Is it time to let go of your marriage?


Have you ever asked if it was time to let go of your marriage?

After writing a post on what I’ve learned after 25 years of marriage, I received  a question from a reader that broke my heart. It was a question I hear far too often from women who are weary in well-doing when it comes to their marriage.

broken heart on a rockThe question was “How do you know when it’s time to let go of your marriage?” The woman asking the question was  tired of being the only one fighting for her marriage. She was weary of “always trying to do the right thing.”

I understand when a wife says her husband is emotionally distant. I understand it gets trying and wearisome when you feel you’re the only one who is working on the marriage. I understand unmet expectations, disappointments, and dashed dreams. And I understand the feeling of “I just can’t do this anymore.” I’ll tell you why.

I understand because I, too, am married to a man, a human, a sinner by nature. And I am also a sinner by nature. So the first, most natural thing to do in a marriage when we’re experiencing hurt or feeling weary is to fall back into our fleshly thinking (before Christ made us new) and say “I’ve had it. I just can’t do this anymore. I’m ready to let go of my marriage.”

But that’s where God comes in. You and I cannot be women who “let go” of our marriages — at our initiation — and women who trust God, unswervingly, at the same time.

Let me explain.

To answer the question “When is it time to let go?”one has to answer two other questions:

  1. Am I a person of my word?
  1. Am I willing to surrender to God, regardless?

Every wife faces, at one time or another, the realization that her expectations were not met. That’s because every man will eventually disappoint us. Every man will appear to not be working at the marriage, at times. So the question comes down to: Are we women of our word?  If you and I made a legally and spiritually binding promise to our spouse in front of God and witnesses, then we must be women of our word and keep that promise. As far as it is up to us, we need to hold to that promise for better or for worse (and this might be the worse), for richer and poorer (and stress is always higher when you’re poorer), in sickness and in health (and there are times we see that “sickness” we each have, just a little more clearly) til death do us part.

The second question is “Am I willing to surrender to God, regardless? ” There is a reason God said in Malachi 2:16 “I hate divorce.” The dissolution of a marriage was never God’s idea.  Scripture tells us it was allowed under the Mosaic law because of the “hardness” of the Israelites’  hearts.  Divorce results when one hardens his or her heart and no longer wants to honor the commitment made to the other. And sometimes, divorce occurs because one or both of the parties believe their problem is “irreconcilable.” Could that be the point at which you surrender completely to the God of reconciliation and say “I can’t do this, God, but You can do this through me”? I fear ever implying that the sovereign God who holds together the universe cannot hold together a marriage. Therefore when we come up against what looks impossible, we have to look to the God of the impossible. Otherwise, how can we call ourselves people of faith?

God gave us the marriage covenant so we would be able to understand His unconditional covenant with those whom He loves. He models for us what marriage looks like. God never says “Enough!” or “I’m too tired to go on” when it comes to the many times you and I have disappointed — or even betrayed — Him. He never claims He has “lost that loving feeling” toward us. He is our Everlasting Savior who will honor His everlasting commitment to never leave us, nor forsake us, no matter what we do (Hebrews 13:5).

Can you imitate that kind of love toward your husband, no matter what he does? That is surrender. That is obedience to God, regardless of the cost. And that is dying to self for the sake of the marriage and for the sake of the One who has died in your place

I know these are tough words….and I know there are circumstances and variables in every marriage. But my prayer is that you will understand that God will allow whatever it takes in our lives to transform us and make us more dependent on Him (and that goes for husbands, as well as wives). He will also allow us to go through whatever it takes to glorify Him.

So, when faced with a question like “When should I  let go of my marriage?” we need to respond by asking ourselves: “How can I glorify the God who died in my place? By letting my marriage go? Or by trusting that God will get me through whatever He is allowing in order to transform me for His glory?” (Romans 8:28-29)

My prayers are with every woman reading this and struggling with this question. You are not alone in your situation. Your God goes before you…and He’s able to get you through.

Cindi
About me

Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning author and national speaker who helps women find strength for the soul. She has nearly 30 years experience ministering to women and inspiring them to let God meet their emotional needs, grow stronger through their alone times, and pursue their dreams with boldness.

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66 Comments

Kathleen
Reply August 27, 2013

Hi Cindi,
Thank you for this post!
I have been married for 24 years w/ 4 kids. My husband told me 4 years ago that he was not happy and moved out of our home. I found out he was in adultery. I am standing for our marriage and while a divorce started by my husband is pending, I trust the God of the universe to heal my marriage. Marriage was made by God and is an unbreakle covenant that can only be broken by death. So, I am standing in agreement w/ God for the healing of my marriage.

Since my stand, God has been so faithful to me and our family. He is changing me into the woman and wife He always intended me to be. I am a new creature in Christ. I am so grateful today for all the pain that I have gone through because The Lord is my healer and my provider, not my husband. I have joy that I never had before and God is healing our family starting w/ me.

Even though my husband is not home, God has been my husband and spiritual head of our home and we have never been with out. The agape love I have for my husband is truley an amazing gift from God.

We had to sell our family home because my husband lost his job, has become an alcoholic (due to guilt I'm sure), God has provided a better home than we had before. The realtor told me that someone is looking out for us because we got the house that a contact on it previously that fell thru for $40,000 less than the asking price. God always provides!!

Never ever give up on your marriage!! If you need support w/ standing,
Rejoice Marriage Ministries are amazing along w/ Covenant Keepers International.

God bless you all!
Kathleen

    StrengthSoul
    Reply August 27, 2013

    Thank you, Kathleen...what strength you are showing. I will be praying for you. Thanks for that reminder that God is faithful.

