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For a Wife with a Critical, Perfectionistic Husband – by Radiant

My primary issue in my marriage was that I didn’t know how to respect my husband – I had no problem standing up for myself – although I personally had a lot of pride to deal with before I could do this in a godly way. I was the overly critical, perfectionistic one who thought everything should be done my way. 🙁 Yikes!

Other wives have the opposite issue. They work so hard to respect their husbands (maybe to an unhealthy degree where a husband’s approval is more important than God’s), sometimes they disrespect themselves. Maybe the husband is the more controlling one and the wife is the more passive one. There has to be a delicate balance where we reverence God above all else, and we think rightly about ourselves (respect ourselves) and respect our husbands appropriately. But we don’t have to respect sin. We can confront sin appropriately if we are being sinned against. And we can acknowledge that we have human limitations.

Radiant responds to a wife’s situation whose husband is constantly critical, degrading, negative, and perfectionistic, who expects his wife to do much more than is humanly possible and who is unloving because she “never measures up” in his eyes. This post is primarily about how she can think in her own heart. It is just barely scraping the surface of this issue and is not a comprehensive article on this topic. For more – please check out the resources at the bottom of the post.

I would say she needs to imagine Jesus as a sleeping bag or bubble all zipped around her, completely enfolding her – because He is – and to not absorb or receive any negative words aimed at her – but let Jesus absorb them.

She needs to only absorb what Jesus says about her.

She could respond with, “I am sorry you feel that way” if her husband complains about things about her. But I don’t think she needs to try to give excuses, try to work herself to death, or go to extremes to please him by overdoing things. She can do what is reasonable and that is all she can do that day.

And Jesus is enough. Jesus can give her the wisdom to figure out what is her responsibility that day and what she can’t manage alone.

She can only do one person’s worth of work without breaking down her spirit/heart/mind/body. If she can’t do something – she can politely say, “I will do my best with the time I have, and I will do y and z, but I just won’t be able to get to ‘x’ task today.”
She is not doing her husband good, or herself or kids or God good, if she wears herself out doing more than possible. She is not responsible to change or make her husband happy. Only the Spirit can do that. She can’t meet the deepest needs of her husband’s heart that only God can meet.

She can work on receiving everything God has for her and claiming His promises. She can declare out loud over her home the things God wants for their home:

  • Thank You God that You want our marriage to reflect Christ and the Church.
  • Thank You that Christ is the head of my husband and the priest of our home and He will lay down his life for His Bride and will not provoke his children to wrath.
  • Thank You that he will be a servant leader like Christ.
  • Thank You that the Spirit will reign in peace and unity over our home.
  • Thank You that I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
  • Thank You that I have the whole armor of God and the protection of Jesus and His angels over me.
  • Thank You Jesus that You are with me, you are mighty to save, You take great delight in me, You comfort me with Your love, You rejoice over me with singing!
  • Thank You Jesus that You are my perfect Bridegroom, I am already perfectly loved and I don’t have to live in fear. I cast out fear from myself and this house and receive Your perfect love in the Name of Jesus.
    (and soooo many more! so many good ones!)

Psalm 67 is for her.

  • Thank You, Jesus that You are all good and love and holy. If Jesus’ love for us looked like human love (critical, condescending, selfish, etc…) – we would have zero hope.
  • Thank You Jesus that You pursued us and died while we deserved nothing but wrath. That You laid down Your beautiful life for Your Bride. That You rise to be gracious to us. You love to put us in a place where You can lavish Your love on us!! You meet our every need and You love to give.

I see such a parallel between the Western Church and how she thinks of God and this particular marriage dynamic. We tend to believe God thinks of us the way this husband thinks of his wife, and we accept it as true about us and God. But it’s not true of Christ and the Church.

That is not who Jesus is. I know He wants her to find rest in Himself and His love and protection. In who she is in Christ. In her new identity – that she is one with Christ. He is her shield, refuge, strength, joy and protector. He is her dear Friend, Comforter, and Counselor. He is with her always. When she feels like a failure – or is told directly that she is – she can keep on that breastplate of His righteousness. Jesus lived the perfect life for her to set her free from the law. She is no longer under law but under grace.

Old Self died with Jesus on the Cross. New Self is alive together with Christ – resurrected in power! And yay for her husband being able to see good things of her with Christ! That is all that is good about any of us. We have nothing good in ourselves. She can completely put off everything about her old way of thinking/living/reacting/fear/anger/hurt and doing. And put on Christ – His heart, His mind, His words, His wisdom, His peace, His life, His breath, His hope.

She can completely reject the lies of the enemy (the real voice behind these words she is being told) that she is useless and there is nothing good about her. That is not from God – so she needs to not receive that at all.

Test and see what the source is behind your thoughts. If it is not love/peace/power/hope/the Gospel and all about the beauty of Jesus – it is not of God. In which case it is of the world and the enemy. We stand against the enemy’s ideas and plans and strongholds and lies in this marriage, these hearts and this home.

PRAYER FOR THOSE WIVES WHO ARE STRUGGLING IN SIMILAR SITUATIONS:
In the Name of Jesus – we speak Jesus’ kingdom come, and His will be done in this precious wife, her husband, her home and children as it is in heaven and in all of those who are reading this post. We place Your shield about her and her children and her husband. In Jesus Name we put on the Armor of God (Eph 6). Our sister in Christ does not have to stay locked in prison and darkness. She is set free by all Jesus did for her on the Cross and resurrection, and she can live in life, freedom, hope and peace and healing.

We receive Your Truth and freedom for her today. We resist the enemy and he has to flee in the Name of Jesus. We pray for reconciliation, healing and peace and love in this home for the honor and glory of Jesus. Set these hearts free and implant Your infinite love in their hearts. Take all Satan has stolen and destroyed and meant for evil – and turn it on its head for good, glory and celebrating Christ! Turn these hearts and this home into a Lighthouse of peace and love and power in the Spirit. Let what is hidden and in bondage be brought into the light and revealed and healed in Jesus’ all-powerful Name and by His blood.
Thank You Jesus that You are at work. We receive Your answers and provision. We will praise You today even before we feel or see any answers – knowing You are at work here to bring beauty from ashes and life from dead bones. Yes these bones can live! The One who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. And the armies of heaven that surround us are greater than the enemies attacking us! Jesus’ yoke is easy and His burden is light. We receive His power to do His priorities. We can’t possibly do every possible thing every day. But we can do what Jesus wants us to do today by His power. Jesus didn’t go all over the whole world and heal every single person either. We receive Your boundaries on this wife’s roles and responsibilities and ask for You to open her husband’s eyes to You and Truth and grace for himself first and then for his family.

RELATED (remember – always compare anything any human author says to scripture and do what you know God desires you to do):

How to Calm Down an Angry Husband – by Nina Roesner

How to Deal with Critical People – by Nina Roesner

Cinderella and the Gospel – by Radiant about receiving good things from God

I Can’t Have Needs, Desires, or Emotions. I Can’t Ask for Things – by Radiant

Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin

Posts about idolizing our husbands

The Real Motives Behind Perfectionism and People Pleasing

Responding to Criticisms, Rebukes, and Insults

Posts about Insecurity

My Identity and Security Must Be in Christ Alone!

25 Ways to Respect Myself – to think rightly about myself and my new identity in Christ – the goal is to reverence God above all, and then to respect our husbands and ourselves all at the same time

Is It Possible to Disrespect Myself?

In His Grip Talks about Not Shutting Down Emotionally

Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships

www.leslievernick.com – many posts about emotionally toxic marriages and how to handle them in a godly way

Sacred Influence – by Gary Thomas (about being a godly wife and using our influence in powerful ways in marriage. He has some chapters about dealing with angry husbands)

 

132 thoughts on “For a Wife with a Critical, Perfectionistic Husband – by Radiant

    1. An,

      I am thankful Radiant’s response to this situation was a blessing. Praying for God’s clear wisdom and that you will hear His voice and follow His leading.

      Much love!

  1. This is my husband attitude regarding me without speaking about the abusive and controlling way. After a while, we need to ask ourselves a question I never thought I will ask one day “Can I stay in a situation that destroy me emotionally and live in this reject situation in every area of our life couple?” For me the line is crossed and I won’t.

    1. Sonia Lucena,

      There is a line that can be crossed where a wife may have to leave, yes. That is entirely possible. I am familiar with your situation and I know that there are really serious issues going on. My greatest prayer is for your safety and spiritual and emotional healing.

      1. Hi April, As I was in France for 3 weeks, my husband went to see a therapist, the husband of my therapist they I had already met him many times and he knew the situations. He goes there every 2 weeks. I came back from France with peace to file for divorce but somehow, in 1 week I was back, considering this, the Lord changed my heart and I decided to fight again to save our marriage. He needs to be set free from spiritual bondages but he is open to do a 2 days encounter about it. I want to do it too even if needs it more, regarding his heavy part and parents spiritual heritage.
        We managed to have a talk and I said I don’t want to divorce but we can’t continue this way. He said he doesn’t want to divorce either as before I traveled he mentioned divorcing twice. I would like to join our 2 single therapy to do a couple one but maybe he is not ready and I can’t rush ahead of God. Somehow, He gives me grace to stay longer that I wish in this situation even if the lack of sexual intimacy is still very hard for me. But I keep myself and ask God to intervene quickly and miraculously. Please continue to pray for us. Big hug

        1. sonadewodnerful,
          This is encouraging. I’m so thankful that your husband is open to receiving this help. And I also am thankful he said he doesn’t want to divorce either. WOOHOO!

          Praying for God’s deliverance for you both from this spiritual oppression!

              1. Pray for Michel continue with the therapy and that he can forgive himself. Then he’ll be able to forgive me and all the other persons. Then, let’s pray he can have a real encounter worth God. He’s so dry spiritually. I decided to go in another church that his because he goes there just once a months, just to show up and the other Sundays, he visits other churches or stay home. I found a church close of home, the pastors knows and pray for us, I can be fed and have a real support there and I also want to serve and get involved. Michel has a religious spirit that need to be broken. Then let’s pray he will be free from all the spiritual heritage of this parents (homosexuality….) and of this past that mess up with our sexual life and all the area of our marriage.
                Thanks so much for the support. I need it. Big hug 😘

  2. This is well said, so I am not criticizing at all, I just believe we often underestimate the power and significance of emotional abuse. In fact, we’re often afraid to even name it for what it is. Words have tremendous power, our Lord himself is sometimes called The Word and we ourselves were once spoken into existence.

    Ten, twenty years of constant criticism will take it’s toll on someone, it will leave them a former shadow of themselves. People can completely breakdown, they can be driven to self harm and suicide. For many years we’ve been saying things like “sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never hurt me,” or “just put on the armor of Christ and don’t take those words upon yourself.”

    Those sayings deny the power and significance of relentless attacks on your spirit, the harm that can be done. Forgiveness, grace, and mercy, these are beautiful things, but none of us are a rock, we were not designed to withstand an endless barrage of emotional abuse and eventually we will break.

    1. insanitybytes22,

      Thank you for this. Yes, words are very powerful – the Bible says they have “the power of life and death” (Prov.18:21). I do think there is a continuum on this issue. There are some cases where a husband may be critical and perfectionistic at times, but still loving other times. And then there are cases where some husbands (or wives) can be so emotionally and spiritually abusive and toxic that it is unwise for a believer to stay. I know that I don’t have all of the answers to exactly when a specific wife should stay or go.

      Here is a post to help wives determine if God may be leading them to stay or leave.

      Here is a post about confronting our husbands about their sin.

      The link to the resources by Leslie Vernick may be helpful for those experiencing a toxic emotional situation in their marriages.

      My greatest desire for all women (and men) is that they might find complete healing in Christ and be filled with God’s power and His Spirit. From that position of great strength in Christ, we can clearly hear and discern God’s voice and His wisdom in leading us in each of our particular situations.

      For wives who truly are suffering from emotional abuse, I would encourage them to check out Leslie’s site and maybe even to seek out a godly counselor to help them navigate things if they are spiritually very weak right now.

      Much love!

      1. insanitybytes22,

        Also, this post just barely begins to scrape the surface on this topic. There is MUCH, MUCH more to be said. I hope women will also check out the resources at the bottom of the post for more info.

  3. Powerful post and prayer and I agree also with the comments about sometimes having to come to a place and saying “Enough is enough.”

    I think it is when we get to this healthy place in Christ that we can then see whether we should stay or separate in emotionally abusive situations. It really wasn’t until I was convinced of my standing in Christ and that I had value that I could take that next step in my marriage. God telling me I had value and that He was not OK with how I was being treated was really freeing for me. But, I also think that He calls some to stay – and gives them the grace to do so.

    Love to all of my hurting sisters (and brothers) who are in this situation. May God hold you close and may you hear His affirming voice of deep love for you in your spirit stronger and stronger. I pray deep healing for those who are in these situations and for God’s discernment, protection over you physically, spiritually and emotionally and for His supernatural strength and grace to walk wherever He calls you to go.

    “My grace is sufficient for you.”

  4. Some of you know my situation. My husband filed divorce in Sept 2016..after 3 years of threatening to do so.

    I have done all I can to look at my part in the breakdown of our marriage and ask for forgiveness and reconciliation. Sadly he refuses me. He has become very cold hearted, critical , blames me, calls me abusive and unsafe when I stand up for myself.

    Never have I experienced such pain. This pain has brought me to my knees and to a very new and deep relationship with Jesus. My walk with Jesus is strong.

    I continue my stand for my marriage and pray for a miracle..for my husbands heart to be softened. For him to come.back. However…in the human world…divorce is happening and I have to respond and take care of myself.

    I love the idea of wrapping myself up in Jesus..like I would with a sleeping bag or a warm blanket.

    I have a very strong visual in my mind of Jesus sobbing in a corner for me, my marriage, my boys. I have a strong conviction to not give up hope for my marriage..yet there is nothing I can do to change my husband or make him happy again.Only the holy spirit can do that. I dont see my husband as having a willing heart since he is blaming me.

    So where does one go in my situation? Give up? Listen to the world that says ” move on, you deserve better.” I dont want to move on..but legally I have to.

    1. HopefulGal, I’m so sorry. I’m glad you know that Jesus is hurting with you. That He cares deeply for you.

      I think my advice to you is what I’m dealing with and needed to be reminded of just this morning. I’m only separated for a couple of months. It’s to let go. Let go of the dream and of the marriage. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t willing to reconcile if God moves in that way (or even that you are giving up all hope for that to happen). But otherwise, you are living in limbo land and you can’t really move forward in your life. At least, after only a couple of months, I can say that this is how it’s been for me. The more I focus my mind on a restored marriage, the worse I am, actually. The more I focus on accepting reality for what it is and letting go, the more peace I have. Then, I am really able to put my husband in God’s hands. I know it’s a lot easier said than done, though. And, I also feel kind of foolish even trying to give advice to someone who is three years further into this journey than me.

      You are right — your husband does not have a willing heart right now if he is still blaming you and not taking responsibility for his part (specific responsibility, too….not just blanket “I’m sorry for the things I’ve done that have hurt you” kind of responsibility). His heart is hard towards you.

      Can I ask you to share more about how you have emotionally gone through this time? Three years is a long time. I’m always wondering if I am going to be crying every day for the rest of my life. I hope by this time next year, I’ll emotionally be stronger and have better days. I guess I’m wanting to hear how you are doing and what the road has looked like for you. But, if you are not in a place to share, that’s fine, too.

      I will pray for you now. That God will speak specifically to you about how He wants you to look at this next step. That He will comfort you and heal you and give you wisdom as you move forward.

