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I have good friends who are about to get a divorce. They have been living individualistic lives - God has not been in the middle!

I want to talk to them and share this discussion with them. I want let them know there is HOPE. I have my story. I'd like to hear your stories.

Here is mine...

My husband and I just celebrated our 37th anniversary. We have all kinds of reasons for NOT succeeding in our marriage...

--we were married very young. It was before I 'figured out' most things regarding life.

--my husband has struggled with "Temporal Lobe Epilepsy" that effects fear/anger/panic. At various times during our married lives, each one of these areas took over our entire lives -- making life difficult for both of us. Plus there have been times when I was simply not the easiest person to live with!

--as part of the treatment for his epilepsy, both my husband and I had psychological testing. The psychologist said, "Your personalities are diametrically opposed. You should be divorced. But you're not. I'd say the reason you are married is because of your faith in God."

That is so true! My philosophy on people, having lived some 50 years is this: people do not generally have within them what it takes to exist together. Why? We hurt each other.

We are by nature selfish and self-centered.

Then, when you add children, relatives, work, past hurts, financial problems, future unknowns, etc., you build a 'mountain' that is difficult to scale.

But, God gave us the ability to do things that we could not do on our own:

--the ability to really forgive each other so that past hurts are in the past.

--the ability to love each other when we were really unlovable! And, we know how difficult that can be. It is EASY to love people when they are making us happy. But, when we need love is when we make each other unhappy!

--his help to build a strong and secure marriage for each other and our kids, who are now grown.

So... that is a bit of my story.

Can you share yours? I want to share this discussion with my friends who are in trouble.

And, you may have some friends who could benefit from this thread, too!

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I will share my story: but I want to let my husband know I plan to share. I have someone I trust to ask some questions first, to make sure I get it right, and with the right heart.

Thanks for this opportunity to share, God knows our heart, and yes we can 'make a difference.' God does speak - and he always is on time, he just did to me through your words, I am grateful.

Much love my friend,
Lynne

Travelight

My story will be forth coming, I need to take a little time to write it with clear understanding. You will have it by the weekend.
Just my two cents: watch the movie "Fireproof." It can change the divorce perspective:)
Wow - GREAT idea! I loved the movie!!!

Lori Laws said:
Just my two cents: watch the movie "Fireproof." It can change the divorce perspective:)
I have a different story.
When I was in my early 20s I got a phone call from a woman who said she was a prostitute and that she had been visited by my husband in the early mornings. ( we lived in SF but he worked on NY time). She called because she said she needed him to testify in her behalf because she had been arrested. He admitted it, I forgave him and we went on to have 4 more children (for a total of 5) through the years. He had asked for forgiveness and received it and we went to church regularly....all was perfect until....(or so I thought)

After a total of 20 years of marriage, I received a message through prayer that he was unclean. I confronted him and he admitted going again to prostitutes....I FEARED FOR MY LIFE that he could contract AIDS and give it to me. It was difficult but I insisted on a divorce. I don't know who he is. God knows. He wanted me to know but I had forgiven without difficulty once. I couldn't do it again. All my trust was gone. I divorced him.

Eight years of being single, dating toads, and raising my children alone brought me to my current husband whom I knew in high school. He and I connected at our high school reunion and have been married for 15 years.

On a personal level, I've grown in my self esteem and ability to be strong. For my children, it hasn't been so easy. They need their Dad but he is a closed person. He married a woman they can't stand.
He doesn't involve himself in their lives and he has made some dumb choices that have hurt them. I ache for them. Yet, I don't think I was meant to stay with a man I couldn't trust. He was one thing on the outside and another inside and he refused to get help. I moved on and I'm happy I did.
My story is not at all complimentary of me. My wife and I met in college and were married after graduation, after getting a job, and after setting up a whole debt-free home. So I was good at operating all external things in a home, but not relational, internal ones. After raising 2 daughters, an adopted son, and having numerous foster children, my non-relational perfectionism (being a negative motivator) drove my wife out of the house. Because I made a life-long commitment to God and her, I went about winning my wife back. She's now been back for 10 years physically, but not emotionally or relationally. I continuously read to learn more about marriage, and do a lot of praying and fasting. I have a lot of growing yet to do, and I'm still working on winning her through continuous caring and serving.
Marriages can be helped, rescued and rebuilt on the solid rock of our Lord Jesus Christ. I know from personal experience. My husband, Bob was a Christian and twenty-four years ago was tempted and fell into adultery. Due to the hurt, pain and anger, our pastor, my counselor and friends suggested that I divorce him for the sake of the children. I did.

