One of my sweet private Facebook group girls asked this: “How do you deal with this: my husband isn’t in love with me anymore, his heart belongs to someone else, but he is staying because of the fear of the judgment of God?”

My heart is breaking for this woman.  It’s hard enough to be in a difficult marriage when it’s just the two of you, but add a third party who has taken over your place in your husband’s heart, and it’s near impossible.

She didn’t say outright if her husband is actually being unfaithful, but if he is, I want to make it clear that she has clear-cut biblical grounds to divorce him.  I’m not saying she should or has to or any of that (I will never say that). I’m simply saying that she would be allowed to do so and begin the process of healing and moving on. She does not have to wait for him to do the divorcing.

But I’m going to assume that she is choosing to stay, that she is choosing to wait for him to take the first step, that she is choosing to try to remain committed to her marriage.  So, sweet one, here are some thoughts.

I believe your very first step is to fully acknowledge your reality. The fact that you could form that question is a good indication that you are aware of what’s really going on.  If your husband has outright told you that he no longer loves you, that he loves someone else, and that he is only staying because he’s scared of God’s judgment, your husband has, essentially, moved on, and has broken the covenant, and is acting as if he is not your husband.  These are horrible, horrible truths, but you can only begin to heal and move forward when you are looking your reality full in the face.

Secondly, grieve the fact that your marriage as you once knew it is over.  Yes, he may come back to you, and please feel free to pray for that with your whole heart.  But even if he does, he has broken something that needs to be faced and mourned. You may even want to take a look at the five stages of grief and begin to walk through them with a counselor.

Thirdly, ask God what your next step should be.  You may feel at a loss. You’re basically in limbo.  You are married and yet you are not in a marriage.  Your partner is no longer your partner and has moved on in his heart with someone else.  God knows your circumstances, holds your heart and sees your path. Ask him to show you what’s next for you, ask him for the wisdom and strength and courage to keep moving forward.

Fourthly, pray for your husband. Pray that his heart is convicted and softened, and pray for other men to come around him and speak truth to him.

Finally, live your most abundant life on your own.  You have a choice here: you can choose to let this emotionally kill you (and no one would blame you, really) or you could choose to do the best with what you’ve got.  You are still responsible for every part of your life.  You may have kids, a job, friends, family who need you.  I’m not saying to sweep your pain under the rug, but I am here to gently remind you that, husband or not, Christ came to bring you abundant life.

This circumstance is heart-wrenching and I am so very sorry that you’re walking in it.  There are no easy choices right now.  There will be pain now and there will be more pain to come as you try to figure out what to do and how to heal. But there will be a time when there will be less emotional chaos, I promise you that. And God promises you his peace in the midst of any and all of your hard circumstances, so beg him for that now.

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. –Philippians 4:7


If this post encouraged you, you’d benefit from “Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage” found here or “World Split Open” found here.

Life isn't always how we want it. When change seems elusive, and we're stuck in old routines, a gentle push or some self-reflection can make a difference. Let these questions be that nudge to get you moving.

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