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"My Husband Wanted a Divorce" – by LMS

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Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:27-31

Today’s post is by one of my readers. God has done an amazing work in her in the past year. She has been walking in the power of God’s Spirit so often – in spite of the fact that her husband has not been very responsive to the changes God is making in her life so far. I’m so thankful for her willingness to share a bit of her story:

MY CHILDHOOD

I was raised as a Catholic by parents that were raised in Catholic school. I attended catechism and confirmation, but to be honest, as a kid, it was just more school work to me and meant nothing to me, really. I memorized what I had to and went because I was a “good kid.” I was an excellent student and always A/B’s in school.

When I was 11, I distinctly remember seeing my parents lovingly gazing into each other’s eyes and I asked them if they would be together forever, they promised me they would. A year later, my mom picked me up from school and told me they were getting a divorce. My world imploded.

I felt that I could not trust anyone but myself if I could not even trust my parents.

My dad was a workaholic and my mom had an affair. I always blamed my mom for the divorce because of that. I had recognized the fact that my dad was trying to take care of his family by working, but I really didn’t know how that felt as a wife of a workaholic.

My grandmother had always been a happy Christian who adored me and complimented me on how I would always find a way to solve my problems by reading a book about them. She encouraged that in me. I remember thinking the Bible was just a fantastic story. I began to look more to scientific explanations of the meaning of life and how we got here.

MY “ROCK BOTTOM” ALMOST A YEAR AGO

I pretty much stayed at this level of spiritual maturity until – as a 42 year old married woman for 18 years with two tween-agers – I went on a family vacation to Florida and the moment we got there, my husband told me he wanted a divorce.

Needless to say, it was the worst week of my life.

On the drive home, I was lost and desperate to figure out how to save the marriage I worked so hard for. I pulled out my smart phone and Googled something about loveless marriage or how to save a marriage and “The Peaceful Wife” blog popped up.

The light bulb moment was the article about “how men feel disrespected.” The 50 point list of items were so convicting. I could check off probably all but 8 that I had done. It was no wonder my husband was so discouraged that he wanted to end our marriage. I was brought to my knees with repentance. I apologized to God and begged for forgiveness when I realized what I had done. I knew at that point I could not do this on my own. I had no idea what a real relationship with God was, but I had nowhere else to turn.

I asked my husband for forgiveness, he said he forgave me, but did not act that way.

I begged my husband not to just pick up and leave, he agreed that we would do this together or not at all. He was looking to do DIVORCE together, I was looking to SAVE THE MARRIAGE together. Thus began my journey to find myself.

MY BABY STEPS

With April’s help and many suggested books, I began to learn about submission (to God and in marriage), how to put God first on my priority list and how to run my own race. I discovered the true meaning of agape love and how to love my husband and kids unconditionally. I learned healthy boundaries and how to love my husband even when he doesn’t deserve it. I practiced being godly with the lovely seniors I work with at the nursing home I work at and I was able to talk to my mom about my journey.

My parents have both gone through 2 divorces each and I really had no good example of how to be a godly wife. I faced my past fears of workaholic dads, irrational responsibility of other people, control, pride and many other idols. It was very painful and heart wrenching. However, my mother has even grown closer to God and may benefit from my journey as well.

Thus, I am on a journey along with many other women to find the true meaning of a relationship with God. With April’s help, I am eager to pass on the truth about how to live in God’s love for everyone on this planet, especially with those we love the most. Relationships are not to be disposed of like so much trash, God does not treat us that way, we shouldn’t treat others that way either.

RELATED:

When Your Husband Says, “I’m Done”

PS FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

This couple is still together although there is much healing that still needs to be done. I’m so thankful for this wife’s faithfulness to seek Christ and to obey and please Him even as her husband remained quite distant and skeptical for many months. Her husband has recently begun to soften a bit toward her. Please pray for God to continue to work and to heal them both!

236 thoughts on “"My Husband Wanted a Divorce" – by LMS

  1. Praising the Lord for this wife’s willingness to do the very hard work to save her marriage and honor God! And praising the Lord for April’s work to show us how God wants us to be as godly wives!

  2. I LOVE stories like this one! Making our homes a place of peace, wonderful smells from the kitchen, a joyful wife whose hope is in the Lord, looking as nice as we can, and being warm and kind whenever the husband comes around usually will cause a man to rethink his decision to leave and instead be drawn back to the warmth and peacefulness of his home.

    1. Lori,

      I love to see God work in people’s lives and marriages like this, too. SO beautiful and powerful!

      Sometimes it takes a lot longer than we wives want it to for the healing to begin to happen. It can require MUCH patience. But it is worth it to do things God’s way. 🙂

      1. Yes, April! It usually does call for a LOT of patience since the wife has changed her behavior so much, therefore the husband has a hard time believing the change is for real. This is why it takes patience; demonstrating to the husband that the change is heart-felt and that she is determined to continue having a quiet and gentle spirit with the Spirit working powerfully within her.

  3. This story is almost identical to my own except that I have been married for 27 years and pretty much been disrespectful the whole time.

    I am now reaping what I have sown and just recently had a major, major setback with my husband after we had been improving for quite a while. Will I ever learn respect? Why am I so stupid? Will he ever trust me again? Why must I try to control him and play the Holy Spirit in his life? When will I ever learn to completely trust God with my husband? What am I so afraid of?

    My whole world has been turned upside down. I haven’t slept well for almost a year over worry, fear, regrets, being humbled by my sin, jealousy and feeling unloved and abandoned. I am reading all I can about marriage and gaining knowledge but I still never actually put feet to what I am learning. I am really good at loving him but fail miserably at respecting and submitting.

    He is scared of me right now and shows love to everyone except me. He is barely tolerating my presence and will not speak to me much at all. We are so awkward around each other and I am a nervous wreck. I am seeking God. I have been humbled and He is showing me so much but I keep trying to fix our marriage and I keep causing setbacks to occur. I feel so unloved and lonely in my own home surrounded by my large family.

    I need and crave my husbands love so much yet I know this is an idol in my life. How do I conquer this? I really am trying but things are just not clicking. I feel peace and then its gone. I am only sleeping about 3-5 hours a night and I am peri-menopausal too. I feel like I’m going to have a nervous breakdown.

    I have been a housewife and mother for all of these 27 years. How do you fail so miserably for so long and not even realize it? I don’t even know where to start. I do really well if I focus on pleasing God and my husband but then I shift focus to myself and what a loser I am, all of the years of regrets I have, how unloved I feel, and I am overwhelmed. I believe Satan is attacking me and I know he would love to see my family fail. God help me please!!

    1. Hopeful,

      It is wonderful to hear from you! But – oh goodness – I am so sorry for the pain you and your husband are experiencing. I wish I could give you a big hug!

      If you are also peri-menopausal right now – that is going to make things MUCH more challenging. With God, all things are possible! Focus on feasting on God’s Word and on having as big of a chunk of time set aside for God each day as you can. Then, do as much as you can nutritionally to keep yourself on an even keel emotionally. If things are really difficult, you may even want to talk to your OB/GYN, possibly a nutritionist, or a trusted holistic doctor.

      If you’d like to talk a bit more – I’d be glad to help you hash through some things. 🙂

      How is your walk with Christ going at this time?

      What do you do when you feel unloved and lonely?

      Have you read some of my posts about idolatry? (You can search my home page for “idol” “idols” and “idolatry.” Also, you may want to search “insecurity” and “security.”)

      If I take my focus off of Christ and start to think about myself or start thinking about negative things about my husband or my situation – I can spiral downward very quickly. I HAVE to be totally filled up with Christ all the time. I can’t do this in my own strength – not at all!

      Are you practicing taking your thoughts captive?

      What kinds of things do you pray for?

      What are you doing with your fear and anxiety?

      Are there any expectations you may need to lay down?

      Have you read Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray? Here is a free download – you may read it or listen to it. 🙂

      Much love to you, my precious sister!

      1. Hopeful,

        You may also want to search my home page for “PMS” and “emotions.” Those posts might help. And there was a post last week about the wife who discovered why she couldn’t respect her husband even though she wanted to – and had a nutritional deficiency.

      2. Peacefulwife,
        I would greatly appreciate it if you could help me hash things out and get some things settled In my mind once and for all. I feel like I am on the edge of discovery…so many things are coming into focus and I am learning so much but it is the actual doing and real commitment to change that I’m struggling with. It’s like I know what to do and I want to do it but I still cant seem to grasp the big picture of what respect looks like. On Weds. at church we did a spiritual gifts test and mine are administration and knowledge. I guess God has blessed me with being a bossy know it all, LOL.I am a very strong person and I know that if I really “get” this then I am going to be completely transformed! Something is holding me back??
        In answer to your questions:
        -My walk with Christ is better than it has ever been in my life. More prayer and leaning on Him, more conviction for sure, more appreciation for his mercy and love.
        -When I feel unloved and lonely I usually cry in the bathtub. I have a “woe is me” attitude.
        -I have read several of your posts and have learned so much. You are a godsend! I realize I have idols. Feeling loved and needed and an intimate relationship with my husband are 2 of them.
        -I am just recently trying to take my thoughts captive. This one is huge for me. My circumstances with my husband (mid-life crisis, checking out of the marriage, female friend at work), my lack of sleep (14 hrs in 4 nights this week) my hormones (peri-menopause).My mind is a battlefield!
        -Praying for peace! A meek and quiet spirit, Holy Spirit conviction. Self control of my tongue, eating, thoughts, responses. My husband for Holy Spirit conviction and peace.
        -I think I am close to conquering the fear and anxiety. It seems to be much less because I am finally realizing that I am not in control of anything, God is. I am learning to put my faith and trust in Him and I am doing much better now.
        -expectations, my husband said he can feel them. I want to fix everything now and he says if I will just relax that this too shall pass. We are committed to our marriage. Sadly my husband and I have never been friends and we don’t do anything together, never have. He doesn’t enjoy my company…I have always been selfish and I talk a lot about myself, never listening to him. He found a great friend (his words) a Jonathan and David kind of friend (his words). My husband has always been a very Godly man and when he checked out of me and into her it crushed me. Now I’m trying too hard to try to make him like me, be my friend, to want me instead of her. She is his closest friend and he said he is loving me by enduring me. I have been starving for my husbands love and attention for almost a year now, knowing that he was willingly giving her his attention and seeking her out instead was killing me. He has since slowed down his contact with her and they only talk during work hours now. He knows how much it hurts me and is trying to withdraw from her.
        -I just found Absolute Surrender on my husband’s bookshelf and will start reading it this weekend!

        Please help me. I don’t know where to start. We need a complete remake of our marriage. The foundation needs to be rebuilt. How do we become friends after 27 years? I need to forgive him and let it go.

        1. Hopeful,

          It probably is an extra challenge to have the gift of administration and knowledge and to follow your husband.

          As a believer in Christ, you have ALL that belongs to Jesus – all of His power, His love, the treasures of heaven – at your disposal to empower you to do the will of God and you have the Spirit of God to flow through you to give you the ability to walk in holiness and obedience by His strength. None of us can do this in our own strength.

          As you allow God to reveal any sin you may be cherishing, even unknowingly, in your heart – and you yield full control to God, you will find that God can and will change your desires and give you the strength you need to respect and honor your husband more and more.

          Why do you believe you have a “woe is me” attitude? What do you believe God desires you to do with that, my sister?

          How are you doing with praising God daily and thinking of all the blessings and good things that are in your life?

          Are you willing to embrace this time of painful trial and allow God to chisel and refine you and make you more mature in Christ? 🙂

          Keep in mind, you are only responsible for you. Your husband is responsible for himself.

          Do you feel like you know what to do to tear the idols out of your life? If not, here is a video about that. And here is a post about it.

          Do you believe you are not sleeping well because of hormones and hot flashes, or because you can’t calm your thoughts?

          One thing I used to do was get really caught up in every little decision and issue. I didn’t realize I was doing this at the time, but I made the little issues and individual decisions more important than my obedience to Christ, my husband, and our marriage. It can be helpful to realize that our obedience to Christ is first and pleasing Him is first, then honoring our husbands and marriage is next. The outcome of each little decision is not usually a big deal. And thankfully, God is sovereign, so even if there is a mistake, He can even use that to accomplish His will and His glory in our lives. It can be helpful to realize what is truly important and to stand back and look at the big picture. Am I loving God with all my heart and loving and honoring my husband? The two greatest commandments are a lot more important than all of these other smaller issues.

          I really don’t like the thought of a husband having a woman as a best friend. Don’t think it is appropriate. However, I am very encouraged to hear that he is not talking with her as much because he realizes that it hurts you. We can pray together that God would work in his heart to bring about conviction and direction and His wisdom.

          You can search my home page for:

          – bitterness
          – control and boundaries
          – idol/idols/idolatry
          – insecurity
          – security
          – people pleasing
          – playing the martyr
          – manipulating with guilt
          – fear
          – worry
          – forgiveness
          – respect
          – lead/leader (posts about allowing your husband to lead)
          – biblical submission
          – apologizing stories

          Also, this post may be helpful – laying down expectations
          Taking our thoughts captive for Christ

          I’m super excited to hear that you are realizing God is sovereign and you are not. That is AWESOME! A huge step toward peace.

          Have you read the posts at the top of my home page about disrespect and respect? Those are good places to start to learn about respect, in my view.

          Much love to you! I’m right here if you want to talk some more. This process is kind of like eating an elephant. There is a LOT to absorb and digest. You can’t do it all in a day, a week, or a month. It is a long process – but it is the process of sanctification. It will continue for the rest of our lives here on earth. This will require a lot of patience and savoring the journey. 🙂

          So glad we get to walk this road together! 🙂

          1. Peacefulwife,
            I did some serious soul searching this morning and gained clarity on some things.
            Why do I have a woe is me attitude?…Anyone that knows me would know that this is never my attitude. I am always a very positive, upbeat person that always looks on the bright side of things. I don’t dwell on things or hold grudges or get bitter. I am a realist. I face things and deal with them and move on, expecting the best. This situation, however, has completely rocked my world. My husband checked out of our marriage and into a female friend at work whom he talked to for hours and hours per month. He talked to her at work and after hrs on his new cell phone(bought for this purpose) with a lock on it. 27 years of marriage…never close intimate friends but then he seeks and desires a close intimate friendship with another woman. This is a godly man we’re talking about. Upstanding,former deacon, great man! My husband??? Hence, the realization that I am a failure, overwhelmed by my sin, regrets, etc. I neglected him so much and disrespected him and was selfish with a big mouth, yada, yada, yada. I cant get over what a loser I am and how hopeless my marriage is. However, this morning God gave me so much hope! in Ephesians 3:20-21, He is ABLE! I am NOT. I felt hopeless. If I cant be his friend in 27 years time and she swoops in and effortlessly steals a piece of my husbands heart, what hope do I have? I realized that in 27 years I have never:
            -made him my #1 priority
            -cared about his interests, work, hobbies
            -been unselfish
            -submitted fully
            -respected him because of his position, unconditionally
            -maintained a healthy weight(he told me that this is disrespectful to him)
            -let him lead in the bedroom
            -restrained my mouth from telling everybody, everything
            -fulfilled my wifely role God’s way

            Who would want to be friends with this person? God and I have so much to work on! There is hope, God’s way in God’s time. I am making progress but this is a long journey with a complete overhaul of my character needed. One day at a time. It is God’s will that my marriage succeed and glorify Him. So I can pray expecting! I feel a renewal in my spirit and like I am coming back to my old positive self. All throughout this year God has been telling me to trust Him and have faith. I realized that my biggest issues are with feeling like I will never have a friendship with my husband that will rival the one she has with him (he has told me how special she is and his face lights up when he talks about her) and that I will never have a great marriage and truly FEEL loved by my husband. Are these idols? Is it wrong to want to be loved by my husband? Is it wrong to want to be close friends with my husband? I realize it is wrong if that is my whole focus. It is becoming less of my focus. I am reading absolute surrender and have really been trying to focus on God and what He would have me to do in everything. I am not pushing my husband anymore and have been keeping my mouth shut. I am slowly surrendering my life and everything about it to God. I am gaining more and more peace and joy every day but I realize my defeated thoughts are sinful and need to be fought with God’s Word. I am listening to praise music and trying to have a thankful spirit. I really do have an amazing husband and a wonderful family that are all healthy and serving the Lord. Things could be much, much worse. Thank you so much for your help and encouragement. I am starting to see the light and am learning to rest in my Saviors love. I can and will trust God and I do have the faith that He will work everything out for His glory. He is God, He is Able and He Loves me!

          2. Hopeful,

            I love what God is revealing to you! WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! The things God is doing, the insights He is showing you – it is just so beautiful! Thank you os much for sharing what you are learning. What joy fills my heart to see how you are trusting Christ and how you see that you can’t do it but He can do it in you and through you and that this is not hopeless with Christ.

            WOOHOO!!!!!

            Praying for God’s healing and empowerment, my dear sister!

          3. Hopeful, I agree so much with April’s response to you! This is the part about living with Christ that strengthens you more that you could ever imagine. As you start to return to your “positive self”, you will be more attractive, to all around you. I can understand how all your fears can come up with the threat of this woman lingering. 2 things, though…1) you cannot control your husband. If he is going to sin, it is not your responsibility to fix it, control it or condemn and convict him. You can tell him respectfully and lovingly how his relationship makes you feel and then pray that God can help direct him away from sin.
            2) Realize that God does not give you fear. Fear is a darkness that comes from the enemy. Satan uses fear to accuse, tempt, sway, cause doubt, discourage and paralyze. As you learn to go to God with your fears, lay them down for God to handle, they begin to disolve. I, too, fearEd that my husband would cheat on me with another woman. He denied it, but he DID admit he was having an emotional affair…with all the people at work, a group love. Not creepy, but more that they became his support system when he was not getting respect, comraderie, attention etc from me. I almost get that, but I know it is wrong, too. It was and is still, an escape of dealing with isdues at home. Instead of confrontations, arguing, trying to tell me his feelings and needs and me not understanding, he just kind of gave up. He found a different source.

            With God’s help, I am becoming safe again to him. The anxiety has lessened somewhat. It’s by no means to a healthy level yet, but I deal with mine through God. My husband will deal with his. My job is to not pile on to it all.

            The only fear I want to keep is a fear of God. Only that fear , to me, is better named as huge respect. God is the great “I Am”. Only He can be all we need. When we need a friend, a protector, wisdom, a partner, a warrior…look to Him.

            I love how you are finding out how to remove the logs in your eye. This is the first giant step! As you work through this personal journey, you will find a giant box of stuff in your “attic” that you may not even had realized was there. Some good, some bad. Some rotten that needs to be thrown out. It may be hard, but will be very rewarding.

    2. I can relate so much. You are telling my story. I have been sharing using the name Hopeful as well, to protect my anonymity in case someone from my home reads my email.

      I am coming off a very painful 4 days. My wants out of our marriage due to my disrespect over the years. He says it’s too late. I have a good string of weeks when I am respectful, kind, handing my husband over to God, biting my tongue, reaching for God for my value and worth, all the while being repeatedly rejected by my h. Thanksgiving night I gave him and hug and told him I loved him. He didn’t move his arms or respond in any way. I freaked out inside and told him how rejected I feel. He has barely spoken to me since, other than to tell me how abusive I am.

      1. hopefulgal,

        I’m so sorry to hear about the pain you and your husband are both experiencing. 🙁 Very heartbreaking!

        I’d be glad to try to help in any way I can. 🙂 If it is okay, I would like to ask a few questions to try to better understand what is going on.

        When did you begin to seek to heal the marriage?

        How is your walk with Christ going?

        What does your husband say he needs?

        Do you know what things he felt were “abusive”?

        Much love and the biggest hug to you!

    3. This is happening to me too. I felt like I was reading my own story. I didn’t realize that I was being disrespectful in my marriage. I am reaping what I sow as well and face my husband wanting nothing to do with me or our marriage. I take on is rants and he blames me all the time for the satellite of our marriage. In fact this morning he told me that he wasn’t married to me anymore

      I have to let him go. I pray to the Holy Spirit to intercede. I have dome damage that my husband will not let go of…no affairs…just checked out emotionally for was disrespectful. He feels that ending the marriage is the best option for him.

      I am beyond devastated. I have made this man my idol. It has been worse since I have made the restoration of my marriage my idol.

      1. hopefulgal,
        This is not beyond the reach of Christ! 🙂 There may need to be a time of separation. Sometimes that is necessary for healing to begin. There are a number of posts here that I believe would bless you at this season in your life if you are interested.

        It is very easy to make our marriage, our husband, reconciliation, etc… into idols.

        If you get a chance, please read Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray. I believe it will bless you. 🙂 Here is a link to a free download.

  4. Such a common story, is it not?? I’ve shared here many times how I, too, am in the continuing process of being a submitted wife.
    I’d like to share an encouraging story that happened to me early on in this process.

    I knew one day I would “pass this test”. Everyday I was allowed the huge privilege of staying home and “prepping for my exam” by studying, praying for strength when my husband would come home from a long day of work. Night after night it seemed that we would end up in a huge argument over something trivial. Father was using each of these times to see if I would “lay down” and not have to be the one who was ALWAYS RIGHT! (smile)

    This particular night I hear my husband pull into the garage. Game face on, heart ready,–tonight will be the night that I will pass the test! Not five minutes after we had sat down to eat dinner, the conversation began. I asked him if I could share with him something that I had learned in the Word today. “Sure,” he said. So I did. His reply, “Hmmm, I don’t think I agree with how you see that.”

    Well, the test began…and can I just say it did not take me long to blow it! The battle began and escalated into something so ridiculous as to me even cursing and throwing a dish on the floor. (I’m not proud of that at all!!!) I ran off to my bedroom like a spoiled child, yelling, “I’m done! I will never pass this test!” I threw the covers over my head.

    As the sheets slowly landed on my cheeks, I heard the Holy Spirit say deep within me, very sweetly, “What are you going to do now?” I laid there for a minute, thinking about my answer. All of a sudden I threw the covers back and said, “I WILL NOT GO BACKWARDS! I WILL PASS THIS TEST! I WILL!” I immediately, only through the power of the Holy Spirit, went to my husband, got on my knees and said, “I know this is not the first time you have heard this from me, and it might not be the last, but I ask for you forgiveness once more. I know that with God’s help I will eventually get this right.” His only words, “Yeah, I’ve heard that before.” I asked him to forgive me again and went back to my bedroom—this time to go to sleep.

    Eventually, I DID pass the test. It was the big “SEMESTER” test that by passing I got to go on to the
    “next level”. I’ve continued in my “courses” with God and He is daily refining me to become, one day, HIS BRIDE!

    I might also add that that was 9 years ago. My husband (who has also been on his own “submission to God” course) and I will be celebrating our 24th anniversary on the 20th of November. We praise the King of Kings for His great faithfulness!

    Thanks for letting me share…May we never give up in our pursuit of excellence!!!

  5. I like stories, but this one is a difficult story. Our society has many issues of disrespect and it is not limited to marriages. As much as I think the SC resource officer exercised over-kill in dealing with a defiant teenager, why wouldn’t the teen just comply with rules? teens are rebellious and disrespectful too. Why are husbands treated with so much disrespect and why are wives treated with so much unloving acts?

    we are a mess. I am a mess. Thank God for His grace.

    1. Jeff,

      As a culture, we threw out respect for God-given authority decades ago. Now, many people in my generation and younger don’t even know what respect means, unfortunately. When the sinful nature is in control, we end up with disrespect, lack of love, hatred, divisions, strife, rage, etc… and all of the other “fruit of the flesh” rather than the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5). 🙁 How I pray for a massive movement of God’s Spirit to bring a new Great Awakening in our land.

  6. This is my story.

    Hopeful, we have talked as well. I want others to know that I had many “turn the corner” moments over the last 10 months. I am approaching 1 year since the bomb drop and have been reflecting on it.

    Hopeful, at this point, my advice is to stop focusing on your problem marriage and focus on your God. Take your entire life right now, and start looking at what is GOOD. Your marriage may not be in that list, but your health, kids, family, job, appreciating nature, celebrating how much you have learned about yourself and God from where you were, this blog as a resource for encouragement, each and every day that God gives you to be one day closer to fulfilling your destiny. All are things to celebrate.

    When I stopped focusing on my marriage day in, day out and forced myself to do something nice for other people, I turned a giant corner! My husband even noticed. He commented that he doesn’t understand how I could be “happy” when our marriage was a mess. Yes, marriage IS a mess, but I everyday I am moving forward with it. And everyday I can also notice all the things that are “right” in my life. Accepting that my life may not or ever be 100% perfect is huge for me, a perfectionist. Trying to achieve perfection in every area of my life was making me crack. As I hyper-focused on my crappy martiage, my health was suffering, my kids were feeling neglected, my work was not getting my full attention while I was there, my family felt helpless.

    80% of what was good in my life was getting ducked into the mire along with my marriage. It needed to stop. I started walking and listening to praise music, thanking God for teaching me every day how to learn from him…I began to sleep. I even prayed for the gift of peace and sleep. I started taking time to talk to the elderly at the nursing home I work at, I felt GREAT when I could comfort them, and if I found a few that loved God too, we would talk for hours! I helped my mom with a few projects, I dove into doing things with my kids, I started my hobby back up. Never in a consuming way, but I took care of my needs.

    I looked at my husband as an out of control storm. He was hurting me, raging inside, confused, hurting himself, and I couldn’t fix it. I could only stay out of his way and let God calm that storm.

    I COULD, however, not aggravate the storm. I did this by not forcing my husband to see my point of view. Not demanding his time. Listening to understand HIS feelings, even though he didn’t want to even hear about mine. Stopped trying to “fix” our marriage, my husband, his feelings or demand forgiveness from my husband. The more I lived to seek approval from God and not my husvand, the less guilty I felt and the less blame I took on. If my husband was going to be in a cranky mood or criticize, I no longer took that on as my responsibility to fix. I focused on me not reacting to it, not barking back, not getting my point across or arguing. We literally did not talk for an entire month because I wasn’t arguing anymore. I knew my husband didn’t care about my point of view, was consumed by his own hurt and emotions and vould not give me what I craved and wanted from him so badly. So I asked God for it. He delivered. The whole mood shifted.

    Today: things are calmer. I speak very sparingly. More facts, every day items, kids, schedules. Not at all the loving husband I want, but not the monster I feared anymore, either. We do not have sex, we barely touch, but he has started kissing me on the forehead again. No more fist bumps or just walking away. I hear “I love you” occasionally. He is attempting to come home more. I have let him be responsible for his own doctor appointments, prescriptions, schedule, and meals. I am cheerful and pleasant, I include him and invite him, but I don’t berate him if he doesn’t show. His relationship with the kids is his to deal with. I work on my relationship with the kids.

    I am still working out how to talk to my husband about my needs, wants, and feelings…I know I am not there yet, but working through it. I think my husband is starting to open his eyes. He feels he has let us down, says we deserve more of him than he has given. Seems like small steps, but I hit my knees in thanks to God when my husband said this! Everyone thought I was crazy for putting up with all of this unloving behavior from my husband, but I stayed because I promised God. I was not being abused, no addictions, no infidelity.

    I have seen the small changes and am glad for them. Am I eager to run forward? Yes, but I don’t. Do I sometimes want to lay into my husbsnd and blow like a volcano until everything I ever felt, thought, hurt about came boiling out and I exhausted myself? Yes, but how hurtful would THAT be?

    It may feel like a Friday, but Sunday is coming! Jesus died on the cross on a Friday, but He rose again on Sunday and in doing so. Saved us all ftom death. This is what true faith does!

    I know in my heart that God didn’t take me this far just to leave me. I don’t know if my husband and I will be reconcilled. I don’t know if he will one day just leave or one day have a rebirth in Christ like I did! All I know is I am NOT sovereign and I can only control and run MY race. The rest, well, God has it covered. Whew, too much for me, anyway.

    1. LMSdaily115,

      WOW!

      LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this!

      Thank you SO MUCH for sharing, my dear sister! What God is doing in you is so obviously a God-sized thing. It is beautiful to watch!

      1. LMSdaily115 and Peacefulwife,

        I appreciate you both so much and am so thankful for this blog. Such encouraging words! I need to accept that this is going to be a long process. I don’t know why I think that the enormity of my sin, the neglect and disrespect of my husband, and my selfish critical spirit can be changed overnight. I expect too much of myself and my husband. I need patience and to learn to rest in God and His timing.

        I have much to be thankful for, including this trial that has helped me to see the deadness of my marriage and my part in it. This trial that has drawn me closer to God than I have ever been in my life. This trial that has broken me and helped me see that my life has been all about work and accomplishing things but never about really seeing people and building relationships. This trial that has helped me see that I need to be more invested in my children’s personal lives and hearts and not just take care of their physical needs. This trial that has helped me to see that I have missed the big picture in life…GOD, SURRENDERING, PEOPLE, CARING, LOVING.

        God has softened this hard working, go-to-girl, get-it-done machine into someone that now has a heart and sees the destruction she has wrought. I am seeing improvement in my relationships with my kids and extended family and church family. I am finally starting to care about people instead of steamrolling right over them. My prayer is to still be me, but a softer, meeker, kinder, respectful me. The person God created me to be…who is this person? I can’t wait to find out!

        It would seem like a miracle if I were to change so drastically and my marriage were to finally be intimate and whole and God honoring. I know it is possible, the foundation is there, I just need to be patient with the building process. Thank you both for your encouragement. Thank you April, for this amazing blog and the way it is helping so many women. God bless you both!

        1. Hopeful,

          You are most welcome! It is a long process. It took 3.5 years from the time that God opened my eyes to my sin before Greg felt safe with me again. And I am thankful for the long time period where he was still shut down. That is the time that I had to learn the sufficiency of Christ, waiting on God, and trusting God’s timing. I had to learn to refine my motives and do this whole godly woman/wife thing just to please Christ whether my husband would ever change or not.

          I’m really glad that you are already able to see that this trial is a blessing because it helped you see sin and draw closer to God. THAT IS AWESOME!

          I love that you are already seeing improvements in many relationships. I praise God for what He is doing in your heart! I know God will continue working in your life to accomplish His good purposes. Praying for healing for you, for your husband, for your children, and for your marriage, our dear sister!

          Much love!

    2. LMSDaily,

      How I enjoy following your spiritual journey! Your experiences are so real and so encouraging. Much love to you! Elizabeth

    3. “I COULD, however, not aggravate the storm. I did this by not forcing my husband to see my point of view. Not demanding his time. Listening to understand HIS feelings, even though he didn’t want to even hear about mine. Stopped trying to “fix” our marriage, my husband, his feelings or demand forgiveness from my husband. The more I lived to seek approval from God and not my husvand, the less guilty I felt and the less blame I took on. If my husband was going to be in a cranky mood or criticize, I no longer took that on as my responsibility to fix. I focused on me not reacting to it, not barking back, not getting my point across or arguing. We literally did not talk for an entire month because I wasn’t arguing anymore. I knew my husband didn’t care about my point of view, was consumed by his own hurt and emotions and vould not give me what I craved and wanted from him so badly. So I asked God for it. He delivered. The whole mood shifted.”
      These words are a huge comfort to me! Right out of God’s mouth to my ears! I’ve been praying about a similar situation with my husband about how to treat him in his unkindness, and you provided it!! Thank you and AMEN!!

      1. Senterwife,
        My thoughts exactly! What a blessed reminder to be quiet and respectful and remain calm. Just quit pushing and relax! God will take care of things in His time…patience,patience, patience!

    4. Lmsdaily115,
      Oh! I’m so glad I decided to go on here and see if there were any new posts today! Last night I was reading some of your posts from a while back and I was frantically trying to find updates on how you were doing! 🙂 I’m about to celebrate 6 months since the bomb dropped in my marriage. Celebrate?..yes, God has been so good to me these past 6 months. I appreciate this post from you so much. I pray God continues to mold you and make you into His image!

    5. Lmsdaily115,
      I read this again this morning and I just have to tell you how much you inspire me! You have come so far in your journey…you are miles ahead of me and we most definitely are on the same journey! Where I have wallowed in despair and tried desperately to fix things, you seemed to understand right away that you needed God’s help and sought to do things the right way. I praise the Lord for you, you are a blessing to me…praying for you sister!

      1. Hopeful, I often wonder how many thousands of wives are experiencing the same struggle we are. Now that my eyes are wide open, I see it everywhere. I see disrespecting women in the store and I want to go hug their hurting men, but of course that would be disrespectful! Lol. I also want to take the wives aside and tell them what they are doing, but it’s not my job to. I would if they let me. That’s whete it’s cool that God has that all covered. We may not be able to save the world, but God can.

        There are other women on this post far beyond me as well. April is a very goid and careful leader here. I really took a lot of time to read almost every post and the responses on this blog. I come here when I feel frustrated and looking for answers. Sometimes it’s more of a scavenger hunt. I am not very versed in the bible, can’t quote exact scripture, numbers etc, but I am learning the meaning. I have a few favorites that I cling to when I feel especially low. There are days still that I am scraping the bottom of the barrel for something positive to focus on or a tad bit of hope to lift my head back towards my loving God. Just this morning, my husband kissed me on the cheek instead of my forehead! I doubt he knows how that lifted my spirits today. But I see these small things as a baby step forward. I have not been on this journey very long, but it was defiantly my “crash course in God 101”. Not only am I trying to save my marriage, but am learning how to be a Christian, about the meaning of life, finding and loving myself, pulling myself out of a long depression I didn’t even know I was in, and becoming the person God has destined me to become. I could NEVER have done this without God. I would have never had the strength or direction. Things like this blog, the Christian housekeeper at my work, the patients I meet at work, singers such as JJ Heller, or the common sense messages or Joel Osteen all help turn me toward God. Even simply the sunrises I photograph on some mornings on my way to work help inspire my love of this world and give me hope. We need to be careful what we feed our minds and be constantly vigilant to remove the toxic stuff that the accuser injects. Doubt, self pity, discouragement, negative thoughts, fatigue, anger, bitterness, etc. They are all used to destroy. Love is the one true thing that trumps. God IS love.

        This is a journey of a personal nature. The true goal in life is not to find happiness, that is a result. Instead, it’s to live a life like Jesus. In this way, we will find true hsppiness, of the soul, that will filter down to every part of life.

        I realized that although this is the hardest thing I have ever had to face (a possible divorce), it is this very trial that has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. I have thanked my husband for the day he dropped the bomb. He doesn’t get it, but that’s ok. He inadvertently started me on this crash course. Was it my husband’s doing? No, I think God had this planned out. He uses these hard times to bring us to Him. I would have never found God without this “nudge” or more like a giant shove off the pedistal of pride that I perched upon for so long.

        There is hope, but that requires faith. Remember that even when we don’t see a way, God can make a way! We will never fully understand how He makes the world work until we are sitting next to him in heaven. Until then, we all have a job to do, love each other and love God.

        I am so happy that you find inspiration in my story. I with I could tell you a happy ending, but it’s still being lived out. My happy ending started the day I accepted Jesus into my heart. Any more than that will be icing on the cake. I will share updates as they come and I feel led by God, but we all have our own race to run. I pray that God helps you find wisdom and discretion. I pray that He helps you find hope and encouragement in every day you live. I pray that you can learn to find true joy in your life, even though you are not happy with the marriage right now. There is joy in your children, in what you are learning, in the world around you. You are more than a marriage. There is more to life than your marruage. Don’t forget to praise God for all he has given you. You may not have it all, but one day, you will! Much love, my sweet one! {{{hugs}}}

        1. LMS,

          Today I read another writer’s column that said if we take care of the “little” things, the big things often take care of themselves. As I read your response to Hopeful just now, it reminded me of that. It is the collection of “little things we do and think about each day that bring happiness, along with awareness of and appreciation for all our blessings. The writer observed that couples who routinely are kind and loving in small ways with each other usually do not have big problems in their marriages. It makes such perfect sense!

    6. Lmsdaily115, April asked me to read your post and it does sound very similar to my situation with my husband. I can only hope I start to hear I love you’s too. It would give me such a boost. I wonder though, if I can be happy and do things for my husband just to bless him, will he not see that as an attempt to manipulate or get something out of it in return? I have been doing things to bless him and to please God but I’m wondering if this is how my husband really thinks of it. I honestly don’t expect anything anymore. After a year I have given up on that and am trying to just focus on my relationship with God.
      How do you deal with a husband who doesn’t want to be intimate? Is it very painful and difficult for you too? It scares me that sex is a God given gift and that we aren’t supposed to deny each other.
      So did this take about a year before your husband started to soften?
      I’m so happy for you that things seem to be improving on some level. Your comment has been very helpful to me and inspires me to keep going even though I keep stumbling.

      1. Bel, oh how my heart goes out to you. This is not anything that I feel husband’s or wives should ever go through. I can’t even give you a happy ending story, yet.

        Here is what I know. No matter what you do, say etc, thus becomes YOUR journey with God. If at any time you catch yourself doing things or thinking your words might “win your husband over”, your motives need to be checked. For me, that was when I would slip into putting my husband or marriage before God as an idol. Perspective snd priorities. Throughout this whole thing, I had to come to grips with some hard, fast and real possibilities. I very well could end up in a divorce, a loveless marriage, alone and unloved, etc, etc, whatever my fears were. I knew that if I gave in to hopelessness, gave up, treated my husband disrespectful ly etc, there was basically a 100% chance the marriage would end. If I kept hope and faith and trust that God will help me, didn’t give up, but learned how to honor my husband by honoring God, there was a small chance of success. I took the small chance.

        It has been 1 year this month since bomb drop. Has his heart softened? I’m not sure. I think so. I have offered for him to leave and he hasnt, he no longer screams and yells at me. But does to the kids. He still doesn’t touch me, talk to me much besides the niceties or ask me anything about how I feel. There is no sex, no back rubs or any affection coming my way from him. I give a foot rub occasionally, when I feel like blessing him, I do his kaundry, include him in plans, respect him and encourage him. I love him how he allows me to. I give him space and I don’t react to his poor attitude. I see the struggle he has going on inside. I know that my job, given to me by God’s command is to love him anyway, support the good, don’t try to fix him, don’t base my self worth off of what he says or does. I see him as a teenager trying to find out where he fits into this world. There are hard lessons to learn. US women are in the same boat. Think of how much God is teaching you. How far you have come! Every once in a while, I ask God what the next lesson is…I gave to be prepared, though, I probably won’t like it, but I know it’s going to be for my best interest. I keep refining myself and I let my husband have the time and space to do the same.

        I have found that although I miss the touch of my husband, I am okay. I could be better, but it’s just not something he can give right now. If he were in ICU, I would not expect him to be able to take care of my needs at that time. I am being a wife to someone hurting, but not in a physical way. It is mental, it is spiritual, but it is still real.

        God needed to set one of you on the path with Him first. Be joyful that you get to start this journey and understand it. As a wife, this is where your love, support and understanding comes in. This is where your capacity to love unconditionally will be tested and grow. You cannot do this yourself, you will need God. You will feel like you are sacrificing yourself, you will feel like it is pointless some days, a mountain to climb, that it may never happen, etc. The enemy will place doubt, hopelessness and self pity into you…it is your job to keep going to God for strength, courage, hope, love. With God, you WILL win, without Him, we are doomed. Will you join with God, link arms and fight for your husband, your marriage, your own soul?

        Right now, I’m still learning how to say what I feel in a way that isn’t critical or accusing to him. I don’t speak much, but when I do, I really try to be respectful. My husband is entrenched in self pride, control and perfectionism. He thinks he is smarter than everyone. I feel like I live with a Pharisee. But guess what, I had the same issues until God opened my eyes. That might not have happened if my husband hadn’t asked me for a divorce! It rocked my world, but frankly, it needed to be rocked!

        This takes so much time. I am so impatient, but I’m learning. I even thought, “I will do this respect thing perfect and it won’t take more than a year for me…6 months tops!” Wow, pride. Arrogance. Control. Perfectionism. See, I even viewed this whole era in my life that way. I can’t imagine how hard it would be for our husbands to truly trust that we had a whole overhaul in our attitudes, beliefs, and thoughts. That will take a long time. Maybe even a lifetime to have that kind of trust.

        In any way you view it, you cannot and will never be able to control that timeline for him. You can’t make your husband feel, think, say or do what you want, that’s his to deal with. But you CAN control what YOU think, feel, say and do. So, choose to honor God with what you can control and He guarantees you will find life. It just might not be the way you think it will be or be on your timeline. That’s where faith comes in.

        Much love to you my dear sister. I pray for strength and God’s direction for you.

        1. LMSdaily115,
          Thank you so much for your powerful, beautiful, godly reply to Bel. God is using you in some MIGHTY ways, my dear sister. THANK YOU for being willing to allow Him to pour through you to water and nurture the souls of other hurting wives.

          1. Hi April and LMS I have been following the comments for several days

            Things really took a turn for the worst this weekend from Thanksgiving on. I went to my husband for affection on Thanksgiving and was shut down. I made an attempt to talk to him about the major problems we have in our marriage and it blew up and has been going on all weekend into this morning.

            My husband said that we are not married anymore, he has no intention on working on our marriage. I can’t live like this any longer. I suggested he move out by January.

            I will continue to pray that the Holy Spirit moves mightily in his heart as in mine. I am crushed.

