When Your Spouse Hurts You: How to Forgive and Forget

Written by Dr. Dave Currie

sexlove_spouseforgiveForgive and forget. It’s a well-worn cliché – one that is easier to say than to practice.

If you’re married, you’ve been there. Your spouse has said or done something that has wounded you. It may be something small, or it may be a major betrayal. Either way, your pride screams at you to take revenge. If you don’t strike back immediately, you at least want to keep this “guilt card” in your pocket, to be pulled out at a later date: “Oh yeah, well what about the time when you….”

When we’ve been offended, the last thing we want to do is to let it go. And yet, if our desire is to have a healthy, lasting marriage, that is exactly what we’ve got to do. Here are seven suggestions to keep in mind when your spouse lets you down:

  1. Don’t start without your spouse
    If you need to talk to your spouse about something, don’t just corner them and launch in unexpectedly. That is a recipe for hostility. Instead, agree together on a time to discuss the issue. That gives each of you a chance to think about it in advance, which will result in a more productive discussion than if one partner simply lambastes the unsuspecting “offender”.
  2. Handle negative emotions responsibly
    When we react emotionally, we often say and do things that we later regret. In many cases, it is best to delay the discussion until you’ve settled down, gained a proper perspective, and prayed about your attitude. This will allow you to go into it looking for a solution, rather than just being consumed with your own hurt.As partners, you need to respect each other’s need to “take five”. If your spouse needs to wait a few minutes, or even a day or two, to cool down, don’t press the issue. This should not be used as an excuse to avoid the discussion entirely, but it is better to take some time to clear your head than to allow your emotions to take you somewhere that you don’t want to go.
  3. Deal with one issue at a time
    Remember that “guilt card” we mentioned earlier? Once you’re into the discussion, you will be tempted to pull it out. Soon, your conversation has deteriorated into a long list of offenses, as you try to outdo one another with everything that the other person has ever done wrong.  This only intensifies the conflict and deepens the divide between you. It can also be overwhelming to be presented with a massive list of things that need to change. Instead of being motivating, it’s discouraging.Instead, be content to solve one problem at a time. It is much better to make serious headway in one area of your relationship than to simply rehearse everything that needs fixing.
  4. Be clear about your perspective
    Give each other some uninterrupted time to share your concerns. If you are just trading barbs back and forth, neither of you will really be hearing the other – you’ll be too busy thinking about your next comeback.When it is your time to talk, try to help your mate understand your hurt or frustration. Help them to see why their actions and words had the impact that they did. Likewise, the offending spouse should have the opportunity to explain their words or behaviour. It could be that you have misinterpreted their motives, and when this is cleared up it goes along way towards solving the problem.
  5. Hold your relationship more dear than this issue
    Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our feelings or our “rights” that we lose sight of the bigger picture. People joke about marriages breaking up over toothpaste and toilet paper disputes, but it really happens! Remember that your relationship is the primary concern. You may have some issues to sort out, but you still love one another – and loving one another often means letting the other person be right.
  6. Walk in an attitude of forgiveness
    If you are going to live with this person for the next 20…30…50 years, you are going to have to forgive one another manytimes. You cannot afford to not forgive. Unforgiveness does not only hurt your spouse, it hurts you! As Corrie Ten Boom said, “Forgiveness is setting the prisoner free, only to find out that the prisoner was me.”This brings us back to the issue of forgiving and forgetting. In truth, there are some hurts that you will never be able to forget. What is more important is that we choose to let it go. Proverbs 17:9 says, “He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” Forgiveness entails giving up your right to punish your spouse – whether through direct retaliation or just letting bitterness fester.Over the past year, I have discovered the value of “advance forgiveness”. I make a conscious decision that, the next time my wife Donalyn offends me, I am going to forgive her. Then, when it happens, I remember that I have already decided to forgive her, so there is no point in making a big deal out of it now. This really helps to take my critical edge off.
  7. Forgive as Christ forgave you - Colossians 3:13 says, “Bear with each another and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”And just how does the Lord forgive us? Fully. Unconditionally. Willingly. Time and time again.This kind of forgiveness is supernatural; it is more than we can do on our own. Particularly if your spouse has betrayed you in a major way, you may need to ask God for the ability to let go of the hurt and forgive them from your heart. But as you trust God to give you His strength and love, He will help you to forgive…even when your spouse has really let you down.

If you have never experienced God’s complete, unconditional forgiveness, know this: God loves you deeply. There is no sin that is so great that He is unwilling to forgive you, if you would just come to Him. If this is the desire of your heart, pray this prayer:

Dear God, I need You in my marriage, and in my life. I acknowledge that I have sinned against You by directing my own life, and that I cannot go on any further without Your help and guidance – and above all, Your forgiveness. I thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to die on the cross to pay for my sins. I now accept that sacrifice and invite Jesus to take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and empower me to live the life You have called me to. Thank You for forgiving me. Amen.


191 Responses to “When Your Spouse Hurts You: How to Forgive and Forget”

  • Michael Jantzen M. Jantzen says:

    Hello Paolo, It sounds like a pretty good strategy. Though I might not text her too often. She needs space to process things and warm up to you again. It would probably help to ask her how she feels about your relationship now and to listen carefully even if she unloads on you or says something hurtful. Have you tried praying to God about your relationship and your future? Take care.

