I thought my marriage was built on the Rock, so how come it’s ending in divorce?
AMAZON AFFILIATE PROGRAM
WhatMomsMake is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program along with other affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by putting links to companies in my blog posts.
If I were to tell the story of how my marriage began you would never come to the conclusion that it would ultimately end in divorce. How could you?
In 2008 I had recently rededicated my life to Christ. I was on fire for Jesus. I told the man that I was currently talking to but not dating yet that this is who I am now and if he didn’t like it, he should move on with his life.
Instead he began going to church with me, gave his life to Christ and couldn’t put his Bible down. We got baptized together, and discipled by the pastor together. In church 4 to 5 times a week because we could not grow fast enough in the Lord.
When we started talking about marriage we even fasted from each other and from food to ask God if this was who we were supposed to marry. And He told us both yes. So that’s what we did, we got married.
We did premarital counseling and had lengthy discussions on how we would raise our kids, what we wanted out of life etc.
We moved away to another state, found a church and started a Bible study in our home to help disciple others. We were on the right trajectory.
So what happened?
I thought that since our marriage was built on the rock of Christ that it could never crumble.
I held fast to Matthew 7:24-27. Where Jesus is giving the sermon on the mount and tells anyone who can hear Him that our “marriage” house was built on the rock. The rains and storms would come and it wouldn’t fall because it was founded on the rock.
But I missed a key point in those verses. In verse 24 Jesus says “whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them…”
Let’s see where were we in my marriage story? About 2 years in, we’re settled, in church, reading our Bibles, hosting Bible study.
But another 2 years pass and now we have a child and I am still in my Bible, but my husband isn’t.
By this time had I come to him several times, encouraging him to read his Bible, but that’s all I could do besides pray. We were still in church, he was still following Jesus. When I look back now, I desperately wish I could have seen this coming. But I didn’t.
When Love Becomes Blinding.
After we got married I had made a commitment to God, to my husband and to myself that I would try to give 100 percent in my marriage no matter what my husband was doing.
I would read The Excellent Wife yearly, to refresh my memory on what is outlined in the Bible of what a wife is and I honestly loved being a wife. It brought me great joy.
But I noticed a few years into our marriage that my husband didn’t bring the same energy into our marriage. It seemed like he gave the bare minimum into being a husband while I felt the burden of carrying our marriage.
He was great at other things, like providing or doing things around the house. He would do anything for me if I asked.
The problem was, that soon it became that I had to ask for everything. Including expressions of love from him. I constantly wondered if he even loved me which left me feeling completely worthless and depressed.
When I would do my best to communicate my needs, in a loving way and he would agree with me and say that he would do whatever I needed, he never kept his word.
And so my marriage seemed to become something that only moved forward if I pushed for it, if I asked for it, if I initiated it. And it got really lonely to be honest.
Like the saying “it takes two to tango”, it takes two to build a successful marriage. And while I was determined to make it work no matter what even if that included doing my work for our marriage and also taking on my husband’s burden- I was going to do it.
There’s a statistic that a man will leave his wife when she gets sick
The problem with one person holding up a marriage is, if they become incapacitated and there is no one to pick up what they were holding, the marriage falls apart.
You can imagine how stressful it is, to hold up your family, homeschool your kids, and also have to constantly ask your husband to be a husband. That stress got to me and I became sick somewhere around 2019 or 2020. I don’t really know.
What I do know is my energy levels decreased dramatically and I wasn’t able to keep up with the pace that I had set for myself. I cooked 3 meals a day, I homeschooled our kids, I kept our house clean amongst the 5,000 other tasks that stay at home mothers are burdened with all while running a business.
I remember telling my husband that I felt like my energy only lasted until noon each day and then I just wanted to go to sleep.
I didn’t know that I was anemic and that my iron levels had decreased so much I was edging close to a hospital visit.
I finally got a diagnoses November of 2020. But by then my husband had already started cheating.
If you know anything about anemia, my ferritin was at a 1 and my hemoglobin was half a percent away from needing a blood transfusion.
