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A Divorce and Reconciliation Story – by the Restored Wife

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My book, The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord, is on sale on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Google Play (the Kindle version) for $1.99 through next Monday!

Please check it out, and do an honest review if you get a chance. That would be awesome!

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A guest post by a new guest contributor, The Restored Wife:

Very few people who know me in real life realize that my “husband” and I are actually divorced and have been for years. I’d like to share our story as an example of God using even the biggest human failures for His glory.

It’s not eloquent or pretty or any of the things I think a testimony should be, but it’s proof we serve a God who can execute His perfect plan even when we do everything possible to get in the way. I hope some of you will find encouragement in our story.

Summer 2006.

I was fresh out of graduate school, looking desperately for a job in my field, and stressed isn’t a strong enough word for where we were as a couple. We’d stretched to make ends meet on a single salary for four years of marriage, but our small family was in major financial trouble. Any attempt at conversation meant risking a fight. We were young parents who barely had enough money to buy groceries after paying our bills. We blamed each other. We made horrible choices about how to spend our (limited) income. We disagreed about nearly everything, but especially about how to climb out of the hole we’d dug for ourselves.

After several months of applying for jobs with zero interviews or offers, I started feeling hopeless. I could tell my husband resented me as I sat home each day while he went to work on night shift. If I could just find a job, our financial burdens would finally become manageable. But since nothing I tried was working, our money problems became my fault in both of our minds. We began discussing bankruptcy, and I remember thinking it couldn’t get much worse.

Then I found out my husband was having an affair.

I won’t dwell on this part of our story because, even though it’s one of the most significant events in my life, it pales in comparison to the part I really want to tell you. I’ll summarize the fallout of the affair by saying it utterly destroyed me. It changed my demeanor, my self-esteem, and my ability to trust other people. At that point, I was completely unable to see my contributions to our problems.

My husband cheated on me. The worst thing a spouse could possibly do. What else mattered?

The devil used those thoughts to hold me captive – I was angry with my husband, angry with God, and angry at the world. I wore my anger and grief like a badge. I was going to remind my husband, every single day, how I felt about what he’d done. No amount of remorse or apology could stop my rage. There was nothing he could do to fix this. He created the mess so he could deal with the consequences.

As for my relationship with God?

In my mind, He allowed this to happen to me, so how could I trust Him? How could I trust anyone? I continued attending church, but I did so almost out of spite. I was going to show everyone, including God, that I could handle things on my own. Never again would I put myself in a position to be hurt or betrayed. I was going to be just fine.

2006-2013

We made many efforts to move past what happened, but I couldn’t let it go. My husband eventually gave up attending church altogether. Looking back now, I die a little inside thinking about what kind of prayers he might have been praying and how defeating it must have been to see no change in my behavior.

My husband’s indifference convinced me I was right not to trust him. By the fall of 2009, I had managed to harden my heart enough to think divorce was the best option for us. Once the divorce was final, neither of us had much luck moving on with our lives. We still didn’t know how to fix what we’d broken, but we tried (and failed) over and over.

Summer 2013

After another nasty breakup followed by an “apart” period of several months, I realized I was being foolish. We had been together (for the most part) for 16 years at that point – clearly there was a reason we couldn’t completely give up on each other. I didn’t know how to trust him again, but I wanted to try.

Little did I know, my husband was at the end of his rope where I was concerned, and he had started seeing someone else. I can only imagine how he felt when I came to him and suggested we try to work things out yet again. He wasn’t honest with me – I’m sure he was terrified of unleashing my fury again – and we cautiously began “dating” even though he was still involved (unbeknownst to me) in another relationship.

As you can guess, eventually this other relationship came to light. The similarities to his affair during our marriage were staggering, and the feelings of betrayal were even worse the second time around. I can only describe this time in my life by saying I had a complete nervous breakdown. Even now, it’s difficult for me to think back to the despair and utter brokenness I felt.

For the first time, I started to recognize how some of my own attitudes and behaviors might have affected my husband, and my mind couldn’t handle the idea that, even though he acted wrongly toward me, I was responsible, too.

One night I left home and drove to the middle of nowhere with every intention of ending my life.

I don’t say that lightly or to seem dramatic – I truly believed my husband, our son, and the rest of my family would be better off without me. My mind raced with feelings of guilt, shame, pain, and hopelessness. It was in that moment, when I’d exhausted all other options and saw no way out, that I let go of my pride and arrogance long enough to hear God’s voice for the first time in many years.

Picture this:

I’m sitting in my car in the woods. I’ve made an awful decision, but it’s the only one that makes sense to me. The devil has convinced me that all of this is my fault, that I’ve gone too far to turn back now. No one will have any peace as long as I’m alive, and there is no one to turn to for help. There is literally no lower point to reach; no “rock bottom” beyond where I’m sitting at that moment.

As clear as day, I heard someone shout “STOP!”

It sounds crazy, but I didn’t just hear this in my head – I heard it with my ears. I looked all around me, truly expecting to see someone standing next to my car. When I saw no one there, I started shaking all over. I heard the same voice again: “Go home. This is the beginning, not the end.”

I had never been so terrified in all my life. This is the sort of thing that happens in movies, not in reality! Yet I started the car and headed home, sobbing the entire time I drove. Before I even made it into the house, I fell on my face in the garage and cried out to God. I wasn’t sure whether He would even hear me or care, but I didn’t know what else to do. My mind was flooded with an overwhelming picture of the life I’d been living.

  • When was the last time I’d even prayed? How long had I been shunning the only source of hope any one of us has? How had things gotten this bad?

I’m not sure how many hours I spent praying that night. Honestly, I’m not sure whether my prayers were even coherent. (Thank God they don’t have to be!) I felt the strongest urge to write down what I was thinking and feeling, so I wrote page after page in a notebook. As I scribbled, I felt my Father’s hand on mine, guiding me toward the truths I’d ignored for so long. In my selfish, sinful quest to take control and protect myself from everything, I’d succeeded only in becoming bitter, isolated, unforgiving, and miserable.

Hosea and a Blog

Over the next few days, I continued journaling and praying. I realized I had no idea what a Godly marriage even looked like. How could I take responsibility for my part of this disaster if I didn’t even know what God expected from me? I searched online for Bible verses about marriage and God’s purpose for marriage. It was then that God led me to April’s blog, then to the book of Hosea for the first time.

As I read through Hosea, I understood what God wanted me to learn. You need to forgive your husband for what he did. You need to seek reconciliation with him.

“Not that, Lord,” I insisted. “There’s too much pain and hurt. Hosea and Gomer lived in a totally different world – things worked differently back then.” I didn’t want anything to do with my husband – he’d proven more than once that he couldn’t be faithful to me! I’d said so many hurtful things, and he deserved to hear every one of them. There was no more hope for us; I wanted God’s help to move on, not to jump back into the fire.

Still the thoughts came, unrelenting. “You need to pursue reconciliation, even if he isn’t interested. You have to forgive him. It doesn’t matter if he deserves it – forgiveness is not conditional.” I prayed constantly – I even prayed for those thoughts to go away! But after days without reprieve, I knew it was time to stop arguing.

My hands shook as I prepared an email to send to my husband. We hadn’t spoken in several days. I had no idea what he was thinking but I had a feeling it wasn’t good. To make a very long story as short as possible, God provided me with exactly the words to say. We talked on the phone, and he made a decision the next day to jump right along with me, both of us without a parachute – to try one more time to start fresh and get it right.

I’d love to say we lived happily ever after, but we all know life doesn’t work that way.

The challenges we faced were enormous. My husband felt led to leave his career (a move I was thrilled with, since his betrayals had involved coworkers) but that meant he had to depend on me temporarily to meet the financial needs of our family. Given the fact that our marital problems stemmed from money issues, combined with the belief that a man should provide, this was nearly impossible for him to do.

At the same time, I was struggling to give up my control issues and let God lead the way, yet I was placed in the authoritative position of controlling our finances. I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t a struggle for me. Can you see how God provided us with exactly what we needed in that moment? We couldn’t trust each other, so we were forced to trust God instead. Looking back now, I am so overwhelmed with His planning and timing. No matter how far I’d run away from Him, He knew me better than I knew myself, and He knew what lessons I needed most.

A few months into our attempt to reconcile, things were awful. We fought nearly every night, often into the early morning hours. We were attending faith-based counseling, but both of us dreaded the appointments because we knew we would verbally duke it out for hours afterward. I didn’t understand why God would lead us right back where we were before our divorce – I signed up for a miracle, not a disaster!

Again, God nudged me toward the book of Hosea. When I’d originally read through it, I focused on my relationship with my husband and the parallels between Hosea’s story and my own. This time, though, God wanted me to look more closely inward and to put myself in Israel’s shoes.

I’d become so obsessed with fighting for my marriage, I failed to pursue God first. I was making an idol out of my marriage and expecting my husband to meet all my needs (issues that had existed early in our marriage as well) instead of truly trusting the Lord to take care of me.

I was closer to God than I’d ever been in my Christian life, yet I was still light years away from where He wanted me to be. The prayer from months earlier echoed in my mind – I had asked Him to change me, but I wasn’t allowing myself to be changed completely. I was still holding onto the past.

Hosea took on a completely different meaning for me once I gained this new perspective. I began to understand that, despite my repeated failures as a child of God, a wife, a mother, and a human being, I still had worth in God’s eyes. He still loved me and wanted me to find peace, but in the right way. And if I stopped fighting and gave myself over to Him completely, everything else would fall into place.

Early 2016

It’s finally happening – my relationship with my husband has been restored and we will be remarried on March 1, 14 years after we originally promised ourselves to each other. We’ve come so far in the last few years with God’s help. We have learned that a marriage must have God front and center, and we move closer to each other every day as we both move closer to Him.

Our lives are far from perfect. We still argue, and we still tend to fall back into old patterns at times. Arguments have become much different for us since I began to learn to submit and be respectful; I probably should have used the word “disagreements” instead. We have differences of opinion and different approaches to problems, but we’ve learned a lot about listening, valuing each other’s perspectives, and talking out the issues we don’t agree on. It’s vastly different from the days of shouting at each other or storming out of the room! He knows he has the final say in any decisions about our family, but he does ask what I think, especially when he can tell I don’t agree. Some of our best conversations have stemmed from these discussions and I’m thankful that he values my opinions. We are learning so much and meeting so many great role models for a healthy marriage now that we’re actively seeking it out.

We are still figuring out how to undo years of damage and trust God first. However, we also understand that perfection isn’t the goal – we are never going to reach it no matter how hard we try. Instead, we move forward with the knowledge that marriage means joining together two people who will not only hurt each other from time to time, but who will know the fastest, meanest, most painful ways to hurt each other. Without that vulnerability, there can be no intimacy – we accept the risks and love anyway because that’s what God calls us to do.

