hurt-get angry-hurt back vicious cycle.

          As you draw close to God and learn how to respond in ways that make God proud of us (Well done my good and faithful servant-Matt 25:23), you begin to be an example for others as well.

          I’ve learned men generally don’t respond well to words. We are too wordy for them. They need time to really think things out. When life piles up on someone, it is easy just to destroy it all and not have to put energy into anything. But there are consequences to that too. I used to think martiage was supposed to be easy. I was an emotionally lazy wife. I said everything that crossed my mind, hurtful or helpful, but as a perfectionist, I could only focus on what was wrong…I was not thankful for what was going well. It crushed my husband. He has his isdues as well, but I needed to learn to stop sinning with perfection expectations, pride and control.

          I pray that God helps to give you the strength you need for each day. That He helps you have wisdom, patience and love in your responses. That your respectful and loving responses help you to feel good about yourself knowing that you are a child of God first, and His approval is enough.

          Your husband may move back towards you…or he may never. But will you let his decision dictate your level of joy and how you treat others? Don’t sink to that same level. Be proud of whose you are and know that you are loved, valuable and cherished in the eyes of God. No human will be able to love you like God does. They all will dissapointments and let us diwn, but by learning forgiveness, grace and mercy, we can all learn to truly leave the past behind and look forward to our best days as we live the way God designed us to live.

          Take time to care for yourself…not selfishly, but be kind to yourself. See where you can improve, but give yourself grace too. You won’t always get it right, but every day is another chance to try. One saying that helped me was “Sometimes it feels like Friday, but remember, Sunday is coming” With the Easter season having just past, that saying really gives hope to what God sacrificed for us and what Jesus’ death on the cross means to us. One day you will be face to face with our Lord and He will ask you if you showed love, grace and mercy to others in your life. It won’t matter what others or your husband did…they will have their own judgement, but this is your chance to run your race. Your husband may crash and burn. Will you too?

          Know that I am sending hugs and prayers to you tonight as a balm to your hurting soul. Look to God to rest under His wing. Take a break from focusing on all your hurt and pain. Seek the love of your Lord and find peace in His undying love for you. He died for you to live. As a beleiver, He saved you from your sin. Sunday is coming, my dear sister.

          1. Lmsdaily115,

            Yes, children do helps us learn unconditional love.
            I think my husband is on a “the grass is greener on the other side” phase.
            I now sit and think of my life and I know I was not happy but just content. I now know that you can’t have true happiness without the Lord in our lives and marriage.

            The last time his mistress called and I was next to him I didn’t react because the girls were around. Once I was alone I called him and questioned his affair. He said he was not with her and I accepted his answer. I realized yelling and question his answer just makes things harder to deal with. I was angry and sad but I only showed my sadness (I was crying). I used to think that pointing out his wrongs would make him realize what he was doing and would stop or change, it just made him start to hate me. He would say when I cried it just made him angry. Talking bad about the girl just made him annoyed and he would defend her. All those reactions were just wrong. Through the bible I learned to just keep quiet and let God fight the battle.

            I have learned to forgive my husband and his mistress because God forgives us daily. Forgiving and forgetting is an everyday battle, I sometimes get bad thoughts and angry over what happened but I start to read the bible and again forgive. I now understand that god will never let me down. I try everyday to make my lord proud. I sin just like we all do but I ask for forgiveness and know that he will never break my heart or leave my side. I feel so much calmer and better as I draw closer to God though his word and prayer, I do it daily. I pray while I’m at the gym on the treadmill, as I drive to work. Any chance I get I take a moment and just talk to God. Thank him for all my blessing. You all here have been a huge blessing, reading your advice and comments are calming and encoraging. Thank you. Hugs*

    2. Cristina,

      It is so wonderful to meet you – but my heart breaks for the pain you are experiencing, I wish I could give you a big hug!

      I love what God is showing you and that you are beginning to seek Him first. THAT IS AWESOME! There is no better place to be in the world than seeking Him with all your heart and finding the healing and abundant life He has for you in Christ! With a heart for God like this, I know that He has so many treasures in store for you to find in this time of trial that will rock your world!

      Praying for God’s continued healing for you, your husband, and your marriage in His timing.
      Much love to you!

      1. Peacefulwife,
        Thank you for your prayers. I will continue to pray and seek God. I have faith God will heal my heart and show me the correct path for my life.

        1. Cristina,

          You are most welcome. I love your heart for God and that you want to follow Christ and honor Him. I pray He will continue the good work He has begun in you and I pray for Him to draw your husband back to Himself – that both of you might be healed in Christ individually first, and then I pray for healing for the family.

          Much love to you!