  • Paolo says:

    Hi M. Jantzen

    I am being totally honest to her by answering all her questions about my affair even though i know the answer will hurt her and make her even more angry. I skype with her every chance i have. I text her my whereabouts and what i am doing. I’ve cut off all contact with the girl i had the affair with and anyone else who knew about it. I moved out of my home away from my own family who were trying to convince me that my fiance wasn’t the one for me and encouraged me to continue the affair. I’m staying at friends’ house until i get my own apartment. I apologize everyday and beg for forgiveness. I’m trying to show her that i am changing my ways. I don’t get drunk anymore like i used to which lead me to think of cheating. I’m focused at work and most of all focus on her and trying to rebuild her trust by being 100% honest.

  • Michael Jantzen M. Jantzen says:

    Hello Paulo,

    Thanks for sharing and opening up about your story, especially when it meant sharing about your own mistakes in the relationship. May I ask what your strategy so far has been for winning her back? Why are you sure she is the one for you? Please feel free to interact with people here in the comments section, but if you’re looking for something confidential, we have online mentors. It’s easy to connect with one: http://powertochange.com/discover/talk-to-a-mentor/ Take care.

  • Paolo says:

    I recently cheated on my fiancé for 6 months with another married woman. 2 months after i proposed i started the affair. My fiance and i live in different continents so it’s been a challenge keeping the relationship. However, she once mentioned that her diamond ring was not big enough and that i spent too much for something little. I remember the day when she saw what i paid for it and i saw it in her face that she was ashamed to even wear it. I took it really personal because that proposal came from my heart and i just wished that she loved it no matter what. I was angry and i was second guessing whether or not she is the right person or if she’s just that materialistic. I was truly hurt and didn’t forgive her because my pride was also hurt. I found comfort and support from another married woman who i soon after had the affair with. I was vulnerable and hurt and let myself fall for this trap. Sure i had a voice to stop but i don’t know why i didn’t. I thought i was falling in love with this new girl but deep inside i still loved my fiance. 6 months passed and i went to visit my fiance to confess and see where our relationship was at, however, i hadn’t stopped the affair yet. Instead of confessing my fiance found out and it breaks my heart that she didn’t find out from me. The moment i landed at the airport and saw her was the moment i finally forgave her it felt great but i was also devastated for what i have done. I felt uncomfortable being around her because of the guilt i felt because i finally knew that she is my one true love. Now that she found out all i want to do is be with her and i know now that i’m commited to her. I truly love her and i messed up big time. She didn’t deserve it. I want to make it work between us and know deep down she does too, but she can’t forgive me and won’t. I am making big changes in my life to show her that i will stay faithful and treasure her forever. I feel like i’m making 1 step forward and 3 steps back everyday and it’s draining me emotionally and physically. I’m fighting for her with all that i have but she can’t seem to see that she could ever forgive me. I understand the wound is still fresh and that she’s hurt and hates me. I am seeking for her forgiveness but she doesn’t think she could ever forgive me. She wants to end it and thinks she deserves better and thinks she can find someone who can love her unconditionally like she did me. I’m slowly losing hope but i’m still fighting because i know i can still bring out her love for me but it’s hard. I don’t have a support group. i’m all alone in this country i live in. I don’t know what else to do because she doesn’t trust me anymore and doesn’t believe what i say. She says that i’m not worth it anymore. I’m losing hope but i’m not giving up ever! Please tell me there is still a chance i just need some positivity in my life.

  • Leylani says:

    I just recently gathered enough evidence after a gut instinct told me that my husband was lying. On a few separate occasions he’s said he’s been at his friend’s house, but he was with another woman. I don’t know what they were doing, if it was dinner or what. But how do I even confront that? I’m scared.

  • Sharon Sharon says:

    good article thank you for posting it

  • Joseph says:

    I just recently found out that my wife is in a relationship with another married man he just met for a month. They were in a relationship for more than 8 months, ofcourse without my knowledge. When I caught her, she told me he does not know that man in person and it was just thru online but it is not. I mean, everything she’s telling me are lies even unless I give out evidence in her face and that’s the only time she’ll say that it’s true. And her reason is just she was attracted? and then she can’t let it go? I forgave her but I can’t forget.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Nsama, I can understand that you would be upset about your husband being unfaithful to you. There is no easy answer to how to make your marriage work. How has your husband react to you knowing about the other woman?

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Lela, it sounds to me like there are some issues that have developed over the years between you and your husband. This situation is just a symptom of some much deeper issues that the two of you need to address if there you are going to have a healthy relationship again. Have the two of you ever been to see a marriage counsellor? It can be so helpful to have a mediator help your communication and provide and objective viewpoint on the key issues in your marriage.

  • nsama kabala says:

    We have been married for 6yrs from th word go we never experience real love.recently I discovered tht my husband has been cheating on m.ths has disturded me a lot.wat canwe do to make our marriage work.personally I want to love and to be loved

  • lela says:


  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Carmen, I am so sorry that you and your husband have had such a difficult beginning. But I want you to know that it is often the difficult parts of marriage that can create the strongest marriages. Have a look at this video as a number of people talk about how their marriages have been strengthened by their biggest challenges http://powertochange.com/itv/family/tough-times.