            I can’t make someone love me or want to stay married to me. I make an effort to be a Peaceful Wife and get nothing. I set boundaries and make my feelings and thoughts known and I get blamed and shot down.

            My husband and I and our two boys are hurting beyond repair. I have to let him go. In the meantime living in the same house with him is killing me.

            I am so angry with myself for how disrespectful I have been, so sad that I couldn’t see my blindspots, so crushed to be severed.

            I have been going by the name Hopeful ( Betsy ) is my real name. I am changing my name to Hopefulgal.

            God…please help us and save us from the ruins of divorce

        2. Lmsdaily115, thank you so much. I’m still finding it so amazing that someone across the world I don’t know is writing such a thoughtful response to me. I have tears in my eyes as I write now. I wish I could pop over for a cuppa and give you a hug. It’s so so sad that so many marriages (even Christian ones) are so painful and struggling. I thought I had it made marrying a man from my church. We’ve got everything that should make for a wonderful marriage. Just hasn’t worked out that way. I’m desperate that we can enjoy our lives together before something terrible happens. But I guess in a fallen world that’s asking too much.
          I understand the right motives thing. I just find it hard to not let thoughts creep in like I hope he notices this or that and it speeds things up, etc. especially when I really want restoration for our marriage which isn’t wrong surely.
          I do think my husband is here just for the kids. He adores them and they him. But like you I’m sure that one major slip up and it’s all over. He’s that fragile. It makes me mad sometimes though as he has hurt me badly over the years too which I think made my anxiety and depression worse.
          Just tonight we had a devotion and then he went to go to bed early. He kissed each of the kids,told them he loved them and walked past me with nothing. Not that I expected anything. It just hurt that he can’t even kiss my cheek even just for the kids sake. I feel like I have a disease. Like I’m poison. He sleeps as far on his side as possible. It’s tempting to laugh and say “I hope you don’t fall out of bed “. But it’s no laughing matter.
          I’m not sure if you have read any of my comments to April but I also know my h is in a real struggle. He said some strange things to me like his mind is playing tricks on him and he doesn’t want to be married. He’s shut down emotionally from me to protect himself. What happens though if one day he’s ready to plug back into the marriage and I’m not? I’ve had to shut down a lot too to be able to cope with the neglect so how do you be like a light switch if he changes? I will want to tell him he has hurt me too and how can he expect that just because he’s ready I am too? But I won’t want to miss the chance. Look at me. Thinking too far ahead. Wishful thinking!
          When I’m having a bad day and feeling weak im tempted to give an ultimatum. Could this not “shock” him into what he’s really doing here? Would it backfire?
          I’ve even been given the suggestion to have a couple wines and try to be intimate and ‘surely’ he won’t refuse and it may even break the ice. Is this wrong? I’m scared the longer we are not intimate for, we will move farther and farther apart. After all, God gave us the gift of sex to help keep us close and faithful. It just really does feel like a mountain I’ll never reach the top of. I know this has to be ok. That God is the goal. But I’m only a sinful human. As im writing this I know the faults in what I’m saying……
          My husband and I can talk, laugh, joke and tease and sometimes he even uses this ‘cute’ voice on the phone but nothing changes. He wouldn’t even want me to rub his feet. As I said. It’s like I’m diseased. It’s ok to talk but touch? No.
          He has always placed all the blame of our problems on me and my anxiety and depression. He like your husband seems to have an arrogant view on this. He WANTS it to be all my fault. He even spent time researching what could be wrong with me. He came up with ‘rumination’. As though it was a sickness. He told me he’d worked out what was wrong with me. Rumination. I was embarrassed for him. He thought he’d worked it out. Our therapist told him it’s not a disease. Everyone ruminates to a degree. Just showed me how much he blames me and not himself.
          I want you to know that tonight i will be praying for you Lmsdaily115. I don’t even know you but can’t stand to think of you living each day similar to me. As April said though, without this pain we may never have turned so desperately to God and for that alone I can honestly say it’s worth it. I just pray that all us wives and husbands can experience the healing and happiness April and Greg have.

          1. Bel, I can totally understand how hard it is to not have the kind of love you would like from your husband. It’s been over a year since my husband has even rubbed my back. My step dad died this summer and I never was even hugged or consoled about it. But, instead of focusing on my pain, what I wish I had, how unloved I felt, I had to give it to God. I literally said to Him, “God, this is not right, I am feeling so much pain. I can’t make him love me, please take this worry from me”.

            That week, I started to realize that it didn’t matter what I did, how I tried to fix things, if I cleaned enough, if I cooked his favorites, I was never going to make my husband happy. So, I started to not worry about if he was happy. If I did his laundry, it was because I wanted to, not because I felt I had to. I really focused on my kids, getting enough rest, doing something I enjoyed like reading a book, taking a walk, caught up on my favorite shows, getting a new hair cut. I didn’t do stuff to please my husband, unless I felt generous.

            But I also didn’t go out of my way to do things I knew he didn’t like. I still wanted to create a peaceful and welcoming home, but I didn’t fawn all over him. I took a view of “this is who I am, I am happy with me, God is helping me be a better person every day, if my husband doesn’t like me, then okay”. BUT, that didn’t mean I was not without fault. I still had lots to learn about being a respectful wife, unconditional love, ripping control, pride, idols and selfish motives out of my mindset and heart. I needed that time to become refined and think out how I could best honor God.

            It is very hard to not get impatient. We want changes now, we don’t want to wait. But in reality, if your husband were to go back to loving you, you might not continue to wrestle in your faith with God. This is a huge test. You will have the chance to take the test over and over until you start to pass it.

            It sounds like the lesson of trusting God and His timing is coming into your radar. It helps to focus on what you can do to choose the right way to act, respond, and think instead of focusing on your husband. Let him run his race. God is the only one who has the right to judge, condemn and punish, not us. We are not responsible to our husbands actions and such. God will deal with his sin, it is not our to deal with. We are not our husbands god.

            In the end of this life, when you are facing God, how will you respond to him if He asks if you treated His children with love, kindness, mercy and forgiveness? You won’t be able to say “I would have been nicer if my husband showed me more love” those excues will not fly with God. We are commanded to “love thy enemy.” Here is your chance. Understand that hurting people often hurt others. Can you learn to empathize with his feelings. Can you understand WHAT he is feeling even if you do not agree or understand why he feels that way? Maybe he just needs to know you are hearing him, thinking about him and not always yourself. What can YOU do to better yourself, even if your husband never changes? His feelings can change.

            Just today, my husband told me he is not just staying in the house for the kids sake anymore, he actually likes being around me too! Huge breakthrough in my mind. But still baby steps.

            I pray that you learn to get out of God’s way and let God handle your husband. You work on you. I pray that you grow close to God and learn from Him as a Mentor. Focus on being the best YOU that you can be every day. Not perfect, but doing your best. This will take a long time, maybe years. God’s timeline is always best. Much love to you.

          2. LMSdaily115,

            WOW!

            What a massive breakthrough you experienced today, my dear sister!

            I am sure Bel doesn’t know how many times in the past year you cried out to me, “How long do I have to live in this situation? How long do I have to put up with being unloved in my own home?” I encouraged you to listen to what God was calling you to do. It was NOT easy. It is still not easy, I am sure. But what a blessing! I know you will cherish this moment for the rest of your life!!!!!

            When we do things God’s way and wait on His timing instead of rushing ahead and trying to fix things ourselves (like Abraham and Sarah did when they had Ishmael through Hagar – and look at the ramifications of that 5000 years later) – we get to experience the blessings that come with trusting God and acting in obedience.

            Praising God for what He is doing in your life and in your husband’s life – and for the way He is using you to reach other women who are in the trenches and hurting so deeply right now.

            You are a blessing!

        3. Lmsdaily115 and the other sister’s here who are hurting. I loved my husband the minute I saw him. I was swept away by his looks and charm. He rescued me and took care of me like no one other. I experienced safety for the first time in many, many year’s. We married. I craved him. I made sure he was always in a good mood. We had two beautiful boys, and the things started to crumble. We didn’t agree on parenting, money management, conflicts did not resolve. I started pushing him away and isolating. Falling deeper in despair, disrespect, and a black hole. I had no idea how to get out of my own way and my own brokenness. Over two years ago, I thought divorce was the only option. I couldn’t handle my husbands behavior and demands, and I couldn’t handle who I was becoming. I made terrible mistakes.I broke his heart . Mine was breaking and our boys were broken. We started therapy separately. I knew that I needed help and wanted to save my marriage. He worked with a therapist , Christian, that supported him in leaving our marriage. Thus began the ongoing threats of divorce, blame, hurt, isolation, rejection , ignoring,stonewalling, criticism…hurt all over all the time.

          I have repented, asked for forgiveness, asked for reconciliation. I have raged, sobbed, begged, banged on doors, lost my mind. ( this is not my nature). Rejection and emotional abuse is making me crazy.

          I want more than ever to have my husband soften his heart. He made it clear again tonight that this is all my fault and his position will not change. Our oldest son is very distraught over what is going on and how his father treats me. He wrote my husband a letter over the weekend telling my husband how much pain he is in. Again…all my fault.

          Living like this…alone, no hugs, kisses,compliments, no thank yous, no planning together, no worship as a family, no interest in my life. …Living like this is excruciating. Some days I can’t take it. Other days I have hope and hear God tell me not to give up.

          Tonight he walked away from me when I told him how much pain we are all in. Nothing gets resolved or worked through.

          Holy Spirit please come. The pain is too great. I am losing patience.

          How long do we wait it out for our husband’s to come back home and be the father and husband God intended them to be?

          1. Hopefulgal,

            I’m sorry you are hurting. We men are obviously wired a lot differently. There are certain “major” things that are uniquely difficult for a man, particularly, to get past emotionally, from a fleshly perspective. With that said, was infidelity involved, emotional and/or physical? Not trying to pry, for prying’ sake… But if that’s what happened, I was going to lend a man’s perspective in hopes that it helps you a little bit. I can see how much you’re hurting, and it drove me to decide to write on here.

            While waiting on that response, there is a book by Louie Giglio that came out recently, called “The Comeback”. I’d really encourage you to get it. But in the meantime, check out this sermon that’s part of his series. I think it will bless you, in the midst of all of this that you’re going thru. I know that it has blessed me immensely.

            https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/passion-city-church-podcast/id400379025?mt=2&i=354954758

            Hopefulgal, I know a lot sounds cliche right now..you’ll still experience spiritual highs, but the lows will seem so much deeper. And that is how Satan uses these situations to fully consume us. Just remember, and keep repeating to yourself: He’s a Good, Good Father – And You’re Loved By Him.

            May He hold you in His steadfast grip…. May He quiet your soul, this night.
            -hh

            “So Let Go, My Soul
            And Trust In Him
            The Waves And Wind
            Still Know His Name”
            -Bethel Music

          2. Thank you hh. I listened to the sermon by John Giulio this morning. It was fresh on my mind at 7:30 am. I have made many comebacks in my life. Two major comebacks involved addictions and eating disorders. I know I have it on me to come back.

            I had an emotional relationship to Facebook. I was hooked as soon as I set up my page.Social media became a priority over my husband. I took him for granted for many years and didn’t meet his needs. I had no idea what I was doing other than growing deeper and deeper into dispair. I have not had physical affairs. I had a Facebook stalker tell me how beautiful I was. I was hooked. I would definitely say that my husband has had and maybe still is having an emotional affair with a young girl 25 years younger than him. I have found proof. I don’t know own of it turned physical. He denies it up and down.

            I am dying in this marriage. I sent him a text this morning asking him to get help. I can’t change the past. I can only move forward and grow from my mistakes. He is choosing to break up our home and marriage by his refusal to do the hard work to heal. He can’t keep blaming me, which he does constantly.

            Thank u for taking the time to respond

          3. hopefulgal,

            Praying for healing for your husband, for you, and your marriage. I pray that God might provide the resources you need -and that you might fully yield to Him to allow Him to heal and change you – no matter what your husband chooses to do. Sending you the biggest hug!

          4. hopefulgal,

            I would love for you to focus on your own walk with Christ right now – on total surrender to Him and on allowing Him to radically change you. I believe you will have to hold your husband very loosely – allowing him to leave if he decides to. Of course, that is not ideal. It is not what you want. But I don’t want you to live as if you have to make him stay or as if you can control what he does. You can’t. He is responsible to God for what he does.

            The best way to show your husband that you are safe and you are a godly wife is to let Christ totally consume you. Not to get your husband to come back. But just to belong wholeheartedly to Jesus and to allow Him to fill you, to change you, to heal the broken places, and to give you a new heart, mind, and soul.

            Trying to force your husband to return to you will only repel him – as you have seen.

            The path to peace is to accept the sufficiency of Christ no matter what your husband chooses to do, and to be content in Jesus alone – if your husband is here or if he leaves.

            I’d like for you to do an assignment for me, please. 🙂

            1. Write down all of your greatest fears.
            2. Write down all of the things you think you need to be happy in this life.

            Decide that you are going to trust God with these things whether they happen or not. Be willing to totally surrender control to Jesus and let Him in His love and sovereignty and wisdom determine the outcome and the timing.

            Something that may be helpful with this, the book Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray. Here is a free download.

            Until each of us is willing to completely trust Jesus with EVERYTHING and get rid of all of our self-effort, self-trust, self-will, and trying in our own strength – as long as we trust in ourselves or other things, we are not abiding in Christ and we can’t hear His voice.

            He must become EVERYTHING to each of us. He alone is the Greatest Treasure. It is time to realize that if you have Jesus, you have everything that matters – no matter what your husband does. This is ultimately all about you and Christ. As long as you make it all about your husband and what he does, you are trusting in him and trying to depend on him instead of on God. When we idolize other people, we destroy our relationships with them.

            Praying for God to give you clarity of mind to move forward toward Jesus.

            Much love!

          5. Hopefulgal,
            Your last line plays over and over in my head….how long do we wait for out husband’s to become the husband’s and father’s we hope them to be?

            What a question. Just when I think I’m done, I feel a small still voice inside me reminding me of what true faith is. It’s believing the unbelievable and even though we may not see any way that things can work out, it’s knowing that if anyone can make it work, God can. It could be a comment made by a person at a gas station, a plot in a movie, or the innocent observation of a child that may turn the light on for each and every one of us.

            We will never ever be able to explain how this world works, why our husbands get lost inside themselves, how us women believe that we need to prove our love daily to those we care much about. How trust can evade us in an instant, a look, a thought. We know the heartache we have been through. Isn’t it only fair to think our husbands are going through their own version of the same thing?

            There are days that I think it would be so much easier to just walk away, start over, chalk it all up as the past. But if relationships were like common trash, they would never be worth fighting for. The reason we stand and stay is because love is the very thing worth fighting for. We are fighting Satan every day from getting into our heads and our believing lies. The bible is our truth, our guidebook. It has the answers on how to live this precious life we have been given. God gives us everything we need to fight evil every day. We may not have what we need for next week, but we do have what we need today.

            This will most likely be the hardest thing you have ever done, to stand and fight for your marriage in the name of Jesus, but when you come out the other side a victor and no longer a victim, you will have the strength and victory of God on your side! You will know that He is right there fighting your battles with you. You will know that you are valuable and cherished.

            Every human being is a sinner. Even us. We all have the ability to be the victim and the monster. We hurt others as easily as we are hurt by others. We need to face that monster inside us and study it, learn its ways, figure out how to tame it, control it and subdue it. Otherwise, that emotional monster will control us. When we can look at our wounded, hurting husband and realize that people who hurt others are hurting inside themselves, we start to have compassion for their pain. Even if they cause it themselves. Like a frightened child backed into a corner by bullies, they lash out, yet, we very well may have been the bully. To fight this disease of marriages, we need to constantly act with love, respect, compassion and caring. Without that, we are doomed. Without it, we will continue to be ruled by the monster that lives inside us waiting to hurt, cut down, get revenge and blame.

            This maturation process that I think everyone goes through is very unique to each person, but we all go through it one way or another. Mid life crisis, depression, checking out..there are many ways. If it was a broken arm, we could see it and understand it, but these are broken minds that we are dealing with. Ours as well as our husbands. I was lost for a good 10 years of our marriage. My husband tried for so long to be loving and kind, but I was so blind. He couldn’t take it any more, he got consumed by despair and gave up. He was tired, he didn’t think anything would ever change. But when he told me he wanted a divorce, it was only then that I was forced out of my cave and had to face my fears.

            I was protected by my marriage, there was no need to move until then. It became the worse and best day of my life. 1 year later, I am stronger, wiser and much more secure in who I am in God. I feel able to face my fears with confidence and I know that even if my husband leaves me, I will be okay. I will continue onto the plan God has for me. I will not let one person’s opinion of me keep me from my destiny. I choose to stop letting others steal my joy. I choose to look at the good in my life even though it used to be more. I value the positive and stop dwelling on the negative. And guess what, the good starts to grow and get bigger!

            I stay in this marriage because I feel it is the right thing to do. Not the easy thing, by far, not the less painful thing, but the right thing. If our marriage doesn’t make it, at least I will know that I did everything in my power to try to make it work. After that, it’s up to God. The rest is out of my power.

            Your post was very strong. It is the story that so many of us grieve over. We all started out feeling invincible, but then we find how fragile life is. How easily we let ourselves believe the lies. Finding truth is hard, but not impossible. I choose to have hope that we will all weather this storm and come out of it stronger and with better lives than we did before. I pray that this trial includes better marriages as well, but I know that we will be stronger in our faith and spirit at the very least.

            I pray we all find our true selves as God sees us and find the value that He places on us. Letting God’s light shine through us like a beacon, attracting others to Him through us is such an honor. I pray we all reflect that love and help win our husbands over, by simply being a follower of truth. Let us be the example for our husbands to find the path. Let us learn first, so we can become leaders, not followers and help others to find Him.

            Much love to my hurting sisters in Christ and may we fight for the greatest truth…love, for the greatest army…God’s army.

          6. LMSdaily115,

            Thank you so very much for reaching out to Hopefulgal and sharing more of your story. Thank you for your love, empathy, understanding, and compassion for her. Thank you for sharing the treasures God has given to you on this path in the past year. So beautiful!

          7. This is beautiful. I have read your response several times.
            This is one of the hardest things I have done. Every is a battle to remain faithful and strong in the Lord. Deep in my heart, I do not want a divorce, yet living like this with a husband that avoids kissing and public signs of affection, yet at night in bed, he is affectionate, is too confusing for me.

            LMSDAILY115 and April, how long did you go in your marriage with out any physical displays of attention from your husbsnd?

          8. hopefulgal,

            My husband was never big into public displays of affection. I would often reach for his hand, even when we were dating. I’m actually really thankful that your husband IS affectionate at night in private with you. THAT IS AWESOME! I vote to appreciate that. 🙂

            There was a very long time where Greg was so shut down, wounded, exhausted (from working full time and then renovating the house 6 nights per week until midnight for a few years) – that he was not very interested in physical affection, talking with me, looking at me, etc.. It was a slow and very long process. I’m not sure I know the exact timeline. But what I did to start with was just to sit by him – if he was on the bed, for instance. I would just take my books and my journal and sit beside him and read and study when he wasn’t working on the house. (He did slow down the 6 nights per week to just 3-4 nights per week sometime around the time God woke me up in December of 2008.) I dropped my expectations. I just tried to appreciate and enjoy what he was willing to give me. Eventually, he would start to play with my hair while I was reading and he was watching tv. That was a big breakthrough.

            I would say that it was about 4-4.5 years into my journey before things were healed completely with physical intimacy between us. I had been trying to initiate so much. He was exhausted and feeling very disrespected – until 3.5 years into my journey. Then he began to feel safe with me again. He also slowed down even more on the renovations around that time – thankfully! What helped most with physical intimacy issues, in my view, was when I finally just waited. I stopped trying to pressure him and waited until he wanted to come to me. It took about 6 weeks (he was also pretty sick with bronchitis during most of that time – which made it easier for me to wait patiently). But it was important, in our case, for me to stop trying to force him into things and to drop my expectations for awhile so that he was able to move toward me instead of me chasing him constantly.

          9. Peacefulwife…I continue to hug and kiss my husband on the forehead and occasionally his lips. But nothing is ever returned. This morning he wouldn’t look at me when I wished him a good day and kissed his cheek. This is torture for me. I feel like I am a nothing person.

          10. hopefulgal,

            When you said he is affectionate at night, what does he do?

            He is still very deeply wounded, it sounds like. I would suggest this – stop kissing him. Give him a bit of space. Let him heal. Be friendly. Smile. Be welcoming. Be receptive. But let him initiate the physical affection. Sometimes, if we continue to try to push for affection when they are so shut down, it can feel smothering or controlling to them. It may also help him develop a feeling of missing your touch and your body for you to just give him some space. Not pouty space or the cold shoulder. But healthy space to give him some time to heal.

            How is your time with God going?

            Your worth is not based on whether your husband returns your affection, my precious sister. It is based on Christ and what He did for you!

            I hope you will check out the post today, I have a feeling some of the things in that message may be a blessing – even though the post is on a different topic.
            Much love to you!

          11. Peacefulwife.

            My husband hugs me, pulls me close to him, skin to skin, and occasionally we are sexual. He will not kiss me. In bed or any other time. I think this is his form of control. Very sad .
            My walk with God is very strong. However there is a gap between what my head knows and what my heart feels. I continue to pray for whatever is blocking me to fully surrender my husband, our marriage, and my life to Jesus, to be reveled to me so I can quit fighting.

          12. hopefulgal,

            It sounds to me like he is trying to punish you – or that he truly feels so hurt and wounded that he can’t trust you – and this is how he is showing it. I’m not sure. No matter what his motives are about not kissing you – your response needs to be the same, in my view.

            Don’t freak out.
            Don’t be afraid.
            Don’t beg.
            Don’t run.

            Be calm.
            Be confident in who you are in Christ.
            Realize that in Jesus, you have more than you will ever need. Seek to allow God to let all of Himself flow into your soul. Rest in Him.

            If you want to have sex to bless your husband and to enjoy him. Do.

            If you are going to resent him for having sex – then it would be something to pray about. If you are feeling used, you can share that, if you believe God wants you to. You could say, “I want to be sexually available to you, but I feel like you only want me for sex. That makes me feel really cheap.”

            However – it seems to me that you may want to attempt to continue the sexual and skin-to-skin connection because it is very bonding (unless he is cheating on you or something similar). I’m not sure that refusing him sexually at this point would be super productive. You have an extremely wounded man there. From what I can tell. If you are willing to bless him sexually – I think that may promote healing in the marriage. If he is being too hateful for you to deal with it – then we may need to talk about things a bit more. I want you to be able to do this without resentment. In Christ, I think it is possible to do this for your husband and your marriage to bless it and to think of it as a way you can bond emotionally and spiritually with your husband during this time of major spiritual/emotional incapacitation – even though he is not meeting your needs right now.

            It may be helpful to think about all the years he tried to meet your needs, but felt his needs weren’t being met. It can be helpful to think about trying to replenish the bank account. Right now his love/respect account may be “in the red” by a lot. You can ask God to help you find ways to pour into his account to get it back to “in the black” and a healthy place. But you cannot be responsible for him spiritually or for his forgiveness or his obedience to God. You are only responsible for you.

            I went back through and read a lot of your old comments just now. The kind of resentment, hurt, and lack of trust your husband is experiencing takes a long time to heal. I believe you can help rebuild trust by seeking to show him you are not against him, you are respecting him, you are willing to meet his needs, you enjoy him as much as possible, you don’t hurt him spiritually/emotionally, etc…, you don’t gossip about him, you have his back, you are patient in his healing process. Of course, you can also show respect for yourself and for your marriage in the process.

            Imagine him in an ICU bed. Spiritually, and emotionally in your marriage, that is where he is. Yes, it would be awesome if he was super affectionate and kissing you. I believe one day, you can get there again. But this is going to require a lot of patience. MUCH more patience than you have ever had to have in your life. The kind only God can give you. When you have hurt your husband deeply over a period of years, and he has shut you out of his heart, and you want to get back in – you have to do a lot of waiting. You can’t force your way in. You can’t demand that he meet your needs. You can focus on his needs (in a healthy “just to bless him” way, not an OCD or idolatrous way) and on rebuilding trust on your side and on becoming the woman God calls you to be.

            This is the beautiful thing about doing things God’s way, as you focus on yourself, on depending on the sufficiency of Christ, on finding all of your contentment/security/identity in Christ, on being filled with His Spirit, and tearing out all of the idols and sin in your life – God changes you. As God changes you – your husband will have to make adjustments. At first, he will think you are being fake to manipulate him. That will continue for awhile. He will be really skeptical because he doesn’t believe you can change. He may have lost his faith in God and he may not believe God can change you. But He can! 🙂 We know that. Your husband will come around in time. Then, as your husband continues to be hateful to you, and he continues to see you respond with grace, poise, respect, honor, and dignity – he will eventually start to get confused. He may be even more harsh toward you to prove to himself that you haven’t really changed, but that you are just trying to manipulate him. He may try to get you to crack so that he can see you lash out at him and he can continue to believe that his fixed beliefs about you being abusive and mean are right. But when you continue to respond in the power of God without sinning in return and as you continue to show him respect that he doesn’t deserve – he will begin to get more confused. Eventually, he will have nothing to look at but your godliness and his sin. Sometimes, when God does convict a husband at this point, things can get REALLY hard for awhile. But then, in time, a husband will usually repent of his sin and apologize to God and to his wife. Then things begin to heal.

            This is usually the way it seems to go. When things get so bad that a husband talks about divorce- there is a LOT of healing to do. You are in a deep crevice. I think of it like you were riding in a car, and you fell down a very steep cliff. The more severe the damage to the marriage, the steeper the cliff and the farther you fell. It takes longer to get back up to the right road the farther you fell, but God can empower you to do this.

            If you allow yourself to be dependent on your husband’s affection for you – you will be stuck, depressed, and upset. If you can see that he is just very wounded and that he can’t give you what you want right now, then you can allow God to fill you and you can give to your husband the things he needs and will receive from you because you are filled with Christ. But even when your husband is healed- you will continue to receive most of your needs from Jesus, not your husband. Anything your husband gives you is a bonus – but is not necessary to your well being. You are coming to the marriage from a position of great strength and spiritual abundance in Christ. You can think of yourself as pouring healing into the marriage daily – not expecting anything in return. Just seeking to please Jesus and bless your husband as he recovers slowly.

            What do you believe you are fighting?

            What are you most afraid of?

            What are you holding back from God?

            Are you willing to consider Jesus to be THE only One who can truly meet all of your needs and to look to Him alone? Are you willing to consider that He is sufficient no matter what your husband may or may not do? Ultimately, this is all about allowing Jesus to be in control and to fill you. It really isn’t about your husband. But as Jesus fills and heals you – that healing spills over into the marriage. The healing of the marriage will be a secondary effect to the spiritual healing you receive individually in Christ. Not sure if that makes sense? Jesus is THE GOAL. Everything else is just a side effect.

            Much love!
            April

          13. Hopefulgal,

            Also, please focus on the GOOD things you do have.

            Your husband IS still with you in the home.
            He IS still willing to have some skin-to-skin contact and sex.
            He apparently hasn’t filed for divorce.
            From what I know, he is not having an affair or involved emotionally with anyone else, correct?

            You have the opportunity to rebuild. Things could be much worse. Yes, this is very challenging. But he hasn’t left yet. That says a lot. A man’s actions are more to be believed than his words, in most cases. So – this may mean that he wants things to be restored, even if he doesn’t know how to get there.

            I’m actually glad that he is telling you how he feels. I’m glad he is sharing that he was hurt or that he felt you were mean. It is a good thing that he is communicating his thoughts and feelings with you – even if they are negative. It is much easier to deal with things when someone spells them out than for you to have to try to read his mind.

            In Christ, there is every reason for great hope that God will heal this in time as you trust Him. The main thing is that healing the marriage isn’t the most important thing. Jesus is. Your walk with Him is. Stay close to Him. Praise Him. Thank Him. Allow Him to transform and teach you. Seek Him wholeheartedly. Study His character. Listen to David Platt/John Piper/Wayne Grudem/Francis Chan… Nurture your faith and your soul. Stay in God’s Word. Pray – but for lots of things and people, not just for your husband and marriage.

            Much love to you!

          14. April. I am waning a bit. My heart is so sad today. My kids and I have found a wonderful bible-based church and I am so much vliser to seeing my prayer be answered: “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”. But my husband got on a dose box today because my don wanted to go to church today. My husband explained he wants nothing to do with church, God or any part of that “budiness”. Don’t bother asking him yo come with us. He’s not against us going, but the more “different” we become, the farther apart him and I move. Basically he feels thst because I am living in faith and interested in God, church, and educating the kids about Him, and my husband is not, that it proves we are not growing closer together.

            I do not nag him. I don’t talk about God in front of him, but I don’t silence the kids about it either. We have been staying active in church instead of sitting around waiting to be noticed by my husband. I would get so angry at his disrespect for his family, his “last priority” attitude of us. It would mske me so disappointed and used feeling. I really feel God is kerp in us busy and drawing us to Him. I am careful yo not let “church” become an idol of a bigger priority over my husband or family. We skip if he is home and choose to be together rather than church. I know I can honor God anywhere, and I do, daily. In the past, I would get involved whole hog into a hobby, PTA, other friends, or work. I am trying to wait patiently on the beach for his tide to come back in and not just leave the beach again.

            I leave my husband’s salvation to God to handle, but it disheartened me to hear that my faith is making him feel like we are moving apart. I know he doesn’t understand how my respect, peace. Joy and love and strength come from God. He is not a beleiver. He says he feels things are a bit better as far as he has accepted the past stuff and got over it, he feels more comfortable at home and likes that there are not as many arguments, but he thinks that’s only because we really don’t have any connections to argue over anymore. He doesn’t understand that I don’t need to argue over stupid little things any more. He still gets upset when things are not exactly the way he likes them at home, or we are not doing what he would like us to do, but he knows it would be unfair of him to place all sorts of demands and 120 item lists of rules for us yo follow. He knows he is not around much to even have a say and he days he knows he dissapoints me.

            I responded to him that he doesn’t disappoint me, but I am profoundly sad at how unhappy he is. I told him I don’t know what else to do to help but give him space, time and understanding. I told him I can love him as much as he will let me. Even if that means me taking care of the kids and washing his clothes. I told him I am trying to be understanding and patient while he works out his thoughts jntol the day he comes back, if he comes back. I really tried to speak with love and understanding to him. I was respectful and honest. I told him some days it’s all I can do to breathe, but we need a leader. We all need him and want him. I said I know he has such tremendous pressure to perform all around him.

            April. I feel I am doing all I can do. My husband suffers do much from his controlling pride. I did this very same thing and look where it got me! Can’t he see he is doing the exact same thing? Am I being too soft? Should I Be Saying something else? I am with God every chance I can, praising and thanking and praying for blessings. I pray for my husband’s heart to soften. For him to find God, for him to lose the scales from his eyes and ears. I pray for strength and discernment for me. I pray for patience. Help to keep my joy and for a deep ocean of faith to keep me going. I am petrified that I will be stuck with this unloving, hurtful, she’ll of the man I fell in love with. He is too scared to walk away, but too proud to try to love me again. What should I look for in order to see any progress? Is God really going to saddle me with this rejecting, unloving person the rest of my life when I am brimming over with God’s love and want to share my love with him? I have do much to offer! Is this my punishment for my sins? How many times do I need to be punished? When will God step up to fight for me? I even wrote a poem today that described me in a “suffocating well” the dispair, the bleakness, the pain. But by the end of the poem, I still felt hope with the help of my perfect Lamb. THAT I WILL PERSEVERE Because Jesus is in the well helping me up the wall. I was inspired by my response to hopefulgal, recognizing the pain and dispair and loneliness we both feel from the immense rejection of our husbands, and also the poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – “I heard the bells on Christmas Day”. I read about his reason for writing that poem in “Our Daily Bread” daily devotional. It describes his sadness and dispair after losing his wife in an accidental fire and his son being severely injured in war. The bells were painful to hear at this time. He felt there was no hope for peace on earth and goid-will towards men, but in the 7th stanza of the song, he begins to show faith in God again as the bells ring louder than the sounds of the cannons…and that Good will prevail.

            Keeping faith as small as a mustard seed is all I can manage some days. It keeps my head above water. I know it’s only been a year, but such a long year. I thought things were getting better. He kissed me on the lips the other day, said he is staying for more than just the kids now, was making plans for the next year together. He was smiling and joking a bit more. Then a slide backwards. Is this nornal? How can I encourage the steps that lead toget her and discourage the hurtful, unloving stuff? I really want to share the printout of the ways men are unloving to their wives. I pray often about this, but I keep feeling it’s not time yet. But then it pops up in my mind, like maybe I am supposed to give it to him. I know God has some plan with this list, but I am not sure what it is, He just told me to have it printed and ready.

            It’s hard to breathe, but I force myself to. I am hurting and broken, but I’m still in the game. I’m tired, but I haven’t laid down. I just wish I knew that this hard work will pay off. I already know it has for me spiritually, but is it wtong to hope it pays off for my marriage too? I would be okay if he stays or goes, I just really want to see some type of progress. Something I can verify my hope and faith is worth the effort in him! I have found a strength in me that I once would have thought was impossible. I am in awe of how God can lift me up and stand with me as I face my most terrifying fears. When I feel raw and exposed, I can still feel safe and find rest in God. I want His approval most of all. But it still hurts here on earth. It still is painful and constant. It’s not taking me down, but I feel like I stand there and get punched in the face daily and I’m not blocking the blows.

          15. LMSdaily115,

            I am praying for you today, my dear sister! I pray God will send you encouragement, strength, power, wisdom, and that He will make it very clear what He desires you to do. Please understand that your husband has to battle the changes in you – and whether they are real or not – AND your new faith that he does not yet share. That adds an extra big hurdle for him. And, in his eyes, you have only begun to change in recent months. I am guessing he is beyond confused right now and doesn’t know what side is up.

            My greatest prayer is that you continue to abide in Christ and that you be sensitive to all that He prompts you to do.

            I hope to get to write more later today. But please understand – obedience to God ALWAYS pays off. You will be rewarded in heaven and in your relationship with Christ. You are not guaranteed your husband will stay, that he will change, or that he will receive Christ. But if he is going to do these things, this is the path you are taking. It’s not wrong to want God to work in your husband’s life and to have a healed marriage. But it is important not to let that become the most important thing. It’s super easy to let it slip into being an idol.

            I know that for me, when I would feel discouraged and wonder if Greg would EVER change- I had to remember, “I am not doing this to change Greg. I’m doing this for God.”

            I don’t want you to be punched in the face daily, my dear sister! I pray for God’s wisdom about if you need to say more or do more or set boundaries.

            Much love to you!

          16. Peacefulwife and LMS, I immediately felt such sadness for what your husband is doing. His behavior is manipulating. I would say that he is threatened by the growth and community that are offered to you and your children through the church you speak of and through your commitment to Jesus. NEVER EVER give that up for him.

            My husband is very angry and critical that I have been taking our two boys to participate in Sunday school at a church that he left. I also contacted the pastor to counsel/pray with my 17 year old son that is very troubled by the stress in our home and the way my husband treats me. I asked my husband to participate if needed in the counseling. He said no.

            My children, my soul, your children, and your soul need to be loved,supported, carried by a community of people who want to grow and change to be like Jesus. We leave the control of our husband’s when we seek like minded people.

            This weekend has been incredibly lonely. My husband has barely spoken to me and has not touched me once. He is punishing me…just like April said in an earlier comment. Our husband’s are broken men.
            LMS you have been a source of hope and wisdom for me. I have reread your comments as well as April’s and others over and over just to give me the energy to get through another hour. The pain we feel is excruciating. Today, right now as I am typing on my ohone, my eyes are welling up in tears.

            I just have to beleive that God is with us, cries for us, cries for our children, cries for our husbands.

            Praying for you dear sister. One day at a time. We will get through this.

          17. Hopeful gal and April. Thank you for your prayers. I needed them very much today. I feel so blessed to have found a church that me and my kuds are excited about. I had to laugh. We went and celebrated a small Christmas with my husband’s great aunt today and she bought him a beautiful gold and steel cross necklace and one for my son. She bought a beautiful earing and necklace cross set for my daughter. My husband put the cross on out of respect for his aunt, less than 12 hours after he declared he didn’t want any part of it! I giggled inside as I watched God show my husband how much my husband is NOT in control!

            I realize my husband is kind of a gift snob. I have given him the gift of my love, my life. Loyalty, partnership, support and care. He just isn’t happy with what I have to offer as my gift. For so many years I tried to take my gift and tweak it to fit his criteria, but it was never good enough. I now only have the real me. Not trying to be perfect. Cleaner house. More sex gift version. If he doesn’t want my gift, then fine, but it is all I have to offer. I have so much love to give. I am brimming over due yo God filling me up. At this point, if km not good enough to fit his standards, then good luck to him to find his impossible perfection.

            If I went to a soccer field on a cold, windy day and was cold because I didn’t dress warm enough, and my husband went to his truck and brought back his ugly brown stained, torn too big car hart coat for me, I would not turn it away. I would be grateful for the warmth it provided and be thankful that my husband helped me, even if it was my own fault for not dressing warm enough.
            I wouldn’t be thinking of how the coat was too bid, torn or stained. It would be disrespectful to demand some other coat. Or reject it because it wasn’t good enough for me.

            In the same way, our love and respect should be accepted for who we are. For so long, I tried yo be such a people pleaser to my husband. I still want yo do nice things for him, but I do them even if he doesn’t return them. In fact, most often. I don’t even expect it. I find I am happier with myself for taking the high road and I am not disappointed. Would it be nice I’d he reciprocated? Absolutely! , But it isn’t really “giving” if we ate expecting something back, now is it?.

            As Christmas approaches, I can be truly thankful and full of joy for what God gives me every day. I don’t need new shoes, new pans. A piece of jewlry. I need God in my life. If my husband feels I am pulling away ftom him by going to church, then so bebit. I am making sure it is not over him in priority, but God is girst, then husband, kids fsmily ect. Church is there, but I can honor God anywhere, with my every day living. I do need a support group on this earth to help guide me to stay in faith. I value that.

            I hope my husband wakes up soon. I hope he sees the gift he has in a respectful and Godly wife. I may not have always been this way, but I figured it out with God’s help. If he throws me away now. Well, his loss. This is the only version of my gift I can give with a lifetime gurantee. I hope one day he sees the treasure he has right in his hands.

            I pray for you, hopefulgal, that your husband softens his heart and stops punishing you. I pray that you find strength and joy in other parts of your life besides your husband. Maybe in time he will learn to be the loving and caring man he has the potential to bevome, but in the meantime, I pray that you take this time yo discover the gift that YOU are. The special qualities and value that you have that were given to you by God. Please try not to judge your worth on how your husband is treating you right now. You end up in such a victim mode this way. It’s time for you yo take charge over who you let steal your joy. Are you really going yo let your husband take your joy every day with his bad attitude? Or can you choose to find the hood in your life and be happy eith yhat, even in spite of your husbands dour outlook? I am praying so hard that you rise above this prison uou allow yourself yo dwell in. You have the keys, the power to step out and move into the sunlight. Let’s take this coming week together and focus our energy on how loved and cherished we are by God. The presents, the actions and words of our husbands, or anyone else is not even close to the acceptance and approval yhat God gives us every day! Because a baby was born, we all can live!

            Thank you, sweet sisters for your support and love. Hopefulgsl, I LOVE that you found a way to minister to me, even through your own pain. It really meant so much to share a long distance hug together and help each other out. I, too, understand the loneliness you feel, but I beleive we will make it out of this to a new, more wonderful marriage than we ever had before. I think this fiery trial is growing us up and refining us. We would never have grown without this pressure to really evaluate our attitudes and sins. As much as it hurts, I know deep down, we will be better and stronger for it. Hugs and prayers yo you this week, Much love!xoxo.

          18. Hopefulgal,

            I am so very sorry for your pain. 🙁 I am glad you are reaching out for help from your pastor.

            I wonder something, is there a church your husband would prefer for you and your children to go to? Is there one he is willing to go to?

            Praying for all of you!

            Love
            April

          19. I am not sure if I responded to this, as I am rereading today to give me courage and strength. I am wanting physical affection from.my husband and it is not coming the way I WANT IT.

            However the good news is that we are together for Christmas with our 3 sons,and my husband even mentioned going to NY City for my birthday.

            Thank you April for your insight, reflections, prayers, love for all of us who are walking this journey of refinement.