    Andrea
    Reply August 27, 2013

    I do believe in the power of God to change marriages and relationships. It's been in ways I didn't expect or ways I wasn't sure I wanted. In my experience, it has worked. Surrending to God seems harder in the beginning but once I do it, it becomes easier each time. I will pray for you, Brenda and Kathleen.

    Rose
    Reply August 28, 2013

    Thank you Kathleen for your sharing. This is very encouraging. I am not married but it has given me a lot of hope even when things are not very nice, if i trust in God i can enjoy his amazing love and never give up on marriage

    Mae
    Reply August 14, 2017

    I don't know whether to let go; to stop praying. My husband filed for divorce. Is the written on the wall or do I still fight?

      Cindi
      Reply August 14, 2017

      Mae, I don't know the details of your situation and if I did, I still wouldn't have the answer for you in my own wisdom. But since 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us "pray continually" I truly believe that no prayer is wasted. God can still turn things around. He honors our faith, even when it looks impossible. Remember, He is the God of the Impossible.

Brenda moner
Reply August 27, 2013

pray for my marriage...I am tire of him being unfaithful and verbally abusive

    StrengthSoul
    Reply August 27, 2013

    Brenda... I will pray, too, that your husband is convicted of his behavior and that you realize you are precious and deserving of much better treatment.

Dena Williams
Reply August 27, 2013

Please pray that my husband will be healed and his heart changing for Christ. He is a soldier currently deployed and is wanting a divorce , we have been married 14 years and have 3 children. I'm standing up for my marriage but its taking a toll on me. I love him and I trust God and believe in restoration!

    StrengthSoul
    Reply August 27, 2013

    Yes, I will pray for restoration, dear one. I know of many marriages where soldiers return wanting out of their marriages and yet, as you said, they Need God's healing with all they've been through. Keep standing for reconciliation... God knows your heart and sees your faithfulness.

unworthy husband
Reply August 28, 2013

What if your spouse is keeping committing adultery and she keep doing it because she want to divorce to be set free from our covenant? should I not agree to divorce and she continue being adulteress or set her free so that she she will not grounded for adultery?

    StrengthSoul
    Reply August 28, 2013

    Thank you for your question. I don't know the details of your situation, so it's difficult for me to comment. But I do know, from God's Word, that your wife's adultery does not "set her free" from her marriage covenant with you, just as your agreement to a divorce will not "set her free" when it comes to her accountability before God or the consequences (or "grounding") of her behavior. Your wife needs accountability for her actions. I never recommend that someone continue to stay in a relationship in which they are being abused or blatantly disrespected. Her continued adultery puts you at risk of damage, healthwise, as well as emotionally. Please seek the advice and counsel of a local Bible-teaching pastor. I will pray for your discernment and that God will lead you to biblical support and guidance.

Jane Schneider
Reply August 28, 2013

This website is very timely I am separated from my husband right now and I am learning a lot about myself. We both have come from a life of drugs and alcohol . I became a believer I Jesus he did not and still drinks. Am I just weary then because it has been fifteen years of the same thing and I get tired of dealing with the old way of life and don't feel as one with him but feel divided There are two kinds of spirits at work here I am told . His drinking he is choosing as a mistress and he does not believe The things about Jesus I have prayed with others and by myself to no avail He has to make the choice so do I continue to stand in the gap?? Can't wait to read your books

    StrengthSoul
    Reply August 28, 2013

    Jane: I'm sorry for your struggle. I know of many women who are experiencing the same kind of struggle, having married an unbeliever and then coming to a trusting faith in Jesus after their marriage. Although God desires that believers do not become "unequally yoked" with unbelievers, that applies BEFORE marriage. Since that was not your case and you came to believe in Jesus after marriage, I am confident He will do the same for you as I've seen Him do for many women who came to know Christ after they married unbelievers....He has a way of 'covering' an unequally yoked marriage and even blessing it, for the sake of the believer who is committed to the marriage. Maybe that's just God's way of honoring us as we seek to honor our commitment to the institution of marriage. God wants to grow you, spiritually. He wants to grow your faith and your trust and your dependence on Him and your marriage situation may be exactly what God uses to draw you closer to Himself. (I highly recommend you start with my book, "When Women Walk Alone." I think you'll be encouraged through that and through the stories of other Christian women married to unbelievers.) Our promise to our spouse (and before God and witnesses) does not become less valid or less important after we receive Christ, if our spouse is an unbeliever. In fact, I believe that promise becomes even more important as your continued commitment to your husband (in spite of his personal beliefs about Christ and in spite of his addiction) will show your husband (and others), more than anything else, what Christ's unconditional and sacrificial love is like, and what your commitment and faith in God is like. And you will learn to relate to Jesus more than you ever have before as you choose to obey Him and honor Him in spite of what may be very difficult in your marriage. (I also recommend that you find a Celebrate Recovery program you can attend....one that your husband might eventually be willing to attend with you.) Stay strong, my sister. And keep in touch. I do care...and I will be praying for you.

Sarah
Reply September 11, 2013

I'm currently standing for my marriage. My husband lives in the home, but has chosen to completely ignore me and live as if he's single and we're seperated. I fully believe in convenant marriage and refuse to back down. This is the hardest thing I've ever gone through, but I believe God is going to restore our marriage and use it for Him. I love my husband in a different way now and pray for him to listen to God and turn from his sin. I also pray for the woman he's befriended and her marriage as well, I can't see the destruction of two convenants being in God's will. Please pray for our children as they watch this behaviour. I can see it's affecting them and I really worry about them.