There are actual studies about men leaving their wives when they get sick. Here’s one that shows men are 6 times more likely to leave when their wife gets cancer or multiple sclerosis. I didn’t have either of these, but with no energy at all, I definitely wasn’t the same wife my husband was used to. In a loving situation there would be grace, empathy and help. But not in my case.
Adultery entered our marriage
I found out my husband was cheating on me on my birthday in January of 2021. By then his heart had grown hard and I was so blindsided I tried everything to make it work. We got counseling, we read books together, etc.
I should have known it wasn’t going to work out by the way he blamed me and never took accountability for what he did. All the gaslighting and manipulation really did a work on me.
Looking back now, I’m glad that I put in the effort knowing that I can walk away knowing that I tried everything to fix my marriage. But just like the summation of the rest of my marriage, I was the only one trying. He would participate in what I asked him to do, but he never took initiative to heal anything or make our marriage a safe space again.
By the summer of 2021 after I had let him come live back home— after he said he had repented— he was already onto another affair.
There’s a song by Casting Crowns called Slow Fade with a line in it that says “families never crumble in a day, it’s a slow fade”
It started with him not reading his bible. Not taking any accountability for his actions and refusing to grow as a husband. Then allowing small sins in his life that he felt conviction for but never stopped. And then at some point towards the end of our marriage, in came the lust online. And that lust led to adultery.
It all slowly crept in like a trickle of water through the front door that turned into a flood that damaged our house beyond repair.
So was our marriage built on the Rock?
The word built in Matthew 7:24 is a word of completion. In a marriage you’re supposed to be consistently building. Now, I wasn’t perfect, I made plenty of mistakes but nothing determinable or damaging in my marriage. But I do know one thing- I was building. But I was building alone.
Jesus said “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his hose on the rock.” My husband stopped doing them. And it takes two people to build a marriage.
I also recognize that in the context of what Jesus was saying, He was speaking about salvation. But I attributed His words selfishly to my marriage. Misinterpreting scripture. Which is dangerous. It gave me a false sense of security in my marriage.
It may be controversial, but I am grateful my marriage is ending
I could be wrong, but I do believe that Christ saw my efforts as a wife, saw how unloved I was and used my husband’s willingness to chase sin for my good. To give me a way out.
And I don’t say that lightly. It has taken over a year of therapy, recognizing that this wasn’t my fault and that I did deserve to be loved like Christ loves the church to be able to say this.
“And we know that all things work together for the good to those who love God” Romans 8:28
There is a huge difference in the attitudes of people who can recover from adultery and those who cannot. If my husband had been a man that could recognize that he was wrong and be eager to grow from that and fix things I would be telling a different story. A story of restoration.
There was a point when we were trying to recover from this when I told him that I was scared that this would happen again and he responded with “you would have to….” implying that him not cheating depended on me being an absolute perfect wife, and I knew then that my marriage was over. I still waited though, I still tried.
I’m not saying that God cannot change him but knowing him for 16 years I know that he has a strong opposition for growth. You have to be willing to be accountable to your actions and recognize that you need help to grow in order for any change to happen. And he unfortunately isn’t there yet. And I refuse to remain in pain hoping that his character that hasn’t changed in all the years I’ve known him will do a 180. I have to move on and heal. I refuse to hold onto potential and I have to live in the reality of who he is right now.
But what about…
There are so many questions that come with divorce from other believers so let me try to answer most of them here.
What about my children?
There was and is still so much heartache in the trauma this introduces to my children which will be another topic for another day. But please know, that my children will be ok. God knew this would happen, it’s nothing I ever wanted. I always wanted my children to grow up in a whole family, but I know that God can work this out for their good too.
But God hates divorce!
I know that God hates divorce. I told my husband that several times. But we were both coming from a different place of reasoning. My husband had backslid so far that biblical reasons to stay married or even stay faithful didn’t seem effective anymore. He had immersed himself so far into the world and surrounded himself by people who encouraged his adultery that my arguments fell on deaf ears.