  45. I stumbled upon this discussion. I lived through a six year nightmare of finding out my husband was involved in several adulterous relationships after we were married almost 20 years. I did everything possible to keep our family together. We have three beautiful children. I prayed. I fasted. I lost weight. I went to counseling, I read every book I could find, I pressed into God. I worked on myself. I let him come home. He left a second time for a second woman. I let him come home. He left a third time. We were in the ministry and he was a pastor. Because of his sin, we lost many friends. He lost his job. We lost our home. I lost my credit. There wasn’t much left, when I finally felt released from staying married to a serial cheater and narcissist. Sometimes you can do everything possible to make it work and you still go through the painful divorce process. I thought my life was over.
    That was four years ago. I am now happily re-married to a wonderful Godly man who is faithful, kind and loves my children. I am, so thankful for this love, this second chance and that God never ever gives up on us. He always has plan B. My desire would have been to stay married to my first husband. Unfortunately, it takes two people to work equally hard at putting it back together. I just wanted other Christian women out there, who are going through this, to know there is a future for you, even if it is not the one you envisioned. There are happy times and laughter in your future. You will see that God is a God of restoration. Even if the restoration happens in your heart alone, and not your marriage. Trust Him.

    1. Lisa,

      Oh goodness! That WAS a nightmare. 🙁 I am so sorry for the unbelievable pain you have gone through, my dear sister! Thank you for seeking God and for pursuing reconciliation for your marriage. Thank you for trying to make things work. I can certainly appreciate that if a spouse continues in infidelity – there is a point where it may be time to let them go. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m very glad that you are doing so much better now! 🙂

      Much love to you!

    2. Lisa

      Thank you for sharing your wonderful blessing. I have so much faith in God regardless of the outcome of my marriage. I’ve already started to experience restoration in my heart. Hugs*

  46. Cristina,
    Praying for God’s will, and your peace. 🙂 I remember the not knowing, the constant crying out to God. I’m sorry for anyone who endures it. Your best days may be ahead of you. People told me that, but I never believed them. Turns out, they were right! Hang in there. A song that really helped me in some dark times is by a group called Bellarive, called “I know you”. Listen to it if you can. Blessings! – Lisa

    1. Lisa,
      Thank you for for your prayers and advice. I loved the song you suggested I listen, it has wonderful meaningful message.
      Blessings,
      Cristina

  47. Hello April,

    I read your last posts, but did not comment.. I feel sorry you had an asthma attack in Washington. I hope that together with your family are recovering well after that incident.

    My husband asked for a divorce, and he will probably continue with procedure without my help. I feel sad about that, but also grateful that I have the peace of God, which passes all understanding. Thank you April for guiding me to our Lord Jesus.

    I read somewhere yesterday in some of your comments that there is a group of women on facebook that support each other in those situations. May I kindly ask you to give me the web address.. is it yours?

    Much love to you !

    1. Ev,

      Thank you, my dear sister – for your concern.

      I am so very sorry to hear about your husband asking for a divorce. That has to be extremely painful. 🙁 I wish I could give you a huge hug!

      But how I praise God for the strength and peace He is giving you!!!!!

      You may want to search my home page for:

      – separated wife

      And you can find the link to the FB group on this post. Yes, it is my group. 🙂

      How may we pray for you and your husband?

      Much love, my dear sister! And a HUGE hug!

      1. Thank you April, my dear sister, for your Huge hug ! I thank our Lord God that I have such a wonderful sister in Christ !

        Thank you for asking for how you can pray for us. Please pray for the salvation of my husband (he continues with his infidelity ); I desire that one day he will accept Jesus Christ as his personal Savior.

        Please pray that my heart understands better my husband’s pain. Please pray that my faith and desire to grow closer in Christ becomes stronger.

        Please pray for the healing of our marriage in His timing, and for His will to be done.

        Thank you so much for the link ! I will ask for your permission. 🙂

        Much love to you and your family, my dear sister in Christ !!

        Thank you.

  48. April,
    Thank you for writing this! God uses this article to breathe His sanity, encouragement, and peace into my heart whenever I read it. I actually printed out a copy to read at work when I feel the panic creeping in. When my husband told me he was done, I did indeed embark on the biggest challenge of my life. Thanks for the encouragement to put Christ ahead of all else.