Walking back into a relationship where I anticipate conflict may sound strange after all we’ve been through, but I don’t need to seek a relationship where I will never be hurt or upset, because I already have one.

My heavenly Father loves me and wants the best for me even when I’m not particularly lovable and even though I can never be worthy of His love. He loves my husband just as much. The two of us will always fail each other in some way, but God’s love cannot and does not fail, and a marriage based on God’s plan will not fail because we choose each day to keep going, to keep forgiving.

As I said in the beginning, my testimony isn’t pretty. No one will make a movie about it or say, “Gee, I hope I have a relationship like that one day!” But my hope in sharing this story – even the ugly, shameful parts of it that make me cringe – is that others will realize it is never too late to seek God’s will for your life. God hasn’t called me to take on a leadership role, sing in a choir, or teach a Sunday School class, but He has called upon me to pursue Him above all else, to strive toward letting His light shine through me in all I do, and to let others know they are never too far away (no matter how hopeless things may seem) to come back home.

RELATED:

A Peaceful Separated Wife

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

A Peaceful Divorced Wife

God Stops a Wife’s Divorce Plans

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Don’t Wait! (Don’t wait to become a godly wife until your husband leaves, the sooner you can do this, the better!)

The Treasures of God in the Midst of a Great Storm

My Husband Wanted a Divorce

A Husband Teeters on the Edge of a Divorce

The Bible and Divorce

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If you have seen God do miracles in your marriage and you would like to share your story to encourage others, please feel free to share!

VIDEO:

A 2 Minute Introduction Video to the Topic of Men and Respect

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109 thoughts on “A Divorce and Reconciliation Story – by the Restored Wife

    1. I feel like this was written for me. Finding this site was god. He led me here because he is taking me to the next level. I began crying when you stated that you two remarried in March.

      I’ve been married 3 years next month. For 18 months was husband was unfaithful. He wanted to work things out. I agreed. I began going to church, counseling (together/own my own) and praying yet my heart was still distant from God. I was still relying on my own strength to control and repair the marriage. My husband did some things to make me feel suspicious. My gut said something was not right. I shared my concerns. My instincts were confirmed in April. He has gotten back into contact with his affair partner. It had began again 7 months prior.

      While I felt relieved to know the truth I knew I had to do something about it. I had to heal. I finally surrendered my marriage to God. My husband to God. I was on my way. After I confronted my husband (2 weeks ago) he stated he wanted a divorce. That he never truly felt we could get over the affair. That he didn’t want to put in the work to repair it. He was honest and I told him I would not contest the divorce. I told him I believed with God and getting the help we needed, we could finally get to the other side.

      I began praying. Asking God if I needed to remain in our current state or move back to my sister’s (in another state…which is what I wanted) Until then I would remain under the same roof until my next class was complete.

      A week ago God gave me an interview with an organization in my current state. I believe the position is mine. God will make it clear this week.

      While God is telling me that I am going to need to move out, I kept getting whispers that we may reconcile later. That God has to deal with my husband. I was torn hearing that whisper. On the one hand it would be great to reconcile later, but I know we would still need to deal with the issues….and I don’t want to deal with later after I’m on my own and healed myself.

      Maybe its my hope that we will reconcile years from now or it may be God. God will make it clear.

      In the meantime while we are under the same roof for the next 2 1/2 months, I must continue to love, respect and have compassion for him. I do still love him and know he loves me. One day he is avoiding me like the plague and the next conversing and showing attention and care. While its confusing I simply stay close to God and ask for his instructions.

  1. Wow! Thankyou for being so open and honest. I have tears and my heart breaks in parts of your story as I have felt that same pain. I’m also on that journey of letting go of all the bitterness, fear and unforgiveness and putting my complete trust in God. It is so worth it!
    So glad you were reconciled! Praise God! He truly does work miracles.

    1. Agreed! I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that God’s way is infinitely better than anything I could come up with on my own. By trying to protect myself, I missed out on some rich blessings! Prayers for you and your journey – it’s not an easy road, but it’s absolutely worth the struggle to get there.

  2. Thank you for sharing because when I read these stories I don’t feel so alone. Our stories have some very strong similarities. Two years ago I was finishing my masters degree when my marriage of 14 years at the time almost ended. I was unexpectedly pregnant with our 3rd child and finnishing my program when I found out my husband was involved with a coworker and was doing a bunch of other dishonest things. Things did eventually get better but it took awhile and tons of prayer. My husband also left his job and we both made major changes as we work on healing together and restoring trust. God bless you.

    1. Stories like these are so rare – it’s always reassuring (and a little depressing) to know others have been there. This isn’t something I talk about much in real life because people tend to form quick opinions without knowing the whole story, so the internet has been a great help to me in finding others on a journey to forgive. Prayers to you and your husband – we are nearly 10 years out from the affair now, but it still hurts deeply sometimes.

        1. I mentioned this in another comment, but I had to choose a day (the day he came back home in 2013, in our case) and draw a line there in my mind. I had to decide that anything that happened prior to that day was off the table – I had to let it go because God told me to forgive. It was our old life, our old way of doing things, and neither of us were holding up our end of the bargain. I couldn’t use his behaviors prior to that day against him any longer, just as I hoped he would do the same for me.

          The fallout of infidelity is often compared to PTSD, and many people are actually diagnosed with PTSD after a spouse is unfaithful. The intrusive thoughts can drive you absolutely mad. When those thoughts pop up, I literally go somewhere private and say to myself, “Focus on today. Focus on today. What is he saying and doing today?” Then I pray for the ability to leave the past where it belongs and to see all the good my husband does and is. Some days it’s like being a referee and it leaves me exhausted! The more I force my mind to go elsewhere, though, the less I struggle with the memories. It’s a very active way of redirecting; it’s definitely not something I can do automatically. But it helps so much.

          I have also made lists of my husband’s good qualities and the ways he has shown remorse for what he did, and sometimes I pull those out of my Bible and read them. Nothing I do now can change what happened then, so the only thing I know to do is to keep my mind on today. I can promise you it does get better with time. The things you think are glued in your brain forever will fade if you don’t allow them to take over your thought life. Bad memories will be replaced with good. All the places, people, and things that trigger your emotions now will eventually lose their power over you. Just don’t rush it! Keep praying and make a decision every morning that you will forgive him, even if it’s only for that day. And just keep going. Much love and hugs to you!

          1. Wow, therestoredwife, this is a very helpful comment. I struggle a LOT with letting go of the past.

            My husband and I have had a lot of ups and downs. I struggle with focusing on the “downs”. My husband has been praying, and growing, and I have been holding on to hurts and afraid to think positively.

            I’m trying to move forward and receive his love. I like your comment about this, and I like how you shared what you pray about, and I especially like how you admitted it isn’t easy. I’m not happy that it’s not easy for you, but it makes me feel like I’m not completely crazy because it’s not easy for me.

            I read your post today, and I admittedly was skimming the comments. My eyes fell on this comment from you. I don’t think that was a coincidence. Thank you for taking the time to share.

          2. Hi Becca,

            I’ve been a reader here for a long time, though I haven’t commented publicly. I often read your comments with interest because I see how your life experiences have made trust hard for you (something I can definitely relate to). One thing that really helped me was asking myself “What’s the worst thing that will happen if I let go of the past?” I think for me it was a fear that I wouldn’t guard myself against being hurt if I didn’t hold onto the negatives.

            In my case, though, I realized that wasn’t the kind of life God put me here to live. If I’m reacting out of fear and constantly worrying about what my husband might to do that will hurt me, I’m not trusting God to take care of me and keep me safe. Not perfect and never struggling, but safe. It’s so difficult to make that leap mentally if you’ve been in protection mode for a long time, but if you can get there with baby steps, it will be life changing. I pray for your situation often and have seen how far you’ve come – God is working in your life, I can tell!

          3. therestoredwife,
            Thank you so much for sharing your story. I could really relate to your response to Becca because letting go of the past is something that I struggle with so much. Even though I don’t bring up the topic (my husband had an emotional affair when I was pregnant with our daughter), I do fear that if I let it go completely, that I will be too vulnerable for the potential of it happening again. I’ve lived through my entire life being guarded due to my childhood and past relationships and when my husband had the affair, it almost solidified my fears and thoughts that I shouldn’t trust.
            My husband and I just ended a 7 month separation and I’m hoping and praying that things will only improve and our relationship can strenghten every day with God’s wisdom and guidance. Your story gives me hope and I’m grateful to God for restoring your marriage.

          4. Novembergirl,

            I’m so glad you are seeking God and wanting to heal.

            I think we somehow convince ourselves that we can guard our hearts from pain and be vulnerable and love someone and be fully invested in the relationship. I don’t think that is possible. I am not saying we should trust when trust has not been rebuilt. But I do think that it is impossible for us to be full of fear and to be the wives and women God calls us to be. If we are full of fear, that is not of God. Again, not that we have to fully trust sinful people, but we can fully trust God to empower us to handle things, even pain.

            The ironic thing is that, like Dr Phil says, “What I fear, I create.” When we react and respond in fear, we do not create a warm, inviting, safe atmosphere for others. We repel them.

            The way through this is not that we should completely trust all people – but that all of our trust should be in Jesus. We want a guarantee that we won’t get hurt. That is not possible. When we love sinful people, we will get hurt. But if we are filled to overflowing with Christ, He will be with us and will help us and will use it all for His glory.

            I hope this makes sense.

            Much love!

          5. I understand where you are – sometimes even now it’s hard for me to trust, because the devil is always nudging me – “What if you let your guard down and he does it again?” The thing is, if he truly wanted to do it again, nothing I do would stop him. I had to realize I had absolutely zero control of my husband’s actions – the more I tried to play detective and keep tabs on him, the more I realized it really wasn’t worth it. If he was planning to hurt me and I caught him, it would hurt just as much (if not more) to realize he only stopped because he was caught.

            Instead, when I’m feeling concerned or feeling that urge to check up on him, I pray and read my Bible. I trust God to lead me down the path I should be on, even if I don’t 100% trust my husband all the time. I know that, even if my husband had an affair tomorrow, I would make it through and be okay in the end. No, it’s not something I want to think about or experience ever again, but I have no doubt God would bring me through it. I could not tell you how many times I’ve prayed “God, I don’t trust him, but I trust you. Help me remember. Help me put my faith in you regardless of what he does.” As I’ve said a few times in the comments here, I make a decision every morning to forgive, even if only for that day or even that moment.

