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Discussion:
When Your Spouse Walks Out
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I received this in the mail and wanted to share it with you. I thought it would make an interesting discussion. Some will agree, while others will not... some will renew their hope, while others may find the very notion hurtful and depressing. I could not resist offering this up as a discussion and wanted to see how each of you truly felt about this.

When Your Spouse Walks Out

Credit: Rejoice Marriage Ministries

http://www.rejoiceminstries.org
http://www.stopdivorce.org
http://www.charlynecares.et

The one you love, that one who stood and made a covenant with you to, "love, honor, and cherish 'til death do us part" has left. Your visions of a happy family and of a future together have been shattered. Two families each minute are being destroyed by divorce. This epidemic is reaching once-happy homes, leaving behind brokenhearted spouses and children.

Everyone seems to offer advice, but no one has a solution. Where do you turn? Who will help you? What do you do? Yes, you will survive. Yes, there is help available.

In 1985, my husband Bob, became the prodigal son of our family, as he left his home, wife, and three children in an attempt to start all over again with someone new.

The hurt that followed cannot be described. Only one who’s been there knows the emotions that follow separation. We experience fear, rejection, anger, hopelessness, and yes, even a bit of hope.

That glimmer of hope became the foundation of my stand for a restored marriage. That stand for marriage restoration was fulfilled two years after our divorce was final. That day we stood in our pastor’s office and were, once again, pronounced man and wife.

That hope for marriage restoration did not belong to our family alone. It is available to you. Yes, divorces do take place, but even more important, families are also being restored. Don’t bury your marriage, when there’s still life in it. Granted, your relationship may need some resuscitation, as did ours a few years ago, but it can be healthy again.

Don’t Look At Circumstances

Your circumstances may, as did mine, look impossible. There was another person involved. My husband wanted out. He was unwilling to work on our marriage. He had declared clearly, by word and deed, how little our family meant to him. Looking at circumstances would cause both you and I to give up. Look to the realistic hope of a restored marriage, not to that mountain of circumstances.

Zip the Lips

Although it’s a bit harsh, scores have found that to be good advice. Many a spouse has found the way back home made difficult by words strewn to others by a hurting and abandoned mate. Find one friend, of the same sex, one who will allow you to verbalize every hurt; one who will walk with you in confidence through this frightening valley. Share the details of your present mess of a marriage with this person alone.

Don’t Take Surveys

I was guilty, as are many others, of determining solutions to our marriage problems by taking surveys. Listen up, for God’s direction, instead of listening around to other people. As you accept suggestions from others, you are allowing that person to live out your life for you. Additionally, no one can offer suggestions until they hear details, and you’re not sharing details.

Keep a Journal

Start today to write out your thoughts. Allow an inexpensive notebook to become your best friend; one who will hear every hurt and never make a comment. In the days ahead, you’ll be able to look back and realize the progress that you’ve made in your stand for marriage restoration.

Live as Though Married

Your spouse leaving home or even a divorce, does not validate your dating. Spend these days working on yourself instead of finding someone else. Many prodigal spouses have found the way home to be blocked by their mates having found someone else.

Seek Support

There are ministries available to help you stand for marriage restoration, even when your spouse has no desire to work on the marriage. They focus on helping the offended party in a hurting relationship. These ministries can offer books, cassette tapes, testimonies of others and telephone encouragement to help you stand for your marriage.

Love Unconditionally

Love your spouse with an unconditional love; a love not based on the actions of your mate. Love your spouse not because of what is being done, but regardless of what is being done. You can find the strength to continue to love when the conditions are put aside. I loved Bob even when he appeared most unlovable to the world. I loved him even when his actions were hurting our family. Unconditional love helped my prodigal find his way home.

Turn to God for His Help

The greatest help that’s available for your marriage comes from God. When couples separate, one mater turns to God and the other usually turns away. Asking God for his solution will provide you more help than can be imagined. Since our remarriage, we have discovered from entries in my journal, and in Bob’s diary, of the many time while we were divorced that my prayers were being effective in Bob’s life.

Take Heart

Prodigals DO come home. During those early, hurting days of our separation, I did not know that on July 7, 1987, my husband would knock on my office window, invite me to go to lunch with him, and that I would return a couple hours later remarried to the husband of my youth. I wish it were possible for me to put an arm around your hurting shoulders, give a hug, and encourage you to stand for your miracle as well. You and your spouse deserve better than the hurting world of divorce. Allow God to be your spouse for this season, as your marriage is being restored. He cares and I care.