    Building back trust can take time but if that is what you want it is also going to require that you extend that trust. I would encourage you and your husband to begin praying together for the health of your marriage. Regularly have times of prayer where you pray that Jesus would come an unite your hearts in deep love for one another. Take time to recite your vows to one another and affirm that you are committed to fulfilling those. The healthier your relationship with Jesus is, the healthier your marriage will be.

    Heavenly Father, I pray for Carmen and her husband. They have gotten themselves into a destructive pattern of dealing with conflict and it is tearing them apart. They need your help to reverse that damage and love each other in a healthy, sacrificing way. I pray that they would look to You as the source of healing. I pray that they would look to You as the strength for living out their commitment. I pray that they would look to You and allow Your Spirit to transform their lives. Amen.

    Carmen, we have mentors who are very good at listening and helping you to know what Jesus is saying to you. You will find that they can be a huge support through difficult times. Just fill out the Mentor Request Form at http://powertochange.com/discover/talk-to-a-mentor/ and one will be in touch with you soon by email.

  • Carmen says:

    I have been married a little over a year. I became pregnant soon after our I do’s. I will admit that i was not always the most pleasant person to get along with, and throughout my pregnancy me and my spouse fought constantly over the littlest things. We did go and seek help from our Bishop and learned some great techniques. When we were good it was the best, but when it was bad… we had physical fights, my husband would tell me things like he regretted getting me pregnant and that he wouldn’t do it again, that he was going to go out and get a girlfriend, and indirectly and directly called me a whore (knowing that he was only the second man that I was involved with in that way)… I also did my share of name calling, and hitting. i want that to be known I do take responsibility. However I focus on him because I forgave and pushed through those things, with Gods help, and we were much better the last few months of my pregnancy(I gave birth early October, 2013) Then in late Dec of 2013 I found out that he had been texting, emailing, and facebooking two of his exes that he was sexually involved with. Nothing physical happened, but there were messages with him asking when he could see her again, and he gave out his new cell number. Every since I found out this information everything from the past has been unearthed and I have been filled with an anger, disgust, and non-trusting nature. All i could think about is that he was keeping a back up plan in case things didn’t work out, that when he said that he was going to get a girlfriend that he was talking about one of them. When I confronted him about it he said things like he wanted me to find out, that’s why he didn’t close out his Facebook account, that he was done talking to them, that he only did it because he had no one to talk to, and in one case to give his ex closure about their relationship. but their convos didn’t have much to do about closure, and the parts that did were along the lines of if you were not married would we have another chance (he said yes). And when I told him that the trust was gone he said that he wasn’t worried about earning it back, that it should be there because he said it wont happen again. I feel like i am drowning, my heart is hurt and I don’t know how to forgive this. God has not showed me how but i am praying that He works through you to help me. I need to be delivered from this, because even with knowing that my lack forgiveness has me prisoner, I haven’t been able to set myself free.

  • B. Miller B. Miller says:

    Hi Katie,

    I am sorry you are struggling with issues of trust and forgiveness in your marriage. Something you state in your response to Claire is that you “honestly believe that [your husband is over his ex] as [you] know that he is smitten with [you] and loves [you] deeply.” You then go on to state that, “He is definitely ashamed, embarrassed, and very afraid because I have said 4xs that I want to go home to the U.S. and/or leave which has made him *extremely* upset. When I get mad it is like I am the bad guy and he is the helpless little puppy b/c I am speaking and asking questions and mad while he just sits there and cries.”

    From my own experience, Katie, if you have a husband who loves you deeply and whose mistakes you believe are in the past, then holding them over his head by threatening to leave him may be extremely dangerous for the future of your marriage. I say this because, in the past, I used to threaten to leave my husband, and by so doing, I completely de-stabilized our marriage. My husband was totally unable to put any faith in the sincerity of the vows I had spoken when we married, and by my continuing to shame him with things I was upset about in the past, I was making it impossible for us to heal the wounds and move forward.

    Katie, only after I surrendered my life to the Lord, making the decision to be radically obedient to Him in every way and to walk in faithful submission to Him and His ways for my life and my marriage did I begin to look at my part in what was creating difficulties in our marriage, rather than trying to focus solely on what my husband was or was not doing right. In so doing, I came to understand that, had I not been granted forgiveness for so much that I most definitely did not deserve, I would not have the wonderful husband I still have today, for he would not have tolerated my behaviour. This led me to an attitude of gratitude and appreciation for him that has transformed our marriage, as the Lord has changed me from the inside out.

    Please understand that I am not saying that your behaviour is anything like mine was, Katie. However, it is vital that you determine whether or not your husband is the man you want to spend the rest of your life with. Since you have stated that you definitely do not want to ever divorce him, then may I suggest that you begin working toward rebuilding trust and letting go of any desire to punish him for his past by causing him to feel insecure about whether or not you are staying, and also by saying or doing anything that in any way leads him to feel shame about who he is today or who he was in the past.