            Just as an example of how easy it is to worry… Last night we were sitting on the couch and I noticed my husband reading what looked like a text message on his phone. (Keep in mind, we have been remarried for a whopping 3 days.) The sender of the message was listed as “Amy” and my first thought was, “Lord, give me strength. Here we go again.” Then he laughed and showed me what he was reading – it was a screenshot of a text conversation from one of those “autocorrect” websites. How foolish I would have felt if I had accused him of doing something wrong! Even a decade later, the enemy still tries to hold my thought life captive and make me feel afraid.

            If you’re not ready to trust your husband yet, don’t! Put your trust in God and know that He has a wonderful plan for your life. If He is leading you to reconcile after separation, you both have an opportunity to create something infinitely better and more beautiful than before. Take responsibility for the things you can control, and allow God to work on your husband. I will pray for both of you – my marriage is proof that restoration is not only possible, but worth everything we went through to get to where we are. I never thought I’d say that but it’s true; I’d go through it all again (even the terrible parts) to have the life we live now instead of one we lived back then. Hugs to you!

          6. Thank you for the encouragement of someone who has been there. I hope today will be a better day for moving forward in all the ways you have said. I often need the same instruction over and over again. The thoughts seem to erase my memory of any good instruction. Thank you again!

          7. Thinking of those who are so hurt and wondering if they will always feel this way….I was in a really painful place last year just coming to grips with some reality in my marriage that I had been somewhat blinded to before. During that time, God brought my attention to the story of Joseph who suffered so much in his life. He ended up naming his sons Ephraim and Manassah. Of Ephraim, Joseph said the name was chosen because “God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering” and of Manassah “God has made me forget all my trouble”. A sermon by Charles Swindoll worded it something like this – “You’ve made me forget the sting of my hurt”.

            I can’t tell you how those words from God encouraged me and kept me going through that time. At first, I just heard the word from Him that He would make me fruitful in the land of my suffering (from a Chris Tomlin song “It is Well With My Soul”). The phrase stood out to me in that song and spoke to me. The suffering would not be in vain and there was a purpose to it. That was beautiful enough and then when God directed me to the story of Joseph through Charles Swindoll’s series on Joseph, I saw that that phrase came from his son’s names. So God met me in my pain with another beautiful promise – that yes, this time was painful and hard, but He would make me forget the sting of my pain and hurt.

            I wanted to encourage those of you who are in the dark, painful moments that God has a purpose in everything that He allows in our lives and I believe that as we trust in His love and good plans for us, He will bring us to a place like He has with the Restored Wife where the memories begin to fade and the hurt is no longer overwhelming. I think that the word bittersweet fits what I think it will be like. It will probably always hurt to some degree, but we will see with clearer vision the things God was doing during that time and we will be thankful for His perfect ways.

  3. Wow thank you so much for your honesty and testimony. I am in the same place you were at one time and wondering if we can ever work this marriage out to be reconciled. You have given me hope that it can happen if I turn it all over to God and keep trying. I have been in such a state of confusion as where God wants me to go from here. We are separated at the present time even though we see each other almost every day. You and I have many similarities in our story. Your testimony tells me to put all my trust in God and don’t give up. Thanks for leading me to the right path and keeping God first and then things will work out according to his plan. I’m glad you two were reconciled and may God continue to bless you always,

    1. Praying for you and your situation! It was so hard to reach a point where I was prepared to follow God’s lead, even if that meant walking away from my husband, but I had to stop carrying the burden. I was prepared for the possibility that my husband might not want to try again, and I know there have been times he has regretted it (especially in the beginning), but I was lucky to have the opportunity to forgive him – and to be forgiven! – and move forward.

      I know God has a plan for you no matter what happens! Trust Him even on the days when you feel like you can’t take another step, and He will reward your faithfulness. There is light at the end of this tunnel. 🙂

  4. I too am going through the same feelings and resistance to God. My husband is experiencing my lack of forgiveness and my fury while trying to lead me to Christ through all of the reconciliation process. I realize I need to look to Christ in all of these things. Still struggling but wanting to change.

    1. It’s so difficult to forgive, and my heart goes out to you. It sounds like you have a strong leader in your husband and he’s still making an effort, so that’s a huge plus! Learning to lean on God when you aren’t used to it is a huge challenge. I pray things improve in your situation.

      1. My husband has become a strong leader it seems almost overnight since the truth came out. It has been 2 years Jan. since I found out about the adultery and the extent of his deception and have been married 38 years. This is my second marriage where the first ended in adultery and desertion with him and a co-worker, but he was not a believer. My present husband was a believer he claims and the act was also with a co-worker. I am having to learn how to relate to my husband as I have been in denial and resistance ( for 38 years), and the habit to stonewall him is strong! I knew to some degree of the pornography use and lusting after other women all along but not the touching and physical and verbal pursuing. We are in a supportive and loving church and are under the supervision of the elders. Thank you for your encouragement!

        1. It’s amazing how little I’m tormented now by thoughts of my husband’s betrayals. I had to make a decision that the day he came back home is the first day that “counts” and I can’t let myself dwell on anything before that time. I pray often for the ability to let the past be the past, and to only hold him accountable for how he is treating me now. It hasn’t been easy, but the more I focus on today, the more I realize what a precious, wonderful (yet still human!) gift God gave me in my husband. He has made mistakes just as I have, but he is doing everything he can to make up for them now. I’m so glad to hear things are getting better for you and your husband – church family goes such a long way!

  5. One of my favorite things in this world is to hear of marriages being restored! Yippee! I cried tears of happiness when God told you to stop. The one thing I want to encourage you that helped change my marriage dramatically is to not argue at all. Years ago, I decided to no longer argue with my husband because it showed that I wasn’t being submissive to him or respecting him as the Word commands that we do. It takes 2 to argue. You be the one to stop throwing the kindling on the fire.

    I had to bite my tongue a lot at first. I asked Ken to help me in this area by pointing out whenever a discussion turned into a disagreement. It was usually when I was trying to force my opinion upon him instead of respecting his. Nothing good comes out of arguing.

    I encourage you to write down every single verse in the Word pertaining to quarreling, arguing, and conflict. You will see that it is not the ways of the Lord. He wants us to be peacemakers. We are transformed by renewing our mind with Truth so as you commit these verses to memory, you will no longer want to argue! Peace is a wonderful thing.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom! Arguments have become much different for us since I began to learn to submit and be respectful; I probably should have used the word “disagreements” instead. We have differences of opinion and different approaches to problems, but we’ve learned a lot about listening, valuing each other’s perspectives, and talking out the issues we don’t agree on. It’s vastly different from the days of shouting at each other or storming out of the room!

      He knows he has the final say in any decisions about our family, but he does ask what I think, especially when he can tell I don’t agree. Some of our best conversations have stemmed from these discussions and I’m thankful that he values my opinions. We are learning so much and meeting so many great role models for a healthy marriage now that we’re actively seeking it out. 🙂

  6. wow, my heart is breaking as this is the same my best friend is experiencing. i’ve been praying hard for my best friend to be able to to though with this kind of dilemma and i ask for your prayers too. they’re both christians, living together for the sake of their children, go to church together and this is a big question for me. are they just going to church for the same reason? – for their children????
    well how i wish my friend would go deeper to her relationship with God because i know this is the answer for every problem he has been facing for all these years. hope my prayer will be answered i HIs perfect time
    thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story because it inspires everyone no to lose hope in whatever situation he maybe in.

    God bless us all!

    1. Prayers for your friend! I’m not a huge fan of “faking it until you make it” but for me, continuing to attend church even when I was far away from God was part of what made it possible to come back to Him. Many people stop attending altogether and I’m thankful that something in me kept me going back despite not being ready to really hear what God was saying to me. Perhaps being there to hear the Word will touch your friend’s heart (and her husband’s) and give them the tools they need to mend things..

      1. yes sis, i agree with you because i was there in the same situation…just when i hear the gospel songs, my heart is breaking, tears about to fall because it was only me , my spouse and God who knew the situation we were going through until God revealed it to one of our pastors then, we had counseling.other members close to us started praying for us and it helped us to reconcile and restoration.

        thats what bothers me with my frienc is that they are showing to theiir church that everything is ok with them. no one knew that they had been separated for more than a decade but they just happen to be together for some time in a week just for the sake of their children.. it pains me so much to hear the stories behind from my best friend. i could not really believe such things happen where a couple stays together in one roof but not as “couple”. i pity her as she doesnt have a group in the church who could pray for them. they do not have support group who could encourage them and the most breaking is, they had gone afar from God.

        thank you for your prayers….need more of it!

  7. I am enjoying all of the interaction immensely. 🙂 If anyone desires me to respond specifically, please let me know. But I am so impressed with TheRestoredWife’s story and the way she is handling the comments. Such a blessing!

    What an incredible gift from God that we can share this bond and this road together as the Body of Christ. 🙂

  8. Oh wow. My heart aches and rejoices for you at the same time. Hosea seems to feature so much in reconciliation stories. It’s a challenging book.

    Thanks for writing this out for us to read and be encouraged by. I’m glad you listened to God’s voice to stop! I have considered suicide very seriously on two occasions. May God bless your marriage.

    Do you think that complete healing of these issues can happen? Or is there always an element of pain?

    1. I do believe it will be possible to heal completely. We’re not there yet, but we are miles from where we started. Sometimes I realize how much closer we would be now if I hadn’t held onto resentment and anger for so long, and it’s a bit frustrating, but that’s just the result of trying to do everything on our own instead of giving it over to God.

      It’s actually pretty seldom that I get hit with a wave of “oh wow, look what he did to me.” I’ve prayed long and hard that, when I do that, God will convict me of my own sins of disrespect, unforgiveness, and many others during that time and remind me that both of us were hurting.

      Your prayers are much appreciated! God has brought us so far through prayer and I take it very seriously. Prayers for your marriage as well – I don’t know your story by your username, but if you are reading here I’m guessing you may be working through some storms.

      1. Yes, some deep storms. Hosea challenged me seven years ago much the same way it challenged you and I’ve sought to draw my wife to Christ for this time. I have not been able to do this.

        There is much pain and rejection.

        1. I’m very sorry to hear that. I don’t know your wife or the details, but as a woman who ran far, far away from God, I just ask you not to give up on her yet. The fact that you’re here reading speaks volumes to me about how much you must be hurting and I will pray for both of you.

          I’ve come to believe very firmly that God uses the valleys in our lives to teach us something we need to learn and to shape us into the people we should be. Looking back, I wonder sometimes how I survived the pain, but I can tell you I would do it again if I knew the outcome would be what it is now. Not because my marriage has been restored, but because I have reached a point in my walk where I know I would have been fine even if my marriage hadn’t been restored. That kind of peace is something I’ve never experienced in my life until now but it has totally changed my perspective. I pray the same peace will cover you in your journey and that your marriage will become what God intended it to be.