- Charlyne Steinkamp

A Stander’s Affirmation

I AM STANDING FOR THE HEALING OF MY MARRIAGE! I will not give up, give in, give out or give over 'til that healing takes place. I made a vow, I said the words, I gave the pledge, I gave a ring, I took a ring, I gave myself, I trusted GOD, and said the words, and meant the words... in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in good times and in bad...so I am standing NOW, and will not sit down, let down, slow down, calm down, fall down, look down or be down 'til the breakdown is torn down!

I refuse to put my eyes on outward circumstances, or listen to prophets of doom, or buy into what is trendy, worldly, popular, convenient, easy, quick, thrifty, or advantageous... nor will I settle for a cheap imitation of God's real thing, nor will I seek to lower God's standard, twist God's will, rewrite God's word, violate God's covenant, or accept what God hates, namely divorce!

In a world of filth, I will stay pure; surrounded by lies I will speak the truth; where hopelessness abounds, I will hope in God: where revenge is easier, I will bless instead of curse; and where the odds are stacked against me, I will trust in God's faithfulness.

I am a STANDER, and I will not acquiesce, compromise, quarrel or quit. I have made the choice, set my face, entered the race, believed the Word, and trusted God for all the outcome.

I will allow neither the reaction of my spouse, nor the urging of my friends, nor the advice of my loved ones, nor economic hardship, nor the prompting of the devil to make me let up, slow up, blow up, or give up 'til my marriage is healed.

- Author Unknown

INTRODUCING

THE STEINKAMPS

Bob and Charlyne Steinkamp met and married in the sixties in Pompano Beach, Florida where they still live today. They are the parents of three children and the grandparents of seven, all living locally. Previously, Bob was a funeral director and Charlyne had a successful career in medical office administration.

Things were not always blissful for this couple. They separated several times and finally divorced in 1985 after 19 years of marriage. Two years later, in response to the prayers of a wife who had refused to give up on a prodigal husband, Bob and Charlyne were remarried, to the glory of God, who restored their marriage.

In 1989, the Lord led them in two ways that were to become the birth of Rejoice Marriage Ministries. Following a late night conversation Bob overheard in a hospital regarding divorce, he started to write his first book, "Prodigals Do Come Home." About the same time, Charlyne was led to approach their pastor regarding her burden to teach a Bible study for women standing for restoration of their marriage or for an unsaved spouse.

Since that time, Bob and Charlyne have written nineteen books on marriage restoration. Their testimony was dramatized worldwide on UNSHACKLED! from Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago. They have appeared on TBN and have been interviewed on radio and television, and had newspaper and magazine stories of their testimony. The Steinkamps also host both a daily and a weekly radio program of their own.

A weekly Rejoice Bible study group, that began with a handful of women in the Steinkamp’s living room in 1989, now meets each Monday evening at a church in Pompano Beach, with both men and women. Tens of thousands of Charlyne’s teaching messages from those classes have been distributed worldwide on cassette and CD.

The second greatest accomplishment of Rejoice Marriage Ministries has been to witness couple after couple whose hopeless marriages have been restored, even after divorce. The greatest accomplishment of the Ministry has been to help untold scores of men and women discover a relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Steinkamp’s duplicated 60 copies of their first two page newsletter in 1990. Today, thousands of subscribers around the world receive Charlyne Cares, a free daily email devotional written for hurting spouses. Rejoice Marriage Ministries also has several web sites, receiving thousands of visitors each week. Several thousand other people listen to God Heals Hurting Marriages, their daily five minute radio program, also available online.

Their most recent project, following God's word to them to "Proclaim," is to rent highway billboards that read, in three-foot high letters, "There's Hope - God Heals Hurting Marriages."

The Internet visitor can discover scores of sites on marriage restoration. What makes Rejoice Marriage Ministries stand out from all the others? First, it was birthed by a couple, following their divorce and remarriage to each other, and both spouses are active in the Ministry today. Bob and Charlyne strive to be transparent to the Rejoice Marriage Ministries family. Their goal is to always minister with integrity.

Visitors to some marriage restoration sites may find rules devised by that specific ministry they say must be adhered to for a restored marriage. You can find sites with programs of every type imaginable, promising to bring prodigals home. The Steinkamps teach learning to listen to God for His direction. Only He will have all the answers right every time. A person standing with God for marriage restoration needs to be talking to Him in prayer. Your coaching needs to come from God.

Only God can truly convict a prodigal to come home, to change, to stay home and to be a faithful spouse, with every family member serving the Lord. Your day-to-day instruction needs to come from God alone.

Bob and Charlyne’s books are written, and messages taped, to give encouragement to hurting spouses, not to be rule books. The only book you really need to see your marriage restored is the Bible.

