I am going through a divorce with my husband. We dated 4 years before marrying (we were high school sweethearts) and this October we would have celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary. We have had our ups and downs like any relationship. My husband was not a strong Christian when we were married. I was a Christian and got him actively going to our church where I believe we both started to grow in Christ. However, neither one of us maintained the relationship with Christ like we should have and the result of course was an imperfect marriage. Neither of us was in the word as much as we should and my husband definately was not the "spiritual leader". I would try to encourage both of us to get in the word, devotions together, and praying together and with our children. We both did teach and pray with our children, but definately lacked in the one on one with God and with each other spiritually. Because of my lack of daily devotions with God, I was not walking with him like I should and neither was my husband. In some areas I could definately show love and other areas I failed miserably. In most of my actions I would try and show him and tell him I loved him. Except when we would get into our "big" fights. My husband was one who is very selfish. He always put his business, and all his own interest befor me and our children. I was never a priority in life to him. (Later I realized that was because he never put God as #1, so how could all his other priorities be in order). When we were younger we both were immature and would say things we didn't mean and then apologize. My husband was a person of less words, but would show more by his actions (ignoring me, late all the time, and treating me as unimportant). I was more of a word person. When he would irratate me or hurt me, I would lash out and say things I certainly did not mean, but were harmful nonetheless. He would say a few things and then I would say more and then he would say something really hurtful and so on, but early on I was the one who usually started the word fight. During our big fights, I would say that I did not feel like I loved him, sometimes even felt I hated him, told him he was stupid and ugly and just mean and sometimes said I thought about divorce. Then he would say something hurtful back and so on. Sometimes I would even use foul language when I was angry. I know that these are destructive words, but honestly I did not mean them. I was just lashing out at him. I felt so unloved and unappreciated by him sometimes that I would just try and make him feel as miserable as I did in that situation. This was not usually like me. I really let the devil use my mouth for angry harsh words sometimes. Now not that I am trying to excuse my actions, but this was usually after days and small arguments where my husband just refused to care or listen to me and also after the arguments I would try to calm down and speak rationally and he would try and say things to escalate the argument, even when I would say lets talk about this later so I can calm down. I am usually a patient person, but in large situations and build up I tend to flare up and burst out. I don't usually hold things in, but I do try to be as patient as I can. (Now later I see that not in myself, but by Christ and his spirit, and getting in his word and communicating and daily praising him, I can overcome this, I just didn't fully see it until now.) We didn't always have extreme fights like this, in fact over the years and with maturity they became less and less. But we did still have them. Probably one every couple months. We did still have our small arguments where afterward he would ignore me and the problem so I would be mad and pout for a day or so. But we also had lots of great times in there too. It got to a point where he started doing it more than me and started the word battle first, even in small arguemnts. Anyways, about a year and a half ago, I heard a message on how our tongues are evil and words can lead to destruction, so I talked with my husband about trying to watch what we say in our arguments and try to keep to the argument instead of bashing. I really tried and succeeded mostly. Every so often I would slip, but was sure to keep on trying. (Again, we will have a harder time if we do not follow after Christ daily - very important) My husband never tried. He kept getting ugly and uglier and also gave up trying in every aspect of our relationship. We had several issues we had been fighting over since the beginning of our marriage and i asked him on several occasions that we go for counseling which he refused and said we did not need. Main issues about his irresponsibility, lack of concern for the family and me, spiritual leadership, financial providing, priorities, etc, quality time with me and family, especially me. He put all his friends, hobbies, job and wants first. And if he didn't it was usually due to a fight due on my part. He didn't always get to do as much "guy" stuff as he would have liked, but we both own business and he worked until 9:00 every evening. Our weekends were our only free time and so he wanted to always be doing something with his friends, by himself, etc. Not always, got to, but if given the choice would have. I also did not trust him much, because my husband always chose the wrong friends. He gravitated toward unbelievers and "partiers". He also was a very big flirt and would check out women and flirt with them all the time, and didn't understand the consequence that such actions could bring. I would try and talk on a spiritual level about this, but of course we would always end up in an arguement of how I don't trust him. I would try and explain that it wasn't him, but sin and the devil and that we don't put ourselves into bad