      I wrote these notes down in my phone last week from a devotional. I thought of them as I was commenting to you:

      “I will not run scared but will press forward into all that God has for me. I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind/self-discipline.”

      1. Hi CiC,

        It is 2017, a new year. I will not be so superficial as to say happy new year as I know it is not a happy time, but I will say that a new year is a passing of the old and the old can never be repeated. So, I pray that you can look forward to the new in some way today.

        I have a few thoughts that may be helpful to you. They are not going to be strung together in any particularly logical way and I pray that you take them as they are, just as my thoughts, and that you can pray about them with discernment for yourself.

        I have been thinking about forgiveness again. Forgiveness releases us from bitterness and resentment but does not heal the hurt. I have forgiven some significant sins against me but I have found that the pain of those hurts is still present, and at times can be quite strong. I have been wronged on a very high level and I would not be human if it did not hurt. I think this is probably similar to what Christ had on the cross when He cried out Father forgive them. His forgiveness did not mean that the cross stopped hurting. Our pain over the sins of other people are real and should not be supressed, we need to express that pain but we need to do it in a way that helps us move forward.

        One of the things that we long for is for those who have wronged us to listen to our pain and to empathise with it and express remorse over what they have done to us. This may or may not happen for us, if it does then that is wonderful! I feel that if my wife were to acknowledge her sins and want to put them right then the healing that would bring would be wonderful. I feel as though it would be a great help to me, but if it does not happen for us then we need to be able to acknowledge that pain but not let it define us.

        I’ve also been thinking about wholeness. This is a very ‘young’ thought in my mind and may need exploring more, it may be an incorrect view. I have been thinking that if we are not whole as individuals we can not have whole relationships. There are degrees of woundedness and brokenness but it seems to me that the more brokenness we bring into a relationship the more broken that relationship will be. Whereas when we are unified with Christ and live and enjoy His completeness the more our relationships will reflect this completeness.

        In our time of separation we can use this time to pursue wholeness. I don’t mean in the sense of ‘doing what I want to do’ as in my life doing what I want to do has often been at the expense of others and has been one of the main factors that caused issues. I mean pursuing wholeness in Christ, building an identity that is based in the security of His love, learning humility and serving from a heart of love and strength.

        Whether you reconcile with your husband or not and whether I reconcile with my wife (which is looking less and less likely) or not, we can move forward pursuing wholeness or we can remain broken.

        I do not believe that you will always be crying unless you allow yourself to stay broken. Our brokenness can turn into bitterness if we let it, or we can feel the brokenness, acknowledge it and bring it to Christ. He wants to heal that brokenness and create something beautiful. I know that. Your pain and separation is very real at the moment and very fresh, it is a wound that has not closed over. It is a wound that Christ has experienced and can gently pour in His healing love. He has literally experienced everything that you have but on a much greater level. His compassion is absolute but He also does not want us to wallow in our pain and keep opening the wound. When King David lost his son he got up, washed his face and got on with life. He accepted the sovereignty of God and moved forward. He probably still felt some pain, I am not trying to tell you that it is time for you to let go of your pain, it is not possible to just ‘stop hurting’ 🙂 I am encouraging you to continue to press into Christ with the faith that it can be healed, even if there is a scar remaining. Christ carries the scars of His pain and the truth is that we will all bear some scars of the pain we have felt.

        As for me, our relationship is completely dead. I have reached a point which both excites me and concerns me, I have reached a point where I do not want to be married to my wife anymore. It excites me because I know that I am whole without her (I am whole without any woman actually) but also concerns me as I wonder has the spark finally died? There is certainly nothing in her that would encourage any romantic feelings in me towards her, her actions and behaviour make me feel repulsed, not drawn. I feel repulsed by her sin but compassion for her heart, I feel remorse over my contributions to her pain but not guilt as I know I am forgiven, I feel love for her and a desire to see her happy and complete but in the last two weeks, no more spark. The fire has been extinguished and it is my conviction that I have every biblical basis for a divorce. Could that spark be renewed? Yes, I believe so, but I believe it would take a change on her behalf now for me to feel that again. It would need genuine repentance, honesty and a desire to be transparent with me.

        And yet, even last week my daughter was crying and praying. She said “Dad, I want you and mummy to live together again. I want us to be together and be a family again. I don’t understand! Please, please can we live together?”

        I am continually explaining to my kids that she doesn’t want to live with me anymore. She listened then turns away and starts praying “Jesus, thank you for our praying, thank you for mummy, please bring her home so we can be a family again together, Amen”. Wow…..incredible prayer from a 4 year old. To hear that was a blessing and yet difficult!!

        Would God have me continue to pursue our marriage for the sake of the kids? I would most certainly do that, my obedience to Him is total and I vowed for better or worse. However, our marriage is a farce, a joke. With only one person putting in any effort how can it thrive? And, the truth is that I cannot stop her divorcing me anyway. Perhaps it is time to ‘let go’ in another way. I have shown her compassion, understanding, forgiveness and support through the most incredible trials and sins she has committed and still there is only a pulling away. I have held out unconditional love for two years now, making mistakes along the way but still holding it out and learning and growing as a man. At what point do I say enough?

        I am excited to move forward with life, to move to another town, start studying after work (I am thinking of doing a degree) and live in a smaller home. But, where would the Lord have me go?

        My washing machine died a couple weeks ago. I bought another second hand one earlier this week and I went to pick it up. The man who sold it to me asked me straight out “Are you a believer”. I said “Yes!!!!” and we started talking. We talked for an hour and he shared that he his wife had cheated on him and left him 25 years ago. He was not a believer at the time but he shared how the experience taught him of what his idols were and how he found Christ through it. He now praises God for the experience and said he needed it to wake him up, and now he has been married for 20 years to another woman who is strong in the Lord. It was an encouraging discussion, but it made me wonder, is the Lord trying to tell me to let go of our marriage? I need a lot of wisdom, may my life truly glorify His name!

        In Christ, free to walk with Him! HH

        1. HH
          I believe that my husband sees our marriage as completely dead. He is gone in every way but physically. There is nothing I can do or say at this point to bring him home again. His heart is hard as stone towards me. He has yet to be specific on how he has hurt me. He acknowledges that he has caused harm, but will not be specific. Pride, fear, and unforgiveness has and is destroying us.

          I continue to stand for my marriage..yet the reality is..as my attorney says ” you need to get a grip. He is divorcing you.”

          So hard.

          1. Hope Always.

            That is the reality of the situation. One can not make another person’s decisions for them. We can only make our own decisions and live with integrity in word and action, knowing that God will honour that in His way in His time 🙂

            HH

          2. Hope always and HH,

            I think it is harder to have a spouse “gone in every way but physically”. I’m in the same boat. I feel your pain. The truth is, we, as beleivers, only have control of us. We can work on being our best as parents, children of God, even the best spouse we can be in spite of what our marriage is like. Yes, my original marriage is dead too. And it needs to be. It was one made from 2 unbeleivers. The way it worked was damaging and toxic. I may still be married to my h, but I am not the same person he married. He is not sure if he evendors likes this new me or not, but it’s up to him now.

            As we learn to take care of ourselves in a godly way, and seek to please God in our lives first, there is an undeniabe joy and happiness that comes over us. It is palpable to others, even if they don’t understand it or becone suspicious of it. For unbelievers, it is strange, unexplainable, and foreign, so, out of pure uneducated ignorance and unwillingness to be open to God, thus pride, it gets rejected. Which in response, I say, “don’t knock it till you try it!” If someone hasn’t experienced God’s renewing of the mind/restoration/born again/humility, repentance, mercy, grace and forgiveness, they will never be able to understand the changes to our souls. Although we can pray for all our loved ones to experience that, we cannot force them. That darn free will, lol. But God. God can and will work His plan perfectly.

            HH,
            We are supposed to be disgusted by sin. I agree that until she repents and has true changes, you won’t be able to trust, or be close to her. Being open to restore a marriage is way different than persusing one. I think, from what you have said and your past comments, that you will kerp that spark of possibility open, that mustard seed of faith, but you will go where God wants you to first, not where you want to go.

            Could it be possible that God is showing you how to be whole on your own before you can enter another relationship…either with someone new or with your wife if she ever sees her sin, repents, changes etc.? Either way, this is your healing, your “time to become whole”, your spiritual maturation period. Your wholeness comments seem spot on to me. I see each of us as a little house made with plastic building blocks. E have all the right parts, but sonetimes we are hastily put together and there are hokes, parts not fitting right, mismatched colors and inefficiency. When we are renewed in God, He takes us apart to the foundation, and helps guide us, slowly on how to rebuild. How to place the right pieces where they belong, the colirs, the levels. By the time we reach heaven, we are put back together as God intended us, by following His directions, not our own.

            Even your children will learn how to deal with life’s disappointments, and let downs from this…and they WILL have their own. Yet, your example and guidance to go to God will be a good foundation for them to build themselves upon. Yes, divorce is not ideal, but if this card is in your hand, you are left to make the best of it.

            I pray for you both today. God is working on the other side of the mountain for you.

            Try reading the blog of RejoiceMarriageMinistries, good stuff.

            Blessings to you today. LMSDaily115.

            1. ADMIN NOTE:
              I have comments set right now to only be open on posts that were posted in the past 60 days. Just to let y’all know. Y’all are welcome to move the conversations to a new post. 🙂

            2. Hi LMS, I have been wondering how you are. So good to hear from you! I thought of you last night and was going to comment and see how you were but decided to wait. I am glad you wrote. How can I pray for you?

              Yes, you are right, I am keeping the door of possibility open. You comment about being open to restore marriage being way different to pursuing one is spot in. I have actually bought a new ring to wear when the divorce is finalised. It has Jesus and a cross embossed on it and I will wear it on my ring finger. I will wear it in recognition that my marriage is dead but that I do not consider myself “on the market”, I am espoused to Christ now in surrender to whatever purpose he has 🙂

              Thank you for recommendating RMM : ) How do you feel about their messages? I love most of what they wrote, some of the testimonies are fantastic, but I sometimes wonder if they are offering false hope. Their approach seems to be that a broken marriage WILL be restored, which I do not think is scriptural. There are so many examples in scripture where people were called to suffer in a way that displayed God’s character and strength so much more than if things were rosy and even in Hebrews 11 there are examples of people who were literally tortured and killed for their faith.

              I feel it is very possible that living a life as a separated/divorced man may bring more fruit to the saviour than as a married man. If everything is all rosy then people can think “yeah it’s easy for you to find joy in God, your life is awesome” but when life sucks and you have lost everything, THAT’S when joy has such an impact for Christ. I could be wrong, but at this stage I do not believe that God offers any guarantee of a restored marriage to people. His guarantee seems to be that He will be with us no matter what our circumstances.

              There is a lot I can be thankful for though! Some separations and divorces are so bitter! I was chatting to DW on the weekend about one of her friends who is divorcing and they haven’t spoken in over a year and are trying to take each other for all they can get. Every asset has become a fighting point. They even have to pick up their daughter from the police station when she is going from one parent to the other!! How awful for the kids 🙁 I am very thankful that it is not like that for me. In fact, I offered to give DW all of the proceeds of the house sale and I will start again and she said no, she feels that I have worked so much harder than her and that I should have a higher percentage of the proceeds in recognition of that! And we both have the freedom to text and say we are missing the kids and can we have them an extra night.

              Thank you for praying for us! God is working here as He is there. If I may ask for a specific prayer, DW said that she has no real friends anymore since she left me and our church and that the friends she has chosen are not good for her. She said she has nothing in life to look forward to now and has booked herself in to see a reputable Christian counsellor for some help. Please pray for the counsellor, that whatever is shared with her that it will be for her blessing and that she would find light and joy in Christ and for her future.

              Love in Christ, HH

              1. Hi…. i am wrestling with your comment about RMM.. I am one of those readers who hang on to every word that is written by standers and the couple who started the ministry. On the days I feel hopeless, I am inspired by RMM as well as watching testimonies of restored marriages on YouTube.

                Despite my husband making it clear that he is done…I feel strongly that God has told me to stand for my marriage AND at the same time protect myself, assert for what is right… as the divorce process is really starting with our first court date Feb 14.

              2. Hi Hope Always,

                The story of restoration and reconciliation that RMM testifies to is such an incredible display of God’s power, love and ability to make all things new 🙂 I love the consistency, grace, forgiveness and integrity that God displayed through Charlyne and I love the repentant, humble way that Bob shares about his experiences as a prodigal. RMM has helped me so much in learning to lean on God for everything, their testimonies are powerful and their ministry is so good. And there are SO many stories of people who said they were done and then things changed. We live one page at a time and all of our stories are far from complete 🙂

                I am very happy to be challenged on my thoughts that God offers no guarantee for all marriages to be restored. It would be wonderful to be confident that a restored marriage is a guaranteed outcome, it is just not something that I can see as a scriptural promise for every marriage. If God has spoken to you about your marriage being restored then please do not take my words as telling you it won’t be. That is not at all what I meant to say and I in no way want to presume anything about another person’s situation.

                I pray that my comment does not discourage you, it is not meant to discourage, rather it is meant to show that God can be with us no matter what the situation 🙂 I apologise if the way I wrote it was discouraging and I am very sorry to hear of your pending divorce. I too love stories of restored marriages, of repentance and renewed love and forgiveness and reconciliation. But, if my security is in a restored marriage then I am going to be devastated and destroyed if it does not occur. Thankfully, we do not have to rely on a restored marriage for emotional security, we can rely on Christ and we can have complete confidence in Him, how could we doubt a Saviour who gave His life for us? All things will work together for good in a way we may not understand until later in life. Of this we can be sure 🙂

                In Christ, HH

              3. Hope Always,

                It is totally fine to pray for restoration and reconciliation. But we do have to be careful not to make that the most important thing in our hearts. It is super easy for our marriage or a remarriage to become the greatest desire of our hearts. May Jesus alone be the greatest desire by far – and then may we put our desire for a healed marriage in its’ proper place in our lives.

                I’d love to see you get to the place where you can really lay your husband and marriage down and be content no matter what God may do with it. That is a place of such freedom.

                Much love!

              4. I am so scared. I can’t imagine being without my husband. I love him so much and I am in agony missing him. But….it’s over in his eyes.

                How will I know that I have completely and entirely handed him over to Jesus and that I have made Jesus my obsession and not my husband?

                I feel the tug of the worlds ideas of divorce and moving on to something better vs Gods ways and handling this in the manner worthy of Gods approval, not mans.

              5. Hope Always,

                I am sure that HH, LMSdaily115, CIC, and others may be able to share and speak to this from their experience.

                But here are a few signs of idolatry that I have to keep in mind that may be helpful.

                – If I am freaking out about something, that I HAVE to have it, that it MUST work out a specific way, that I can’t live without it – and that thing is not Jesus – that is a good sign that I have not handed it over to Jesus and that I am obsessed about this thing not Jesus.

                – If I am filled with fear rather than God’s peace and I am thinking constantly about all of the scary what-ifs and I am scrambling trying to figure everything out and and trying to make it all work out just right – I haven’t laid it down and trusted God.

                – You don’t have to push for a divorce. You don’t have to want a divorce. You don’t have to move on to someone else. When you give it to God, there will be an ability to rest in God’s peace and in His sovereignty even when you don’t know the outcome. It will hurt. There will be pain because you want the marriage to be healed and that is a good thing. Marriages aren’t supposed to end in divorce. That is not God’s design. But you can rest in God’s love, provision, strength, peace, joy, and sovereignty in the midst of it even though you won’t know the outcome for a long time. And you can decide that you will be content in Christ whether your husband comes back or not. I am not saying that is easy. There will be a lot of painful wrestling to get to that place.

