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The Treasures of God in the Midst of a Great Storm

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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.

RELATED:

My Husband Wanted a Divorce (same author as this post)

A Peaceful Separated Wife – Kristin’s story part 1

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

A Peaceful Divorced Wife – Kristin’s story part 2

Can You Pray Too Much for Your Marriage?

My Husband Said, “You Worry Too Much!”

Why Doesn’t My Husband Support Me More As I Try to Change?

Twenty-three Signs Your Husband Is Beginning to Trust You Again

Could Your Husband Be Trapped in Shame?

Six Things I Learned from Having an Unbelieving Husband

45 thoughts on “The Treasures of God in the Midst of a Great Storm

  1. Thank you for sharing this story. I am going through something very similar. Your story pointed out that I, too, am hyper focused on my marriage mess. It also gave me hope after a very tough weeken. Thanks again so very much. God bless

    1. Anna,

      I’m so glad this story was a blessing. Praying you might be able to rest in Christ today and this week and focus on your identity in Christ.

      Praying for God’s healing and wisdom for you both and healing for your marriage. But most of all, I pray you will grow by leaps and bounds in your faith and draw nearer to God than ever and yield yourself fully to Him, allowing Him to radically change you for His glory, my precious sister!

      If you want to talk, I’m here.

      Much love!

  2. Thank you April, I found this very helpful. I’m in the process of detachment from my husband and marriage, and I feel more free and peaceful. I know that I could not do this without God’s help (I feel more strength), and without your help and of so many sisters here on this blog.

    I will continue to focus on what God is doing in me, and on my personal responsibility.

    I am also having difficulty on how to talk to my husband about my needs, wants, and feelings. I’m working on it, but it’s difficult to be vulnerable when your husband constantly rejects you… well I will trust in God’s timing… But, I feel so much calm.
    I also don’t know if my husband and I will be reconciled. I hope one day…

    1. Ev,

      I’m so glad you are pursuing Christ and seeking Him wholeheartedly!

      If things are extremely tense, you may not be able to be completely vulnerable. Sometimes, trust has to be rebuilt before vulnerability can take place. Sometimes healing has to happen. There are degrees of vulnerability and there are degrees of how much you share.

      If you want to talk more about that, we can. 🙂 Ultimately, God’s Spirit can give you the wisdom you need about how much to share, how to share, and when in each moment and situation.

      I pray for God to bring healing to each of you spiritually individually and healing to your marriage for His glory!

      1. April,

        Oh. I have moments when I’m seeking Christ and God wholeheartedly, and some moments when I feel frustrated with my husband and then angry to God without wanting to be 🙁 I for sure have feelings that are suppressed and instead to show them to my husband I show them to God. I really do not want to react like this. I know God loves me and He is not responsible for our situation. Probably I’m forcing a deeper intimacy with God, and I’m not ready?

        From a controlling, prideful and fearful wife I went to a passive wife (a doormat). Now, I’m trying to find the balance. I know without God’s help I cannot do this. Ha !, there it is, I am pushing Him ! I need patience, even if my husband decides to leave.

        Thank you for listening, April. Love !

    2. I could write a similar story. Still detaching, sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don’t, but I’m a work in progress. 🙂 He has totally detached and there are times when I can feel my heart screaming inwardly, “WHY???” but that’s his decision and I can’t change his decision. So, detachment here I come! Some days it’s easier than others. It’ll all work out.

  3. This journey sounds similar to mine. I’m constantly having to bring the feelings that whirl up in me in the thoughts that start to bid as a result to God and weigh them up to Gods word. And to trust and have faith and let go. Also learning to think another way about things that my husband does. I have to always check my motives because sometimes revenge self righteousness and control are sometimes lurking inconspicuously in the corners. And not to be hard on myself. I too am a fixer upper. I’ve also come too deeply appreciate that this is actually my real life playing out… Not a practice run, time is going by and soon my time here on earth will be over. What fragrance am I going to leave behind. What will my life song be, what is my legacy. Happiness is an inside job. It’s not coming in some distant future when things have aligned them self the way I envisioned!