            Merry Christmas

          20. Lmsdaily115 & hopefulgal, & other hurting sisters,

            So much pain, confusion, hoping, seeking, longing, regrets, tears and pleading for God’s help. We are all hurting but we all have hope in God. This is a super busy time of year but I have to take a minute and let you all know how much I appreciate you sharing your lives and marital circumstances on this blog. I have been extremely encouraged to see what amazing faith you women have. The peace and calm during your storms of life uplift me and give me hope. God IS with each one of us. He HEARS our prayers. He will HELP in time of need. He is the goal, keeping Him in front leading the way. We need to remember to let Him fight our battles for us, sometimes in ways that we can’t even imagine… cross necklaces LMSdaily 🙂 He is God and He is in control. Patience, Patience, Patience. This is not a quick fix. Our marriages have been a mess for years and each one came to a breaking point. God is working on us and on our husbands. Real permanent change takes time. I have fought God for almost a year trying to fix my marriage MY way. In just the last couple of weeks of finally letting go I have found peace. I am focusing on Christ and pleasing Him. That’s it, that’s all. Simple really. Biting my tongue, praying for guidance. Blessing without expectations. Loving unconditionally. No more judging the intentions or deeds of my husband. It is not my place. I am at peace that all will be well with me whether or not my husband leaves me or decides to fully love me and check back into our marriage. I want him to be happy and if its with someone else, so be it. I am ME and I am finally ok with that. God and I have a lot to work on to make me a better person but I am loveable as is. If he doesn’t see it then oh well. GOD LOVES ME AND ALWAYS WILL! He loves you ladies as well. He is for marriage. He is on our side and we are on His side…THE WINNING SIDE! Keep praying,stay close to Him ladies. Merry Christmas and love to all and may we truly have a happy new year in 2016!

          21. Hopeful,

            Wow!
            This is amazing. The place where you are with God is where I long for every wife to be able to be. Thank you SO much for sharing a bit about your journey.

            If you would like to share your lightbulb moments, we are all ears!

            Much love! I trust you and your husband to Christ. I can’t wait to see all that He has in store!!!

            Much love and the biggest hugs to you, my precious sister!

          22. Peacefulwife,
            My lightbulb moments…

            This summer I had the lightbulb moment that I am not in control of my husband or kids or anything in my life. This was huge for me…God is in control!

            Next lightbulb was trusting God to BE in control. Does God really love me and want all things good for me? Will He see me through this and anything else that comes my way? Can I trust Him with my life? Does He hear my prayers? Is God for real??? I think I had to humble myself and seek Him and boy did I find Him!!! The answers to all of my questions were a resounding YES! I have more peace than ever before in my life. This blog and the ladies’ testimonies and encouragement have helped me to trust.

            Friends and family have shown care and concern. God used several family members who pulled my husband aside and tried to talk to him. My own grown children have uplifted me and encouraged me throughout this trial. My kids also helped me to see my faults in my reactions and perceptions to things. God is everywhere at work. I am sooo blessed.

            My husband is a very good man but he is going through a midlife crisis right now so his thinking has changed and life is an emotional roller coaster. He is hurting too. My husband and I had another long talk about our marriage and our issues a couple of weeks ago. Still no resolution, no apologies, just more hurting of one another. I came to realize that alot of the problems are with me and my judgement of him over what he is doing and my reactions to his actions. Who am I to judge him?? I am not my husband’s Holy Spirit. I have to answer to God for myself and how I am treating my husband and family.

            The big lightbulb recently has been about just living to please God. Just resting in Him and trusting Him. I just need to do right, confess sin, and put Christ first in my life. This year I have gone through alot. I had extreme fear of losing my husband. This caused me so much turmoil that I couldn’t eat or sleep. I worried and worried about how this would all turn out. I went through a period of extreme jealousy over his emotional affair. I went through a dark valley of not feeling loved or worthy of love. I didn’t like myself and wondered why no one could ever love me. I tried to change and be more likeable but it wasn’t working. I, I, I, I….not God changing me. I can’t fix this problem but God can and I am finally letting Him change me and work in my heart. I am trying to listen very carefully to the Holy Spirit for convicting me and prompting me to be still or be quiet or to speak when the time is right.

            I guess the biggest breakthrough/lightbulb is that I finally surrendered. I realize now that I am loved by many, including my husband. I read on this blog of so much heartache: unsaved husbands, uncaring unaffectionate husbands. Sinful husbands, etc. My husband is going through a hard time but he is still a very very good man. He is still here… he wanted to leave and run away from us all but he unselfishly sucked it up and did what was right and good for our family. He does still love me although he hasn’t liked me very much this year and rightly so because I have been an emotional wreck. He still desires me and has sex with me although we have gone through some dry spells when things were really rough emotionally. He still hugs me every morning before he leaves for work. He is an amazing father and has really tried hard to be good to the kids and made sure they know that he loves each one of them even though our marriage is struggling. He provides well and goes everyday to a job that he hates. He has talked to me about his friend, his needs, his frustrations, my failures toward him, etc. He has been completely open and honest with me and I reacted very very poorly.

            I have much to be thankful for and I do have hope for the future. I must say though that Satan is very very wily. He knows our weak points and uses them against us. As a child I felt unloved and unwanted. My husband and I have never been close friends that talk and share and do things together. We both work hard and do our duty but we don’t have fun together and do almost everything separately. Enter a new female employee at my husbands workplace. She is kind and friendly and shows care and concern for my husband during a rough transition at work and during our marital crisis. My husband talks to her for hours and shuts down on me and checks out of our marriage. I freak out and try to cling to him and condemn him and hate myself and feel completely bereft of all hope. Isn’t Satan smart!?! He almost destroyed our marriage of 28 years! He almost destroyed our upstanding family that everyone looks up to. He almost destroyed me…I felt like I was going into a depression.

            Thank goodness God helped me to see the light. My reactions were hurting our marriage more than anything my husband ever did. I was the biggest obstacle in this whole mess. My husband technically hasn’t done anything wrong except be a little too friendly. He is witnessing to her strongly and is concerned about her salvation. Anyway, I need to start making Christmas candy, lol! My journey this year has been all about me. It should have been all about God and pleasing him. It should have been about my husband and how best to help him through this hard time in his life. It should have been about loving my kids and truly caring about them. I am looking forward to 2016 and all that God will continue to do with me and mine. I thought about changing my name on here because there seem to be alot of hopefuls. But I AM Hopeful and I will remain Hopeful with a pink avatar 🙂

          23. Hopeful,

            WOW! Thank you so much for sharing those amazing lightbulb moments!!!!! How I praise God for what He is doing in your heart and that He is helping you see from His perspective and to understand your husband’s perspective. I pray for God’s protection over your marriage and husband. Even more, I pray for God to empower you to be the woman and wife He calls you to be – that you might rest in His love and your husband’s love and not freak out. 🙂

            Much love to you! I am SO THRILLED you are realizing this is ALL about God! WOOHOO!

          24. Oh hopefulgal, I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU! I am praising God for what He has done in your life! You have found the narrow path to life! I have been praying for you to come to this point in your life! I am smiling huge as I write this. Oh, my sweet sister, I am brimming over!

            Best Christmas present ever. You will never forget this moment that you have accept the masterpiece of you in God’s eyes and the giving up of trying to get approval from your husband. The approval of God is already yours! This is the bridge between your heart and your mind I believe you were needing. A HUGE milestone in your spiritual journey, my sweet friend. Thus it now begins. Healing, transformation, maturing in Christ and learning how to take back your life from the self-imposed prison you have been living in.

            If you get a chance to watch the show “War room” please do. The music soundtrack has been hugely inspiring as well. I imagine us linking arms and moving mountains, our group of wonderfully and fearfully made ladies (and men) who have finally come to the understanding of what living for God is all about and how we will be able to change lives.

            I am praying for you to keep this peace and joy in the very center of your heart. This type of thinking will be your strength in your dark places. You will still waffle and have good and bad days, however, you will be quicker at pulling yourself out of the bottom of the emotional mire.

            I pray that you become a beacon of God’s love to your husband and anyone you meet. It is on this path that you will be able to INFLUENCE but not CONTROLL your resurrection of your marriage. Much love my wonderful friend!!!# 🙂

          25. LMSdaily115,
            Thank you so much for all of your encouragement. Your thoughtful comments and spiritual insight have helped me more than anything else. Thank you for taking the time to type out your wonderfully long responses. I just want you to know what a blessing you are to me and how much I appreciate you. I will continue to pray for you and your situation. Thank you for letting God use you. I hope you have a merry Christmas and that the new year brings you great joy, no matter your circumstances. God bless you for being a friend to so many!

    7. I have made such a mess in my marriage…really bad in the last year. I have thrown fits of rage, fit of craziness, despair. This just pushes my husband away. The more he reject s me the more I freak out inside. What happened in your marriage to get you to this point?

  7. Thank you for sharing you journey with us ! Praying The Lord will give you the strength and guidance you need. Love in Christ !

  8. You wrote beautifully. It’s funny how even our worst nightmares may come true from time to time, but God has a way of making it an opportunity to draw closer to him, which is the ultimate goal of our existence anyway.

    1. With no adversity, how do you develop grit?
      With no danger, how do you develop courage?
      With no sadness, how do you develop joy?

      I love how pain can really develop a person and move them towards God. Pain isn’t good in itself, but it’s an opportunity.

      1. AnonyMan,

        SO TRUE! We don’t want to sign up for suffering. But suffering is a critical part of our spiritual growth. God uses it to refine, purify, mature, and strengthen us. This is why James can dare to say we ought to rejoice over our trials.

        Love it!

  9. Hi April – what if it’s the wife who completely shuts down, won’t even look at me, definitely won’t talk to me, etc? I know that’s an open ended question, but it’s a situation I’m in right now. She’s been “separated in house” pretty much, for six months. It’s exhausting. I know God gives us Grace and Mercy for today, but I’m just so weary.

    Thanks
    -hh

    1. hh,

      Well, sometimes husbands like to use what I share to “reverse engineer things. For wives, my counsel is to focus on their walk with Christ and on becoming the women and wives God calls them to be. I ask them to lay down most of their expectations of their husbands and to depend on Christ to meet their deepest spiritual/emotional needs. I ask them to honor and respect their husbands and to look for the good in them and to do things just to bless their husbands without expecting anything in return.

      I don’t think I know why your wife is shutting down. I’m not sure if she feels unsafe or feels unloved or that she can’t trust or what might be happening. But – if I were counseling a wife in a similar situation, I would ask her to examine her life for any sin and to repent of that to God and to her husband and to seek to allow God to empower her to change and become the woman God desires her to be.

      I have seen husbands model the agape love of Christ and pray and see God bring healing. Remember, you have all of the resources of heaven and all of the power of the resurrection Spirit of God at your command as a follower of Christ. You are not in this alone! I would encourage you to read Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray – I have the link to the free PDF download on this post. 🙂

      Has she shared why she is upset? Is she dealing with clinical depression or some severe stress?

      How is your walk with Christ going, my dear brother?

      Much love to you in Christ!

      April

      1. Hi April,

        Thanks for responding, as always.

        For her, it is very difficult to tell, because she will not talk to me. Our communication is limited to the few and far between times that she initiates a conversation – which is normally to “drop a bomb”. If I try to seek out conversation with her, she shuts down and avoids it very passive aggressively. She has isolated herself to where she is only seeing a therapist, talks with a “mentor” (who has been an advocate for separation and divorce – and had a divorce herself when she was my wife’s age), and a doctor. She very adamantly avoids the church when ladies reach out to her. So with that circle she’s isolated herself into, they are helping her enshroud herself into a “victim complex” regarding just about everything. Is she hurt? I’m sure. Does she feel unloved? Given the current inputs into her life, I’m sure most things meet that definition of “unloved”. It’s been clear since she started pulling away that things were very lined up in almost like a script … geared towards systematically pulling away … and ultimately saying she wanted separation. She made it clear that she was not going to be the person to leave – I was to leave. I simply said “No, I’m not going anywhere – this separation is not of God. God calls us to reconciliation. Neither of us are being physically abused, neither of us are inflicting severe “emotional abuse” (though in today’s day in age, almost any form of disagreement is interpreted as “emotional abuse”), etc. Unfortunately, again, her “therapist” and “mentor” advocate for separation.

        I appreciate you asking people how their walk with Jesus is. I know that most people probably take offense to that, because it is a tough question that they don’t want to face. But it is such a very legitimate question. So thanks for asking it. For me, my walk with the Lord has been much improved over the past six months or so. Found a great church, and a really great men’s group…. And an amazing older pastor as a mentor. I’ve had so many positive changes and specific rescues in that arena lately – and at the same time, my wife has pulled away very systematically…. It’s been such a downer. I just want to share this joy with her. Does she not believe I’ve “really changed”? Likely. I can see why people on this site comment on “not being able to trust fully anymore”. But I don’t believe that to be of God. Jesus saved us with a violent hope – and a grace that fully separated our sin as far as the East is from the West. In our human nature, we don’t naturally have that grace … that’s why rely on the Holy Spirit to show us how to demonstrate grace and mercy for today. And that is renewed for tomorrow. One day at a time.

        I’ve wrestled with the term “Passive Husband” here and there – mainly because I couldn’t really relate. I’m a Type A personality – like to tackle things head-on, etc…. so I didn’t think I could relate to the term. But over the past few months, I’ve learned more about what that really looks like from a guy’s perspective. Most guys are wired to tackle the world head-on, to be a warrior for those we love and care about. I think that we (sinfully) revert to the “Passive” role, when we feel that our wife has hamstrung us. When we believe that our wife has begun “not fighting fair” – and that we are in a lose lose situation.

        I have a good friend who was going thru a very hopeless time in his marriage. He didn’t grow up in a Christian home, she did. Their marriage was headed for divorce. So due to some encouragement from some Christian brothers, he began going thru the Love Dare process. He tried to keep the book concealed, and faithfully went thru it each day. One day, when the family was in his car, she found the book under his seat. She pulled it out before he came out to the car, and began reading his journal entries for each day. When he got in the car, she put it in his face, and vindictively laughed in his face, shoved the book in his face, and while laughing, said “you actually think this stuff was gonna work on ME?!? You actually think you’re going to be a spiritual leader?!?” She continued laughing at him ….. and it ripped him apart. He promptly threw the book away that afternoon. Such a tragedy. He began to take job assignments that would get him away from home as much as possible. He avoided her as much as possible. He went passive.

        Dear Sisters – I would just encourage you to try not to be careless with your husband’s heart. We men might appear rough, hard, and impossible to phase on the exterior . . . but we can fall much deeper than most women realize, emotionally. We can be hurt deeper, often times. We are definitely wired much differently – and we rarely wear our emotions on our sleeves. We don’t have many “safe places” where we vent, like many women do… it is embarrassing for us to admit that we don’t have things “together”. 19 out of 20 men do not have meaningful relationships with other men where we talk about significant things like finances, faith, or marriage. Our wife is our “safe place”. When that “safe place” isn’t “safe” . . . we don’t run to other men to air our grievances. We shut down. Completely. It isn’t right.. it’s sinful. But it’s what I’ve seen as extremely prevalent during my involvement in men’s ministries. I pray that helps understand the complicated creature that is the human male, a little better : )

        Carrying a Flickering Hope…. But still a Hope,
        -hh

        1. hh,

          It is really difficult for me to discern what might be going on with your wife. But obviously things are not good. 🙁

          I’m so thankful that you have some godly men around you and that you are seeking Christ with all your heart.

          And I agree – that when we are in Christ – we can learn to trust fully – because our trust is ultimately in Jesus, not in a sinful, fallen person. And we have the ability to extend this insane grace that God has given to us.

          Thank you for your insights about why men may resign themselves to passivity. It absolutely breaks my heart to hear about your friend. 🙁

          I am praying for God’s Spirit to intervene in your marriage – to draw you and your wife closer to Himself – and for healing and reconciliation for your marriage, my brother!

  10. Hey April,

    I hear so many male preachers telling me how to have a good marriage and “what a woman wants and what woman needs” which is very weird because I can be sure that I haven’t a clue what I personally “want or need” let alone other men, let alone women so I’m writing in my “clueless” state once again…

    So here’s my thing….through the year of separation I get knocked down, rebuilt and repeat, each time there is a little less of my old self and a little more trust in God. Over the last few weeks my wife has been able to voice her hurts a little and I have really appreciated it because only after a year do I start to hear some of her hurts. She REALLY thinks I am unreliable, she thinks I am manipulative and I really was both.

    I am not saying this to demean her, I am asking how to understand but after a year when I have really made really significant and noticeable changes in every area of my life and those continue, they are highly evident to everyone but she does not seem to see them. However because they are dealt with she finds smaller and smaller issues and makes them massive!! My wife is a really beautiful and gentle spirited woman but there were some very small things not done which she believed I had done and they were so small that she didn’t notice for about an hour then she really lost it…I have never heard my wife swear in thirty years….she let loose, violently to me on the phone.

    I am not writing for sympathy, she is obviously and justifiably very hurt but I was wondering if it made sense for me to think that she is now being able to express the hurt inside and get it out. I say this because she went crazy on the phone to me and then an hour later rang to see if something really simple had been done and it was totally unnecessary for her to ring about and it was gentle?

    As I said before, I have so fallen in love with her in the last few weeks I don’t care how she speaks to me I just love her but if I can keep understanding her then she may not feel like she has to…it was pretty amazing time but I think pretty important…

    This place is so good, April….when people get honest, things change…

    1. Gary,

      I do think that it can take a LONG time for a hurting, wounded spouse to move from being skeptical to believing that changes in the other spouse are real. I know for many wives, their husbands will continue to try to blame the wife and look for ANYTHING to label as “sin” or “wrongdoing” on the wife’s part even as the wife is sinning less and less. I think it is easier if we can blame our spouse. When the spouse’s offenses are gone, eventually, we have to look at ourselves and question our own behavior, and that is unpleasant!

      I have also seen where husbands who felt disrespected for years feel more free to share how they are hurting and often become more verbal about their pain as they feel more safe. I am sure that is also possible with wives. I think the spouse who is growing in Christ may also develop greater sensitivity over time to be able to hear their spouse’s concerns and issues, as well.

      Perhaps she called later and was gentle in an effort to try to apologize?

      Honesty is VERY important! It is the only way we can feel safe and be truly vulnerable with each other.

      I pray for continued healing spiritually for you both and for your marriage!

      1. I agree with April. As I recognized more and more of my disrespect and apologized for it, by stonewall husband bubbled up and blew like a volcano for a good 2 weeks. I let him blow. I knew he needed to get it out. He finally felt like he was being heard. Not sure if he felt like there was anything that could be done about it, but he finally felt heard.

        She may feel the same way. But feeling like she is being heard is still different from feeling understood. That may be another phase. When you no longer are trying to interject your own interpretations, feelings, win her over, convince her of the change in you etc. If you can simply let her vent, help her feel like you understand she is feeling distrustful, suspicious, hurt, angry, deceived, let down, confused, broken, tired or whatever she is feeling. A woman may not want you to fix it, just understand her feelings about it. You have made great strides to fixing things by not doing the hurtful actions etc anymore, but it’s really hard to trust again when she was so vulnerable and trusting of you before. That will take time. She may never fully trust again! Will thst change your course if she doesn’t? I am trying to work out if I can ever trust my husband again, and I was the disrespectful one. But I have seen a side of him that I never knew existed! Very much a monster under that knight in shining armor. I know I will never trust him again without God’s help. But goid thing forgiveness and trust are 2 seperation things. I KNOW I can forgive him, but I won’t blindly trust another human again. I trust fully in God only. I wish I could trust my husband agsin, I will probably trust him in ways I didn’t before, like to lead the family, his way of doing things, but I know he is capable of sin as well.

        If your wife never moves forward from where she is now, will that change your next move? Is there a time limit in your head that you will try to prove yourself to her, then if it doesn’t wirk, will move on? What is your true goal here? To save your marriage? Could you winning your wife’s trust be turning jnto an idol for you? I know you have a much deeper love of God now, but I have found that these idols creep in and surprise us if we don’t keep an eye out for them. I had to rid myself of the idol of “church”, recently. I was choosing church over my husband, I had to remember to love my husband and respect him as Jesus would. God is with me always, not only at church. But with God in my heart and wanting to please Him, respecting my husband over going to church was next in line. I didn’t see that coming until I was tested. I’m just glad I listened to that still, small voice inside.

        I think it is the little things that our spouses will test us with. Things we are not even aware of. They want to know that it us not a show, a parlor trick, a manipulation. They want to see the REAL us. It is very hard to beleive that someone could change their entire personality in such a short time. If she has not been born again, she may always be suspicious. Hang in there, be patient. God is working on her, and she may be getting closer and closer to answering her own question “Is this the real Gary” When she finally answers, she will want to be very sure. She will not want to ever go through this kind of heart break again. Let her work out all her doubts. But you just be you and jeep learning and loving God, he will direct you no matter what. Much love, my friend!

        1. Wow, LMS you really break it down to the key indicators and I’m so thankful for that. Your last paragraph is like a gong sounding….I can have so many arguments, so many reasonings but your comments about the parlour trick, show and manipulation are what i want to change so desperately. In truth, my heart can change quickly, my attitudes can change quickly but I never realised that my personality is still changing. Thinking it through, my personality is largely made up of my heart and my attitudes but also my habits and mindsets. And many of them haven’t changed yet…the big ones have, I promise but as you said it is the small nuances that she is probably most nervous about because they are probably the little nuances and indicators that she had overlooked before when trust was high and if she still sees them they would now be red flags with lights and whistles and that is completely and totally appropriate.

          I realised too that I was looking at things through MY eyes …what have they got to do with anything if this is about my wife? I could have simply asked what she thought instead of taking over and making the decision on her behalf. You describe that really well in the paragraph about being heard or being understood. If I assume I understand then I am back in the position of arrogance that was so disgusting before.

          I noticed something in what you said that might help for you…about trust. I think there is a difference between being distrusting and not trusting. No one is trustworthy without being tested. But the test may prove they are trustworthy or it may make them trustworthy. Some trustworthy people are shown to fail in the test. For me the testing is where I found my true self. I had been untrustworthy for all of my life, I believed I was and acted accordingly. I believed I was a coward and i believed I was untruthful. Being in this test I have understood I am very opposite of that. Within that I now know with certainty that I am trustworthy up to the point that i have been tested but no further. Somewhere in the New Testament it says that I have not been “tested unto death” so it is pure speculation how I would fare at that level. It is the trust in God alone that allows us to “trust” other people whether spouses, family, or enemy. In my walk now, I see my wife making some really sketchy decisions based upon emotions, often with significant consequences and so I have to do an “Esther” and trust God that He will sort it. I promise, I’m not so good at it…it is all by will alone, I so want to put my argument forth but like Esther’s situation i actually have to wait for the “kings sceptre of favour” to be extended.

          Thank you LMS and April…this is so valuable..it never seems to be going around in circles but always drawing us to God so it is amazing.

          1. Gary, how are you doing? I reread some of your comments and sent a prayer your way. I hope you are experiencing some needed peace and strengthening joy today.

      2. Thanks April,

        That makes sense…Reading LMS’s reply in conjunction with yours. i had to then reread them both again two or three times to try and get honest with myself. When deception and manipulation have been such a big part of my life for such a long time it is easy to convince myself that I am doing something for a right reason and it is still not the truth. And without the testing that comes through the conflict it is REALLY easy to relax which would be the worst outcome for either me as a believer
        or us in our marriage.

        It is easy to default to a “I’m doing everything and trying so hard and have made so many changes” but that’s a really dangerous place to sit as Andrew Murray explains so well. Whilst I am doing it in my own strength I am not in Him. Jesus always talks about actions versus motives and says many will do something in My name and it will count for nothing.

        It is also really easy to hope that God gives my wife some revelation of how “good” I am. how hard hearted she is but that is a really disgusting self righteous attitude and very cheap. If I can get to the place where I can hear the Holy Spirit, where I am humbled, then change can continue to happen. I got this picture where trust is like a see-saw where we both were sitting on it. I jumped off my end and all off a sudden the see-saw thumps down. Trust has both people on the see-saw helping each other to “balance’.

        I spent a lot of time in our prayer chapel this morning, really trying to “get it” – The Lord took me to about the hardest but most truthful verse about marriage He has. Ephesians 5:23 loving your wife like Christ loves the church but then it says “having laid His life down” – I can do nothing less, He expects it and He demands it.

        She constantly says that she is looking for communication but is looking to me to provide that and will only respond if she feels like it. Again, God never gives up trying to communicate with us…this is a an amazing, stressful, intense, fulfilling journey….but its never about the other person is it?

        1. Gary,

          I love what God is doing in your heart! Nope. It really isn’t about the other person. It seems to come down to me and God. Praying for you and your wife – and for God’s greatest glory!

        2. Gary, I woke early this morning with a thought about your situation. Please pray on this, as it is only my opinion, but for some reason it is shouting in my heart to share with you.

          My husband is a stonewaller. I have learned to be too submissive. Both are sins. They are giant pendulum swings. As I have gone from very controlling to very passive, I know there is a “rest” space or an eye of the storm that is right. You know you are there when you feel utter peace and no confusion. I glimpse it as I swing.

          However, in reviewing Aprils’ husband’s series about shame, it was brought out that being vulnerable helps absolve shame. I am still noodling this in men, but for me, I was in deep shame for many years before my husband dropped the bomb. I felt not good enough, constantly failing, fat, too this, too that, low self esteem, never up to measure, on and on. Until I finally let down my wall and admitted to myself, my God and others that I was wrong, I felt a victim and imprisoned. However, because I held so tightly to this “picture” of who I thought I was, I could never escape. When I finally let all pretenses down, the bars unlocked. I realized I will never make anyone totally happy no matter what I do, say, change or act. I needed to live to make God happy, the rest would fall into place.

          My point is, being truly vulnerable to myself freed me. The next step is to be able to be vulnerable with those you trust. If my husband would ever be vulnerable to me and tell me his fears, his desires, his goals, I know my heart would melt and I would just want to hold him and make him feel safe. Even though I am hurt every day by my husband. Even today, I am hurt because he continues to chose work over family. But I can’t speed up his process. I can’t make him realize there are only a few short years left for his kids to benefit from his fatherly influence before they are on his own. The relationship he will have with his kids is his own doing, not mine.

          Anyway, back to my point. Do you trust your wife enough to be real with her about what you struggle with? Your changes are bigger than life to her, but where is the chink in the armour? Can you admit to her that you still have struggles and things you want to learn and understand? Would she be willing to help you with those areas, even just as a friend? She needs to know you are still a human, and being realistic about it. Super-Christian might be very overwhelming to her.

          I know for me, although I want to shout the glory of God in my house and grab my husband and kids by their faces and exclaim the goodness of God and what He has done in my life, they would be freaked out. Instead, I need to keep things “translated” into every day life for my husband. I don’t think he “gets” how deep my spirituality is right now. Not sure if he ever will, but I can come back to earth and “live a life of God” without offending unbelievers. I still need to be real, human, imperfect. I need to be vulnerable about my feelings with my husband.

          I would love for him to wrap his arms around me and hold me and tell me everything will be ok, but I don’t expect it anymore. I also know God can do that for me, so I don’t get disappointed if he doesn’t do those things. But what DOES happen, is my husband’s heart starts to soften. He sees I am not perfect, and therefore, because I can accept that imperfection in me, I just might be able to accept the imperfections of my husband. I have been so long demanding perfection, that I expect him to take me slowly. He needs proof, he needs consistancy, he needs reliability. My husband still thinks the other shoe will fall and I will be back to my old ways. There is no other way to accomplish my proof over time.

          In the meantime, though, I live my Christian life with zeal and fervor. Your wife is not the only person in your life you can bless. But one day, I pray she wants what you have…the light and joy from Christ, and you just may be her beacon, but she needs to come to you. Like a bird in a cage that freaks out when you try to grab at it. You can’t grab at a caged bird and not expect to be pecked and bitten. The bird is scared, unsure, may even draw blood. But as you stop grabbing and stay still, the bird’s fight or flight starts to notch down. If you suddenly grab again, it starts all over. Instead, rest your hand next to her and as she learns to trust you again, one day she will step onto your hand and allow you to remove her from the cage in safety. Hope this all makes sense.

          1. Thanks LMS – You ask some pretty challenging questions. I had thought I had progressed but this Christian life is like an elevator that only goes down and down…it’s crazy, there’s always another floor of understanding, of baggage to rid of. The marriage issues seem to fade out as I realise we are broken people, made new in Christ but He lives in us through this brokeness. I never thought I would see myself as broken or want to see my self as broken. Normal meant weakness to me and it meant failure to me and it so weird that I embrace it now…crazy!! But, yep, I will be open about who i am but also who she is because that is one area that we never talk about either.

            I have started on a 21 day fast today for our marriage….however our marriage looks on the outside and whatever perspective my wife may have in the natural we are both still under the same covering and its not about who’s right and who is wrong. She is hurting badly and I can struggle to understand that and ask everyone but I have only been fasting a day and I feel like He is giving me revelation already.

            I hate the thing where it all seems to be about me and as I read your reply I realised “what about my wife? where is she in all this?” I realised that I had the problems in my marriage but then whilst we are separated it’s still about me….but how does that give her an opportunity to heal? I don’t see how she can breathe and have never asked her so that’s not being vulnerable. Everywhere I go now I hear about humility, serious, raw, broken, unpretentious, honest humility. I heard a lot of a woman called Sheila Walsh’s life story, or Rick and Kay? Warren and their tragic loss of their son….listening to the Lord saying submit, submit, trust, trust….I want nothing but humility now, nothing else seems to have truth and I never understood that this is the place of joy for a believer. I have become well acquainted with the Andrew Murray book that April recommended who talks of Gods demand for brokenness and the awareness that we deny ourselves, pick up our cross daily..

            I think though my wife had a massive shock when she realised I wasn’t “perfect” but for me that has been my freedom to be able to openly and happily lean on God because that was always my goal. God is so so so gracious and I am such a slow slow learner but all of you here make the journey so much shorter….

          2. Gary, I only ask you questions i had to ask myself. It’s amazing to see the layers of the onion being peeled back. It’s when we get to that deep level of humility do we start to have an inkling of what sacrificial love really is. How to care about the well being of another human so much so that we are willing to stop kicking our own wounds to attend to theirs, even though the person we are caring for is lashing out. We begin to see past our own hurt, set it aside for now, to help heal another. They become higher on our priority list than ourselves. Only when I began to see my husband as a scared, hurt, frightened boy and I as a monster attacking him and pushing his head under water did I start to see the true depth of my own sin. I knew God could help me with my own pain, but maybe later, after I thought about it and understood it more. For right now, I needed to stop hurting others, and begin to see them as a child of God. We are commanded to take care of His children to the best of our abilities. We are to give love to each other, weather they deserve it or not, doesnt God do the very same to each of us? If we were given Jesus as a visible, human example to emulate, than all our decisions are truly answered with the question “What would Jesus Do?” Then we know. It becomes clear. It may be hard! I’m sure Jesus struggled…he was tempted, he asked God if there were another way, but he ultimately surrendered himself to the will of his father. THAT is trust, faith, perfection.

            We as humans will never reach that level, but we need to always keep that picture of Jesus in our minds as our goal. It is so easy to lose ourselves into the earthly temptations, focus on ourselves, our problems, our wants, needs etc. Just last night I couldn’t sleep because I fell into a pity party. I give and give to my husband. I nurture, respect, honor so much better. I see his bucket being filled, but there is a hole in it somewhete. My bucket is empty when it comes to any type of affection from my husband. Do I feel raw, neglected, ignored? Yes. I feel exposed and like so much trash….if I focus on what my husband isn’t giving me. It hurts, I cry in anguish. I hide it from my husband. He cannot process me and my feelings right now. I have to look to God for that. My bucket is overflowing from Him. I am filled with love for life, my kids, love for my hurting husband, strength and perseverance to reflect God’s love to all those around me. When I focus on all God has done and is, I no longer feel empty. It is a far better feeling to be caring for God’s children than to be an insolent child and scream out “what about me?”

            It’s hard to take this small, narrow path, but it is the only one that leads to life. It was never promised to be easy, but it is worth it. You will get there, Gary. I am so excited to see how far you have come. How honest you are learning to be about yourself. God is guiding you. You are so willing to hear and obey. You are opening your eyes to what was blind to you and hearing what you used to ignore. As you peel the onion back, you will be exposed, you will learn a different way, you will heal, then peel again. Until the core is revealed, each layer gets you closer to God. I am so thankful to God for all He is doing in your life!

          3. Do I trust my wife enough to be real with what I struggle with? Sounds like a great question, until my wife heard all the struggles I have with her controlling dominance. Pages of this open emotion was brought to her attention through our counselor, and her response is, “I see no improvement in you,or changes over the last few months,and I am content in who I am!” From what I read here most women would love to hear what their husbands,feel, think, fear,desire, etc….that was not an easy thing for me to do, to admit too all the years of dealing with being rejected! Only to get the silent treatment,which gives me the impression of I know better, I’m superior,and no respect.

            Our latest “fix it approach” has been to wright down, daily, how we try to show our love for each other. Mine is to list all the chores around the house and work I do with our 6 children. Hers is to list how she shows affection and thanks for what I do. In 4 days I have a page full and she has nothing. (She is always going to bed before we see each other) At first it seemed cold to wright down when you do nice things for others, but I am curios to see how this results with time.

          4. Patrick,

            There are often some major challenges for women who do tend to be controlling/dominating/disrespectful to be able to truly see the depth of the sin that is going on. We are so conditioned that disrespect for men is normal in marriage and that “men and women are the same” and both need love. Our culture threw out respect for husbands 50 years ago and many women don’t realize what respect even is, or what disrespect it. I know I thought I knew – but my definition of respect was woefully inadequate. It also takes God opening a person’s eyes to bring real conviction. We can pray for that and for spiritual healing for both of you.

            Wives do think they want their husbands to be real and authentic – but then sometimes we wives don’t have grace for our husbands’ actual struggles. I think that as we see our own sin and the severity of the debt we owe God ourselves and we receive God’s grace, it becomes much more possible for us to extend that same grace to others.

            It is interesting to me that the silent treatment still projected so many negative and disrespectful things to you, even though your wife didn’t actually say them.

            Are y’all still seeing the counselor?

            Here are some posts that may be helpful as you try to articulate your concerns…

            An Interview with My Husband – Understanding a Passive Husband’s Mindset

            Are Women Morally/Spiritually Superior to Men?

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

  11. So today I was struggling with the “crumbs” I am left with. 3 people who love my husband are left with “crumbs”. Crumbs of his attention, time, love, affection and support. I know there is plenty of “food” out there. (Can you tell Thanksgiving is coming in my mind?) I think we all get swept away in life and forget to feed those we love the most. Do we feed God our biggest portions? In Exodus, we were to give God the firstborn of every womb, the most valuable parts of a sacrifice. We are to tithe the first tenth of our income. We are to give God the first part of each day? How many times do we give God our crumbs. Do we “fit him in” like a checklist task? Do we give him a passing thought at the end of a stressful day? I know I am guilty of giving my family my crumbs. I was so involved with work, a hobby, even PTA that my family only got the stressed out, tired, cranky crumbs of me….the withered, dried out, burnt and gristle parts of my turkey. Who or what do you give the juicy breastfeeding meat, the rich dark meat of the thigh? Why are we not giving that to God, then next our spouse, then kids? Pride, selfishness, bitterness, judgement. We think we can change behaviors if we “starve” our loved ones of what they need. Instead, they either look for food elsewhere, or die.

    What are we really focusing our attention on? Who or what do we give the good food of our love to?

    I wish I had more than crumbs from my husband. I wish I had given more than crumbs to him and my kids in the past. But because of God’s mercy and forgiveness, today, I can choose to give the juiciest and most flavorful parts to God, my husband in my kids. I can choose every day to be a better person and to love them even if they don’t deserve it. As I feed them my love, the best part of my love, they will get stronger, healthier, more whole and learn how to give their best back.

    Crumbs.

    What will you be thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday?
    Who will you share your feast with?
    Have a blessed Thanksgiving. I pray to out generous savior for all He gives, for He gives us all we have.

    1. Lmsdaily115,
      I just love your insight and thoughtfulness. I also enjoy your style of writing. Once again your words encouraged me today. I’m still struggling with so many regrets regarding my husband and children…so many wasted years. Crumbs Is right. Always doing, doing, dong and never caring listening and loving. I’m such a beast, the patience my husband must have! I’m trying to take a much more active part in the lives of my husband and children and am really realizing how much I have missed. I’m trying not to get down about it. No more crumbs!!! I am here and willing to go and do and be used in whatever way God can use me to bless my family! Praise God I’m so thankful that my family is whole and healthy in spite of me. Thank you so much for this reminder to give our best to our loved ones 😀

    2. I gave my husband crumbs for years. I didn’t know what I was doing. He was the last on my priority list and I took him for granted.

      Now he gives me crumbs and I am the last on his list I don’t think that he will allow himself to soften to me. He says I am untrustworthy.

      It is a horrible way to live. I walk on eggshells waiting for the divorce papers to show up. I am dying inside of loneliness and a hug from him. It’s me that initiatives any physical touch. I feel that I do this to honor God because God’s will isn’t to treat my husband the way he treats me..

      1. Hopeful, I had some catching up on posts to do. I want you to know that I am walking the exact same path. I may be a bit further on the path than you, but our husbands are not. Your handle name is “hopeful” for a reason,right?!

        There were many “aha” moments that I journeyed through to get to a place that I could love myself again. I started this thing when my husband asked for a divorce exactly 1 year ago this week. I was lost, crushed, saw no future, no hope, no point in everything we ever did, had, dreamed together for 18 years. But even the day he told me, he hugged me that night. 1 year later, I am lucky if he kisses my forehead goodbye. It hurts. Alot.

        This journey has taught me how entrenched I was with my husband. I didn’t feel like I was loved, cherished or worthy without his stamp of approval. No matter what I did, said or changed, he would not give me that stamp. My husband would say it’s over, I’m broken, I can’t go backwards. It felt very hopeless. HOWEVER , it’s not over till God says it’s over. I had a lot to learn. I called it God 101. I was learning how to be a new christian and save my martiage at the same time. It’s a tightrope walk. But learning about God and trusting Him was not. He was stable and easy.

        My husband went through stages, as did I. There were times when he was angry and needed to get it out, feel heard, see compassion and understanding from me and not selfishness. I didn’t think I was being selfish and I didn’t understand why he felt this way, but I learned that I could understand what he felt, even if I didn’t understand why. I stopped trying to explain my side…he wouldn’t listen anyway, and that was just as selfish on my part. I sacrificed my past hurts for the time being, laid them down, and focused on promoting healing for my husband. For mine, it didn’t mean run around and super clean the house, be all prettied up when he came home etc. I did those things if it made me feel good, but usually I was just really disappointed instead when he come home and ignored me or never commented on them. I had to be okay with what I did for me, for God, not just for my husband….just more stamp of approval stuff.

        Just last week, making plans to bring a salad to my m.i.l. for Thanksgiving…I asked my husband 2x what kind of salad he would like me to make. He responded with an angry “I don’t give a $***”. Ok. I didn’t retort back, I just accepted that he wanted no input. So I Went to the next people who WOULD care, My kids and Inlaws. They wanted something different, with oranges, crunchies, cherries etc. Great! I was happy to shop for items, but I knew my husband wouldn’t like that kind of stuff, he’s a meat and cheese salad kind of guy. So I bought the toppings, chopped up lettuce and and put the toppings in a divided container so that people could choose their own. I made sure there was something for everyone.

        While assembling it, my husband threw a fit over the oranges. Thought I was being selfish making the kind of salad only I would eat. I explained that I talked with his parents and that was their request, I reminded him respectfully that I had asked him 2x what he wanted. He even called me a liar! I silently prayed for patience and strength to God for a minute. I let him be angry, I didn’t irritate him more with my own nasty comeback, I just let him be. I was honoring God. I was not selfish. I made sure there was meat and cheese as well as the other items. I knew that this salad was not worth the damage to my relationship with my husband that an argument would cause.

        My in laws oohed and ahhed over the salad, they loved it. My husband would not touch it…on principal. I just kept my peace, enjoyed the company and was thankful that my in laws were in my life. Point is, I didn’t let my husband’s miserable attitude steal my joy. I didn’t let HIM and his approval or temper tantrum be the focus of the day. I knew God helped me check my motives, do what was in my power over a salad, and I kept my ground with my husband without disrespecting him. In the past I would have felt guilty, shamed, stupid and I would have caved. I would have been sad the entire day, moped and weepy. I can’t control the way my husband reacted, what he said or if he thought I was a liar or not. By the end of the day, my husband admitted that he was more mad at himself. He was a miserable bear the whole day…his parents told him so, the kids stayed away from him, I stayed respectful and positive. I included and invited him, I offered him desert when I offered everyone else as well.

        I suspect that he was feeling guilty of his own attitude, but I cannot help him through that, only God can. I can control mine, though and not pile onto him. I can love him and treat him respectfully EVEN WHEN HE DOESN’T DESERVE IT. That’s the key sometimes.

        Our husbands have their own journeys to travel. We will never stop with ours. Find things in your life, other than your marriage and husband to find joy in. There is so much more in your life than your marriage that is good. Everyday, look for someone to bless, help, lend a hand or comfort to. This will help you focus higher than your problems. Some days, you can bless your husband. I give a foot rub once in a while, just because I want to, but I don’t chase him for it or expect anything in return. It would be nice, but I pretty much expect nothing back. I talk to a friend about her job search, I help my mom with a project, I focus on helping my kids or playing board games with them. I leave the marriage alone for a while. It was consuming me and that was all anyone talked to me about. It was becoming a drag for them, I was a black hole of emotion sucking the energy from others.