                – When you are trusting God, you will not feel compelled to try to force and pressure your husband to do what you want him to do. You will be able to respect his choice even if you don’t like it and you will be able to take your hands off of his throat emotionally/spiritually. You will be able to give him the ability to have his free will even though he may choose to leave. You will be sad, but you will not be devastated as if there is no hope because you have so much hope in Jesus. You will grieve and mourn over your marriage. But at the same time look forward to all that God wants to do in your life and trust that God is and will be at work in your husband’s life and that God doesn’t need you to reach him. God can reach him, your main job now is to stay out of God’s way.

                Much love to you!

              6. Hope Always,

                My suggestion at this moment would be to stop reading RMM for awhile. God has MUCH BIGGER things on His priority list in your life than healing your marriage. Your relationship with Him has to be the absolute priority. How can you grow in your faith? What do you need to do to decide to learn to desire Jesus more than your husband and marriage? What things does God want to remove from your thinking? What does He want in your relationship with Him?

                Those are the kinds of questions to be focusing on right now, in my view.

                Praying for God to shine the light you need and for you to discover what an incredible Treasure He is!

              7. Wow..I any having a reaction to the idea of not reading RMM. Somedays it is my only source of hope..and at the same time, I know that Jesus MUST be the ONLY source of hope I need.

                I also read Divorce Care devotionals as well. Some days I am all over the place..planning for divorce, hoping for restoration, and persuing Jesus with all of my might.

                I can do all three, can’t I?

              8. Hope always. You have to keep your candle lit. I have read the past few posts and I see your RMM stuff too. I read all sorts of stuff too. Some days, it’s just a mustard seed of faith I have, other days, I am filled with joy and trust in the fact that God has it in control. It’s ok to be all over the place. This is a roller coater of emotions. I was going to reply earlier, but April came out and said exactly what I was going to. There comes a point when we realize that even our marriages have become an idol. Our husbands or being marrried in general can be an idol. For me, this was so true. Even having my kids as an idol. Yes, losing these things/people would be so sad and heartbreaking, but if we love them more than we love God, then face it…they are idols. God asks us to give him these things because they are things that will not last. They are not forever. But God is. Read about when Abraham was asked to sacrifice his only son Issac on the altar. God was testing Abraham to see if he loved God or his son more. Abraham passed the test, but God also did not take Issac. It’s the “willingness” to live without these things/people if God asks us to.

                The day I realized that God was asking me to give up my marriage and husband, I wept and snot cried for hours in anguish. But I obeyed God. I told my husband that I only want him to be happy, and if that meant not being with me, so be it. I was terrified that he would say, ok, bye, but he did not. It became the first moment of living for God first, becoming a whole person on my own, and being freed from the prison of fear that I was in.

                Fear dictates so much of our life if we let it. But God’s love overpowers fear. When we trust in Him, the weight is lifted. I began reading RMM to find out how to stand for a marriage with grace and purpose. But I fully agree with HH as well. There is no guarantee that my marriage or yours or his will be restored. The cool thing is that if it isn’t, then that marriage was not God’s best for us. Because of free will, we, or God will not force the other person to choose restoration. But, if we are living a life that honors God, doing our best every day to be like Jesus, then we will be rewarded. Ultimately in heaven, but even on earth, we will be able to find the joy of life in the things we DO have, and not focus entirely on what was lost or missing in our lives. Frankly, I have no idea if my husbsnd will continue to stay or decide to leave tomorrow. But I know that God is in control and I will be ok either way. I am still loved, valuable, cared for and important. Even if I am none of those things to my husband. It makes me sad, and some days (just 2 days ago, in fact), I was barely above water in an ocean of depression. Yet, I look to God, I pray for His arms to pick me up, to help remind me I am valued. I went to church, I went to the front and wept on the stairs. A prayer partner came to me, a woman I don’t know and prayed with me, hugged me, even kissed my cheek (uh, okay), but it was genuine love. She prayed that God send someone to talk with me, understand and guide me. We prayed for my husband and kids to find God and open their hearts. When I got home, my female cousin whom I haven’t talked to in probably 30 years called out of the blue, back in town and felt she needed to reach out to me. After an hour of phone talk, I hung up and fell to my knees. The reality of God answering a prayer this very day it was uttered, I didn’t even know how much I needed that prayer, it was the prayer partners prayer, I just agreed with it. Yet look how fast and complete God answered all those prayers! The moment I stepped home, with a family member who has gone through and survived the very same thing I am going through, and lifted me from that drowning sea of depression. Praise God, He is so, so good! I could not deny the Devine intervention that day. It kept me weeping on and off with gratitude.

                So, Hope Always, in a nutshell for life on earth, here is what I have learned about holding on tight to a marriage, for what it’s worth. Hopefully others can chime in too: the tighter and more desperately you try to hold onto your husband and marriage, the more strongly he will try to rip away from you. It’s clingy, desperate and suffocating to him. It’s exactly opposite to us women, but there is truth in it. Jesus never begged and pleaded for others to follow Him. He would ask, he would suggest, then he would “wipe the dust from his feet and go where he was welcomed”. It’s each person’s choice. Free will. However, as you learn to trust in God, and realize your own value as a child of God, the perfect father, you will find that even if your husband rejects you, leaves, criticizes you or whatever, he is just one person, and God’s love, acceptance and approval far outweighs anything ANY human being can say about you. As you grow more confident in that, there is a light that will radiate from you. A peace, security, an attraction. Other people will see it before he will. He may try to extinguish it, test it, reject it, call it names, please understand that it is the enemy doing this, not really your husband. The enemy is trying to kill, steal and destroy. But, one of my favorite thoughts is “you may not want to go to heaven with me, but I’m NOT going to hell with you”. Stay on your own page. Run YOUR race. Don’t worry about what your husband will or won’t do, leave, stay, divorce you or seperate etc. If he goes, let him. If he stays, live in peace to the best of your ability. But know that each day you are seeking to honor God and please God, not your husband.

                Feelings change. Circumstances change. Fearing things that may or may not happen in the future will make you feel panicky, anxious and crazy. Deal with today only. Ask God for your portion of peace, faith, patience, wisdom and perseverance that you need to get through today. Look for others to help and be an “angel” to today. Take your eyes off of your marriage and husband for now. Look for the good things in your life. Look for the many other gifts from God. Your health, your kids, family, friends, job, talents. Sunrises, cute animals to cuddle, beautiful scenery, life, breath to breath, food to eat….. on and on. Be grateful for what you have. Thank God every day that He is on the throne, in control and loves you, his precious child.

                Let your husband have space, time, quiet and more space. He needs everything off of him except God’s conviction. Let him have time to look around, think, really decide what he wants and doesn’t want without having to deal with you all over him. Sounds mean, but i bet he is overwhelmed, confused, angry, hurt, scared, and like a hurt animal, lashing out. My mom explained men (or people I’m sure) are like a wild anilmals. If you chase it,or grab at it, it will run, bite, scratch or such, but if you rest, wait, stay calm, and let the animal come to you on its own terms, it will be mutual and positive. But we need to let it be it’s own free will. It still may run, or bite, but we are patient calm and in rest. Think of your husband like the wild animal.

                Your job is to work on Hope Always. Search yourself for any sin, any idols or thoughts that are not bringing you closer to God. Learn to live for Him. Whatever else happens, will happen according to God’s plan anyway. The only thing you can control is your own actions, thoughts, feelings, words and reactions. Learn to accept your husbands free will, but also God’s love for you. You will see God come through and fight your battles for your good. Learn to look for God’s good lesson in what you are going through. I would guess that you are learning to unmesh from your husband and to take him off the throne and put God on it instead. Learn to hear the Holy Spirit voice in you.

                You need to figure out who you are on your own before you will be able to restore your marriage or accept whatever good plans God has in store for you. It’s a process, a journey and filled with joy and pain. But it is worth it.

                RMM can help keep your eyes on God. That all is not lost, but don’t look for promises of a restoration and waste your life in the meantime waiting for something that may or may not be God’s best for you. You can be open to restoration, but stop waiting for it and missing all else that God has in store for you. There is so much more to life than 1 man, a marriage or this struggle.

                I will pray for you today, my sweet sister that you can meditate on God’s words and feel the security in God’s love for you. You are precious to Him and valuable beyond measure. You. Are. His. Daughter. What father wouldn’t move mountains for his child? Then why would we think our Heavenly Father would do less? His perfect love loves perfectly. I pray for peace and rest for you today. Hugs and a cheek to cheek embrace. Maybe even the kiss on your cheek from a stranger 😉

              9. LMS,

                I love that your cousin rang. So awesome!

                If I can ask quickly please, you wrote “the tighter and more desperately you try to hold onto your husband and marriage, the more strongly he will try to rip away from you. It’s clingy, desperate and suffocating to him. It’s exactly opposite to us women, but there is truth in it.”

                What do you mean? A woman wants a man to hold onto their marriage tighter? HH

              10. HH,

                Women generally like to be pursued – but there is a limit. Personally, I believe that whether it is a wife idolizing her husband or a husband idolizing his wife – it is suffocating to be idolized. When the spouse is a clingy, needy, demanding, black hole of insatiable wants to the other spouse – the idolized spouse feels smothered and repelled.

              11. HH,

                April replied brilliantly to this. I can’t add much more except to say that of course it is a generalization. Women tend to feel connected from shared closeness, sharing personal stuff, communication, cuddling, face to face time. We want our issues to be fixed right now and feel urgent about it. It consumes every thought until it is dealt with with closure and a restored relationship. Often, we talk it out as we are thinking.

                Men tend to require space, some “man cave” time to think things out, make a decision then come out of the man cave with a clear direction. They feel connection more physically during sex and actually release bonding hormones from the act. They have the ability to wrap up things in a box and not let it affect the rest of their lives….until the box won’t hold anymore.

                The space and time spent away from us are fearful things to women. We tend to get very afraid of that space and time, it feels super unloving to women. Yet, I have come to learn what a gift it can be! As I gave my husband space and time, things would de-escalate and calm down. I hated it. It felt like I was being uncaring, unloving, and uninvolved. Yet, it was helping him…and probably me too. This was the unmeshing part. These days, I love the space and time, I use it to spend with my kids and God, but I can see how it can go too far the other way too.

                I was told men are like a rubberband, they need to pull away before they can rebound into a closer relationship. I’m sure there are women who are like this, and men who are not, but the idolization can feel clingy, gooey, and yucky….too much responsibility for someone else when the person has enough of their own baggage to deal with.

                I thought of different metaphors today that I wanted to share here…you know me, full of metaphors, but the thought felt true and peaceful……

                Sin. I thought of sin as gravity. It keeps trying to pull us to earth. It takes effort to go up, stand, fly, climb. Isaiah says “we will fly up on eagles wings”…..With no effort at all, we stay on the ground, yet, as we look up and work to get closer to God, it will take effort. That is why we need to guard our heart, fight the good fight of faith, and keep moving forward. If we stay still, gravity pulls us down, we collect dust, and become part of the earth, rather than the heavens. We are meant to soar, not squirm and burrow like worms and snakes on the ground.

                Fear. Like a doe in the woods by a stream. It needs to drink and eat to stay alive, yet, when it senses a predator around, it is on high alert, ready to spring away from danger at any second. Muscles are tense, it stays stock still, it is hyper aware of every movement and noise and smell. If that doe cannot trust and relax enough to bend her head down for a second to drink, it would eventually die of thirst. Yet, fear keeps the doe from taking her eyes away, searching, searching for danger. When we trust that God will protect us, we can drink and take in what we need. But when we let fear control and overtake us, we stay on constant alert to perceived danger and waste away not feeding ourselves what we truly need to survive and even thrive. It’s important not to let fear control us, but trust that God is on the throne.

                Praying for you, dear HH, that your wife wakes to God. I find much good in the fact that she opens up to you, trusts you, is civil and kind about the kids. I feel she is lost and like the doe, hyper aware of any perceived danger. She is not taking in what she needs. She is also taking the easy way, no effort to better herself in God. She is living for things of this earth, and nit things from God. But she sees you, you are a light to her, even if she doesn’t understand it all yet. Keep open, but live for God, not her, marriage restoration or quick fixes. You are a shining example of Jesus and we can all see it here.

                Many hugs, brother.

              12. Hi LMS,

                Thank you for your comment. I love the two metaphors you gave! Definitely the sin one is true, the “sin which so easily overcomes us” (Hebrews 12). And yet, whilst we need to spread our wings to be able to soar it is the wind which keeps us aloft (God’s truth, the power and presence of His Spirit and love). I love that it is pictured as an eagle and not a hummingbird, an eagle soars on the currents whereas a hummingbird beats its wings up to 70 times a second. What a difference in effort! And fear being like the doe, so true!! I will think of that often.

                Thank you most of all for your prayer. I so value and need the wisdom and strength that only God can give and I am certain that our prayers for each other are recognised and enjoyed by God and He responds when He sees the love His children have for each other in Christ.

                Am I being a light to her? I am honestly not sure that I am. Please know, I am not looking for self validation or approval from you or anybody else when I say that, I genuinely think about how I relate with her and sometimes question if she see’s anything in me of Christ. Other people often say to me that they see Him in me, but if I am showing His light to her, shouldn’t that be something she is drawn to? Or, does the fact that I had not lived His light to her for so long override who I am now? Hmmm…

                But, I will stay open, always. Even the fact that this year I am moving ‘forward’ with life beyond a divorce doesn’t mean I have closed the door to her. And, she knows that, even if she doesn’t want it. There’s only one HH’s DW and despite her decisions and the fact that my ‘spark’ is being quenched daily, I want all that is good for her, you know? Don’t know if that makes sense, doesn’t matter if it doesn’t 🙂 HH

              13. HH, that makes total sense. In fact, I beleive it is a beautiful description of “unconditional love” the kind God shows us.

                Grace is giving something good to someone who doesn’t derserve it, and Mercy is withholding something bad from someone who does deserve it.

                Unconditional love…This is how we also love our enemies. We want the best for them, which is to find God and live a right life, but it is also loving to let God lead them through the consequences of their actions. When we keep intervening and stopping that process with enabling and saving them from themselves, it stops God’s tutelage. Being grateful for the Mercy and Grace God gives us can bring us to our knees. We love because He loved us first. He sets the example for us to follow and emulate.

                Absolutely you are being a light to your DW, and many others around you. Your children, people in church, on PW, even her very own family. (They spent time with you during the holidays, right?) But the difference is her eyes are not yet open to see that light. She is still in the dark because she is blinded by her own sin. If/when she stops and starts to look inward, she will realize that she has control over her blindness. If/when she gets to a point of desperation when she “sees” no answer for her problems and starts to “seek” answers, she will start to “look” for the light to “show” her a way. God did that for us, but I would bet there were people in your life before your renewing that you felt drawn to and knew deep inside there was something about them you could trust. That they had a certain “truth” to them. I know I definately did, but I didnt know that until I looked backwards. That is the light of God reflecting off of us and shining out to others like a beacon. You are a lighthouse in the storm for her, yet, she is only starting to have an inkling that she is even lost. She is still trying to navigate a giant ship in the seas on her own. She might be having some self doubt, but is not ready to admit she is lost or needs help yet. Where your experience was more of climbing into the only little lifeboat you could find, curling up in the bottom to rest, and trusting Jesus to keep you safe during the storm. You surrendered to Him. She is not there yet. She is not looking for a beam of light from a light house because she doesn’t know about the danger lurking under the surface, the rocks and sharp edges of life waiting for her to come closer. Only when she starts to get holes poked into her hull, starts to take on water, or loss of control, no engines, sails, rudders, will she start to look for help. Keep shining, though. In the process, you may help direct many others to safety, including your kids, friends, maybe complete strangers. The light bursts through the darkness. It shibes brightest in the dark. God loves when we help expand His kingdom, but we are not limited to just one person. Yes, we really, really want our spouse to experience God’s love and we want them to go to heaven with us when they leave this earth, but there are others out there too. Lower hanging fruit. People that are seeking the light, they realize they need Gid and are looking for a safe pathway. You do your best for God to reflect His light, yet each shipmate is still turning his or her own wheel. The lighthouse is not responsible for the direction the ship goes, its only responsible to show the path to safety.