    StrengthSoul
    Reply September 11, 2013

    Sarah, I know those are tough words to write and I commend you for your heart to want to live uprightly before God and your children. I am concerned, too, about what your children are seeing. If you have daughters -- or sons -- what they are seeing tolerated certainly can't be healthy. While we are called to love our spouse, unconditionally, and do everything on our part to maintain our marriage vow before God and witnesses, we are not called to tolerate ongoing sin, either, in the case of what sounds like an affair on your husband's part. I am praying for your wisdom and discernment and also "tough love" that stands not only for a vow but for what is right...for the sake of your dignity as a child of God and your children's sense of what is acceptable and right. You are precious in God's eyes, Sarah, and God does not take lightly when His daughter is not cherished. Please seek godly counsel through a local church or counseling center and keep your eyes on Jesus as your First Love. I would also highly recommend Dr. James Dobson's book, "Love Must be Tough" as it deals with surviving marital situations in which the boundaries have been abused. Praying for you, my sister.

    Vivian
    Reply February 27, 2016

    I can't help but wonder about some of these comments of y'all standing for your marriage .. Are y'all still together ? My husband is doing this and wants a divorce and is looking for a place and plans to file after he moves out :( I don't agree and I'm praying and standing for our marriage. I need a boost of hope.

    Dee
    Reply April 5, 2017

    Iam in a marriage also where my husband totally ignores me.He has been giving me the Silent Treatment for about 9 years that's about my whole marriage.I've gotten to a point in my life it isnt normal.Everybody talking about god doesnt wont Divorce but what about a woman sanity.it will drive u crazy!! to live like that everyday for about nine years thats what i been doing.Iam ready to move on

      Cindi
      Reply April 5, 2017

      I absolutely understand, Dee. Perhaps your husband is so convinced you will continue to tolerate his cruel behavior that he feels justified in continuing to be that way. I would encourage you to seek counseling and get a support network around you and lay down some conditions for him so that he knows his rude behavior will no longer be tolerated. I encourage you to read James Dobson's book "Love Must be Tough." Sometimes a husband is cruel and silent because he's learned he CAN be. You deserve to not only be treated with respect, but to be cherished. You are in my prayers today, Dee.

        Dee
        Reply April 5, 2017

        Cindy I really do appreciate ur heart felt kind Words.I've tried over n over asking my husband why won't he talks to me.His respose is always why do i have to talk to u. Talk to u for what.AND IT'S BEEN NINE YEARS HE IS BEEN TELLING ME THIS.I'VE BEEN TRYING TO HOLD ON FOR MY SON SAKE.HE IS NINE YEARS OLD.N HE KNOWS THAT THIS ISNT NORMAL.N I WANTS TO LIVE A NORMAL LIFE. FOR ME N MY SON.THIS LIFE WE HAVE IS PURE HELL.ITS LIKE CANCER EATING AWAY AT U.MY HUSBAND IS A VERY CRUEL MAN TOWARDS ME HE HATES ME.ITS LIKE IAM INVISIBLE TO HIM.I JUST DONT MATTER TO HIM ANYMORE. IAM WILLING TO MOVE ON.THERE'S MORE JOY IN ACCEPTANCE THAN THERE IS IN STRUGGLE.ONCE AGAIN I THANK U FOR UR KIND WORDS.

        .

          Cindi
          April 6, 2017

          Dee, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this, but perhaps, just maybe, he is like many other men and honestly doesn't know WHAT you want him to talk about. In my book, When a Woman Inspires Her Husband, I talk about the differences between men and women. Some men talk to find out information or only when they have to, but women need communication to survive in the relationship. Husbands sometimes have a difficult time understanding this. I encourage you to pick up a copy of my book and even though your heart isn't in to inspiring him right now, it might be helpful if you went through some of the application questions with him which give him things to talk about with you. For instance, if you were to ask him some time, after he's had a good meal, "if time and money were no object, what would you love to do?" Maybe just the idea that you are expecting him to communicate on a deeper level feels threatening to him. It's worth a try. It could help heal years of misunderstanding that has most likely led to bitterness. Thanks for listening and considering.

      KEDIBONE
      Reply May 28, 2017

      Your comment*Dear Cindi
      thanks for your words encouragement that you gave to all the married woman out there,I'm a 23 year old lady I'm not yet married I've been with my boy friend for nine years now we use to share a lovely moment together,but when time goes on he changed too much when he's angry he sometimes beat me and say all the hurting words to me and I always forgive him cuz I always believe that god his the one who choose this guy for me.earlier this year i started cheating on him because of the way he treat me and he find out that im seeing someone we had a fight about it for full to weeks but we end up sorting our issues.but now my worry is that everytime we had a fight he keeps on reminding me of my mistake..now has telling me that he want to pay lobola for me, i really need a Mothers advice do you think it is safer for me too be in this relationship because of the love I have for him.

        Cindi
        Reply May 28, 2017

        Kedibone: No woman ever deserves to be beaten…for any reason. No it is not safe for you to be with this man. And I am most certain God did not bring him into your life if he is someone who beats you and says hurtful words to you. You are not married to him and therefore you do not need to stay with him. And there is nothing wrong with seeing another man who treats you better. Please, for your own safety, get out of this relationship. You are in my prayers.

IntheBeginning
Reply December 3, 2015

It is so refreshing to find a Woman of God who is truly encouraging God's plan for marriage as it was from the Beginning. Christ came to restore us through his blood to God's standards in how we live and that includes how we keep our marriage covenant. I am a Covenant Keeping Spouse, despite the fact that my husband legally divorced me. By God's grace and power, He showed me that I am to keep my vow, no matter what my spouse decided to do. I am responsible for my commitment to Christ. I also believe that God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him so I know that I am blessed with a heavenly marriage right here on earth. I receive God's promise in every area of my life despite what it currently looks like.

