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broken heart representing a husband who cheatsWhat does a wife do when her husband cheats?

That was the most frequently asked question I received last week since starting my new blog series on “Questions Women Ask.”

One woman emailed: “My husband loves me, he just loves her, too. He says the affair is over and I just need to get over it.”

Another woman who confronted her husband about an extra-marital relationship said “He said he was sorry and looked like he meant it but how can I believe him? I feel so insecure. I fear he might do it again. Should I stay or should I leave?”

And a woman who is seeking God’s will above her own says “”What if the man in question is your husband of 29 years and the father of your 3 children?  And he has been in a relationship with another woman for 10 years?”

My heart breaks that so many women are struggling with whether or not to stay in a marriage after betrayal. They shouldn’t have to make that decision. But betrayal has forced them into the question of God’s will for their heart and marriage. Scripture is clear that divorce was never God’s desire for His people (Malachi 2:16; Matthew 19:8), so it is imperative that we must take it before God carefully and prayerfully.

Marriage is defined by God as a “one flesh” union between one man and one woman, expressed through a commitment to forsake all others and cling to each other for a lifetime (Genesis 2:24). When one member of the marriage party brings another person into that “one flesh” union the marriage, as God has defined it, ceases to exist. The bond has been broken, and the union severed.

However, it does not mean it is beyond hope.

If you have been betrayed — or you know someone who has — and must decide whether to stay in the marriage or not, here are three points to consider that will prayerfully lead you toward God’s peace:

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Admit it.blogquote-marriage3

You at one time believed God brought you and your husband together. That’s what you told others. And that’s why you married him. Yet, looking back…you were more concerned about what you would receive out of the relationship, than what you could give.

I did that, too.

It’s only natural. We think first of our needs, our happily ever after, our own selfish ambitions. But I truly believe God brings us together with another individual in marriage to show us, firsthand, what it means to exercise Christ-like love and become more like Christ in our everyday lives.  That being said, those days when you and I are “fed up” with our husband are the days we need to die to self and say “God, how can I serve him? How can I be the wife he needs me to be, rather than focusing on his shortcomings?”

Wives frustrated with their husbands often ask me, out of desperation, what they should do. Two things:

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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.

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Having faced rejection from an abusive father, abandonment from an abusive husband, and then betrayal by a boyfriend she thought was the “real deal,” Becky asked “What’s wrong with me?”

But Becky, as many of us do, was asking the wrong question. The question is often not “What is wrong with me?” but “What is wrong with this representation of ‘love’?”

At the root of our hurts, as women, is what I call “distorted love.” We thought it was real. But then we were burned. We trusted it as love, but discovered it was manipulation. Sadly it can take several years, multiple relationships, and countless scars  to finally realize that true and perfect love exists only in the One who is truly perfect: Jesus Christ.  read more

If you’ve ever found yourself saying “This wasn’t supposed to happen” I know how you feel.

I heard myself saying that at 19 years old when my father’s alcoholism was revealed and my parents divorced. Everything I found security in seemed to crumble beneath me. I found myself wondering why God didn’t hold my family together.

My comfort came when I stumbled upon these verses in the Bible:  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

It was as if God was saying “I know what is going on here, Cindi, and although you don’t understand it, you must trust Me through it.”

I chose to trust God that day, rather than question Him. And I can honestly tell you today — nearly 30 years later — that God has worked that entire situation for good in my life,  in the life of my father who is now 30 years sober and ministering to countless other recovering alcoholics, and in the lives of my other family members. Did God cause those hurtful situations in my family? No. But He was able to work through them to bring some purpose out of our pain.read more

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