                I pray that your DW’s eyes may open soon and that God keeps guiding her to a better place, even if she doesn’t understand why or how. God loves DW as his own daughter as well, and it hurts Him to see her lost. Yet, He, alone has the power to discipline and father her in this life. God has spent much effort teaching and guiding and training YOU to be a mighty warrior of faith for Him. You are an excellent solider in His army and still refining your skills. He is trusting that He can now rely on YOU to stay strong with Him. Of course He helps you when you falter, but He asks you to join Him, arm in arm to reach those in the dark.

                I’m glad my metaphores were helpful. I wear an eagle on my neck daily instead of a cross. I have loved eagles since I was in high school. I didn’t really know why until my mind was renewed in God. My eagle necklace reminds me to stay strong, soar on wings of grace and mercy, that God will take me under His wing when I seek Him, that we are not meant to be of this earth. I wear a cross on my wrist, but my husband gave me the eagle necklace when we started dating. I’m sure he doesn’t realize the spiritual significance it has for me today, he thinks it’s a symbol of my hope for a restored marriage. It’s not really, but the coincidence is not lost to me.

                I am praying for all of us on PW to soar higher and seek God’s will above all. He is always looking for our best. We only need to obey and set our hearts on Him.

                Sending blessings to you today across the great big sky. Hugs, my fellow lighthouse.

              14. LMS,

                Interestingly, after I wrote that last comment about not being sure she see’s Christ in me, we had to meet to discuss the house settlement. Discussing the finances of it her comment was “I know you will do everything right by me and I know you will do the best you can with selling it. I trust you completely”…..and you know what? It struck me that she really does trust me. She does see integrity, honesty and knows I am trustworthy, which is a big part of seeing Christ in me.

                No, her family did not spend time with me in the holidays, I spent time with my sister’s in laws. Unfortunately DW’s parents have not spoken to me since she left 9 months ago apart from stilted hello’s when meeting accidentally. I have considered going to speak to them many times but at the moment they carry a lot of bitterness so I have not yet.

                I love, love, love how you wrote that the lighthouse is not responsible for what direction the ship goes, it’s just responsible for shining the light. That is so good!!!! And I love that God uses these whole experiences to effect many people, not just us and our spouse. That is so true! I love seeing people get a glimpse of the freedom that is found in Christ. Oh so free 🙂

                Thank you for your ministry here LMS. May I say, I feel that God has gifted you with a lot of insight into being able to use metaphors to help explain spiritual truths.

                I am praying for you and your family. The road we are on is not a short road with an immediate destination, it is a long road but it has a lot of beautiful scenery to look at whilst we are driving it.

                God bless, HH

              15. Hi Hope Always,

                What April has written about idolatry and knowing when you are trusting Christ is true.

                How will you know that you have completely handed over your husband to God? For me when I truly ‘let go’, fear went with it. Faith and fear are opposites, you can not have one with the other. And, like forgiveness, it is not a once off thing, it is a daily, moment by moment thing. Suppose you had been wronged by someone in an epic way (let’s say you lost your leg because of their sin) and you forgave them when they repented, but you still had to experience the consequences of their sin against you every single day even after forgiving them. You still don’t have a leg, it isn’t going to grow back just because you forgave them. Every day you wake up and know that you don’t have a leg because of their actions and every day there is the potential to feel bitter about it and forgiveness is a daily choice. I think faith is like that in some ways. The bible calls it walking by faith, every day we have a choice, do we believe the promises that God has given to us and rest in them or do we live in fear. I think that living and acting in fear is one of the things that the enemy most wants us to do because that is when we are the least effective for Christ.

                For me, if I start feeling fear then I am not truly in a state of faith and surrender. But, fear is different to pain, grief, a sense of loss etc. Divorce hurts. Betrayal hurts. Losing your home hurts. Not being with your kids hurts. But, when we are at peace and resting in God’s sovereign power these things cause pain but don’t cause fear. And it is SO good to not have fear.

                And the more we see God at work the more we know He is good. God just meets us with what we need when we need it. I had a bit of a flat spot last week after giving the kids back from an extended stay with me in the Christmas holidays. Went down to the lake and sat there, head bowed, praying “Lord, I am praying for blessing for my wife whatever is happening and I am asking you for a special comfort for me now”. Then as I was praying I heard someone clear their throat. A workmate had randomly decided to come down to the lake for dinner. He said “Hey, you don’t have to do this alone you know. Come have dinner with us”. My lonely night was turned into a night with a good friend. God will provide what we need.

                The tug of the ‘world’s ways’ of something better, is it really better? I have thought through that a lot and I think it is an empty promise.

                If I chose to remarry I would be asking someone to come in to my life and look after another woman’s children, asking her to accept that a large percentage of my finances would have to be given to DW for as long as my children are living with her, asking her to deal with any jealousy that would arise over any friendship I maintain with DW and I would still be seeing her a few times a week to pick up and drop off the kids. Marriage is hard enough under normal circumstances, but under those added pressures it would be extraordinarily difficult. Second marriages have a much higher chance of failure than first marriages for good reason. In my view the promise of finding happiness with ‘another person’ is an empty promise with the potential for even more hurt. It can so easily become a looking for fulfillment in another flawed human.

                Wholeness must be found as an individual, outside of another human being, otherwise we are depending on another incomplete person to make us complete. And when whole, that wholeness can be ministered TO your spouse (and other people) in a way that draws them closer to Christ to find their own wholeness.

                Whether married, single, divorced or otherwise if we are empty and broken in one of these states we will be in the other.

                Look to Jesus. His love and presence is a tangible reality, not empty words on a page. I cannot begin to tell how many times I have knelt with tears and risen with joy and peace. In God’s presence is fullness of joy.

                Planning for a divorce, hoping for restoration and pursuing Jesus at the same time? Absolutely! I am doing the same! I have to plan for a divorce and what life looks like after it as a practical reality, I am not giving up hope for a restoration and I am pursuing Jesus with all of me.

                In Christ, HH

              16. Hope Always,

                I also wanted to just encourage you in this time and say that no matter what, our Lord is in control! And I just wanted to add to what April was saying about how making the marriage or remarriage everything—– instead of making Christ everything.

                I believe the whole idea is not that Christ is an outward object that we have to be obsessed with, but rather, He is dwelling within us in our spirits, and we are to be surrendered to Him as dwelling within us more than we are to seek after the things of this life and world in order to attain or gain what we want in this life.

                Anything that is more important than following Christ is an idol, but that thing will never be able to bring the true satisfaction of our hearts, that spot is reserved for Christ alone. His Divine Life that He imparts unto us when we are born from above is the only thing that will satisfy. And often, as so many of us know, when the things of this life and of earth are threatened, that is when we see just how much we are truly surrendered to Christ, or whether we still have things that we want more than Him and His Purposes and will.

                If we are surrendered to Christ, then we can walk steadily on forward in the power of His Spirit, as we yield by faith in Him as dwelling within us, and depending on His life in us to rise up and meet the situation we are facing!

                Difficulties must arise in all of our lives in order to prove His energizing life within us to meet the situation, and bring us through victoriously on top of the situation! I think of HH when I say that, because it is evident that the Spirit of God has been mastering him and his heart for a while now, and the note that is left to all of us observing is that the Life of Christ in him has truly risen up and faced his hard situation and brought him through as on top of it all in the victory which Christ has already won over all death!

                Things must die in order for the new thing to come! 🙂

                I pray that the Lord will grant you a spirit of faith! And faith that turns unto Christ as dwelling within your very heart to rise up and meet this hard situation for His Glory and purposes!!!

                Lots of love,
                Amanda

              17. Thank you you for your kind words and wisdom. I understand what you are saying. I feel that I am slowly opening myself up to the idea that Jesus has to be the number one relationship that requires my attention.

                I thought that groveling and working over time to save my marriage was the right thing to do…but it has left me in further despair and overwhelm. There is no freedom when my heart is burdened with those dark feelings.

                I see clearly that what I am going through is a spiritual battle. It’s not my fault, my husbands fault, or some other reasons fault. Satan has come to destroy. I can only do my part to over come the spiritual warfare going on. My husband will do what he sees as right.

                Today I will do my best to focus on Jesus and trust him. Trust him. Trust him.

              18. Yes! And remember, Satan trembles at God’s feet, and God has already won. So just hold on tight to him with both hands, my lovely, and let him do His amazing work and fill your heart with peace and the discernment to do His will in whatever lies ahead. My prayers and heart are with you!

              19. Hope always, this is a beautiful and full of wisdom response. I am filled with joy for you and will pray that God keeps revealing to you His plan. I think this is the most rewarding path for you. It will still be painful, so was the other path, but you will find a life worth living bigger than the fleeting things of this world at the end. All my love to you, dear sister.

              20. Hope Always,

                Amen! Yes, you will be able to overcome this battle by faith in Christ who is dwelling within your very spirit! He has all the resources of Heaven, and He is abiding in you by faith with all that you could need to stand up in His Name, and move forward, letting go of what is unprofitable, and keeping your eyes on the ultimate—which is the heavenly life, not the life of this earth!

                He truly is in control, HE IS LORD OF ALL things, and He sees you, and He knows everything already. He is calling you out in faith to set your eyes and heart on Him, and His will, His purposes—no matter the cost to your self in this time! You can’t go wrong when you’re sole object is the Lord and His glory!!!

                God bless you!

                Love,
                Amanda

              21. Hope Always,

                Yes! This is absolutely a spiritual battle. Your enemy is not your husband. And groveling and trying hard in human strength to make a marriage the most important thing in life is never going to work. God has a way of using whatever it is we desire most to teach us that nothing will fill us up and satisfy us but Himself. Everything else is a “leaking cistern.” He alone is the Fountain of Living Water.

                You are experiencing profound spiritual oppression, it sounds like to me. That is a normal result when we put anything above Christ in our hearts. But you don’t have to stay there! You can begin by praying,

                “Lord,
                Help me want to make You my greatest desire. Help me to see that You are the most precious Treasure there is. I can’t even see that on my own. But I trust You to show me. I want to just be still and stop fighting in my own strength to force my husband to love me and to force my marriage to work. I can’t do it. I am completely incapable of healing my marriage or drawing my husband back to me by force. I am willing to put my marriage and dreams on the altar before You. What I need most is You. I don’t know exactly how this works. But I am trusting You and giving it all to You as much as I know how. Show me each step. I will follow You. I want to know and hunger for You. I am mentally laying down my husband and marriage before You. I want my marriage to be healed. But more than that, I know I need to want Your will. Help me want Your will and Your presence more than anything in this world. Help me learn to find all of my security and contentment in You. No matter what my husband does or does not do. Help me to set my eyes on You. Help me learn to let You transform and heal me. Make me the woman You desire me to be.
                Amen!”

              22. Thank you. Love the prayer. I will print the prayer and read every day as I continue to unclench my fist and let God in to heal me. You are absolutely right, as is everyone who has been reaching out to me in this blog, that I cannot force my husband to love me and stay in our marriage. He is in a major spiritual battle and I can almost see and feel the abyss he is in. But the good news is..that it doesn’t have to be my battle anymore. I can let him go and trust that God is working things out for good for my life and my husbands.

              23. Hope Always…yesssss! I am loving that your eyes are opening. In time, you will feel a huge weight lift off your shoulders as you stop trying to control something you cannot control. You are not responsible for his actions, thoughts, and feelings. You are only responsible for your own. As much as you want this marriage to work, it takes two. So, you do your part. First, to keep the promise you made to God when you married, but second, to be able to know that you are being the best “you” that you can be today for God. If your husband spirals into the abyss, then maybe he needs to be there to find out what God wants from him. People do not change when things are going good. We don’t fix what doesn’t seem broken. But when we feel that pain, sadness, anger, frustration, we start looking for answers. You are seeing that your husband is not the Lord of your life you thought that he would be. You cannot trust him to love you like God loves you. To always be there, understand you etc. And you cannot be the god to your husband either. Only the Lord our God can fill those needs for us. In fact no human can fill those needs. Parents, siblings, pastors, friends…that is why we need God first in our lives. Then, our relationships becone the icing on the cake, not the cake itself. Let God be your cake. You will find yourself growing in leaps and bounds, feeling more wisdom, stronger, more confident in who you are as a person as you realize that God is your Dad, and no one is stronger than Him. That he loves you and you are precious as His child to Him. That He is a wise and good father who knows just how to teach us, guide us and discipline us when we need it. He knows what’s best for us far better than we know what is best for us. Most times I feel like a 5 year old in Him. As we learn to accept how incredibly young we are in God’s eyes, we can learn to see just how much we need to rely on Him every single day. Looking to our husbands for all of that is like allowing your twin brother to be your father….when that brother needs guidance just as much as you do. Blind leading the blind.

                I will pray for you today that God help open your eyes wide and show you how childlike we all are. That you need His wisdom, love and guidance. Jesus came to this earth to be an example of perfection for us to follow. A living, breathing picture of God’s plan for us. Although we will never be perfect like Jesus, our goal is to learn every day how to get closer to that ideal. I pray that God’s wisdom and discernment come down to you and takes the blinders off of you and your husband so you can see clearly what love really is. So you can search for God first.

                All my love and hugs, sweet sister.

              24. Hope Always,

                I believe you have both been in great spiritual bondage. How exciting to see you being willing to get up – Jesus has already broken your shackles and opened your dungeon door – and begin to walk toward freedom in Him. 🙂 SOOO awesome to get to be with you on this journey and to walk beside you into His beautiful, glorious light!

                Jesus read this passage of the Old Testament to Jews in the synagogue in His home town of Nazareth:

                “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
                because he has anointed me
                to proclaim good news to the poor.
                He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
                and recovery of sight for the blind,
                to set the oppressed free,
                to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
                Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
                Luke 4:18-20

                This is what He came to do for each of us!

                One of my favorite Hymns is “And Can It Be That I Should Gain”

                Here are two of the last stanzas

                Long my imprisoned spirit lay
                Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
                Thine eye diffused a quickening ray,
                I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
                My chains fell off, my heart was free,
                I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
                My chains fell off, my heart was free,
                I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

                No condemnation now I dread;
                Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!
                Alive in Him, my living Head,
                And clothed in righteousness Divine,
                Bold I approach the eternal throne,
                And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
                Bold I approach the eternal throne,
                And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

                Much love!

            3. Hi LMS, I have been wondering how you are. So good to hear from you! I thought of you last night and was going to comment and see how you were but decided to wait. I am glad you wrote. How can I pray for you?

