My wife left me a couple of months ago. I had become emotionally unavailable and had unmet expectations and demands in our marriage. It was selfish of me. I never stopped loving her, but I became unloving and impatient. I said things I did not mean and did not realize how much damage my words were causing. I should have remembered that words hold the power of life and death. At the same time, she expected us to be each other’s everything. It seems as though she thought everything was meant to be happy and fun all of the time. When it came down to it, she was not willing to work on things. This has caused me to question if she ever really loved me, or just the way I made her feel and all the fun things we could afford before we got married. I suppose speculating on this does no good at this point.
Eventually, I caught her starting a romantic relationship with another man. I did not handle that well. My initial reaction was to offer no grace at all. We tried counseling toward the end, but she was already done. This has now become a faith crisis for her. She is claiming to no longer believe in Jesus or the Bible, which is mind-blowing to me. Our faith had always been such a big part of our lives from the very beginning. Obviously, I did not live out the love of Christ toward her the way I should have, but the fact that she has been able to completely turn her back on everything she has ever believed in like this… it has me reeling. Nothing and no one has been able to get through to her now. She is dead set and is taking all the steps to divorce me. It is not what I want at all, but it has become clear that there is nothing I can do. We were together for three years before we got married. In marriage, we have only lasted over a year and a half.
This has been a devastating struggle, to say the least. I am trying to handle it the best way I can. I have continued with counseling even though she stopped going after two sessions. What is crazy to me throughout all of this is the intense pull I feel toward things I know will only harm me in the end. Why do we do that? I have not been a smoker in over six years, and here I am shaking for a cigarette every two hours or so. Then there is alcohol. I used to be able to have a drink or two and it was no big deal. It was relaxing and fun. Now, one drink in and I just want to die. It is like an amplifier for all the sadness within me. Something I could enjoy from time to time has become a danger to me now. There is another thing that has been creeping up too… this desire to just go out and sleep around. I have never been a promiscuous person. I, unfortunately, was not a virgin before my wife. That was due to sexual abuse that I will touch on more down the road. But when it came to my wife and I, we waited until marriage to have sex. I believe that is the right thing to do. Other than my abuser, she is the only woman I have ever been with. So where is this coming from? Suddenly, I just want to lose myself in selfish satisfaction at all costs. That is not me. That is not who I want to be. I am fighting and seeking the Lord for the strength to overcome. I know that through Him, we are more than conquerors.
The point that I want to make with all of this is that none of these self-destructive thoughts or actions have done a single thing to help me through this. They have not helped and they will not help. So why do we do it? Why do we try to fill up our emptiness with empty things and expect to be fulfilled as a result? Those things will never help us obtain what we truly need. Believing that they will is buying into a lie. They placate us just enough to keep us from progress. It may be hard to face the work and pain that we need to go through, but it will never be behind us if we do not go through it. There is no way around it. It is a valley of shadow and death, but our God is with us… so, what is there to fear? There is nothing greater than Him. Nothing is too difficult for Him. Eventually, the valley will open up and we will experience freedom from the cliff sides that surround us. God takes us through these valleys for freedom’s sake. The darkness makes the light shine that much brighter, in contrast. If we did not know pain and bondage, would we fully appreciate the healing and freedom that only He can bring? Do not sell yourself short. Do not capitalize on your own suffering for an opportunity to chase self-destructive and empty pursuits. You are worth more than that. Your heartbreak means more than that. The next time you want to treat yourself like you have no worth, seek the One who thought you were worth dying for– to save.