Ep. 442 Eight Responses to the Spouse Whose Spouse Left
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Shows Main Idea – A lady wrote, asking me how to help her and her husband. He recently left for another woman, and she’s in desperate straits, not knowing what to do about it or what her role should be in restoring their marriage. She’s hurting but is maturing while in her desperate crucible. I gave her eight things to think about, and though I am dealing with a husband who left a wife for another woman, you can change the genders, and the content will apply to the husband who has lost his wife.
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Here is part of what she wrote to me. I flattened it out to remove the names, churches, and geographical locations.
My husband moved out a while ago and into the home of another woman he had been “dating” behind my back. He has filed for divorce because I told him I would not agree to the dissolution of our marriage. It has been a multi-decade battle for us and a long, long story. I hung on through the years, always trying to help him (or so I thought). We’re at the end, and I don’t think I truly trusted Christ until he left me. What advice do you have for me? Please pray for us. Thank you for your ministry that always directs us back to the sufficiency of Christ. In Him, (Hurting Wife)
1 – Hypocrisy: She said, “Everyone loves him, but he’s not real” because she knew the private person.
- What you saw was the tip of the iceberg.
- Not being transparent with each other is a common marriage problem.
- Dating Tip: What you see is only part of what you will get.
- We all have a gap between who we are and who Christ is: which way do you lean?
2 – Attitude: She said, “I struggle daily with having the right attitude,” one reason you must not dwell on what he did.
- Your attitudes will shift and change, but some form of the struggle will remain, even if a faint echo.
- Adultery has a long shelf life.
- Fight for soul stability in the context of your friends.
- Practice gratitude. For everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
3 – Sovereignty: The “why” question. “I never thought I’d be in this place.”
- You must deal with this head-on. It’s a thing. God was there.
- You must let your Bible inform you, not your oscillating thoughts.
- Bad thoughts lead to bad emotions.
- You must fixate on God because He is working in your life.
- Specifically, consider God’s goodness.
4 – Awareness: She said, “I have now come to the place of seeing my sin in the marriage.”
- Examine your faults, but do not throw yourself in a ditch.
- Repent of what you need to repent from and let it go.
- Possibly confess and seek forgiveness from your spouse.
- Be careful: each situation is different.
5 – Children: She said, “My child still loves him; she does not know what he has done.”
- They will love him–at least while they are young.
- Paint a portrait of Christ with your life. See Galatians 5:23-24.
- Remember that he is painting a picture too. The wages of sin are hard on the soul.
- Guard your heart and tongue regarding how you talk about him.
6 – Prayers: She said, “I want to rain fire and brimstone down on them.”
- Pray that his path will be hard and that he will come to an end of himself (Luke 15:17).
- Pray for the Lord to turn his heart (Proverbs 21:1).
- Pray for other people too. It will help them, and it will help you to reach beyond your suffering.
7 – Care: She said, “I need a lot of help.”
- Surround yourself with good friends.
- Take care of yourself physically and spiritually.
- Care for others. It will push you out of yourself and into the two great commandments (Matthew 20:37-39).
8 – Expect: She said, “The good Lord will take care of you.”
- Never forget that God is working good in your life (Romans 8:28).
- You may not be able to see it now, but you will experience it in the future (Job 42:10).
- Never lose hope.
- Hope sees a goodly place far off, and it will keep you on the right path as you make your way to assured victory.
Call to Action
- What points would you add to my list of eight? If you were helping someone through a divorce, how else would you want to care for them?
- Which point stuck out to you, and why did it?
- Are you able to help a person in a situation like this? If not, would you want more training? If so, consider our Mastermind Course.
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Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).