But God! He had another plan and purpose for our life. God showed me that I had given up on Him and on Bob. I did not seek the Lord's will nor did I fast and pray earnestly for him. I had given up on our marriage due to all the circumstances, fighting, unforgiveness and pain.

Two months after our divorce, the Lord sent a couple to sing and share their testimony of having a restored marriage at our church. She had prayed for her husband for five years. That day I rededicated my life to the Lord to pray for my husband forever and went on a spiritual journey with my Lord. Two and a half years later Bob came to my office and asked me to stop praying for him. We went to lunch, God spoke to him that he had made the biggest mistake in his life and to remarry me and go home now! God does speak to prodigal spouses and prodigal children.

I called our pastor and he remarried us that afternoon. I started a woman's Bible study to share how to pray for your marriage, spouse and children. Two years later Bob wrote his first book, "Prodigals Do Come Home." Then the Lord birthed our ministry, "Rejoice Marriage Ministries, Inc." www.rejoiceministries.org

We have our teachings on Message Share. We do a daily devotional and help people around the world. We even put up billboards in differrent states saying: "Honey, Come home. The kids and I love you," or There's Hope! God Heals Hurting Marriages, " or "Forgive Them." To God be the glory for all that He has done.

For nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1:37 Our Lord God can touch and change hardened hearts, deliver spouses from adultery, alcohol or drugs. I pray that all Christians will have a burdened to pray for couples who have marriages problems. Our children need both parents home raising them. God says He hates divorce for a reason! Share with them God's hope giving them an alternative to divorce of an altar instead of an attorney.

God Bless you,
Charlyne Steinkamp
My full story is here: http://ProdigalReturns.com

I was privileged to work with a group for several years that supported spouses who had been wounded by their mate's infidelity. I'm going to respond from this perspective, that is, surviving infidelity in marriage. I currently have a Twitter ministry to this group. Once per month, God brings draws someone to me that is surviving their own infidelity to God or their mate's infidelity to them. I do nothing to draw these people but God provides as He will.

In general, God used the strains within marriage to bring me to the end of my own efforts, then He redirected me to Himself, to faith. If I consider ALL of Ephesians 5, I get this:

1. There's a mystery involving Christ and the church. Part of that mystery is that He loved the church enough to give up his life for it. Another part is that He treats the church lovingly, even when His bride doesn't deserve it.

2. Husbands are to love their wives in this way ... enough said. Husbands, do you love your wife even if she cheats on you? Don't you cheat on God regularly? Who is the bigger whore, you in your relationship to God or your cheating wife in her relationship to you? For me, I'm the whore, so what do I do? I live sacrificially for my wife based on the lessons taught me in the gradual unraveling of this mystery.

3. Wives are to submit to their husbands. Wives, are you going to have a hard time submitting to your husband if he loves you so sacrificially that he reminds you and others of Jesus' perfect commitment and sacrifice.

This is the mystery, I think, that we can look at our own marriage and dimly see the relationship between Jesus and His bride, the church. Jesus has been so faithful to me in my lifetime that it makes me want to shout. He kept his covenant with me even when I wandered off for more than 25 years. Is "shocking" the right word for that? What is? There really isn't one, that's the mystery.
Wow - these stories make tears come to my eyes. Thanks for sharing and thanks for others who share as well. I am going to both share this dicussion, but also tweet it out on twitter. These things things that you have taken time to share are too precious not to share.

