Collaborate without boundaries

Time to let go?

  • Comments 9

Exactly one week ago at this very moment, I was in the arms of my husband. Tonight, I sit alone and have no husband.  As I contemplate the events of the past week, months, and years, going back 19 years, I am inclined to believe that it may be time to let go. DH and I met in Sunday school class in 1998.  We started dating in July 1999.  Several months later, we became sexually involved.  Although I knew it was wrong, once it happened, there was no going back. We dated until 2004.  We broke up because I wanted to get married, and he did not. His daughter was grown and my children were still young, and we were just at different places in our lives. We separated on fairly good terms, still caring deeply about each other. Several months later, DH called me and asked me to dinner.  We started dating again, and dated each other for another five years. My conscience finally became more than I could live with, and I broke it off because I was tired of living in sin.  We ran into each other in a Walmart parking lot in 2013.  It was pouring down rain, and I motioned for him to get into my car because neither one of us had an umbrella.  After some small chitchat, he finally said "You should be very proud of yourself."  I thought that he might be referring to my job. He said it again. He said "You should be very proud of yourself. You gave me the best years of my life. I loved you then, I love you now, and I will always love you. I was a fool for not marrying you."  I just sat there, stunned.  DH is not the type that expresses his feelings very readily, so this was huge. He told me that he had promised himself if he ever saw me again, he would tell me that. As he got out of the car, I told him that he could call me. A few days later, he did. We decided to start dating, he even had to call it off with another woman before we went out to dinner. This time, both of us knew immediately that we wanted to get married, and we were engaged three months later. We married eight months after that Walmart made-for-the-movies moment.  Looking back, I realize several things. First, if I had never given in to sin, we probably would not have stayed together all those years ago.  Second, whenever we did break up, neither one of us ever let go. We always still had feelings for each other.  Although I don't want to let go, and just writing about it makes me cry - I realize that I will never be emotionally available for another relationship unless I let go this time.  So, is it time for me to finally let go?  I stood for my marriage until the very end.  Is it time to let go?  There's a part of me that thinks if I called DH in a week or so and suggested that we have dinner, he would go. He told me the night before our divorce was final that if I ever wanted to hang out or have dinner we could.  But my entire family and all of my friends tell me that I cannot do that. They say that he would only be after one thing, and they are probably right. I'm not going down that road again, that's for sure. But there's this "magical thinking" inside my head that says "well, what if we could start dating again?" But, given our track record, I know things would probably, most likely, not work out. I don't think that things could ever work out until DH truly surrenders his life to Jesus.  So, I ask myself, is it time to let go?  How will I know when it's time to give up hope for my marriage (I guess at this point, it would be remarriage)?  Since we don't have children together, there's no reason for us to have any future interaction.  Oh Heavenly Father, I need guidance. My head thinks one way, and my heart thinks another.

  • I am only going to say what I believe about my own marriage, based on scripture.  When my husband divorced me, I prayed for God to bring him back.  I was consumed with that idea and that prayer.  When I began the Love Dare, I had hoped it would make a difference in my husband's perception of me and in my broken marriage.  God had other plans.  There are no escape routes, no excuses, no reasons for divorce that God approves or condones.  He is very specific in His word that if someone divorces and remarries they are committing adultery.  I think the scripture Matthew 5:32 “But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery” is misinterpreted far too often.  I do not believe God is saying if your spouse commits adultery it’s ok to divorce them.  When you really look at that scripture, what is says is if you divorce your spouse and they remarry you cause them to commit adultery, unless of course they have already committed adultery, therefore you cannot cause them to do so.  

    I base this on God and how He interacts within His covenant to His people.  In the OT, the Israelites played the harlot many times; broke their covenant with God by worshipping false idols, chasing other gods, and yet, God did not divorce them.  He punished them then lovingly accepted them back when they repented.  He does the same for us now under the new covenant.  How many times do we commit adultery against God with our love of money, things, people and yet God never divorces us?  He forgives and receives us back, but He never breaks His covenant with us.

    So why would we, the created, believe God would tell us something contrary to His character?  Are we higher than God?  (These are questions I’ve asked myself, and things the Lord has shown me.)  

    When I entered the covenant of marriage with my husband, granted I believe he entered it as well, but I was in it for better or for worse, sickness and health, richer or poorer, til death do us part.  Just because my husband has considered our marriage a contract he believes he can break with no consequences does not mean it’s right.  I am still bound by that covenant by God’s standards and plan.  