  49. Thank you for this blog, it is comforting and gives much needed hope during time of extreme pain and fear.
    My beloved husband of 4 years suddenly ran off (literally ran out of the door, bags packed in the night) in a new city where we knew almost no one, I was not working, and we were planning to leave in a few months.
    I immediately contacted him, not knowing what I was doing, taking responsibility for all I was doing wrong-uptight, controlling, not contributing enough, putting pressure on him unfairly, not addressing my depression/anxiety, being unrealistic and stubborn about where to live, how to live. I didn’t realize how depressed I had become in part due to mentally ill father I was trying to help (only child, power of attorney). In a time of PMS, a legal issue with my father, and feeling socially isolated in the new place and about my own life, lack of career, financial insecuity (which I take a lot of responsibilty for), wanting to have kids upon turning 37, and general unhappiness, I broke down. My husband did not return any communication for a week until our 4 year wedding anniversary, and it was about meeting at a Starbuck’s to talk about “moving forward as amicably and efficiently as possible.” I was devastated and still am. I know what I have done wrong, have acknolwedged and know I am forgiven by God, struggle daily to forgive myself. My husband and I have only met face to face 3 times in the last 3 months. He will not tell me where he is living, though in the same city. Although I am not on social media anymore, I am told he is posting about winning running races, photos of his medals and workout summaries, how he is “#happy”. I know he met a great new group of colleagues/friends with same interests in entrepreneurship and business and is flying high in his new dream job that he got immediately before leaving. He had been unhappy and very very driven and working hard to achieve this job, and he started talking about me, my money, vs. “for our family, for God” in the weeks prior.
    i love A very very much, believe God brought us together as gifts for each other and the world, as we always talked about, and want to do everything I can to be the great woman and wife I am called to be. It is very very hard not to focus on reconciling, as it is what I want most. I cannot understand how he has completely shut me out and seems to not care at all about my wellbeing, which is very rocky. I have not slept well in alomst 3 months. I have seen doctors, counselors, religious leaders, friends, applied and networked for jobs, , forced myself outside and doing things when I am dying inside. He has filed for separation and wants the D and end it all. He is very very adamant even in front of a priest; he started speaking falsely about our courtship, ‘rewriting history,’ and literally erasing all memories/photos. It is especially easy b/c we are in a very liberal state, we have no home here, all our stuff with our precious moments is across the country at my mother’s, and he is literally attemtping to start all over.
    Last week was his birthday and 2 year annivesriary of his baptism. I have no idea if he is turning to Christ; he references faith and God during our meetings, and even prayed the Our Father. Only God knows. I am trying not to turn to bitterness or fear, but I am terrified about supproting myself, staying hopeful. I truly truly want to reconcile and pray constantly for God’s grace, trying to surrender him and our marriage.
    My main questions are whether this is justified (perhaps only God knows), due to my depression and disrespect, what the most effective strategy for reconciliation would be, and whether or not and how to communicate with him. I have stopped emailing except about confirming meeting a mediator, which he wanted to do. I haven’t called since the day he left, and I haven’t texted him in over a month. I haven’t mailed anything, haven’t tried to find him although it would be easy, have no contact online. Is this godly?
    Any and all insight and tips are welcome, and even more so, prayers for whatever he is going through, my becoming the best woman and wife I can be, for good holy joy filled work and housing, and for the restoration of this marraige and protection against al demons.
    Thank you!
    J

    1. J,

      Goodness, you have both been in so much pain. 🙁

      I don’t know if he will come back. Obviously that does not seem to be his plan right now. My first concern is your spiritual healing in Christ. He is the only one who can meet these deep needs of your soul. He is the only source of real contentment. He is real Love and real Life. When you are filled to overflowing with Jesus, you will have the wisdom, power, strength, joy, and peace of God to help guide you in what God wants you to do.

      I am glad you are giving him space at this point. He is not open at all to hearing from you, it sounds like. If you try to force your way into his life, I am sure you would repel him right now.

      God can change you both. He can draw your husband back. He can change your husband’s heart. But first, it is time for you to focus on changing yourself – as God has already shown you. I am so glad you are seeking Him and that you are ready for God to change you. 🙂

      Where are you in your walk with Christ now?

      What do you want in your relationship with Him?

      Are you prepared to learn to be content in Christ with or without your husband and regardless of what he does or does not do?

      Lord,
      We pray for individual healing for this wife and husband in Christ. Use this time of trial to open their eyes to their desperation for You. Let them both seek You wholeheartedly. Make this mess into something beautiful for Your good purposes and Your glory in Your timing.

      Amen!

  50. My name is Alisha I got married since 3years in December2015 my husband has left me …I love him lot even I him beyond my words ,I just want to back him in my life .many time I begged him to come back bt he is not not agreed ,I really don’t know what should I do I really can’t imagine my life with out him.many time I thought to commit suicide bt I stopped my self to do this…bt I feel that if he will not come back thn I could be commit suicide bcoz some time I found myself emotionally very week. Please suggest me what should I do.

    1. Alisha,

      My precious girl! I’m so glad you are reaching out for help! Please do NOT think about suicide!!! That is not the answer. I believe there is much healing available to you in Jesus Christ here. Of course, if you are really struggling, please reach out for help with a trusted pastor or godly counselor or even go to your doctor.

      Do you have a relationship with Jesus?