Here is a tiny URL for you to use to share, too...
Marriage issues? There is help - hear how others 'made it through'! http://tiny.cc/HF976

People are reading your stories. Here is a count of the number of views from twitter
http://tiny.cc/?act=stats&id=2928237&secret_code=o8jYc9v8
God hates divorce. Yet, two must walk together as one spiritually if they are going to experience a marriage made in heaven. When two people marry, they make vows to God until death do they part and not to let any man put asunder what God has joined together as one. This includes lawyers and judges. God is the only one who can grant a divorce since the Vow was made unto HIM and witnessed by many witnesses. If we have an unbelieving wife or a husband who has been unfaithful or they have chosen to leave, the word of God says to let them Go.. The one who is innocent shall be free to remarry but only to someone who belongs to Jesus. The One leaving will be held accountable for committing adultery and this curse will follow them. The couple needs godly spiritual counseling for if they want to experience the blessings of God, it will come only by submitting to the Word of God, confessing the word of God and receiving the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives. They must know that they themselves is not each others enemy but that the devil is. They must know that the devil wants their marriage to dissolve because their marriage also represents Christ and the Church. If Satan can cause the marriage to fall, people will quit the Church and it also becomes weakened. But on the otherhand, when couples pray together, stand against the wiles and schemes of the devil, they are a powerhouse against Him. If the devil can keep married couples from praying, He has a major foothold in their home. We are living in the last days and it is time not to allow the devil to divide us but may we become ever so much stronger with each attacks he makes against us. May we be bound with the cords of unconditional love that cannot be broken. May we as the body of Christ walk in the unconditional love of God to which if our love is conditional, our homes will be built on sinking sands and we will suffer loss. May this couple commit their lives to Christ and be baptized in His baptism of unconditional love and instead of being Satan's victims and their faith shipwrecked, they become victorious Champions of the Most High.. In Jesus Name.
From Ginger Haan: I certainly understand not being able to trust a spouse and giving up. I'm glad Rambling Rose was able to find a man she could trust and be happy. In my situation, I found after 14 years of marriage that my husband Don was being unfaithful - with another man. This was devastating and I realized that the man I thought I could always trust disappointed me. I gave him the choice of leaving or getting help. Don promised to get help, and I submitted to God's reordering of my life. He assured me that we would be restored.

I remember being extremely angry with God on two occasions. I learned to listen to His voice, and on the first occasion He said simply yet profoundly: "Don is not your enemy. Satan is." Wow! I was 'fighting' the wrong person. However, I soon became smug in my feelings about myself and got angry with God that He wasn't changing my husband like I thought He would. I was taken aback by the response: "Don's sins are no worse than yours!" I gasped, wondering what sins He could be referring to. Over time God pointed them out: pride, self-righteousness, resentment and unforgiveness, self-pity, and other 'sins of the heart.'

After 5 years, Don gave up, left our family and went into a gay lifestyle. Two years later I came home from work, and there he was sitting on the couch. He said he was ready to leave the state and would never see me or our two sons again. But a voice came to him before he got out of bed that morning and said, "Go home, go home" and kept repeating it. He had come home! It was a long road back, including our sons who had lost faith during this whose process. But God is faithful! Eventually we gave a public testimony and God used it to change many hearts as we started a ministry.

God forgives but does not usually remove the consequences of our sins. Unfortunately, Don became HIV+ and died of AIDS in 1996. but thanks to God, a beautiful restoration had taken place.

Nine years later God brought a wonderful man into my life. The ministry I had with Don has expanded to helping many others who have a gay family member. God loves unconditionally, and He can teach us how to love the I Corinthians 13 way if we are obedient to Him and learn to trust Him completely. We may not always trust man but we can always trust God.










Rambling Rose said:
I have a different story.
When I was in my early 20s I got a phone call from a woman who said she was a prostitute and that she had been visited by my husband in the early mornings. ( we lived in SF but he worked on NY time). She called because she said she needed him to testify in her behalf because she had been arrested. He admitted it, I forgave him and we went on to have 4 more children (for a total of 5) through the years. He had asked for forgiveness and received it and we went to church regularly....all was perfect until....(or so I thought)

After a total of 20 years of marriage, I received a message through prayer that he was unclean. I confronted him and he admitted going again to prostitutes....I FEARED FOR MY LIFE that he could contract AIDS and give it to me. It was difficult but I insisted on a divorce. I don't know who he is. God knows. He wanted me to know but I had forgiven without difficulty once. I couldn't do it again. All my trust was gone. I divorced him.

Eight years of being single, dating toads, and raising my children alone brought me to my current husband whom I knew in high school. He and I connected at our high school reunion and have been married for 15 years.