    Cindi
    Reply December 3, 2015

    Thank you for telling me your story and inspiring me -- and so many others, I'm sure -- to keep our covenant no matter what. There are so many variables, so many situations today to the point that few people come out with a strong stand for marriage. But I like the way you refer to it as "covenant keeping." That sheds a whole new light on the situation...it isn't just our marriage, our happiness, our expectations being met that are at stake. God's covenant with those who are trusting in Jesus is unconditional and there is nothing we could ever do for Him to say "enough" to you or me. That is inspiring, isn't it? I truly appreciate your comments and please keep in touch.

Eileen
Reply February 12, 2016

My husband committed a marital infidelity years ago but I managed to forgive him. We both struggle to keep our marriage work. However, there is this one instance when he thought I was unfaithful. He was jealous to one of my friends. I kept assuring him that nothing is going on.. Yet, he kept on yelling at me..telling me that he can never forgive an unfaithful wife. He never accepted my explanation.. All he thinks about is that I am unfaithful. When in fact Im not.

I got tired of his nagging. I got tired of his ego.. I got tired of his abusive words.. Hence, I told him that I will let him go..

But after reading your article, I am now considering my marriage vows...
God has led me to this website in order to hold on to my marriage and to be patient with my husband's nagging...

    Cindi
    Reply February 12, 2016

    HI Eileen: Thank you so much for sharing your story. I appreciate your desire to honor God with your marriage vows, even when your husband has not done so, himself. I know God will honor your desire to be obedient. However, PLEASE encourage your husband to seek counseling, individually and with you. I would never recommend that a wife continue living with a husband who is abusive, unforgiving, and harbors bitterness toward you for something you haven't even done. The point of my article was that if the other person is REPENTANT and willing to seek accountability and EARN BACK your trust, then you shouldn't let that marriage go. I was also writing to women who leave their marriages when there is no indication of threat or infidelity. I wanted wives to be sure they didn't too quickly write off situations as "irreconcilable" when God can reconcile anything. Surrender your situation to the Lord, but be wise in erecting boundaries around how you expect to be treated. And please seek guidance and help from a pastor or biblical counselor who can advise you toward a safe, yet biblical resolution. I am praying for you today...and for your husband's heart to soften toward you and for him to be convicted by the Spirit in how he has been treating you. Please keep in touch. I care.

Carminia flores
Reply April 19, 2016

Hi my husband of four years left me about s month ago. I have been praying and I trust the Lord but at times it gets hard . We have a 3 yr old and a 3 month old baby girl and he was in the worship ministry so to see this hurts me . I don't know what to do anymore .

    Cindi
    Reply April 20, 2016

    Carminia, I am so sorry. I know your heart is hurting and God understands every bit of pain and rejection you are experiencing right now. Please read through some of the "Articles of Encouragement" on my website...particularly the one called "No More Lonely nights." I think you will find it encouraging. Also, please find a support group of trusted women in your church who can hold you up, pray for you, and help dry your tears. My books "Letting God Meet Your Emotional Needs" and When Women Walk Alone would also be very encouraging to you during this time. You are in my prayers today, sister.

Love
Reply August 14, 2016

My husband committed adultery for the last 6 months .. When I addressed it and I was fed up I completely wanted to end our marriage and told him I was going to divorce him.. He neglected our family tremendously we have 3 girls and 1 son together. Me and my husband have been together 11 years and 10 years of our marriage was flawless/ God-given . I prayed after I announced I wanted to divorce him I knew I was worth more.. 2 weeks later God hand delivered my husband back to me he was the men that I knew him to be of greatness .. But I still hold on to the past and he still acts sneaky at times also! This has hurt me tremendously. I often think of giving up on our marriage I find myself unhappy because I think of the past and his immediate family is so condoning of his infildilty. Please help me..

Mrs. Rios
Reply August 28, 2016

Hello, I've been married for about 20 years but for the last 6 years my husband and I have basically lived apart. We have 2 children together. I was not a good wife in the beginning of my marriage, and sadly we are all paying those consequences, however every time my husband says that he would come home to us , he ends up leaving us in less than a week. I know that he wants to be with us and he says he does but I believe the enemy has a hold of him. My husband has become bitter and confused. Those years instead of fighting for my marriage I gave myself into depression. I spent my days sleeping. I repent sleeping all those years I now know that's how the enemy wanted to see me. But now I have decided to fight for my husband and though it is really hard and my heart is weary I ask God for his guidance and for him to restore my marriage because only he can. Please unite with me in prayer. God Bless

    Cindi
    Reply August 30, 2016

    I'm glad you are fighting for your marriage. God will fight for you, too. (Exodus 14:14). You are in my prayers.

      Celeste Rios
      Reply August 31, 2016

      Thank you cindi for responding back God Bless.

Shelly
Reply October 25, 2016

My husband of 3 years asked for a divorce and asked me to leave/move out which I did. We both have baggage and issues which helped to contribute towards our unhappiness: I have trust issues and he is unable to let go of his ex-wife for the sake of his adult children and a pathological liar. He is truly a broken man, but I love him. Its hard being so far apart and not communicating on a regular basis. Its difficult and it would be easier to just file for the divorce, but I refuse to do so. I told him he can file, but I would not. Please pray for our marriage and my strength to endure the pain that goes along with change and growth that God is allowing me to experience.

    Cindi
    Reply October 26, 2016

    Shelly: I'm sorry for your pain. You are in my prayers this evening. Praying that God will bless the intentions of your heart to hold onto your marriage and love your husband, despite his brokenness. I'm praying your husband will soften his heart toward God and you and realize he is called to love you unconditionally and keep His promise to you. Oh the pain that exists when a husband goes back on his word and breaks his marriage covenant and chooses to live outside of God's best for him.