              Yes, you are right, I am keeping the door of possibility open. You comment about being open to restore marriage being way different to pursuing one is spot in. I have actually bought a new ring to wear when the divorce is finalised. It has Jesus and a cross embossed on it and I will wear it on my ring finger. I will wear it in recognition that my marriage is dead but that I do not consider myself “on the market”, I am espoused to Christ now in surrender to whatever purpose he has 🙂

              Thank you for recommendating RMM : ) How do you feel about their messages? I love most of what they wrote, some of the testimonies are fantastic, but I sometimes wonder if they are offering false hope. Their approach seems to be that a broken marriage WILL be restored, which I do not think is scriptural. There are so many examples in scripture where people were called to suffer in a way that displayed God’s character and strength so much more than if things were rosy and even in Hebrews 11 there are examples of people who were literally tortured and killed for their faith. I feel it is very possible that living a life as a separated/divorced man may bring more fruit to the saviour than as a married man. If everything is all rosy then people can think “yeah it’s easy for you to find joy in God, your life is awesome” but when life sucks and you have lost everything, THAT’S when joy has such an impact for Christ. I could be wrong, but at this stage I do not believe that God offers any guarantee of a restored marriage to people. His guarantee seems to be that He will be with us no matter what our circumstances.

              There is a lot I can be thankful for though! Some separations and divorces are so bitter! I was chatting to DW on the weekend about one of her friends who is divorcing and they haven’t spoken in over a year and are trying to take each other for all they can get. Every asset has become a fighting point. They even have to pick up their daughter from the police station when she is going from one parent to the other!! How awful for the kids 🙁 I am very thankful that it is not like that for me. In fact, I offered to give DW all of the proceeds of the house sale and I will start again and she said no, she feels that I have worked so much harder than her and that I should have a higher percentage of the proceeds in recognition of that! And we both have the freedom to text and say we are missing the kids and can we have them an extra night.

              Thank you for praying for us! God is working here as He is there. If I may ask for a specific prayer, DW said that she has no real friends anymore since she left me and our church and that the friends she has chosen are not good for her. She said she has nothing in life to look forward to now and has booked herself in to see a reputable Christian counsellor for some help. Please pray for the counsellor, that whatever is shared with her that it will be for her blessing and that she would find light and joy in Christ and for her future.

              Love in Christ, HH

        2. HH,

          WOW. What incredible treasures you have to share with your hurting sisters (and brothers) in Christ. Thank you for sharing what you have been learning and for sharing this encouragement with CIC and everyone.

          I pray for God’s continued healing and work in your heart. I pray for your wife to come to Christ in total submission to Him that she might find His healing. I pray for God to direct your every step for His greatest glory. So thankful we can all be on this crazy journey together.

          1. Thank you April.

            It certainly is a crazy journey isn’t it. I am grateful to share it with everyone here.

            HH

        3. Thank you, HH. The things you shared here are true and compassionate. I especially appreciate your sensitivity in sharing that I can hurt and have pain and that you weren’t saying it was my time to “get over it” right now. I think I expect too much of myself sometimes in matters like this and I think if I can just “figure it at all out”, like a formula or something, that I can get over the pain or that God will step in and move things along in a different way. The fact is, it just plain hurts at times, as you well know. The grief is real and must not be skipped or denied.

          Thankfully, I am not struggling with bitterness. But, I do have this fear that one day, I might. I pray to God not. I feel like, for the most part, I have been aware all along of the sovereignty of God in my situation. The thing I’m most struggling with is this idea that God could save my husband many years down the road – maybe after he has remarried or something – and I wouldn’t get to be a part of being with my husband and sharing life together in Christ.

          I really love what you shared about pursuing wholeness during this time and fully agree with you and also feel confirmation as I believe God has been bringing me that message in a few ways, too. Yes, He has already been revealing things to me and I know He will continue to do so and to heal broken places in me. I need His truth to shine into me and show me many things. This is exciting! Like I said in my comment on the other post, I feel like God has said this time is like getting chemotherapy treatment… It is painful but necessary. And He loves me too much to let me remain broken in these areas.

          This morning, I woke up with a stronger sense that God is telling me that I need to fully surrender this marriage to Him. Today, that thought came with peace and strength. Other days, the anguish of that thought breaks me. When I’m stronger about it, I do think in terms of “Why in the world would I want to go back in this marriage to be treated the way I’ve been treated?” I am confident this marriage, as it stands, is dead, dead, dead. For me, it helps me to live in the reality of that truth as I think of the future. I know God can save my husband and bring restoration, but I have no promises that He will resurrect the marriage. I feel best when I am thinking in terms of reality as I know it right now and when I’m planning for the future based on that.

          If God wants to restore my marriage, He will do it and nothing will stop Him. In the meantime, I need to make decisions based on the reality as it stands right now. I’ve read a lot of marriage restoration stories and most of them were instances where the marriage was dead and done and both parties had even moved on, many times divorce had happened. But then God came in and did a miracle. So, moving on to me isn’t limiting God’s power or not standing in faith, it’s just living in reality and putting my trust in God that I can have a joy-filled, abundant life, living in wholeness (as you said, you don’t need any woman to make you whole… The only one we need is Jesus to make us whole). God can do this in me in His time even if my marriage ends in divorce. I have to believe His promises are true… that He knows the plans he has for me and they are not to harm me but to prosper me and plans for my well-being and future. That He will work all things together for my good.

          So… enough about me. 🙂

          I think it’s interesting where your heart is toward your wife compared to where you were just a week or two ago. And, I think maybe God is helping you also deal with reality. As you said, you wouldn’t want the marriage anyway with her hardness of heart toward you. I also remember you saying very recently that you felt you needed more emotional separation from your wife. Perhaps God has done this in and for you. I personally don’t know how someone could move forward and not stay stuck in grief and limbo-land without getting to this place eventually. I don’t have the answers, but I know God is walking you right through this and will continue to do so.

          As far as you hearing that man’s story, I’ve also experienced similar things. I tend to hear every story or testimony and try to transpose it to my life and situation. It gets me crazy at times. 😀 Taking a step back and realizing I really don’t know but just placing the future in His hands and knowing that He will show me and reveal just what I need to know as I journey along is good.

          The great thing is to hear how far God has brought you, how good you sound. It gives me so. much. hope.

          I do feel for your children and their heartache. And mine. And every child of a broken marriage. So, so heartbreaking. This, too, we have to place in God’s hands and trust that He has a plan in their lives, too. I would crumble if I didn’t have the assurance of God’s sovereignty in this aspect of this nightmare.

          Thanks again for all you shared and the ways you’ve encouraged me in my journey.

          1. Love this, CIC.

            I think a lot of us want to skip over the pain and hurt. Or try to bury it. But I think we have to hash through it head on and sit in it and feel it and work through it with God’s help, laying it all at His feet over and over in cases where the hurt is very deep. It is a long process to deal with this degree of pain and grief.

            I love what you are learning and what God is showing you. So many precious truths here. I love your heart for God and hearing you hash through these difficult thoughts as you seek Christ in the pain.

            So honored to get to be on this journey with you, my beautiful sister.

            Much love!

          2. Hi CiC,

            I have a lot of compassion for every hurting brother and sister on here, every one of you. There are a few comments from various people that I have wanted to reply to but God has not given me the right words (Michael, if you are reading this my heart hurts for you and I am praying for you).

            I understand the thought that if you were able to “figure it all out” then that’s when God will ‘step in and change things’ straight away. I have thought along those lines many times and there is a tendency to still let those thoughts creep in. I do think it is a very clear scriptural principle (and one I have seen evidenced many times) that God does show Himself strong on behalf of those who put their trust in Him, but it seems to me equally clear that it is not a “Trust Him This Morning, Be Blessed This Afternoon” (although we definitely have the blessing of a peaceful, joyful heart immediately!). I think of Joseph in prison, he was an exemplary example of someone who walked in integrity and uprightness, but he was not lifted out of prison immediately. God used His surrender and obedience to work a much mightier deliverance of many people. What a triumph!

            I understand the fear that you may let bitterness creep in one day. As time continues, and potentially things unfold in a way that may be more hurtful there is the potential for bitterness to set in. In fact, there is probably always the potential for bitterness to set in wherever we are at in our journey, but the potential does seem to grow when we are being sinned against on a great level and when there is extended time of injustice (please don’t interpret this as me suggesting that things are necessarily going to go down a path that is more hurtful, they may well not)……that is a lot of ‘potentials’ in that comment LOL.

            Seeing my wife married to someone else and only THEN having her come to terms with all that is happened and wanting to apologise and make things right with me is something that I have also had to consider. It would be terribly difficult to see someone you have been married to for so long living in a supposed marriage relationship with another person, potentially more children born and seeing the confusion in my own children over this. But, if I have learned one thing through all of this though, is that whether we fear this happening or not we actually have no control over whether it does or not, and God IS strong enough to get us through ANYTHING that is thrown at us. I know that 🙂 The fear only cripples us and limits us from walking in peace and faith. We can look at what God HAS already brought us through and trust that whatever we do go through He will also give us the required strength and wisdom 🙂 And, maybe He will teach us what we need to know the day before we need it! He is a good teacher and His timing is impeccable 🙂

            Your comment about the chemotherapy was great! You mentioned about the cancer survivor having scars and I actually wrote a comment about the scars we have before you asked how I was going. I saw that and smiled 🙂 I felt that there was a message there for us 🙂

            Yes, if it is God’s plan to restore your marriage, then He will. There is a balance here between God’s sovereignty and man’s free will that I confess I do not understand wholly. Your husband and my wife both have a free will, as do you and I. There would not be so many warnings in the scripture about walking away from the Lord if we were not able to (this is a warning to us as well). God is definitely working in my life and the more I surrender to Him the more I understand and see where He wants me to go. God is also working in my wife and your husband’s lives but they may not necessarily surrender to Him for a long time, if ever. This is the truth, however much we may not like it (although, I do believe that God confirmed to me in prayer many months ago that my wife would return to Him, but I do not know when, how, or what that means for our marriage). Your comments on living in reality and putting your trust in God for the now are spot on in my humble view 🙂 And decisions need to be made for the now, not for the what if’s.

            Please don’t apologise for talking about you!!! 🙂 Goodness, you matter to God and all of us here! I was thinking this morning about the epic-ness of the sins against me in 2016, I have never been so wronged in my life from people who professed something they were not living! But, God brought to me the even more epic-ness of the cross! Have a read of this quote from Breaking Free “While I was still a sinner, Christ died for me. He heard the groans of my SELF-IMPOSED SLAVERY, and the God of the universe looked on my ugliness and called this captive free!”…..there may or may not have been a few people looking at me in the café as I read that and had joyful tears on my face, WOW! Christ’s love for you is epic and we can truly walk as free people!! 🙂

            Yes, I do believe that God has brought me to a ‘new place’. I know when it happened but I don’t actually understand it properly yet or what it means for the future 🙂 I was chatting to a dear old friend of mine (she is 88 now!) and she said that no matter how much I want to live for my wife and try to show by my actions that I am repentant for any ways that I have wronged her, if she doesn’t want it from me then I need to accept that. And, if she is not repentant for her own actions nothing I say or do will make her repentant. She was right…….Jesus offered His gift of salvation to all people, but not everyone accepts it. And, without repentance there is no remission of sins, forgiveness is always extended by Christ but sins have to be acknowledged and repented of before His forgiveness can be appropriated by us and our relationship restored with Him. I want my wife’s blessing and happiness with all of me, there is not a molecule in me that wants to see her unhappy, but I am definitely more emotionally separated from her. As I said, I don’t fully understand some of these recent heart changes yet but that is where I am at.

            It doesn’t mean that I am ‘on the market’, looking for anyone else or even consider my marriage vows annulled, it is just a letting go of what is past and a looking forward to what is future.

            Ah, our children 🙁 That is a dark spot in my heart, for all of our children. It is not their fault that they are hurting! Selfishness truly hurts innocent people and the kids are the victims 🙁

            I believe that I am responding to their pain with all of the compassion, understanding and wisdom that I have but the truth is that I can not change the situation and take their pain from them, no matter how much I want to!!! The one thing that I have control over is who I am to them, and I am THROWING myself into that with all sincerity! If we are doing craft together, they have my undivided attention! If they require discipline I ensure that it is given in love and that they know that. If we make a meal together I encourage them with all of my heart. I pray over them every day and ask God to take every….little….molecule of selfishness, pride, anger, bitterness, mistrust etc from me so that in every way I can love them as they need. Lord, show me the things that I can do to show them you! My daughter just CLINGS to me, she can not go half an hour without coming to tell me she loves me and needs a hug. I pray that I am showing them the right balance of love, boundaries, security and compassion in this situation. As I am writing this I realised that God is probably using their pain and confusion and my love for them to help me grow as a person also……..hmmm.

            I am excited about looking for another home when this sells, it will be MUCH smaller (less than half the size) as that is all I will be able to afford, but I don’t need stuff anyway! I have started to design a bunk bed for each of the kids to fit in the smaller rooms, with space for toys underneath and a staircase with drawers in them. I can build all of these myself with scraps of timber I can get from various salvage places around me, what fun!! I will make it a home with as much love in it as I can cram into it and I will create new memories for those precious kids!!!!!!

            You wrote “As far as you hearing that man’s story, I’ve also experienced similar things. I tend to hear every story or testimony and try to transpose it to my life and situation. It gets me crazy at times. 😀 Taking a step back and realizing I really don’t know but just placing the future in His hands and knowing that He will show me and reveal just what I need to know as I journey along is good.” Thank you for this comment! It was very good and timely 🙂 You are right, we do not know our story and transposing other’s stories onto our own is very risky. We all have our own, unique, individual journey BUT we are all under the shepherd care of the same father 🙂

            I am SO glad that what I write gives you hope! Because, there IS hope, so much of it! Like the great cloud of witnesses written of in Hebrews 11, where we see God demonstrating His power, love, authority and ability through past people, the testimonies of people living out life and trusting Him and seeing Him bring us through many, many challenges encourages us to continue to walk forward with hope.

            Wow, that was a long comment!!! It is nearly 40 degrees Celsius here now, I am going for a swim. Thank you for your transparency, honesty and encouragement 🙂 In Christ, HH

          3. Speaking of scars….I know I’ve shared this song, but it’s been meaningful to me for a while. Also talks about being “fruitful in the land of our suffering” which was one of the meanings of the names Joseph gave to one of his sons (Ephraim).

            Wow, God keeps bringing the Joseph story up for me. A long time ago when the waters were starting to get deeper and now again. I downloaded a book the other day by Max Lucado called You Will Get Through This and then Tony Evans is doing a 4 part series on Detours – both based on the story of Joseph.

            http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/the-alternative/?utm_source=OnePlace_Streaming%20&utm_medium=Clicks%20&utm_campaign=traffic%20&gclid=CNHahfvmrtECFYM8gQodfuIBdA

            I was reading a little in 1 Samuel today and have been deeply struck by the sovereignty of our God. There are a few instances that say that “an evil spirit from God” came on Saul and then just a short time later,  the Spirit of God comes on him and he prophesies with Samuel and other prophets (right in the middle of his pursuing David to kill him!) 

            When I looked up the part about an evil spirit from God,  one of the blogs I visited said that part of that purpose was to get David into the palace for influence…because he was going to be king.   God used the evil spirit to judge Saul for disobedience but also as part of His plan to move David closer to his prophesied position of King.   

            What strikes me is just the fact that God has His plans and purposes and we are so limited in our understanding of His ways.   I mean how do we explain that “an evil spirit was sent by the Lord” to Saul? And then just a short time later, as he is literally pursuing David to hunt him down and kill him – the Spirit of the Lord comes upon him and he starts prophesying?