If you feel the need for books, tapes, and CD's to encourage you while you stand, you can find them in the Rejoice Marriage Ministries Bookstore.

Rejoice Marriage Ministries can never promise you a healed marriage if you follow our directions, but, on the authority of the Bible, we can promise you that if you follow God’s direction, and listen to Him, not only will your marriage be changed, but your personal life as well.

You may have come to the Rejoice Marriage Ministries site searching for an answer to your family’s problem. The "something" you are seeking is really "someone," and His name is Jesus. Please contact us if Rejoice Marriage Ministries can help you discover the difference that the Lord can make in a fractured family. God Heals Hurting Families!

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." John 10:27-30
Posted on 02/27/07, 01:56 pm
9 Replies Add Your Reply
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Comment:
Email me when others reply to this topic help
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Reply #1 - 02/27/07  2:13pm
" Ok here is my opinion on the topic. Although I think it is possible and good, I do not think that they considered every situation and that they are making a blanket statement or belief system that isn't always realistic and doesn't always work.

For example, although the spouse may return, is the spouse returning for the restoration of the marriage or just to check in to see if the brokenhearted is still available to them.

So many ex' go through this, where the ex who abandoned them drop in, even after many failed relationships, and give them mixed messages in order to keep them hanging on, only to abandon the relationship time and time again, refusing to have any true obligation, but wanting the brokenhearted to hold n to hope so that they never truly go on with their lives.

Some ex's don't want to be committed to the brokenhearted, but they also do not want the brokenhearted to move on. They want the brokenhearted to cling to hope so that they can maintain their place in the relationship without being responsible or held accountable. They can always return to the "it's over" mind set when it suites them and blame the brokenhearted for "holding on" yet they do not disclose their manipulation, mixed messages, and false hope.

I really think the Steinkamp's need to consider other situations where holding on to hope can be unhealthy and even more painful. I think they should outline behaviors and situations that should suggest to the brokenhearted move on, this is unhealthy for you.

It is unfortunate, but I think there is a generational gap that is not being considered. A marriage of 19 years has a better chance at restoration that a marriage of 5 years.

A young marriage that is broken often turns into careless games, where the brokenhearted is taking advantage of and injured time and time again. Although a bond has been established, a family created, the world today is more excepting of divorce, therefore the ex can basically walk out their front door and get praised, they are not forced to account for their actions like other generations are.

An older couple, who have been married 15 plus years, has a greater chance at restoration because even though they live in the care free world, they still hold to their upbringing in which divorce due to affairs was very wrong and looked down upon. They are less likely to be supported in their decision... their children are older and can speak their minds and have their own opinions, their family and friends are older and will probably shake their heads... the ex will feel lost and isolated not only from their former spouse, but family as a whole, because even if people remain silent, they show in actions, body language, and behavior their disapproval.

The younger generation however grew up knowing divorce in their lives. It is unfortunate but it has almost become the norm, therefore they are less critical. The cheating spouse is more likely to keep his family bonds regardless of their actions, friends are more likely to accept, justify, and even approve their behavior "You deserve to be happy, who cares what anyone thinks!" It is this attitude that destroys young families, because a failed marriage is no longer the shame it use to be, except for the brokenhearted. It is often the brokenhearted who turns to tradition, where as the unfaithful ex turns to the new world because it offers them comfort.

That is just my opinion, what do you think? "
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Reply #2 - 02/27/07  2:16pm
" Oops, btw it is http://www.charlynecares.net :) "
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Reply #3 - 02/27/07  2:31pm
" I really think a lot of what is said . I have given up pushing my wife for reconcilliation. But I have not given up on my vows, hope or her. I think even though most of the time I am positive about her, the bashing I have done has served no purpose. I am moving on about that. Seeking help in others that is this place to a tee. We all have our downfalls, we all have something that makes us great.

I don't know how long I will be there for, if there is a divorce. But in the mean time I can work on myself, my forgiveness of her, my faith and love my children like there was no tomorrow. "
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Reply #4 - 02/27/07  2:35pm
" In my opinion these are the general guidelines you should look at first before holding out hope...

If you have been married for 5 years r less it is unlikely. The person is probably getting out in order to resist any long term bond; therefore they have essentially escaped the marriage before they got in too deep. Even if children are involved, there is doubt that the marriage will be restored and they are probably not even being held accountable for their actions. People are supporting their decision no matter how wrong and they are being told "it is ok... you deserve to be happy... move on." It is possible, but very unlikely in my opinion. They may return to check on your availability to them, to play games, but all in all they will not renew their commitment in my opinion. This is of course a case by case basis, however if you established a really strong bond in those five years and they just lost their minds, you have a better chance than most.