Ade
Reply October 25, 2016

There are a lot of female comments on her. So sisters, here is a Brother weighing in... My wife and I married nearly two years ago after meeting online. We are both Christians and since we got married we have constantly fought as she says that she can't love me, and has never loved me because she doesn't find me "physically attractive" in a way that makes her "feel" loving towards me. This, she states, confirms that God didn't want us to be married in the first place and that she doesn't value me. Now I am by no means perfect but I do try to show her love as often as I can. I've struggled with pornography and this is something that God has worked through with me and hasn't been hidden from my wife. I've repented and I know that through Grace I am forgiven. The pain of rejection and all the hurtful comments eat away at me until I can't take it anymore and then I lose it and end up walking out (I'm currently living in my car). I have spoken to people in the church and they tell me to forget about trying to speak to my wife and change her, they advise just leaving her and waiting for God to work, if that is what she wants. I am also made to feel responsible in some way for her actions and told to just love her, which I do believe is right. I want to and will stand by my marriage and the covenant promise I made but I asked a leader at the church about what the stand of the church was on divorce. I was told that they are "for marriage", which led me to ask about the consequences of divorce and remarriage should she choose this. I was told that Christ covers all sin and that ultimately it didn't matter if she did divorce and remarry, because Christ will forgive her whether she is repentant or not because she believes in him. This 'license to sin' I know is addressed in Paul's letter to the Romans, however, I want to honour God through the marriage and can't just accept that wilfully acting against God has no consequence at all. Selfishly I want a marriage that blesses others and reflects Christ, but although I'm not responsible for another's sins, i don't want my wife to turn from God and wilfully disobey him. Please pray that I can just love her inspite of all of this and that Gods hand rests firmly on my wife and he becomes the power and authority in her life through the power of the Holy Spirit and not the worldly fleshly desires. For Gods glory. God bless you all.

    Cindi
    Reply October 26, 2016

    I'm so sorry, Ade, that you are being given such complacent and flimsy advice from your church leader about how God feels toward marriage and divorce. I encourage you to go to God's Word and read what Scripture says about marriage and forgiveness in the New Testament. The marriage covenant is to be representative of Christ's love toward the church and Christ doesn't love us until He no longer feels like it and then expects to be forgiven by His Father for breaking the marriage covenant. That's absurd. And you are not selfish to want a marriage that blesses others and reflects Christ. Christ wants that from your marriage, as well. I am praying your wife's heart will be softened and she will see that marriage is not about her and what she finds attractive, but about a covenant with God and you in which she promises faithfulness and unconditional love. Somewhere, through the ages, we -- as humans -- got the idea that marriage exists to make us happy, when God wanted to make us holy through it, and refine us through it and make us more like His Son through it. Thank you for sharing your comment.

      Ade
      Reply October 26, 2016

      Thank you for your advice and prayers. May God bless your, your ministry and all those who come here searching for his truth. I will try and keep you updated as God works. For his glory.

Monique
Reply October 27, 2016

I'm not sure what to do about my marriage. In 2007, he left home and I was persuaded to stand for the marriage by the Holy Spirit at that time. After six months of standing for a dead marriage, he did return as the Lord told me he would. During his sojourn in the 'Far Country' as a prodigal (Rejoice Ministries), my husband was literally at death's door. I understand now why I needed to stand for my marriage at that time and I am grateful that God saw fit to answer my prayers on his behalf. Fast forward eight years and the marriage is in even worse shape than before. My husband is a serial adulterer. Last year; I moved out of the home and I have been lonely, but highly content. My walk with God has suffered due to the emotional and mental distress of my marriage, but I will get better. Just when I thought that I was getting to happy, I received a text from my husband today that was inquiring about a divorce to 'start 2017 off with a fresh start". In spite of all he's done, I love him still. He is not an awful person and he had many, many wonderful qualities. My husband knows the Lord, but he falls short as we all do. I also know that I can't live in that situation again. For anyone who can get a prayer through, I need guidance and to hear the Lord clearly in this. We have been married for 20 years this year.

    Cindi
    Reply October 28, 2016

    Monique: I am so sorry for what you have been living with and dealing with. I appreciate your heart of forgiveness toward your husband and your desire to continue to stand for your marriage. However, a man who commits serial adultery has already broken his marriage covenant with you repeatedly and it is no longer a marriage when he is continuing to be unfaithful and apparently unrepentant. Your husband is not one who just "falls short as we all do." Serial adultery is not something "we all do." My blog "Is it Time to Let Go of Your Marriage" was written for women who leave their marriages for less than biblical reasons....for reasons that might very well be workable. Although God can restore ANY marriage it sounds like your husband is not interested in restoration or reconciliation (which would only follow repentance on his part). It appears he is more concerned with his own selfish recreation. His repeated unfaithfulness also poses health risks to you. So please know that as a daughter of the King you are not expected to continue to endure that kind of abuse any longer. I encourage you to get some biblical counsel and find a divorce recovery group at a Bible-believing church that can help walk you through the ravages of what he has inflicted upon you.My prayers are over you this evening, my sister.

MLA
Reply December 2, 2016

While I understand this article, I can't help but continue to question if it is always best to stay married.

What does God think about infidelity, emotional abuse, uncontrolled anger, and the refusal of intamacy.

I wish this article took the time to address these situations. While I've struggled personally with these, I have stayed- likely too long- in an abusive relationship because it's the "Godly" thing to do. And I really believe that. But I also believe that god desires love and intamacy in marriage, and that he wants a marriage to reflect Jesus and the church. I question that He would want anyone, man or woman, to stay in a destructive marriage.