    After I had spent a great deal of time trying to make my husband pay the penalty for his wrongs that had deeply hurt me, it was I who ended up having to rebuild trust in our relationship, for my behaviour turrned to emotional and verbal abuse through my threats and anger. It took me much longer than I would have liked, and long enough that it is embarrassing to acknowledge, to realize that it is our God – not me – who is the just Judge for our past wrongs, and He calls on us to forgive as He has forgiven us and to build one another up in love, as He tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11:

    For God has not appointed us to [incur His] wrath [He did not select us to condemn us], but [that we might] obtain [His] salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)Who died for us so that whether we are still alive or are dead [at Christ’s appearing], we might live together with Him and share His life. Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another. (Amplified Bible)

    Today, it is my prayer that, by sharing my story and the mistakes that I made, I can help someone else to either avoid or correct the same errors in their marriage and, if they do so, hopefully, the marriage can become the loving bond in Christ that God desires it to be.

    Please know that I will be praying for you and your husband, Katie.

  • Katie says:

    Hi Claire,

    Thank you so much for this helpful and prompt reply, it was really encouraging for me to see this today. Now that you’ve addressed it, I think you are right and that it is just as much of a trust issue as it is about forgiveness. Once I found this out I started getting a little paranoid and thinking that there is much more he is keeping from me. I know that he has a past and I do not ask for details but I strongly believe that he has the obligation to tell me the truth, the whole truth about the time we have been together. I forgot to mention earlier that they met 2xs for lunch a few months before we were married and he never told me and when I confronted him that I knew, he still lied until I showed him the proof to his face.

    When I ask him it almost feels like he is pretending that he has forgotten. He explains very little, other than that he thought he was ending that relationship (of 2 yrs.) the best way he could. He confirms that he is completely over ex and I honestly believe that as I know that he is smitten with me and loves me deeply. He is definitely ashamed, embarrassed, and very afraid because I have said 4xs that I want to go home to the U.S. and/or leave which has made him *extremely* upset. When I get mad it is like I am the bad guy and he is the helpless little puppy b/c I am speaking and asking questions and mad while he just sits there and cries.

    We are in a country where I highly doubt there is Christian marital counseling, although we do have a church here and could perhaps speak to someone there. I also followed the link to “contact a mentor”. Maybe there is one here! He is a wonderful man and husband, everyone adores him and other than this I think he is a dream come true. Would it be healthy for me to just sweep this under the rug and get on with it? I am never going to divorce him, so maybe what is the point of prolonging this hurt?

    I do have a faith perspective and that is part of what is making the above paragraph so difficult. Part of me just wants to ignore this and enjoy being with the man of my dreams and another part is screaming, liar! trickster! how can you be so stupid to be fooled?!

    Thank you for the articles, they were helpful too and I will read them again too. This website is a great resource and I think it’s cool that it is gospel focused too.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Katie,

    I’m so glad you found your way here and have had a chance to ask these questions, they are important questions. As I read your comment it struck me that perhaps you’re coming at this only from the angle of forgiveness = i.e. you may be thinking, “If I can just forgive him this will all be okay” but there’s more to it than that. It sounds like your trust has be broken. If that’s the case it can be fixed, but it needs to be addressed. It sounds like right now you don’t trust what your husband is telling you and your husband is sticking to what he said which puts you at an impasse. I am not a professional counsellor, but I’d like to help if I can. Can I ask you a couple of questions?

    You said that you have confronted him three times about the messages and that he cries and denies it. Does he say anything else? How does he explain the content of the messages? He may be reacting out of a profound fear. What if he confesses to what happened and he loses you? Is he embarrassed? Does he feel attacked? This is always going to be a hard conversation to have and if it feels like you’re holding all the cards he may revert into defensive mode and get stuck there.

    So what to do? Have you considered seeing a marriage counsellor together? A counsellor is often trained in conflict resolution and could help guide the conversation so that both you and he feel safe, heard and loved as you do the delicate and painful work of sorting this out. You may be thinking, “If we could just talk about this our marriage would improve” but he may be thinking, “if I tell her what happened she’s going to be so angry I don’t know if she’ll still love me.” Having the conversation in a safe and neutral place could really help. I know that sometimes we think that counsellors are just for people who’s marriages are falling apart, but that’s not true. Counsellors are a fantastic resource to keep healthy marriages strong and to help make corrections along the way so you don’t end up in crisis.

    It’s a bit like going to the dentist. We all know that if you go to the dentist twice a year you can often deal with a cavity before it becomes a much more painful root canal or the tooth fails altogether. No one would say that it’s a weakness to see the dentist. After your relationship with God, your marriage relationship has the greatest impact on your life and it is well worth the time and effort of routine care.

    One other thing I wanted to ask is this, do you have a faith perspective? I know that in my own life I’m more able to forgive when I remember that God has forgiven me. It’s a source of strength when the situation seems impossible and a reminder that I am not alone. There’s a great article about God’s forgiveness here.

    Forgiveness is part of the equation, but it’s not all of it. You’re going to need honesty and trust as well. Here are a couple of articles to read as you think about trust and the role it’s playing in your marriage, along with a great resource on forgiveness and consequences:

    Does Forgiveness Cancel Out Consequences?
    Do You Trust Him?
    How to Rebuild Trust

    If you’d like to talk to someone privately we also have mentors available, free of charge, on this site. You can use this form to contact a mentor and you’ll hear back, usually within a couple of days.