          1. Thank you restored wife. I have held on for a long, long time and faced incredibly difficult opposition. By God’s grace I have made it this far but I honestly do not know how much longer I can go on.

            I have known the kind of peace that you talk about, sometimes for months on end, but it seems that the more peaceful I get the more the opposition increases. It is most difficult.

  9. That was truly amazing! Thank you for sharing. Do you have any articles about the disconnected husband? One who did not receive emotional support and affection as a child which means he does not initiate affection nor share needs and feelings?

    21 years married and I bought the book Married but Lonely. His number one love language is acts of service, mine is touch. I feel neglected emotionally, spiritually and physically yet I seek the Lord to fill me daily.

    Thank you! Your ministry has kept me safe from misery at times.

    Thank you, Terri

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    1. Hi Terri,

      I believe your comment might have been intended for April but I wanted to reach out regarding love languages. I remember feeling very upset when I realized my husband’s love language was acts of service (mine is words of affirmation) because I felt we would never be able to feel cared about in the ways that mattered most to us!

      At one point I challenged myself to complete Nina Roesner’s Respect Dare – it’s a wonderful book if you haven’t read it – and I decided to spend the month doing at least one act of service each day, even if my husband didn’t reciprocate with the words I so longed to hear. As I turned my focus toward what I could do to bless him, I decided I would do so because it’s what Jesus would do (and not expect anything in return).

      Earlier this month my husband posted a beautiful message on my Facebook page that brought tears to my eyes. Everything I longed to hear was there and I felt so loved and appreciated in that moment. But I also realized I felt loved and appreciated before he posted it. By putting my husband’s needs above my own, I was open to receive all the blessings I could ever want, and I’ve been able to accept his love as he shows it. It was tough to get to a point where I stopped worrying about what he was doing and only about my contributions to our marriage, but I have never regretted it.

    2. Terri,

      You are welcome to search my home page for:

      – distant husband
      – emotions husband
      – passive husband
      – introvert husband

      I believe you may find some helpful posts there. I think it is possible to learn to receive the way your husband does show love and experience that as love even if he doesn’t do as well with touch. It is difficult for someone who grew up without affection and without emotional support to learn to give those things. So sometimes it can be helpful instead of focusing on what I want from my husband that he is not giving me – to focus on what he is giving to me and being grateful for that and seeking to learn to meet his needs in ways that are meaningful to him.

      I also have posts that may be helpful if you search:

      – loneliness
      – lonely
      – discontentment
      – contentment
      – security

      At the time when I began this journey, Greg was VERY unplugged and distant from me. He barely looked at me. Didn’t want to be in the same room with me. Didn’t feel safe with me at all. Didn’t want to touch me and sure didn’t want to talk about feelings or be vulnerable.

      I used those times when he was so distant to learn to go to God with my needs, to study Scripture, to pray for God to change me, to focus on the things I was thankful for about Greg, to study masculinity, to study what it means to be a godly wife/woman. Those were the times I grew the most as I took my pain and loneliness to God and looked to Him to fill me up. I can relate to feeling neglected on all of those levels.

      I don’t feel neglected now – because God has changed us both so much. But if I was still looking to Greg to meet my deepest needs, I would still feel lonely now. Not sure if that makes sense. Even when God healed our marriage, I have to be sure I depend primarily on Christ, not on Greg, to meet my deepest needs. Then I am unshakable. Anything Greg gives me is great, but I am filled to overflowing whether Greg gives me anything or not.

      Much love to you!

  10. This was so inspiring. It takes great courage to be able to be so openly vulnerable here. Thank you for allowing us all to see how God is and has worked in your life and marriage. I have a renewed hope from your story as well. I pray that God keeps nurturing you both with His love and mercy. Thanks again.

  11. There must have been times when you just did not want to go back to your husband, yes? Is reconciliation always “required” by God in a marriage?

    1. Alex,

      Reconciliation is not a requirement. I Corinthians 7 allows a wife to remain separated from her husband or to return to him. But if a wife is being prompted by God to seek to reconcile, then she would, obviously, want to honor God and seek to do that. 🙂

    2. I definitely did not want to reconcile after finding out he had betrayed my trust a second time. At the time we divorced, I felt justified because he had committed adultery, but still I felt God urging me very strongly to be willing to try again even if my husband was unwilling. I think it was more about being obedient (versus trying to control the situation as I had in the past) than anything else. I had to take that step to have peace, and I feel very fortunate that it worked out the way it did.

  12. “…For the first time, I started to recognize how some of my own attitudes and behaviors might have affected my husband, and my mind couldn’t handle the idea that, even though he acted wrongly toward me, I was responsible, too…”

    I totally agree with this. I married a good husband. In my own life it was my own fault why my husband strayed in my marriage more than a decade ago because I did not support him. It was difficult for me to accept that I have pride – and he says that too because I disrespected him. I made excuses like I was abused by a past relationship, my family has a history of depression, I worry a lot, etc. I didn’t want to take accountability for my mistakes and most of all mys sins.

    “…I’d become so obsessed with fighting for my marriage, I failed to pursue God first. I was making an idol out of my marriage and expecting my husband to meet all my needs (issues that had existed early in our marriage as well) instead of truly trusting the Lord to take care of me…”

    Hi! Can you please further explain ‘making an idol out of marriage?’ Does this also mean putting husband first before God? I just want to know if maybe I’m also doing this in my married life. I’m still struggling after many years. Thank you.

    1. For me, it was a matter of expecting my husband to meet all my emotional needs. If I was unhappy, I blamed him for not doing something to make me happy. If I was stressed out, I blamed him for not helping me relieve my stress. By placing superhuman demands on him, I set him up to fail – there is no way he could control how I felt on any given day! As April mentioned, she has a large number of posts on this topic and they were very helpful to me when I learned I had disrespected my husband in this way.

  13. I want to extend a thank you to God our Father, the writer of this post, everyone who commented, & again to April for starting this blog.
    My husband & I have been separated for a little over 3 years. He lives here part time. He refuses to come back full time.
    He is not financially providing for us. He attends church every week, says he is a Christian & is insistent that he is doing nothing wrong.
    He has gone through 3 cars & 2 motorcycles in 3 years & is repeatedly spending a lot of money on things he wants. Often, he will not give any money towards a need we have (example:car repairs) & purchases a big item he wants within a week.
    I constantly pray for guidance from God.
    My husband is precious to me & loved. He is also hurting my heart so much.
    Today I feel God asking me to focus on what my husband IS doing to show me he loves me.
    I also struggle with the devil daily reminding me of all my husbands wrongs.
    Thank you sister warriors:-) May God our Father pour His grace & blessings on all of our marriages & families. In the name of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ.Amen!!!

    1. Financial stress is one of the worst kinds, in my opinion. I have been there and I know how hard it must be to hang in there when you feel money isn’t being spent in the best way. If you do a search for “finances” here on April’s blog, there are quite a few posts that may be helpful to you. Prayers that God will work in both your heart and your husband’s to point you toward His path for your family!

    2. In Christ Alone,

      Hmm… I think I am very confused about what is going on here. 🙁 Was there something that precipitated all of this? (the “part time separation” and the unwillingness to provide financially?) Are there any addictions or other unrepentant sins going on? Does he say why he can justify not providing for his family when he is able to do so (because not providing for his family, according to Scripture, is serious sin). Does he have any mental health issues? Sometimes a person who is literally manic in a medical sense might do things like this.

      Why is he there part time – have y’all talked about that? Do you have children?

      How have you been doing with all of this? How is your walk with Christ? Do you believe there is spiritual warfare going on?

      Do you have prayer warriors around you? How may we pray for you, our precious sister?

      Much love to you!

      April

    3. In Christ Alone,
      Thank you for answering my questions in more detail, my dear sister! I am not going to approve that comment so that it won’t be public.

      It seems to me that you are dealing with some rather serious issues. 🙁 Breaks my heart! I’m really glad to hear about your walk with God. I want to see your marriage be healed, my friend! I pray that God will provide the resources and the healing for you both and for the marriage.

      What spiritual support do you have right now? Do you have a Christian counselor you can trust?

      I can’t recall if I gave you this resource, http://www.leslievernick.com – but I do hope you will read some posts there and see what you think. Compare anything she or anyone else says to Scripture.

      It seems to me that it may be time to call in some reinforcements. Matthew 7:1-5 and Matthew 18:15-17 contain God’s pattern for us to handle situations where we are being mistreated and sinned against. If he is not responding to you, I do think you may need some godly help to talk with him along with you from what you are describing.

      I pray for God’s wisdom and power for you. I am here whenever you want to talk or need prayer. 🙂

      Much love and the biggest hug to you!

      1. April,
        Thank you for your reply & thank you for the hug!!! : ) It was very much needed : ) : )
        Thank you also for your wise decision to keep my reply private : )
        I want to comment on Leslie Vernick. Please keep this reply private also if needed.
        When you pointed me to her site, you said(& always remind us) to weigh all things against scripture.
        The videos on the site for her book are helpful. They are reminders that my husbands behaviors, decisions & words are indeed hurtful, neglectful & sometimes manipulating. I need this reminder from time to time because I feel like I am shouldering so much of the maintenance of our marriage.
        It is also super helpful to hear someone say that God does not like my husbands hurtful behaviors.
        However, after listening to more of her U -Tube videos and reading some of her blog, I feel troubled. I am left with a bad feeling. I see too much worldly thinking & not enough of the Bible.
        Some of her videos & her blog remind me of the non Biblical sites(& advice) out there. It seems to encourage people to leave their marriage & paints the abusive spouse in a negative way only.
        On her blog, people comment about how happy they are after they left their troubled marriages.
        I can tell you firsthand that is not true. Getting away from the bad behavior is good but nothing prepares you for the devastation of your husband(your rock, your leader) not coming home from work to you every night. Nothing prepares you for the loss of your family.
        I see so much of the Bible & fruit of the Holy Spirit on your blog.
        Your blog has been so helpful to me.I have seen so many positive results in the way I see my husband, in my respect for him(even though his actions may hurt me),in our communication & in the way I respond to him & our problems.
        The wordly view only says you have the right to be angry & to leave your husband. Period.
        Right now my only trust is in The Word.(The Bible) Thank you for staying true to it even when the message is difficult or unpopular.
        -Your sister in Christ : )

        1. In Christ Alone,

          You are most welcome! I think it is okay to not have this one private, if that is okay with you. 🙂

          I have read a few of her posts. Not all. There is a danger when we read about things that are geared toward those with really severe situations – that there will be a slant toward encouraging women to leave their marriages. There are certainly times when that is necessary. Of course, there are also times when it is not necessary. This will require God’s Spirit and His wisdom and that we are listening to His prompting. Ultimately, He is the only one who really knows what is best for each of us in each situation.