        When I focused on loving other children of God, I grew emotionally, more stable and grounded. My self esteem grew, my joy and peace grew, and I was constantly amazed at how good God was and omnipresent, how He would put the right people in front of me. I listened to uplifting praise music, I walked, I took care of myself. I realized that even if my husband DID divorce me, there would be life after divorce. It would be scary and different, not something I wanted, but that with God’s help, I will survive, and be a better person no matter what. There are days that I would welcome a divorce, but I soon remember God hates divorce and that the enemy is still working, trying to inject doubt, discouragement, fleshly selfish wants into my mind. I have to be on guard for that and fight them with God’s words and promises.

        I remind myself daily that God is helping me. My husband is not the enemy, he may be ensnared by the enemy and struggling. My job is to be that beacon of God’s light. The lighthouse does not go out to save the ship, the ship still needs to come to safety on its own. The lighthouse just shows the way. Trust in God and live as Jesus did. Our job is to emulate the way Jesus lived. We will never get it perfect, only Jesus/God is perfect, but everyday is a new chance to do your best. Either your husband will draw near to you, or he won’t, you can’t control thst, but you will be a better, more confidant and joyful person no matter what he decides. Don’t put your saving your marriage or your husband as an idol above God, it is sure to fail if you do. Keep Gid first in your life, my dear friend.

        Please really read the posts April suggests. I always come here and go back in the blog timeline and find subjects that help, even in the comments. Read about healthy boundaries, learn about men and women and how we are different. Really understand what it means to have true, sacrificial, unconditional agape love for someone. This is your race, get the most out of it that you can. Let your husband run his race, get out of his way. His ferlings can change too. Much love and prayers..we are out here holding hands with you my dear. I will keep a lookout for you too!

  12. April..I could you copy and paste my post from this morning from my cell phone.

    This story sounds so familiar. My husband said he wanted a divorce in July 2014 and now says he is going to file in June 2016 when my son graduates from highschool. He shuts me out, treats me with disdain, and occasionally throws me a crumb now and then.

    I have no clarity right now as what to do and what to pray for. I pray for wisdom, fruits of the spirit, psalms, God’s will, God’s redemption and restoration of my marriage. I pray for my husband, for my boys, maybe I am missing something as to whst i should pray for. my husband says that I am unsafe and not a trustworthy person. He blames me for the state of our marriage and will not budge. I am very angry that he is so rigid.

    1. Hopeful,

      Sure, I can do that!

      LMSdaily115,

      This is for you from Hopeful. 🙂 I plan to answer but I would love to hear your take if you have time, as well.

      I am losing patience and trust that God is working behind the scenes. I have asked for forgiveness, repented, continue to strive to be a godly wife and do what is pleasing to God, yet continue to get pushback, rejection, disdain, blame from my husband.

      He is cordial to me and communicates only what is about the kids and household. He stonewalls, ignores, avoids and serious conversation about the state of our marriage. I feel very punished by him. He quit counseling weeks ago because I want reconciliation and he doesn’t. His latest threat of divorce is when my son graduates from highschool in June 2016.. I am sickened with the way he treats me…yet I continue to pray for restoration and hope that God is working behind the scenes on behalf of healing our marriage. How long should I expect my husband to welcome me in again? How long should I continue to keep showing up for the marriage?

      I don’t even know what to pray for anymore.

      1. Hopeful,

        Have you had a chance to read the posts at the top of my home page about disrespect and respect? How are you coming as far as getting rid of intentional and unintentional disrespect and any attempts to try to control your husband, would you say?

        I am assuming there is no uncontrolled mental illness, serious abuse, drug/alcohol addictions, or active infidelity going on?

        Are you experiencing God’s Spirit’s power, peace, and joy in your life at this point?

        Is there anything God is putting His finger on that He says is too important in your life – something that may be above Him in your heart?

        How are you doing with bitterness and resentment?

        I vote not to ask him about the state of your marriage. He already explained where he is. Now it is your turn to focus on allowing God to change you so you can create a new history and show him that he is safe with you. Verbal guarantees mean nothing at this point. Watch his actions. He is still there! That is HUGE!

        Focus on things like:

        – smile a real, genuine light-up-the-room smile when he comes home (just to bless him no matter how he responds)
        – make his favorite meals when you can
        – dress nicely when you can
        – encourage the children to love and respect their dad
        – praise him for the things he does well
        – thank him and appreciate him for all the contributions he makes to the family, even if you also make money or help around the house
        respect him as a dad
        – get rid of all the disrespect
        – learn what would feel respectful to him, or read about respect and ask God to help you discover what would be some of the most respectful things in your husband’s perspective
        – don’t gossip about him or talk negatively about him to others, even the kids
        – speak highly of him to others (in truthful ways)
        – allow him to set the boundaries he needs to set with you because he apparently does not feel safe with you. Check out signs of a healthy relationship vs. unhealthy relationship and focus on making your end of the relationship healthy.

        How do you generally respond when you feel he is unloving?

        What did your counselor suggest that you focus on while you were there?

        Has your husband said what his main concerns have been?

        He says you are not trustworthy. Do you know why he feels that way? Are you working to rebuild that trust?

        I believe the key here is your walk with Christ. Not your husband. I hope that makes sense. Focus on your relationship with Christ and allowing Him to have full control. Allow Him to change whatever He wants to change. Become a godly wife out of gratitude to God for all He has done for you – not to change your husband or to get him to come back. Let’s leave the results in God’s hands and assume that it will be quite awhile before you see any changes. I had to come to the place where I decided to allow God to change me even if Greg never changed and never was loving to me again and never wanted to talk with me or touch me again. It was scary. But that is what I had to do. This had to be all about me and God. Greg would benefit, yes. But it wasn’t about him. I had wronged him – but mostly – I had sinned against God.

        God can absolutely give you contentment, joy, power, strength, wisdom, direction, and peace that passes all understanding even in this situation. I don’t know if you need to leave already. I don’t know what you are facing or what your husband is doing. That will be a decision for you to carefully pray about. This post may help with that – Should I Stay or Should I Go?

        These posts may also help

        Submission (to Christ) Means We Hold Things of This World Loosely

        “Can You Pray Too Much for Your Marriage?”

        Don’t Wait!

        I Don’t Think My Husband Loves Me – How Can I Become a Godly Woman and Wife?

        I’m Trying to Submit and Respect – But My Husband Is More Unloving Than Ever! What Is Going On!?!?

        When She Surrendered – an Interview with My Husband

        Why Isn’t My Husband More Supportive of Me As I Seek to Change?

        A Peaceful Separated Wife

        There Must Be More to This Journey Than Just Prayer!

        Laying Down Expectations

        I also have Youtube videos about non-verbal disrespect and a bunch of topics if you are interested. My channel is “April Cassidy.” 🙂

        I have tons of posts here that I believe can bless and help you so much. This is kind of like eating an elephant. You can’t do it in a week, a month, or really even a year. This is a lifetime of learning and allowing God to change and sanctify you. It is a slow pace. But it is a GOOD thing that the pace is slow, because if your husband immediately changed and was loving, you would probably revert back to your old sinful ways of thinking and acting. The fact that it takes him a long time to trust you again gives you lots of time to allow God to help you refine your motives and really grow strong in your faith. It seems like a painful, awful experience right now. But this time of him being distant is probably necessary for you to be able to grow spiritually the way God desires you to. I know it was for me!

        My husband didn’t threaten divorce, but he was very much emotionally and spiritually gone. He didn’t want to touch me, talk with me, listen to me, be in the same room with me, or look at me when I started this journey. I had no guarantee that would change. It took 3.5 years for him to feel safe with me again after I began this journey. I learned to depend totally on Christ during that time and I learned that Jesus is sufficient. If I have Him, I have EVERYTHING. If I don’t have Him, I have nothing.

        This will give you a bit to chew on for awhile, my dear sister.

        I am praying for you both! 🙂

        1. This is late..but the second time I have read your response. ..thank you April. How did get through holidays and normal days with a husband that wanted nothing to do with you? I am dying without the nothingness I get from my husband.

          I can’t seem to reach God enough so that I feel full from his love. I am so scared that my husband won’t soften and come back to trust me again. I so long for the day I can 100% surrender my life to God, surrender my marriage to God, and rest completely in faith and trust that God has this.

          1. April I feel like I can never hear God speaking to me. I wish I could. I pray for it. It feels like there’s something blocking my progress and I can’t work it out. I’m so frustrated. I want so much to hear Gods voice. I didn’t speak to my husband about anything this week. I think I’m actually too scared to speak. It’s as though he has me right where he wants me. I’m walking on eggshells. Too scared to say anything in case he says “that’s it, I’ve had enough “. It’s not fair that he’s holding me captive like this. I feel like I have to be perfect or he will just toss his hands up and say that he knew he was right, that he’s not cut out for marriage.
            He has bought a boat. The kids are very excited. He has mentioned a couple times that he will be going away without us fishing for a week or 2 whenever he likes. I have longed for time with him our whole marriage. He’s always so busy. But I bet he finds time for this. My anxiety comes back when he says this. He told me we are 2 separate people and don’t have to live in each other’s pockets and he can do whatever he wants. A psychologist we were seeing told us these things and it seems like he has just run with it. He LOVES that she said this. Why do I feel threatened by him talking of going away without us? I do worry about his drinking and that he would be safe on the water and that he might be tempted if he had been drinking and in a situation with another woman as we have not been intimate in almost a year and that he’s shut down from me etc. it’s scary to me to imagine him driving off for a couple weeks. I know do many husbands who wouldn’t dream of going away from their families. Why did I have to get a husband who wants to. I feel I already know what you might say about this but fear just gets me. Do I have the right to say to him that I dont feel good about this? Or in our situation do I just have to smile and wave him off. I dint think I’m strong enough for it.
            Guess you can tell I haven’t laid my life or my husbands at Gods feet. I have prayed for that but again, something is in my way.

          2. Bel,

            I think that there are some things to examine in your heart, my precious sister. I pray you can get some time alone with God to really hash through the things you think you need most in life to be happy, and your greatest fears.

            I don’t want you to live in fear of your husband leaving. That is no way to live, and you don’t have to live that way. You can live in total confidence in Christ’s love for you, His acceptance, His power and Spirit filling your life. If your husband leaves, you can be content in Christ. Your identity doesn’t depend on your husband and what he does – it can and should depend only on Jesus and what He has done for you.

            Please check out these posts, and pray for God to speak to you:

            Am I Enmeshed with My Husband
            Oneness in Marriage – Not Too Close, but Not Too Far Away
            – The Separation-Leads-to-Greater-Intimacy-Paradox

            And, I can’t remember if I gave you some terms to look up on my home page, but there are some posts I believe may be a tremendous blessing:

            – idol
            – idols
            – idolatry
            – needy and clingy
            – bitterness
            – fear

            I believe you may have so much anxiety because you may be depending on your husband to meet your deepest needs rather than fully trusting Christ. Is that possible? I think that you have not been willing to completely surrender all to Christ. Are there sins you might be cherishing in your heart?

            Perhaps if you are not so filled with fear and expecting your husband to to so many things that really only Jesus can do for you – he won’t feel so pressured? It is repelling to anyone to be idolized after awhile. None of us are Jesus. When someone expects us to be that in their life, it can feel like that person is a black hole of neediness. It can be very smothering.

            But as you find all of your security in Christ alone, and as you take responsibility for your own emotions and for your own spiritual growth in Christ – Jesus can fill you up to overflowing so that you don’t need your husband. If he is there – awesome. But if he leaves – you can trust God’s sovereignty and love for you and you don’t have to freak out. You can trust God to work in his heart to bring him back according to God’s timing. First, it sounds like he needs Christ. Sometimes it is only in leaving that husbands can begin to really hear God’s voice. Sometimes separation can be a big step toward healing. I would love to see you trust God instead of being filled with unbelief and fear. I wonder if you might be listening to the voice of the enemy about some of these things? He is the one who wants to destroy your marriage and who wants you to freak out and live in fear all the time. A spirit of fear is not from God. He gives us a spirit of power, love, and a sound-mind. (How to Be Filled with the Holy Spirit)

            Much love to you!

          3. Wow I guess I don’t see clearly the idols I have made of him and our marriage. I really felt I had a huge improvement on that. I don’t ever call him unnecessarily anymore, I don’t smother him or ask for anything, after the kids are in bed I even go on my own and read, I don’t ask who was on the phone, I give him space. I’ve made huge changes but you obviously still see the idols in what I write. I feel blind and discouraged. I just felt anxious about him having a holiday without us because I don’t trust his drinking and what could result from that mixed with no intimacy for a year and the fact he doesn’t want to be married at the moment. Is it normal fir a husband to want to holiday without his family?
            After I read your reply I wondered what is the point of even getting married then? Just to reproduce? SURELY we are allowed to expect some happiness and contentment from marriage. I’m very sorry. I think with Christmas close by I’m feeling even lonelier.
            Why after a year of praying and crying and begging do I not seem to be filled with the Spirit???? What am I doing wrong? Why isn’t this working for me?

          4. Bel,

            When there is this much anxiety and fear – it is a pretty good indication that our trust is not totally in Jesus.

            When our trust is totally in Christ, His Spirit fills us and we have His supernatural peace, joy, love, etc…

            There is a big learning curve for all of us. It took me over 2.5 YEARS on this journey to begin to understand respect and to begin to understand totally submitting to Christ as Lord. That was just the beginning. I still have thousands of miles to go and so much to learn. We all do!

            I’m glad you are giving him more space. That is awesome.

            But what I am seeing is that you may be doing these things externally, but you are not maybe yet able to lay down your expectations in your heart and trust them to God? Perhaps I am misunderstanding? That is certainly possible. I don’t want to discourage you at all! My thoughts are, though, that if you are not hearing God and you are still so full of anxiety and fear, there might be some work to do with God in your heart about motives and about where your trust really is.

            I don’t think you should necessarily trust your husband. God never commands us to trust untrustworthy people. But you can trust God completely and leave all of these burdens in His hands. You can totally yield to Him and live in His power – no matter what your husband does. You can trust your husband to God to work in his heart.

            Your marriage is not in a healthy place, it sounds like. And no, a husband in a healthy marriage would want to be with his family for Christmas. But right now, you can’t change your husband or make him want to be with you. What you do have control over is your walk with Christ. That is what this whole journey is really about. It is about totally trusting Jesus and finding how He is sufficient even when our husbands and others fail us.

            It is not wrong to desire to be loved in our marriages.

            What is wrong is when we expect our husbands to make us happy or to be our primary source of contentment and love. I don’t know if that is what you are doing. That is something to pray about yourself. I know I did that for a long time. Now, I know that when I am discontent and unhappy, it is wise to look at my motives and expectations.

            So you are not wrong to desire your husband to love you and to want to be with you. But how do you respond when you don’t get what you want? Are you able to be content in Christ alone? Or do you slip into despair because you don’t have the thing you want most?

            What is your definition of how “this should work”? Is your definition of this journey being successful that your husband wants to be with you all the time and your marriage is happy? (meaning, that you can change your husband and make him do what you want him to do?) Or is your definition of success that you are close to God and filled with His Spirit? Those are two very different definitions of success.

            My prayer is that you will take this painful time and use it to allow God to examine your soul in the deepest, darkest places – and that you will turn to Him in total trust and hold nothing back from Him. He is the way to healing. He is joy. He is the way, the truth, and the life!

            Be totally filled up with Jesus – no matter what your husband is doing – and you will have the wisdom, strength, power, healing, and direction you need no matter what comes. You will know you are in God’s loving, sovereign hands – and that is the only place you want to be.

            Much love to you!

          5. Bel. This is a road of self discovery. I actually felt a lot better when I started reading a few blogs about men and midlife cridis. The one that helped mist was a Christian based one called rollercoaster ride, love anyway (Google something like that). Although I am not sure if my husband truly is in MLC, it helped me realize that there are some real spiritual struggles that both men and women need to work through. We cant go around or skip parts. Like a long tunnel. Sometimes we get scared and refuse to move further through the tunnel until we overcome some fear.

            I see you struggling with the same fears I did. I really had to imagine life with my husband out the door, never talking to me and possibly divorced. How would I be a mother to my kids. Would I let this crush me to where I was depressed and not living life? What if I become a divorced, middle aged mother of 2 with a part time job? That was never something I pictured for myself, but what if it happens? Guess what, picturing a life after divorce was scary, but God wastes nothing. Realizing that my life would not end, that I could be strong for my kids and learn my own value and strengths gave me such a boost! I even looked at houses for sale and imagined one as my own. BUT I never felt totally at peace with actually looking into seriously buying a house. It didn’t seem like something to put a ton of energy into.
            I wallow ed in self pity and discouragement and how things should be and my dreams coming to an end. I talked to friends and family that cared about me that I could trust, but I still had to be carefull. My own mother would often tell me to leave my husband, how long would I do this, I deserve happiness too, etc. But it didn’t ferl right. I knew God wanted me to stay, but I didn’t know for how long or why. I just kept trying to live a life God could smile at me for. I didn’t care if my husband was being the biggest jerk on the planet, that was his problem to deal with. I had my own attitude to straighten out. I was lonely mentally and physically, but I turned to God to help me know what the right way to respond, think or say was in EVERY situation. I found a Christian counselor to help me guide if I was thinking along the right lines. That was where I realized I had some enabler habits and problems setting my own boundaries. I needed to love my husband better, not more. I had to let him take care of him and stop doing things that he was well able to do. Not out of spite or getting him back. If I really felt like being nice, I did it, pretty much not expecting any return for my efgorts. But I knew God saw it. I rubbed his sore feet even though I didn’t get a peck on the cheek even for over 6 months. I derply desired and still do to have my husband touch me, smile at me hold my hand etc. My step dad died this summer, I was close yo him. My husband never offered a comforting word, embrace, hug or empathetic response. He knew we were close, but I had not expected it by then anyway. I wanted it, but I didn’t get my hopes up.

            If you start to adopt the thought that you pretty much will get nothing from your husband. Then you are forced to stand on your own. Where does your comfort, your feeling loved, cherished or important come from if it never comes from your husband ever again….ever? THIS is where you start to build back up, but with your stamp of approval from God instead of your husband. What if your husband walks out tomorrow? How will you carry on, cause you will, but what will that look like? As you live each day doing your best for that day to live a life God will be proud of you for, treating people with respect, love and courtesy, then you can kniw you are running your race and you can let God deal with your husband and his sin and how he treats others. You are not responsible for him.

            So your husband may not want to spend a holiday with you this year. Ok. There are worse things. Also, would you give up a holiday if it showed your husband that it doesn’t always have to be your way, that you can respect him enough to not force him into doing things your way sll the time? Would it be worth the sacrifice to take the first step of earning his trust? That one act of accepting his terms may just be the first step of showing that you CAN think of someone else’s feelings, not just your own.

            It sounds like he needs time, space, peace and patience. It is so hard for a woman to do this. It feels wrong, unloving, hurtful. But to a guy, it is a gift. It gives him time to process without distraction, it is less pressure, it gives him time to think how he feels after the initial reaction. It sounds like you have based your approval, value and worth over what your husband says or feels about you. I lived so long like this, I thought it was totally normal. I expected my husband to make me happy, I never realized I had tgat choice. This type of enmeshed living makes you more of a victim than a strong individual person. It took about 3/4 of a year to be able yo be proud of myself for who I was. Even though my husband said he couldn’t stand to look at me, shuddered when I touched him and thought I mentally abused him, I knew I was not a bad person. I knew I had lots of love to give.

            I started to look for people to help, encourage, mske their dsy. Maybe it’s helping a neighbor, playing with a child or visiting an older person. Being able to put your own troubles aside and help someone else with theirs was a huge breakthrough for me. It helped me stop obsessing about the stinky part of my life (my marriage) and start thinking about all the cool things about me. I could sympathize and encourage others, I could do a kindness to someone purely for the love of giving. I tried to pay it forward as much as I could. This paid off in droves!!!! I became a better person and was proud of myself. It infected my whole personality.

            Bel, I pray that you learn to stand on your own. I pray that God can talk to you and you hear Him. Either a song on the radio, a gut feeling, a conveniently placed sign. God speaks in multi media. It’s our job to listen and be very deliberate with our reactions. This will take time. Don’t worry about what your husband thinks or does. That’s all on him. You worry about you and walking the line for God bexause you are thankful for Him saving your life from hell and death. Don’t live your life for a sinful human who will let you down. God never let’s you down. He uses all things for hood. Trade in your ashes for beauty. If it all burns to the ground, how will you pick yourself back up and live the life that God has for you to live? Give yourself a break. You will never be able to be the perfect wife to your husband. So just learn how to be YOU. If he learns to accept you, great, if not, oh well, his loss. As long as you are looking for God’s approval than you are on the right path. Much love my dear sister.

          6. Hopefulgal,

            I had to stop expecting anything from my husband. I had to lay down all of my expectations of him. And I had a LOT! When I began to feel disappointed or upset that my husband wasn’t doing something for me – I had to remind myself… who do I trust here? Do I trust my husband to be god in my life? Am I trusting self? Or do I trust God? And if I do trust God completely, then my feelings of disappointment and unmet expectations are things I need to examine in the light of God’s Word for sin.

            For me, many times when I would be super disappointed in my husband, it boiled down to the fact that I was putting him above Christ in my heart and setting my heart on Greg and all the things I wanted him to do for me.

            When I allowed God to help me tear out the idols in my heart – for me that was SELF, my husband, happiness, romance, and my expectations – only then was I able to put Christ first and to learn to depend fully on Him. It was a learning process. I am still learning!

            Your fear tells me where your trust is.

            You can choose to trust God 100% today. It will be painful to tear out the idols. Yep. But it is way less painful to get rid of the sinful motives than it is to continue on living in them ultimately.

            Your rest and peace will come when you determine to make Jesus LORD and to completely yield control to Him, trusting His sovereignty no matter what happens. There is peace in Christ alone. He will not allow us to have peace in anything else or anyone else because He is the source. It can’t be found anywhere else. God will not allow us to find contentment in idols. Idolatry always creates fear and anxiety. Because we are trusting in things that are not worthy of all of our trust and faith. Only Jesus is worthy and able to never let us down.

            Seek Him far above your husband and your marriage and your own happiness or getting what you want from your husband, my precious sister.

            Much love to you!

      2. I am still waiting on God. I realize I have no control over how he treats me. It’s so hard. So lonely, so hurtful to be treated like nothing to him. That’s why it is crucial for you to get as close to God as you can. Only God is trustworthy enough to rely on. Remember, we should get our value from God, not from our husbands, our bosses, our kids, our neighbors. We will never ever please everyone, so just do your best to please God every day. The more you do to please God by treating all his children with love, even if it is tough love, then the more God can work in your husband’s heart.

        My biggest turn around time was when I began to realize my life will never be 100% perfect. Right now I would say it’s maybe 60%. But if I only focus on the 40% that sucks, (my marriage), I might lose the 60% that is good…my kids, my health, friends, other family, job, etc. Find the joy in what you have, quit chasing after something that doesn’t want to be caught. Your value is NOT based off of what your husband thinks of you. Don’t look to him for validation, approval, etc, get it from God.

        Maybe you have thrown out all the life preservers you can, short of getting into the water to drag him to shore yourself. If he doesn’t want to be saved, that’s his choice, don’t let him drown you as well. Do right by God and you won’t go wrong.

        I am right there in your feelings, I have been and am walking that same path arm and arm with you my sweet sister, but I see small flickers of light. He is starting to be mad at himself for treating me in a way he knows isn’t nice. He just hasn’t figured out how to fix himself yet.

        I realized both my husband and I both were trapped in pride, perfectionism, and control. I have recognized mine with God’s help only, he hasn’t yet, but it is closer. My kids were very surprisingly an addition to helping my husband start to see his own sin. I didn’t push it, they spoke up on their own. God will use the most unsuspecting people or situations to do his will. I pray that you keep your trust that even if you can’t see a way, God will make a way.

        I will re-read this and answer more tomorrow, my dear. Keep faith in God and know you are loved, accepted, valued and worth God’s love. People will always let you down, that’s where mercy and grace is needed with each other.

      3. Hopeful,

        I found this direct post. Ugh. You are feeling very discouraged, like time is running out, like you can’t find the right combination lock numbers to open up his heart, right? You yearn for forgiveness from someone not ready yo forgive. Has God forgiven you? Have you forgiven yourself? What if your husband never forgives you? Can you do anything about that? No. But you CAN learn to let it go. The reality is you have no way of knowing what the future wI’ll bring. You will need to face every fear you have. Remember, fear comes from the enemy.

        So, I had to literally imagine my life without my husband, as a single mom, different house, and divorced. So scary, so terrifying. BUT I also had to work through surviving all of it. Would I just curl up in the corner? How do I stay strong and present for the kids? Do I forget about my parents…consumed by my own woe? How long would I sit among the ashes of the past before I picked myself up and embarked on my new life? Where would I get my love, affection, touch, comfort and approval ftom if I didn’t get it from my husband? Then it dawned on me…why do I look to him for all of that now? God says He is the great I Am.

        By living in a way that God can be proud of us for, I could look to Him for that approval, comfort, affection etc. If I was honest with myself, I would stop doing things with the wrong motive (anything to save my martiage or get my husband’s approval) and I did things that would make God proud of me instead. It put Him first, not my husband. BUT remember that God loves your husband too, he is also his child. God wants you to love your neighbor as yourself. How do you love yourself right now? Are you feeling not good enough? Like a failure? Unworthy? Why? God does not feel that way about you. You are the apple of His eye. He has unconditional love for you. You can’t screw up enough to ever make him leave you.

        If you simply search for God, he will come looking for his lost sheep. He loves us imperfect, sinning people. He wants to bring us to Him and give us rest, peace, shelter. Every human has the potential to let us down, hurt us, disapoint us…even we, ourselves, do that. Think of how God feels when we choose to scream, yell, get angry at each other? Do you like it when your boys fight with each other? Do you shun the one who was more wrong? No, you try to teach him, guide him, show him a better way. You do it out of love. God does the same. We should be praying for His loving discipline, to hear His still, small voice inside us guiding us on the right path. We need to pray for Him to show us what our own sins are and how to choose better next time.

        This is such a roller coaster ride. Sometimes we feel on top of the world, and other times we are crushed by despair. I am particularly vulnerable to the weather and pms. On rainy days, I feel gloomy and hopeless. I ferl anxiety and fear build up the week before my period. I am afraid I will blow it and my husband will deliver the divorce papers the next day. I am paralyzed with fear to talk, not talk, submit or stand my ground, a true pendulum.

        That’s when I pray to God to help me know what the right thing to do or say is. Sometimes it’s wait. Sometimes it’s practicing how to say what I feel in a respectful, honest way over and over. I constantly have “conversations” with myself, God, even rebuking Satan. If I recognize I am afraid, I look at it as the next challenge to overcome, this is God pointing out the next assignment to me. Maybe overcoming the fear of simply bringing up a topic to my husband is the next assignment. I know my husband feels disrespected because I won’t tell him how I feel about stuff, but I find so much less to complain about nowadays. I try harder to express sadness over the state of our marriage, but that I am full of joy over my life.

        This seems like a paradox to him, but it’s true. My husband is totally confused by me. He thinks I should be depressed. ..I should, but I am not. He thinks I should be afraid…he’s right, but I am overcoming my fear. He thinks I should focus of fixing my marriage…I should, but I am choosing to focus on fixing my relationship with God first. I am fixing my own heart, my own wrong thinking, my own self control and getting rid of other-control, knee jerk emotional reactions, and checking my motives. Those are all things I have the power to do, whether or not my husband stays or goes.

        Stay in faith, find positive people to be around. Find others who are believers. Develop a thirst to know about God and what a true relationship is like. It will spill over into EVERY relationship you have. Kids, friends, work, family, even your husband, but you have to fill the cup to overflowing before others can feel that. God will do that for you. He will teach the way.

        Here is what I did when I felt like you do: every morning, even while lying in bed, I took the first few minutes to thank God for another chance to make better choices, for a chance to do right by God. I thanked him for a day to learn from Him. I thanked him for His love, patience and time. Sometimes, I thanked him for bringing me another day closer to the resolution of my marriage. I reminded God of His own words. ..”as to me and my house, we will serve the Lord”. Asked for God to bring them to fruition. All day long I would ask God for help..at the grocery store, with the kids, in traffic. The little things. I would invite Him into every part of my day. Not just the big things. I would thank God for a beautiful sunrise, thank Him for a sale at the store, for a safe drive home…seems silly, but it refocused your attention. At night, as I lay in bed I would count my blessings. I focused on what was good.

        I’ll be honest, some days my items were that we were too broke to pay for a divorce, or that I got a “fist bump” goodbye in the morning…it was an improvement from straight out ignoring me. I might think about having a safe home, gas in my car, my health, my kids. Aren’t those things important too? My life will never be 100% perfect, but that gratitude at the end of the day for what IS perfect is very important. I am even grateful that my husband feels safe enough to lay next to me, even though he doesn’t reach out to touch me. Or that I DIDN’T scream back when he cut me down. Or that I had peace about ironing his shirts and truly felt good and that I could please God by loving his child even though he was being a stinker.

        Give yourself some credit. We only have what we do because of God. He can take it away. What can you learn during these hard times that will make you stronger, a victor, not a victim? Pray to God to show you your next assignment. It may be unpleasant, but you’ve can grow and learn from it. I suspect right now God may want you to learn to rely on Him for those feelings of love, approval, affection and worth, not on your husband or anyone else. God may be teaching you to love yourself, not define yourself on what others think of you, but what God thinks of you. Work on being proud of how fearfully and wonderfully made you are. You are a masterpiece to God, he does not make mistakes. You are growing and maturing, you are learning. You are getting better every day! Accept how blessed you are to be a child of God!

        You are never forgotten, you are precious to Him! Fill your heart and accept God’s love for you. He gave his only son to save YOU from the price of our sins….death. How much would you have to love someone who messed up all the time, didn’t love you back and was utterly selfish for you to sacrifice the life of your very own child? Unthinkable! THAT’S how much God loves each and every one of us! Amazing!

        Ok. I went on and on. I’m sorry, but I yearn to hug your neck and cry with you, my sweet girl. I will pray that you can start to trust in God’s love for you and you can be thankful to God for all the good things in your life. I pray you can feel His healing embrace. That He is gently and lovingly teaching you the truth. I pray that you can focus on your own race and let God handle your husband. Take care, we will walk the narrow path together.

  13. Hopefulgal,

    I typed up a great response to your question, and lost it.

    But in regards to your question of what I did wrong in my marriage:

    1) Perfectionism-

    I am a recovering perfectionist. I wanted to be a perfect wife, mother, employee, PTA parent and family member. My expectations were so high not only on myself, but for anyone I made contact with. I was so concerned and focused on what was WRONG in my life that I never appreciated or was happy about what was RIGHT. I had a great life. 90% great, but that stupid 10% was what I focused on. My husband was in a lose-lose situation. I missed the boat that it was MY job to make me happy, not my husband’s responsibility. Happiness is a choice, a conscious effort. My unattainable standard of perfection was what made my family crack. I cracked, my husband, and my kids were well on their way. The result was people around me feeling not good enough, hopeless, depressed, un-valued and less-than. Did I mean to make those I loved the most feel this way? Not at all, I just wanted everything to be perfect. Now, I am left with about 45% of my life perfect. I am much more grateful for that 45%, though.

    2) Other-Control, not self-control-

    I Always thought my husband was trying to control me, but in reality, I was part of it too. I thought I knew the best ways to do things, that my ideas were always right, that things needed to go my way or they were “wrong”. I thought different was wrong. I needed to control everything, I had good motives….to try to make things go easier, less expensive, faster, to achieve the best result, but the freedom of those I loved was stripped by my inflexibility and control. I thought I could control how people felt, thought, said, and acted. In all reality, I could not even control myself. I was very emotionally reactive, I said the first thing that popped into my mind and vocalized my feelings. I thought I was being honest, but I was not thinking of how powerful my words were to hurt others. I needed to learn how to control my knee-jerk reactions and rally think about the consequences, the other perspectives and other people’s feelings and how they may interpret things. When my husband moved, I felt I had to move. I was totally enmeshed in his emotions too. I ran around trying to “fix” everything, I became an enabler. I stripped him of his dignity, his freedom and his ability to succeed.

    3) Self Pride –

    I thought I was enough. I was enough woman for my husband, enough mother for my kids. I had all the answers and was smarter than everyone. I didn’t think I needed anyone. Not my parents, my husband or help from anyone, not even God. I learned these things from my mom, who in turn learned them from her mom, grandmother, and so on. All independent women who didn’t need any help. So, my husband thus felt helpless, not needed, not loved, cherished, or important. He started to feel nothing more than a sperm donor and a wallet. What a horrible way to feel! I did that, I was the monster! All because I felt I had to be right and prove it to everyone. At the expense of his self worth, his manhood, his pride as a person.

    So those were my “big 3” but in the everyday world, my husband got promoted in his job and he took on many more hours. I began to miss him. I complained about it. I barked at him, tried to guilt him into being home more, made him feel like he wasn’t doing his job and belittled him. I criticized him and barked and yelled. I was irritable with the kids and with him. He began to stay at work more because it was not pleasant to be at home (with me). The more he stayed away, the more I complained. He began to find respect, courtesy, smiles and friendly people at work. Why come home? I didn’t know how my disrespect was affecting him. April has a list of about 50 things women do that are disrespectful to men. When I read it, I identified with about 45 of them when I was being really honest with myself. This is what rocked my world and opened my eyes. It was the first time I thought of HIS perspective, and not just my own. I would argue with him – insisting that he heard what I wanted to say, and not caring that he felt the same. He wanted to be heard too.

    When my husband asked for a divorce, it was the worst and best day of my life. I was miserable, broken and hopeless. Yet, it launched me on this journey to really discover myself and my God. I will be better from this experience even if my marriage is not. I would be sad, I would grieve. I would always have regret. BUT my husband has not left yet. He is on a path of self-discovery as well. Maybe God had to direct him to ask for a divorce to wake ME up. My husband has his issues, that’s true, but I can only control MY race, not his. It is my job to love him, support him, and treat him as Jesus would. Jesus loved sinners. too, maybe more so. I had to ask God for forgiveness, give myself forgiveness, and learn about how men think differently than women. Different does NOT equal wrong. I had to learn about what a relationship with God is all about, how our goal in life is to act like Jesus. As we act, we start to become. We will never do it perfectly, but that should always be our example, our truth to follow. As I learned what my idols and expectations were, I learned about all the work I had to do with myself. My husband has his race, I have mine.

    I hope this helps. My motives were never to hurt my husband or my family, but I did anyway. I needed to learn a better way. Even if I lose my husband, I will be a better person for my kids, myself and maybe even for my future relationships. I pray for you on this journey. Keep faith. Keep God close to you. You can get all you need from HIM. This is a roller coaster ride and some days are worse than others. Hugs.

    1. LMSdaily115,

      Reading what God has done in your life just brings such tears of joy to my eyes. I praise God every time I think of you, my dear sister! THANK YOU for sharing this journey with me and with our hurting sisters.

    2. LMSdaily115,

      I love the depth of your replies and the evidence of real heart changes you have made this year. I am so drawn to your story because of our identical timelines (my bomb drop was on the Saturday after Thanksgiving last year) and the similarities that we share. You are doing so much better on your journey than I am on mine. I did have a major spiritual breakthrough this Sunday though…like I am FINALLY getting the big picture.

      Last November my husband told me he was checking out…that he thought of hundreds of different ways to tell me he wanted a divorce but in the end he didn’t have the guts to do it and knew that God hated it anyway. He was fed up, stuck, and sick to death of me and my ways. He studied reasons for Biblical separation and still couldn’t find peace about leaving me along with our 4 young adult children at home. I also have 1 married child and a grandbaby too. He knew it would rip the family apart so he chose to stay home with me but was cold, distant, mean, hurtful, no affection, etc. He told me he didn’t love me anymore.

      Throughout this year I have apologized many times, still tried to control him through various tactics, threw myself at him, had pity parties, cried and cried and cried some more. Pleaded, begged, tried hard to change the many things he told me were wrong with me. I have been so discouraged and hopeless. But through it all God has been there, slowly teaching me things, big and small, that were wrong with my soul. This has been the worst yet best year of my life. I have grown so much closer to God, knowing He is the only thing that can fix this mess.

      I am not in control of my husband or anything else…this was my first major lesson – God’s Sovereignty. Pride was number two…I thought I was a really good wife…NOT! This is really bad considering I have 4 daughters that are watching and learning from me about how to be wives and mothers someday. Selfishness is #3 and my biggest, most ingrained, besetting sin of all. My whole family is selfish, my dad, brother and sisters. None of us have very many friends because all we talk about and think about are ourselves. I always knew I was selfish but never really knew how it affected my immediate family so much. I have neglected them so much. My husband and I have never been very close. I would always do all of the talking and never listen to him. Never asked about his work day, never cared about his hobbies or dreams or goals. It was always about me and whatever I was doing.

      Just last Sunday we had a major talk. Things are still not resolved because I can’t get over him having a very intimate friend at work that he talks to everyday. He knows it hurts me and he has agreed not to talk to her as much but he has told me a lot about what they talk about and I feel like I get to take care of his meals and his laundry and his physical needs while she gets to be the close, intimate friend that I never managed to be in our almost 28 year marriage.

      This is killing me and I feel like he gets to have his cake and eat it too. I think he realizes how wonderful it is to finally have someone in his corner, who cares about him, understands him and encourages him. He will not stop talking to her and he feels nothing wrong with what he is doing. I have been trying to be his Holy Spirit this whole year to no avail. I know he doesn’t talk about our marriage, I know he is a Godly man and keeps it within bounds. I just cant get over thoughts of him laughing with her and sharing his thoughts and days with her.

      Anyways on Sunday all through the night I lay awake because we still cannot seem to resolve our issues. I realized that all along he has just wanted to be cared for, listened to, encouraged and respected. All very normal…I failed, miserably, to be a good wife. I have had low self esteem and felt like such a loser this whole year. Now I realize that all I have to do is follow God’s leading and just love and care and respect him, regardless if she is still in the picture or not, I need to fight against her for my husbands time and attention. My sullen, depressed spirit certainly isn’t helping anything…If anything its pushing him further toward her! She’s all smiles and laughter with no expectations…just a friend, a great friend. I need to be just a friend too. Caring, thoughtful, happy, encouraging, nice, loving, etc. Its really very simple, I’m the one that’s making it so difficult!

      Monday morning I woke up happy and he could tell there was a change in me. He told me he liked my hair and that I look good. He told me he loved me. He is tired of this yearlong battle, as am I. I’m laying it all at Jesus feet and calling a truce. I keep forgetting that God is in my corner, He believes in marriage. My husband is a really good man and I have been giving him a really bad rap. He keeps telling me if I would just relax and quit trying to “fix” it that it will all work itself out in time. I’m finally ready to follow his leadership and let him have his friend. I will never agree with what he is doing but I am done fighting over it. I’m going to continue to pray and do as the Holy Spirit leads me. I am shifting my focus off of me and onto my family where it always should have been. Selfishness and my big mouth have been my biggest and most destructive sin habits. No more! With God’s help, not my own strength, I can conquer these besetting sins and restore my marriage! I am just going to relax and go with the flow…following my husband’s lead and holding God’s hand.

      Thanks LMSdaily115 for all of your encouraging words. I am praying for you and your marriage as well. God Bless!

      1. Oh Hopefulgal, I really gave some time to think about all you wrote here. First, I love that your blinders are coming off and you can identify your sins. That’s the biggest thing to setting our minds straight. I felt like fighter jets were shooting at my head with each new sin I realized I was doing. It was overwhelming, really. I was horrified at how clueless I was. I began to go back in time to try to see why I was the way I was. I had to come to grips with some things I thought was true that I based my life on. One in particular, “if you want something done right, do it yourself”. I thought this was great advice. It just permitted me to be a perfectionist. Another: “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” This made me think my words didn’t hurt others. I felt I was free to say whatever popped into my mind. When I read in scripture how our words are like swords and can hurt, I was stunned at the lie I had believed. Society is full of them. That is why we need to take them and compare them with what the Bible says. It’s the only truth I can trust, some days.

        Anywsy, I am so full of joy also to hear how your husband is trying to honor you, bless you and compliment you! I hope you can thank him and God for these little blessings and gifts. I would fall over if my husband was doing those things. I’m not jealous, but very happy for you. Be grateful for those kindnesses from him, encourage them, make sure he knows they make you happy. Do you do the same back? If you have appologized, then let it be. I made the mistake of apologizing over and over and it just irritated him. He wanted to see real change. This is where your real heart motives will show through.

        On the issue of selfishness, this is hard. Human nature is to be selfish. We want things our way. It feels comfortable. But, think how selfless and sacrificing it was when God sent his only Son to die a horrible death, a man who was perfect and blameless, so that us unworthy sinners who didn’t deserve anything less than death, could be saved and brought to live with Him in his beautiful kingdom when we were done on earth! Now THAT is sacrificial love. If you think about how you would feel to give up one of your children to save a sinner, could you do it? Not sure if I could. I love my kids too much. I am selfish! But God is not.