    Cindi
    Reply December 7, 2016

    Hi. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my blog post. I wrote this post because of the numerous situations I've seen in which a woman walked out on her marriage for much lesser reasons than you have stated. Many marriages are workable, some don't give it the chance it deserves because they're tired, or their heart isn't in it anymore. I don't see that as your case at all. I agree with you, my friend, in your belief that God desires love and intimacy in marriage and that He wants a marriage to reflect Jesus and the church. In fact, the whole reason God hates divorce is because divorce is the result of either betrayal and unfaithfulness (one's infidelity) or bitterness and a refusal to forgive. If you look closely at the Old Testament, God issued Israel a certificate of divorce because of her unfaithfulness and infidelity (Jeremiah 3:8). He designed marriage (including yours) to be a mirror of the kind of unconditional, sacrificial love He has for His people. But I do not believe God would desire anyone to stay in a situation in which they were abused. God is not a legalistic" God who cares only about the law. He is a God of grace and a God who sees and understands your heart, your circumstances, your motives, and your desires. I advise women in situations like yours to keep your eyes focused on Jesus and your heart softened to the direction of His Holy Spirit and He will lead you to truth...and peace. There is no confusion in Him. Only peace. Blessings as you lean on the Lord to direct your steps.

Kerri Mathews
Reply December 29, 2016

Its been a year since my husband left. He came back once only to leave again for her again. It's now been 3 long months since he left again. He is now living with the other woman and continues to tell me he doesn't want me. He had not filed for divorce and he keeps texting my daughter to tell her he loves her. I am standing all though I ask many times if I'm doing the right thing. Will God bring him back. As i become closer to God in this time i still cry out and wonder why. But i have faith that he will help me. I wonder why i have so much pain and my husband says he is so happy and got a new high paying job, which he jumped from job to join before. All the things i begged him to do for so many years he is now doing for another. I pray daily for God to not just help me, but my family.

    Cindi
    Reply December 31, 2016

    I'm so sorry for your pain, Kerri. Many times we look at what other people have and it appears to be prosperous but we must remember that God measures things in the eternal scope. Your husband may think he is "happier" for the moment, he may be working at a better job with more pay, but eternally he will face consequences for abandoning his wife and daughter and living an unrepentant life. Keep your eyes on Jesus and the joy that comes to those who are obedient. Your eternal reward will far outweigh anything this world has to offer.

Shaheerah
Reply February 1, 2017

I am tired we have been separated most of the ten years we have been married he is a repeat adulterer he is verbally abusive if we try to reconcile it only last two or three days no matter how much I pray nothing changes I am tired of the in and out my soul is tired

    Cindi
    Reply February 1, 2017

    Shaheerah, I am so sorry for your pain. Repeat adultery and continual verbal abuse is not God's will for any marriage. Through your husband's repeated adultery, your marriage covenant was broken long ago. I would never advise a woman to stay in a marriage with a man whose heart is unrepentant about his repeated unfaithfulness. I pray you will find a support group of people who can love you through this pain and separation and help you walk into the future and hope that God has for you (Jeremiah 29:11).

Wendy
Reply February 26, 2017

I am going through separation with my husband of 22 years. It has been a long and difficult marriage and recently I found out he was having an affair (though he denies it). I did the Rejoice marriage thing and prayed and fasted for my marriage for a couple of years. Right now I am fasting every two days asking God to give me direction. He is as hard and as determined as ever to divorce me and I am thinking that the Lord knows my heart and how hard I have prayed and fasted over the years. Surely he will let me lay this down at his feet and just walk away. I cannot divorce until I have proof of the infidelity but in the meantime the lack of respect and determination to divorce that my husband is showing is leading me to give him away to the Lord. I read James Dobson's tough love and have applied the principles and I really feel I can do no more than hold my ground, stand (as in Ephesians) and let God lead and do his work. It has been an exhausting and sad road.

    Cindi
    Reply February 26, 2017

    Wendy,
    I wish everyone I heard from could say they have made the honest, inexhaustible effort that you have to save their marriage. A marriage clearly takes two people surrendered to God to work and it appears you have been standing alone in your marriage for the past few years. Thank you for reading Dobson's book and doing ALL of the things I would have recommended. Know in your heart, Wendy, that YOU did not end the marriage. Your husband clearly did when he gave up in many ways. I'm sorry for your pain, but encouraged by your heart to please the Lord and act with integrity. God's blessings be upon you as He leads you forward into what He has for you next.

      Wendy
      Reply March 18, 2017

      I really have Cindi. I have lost lots of weight just from fasting alone, and this went on even before I was called about the affair. The night before I got the call I prayed to God that he would make things go either one way or the other because I was getting sick and discouraged that I couldn't see any answer to my prayers that I had prayed for so many years. I used to get up at 5.30am and pray Stormie Omartian prayers for marriage and it got to a point where I started doubting God would intervene at all. I have struggled with all of this because even though I have tried so hard to do the right thing there just seems to be wave after wave of difficulties. The separation is very difficult as he is a very clever man and has done everything to make it difficult for me. It seems that the spiritual attacks are just relentless and have gone on for years. When will God give me peace?

Joe
Reply February 28, 2017

I am now separated from my wife of 13 years. It has been one month since she left and I grieve her leaving so much. She left feeling unhappy with me, as I have always been a private person and not truly realizing how much more emotional connection she needed from me. Since her departure I have really discovered my lack and have earnestly worked towards this change in life and rely on Christ for everything. She has now admitted she is seeing a man that she had recently developed a friendship, and assures that he is not why she had left. I spoke to her of the wrong in this, but she only sees me now as selfish or working only in my best interest. All the while speaking of the good qualities of this person in comparison to me. I am so broken and our daughter is broken. I pray for restoration in our marriage but also for my wife who had been such a strong believer for so many years. I pray God guides her through Christ her Savior and that she turns away from the sin of flesh. I pray he opens her mind and heart to the path she is now on, and the perils it will bring to her and our family. I pray for patience and wisdom for myself, as every good intentioned action by me only seems to drive her farther away. I continue to stand for my marriage even though she is willing to walk away.