          Thank you for sharing your concerns. I appreciate and respect what you are saying. You are most welcome here. Sometimes people criticize me for not having enough information for women who are truly being abused and mistreated. Some people think I am saying women should just “stay and take abuse.” That is NOT what I say or think at all! I don’t want anyone to be sinned against. But I sure don’t want people to be severely sinned against.

          I pray for God’s clarity and wisdom and for the power of His Spirit to direct you. I pray for His resources and discernment. I pray for His healing for you both and I pray against the enemy’s plans and schemes to steal, kill, and destroy in your family and in your marriage. I pray you will yield completely to Christ and that the floodgates of heaven might open to bring His healing to your husband, marriage, and children, as well, my dear sister!

          Much love!
          April

  14. Thank you so much for being so vulnerable with your life and story so that God is glorified and lifted up!! I know God is calling me towards sharing all He has done in our marriage one day too – and this gives me courage. I am afraid I will throw up the whole time I have to talk about the awful parts! But people have to see some of the real, lowest, awful parts to see His power and goodness and healing and amazingness!
    I LOVE how God spoke to you so clearly when you were about to totally give up and give into Satan’s plan. He is so so good to us! Thank you so very much. Praising God with you! Hearing testimony of the Church is the best!

    1. I’ve felt strongly for the last few months that I needed to share our story – I just didn’t know where, how, or with whom. My husband was very supportive and read through what I wrote to make sure there was nothing he wanted me to omit or edit – I had to leave out a lot to keep from writing a book, but I also didn’t want to include anything that made him feel disrespected or hurt.

      It has been nearly a decade since our nightmare began, and before now there is no way I could have shared. It was still too fresh and too painful, and I couldn’t have approached the story from the other side. For many months since he came back home, we didn’t know where God was leading us or why. Now we have seen enough of His plan (at least for now) to understand how all the things in our past brought us here.

      When the time is right, you’ll know, and I will look forward to the day when you are ready to share. The world needs more stories like ours; it’s easy to say God is in control when everything is going well, but so powerful when others hear that He alone can pull us from the depths of our despair when our trials are too much to endure.

  15. Hi April. I have been with you for not quite a year and I am learning so much.Thank you. -my born again husabnd of 27 years and father of our four adult children. called me tonight. His mother has benn in the hosital for over a month. I have gone up to help – my fatherinlaw is ill.so it is hard. My husbands brother called him ( first time in years and years) and completely tore into my husband for not putting our life on hold like all the rest of the family to go up to help.my husband is working 60hr.weeks as at his job they are short engineers.we have just put our second eldest into college 2 hrs away. our 2 youngest are in last years of high school. I have just recent stopped working due to breathing issues- I had a housecleaning business for years. we do the best we can = we are the only ones in the family of his sibling that still have kids at home.we hardly see my husband due to his work. after his brother called and completely guilted and shamed him- my husband called to tell me about it. then he began to feed into the guilt and shame his brother laid on him. putting our family decisions that he and I made together .down as if his mom getting better was totally dependent upon him going to help his dad.he was very angry and hurtful.he hung up and I was left crying and feeling very rejected again.as i always feel when it comes to his family vs. us(me and our children). he left years ago upon the advice of his dad( a minister) while I was pregant with our fourth child. my husband has always had an anger problem and i have always fed into the lies he speaks and defended myself-.Here is why I emailing you. I realize 2 nite that I have a real fear of rejection and it always overcomes me whenever there are issues with his family. I love them as my own family but I dont like how they try to control my husband. He is such an amazing man. he is smart- can fix anything. a joker. a loving husband… so much of God in him but..i dont think he loves himself- shame and guilt from his past sins. i know he has taken it to God. but sometimes I really wander if he has received Gods complete forgiveness?.then when issues like this arise he defaults back to his before Jesus ways and trys to blame me and everyone else becuase he feels guilty for not being there for his parents ect….I am afraid he will give in to his brothers wrongful accusations( his brother is a real drinker and very insecure himself) and turn our life upside down- then im afraid of these old feeling rising up in me – rejection…along with my hormones-Im 51. and so much going on in our life..I want God to do what He need to do in me. its like standing at the edge of the grand canyon and opening wide my arms and letting myself fall forward-eyes closed-haveing to trust My Father in heaven to catch me or give me wings but not knowing which at that exact moment as I fall. for the first time tonight, I really want to completely let go to God even these years old hurts. please pray with me and for me. and my dear husband. I believe that God is doing a work in both of us that our human eyes cannot see.but I need some encouragement from sisters who are walking this same kind of road.Thank you

    1. Hi, justme. 🙂

      I wanted to pray for you now….

      Father, thank you for loving this child of Yours and holding her in Your care. Thank you that you are never going to leave her or forsake her, that there is nothing she could do that would cause you to abandon her. Thank you for Your love that is so great and fulfills all of our longings.

      You know every detail of her story, You know all of her hurts, fears, disappointments. You also know all of the beautiful qualities and gifts that You have given her. I pray, God, that she would feel Your presence and know that You are safe to turn to, that she can pour out her heart to You – all of the feelings that she feels, you can handle. I pray that she would know that the safest place she can be is in You and she is already there in Christ.

      Father, encourage this sister today, I pray. Be the lifter of her head and give her hope. Give her wisdom for her unique situation and circumstances and enable her to rest in Your love. Help her to be still and know that you are God – nothing is out of place, nothing is chaotic, even though it feels like it. You have it all under control and You will use all these things for good in her life.

      Thank you, Father, that we can come boldly before Your throne and ask for these things because of Jesus and what He has done for us. We are accepted completely, we are forgiven completely, and we are dependent on You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

      1. Thank you so much for your sincere prayer.I am so thankful you shared. You have blessed me today with words that went straight to my heart and I know it is from our heavenly Fathers’ heart. Bless you Jennifer.take care

  16. Very beautiful story where God is glorified. Thank you for sharing.

    My husband had an emotional affair with a student (he is a professor at an University); and I think he still continues to see her sometimes. He is an unbeliever. Ones he seems nice, other times cold as ice. My main focus is to not let this interfere with saving our marriage. Without God I would be nowhere now. I thank God who gives me strength to continue.

    I will read Hosea.

    I’m so happy for you and your husband, Restored wife. I will celebrate your marriage on March 1. God bless you both !

    1. So sorry for your pain, Ev. I definitely encourage you to seek out resources if he is still actively involved in the affair – emotional or not, it is still a betrayal and you have every right to be hurt. You can find some great info at http://www.divorcebusting.com/ – the info about doing a “180” was particularly helpful for me when the affair was still going on. Many hugs to you, and I will pray for your marriage to be restored!

      1. To therestoredwife,

        I read your story with great interest.

        Now, I’m not trying to pick a fight, or name-call, be argumentative or otherwise cast blame anywhere. I do have a question, however.

        In this reply to “Ev,” you state that she has “every right to be hurt.”

        Do we really, as humans (men or women) have the “right to be hurt”? What does it mean to “be hurt”? My sense of it is that the idea of being “hurt” includes some level of angst or something that is directed toward the person who hurt us, something that is unGodly.

        I mean, I think about Christ — the Creator of all, whose created beings not only rejected Him over and over again until the awful death on the cross.

        I suppose, in the mind of a human, He had “every right to be hurt,” yes? But did He? Or, perhaps more importantly, was He?

        There is, of course, the passage (Luke 13:34) where Christ laments: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!” Does this passage describe being “hurt”?

        My pondering here is simply about whether or not anyone has “every right to be hurt.”

        What do you think?

        I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this.

        Thank you.

        1. Reggie,

          A few thoughts…
          I’m sure The Restored Wife will also respond. But – I do want to point out that sin is hurtful. Sin grieves God’s heart, certainly. And it was extremely costly to Him to take care of our sin. It cost Him everything. There is such a thing as righteous anger. When we are sinned against or we see someone sinned against, we are right to feel wronged by sin or to be unhappy or grieved by sin. But then the question is, what do we do with that pain? Do we let ourselves go into sinful anger, bitterness, resentment, revenge, hatred, etc… or do we choose to forgive in the power of God and choose to respond in the power of God without sinning in response? Of course, we may forgive, but that does not mean we must trust someone who is in unrepentant sin. Trust will need to be rebuilt.

          In Christ, we die to our old sinful selves and this world. We no longer hold onto “our rights.” But rather, we seek to live for Christ and for the glory of God. So we don’t hold onto “our right” to be hurt, but trust God to take revenge if revenge is necessary. And we pray for those who mistreat us and despitefully use us or who persecute us, that they might find healing and wholeness in Christ (Romans 12:17-21).

          Thanks for the important discussion!

          In Him,

          April

          1. April,

            Thank you for your gentle and passionate response.

            You made an interesting statement: “We no longer hold onto ‘our rights.'”

            I would agree with this. But my question is the same: Do we have the right to be hurt? I know it must sound like a semantical question, but your own sentence plays into this idea.

            If what you have said is correct, then the answer to my question would be “no.” But surely that won’t sit well with some of us, myself included.

            Another thing you said was instructive: “…what do we do with that pain?”

            Indeed! (Or maybe we could substitute “hurt” for “pain”?)

            Is being “hurt” an act of the will? If so, then perhaps “being hurt” is actually a sin. If not, then it must be a purely reflexive and uncontrollable reaction, yes? But then, is this also not an unbiblical response to others’ actions towards us?

            I don’t know. I’m just asking the questions, and appreciating whatever insights you and others can provide.

            Thank you!

          2. Reggie,

            There are ways to feel pain when we are sinned against that are not sinful. If God can be grieved over sin and not sin, we can certainly hate sin and hate the destruction it causes, and be sad over the tragedy and results of sin in our lives, our families, and this world. I am deeply grieved over the sin of our nation, for instance. I don’t see where God commands us not to feel hurt or not to feel pain when we are sinned against or when He is sinned against, in fact, I think we are right to hurt over things that hurt God.

            There is a godly kind of being hurt and grieved. And there is a worldly kind of being hurt and grieved. We want to be grieved in the Spirit of God, not in the flesh. Does that make sense?

            Forgiveness is about that we are hurt. That we are owed a debt and we choose to release the debt someone owes us.

            Much love in Christ!

