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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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quote over a pink flower on a lily padWhat if the man you are longing for loves someone else?

I am dedicating the next few weeks on my blog to answering questions women ask.

A reader recently asked me: “Is it worth being in a relationship with someone who may be in love with someone else but whom he cannot be with?”

My heart breaks at this question because it tells me another woman out there is lonely in love to the point that she will settle. It’s not her fault. She’s been made to believe that if she tries harder, or sticks in there longer, or loses more weight, or changes her behavior in some way, this man will begin to love her, or love her more, or love her once again.

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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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blog quote - husbandIt’s probably the one question I hear women ask more than any other. It is likely the biggest area of frustration for a large percentage of my readers. And it is definitely one of the most difficult questions for me to answer.

The question is “When will God give me a husband?”

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negativity_positivity1-300x245Are you feeling dragged down by the negativity around you? Maybe it’s the critical comments you hear others making at work. Maybe it’s the complaints you hear at home. Or maybe a friend is going through a “downer” phase and it’s beginning to affect your perspective, too.

Each of us, every day, is posed with the opportunity (and temptation) to be critical, and focused on the negative. But I’ve found that as we stay positive we are emotionally and physically more healthy, more happy, and more productive.

As I was writing my book, When You’re Running on Empty, I included ways that we can be someone who builds others up, not tears them down. And I also included ways to not get sucked into the negativity trap. See if these help you stay positive and productive today:

  1. Limit your time around the “drainers.”  Do you hang around people who build you up or tear you down? Are most of your closest friends those who fuel your tank or drain you with their negative waves and depressing attitude?  Builders are harder to find, but they do exist. Being positive is a choice and when it starts becoming difficult, you may have to make careful and conscientious choices in terms of limiting the amount of interaction you have with people who drain you.
  2. Look for the good in every situation.   One positive element of being around a drainer is that you learn what you’ll sound like if you become one of them. Look for the good in the situation everyone else is complaining about and you’ll be visibly — and audibly — living out God’s will in front of others.  First Thessalonians 5:18 tells us “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” That tells me we should be looking for the “thank you, God” in ALL situations…even the one everyone else around you is complaining about.
  3. Let it Go. Sometimes we just hang onto things too long. A hurtful comment someone made about us. A stressful situation we can’t do anything about.  Even trivial things that don’t really matter in the long run. Let it slide off your shoulders and move on. The freedom of living lightly (and not loaded down) is a choice. Decide to let go of things that don’t ultimately matter….and things that threaten your peace of mind.

REbookcoverFor more ways to keep positive, keep moving forwardrunningonemptycover runningonemptycoverand keep yourself from running on empty, see my book by the same title. And I’d love to hear how YOU prevent negativity from ruining your day.

I’ve never had more of a potential for stress than this holiday season. Since I put off my November 1st book deadline to focus on some Fall speaking engagements, my back is now up against the wall to complete my next book,  When a Mom Inspires Her Daughter. I’ve been given a deadline extension — Dec. 27 — just two days after Christmas. And I still have a ways to go before the manuscript is complete.

Yet this gives me a great opportunity to practice what I’ve been preaching the past month about having a stress-free holiday season. read more

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