      A lot of times, we put all of our hope and faith in a person, especially our husbands, as wives. We expect them to meet the deepest needs of our souls instead of allowing God to do that. But there is no human who can meet those deepest needs. When we idolize a person, and make them the center of our life, we will always be very disappointed.

      I hope you might read some of these posts and let me know what you are thinking:

      How to make your husband an idol
      Roots of Insecurity
      A Big Lightbulb about Contentment
      Being Needy and Clingy Repels Our Men
      Security
      Is Divorce the Worst Thing That Can Happen? – Video
      I Am Responsible for My Emotions
      I Am Responsible for Myself Spiritually
      The Idol of Happiness
      Posts about Fear

      If you are willing to receive it, you can be completely emotionally and spiritually healed through the information I am sharing here.

      Much love to you!

  51. My current struggle is in simply wanting an answer from God–will be bring my spouse back home or not? I have waited and waited and prayed my heart out. I have asked for discernment, wisdom, and an array of other things. After waiting for a very long time and seeing no movement whatsoever, am I to take that as God saying “no” to restoration? Or am I to take the fact that my heart is still burdened with the need to pray for restoration as my answer? I know the typical Christian answer is to just trust God and have faith—but—-I am simply wanting an answer at this point. It is very painful to simply not know and not know if God has answered or not.

    1. S,

      There are 3 answers. Yes, no, and wait. The “no” and “wait” can mean that God has something much better in mind than we do. And sometimes the waiting is the most important part of the answer because of all that God wants to do in us, and often in the other person, while we wait.

      God doesn’t generally give us the answers way ahead of time. The waiting time is a time of testing and strengthening our faith. It is hard to wait and not know what will happen. But it is the most amazing thing when we can rest in His love and sovereignty in the midst of the uncertainty.

      Check out this post – Waiting Becomes Sweet.

      Much love to you!

      1. My whole point was that I dont know if Im waitimg or if God already said no. Clealy, everyday that passes is a NO…was God allowing divorce my answer…one big NO? I could be praying and hoping for something that God has said no to but I dont know one way or the other.

        1. S,
          We can’t know for sure if it is wait orbit yet. But what we do know is that God loves marriage and hates divorce. It is always wise to pray in accord with what we know is God’s will in the Bible. We can pray for God to bring your husband to Christ and for healing for your marriage in His timing. ❤️

        2. S,

          I don’t think any of us know for sure until after the fact if the answer is that we are waiting or if our desire will not be granted. Well, sometimes we can know for sure. If we are asking for something that is sinful or clearly against God’s will or we have wrong motives. Those prayers won’t be answered. If we are cherishing sin in our hearts, God will not hear us according to Psalm 66:18.

          If we are asking in line with God’s clearly revealed will in the Bible – we can know that we are praying rightly. For example, God loves marriage and hates divorce. So to pray for reconciliation and healing for a marriage, in my view, is always a God-honoring prayer. But sometimes the first issue to pray for is the unbelieving spouse’s salvation. That is always something we can pray in God’s will. And then once each person is healed and growing in Christ, the marriage may be able to be salvaged and restored in a godly way.

          God may have said “no” for today. But that doesn’t mean that the final answer is “no.” It could certainly be “wait.”

          Would you like to talk about how you are doing spiritually? That is the most critical thing for us to be able to pray effectively and with great power.

          Much love!

          1. I dont feel that Im harboring unrepented sin…if I am…I dont know about it. Ive “come clean” with God and am truly trying to live a Godly life. Its not easy but Ive come a long way. And dont get me wrong, there have been blessings along the way. Many!
            My pastor told me right away to stop being “foolish and naive” and that “these men” tend never to come back. I was advised to start dating after three weeks and advised to initiate a divorce so I would be in a better position. (Called it guerilla warfare)I KNOW that was awful and very unChristian advice…and I ended up leaving that church because of it. For a while, through this, I was pretty strong, putting all my hope in God and really, truly believed that God was going to save our relationship. I thought God was telling me that. I even had Godly people around me who believed it too. And there were some crazy, extraordinady circumstances in the background that seemed to back it up-reassurance! But….now….its been so long…so very long….and Blake has literally nothing to do with me. I assume he deeply hates me. And Im left angry with God for letting me believe that He was going to restore us and Im wondering if I ever even heard/felt the Holy Spirit at all! Where is God now? Why has NOTHING happened? Why wont He answer? So spiritually, I feel so let down and confused. Am I supposed to wait until the day I die to know my answer?
            Im trying to pray for his salvation instead/along with marriage restoration, as you said. Will you pray also? Much of my support system vanished long ago when he still had not come home.

          2. S,

            I’m really glad that you are seeking to keep a clean slate with God and that you are not aware of any cherished sin.

