Healing a Marriage

Written by Laurie Wang and Tom Archibald and Suellen Beatty

Story told by Tom Archibald and Suellen Beatty, written by Laurie Wang

faith_archibaldTOM:

Suellen likes to introduce me as her first and third husband because it surprises people. I can see why some people think it’s shocking and I guess it is, but I am so grateful to God that I have the privilege of being her husband today. A marriage  with God in it is so different from one without. We had to learn this the hard way, after much pain, difficulty and tears.

But let me first tell you how it all started and Suellen can fill in the parts I miss, or tell what it was really like.

In the beginning…

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TOM:

Suellen and I went to university together and started dating at a very young age. She hates it when I say this, but I think she was probably the best looking girl in Saskatoon. She was even in a Miss Canada pageant! She was a beautiful woman and still is today. Our work careers started out and I stumbled into the healthcare field, through the finance area, and then I quickly became the CEO of a healthcare organization. That organization merged with two other ones into a new organization and I was named one of the 50 best bosses in Canada by MacLean’s magazine. Externally, everything in my life seemed to look good, but that wasn’t enough for me. I was always looking for something else.

Broken relationships

My looking for something else led me to start a relationship with another woman. This brought a five-year saga of pain into my life that drove me to illness. All the things I had worked for started to fall apart. Although Suellen and I both professed to be Christians, I wasn’t allowing God to be active in my life and I didn’t actually have a relationship with him at the time.

SUELLEN:

I was completely devastated when I found out Tom was having an affair. As the youngest of four daughters, I was an over-achiever. I learned to please. I was a competent and independent individual, which is what I think attracted Tom to me in the first place. I knew Tom was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and I tried in so many different ways to be the woman that Tom wanted me to be. Tom was never really satisfied with anything, so I always felt like I had to be better.

My whole world fell apart when I found out Tom was unfaithful to me but I didn’t turn to God for help. I felt like I did something wrong and didn’t do enough to be the woman Tom wanted. I had made a commitment to Christ long ago, but I didn’t actually have a relationship with God at the time. I was so consumed with Tom’s affair it took me a long time to realize that I needed God’s help to get through this.  During this horrible time, Tom tried to come home about five times, but he left me every time, over and over and over again. It felt as if he came back each time to say, “You’re not good enough.”

Tom got married again and I foolishly remarried also. We regret hurting two other people. As we allowed God to be at the center of our lives He began our healing journey.

Fixing mistakes

TOM:

During the five-year period our marriage was broken, I felt that I had to turn to God because I wasn’t getting anything done myself. I was a complete mess. I think God was telling both of us that our own plans weren’t working.

SUELLEN:

Right after my second wedding, I knew very quickly that I had made a mistake. Tom wanted to come home again and he said, “You know what? I’ve got God sitting at the center of my life. He’s in control now.” And I watched him change. Over a period of time, I realized again that this was the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with. People thought I was crazy! My three older sisters told me not to trust Tom because he was going to hurt me all over again. I felt my credibility as a reasonable and sane person was at stake.

A happy and different ending

I didn’t trust Tom, I trusted God. We both made God the central part of our lives and sought a relationship with him, individually and together. We got married again. That was 10 years ago and it’s been a miracle that God could take the mess that we created and kept making worse and worse, and turn it into the beautiful relationship we now have. When you put Jesus right at the center of the marriage, it works differently and works well. We have to get up each and every day and say, “Jesus, I want you on the throne of my life,” because that’s the only way it can work.

TOM:

Our marriage has changed and improved dramatically. But the real story is that none of this would have been possible without God. I believe God’s love is continuing to be shown through our lives and that is why we’re happy to share our story with others. We want everyone to know that when you give up your life to God and allow him to be the center of your marriage; he can heal every wound and make any marriage work.

SUELLEN:

We’re here together as husband and wife to serve God together in any way we can. Every day we thank God for how things have turned out for us. We are also thankful for our son Brett.

Healing

There are some things in life that we feel can never be mended again. If you’ve ever felt this way, there is hope. Jesus can bring healing to anything. God gave us his Son Jesus Christ on the cross to die for our sins so that we can be made new again and have a relationship with him.

You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer.  Praying is simply talking to God.  God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart.  Here’s a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be. Amen.

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17 Responses to “Healing a Marriage”

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Evans, I am so sorry to hear that your marriage has fallen apart. I am sure there is a complex story behind the reality of your broken marriage. I love what Tom says at the end of this story, “Our marriage has changed and improved dramatically. But the real story is that none of this would have been possible without God.” The dramatic change is the direct result of one or both partners allowing God to come and changing them from the inside out. He is the only one who is able to change the heart of your wife and he is the only one who can bring the necessary change in you. The Bible says, “If anyone is in Christ he/she is a new creation. The old is gone and behold everything is made new.” (2Corinthians 5:17) That can begin in you Evan. I don’t know what kind of experience you have had with Jesus in the past but He is your best chance at becoming a husband that your wife will want to be with. Here is another couple’s story of how Jesus made a difference in their failed marriage http://powertochange.com/iamsecond/the-scruggs At the bottom of that story there is some more information about how Jesus can make a difference in your marriage and your life.