On a personal level, I've grown in my self esteem and ability to be strong. For my children, it hasn't been so easy. They need their Dad but he is a closed person. He married a woman they can't stand.
He doesn't involve himself in their lives and he has made some dumb choices that have hurt them. I ache for them. Yet, I don't think I was meant to stay with a man I couldn't trust. He was one thing on the outside and another inside and he refused to get help. I moved on and I'm happy I did.
Believe it or not, miracles do happen. Happy Endings are blessings from mistakes. Here is the rest of the story: Can This Marriage Be Saved!
No matter how constructive criticism is, it can still feel like rejection when received. What I have learned is I must not take it personally, I can choose to accept or reject it my self, the trueness of the criticism to myself personally, and where I can improve to feel good about my self, and others.

Just want you to know, the undermining of our marriage has been criticism. We both realized it and realized life with out the other would be impossible, so we have decided to make sure that does not happen. When faced with either, or, it made us see things in a different light and the problem began to dim. When we looked at each thing that was getting on each other's nerves we began, to see the both of us were wanting and needing the exact same thing.
Imagine that!
We both wanted & needed Love and acceptance, then seeing further we understood that we were not so different after all, and the Echoes of the Past were just distance sounds of a past that had past, what did it matter? We are here now truly loving each other, and that was all that really mattered. Of course, other factors had entered in that had compounded the problem, and looking at that even made us see we needed each other - to be strong. Sometimes, blessings can be mistakes, and in our case mistakes can be blessings, now more than ever, because of the hard times we are more determined to set better goals together, and have saved the best for last. I am just glad it was not a tragedy that made us realize how important it is for couples to Teamwork, and commit to making each other happy. There is lots more but this is plenty to assure all of you, God worked a miracle that was much needed for the both of us.
Boy was that quick, God doen't fool around, he gets it done, and done right.

Lynne Jones said:


The Snow is in my hair the frost is in my frame
The hopes of youth in age can never be the same.
excerpt from Terry White's poem, The Snow Is In My Hair.

Live with Passion and Purpose you will make less mistakes that way, and never live with regret.
In marriage as in anything things change, some good some not so good. Putting God first is the only answer to real freedom.
You have to remember blessings can sometimes be mistakes, and mistakes can be blessings. When ever something just keeps not working, you have to be honest and realize life to short to keep trying to 'push the river.' When we truly let go and let God, step out of the way miracles happen. My advice is be there for your friends but do not to give them any advice. Encourage the couple to decide what they want and need. It's too hard to force it to work, because of religious reasons, etc. you shoulda, you oughta, that is putting off the inevitable of what will occur again and again. People come and people go but God's matchless Word is here, the same yesterday, today and forever. He never leaves us or forsakes us. As I told you I was going to discuss this with my husband of 43 years,
tell him the truth knowing we had grown apart - way apart and had been for a long time. The glue in our marriage has come loose, we no longer have children at home, nothing to bind our hearts together, no goals, etc. so why keep punishing each other.
Truth is we have not been happy, I say we, I mean me. My husband is happy where he is, and I am glad for him.

I yearn for THE ROAD NOT TAKEN.
Honesty is important, search your heart tell the truth, don't disrespect one another. God will provide.
The details in my story of Truth telling are neither here or there. Pray about it, above all don't lie to one another. Living a pretentious life is 'prison.'
What ever you do. . . . "do it heartily unto the Lord." God will bless your decision. My husband and I agreed, the road has to go both ways, and always TraveLight.