            I know if I am feeling disappointed – that is a flag to me to check my motives and to ask God to help me see my heart the way he does. I can be so blind to bitterness, pride, and/or idolatry. When I feel upset or disappointed I go to my journal to write down my thoughts and feelings to try to tell if there is something hidden that I don’t even notice. Sometimes negative feelings are simply negative feelings of grief and sadness because our hearts break over our husband’s sin or someone’s sin. Sometimes those negative feelings can indicate resentment or can signal that I am not fully trusting God. Sometimes negative feelings mean I am too isolated and need more support from God, His Word, His Spirit, and the Body of Christ. Sometimes it is just the process I have to hash through when there are hard things to deal with. But it can be important to really wrestle with those feelings in the light of God’s Word to determine why they are there and if you need to address anything.

            That was truly awful advice. Wow. I’m glad you left that church.

            How long has your husband been gone, my sweet sister?

            I don’t know how long you will have to wait. I can understand why you have these questions and I think they are important ones to ask. I believe that God has answers to all of them – that He is still right beside you – and that He has a plan in this that will probably be a lot more obvious later as you look back on it.

            What if you need this time alone with God? What if God has major stuff He wants to do in your heart and He wants you to Himself for awhile to get you to the place He really wants you? I would love to walk beside you on this road. 🙂 Of course I will pray right now for God to work powerfully in Blake’s heart to draw him to Christ and in your heart to draw you ever nearer to Himself. I pray for healing and restoration for your marriage in God’s timing and in His way for His greatest glory.

            I believe, for our own sanity and spiritual growth, many times we must be willing to lay down all of our dreams and desires – even these good dreams and desires – on the altar before God. Totally releasing them and allowing Him to choose the outcome. He often has so much more in mind than we could ever have imagined!

            I have a number of posts about this kind of stuff, if you are interested. And on Encouragement for Those Who Are in the Trenches – the post may be a blessing, but the comment threads may, as well. There are several spouses dealing with very difficult situations – you are welcome to read and watch as God transforms quite a few of them from day to day over a period of weeks.

            Much love!

            The Worst Year of My Life – but then… God!
            A Big Lightbulb Moment about True Contentment
            Fully Trusting God with Your Husband

            You may also search:

            – separated wife
            – divorced wife
            – waiting becomes sweet
            – restoredwife
            – my secret idol

            Much love to you!

          3. Thank you. I felt better today, for whats it worth.Been listening to a lot of music to boost my mood. I think part of why its been so hard lately is because we did so much together during the summer-we really lived it up! I miss him even more this time of yr and it gets so lonely. It breaks my heart to see others with their families and makes me wonder if my chance is gone. On holidays, Im stuck knowing its just me on my own….and remembering all the good we had..or at least I thought we had! Now I dont know…maybe he just couldnt stand me for yrs. I cant understand why he would disappear and totally cut me out in an instant if he ever did love me. Also, our anniversary is coming up which is also when he disappeared. Its a date etched in my mind and went from being such a special time to nothing short of horror. Those who have families of any size should truly hold them dearly. You really never know when it could all end. How long has it been? Three yrs

          4. S,
            I’m so sorry for the pain you are experiencing. 🙁 I’m sure that your anniversary will be a challenging day. This is not what any new bride or groom dreams of on the day they get married.

            I’m really glad you are focusing on taking care of yourself. I hope you will also spend lots of time with God – praising Him, thanking Him, and praying for Him to help you know Him more and for Him to continue to radically change and work in your heart, as well as for spiritual healing for your husband.

            Sending a huge hug to you, my precious sister!

    2. While you are “waiting” an excellent book that changed my life was: “What to do when he says, I don’t love you anymore” by David Clarke. This is written by a Godly man who will help you get up, and get your life in order whether your husband comes to his senses or not. I HIGHLY recommend it. Please please read it.

  52. As of the moment, my husband of 7 years want to separate with me. We didn’t have kids and he really want to have a baby. This day he want me to go home. He just got a big plastic bag, put all my clothes there and when I tried to get the bag he hurt me. I was really feeling bad and I don’t know what to do. I need all your prayers that God will enligthen him and remove all anger and hatred towards me.

    1. Red,

      Oh no! 🙁

      This doesn’t sound good, my sister.

      Are you okay?

      Would you like to talk about what is going on? Are you somewhere safe?

      I wish I could give you a big hug!

      Do you have a trusted, experienced counselor that you are talking with?