        If we were given that kind of mercy and grace from God, and all we have to do is beleive that Jesus died on the cross to save us as I described, then don’t we owe God our lives? Why would we NOT show him all our love and trust back? He wants us to do that by loving others EVEN IF THEY DO NOT DESERVE IT! That was a huge key for me to push through resistance. Even if my husband does not touch me, hug me, tell me he loves me, come home for dinner etc, I am still commanded to love him and respect him…as a child of God. As a human, a brother. That’s how we can love our enemies! I never understood how to do that before. Honestly, I was married for 18 years and had 2 kids and I realized I never really knew how to love sacrificially. I thought I did with my kids, but it was more a conditional love. “If you are quiet, I will spend time with you, the way I like to” or with my husband-“if you spend time with me and listen to my feelings, I will have sex with you, if you tick me off, even once, there is no chance.” What a horrible, bossy way I lived.

        April has a post about the stages we go through on this journey. I held fast to that post for sanity sake. It’s pretty true. It took a while to forgive myself and stop “needing” my husband’s forgiveness. It’s a gift I was demanding he give me… still selfish. Now, I feel if he ever gives it, great, but I don’t need it. I have been forgiven by God.. and I can forgive my self because I know every day is a new chance to try my best to make God proud, not my husband. But if my husband is proud, it’s secondary. A happy side effect.

        I am no longer going through life having my self-worth determined by one single, imperfect, sinning human being. Or many, even. I will never get full approval from any human. Only from God. I know I am His masterpiece, so are you. He made us to grow and seek Him. There comes a time when you decide to let the past be, lay your worries in front of God and say “God, I can’t do this on my own, I made a mess of it, can You help me? Please show me what I need to do.” And as you learn to listen to that still, small voice inside you, you start to see the light, you feel less burdened, you feel joy, this is the source of your strength. Even if your husband leaves, would you let him leave peacefully if it meant that he would be happy? Even if you were ripped apart by it? How much would you give up to make him happy? Ohhhh, that was a painful day when God told me I had to give up my marriage for my husband’s happiness. That was when I learned about my marriage being an idol.

        This journey takes time. One step at a time. I know you probably feel like a time bomb is ticking and you are running out of time to fix things, but this is what your husband means to just relax and stop fixing things. This feels fake to him, like he is making you not be yourself. In reslity, YOU are not being yourself. Just try to bless him, bless other people in your life. Make God proud.

        Okay, enough for now. Keep looking up to God, not at your problems. Enjoy the good things in your life, they need your attention too so you don’t lose them. Your attitude is already changing and getting better! It is a rollercoaster ride, be patient with yourself. I will pray for you to learn to hear God’s direction to you, how to put God first in your life and above your marriage and husband and even yourself. I pray you learn how to be humble before God and ask him for His help. Your already on the right track. You are better today than you were yesterday. God can stop that ticking time bomb…if you stop fiddling with it and trust in Him.

        Much love, my sweet sister. Sorry for the long reply..I am too wordy. Working on it!

          1. Peacefulwife and LMSdaily115,
            LMS please do not apologize for your lengthy replies…I cling to every word and appreciate your insight. I would like your ladies advice about what to do in my specific situation. I’m so confused. I think that I am just supposed to trust God and my husband, have faith, keep my chin up, stay close to God, think only about the good in my life and the good in my husband, love the Lord and seek Him and try to please Him. It sounds trite but in reality it is very hard for me to do…TRUST…big scary word.

            Here is my dilemma: My husband is doing something, that to me, and the very few that I have shared this with, is biblically wrong. He is not asking me to sin but he is asking me to accept his sin. Do I have to do this???? I have let him know that I do not agree with what he is doing and I respect him in everything but this. Is this wrong thinking on my part? This whole situation has caused me untold grief and I just want to know the biblical godly way to handle this. Am I making my marriage miserable because of the way I am reacting? If I just let it be and rest in God will everything be ok? Here is some more specifics about my situation:
            Me:
            -not raised in a christian home
            -dysfunctional family, never told I was loved, never asked how my day went, no close relationship with either of my parents. Never felt loved or cared about, never cherished, never sat on daddys knee or had special conversations with my mom. Loveless, I felt that I was always a burden. At 18 I was told to move out, not from anything I did wrong, just that their job was over and they wanted to retire and move south. I hadn’t even graduated yet. Not wanted or needed or loved.
            -black and white/ right and wrong/ cut and dried
            -hard working/perfectionist
            -principle and character
            -SELFISH-I’m the only one that cares about me
            -black heart, no care or compassion or thoughts about others hardly at all, its all about me
            -legalistic/rules

            My Husband before midlife crisis:
            -raised in a very strong christian home
            -amazing loving family and wide range of friends and acquaintances
            -very secure and confident
            -extremely smart, academically and especially biblically, went to a christian school his whole life, has a photographic memory has tons of scripture memorized, knows his Bible backwards and forwards
            -former deacon for many years, he gave it up, he could still be one if he wanted to
            -sunday school teacher for 25 years
            -preaches in church sometimes, kinda felt called to preach a few times but God never opened any doors
            -hard worker, pricncipled, charactered
            -a real man, not afraid of conflict or will say the hard things that need to be said in difficult situations that most men would back down from
            -tender, compassionate, always, always, always puts others first in front of himself
            -very godly, deep spirituality, seems to have all the right answers for anyone that asks for his spiritual advice, he should be some type of counsellor
            -blame shifter, rebellious, bitter, stubborn, know it all

            My Husband now:
            -angry, rebellious, stubborn
            -sick of church, always hated it he says
            -sick of rules, expectations, everyone wanting him to solve their problems
            -selfish, its his time, he’s sick of everyone telling him what to do and think
            -cannot stand judgment of anyone (I think because he doesn’t want to be judged right now)
            -has different beliefs and convictions now

            This is my dilemma. I’ve already shared this with you before, but I guess I would like more specific advice from you ladies about this. Am I just supposed to look to God and leave this problem in His hands? Is that all that is required of me? Just let go and let God take care of it for me?

            Female friend at work:
            -single, unsaved but my husband is witnessing strongly to her
            -great friend, Jonathan and David, would do anything for her
            -she was there for him when there was a hard transition at work, she has his back
            -he trusts her
            -they think alike, she really “gets” him, he can be himself with her
            -they laugh together alot, he really enjoys her company
            -they do not talk about our marriage but they do talk very intimately, sharing thoughts, feelings, problems, joys, trials, opinions. They talk deeply, he enjoys her insight.
            -they talk alot, hrs and hrs, they have stopped talking after work now because they know it bothers me, yet he still calls her every morning on his way to work
            -I have met with her twice. she is extremely nice and doesnt want to come between us but greatly cherishes his friendship.
            -she is a great listener

            He has told me to just relax. He said the Bible doesn’t say theres anything wrong with having a friend. He does not feel like he is doing anything wrong. He hates that I judge him for this friendship. I have asked him to include me in this friendship, he will not. He doesnt want me to talk to her at all…Intimate, excluding me. I have told him over and over how much this friendship hurts me but he is stubborn, enjoys her friendship and how she makes him feel, he will not yield. We have never been really good friends. Partly because he has been bitter at me for years and closed himself off from me and partly because I never really cared about him. I always knew that our relationship was lacking friendship. I always thought our marriage was ok, I never knew what a close relationship looked like.

            Well I know now that I never really cared about my kids and my husband like I should have. I did my duty, worked hard, but was always in the background, never RELATING with them. I did what I knew, totally missed the big picture of life. Now he has this friend and its wonderful to have someone really care about him and understand him. The real him, the one he wont let me see. Do I just turn a blind eye and let him know that its ok to carry on with her? Do I just keep hurting inside and keep it to myself? Shouldnt he cleave to me? Shouldnt I be his one and only?

            Our anniversary is this weekend…28 years. In all that time I have never had a friendship with him like he has with her. How can I ever get closer to him if he already has her? Why can’t he see it? Do I just love him and do him good and bless him and hope for the best? Once our kids are raised and his responsibilities with them are over will he drop me for his “soulmate”? Would that be Gods will for me? All I’ve ever wanted was to be loved. I don’t just want to be endured… that’s what he said he’s doing right now, enduring me. Please please advise me ladies…

          2. Hopeful,

            I can’t begin to imagine the wounds and warped thinking that would result from a childhood like the one you are describing. There is much healing that needs to be done in your heart! But God can definitely heal you, my precious sister!

            The sin you are talking about – is his friendship with this other woman?

            The Bible has quite a bit to say about guarding our hearts from adultery. That is the issue here – that this friendship could quickly turn into adultery. Those who don’t protect their hearts from such a situation may easily slide down that slippery slope into an affair “without meaning to.” I used to think that I was above having an affair. I looked down on those I knew who had affairs thinking I was so much more righteous than they. Then, just 2 years into our marriage, I became infatuated with another man while Greg was very shut down in our marriage. I was shocked. Turns out, I am not above any sin. And now – I am even more aware of just how vulnerable I could be to temptation and go to great lengths to seek to protect my heart and marriage. Now, I know I am not above any sin. If I am far enough away from God – I could do anything. The only good in me is from Christ.

            I don’t know that you can preach him into leaving this friendship or nag him into it. I don’t think you can verbally force him to see what he is doing.

            I do think you can focus on your walk with Christ and allowing God to transform and heal you. I also think you can learn to become the wife God calls you to be in His Spirit’s power. I also believe very strongly in prayer and that God can open your husband’s eyes and bring him to repentance. I’m glad you have shared your valid concerns with your husband. But at this point, it sounds like you have told him and told him – and he is not responding to your concerns. I doubt that continuing to harp on the issue will change his mind and cause him to be drawn back to you.

            What may draw him back is a transformed life empowered by the Holy Spirit. But don’t change to get your husband to come back closer to you. Change because you want God and you want to be as close to Him as possible. Learn to be a good friend, a safe place, to love, and to relate. It’s not too late!

            Bitterness, jealousy, resentment, anger, and hatred won’t draw him back to you. If you are going to be reconciled – it will be as you fully submit to Christ as Lord and trust Him. I’m not saying you should completely trust your husband right now. I’m glad that he hasn’t crossed any major lines yet into an affair. But as you allow God to change you – your husband can’t blame his behavior on your sin against him anymore – and he will be more and more confronted with what he is doing. The less you preach at him, and the more you allow God to change you – the more your husband will be able to hear God’s voice. God’s voice is what will bring conviction, not your voice, ultimately. Does that make sense?

            I don’t know if your husband will leave you. God loves marriage. He hates adultery and divorce. He is an Expert and healing broken people and relationships. I vote to seek Christ with all your heart and to focus on what He wants to change in you and to trust Him to work in your husband’s life. If your husband continues to move toward this other woman, there may be times you may need to say something. But I would want you to only say what God prompts you to and when He prompts you to say it.

            Many times, God changes a wife first, and then, in time, He changes the husband. I have seen it happen hundreds of times. I’m glad that your husband has stopped talking with this woman so much. I pray God will prick his conscience and open his eyes to the fact that he is playing with fire.

            What he is doing is not okay – in my view. It is incredibly dangerous. I don’t think you need to pretend it is okay. But I do think it is time to focus on getting rid of the plank in your own eye because until you do that, your husband will only see your sin against him and won’t hear your concerns – is my guess. As you become someone who is Spirit-filled, safe, respectful, loving, and godly – his sin will become more and more obvious to himself.

            Yes, he should cleave to you. But maybe he doesn’t feel safe with you or respected and loved? That doesn’t mean he is free to look for emotional intimacy other places. But you can let God change you and the entire emotional/spiritual temperature of your family can change as God changes you. It has to be all about what God does in you, not your own strength. I would love to see you focus on total surrender to Christ.

            I believe God can restore your marriage as you cling to Him first. But HE has to be the main thing to you. Not your husband or your marriage. Does that make sense? The marriage healing will be a side effect of you being in right relationship with Christ and having Him on the throne.

            Much love to you!

          3. Hopeful, okay, ready? If you could learn the real, honest, truth about why you are on this earth, how to find joy and happiness, peace and never ending love…would you take the risk of learning something new? Would you be willing to throw out things from your past that might have been lies and merely opinions of people who didn’t really have good answers? Would you ever want to become a better person than your mother or father? Would you want to right some wrongs from your past?

            Understanding God’s design for our lives and marriage, how He wanted wives and husband’s to be partners and not competitors with each other can be the most liberating and freeing experience you ever go through! I’m not trying to be self righteous, I am trying to help you see that at this point, what have you got to lose? You have a better life to gain! Learning how to mature spiritually and love people in a deeper way that is unselfish and genuine will lift you up and give you strength like you never knew you could have!

            Fear is crippling you. Remember, fear us from the enemy. As you start to realize that there is more to life than the approval or acceptance of you by one person, or even a few people, you will grow in self love. So your parents did a crappy job making you feel special…do you have to accept their opinion as truth? Or can you learn God’s truth and how he did not make a mistake when He made you. That you are deeply loved. That He died on the cross to save YOU, Hopeful, and give you life. That God is merciful and wants to forgive you of your sins.

            Think of Ishmael, the son that was born to Abraham and Hagar. This child did not ask to be born, it was not his fault that Abraham and Sarah tried to force God’s blessing. Yet God heard his cry and made him great. He loved him and blessed him. Sometimes bad things happen to good people, Job is another who suffered, yet was honoring God. It is through the painful times that we get pruned, that we are given a chance to grow and learn. This is where you can see just what you are made of, how much you really love and trust God and what having faith and hope really means. We don’t grow and mature when things are going good.

            Would you give up your marriage if it meant your husband would be happy? If not, how much do you really love your husband? Would you make him stay with you for your own selfish reasons, even if he doesn’t want to? Like the pet bird, if you love something, let it go, if it comes back it was meant to be. If it doesn’t, than be happy it’s free. As you face the idea that loving your husband, truly, just might mean letting him go, even though you would be very sad, you know deep in your heart that you want him to be happy, even if that means he would be happier without you. Tough thing to face. It almost crushed me the day I faced that idea. I was terrified that he would leave. But he didn’t. He stayed. Hope began to grow. I found a new strength to fight for my marriage, but this time, to honor God, not to avoid being single. I realized that I never really knew how to love with true sacrifice, like Jesus did for us. Not even for my kids. When your husbands happiness is more important than your own, then you will start to find your true path.

            It pains me to read how alone and neglected you felt as a child. My heart breaks for you. But please don’t be defined by the sinful actions of a few people in your life. Realize that you can learn a new way. You need to recognize that you ARE important, you mstter, you are loved and cherished. Think of the fact that God sacrificed his only son. ..you have kids, right? Imagine: Give them all up to save a group of people who don’t appreciate you, curse you, don’t obey you. Even though you brought them into this world, they refuse to love you. Yet you give your children over to death, a horrible, painful death. The’s are your only children. They are blameless snd perfect, innocent and good. Quite frankly, God got gyped! Why would He do that? Because He IS Love.

            Learning to not be so reactionary and ruled by your feelings and responding to someone with kindness and love ESPECIALLY when they are being unloving, hurtful or rejecting is hard, but it is a tremendous skill that can help with every single human encounter and relationship you ever have! You don’t have to say everything you think or feel. Try to see a different perspective. Another side to the situation besides your own. Ask God to help you take the log out of your own eye first.

            Here on Earth, the more you can get rid of your own sin, the less you can be blamed for what is wrong. Sooner or later, your husband will have to look inward to himself. In the meantime, you will be able to be proud of yourself for making God proud of handling the situation with grace and doing the right thing in love…like Jesus would have done. You will grow in confidence that you are on the right path.

            I pray that you find it in yourself to trust God. I know you can’t trust anyone else right now, not even yourself, but you CAN trust God. The bible is truth, an instruction book for how to live a joyful life. There is a reason that book is still so popular after 2000 years! I pray that you come to the decision that you no longer want to be held prisoner by your past and you realize that you hold the key to get out. I pray you let God teach you a better way of life. Your best years are ahead of you if you choose to learn. I pray you find humbleness and realize you are just like all the other broken people in this world. But that God wants to heal your wounds and give you shelter and rest under His wings. You are meant to be a victor, not a victim. But you have a choice. Will you continue to sit in the ashes of self pity and discouragement? Or will you pick yourself up and find determination to choose a better life? I’m curious to find out your answer. You can do this, Hopeful. Don’t focus on all your problems, instead, focus on the good in your life. What can you be thankful for RIGHT NOW, TODAY? What good can you cling to? How can you make God proud of you today? I am praying for strength and for you to choose God as your 1st priority in your life. Over your husband, kids, even over yourself. Then you will be pointing in the right direction, my sweet sister. We are here with you! We will hold each others hand and encourage and cheer you on. Don’t Give up. Even when we might not see a way, God can make a way!

          4. I will say what needs to be said. Your husband is having an affair. He is, at the minimum, having an emotional affair and he is almost sure to be lying about not having a physical affair (sex with his “friend”). He has fallen in love, that is why his friend makes him feel so wonderful and why he is so bitter and hateful towards you. That being said- it is only a temporary (though extremely powerful) chemical reaction. There is no such thing as a soulmate. There are only imperfect sinners married to imperfect sinners. You can read more about emotional affairs by reading a book called “Not Just Friends” by Shirley Glass. I am very sorry that you are in this very painful situation. I pray that the Holy Spirit will bring the hidden to light and will direct you in a proper response.

  14. Lms. You are amazing in the strength you have. I love everything you write and it encourages me. But Im struggling with loving with sacrifice. Isn’t this how our husbands have been commanded to treat their wives as the head of the family? I’m having a real bad week and I’m so tempted to remind him he’s not being the husband and leader God designed him to be. It seems it’s the wife who is having to do that job. I would appreciate your thoughts on my comment from the 5th of December.
    April I woukd love your guidance too please.

    1. Bel,

      Husbands are commanded to be selfless, yes. So are all believers.

      – There are a number of verses about how if we are Jesus’ disciples we must take up our cross daily and follow Him.
      – The definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 includes selflessness.
      verses about selflessness for believers

      He will answer to God for his sin against you. God will take care of any revenge or justice that is needed (Romans 12:17-21). If you are not safe and you need to leave, please do so safely. If you are safe, but just very frustrated, I vote to pray and ask God to help you deal with any sin in your own heart (Matthew 7:1-5) before you confront your husband. Be sure your motives and your heart are right. If you allow your flesh to be in control rather than God’s Spirit, you will only create more damage that will need to be healed. But if you act and speak in God’s Spirit’s power, you will have no regrets and God may use you to pour healing into the marriage.

      God commands us as believers to overcome evil with good, not to be overcome by evil (Romans 12:17-21).

    2. Bel, a good friend of mine once told me “sometimes it will feel like a Friday, but remember that Sunday is coming”. I clung to that statement when I felt like you do right now. Jesus was dying on the cross. He called out to God “why have you forsaken me?” But then he did God’s will. It was a Friday. But then Sunday came and Jesus rose from the dead. I get very down especially around my time of the month, it’s the worst. I am trying to keep track of that and I start praying hard for self control. When you feel this way, try praying to God. Thank Him for your blessings of the day. One time my best blessing was that we were too broke to get a divorce! But it was a blessing nonetheless. Every morning thank God that you have a new day to do good things and make a difference in someone’s life, and every night force yourself to thank God for the good things that happened that day. This will help you to stop focusing on all the negative and start being thankful for what is good in your life. What you focus on will grow. Be careful what you are focusing on.

      So what if your life is not 100% perfect, nobody’s life is. But be careful not to lose the 85% that IS good because you are so wrapped up in the 15% that is not going so well!

      I suggest you pray to have God show you what your motives are. April said that if she feels disappointed or let down or frustrated, that was a good clue to check her motives. That works good for me too. I can feel at peace if I am not trying to fix my husband, make him think just like me, do what I want or not be happy with the things he does for me etc. When I am honest with my real motives, I might find that I am trying to control an aspect of him, or I think my idea is right, not his, or I am trying to make something perfect and am being very inflexible and critical. All of this is sin. My big 3 are pride, perfection and other-control.
      I pray you can allow God to call you out on your sin. Recognize that we are all sinners and allow Him to show you your sin and not be blind and deaf to it so that you can get rid of it. All sin has to get out of you. Be willing to be examined by the Holy Spirit to find every last rotten bit of sin inside you. You husband will have his turn, but be grateful you are going through this now, maybe evendors first. You will be a much better person because of it. It hurts, it feels so vulnerable, but it is nessecary in order to be able to repent, be forgiven and let the old you die.

      I pray you give yourself time to process and learn. Your husband needs time, You need time too. Don’t rush into anything. Give yourself time to think, pray, explore all sides of the situation. You can’t do this on your own. Only God can help you and give you what you need when humans fail you…and they WILL fail you. Take this time to maybe read about how men think, what Gids design in marriage looks like, how to vontrol emotions, about healthy boundaries. April has a great resding list of books on her blog. Much love, sweet girl.

  15. Sorry. I’m struggling to stop myself going to him and saying I’m sick of not having a husband and that he said vows to me and before God and to please sort himself out. He’s not even trying. He seems to be quite happy taking this year off our marriage whilst getting his cooking and cleaning done and kids taken care of. I’m a single mum and I’m sick of it.

    1. Bel, I saw your comment. I will give a deeper answer tomorrow, however, what I can pray for is that you be a beacon ylto your husband. Often words will not move a man who is shut down. Scripture states that you can win over a non beleiver without a word. This is where you can learn to BE the example of what we all SHOULD do. It doesn’t matter weather your husband is checked in, doing what you think he should, or being the leader you think he needs to be. You can’t control what your husband thinks, says, feels or dies. But you CAN control how YOU think, feel, say or do. It is resisting the fleshly reactive response and choosing to act with respect, kindness and love. I will read your other post and respond tomorrow after I pray. Please focus on keeping yourself from sinning, even though you may feel your husband may or may not be sinning. Much love.

    2. Bel,

      Let’s take a moment to stop and look at your ultimate objectives with God and your ultimate objectives in your marriage before lashing out at your husband.

      What do you want your relationship with Christ to be like?

      What is your dream for your marriage and relationship with your husband if anything were possible?

      Please search my home page for “to speak or not to speak” and see what God might impress gently on your heart.

      Much love!!!

    3. Bel,

      One of the things I complained about to Greg before God opened my eyes was that I was “a single mom” because he was renovating the house until after midnight 6 nights per week for a year and a half while I was taking care of our baby and our 5 year old – both of whom were often sick. I was often sick. I was only sleeping 2-4 hours/night many nights.

      Later, Greg told me that comment hurt him so much. He was trying to create my dream house for me to show his love for me- and I told him I was a single mom. I was beyond exhausted. He was beyond exhausted. We needed to slow down and get some rest! But – I would just encourage you to be careful. It is easy to attack when we are feeling upset and hurt and deprived.

      Be sure your motives honor God. Be sure your approach leads to healing not to tearing down your house with your own hands.

      How is your time with God going this week? What is He speaking to you? 🙂

  16. I am very concerned about the lack of discussion regarding a very serious factor in Hopeful Gal’s postings. I hope I have the name right — it is the woman whose husband has found a “friend” at work. Her husband is having an affair and is unrepentant. Please do not dismiss an affair as “only emotional.” It does just as much damage. Also, some Christian men will deliberately not “cross the line” into sex so that they can tell themselves that they are not having an affair.
    The affair needs to be exposed. The wife needs to love yes, but enable no as in 2 Timothy 2:25-26 “in the hope that God will grant [him] repentance leading [him] to a knowledge of truth, and that [he] will come to [his] senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken [him] captive to do his will.”
    April has made it very clear that she does not wish to provide counsel in cases of very serious circumstances, such as abuse and adultery. I believe this situation is one that will require expert counsel beyond what April is trained to do. It seems to be a red flag to me that no one is talking about the affair, except to parrot the gentleman’s protests that she is only a friend. It is never, under any circumstances, appropriate for a Christian husband to have an intimate female friend especially against his wife’s protests. Please prayerfully bring this matter to Christian men that you can trust so that this brother can be rescued from this very costly sin. Blessings.

    1. I agree about the circumstances. My husband is doing the same thing. But deep prayer also led for me to see where I had emotional affairs. With work, PTA, my friends, anything that is placed above our husbands, except God, can be an emotional affair. I realized my husband and I have gone back and forth with our “emotional affairs”, never really putting each other in the proper priority.

      It gets to be a much slippery slope when romantic feelings get involved. The real question is who do our men feel safe emotionally with? What have we done to lose that trust? How can we build it back up and what if we never do? I also pray for hopefuls husband as well as my own that God steps in to stop any further sin. I pray these men turn away from this temptation and seek their wives out.

      Ultimately, there is no way to vontrol what our husbands do. We can only control our reaction to it. We can let them know our ferlings in a respectful and loving way, but we are not responsible for the sins of our husbands. We can INFLUENCE, however and not do things that repel and drive thembaway. We can live as God would approve, but there is no guarantee. My husband finally admitted he does not like himself, that maybe he needs counselling. That nothing I do or say is causing his bad thinking anymore. Anymore. Well, that’s a goid thing. But I see his need for help. I’m grateful he is starting to recognize that, but he may very well sin anyway. It’s the fight we live out every day, the choices we make.

      I pray our husbands wake up and run away from sin, look at it for the filth it is, but until then, I pray that God simply helps to open those eyes and give us women strength and courage to live our own life in Jesus’name.

      1. LMSdaily115,

        I’m so glad your husband is seeing that he needs help. THAT IS AWESOME!

        I don’t want any husband or wife to have an emotional affair. They are very damaging to our marriages – and it is so easy to slip into an emotional affair if we are not carefully guarding our hearts and motives.

        The enemy is certainly at work in so many marriages. I pray for God’s wisdom, healing, and power for your marriage, LMSdaily115, and for Hopefulgal’s marriage, as well.

      2. I think the comparison here to being over involved in work or church activities, and spending intensive time with your female soulmate, are two different things, and it is exactly this approach that I warned about. There is no difference between an emotional affair and an affair. There is no such thing as “just” an emotional affair, especially because 9/10 times it is a lie about not having a sexual part. The approach to his “friendship” that he is unwilling to give up would be the same approach to a loving sexual relationship on the side that he refuses to give up. There are “guidelines” that work in these situations, beyond “well, I can’t control him” and trying to “nice him” back.

        First off, expose the affair. Share with his supervisor, his family, and his brothers in Christ exactly what he is doing and saying to his wife, and let other important people around this man be the ones to chime in with “this is not right.” Secondly, stand on the original agreement when married to have no other. Did this wife agree to bring a “sister wife” into their marriage? It is ok with her if he now gets his needs met outside the marriage and have his wife plus a “special friend who gets him?” As long as the wife doesn’t mind two women being in her marriage, then say nothing and do nothing. But if the original terms of the agreement have been changed by one party, then there is much this wife can do –not to control her husband– but to maintain her own self respect, dignity and healthy boundaries, and also to show her children what a marriage truly is. It is NOT healthy boundaries to be ok with your husband having a special female friend. That is allowing him to be a “cake eater.”

        The wife can say “I love you very much but I am not willing to share you and my marriage with another woman. If you are going to persist in this behavior I must ask you to leave our home.” This, of course, is done after having important friends, family, and church speak to him about 100% no contact with this woman, even changing jobs if need be. These are not attempts to control the husband –these are time-honored strategies that cause those who are caught up in affairs (with all the chemicals running in their brains from being in love) have a fighting chance to escape the powerful drugs that cause them to make these poor decisions. The technical term is being “In a fog.” You cannot expect a person in an affair fog to make rational decisions.

        Many, many people caught up in affairs came to realize, when their wife or husband drew the line, that they really did want their families, and they were able to leave the affair partner and come home to create a more satisfying relationship. But only because drawing the line helps the person in the affair get out of the fog.
        This does not mean that the Holy Spirit will not continue to help this woman grow in these troubled times. The Bible makes it very clear that marriage is the union between one man and one woman. The Bible also makes it very clear that adultery is a heart condition, not limited to actions, i.e we are not having sex.

        It would be a kindness to this man if people around him could help him get out of the affair fog and break through his denial to see what he is truly doing. These are time-honored ways to help break through his denial, and the sooner, the better. I have recommended this book before: Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass. I would like to have this wife read that book and then report back to us what are her thoughts and feelings after a prayerful time with the Holy Spirit. Perhaps April and LMSdaily could skim through it as well.

        1. Marked Wife,
          Thank you for sharing these insights and this wisdom. 🙂

          I do think there is a difference between infatuation and a full blown physical affair – and I think the approach may need to be different depending on the situation. But infatuation or an emotional affair can certainly quickly escalate to a physical affair, and that is where it is probably heading unless drastic measures are taken to stop it.

          Thank you for sharing these steps about how a wife might prayerfully approach her husband. I would love to see a wife examine her own life first (Matthew 7:1-5) and make sure she has repented of any sin in her own life to God and to her husband before attempting to address her husband. And I don’t know that a wife whose husband is being friendly to another woman would need to issue an ultimatum the way that a wife may need to if her husband is in a severe emotional attachment or a full blown affair. I would like wives to use discretion and God’s wisdom in each situation.

          Thank you for recommending this book and for addressing this difficult and extremely painful type of situation.

          1. That was helpful, April, though brief. But as Emmerich says, He must choose. Until the husband is compelled to make a choice, he cannot see what he has to lose. He is blinded by the “in love” feelings that are so powerful they have brought down kingdoms and corporations. Once a husband has to really consider leaving his comfortable home, living in a sparse apartment, missing his children and his prestige as a married man, and eating baloney sandwiches, well… it can be a real wake up call. The affair partner only meets SOME of his needs. He thinks, while in the fog, that she meets ALL of his needs, and he will logically continue on this path towards her as long as he believes that and AS LONG AS HE IS ALLOWED TO. Once he has to make a choice (which would also logically cause him to project in his mind the scenario of divorce with its significant loss of assets), he very quickly will come to see that his wife and family meet MOST of his needs– and, in these situations being discussed on this page, not only does his wife meet MOST of his needs but she is significantly changing into a much better wife, which will give him great hope that she soon will meet ALL of his needs.
            Exposing the relationship is also very important. Does the husband allow his wife to see his texts? Are his emails and phone and facebook completely open to her? If not, why not? What would he have to hide? In those situations where a husband is being secretive or defensive about his phone, then that is where the wife knows the information lies that she needs for an effective confrontation (effective in the sense that it will need to open his eyes and turn him around) and (confrontation in the sense of being calm, yet unmoveable, and producing irrefutable evidence that he can no longer deny or explain away in his own denial). Copies of texts and emails, and even a voice activated recorder placed within his car, are tools of truth that break through the denial. When these tools are used to show his boss, the other woman’s husband, close Christian male figures what is exactly going on, then he is no longer able to stay in his fantasy land comfortably. Cognitive dissonance is the term and it is an extremely uncomfortable place which will motivate him to move out of it. It is very useful to get other Christian men involved, such as pastors, his brothers, other husbands. Why? Because they will have a private talk with him and call Bull**** on all his excuses and justifications. (pardon my French but there is no other word that fits). Men KNOW when a guy is putting moves on another woman. We miss it, as women, but it is blindingly obvious to men — men KNOW and will call him out on it.
            It truly is my hope to move these lost sinners out of their situations and into ones of healing. I know Jesus can do the healing, but there are times when we still must see the doctor and take the chemo and have the surgery. Exposing the affair and compelling a choice seem unloving but then again, so does chemo. I can assure you, those two actions would do a great deal to rescue those lost in these affairs, and would be foundational towards saving precious marriages. Thank you for allowing me to share, April.

          2. MarkedWife,

            I see what you’re saying – and I agree wholeheartedly….. from a human perspective.

            ….But I think that there’s something missing here.

            God has been showing me the hard way, lately, that everything that occurs in my life, the good, the bad,.. it all points back to one thing, for believers: “I, the Father, love YOU!” and “Will you trust Me?”

            God doesn’t need our help. Nothing escapes His notice. Nothing escapes His care. As humans, we like to feel like we are somehow in control. And even in times where that control has Just and Righteous intentions, it will always lead to an end of confusion and pain. Often times when we reach that end of confusion and pain, it leads to us digging in and trying to control more, in order to dig ourselves out of that situation.

            My wife has been doing many of the same things that have been spoken of here. Very secretive, shady, deceptive things. I’ve gone so far as to protect our finances from her. But if I look back on it, every move that I made, was from a heart of Control…. and it *didn’t work*. Again, the motives were right…. To ultimately bring darkness to light. But I wasn’t looking Up when doing those things… I was reacting to an unjust situation. This situation is absolutely unfair to me. It is the epitome of hurt, and it is the epitome of betrayal. But the key takeaway, is that it does not escape God’s care.

            Something you said is something that I agree with wholeheartedly in every way:

            “It is very useful to get other Christian men involved, such as pastors, his brothers, other husbands. Why? Because they will have a private talk with him and call Bull*** on all his excuses and justifications. (pardon my French but there is no other word that fits). Men KNOW when a guy is putting moves on another woman. We miss it, as women, but it is blindingly obvious to men — men KNOW and will call him out on it.”

            I’ve seen significant gains in transparency, shattering of pride, and accountability in Men’s Groups within healthy church bodies. Men provide “safe places” for other men to laugh, hurt, cry, pray over eachother, etc . . . it is grace lived out. The realization that other men out there are internally dealing with the exact same temptations, struggles, and fears in life, is a liberating thing. The deceiver is active in finding isolated men to lie to, to steal from, and to ultimately devour.

            But in those circles, men are also battling along side other men, and their families. If a man is sinning against his wife, men will pull that guy aside and deal with him in a way that only men can do. And if he doesn’t respond, those men will basically out him from the circle, and continue ‘doing battle’ with the man’s family… meaning, they will make sure his family is loved, provided for, and supported thru the time that the husband is sinning. The impact and shunning from these men, carry a significant weight. A weight that the victim-spouse cannot match…. because the man, in his sin, respects nothing that his wife says or does.

            Now with that said, the man will still only be affected by a decisive action by God Himself. Much like how God kicked Saul off his horse, pinned Him down, and basically said “What’re you gonna do now, tough guy?” as Saul laid there helpless on the ground. Before that moment of conversion, even the most renown of Saints were absolutely unable to reach him….

            I think April’s message is ultimately a message that’s akin to mine. Someone who has genuinely done everything they could do to remedy layers upon layers of complicated sin and hurt, by control…. Constantly going “well if he/she does this, then I’ll do that. If she/he escalates and does this, then I’ll do that”. And we go thru life developing this game plan of reaction. Be it my own sin, or the sin of my spouse…. The effects of my own desire to inflict control over the situation ultimately leads to frustration, anxiety, and doubt – as I pull further away from the truth that God Loves Me, that He cares about my circumstances more than I could ever comprehend… and as I trust Him less and less thru that control that I attempt to assert.

            And we circle back to Saul’s life, post-conversion… Paul. In chains…. writing to the Phillipian believers. The “rulers” and “authorities” of the day must’ve been so frustrated by him…. because whatever they did to him, did not shake him. “Want to kill me?!? Ok, to Die is Gain! Want to keep me alive and torture me? Ok, to Live is Christ!” And he exhorts us in previous versus, that He who began the good work in us, will be faithful to complete it. And right now, I’m choosing to believe that. I might need to “choose” that again tomorrow – but I know that our Lord will grant me His mercies anew tomorrow morning – that I might be drawn to Him… and His love for us.

            To Live Is Christ,
            -hh

            “Yes He walked my road and He felt my pain
            Joys and sorrows that I know so well
            Yet His righteous steps give me hope again
            I will follow my Immanuel”

          3. HH,

            Love this! Yes, I want to be sure we are acting in response to God’s wisdom and His Spirit’s prompting with pure motives, not with motives of self or control. There are times we do need to confront and expose sin. There are also times we need to wait and pray. God’s Spirit knows what is best in each situation. As we are abiding in Him and filled up with His power, He can direct us and He can affect our spouse and the circumstances in ways that we could never accomplish on our own. The Holy Spirit is the only one who can open someone’s spiritual eyes and bring real conviction and godly sorrow and repentance. That is what we all want to see if there is a wayward spouse or a spouse flirting with an affair.

            Thank you so much for sharing!

          4. HH,

            “And we circle back to Saul’s life, post-conversion… Paul. In chains…. writing to the Phillipian believers. The “rulers” and “authorities” of the day must’ve been so frustrated by him…. because whatever they did to him, did not shake him. “Want to kill me?!? Ok, to Die is Gain! Want to keep me alive and torture me? Ok, to Live is Christ!” And he exhorts us in previous versus, that He who began the good work in us, will be faithful to complete it. And right now, I’m choosing to believe that. I might need to “choose” that again tomorrow – but I know that our Lord will grant me His mercies anew tomorrow morning – that I might be drawn to Him… and His love for us.”

            Thank you for reminding me what I constantly struggle to remember, that the entire situation is not happening outside of God’s knowledge, or power. Well said, and thank you!

          5. Thanks for your contribution HH. Much appreciated to have the masculine perspective. Just to clarify, the line drawn is never about the other spouse, or as an attempt to control. Pouring out bottles of beer is about control. Calmly telling your husband that you will call the cops if he drives drunk with your child in the car is not. And there is a certain way that denial is broken through when a man sits in the back of a squad car, in handcuffs, after failing a breathalyzer. His “Denial Mind” says, my wife is nuts, i don’t have a drinking problem… and his rational mind says, oh yeah, then why are we being arrested if it’s just the wife’s problem.
            Secrecy and isolation definitely aid in denial. God calls us to love and heal in community. That is why I suggested using God’s community to rescue those who are lost, along with praying and listening to the Holy Spirit. One does not preclude the other, does it?

          6. I struggle with this concept too. When to rest in God, and when we should rise up against sin. Paul urges the Phillipines not to ignore sin, but to do just as marked wife says, to confront privately, then if the sinner does not repent, bring in a witness to confront, then if still no repentance, then out in front of the church. However, when the sinner does reoent, we are to welcome with open arms. The whole goal is to bring the restore a right relationship, not to shun and never forgive. It is hard to draw the line, but Jesus reminds us that we are not to be the judges, the jury or executioner, that job is all for God. David had the chance to kill King Saul as he slept, but instead, he took his sword to show him his mercy. David knew God would bring justice and fight his fights for him. I wish I knew how to be sure when to confront sin and when to stay quiet and let God work it all out. I also don’t want to just let life happen and not be a part of it. God also asks us not to just watch from the sidelines. Am I understanding the biblical examples here? I’m still a baby christian.

          7. HI, y
            Christian friends call me a baby Christian also but even the baby understands God when Jesus said he DISPISED DIVORCE, it means exactly what it says, you should NOT divorce it is CRUEL, JESUS allowed people TO divorce for infidelity, but he ask that you not, so I ask you would you rather do something Jesus ask of you or something he allowed you to do and why why why when somebody do something that he DIEPISED…
            MY wife just divorce me after 40 years I am crushed I have no idea if I’m even going to see tomorrow it’s been a year and a half she calls herself a Christian… she says she justified Jesus allowed divorce for infidelity Wow how sad I guess she never loved me three children… well again I say I’m crushed beyond human belief

          8. apachejoejoe,

            I can certainly understand that you are very upset that your wife divorced you. I am sure you are also painfully aware of the reasons why she felt she had to do this. Trust was broken. In other comments, you have taken responsibility for your part in the marriage being severely hurt.

            Someone who is following Christ would not want to have an affair. That would be detestable to a disciple of Christ. Someone who is abiding in Christ would want to guard their heart and marriage from an affair at all costs, realizing the destruction and devastation that infidelity causes to marriages and families – and how much infidelity grieves the heart of God.

            Jesus certainly despises adultery. God does hate divorce, as well. Yes. I would love for y’all to be able to reconcile in time – AFTER you have both healed spiritually in Christ. When I counsel wives, I try to encourage them to focus on their own sins and their own obedience to God than to focus on what they want their spouse to do differently. Perhaps, in time, trust might be able to be rebuilt with your wife? I would imagine that she would be very afraid to trust you right now.

            It is not a sin for a Christian to divorce his/her spouse for the spouse’s infidelity – depending on one’s interpretation of Jesus’ words about marriage and divorce in Matthew. Separation – at a minimum – would be necessary in most cases of unrepentant adultery, and in many cases of repentant adultery in order to begin healing. Infidelity is the main sin in this situation. Sometimes a spouse may choose to extend undeserved and unmerited grace and may choose to rebuild the marriage and seek to restore trust and intimacy. But the guilty spouse doesn’t have the right to demand grace.

            How is your walk with Christ going? Keeping your focus on Him is where healing can begin. Your wife can’t heal you. Even if she came back, she can’t meet the deepest needs of your soul. But Jesus can do that. Many times, I have seen God use seasons of major pain, isolation and loneliness to lead them to find the sufficiency of Christ.