  4. This was really lovely and well said. Sometimes when our marriages are struggling the best thing we can do is to stop trying to fix them and focus on Christ instead. Make Him Lord of your life and the rest will fall into place where it needs to be. Sometimes it is the focus on our marriage that is adding to the problem in the first place. An elderly woman once told me “marriage isn’t hard, you just receive it.” There’s a lot of wisdom in that, just stop struggling and receive it as it is. Of course that’s a deceptively simple concept, because we people will resist and struggle against receiving Christ Himself who comes bearing a free gift. Today we say “marriage is hard work,” but forget to mention that if we’re working hard and it’s not going well, it’s always possible our “hard work” is what’s contributing to the problem.

    1. insanitybytes22,

      I like the way you worded this. YES! Sometimes all of our “hard work” is actually sabotaging us. I know that was true for me. Interesting to think about simply receiving Christ and receiving our husbands for who they are and for what they share with us.

      I’m so glad you shared!

  5. Great post, April. As I read it, I thought I could identify with this wife who is hurting. Then I realized it was MY post! Haha! It was really good to re-read my own post. I even realized I had slipped back into focusing on the marriage too much. I also have been wanting my husband to know how much he hurts me. But re-reading this, I realized I need to give it to God….again. I struggle with this. I know what to do, I just need to constantly be on guard. The enemy is crafty and is always looking for a crack in my armour. As I focus on God and not my problem. I am strengthened and I find a sense of peace. I wrote that 2 months ago, but how quickly I had forgotten my own advice!
    Our flesh wants what it wants, but God is more powerful when we stay close to Him than our flesh is. Things are still better than last year, but the road is long. I pray that 2016 will be my year for triumph and celebration. God will get me there.

    Thanks for letting me surprise myself today, April. I pray that this post helps many women start to heal and draw closer to God.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story with us! (And thanks to April for posting it.) This post was so timely for me to read today. I too, am a perfectionist and have a problem with becoming hyper-focused on my marriage in an effort to fix it. In fact, it is that way with all the problems in my life…I really appreciate the reminder to focus on God and on my blessings, and not my problems.

      I like what you said about how this is Friday, but Sunday is coming…I’m going to remember that. 🙂

      Lmsdaily, I pray too that 2016 will be your year for triumph and celebration!

    2. LMSdaily115,

      Ha! That is so amazing. God is very good. You know what, I can totally relate. I read my book again for the first time in a few months recently – and God used it to bless me. I learned stuff from the book He helped me to write. I think I may need to reread it every few months. I need reminders!

      I know God is already using this post to bless so many women – you can see it in the comments, but there are countless more who won’t comment but will be changed by God as His Spirit flows through your words into their lives. Thank you for allowing me to share!

      I am excited about what God has in store for you, my precious sister! I believe He will use your life and your story to reach many hurting women for His kingdom. Right now you are only maybe in chapter 3 or so of your story – there are many chapters to come. The most amazing victories start with times of great trial and difficulty so many times.

      Much love!

    3. Hi April. my husband was unjustly terminated from his job after 21 years. they offered it back to him,but he refused it and has another position,its a long story. he has so much bitterness.it is a huge establishment and they realized they were wrong but he is holding onto bitterness. I want so much for him to be free from this bondage. God is doing much in him. but I want to to help hi by telling him what to do,how to doit, and when… you get the picture lol.

      I have a deep down sensing that God is drawing him closer to Hi,self. i feel like i am just getting in the way yet my husband seems encouraged when I do speak with him eincouragingly about letting it go and forgive. he was wrongly accused of lying- he did not-they false evidense and they know it.his pride has been hurt as a man of integrity. I want so much for him to be free. Im not sure what Gods will is-to go to arbitration or let it go. but im pretty sure God can lead my husband without my input. flol- just not sure what to do or how to handle this.

      Thanks

      1. JustMe,

        Such a tough, tough situation for anyone to have to be in. 🙁 I can’t imagine how hurtful that would have been to your husband and how disrespectful that would have felt – being innocent and yet being accused and then terminated for something that was a lie. 🙁 VERY heartbreaking!

        I believe you can be a source of comfort, encouragement, honor, and blessing to your husband. He probably doesn’t need you to tell him what to do. But you can affirm that he is a man of integrity. The bitterness thing – if you have addressed it already – may be something that he will now need to wrestle with in prayer. If you have not addressed it yet, you could certainly pray and ask God to give you wisdom about what to say and how and when to say it. I pray God gives you wisdom, my sister!