I also know that it takes two people for a marriage to work. This last year has been incredibly damaging for my mental health. I have so many issues with trust and with undoing the emotional abuse he put me through and is still trying to put me through.
I had a choice to make. I could stay while my husband continued to commit adultery and hurt me. Knowing he hadn’t repented and that his heart was and is as hard as a rock, or I could make the hardest decision of my life and recognize that I am worthy of more. Staying would have killed me, and I want to live.
I’ve gone through enough trauma to last a lifetime and I will not willingly put myself through more or have my kids watch that. So I chose divorce.
It’s not final yet, it’s going to take a while (I’m in no rush) and in the meantime I am taking time to heal with my Savior by my side and with an amazingly wonderful Christian therapist.
Is there any hope left for your marriage?
No. I am fully done and walking away confidently. Jesus gave us liberty to divorce when there is adultery involved. And although nothing is too hard for God to fix, I personally recognize that there has been too much damage done for me to ever feel safe in my marriage again. There is no way that there could ever be a time where I could fully trust him again.
Are you ok?
Yes, I am now. I wasn’t. But God has been so good. When this happened He placed me in the right hands to hold me while I broke, and continues to do so while I heal. My biggest concern is for my children, how I will provide for them and how they will handle this throughout their lives. I’m grateful that I am not the first woman to walk through this and that there are sadly so many that come before me but grateful that they were willing to share their wisdom to help me as I navigate this.
What does this mean for your marriage content?
I plan for God to use me like He always has. I have gone through the storm and I hope to help others hopefully save their marriages even though I couldn’t save mine. So be on the lookout for some healing content.
My therapist told me something that made me able to write this post and continue on in the work that God has called me to do. “If an oncologist gets cancer, would you discredit them to treat you?” The answer for me was no. I still love marriage, I love ministering to marriages, and just because I couldn’t save mine, it doesn’t mean that I can’t use what I have gone through to save other marriages.
That doesn’t mean that for a long time during this I felt unworthy to write, type or talk about what has been going on. But I’m finally at a place of healing to be used. And I’m ready.
My marriage content exists because of the marriage I was trying to build. That I worked tirelessly to build. The problem was, I was the only one building. And that’s ok. I know that for anyone coming to my site that needs help, the wisdom God has given me does work as long as both spouses participate. I have helped thousands of marriages thrive. And I can’t wait to see what God does now with my -let’s call it “extended”- story.
How can I help?
I’m kindly asking for prayers. Prayers for the unknown for my children’s and my future. Prayers that I will be able to provide for them. And prayers for God to use me, and use this situation for His good.
Prayers for you and your children. None of us have perfect lives. Sometimes we fail where we are persuaded we can only succeed (I’m just recently struggling with a failure as well). But God is omniscient & omnipotent. He knew this would happen even before you got married so clearly He has a plan for you in this. May God continue to bless you as you navigate this new season in life.
Thank you so much Rebekah!
I am so sorry to hear about your pain and loss. I know (through much suffering of different kinds) that God uses it ALL and allows our stories to minister to others. As you are doing. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you Kay
Thank you for sharing this. I am in a similar situation, having just separated. Throughout this all I have felt God’s guidance. I appreciate your honesty and praying for you and your family.
Thank you Alicia, I’m sorry you’re going through this and I’ll be praying for you!
Oh my gosh girl! First of all, it was so great to see you at the Salmon BBQ on Saturday. Hugs to you! I can’t even begin to relate to what you’ve been through as, unfortunately, I was the culprit in my marriage that committed adultery…and not just once over the 38 years we’ve been married. I don’t know why he keeps me to this day but he does. Thankfully through God and God alone I have left that sinning behind me but it has scarred deeply…more deeply than I’ll ever know. All I can do is accept my husband’s forgiveness, love, and devotion to keep me and move forward one day at a time.
Tamara, at the end of the day what matters is that you repented. I’m so glad that you’re marriage is still in tact. God is amazing in what He can do when two people are willing to let Him work in their marriage! I pray for continued healing in your marriage