If you have been married for 10 years or less, your chance of restoration is less likely, in fact there is a good chance that by using their method you are only opening yourself up to games and being toyed with. It is possible, but less likely...

Between 11 - 14 years... well, to me that is up in the air, it is a case by case basis like the ten years or less. Yes there is a chance, but I believe it is far less likely than the 15 plus and I also believe that you are more likely to be toyed with than the 15 plus. Consider your generation before holding on to hope, really look at your situation.

Is the family supporting and talking to the unfaithful spouse (his parents, relatives, and friends)? If they are, if they are supporting them or if they are simply not making a big deal out of the affair and divorce, well your generational chances just took a serious backslide. This person can return to the world they once new without you, without accountability, and they are still receiving support, therefore they are more likely to skate over the effects and justify their behavior.

Does the person have an addiction?

If the answer is yes, well you just took another hard slide backwards. The unfaithful ex is more likely to slip into the addiction for comfort rather than facing the pain they caused. Yes the time might come when they regret, however it is very likely that they will not face such things until many years down the road after they have gotten honest help for their addiction. However even if they get that help, they often just blame the bottle or the drugs for their behavior, they do not hold themselves truly accountable, so in this justification they move on without honest guilt or an apology.

If you have been married for 15 plus years I think you have a better chance than most and perhaps you should visit the website and consider keeping your hope alive. I think you have a serious chance at restoration because a family bond has been established, a life style, a planned future etc. In most cases the spouse just lost their minds and will eventually snap out of it and attempt to reconnect. In many cases this is genuine so the success rate is higher so to speak. Often these unfaithful exs have isolated from everyone, even their family, and will eventually wish to return to the world and the people that they know. I think this is a wonderful possibility... "
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Reply #5 - 02/27/07  2:42pm
" Bigfella: How long have you been or were you married? I looked over your profile and I noticed you have older children, therefore I think a restoration is possible for you. I think you should consider getting involved with a restoration ministry because your chance of success is higher than most. If you start to get some help, some basic guidelines, I feel you could be one of the many success stories. Good luck and much love to you and your family...

Oh and btw, you might want to sit your children down and talk to them about your commitment to restoration. They are older, so they will be able to offer you the support you need. "
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Reply #6 - 02/27/07  2:47pm
" I think this article is good and bad at the same time. For some couples, a littl space and time of could be ood. But for other couple, separation is necessary and better for the children and the relationship. "
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Reply #7 - 02/27/07  3:42pm
" I have been and currently married now for 13 and a half years. I have told my children that Dad is committed to there mother and committed to our family.

The funny thing is my 10 year old son is the really compforting one. There will always be that bond that is unspoken between my daughter and wife. My daughter was 3 when I married her mother and her. She has been a wonderful friend but not to keen about conversations on the situation.

It does appear my wife and I have both have made a committment not to say anything to them about the other in a negative light. I really don't have anything to say that way anyway.

In most ways, except for being a little selfish on my part for wanting something I don't have a say so in, my wife has been very pleasant to me. Without sounding negative or bashing, that has not always been the case.

Somedays besides trying to smile on a regular basis, all we have is hope! "
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Reply #8 - 02/27/07  3:55pm
" I am sorry but i do not think much of this article. I have seen them before i have read many books and articles supporting separation and some reconciliation. I think it's dangerous to ourselves. Abandoning ourselves. I think it's good to look to God or a higher power. I even think that may bring our only relolution. But to hang on to a hope for reconciliation can keep us tied to a dead marriage with futile hope. If the partner is already gone from the marriage to another or even marries the other person, why tie our hopes to them? I rather pray to God to show me the path he means for me to have in my life and show me why i am meant to suffer through this agony of betrayal. i don't think the cheaters had the kind of insight or self evaluation necessary to keep this from happening in the first place. yes everyone can learn from their mistakes and become better people and that is the most we can hope for. "
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Reply #9 - 02/27/07  4:48pm
" I agree with you LauraJ, I think for some it is possible... however the vast majority would be setting themselves up for serious heart break and it would merely prevent them from changing their focus and moving on. I also think it is a dangerous notion, especially without knowing the situation. I am concerned about the generational gap between the Steinkamps and those they counsel. Their generation was less excepting of divorce, so they have a higher success rate, however the up and coming generations have been far too accepting and often spouses who do "return" do not intend to restore, in many cases they take advantage and give mixed signals in order to keep the brokenhearted available and hanging on. I fear many people who follow this will be setting themselves up not only for disappointment, but also to be continuously hurt and taken advantage of... "

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