From a wife whose husband threatened divorce a year ago and who wants to share with other wives who are in extremely painful situations similar to her own:
I want others to know that I had many “turn the corner” moments over the last year. I am approaching 1 year since the bomb drop and have been reflecting on it.
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 marriage, 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.
Eighty percent of what was good in my life was getting sucked 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.
- 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 husband, 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 could 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 husband 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 from 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 reconciled. 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.
My Husband Wanted a Divorce (same author as this post)
A Peaceful Separated Wife – Kristin’s story part 1
A Peaceful Divorced Wife – Kristin’s story part 2