  • Katie says:

    Thank you for the good article, it helped a bit but how do I forgive my husband when every logical shred inside screams that he is lying to me? I have confronted him 3 times, each time sure that he will finally confess but he only cries and denies it and it is a disaster which effects us for days afterwards.

    We met overseas and he lied about when he was going to break up with his then girlfriend when he got back home. I learned that they spent a weekend together and found the proof in texts and FB messages. There were sexual messages and I do not believe him that they did not have sex. (He was not a believer then and his ex was and is def. not)

    I want to put this behind us and have mental peace but can’t and don’t fully want to either, to tell the truth. I want the truth but I am ruining our new marriage. Please help!

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Williams, because you have broken trust with this woman your efforts need to be spent in building that back up. Forcing her to communicate with you when she has adamantly told you not to is not likely going to help build that trust back. I think it is wise to clearly apologize for your deception and acknowledge her hurt because of that. Beyond that find ways that you can show your trustworthiness and character while still honouring her request for no contact.

  • williams says:

    I lied to to my fiancee from the start about my age which she won’t have date me cos i’m younger in age. But she later found out when we were together and she has broke up…we are far away different country..refuse to talk, warm me never to contact her, but i believe she still loves me. What can i do..i have text to ask for forgiveness and accept me back but she says its over…i am dedicate to the love and will stay single without her. i need advise of words to text her. could you help me talk with her

  • Faith says:

    I am glad I found this thread-when you are feeling these feelings it’s so hard and the other threads I have found with men and woman going through the same feelings have not Ben very positive-I’ve Ben searching for christain advice lately because I find allot of the advice I find men and women saying RUN -YOU WILL NEVER HAVE TRUST AGAIN– or stuff like that–it’s hard to here when your hurting and you know that is not the answer-but it’s more like what now
    When I started reading this colounm a couple of days ago I was so desperate and I want to start by thanking you all for your expirances because it gave me great advice and hope it also made me feel I was not alone-
    My husband and I have Ben together for ten years married 3 1/2-there was a few years in the beginning that I struggled with a serious drug addiction and often thought I would die–my husband is a good man but he does not know Jesus he is one of those that BELIEVE THERE IS SOMTHING– well after nearly killing myself and him several times during these years I hit rock bottom–I know it was bottom because I had lost everything and everyone I was alone without a penny or home– that’s when I got on my knees and surrendered asked Jesus to help me and show me the way because my way was never working– over time he delivered me– in my desperation I had asked him if it was his will’ that I be given a chance to be a mother– I remember that day when I told him that would be my biggest regret if I had destroyed my body and unable to have children- before that year was up I was w/child and reconciled with my husband who I was sure was through w/me he made me his wife and sober for the first time in yrs-God is good-
    so years. went by and I was so happy sober, a mother, and in love. I had all I wanted- we have our problems hugely financial wich we are trying to fix– my husband works almost every day of the week- Mabey one or two Sundays he might be home in a month but I never nag because he is trying to take care of us.
    So 5 or 6 mo ago we talked about another child and agreed that there is never a great time so IF IT HAPPENS I asked The Lord if it was his will to bless us with another child. Wich he did(we don’t use birth control and I do not get pregnant easy)so there is no doubt that this baby is a special blessing from The Lord-( the doc said I may not be able to get pregnant on my own) I guess he didn’t ask The Lord?! LOL anyhow presently I am 19 weeks pregnant and I was so thrilled- on top of the world- I felt even with all of life’s problems I knew with this man at my side I could get through anything– my pregnancy is high risk my daughter was 2pds 11oz so I need allot of special care about a week ago we were out faxing stuff to my inshurance company that was super important– I asked my husband for his phone and hit the browser to google somthing– there on the phone was a dating website– my first reaction was ITS OVER I checked everything and he had a profile – sent his picture to a couple of woman and even paid money to join the site– it looked to me like he was looking for an affair they were all woman in the area–he had joined only days before so even though he says nothing was going to happen and it was an ego thing– I can’t help that by me finding out I stopped somthing–I even found out later he texted a number of one woman( I don’t know about the conversation) because he played dumb- but I feel like he just didn’t want to hurt me more-for days I was checking everything emails phone records- started accusing him of things that were not true and I started feeling worthless and questioning that I wanted my new baby( wich makes me feel worse then anything) I would never give the baby up I just had doubts-& I know it’s not about this but I couldn’t help but think — he’s 42 I’m 31 and I was a model for years I am a great mother — what is wrong with me? Why am I not good enough- these women are mostly older then me and on top of that they are everything he would not want me to be
    So I started getting into the word to see how I should deal with this– I started looking at myself and trying hard to see why this could happen– this is so out of character for him it is unbelievable–in the past week I’ve Ben taking advice of other christain women and men& I realized that my grave sins against him before our marriage I expected him to wash away and we never walked through the issues and we are not good communicators — I’ve Ben trying to take better care of myself the way i look for him the house , trying to make myself sexually available to him( wich I can’t have intercourse while preggo)so I know I’ve Ben withdrawn but I’m tryi g harder to meet his needs I’m praying im talking to him when I feel anything good or bad I’m letting him know when he does anything that pleases me- I seem to be getting these things in return- he even made a comment last night tellikng me he remembered where he was the first time I called him 10 yrs ago- THAT WAS SO SPECIAL!!
    I’m sorry this is long but here is my question– he says hes impressed by how i am handeling this( i used to be a hothead)am I letting him off the hook by forgiving him and trying to make things better rigt away??i know he saw how badly I was hurt but I feel like I am rewarding him by doing as The Lord asks of me-and I get angry at myself to think that! My biggest hang up is after a few days of airing all of it out I found that number in his text box and it was erased – he lied about it- I sent him an email letting him I knew what it was but then I let it go mainly because I knew there was no answer that would satisfy me and it would be another crying session for me- I just accepted it as he doesn’t want to cause me pain– should I let it go ( it’s eating at me not to know) or was I right to just let it go? I have stopped going through his personal stuff cuz it was making me crazy– it takes allot of prayer and strength I read about covenant eyes and I’d like to try that because I want to not violate his space but 10 yrs of his love and acceptance for all that I have done – I am afraid asking for us both to have accountability may set us back when things seem to be getting better–
    I M trying desperately to save my marraige and I want to save the love and friendship we have he is a great father THE BEST and he’s a responsible protector and provider– but he’s Ben a disconnected husband and no matter what I’ve tried I figured I had to accept this– but since all this he’s started being my lover and friend again–I know unless this continues we will backslide I know I can do nothing w/ out The Lord because when ever I have tried it never works but my husband is more – scientific then Faith filled how do I keep a healthy relationship with an unbeliever– I am tryi g to stay positive SO HARD but I feel so lost and as I said before I feel like I am rewarding him for his HORRIBLE behavior and that Mabey he can’t see that I’m doing all this because I am just so hurt and feel as I am drowning trying to save my marraige from distruction???