        Much love to you!

  6. This message of focusing more on God, staying on the path He wants us on, keeps coming up for me in my life, and it is never more important than when we are facing extreme trials and hard situations! Great post and very good advice!!

    1. I think of Jesus’s words to Peter a lot… When Peter wanted to know what would happen to John… Jesus said, “What’s that to you? You follow me.”

      We get hurt and we want the other party to know how hurt we are, we’re tempted to take justice into our own hands by refusing to allow God’s redemptive and forgiving love to flow through us…. But God reminds His sheep… “Follow me.” “He knows, He knows… Every hurt and even sting, He has walked through suffering.” It’s not that He doesn’t understand our hurt or even not give us permission to feel it. He hurts when we hurt. He just knows that victory over it all will not come from a fleshly response but only as we allow His sacrificial love and life to flow through us again for the sake of others.

  7. Thank you for sharing this post! It is so much truth! How often put other wants before my relationship with God…and that is when the problems start! Our relationship with God is our number one responsibility….from that relationship…all things grow! Thank you!

  8. That was excellent! I too have been focusing on God more than my husband’s neglect and lack of emotional understanding. I have said to my husband the words “I need you to……” and then left it in God’s hands to be met knowing that I did verbalize them in love. My husband has often ignored my needs by saying “Why don’t you do it?” I just don’t answer that anymore. I let him know my needs and if he doesn’t fulfill them, I have decided not to complain, gripe or get upset. He cannot possibly fulfill all of my needs like God can anyway! I have decided to stop reading the bible this year. I know that sounds bad but I have changed. My new goal is to LISTEN to the bible in one year one book at a time on YouTube! I can hear a lot more, pause it when I want to and continue listening at any time I want.

    Thank you for helping us to be the Peaceful Wife.

    1. Terri,

      I knew God would bless so many wives through LMSdaily115’s story. So thankful she was willing to share from the trenches.

      I am so glad that you are expressing your needs, but then that you are seeking to find your needs met in Christ no matter what your husband does or does not do.

      would you like to talk a bit about what is going on? I am here if you would like to. 🙂

      Sounds like a great idea to listen to the Bible. 🙂 I have my children listen to it at night every night as they go to sleep. It is our source of truth and one of the biggest ways God communicates with us. It is our spiritual food.

      I am so thankful for what God is doing in your heart. 🙂

  9. Wow. My story also! 1/1/16 was a year when he said he wanted a divorce -mainly because of years of disrespect on my part. Thank you for the tangible ways on how you are only doing your responsiblilty. Plz pray for me in this feat as I continually fail and bring up how he’s treating me poorly. Prov 17 -” he who starts an argument loves SIN”. I will read this post daily. This is my goal to focus on my Jesus who has brought me this far:). Thank you!!!

    1. 1peter3:12,

      I pray that God will continue the good work He has begun in you for His glory! I pray for him to spiritually heal you, your husband, and your marraige and that He might use your story to bless many marriages in the future.

      Much love!

  10. Wow! What inspiring and blessed advice. My husband dropped the bomb this morning that he’s intending on filing for divorce and even took off his wedding ring. In my spirit I feel that it’s not over. May God help me to focus on everything other than our marriage, and in so doing, he might realise that he also has ‘issues’ he needs to work on and that they need to be addressed. May God bless you!

  11. My first comment is how I could have written so much of this post myself!!! And there are so many other women commenting the same thing. It’s so sad that there is so much brokenness in the world, even in Christian marriages like my own and apparently so many others. 🙁

    I think when people get married they have no clue about what’s to come. We wear a white wedding dress to look like a princess, we write these amazing vows (I just re-read the ones my husband and I wrote to each other…) but….

    I love this quote: “At this point, my advice is to stop focusing on your problem marriage and focus on your God.” Reminds me of Seeking first His Kingdom. I’ve been doing that, and it’s so wonderful! I can honestly say I’ve learned so much from this horrible struggle. I’ve learned about myself, how I need healthy boundaries so I’m not torn up by his constant criticism, how I should have been less controlling and expected less from him.