          3. I meant to write “an unbiblical response” instead of “a biblical response” in the third-to-last paragraph. Sorry about that. 🙂

        2. Hi Reggie,

          Feeling hurt when someone wrongs you is a normal human emotion. What you do with those feelings is an entirely different matter. (I just saw April’s response in my email and see that we are replying along the same vein, so I’ll keep this short).

          When I discovered my husband’s infidelity, I was hurt. When the affair was still going on month later and he showed no intent to end it, I experienced hurt on a greater level. At that time, I responded in a sinful way – with anger and bitterness, as April mentioned. When I was convicted of this sin, I had to ask myself whether I was justified in it, and of course I found that I was not. I have confessed those sins and thankfully God is merciful even when we can’t possibly deserve mercy. That said, until the affair ended and my husband was remorseful for what he had done, it was impossible to move forward or begin the long process of forgiveness and rebuilding trust.

          1. “That said, until the affair ended and my husband was remorseful for what he had done, it was impossible to move forward or begin the long process of forgiveness and rebuilding trust.”

            Again, trying to not ruffle feathers here, but why was it “impossible to…begin the long process of forgiveness…..” prior to your husband’s being remorseful and ending of the affair?

            To me, that appears unbiblical, as forgiveness is extended regardless of what the other person might do with it or without them even knowing it, is it not? My thought — perhaps an erroneous one — would be that your forgiveness of your husband could not begin because the hurt got in the way.

            So, I’m thinking that “being hurt” is not a “right.” I would agree with your (both of you) assessment that it’s what we do with the “hurt” (or anger, depression, etc.) that matters. And I don’t think anyone could or would try to make a Biblical case for being angry — another “normal human emotion” — except for “righteous anger,” which, by the way, really needs to be defined.

            My overall point is two-fold: 1) “being hurt” appears to me to not be a right. It may be a “normal human emotion,” but it’s not a right…just as anger, envy, lust, etc. can each be considered a “normal human emotion”; 2) by conferring on ourselves such a “right,” I think we, by extension, try to give ourselves the “right” to do unbiblical things that are based on the parent “right,” that being “hurt.” We use the “hurt” to justify other actions, some of which, I suppose, might actually be Biblical but not necessarily helpful to the situation at hand.

            If what April says is correct, that “We no longer hold onto our rights,” then, well, ’nuff said.

            Anyway, sorry to go on and on, but your story has really generated in me some heartfelt inner conversations. Getting this question out there is helping me to understand what qualifies as Biblical thoughts, emotions and/or actions.

            Thanks, and God bless you both.

          2. Hi Reggie,

            I really appreciate the food for thought. I was a licensed (secular) therapist for 7 years prior to a career change in 2011, so sometimes it’s nice to compare my faith what may be inadvertent “therapy talk” on my part.

            I was trying to convey to Ev that her husband’s betrayal is, in fact, a betrayal; many couples I worked with in the past seemed to think an emotional affair isn’t “as bad” as a physical one or that a spouse can only be held accountable when a physical/sexual boundary is crossed. While I couldn’t use Biblical standards in my job back then, Matthew 5:28 tells us that simply isn’t true! The fact that Ev described the betrayal as an emotional affair made me want to assure her that yes, there has been a betrayal here (especially since it’s ongoing as she mentioned in her comment).

            It might not have been Christlike of me to expect the infidelity to stop in my own marriage before we could move on. In an ideal world, I would have been able to forgive my husband regardless of what he did. However, sin separates us from God and I can only strive to be more like Him; my human nature means I will never be perfect. For me as a human being, I could not move beyond my pain until the active source of the pain stopped. I have likened it to an open cut in the past… If I cut myself on a piece of broken glass, I have to bandage the cut and stop the bleeding before I can worry about the how the glass broke, or I risk further injury to myself. Untouched, the wound can fester and become worse than it would have if I had dealt with it immediately.

            I have always believed that all rights come with responsibilities. It’s not wrong to feel pain, but I also have the responsibility to deal with that pain in a manner that is pleasing to God and not harmful to others. I didn’t do that in my marriage and have suffered the consequences. In those moments when I react in ways that aren’t pleasing to God, I need to confess those sins. I believe Ev has the right to allow herself to feel hurt, betrayed, upset, or however she feels – burying those emotions seldom does anyone any good – BUT she also has a responsibility to work it out with God and her husband. The fact that she is seeking God and praying for reconciliation tells me she is in a much different place than I was when I was in her shoes.

            Personally, I think it can be dangerous to discount pain or hurt. If we tell ourselves it’s not okay to feel hurt when someone does something hurtful, how/where do we draw a line? Do we accept abuse? Do we remain in situations that are physically or emotionally harmful to us? If we don’t allow ourselves to feel hurt, we have no opportunities to forgive; we don’t forgive that which doesn’t affect us in some way because we don’t find a need to do so.

          3. Thanks for this TheRestoredWife!

            Reggie,

            A few of my thoughts… please compare everything I say to Scripture. 🙂

            We are commanded to forgive, even if the other person hasn’t repented. But we are not commanded to trust someone who is unrepentant. I think that is super important to remember. Some commands are unconditional – like the commands for us to love others with God’s love, and like the command to forgive others so we will be forgiven, and the command for wives to respect our husbands. Some commands are conditional – like submission, it is to be “as to the Lord” meaning, if a husband tries to tell his wife to clearly sin, she would have to honor Christ before her husband if she had to choose between the two. And the idea of trusting people is not something we have to do. Jesus did not entrust Himself to the people because “He knew what was in a man.” There are plenty of verses about trusting God – that is a command. And there are lots of verses about not trusting in man. Ultimately, our trust must be in Christ alone.

            If someone does betray our trust and they are unrepentant, Scripture gives us Matthew 7:1-5 and Matthew 18:15-16 for such situations – the goal always being to bring the unrepentant sinner back to repentance and to Christ. But there can be people so toxic that we need to avoid them until they repent.

            I believe God gives us pain – emotional, physical, and spiritual – to let us know there is a problem that needs to be addressed. It is an indicator light on the dashboard that something might be wrong. I don’t believe God expects or requires us to have zero feelings or emotions. But He does not allow us to sin in our responses.

            Thanks so much for sharing!

          4. “I was a licensed (secular) therapist for 7 years prior to a career change in 2011….”

            Interesting. I am very curious to know what your own perceptions were about what the different therapist responses would be between you now and your former self (occupation, that is). Such a discussion is, I think, beyond the scope of this article. Still, my curiosity is surely heightened.

            “I was trying to convey to Ev that her husband’s betrayal is, in fact, a betrayal; many couples I worked with in the past seemed to think an emotional affair isn’t “as bad” as a physical one or that a spouse can only be held accountable when a physical/sexual boundary is crossed.”

            I agree. When married to my first wife, I had an emotional affair with a co-worker, and I remember how I felt. I might try to argue, however, not against your point but in magnitudes of order beyond it.

            The fact is, we as men, even though the physical is so very important to us, can have our hearts captured, too.

            With a physical affair, it’s unlikely, at least in my opinion, that the other side of any long-lasting and/or meaningful relationship, the emotional, will be given to the other woman.

            On the contrary, an emotional affair — an affair of the heart? — has a much greater potential to envelop the other side of things. It can more easily become a complete betrayal.

            “It might not have been Christlike of me to expect the infidelity to stop in my own marriage before we could move on.”

            I would expect that any infidelity should stop before any couple can move on.”

            “In an ideal world, I would have been able to forgive my husband regardless of what he did.” “Or,” I would add, when he became remorseful.”

            (I’m not trying to pick on you or beat you up over what you did, really. I’m just trying to let your experiences and your words help me to understand my own sins, which are many.)

            Agreed. But my point was that your forgiveness “could not” happen until he showed remorse. Boy, don’t we all wish that was the case! Forgiveness just ain’t that easy. 🙂

            “I have always believed that all rights come with responsibilities.”

            Agreed. But, at least in this case, we have to understand what exactly our rights are, in Christ. Do we really have any? I’m just no so sure.

            Let me add this personal story, with your indulgence.

            Almost 30 years ago, my mom and dad got into a fight. Certainly not the first time, but this one got more physical than I can recall others ever getting

            My first wife and I had just gotten married and I was living half a country away from them.

            Apparently my dad had his arms somewhat up, bent at the elbow with his hands in front of him about chest high. What happened next is anyone’s guess (my mother hasn’t talked about it in all those years and my dad died over 20 years ago), but as near as I can tell, my dad gestured (forcibly) downward with his arms, hitting my mom’s outstretched hands and breaking her wrists.

            Now, I’m just like my dad (for better or worse…lol) and even though I know it was a rough marriage for them both, I have no doubt that what happened to my mom was not done intentionally by my dad. It was, in my estimation, an accident.

            But, boy oh boy. You’d think my mom was given an all-you-can-eat pass at the largest buffet in town.

            You see, dad, for as long as I can remember, had been a drinker/drunk. He was your typical sit-in-my-favorite-chair-and-drink-till-I-fall-asleep kind of drinker, not the brawling and fighting kind (at least that I know).

            And I think that my mom saw this as her opportunity to get my dad on “the straight and narrow”…basically play God.

            As I understand the story, mom basically blackmailed dad into going into counseling. Oh, he went. But I can tell you that he resented it, and HER. I think dad never forgave her for that. And I also think mom abused an opportunity. And what opportunity was that? The opportunity to NOT play into the “hurt” she felt for all the years he wasn’t who she thought he should’ve been, or how he treated her…or, whatever.

            Now, did my mom have the “right” to do what she did? I suppose. But I wonder — and I’ve wondered this all along — what would’ve happened if mom had decided (to use our terms from these posting) that she didn’t have any “rights”…that she really didn’t have “the right to be hurt.”

            My mom pushed back. She decided, in my opinion, that the Holy Spirit was getting things done. Of course, that’s not how my mom viewed it (we rarely do, do we?). But I wonder what mom would’ve done to see dad saved (and quit drinking, etc.) She certainly demonstrated that she’d had enough. And now it was her turn to run things.

            So, this is, I guess, how I come to question this idea of “rights” for us Christians. I don’t see that we have any. Maybe it’s because we love this life so much that we’re unwilling to sacrifice our dignity, our honor, our very physical life so as to not feel “hurt.”

            Personally, I’m ready for heaven. It can’t come quickly enough. That, of course, doesn’t make me any more or less spiritual than others. It just means that this life holds so little for me, especially compared to the glories of heaven with Jesus.

            How can we hold on to what we have here so tightly?

            Anyway, thanks for letting me share my thoughts.

            You ladies, and the men who love and support you, are a tremendous blessing to me.

            Thanks.