  • Sharon Sharon says:

    dear tiwana– prayer–father God i pray for this marriage i pray for this man to forgive his wife so they can move on in their marrige i pray for forgiveness and reconcilation with each other i pray for a miracle for this marriage, God i pray for your healing hand over them over their hearts to come to you in repentance and you will restore this marriage again to lvoe for each other and for you God i pray all of this in JESUS name amen i am praying for you both love sharon

  • Luz Elvira Cubides says:

    Gracias por este medio para conocer las necesidades de hablar alas personas de situaciones de conflicto en su vida y poder acudir a quienes escuchan y propician ayuda. Gracias.

  • Hazelle Schenk Hazelle Schenk says:

    Hi Felicia,

    Your story breaks my heart. I don’t even know where to begin; I am not an expert on this topic and I can’t say that I fully know and understand what you’re going through. I just wanted to reply to let you know that I am really sorry to hear about what you are going through. This in an incredibly difficult situation and I know that you are being gracious and forgiving and that you are relying on the Lord for His direction. I know that you are immensely hurt and that you feel incredibly rejected by the one man who has vowed to take care of you for the rest of his life. I just can’t begin to imagine how disrespected you must feel when his heart lusts over another. I’m really, really sorry that all of this is going on for you. I pray that you are enveloped in God’s embrace and that you are sustained by His grace.

    As St. Paul writes in 2 Cor 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”. Without for the guidance and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, it would be incredibly difficult -maybe even be humanly impossible- to trust and forgive again. I don’t have the answers, but I would urge you to continue searching the Spirit and continue being attentive to His will. There are major decisions about your marriage that you need to make; especially for your own sake and for your young daughters. I pray that God would speak clearly into your life. Again, I can’t give you the answers or tell you what to do, but I would love to pray with you. I hope that is alright.

    Dear Heavenly Father,
    Thank you for Your love. Thank you for Your grace, Your forgiveness, Your mercy. Father, we don’t always understand why we go through suffering in our lives. We don’t always understand why we get betrayed by those closest to us, by those who have promised to love us with everything they’ve got. I lift up to Your beautiful daughter Felicia. She’s gone through an incredible amount of hurt. Jesus, you know exactly what it is like to abandoned by your friends. I pray that You would wrap Felicia in Your warm embrace. Please hold her to close to You and your Sacred Heart. I pray for a wisdom that surpasses understanding. I pray for peace in her life. I pray for protection, and I pray for joy. I pray for her family, and for freedom from the bondage of sin and addictions. I pray for Felicia’s husband, that he would be released from the deathly grasp of his porn addiction. I also especially pray for Felicia’s young daughters. I pray that they would grow up knowing You. Father, I don’t have any answers for Felicia, but You do. Would you please make Your will known to her? Please give her guidance and wisdom to know what the next steps are for her and her family.

    All this I ask in the most powerful name of Jesus Christ our Lord, AMEN.

    Felicia, I’m not sure if this would help you at all, but I found some resources that you might find interesting:

    Bethesda Workshops

    Faithful and True Ministries

    God bless you!

  • Felicia says:

    I just found out that my now ex-husband has been viewing porn again and has been getting text messages from his friends of porn. The reason I filed divorce was because of his addiction to porn. We got back together after 2 years of being apart. He told me he loved me and made a promise to stop. I forgave him and trusted him. All was well until this past Saturday when I passed by his phone which he left open and guess what I saw? A text message sent from one of his friends of a naked woman. I have told him how much it bothers me and how much it hurts me. I asked him to please go to counseling with me but he won’t go. He says its my fault that he had this addiction, and that he is who he is. Like it or not. We have 2 young daughters. I don’t know what to do anymore. He promised to stop. Again. How do I forgive? How do I trust? I pray to The Lord for guidance every day. Thank you for your time.