    Also this quote: “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 so relate! Unfortunately, the man I chose to marry had a very difficult childhood and has many many hurts from that, and a history of depression – all of which happened before he met me. But now he thinks I’m the source of his problems. I have empathy for him because it’s not his fault that he has all these wounds from childhood. But when he carries that shame with him, and then passes it to me through constant criticism and narcissism, and demands I apologize for his feelings…. I just can’t do that.

    Marriage is a life-long covenant! Why are premarital classes so weak!!?? I committed my entire life to a depressed person who blames all his problems on other people! And now I’m stuck. I feel so trapped!

    But then I have moments where God gives me incredible strength and renewed commitment to fighting for my marriage and refusing to look at marriage the world’s way, but to focus on God’s way. I love love love this blog April, you’ve been an absolutely incredible support for me. Your post on Becoming a godly wife for the RIGHT reasons (or something along those lines) is one I’ve read over and over again. It talks about how it doesn’t particularly matter how your husband feels about you right now – that’s something that God’s so capable of changing.

    But then I sometimes feel extra trapped, because I know God doesn’t recognize divorce, right? But if my husband insists on leaving and divorcing me, then must I continue to honor my covenant with him even if he legally ends it and marries someone else? It’s honorable and amazing how some people have stories of doing that and then actually getting marital restoration.

    But ok, back to focusing on God. He is GOOD. He is WISE. His plans are infinitely better than mine. And even though this is NOT in His will, He can use ANYTHING for good. One step at a time. Clinging to God. Please pray for us!

    1. Thank you brokenbutgrowing!

      Very wise words and how wonderful how God is leading you along
      Thank you for all those reminders.
      His storm is his storm. I can’t fix his past hurts that HE decides to hold on to.
      Yor comment is very encouraging to me cuz I’m with you in the same boat.
      God is Sooo faithful and he is fighting for ur marriage.

      1. Thank you Loved by Him – I’m encouraged that you found my comment encouraging. 🙂 And I’m so sorry to hear you’re in the same boat as I am. 🙁 But once again so glad that you love God and are close enough to get comfort from Him.

    2. BrokenbutGrowing,

      Thank you so much for sharing. I know your story will be such an encouragement to many other wives. 🙂

      There is debate among believers about what it means for a Christian if his/her spouse leaves. I Corinthians 6 talks about this. It says a believer is not bound if an unbeliever won’t stay. But what does that mean exactly? Does it just mean they are not bound to try to keep living with them, or that they are not bound to the marriage covenant and are free to remarry?

      In that same chapter, wives are told that they are not to leave their husbands, but if they do separate, they are to remain unmarried or to reunite with their husbands. I have done a good bit of reading about remarriage – and the whole subject is very confusing to me based on Scripture. It is difficult to find a lot of support for it. But it is possible there may be two exceptions – when a spouse is involved in infidelity or when a spouse abandons the other. I think this would be something a believer would need to study in great detail and most of all pray about. I don’t believe I have enough wisdom on this to be able to give a definite answer one way or the other. No one will answer to me, but only to God. Yes, God does sometimes bring about reconciliation and healing and miracles.

      I am praying for God’s continued healing and power to work in your life and in your husband’s life. I pray for healing for your marriage. And most of all for God’s greatest glory!

      Much love to you!

  12. Thank you April! So, a few months my husband initiated an “in-house” separation by moving to a different bedroom. And recently he’s been talking seriously about wanting a permanent separation. By God’s strength I’ve not been freaking out too much, but really clinging to God and His truths and promises.

    Here is my update:

    Yesterday my husband and I had a couple conversations that were pretty huge! He started off sharing that he doesn’t like any of our options. He doesn’t like divorce (and he gave multiple good reasons why!!!), but he doesn’t like staying either (he doesn’t think we “connect”, he can’t remember us ever having “good times”, he doesn’t have hope that he’d ever be fully satisfied in our marriage). I was encouraged that he’s really considering reconciliation! And I was so thankful to God for my response during the whole conversation! I didn’t jump in a gush about how I’m so relieved, or try to beg or urge or control his decision.