    Cindi
    Reply March 2, 2017

    Joe:
    Thank you for taking the time to leave your comment and tell your story. I've heard from MANY husbands who realized too late that their wives needed emotional connection far more than they imagined. I'm sorry for the hurt in your life right now. I, too, am praying for restoration of your marriage.

Linett McDonald
Reply March 10, 2017

My husband left me and moved in with anothet woman and her children he said he was happy to b away from me my husband and I had been divorced once before and he remarried but after 10 yrs we remarried again so we have went up in holy matrimony twice before God I admit I didnt give my husband the love he desperately needed from me and he kept telling me what he neefed from me and I kept taking him for granted so after 14yrs of our second marriage he left and found someone to give him the love he desperately needed from me. Now that he is gone im so devastated and realize what I didnt give him he needed and found somewhere else. He still tells me he loves me and that he will never divorce me and that he really still wants to b with me but he dont believe that I can change and be the wife that he needs but im praying hard and going to church to asking god to restore my marriage and give me what I need to be the wife my husband desires me to be I love him so much and miss him and it took him leaving me and being with another woman to make me realize what I have lost in ways It seems he doesnt want the marriage but at the same time he says he loves me so much and wants to be back with me but his actions say differently to me wr talk almost everyday about what went wrong but knwing he is sleeping at night with another women is killing me inside I am in a bible verse church which is awsome but im still lacking the faith that my martiage will be restored but in my heart I feel that we will be togethet again it just has to be in Gods time and not mine please pray for me to stand still and let god work this out and to keep the faith that in his time we will be reconciled.

    Cindi
    Reply March 13, 2017

    Linett: I will pray for you. I will also pray for your husband's repentance. For him to leave you (because you aren't giving him what he "needs") and then to live and sleep with another woman because he doesn't want to divorce you a second time shows his extreme selfishness and his sin that has contributed to your separation. He has already "divorced" you in many ways. He has committed adultery against you numerous times, it sounds like. And now he wants to keep his wife and his lover on the side. That is NOT the behavior of a husband. It is the behavior of a serial adulterer. I recommend that you read Dr. James Dobson's book "Love Must Be Tough" and start setting the boundaries so your husband knows that he will NOT be allowed back into your life until he recognizes what marriage means and that he has a part in it too. A husband can't just leave and hook up with someone else any time he believes his wife isn't meeting his needs. That is not a marriage. And he is not being to YOU what a husband is called to be. You deserve more, Linett. I pray God will open your eyes to see how much your Heavenly Father loves you and desires that you be treated right in marriage, too.

Phoenix Reign
Reply March 25, 2017

I am a man in the exact opposite situation of some of the women here. My wife abandoned our family twice due to her adultery first time she left it was for 6 months the second time now it has been a 1 he 6 months..its devastating no answer for the kids. My wife only texts she never talks verbally to the kids..she is just totally different person. I'm not ruling out mid life crisis because normally those that have had chaotic childhoods if not dealt with it will find its way back into your life in the mid 30's or 40's. this post really encouraged me because I just have really given up. kids are growing up and moving out they don't here from the mother.at first the loneliness was almost unbearable but the Holy Spirit comforted me to let me know he will never leave me nor forsake me.also God has provided when the mother has not.the book of Lamentations has been a real comfort for me.continue to pray for me and my family as I continue to pray for every one here. it is truly a battle for the family.please Google and read the article entitled Chaos Kids and midlife crisis in Christians.

Rebecca
Reply April 18, 2017

I have been married for 24 yrs and I don't want to try anymore. I am tired of being the only one trying. My husband blows all his money. If I ask what he did with it. He turns it into a argument and its my fault. He stays gone all the time. He half picks our kids up from school. I pay all the bills, including his car payment and insurance. I pay his cell bill. I get nothing but its my fault when I question him. I have told him I need help with the bills and I am tired of it. He does nothing to change his actions. I work full time and I go to school. I don't know what else to do. Please keep me in your prayers. He uses my faith about marraige and my kids against me.

    Cindi
    Reply April 19, 2017

    Rebecca: It sounds like your husband needs accountability and instruction on what it means to be a husband. You didn't say whether he is a believer, but it sounds like he isn't since you said he uses your faith about marriage and your kids against you. I would suggest that if he won't go to counseling with you that you seek counseling and a biblical support network for yourself so you can be obedient to God, yet wise in how you handle this, not allowing him to take advantage of your faith or your loyalty as an excuse for his negligence. You are in my prayers today, friend.

Cindy Havens
Reply April 21, 2017

I have been fighting a battle with my husband for 6 years he has tried so hard to hang on 2 years ago he said no more he let the devil win i truly belive that, he was so worn down he walked away from our marrige of 21 years for the last 2 years i have fought to stay marrried in and out of court rooms, money struggles, people telling me to let go accept it even my son and daughter.
How do we disobey God the one who sent his son to save us?
I see marriage in a new light that love God feels for us.
See, at first i only wanted to stay married to win a battle with my husband to show him i could beat him. oh! i was given mony by the courts but dropped it all to do what God wants me to do love my husband thru God. Some of the things i have done out of hurt and pain i am not proud of i have ask for forgiveness.
I am standing for my marriage trying so hard to let God lead me and yes i get so weary but remember we do all things thru Christ!
The book of James gives us wisdom the tools to seek God to have faith even when we are weary.
" the battle is not with your spouse"

    Cindi
    Reply April 22, 2017

    Thank you, Cindy, for what I know will be an encouragement to others reading your comment. :)

SCT
Reply June 30, 2017

I thank everyone that had left these comments. It's shows the attack on the enemy against the holy matrimony. My husband asked for an in house separation after 10 years married. He's military and has PTSD so we've had our issues but this is hurtful. He moved out of our room and he saids he's done. We have 2 kids, 7 and 12. He saids he's moving out but hasn't done so. He purchased a home back on at country without my consent and saids he wants to purchase another home to leave me. I am devastated.In the meantime he hurts me with words, he tells me he can't be with me, he doesn't want me. This has happened since February of this year. I miss my husband. I was not the wife I should of been because when I met him I shifted away from the lord. Thought this situation I cane back to the lord. Please pray for me.