            I would love to encourage you to read Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray, my dear brother. I believe it may be a step in great healing.

            http://www.ccel.org/ccel/murray/surrender

          9. I walk with Christ everyday, everynight…
            I have cried a million tears, not only has my family been destroyed, but I have been destroyed financially…
            I have to file for bankruptcy, everything that we have worked for over the 40 years is gone…
            I sign the house over to her so at least she keeps that…
            People don’t realize what happens after the divorce, I lost my house, my health insurance, I lost my life insurance, i lost everything dental included…
            Everything we worked for over 40 years…
            Have any of you ever tried pulling your own tooth as adult ? Well i did now it’s broke off at the roots and infected, I am also homeless and live in a tent on a small 90 x 90 ft. piece of land I have in the country…
            I also had a tree fall on me and put me in the hospital she didn’t even come to see me… she didn’t even call to find out if I was ok…. I truly believe that everyone should have to go through what I’ve gone through without a doubt God will touch your heart and make you a better Christian….
            I know this for a fact it will teach you just how lucky we all are and how we take hot water and our own toilets and our own beds for granted…
            She’s so bitter, so hateful, yes my infidelities lead to my divorce, I never had intercourse, but I allowed these women to do unappropriate, lustful fleshful, things to me… I was so foolish, I didn’t mean to hurt her ever…
            I felt she didn’t care because she paid no attention to me and rejected me constantly…
            She would take trips alone or with the kids to visit her family and take the kids to Disney World and things like that and leave me home alone…
            She could of forgiven me one more time, but chose not to…
            I have been with no one, sense the last time we made love together, it was October 2012 I have been with no one, but she refuses to believe that…
            This i know for sure that women use sex as a weapon to control their husbands and to manipulate them and get what they want…
            until the husband gives in and gives them everything they want, because he needs her so badly, and she knows that….
            It is so wrong to make a husband beg for his own wife.. but they do it over and over the years using sex as a weapon….
            Then after so many years it turns into a weapon of mass destruction and destroys everything… it ends up blowing up in their face and then they wonder why…
            Without a doubt my wife rejecting me sexually led to my sins of infidelity…
            Is that so hard to understand, that it can happen to even a good man, a good God loving man… Like me ? and to good loving Christian wife like my own….
            How I wish I could take it all back…
            I love her so much I cant even explain, there are no words, to express how much I love her….
            Her and everyone says you have to put God first, that i have to love Jesus first and I say, after all I have seen my wife but I have not seen Jesus…
            I don’t think Jesus is mad at me for loving her so much. he says I am to love her with an Agape love…
            A Wise Old Christian Woman told me one time after I told her what was going on between me and my wife…
            She said, God will reward you for loving your wife so much…
            So I’m begging Jesus to bring her back..
            She says has no one, so she says, and I truly want to believe her, she is a good woman with good Christian values, and I have no one, this is so foolish, so foolish…
            I feel as I’ve been ripped in half my family has been torn apart, separation would have been enough, but not divorce, its so final..
            Its been almost 2 years now, how can she be so cruel…
            I am a truly repentance truly truly repentant man….
            Why doesn’t she come back to me with open arms and say Joey I love you, come home, come home with me …
            I could never betray her again no matter what… I promise to God I would live without sex just to be with her just to be close to her… and sex is very important to me like it is to all men, so I would sacrifice that just to be with her…
            I think that’s shows how much I love her I need her in my life…
            You all know when a wife cuts her husband off from sex other woman sense these things … and they sense when a man is lonely and they pounce on him, cuz maybe they’re lonely too, maybe their husbands or boyfriends are rejecting them, maybe they have no one…
            But i know first hand that no matter how I hard tried to fight it, and believe me I rejected it hundreds of times more than I gave in, but sooner or later they catch you when you’re weak, when your most vulnerable and you give in to the sin…
            Jesus tells us that in the Bible…
            You should submit to one another, so one doesn’t become weak and fall…
            and if one should fall alone and not have the other one to pick them up, Woe to them, for they have fallen alone and there’s no one to pick me up…
            So Woe is Me….
            My wife is a wonderful wonderful woman, why can’t she give me one more chance…
            I have begged on my knees, I have begged and pleated with Jesus…
            I can’t go on without her, I love her so, and she has to know that..
            I told her everyday for 40 years when we were married how beautiful she was and how much I love her, never missing a day…
            How could she throw me away like a piece of trash, like yesterday’s news, how can a Christian woman do that, where is my forgiveness for my repentance…
            My love for her is unmeasurable, I’m fading fast, I can’t last without her, because I need her in my life, she was my gift from God, I taught her how to drive for God sakes, she was only 15 when I met her…. I’m so so sorry for what I’ve done, but she must understand her part too, rejection of me, so much rejection and it didn’t mean that I did not love her, it doesn’t mean that at all…
            I pray so hard for reconciliation of my marriage to her, my wife of my youth…. Please could everyone pray for us, I beg you…I am a new man… I’m a new creation thought a righteous man falls seven times he rises again… remember Hosea and Gomer, I believe that is what God wants to see in everyone’s marriage true forgiveness for true repentance it’s all a big learning experience for us all to make us worthy for his kingdom… but we almost reconcile when there is forgiveness that’s what he teaches… don’t you agree…. Joe

          10. Apachejoejoe,

            I’m so sorry for your pain! It sounds like you and your wife have both experienced much pain in your marriage. That breaks my heart for both of you. 🙁

            I long to see every husband and wife seeking to be the men/women, husbands/wives that God calls us to be. I long for each of us to seek to meet our spouse’s needs and to live wholeheartedly for Christ in obedience to Him in everything. The world would be such a different place!

            I would encourage you that you CAN live and even thrive apart from your wife in Christ, my dear brother! It’s not ideal to be in a divorced situation. Not at all. But God CAN make something beautiful and good from this. That is His promise to you in Romans 8:28-29. I pray for healing for each of you individually and for your marriage. Please do not give up hope!

            Yes, God can absolutely use marriage to teach us to love with His love and to extend His grace, mercy, and forgiveness. It is all a big learning experience that God can use to sanctify us and make us more and more holy.

          11. Robin,
            Are some of us making Jesus look bad ?
            What is true repentance, what does it mean when a person is truly repentant…
            When a person goes all through the steps and all through the stages of repentance and he truly repents, although, he may have committed horrible sins of adultery, he may of did a lot of different ugly things… he may even been shunned from the church, divorced from the spouse… But, God says you don’t go out marry somebody else, Jesus asks you to stay single or you return to your spouse… but, if we truly repent, we should be welcome back with open arms, saying to each other, welcome back brother or sister…
            I love you, go to church and worship together and pray for one another and save others, but instead when a person truly repents, he or she is still Shunned from everyone… just put yourself in their position, shouldn’t you treat them the way Jesus treats you, suppose Jesus never forgave us any of our sins, where would any of us be…
            BUT, CHRISTIANs, just don’t see it, because they’re blind…
            How sad is that, if a wife divorced her husband for his infidelities even though they’ve been going on for years, does she look at her sin and see that she maybe because she used sex as a weapon to control her husband, and that that alone is a sin and that her husband may have turned rebellious because of his weakness and fell unto the flesh, because he was weak…
            If he truly truly repents shouldn’t he be able to go back with his wife…and given that chance to make it up to her in to show her that he can be a godly husband and show her God’s designed for a happy marriage…
            Isn’t she supposed to forgive him ? Isn’t that what it’s all about ?
            Isn’t that what the Bible says from Genesis to Revelations … Isn’t it all about love, forgiveness, grace, mercy ?
            When someone truly is repentant, forgive them…
            Jesus says, When someones truly repentive, it’s like they’ve never did it …
            Your sins have been washed away… I guess we’re really not forgiving Christians are we ?
            We will all go around bragging what great Christians we all are and how we love Jesus, Oh yes, Praise Jesus, he’s my savoir, the sun set and rises on Jesus… He is the only way…. but no one is truly following him or his words do they ?
            What does the Bible says in the end of times ?
            People will be selfish and only think of themselfs, lovers of money, thinking only of themselves and their own happiness…etc… ( I believe its in Timothy, read it and tell me that all them things that are spoken in that verse are not true right now )
            When someone truly repents, he should be forgiven and welcome back, that makes Jesus look good to other skeptics and non-believers as well as believers and we want everyone to come to Jesus, dont we, we don’t want to make him look bad, that’s not good….
            When we look in the mirror we are supposed to see an image of Christ, if we don’t, how are we going to make the people that don’t believe in Christianity come to Christianity ? It just gives them something more ammunition, and something more not to believe in, because look at her, look at him, they’re supposed to be believers, they’re supposed to be Christians, look at the way they treat their spouses… They will say, Where is the forgiveness, Ya, this Jesus stuff just a bunch of baloney, Jesus stuff doesn’t make sense, glory, forgiveness, mercy, yeah its a bunch of malarkey…
            BUT, on the other hand… I’m going to tell you as God as my witness…
            If they see the forgiveness, if they see the repentance, the grace and the glory and the Mercy and the true reconciliation, through the husband and the wife, and if their children witnessed it, an their families witness it and the skeptics and the non believers…
            Oh boy, Oh boy, would that not bring them all closer to God ?
            Wouldn’t it ? and isn’t that what it’s all about ?
            Instead of being a bunch of hypocrites, I think we ought to be a bunch of true Christians…life is a vapor as Paul said, with the authority of Christ, Paul was the worst of the worst and his repentance and faith turn him into the best of the best, and Paul never even met Jesus…think about that…
            I know you will see that, and I know you all know that the end is near if you don’t then you can’t be a true Christian… doesn’t he tell you that when you see the signs look up !!!!!! look up !!!!!! to the heavens for I’m Acoming I’m Acomin, so be prepared, so you won’t be caught naked, he will come like a thief in the night, no one knows that day or that time….
            We all better make sure we have it right with him before he comes, and it’s too late, but if we turn to him now, we will all be saved, he wants every single man woman and child on this earth to be saved even the bad bad people…
            Doesn’t True forgiveness, for true repentance, produces true reconciliation in Gods eyes ? and that’s what it’s all about, that’s what the whole thing is about, but nobody gets it, because they are blind, and selfish, they see nothing but their happiness and hear nothing but what they’re itchy ears when I hear….
            believe me I’m not scolding anyone I’m just telling everyone what I have experienced and what I see now that I have truly repented for my sins….
            I sit here alone, waiting be welcomed back by my wife of 40 yrs, with open arms and there are none…it’s so hard to try to keep your faith, after all I have seen everone, I have seen my wife, but I have not seen him, I have not seen Jesus….
            I read his book and I believe in him with my whole heart… I personally think, if we all became better Christians, like everyone that writes on your blogs is trying to become, I think Jesus you do wonderful things in our life… if we obey his commandments the best we can, and we know if we live to be 200 years old will never get it right…
            But, at least will try, because if you believe in him you know what he has in store for us all…. and how better off or blessed could we all be, to be given eternal life by His grace alone… Joe

          12. Joe,

            I know you are hurting very deeply over your wife divorcing you. My heart breaks over the pain you and your wife have experienced. 🙁 I have no doubt she contributed to the issues in the marriage, too. Humans all tend to do that. Perhaps she is totally in sin right now and filled with bitterness that grieves God’s heart. I have no idea. I don’t know her at all so I can’t begin to speculate. Maybe she is just hurt and afraid to trust.

            It is really easy to focus on what other people (our spouse) should do. But what I have found is that this puts us into a victim’s position where we are totally paralyzed until this other person (over whom we have zero control) does what we want them to do. I lived a lot of my life that way – and it was miserable.

            Yes! It would be AWESOME if your wife would forgive you. And it is wonderful that you say you have truly repented! Praise God for that!

            Forgiveness is a command God gives us as believers. Yes, your wife should forgive you. Yes, it would be amazing if y’all could reconcile in a healthy way!!!
            I think we can humbly ask for forgiveness, but I don’t think we can demand it.

            On this blog, my goal is to focus on what we can control – ourselves. We can share our pain, yes, absolutely. We can share when we feel we are being wronged or sinned against. But then we must trust our spouse, even a sinning spouse, to God to do the convicting. Only He can change a person’s heart and mind. Only He can heal a deeply wounded soul.

            True, Paul was the “worst of the worst” but he was not a believer when he was killing and persecuting Christians. As far as I know, he never killed or persecuted another Christian once he was converted. He was a changed man. Not completely perfect, but very radically different because of Christ. No one is beyond the reach of Christ. We do need to be ready for His return. We do each need to examine our hearts for any sin and turn from it and allow God to completely transform us by the power of His Spirit.

            But we don’t control other people’s decisions. We only control ourselves – our sin, our obedience to God, our motives, our thoughts, our words, and our actions. Other people must make their own decisions for themselves. Each of us will stand accountable to God alone.

            I believe there is peace and healing and growth available to each of us when we stop focusing on our spouse and what we think God should make them do – and start focusing on what God is asking of us in this moment.

            I guess, if I were in your very difficult and extremely painful position, I pray I would be able to ask myself some really tough questions:

            – Am I willing to forgive her for not taking me back even if she never forgives me and never wants to reconcile – even if she is completely wronging me?
            – Am I willing to respect and accept her decision until God brings healing and a miracle, trusting that God will be with me and will never leave or forsake me?
            – Am I willing to be content in my current circumstances knowing that Christ is enough, asking Him to change me and to make my life useful to Him no matter what my wife does or does not do?
            – Am I willing to hold this situation loosely and lay it on the altar to Christ, not knowing what the final outcome will be, but trusting Him to do what is ultimately for my greatest good and His greatest glory?

            God can make something beautiful from your life, my precious brother. He is the key. I pray for continued healing for you and for your wife.

          13. Thank you Robin,
            In answer to your question…
            YES, I will always love her, with an Agape love… No matter what, even if she doesn’t forgive me… I hope she will remain single and absent from sex with anyone…. as I will for the rest of my life, as Jesus asked, but it all seems so foolish, when this Is what she prayed for her whole life, For me to be saved and repent from my sins…and to come to Jesus ..
            I’m here like Paul, redeemed, and she doesn’t want it, it’s what she prayed to God for, for over 40 years….Im so losed without her, it truly is a never ending death… some one finally gets ther prayers answered, and they reject them…. Do you see hypocrisy in that, how many woman on this site, would love to have their husbands saved and totally repent and come to the lord, and truly be that Godly bibical husband… as the lord has made me now..I am a new man I am a new creation there’s no doubt about it …. God changed me , my wife has changed me… I wish she would walk with me again and finish this journey we started together with God …… know that we (both ? ) Are saved…..Joe

          14. Joe,

            I am so thankful your wife did pray for you for so long and how amazing that God answered her prayers!! Woohoo!!!! It is sad that y’all aren’t together now.

            I am so thankful you are willing to offer her forgiveness and grace now.

            I pray that you will be able to have a healed, beautiful, God-honoring marriage as God brings the pieces together and as He heals you both.

          15. I can somewhat relate to Joe. I am doing and living a life know that my husband has wanted, and now he has pulled away from me.

            April has helped me gather courage to stay faithful and consistent with honoring and respecting my husband even when I would like to do the exact opposite. I am learning that I am only responsible for myself and living my life in a way that honors God. AND IT IS NOT EASY.

            When I am in profound pain which I imagine you are Joe, I get on my knees in my safe places in my home and cry out to God. He knows the pain you are suffering, the pain I suffer, the pain that April has suffered in her marriage. He won’t kick us to the curb. People do. Our spouses do. I believe that the story isn’t over for you. And it’s not for me either.

          16. Thank you April and Hopefulgal, yes I’m Older then you all and I have cried uncontrollably most of the day and night for 19 months..
            I have broke down and humiliated myself in front of family, many Pastors and strangers as well. God made my wife and I one and You can’t separate one, it’s a individual number… That’s why it’s so painful because, to take one and try to make it into two again, is impossible, you cant, no one can without the ripping of flesh…. I feel I have literary been ripped in half, and I’m laying there bleeding to death, in so much pain, and trying to grap my other half and put us back together…. but that’s impossible only God can do it… He is the master surgeon the master healer the master of reconciliation oh how I pray I could get an appointment with him what’s wrong so he can help me and put us back together again… yes Hopefulgal were all hurting, and if two or more gather together in pray in his name, nothing is impossible…I love you, all pray for you all, I am defeated I have nowhere to go but to God I pray he will heal my wife and I or take me and do as he pleases… Joe

          17. Joe,

            I do think this kind of pain is more painful than the death of a spouse. It is very much a ripping apart of two souls and lives that is contrary to God’s design. I lift you and your wife to God’s throne room and ask Him to continue to heal you both. Nothing is impossible with God. I pray for His glory in your lives!

          18. LMSdaily115,

            The only way I know of for us to know when to do which action is to abide in Christ and to be listening carefully to His prompting. I don’t know an easy way around being Spirit-filled. It is probably a very good thing that I don’t!

            Yes, you are understanding, from what I can see. 🙂

          19. Marked Wife,

            Great points about the difference between control and a healthy intervention. Thank you. I pray God will give each wife the wisdom she needs about how to approach her particular situation in ways that will most honor Christ and will move the marriage toward spiritual healing and unity.

    2. Marked Wife,
      An emotional affair is not okay. There is also a continuum of severity of emotional affairs. At first, people may not even realize what is happening – or think “it is just a friendship” – but when that friendship becomes more important than the marriage, or there is more attachment to the “friend” that is a problem. Also, when there are private messages and conversations, that is a problem, in my view. I personally don’t advocate close opposite sex friendships for this very reason – a friendship can so easily become an affair. Much better to guard our hearts.

      A wife may confront her husband about what he is doing. But he may be in denial about it or defend the relationship as innocent. So just confronting him may not be enough or may not be productive – depending on where a husband is spiritually and where he is in the marriage and in the other relationship.

      There will be different approaches that will be most effective in different situations. Sometimes, a wife focusing on her own walk with Christ and on becoming the wife God calls her to be begins to pour healing into the marriage and the husband begins to feel safe with her again and realizes what he is doing is wrong and cuts off the other relationship. Other times, a wife may need to respectfully confront him. Other times they may need to seek counseling individually or together. Other times, if a husband refuses to let go of another relationship, separation can be necessary.

      I do want to encourage wives not to completely freak out if possible – I think that may tend to push the husband toward the other woman – which we don’t want to do. I would encourage wives to do much praying before attempting to address a situation like this. And if a wife needs to reach out for godly counsel – I would definitely encourage them to do that, even if their husbands don’t want to go to counseling with them.

      There can also be situations where a husband hasn’t yet admitted that an emotional affair has progressed to a sexual affair. So, there is a great need for God’s wisdom and discernment and prayer for God to bring things to light in these painful circumstances.

      Ultimately, only God knows what each wife should do in each specific situation. My prayer is that each wife will seek God’s wisdom and seek to be filled with His Spirit and to hear His prompting – whether to speak up or pray and wait and exactly what to do.

    3. Marked Wife, LMSdaily115 and Peacefulwife,

      I am Hopeful with a pink avatar and I am the woman whose husband has the “friend” at work. I appreciate all of your care and concern and advice concerning my situation. I think that each wife has to seek God concerning her particular circumstances and her particular husband. What a year! I have run the whole gamut of hurt, rejection, pity, selfishness, pride, anger, jealousy, depression, questioning God etc. etc.

      For right now I have chosen to trust God with my husband, with myself and with this situation. Judging him has not worked. My pity parties have not worked. My jealousy has not worked. My interference has not worked. My begging and pleading has not worked. My telling very few family members about the situation and seeking their aid has not worked and has actually hurt my husband more than anything I could have ever done.

      As I am stepping back and working on MY relationship with God, I have seen Him at work on my husband. The preaching in the past couple of months and especially in the past 3 weeks has been geared toward our marriage and our issues. There has been preaching about bitterness, faith, thankfulness, closing out the year on a good note, Matthew 12:29 – about being bound by Satan etc. etc. I am seeing some remorse in my husbands countenance. I see him trying to love me more. My eldest daughter talked to him the other day…I knew she wanted to talk to him alone. I didn’t ask questions but I knew that she had just gone to revival services about spiritual warfare and opening doors and letting Satan in to your life. All of this has been going on while I sit and pray for wisdom and keep my mouth shut.

      This morning was my husbands first day back to work after having a week off of work. I was crying early this morning before he left knowing that he was probably going to have a long talk with “her” about their Christmas break and everything they got and did for Christmas. As I hugged him goodbye I wanted to say enjoy your friend today…but I didn’t. I gave him to God early this morning. My mind left to itself can create some really nasty scenarios. The reality may only be a simple little friendly conversation and then its on to work and what needs to get done.

      I feel like I must make it clear to you ladies how wonderful my husband is. I would never want to bring his friendship to light out of respect for my husband. It would most definitely destroy him and destroy our marriage. Everyone I know looks up to and respects my husband tremendously. He has so much wisdom, humility, insight, cares for people, generous, considerate, Godly, excellent with our finances, a good provider, a Godly father. He is going through a crisis, that’s the only explanation for his recent actions and decline. He is not like so many other husbands described on this blog. He is not mean, in a sexual affair, unsaved, untrustworthy, etc. He has told me what he talks to her about, how often, when, etc. He cares about her, she is sort of an outcast/needy type person. She doesn’t have many friends. He is witnessing to her. The problem I have is that she really understands him and they think alike and laugh at the same things. She was there for him at work during a rough time.

      The problem is that he and I have never been close friends and I’m jealous of their intimacy even though I don’t think its as bad as my mind is making it. Yes, it is a private friendship and somewhat intimate. He doesn’t feel convicted about it because for the most part it is just shallow conversation and funny trash talk/banter/texting. It has gone deep a very few times (that’s where the Jonathan/David part came in), but he does not talk about me and our marriage to her. He does not flirt with her and is not physically attracted to her.

      My overreactions have done more harm to our marriage than the actual friendship. Is it wrong? Where I am concerned, yes. It has rocked the foundation of our marriage. I do not have the confidence in him that I used to. We are extremely awkward around each other right now. So many words spoken, so much hurt. I feel like she is in our marriage, that I am in competition with her for my husbands time, attention and affection. Is the potential for sin there…absolutely. Could it lead to divorce…most definitely. Do I trust God? Finally, I can say YES.

      I plan on getting the suggested book from the library this week but I am only reading it for knowledge, not in hopes of condemning my husband. I am choosing to focus on the good in him. I know that he is hurting right now. I need to love him and care about him and be available to him. I do not feel close to him emotionally because thoughts of their friendship are always lurking in my mind. Pushing down my pain and trying to be available to him emotionally and sexually are the hardest things I have ever had to do. Please continue to pray for us! Thank you all so much for caring about me…it means more than you’ll ever know!!!

        1. Hopeful,

          I still do believe that if a husband is simply being rather friendly with a coworker – the approach would not need the same sledgehammer that a full blown affair might need. Praying for God’s wisdom for you, my dear sister! And for God to bring anything that is hidden to light. Praying for God to help you sift through your motives and to hear His voice clearly. And I pray for healing for your marriage and for your husband’s eyes to be opened to what he is doing and how dangerous it is, and that he might choose to protect his heart and your marriage and invest in the marriage again in a more meaningful way. I pray for God’s healing for you as a wife that He might empower you to become the woman and wife He calls you to be – simply to please Jesus and to bless your husband. I pray God will do the changing and the convicting.

          I’m sure there is pain and there are issues on both sides of this marriage that need to be wisely addressed.

          1. April,
            Things began to change recently when I stepped back and quit trying to fix everything and finally just leaned on God. I am seeing remorse in my husband, a sadness and drooping of the shoulders. When I tried all manner of ways of controlling the situation he just got angry and bull headed and fought even harder to protect and keep his friendship alive. I don’t know if the newness of his friendship has worn off or if he is under conviction or what, but I am definitely seeing a change in him. He is slowly trying to be more loving towards me.

            The problem we are having right now is a horrible awkwardness between us. We are both terribly hurt. I do not feel emotionally attached to him anymore…like she is in the marriage with us. I am very insecure with him and I feel like I have put some walls around my heart to guard it. I am usually very open with him and now I feel like I can’t even talk to him because for the past year he has spent hours taking to her while almost completely neglecting me. We have always talked about our family and responsibilities and things like that but we have never really been friends that talk about how we think about things, our perceptions, feelings etc. He has told me that he can talk to her about anything and that she really gets him. They talk about their days, how they perceive things, her family problems, their pasts and life changing events. They mostly talk shallowly but also sometimes talk very deeply.

            So here I sit feeling like I don’t really even know my husband at all, especially since he is going through this crisis. Everything in his life is being taken out of their boxes and being examined and his thoughts about some very key things have changed. Thoughts about us, our family, church attendance and God, his extended family, separateness from the world…everything is changing and I dont know how to talk to him about any of it. I also wonder how much she is influencing his thinking, she is not a Christian.

            I desperately want to be here for him and help him through this difficult time but I don’t know how. His heart does not safely trust in me anymore. I feel like he wants to talk to me but he’s scared of me right now. I feel like I want to talk to him but every discussion always comes back to her and he’s sick of it and nothing ever gets resolved. I know he is not talking to her as much but I also know that they have this amazing bond with each other. This “bond” is what I can’t accept or seem to get over and is eating me up inside. He is trying to get through this trial by not hurting either one of us too much.

            She needs his friendship and he doesn’t want to just drop her. I know he also derives great pleasure and joy from her. He does love me and realizes he is bound to me for life but there is not much pleasure in MY company right now. He is stuck in the middle and he by nature is very very nice and always considerate of others and never tries to offend anyone. He started this mess and now he doesn’t know what to do about it. So he is between her and I, and she is between him and I. She needs to go but unfortunately she is very vital at his work and he deals very closely with her throughout the day, mostly on the phone. I have talked to her twice and she is a very nice person and I totally get how he is drawn to her. Lucky for me she is not very pretty and she does have morals and says she never intended to hurt me or come between us. They are just really close intimate friends and my husband desperately needed a friend because he was so neglected by me.

            So here we are with elephants in every room. Everything is awkward. My daughter came home after being gone for four months and she can’t believe how much the atmosphere in our house has changed. People at church and family members are asking what is going on between us. We are at ground zero, starting over from scratch. After 28 years of marriage can we learn to become friends and get over all of this hurt?

            God has shown me so much sin in my life and I have grown a lot this year. That same daughter, when she came home, saw some positive changes in me and told me so. God is at work in me and I think the Holy Spirit is starting to work on my husband. I am trying to be open and available to my husband but it is sooo hard. Please pray for my heart to heal and for me and to have wisdom and insight to be able to help my hurting husband. Pray that I’ll set myself and my feelings aside and learn to be what he needs. Pray for me not to judge him and just give him to God. Pray for me to have patience and to wait on God. Pray for emotional stability for me. Pray for my husband to make right and Godly choices and decisions about all of the major standards and issues he’s dealing with as he takes things out of their boxes and examines them.

            He took a good long look at our marriage and family and decided to stay. He is still in church but is waning. He is most definitely very bitter and rebellious right now. Pray for God to heal our marriage and make it glorious so that it might bring praise and honor to Him. I have mentioned before that our family and especially my husband are looked up to and held in very high regard. Many people are looking on and I want God to be glorified! Thanks for being here for me 🙂

          2. Hopeful,

            This is AWESOME progress! WOOHOO!!!!!! A baby step in the right direction.

            I would personally like for him to just drop the friendship and not have to see this woman at work. I pray God might empower your husband to realize what he needs to do or even to change his circumstances for him.

            It sounds like you actually have a really great guy there. I’m glad he has a conscience and that he is upset about what is happening and that he doesn’t want to hurt you or the marriage. Right now, I think he may need a bit of time and maybe a bit of space to begin to heal and to begin to hear God’s voice. That would be my guess – but I pray God will show you exactly what he might need at this point.

            In Christ, you absolutely CAN become friends and teammates! I’m so excited that God has changed you a lot already and that your daughter could see it. That is awesome!

            I will definitely pray that God might empower you to die to self and to see what your husband needs. Is he willing to verbalize what he needs. Are you able to gently ask him, “What can I do to support you and to have your back right now?”

            I am praying all of these things for you. And most of all that you will abide in Christ every moment and be filled with His Spirit, His love, His wisdom, and His power. I pray for God’s healing for your husband. This is going to take TIME. It would be great if he was perfectly fine tomorrow – but that is not how this usually works. It may be months of healing, maybe longer, before the tension is resolved. I don’t know. But you can focus on being the woman and wife God calls you to be and walking in obedience to God on your end of things – that will help you be “an open pipe” or “channel” for God’s Spirit to pour through you into the marriage.

            Would you be able to remind me if you have apologized to your husband already for your sins? If not, please check out Apologizing Stories.

            I hope you will focus on thanking your husband once a day or so for the good that is in him. Thank him for his faithfulness. Thank him for his high moral standards. Appreciate him working to provide well for the family.

            I have a lot of posts here that I believe may be a blessing as you seek to restore the marriage.

            Much love to you!

          3. April,
            I apologized to my husband for my years of horrible sins right away in early December of 2014 when he dropped the bomb of checking out of our marriage. I was sincere and I believe he accepted it.

            Then began over a year of turmoil, drama, pain, and many “discussions” about “her”. I have let him know it is wrong in my eyes and how much it hurts me and that it has the potential to destroy us. He has defended himself, repeatedly telling me that she is just a great friend and I am overreacting and making it more than it is. I have shared many of the details on this blog. This past year I read several marriage books including The Surrendered Wife. I was struck the most about implicitly trusting my husband. I thought this doesn’t apply to me in this situation. How can I trust someone who is clearly doing wrong and putting our marriage in jeopardy?

            Looking back at 2015 I have seen that all throughout the year God has revealed to me that I need to trust Him and trust my husband. Again, I thought, how can I? Do I have to follow him in this area? Do I have to accept her in his life? No way! He is doing WRONG!!! You asked if I could ask him about supporting him and having his back…well this past Saturday we had another long discussion. I told him where I was at in all of this…submitting to him in everything but this area.

            I was telling him that he has no regard for my feelings. He said what about me not having regard for his feelings. I asked what he meant and he quietly said “why can’t you just be happy that I finally found a friend?” Ouch!!! My husband gives and gives and gives of himself to others. He listens and cares and gives biblical help all the time. Daily he speaks to customers at work always trying to look for an opportunity to spread the gospel. He needed a friend and I wasn’t there for him. She was and is still. Just someone to laugh with and lighten his load at work. Someone to share his day with. A friend.

            Then he comes home to me preaching at him and trying to make him feel guilty about it. God convicted me on Sunday with Proverbs 3: 5-6. I have been leaning on my own understanding. I have not trusted God like He has clearly been asking me to. My husband is a great guy and has always proven to be worthy of my trust. Like I have said before in other posts, he has been very open with me about her and what they talk about. I have twisted it and made it ugly. I got on my knees and begged God for forgiveness. I thought I was submitting and surrendering but only where I thought I needed to, not where God and my husband were leading me to.

            I am working on apologizing to my husband for the awful mess I have made of this and I am waiting on God for the timing of it. I told him the other day that Satan was out to destroy our family and that it wouldn’t be through me. I was wrong…it has been through me and my self righteous judgment of my husband. Would you please pray for me? Every marriage situation is different. There has been a lot of advice given to me about this. I see now that I was not accepting the clear direction of God. I thought my ways were better than His ways. He knows best and for me it is to fully trust my husband with “her”. I surrender!!!

          4. Hopeful,

            God doesn’t command us to always trust people. There are times people may not be trustworthy. (I have a video about to trust or not to trust) But you know what? If we don’t trust our husbands when they truly are trustworthy, that can create issues and stumbling blocks for them sometimes.

            I still really don’t want him to have a close female friend like this. I think it is super unwise. (Where the exact lines are for boundaries around our marriage are a matter of personal conviction. I can’t really force my personal convictions on my husband. I can share concerns, but then he has to make his own decision because in a healthy relationship, each person gets to make his/her own choices.) I do agree that preaching at him, attacking him, lashing out at him, or trying to verbally force him to do what you want is going to be a really unproductive way to handle this. It will repel him and make the friend even more appealing. Not what you want to do.

            Anything you can do to focus on areas where you do trust him – I think – may be helpful in this particular situation.

            Perhaps you can focus on thanking him for the good that is in him and for his faithfulness. You can pray for God to give your husband wisdom and for him to realize he needs to protect his heart. But maybe you can become a humble teammate and supporter, encourager, and warm welcoming friend at home to him. I think that would do more to draw your husband to you than any amount of freaking out could ever do. You have made it really obvious what your concerns are. I think he is clear that you don’t like this relationship. Now, if you are able to tone things down a bit – maybe your husband will start to hear his own conscience and God’s voice speaking to him. That is what he most needs to hear.

            I’m really glad you are seeking to listen to him and to care about his feelings. I think he really believes he is not doing anything wrong at this point – although, I do think he is on a slippery and dangerous slope that is not worth it. I have been on that slope myself. I never want to get near that slippery edge again. But sometimes, people have to see things for themselves and realize how dangerous things are for themselves.

            I want him to see you as the SAFE place. The warm, lovely, peaceful, beautiful place. The welcoming place. The place where he can go to get respect, admiration, and honor. The place where he feels the most masculine and where he can stand the tallest.

            And we will pray. God is able to change hearts and circumstances in ways we can’t.

            Have you seen War Room? If not, you have GOT to see it!!!!!

            Praying for you to go much deeper with God in total submission to Him and that you will hear His voice clearly and respond to all that He wants to teach you in this time. I pray for your husband to realize on his own what he is doing is dangerous and to set healthy limits for himself. I pray God might use you to pour healing into your marriage and to restore respect and honor to your relationship with your husband.

            Have you read my post about From Clark Kent to Superman? Could be interesting.

            Much love!

  17. I have given up. After forty years husband filed for divorce after I learned of his four-relationship. I now know that over the past ten years he has had several affairs which included numerous pristitutes. He wiped us out financially during our twilight years. I have cried every days since he walked out 12-2014. Yet I know he truly left me at least five years ago. I am no longer going to ask God to soften his heart–I was a good wife– and restore the marriage. I am sure God has other better Blessings for me.

    1. Lynn,

      Wow, what a terribly painful and awful situation. 🙁 I am heartbroken with you over what you have experienced. Sin is so destructive to those around us. I pray that you will not give up on God. I would certainly not want to try to reconcile with a husband in an unrepentant state like this. A wife would be wise to stay away in such a situation. I pray God will reach him and bring him to repentance and to Christ.

      How are you doing on your walk with Christ, my precious sister?

  18. Ladies. I have been quiet lately, connecting with God every chance I can and learning self control and how to rest in God. The holidays were tough on me. They really have a way of accentuating the relationships in our lives, either good or bad, don’t they? I want so hard to stay positive, for God. To respect my husband and give him space. But I am struggling tonight. Tonight, I have to go back to writing out Christmas cards this year. I send about 100 each year. This includes many who don’t send back, but I send them from my heart. I always get compliments on the picture cards I send with the kids or our family on it. This year it was just the kids. As I went through the list, wich includes some of my husband’s work people, I came across the label of his secretary. This is the woman who he has lunch with, helps out, texts all the time with. He says there is no physical relationship, but admits she is a close friend. I’ve been through this before with my own childhood female friend just about ripping us apart because my husband refuses to see how these female close friendships hurt me or are dangerous to our marriage.

    Anyway, I really struggled sending a card to her and her family. I didn’t want to, I went back and forth on it, but I felt I needed to take the high road, send it anyway and stop being jealous.

    Yesterday, it was returned in the mail as undeliverable! I can’t explain it other than the hand of God. She did not move, it is the correct address. It was attempted to be delivered 2x. I immediately saw God’s hand in it and was filled with thankfulness and joy to Him who fights our battles for us!

    This might be where I screwed up, though. I put the returned card along with another returned card on my husband’s desk with the mail.

    The night before, our family went to dinner. I noticed the vents in my husband’s truck were moved from where he likes to keep them. He has told me the women he works with, especially his secretary moves them. My kids asked why she is in the truck. He says they go to the grocery store together, Out to lunch and various other places together…her as well as 2 other female coworkers at different times. He thinks it’s funny to parade this in front of me. It was all I could do not to cry in front of the kids, but i was so hurt…another punch in the stomach. I stared out the window praying for God to help calm me and not let me react in an ungodly way. My son saw how mad I was, my daughter sided with her father and said “mom, you have no reason to be mad” (her father can do no wrong in the eyes of a 14 year old girl with father-hero worshiping going on).

    I remained quiet. I said nothing. He laughed.

    Then, before he went to work the next day, I took my label maker and printed out “hands off bit€@€$” and stuck them to the vents. Not my most graceful move, right? I immediately felt convicted yet conflicted. I knew I was reacting in the flesh, but I can’t seem to help wanting to confront satan about it and fight for my husband. I want these women to know he is MY husband and I intend to keep him.

    So I texted him that it was to be taken as a joke because I assumed he would notice them. I felt convicted for doing it, but it was already done. I was afraid he would get all offended, but on the other hand, I wanted him to know I don’t approve of these women. It was pretty passive/aggressive, though as I write this, I can see that. He ignored my text, then, at home tonight, he tried to make me feel guilty pretending that his male boss got in the car and saw the stickers. I didn’t care. I felt he was bluffing. He does this. Makes up stories that didn’t hapoen, but COULD HAVE happened just yo try to get me to appologize and be wrong for my actions. I didn’t bite on this one.

    But today I took the returned Christmas card from her with me to work. I photographed it…I felt it was a trophy of Gods goodness and vindication. I put it in my work bag. I texted my husband why he thinks it got returned and he said it was a mystery and that he doesn’t know why. When he got hone, he noticed that the card was not on his desk and asked me where it was. I admitted it was in my bag. He asked if I threw it away. I had thought of that, for sure, but did not. I said I brought it with me to remember to ask him about it. I usually try to correct bad addresses and moves for next year’s list. Although I knew that was not my original reason why I brought it with me, it’s what I told my husband. He didn’t beleive me and started to call me a liar. I retrieved the card and put it back on his desk.

    Now I lay here very emotional and angry. The idea that my husband cares more about delivering a Christmas card of his kids to this woman rather than throwing it out flies in my face and screams huge disrespect to me. I feel it’s a test. Choose her or me! I am so angry and crazy thinking right now!

    Now, obviously I brought some of this onto myself. My labels on the vents, my secrecy as to why I had the card, my jealousy, my suspicion. I wanted to remember how God stood up for me and returned thus card back so it never reached her, but it won’t go away. 2 weeks after Christmas and he wants to get it this card to her, even though he knows I don’t like her and their relationship. He thinks it’s funny. Am I supposed to just stuff my feelings about it inside? I’ve told him how I feel, he doesn’t care. Is it worth the strife? I can’t control him anyway. I give him to God to deal with, but how much blatant disrespect do I just take?

    What would God want me to do here? This is where I stumble. Stand against this sin or just stop trying to control any of it and rest in the fact that I am not responsible for my husband’s sins and God will fight my battles for me? Did I totally screw up the card thing on my own or am I being too harsh on myself? Should I have never sent the card in the first place, threw it out when it was returned and not have let my husband know? Am I acting like a door mat on this? I know I reacted in sin about the labels on the vents. But do I have a right to be mad about these women being in his truck and going out to lunch and shopping together? I want to hire a private eye, but then I think that God is my private eye, who else do I need but Him?

    I guess I need another perspective on this situation so I can get my head back straight and set toward God again. I know I did waaaay better with all of this than I would have a year ago, but I still struggle with the boundaries and defending self respect and when I need to stand up for myself. It seems I can always justify putting my feelings away to the sacrifice of forgiveness and grace, but to what extent?

    There has been progress with us, small, but moving forward. I even got a foot rub New Years eve! All I thought of is War room, the movie and how I was needing a bowl of ice cream with a cherry on top and lots of whip cream, but obviously, we are not there….yet. But then this stuff. What kind of chump am I being?

    I pray God continues to show me the narrow path and gives me wisdom and strength to stand for this marriage. I pray God “catches” my husband and draws him close to Him. I pray that the scales fall ftom my husband’s eyes so he can see how much he hurts me daily with his neglect and withholding of love. I pray he discovers how disrespected I feel from these female relationships. I pray everyday in thanks to our Lord for His hard work at bringing restoration to this marriage and how He is preparing me to handle life troubles with my teen age children, my difficult husband, job challenges and my own sins. I know that i completely want Gods will and not my own. Even my martiage is not near as desirable to keep than the approval of God is to me…a huge step from my idol worshipping of my marriage from in the past. God is good, always, and always, God is good!

    1. LMSdaily115,

      Yikes.

      It’s fine to respectfully share that you don’t like something. It’s fine to say it hurts you and that it is disrespectful. It is even fine to set boundaries if you have the right motives and you believe that is what God desires you to do. (Boundaries are about what you will do in response to your husband’s sin or actions.) But then – if you start trying to control him or the situation – that begins to cause a lot of unnecessary drama that probably inflames the situation. Adding curse words to the situation is not going to help. Trying to control these other women and whether they touch the vents or not and insulting them is not going to help. Gloating over the card thing is not going to help. I think it is important to ask God to help us watch our motives. Is it bitterness, hatred, control, self, the flesh, or what?

      I don’t know what your husbands’ motives are with these coworkers or what he is doing. If he is flirting and doing inappropriate things with them, yes, you have the right to righteous jealousy and anger – but you do not have the right to sin. You freaking out and trying to control things is not going to draw your husband to you. Your husband needs the conviction of God. You can’t convict him. You can’t convince him that what he is doing is wrong. Does that make sense? You can tell him that you don’t like what he is doing. You can move out if it gets bad enough and you believe God desires you to. But I would want to avoid anything remotely “Jerry Springer” like.