    Even when he asked (somewhat rhetorically?) if we’d ever had good times, I was very slow to answer. I did validate his hesitation by sharing that I can relate – name a spot in our house, and I can remember a fight we had there. I think that calmly communicated that I’m not wanting to get back to our OLD relationship either. What I really want (and him too I think) is a NEW relationship with each other where we’ve both healed and become whole ourselves first and foremost, and then that individual healing could compound in our marriage.

    I’m so encouraged to see how I’ve grown! During the conversation I practiced calmness, not freaking out, boundaries, validating, actively seeking to understand his perspective and where he’s coming from (LISTENING). Multiple times he even said things that were pretty… “rude”, if that’s the right word. I was going to say “hurtful”, but I’m learning that I don’t need to let his comments hurt me – I can have a good boundary, and remember that many of his comments and criticisms are about him more than they’re about me. For example, in a conversation last week I asked him (because it’s always good to ask questions when your husband wants you to understand him better) what he’s looking forward to about separation/divorce, and one of his answers was “dating”. Ouch, right!? But God totally helped me hear it! So last night I had a chance to share with him about some of my growth, and how although most wives would have a hard time hearing that, I was working to see through it to his need. I told him to correct me if I’m wrong, but the way I understand what he’s been telling me is that he really wants CONNECTION, with SOMEONE, and if that’s not going to be me then he wants it with someone else. While that could hurt to hear him say, I wanted to validate that wanting to connect is a good thing. He aggressively nodded.

    Unfortunately he has a lot of hurts from childhood and has never really been able to connect with ANYone. I’m a very social and empathetic and warm person who finds even deep connection pretty easy. But I empathize. What I believe is so wrong in his thinking is that _I_ am THEE problem, and if he could just find someone else then it’d be better.

    The truth is that he is quite depressed, has major childhood hurts (that he’s tried to address on his own but are still unresolved… I’m PRAYING he sees a therapist), has had major sleep issues the whole time I’ve known him, feels unfulfilled at work, feels like his life and potential is just wasting away, is almost constantly in pain from a headache or back ache or who know’s what, he has few to no friends (his isolation and lack of wisdom outside himself (other than books) pains me), and he’s not attending church anymore and (though I’m not the judge) doesn’t seem to be walking closely with God. And yes, marital dissatisfaction is also on that list and tied in. So he’s frequently “hopeless” about everything. I’m praying about how to approach him on the topic of addressing his depression head-on, but he’s gotten defensive in the past… I don’t think he’s in the space to hear certain things from me, no matter how true they are. I will keep focusing on me (growing me, clinging to God) and not worry about what will happen 5 steps down the road.

    ANYWAY, sorry so long, but back to the main thing I’m asking for prayer for: This very morning he ordered a book on Kindle about how to decide if you should leave your relationship or stay in it. !!! It’s obviously not Christian! It’s so disappointing to me that he would seek out a source like that, and some of the reviews on Amazon are very negative about a couple that has worked hard to make their marriage good but would have ended it a year ago if they’d read the book then. I know my husband is focused on figuring out this very important decision (work on our marriage or part ways), which is ok. But I’m concerned that he’s getting the voices of the WORLD into him and not God’s. I’m praying that God not let me fear his reading of this book, and the idea that my husband might decide he’d be happier without me. Honestly again, part of me does wish that I could be free from this covenant I made to him. But I must hope that someday he will seek God again and become the man God created him to be.

    1. BrokenbutGrowing,

      Wow!

      What God is doing in you is so amazing!!!! I LOVE the way He prompted you to handle those conversations with your husband. Those were some tough conversations, but I believe God may use the constructive way you handled it to maybe he’ll your husband see more clearly. I pray he will recognize that his dissatisfaction is a lack of Christ and only going to be healed by getting right with God. His deepest need is Jesus. Not divorce or dating. The issues he has will follow him wherever he goes.

      Praying for God’s wisdom for you and for you to abide in Christ and for God to draw your husband to Himself.

      Thank you SO much for sharing!

      Ladies, let’s surround BrokenbutGrowing and her husband with prayer!