www.traveLightgame.com
She is so right. This is her new husband......we have been married for 43 yrs. but she is new to me now and I am new to her. She is my one and only and I mean ONLY. We will enjoy the rest of the years of our life together like never before. We have been together since our first date at 14 yrs. old on a hay ride. There has been no one else. But I have been guilty of not putting her first for a long time now. I was religious and knew all the answers but I didn't have the right attitude and didn't believe in our unity. We are very different. She has only a few interests and I have many. In fact there is not much of anything I could not be interested in. I own a business and have been there 42 yrs. I spend 6 days a week there. That is going to stop. I am going to spend more quality time with Lynne. I ride a Harley. But it won't take the place of her when she needs me. I teach martial arts and have for many years. But she can keep me in line in a loving way. I fly an airplane but she soars above me. I'm learning to play a piano but she plays my kind of music every night! I hold advance licenses in electronics and radio communications but she communicates to me more clear than ever before. I am a genealogist but she can show me where I really came from and where we are going. I am the local expert on DNA research in genetics and genealogy but she has proven that our DNA is made together in Heaven. I am past presidents of many organizations but she presides over my life before anything else. I am trained in weather forecasting by the military but she makes all my days full of sunny skies. I am a writer but she adds the meanings and quality to the words before I type. Before I just thought I had understanding but now I can read her mind. She is my all in all and I shall always be there for her until death. No one can move me away from her. We may not live another 43 yrs. but whatever is left of our ages together will be the best ever! True love casts out fear. Being involved in teaching self-defense and combat I know no fear of any man. But the only fear I recently realized was that I might not have her any more because I have been so critical to her and not understanding what her needs are and placing my desires before hers. Now everything falls into place and I don't have to be concerned about doing the wrong thing because she will forgive me and we will walk hand in hand laughing into the next day.

Lynne Jones said:
Believe it or not, miracles do happen. Happy Endings are blessings from mistakes. Here is the rest of the story: Can This Marriage Be Saved!
No matter how constructive criticism is, it can still feel like rejection when received. What I have learned is I must not take it personally, I can choose to accept or reject it my self, the trueness of the criticism to myself personally, and where I can improve to feel good about my self, and others.

Just want you to know, the undermining of our marriage has been criticism. We both realized it and realized life with out the other would be impossible, so we have decided to make sure that does not happen. When faced with either, or, it made us see things in a different light and the problem began to dim. When we looked at each thing that was getting on each other's nerves we began, to see the both of us were wanting and needing the exact same thing.
Imagine that!
We both wanted & needed Love and acceptance, then seeing further we understood that we were not so different after all, and the Echoes of the Past were just distance sounds of a past that had past, what did it matter? We are here now truly loving each other, and that was all that really mattered. Of course, other factors had entered in that had compounded the problem, and looking at that even made us see we needed each other - to be strong. Sometimes, blessings can be mistakes, and in our case mistakes can be blessings, now more than ever, because of the hard times we are more determined to set better goals together, and have saved the best for last. I am just glad it was not a tragedy that made us realize how important it is for couples to Teamwork, and commit to making each other happy. There is lots more but this is plenty to assure all of you, God worked a miracle that was much needed for the both of us.
Boy was that quick, God doen't fool around, he gets it done, and done right.

Lynne Jones said:


The Snow is in my hair the frost is in my frame
The hopes of youth in age can never be the same.
excerpt from Terry White's poem, The Snow Is In My Hair.

Live with Passion and Purpose you will make less mistakes that way, and never live with regret.
In marriage as in anything things change, some good some not so good. Putting God first is the only answer to real freedom.
You have to remember blessings can sometimes be mistakes, and mistakes can be blessings. When ever something just keeps not working, you have to be honest and realize life to short to keep trying to 'push the river.' When we truly let go and let God, step out of the way miracles happen. My advice is be there for your friends but do not to give them any advice. Encourage the couple to decide what they want and need. It's too hard to force it to work, because of religious reasons, etc. you shoulda, you oughta, that is putting off the inevitable of what will occur again and again. People come and people go but God's matchless Word is here, the same yesterday, today and forever. He never leaves us or forsakes us. As I told you I was going to discuss this with my husband of 43 years,
tell him the truth knowing we had grown apart - way apart and had been for a long time. The glue in our marriage has come loose, we no longer have children at home, nothing to bind our hearts together, no goals, etc. so why keep punishing each other.
Truth is we have not been happy, I say we, I mean me. My husband is happy where he is, and I am glad for him.

I yearn for THE ROAD NOT TAKEN.
Honesty is important, search your heart tell the truth, don't disrespect one another. God will provide.
The details in my story of Truth telling are neither here or there. Pray about it, above all don't lie to one another. Living a pretentious life is 'prison.'
What ever you do. . . . "do it heartily unto the Lord." God will bless your decision. My husband and I agreed, the road has to go both ways, and always TraveLight.

www.traveLightgame.com

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