          5. Reggie,

            When we are sinned against as believers, we do have the “right” – or maybe better, the responsibility – to confront someone who is sinning against us. We have the responsibility to rebuke them and to lovingly address their sin after we have addressed sin in our own hearts (Matthew 7:1-5, Matthew 18:151-7). God does not ignore sin. It is not a gift to anyone for us to pretend sin isn’t there when it is.

            Verses about confronting sin

            Verses about rebukes

            But – we also do have the responsibility to work through our pain in a godly way and to not hold on to sinful anger, bitterness, hatred, resentment, vengeance, and unforgiveness. Those are commands, too.

            In your story about your parents, I don’t know what happened, but it sounds pretty awful. I have no way to know if he intentionally broke her wrists or if it was an accident. If it was an accident, I would hope forgiveness would have been much easier. I believe if it was intentional or just from the drinking – your mom had the ability and responsibility to ask for counseling and to respectfully address the drinking issue and the violence issue. But a believer in Christ doesn’t have the right to play Holy Spirit or to hold something over someone’s head. Bitterness is so toxic!

            I don’t come to the same conclusion that you seem to be drawing that we should not feel hurt ever when we are sinned against. I believe we are free to feel hurt – but then our response must be honoring to Christ. And I don’t believe we are free to hold on to that hurt but that we must work through it in a healthy way, process it, and work through forgiveness. Then the rebuilding trust thing, I believe, is a separate issue and that is dependent upon the other person’s genuine repentance.

            Here is a post my brother wrote When My Spouse Is Wrong that I believe is very helpful.

            I am with you about the glories of heaven and that the things of earth become more and more dim and less and less important.

            Thanks for the important discussion! This is such a critical issue for us to really delve into and seek to understand how to have a biblical approach.

          6. Reggie,

            Sorry, trying to respond and get my children to bed at the same time!

            With a spouse who has been truly abused – I believe if the abuser is not repentant or the abused spouse does not believe he/she is safe – there are times when separation may be necessary (this is permissible in Scripture in I Corinthians 7) as a step toward healing. Trust would need to be rebuilt before a spouse who is not safe would want to live with a previously abusive spouse, in my view.

          7. I hope it’s o.k. to come in on this conversation; I had lots of thoughts popping into my head as I read the dialogue.

            First, as far as I know, God doesn’t even talk about “rights” in the Bible. This is a Christian-y term (sorry, not trying to be disrespectful there!) that helps us ultimately surrender to God’s will in a situation.

            So, eliminating the wording of “rights”, and dealing with just hurting or feelings or pain or whatever you want to call it, we can see all over the God’s Word that these things are not wrong in and of themselves….. at all. God is grieved over people’s sin, Job lamented against God in his sufferings – going further in his lamenting than many of us would feel would be right to do, but God could still handle it (“in all of this, Job did not sin”….until he started demanding God answer him), Jesus was called Man of Sorrows!, David poured his heart and laments out to God. On and on and on it goes.

            The very word suffering (which we are called to as Christians!) indicates that we will hurt. There is nothing wrong with hurting and pain. It is, as April and therestoredwife have said, what we do with that pain and hurt that is the issue. Do we retaliate with more evil to the one who has done evil against us? Do we not forgive even though Christ has forgiven us our debt that is a gazillion times greater than the debt we need to forgive? Or do we entrust ourselves to the Father and His will by forgiving, loving and extending grace. These are the issues that it comes down to.

            You said: “My overall point is two-fold: 1) “being hurt” appears to me to not be a right. It may be a “normal human emotion,” but it’s not a right…just as anger, envy, lust, etc. can each be considered a “normal human emotion”;”

            All of those other things that you listed (anger, envy, lust, etc.), we are told to get rid of, to put off because we have died to sin. Nowhere are we commanded to not hurt or grieve.

            “2) by conferring on ourselves such a “right,” I think we, by extension, try to give ourselves the “right” to do unbiblical things that are based on the parent “right,” that being “hurt.” We use the “hurt” to justify other actions, some of which, I suppose, might actually be Biblical but not necessarily helpful to the situation at hand.”

            I would agree with this point somewhat. I used to feel very similarly about my mom and my parent’s marriage as you described in another of your posts. However, as I’ve grown older and experienced more, I realize how important it is to not judge others because of the boundaries they might have to draw in their hurt. It’s just so easy to say “Well, he or she should just welcome that person back with open arms”….but maybe they have tried – over and over for years and years. Maybe the other person is the one who keeps them at bay constantly by refusing real intimacy, by deciding that their sin is more important to them than the relationship, by dismissing the other’s needs and desires in a relationship. At some point, that person reaps what he has sown into the relationship. The weight to repent (turn around from your sin, be transparent and vulnerable with your spouse, etc.) is on the one who sinned. The weight sould never be pushed back onto the other spouse who was sinned against. That is no way to restore a relationship or expect it to get back to a good place. It is a good way to sabotage the healing, though.

            To be blunt, my unbelieving husband has used this “you need to forgive me” as an excuse not to look at his own issues and to shift the burden to me in the past. Do I need to forgive? Yes. Can I be positive, kind and loving to him in the hard places? Yes. But, that doesn’t mean that our relationship will look like it has if there is an ongoing issue that needs to be dealt with. It can actually be a very loving thing to draw these boundaries at times. How loving is it to say that you can continue to sin against me and hurt me and dismiss my voice without expecting the relationship to suffer, with no consequences. That is not love, that is enabling. That is also not real life, nor the way God operates. Drawing these boundaries can hopefully wake some people up to their sin – and their need for a Savior. So, in essence, sometimes these things are the loving confrontation we are called to as believers.

            I think it is very important for the one who is drawing those boundaries to constantly guard their heart against bitterness and unforgiveness. Remembering always to entrust themselves to God and His will, realizing that ultimately, the war is not against flesh and blood but against the enemy. I think it would be very important, too, to express your love for the one in sin and your desire that the relationship be reconciled – not constantly, but with appropriate time in between and as God leads.

            I would encourage you to listen to these sermons that might help a little with your processing this issue.

            http://stevepettitmessages.com/

            Search for “Settling Unsettled Souls” (this was a 3 part message, so make sure to listen in order if this is something you’re interested in).

            This article looks interesting and might be helpful, too.

            http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/4-things-its-ok-to-say-when-youre-hurt

          8. Love this, thank you, Jennifer! Great point about envy and lust being sin. Anger and hurt can become sin, too. But it is important to have distinctions between what God labels as sin and what He does not label as sin. I don’t want people to have guilt over things that God doesn’t call sin.

      2. Thank you, Therestoredwife, for praying for our marriage.

        The site you gave me it’s very interesting and I will probably contact them. Thank you so much !
        I found some help from another site (similar to this one) at http://www.marriagemax.com/

        Yes, I agree that the emotional affair is a betrayal, and that I have right to be hurt. In the beginning I did not know how to respond, so I reacted very badly, and this of course pushed him even more in the arms of the other woman. My self esteem also dropped very low. I tried to do everything in my power. I did not have Jesus.

        I was also a big sinner. I want to thank here God who gives us peace, justice and righteousness :

        Jer 9: 24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.”

        I now recognize that the enemy has a hold on my husband, and that I can not trust him but God :

        Psalm 40: 4 Blessed is the man who makes
        the Lord his trust,
        who does not turn to the proud,
        to those who go astray after a lie!

        Micah 7: 5 Put no trust in a neighbor (in my husband);
        have no confidence in a friend;
        guard the doors of your mouth
        from her who lies in your arms;
        6 for the son treats the father with contempt,
        the daughter rises up against her mother,
        the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
        a man’s enemies are the men of his own house (Mat 10, 35, 36).
        7 But as for me, I will look to the Lord;
        I will wait for the God of my salvation;
        my God will hear me.

        I thank Jesus who prays for us.

        John17:15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.

        I’m afraid my husband is under big attack.

        Thank you for praying.

        1. I’m so glad to see the work God is doing in your life! I had a long period of time where I didn’t trust my husband at all; I could only trust God that I was being led toward reconciliation for a reason. I believe that was the whole point – I had to learn to trust God first and stop looking to my husband to meet my needs. Having that perspective now allows me to see things more objectively.

          I will continue to pray for your situation and I hope you’ll find peace no matter what happens. It sounds like you are well on your way and I praise Him for that!

          1. Thanks for your message Therestoredwife !

            I praise the Lord who lead you and your husband to come back home !!

      1. Hi again April. I really feel like I am falling fast.- 17yrs ago my husband left and we were restored 1yr.later. now with his mom in hospital , he has become a completely different person again. same as 17 yrs ago. He is cursing and swearing and accusing me of lies.

        we attend a bible believing church and 1 yr. ago when he was terminated from his job. God answered my heart’s prayer and my husband said we need to tithe. in his anger now, he is accusing me as he always does when he gets angry) of me taking our tithing and giving to the church to support the pastor. My husband is telling little lies to me. I do not understand this anger – it seem like he is from another planet! the words he says to lash out at me( i think he is actually lashing out at himself_hating himself).I have accused him a lot of wanting other women. (he has never given me the reason) except how he treats me with such hatred in his anger.

        He likes attending our church. he is a believer but when he is in his”anger mode” he accuses me of forcing him. I do not at all. he comes of his free will but when he is angry he turns everything toward me or our church family who love him and i know he loves them. He was brought up in a very religious family – where his dad was a pastor and treated like God. he preached Jesus from the pulpit but never taught it at home to his children. something my husband realized when he became a believer.I dont know how to handle his anger. the lies he speaks to me in his anger makes me feel completely insecure. I am just beginning to see truly who i am to God. there is so much here-sorry it seems all over the place but Im beginning to feel anxious and wanting to control this.

        it helps to share this with you.I would appreciate all comments.Thank you

        1. justme,

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

          Would you check out http://www.leslievernick.com and see some of her posts about dealing with emotionally destructive people. Perhaps something there might be helpful?

          Do you believe your husband is involved in any active addictions? Does he have any mental health disorders? Do you think being around his mom and family is bringing up some of the dysfunction from when he was growing up?

          Praying for God’s wisdom for you!

          Another resource that may be helpful is Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas – there are some practical examples of godly wives responding to very angry husbands that might be a blessing.

          Much love to you!

  17. I need to forgive my husband. I think i am more afraid of my own responses. I can forgive in my heart. when and if he apologizes from his heart, I often fall back into “revenge mode” for how he treated me and lash out.I need some practical advice in what I can do in my own mind, at these times so I dont lash out.Thanks

    1. Oh, how I can relate to this! I became an expert at lashing out, especially verbally, to the point my husband dreaded having any sort of conversation with me.