    2. Thank u for this!!! i need to communicate that i dont want that old marriage back. Ive been trying to defend the past and make him see that it wasnt so bad and i was so caught up with the kids. You wrote- “I think that calmly communicated that I’m not wanting to get back to our OLD relationship either. What I really want (and him too I think) is a NEW relationship with each other where we’ve both healed and become whole ourselves first and foremost, and then that individual healing could compound in our marriage”
      Thank you for the eye opener! And honestly if ur hubby knows it or not– it sounds like you are the best friend he has:).

      1. Praying for you. Keep clinging to Jesus and praying you stay strong in those tough conversations. You are the only Jesus he’s seeing right now!
        I too pray that my husband would seek and find satisfaction in Jesus -not in other things! Thank you April for that comment. God is using this blog mightily!

        1. Loved by Him,

          I LOVE seeing the way God is working in so many lives here. What an incredible blessing and honor to get to witness His kingdom coming into the hearts and lives of so many people. Please pray His Spirit might continue to fall and reign here and that we might each be receptive to all that He desires to show us and teach us!

  13. To the original writer of this blog entry: I just want to acknowledge again what a great work God is doing in you! My heart hurts for you since I can relate.

    I wanted to say that I love this quote of yours: “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.” These are great examples of what I’m learning to do too. Just wish I knew all this at the beginning of our marriage.

    Lastly, I found this quote interesting: “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.” One of the things I’m in the process of figuring out is co-dependency and how much it may apply to me…. I just hope that you and I both can figure out, with God’s help and the help of this blog too, how to surrender and serve and give without it turning in to an unhealthy codependent relationship.

    April, do you have any insights on that? I just found some posts where you mention being close but not too close, and the idea of codependence. I guess for me, it’s the same old struggle of wanting very much to obey God in sticking with the marriage, but knowing that it can NOT be healthy if my husband is only wanting to reconcile if I change in x, y, z, q, p, r, ways, and yet not able to hear some ways I respectfully request him to change. Sure, he will hear some very mild ones, but any time I get close to his major brokenness he’s very defensive. Can I have some conditions of my own for ending our separation, or can only he have them? 🙁

    1. BrokenbutGrowing,

      Yes, I do have some posts on the issue of codependency. I talk about enmeshment, idolatry of our spouse, making someone else responsible for our happiness or emotions or spiritual growth, and about healthy boundaries vs control. I also talk about giving healthy space.

      You may search my home page for:

      Healthy vs unhealthy

      Control and boundaries

      People pleasing

      Manipulating with guilt

      Playing the martyr

      Insecurity

      Needy and clingy

      How to make your husband an idol

      I am responsible for myself emotionally

      I am responsible for myself spiritually

      Are we responsible for our spouse’s happiness?

      Space

      Closeness

      Space Paradox

      Enmeshed

      Boundaries

      Much love to you! 🙂

      1. BrokenbutGrowing,

        You asked about if you can have conditions for ending the separation? Of course you may. I pray God will give you wisdom about that.

        Perhaps this post might help – Should I Stay or Should I Go?

  14. Hello,
    This is my first time reading your blog and until this past weekend I would’ve never been open to reading something like this. But after 6 years of a pretty good marriage this weekend things just blew up and my husband has refused to acknowledge me. The worst part is he’s trying to keep me away from our 4 year old son. In his mind I don’t want to be a wife or a mother so he’s going to handle it all. I normally take our son to school and this morning he tried to take him away from me but I had to dig my feet in and do it because yes I am going to give my husband space but NOT at the expense of me not being with my son. That’s the part that’s bothering me the most. Like many others on here I am a fixer-and that’s probably what’s caused the problems. So, I’m going to take the advice here and simply pray harder and expect God to handle my husband because I can’t do it. I’m praying for wisdom and guidance on how to handle the issue with our child though…

  15. Thank you so much sweet sister for sharing. This is exactly where I’m at. When I began this journey my motivation was to fix my marriage, be the best wife ever, it was never just to live for God even though I thought it was. Or convinced myself I was. Lately though I’ve realized how much of a mess we can make in trying to take everything into our own hands and have been just seeking God and trying to focus on only pleasing Him. My husband right now is in a similar state, dealing with his own hurt that He needs healing from through Christ but I no longer feel like that is my responsibility. My relationship with God is though and I feel such a peace in my heart when I focus only on my walk with Him and don’t strive every day in my own power to be the best wife ever. This blog Is such a blessing to me.

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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