            I just felt in my spirit this morning such a sense of how big God is and how sovereign He is. Can we wrap our minds around it all? No. We can’t fit it together with the idea that man also has responsibility. But, for me, right now….this truth brings me such comfort. To know that God has a plan and purpose and that He is working things out. It may not always go as we want or plan – but He rules and will have His way and thankfully,  as His children,  we have His promises to hold onto – that He is always good,  that He has good plans for us – not to harm us – that He is working **all** things out for our good and for our lives to bring Him glory.
             
            I am more at peace with whatever God does in my situation (I say that hesitantly, because I know the grief is not over and there is more to walk through and that I will likely fluctuate back and forth until God completes this work in me).   If God ends this marriage,  then it will be best for me and will bring Him glory and either way,  I do believe my husband will be saved in God’s perfect timing. And I write that fully aware that my heart still struggles with the idea of what His perfect timing could be.   If God is ending this all for good, then He will keep bringing my emotions and my own will more and more in line with His plan.   

            As a current song says… “Who can stop the Lord Almighty?” 

            His will *will* be done.   May He bring us all ever closer to a full surrender to it. 

            1. CIC.
              I appreciate what you shared. I am all over the place with the unraveling of my marriage. Some days I feel so distraught and want my husband to come back, and then I have other days where I know that I have absolutely no influence over what he does and feel at peace with letting go. I take a few steps forwards and several steps backwards….and I also get backup when I fall. None of this is easy for any of us.

              April, can you share the link for Absolute Surrender again. I downloaded it once but can’t find it. I read the link that HH wrote and he mentioned reading Absolute Surrender. I need to read it as well.

              1. Hope Always,

                This is a VERY tough position to be in, precious sister! BUT – I believe God is bringing you through these spiritual labor pains in order to much more fully birth Christ in you and that what He has in store will be GLORIOUS!

                Here is the link.

                Much love!

          4. HH, I’m too tired to respond to your other comment, but will at another time. 🙂

            Until then, just know that it brings a smile to my face – and I’m sure all of us here – to hear your love for your children and how God is using you to comfort and love them during this difficult time.

          5. HH,

            I am always happy when I read what the Lord is doing in your life because in it, and in the others’ lives here, as well as mine! that what the Lord has done and is doing continually in ALL of us is bringing us back to the Cross, where our natural life is brought to zero, and the Life of God in us becomes everything moving forward. The Lord has taken all of our situations to bring us to HIMSELF, and to show us that there is another way for us in this life according to Christ, and as we have all come together here and shared and prayed, the Lord has used us here as an illustration of what happens when His Spirit gets a hold of us! It leads us to the Cross, and it brings us newness of life, hope, deliverance, salvation, and victory over all that we were struggling with and facing on our own in our own strength!

            I am sad to say that you all here are the only people I’ve been able to fellowship with for a long time, on a spiritual level, as all of us are in unity by His Spirit here! But I am so thankful that the Lord led me here because this is an absolute need for spiritual growth and progress—- and it is how the Lord is expressed to the world around us—through our unity!

            God is perfectly satisfied with Christ Jesus our Lord—and it is through Him that we have our life in God, where there is true Divine order, and there is hope for a fruitful life to come out of all that was disordered and chaotic before we were truly placed in Christ!

            God Bless you—-what you are experiencing will be truly valuable to others one day. It is in these hard things that we learn Christ and that the Lord’s interests are furthered! And that is worthy of all praise in itself!!!

            Love,
            Amanda

      2. CIC
        Today someone sent me the exact same scripture that you ended your response with
        The last three years have been very painful..sobbing, crying out to God, getting angry with God, acting out my pain and anger with my husband…to moments of peace, acceptance, letting go..and then back to the same tears, sobbing, huddled on the floor in my closet crying out to Jesus, praying, reading, asking for help from my support system, pastors, prayer warriors.

        I don’t want my marriage to end….but my husband is non responsive in every way. He is still in the house so the rejection rips me up.

        This experience has brought me closer to God and I wouldn’t change that for anything. I did not invite God into my marriage…if my husband had a change of heart and we both renewed our commitment to God as individuals and as a married couple, I bet that our marriage would be incredible.

        My husband has changed and some days his behavior towards me is ugly. I am working on not taking his actions and words personally. I struggle with this daily.

        1. Hope Always,

          How are you feeling about the idea of your husband divorcing you? Do y’all have plans to separate? Would it be okay if we talk a bit about how you are doing with things?

          Sending you the biggest hug!

          1. Apri

            I am.very heart broken I have done all I can to mend my side. My boys are heartbroken. We have our first hearing to start the spliting of assets Feb 14.

            I continue to stand…pray…for healing. My husband is very hard hearted and cold to me. I cant begin to describe how painful it is. HE HAS LEFT THE MARRIAGE. While I still cling. He says that he is a Christian..but the way he treats me is the exact opposite.

            Somedays I know that his behavior is not what God would want for me and I think that I am okay with the divorce…but I feel very strongly that God is encouraing me to remain standing..and to let go of him at the same time. I cant give up home. I won’t fall into the worlds message that there is someone out there for me that will treat me better.

            I have a question and maybe others can help too…everytime I stand up for myself and confront my husband..he turns eveeything on me…brings up my failures..blames me..calls me abusive and unsafe. I have read a ton od books and blogs on everything.

            I need suggestions on how to hold my own and stand up for myself.

            Hoping everyday

          2. April

            My husband sleeps in the camper at night. He now stays in his camper in the morning until I leave. He eats dinner on his own or with my son. I jave asked him to please wait until I het home so that I can eat with my son too. But he hasnt. He is bitter. He gave me two hugs at Christmas..hugs that come from a husband..I got my hopes up.Things went downhill after that. We had words New Years Eve. I was hurt that he didnt axknowledge my birthday and he did something without discussing with me first. He seems to think he is entitled to so what he wants when he wants.Especially since he is divorcing me.

            I am so lonely for my marriage. I praise Jesus and ask him to be my husband, to comfort me and to be my safety net.

            1. hopeful gal,

              What would you say your expectations are of your husband at this point? It sounds like you may still be expecting him to act like a plugged in, loving husband?

              Would you be able to share a bit about how you stand up for yourself, what you say, and how he responds – so I can get a better picture of what is happening?

              He has said he wants a divorce and he wants to leave, correct?

              Are you willing to respect that this is his decision at this time – even as you trust God to work and to bring healing and restoration in time down the road?

              Much love to you!

        2. I am so sorry for all of your pain. I know God is going to hold you and walk you right through this.

          You might think I’m a little nuts, but I wonder if after y’all are separated, you might find your emotions settling down a little bit. Not having to see the man who is supposed to love and cherish you every day….but isn’t…..well, I really believe that you will find that you will find a level of peace that you may have not been able to enjoy at this time.

          I pray that God will continue to lead you through this hard journey. He is your Father who loves you and has good plans for you. He wants to lead you to green pastures. To lead you besides quiet waters and restore your soul. He is committed to you, sweet sister. He will never leave you. He will never abandon you. He loves like no human on this earth can love.

          I know and believe with all of my heart that God is going to heal your heart. He is hurting for you and with you. Curl up in His loving arms – find your refuge in Him — and against everything your eyes see, choose to believe that He is FOR you and is just leading you through some rocky places to get to a green pasture. Who knows what that green pasture looks like? We don’t. Neither did Abraham: “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place…..(the greener pastures we don’t know are ahead), obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.”

          We just trust and let the Shepherd lead us. And He can handle all of our emotion, hurt, sadness, anger, confusion as He is taking us.

          You are loved and greatly valued by our Father.

    2. hopeful gal,

      How I wish no spouse ever had to experience this kind of pain. 🙁 Yes, Jesus certainly does weep and grieve with you over what is happening and the pain that it is causing everyone involved.

      You are very right. You can’t change your husband. You can’t make him come back. You can’t open his eyes. I’m glad that you have looked into anything from which you needed to repent and tried to make things right and attempted to make reconciliation. That is awesome. This is kind of like the passage in Romans 12 where we are told to “live in peace…as far as it depends on you.” You are seeking to have peace and restoration on your end. But you can’t force your husband to come back. Like the father of the prodigal couldn’t force his son to return – he had to wait and pray.

      Sometimes a spouse has a journey they have to take. Sometimes God uses this to break them and show them their need for Christ. Sometimes going to the “far country and the pigsty” is the only thing that will bring someone to his/her senses.

      I pray for you continue to press on in Christ and to continue to lean on Him not your own understanding. I pray you will be open to all of the incredible spiritual treasures God has of you in this time of fiery trial. There are depths of riches to be had here that you would never be able to embrace anywhere else. I pray you will be able to receive all the good things God desires to show you in the midst of the trial and pain.

      What do you believe God is prompting you to do at this time? That is the only thing that really matters. 🙂

      Have you read Humbled Husband’s story? Check it out!

      Much love!

      1. Peaceful Wife
        Thank you. Right now it is painful to be with someone who can’t stand me and painful to think about life without him. It’s like death.

        I have come to a greater understanding of who my God is and have developed a great support system through this. I know I am not alone.

        Thank you for your wonderful ministry.

        1. Hope always,

          This is a very painful time. I have been there, and in some degree still am. It is so hard to give up the very things we hold so tightly. Yet, that is exactly what God asks of us. The day I realized God was asking me to give my marriage to Him and be willing to let it go, I bawled huge snot crying tears. This was so painful, it seemed my life was ending. I was so afraid I was giving up my life by not holding tighter and tighter. But what I found when I decided to surrender to God and I literally opened my hands and let go of my marriage. ..divorce or not, was that things began to change.

          I started to feel grateful for the other blessings in my life, kids, health, friends, sunshine, cute puppies, whatever, and less like a victim. I started to pull out of the self pity pit and became stronger, more whole. I saw that there is life after a marriage ends. And if we are following God, it is a wonderful life. I started to feel stronger, found my value, and found some true happiness.

          AND my husband has seemed to run out of steam and is trying to be a bit nicer, more congenial, even helpful. The backlash is I am constantly barraged from the enemy to not trust my h and his intentions, to feel suspicious, intruded upon and such, but I know better. God didn’t teach me all of this for me to fall back into my old ways.

          Yes, I was hugged 2x at Christmas and got my hopes up. I am trying like heck to stave off depression and feel consumed by hopelessness. So far my head is still above water. I just keep gluing my eyes on God. I think our husbands have their own battles to run through, as they see their “tantrums” and anger don’t move us as they used to, they start to simmer down.

          The battle for “space” physically and emotionally was huge for us too. Now I am the one who wants space, and I see him trying his toes in the water and coming toward me. I see it, but I don’t chase it anymore.

          I will pray for God to wrap you in His peace and rest as you learn to let go of the marriage. It may be an idol you don’t realize is before God in your mind. He will give you so much more back in return if you give it to God willingly.

          All my love.

          1. LMSdaily115,
            Thanks so much for sharing with Hope Always and HH. 🙂

            Praying for each of you who are struggling today.

            Oh! And I read a new book by Andrew Murray that was amazing The School of Obedience. It blessed me very much. I long to remember all that I read and put it into practice daily.

            Much love!

  5. A very timely and powerful message and prayer, thank you! I am sick in bed right now because of this very situation. The body and heart can only take so much. It’s hard to deflect that barrage of criticism and control. My husband feels like he is helping me and that I should thank him. Each mind is a world unto itself. This crash if nothing else serves as good reflection and healing time though despite the physical pain. I haven’t had a break in years so thank God for His mercy. May He wrap us all up in His infinite love.

    1. Hope,

      If you get a chance, I invite you to search my home page for “Radiant” – she has a similar story. But God has healed her emotionally, spiritually, and physically! I pray for the same for you.

      I thought I was helping Greg, too, by criticizing him and telling him what to do and focusing on the things I thought he should change. 🙁 Now, of course, I am able to see that what I was doing was hurtful – but I couldn’t see it before. I pray for God’s healing for you both, dear sister. No matter what is going on with your husband – there is hope, healing, encouragement, and strength available for you in Jesus. I will be glad to do anything I can to point the way to the abundant spiritual life He has for you.

      Much love and the biggest hug! Praying you will get the rest you need and allow Jesus to restore your soul.

      1. April, bless you, yes I was struck by the similarities with Radiant’s story as it’s the first I’ve found on the site that is similar. I will certainly look her up, thank you. Thank you for your prayers.

        With love and blessings

    2. Keeping you in prayer. I spend New Years Day sick as a dog. I felt like I was under a spiritual oppression..weighted down with shame, blame, and condemnation because the night before I stood up for myself and confronted my husband on various matters. I always pay afterwards by the way that he treats me. The attack of the enemy hits me physically.

      1. Hope always, my husband also filed for divorce last summer after I confronted him about his adultery. At that time the attack from the enemy was very strong. My only refuge was the Word. He Is our refuge. So, I tried to stay close to our God, to repent very often for my sin (pride was a big problem for me), and continued to grow in the Lord through the Word, John McArthur, John Piper’s and David Platt’s sermons. He will give you strength. Also, try to understand that you are not condemned. It takes time. Try not to pay attention to what your husband is doing (during the attack of the enemy “run” to Christ). Stay very close to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Look at Him. Know that you are loved… My husband left the house last week, but because God prepared me for this, I feel peaceful now.

        Take care of you, through our Lord Jesus. It is a battle, but if you look at Him, He will help you go through this. I’m glad that you are growing in Him. I know that He is faithful if we are faithful.
        Concerning your husband, try to be kind to him every day.

        In Christ love

        1. Thank you for names of people to listen to. I have been listening to a lot of music on YouTube…soaking prayers, music. Live videos such as United Pursuit, Bethel Music, and many more. The live jams are so much better than the radio. I feel the Holy Spirit filling my room and heart when Inlisten to music and sermons. I make several attempts to be kind to my husband everyday 8 out of 10 times he ignores or rejects me. I can’t be mean of play the same games as he does. Despite the way he treats me I still show up to life every day and practice the fruits of the spirit and love is patient, love is kind, etc. I lose it with him because I can only take so much rejection. I hurt physically as well as emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
          I have Jesus…he never rejects, criticizes, shames, blames, etc.

          1. Hope always,

            I understand so much your pain. Lord Jesus never rejects us or blame us, yes. John 3:17 “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

            Psalm 62 “God alone a refuge” (the original is “Only to God is my soul silence”)

            In Christ love

              1. Hope Always,

                That is the beauty of giving God all of the power in our lives. Yes, people can hurt us deeply. But when we are depending totally on God to meet our deepest needs and we are not tied up in an enmeshed/codependent way with people – there is so much freedom, peace, and joy.

                Praying for you today, dear sister!

        2. Ev,
          It is so good to hear from you. But goodness, it breaks my heart to hear the pain you have been through. I am glad that you are focusing on Christ and on abiding in Him. Praising God about what He is doing in your heart and that in the midst of this terrible storm you are able to rest in His peace.

          Sending you a huge hug!

          How may we pray for you, dear sister?

          1. April, thank you. I’m sorry for the passing of your Mom mom. The song that you sang to her is very beautiful. You also have a very nice voice.

            I have been going through a very difficult times. It was such a spiritual battle. I praise the Lord for His mercy. He showed me His goodness. He Is so good ! I could not see Him because of so many idols.

            Thank you for asking to pray. My wish would be to love and know Lord Jesus more; to be able to show compassion for my husband more..

            With love !