  53. Hello, Not sure if this blog is still active but here goes…

    My husband and I have been separated for 2 years due to military relocation. He refused to take me and my then 9 month old with him. Within the 2 years he has visited us periodically and now when he comes to town he stays in a hotel. I thought things were looking up for us on his last visit. The morning after he arrived he told me he left something in the car, he walked outside got in his car and left. Two days later I was served with divorce papers. Needless to say, I was devistated. Fastforwording to now…
    Our divorce is not final. Within this 2 year separation I have stayed true to my vows and still wear my wedding bands. He has not touched me in 1 year and is very distant. This past weekend he came in to town and stayed in a hotel again. He has not worn his wedding band in a long time. I feel like their is an internal struggle within him because one week he will call and tell me how he misses me thinks about his marriage and a week later he is distant and rude to me. He told me this weekend I should move on with my life because he doesn’t know how to make us work.
    I am confused, lonely, and weary. I am trusting in God but this situation looks impossible. It is depressing and I believe in the vows I took. We are too far apart and I really think he is involved in a relationship with someone else. Please help.

    1. PatientlyStanding,

      Oh, goodness! What an incredibly painful situation. 🙁 I am so thankful that you have stayed true to your marriage covenant and vows. THANK YOU!!!!!!

      Do you know what is going on with him? Is he dealing with addictions, mental illness, infidelity, PTSD, or anything to your knowledge? Has he said why he doesn’t think this can work?

      How is your walk with Christ going? That is going to be really key to finding healing for yourself – which, to me – is the first step in a very tough situation like this.

      Sending you the biggest hug and praying for God’s Spirit to intervene for both of you!

  54. (details edited by Peacefulwife for privacy)

    I posted awhile back in March about my husband of 21 years having an affair. He has since been fired from his (job) as he’s with a (coworker). She has 2 (children) and only got her divorce (recently) and he has since abandoned our 2 daughters. He’s gambling and spent all our money. He wants a divorce and now suddenly custody of our 2 daughters. I don’t want that influence around my precious girls. The affair starred last summer. He moved out (6 months ago) and won’t do anything. I’m forced to get a lawyer. I’m Catholic I have only been with him. I hold my marriage vows seriously but he has hurt and betrayed the girls and I badly. I pray for signs and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and the girls and I just saw him driving this person and her kids. My (older daughter) was hysterical and my (younger daughter) said maybe Daddy has been babysitting that’s why he’s so busy and doesn’t see us.

    Please I beg for your prayers. Our wedding anniversary is (coming up soon).
    MP

    1. MP…

      After my hhsband left, I have had to learn many hard truths. Its been a terribly difficult road and I cannot tell you how many times I have asked God what His will is, asked Him for wisdom, and much more. It’s taken me a long time to realize this but…it really ALWAYS is Gods will for marriage to be all that He created it to be. When you said your vows, you made a covenant with your spouse and with God. This is the time when your husband is lost and emotionally sick and God has given him YOU to pray for him. Jesus came for the sick and the sinners. He came for us all and God’s arms are open to us always….and we are to be like Him. The Bible never says marriage will be easy…it even warns us if the difficulty of marriage…but we took the steps toward becoming married….and your children…your precious children….can have this experience turned into something that will shape them into prayer warriors who believe in Jesus and perservere, even when all of life looks bleak.

      I know what most people will say…I’ve been there and have even thought it myself….I’ve thought I can’t take the pain….I’ve thought I don’t have to pray for restoration and even that I deserve better. I’ve thought its been too long, its too much, its too bad. But Ive realized so much during this time:

      – I’ve learned to lean on God
      – I’ve learned to persevere in prayer
      – I’ve learned my own my faults.
      – I’ve learned that sometimes, God separates us because He needs to work on each spouse individually in order to create a Godly man and woman, and marriage, that will glorify Him.
      – I’ve realized my husbands soul needs me and that I’m a gift to him from God just as he is a gift to me from God.

      Divorce is an easy way out – as is cheating. Dont get me wrong. Your husband is being awful…but pray that God will grant him repentence, a knowledge of the TRUTH, and repentance! Then, you and your family can become stronger and more whole than you ever imagined. I’ve seen it happen now to a few couples. Just one spouse, with God, continued to stand strong in prayer and knowing restoration is always God’s will….they pressed on….and God restored those families. It’s amazing. Truly!

      I’m not there yet, I’ll admit, but I know I can trust God and just when I feel like giving up, I get JUST enough courage and strength to keep praying for him and for us. You said the trials your hubby has faced since leaving…that’s all God…making him stumble. Like Jonah, he is running but God has His hand on him. But you… YOU… are needed to stay faithful to him and PRAY, fast, PRAY more….hold your faith. Read what “love” is in the Bible. Don’t divorce him. Don’t give your marriage over to a judge. It’s not Biblical. If you live in a state where he can divorce you without your permission, then fine….but….your marriage covenant stays true for life. God can fix this…no matter the circumstances….and I promise you….you will not regret standing strong for your hubby, family, and God. I know it sounds crazy….but I’ve seen it happen so many times now with people I know. I’m reading a book now by Jeff and Cheryl Scruggs….check it out. I’m going to pray for you.

