Monday, 24 September 2012

Wakeup Call

I got a wakeup call from my girlfriend last week. She called during the night and cried her heart out; she was coming to terms with the harsh reality of being in a loveless marriage. I tried to listen patiently as she recounted her predicaments and the unfair things she has had to endure over the last couple of years. Her once-upon-a-time knight in shining armor has managed to drop the fa├žade over the years and reveal his true identity. He had stopped paying the bills at home, he was no longer contributing to the upkeep of the house, and neither was he helping to manage the kids’ expenses. He still demanded that she ensured there was food in the house and that the kids were well taken care of, which was funny to me because she said he was no longer supporting the family financially. I don’t get how some men don’t realize that their number one responsibility in a marriage is to provide! Beats me.
 
I tried to sympathize with her and offer the best advice I could on how she could make this work. I struggled with telling her how I really felt she should deal with the joker, but instead, I focused on reiterating what the Bible says about keeping the covenant of marriage. After all, these are the principles of my life and hers. We grew up in the same neighborhood and attended the same Sunday schools as kids. I knew that we shared the same view on life, or at least marriage, so I went on to talk about the importance of love in a marriage, God’s kind of love. It didn’t matter if he loved her back, she just needed to live out the love principles, like being caring, giving, forgiving, patient, and with time, he would turn around and be the good guy she always wanted him to be. That’s what I was taughtthat love always finds a waybut now, I am beginning to have a rethink. Should love always find a way? Or should you just get out when you still can and let love find you when it has found itself?
 
Then she reminded me that she was all this to the guy for the last seven years and that all she got back  was nothing, just loads of deceit and lies. And finally, she got to the bottom of why she wanted to leave seven years of marriage behind: he was no longer faithful to her and had, on countless occasions and without remorse, broken her trust by sleeping with other women. At this point, I lost all my bible teachings and my niceness went out of the window. I was so upset with him for turning his back on his wife and family to find comfort in the bed of another woman. I know my friend, and no, she wasn’t perfect either, but she didn’t deserve this betrayal of her trust. In spite of herself, she was really a loving, sweet, and caring person.
As she went on talking about his infidelity, I fought every emotion in my body. I wanted to tell her to get the hell out of the marriage because it wasn’t worth it anymore and that she deserved to be treated better. If her husband wasn’t providing for his family and wasn’t keeping his commitment to her to remain faithful, then she should leave. My emotions and my intellect warred with my faith and what I had learned growing up. I wanted to be a good friend, to truly advise her on how best to handle this, but the honest truth was that I was completely inexperienced in this matter and would hate to give her the wrong advice.
So, I am calling out to all you folks out there who have been there, done that, to lend a voice on this. My friend is trapped in a loveless, unfaithful marriage, and she wants to leave her husband. Should she stay and make this work or just leave before something goes terribly wrong? Please leave your thoughtswe really need your help here.

13 comments :

Funmilola said...

@Seye, from the story, your friend seems unable to give more and can one blame her? The bible says iron sharpenth iron but she has walked alone for 7 years, getting almost nothing. This man is not just unfaithful but he seems carefree and unrepentant. He has neglected the wife of his youth and gone after strange womento the extent that he does not fulfill his obligations as a husband. I am equally displeased with this man but then sometimes, the last push may just be the miracle.i want to believe that your friend saw something in the man before venturing into the marriage in the first place. Yes, she has a basis to leave the marriage due to infidelity, but then i feel she can try and make it work if the husband is still willingand repentant. Together, they can pray for restoration but it may not be easy for her to do it alone. Love can be restored once both parties agree again. Can two walktogether except they agree? She needs to call him and talk to him, make him realise his faults and lay the cards on the table. But she MUST pray first before doing so(let her take sometime to pray and ask God to season the words of her mouth with grace so she will find favour in his sight). While talking to him, the Holy spirit may convict him of his sins and make him repent. But if he remains like pharaoh,hardenshis heart and continue in his old ways, then she is left with no other choice than to leave. She will be justified by God.

Seye Oke said...

Thanks Funmi I'll pass on your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

The easy way out of this kind of challenge is separation or divorce. Which is only a short term solution. Is she convinced she will eventually find peace and happiness when she's alone. A man that abandons his wife and kids is definitely not thinking. If you can muster some faith, please encourage your friend and make out time to pray with her. Breaking marriages so that the children become dysfunctional and broken is top priority for the devil, we need to remember this. The more marriages he can destroy the better for him but the worse for our society. The children will need their dad. There's absolutely no one so lost that God cannot find. She has endured for this long, no need giving up now. If God says no divorce, it means he's able to help with this sort of challenge.

Seye Oke said...

Thanks. Can anyone recommend a great book or material that can also help her out during this time?

Tomide Toba said...