  • Tiwana says:

    Me and my husband been married for 3 years and about 3 months ago we had got into a argument over something that was small. We tried to sit down and talk about it but it always ended up with us yelling, walking away from the table or not talking to one another. I then went to a co worker and begin to tell him things that was going on in our marriage. Well we started texting and calling each other and it wasn’t nothing more than that just talking about my marriage. I didn’t know that the guy was married and I begin to recieve calls from his wife stating that she was going to leave if me and her husband was having affair and I told her that we wasn’t. So some now she got in contact with my husband and told him that I was cheating on him with her husband and that was never true. My husband asked me about the situation and I told him that no I never slept with him and it was just conversation about us and our marriage. My husband forgave me but it doesn’t seem like he has. I know that I did wrong going to another man other than our Pastor and I reassured to my husband that this will never happen again but I cry because I don’t know if he feel in his heart to forgive me because he may think that I would do what I did again. Can someone please help? Pray for me and my marriage? How long will it take him to put it in the past and move on with our marriage.

  • Michael Jantzen Michael Jantzen says:


    Thank you for reaching out for help with your comment. I agree with BD that your husband has crossed the line. There is never any excuse to inflict physical harm and when it’s with someone we’re suppose to love…it just feels twisted and damaging on a way deeper level. However, BD seems to say “run for the hills and never look back.” While I agree that your safety is the most important thing and that if you feel in danger you need to get to a safe place, I would not agree that your marriage is necessarily a lost cause.

    Your husband did a terrible thing and needs help to figure out what caused him to lose control in his anger, but it doesn’t sound like he has a history of being violent. I’m sure that your past abusive relationship makes you really scared about what you witnessed that day with your husband, and for good reason.

    But I still think there is hope if he gets the right help and shows you gentleness from here on out. So, I’m not saying run. I’m saying get safe and get help…for you…and if he agrees…for him. Getting safe may mean having some distance from him for a while, but I would encourage you to believe that God can turn this around.

    Here is a hotline number for those who experience abuse: http://www.thehotline.org/
    We can also connect you with an online confidential mentor if you click on “Talk to a mentor” at the top right of this screen.
    It’s also a great idea to connect with a local pastor to receive spiritual advice on this matter.

    I’ll keep you and your husband in my prayers. Thank you for sharing.

  • Michael Jantzen Michael Jantzen says:

    Hello Ramon,

    Thank you for sharing about your struggling marriage. I know what it feels like to be at a deadend, trying everything to save a marriage but not seeing results. It sounds like you could benefit from talking this out in length with one of our confidential online email mentors. Just click here http://powertochange.com/discover/talk-to-a-mentor/ if you’re interested.

    I wish you well.

  • Ramon says:

    Been married to my second wife whom i adore and love more than anyone. Since we were married she is always telling me i have other women, I don’t. I want this marriage to work more than anything. I took care of her and my 2 step children, treated them like they were my own. Cook cleaned wash. They all never respected me as they should. She kicked me out. She slapped me, had me arrested, took out restraining order and tried to get me fired from my job. I still love her so much. Went for marriage counseling and i just lost it and said i don’t want to have anything to do with you anymore. She said i love you, told her people who love someone does NOT do what you have done to me especially when all i ever did was love you. I am not stupid, unable to live with her jealous and rage. The most difficult thing is moving on. She says the cruelest things to me. Can someone help me. Please

  • BD says:

    Pack your stuff, take the kids and WALK OUT THE DOOR NOW! He knew exactly where that line was with you and consciously decided to cross it to see how much you would take. This is, without question, his quest to see how much abuse you will absorb. GO GO GO & GO NOW. Nothing is worth more than your safety or your dignity, especially this ‘realtionship’. What he does to you he will do to the children. GO!

  • justine pauff says:

    Hi my name is justine pauff my husband n i have been married for almost 3 yrs nw n for one he has never hit me until yesterday let me tell u my story we met like a fairytale starting in a book we were doing great up until 4months ago me n him had ths huge arguement i went to my best friends house for a few days when i came back to him he made me delete her out of my life mind u we have been friends for 11yrs so of i was shattered si aftr a couple months of not talkn with my best friend my husband grew mean idk why but he was hateful. he started controlling mw n tellinn accusing me of ridiculous thngs. i for one would never break my vows of marriage n he knws tht i do everythng a wife should. do i clean n scrub take care of kids has his dinner on the. table everyday he gets hme we ha d a seperation. for a wk i got my best friend back. i went hme to my husband n he sat there n told me we were fine i believed him long story short he flipped out over smethng dumb n he git so angry he grabbed my face n slapped me the first time. he knws tht i came out of a 2 yr abusive relationship before him n yet he felt to hit me plzzzz hw d wat do i do???? do i forgive him or just divorce him i love him with all my heart n he shattered it when he raised his hand

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Andie, you are a lucky lady to have a husband who is willing to forgive your unfaithfulness. What kind of process have you two gone through to help find a resolution to the reasons you were drawn to have an affair?

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Bing, broken trust is such a destructive force in a marriage. I can only imagine how hard it has been on you. But that anger you have is an equally dangerous thing. Have you been able to find a way to keep that anger in control? It will be very hard to come to a place of forgiveness if anger is steering your thoughts and emotions.