      1. Thank you so much because prayer and faith are my salvation right now. Every morning I tell the girls that Jesus died for our sins, and he loves us. He has a plan out of these ashes it will be beautiful. But it’s not that easy of course.

    2. MP,

      I hope it is okay with you – I edited things to keep the details to a minimum for your privacy and your husband’s privacy. 🙂

      Ugh. Such a mess. I can just feel the weight of the spiritual pain on you and your daughters in your words. 🙁

      Lord,
      We lift up MP and her precious family to Your throne room in the highest heaven. We can’t fix this broken situation. We can’t make her husband repent and come back. We can’t heal her heart or her daughters’ hearts. But You are sovereign. You are love. You have all power. You are just. This man is not beyond Your reach. We pray that Your Spirit might intervene in his life to draw him to genuine conviction and mourning over his sins and to salvation that is in Christ and regeneration by the power of Your Spirit.

      I pray that MP will cling to You, to Your presence, to Your promises, that she might abide in You and fill her mouth with thanksgiving to You and praises to You each day. I pray that You might use this time of great trial and pain to strengthen her faith and help her grow and to help her model a godly example of faith and submission to the Lordship of Christ to her girls. Heal these sweet little girls’ hearts. Provide the resources and love they need, the encouragement, mentors, friends, and wisdom they and their Mama need to move forward in a healthy direction. Empower them to be faithful to You in the storm. Thank You that You will never leave them and You will never forsake them. Hold them close to Your heart this week, Lord!

      Amen!

      1. Thank you for the prayers and message of courage and strength. My faith has only gotten stronger in knowledge that He sees everything. My girls are praying so much I see and their love of Jesus helps me too.

        1. Youre welcome. Ill keep praying. Dont give up. God created your relationship. He can fix it. There are some really wonderful prayer books for children that not only teach little ones how to pray and that they can always talk to God about anything, but also teach them verses and how to put their hope in God. I recommend doing some browsing..its a great way to dive in as a family and I really believe that God has a special spot in His heart for the hopeful prayers of his little ones. The more you dive into the Bible (and the less you listen to wordly views) the better youll feel.Take care of yourself. Hugs to you

  55. Good morning, I’m new to your blog and reading so much. I’ve been separated for almost a year now and feel my prayers aren’t being answered. My husband says God is telling him to do this and I can’t image why…confused.

    1. imshannon,

      It is wonderful to meet you! But I am so sad to hear about this painful situation.

      Would you like to talk a bit about why your husband feels it is necessary to be separated? And would you be interested in doing a spiritual check up with me?

      Much love to you!

      1. Thank you, honestly I don’t even know. He feels we are 2 different people now. We argue a lot and can never be on the same level of agreement with each other. After years of arguing, he feels this is best. I’ve tried everything in my power to assure him we can pray together and work things out, but he won’t budge any. He was an alcoholic all his life and has been sober now for almost 2 years so that being said has a big part in his decision I’m sure. I still don’t understand why. I pray consistently and my emotions are a roller coaster all the time. I let go and let God, but for how long…thank you for your blog.

  56. I’m lost I’m hurting I’m seeking peace and can’t find it I fell on my face crying begging God to give me my husband back. We have been married 8 years together for nine we have two little girls 7 an 6.

    We have faced many battles throughout the years infidelities, arguments, loss of a child at five months pregnant… a lot of battles but we always made it. The kids and I moved with intentions of him getting out of service and moving too and somewhere on the wait, we decided he would move to where his family was. I quickly told him I didn’t want this I wanted our marriage and our family. But he responded that he was done and I need to accept it. I feel like my life shattered in a million pieces and I can’t breathe.

    I am a Christian but I have not been living right, praying, or going to church. I am so lost and confused I want my family back but he doesn’t and I’m hurting so bad.

    1. Chelsea,

      My dear sister! Welcome to this place of healing in Christ. I believe God has brought you here. 🙂 I sure hate the pain you are going through. But if you want to experience the healing that is available to you in Jesus, I can point the way and walk beside you on this road.

      Would you be interested in doing a spiritual check up with me?

      Do you feel comfortable sharing why your husband has decided to be done?

      Sending you the biggest hug!

      If you are willing, this extreme pain can transform into the most incredible blessing as you turn to Jesus to meet your deepest needs and yield to Him fully as Lord.

      Much love!

      1. Yes I would love to have a spiritual check with you…I’m in desperate need of peace of answers of direction. My husband thinks that we have been in the same cycle over the years things will be good for awhile and then get bad again. I wanted another child and he didn’t, he caused us to talk an decided he would get his stuff and move to another state where his family is. The moment he drove away I begged him to come back and he keeps telling me he is done. But I can’t accept that I want to fix things I want my family back.