situations that can lead to sin. My husband is a very immature person and especially spiritually. I have had to provide and care for every aspect in our finances, relationship, house, kids, etc. I love him dearly, but he is very immature. I tried being the best wife possible in every area of our lives, except in the way I talked to him when we would fight about him being the husband he should be, and that's when I reacted our before in the ugliness. A year ago my husband really started pulling apart from me. He was leaving me with 85-90% of the workload at our business we ran together. He never helped with the kids or any work at home. His other job he was running really bad (although it was one of the main sources of contention between him and I, because he treated it as if it was more important than his family and told me on several occasions, he would rather lose me than lose his school). He started ignoring me at alot at home (not all the time, but some) and at all outside functions, he would stay away from me completely. I started falling back into my old bad habits some and saying that if he kept on like this I was going to divorce him, and I really felt as if I was falling out of love with him by his actions and a couple occasions, I told him I hated him. But that was about it. I felt so bad afterward and almost immediately felt convicted and would tell him I was sorry. Then 6 months later he pulled almost completely away. I started doing about 95% of the work everywhere and he completely ignored me. My husband and I had always had a very healthy sex life even through all our hard times. But I noticed him pulling away in this area also. That was when I told him I thought he was having an affair. He accused me of being "mistrustful" again, like I had always been through our whole marriage (forget the fact that he ignores me, and flirts with other people). He said if he ever did have an affair that I drove him to it from my mistrust in him. So I started trying to "trust" him and really started getting in the word and trying to encourage him to also, but he just ignored me. 2 months passed and during that he was showing up and hour late every night, having mysterious phone calls, doing weird things, and not acting himself. One night he was 45 minutes late after a week of being late and I called him and he had a couple he was trying to get signed up on a contract and I got so angry after all the months of trying and build up and discourtesy and after a week of late nights with poor excuses (not that, that night was a poor excuse, but he didn't even call and really at could have signed this couple up at a later time on a scheduled appointment instead of causing more marriage problems) I exploded and told him that if he had no intention of working in this marriage, of caring for me or my wants, of not giving his all as God intended, then maybe he just shouldn't come home. And he didn't. That next day we talked and he told me he wasn't sure that he wanted our marriage anymore. That I tried to always control him, my temper was too bad, that even if a large portion was his fault, he didn't think he could please me and should never have married me. That I was too hard to please and we alway fight all the time. That I ruined his life and ambitions by wanting too much time with him and the family. That his business never reached its fullest potential because he had to deal with time with me. That I overreact to his being late at night (he is always at least 15 minutes late and I am a big person at being on time, epecially when I only get to spend 2 hours of quality time a night with him if that and my children don't even get to spend the time with him because they are usually in bed by the time he gets home because he is 15 minutes late and can't help put them to bed). That he could have made more of himself had he not married at 20 and that I took away all his friends (the unsaved, party-goers). And he missed out on all the fun in life. I told him let's go to counseling that none of that mattered only God, us, and our family and I would try harder and we both needed to give our lives over to God fully and do it fully God's way. Not mine, not his, but God's and we could help to figure that our by getting in the word by ourselves, together, and pray together and go to counseling. He said he would try, and I told him the first step was for him to be the spiritual leader and start doing these things and to make our counseling appt. He never did. Then his brother's 8 mo. old died and we had to fly out for the funeral. Then his mother got cancer and we were in the hospital with her for awhile and so on. Things kept popping up and our situation kept getting worse. Finally after several more lies and situations where he wasn't where he said he would be, I checked my husband's cell phone bill and sure enough found the number to a girl I had warned my husband about. She was a 22 year old student of his at his TKD school. She is a "partier" and a very promiscuous girl. I also believe she joined his school with her sights set on him. She would stay around and flirt with him and he with her, and I warned him that was a bad situation. But he ignored me. When I approached him I knew in my spirit that he was having an affair with her. (I had known all along anyway, but now just had the proof). He denied it until I showed him I had proof and then denied any physical affair with her. I knew there was, but had no proof. We went for an emergency counseling session with a counselor not of my choosing. This counselor then brushed of the "emotional" affair, told my husband he believed it was not physical, told my husband he did not need to get rid of her from his school, to just be more careful to not be around her and let someone else