Dear Hurting Wife...

D

ear hurting wife,

I remember when I was walking through so much hurt in the midst of my marriage, I felt as though my dreams of a happy marriage were meaningless. The words “happily ever after” brought resentment and misery, rather than joy. I mourned not having the best friend that marriage was supposed to bring. The loss of my dreams for our marriage brought a brutal combination of pain and numbness.

I remember feeling embarrassed. I was ashamed of the spot that I was in. What did it say about me that I wished I was single? What did it say about me that I wanted to give up?

Our marriage brought with it an incredibly lonely season. Before I left, I didn’t tell a single person what reality was like. I felt like I was doing the “Christian” thing by protecting my husband and keeping things between us. When people asked me how things were going, I would give the expected response, telling them how great things were and how happy I was. Even after I left and we started to get help, I only told specifically chosen people who I trusted to support us and our marriage. Many people ended up pulling away, not knowing how to be with me through the struggle. I felt like an outcast and I struggled with feeling like God had forgotten me.

Each day felt like a chore. I was emotionally drained.

I would feel searing jealousy and pain when I would see other marriages that looked like they were thriving, while I was trying to just make it through the next hour of my own marriage. I wouldn’t wish those feelings on anyone.

Are these feelings close to your heart? I may not know the specific situation you face, but I do understand the pain and isolation that a difficult marriage can bring.

Hurting wife, I hear you and I see you.

Know that you are not alone.

No matter what, know that God is with you. Isaiah 41:40 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” He sees all of who you are, including every pain and struggle, and He cares about you more than you can comprehend. He is the only one who will never let you down and is with you at all times.

Know that you are deeply loved.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3:22-23

You are deeply, fully, and completely loved by God. He is the only one who can love you with a perfect love. He not only sees you, but he understands you, your situation, and your pain.

Allow God to feed your soul.

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” – Isaiah 43:1

While the pain that defined my marriage brought sorrow, it also brought the sweetest, most intimate times I have ever had with the Lord. Jesus met me in the depths of my agony. Let Jesus speak to your heart. Bring Him your struggles and pain. Don’t be afraid of being vulnerable with the One who truly loves you. When we bring Him our vulnerabilities, He can heal our hurting hearts. His heart breaks for the affliction you experience. Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Lean into your time with Him and He will speak words of life to you, giving you strength, encouragement, and love. He wants to carry the burden for you and with you.


“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Psalm 34:18

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Your identity is not as a wife, but in Christ.

Your title of wife or the depth of your husband’s love does not define who you are. You are valuable because you are a daughter of the King.

Believe that God can restore

Believing that restoration is possible in your marriage takes courage and strength–courage to forgive, and strength to pursue reconciliation even on the days that are the most difficult. As long as both spouses want reconciliation and are looking to the Lord for His direction, healing and unity are possible. Remember that God can drastically shift hearts if we let Him.

The world says that you should divorce if your husband has failed you. The world says that people can’t change. Jesus defies this perspective, bringing hope. While there may absolutely need to be a time of separation or a time that difficult boundaries need to be set, God calls us to have a heart that seeks reconciliation as far as it depends on us (Romans 12:18). This does not mean forgetting, hiding our feelings, or choosing not to address the issues. This means embracing forgiveness and believing in the healing power of the Holy Spirit. When we grip tightly to bitterness or refuse to believe that a heart can be transformed, we doubt the power of God. With God, ANYTHING is possible (Matthew 19:26).

Hurting wife, know that I am praying with you and for you. I pray that you would truly know and embrace God’s undying love for you. I pray that He would give you the strength in this season of grief. I pray that He would bring restoration not only for your marriage, but for your soul. I pray that you would cling to Him and His ways. I pray that bitterness would not harden your heart, but that God would bring a softness. I pray that you would be willing to be vulnerable and lean into the struggles you are facing, rather than putting on a brave face or ignoring your hurts. I pray that God would create in you a boldness, laced with a gentle spirit. I pray that God would put a solid support system in your life that would encourage you. I pray that you would believe in the power of who God is and who He promises to be.

You are treasured and you are worthy of love.

With all my love,

Jess

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