      2. Hope always, bless you and thank you for your prayers. Yes, it is an attack of the enemy via my husband’s negligence of my health. Effects are brutal. I either absorb the hurt and anger of his comments and actions internally or I bottle them up and out they come sooner or later – and I pay for that.I have just felt so much muscle tension, nerve pain and grief recently and on NYE we were supposed to go to church but my husband deviated to the fireworks and wouldn’t move. 4am to bed and I caught a chill and ever since I’ve been in physical agony that no amount of pain relievers is easing. I haven’t been this ill or weak in many years. You have no need to feel shame, blame or condemnation. You are a precious daughter of God. It’s so hard for me to see if or how I am contributing to this situation, especially when I’m so hurt. I know I need to start taking responsibility for my part, starting with strengthening my relationship with God. The rest we can’t control.

        With great love and prayers dear sister

          1. Bless you for your loving response. There is instability in many areas including my husband’s moods but thank God no danger. Much love xx

        1. Hope,

          A friend shared a resource with me, a book she had read by a man named Fred something (oh I wish I could remember his name!)… about handling conflict. He has a graphic that depicts and arch. In the center of the arch are healthy ways to approach conflict – negotiation, communication, listening, sharing, etc… Then as you move toward one side of the arc, it moves more and more toward hatred of the other person, attacks against them, and eventually, the farthest point is murder. On the other side of the arc, it begins to lead toward self harm, internalizing feelings, not talking things out, absorbing hurtful words, sickness for self, and eventually, the farthest point on that end of the arc is suicide.

          When conflict is not handled rightly – we tend to move toward one of those sinful extremes or the other. Both are toxic. Both are wrong. Both extremes lead us far from God’s path for us.

          I am very concerned about what you are describing and the way you are internalizing his words and anger and the physical symptoms you are having because of spiritual oppression. Radiant experienced some extremely physical symptoms of absorbing things like that, as well, and from believing so many lies about God, herself, and others.

          Praying for physical healing, emotional healing, and spiritual healing for you, dear sister!

          If you haven’t read it yet, I invite you to check out Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced. We have to get rid of every one of these toxic lies and replace them all with God’s truth to begin to heal. And also, you are welcome to read healthy vs unhealthy relationships.

          Also, Nina Roesner’s course “Strength and Dignity” may be a blessing. http://www.ninaroesner.com

          Much love to you!

  6. Hope, Hope Always and EV–I’m not sure how long you’ve been on this blog but if not long I’d like to encourage you to continue to share here. Many months ago, after reading this blog for a while, I decided to share something that ate at me for decades. April, CIC, LMS, TrulyBlessed, Amanda and others-during that very difficult admission for me… really helped me with their support and wisdom. I poured my soul here, laid it bare. Coincidentally, that same weekend I went on a spiritual retreat for women and spent part of that time reading their helpful comments to me. I did special prayers, eucharistic adorations, went to mass every day and any other armour I could use. I was desperate for help, my soul was sick and I was dying inside, I was also ruining my marriage with death of a thousand cuts through the years. My husband was tired and distant. Really the pain was terrible after I realized what I was doing those 20 years since I’ve been married.

    Fast forward a few months later, I’m surprised even at myself at how much better and lighter I feel. That problem I had, I can’t believe I’m saying this, is about 80% gone. After 2 decades. Praise the Lord. I value the support, prayers and friendship here, they have lifted me up and have been part of my healing journey with Christ at the center as never before. I threw myself at His feet with all the power I had exhausting myself with tears and prayer in severe anguish at this prison I was in for 20 years or even longer.

    Since then, for that particular chain that held me, being desperate for Christ and running to blogs and racing to retreats and church and on my knees in prayer and using all the spiritual armour I could find is the blessed peace Christ granted me. What pain it took to get me here though! I’ve always taken seriously the promise of ‘seek and you shall find’ but my chain hindered alot of growth until I felt it was choking me. Thank God I now have peace and wisdom and when the triggers come, they are there for a moment and I manage it much better. There are times I still feel a moments anxiety, even pretty severe but at a much shorter length but I know grace is with me because I “handle it” internally with the tools I’ve learned. And the difference between now and then is that now, my husband doesn’t even know most times that I’ve had an internal struggle, versus in the past when it would have been a severe blow out type of argument for days, all stemming from my sin. This difference is no less than a miracle. I’m blown away and ever grateful. It’s not 100% removed but it is 100% better. I didn’t have that wisdom in dealing with it many months ago and this blog helped propel me towards healing and for that I am forever grateful.

    1. SIC…I found this blog about a year ago. Someone suggested this to me and April and everyone here is awesome. I also follow RMM and Leslie Vernick.

      I have poured my heart out here. I will continue to as the days grow closer to my marriage being legally over.

      I definitely understand grace and handling things differently I too have been a mess inside and have vomited all over…which causes incredible angst between my husband and me…and by the grace of God…I have been able to “zip my lips” ( RMM) and handle myself quietly and respectfully. My husband doesn’t know that he has just crushed my soul again. Then I go to Jesus and cry out to him, like I did tonight.

      I have found tremendous healing and hope through this blog and April of course.

      1. Whyy do you let your Husband crush you? I think you need to speak up. Even if it is “disrespectful”. He needs to know that you too have feelings and NEEDS! They are JUST as valid as his.

        1. ruhrgebietshexe,

          Thanks for reaching out to Hope Always and for wanting the best for her. 🙂

          There are certainly times when we do need to speak up, stand up for ourselves, and share what we need. There are times we need to respectfully, humbly confront sin in our husband’s lives.

          There are also times when us pressing our husbands to have our needs met will alienate them even further. Like in this situation where her husband has decided he is divorcing her.

          Most people, men and women, don’t respond well to being “disrespected” into doing what someone else wants them to do. I believe that when a spouse has decided to divorce, our expectations will probably have to be greatly adjusted. Especially if we want to try to rebuild the marriage. That is going to take incredible patience, respect, honor, and a willingness on our end to put our own legitimate needs on the back burner at times in order to pour healing into the dynamics of the relationship. Ultimately – each woman will need to seek to hear and obey God’s voice. There will probably be much “dying to self” in a fiery trial like this.

          Yes, there are some boundaries we must uphold and about which we must always be firm. That would include our refusal to participate in or condone sin. There are other areas where we must be flexible if our husbands are extremely deeply emotionally/spiritually wounded.

          I pray God will give Hope Always the wisdom she needs to accomplish healing and reconciliation in time in her marriage.

          Much love!

      2. All,

        Someone has shared that they have heard messages from some ministries that a spouse should stay with a spouse involved in unrepentant adultery, even to the point of living under the same roof with the unrepentant spouse and affair partner. I can’t find a biblical example or biblical support for this.

        In scripture, we are admonished to forgive unconditionally, yes. But reconciliation and trust are not to be unconditional. When there is a prodigal in scripture, that person usually leaves, or may be asked to leave. Those who are walking rightly with the Lord don’t sit with the prodigal during all of his/her sin. If the prodigal wants to come back, that is great, but repentance and genuine fruit of repentance are required for fellowship to be restored.

        Much love!

    2. SisterinChrist,
      WOOHOO!!!! PRAISING GOD for the healing that He has already done and for all He will continue to do until this oppression is completely gone, dear sister! 🙂

      Much love! Thank you so much for sharing. If you want to talk more about it – we are here. And most importantly, Jesus is right here with us all.

  7. April,

    I hope you don’t mind, but I feel led to share just a few links to 3 different blog posts that the Lord led me to write just over the past few months, that I felt the Lord laid on my heart—and that I feel might be helpful to any wife who is struggling in their marriage right now.

    There is a post for women who are married to believers, women who are married to non-believers, and any woman in general that is married and is experience difficulty.

    I pray that any who might be led to read one of them will have eyes opened to anything the Lord might want to show them. I believe the Lord has spoken to my own heart on these issues and I pray it might be a blessing to any struggling wife! 🙂

    For a born again wife who is married to another born again child of God: http://satisfiedwife.com/reacting-to-one-another-on-the-ground-of-christ/

    For a born again wife who is married to a non-believer: http://satisfiedwife.com/living-with-an-unbelieving-husband/

    For any born again wife who is experiencing conflict in marriage/struggles: http://satisfiedwife.com/is-your-marriage-falling-apart/

    As always, I pray anyone who reads might compare what I say to Scripture and approach it with an open heart to the Lord!

    This is a critical time for all of us—- for all children of God—- to see the greatness of our Lord Jesus—-and to come in line with His will and purposes for our lives and marriages!

    Love,
    Amanda

  8. I wanted to share some thoughts that Satisfied Wife (Amanda) emailed me as I think they may be helpful for others:

    The first email:

    “I was just reading something, and you popped into my mind with this message for you: the Lord is testing you as to the position you have taken with separating from your husband in order to let him go in order for the Lord to truly get ahold of him. You took the position of separating, and letting him go, for the Lord to come in and truly take over your husband’s life—you let go of trying to make your husband change or come to Christ and have left it in the Lord’s hand. Now, sister, you are being tested as to the position you have taken with all of this of letting him go. The Lord wants to make sure there is no personal interests left in you letting him go—the Lord wants to try your heart to see if there is anything other than total surrender and totally letting go to Him in this situation. Don’t fall back. Have faith—-press on! The Lord is SOVEREIGN AND HE IS RULING OVER ALL PRINCIPALITIES AND AUTHORITIES—-He is GOD. And you belong to HIM—-And this is a faith test and a true opportunity to come in line with the Lord’s full purpose for you!!!!

    I pray these words being life and uplift—and I trust that the Spirit of God in you can confirm them, or if they are of my own judgment. ”

    The second email:

    “You told me a while ago that you really believed that the Lord was telling you to separate in order for the Lord to get ahold of your husband, right? If you truly believe that, then that is where you are right now, you took a stand according to the way you heard the Lord leading you, and now you are being tested to that position you took. Your faith is being tested as to the way you took in this matter. 

    Think of Paul—when he went a certain way according to the Holy Spirit’s leading in him, he ended up in a shipwreck! But you never see him doubting the way he took according to what the Spirit led him to do. 

    If you are absolutely sure that the Holy Spirit truly led you to separate—then there is no use doubting now! If you believe it was NOT truly Him leading you—then perhaps the Lord just wants to teach you something now. But I remember you saying you definitely knew it was the Lord leading you to do this.

    Here you are—- you took the way you saw Him leading, and it is turning out to be harder then you might have thought it would be!

    But it’s ok—now is the time to stand up in faith, not going back on what you believe but pressing forward, accepting what the Lord is allowing—as long as you are truly coming to see and know the Lord Jesus inwardly. Are you gaining more knowledge of Christ in this separation? Are you becoming more like Christ through this experience? Is more LIFE coming out from this separation? 

    If it is producing death, then you know it is not of God. God is the God of LIFE, and not death. Even if things are dying all around you or in your life, you can still be experiencing LIFE within you as you go through this. If you are not experiencing more life—then something’s wrong!”

    God really used these emails plus a bunch of other things the last few days (comments here and books and scripture) to help me fix my eyes back on His perfect sovereign ways and to come to a better place of trusting Him again.

    Just wanted to share as I know so many are hurting in their marriages.

    1. Amen! My beautiful sisters in Christ, that was a lovely post, thank you for sharing. I can see myself remembering that when i feel shipwrecked.

  9. All,

    I have received my manuscript back for The Peaceful Mom so will be a bit more tied up the next month or so than usual. I appreciate the way y’all reach out to each other and love, encourage, pray for, and support each other. I may have to depend a bit more on those who feel called to reach out to others who are struggling for a while.

    Much love in Christ!

  10. Hey April. I have a question. I know in your book you talk about approaching your husband if you’re husband is not taking very good care of his health (smoking, unhealthy eating, etc.) but ultimately realizing he’s responsible for his own health. What do you do if your husband approaches you about something he believes you are doing that’s unhealthy? My husband did so last night, in a not so sensitive way. He’s not very compassionate or sympathetic and can be very stern. I got very defensive. Maybe if he approached me in a loving way I would be more inclined to listen?

    It’s weird. I used to be so naggy with my husband about his health and no it seems the roles have reversed. It’s just hard to respond with respect when he approaches things in an unloving way, even if what he says may be right. The whole Love and Respect thing right?
    He’s just been so critical lately that I don’t want to be around him. Kinda know how he has felt in the past with me, you know?

    Thanks!

    1. Linsey,

      How is your husband doing with quitting smoking? Is he still in the middle of all of that?

      Are you able to possibly look past his approach and take his criticism to God and ask God to help you see if there is anything He would want you to work on?

      Instead of being defensive, sometimes, it can be helpful to say, “I really care about your concerns and am thankful you are willing to bring them up to me. I think I could hear them better if the approach was a bit more gentle. But, I am super thankful that you care. I will certainly prayerfully consider the things you brought up. Thank you for speaking into my life.”

      Nina Roesner also has a lot of material about getting rid of defensiveness.

      Also, what you experienced with him approaching you in an abrasive way and your immediate feelings of repulsion is something to keep in mind as you approach him about difficult things in the future.

      I also have a post about responding to criticisms, insults, and rebukes that may be a blessing.

      1. Thank you April.

        Looking back, what my husband was saying was very true, even if he did it in a harsh way. It wasn’t quite an insult, but constructive criticism with a harsh tone of voice, which automatically made me defensive. I started to insult him back about his nicotine use. Currently he’s on the patch still. Later I did tell him that what he said is probably true, but it would be easier for me to hear his words if they were said in a more loving manner. At that point it was a little too late. I am going to take his advice though and show him that I respect what he said through my actions, because they do align with Scripture and through my prayer.

        We are actually doing pretty good overall with a few bumps in the road, but we’ve been bouncing back from these bumps faster than before. I just have to catch myself when I’m not allowing him to lead or make decisions and when I’m trying to control things too much. I’ve planned out our whole weekend and I’m thinking now that maybe I’ll let go of those plans and let him take the lead.

        Thank you.

        Linsey

        1. Linsey,

          I’m glad that you have been doing better. This is a process. At first, you will realize your mistakes after you made them. Then you will start catching yourself in the middle of saying something or right before you are about to say something. Then as you continue to allow God to transform your thinking, you won’t have as many temptations, or you will recognize them before you even let them take root. SO thankful for the Holy Spirit’s power to do that! I’m very glad to hear you are recovering from the bumps more quickly. That is awesome!

          I’m glad that you let him know that what he said was probably true but that it would be easier for you to hear his words if they were said in a more loving manner. That was an important thing to say.

          Next time, maybe you can have a response that you are prepared to say. Something like, “Thank you for loving me enough to share this concern. I would like to take some time to prayerfully consider what you said before I respond.” Or, “Ouch. That hurt. But I will be glad to prayerfully consider this.”

          Some guys like their wives to play their schedules for the weekend. Some don’t. So maybe you can ask your husband what he would prefer. 🙂

          Much love!

      2. My husband can be passive aggressive so sometimes he agrees to things he doesn’t want to do. Sometimes I don’t think he minds if I plan things, but I think he does mind when I make him feel guilty if he wants to change plans or cancels on something. We had a disagreement about this last weekend. He agreed to taking our daughter to the pool as a family. When the day came, he was acting passive aggressive about going and then blurted out that he wanted to clean his car. I got hurt because he had said he would go and then took it back. He was upset, because he wanted to clean his car. It’s difficult, because I’m not passive aggressive at all, but he’ll agree to things he doesn’t want to do and then get upset about it. Not sure what to do in that situation. I did make him feel guilty when he canceled which wasn’t right, but I don’t feel like He should agree to things and not follow through.