@Seye, I strongly believe if she shared the same ideals with you, then she surely didn't just agree to marry this man without seeing in him being responsible, God fearing and ultimately greatness in their future together. I can imaging when they met, there was once a reason why she smiled to herself and said 'I love this guy'. Along the way, something was lost and gradually degenerated without notice. Whatever it is that was lost... has to be found and restored.

Lummie said...

@Seye, I would like to recommend these books to her; "Staying Together When an Affair Pulls You Apart -
Stephen M. Judah", "Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken - Cindy Beall", "Every Heart Restored: A Wife's Guide to Healing in the Wake of a Husband's Sexual Sin", "Unfaithful: Hope and Healing After Infidelity", "The Healing Choice - Brenda Stoeker, Susan Allen"

Seye Oke said...

Thanks Lummie we will check out the books.

Anonymous said...

hmmmh.. the easy way out is to leave the marriage but we took the vows. let her hold on to God and His word. The definition of love in 1 Cor 13 should console her; that is the love that does not expect to be reciprocated. at this point God is all she has. She must continually and fervently for HIM.Difficult but that's the only way to set him back on the right path. I recommend she reads Power of a Praying Wife - Stormie Omartian. There will be many times she will feel like God is not ther, but truly He is and will bring her out of this triumphant.It is also time to bring in his family(not sure what their take is on this) at least for him to carry out his financial obligations as they may be too heavy for her. once this is taken out of the way she should turn her face to the wall and PUSH (Pray until something happens). it is well with her in Jesus name.
Uzo

Seye Oke said...

Thanks Uzo, its amazing how everyone that read this agree that she should stay and fight for her marriage. So good to know our generation still believes in families staying together.

Bukky Apampa said...

Hi Seye,

I really feel for your friend, it is one of the most difficult situation to be in but like everyone have said, divorce is not an option, it does not make anything better, saying that I 100% agree with the anon who suggested separation. People find the idea foreign but I've seen it work many times, yes she should pray and fast but what is being asked of her is to continue to support this man, carry his responsibility, he comes home to food, his laundry gets done e.t.c and you think he will change? a man is getting to eat his cake and have it and you expect him to change? no he will not.

She needs to stand up as a strong woman and tell him where to go, I bet you when he loses that security of home, he will start to re-think. what is the worst thing he will do? go to one of the women he's messing around with? let's see how long they'll have him with his stinking behaviour. I have heard of couples who have gone the separation way for 2 days, weeks, months and even years and see the offending spouse suddenly coming to their senses, then they'll be open to get help and the marriage has gone on to become stronger. As long as she's willing to accomodate his behaviour, he will not change and I don't believe she is as helpless as she sounds. The alternative is she will continue to take his behaviour until her "give a damn" breaks, then there will be no hope for the marriage but if she can be strong enough to separate now that she still cares, there's a chance the marriage will be restored.

If I'd recommend one single book to her, it will be "laugh your way into a better marriage" by Mark Gungor. The book explains how sometimes as women we are to blame for our mens bad behaviours because we accept it in the name of we're praying for them to change.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing God cannot do but we also have a part to play.
Best of luck to them.

PS: apologies for the long response.

Shola said...

She needs to leave. Even the Bible gives a way out in cases of fornication

Anonymous said...

Even thought the Bible and Jesus did say that infidelity was a reason for divorce, I do believe that divorce is not the answer. Western culture so often screams divorce as the route to take, but I beg to disagree. I believe separation may a temporary solution but it should be for a specific reason.
No matter how unfaithful the man is, both partners are not perfect and need to focus on their individual relationships with God.
So my advice to her is that she stick to the number one best-seller of all times. It has all the answers she is looking for and they are straight from the mouth of God. Yes, I am talking about the Bible.

She may temporarily separate, but not for the sole purpose of getting back at the man but to focus on a safe place for her and her children to thrive in while the man gets himself together...(if he ever does). She should be open to reconciliation and pray that he be saved because he needs saving.

In short, she can stay or she can separate from him.

I think the Bible says that if one divorces, he or she cannot marry again. What do you all think?

I pray she finds peace in God or has found it.

Anonymous said...

In addition to the Bible. I feel one excellent book to read which I recommended to my Mother who is in a not too happy marriage with my dad is the Exemplary husband by Stuart Scott. In addition, a book called, "from pride to humilty". If she is ever going to have a chance of having love restored to her family, I now believe she should stay, (as long as he is not physically abusive), focus her attention for the next three months on quietly studying the word and theses books, so that her relationship with God can improve. If anything at all, she will have peace, joy and contentment in God alone and by the change in her ways may be ministering to her husband and children. Let her watch fireproof and serve in church so others can support her. There are others out there with this same problem I am sure. Praying for her.