      Here are a couple of things that have been helpful for me:

      – Emailing back and forth instead of talking face to face (this isn’t a long-term solution, but it was very helpful when I had trouble with impulsivity and being disrespectful)
      – Listening, then saying “I heard what you said and now I need a moment to process it” before responding (sometimes I left the room so I could plan out my response)
      – Praying for God’s help to focus only on today and how my husband is treating me and speaking to me in this moment, not in the past
      – Reading what the Bible says about forgiveness
      – Waking up every morning and making a choice to forgive him for that day only (at the time it was all I could do)
      – Praying for wisdom
      – Prayer journaling

      At one point I remember asking myself how I would respond to any other person (a friend, a business client, a coworker) who had treated me poorly in the past. I was horrified to realize I would never hold things against someone else the way I did with my husband, and I would never express myself to others the way I did at home. Just as April has mentioned a quiet period, for awhile I said very little because I didn’t know how to do so without making things worse. It has taken a lot of prayer, Bible study, and work on myself to let go of the past.

      1. Hi Restored Wife. Thank you for your helpful comments to my comment. I will try your suggestions. Thank you also for sharing your hearts story.It is so encouraging and reminds us of Gods faithfulness ,even in the midst of the deepest storms.He is truly sovereign over all. Blessings to you my sister!!

    2. Hi April- Yes I completely believe that being around his mom and family brings up dysfunctions from when he was growing up. we have discussed it but when he falls back into it -he resents me – not them and treats me like I am the enemy and it hurts soo deep. and i fall back into the trap of defending my self against his lies to me.its 3am. he is on night shift- he just called me and was accusing me and cursing at me for going to our church and putting down our pastor-his friend. everytime he falls into this – he comes out putting his family above all else. what am i to do? I love him for who he really is but this monster that he becomes whenever this “spiritaul transference??) happens- I feel untterly helpless and hopeless.he takes who I am -my heart that he says he loves, and rips it to pieces. I guess I listen to him and try to talk it out with him because I dont want to see him drowning himself or me in this. I am able to forgive but when it happens again, it pulls me back down. What can I do???

      1. justme,

        I would love to see you firmly rooted in Christ, abiding in Him, filled with His Spirit and truth, ready for the spiritual warfare – and able to recognize that the enemy may have a hold on your husband in these times and may be trying to reach you through him. Don’t absorb messages from the enemy, my dear sister! Compare anything your husband says to the truth of God’s Word. Recognize that he may be ensnared by the enemy and listening to him when he is like this, but that does not mean everything he says it true or that you need to receive it. Does that make sense?

        I would encourage you to check out http://www.leslievernick.com – she has posts about responding in godly ways to toxic people and emotionally destructive people that may be a blessing.

        What do you usually say when he starts blaming you? IS he even able to hear anything you say at that point? Does he calm down if you leave him alone? Does he have any mental illness that you know of, or addictions? Does he ever repent of his lies and angry outbursts? Has he ever had counseling about dealing with these lies and the anger? Do you have a godly wife mentor or biblical counselor you can talk to about things?

        Much love to you!

        1. Hi April- when he blames me I often defend myself or just keep quiet. Sometimes he hears me and listens and calms down – other times he just is quiet and comes out attacking verbally – harder than before. Sometimes he calms down when left alone. No illness or addictions that I know of. We have been together for 35 years. Yes he repents most times from his heart. Yes years ago he had counselling. Yes I am covered. Thank you April. I did sign up for leslie vernick.

          1. justme,

            Are you able to talk ahead of time about a way you can agree together to both handle this when it comes up so that you can both work together to calm things down? Is that possible at this point?

            I’m not sure that you being defensive is going to be helpful – even if he is completely wrong. It doesn’t sound like he can hear what you are trying to say if he is in a rage.

            Let me know if any of the posts you find are helpful and address this situation effectively on Leslie Vernick’s site.

            I am praying with Jennifer for you and your husband, my precious sister!

  18. Between the conversation I’m having here and then reading the posts from “justme,” my eyes are bugging out! 🙂

    If I may say, “justme,” I might be able to share some thoughts from a guy’s perspective, if you’ll permit me. I certainly don’t claim to have all of the answers (not even sure about one…lol), but I can offer some male perspectives that, God willing, might provide you a small amount of light on the path to getting this issue adequately addressed.

    I will add you to my prayer list. 🙂

    1. Hi again April.Thank you for the most sincere prayer. Be still- the Lord has been saying that to me for quite some time. I realized that my greatest fear is me- how I view things. my emotions are so up and down-(maybe hormones lol) they are not to be trusted. I was so concerned how I would respond if my husband apologized. the hurt was so deep.key word-WAS. I have been praying for God to keep me still. His gentle and peaceful spirit filling me. I did not want to lash out if my husband was repentant.

      I have felt the tangible presence of Jesus with me thru this all.I am actually beginning to take authority over my own thoughts and emotions as I ask Jesus to come in to my thoughts and emotions as soon as I realize they are not in line with God. My husband came to me this am – after working nite shift before going to bed – and humbly asked my forgiveness. Admitting his worthlessness (which I encouraged him that he is worthy. That Jesus loves him so much and there was nothing he could do but receive). I know God revealed much to him and I chose not to fear the future but trust it to my Father in heaven.

      I listened. and when I spoke, he listened (after I asked him to please let me finish). he did. I did begin to feel that old feeling and began to remind him that I could not believe him when he said he loves me – he responded by saying – it doesnt matter if you don’t believe me – I wont force you but I do love you and only you forever.

      By him not feeding into my lashing (by God’s grace only) it was almost like a reassurance that it is completely out of my hands and into God’s. The refining fire burns. It often feels like the wrong places being burned but God know exactly where to place the flame. It’s about learning to trust Him and take all to Him immediately.

      I am deeply thankful for what the Lord is showing me. I am close to Jesus and trusting His ways more than mine little by little. It’s a deep peace and contentment not because my husband apologized (which in the past would have given me shallow peace) but deeper peace knowing that whatever God allows in my life He holds it all in His loving care. I also Praise the Lord that my mother-in-law has taken a turn for better just this morning.

      Thank you all for your prayers and April for this website. Blessings.

      1. justme,

        I’m so glad to hear about what God is doing in your heart and about how He is bringing healing to you and your husband and the way you were interacting. That is beautiful!!!!! PRAISE GOD!

        I can’t wait to see all that He has in store for you and your husband. And I am so thankful to hear that your MIL is doing better.

        Much love to you!

  19. Hello again Reggie. Thank you for your offer of your perspective but my husband has given me his perspective and how he receives and views our issues.Thank you very much for your prayers. Take care

  20. The Restored Wife,

    I wish you a good marriage today !

    I’m so happy for you both !

    May the Lord continue to bless you and protect you !!

  21. Thanks so much to all of you who have prayed for us. I’m happy to say the ceremony went well! I smile every time I see the new wedding bands on our fingers. God is amazing!

  22. Are there any stories of wives who have left their marriage to explore a new life after the children have grown and left. Claiming being married to young robbed her of life. Thank if there is. ..my bride has left and filed.after 40yrs of marriage..no infidelity on my part no abuse,I’m just lost ing for answers..pray nonstop.thank you

    1. Robert,

      I am aware of this happening with husbands and wives later in marriage, yes, sadly. I’m so very sorry to hear about your pain. 🙁

      I would be glad to point you to the hope that is available to each of us in Christ if you are interested.

      With love in Christ,
      April

  23. Welcome back, April. Trust you and your family enjoyed your time of focusing.

    Glad to see you got those “interesting” comments deleted. Thought it was amazing that they appeared about the time you left. Can’t be a coincidence…lol.

    1. Reggie,

      I get a lot of interesting comments. Some of them, y’all never get to see. I try to keep ones that are vulgar or contain cussing or are just purely hateful from being published.

      We had a great time together in Washington, DC. Will be sharing about some of the excitement we had on our trip on Monday’s post. We were leaving the Capitol Building as the shooting happened Monday afternoon and had to run for our lives. So thankful for God’s protection and for the police!

  24. Wow. Thank you thank God for your testimony. This has opened my eyes and come when I’ve been fervently seeking God’s answers and crying out for help. Your story resonates with so many women. Praise God and I’m recently looking to Him for guidance and change and guidance after being out of touch for sometim . But he’s speakin . I’m so happy for you. Pray for me. And thank you. God bless you!!!

  25. It’s encouraging for those of us in difficult circumstances to hear these stories. I’m so happy for those who have reconciled.

    Since being separated for a year and a half, this whole time I’ve told myself regardless of what happens, everything is going to be okay.

    My husband was supposedly staying with a relative, and I now I have found out he is living with a female coworker. This has totally changed things for me. I’m now going to be talking to a lawyer. Not something I wanted to do. I wanted him to do it, if that’s what he wanted, but he never seems to have money, plus he says he doesn’t want to pay for it.

    I just feel numb now. I know God is speaking to me and leading me. I just looked at my bible app and the verse was

    Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    I was really believing for reconciliation. I wanted to say, “look what God did!” I just wanted to celebrate that God moves and he works in people’s life, and of course I wanted a happy marriage. Who doesn’t? I have not obsessed about it, or wanted it more than i want a relationship with God. I’ve just done my best (not always so good) to be respectful to my husband, and said God this is in your hands. I can’t do this alone. It’s been difficult to have respect for someone who is not displaying actions that I admire or respect. So I’ve really struggled with that, and now with the knew news of living with another women, and lying about it, I’m just in shock. This is the second time he has done something like this to me. The first time was 10 years ago, that I know of anyway.

    My husbands salvation has always been a concern of mine. He says he is a Christian, but the desires a Christian are not there. The man I loved so much has turned into someone I hardly recognize. He told me he only went to church because I made it clear it was important to me before marriage, so over the years he has felt he did things he didn’t want to do for me and now he is bitter about it and wants to be himself and wants to be accepted for being who he is. I never really knew what he meant by that. I never asked him to change, I just told him what I wanted. He hates that I listen to preachers on tv (says do you always have to watch that) or listen to Christian music. These things feed my faith and encourage me.

    Through this I certainly now have a greater compassion for those going through a divorce, who are separated, and single parents. It’s a strain financially, and it’s just effects your whole life.

    Choose a marriage partner wisely!! Despite being older and waiting 6 years before marrying him, I still chose wrong. I did some of the right things, but it still didn’t work out. I did my best with what I knew at the time. One decision, and it has not only shaken my whole life, but now effects 3 precious children’s.

    Ive been silently, for the most part, reading this blog. Due to my shock, I can’t even really describe what I feel ..mix of emotions… I decided to comment. I literally feel the pain that some of you are going through, and I’m just so sorry for the struggle. I hope for more reconciliation stories.

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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