Does my divorce mean I failed as a wife?




Thank you, for your response.  My pastor did not support my decision to divorce my husband.  I was very active and have a deep spiritual conviction, but have felt like I am being condemned and told I am a hypocrite for deciding it was best for my family to leave my marriage.

My ex-husband is now going from bar to bar looking for women.  This makes me very sad.  I shared my faith with him, and hoped he would want God's love in his own life.  I did not know he had all these problems he did until after I married him.  I worked very hard on my marriage, but he became more and more abusive until I believed my life was in danger.

I am having a lot of trouble because of the lack of support from my church family feeling okay with myself and my decision.  I am in Christian counseling, but was told I am suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome.  I need to believe in myself and know that I made the right choice.

I need scriptural guidance to feel good about me again.  He degraded me so much that I feel so dirty all the time.  It is hard to know God loves me.  I was so blessed teaching others about Christ and His love, but because of what others have said to me I wonder how can God ever love me. I know the Bible says He will never leave thee or forsake thee, but I feel so alone right now.  I need comfort and peace in His word. If you can give me Scripture to help, I would be so appreciative. I am looking for a new church right now and want one that I will feel loved and nurtured in. One where I can share the love of God with others.  I love teaching children.  I love singing his praises.  Please pray that I will find comfort and peace, and I will feel God's love in my heart again. I have never stopped loving Him, but feel like I've done wrong in His eyes.  I have asked His forgiveness, but now I have to forgive myself, but I guess I don't know what I need to forgive myself for.  I just know I am hurting and it feels like the hurt will never go away.

I married my husband for life and feel like I failed.

I held off answering for several days because I was disappointed. Your first question indicated that you were still married, but now you tell me that what you are seeking is acceptance for something that you have already done. I strive to give good, biblical answers, but it is difficult when people are not forthright about their problem. It causes me to wonder what other essential information was left out. Was it fully your husband's problem or are you simply putting full blame on him to absolve yourself from any responsibility? Since I'm not a mind reader, I just don't know.

The fact that your ex-husband is visiting bars and picking up women demonstrates a weakness in character. You state that you did not realize the type of man he was until after you married him. May I suggest that there are two causes. First, many people marry because of fluttering feelings instead of true love of their spouse's character. They don't take the time to really know the person and, therefore, are surprised that they are not what they imagined them to be after they became married. This is why you find counselors strongly recommending engagements of a year or more. You can be fooled for a short period of time, but most character flaws become visible after a period of time. But we are in such a rush, we don't want to invest the time to really know a person and truly fall in love with who they really are. Second, many people latch on to a person and are determined to marry that person. As a result, they will often ignore warning signs that there are problems because noticing them will mean having to do something about the problems. People are so wrapped up in their current happiness that they don't want anything to spoil it, and they definitely don't want to throw away their current emotional investment to start all over again. Hence, problems are ignored during engagement, but once your married it is hard to ignore them.

I don't know your particular situation, but it is likely that if I asked you about when you first noticed your ex-husband's problems that some of your memories extend back to before your marriage, but for one reason or another you had convinced yourself that it didn't really matter or it wasn't what it seemed to be at the time.

Ultimately, the choice to be abusive was your husband's. There can be no excuse for a husband to be physically abusive to his wife, even if you were the world's worse wife (Ephesians 5:28). He must live with the result of his choice. Just as you must live the consequences as well. Other people's sins do impact our lives. The person on drugs who breaks into our homes to finance his habit is suffering for his choices, but he brings his suffering into our lives as well. It would be ridiculous to spend the rest of our lives wondering what we did to deserve being robbed. It is just as foolish to degrade yourself over your ex-husband's choices.

However, you will have to live the remainder of your life with the consequences. Only a divorce due to fornication (sexual unfaithfulness) gives the innocent party the right to remarry (Matthew 19:9). Since that was not the case in your divorce, you must follow Paul's directive, "But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband" (I Corinthians 7:11). Perhaps in the future your ex-husband will realize his mistake and do something about his problem. If that time comes, forgive him and take him back as your husband.

See also:

Questions and Answers regarding Divorce