There would be so much less disappointment if every time someone tied the knot, it was to the right person picked especially by God. But the fact is, when God gave us freedom of choice, He gave us the ability to make bad decisions, including bad decisions about whom to marry.
I remember working with Stephanie two years into her horrible marriage. Three years prior, two men came into her life at the same time.
One was everything most women would want in a mate. He wasn't perfect, but his character and maturity were intact.
The other man had a borderline personality disorder—seductive at times and aloof at others. Stephanie picked the one with the personality disorder. Later, she acknowledged her mistake, took responsibility to make the best of the situation and found a way to have a fulfilling life, even though she was married to Mr. Wrong.
If you've made a mistake like the one Stephanie made, you probably feel trapped and discouraged as she did. You may be angry with God for not protecting you or bitter toward your parents because they didn't prepare you to make good decisions.
You might be wondering whether God loves you or cares what happens to you. You know some wives whose husbands were delivered from their "Mr. Wrong-ness." You want that for your husband, but it does not seem possible.
There Is Something You Can Do
When you start working on what you can do rather than focusing on what God is not doing, your relationship will probably change. There are actions you can take other than giving up and leaving.
However, if the image of a good marriage is more important to you than fixing your marriage, I don't think you have much hope for change. Hope comes when you are willing to do whatever it takes to save your marriage and initiate healing.
You will first have to discover if your husband has already divorced you and is just waiting for you to fill out the paperwork. Many men divorce their wives physically, emotionally and spiritually, even though the marriage still exists legally on paper. Some women live like this for years while he leads a separate life, married to his job, pornography, money or just about anything that allows him to flee intimacy with his wife.
Prayer and intercession can turn the circumstances around, but your husband has to be willing. The worst thing is for you to try to have a marriage with a man who has separated his life from you but has never informed you that he is no longer there.
In Matthew 19, Christ clearly states His desire for marriages to stay together. He does, however, present the exception of adultery.
I am not for divorce. God hates it, and I hate it. But God also hates to see women being abandoned and deceived.
If your husband has already "left," ask him to either complete the paperwork on the divorce he has already declared or work with you to rebuild your marriage. If he agrees to work with you, there are actions you can take that have helped many women and may help you.
Before You Say Goodbye
If your husband is still in the marriage and you are willing to do whatever it takes, you are ready to follow these steps:
1. Obtain counseling and support for you and your children. You need to find out what it is in you that attracted you to him. Discovering your hidden motivations will strengthen you for a new and dynamic marriage or for the possibility of a painful separation or divorce. Surround yourself with loving and wise female friends who will be there when you need them.
Your children are as confused and hurt as you; maybe more. But they do not have to turn out to be victims of this crisis. A third party can help them resolve their feelings and even grow from the experience.
2. Nag no more. Decide that if anything negative needs to be said to your husband, God will bring someone else along to tell him.
Nagging and negative talk accomplish nothing. Refusing to play his game or respond in anger will instantly change the way he thinks of you.
- Continue reading >>
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!