    Have you asked you wife why she felt it was so important to go through with the project? There must have been a powerful incentive for her. Part of the silver lining in marital conflicts like this is that to find resolution you are both going to have to work at discovering each others deep motivations very closely. The end result of that is that you will know each other so much better which can lead to a much closer more intimate relationship with each other.

    A counselor can be a very useful means to help the two of you do that kind of intense personal exploration. Having an objective view point and a mediator to help you both guard against letting anger take over is an invaluable resource. Do you you think you would be open to having a counselor help the two of you through this?

  • Andie says:

    I have been married to my husband for 27 years and together for 30. I have been unfaithful to him on three occassions. twice before we got married, and once during our marriage just 2 years ago. I am confused, I don’t have a forgiving heart like that and I am still trying to figure out why he was so quick to forgive me and not leave me. This is bothering me to the point, that i feel that he has alterior motive. I know if the shoe was on the other foot, I would not still be in this marriage.

  • Bing says:

    2-3 weeks back, my wife had a made a decision to push through with a project, setting aside my decision not to push through as her decision would only benefit a 3rd person and not us as partners. I felt disrespected as a husband to this day. Never have I felt so much pain in my entire life. And the pain mounted to being jealous of the 3rd person. Because of this, I struggled to focus/channel my strength to speak to her but every time I came near her, all the negative in me wanted to shout at her, blame and worst was the urge to hurt her. I want this to end but how?

  • Kate Kate says:

    Dear Isabel,

    It definitely sounds like you are going through a really hard time and my heart goes out to you. I know it is truly heartbreaking when your spouse stops trying. You mentioned you’ve tried your best, so what have you tried so far? Do you have a supportive family or friends or local church?

    If you like, you can connect with one our mentors who would correspond with you privately. Click on the “talk to a mentor link” at the top right of this page. I want to pray for you now:

    Dear Father, bless Isabel, bless her sons and her daughter, her husband and her marriage. Father help her to see Your plan and purpose for her. Help her to persevere, bring supporters alongside her to encourage her. I also pray especially for her husband. I pray that a godly man would come alongside him to teach him about what he must do as a husband and a father, to encourage him to make changes, and to be an example to him of a great husband and father. Please bless this family in Jesus’ name. Amen.

  • Isabel says:

    Hi, my name is Isabel and i am going through a really hard time with my husband. We’ve known each other for 4 years. I have 2 boys with a previous guy and a beautiful daughter with my husband now. My main issue was forgiving and forgetting what he did to me before, cheating emotinal. We’ve been together for 3 years and now we got in a problem and he does not want to work through this anymore. I’ve tried my best to do everything i can to try to work it out but he has no desire to sit and talk to me anymore. What more can i do?

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Teresa, I am so sorry that you have been hurt like that by your husband. How has he responded to you when you told him how much this hurt you?

    Heavenly Father, I pray for this couple as they go through this difficult time together. You know Teresa’s frustration with her husband’s complacent attitude and how desperately she wants him to acknowledge his appreciation for all that she has done for him in their life together and how much she means to him. Help them both to communicate honestly in such a way that they can discover how You have created them to work together as a team. Give Teresa patience with her husband and help him to be willing to break the patterns of complacency and laziness. Amen.

  • Teresa says:

    I have been married for 32 years. I’m very afraid my marriage is over. My husband has always been the complacent type. He relied on me to not only work fulltime in Nursing but manage the home. Everything from finances to groceries. We are now have custody of our 6 year old grandson and I see too all of his schooling issues. 2 years ago I spoke with my husband how I really wanted a special 50th birthday. I wanted to go some place special which we have never been. I am the type who never asks for anything. I live a modest lifestyle and am content. My birthday is in 3 weeks and I’ve learned my spouse has planned nothing. Has saved no monies. He is relying on me to plan my own 50th Birthday. I am so hurt. I don’t even like to look at him. 32 years of being a faithful hard working wife and the one time I make a special request it went unheard. I gave him 2 years to plan this. Even gave ideas. Its created a huge rift in our marriage. One I’m afraid we can’t repair. Prayer and advice greatly appreciated.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi David, my heart breaks hearing your story. I can’t imagine how hurtful that would be. What kind of a support system do you have? Do you have friends and family that are helping you through this difficult time?

  • David says:

    I’m still dealing with the pain! My wife of over 26 years has been having an affair with a married man at her work. Just 2 days ago she moved out and moved in with him. I feel so betrayed! I know I haven’t been the perfect husband, but I never cheated. She came home one day, fortunately I wasn’t home yet, had Police officer come to my house to make sure I didn’t try to stop her backed stuff, took our dog and left. I not only feel betrayed, but humiliated, angry, hurt, sad and even sick. No matter what I say or promise I can’t convince her to come home. The Lord know how much I miss her!

  • Sharon Sharon says:

    good article we’ve been married over 25 years now and we did argue when we fist got married we still argue but we forgive each other and move on it was hard at first becaue of my anger but God healed our relationship we didn’t seperate or anything but its a good relationship now we still argue but we move on because our love for each other and God after we forgive each other i do like ephesian in the bible says don’t go to bed angry

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