        1. Linsey,

          Some people like to plan things ahead of time. Others are more spontaneous. Maybe you can talk with him about this and see what he prefers? As he feels more safe with you – I think he may be willing to start to say that he doesn’t want to do something up front. You might be able to tell him that it is okay if he doesn’t want to do something, that you just enjoy planning things for the family to enjoy, but that his feelings matter to you and you don’t want to plan things he doesn’t like to do. He needs to know it is okay to say no. And that you will honor his no. And it is okay to say that you appreciate him just being honest whether or not the answer is yes.

          As y’all get more practice, I have a feeling things will improve. 🙂

          Yes, you could try waiting until later to plan. That may work better. Or you can say what you would like to do and then wait and see how things work out. If you are able to be more flexible, that would probably be helpful. And if he knows you won’t freak out if he says no or if he wants to make plans more last minute – I think things may go more smoothly.

          Praying for God’s wisdom for you, precious sister!

          1. Hi April. Wondering about your perspective on something, because I’m so confused!

            So things have been going fairly well. We don’t have close intimacy by any means yet, but I realize that this may take some time, but we haven’t been fighting, until today.

            So my husband’s tire got a flat today and I had to drive him home from work. I told him that I would be there at 4:45 and that I need to be home at 5:15, because I had an online class I had to take and could not be late and I needed him to watch our daughter. Later on in the day, I realized that I was getting off work earlier and texted him asking him if I could pick him up earlier. I never heard back. So I went to pick up our daughter from daycare and went to his work and waited for about 30 minutes. I called him and he said he would be down in 20 minutes, so we waited longer. I had texted him multiple times asking him if we could leave and if he could find a ride. No response. 50 minutes later I don’t hear anything. My daughter is crying, it is freezing outside (Negative 40 in Alaska!), and I’m going to be late for my class. Finally he makes it down. At that point, I’m very hurt. I know that my husband’s military job is very demanding and I know that he cannot control last call meetings with his higher ups and soldiers. However, this happens frequently, with his job and there have been many times he leaves me waiting while he gets lost looking around in a store or fishing, while I wait in the car. I really don’t like waiting in a car, especially in extreme cold and with a crying baby. I was hurt, because I feel like he takes me for granted and he could of been more considerate. He could have let me know, so I could have made other plans or arrangements.

            Anyways, so he gets in the car and I don’t say anything, but a single tear runs down my face. He starts to get angry. He asks me why I am crying. I told him that I just wish that he would have let me know what was going on. That’s when he flipped out and started to become very insensitive. He tells me to be quiet and that he doesn’t care about my feelings. When we get home, he continues. I start to put dinner on the table and he asks me to clean up the trash and I tell him that I have to do my class online and he flips out more. I try to apologize and he gets even more mad, saying he is going to leave the house and I’ll have to deal with skipping my first class online. I finally leave the room and just say “thank you for watching our daughter. I love you.” He then starts telling me that he doesn’t ant my “Thanks”.

            What did I miss here? I realize that I could have handled the situation better. I know that it probably was not a crying matter and that I let my anxiety get the best of me. He told me that I was trying to guilt trip him. I know that we both are under stress. I’m not sure if he had a nicotine patch on or not, so that certainly could have influenced things. The thing is. I do feel taken for granted and underappreciated sometimes. Maybe I shouldn’t listen to these feelings? But what if I was a little sad? Is that such a crime? He gets so mad when I cry! I also don’t understand that when someone inconveniences someone, intentionally or not, you apologize. That’s how I was raised anyhow. If it was the other way around, I would have let him know I was going to be late. I would have apologized sincerely for being late and making him wait and then if he was mad about it, I would have probably let it go. Not sure what I’m missing here. I don’t understand how he cannot feel bad at all for hurting me. I’m confused why he wouldn’t feel bad for making us wait, even if it wasn’t his fault? I’m sure I’m having a wrong perspective about this whole thing though.

            Regardless of understanding or not, I tried to apologize and he got even more mad. He doesn’t want to even be around me, so I’m not sure what else to do but give him some space. I just can’t allow his rage to destroy me like it has in the past, so I’m leaning on Jesus right now. I just want to see how I played a part in all of this. I hate how our daughter sees this too. It scares me, because I’m afraid if this continues she is going to grow up hating him for hurting me or grow up thinking I’m weak and hating me. He doesn’t see how his anger scares affects her, but maybe I don’t see how my tears may be affecting her? My husband hates crying. Being in the military, he sees it as a weakness and a form of manipulation. He’s admitted to this. It makes me feel lonely. He used to apologize and feel bad for things when we dated when he hurt me. He doesn’t seem to care at all anymore. 🙁

            Thanks so much.

            1. Linsey,

              Ugh. That didn’t go well.

              But you know what? I am not sure that you did anything wrong. And I don’t think you even needed to apologize to him for having a tear run down your cheek.

              Husbands have issues, too. I don’t know why he didn’t answer your texts. I don’t know if he could have or not. I don’t know if he had a nicotine patch on.

              He may not like crying. That is fine. He doesn’t have to like it. He may believe it is manipulation. And certainly there are those who try to manipulate others that way. But if you know you we not manipulating him, then don’t apologize for feeling so stressed and sad and frustrated.

              I can’t imagine being in the car in negative 40 degrees. I can tell you that in South Carolina, no one would go out of their houses if it was that cold!

              Was your class for work?

              What happens if you are sad because he is being inconsiderate and you don’5 apologize but you dno’5 disrespect him? What happens if you just give him some space to cool down and hopefully think more rationally? I can’t imagine that any productive conversation could take place when he is in that kind of mode.

              What do you sense God asking you to do?

              There will be a lag. Even when you are doing more and more things right, he will continue to treat you the way he used to for awhile, most likely, u till he realizes that the change is for real. That can take a while. And then there is the ADD issue and the quitting smoking issue for him. He may be unreasonable at times. So let’s pray for God’s clear wisdom for you to rightly handle yourself when this happens.

              Does he treat other people like this when he is upset, also?

              Much love!! And the biggest hug!

              1. Thank you April.

                My suspicions were right, he started chewing tobacco again. This is most likely the reason he was so harsh. Some ask me why it is such a big deal for me. The reason it is is because when he chews tobacco, his moods are all over the place? The nicotine calms him down, but if he hasn’t used, he becomes cranky, snappy, and sometimes explosive. He won’t chew infront of me, so that’s why he is so hard to be around at night and on the weekends because he will start to withdrawal. At least when he’s on the patch, he is consistently getting nicotine and he’s calm and like the real him. I don’t think everyone who smokes or chews is like this, but when you mix in his ADHD, his stress, and withdrawals, he becomes explosive and I unfortunately get the brunt of it I’m not really sure what to do at this point. He’s been using and quitting for the 7 years we’ve been together. I know I can’t make him quit, but I also need to protect myself from getting hurt. I really feel that there cannot be much intimacy as long as he is using. It’s hard to be close to him when he’s so unloving. It’s like Jekyl and Hide.

                I did reflect on my part. I don’t think crying was wrong either. He doesn’t understand crying. He has admitted to this. He does think it’s manipulation. To be truthful, I have used crying in the past as manipulation, even though I didn’t realize it at the time. There was one point he cared but that went away quickly after we got married. I sometimes worry that I caused too much damage early on in our marriage, that it’s too late for him to ever be a caring husband who cares about my feelings. God has made so many changes in me, especially in how I am as a wife, but my husband has not patience or grace if I fall back. he seems less compassionate and forgiving then before I learned to be more respectful and dramatic.

                As far as the crying thing, I honestly believe his views come from his upbringing and the military. He doesn’t have much compassion or sympathy for others, at least that’s what it appears to be on the outside. His family is not an emotional family and the military trains you to be “tough”. On another note, the amount of drama that he has to deal with at work is crazy. From soldiers threatening suicide to committing crimes. It is a very stressful position so when he gets in the car, and I’m crying, I don’t think he can handle it very well.

                From what I gathered, he felt like my crying was an atrack, because there was nothing he could have down differently in that situation. His higher up called him for a meeting and he had no choice. Could he have text me? I don’t know. He also hates text messages with a passion. He felt stressed and I was just another thing bringing him down, in his view. He said I was guilt tripping. I did tell him that I felt taken for granted. He did not like this. I told him I just wish he would have given me notice. He was unwilling to listen.

                But like I said, I don’t know how much of this was fueled by nicotine withdrawals or stress. We also have had a few small fights before this where I was disrespectful. Maybe things were building up from that? Maybe he even started chewing again because of that. I’ve even wondering if his anger is due to depression. He’s been zoning out in front of the TV all of the time and eating really unhealthy and just doesn’t seem happy.

                I’ve been leaning on God in every way when he is this way. I was having a hard time hearing His voice when my anxiety was building up in the car as I waited. I was hearing that I should go home and let my husband figure it out and then I was hearing a quitter voice say “be patient. This will pass. It will be fine” I’m pretty sure God’s voice was the latter. My fear is that I’m allowing my husband to take me for granted. I can’t imagine my husband allowing me to wait around for him all of the time while we were dating or to his boss. I really do feel like my husband takes me for granted. I’m not sure if God wants me to do anything about that.

                What I’m hearing now is: to give my husband a lot of space. Be pleasant and respectful to him no matter what, but just give him his space. Spend time with Him, take care of myself and my daughter. Do our own thing this weekend and allow him time to process things. Invite him to come along when we go out, but act like it’s no big deal if he says no. Don’t let his mood bring you down. Let go of trying to control his mood or behaviors and just work on your own. Don’t tell him what he should or shouldn’t do or can and can’t do. Allow him complete freedom to make his own decisions, even if you don’t agree (especially in regards to nicotine and money since these are hot issues for us). Allow him to come to me on his own, and rest in Him.

                Thanks for the ear 🙂

              2. Linsey,

                For him to quit every single weekend is not going to be a recipe for success for your marriage. It would be really awesome if he could either just quit completely, of course, but I think he would be a lot more stable even if he just stayed on it rather than going on and off all the time and then you get the brunt of the withdrawals. That would be really hard. Praying for God’s wisdom for you about this.

                I am glad to hear that he wasn’t able to text you back because of work – and that he wasn’t just being hateful or purposely ignoring you. That is good news.

                I think that what you are hearing in that last paragraph sounds pretty good. Of course, as things begin to heal – you will be able to discern and share more input in a godly way, I believe. As you listen to God’s Spirit.

                How have things gone this weekend?

                Praying for you my precious sister!

              3. I also want to add that before I was saved, I suffered a lot from depression and anxiety. When I would be going through a depressive episode, especially after the baby was born, my husband was not there for me. It was very painful for me. He would get very angry. I even had to be hospitalized at one point and he was furious. This was a very lonely time. I have tried to understand and I have read how many divorces can be caused from a spouse being depressed. I know my depression and anxiety consumed me and dragged him down. He was often the target of my sadness. Even when he wasn’t, it was hard for him to be there for me. I think he took it personally even though I warned him before we married. Maybe he felt like less of a husband because I wasn’t happy?

                Thankfully I found Christ and he transformed me and I haven’t had a depressive episode since. So maybe my husbands anger to me crying is very similar to why he was so angry when I was depressed. He doesn’t feel like he can make me happy. Idk.

              4. Linsey,

                It is hard to be a wife or husband when a spouse is depressed. Generally, another person can’t really “fix” someone’s depression. And it is definitely hard for husbands when they want to be able to make their wives happy to feel like maybe they are failing as a husband if their wife is unhappy, even when it is hormonal or something over which the husband has no control. Husbands love to see their wives peaceful, joyful, and content.

                I’m so thankful to hear about what Jesus has done for you! THAT IS AWESOME! Real joy and contentment is truly only found in Him, not in another person.

                Sometimes husbands may be less compassionate after their wives begin to learn about respect. It seems like maybe they feel that there should be a magical “switch” and that once we begin to understand respect we will never stumble and always be perfect. Of course most husbands have no idea all that is involved in a wife learning respect, especially in our culture, or how it is a lifelong journey of sanctification and that we may stumble at times, but that doesn’t mean God is not at work in our hearts.

                Husbands have their own journey to learn to love us with God’s love and to display Christlikeness to us – that is also a lifelong journey that transforms them just as much as God wants to transform wives. They stumble at times, too.

                What happens, in your mind, if your husband does take you for granted? Why do you believe that is such a big fear?

                Much love to you!
                April

              5. Thanks April.

                This weekend was very tough. He was in a foul mood the whole time, largely due to nicotine withdrawals and stress from work. He was very unloving and taking it out on me. However, he went to the gym and library yesterday and when he came back he said “I’ve been thinking. I’m not going to let my job stress me out so much. I have a beautiful wife and daughter and I’m going to start enjoying life. I love you.” This was huge. My husband rarely says things like this, so I know God must have been at work on him. I wish I could have responded in an uplifting way, but I was so hurt, I stayed silent. Not in a grumpy way, just didn’t know what to say.

                Yes the constant quitting and using is really hard. I wished he realized how it impacts his moods. This has been a constant battle. I used to be very disrespectful and judge mental about this in the past. Even now it comes out when I frustrated. I know he started back up today but I’m thinking maybe I shouldn’t say anything about it. I like how you offered a way to approach your husband about his health in your book, but because this issue has been discussed so many times and often as fights, do you think it would be a good idea to give it sometime before I approach it again? Maybe when our relationship is a lot stronger and he feels respected by me? I know he wants to quit and he probably feels like a failure for being unable to after so many times. Sometimes he blames me, because I put stress on him, but I remind him that I don’t own his choices. I’m not sure. Maybe I need to just leave it alone and pray about it.

                As far as feeling taken for granted, I think that was a pride issue in me and I overcame that 🙂

                Thank you.

              6. Linsey,

                Wow! What an impactful moment for him to realize what he did and to express it to you after he went out! WOW! WOW! Thank You, God!!!!!!

                If he is trying to quit every single weekend for you – I don’t think it is necessary for you to bring up the issue. He is on it. He is trying. Of course, this is much harder on your relationship than if he were just on the tobacco stuff all the time.

                I vote not to say anything about it, my precious sister. If you never say anything else about it ever again, he knows you hate it and that you don’t want him to use it. He’s a smart guy with a good memory. This will have to be all him – his decision, his motivation, his wanting to quit, his dealing with the stress of his job, ADD, and trying to quit. But you can be encouraging and supportive when he tries to quit.

                Praying about it is good.

                Okay – if you want to talk about feeling taken for granted, let me know!

                I am also glad to hear that you were able to see that you have things to work on, too, and that you want to focus on that. That is a great place to focus your attention.

                Much love!

              7. And while he has been extremely hurtful and I realize I am not responsible for his behavior, I did realize I have a lot more to do on this journey of respect. There were a lot of comments that I made before this whole weekend that were disrespectful and he may have been holding it all in.

  11. My dear brothers and sisters,

    Our Lord Jesus Christ is our loving, forgiving and faithful and loyal bridegroom.

    I believe that it is up to as brothers and sisters in the Church of Christ to demand the best of our selves, to be servants of Our Lord, When I review my conduct and thoughts, I ask forgiveness of Jesus Christ, it is not He who holds onto my failings.

    That is a tough role to fill, I know I have failed and been over-demanding and unforgiving.

    That does not mean that I should not try to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

    I send you all blessings on your marriages that honesty and love may fill all your days,
    Jesuscentreoflife

Thanks for joining the discussion! Let's keep it classy and respectful. I'm so glad we can walk this road together.

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