teach her. I was not OK with this. First because I felt there was more to it and also because, there was still that attraction there regardless. My husband and I argued over this for a couple weeks. The whole time he kept telling me that it wasn't the affair that made him not want our marriage. It was me and and all our arguements and he didn't love me anymore. I told him God does not work off feelings, but what is right and that if he tried our marriage the right way that God would give him those "feelings". We proceede this way for a couple more weeks until one night I had it with him. He kept saying he just didn't feel for me anymore and did not love me anymore, but still wanted us to stay "friends" and he still work for me and he would come over every night and tuck the kids into bed and everything be the same. Just not us be in love and together anymore. He also said he was really worried about my losing my faith through all of this (which was funny to me because I was getting in my word and praising God all day long and had never felt closer to God) That was the last straw. For him to attack my faith. I told him to take us to his parents, where he could stay and that it was over. That night I cried all night, got up the next day, went out with my sisters and cousing to lunch and do "girlie" stuff and when he called to "check" on me I told him I would call him later. I did not go to see him until 9:30 that night. He had been waiting for me at my sister's house all day long. He was really angry (and I believe a little shocked because I spent my entire relationship trying to please and spend time with him) that I wasn't falling all over the chance to talk with him. But he was still prideful and told me then that I would have to wait until after church the next day to talk with him. The next day at church my brother in law had a spiritual talk with him, that we all knew it was a physical affair and that it needed to end and he needed to get rid of her and confess to God and me and try and make things right even if I did not forgive him and the relationship did not make it, he still needed to confess. So my husband prayed with him and after church came home and confessed to me (actually I had to pry out almost every detail because he was too chicken to tell me himself, so now I realize it wasn't a true confession) I found out the affair had been going on for 3 1/2 months. (or so he says) He told me he did want our marriage, that he would work on it like it should be and that we could start over together. The following weeks he acted as if I should just forgive and forget and would not even go to our first counseling session with me. He talked with one counselor by himself and convinced that guy that I had totally manipulated our entire relationship and the affair was just a result of that. He did not give that counselor the entire story, of how he was with me. The counselor from our church, where I went told me my husband needed to me entirely genuine in his repentance, with an attitude of I completely screwed up and will do whatever it takes to make this marriage work. That no matter what problems we had in our marriage. He was the one who broke the marriage and destroyed it by having the affair and breaking our covenant. My husband felt that he still did not want to change or be sorry, that our relationship had "caused" this and that yes he was wrong, but only for the affair, not for the breakdown of our relationship. After a few weeks of all this again, I again kicked him out, not with the intention of divorce, but just a separation until he could get right with God, do this relationship like it was supposed to be done through God, and also work and provide at our jobs like he should. I told him to go find another job since he doesn't do a good job working with me. I told him I would give him an unnamed amount of time to figure all this out. That he was not to use this as a "free time" to play and sneak around with her and his party friends and that if he was really interested in saving this marriage he would stay accountable and work hard and become the man, husband God wants him to be. I told him living at home trying to work that out wasn't working. He was just living in his "comfortability" zone of me doing everything and taking care of him and him not having to work anything out on his own. What did he do? He got really mad. I had told him he needed to take his car payment and find some kind of short time job and also money from his school and pay his car, and give me a little to put towards our bills. I was really very fair in all of it. He threatened that if he needed money, he would just come to our shop or out of our accounts and take it. So I changed the locks on my business and told him as soon as he changed he could come back to it all and get a key back. This made him furious and his parents and his other friends furious. They told me I had no right. That it was his business too (a business that was given to me by my father, in which my husband gave about 5% to and I did all the rest. The business could run any day without him, but could never run without me) He started going out with his friends. Going places with who knows who, not staying accountable and everything. He told me he was doing it to spite me because I was doing him wrong by kicking him out of mine and the kids life and everything else. Finally one day after speaking with him and telling him, you stop all this and do it right or I am done, he made an appointment with our church counselor. We went and the counselor told him the importance of him being the head of the household, but in a Godly manner. The importance of true repentance and gaining back trust and how to "love" in a Godly manner. And that the ball was really in