    Cindi
    Reply June 30, 2017

    I'm so sorry for the hurt and betrayal you are feeling. I do not understand all that is involved with PTSD but I know it has caused many men to return home and tell their wives they don't want to be married anymore. I know God is bigger than your situation and I am praying His presence and comfort will be felt strongly in your life and that He will change your husband's heart.

Patrice
Reply August 6, 2017

My husband of two years has left me after 13 days of having our child. He claims I don't know how to love him and his heart is no longer in this marriage. Our child is not even 2 months yet. I have suspicions that he is messing with someone but I don't know for sure. He doesn't call but he will text once a week to see how the baby is doing. This past week he did text & ask how the baby, me & my other children are doing. So, i feel something is changing but not much. I've been praying for God to soften his heart & make him realize the mistake that he made by leaving. I really love my husband and want to spend the rest of my life with him. I just don't know if it would ever happen. Our anniversary is the end of this month & i know it's going to be tough going through that day without. I don't know if I'm wasting my time but I think because its so fresh he may come back. I don't understand how a man can leave under those circumstances though.

    Cindi
    Reply August 8, 2017

    Patrice: I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through. But I also know that it is very important that you know exactly how to respond, given the circumstances. Your husband has no right to leave you or your children, whether he has found someone else or not. And the fact that he is texting you implies he does still care about you and wants to have a relationship with you. However, he is testing you to see if you will forget what he has done and take him back or if you will hold his feet to the fire. Patrice, it was irresponsible and extremely unloving of HIM to walk out on you just 13 days after you had his child and yours. He claimed you don't know how to love him, but he has shown he doesn't know how to love YOU by walking out on you when you need him most. I strongly encourage you to realize that "love must be tough" and think about what he will need to do from this point on to earn your trust back that he will not walk out on you again. He is not being honest about something. At this point he has only been selfish, thinking about him and how he needs to be loved, while walking out on you. Please seek godly counsel from a pastor at your local Bible-believing church or find someone who can hold him accountable to be a responsible man and father. Be careful how you respond to his text messages. You might consider not responding so he will wonder what's up. Don't be so eager to have him back that he has no accountability for his actions and he gets the idea he can leave anytime he wants and you will still welcome him back. He needs to own up to his part of why he left. And when he is no longer selfish, and can think about you and his family, then it is time to let him see you and talk about this. You are not a weak woman who must have him in your life if he is unfaithful and doesn't know how to treat you well. A man who ditches his wife just after she has a baby (or at any time, for that matter) is not a man who needs to be begged back. He is a man who needs to answer for his self-seeking ways and his lack of responsibility in keeping a promise to his wife and being there for her when she most needs him. You are in my prayers. And I am praying you will see how very much God loves you and expects you to be treated well. Be strong. Hold your head high. Make him earn your trust again. And surrender your situation to God. HE will have your back. It is my prayer your husband will soon be the one begging you to take him back again.

Keshia
Reply August 22, 2017

Just wanted to thank you for your knowledgeable kind words. Its what i needed to read.

Anonymous
Reply October 15, 2017

My husband thinks abuse is merely someone hitting or punching another person. I disagree. Four months into our marriage he punched a hole in the wall as a result of an argument pertaining to his past. The first year of our marriage we separated a few times due to verbal abuse from anger or not fighting fair. We reconciled early 2017 but since then we had several public arguments in which one resulted in him getting arrested because someone saw him pick me and attempt to shove me in the car. Charges were dropped because I didn't press charges due to emabarrassment. He's a believer who always prays, read the Bible and journal however when we have a heated discussion mainly due to several of his actions that's caused me not to trust him mainly dealing with the opposite sex and his ex of 22 years (4 childre and 1 from outside relationship). We have both been divorced before but I pray a lot not believing this marriage was truly ordained by God. When we argue he ends up saying really mean things about me and I'm the problem and I'm the problem with everyone but then apologizes saying that's not what he meant. I think he resents me because I have a good relationship with my ex husband and only one child who is now 21. He has 5 the oldest 25 and youngest 11. Im struggling with the church pressing me to marry to be a good woman to his children due to the dysfunction they suffered in their parents marriage, infidelity, physical abuse (he has scars), etc. I don't know if this is what God truly intends for my life in my late 40's married a little over 2 years????

    Cindi
    Reply October 18, 2017

    I'm so sorry for what you are dealing with. Bottom line is your husband is not living with you in an understanding way, not loving you as Christ loves the church, not cherishing you as his bride and sister in Christ, as well. I encourage you to be strong and insist on biblical marriage counseling for the two of you. It might be best if he starts getting counseling to help him deal with his anger issues and hurts in his past. That is apparently affecting how he is treating you. Please get into some sort of support group, too, so you have faith-filled Christian women around you to help you be strong in your resolve, help you remain dependent upon the Lord and to help you flourish in a situation that would otherwise sap the strength out of you. You are on my heart and I am praying you will receive the resources you need to get through this. (My book, Letting God Meet Your Emotional Needs would be very helpful for you right now because it will help you to look to God as your "Spiritual husband" (Isaiah 54:5) and that will help you become more able and stable to deal with whatever comes your way, and with whatever comes of your marriage as a result of your husband's choice (or refusal)to get help.Stay strong, my sister, and keep your eyes on Jesus throughout this ordeal. You are a daughter of the King and He will cover you with His love, His protection, and His Spirit's guidance as you seek it faithfully.

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