        1. Chelsea,

          Would you be willing to give him a bit of space for awhile to let him cool down and to let you work through some things for yourself – to maybe step back and get a fresh perspective?

          Okay, here are some questions to get us started:

          1. Do you feel you have a good handle on why your husband left and why he doesn’t want to talk any more?

          2. What approach have you been using when he hasn’t wanted to do what you wanted to do (about the child, about staying together, etc…)?

          3. What are your general personality types? Is one of you more take charge and one more calm and quiet?

          4. What are your greatest fears?

          5. What do you believe you need to be happy and content in life?

          6. What do you desire in your relationship with Christ?

          7. What is your relationship with Christ?

          8. What is your husband’s relationship with Christ?

          Some posts that may give a bit more clarity:

          “My Husband Refuses to Have a Baby with Me” by Grace Alone.
          Husbands Share Things That Feel Disrespectful to Them
          Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected
          What Is Respect in Marriage?

          Also, you are welcome to search my home page search bar for things like:

          – fear
          – fear fuels our need to control
          – control
          – idol of control
          – husband idol
          – happiness idol
          – lies we have embraced
          – healthy vs. unhealthy relationships
          – godly femininity

          I believe this is the beginning of great healing for you in Christ, my dear sister. Take your time to process through things and to prayerfully consider these posts and the answers to these questions. Don’t rush. Dig deep. Allow God’s Spirit and His Word to shine brightly into the darkest corners of your soul. Let Him help you tear out anything that is toxic and rebuild on His Word and His truth alone.

          Much love!

  57. Some very sad stories bit let’s put the shot on the other foot for an instant.I have never married due to infidelity of my many girlfriends ,many of whom I admit to living with before I considered marriage.I was almost engaged twice and loved a number of my ex girlfriends sincerely,never even letting temptation enter my mind.I am being 100% truthful I was raised with moral,loving parents. I was ready to marry my first love way back and she cheated,and my last girlfriends of nearly 7 years who asked me to leave last Nov 2015. Granted my last relationship I became ill and ended up with dark depression I was never violent though I cussed out of frustration as I felt my life was going in reverse. Overall I am a decent,caring,classy man and having experienced infidelity by 11 women ,9 of who let me catch them as they expected me to show up(saw them in the car,in driveway,against the house wall,one left the front door open and was rolling on the couch). I feel God abandoned me and due to never marrying there are gay rumors circulating within my family overseas and I am NOT gay at all.Even two gay friends wonder.WHY did this occur? I seek a loving wife one day but you cannot imagine how frightened I am to get involved with another woman…I have had more emotional betrayal than any man I know and still have plenty of love for the right girl….

    1. Batphink,

      I’m so glad to meet you and glad you are reaching out. I can hear the pain in your words and feel it in my heart along with you. 🙁 I’m so very sorry to hear what has happened and then to hear that you feel God abandoned you – it doesn’t have to be this way!

      God’s design is that two people who are living wholeheartedly in submission to Christ as Lord come together as virgins in marriage and covenant to stay together for a lifetime. When a relationship is built on any other foundation – it is built on sinking sand. However, none of us are beyond the reach of God’s healing and His power to transform our lives into something beautiful for His glory. 🙂 God is able to take our messes and create something so beautiful from our lives – beyond our wildest imagination.

      Would you be interested in doing a spiritual check up with me? You can have an amazing relationship with God. Any of us can! If we are willing to forsake our wisdom and our ways that offend God, and we are willing to receive the gift He gives us in Christ, yielding our lives to Him as LORD – He gives us a new Life, and a new Spirit. Hope, joy, peace, purpose, security, real life, and real love are only found in Jesus. I’d love to talk with you about how you can be whole in Him. And when we give ourselves completely to Christ as our Savior and Lord – He promises that He will NEVER leave us or forsake us.

      How to Have a Relationship with Christ

      Much love to you in Christ!

      April

      1. HI April,

        thank you very much for such kind words,honestly I’m not used to this.

        I should warn you I did in fact lose my faith after experiencing all the emotional turmoil,I just don;t know another man who has experienced this?I still technically love Jesus and what he stood for but his Dad I am not fond of if that makes sense?
        I often wonder if it is because I am a musician and songwriter and many people assume we are all super liberal and anything goes,which in my case is not true. I will stop there again thanks so much for your compassion and writing

        cheers Batphink 🙂

        1. Batphink,

          I’m here if you want to talk. 🙂 And there IS healing available for you if you are interested. You are not beyond God’s reach. But before you can receive His healing and love, it may be that you could have a toxic view of God that could be the reason why you feel you can’t trust Him. I’m glad to talk with you about that, as well, if you would like. No pressure.

          You are most welcome. You will be treated with respect here.

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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