  • evans says:

    My wife and i have seperated for over a year. She mved out with our three kids, all efforts to bring her back prove fuitile.Needs help to solve and restore my marriage. Any advice is welcome. (Evans)

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    HI Kelsey, I have submitted a mentoring request for you. You should hear from your mentor in the next few days.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Karin that is exactly what God wants for you. Let me encourage you to go to https://powertochange.com/discover/faith/discoverpurpose/ to find out what it means to give God control of your life. He is able to do a miracle in your marriage and set you and your husband free from the patterns that have been so destructive. Let me also encourage you to connect with one of our online mentors who can help you begin your relationship with God. You can find a Mentor request Form at https://powertochange.com/discover/talk-to-a-mentor

    God in heaven, I thank You for helping Karin realize that she needs your help. I pray that You would take control of her life and transform her and her family with Your love. I pray for their daughter who is feeling the stress of the dysfunction in the marriage. Comfort her with Your voice and show her how she can find stability in You. I pray for Karin’s husband as well. Be working in his life so that he too can discover the difference that You make in life. Heal this family. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  • Karin says:

    Just read this because my married life is also on the rocks and I want to save it for my child , She is really stressed because of our daily fights.When I was reading the prayer I could hear the bell from the church and I think this is gods sign to me to give him the control of my life.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    It is good to hear stories of miraculous healing in marriages. Shawn I know God can do a miracle in your marriage as well. Even if your wife chooses never to take a chance on you again I know that God can bring healing to your heart from the guilt and shame of your choices.

    Lord God, I pray that Your name would be glorified in Shawn and his wife’s heart. There is a lot of pain that has accumulated over the years and I ask that You would bring healing there. I pray that You would guide Shawn in how You want Him to respond to his wife. Have Your Spirit empower him to keep his eyes intently focused on knowing You. I pray for his wife’s heart that she would not let the hurts that Shawn has caused to harden her against You. Help her to seek to know you better each day and lead her to the place that You want her to be. I pray for their children that they would be protected from the bitterness that can come from a broken family. Be near to them and speak words of hope and healing into their hearts. In Jesus’ name, amen

  • Shawn says:

    Guys, thank you for this word. I am in this right now. My wife and I are on our second time around, in our first marriage, in addition to not being anything close to a Godly husband, I had an affair and left my wife and 2 kids. When it fell apart, she reluctantly dated me and we remarried. She did it for our kids, not because she loved me. Later, she fell deeply in love with me. Sadly, I went back away from God and again did not meet her needs. She now has male “friends”‘ that she talks to, and whether that is a factor (she says it isn’t) I don’t know, but she now wants a divorce because of my emotional abuse over the last 15 years. I am changed and seeking God with my whole heart, but she does not care. She says I choose not to take a chance on you ever again. I pray daily God ease work a miracle and your story gives me hope that God can do anything!

  • CM says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I am was the one who committed adultery and left my pastor husband after 30 yrs. He remarried and remarried. But neither of our new marriages have been without issues and heartache. My ex husband feels that I have never stopped being his wife and has prayed to God to bring us back together. He is separated and praying for reconciliation..I am in prayer as I want to know that divorcing my 2nd husband which started out as an adulterous, illegitimate relationship is what I should do. My children are praying for our reconciliation and my pain is having brought other people into this that will get hurt when I make the decision to leave. Please pray as I make the decision that is within God’s will.

  • barbara says:

    [ Ed's note: Comment removed due to personal attack.]

  • Peggy and Roland says:

    Thanks for this wonderful testimony, we jut got married but God has started sending couples our way for edification and encouragement,we were pushed to read this article to increase not only our knowledge but also to avoid such situation in our marriage.We thank God because no knowledge is ever useless whatsoever,we have been so blessed and enriched by your article Tom and suellen, more grease to your elbows.

  • Brenda says:

    Hi Tom and Allen thank God for ur testimony because i feel like giving up hope for our marriage, because we have endless fights and things just does not work out. Thank u for this article. Please pray for us. God bless u guys.

  • Johanna says:

    Thank you, this was the testimony I needed right now. My husband left me after 25 years, to be with my previous partner, but I feel the still small voice is telling me that it is only temporary. Tonight I asked the Lord for something positive, and He led me to your testimony. He is a wonderful God

  • Tia U. says:

    Glory be to God. I recently experienced some issues with my husband and the whole friends thing. But the minute i experienced pain i knew i couldnt do this thing by myself. I cried out to God, and told him i put it in his hands. His the foundation of our marriage and i trust him to fix this. And God is so good, we havent had any problems and God willing that will never surface as an issue in our marriage again. I just thank God for the will and desire to be righteous that he has placed in my husband. He is so awesome. Thanks for the inspirational story.

  • Esther says:

    This is a very encouraging testimony, may God bless you Tom and Suellen.

  • Makenna says:

    Awesome. Such a blessing for Suellen and Tom to share this amazing truth with us. May God bless them both and thank you for sharing.

  • Sander and Frannie says:

    hello brethren. this is an awesome article and we both know Tom although never meeting Suellen. we also have gone through much pain mostly in the financial world. we would love to have Toms email so we can get back in touch again. its been far too long. and we would love to meet Suellen too..:o). God bless you all and all your labors for His kingdom. Hallelujah Jehovah Jesus! Jesus rules and reigns!

  • Wow, what an awesome God we serve and have. Because I too am in the same situation that you two were in, this article has blessed my soul tremendously. It is no accident that I was surfing the net. God had already planned for me to read this article. I have been married for twenty-five years and my husband says he is not having a “sexual affair” he just has a “friend” that he has been friend with for over a year last month. It is an “emotional affair” for now. I am a born again Christian and he is a Jehovah Witness. Yesterday, 6-8-09, I told God that I was tired of fighting this myself and I surrendered OUR MARRIAGE in GOD’S LOVING HANDS and I have peace, Jehovah-Shalom, Glory to the Lamb of God. Thank you for encouragement through the reading of this article. I stand on the promises of God, what He has joined together NO ONE put asunder. HOPE (Holding On to God’s Promises for Everything I have to face)

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