      I’m excited to hear that you got a foot rub! That is awesome. 🙂

      I think you have explained pretty clearly how you feel about the female friendships. I doubt there can be any question in his mind about that. I pray God will work in his life and heart, too. But I pray you will continue to cling to Christ and be sensitive to His voice and respond in the power of His Spirit, not the flesh.

      Much love to you!

    2. LMSdaily115,
      Wow! I know exactly how you feel. Betrayed, in deep pain, alone. Trying to be brave for the kids sake. Trying not to tell others about your husbands sin in order to protect him and not dishonor his name. We suffer in silence and try to keep it inside but out of self respect it comes out as flames of fire from our tongues, leaving destruction in its wake. I want you to know that I am personally praying for you and will continue to lift you up in prayer as the Lord lays you on my mind. Stay the course, be strong, do as God directs you.

      My situation is different than yours but I am hurting just the same. This past Saturday I had a long talk with my husband. I had been reflecting on 2015, the worst year of my life, and I wanted to let him know where I was at with all of it and to try to find out where he was at. I want to go forward but feel like nothing has been resolved and that we are at a standstill. I will not support or condone his friendship. I feel it is sin on his part. He will not give her up, he has not felt convicted about anything he has done and believes her friendship is a gift from God given to him at an extremely low point in his life.

      Saturday night I kept pondering the things he said to me. Early Sunday morning I read Prov. 3: 5-6. I realized that I was leaning on my own understanding. I was self righteously judging him because all I could see was my pain. I was convicted about my submission to him and I realized that I haven’t submitted to him at all this past year. I thought I was, but in my heart I know that I am still trying to control him, and he knows it too.

      He is a good man. He is hurting and going through a crisis. He is changing before my eyes. I see his struggle and realize that my actions are hurting him as much as his are hurting me. I need to stand beside him and quit adding fuel to the fire. I have never fully done marriage God’s way. I thought I was but see now that my attitude and thinking was skewed. I want to apologize to him but I am waiting for a good time. It is time for me to quit challenging his authority and let him lead me. I have been an absolute beast! He has never given me any reason not to trust him and even in this situation he has been open and honest with me. I can trust God and I can trust my husband. I know this deep down inside.

      I have more peace now than I have in a long time. I am giving up the fight, finally surrendering. This is right for ME. I pray that God will show you what is right for YOU. I want you to know that you have a friend in me and I thank you for the encouragement you have given to me. May God be glorified through us and our marriages…keep the faith dear sister.

      1. Hopeful,

        So glad you are having more peace. I pray for God’s healing, insights, perspective, and wisdom for you and your husband and for Him to empower you both to move toward each other and to guard your marriage and your faith – that He might be greatly honored and glorified in all you both do.

        1. April,
          I need your advice. My husband and I had over an hour long heated discussion this past Sunday night. It started with him telling me that he was going to start allowing one of our daughters to start getting to know a boy better through texting. We both approve of the boy and our daughter has waited for almost 2 years for us to allow this. He took her out to lunch and they talked very openly and then he talked to the boy and the boy’s parents and then told me all of this after the fact.

          I was not allowed to share in this decision and also in my daughter’s joy. I would have liked to have been present when he talked to the parents, I felt left out and hurt. I told him this the other day. Anyway, on Sunday night he told me that all of this went down and that we are at liberty to check her phone and her texts and that there were some rules to follow. I turned it on him and asked if there were rules about checking OUR texts on our personal phones, his has a lock since the day he got it in order to freely talk to his friend at work. He got angry and said he was sharing something with me and once again I turned the conversation against him and his friend. Once again, stalemate. Lines drawn.

          I am convicted about respect and submission. I am trying to let go of this. I feel like I am so close to connecting all the dots in my mind. I read several marriage books this year and studied my bible a lot but I didn’t think a lot of the things applied to me because of my husband’s sin. I felt justified in disrespecting him and fighting him over this issue because he was clearly wrong and I was right. The few godly people I shared this with have told me that I do not have to accept this friend. I have stood my ground to no avail. I have judged him and been disrespectful to him overall. I thought I was surrendering and submitting but not really, not fully in my heart.

          Once again God hit me hard about my motives and my attitude. I am seeking to glorify God. I am still trying to control my husband and win this fight. My husband is not passive like some of the other husbands on this blog. My husband is a leader, a quiet leader, but most definitely a leader. He has told me that I am only allowing him to lead the way I want him to lead. Like he can see me trying but that ultimately I don’t trust him or God. He is standing on the principle that if he doesn’t stand up for himself now, over this issue, he won’t feel like a man. What an issue to use to finally start taking leadership of our marriage and family!

          His friend wears a hearing aid, is single and only has one real girl friend besides him. She is lonely and was ridiculed her whole life. He reached out to her as a friend and has become very loyal to her. Yada, yada, yada. I am so sick of the whole thing. Sick of being scared and worried and sleepless nights. Sick of fighting and not getting anywhere. I asked him on Monday morning if he would just tell me that he is still committed to me that I feel like I could relax and drop it like he asked.

          Previously throughout the year He has told me that he is here for the kids, that he is enduring me and that he is loyal to her as a friend and that he has boundaries around his heart concerning her. All I asked is if he is still committed to ME. He took away that solid foundational commitment when he checked out of the marriage in November of 2014.For a year I struggled with him and God about fear, love, trust, sovereignty, submission, reverence, self-respect, self-control, surrender. He could not say the words…I’m committed to you. I don’t know if it’s because he’s stubborn or what. He kept saying he is here. I am here, I love you, I don’t know about the future. He never apologizes for anything.

          I got your book and I think I read in there that some men never apologize but to look at their actions. After deep talks a lot of times the next morning or the next day he will give me a long hug…I think that is his way of apologizing. So here is where I need the advice?

          Do you think that by him saying over and over again that he is here means that he is committed to me? Should I expect to have that commitment? He brought up the other day that it seems like we keep putting pillows over each other’s heads and smothering each other. We both just need to let go and breathe. I disrespect him and he is unloving to me. Viscious circle that the love and respect book talks about. I really feel that God is telling me to let go, to have faith and trust in Him and my husband.

          I feel lost, like I don’t know what to do or how to let go when she is still a part of his everyday life. I know I need to give up the fight. My husband has slowly been trying, I can see him struggling with things. I need to quit fighting him and get on his side. I need to fight her fire with my fire. I need to become more lovely than her. More respectful and encouraging than her. More joyful and at peace. I need to let God help me become my best self. Maybe then my husband will once again turn his eyes toward me.

          Thanks for letting me vent. I really am at peace about this. It’s just hard to lose I guess. But I know I’m not losing, im winning because I am following Gods commands for me as a wife. I haven’t fully respected him or submitted to him in at least 10 years of our 28 years together. Let’s try this marriage God’s way and see what happens. This issue has turned out to be an excuse for my sin. I know deep down that my husband loves me and would never purposely hurt me. I have let what-ifs cloud my thinking. I have used this gray area of personal conviction as a reason to judge him. I have hurt him deeply by not trusting him when he has been trustworthy. I hurt him the most when I sought counsel from someone close to him. This was HUGELY disrespectful to him. I am not the only one hurting here. We are both suffocating.

          I don’t know where to start. He doesn’t want me to try too hard. I am praying that God would help me to see how to do this respect stuff and to do it well 🙂 I am trying to figure out what would mean the most to him and I really think that relaxing (I never relax, or sit still for long) and just enjoying him and my kids and life is the answer. Just go with the flow, his flow. Let him lead gently and learn to listen for it. No expectations. Be thankful and appreciate any small act of kindness and verbally thank him for it. Thanks for letting me vent. This is so therapeutic! Love to all the hurting hearts on this blog.

          1. Hopeful,

            I do understand your concerns about this friend of your husband’s. I don’t think it is appropriate. But – even if he were having a full-blown affair, which it seems you do not believe he is doing – would your approach in the past year draw him to you?

            How is your walk with Christ going? That is the biggest key to this whole thing. 🙂

            I kind of hear you saying that you want to be a godly wife so that your husband will be drawn back to you. What if he doesn’t return? Is your main purpose to win your husband back?

            I want your husband to give up this friend, too. But I also know you can’t make him do it. You can’t force him to do what you want him to do. You are repelling him in your approach. I know you see that, too, at this point. God can convict him, but first he needs to be able to hear God’s voice. Right now, I don’t know that he can hear God’s voice over your voice.

            Are you willing to lay your husband and your marriage down on the altar before God and be willing to let God determine what happens? With no guarantees? Are you willing to be content in Christ alone?

            If you are, let’s hash through this together, I will do my best to point you to Christ! 🙂

            If you would like to experience spiritual healing for yourself, I invite you to check out RadiantandRedeemed’s comments on this post. 🙂

          2. April,
            Here are the answers to your questions:
            My approach last year and up til now has most definitely not drawn him to me. He has seen me trying to be a better wife and likes some of what he sees but he still thinks I’m trying to control him. He told me the other day that he thinks I’m taking a more spiritual approach now. Like he still doesn’t trust me, like I’m playing games with him. Trying different tactics. He’s leery and doesn’t believe I’m for real.

            My walk with Christ is wonderful and it is what’s keeping my head above water. I am reading in Proverbs for wisdom, in Psalms for comfort, and I’m currently reading Galatians also. I am praying fervently every morning and I’m trying to pray in the right spirit, asking God to convict me of my sins, known and unknown, to draw me closer to him, to love others, for self control, for wisdom and knowledge concerning my husband and children, etc. I pray often throughout the day and at night also. I am seeking God, for real!!

            If my husband continues to live with me and never checks back in, if he is never fully mine again, heart and soul….Is my main purpose to draw my husband back? Yes and no. He is mine and worth fighting for so therefore I am trying to draw him back to me. I believe that God would have me to love him through this. My main purpose is for God to be pleased with me. I desire my marriage to be a testimony to my children and every one else that sees our struggle to know that God can heal broken marriages. Will God do it? That is up to God.

            I am learning to be content in Christ alone. I am still struggling with this. I feel like I know I can trust God but I am afraid to. I know I have issues. A few times my husband talked about going into the ministry and I was freaked out. I was afraid that I would not be able to do what God might ask of me. I didn’t trust God or my husbands leadership. I’m afraid I will let God down. I know he loves me, but I guess I still feel unworthy and untrusting of it. I am getting to know God on a much more personal level and he has been such a comfort to me. I just feel like I can’t let go….of everything. I felt so safe in my illusion of control. I’m starting to see the big picture and my place in it. I’m 47 years old and I feel like I have been awakened from a deep sleep and now I am disoriented. Just let go and trust God? How?

            I don’t necessarily want him to give up his friend. I don’t think he is doing anything terribly wrong. My issue is their intimacy. I think in time if I was included in the friendship things would be fine. I am just jealous. I want him to want to be with ME, to enjoy talking to ME, to laugh with ME, to text ME, to share his thoughts with ME, to be concerned about ME. I read something the other day that advised men not to ever let another woman meet their needs. A lot of his needs are being met by her, some of them concern work. She meets his need for encouragement(work and personal). She follows his lead (work). She listens well and respects his thinking (work and personal). She lets him be himself and accepts him for who he is with no expectations (personal). She trusts him and he trusts her (work and personal). I take care of his physical needs, his home and his children very well. For most of 28 years I have failed to take care of his heart, party because of selfishness and partly because I didn’t know I was supposed to or how to do it. I wasn’t raised in a loving home and I loved my husband and family the only way I knew how…by taking really good care of them. I missed the big picture of caring and relationships my whole life. The poor man was starving for attention and care and respect. I am willing to give it now and am learning how with my children and others. Will he open back up and receive it from me is the question. Any advice you could give me would be much appreciated. I just need to let go of everything and let God have it all. I feel like I keep trying to do this but I am so afraid…

          3. Hopeful,

            I love that you want to bless your husband and that you want to be a better wife and that you want your marriage to be healed. I also love that you want to know God more and are seeking Him. That is AWESOME!

            I was afraid to trust God 7 years ago, too. And it was a process of wrestling through things and deciding to lay them down and trust Him with them. And there will be more challenges in the future, too, where I will need to wrestle with things and lay them down.

            If you get a chance, please search my home page for:

            – control
            – faith
            – fear
            – holding things of this world loosely

            And, please check this post and read radiantandredeemed’s prayers in the comments as she walks women through spiritual healing in Christ.

            Let’s talk about anything you need to alone the way.

            Much love to you! I am so glad to get to walk this road together. 🙂

    3. WOW..my heart aches for you. I immediately felt anger for what you are experiencing. My first thought is crazy making and disrespectful behavior by your husband.His behavior is atrouscious I am stuck on this right now. I want to pray about this.

      My anger is stemming from the similarly of your story to my story.

      Sending you hugs.

      Betsy a.k.a.hopefulgal

      1. Hopefulgal and LMSdaily115,

        It is TOUGH to be sinned against over and over and over. 🙁

        Gary Thomas says, “We are most tempted to sin when we are being sinned against.” Yes! Very true!

        I am praying for you both to have the time you need with God this week to be filled with His Spirit and to be empowered to be the women He desires you to be no matter what your husbands are or are not doing. I pray for Him to draw your husbands to Himself. I pray for healing for you and your husbands individually and for your marriages.

        Sending both of you a HUGE hug right now!

  19. April today I had a conversation with my husband about our marriage. I have felt guided to stay quiet until today. It seems to have been ok to talk. We did not yell and scream at all. It was just quiet speaking which was the only positive. It’s been a year and a week since he shut down.

    After our talk I have lost any glimmer of hope I had. He still isn’t interested in getting back into the marriage. He doesn’t want to be intimate with me but isn’t looking at another relationship either. He just wants more time out and can’t tell me that it will improve. He has no answers or glimmers of hope for us. At the moment he doesn’t want to be married to me anymore. He’s protecting himself and doesn’t want to go back to fighting. He has zero patience and anger is real bad. He said we have always had a crap marriage and just never have gotten along and are too different. He said even though I’m a lot better im still the same person underneath. Guess that means he doesn’t like me.

    He said there’s nothing he can do about these feelings. He said anything we’ve done together this year or talked about has just been “business”. He said we can separate without actually divorcing, for the kids. Our kids are deeply hurting. Our 9 yr old told my 15 yr old that mummy and daddy don’t love each other anymore cause they don’t hug or kiss and dads always mean to mum. The teenagers have spoken about this to me and cry and it’s just terrible.

    I feel so guilty as I’ve told them things because I just can’t act happy all the time. I know I’m supposed to be able to because of God in my life but this is still devastating to me. So it looks like this will go on indefinitely. He kinda scoffed when I said he can turn to God and ask for help. Do I still hang in and hold out for change?? It’s so so so so painful. I want God to come and end this world. I know the answer you will give me already but I still seem to need to ask.

    1. Bel..This exact thing and his feelings and replies happened to me too. 1 year and 1 month ago. There IS still hope, though. Feelings can change. It will take time and maturing and healing, but it can happen. It’s great that he doesn’t want to leave yet…even if it’s for the kids. This is where you get serious about finding joy in life regardless of what your husband does or doesn’t do. He could leave tomorrow, he could stay and grow and decide your marriage is worth saving. Regardless, you need to work on you. There is so much more in your life than your marriage. Try not yo hyper focus on that one aspect to the point that all the other things in your life suffer. Focus on the kids, your house, your job, other relationships, but most importantly, focus on your God. Learn about Him, how to hear Him, meditate on how Jesus would handle things.

      Your husband is very hurt. It may not even be all from you…in fact I would guess it’s a multitude of things. My husband has placed all his anger at me. But he has been hurt by friends, too much on his schedule, overload of responsibilities, lack of sleep, poor health….but I am his target of blame. He has to work through that and we just can’t do that for him. I had to learn to understand he is kind of a volcano…rumblings…a blow up, lava flows out, cools, then it’s safe to climb the mountain again. His “lava” may take a long time to cool.

      This is the time where you learn to unmesh from your husband, remove “being married” as a possible idol from your soul and examining your expectations of marriage, your husband, even yourself and kids. As you become a more godly wife/person, your kids (and husband) will see your strength, dignity, and joy. This is attractive. You will be a rock to your kids and they will learn how to handle dissapointments and hurt in their own lives with your example. Your husband may learn as well, but not on a timetable we expect. God has lots of work to do in his heart too. Be full of joy that God took care of your heart and soul first, if you will, so that He can work on healing your husband without dealing with more repeated injury from you. Basically God had to stop the bleeding.

      Arguing was a huge thing for us. I would constantly demand that my feelings be heard, understood, and listened to. He did the same. When I decided that I am putting my feelings to the side and concentrating on understanding HOW my husband felt, regardless of if I agreed with his feelings or thought them wrong…it WAS how he felt. I validated them by responding with phrases like “wow, that must be frustrating” or “I can see why you would be upset by that”. It allowed him to feel heard.

      I took my feelings to God and my closest support girls (mom, best friend, prayer partner, counsellor). But I also found that my dh would open up more, what he told me might have been hurtful (I don’t even like the kind of pictures you hang up, whole marriage has been crap, you are just selfish by nature) but I didn’t have to internalize those things. My God has changed me, my eyes are opened, I know what real love is now. Even if everything he says is true, it doesn’t have to stay thst way. Today is a new day to do things better, different and in ways that make God proud of us!!!

      There are a whole range of behaviors he may go through now…so here are my observations to look for:

      1) As he sees you are actually hearing and listening to him and trying to understand him, he may feel safe enough to let it all out…all his stuffed and hurt feelings may find its way out. This is poison and it needs to come out. But don’t drink it yourself. Don’t spew poison out to defend yourdelf…just let him get it out, acknowledge that you see his hurt.

      2) He may get mad and call you self-righteous as you are becoming more redpectful, godly, and in control of yourself. You are being “good” and the guilt is getting to him, so as he fights it, he will try to cut you down in an effort to blame so he doesn’t have to look at himself. Realize he is scared to death to look inside himself and see the sin that lives there. If he cannot blame it on anyone or anything else, he is left alone with it and has no other choice than to face it.. that is super scary. It hurt when we did it too, remember?

      3) He may stay in limbo for a while, just watching, letting life “happen”. This is where my husband is right now. He is looking for patterns. Looking to see where you normalize out. To see if he can get a glimpse of the real you…not the enmeshed you. He wants to see what choices and decisions you do naturally, without his influence. This is hard for me because I want to do loving things for him and show I appreciate him, but I also dont want to be a doormat. So I treat him with kindness, thoughtfulness and respect when he is around, but I don’t wait for him to live my life with either. I stay open and flexible, but I inform him about the plans we have made. Yes, this feels very business like. But for guys, it is their first step.

      I can’t say what’s next because that’s where we are. At one point, I had an idol that I wanted my husband to know how hurt I was, see my real pain, know that he causes it every day with his lack of love and I was bent on him finding his compassion and to have some sort of human feelings for a hurting person. It consumed me and I lost my joy again during this. He said he wasn’t trying to hurt me, not trying to punish me. But it just made him feel worse.

      Now, I know that I was not trusting God fully. I have been trying so hard to give my husband to God. I raise him up and place him on the altar, but I couldn’t take my hands off and turn away. I still thought “there must be something I could do to help fix him/the marriage/his thinking”. There is not. I can fix ME ONLY.

      At this point, if my husband wants to throw away our marriage and never move forward to try to work things out…then okay. I want to know I did what I could do inside myself to try to restore our relationship. I learned what I was doing that disrespected him and stopped it. I dug out my sin in hy soul and learned how to rely on God and emulate a life like Jesus. I learned how to love myself because God loves me perfectly…must the way I am. I learned how to love others as myself. Even when they are being a stinker. Hurting me or others or living in total sin. I learned how to listen to the Holy Spirits direction for me and to follow the narrow path to my own destiny. I learned to see the positive and good things everyday that I can be thankful for and not to dwell on the past, the negatives, what I don’t have or what isn’t working for me right now. I learned how to trust that God is in control and that he will use even my dissapointments, mistakes, and bad situations for something good. I learned how to be an example, a beacon of love to my kids and even my lost husband.

      He may choose to remain lost, but as he sees my joy, he may one day want to know how to get what I have. I want to be prepared to help him and others to come to God when they are ready. I have learned that helping others and focusing on what other people need is balm for my own soul. It keeps me from becoming obsessed with my stinky marriage or other not so good parts of my life.

      You have so much potential right now to grow and influence MORE than just your husband. He’s kind of the broody teenager at the back of the bus radiating the message “leave me alone in my misery”, while all the other passengers are singing fun songs on your bus…and you are the driver! What kind of tour are you going to give the people on your bus?

      Faith is surely tested during these trials. Without faith, there is no hope. Without hope there is no joy. All of it starts with LOVE. Please pray, Bel, for God to help you keep faith in Him. Let God handle this. You feel hopeless because you are trying to do what only God can do. It is impossible for you to make your husband love you again or see your pain and sadness or understand his own sins. So stop trying to do what you cannot do. Focus on what us inside YOU. Dig out your own motives, sins, hurt feelings and fears. Deal with them. Give them to Him. Forgive those that hurt you EVERY DAY. Thank God for the good things EVERY DAY. One time I thanked God that we were too broke to get a divorce. Not a great thing to be thankful for, but it was the best I could come up with. Since then, there are so many more things to be thankful for.

      This post IS from me. It is my story. This is my update, but we are in the same boat, my sweet sister. Stay in touch and find strength here and in God. Much love.

      1. LMSdaily115,

        THANK YOU so much for this! What a powerful, beautiful message. Thank you for reaching out to Bel and for sharing what God has been showing you. What God is doing in your heart is so beautiful, my dear sister!

      2. LMSdaily115
        Thank you so much for this, it was very inspiring and uplifting to me today. I really liked the bus driver part 🙂 I feel like I have finally come to grips with things and now I see the bigger picture in my marriage. I am getting out of God’s way now and trying to live above reproach so that my husband can stop blaming me and hopefully start seeing his own sin. His former argument/problem with me concerning the issue we are having with his lady friend at work is that I am trying to control him…still not submitting and respecting him. Well, now my hands are off of that issue and I am resting in God and I know that I cannot control the situation but God can. A few days ago I asked him to let me know one area concerning her that bothers him the most, that I could improve on. I also asked him what he thinks the major problem is in our marriage and 3 things he would like to see me work on to improve our marriage. I asked him nicely for this info and am giving him time to think about it and respond. I told him he doesn’t have to answer any or could only answer what he wanted to. I left the ball in his court. I felt good about doing this because I felt the OK from God and also have been seeing some softening in my husband recently. I feel that he is committed to me but still wary of engaging and trying to work at our marriage. He has listened to me, heard all of my hurts, regrets, etc. I am now asking him for his side, how he feels, what he needs from me. I sincerely hope he knows that I am not faking anything and that I am really trying to be a godly wife. He has also had a big issue with me regarding my self righteous judgmental attitude about him and his friend. God humbled me about this and I did ask for forgiveness from him and also for some other personal convictions he and I are in disagreement about. These issues are not concrete Bible commandments so therefore I need to submit to my husband in these things. I was convicted about not submitting to him in these areas because submitting to my husband IS a biblical command. He knows that I do not accept or condone his friendship, as is, but that I am no longer judging him for it either. At this point I am treading water and waiting for him to jump in and swim with me…hopefully in syncronization!

        1. Hopeful,
          I agree with not judging your husband. I disagree with apologizing to him about his friend. I am wondering what you thought about the book you were going to borrow, the one called “Not Just Friends.” Did you find anything useful in that book, for your situation?

      3. Lmsdaily thank you so much for your message to me. You are a caring loving beautiful person and as our stories are so similar I’m always thinking of you and hoping and praying you have a breakthrough soon.
        I was reading older posts and couldn’t believe how very similar our stories and husbands are. I also get accused of yelling and being angry when in fact I’m not raising my voice at all. I wonder what planet he’s on sometimes. It’s like he’s not in reality at all. So frustrating and hard.
        I am always his target of blame. But he is under so much pressure and stress.
        I LOVE your comment about God having to stop the bleeding first in our marriage. You are so right. I see that. I am so grateful God is helping me first.
        How do you know for sure that it was the Holy Spirit prompting you on things and how do you know for sure its Gods voice? How long did it take on your journey for this? I have struggled with it. I’m never sure.
        My sister suggested I go out without him more, , make my own plans, and get a job. I’ve always been dependent in him. I have no money of my own. I haven’t wirked in nearly 20 years. I’m so scared as I gave no real skills and can’t go back to my old profession. I also don’t want him thinking I’m find without him and I don’t need him. Is this wrong?
        you have so much strenth and hope. And I always love your comments. So real and thoughtful. Thank you.

        1. Hi bel, I wanted to find your post. I’m glad you reached out again. I’m sorry I missed it. We have been dealing with the flu all month.

          Here is what I learned. The Holy Spirit is not a voice you can hear. It’s not a script you can read or a little “mini me” sitting on your shoulder talking in your ear. I would think for everyone, it could be different. But as I prayed to God, it was the song on the radio or a billboard I happened to look at or the bumper sticker that said “Hope College” on it when the car pulled out in front of me when I felt I was on the verge of losing my stuff (hence my tag name LMS daily). But it is also the still small words in your gut and the thoughts that come from nowhere. It’s the inspiration and the “movements” you feel in your heart. Some call it a gut instinct.

          I struggled with knowing if it was the Holy Spirit or not as well. There is a little Puerto Rican cleaning lady at my work who has been my mentor. She told me you know it’s God talking when you feel at peace about it. It feels right, good and calming. She was so right. If you are feeling upset, confused, in fear and stressed, it may be more of a flesh thing speaking. Gid is quiet when he talks to us.

          A close friend of mine told me how her and her husband struggled for years to have a baby. 8 IV attempts and nothing. After so much pain and dissapointment, she asked God to take the desire to have kids away from her…she laid it on the altar. A month later, the doctor called and wanted her to be part of a new study. Things seemed to kerp pushing her to this…money came in, timing was good etc. She joined and went through the study. She had the implantation of 2 fertilized eggs. Time to wait. At one point, she felt God telling her she was pregnant and she could rejoice in it. She just “knew”. But when she took a pregnancy test it was negative. In the shower, she broke down crying, but not because of the negative test, she cried out to God because she was so in doubt whether she could ever be sure she could even hear His voice. She was so sure it was God and the Holy Spirit telling her she was pregnant, but she felt so disconnected because she felt she did not hear Him. However, a few days later, she was praying to God trying to lay her sadness down. She opened her front door and saw a double rainbow.She thought of the rainbow in the bible and how it was God’s promise to Noah and everyone that He would not send a flood again. She felt “stirred” inside and found herself in the bathroom taking another pregnancy test. She had not thought of doing that, but there she was…it was immediately positive. She ended up having twin girls and the got pregnant naturally with a boy 7 months later. How blessed was she!! But she was more happy that she realized she had heard the “voice” of God after all! Even the rainbow was Him speaking to her.

          My point is, as you grow closer to God and learn about Him, He will speak to you in ways that are meaningful to you. Part of it is trusting in Him and knowing that when the time comes, he will show you the next few steps to take on your path. He doesn’t show you the whole path, although as humans we soooo want to know so far ahead.

          Bel, I would be willing to email 1 on 1 if you want. April can give you my email for privacy. I know our stories are so similar. I don’t know if my husband will ever come out of his darkness and love me again. But seeing that there is so much more to life than what one person does or does not do is wonderful. I DO think your sister has some good advice, but know how to guard your heart. Don’t fall into sinful traps like looking from affection from other men and escaping into our fantasues. Stay close to God and develop godly support systems from friends, church, this blog. You may be being tried to be a bright light for others. Even your husband! I really beleive that God is working through you to reach others as well. But you can touch the lives of so many more besides your husband! As you learn more and more how to embrace your imperfections…and almost expect them, you will realize that it is your “search” for God that brings you favor simply search for Him and you will be blessed. Look at psalm 119. God knows your heart. He doesn’t need you to love perfectly. You are not always going to be the perfect wife. Your husband will not always be the perfect husband. Kids will not always be perfect kids. That is too much pressure. But can we accept ourselves, our husbands, our kids and friends even when they are NOT being perfect? Can we rise above “giving what we are getting” and be better than that sinful reaction? Always try to build others up and never break them down…that was huge for me to know how to communicate. Satan wants to steal, kill and destroy us. God wants to love, cherish and grow us. When you compare your thoughts to what the Bible says, you can learn to trust His word. Now. I am in now way a bible scholar, but I purchased a Life application study bible NIV by Zondervan and it explains the bible in more modern language. It helps me apply what the 2000 year old language says in what I am living in today. It has an index to guide you to passages that are pertinent to a subject like “worry, or dissapointments or pain” as well as “God’s design for marriage, or joy or helping others”.

          Whenever I start to get consumed by my own troubles, I actively look to try to help others. Maybe a friend, my mom, or people at work. It is here that I start to feel true joy about life. Then my own problems don’t seem so big. A job might help you. Don’t sell yourself short about your skills, either. There are many ways to help sell your skills that you don’t even realize you have. You are not helpless. You are smart, loving, caring and probably really good at time management, or organizing, or scheduling appointments. I would help you if you want.

          Understand your value. God loves and cherishes you and negative self talk is not something Jesus showed us how to do. Learn to love yourself. Learn to celebrate the uniqueness of you and not let others feed you poison that makes you doubt yourself. You are loved by many more than you think. Don’t let one man rob you of your self worth. Stand tall knowing you are valued and worthy. Only care about the approval of God, not anyone else. Keep your faith and trust in God, love.

    2. Bel,

      So heartbreaking!

      This would be extremely painful for everyone in the family. I’m so sorry to hear about how difficult things have been. I’m really proud of you both that you spoke quietly about this. That is a good thing.

      I just read back over all of your past comments, my dear sister.

      Wow. This is definitely a big mess. 🙁 As I know you know all too well.

      I am concerned about some of the things you said repeatedly in your comments. Things like:

      – You just have to be quiet and say nothing all the time.
      – Shaking your head was disrespectful when he yelled at your daughter – as if you are not supposed to ever disagree with him even when he is wrong or mistreating you or your children?
      – If you say anything about the drinking, he will leave, so you just can’t say anything. That tells me that having him stay may be too important of a priority in your heart. There is a point where his sin is too toxic for the rest of the family and for you. Respecting your husband does not mean respecting his sin. There are times when there are limits and a wife may have to respectfully confront her husband about something that is unacceptable. It seems like you are too afraid to do this.
      – He is able to work so he is not an alcoholic even though he is drinking 6 beers and a spirit every day of the week. There is such a thing as functional alcoholism. That does not mean he is not an alcoholic.
      – Your fear level about your husband leaving is through the roof. It sounds like you would rather he stay and treat you very badly than ever risk him leaving?
      – You don’t want to contact Celebrate Recovery even though they could help you. Even if he doesn’t go, why not get the help and support they can offer to you?
      – You seem to think you are not supposed to hurt when he mistreats you. Of course this hurts! This is not how marriage should be. You will have emotions and feelings to process. Being sinned against hurts deeply. Of course you want him to treat you well and to love you. BUT – if he doesn’t do what he is supposed to do, you can still have your peace and joy in Christ and your husband can’t rob anything God has given to you from you. He can’t steal your security in God. He can’t steal God’s love for you. He can’t steal the Holy Spirit’s power from your life. You can be content in Christ even if your husband is sinning and even if he leaves. You would be sad and hurt over what your husband is doing. But you wouldn’t have to be in despair. I’m not sure if that is making sense?
      – You can’t act happy all the time. I am not asking you to act happy in a fake way. God is not asking you to do that either. The joy that I am talking about isn’t fake. It is from God and it comes from being filled up to overflowing with His Spirit and His power. It comes from knowing Christ deeply and from knowing who you are in Christ and being filled up with Him so that you come to the marriage from a position of great strength in Christ Jesus, not a position of neediness toward your husband.

      I am concerned about you and where you are spiritually. I think there are a lot of scars and maybe some unhealthy ways of thinking about God and yourself and your marriage going on that need to be addressed and healed.

      Ultimately, only God knows if and when you should leave or ask him to leave. I don’t have that degree of wisdom about exactly when and how wives should handle things like this. This is something you will have to prayerfully consider. I will certainly support whatever you believe God desires you to do. If this situation is too toxic for you and your children, it could be wise to leave or to ask him to leave so that you and the children can heal. But that will be something you will need to discern in prayer.

      Have you sought out a new counselor? Have you been seeing any godly wife mentor or counselor in the last year?

      The book Love and Respect is not written for couples dealing with severe issues. Neither are most posts on my blog Some things might be helpful. But you are going to need resources more specifically geared toward wives of alcoholics and toward wives dealing with emotionally abusive relationships, in my view. Leslie Vernick has a lot of helpful things about toxic relationships. http://www.leslievernick.org. focusministries1.org has resources for wives who are being abused. I don’t think you are being physically abused from what you have shared (unless I missed it somewhere), but I do think it is possible that some of the posts there may be more beneficial for you to read than the posts that are written for marriages not dealing with severe issues.

      Some of your husband’s issues have nothing to do with you – they are his own sin issues. I hope you are able to see that. I’m not sure you do. It sounds like you are blaming yourself in some ways for his anger and sin? I hope I am misunderstanding and mishearing. You can be the wife God calls you to be. You can do the things God asks you to do. But you can’t make him love you or make him want to be there and you can’t fix his sin issues. You can’t fix his anger and his drinking and his emotional abuse.

      If he wants to separate, and he doesn’t want to live together, I Corinthians 7 says to let the unbelieving spouse go.

      There are worse things than him leaving. Sometimes for a husband with these kinds of issues to stay is worse for everyone involved than for him to leave.

      His feelings right now are not the end of the story. God can change his heart and his feelings. Sometimes a separation can be a step in healing. God hasn’t written the last chapter of your story yet. Husbands’ feelings are not set in stone.

      What are your fears about if he would leave? It seems like you are extremely afraid of that possibility? Would you be able to allow him to go and focus on spiritual healing for yourself and your children as you trust your husband to God’s hands?

      If you need one-on-one godly counseling, please reach out to someone you trust in your area for help to walk beside you on this road. I am glad to walk beside you, too! But you may need some in person kind of help, too. Please reach out to Celebrate Recovery and maybe a Christian counselor who is trustworthy. I think there is a lot of unhealthy thinking going on in your mind that needs to be gently corrected to line up with God’s Word. I think that would help your depression and anxiety a lot, potentially. I also think it would help your level of fear. I think there are some destructive mindsets that have been firmly in place in your heart for a long time. I want to see you replace them with God’s truth and healing, my dear sister!

      Much love and the biggest hug to you!

  20. April.

    Yes this is big mess. It’s just that I don’t feel it’s the end but that may just be wishful thinking. Just to reply to some of your comments, I guess I AM afraid to confront him with things that upset me or that i know are wrong because in the past it has just made things worse. I know it’s not right but I know he is in such a bad place of hurt that I don’t want to prod the caged lion so to speak.

    I really think I’m improving on resting in God and having peace. It’s so weird because it is just so sad and I’m devastated at the state of my marriage and the words he’s spoken, but I’ve had a sense of peace and hope the last 2 days and I haven’t been in bed and crying as much as I usually would. It’s hard to explain but I’m actually carrying on almost like he didn’t say there’s no hope. It HAS to be God at work in me because I do not have the strength for this on my own. I still burst into tears sometimes and if I dwell on what he said my tummy really feels sick but I’m doing ok. I’m surprised.

    I think I’m scared of separating or divorcing because of shame of being Christian and being fodder for gossip. Also because my kids told me stories of how bad it has affected friends at school when their parents separated. One girl said she would kill herself if her parents separated. There are kids that turned to drugs and alcohol and boys.

    I’m also very scared because I’ve been with him since 17 yrs old. I have no money of my own. Everything I have is because of him. I own nothing. I haven’t worked in nearly 20 yrs outside the home. I feel very insecure.
    I am working on replacing negative thought with Gods word.

    I pray for God to reveal my sins, idols and unhealthy thinking. Things have definitely popped into my head I have had to repent of and ask for help with.
    I’m wary of “Christian” counsellors but am talking to my pastor.

    I am willing to contact celebrate recovery. It’s just I thought it no use and it might hard for me to hear what could or should be happening when I know it probably won’t. I feel I have to pick my battles.

    The day we spoke, he was very very angry. Stress and an incident had happened (not with me) He said not to speak to him as he was so angry. I weirdly felt it was ok to. Do you think that he may have said those things even a bit out of anger and not meaning them so harshly? Or the fact that he didn’t yell and we spoke quite calmly could that mean he really did mean it?

    He’s so hot and cold. He treats me harshly and with anger a lot but then sometimes it’s as though he’s forgotten he’s supposed to have this wall up and he’s fun and soft and nice. Just today he disciplined our daughter when she spoke a bit disrespectful to me. There’s many more examples of this. This makes me confused. Anyone got a psychology degree and know what’s going on here???? It keeps me in hope though.

    The sermon on Sunday at church seemed directly to us from God. It was about anger and hearing Gods word but not doing it and love etc. My older kids even said it was perfect for dad. I just hope and pray he really heard it and that something is sparked in him to see what he’s doing.

    I have always been so dependent on him. My sister says now that I need to show him I can be ok without him. She says to make my own plans, dress up and go out every now and then and to get a job. Again, I’m so scared of getting a job. I can’t do my profession anymore and I have no other skills. I Have no idea what I would do let alone who would employ me. Is this what I should do?

    I’m worried he might say, “see she’s fine without me”. Yes, I know I’m too worried about what he will do and about him leaving but this is my husband, my marriage, the father of my kids. It’s huge to me. Not huger than God but still. I dont want my marriage to break up. Full stop.

    i am definitely blaming myself for most of this. I couldn’t control my anxiety so I controlled him. He told me I only have myself to blame so it’s very hard not to.
    Thank you again for the time and thought you give to me.

    1. Bel,

      Your husband does not sound like he is doing well at all spiritually and maybe emotionally. My prayer is that you will put all of your hope and faith and trust in Christ, not in your husband or any human. I hope that makes sense!

      I’m glad you are talking with your pastor and that you are willing to contact Celebrate Recovery. I think those are healthy steps.

      I don’t know if your husband meant everything he said or not. If he was really upset and needed space and you were talking with him, he may have said things that were more harsh than he would have normally meant. But I don’t know his heart.

      Be completely dependent on Jesus, not on your husband. Pray for God to make a way for you to get a job if that is His will. 🙂 He is able to do that. Seek spiritual healing for yourself. You both have responsibility here for what has happened. And you both desperately need Christ for healing. But you can only control you. You are not responsible for his sin and you are not 100% to blame for the issues in the marriage. Don’t take on things that belong to him, my dear sister.

      What the pastor is describing is Matthew 18:15-17. If your husband does decide to leave because of this – that is up to him and he will be responsible to God for that. It sounds to me like this may be necessary.

      I pray for God’s wisdom for you and for your pastor, my dear sister!

  21. My story….

    November 11, 2015 my husband sat me down and told me we may need to separate. He is not in love with me and cannot deal with my manipulation and control any longer. He basically pointed out times in our 10 year marriage and even stories he has heard of me as a child about how controlling, bossy, nosey, and mean I was. This was devastating to me. I took time alone to reflect and the most amazing thing happened – GOD met me right where I was – just as I was…BROKEN.

    A little history…In January of 2014 my husband had a one night affair. I found out about it that same night and my entire sense of security flew out the window. I was so hurt and blindsided. I literally freaked out. In addition, my oldest child (9yrs) was battling cancer and undergoing chemotherapy during this time. In case you couldn’t guess I felt my entire world was spiraling out of control. We decided at that moment to work on our marriage but honestly little changed. Our focus was still our child understandably but at the same time more harm was done in our marriage. As a Christian, meaning I believed in God, I prayed to God for my son’s healing, I trusted God with my son, I leaned on God and only through HIS GRACE did we make it through my sons treatment. But where was God in the rest of my life? Where was God in my marriage?

    That November night, my heart changed. God convicted me so heavily and I repented wholeheartedly and was humbled before Him. Every ungodly word you can think of – it was me. I was negative, frustrated, impatient, unkind, unloving, disrespectful, angry, mean – name it – that is how I behaved. Now I could behave just fine at church, around people I didn’t know, at the hospital, but at home I was a completely different person. I had to be right, my way was the best, my feelings mattered the most, I depended completely on my husband for my worth, my happiness, my joy, my peace, blamed him for working too much while at the same time complaining we were always broke. I yelled all the time, I had temper tantrums, mad that I had to clean the house, I had to wash the dishes, I had to do the laundry, I hated working full time, I..I..I

    THANKFULLY, I surrendered it all to GOD and pleaded for him to change me. Change my heart, change my mind, change my reactions, change my thinking, change my behavior. What a work HE has done in me. Only God can change a person, we all have the fruit of the spirit in us – given freely by God when we accept Him into our heart. We allow God to grow these fruits. And eventually as the fruit grows (Patience, Kindness, LOVE, Gentleness, Self-control, Mercy, Grace, and FOREGIVENESS) it flows in us through the Holy Spirit and then flows out of us in how we behave and think. I am nowhere perfect but I am so thankful I am not where I was.