his court. That I had been too "forgiving" with him and doing everything he should have been doing himself. He told me and the counselor that he loved me and would really do everything to work on our marriage the way God intended. The counselor told us he would really like my husband to come back home to start working on it. I was really leary of this because I wanted my husband to show me first that he was really going to work on it and not just come back home for the "comfort" of it. As soon as we left, I asked him if he wanted to come back and he said yes. Then as soon as we got home, I could see a change in him. He became sulky and off by himself and moody and ignored me. A little bit later he came up to me and told me that he thought it was a bad idea for him to come home so soon. That he was unsure of his repentance and wanted to go to his parents and read his bible and listen to his tapes and figure out what it was he needed to do first. but that we could still be "intimate" before he left. I told him no way, and was really angry. I felt as if I let my guard down, trusted he was going to work on us, and then he turns around and dashes my hopes. So he left and I had a terrible evening. The next morning during my devotions and praise, I felt God telling me not to be prideful and to call my husband and tell him I felt what he did was wrong and that he should have listened to our counselor and that I did put my trust in him again and he had let me down. He told me he was sorry and that he would come home. Later I was suspicious because he told me he had gone "somewhere" and worked on his studies for a few hours before going out to dinner and then home with his parents. The next few weeks my husbands attitude never changed. He kept telling me he was still unsure of our marriage, that he thought that he still had major feelings for this other girl (which he called our counselor about, who told him that it was normal to feel that somewhat, but that he needed to recognize that it wasn't love, that all sin is pleasurable for a time, and that my husband needed to soon recognize that for what it was, or he would then need to question his true repentance to God, and our relationship) My husband kept saying he just didn't feel sorry for what he did and did not know why. Finally, I went for a trip for my 30th birthday with my mom to New York for 4 days. I told him that I wanted to see a major change in him and his attitude by the time I got back or I would be filing for a divorce. The whole time I was gone my husband kept being rude to me on phone calls, he closed our business during odd hours to do "his" business stuff even though he promised he would run the other, he ran off to odd places and lied about whereabouts. So when I got back I told him I did not want it, but that I was filing for divorce. He cried and told me that wasn't what he wanted and that he never meant it and he would try harder. I told him I was continuing on my path and that if he meant that he would show me. Later that day I found some information that pointed that he had still been in contact with this girl. He denied it but told me that now since we weren't going to be together, he probably would talk and see her again. As soon as he moved back home with his parents, she has been seen with him almost every day since. I feel as if he had been seeing her the whole time, which he denies. He still blames me for the marriage failure (not the affair). He told me he did not want the marriage anymore and that it was not because of her but because of the bad condition of our marriage. That is what he tells everyone. He lies to everyone that he is not still seing her. I have sent paperwork to the attorney who is getting it ready to file. I feel very confused, stupid and needy, because I feel if he would just turn 180 and be a miracle, I would take him back, I love him so much and hate all of this. Even through all the bad, I know if we just give it to God he can do anything and make our marriage more than we could ever imagine. I also don't feel as if our marriage, especially for his part, was ever bad enough to want to end it without ever really trying. But that is my question. After that whole long story (felt you needed most of the background, now understand more good and bad times than listed, but most major events listed) I am worried that I somehow did destroy my marriage. I have read countless passages (Proverbs, James, etc.) of the destruction of the tongue and words and that it leaves scars. Did I cause my marraige to fail? Today when reading James 3, I started feeling so guilty about it (even though I had already confessed these sins and guilts to God and my husband back then and also during these recent months). For the last six months I had really been focusing and giving it all to God and really showed respect and love towards my husband through all these. Albeit tough love sometimes, but never hateful menacing words. Did all the years of our arguements really lead to all this? Did I tear my marriage apart to the point it couldn't be fixed? I don't want to live with the guilt of that the rest of my life. I know that I am right in God now. And that I fought for my marriage to the best of my ability. And that the devil stole my husbnad and eventually God will repay me for my suffering and make this better. But do I carry the burden of my destroyed marriage the rest of my life? When I get to heaven, will God hold me accountable for the destruction of my marriage? I know we ask and are forgiven but are still accountable and live with consequence. Can anyone help me in this, looking for biblical, Christian advice.
Thank you and sorry this was so long.
Thank you and sorry this was so long.
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