My wife and I are both Christians. Actually it was my wife who brought me to Christianity. I first heard you and your husband on Frank Sontag’s show back in February. Your story and your explanations of what marriage is all about were highly insightful to me. I immediately began to try to implement the concepts you outlined into my own marriage of 10 years even though my wife had been showing signs of not being interested in honoring the covenant and was making divorce overtures because she was “not happy” with her life and our marriage. Unfortunately, one week ago today I came home from work to find that my wife had packed up a bunch of her stuff into her car and drove to Texas to live with her stepsister who is not a believer and has herself been divorced 3 times.
Through my investigating, I’ve learned that my wife complained to her stepsister about how unhappy she was and her stepsister told her to leave me and to come live with her in Texas. She actually pressured her by telling her that she would help her with money but only if she left me right now. She told her that If she hesitated, then she would never help her again and that she would be on her own.
I am having a difficult time with this and I don’t want to be divorced, however, I’m being told by other friends, who are believers, that I should file for divorce because my wife abandoned me and broke the covenant. They told me that they have witnessed her over the past 4 years displaying a very selfish attitude towards marriage and that she is not interested in following God’s outline for marriage. She has told me that she believes that God would not want her to be unhappy and on that alone HE would be fine with her leaving our marriage.
Do you feel that I should throw in the towel? At this point she has severed all communication with me and is embarking on a new life in Texas. I’m really depressed and confused and I would really appreciate some insight as to how I should proceed. I don’t want to make a mistake.
I hope you can help me…
I am so sorry for all that is happening to you. This sounds extremely difficult.
I would suggest a fast and prayer day to pray and listen to God. What God says is what’s most important. There is something about difficult decisions and painful times in our lives that fasting and praying seem to untie the binds. See Isaiah 58. What I do when I fast is drink liquids, and either don’t eat from morning until the next morning, or just fast through breakfast and lunch, and then, eat dinner. I know those who will fast for days, and even weeks at at time. If you listen, God will speak to you.
Make sure you are in church every week and join a group if you can. Like a home group or 12 step program like Celebrate Recovery or whatever your church has.
God says, “I hate divorce…” in Malachi 2:16. Marriage is a covenant that God never intended to be broken. God can fix any broken marriage…and I’ve seen it! Having said that, you cannot control her, and if she has left you, you cannot make her come back. But what I would suggest is writing her a letter and own the mistakes that you made. (We all make them.) And convey to her how much you love her, and will work to make the marriage work. Sounds like you need some tools–as we all do–to navigate what a thriving, healthy marriage looks like. That’s why I wrote, “From Me to We,” to give couples tools. I also write a lot about marriage and family relationships in my blog, feel free to subscribe.
You cannot change her, but you can change you. Seek to become closer to God and strive for a better version of you. If you can somehow show her that you are making strides to be better, maybe she will reconsider. I’m not at all saying that this is all your fault. All I am saying is that obviously there were some things that were broken in your marriage, and marriage is two people, and maybe if you can try to understand what is happening from her viewpoint, then maybe you can make some progress. Again, you can’t change her, but you can change you.
I would also suggest seeking out a professional counselor to help navigate your feelings. This is a very difficult time for you, and I’m sure the pain is overwhelming. A therapist can give you tools to deal with it.
Even if you do everything “right” she still may choose to not come home. You have no control over that. But you can pray and ask God for wisdom, guidance, and for a miracle in your marriage.
I pray that God restores your marriage.
Want Lu to come speak at your event or church? Go to the Contact Page for inquiries. Lucille Williams is the author of “From Me to We: A Premarital Guide for the Bride- and Groom- to- Be” available now in stores at Barnes & Noble, and various Christian bookstores throughout the country, and online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, Christianbook.com. Want to meet the author? Visit Barnes & Noble in Valencia, California, for Lu’s upcoming author event on May 13 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.