    What have I learned in 3 months…. when I give my cares to God, I can rest in his Presence and be overflowed with HIS peace and joy. The only thing I can control is ME. I am not my husband’s holy spirit. I cannot convict him that is God’s job. I have had to remove the claws and the noose from around my husband’s neck and let him be his own person. I am not accountable for his sin or his actions. I am only accountable to GOD for my actions and how I respond. I pray for my husband – I pray that he repents and finds joy, that he is healed from the brokenness that I have helped cause, I pray that I rely on God for His patience to allow him to work in our marriage and in our hearts – on His timing and not our own. I have forgiven my husband for his infidelity. I forgive him when he rejects me. I am completely content in Christ and my identity in Him. I am more than a conqueror and have power and authority in Jesus – There is power IN HIS NAME, IN HIS BLOOD, and IN HIS WORD. I am loved because I am justified through Jesus who died for my sin.

    My husband has not left the house, we have three children under 10, and he is staying right now for them. He says that we may need to separate still. We barely talk, he does not want small talk or physical touch. We discuss the basics and that is all – sometimes he asks me to help him with something and I respectfully do so and make it a priority. In the beginning he refused to even look at me when I walk in the room. These days, we can smile at each other and we even played a few board games together. I respectfully asked him to take over the finances and he has done so. He told me how he would like to handle the bills and I said ok, he said what that isn’t how you would do it? I responded that I did it differently in the past but that does not mean his way is wrong. I respect the changes you want to make. He has become more attentive to the children and spends more quality time with them. I have found a new church home and enjoy going – he does not want to come yet. I invite him to do things as a family and leave it up to him if he wants to join. I do not judge or criticize if he does not show up. My biggest test and the one that I keep having to repeat is when he wants to go out to the bar with the guys. See my husband says that he doesn’t feel married, that he is not committed to me, and doesn’t wear his wedding ring. This causes me much jealously and rejection especially if he is going out drinking. He says that he is not interested in any women and that he has not been unfaithful. But I let my emotions get the best of me – so when this test comes around again I pray that God gives me the strength to let go and trust in Him.

    The enemy is always there – he wants to steal, kill, and destroy. I refuse to give up on my marriage, I refuse to give up on my walk with God, I choose to stay in Gods will for my life and know that when I behave in the fruit of the spirit and I listen to the Spirit prompting me I am in HIS will. He has a plan and it’s a good plan. I may not understand the plan but I will trust in Him. I pray that HIS will is for my marriage to be healed and to be more amazing then every before and all for HIS glory. I wait in hopeful expectation of HIS glory to be revealed. God spoke to my heart recently saying “You trusted me with your son, now trust me with your husband!” WOW! I can honestly say that through God’s love I am able to love my husband unconditional – even though he is emotional cut off from me. He asked me the other day how I can be so happy when our marriage is a mess. I responded that I have a changed heart!

    I am thankful for April and all the amazing comments from others in similar situations. I have found great encouragement and understanding!

    1. CalmPeacefulWife,

      WOW!

      You and your husband have been through so much pain. But what a faithful God we have! How I praise God that He opened your eyes and for all that He is changing in your mind, heart, and soul! WOOHOO!

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. What a blessing and joy!

      I pray that God will convict your husband about his sin and that He will give you wisdom about exactly how He desires you to handle things, especially the going out with the guys drinking part. I know God can bring things to light and God can convict in ways no human ever could. How I pray your husband will repent and return to God soon.

      But it seems that God is working in his heart as you are no longer standing in the way, but allowing God to use you as an instrument of blessing in your marriage.

      What beautiful work God is doing in you!

      Much love to you!

  22. Hi April and Lms. Just wondering if you had a chance to read my comment from 2nd Feb. I apologize if you are just busy. I’ve had a big talk with my pastor and wanted to see what your thoughts are on that also.
    I told him a lot. He’s very concerned and thinks it’s time to speak with my husband and possibly with 2 elders from my church. In fortunately these 2 elders are related to us as our church is small. This worries me. My pastor said he needs to be reminded of the Law and the covenant he made to me and God. He said itvsounds like he has made his decision and he called this malicious desertion. He has lots of concerns spiritually for him. I’m scared this talk could push him further away and even possibly make him become further apart from God. What do u think is the right thing? Should I just wait on God longer and leave my husband alone and pray along with these people? Please I apreciate your thoughts. Maybe Greg could help with his opinion? My book order arrived so I’ve just started absolute surrender.

    1. Bel, I just lost a big reply back. Ugh. Good stuff too. I’ll try to redo it, but I prayed on your situation with the elders at church. I have a few thoughts. I’m not so sure YOU are ready for them to confront your husband yet. I think you have alot of fear that is causing you to try to control things so that you are not so uncomfortable. Although the bible suggests this approach, it also says that you need to take the log out of your own eye first. I would pray that you seek help for YOU first. Get your fears faced, your thoughts on approval from God. There is huge spiritual warfare in your husband, but he needs to see a life that is living for God, before he can be directed. The whole approach would need to be handled lovingly and with the motive that people are concerned for HIM. Not just to try to convince him he is sinning and wrong and should feel more guilty or shamed. He already feels that. He can’t accept forgiveness from God or from himself. He doesn’t see why or how you or others would forgive him. He is drowning in shame right now. He realizes he is not perfect and wonders if he is to be thrown out like so much garbage. This is painful!

      I think it is important for you to stop trying to “save or fix” your husband. First, it’s not your responsibility and second it is out of your control. Let him and God hash that out. But your job is to love him no matter how he is. No matter if he doesn’t return your love, affection, kindness. Remove your emotional reactions and see him as someone who needs your encouragement, understanding and unconditional love. Can he still be worthy of love by you even if he is not the perfect husband? Wouldn’t you want him to be able to give that kind of love to you? Be the first to show him what that is like. Even if he never changes, Gid will see how you are treating one of his children and reward you for it. You will grow in maturity and spiritually. You will start to become a light in his darkness.

      I’m not sure about the elder thing. Maybe April will be able to spread some light on that for you. But I would pray with you to ask God how He can help you with YOU. Not how He can change your husband to see things the way you do. Pray that God can help your husband to find God and find His goodness and grace. That God can help bring some peace to your husbands heart….but how God can do that is up to Him and your husband. You really have no say so there.

      I went to a Christian counselor to get help for me. I would love my husband to go too, but even if he doesnt, I needed help on how to see the other perspective, how to deal with my fears of rejection, abandonment and perfection, control and pride. I was enabling my husband and so dependant on what he thought of me. I only cared about his approval of me that nothing else mattered. I had lots of my own junk to deal with, let alone trying to force my husband to deal with his junk, or deal with his junk FOR him. Work on getting help for YOU. Your husband is responsible for his stuff. If, after you are able to be at peace no matter if your husband stays or goes, and raging sin is still going on, then thst might be a good time to involve others. Much love.

  23. April, don’t feel bad.

    I know how busy your life must be and that you have a family and a job and so I’m just so grateful that you are willing to give all of us such a big piece of you and your time and your knowledge.

    I promise I really am putting all my faith and trust and hope in God. I stumble sometimes but I feel so much comfort in knowing my loving God is always there for me even though I’m weak and stumble. I can see that the years of trying to change things and control things and make him love me and want to be with me haven’t worked. I see that clearly. Only Gods way is going to work.

    Yes I’m afraid of completely letting go because I’m scared that maybe it’s not Gods plan for us to be reconciled. A friend sent me a beautiful message yesterday and reminded me that God does his very best work when we let go of expectations of how He might do things and when. She reminded me that I already know from scriptures that He believes in marriages and that once 2 become 1 it is a lifetime deal as far as Hes concerned and that miracles happen every day to everyday people. This was beautiful. Yes I already knew this but it’s sometimes helpful and comforting when it comes from someone else.

    I really am seeking spiritual healing for myself. I pray every day for these things for myself and my responsibilities in this and my motives and my sins etc. I’m worried that I am putting in a lot of effort in these areas but that you still see that I’m struggling in this. I’m not upset that you keep telling me this but I’m just frustrated and concerned that it’s so obvious to you when I feel I’m trying so hard. I must be seriously missing something or failing at something. I wrestle I plead I beg I apologize to God and ask forgiveness.

    I haven’t relied on my husband for anything this year. I haven’t been ABLE to even if I wanted to. He’s gone. Shut down. Not concerned about me in any way.
    I’m so very concerned about his spiritual life and emotional state. I’m scared for him. Yes I pray about this for him. He needs Gods help so desperately but just doesn’t see it. I’m pretty sure (as are others) that he has depression and that unless he sees that he needs help none of this will change. He only sees that I’m the problem. I just pray that he is shown somehow that he needs help. My pastor is willing to try and help here but I’m worried he will respond with anger and shut down even more.

    I appreciate your thoughts and advice. My 15 yr old daughter was bawling on her bed yesterday after school. This just has to change. I’m so worried about the effect on my kids. These precious kids who feel like their world is falling apart.

    1. Bel..my husband is shut down, gone, and not concerned about me in any way either. I am so lonely. When ever I tell him how lonely I am and how much I miss him, I end up saying the wrong thing and everything gets turned back on me and it’s my fault. I become the one with the problem.

      I keep going back and try to connect with him. I try to bring him back to our marriage. He refuses.

      Bel..how do you live day to day in your marriage. Somedays, I don’t function so well.

      I told my boys that I would fight for our family and marriage, but I don’t know how much longer I can.

      1. Faithfulgal,

        Please read RadiantandRedeemed’s comments on this post in the comment section. I believe you will find Light, Truth, and hope.

        Let me know how you are doing and let’s talk after you read those comments, if you would like to. 🙂

        Praying for God’s healing for you, my precious sister!

      2. Faithful gal, thank you for commenting to me. I am a work in progress.. It is so hard and painful and frustrating and I can tell you I’ve cried many tears and spent many days in bed “sick” because I could barely function. In desperation one day I punched into google ‘my husband has completely shut down from me’ and the first thing that popped up was Aprils site. A coincidence? No way. God pointed me right here and I belive with Aprils experience, guidance and encouragement I have begun to turn the corner. I buried myself in the posts here. There are enough to keep you going for months! I also like to watch the u tube sessions. So whenever I wasn’t busy was when negative thought crept in so this is when I would do this. I still find posts I haven’t read and that are interesting and helpful. There’s so much to learn.
        I guess I came to the realization that what I was doing wasn’t working. It was making it worse. So I knew I had to make a change and it had to be with me. As you can probably read from my comments to April, I struggle still a lot but the ONLY way through this is with God. I have bad days and better days but don’t give up. We can’t.
        I smothered my husband with what I thought was love but in reality it was strangling him and I had to give him space. It’s soooooo hard. I still want to show him love but I know it will only be counterproductive as he just cannot hear me or cope with my needs while he is in this state. We’ve both really hurt each other but as I’m the one who realizes it, I can do what I can to help myself. I’m still learning that a lot of that is through complete faith and trust in God and will never be in my own power. Every time you want to go to him and try and bring him back or love you, you have to remind yourself that it just won’t help at the moment. It’s a lot of thinking before speaking or doing to start with but now for me it’s easier and I hope it gets easier for you too.
        On your bad days pray more. Read more. Get the books April recommends. But I also think we have to go a bit easy on ourselves and allow us to hurt and have a bad day. We are not robots.
        I do what I can through the day to bless him but not annoy him for want of a better word. I try and keep busy. And when I can’t, I read my bible or posts or books. It’s so hard. I miss my husband too. I crave even just a hug. But it’s been over a year now. I’m trying to just focus on what I need to do with God and to have faith that He has His own timing and will and I may not like it but I have no choice.
        Don’t give up. Until the day he actually goes and gets divorce papers there is still hope. Apparently even after that. Stay close to God. Pray pray pray. I wish I had the answers but I’m such an amateur in this. I will be praying for you and thinking of you.

        1. Bel,

          Greg was very shut down for a long time when I began this journey. At the beginning, he would barely look at me, didn’t want me to talk with him, didn’t talk to me except for the absolute essential conversations, didn’t want to touch me. Very painful. When I would feel lonely, I would turn to God and to studying about godly femininity, godly marriage (on my end only, not what he should be doing), and studying about how to understand men. And I would pray. A lot. I would thank God for the good in my husband and ask God to change me. I learned whenever I had negative feelings or loneliness to take it to God. I also learned to sing praises to Him at the top of my voice. Can’t be sad when I am praising God!

          It was 3.5 years before Greg felt safe with me again. There were very slow baby steps. He still doesn’t need as much attention as I could give him. He is more introverted and appreciates some space. I have learned to use that time to be with God and to do ministry. Our marriage is healed – but, I still know I can’t look to Greg for fulfillment, I can only find that in Jesus. 🙂

          Thank you for sharing with Faithfulgal. Your insights and wisdom are beautiful and it brings such joy to my heart to see all that God is doing in you!

          Much love!

        2. Bel and faithfulgirl. We are all sisters in the same boat. Far away husband’s and wives with nothing but hope and faith in God left in our lives. The song I couldn’t sing without breaking down was also “Jesus take the wheel” by Carrie Underwood. I can sing it with gust now. But it broke me. Remember, we don’t realize how powerless we are until we are broken, without a path to follow and in enormous spiritual pain. Then a small light breaks through the darkness and lights the first stepping stone. God said “let there be light” not only when he created the universe, but as we are reborn in Jesus Christ. He IS light! This is where faith is tested and grown.

          This is the worse of for better or for worse. Because you have God on your side and are willing to trust Him, He can fight your battles. That puts you on the “stay married” side of the 50% divorce rate. But that’s not why we follow God. No matter what happens..if our husbands leave, come back to us, or never change, the change in us as righteous is worth so much more. It changes the way you see people, life, nature and especially yourself. You feel cherished and loved again, worthy and valuable. Everyone needs that, but we can never rely on us imperfect, sinful humans to always be able to fulfill that desire for us. Only God can because He is perfection and love. What we get from humans on this earth is simply icing on the cake! Emotions are real and unreliable. They are fickle and over sensitive…but they are sensors and bells as well to our soul. I pray for the two of you especially as we are walking hand in hand through the exact same scenarios..supporting each other and praying. You are NOT alone and hope is everywhere only if you choose to receive it and accept that it exists.

          One year ago, the bible was so foreign to me. Now I can understand the meanings and messages and it truly is the only source of truth I can rely on. I am so done trying to be in control of others’ lives and manipulate for what I want to happen…even if it is for good motives. Who am I to say what others should or should do/think/feel/say? Only God is the director of this play called life. I am to submit to His authority and to seek His approval. Not the approval of other humans.

          The harder this is, the more proof that you have that you are getting closer to what God has planned for you…or else the enemy would not be fighting so hard. Unexpected sunshine will break through your clouds and shine on you.

          Keep in faith and be willing to learn about yourself, about God, about how men and women are different. And accept the forgiveness of God. Forgive yourself, understanding you are not perfect…and that’s ok. Only one being is perfect…God. Learn from your mistakes and become better for it. I am sending hugs and love to you both and reaching out to pray for hope for you. Much love.

          1. Thank you so much Lms. Isn’t it amazing that we are singing the same song?! It is such a beautiful song and I tear up whenever I play it.
            I appreciate the love and support here so very much. It’s like therapy I can go to anytime I need to and I always find comfort. I’m praying for you. And faithfulgal too.

    2. Bel,

      This week, there have just been so many comments! Much more than usual. So, it has been a bit trickier and I have been trying not to let any slip through the cracks. But, looks like I did, by mistake. Thank you for your patience!

      This is a very difficult thing to do – especially if you haven’t done it before and you don’t have some strong prayer warriors and mentors around you.

      I would love to point the way to healing in Christ, if you are up for it – and faithfulgal, too, and anyone else! I invite you to read RadiantandRedeemed’s comments on this post earlier this week as she leads a number of women to wholeness and healing in Christ – what she says is in the comment section. It is long, but it is worth it!

      Let me know what you think after you get a chance to read through her comments.

      Much love!

  24. Lmsdaily. I always wondered what that stood for. I couldn’t help but smile a little. It’s kinda cute. You don’t come across as someone who loses her stuff daily. Again that is a testament to your strenth and faith and the amazing work God has done in you. I hope you see that. You are so honest and open and giving and caring and I hang on every word you (and April) say. You would be forgiven for having half the strenth and optimism you have considering the pain and struggles in your own life. Just know you are appreciated and are helping me to learn in so many ways. I feel I have a special friend I have never met.
    Thank you for trying to explain and describe hearing the Holy Spirits prompting. just yesterday I was crying out to God begging Him to change me and reveal things to me and asking Him never to leave me. Into my head pops ‘I will never leave you or forsake you’ , and ‘all things work together for good for those who love God’ and a couple other verses. I smiled through my tears and asked if that was Him. I feel it was but then doubt crept in and I didn’t know if it was just me.
    Wow what a story about your friend. That was inspiring. And very sad that so many women go through so much pain. God is amazing. I’m so thankful He blessed your friend so richly after all her pain.
    I repeat bible verses through my head each day to keep my eyes on Him and because it gives me comfort.
    I have an NIV study bible. It helps to decipher the text but your new bible sounds even better. I will look into that.
    I don’t WANT to be in control. I really don’t. I pray for God to take over. There’s a song by a country artist I love called Jesus take the wheel. That’s what I pray for. I see where my control and efforts got us. Nowhere. In a worse position. So I truly know God needs to be in control. 100% giving it up is obviously my problem. I feel like I’m 95% there. I can only pray. I have been working on the logs in my own eye. That’s why I’m so unsure about myself or pastor or elders speaking to my husband as I know no matter what I will always have at the very least a splinter in there always due to my sinful human nature and original sin.
    I love my husband. I’ve never been with anyone but him. I never want to be with anyone but him. I’m learning to love him with all his faults just as I hope he can do for me one day. I’m starting to care less about what he thinks of me because I know the effort and time and prayer I’ve put into myself to be a more godly gentle patient wife and I feel my improvements every day. There are things that happen that the old me would have pounced on and tried to make him see what was wrong and make him feel bad but now I don’t even feel the need to bring it up. I’m able to let him be responsible for his stuff even though he doesn’t seem to realize it. But I can let stuff go. I never could do that before. It’s a great feeling. I just pray to not be self righteous about it in any way. I know there will always be work to be done on me.
    A few years ago I had a terrible struggle every time I went to receive the Holy Supper. I was kneeling ready to receive and it was as though satan was on my shoulder whispering in my ear ‘ that’s a dry old wafer, how can that be His body, and that wine was bought in a shop, u know it can’t be His blood’ . It was so disturbing to me and I stopped going to Holy Communion. I went to visit my grandfather who s with God now but was the most devout God fearing man I know. He was in his 90’s at this time. I told him of this and he looked at me and said that satan would not be trying so hard to get me if he already had me. I’ve never forgotten that. It gave me strenth and comfort that yes, satan knows I belong to the Lord and he hates it so is attacking me strongly. I will fight him every day of my life.
    I really hope I’m a light to someone in some small way. My pastor told me after our talk that I may even have stringer faith than him. I was shocked. He said I’m very strong for still being here and having hope. My little sister says I inspire her. So I guess that makes it worth it if someone learns through my pain.
    I unfortunately can’t imagine ever being totally ok with being ok if my husband leaves or not. Maybe this is my problem. Surely it would never be ok. It goes against my beliefs and faith. I will continue to pray on it though.
    I want to thank you for offering to email me privately. I would like this but only if you are really sure. I would never want to add pressure onto you and I respect you have your own life and journey. If you truly are happy to do this I would be happy and grateful. There’s so much I’m not game to put on here out of fear but I guess email woukd be the same. Thank you LMS.
    April if you see anything here that needs your guidance please do.

    1. Bel,

      YES! That was God speaking to you, my dear sister!

      God does call us to lay down every desire and dream, even the good ones. Are you familiar with the story of Abraham and Isaac? God is worthy of us laying it all down. If we are clinging to that one thing, I know for me, it reveals that it is an idol in my heart if I am not willing to give it up. I am not saying God will not bring healing to your marriage. But God does ask us to lay down everything but Jesus. Then, as we yield all to Him, we have open hands to receive all of Himself that He wants to give to us.

      Much love to you!

    2. Bel, please remind me, are you one who is having a hard time with your husband having a woman as a good friend from work? I follow so much on this blog, I want to be sure. Thanks.

      1. I’m pretty sure you and faithfulgirl are with me. So I’m sending this out there. I was reading my bible this morning. I’m in deuteronomy. 4:24 says ” for the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” I then read the footnotes on the bottom about that passage. I have a Life Application study bible that has little explanations on the bottom so I can better comprehend what the Bible is saying. Anyway, it explains the difference between good jealousy and bad jealousy.
        “Jealousy is a demandivorce for someone else’s exclusive affection ton or loyalty. Some jealousy is bad. It is destructive for a person to get upset when his or her spouse talks to someone of the opposite sex. But other jealousy is good. It is right for a man to demand his wife tray him, and only him as her husband….God’s kind of jealousy is appropriate and good. We must treat only the Lord-and no one else on all the universe-as God.”

        Something snapped in place for me and I thought of you. I know I have been jealous of the woman at my husband’s work. Actually of all the “people” at work. I realized, though, that it is ok to be jealous when my husband treats others as a spouse and I am nothing more than his nanny and house keeper.

        I think that your husband may be trying to defend that he can and should not be condemned for talking to someone of the opposite sex. He has befriended someone. It COULD become a slippery slope if not guarded and done with caution, but not necessarily a “sin” to talk or befriend someone of the opposite sex. However, when our spouses (or us wives) are treating someone else as their spouse and casting their true spouse aside…that may be the “good” kind of jealousy. Just like God demands we reverence Him as the one true God, and no other, we can expect to be the one true spouse, and there be no other. But there is a difference between demanding our husbands never speak, look at or befriend another woman. That is pretty demanding in a bad-jealousy kind of way. But we CAN demand to be treated as the only spouse.

        I wonder if the jealousy of the friendship the husband and friend has is because that portion is missing in the marriage. If so, then that friendship component is what needs work, not forcing him to rid himself of his friends.

        I hope that this makes sense and gets to the right blogger. April, maybe you can help direct it. Sometimes I think we are all in the same boat, I focus on the coming to God stuff that we all need, but I thought this would be particularly helpful for our sister who’s husband has a close female friend from work. I know there was a big discussion over his sin and confronting it and such. Thanks so much and have a blessed day!

        1. Lmsdaily115,
          Rest assured, your post found its intended target 😊. Thank you for thinking of me and sharing your thoughts. The light bulb has finally clicked “on” and I really “get it” now…the big picture that is…Gods plan in all of this. For me to finally understand the whole submission, respect concept. I thought I was doing things gods way but I was way far off the mark.

          Lesson learned the HARD way…almost lost my marriage over my self righteous, prideful, condemning spirit. Just love the man, befriend him, fight for him and not against him. Love him through this hard time in his life, be his partner, if he’ll have me. Be willing to help and support. Pray hard and trust God, keep the faith.

          Simple really…just rest in God, let the Holy Spirit work in both of us and see what happens. Let God be God! I’ll keep you all posted. No expectations, just still hopeful. My husband is a great guy, he is still here, he tells me he loves me even though he isn’t showing it much, we are still physically intimate, he is a great father and works hard to provide. I have much to be hopeful about 😊

      2. Hi LMS. No I think you are thinking of hopeful. Thanks for checking. I’ve had a very busy week and not had much time to follow or comment. I think of you every day and pray for you.

      3. Lmsdaily115,
        No, it’s me, Hopeful, that is having the hard time with the friend from work. I’m actually doing tons better though 😀…I’ve quit fighting my husband and God and I now have peace…incredible peace. I was letting the worry over the situation consume me…the what-if’s were taking over my mind. I was feeling convicted about submitting and respect and realized that my motives were wrong and that I was not honoring God with the way I was reacting to my husbands “supposed sin”.

        It’s like a switch has happened. I am turned “on” to honoring God with my thoughts and actions and attitudes and “off” to trying to be my husband’s Holy Spirit and being cold and shut off from him because of my pain. My home has a much more friendly atmosphere and I am already seeing a change in him. We are no longer at war over this. I withdrew from the year long fight and I am finally able to trust God with myself and my husband.

        This trial has all been for my good. The scales have been lifted from my eyes. I see so much more clearly now the path that God would have me to walk and more importantly how I am supposed to walk it…hand in hand with God seeking to do his will and not my own. God is leading and I am trying to let go and let my husband lead, even in this scary situation. I know, deep down, that I can trust them both!

        1. Hopeful,

          I’m excited about that you are trusting God and living in His peace. And I am really glad to hear that things are getting better with you and your husband. Praise God for that! 🙂 Woohoo!!!

          1. Hopeful, I am lifting my arms up in praise for where you are today! You were on my heart and am so glad to hear how things are turning around for you! It sounds like your husband is responding to your respect. Now just keep praising Jesus and asking Him to keep showing you how you can live for Jesus first everyday…thank you for the update. It gives us all hope and faith that God can move mountains! Much love.

        2. Hopeful. Thank you for your response. I am so overjoyed with your good news! What a huge encouragement! Thank you for seeking God in your life and being willing to share your story. I, too am learning about how so much of my sin had stopped the blessings from God in my life. I can’t wait for that cloud to burst open one day and rain life giving water on me and my family. I will always keep you in my heart and be glad for God’s miracles to you! Respectfully yours…LMS daily 115.

  25. April sorry you are so busy. It’s so sad that there are so many hurting marriages out there.
    I’ve just had a challenge from God I think. My husband is out and just called and told me that he ran into an old friend. It was the one I wrote about in one of my first posts. It was an unhealthy friendship that caused us a lot of pain when my husband started having feelings for this friends wife. She was my best friend. We lost our friendship and I lost trust in my husband. Anyway. Their marriage broke up and they have both remarried. They apparently spoke for an hour. We haven’t seen him in 5 or more years. He was with his new wife and his children with the first wife. I immediately felt anxious that seeing him happy with a new and “pretty” wife as he said, may make my husband think that he could be happy again too. I know I shouldn’t be feeling this way but I feel a bit sick. I’ve prayed for God to take this feeling away from me and let me trust that He may use this meeting in a positive way for us. I still can’t help but think it could be damaging. I’m sure it will get my husband thinking. If his kids looked happy and fine with the new wife and their dad, maybe he will think that could happen to him too. Help. I’m so weak.

    1. Bel,

      Let’s definitely take this situation to God’s throne room in the highest heavens and ask Him to direct your husband and to protect your family.

      Lord,

      Thank You that You care about every detail of our lives. We lift up Bel’s husband and family to You. Protect him from temptation and evil. Direct his thoughts to Yourself. Draw him to Christ and to repentance and healing in You. Thank You for Bel bringing her fears to You. Let her lay them at Your feet and trust them to You and then let her rejoice in You provision and Your presence and goodness. Fill her with faith. Let her soak in Your presence and allow You to restore her soul.

      In the Name and power of Christ!
      Amen!

  26. Thank you April. I can definitely feel God helping me with this. I don’t feel so anxious all of a sudden. It’s so great. Thank you for yor prayers for me. I also pray for you and all who are hurting.

  27. I’ve been thinking so much lately of Lmsdaily and I would love to hear how you are? I hope and pray you and your family are ok. I just really feel the need to ask.
    Also faithfulgal. I would love an update.
    Thinking of you.

    1. I hear a submarine ping…ping..ping!
      Hi Bel, so glad to hear from you and honored that you reached out. I read your message ping, took a shower and thought “how will I respond? So much has happened, yet what do I know?” Then my phone began to play “it is well with my soul” and I thought about the Shun am mite woman and Elisha. I listen to Joel Osteen on Sirius xm radio 128 and he told the story about a woman who was a gracious hist to the prophet Elisha. He wanted to do something fir her in thanks of her hospitality. She was humble and said she was happy, no need. But it was observed she had no children. Elisha promised her she would have a son by this time next year. The next year, she had a son. He grew, but one day in the field, he declared “my head, my head”, later, the boy died. This child that was given to her had died. She immediately got on a donkey and set out to go to Elisha, a man of God. When Elisha servant saw her in the distance, he ran to her and asked if everything is alright? Is your husband alright, is your son alright? She simply replied, “All is well”.

      We all know all was NOT well. Her son died! She was distraughr, but even now, she declared all is well. It was her faith that God would help that allowed her to say all is well. Elisha went to her house, saw the dead boy. By the power of God, he was able to restore the boy…her faith brought it to pass. You can read it in 2Kings 8-37.

      That’s where I am at. There is chaos, there is hurt, pain, joy, gratitude and wonder. A mess, but even now, I am able to trust my God who is on the throne.

      Ever since the ladies here helped me realize how much I talked about all the hurtful things my husband has been and still is doing, and how much I DIDN’T talk the good into his and my life, I have felt convicted and repented of it. I am working out how to practice this concept.

      The other day, we went to open a savings a count together with my 12 year old son. I was there, I stepped up when needed, but I stepped back and let my husband be in charge. He and my son needed that time together. I was included, but not in the spotlight. I saw my husband look at me for afgirmation, approval, affirming our belief of instilling goid financial habits in our son. I saw him smile and he was gentle and present the rest of the day. It was goid. The next day, he came home irtitated at the messy way I cooked and snapped at me in front of the kids. Momma bear stood up and said “please do not talk to me like that, I don’t talk to you like that”. He said I should. I stayed quiet, did my chores and stayed minimal in conversation. We watched tv and lo and behold, a show about Gid was on.No more had to be said. He knew how I felt and I was clear about it. I was proud of the way I didn’t snap back, showed my kids I didn’t have to take being talked to like that, but I could communicate without sinning back. The next morning, my husband appologized and said he was not proud of himself for talking to me that way. Inside, I laughed at how swiftly God chases my husband. It seems so obvious He is fighting my battles. He convicted my husband and we wete able to set that hurt to rest swiftly. Praise God! It’s like that these days. Each day is a new adventure. I keep on. I am happy, full of joy and thankful for all God does and is doing. I am not blind to our isdues, but my faith is proving itself in baby steps. I see my husband for who he is and no longer attached with every fiber of myself to him. I have given him lots of space to explore himself. I no longer try to be his helper, his Holy Spirit, his therapist, namny, maid, housecleaner, masseuse, landscaper etc. I am his wife. I help where I can, I love him from where he allows me to and I take care of myself and my 2 teenage babies. I am grateful for them keeping me busy. I am grateful for so much time to learn, grow and be with God. I feel a bit stronger that we will get through this tough time, but we will both not be the same. Like a broken bone…the damage is visible when you look close, but with the proper setting, nutrition and care, it can heal stronger than it was befire…never the same or original, but stronger.

      My prayers are for you and the others to kerp standing for your marriage if God is prompting you to do so. Faith, self work and trust in Him will bring us through. Love and thoughts to you all.

  28. Hi LMS. I have had a busy week but have been meaning to reply to you. I love to hear updates from you. I think it’s wonderful that your husband acknowledges how he spoke badly to you and that he feels bad for it. That seems huge to me and very positive. I think acknowledging your faults are a big step in moving forward. We are nowhere near that. Although mind hasn’t been as mean to me lately. Quite the opposite. But that could have something to do with the 5 day holiday he is going on in 2 days time. Not sure if you have read my comments to April on this and a few other things in Healthy v’s Unhealthy relationships. I’ve had a few challenges and I really feel I’m handling them so much better and differently than I usually would. I really feel Gids power and guidance and I’m sure your prayers and Aprils have helped so much.
    I’m so glad you are feeling stronger. I have recently read through all of your comments to me right from the start and want you to know how much your care, concern thoughtful advice and prayers have strengthened me and gave me hope and even calmness. Thank you. If you are having a bad day and feeling weak, I recommend you read over all the comments you send to others like me. I’m sure you will find it brilliant!😉

  29. I’ve been praying for God to put Godly women in my life someone who can mentor me and just help me. I was imagining God would open the doors to an opportunity at the church I just started attending but maybe I can get some help from you April? Or from some of the women on your blog.

    My husband and I had an argument last night. I caught him, again, looking and commenting on other women’s pictures online. As women, we all know why this hurts but it hurts me even more because he doesn’t give me any compliments or even a second look. I sent him a picture of me the other day, and his response was “Why are you still awake?” and online he’s telling these women “You are so beautiful” “You are gorgeous” etc. It just cuts me on the inside. I have confronted him in the past about this and he refused to delete his social media account. I tried to pray about it ask the Lord to affirm me and give me strength. I tried to give him grace, and forgiveness but he continues to do this. When I confront him about any sin in his life he will verbally acknowledge it and then quickly shift the blame to me. It’s my fault he strays because I “make this relationship so bad” that he doesn’t want to be in it. He says our marriage is the worst relationship ever. That it’s frustrating, He says we always argue (we don’t) and so I feel like I am the problem. It makes me feel like I can’t confront him or bring anything up because if it leads to an argument then it will just further push him away and once again I’m the problem, causing another argument. I know that i can’t just sit here and ignore what he is doing. This is a sin. I don’t know how to respond in a respectful way that is honoring to God, my husband, and our marriage. I can’t talk to him because he cuts me off, starts to get verbally abusive calling me stupid, and threatens to leave our marriage. I don’t want to fight anymore. It brings out the worst in both of us and its so hurtful. But I also cant just pretend that his actions don’t hurt me either.

    How do I handle this situation?

    1. Karina my heart aches for you.

      I am going through something similar in that my husband wants out of our marriage as well, I get blamed for eveything, criticized, rejected. I beleive that my husband is punishing me for the hurt I have caused in our marriage and he is very stuck in the victim role.

      April has been awesome. I am not sure how I stumbled upon her blog…it had to be a God thing. She has told my story through her own. She has gotten through the other side and I pray fervently that God will bring my marriage to healing. However my husband has made it clear that it is too late.

      I have found tremendous support through Leslie Vernick blogs, CORE group,, and a CONQUER group that I am in. I would also suggest that you search for Patrick Doyle utube videos….you will find a ton of help.

      Your husband sounds very broken. Very broken. I pray that you run as fast as you can to Jesus. Also him into your heartache repeatedly. I cry out to Jesus daily for him to come between my husband and I. I am learning that the Holy Spirit is the only way our husband’s will change. Stick close to Godly women.i have developed very strong connections with women online. They have become my lifeline. April will ask yo u how your walk with God is. How is that walk going? I am sending you a big cyber hug. This is not easy at all.

      1. Hope Always,
        Love this!! Thank you so much for reaching out to our sister in love and for sharing resources and encouragement. 🙂
        And you were right, I did want to ask her about her walk with Christ! That is always my first question.

        Much love!

      2. Thank you for responding to my comment and for sharing. It makes me feel better just knowing I am not alone. I will definitely look into the groups/blogs you mentioned. I will take all the help and support I can get.

        You’re right the Holy Spirit is the one who needs to work in our husbands, not us, and I have been praying this over him for months. God has proven to be so faithful throughout this, and I’m sure he has in your situation as well. This is what keeps bringing me back to the foot of the cross. Sometimes we just need a little extra encouragement or reassurance.

        Thank you for the hug, I felt it in your words and it brings me comfort.

        I pray that the Lord blesses you and your marriage.

    2. Karina,

      My heart feels the pain in your words – for both of you! But I am so glad you are here. I believe there are lots of posts here that will bless you, encourage and strengthen your faith and help you learn to approach your husband in ways that honor God, your husband, yourself, and your marriage. I believe you can find healing in Christ for you and for your marriage. 🙂

      First, I would like to get a few “spiritual vital signs” so I can better tell what we are dealing with before I share anything, if that is okay.

      Would you tell me about your walk with Christ? Where are you? Where do you want to be with Him?

      What is your husband’s relationship with Christ?

      What are the general dynamics in your marriage? Is one of you more dominant and strong-willed and the other more quiet or passive?

      Has your husband said specifically why he feels the marraige is so bad?

      What do you fear the most?

      What do you believe you need to be content in life?

      Much love to you!

      1. Thank you for your response April!

        I probably went a little long but it just spilled out of me. I hope this all makes sense.

        I was raised Catholic but started going to Christian bible study at 15. I got baptized in 2012 and went through a wave of highs and lows in my walk. In this past year my relationship with Christ has grown so much. My prayers, my spiritual perspective, everything has just grown. I love the Lord and I just want to keep learning more about who He really is, and grow closer to Him.

        My husband was not raised going to any particular church. I know they mention Jesus here and there but that is it. He has a hard time accepting accountability, he has said so himself. He doesn’t like anyone, not even God, telling him what is right and wrong (BIG issue), but I keep praying that the Lord will work in his heart. He goes to church with me, and I know he is curious because he asks me questions about what certain verses mean. He got baptized last month (BIG deal), but I know that he is still dealing with a lot of the demons he has grown so used to and even fond of in his life.

        Both he and I have very strong personalities, but if I had to say which one of us was more dominant I guess I would have to say it is me. I’ve been working on this, and it has been tough but I want to be a Godly wife and I want to be a blessing to my husband. So I have toned it down a lot. Still a work in progress though.

        He says that our marriage is bad because he believes we argue a lot. I personally don’t think we do. I think he is having a hard time adjusting to married life, because he had been single for so long (38 years). He’s not used to having to take someone else into consideration, and he gets defensive and thinks I’m controlling.

        I fear that I will cause him to push away from me, our marriage, and God. When I sin he notices and he has pointed out to me that he questions my walk and this hurts me and makes me feel so guilty. I don’t want to be a stumbling block. I fear that if I stand up for what is right, and if I push too hard, I will frustrate him and he will just leave. I want my marriage to work, I want us to grow closer to Christ together not apart.

        I think of Paul, when he said he was content in all of life’s circumstances because of his faith in Christ. I know this can be true for all believers, but realistically deep down I want my husband to be walking with Christ in order to be content. I want a Christian marriage, raising our son in a Christian home, and for my son to grow up and also give his life to the Lord. I know that sometimes I make this problem an idol (focusing so much time and effort in this) so that is where I am unsure of what to do. How do I move forward in my marriage in a way that honors my husband and God? How do I deal with the issues and not cause any issues? My husband and I are very compatible and playful and we have lots of fun together so our marriage is great except when I need to confront him about something and then it all goes down the hole. I guess he probably feels like he can’t get it right and like he keeps failing. I try not to bring things up even when I see that they’re wrong, because I just don’t want to fight. This whole situation about him looking at other women online had been going on for months, and for months I stayed quiet. I prayed. I did not hold a grudge, but then one day I just realized this is wrong. I can’t not say anything anymore just to keep him happy. This is my dilemma.

        1. Karina,

          Thank you for this! 🙂 That is helpful for me to better understand.
          Would you mind sharing how you confront him when you try to address his sin – what words do you use?

          The strange thing is – men and women tend to have different sin tendencies. But men tend to think their sin isn’t “as bad” as the things we women do. And women tend to think our sin isn’t “as bad” as the things our men do. But truthfully – all sin is awful. All sin is nasty and wretched. It all grieves God’s heart. Whether it is lust in the heart or whether it is contempt, bitterness, hatred, control, disrespect, or unforgiveness. Human nature is that we tend to justify our own sin. But God will not allow us a free pass for anything that dishonors and grieves His heart.

          One thing that struck me when God began to change me was Matthew 7:1-5. Jesus taught us that we need to examine and take care of all of the sin in our hearts before we can attempt to address anyone else’s sin. If I try to address a sin in my husband’s heart when I have bitterness, hatred, control, disrespect, pride, and self-righteousness in my own heart – a husband will see my sin and will tend to focus on that. We have no credibility to gently, humbly address a speck in our husband’s eye when we have a beam in our own eye. I think I actually had a big forest on a mountain, not just a beam, in my eye.

          The awesome thing is that as we allow God to help us tear out all the sin in our own lives, we gain more and more credibility to be able to address issues in our husband’s life. Sometimes husbands don’t even need words of confrontation or rebuke from us. Our witness in our godly respectful attitude, our peace, our faith, and our joy convict them many times. Ultimately, of course, it is the Holy Spirit that does the convicting of sin – not us. There are times we need to confront sin, yes. But if we have sin in our lives, that is not a good time to confront someone else.

          Maybe you and your husband have a different definition of “arguing”?

          Check out this post – Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected

          Has he shared what he thinks you are doing that is controlling?

          If not, please check out some of these posts:

          Husbands Share What Is Disrespectful to Them
          Posts about control
          Unhealthy VS Healthy Relationships
          A Spiritual Check-Up
          Godly Femininity
          Responding to Insults, Criticisms, and Rebukes

          It is possible that God may be speaking to you through your husband. If he is pointing out legitimate sin – thank him humbly for his rebuke. Repent of your sin to God and to your husband. And ask God to help you change. I have TONS of posts here that will help you on this journey, if you are interested and want to do this. 🙂

          I am glad you are seeing some of your idols. That is the first step! We can’t change things if we don’t even realize what we are doing wrong. I’m glad you didn’t bring up the looking at other women thing constantly. I can certainly understand your concerns and that you felt you needed to say something. We can talk about respectful ways to do that. But a husband may get upset when you confront him about sin, even if you don’t have sin in your life. People don’t tend to like to be rebuked – especially if they are cherishing sin in their hearts.

          Some other posts you may want to search for:

          – bitterness
          – fear
          – resting in Christ
          – insecurity
          – porn
          – security
          – how to stay filled with the Holy Spirit

          Much love to you!!!!!!

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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