    So, early on, I felt God ask me, “Linda, if I choose not to restore your marriage, will you trust Me anyway?”  That was hard for me.  I will be 61 years old this year.  I never wanted to be alone in my golden years.  I fully expected to live all my days out with my husband, so answering God didn’t come quickly or easily.  I cried about it for days, even weeks.  I prayed.  I pleaded for God not to ask me that.  Ultimately, I realize God would allow me to break the covenant because He loves me so much He won’t take my freedom to choose from me, but do I want what I want because I want it, or do I want God’s best for me, whatever that is or looks like?  I made the decision to stand no matter if I stand the rest of my life alone, physically.  

    This was my second marriage.  My first ended in divorce, then he died, so I was released to marry.  I didn’t wait for God to bring someone into my life, instead I went looking on my own.  I was free to marry, buy my husband was not.  He had already broken one covenant.  He was not God’s choice for me, but once I entered into marriage with him, he became my covenant husband.  That’s on me.  Now I am bound to that man for the rest of my life.  I cannot keep running from man to man because I am too stubborn to trust that God can make me complete as a single woman.

    This is a hard area for people (it was for me too) because we want what we want.  We twist God’s word to fit our desires and wants instead of seeing the truth(I am guilty too).  Being a child of God is not an easy thing.  God oft times asks us to make very hard choices, but if we trust Him, it will always be for our good.

    So, I suppose if I was giving you advice, I would say continue to pray for your husband.  Don’t go looking for another husband.  Stand on the promises God has given you and trust that even if He doesn’t change anything in your circumstances, if you will allow Him to be ALL and EVERYTHING, you will find He is enough even if you spend your life single.  

    Is He going to be angry and unforgiving if you decide you don’t want what He wants?  No, He loves you, but you have to ask yourself if you love God enough to trust and obey Him even if the life He plans for you is not what you want.

    I still don’t want to be alone, but I am finding contentment even single and living alone.  God has filled my life with family and friends and I laugh more every day.  I cry less.  My heart aches less.  I am beginning to understand what it is to be content in whatever circumstances I am in.  I am seeing God be enough for me.

  • IT's been just a week and you are wanting to fix your dilemma vs being still and seeing what God wants of you.  You were patient through this whole trial.  Now, be patient through this season too.

    I believe like Linda.  A  marriage is a covenant not to  be broken.  If one spouse leaves, that does not mean you are set free.  God's part of that covenant, and He did not leave, and we are not to leave the covenant either.  

  • I would say yes let go.  By not dwelling on him or wondering moment by moment if he will ever come back.  And then just enjoy the gift of  life and all that God is.  And if/when your husband chooses to come back, you will be ready and not involved with another man outside of the covenant.

    by choosing  to see the courts word that  a  d happened is putting the court's  word above God's word.

    If you chose to start dating, would this encourage or detract from him finding his journey with Christ?

  • YOu saw the conviction God placed on your husband.  And we all did too.  Do you think this conviction is going to  disappear now that the courts said you are d?  Or do you think God may add more conviction or minimally keep the same conviction upon him?

    If you had hope in His conviction bringing your husband back, why give up hope now that this same conviction or even intensified conviction will not bring your husband back?

    Many, many couples d and then remarry.  Dating others greatly diminishes this happening.

  • I don't recall anything in the bible saying a d is ok or remarrying is okay, other than if a spouse dies.  And many people say it is ok in the case of adultery.  but your husband did not commit adultery that I remember.  Even that escape clause I believe is not true.  I think it is Matthew that people misinterpret that adultery is a reason for d.  I have read to many explanations  why.

    Right now, be still and let all that is going on settle in.  You are to fresh in this to make decisions of letting go.  Be still is a great thing to do.

  • You are very restless in wondering what  to do.  Is that of God?  Or is that of the flesh or of evil?

    You mention your head thinks one  way, your heart another.  Doesn't the bible say the heart can be deceiving?

    Lead your emotions.  Don't let your  heart lead you.

    Letting go will bring conviction upon you.

  • It doesn't seem fair.  And  it feels like  a burden to continue standing where a  spouse leaves.  But God promises not fairness, but crosses to carry through our lives. but with these crosses He is there to carry them with us, making our yoke light.

  • I understand the Bible exactly as Linda states. The thought of living alone is terrifying but our human minds are thinking in error. We are not alone. God is always with us. Giving up physical contact is hard. I have thought about what will happen after this and who I could possibly be with but like Linda points out, the Bible says that any relationship after this is adultery as long as my wife is still alive. We are part of a covenant, not a contract. I admit that I think a lot about dating and getting married again but I know in my heart that it would be wrong. Not only would it be wrong for me it would make the person I would be involved with an adulterer. I can't do that to another person. I need support from you all to keep me accountable to that. You need us to help you also.

  • You all have given me a lot to think about, study, and pray about. Thank you for your candor.

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