My wife left me seven years into marriage!…Take just a moment to ponder that.
Ok so my wife left me seven years into marriage. Here I thought I was a great husband meeting all of her needs by providing a good living, a home, a car, an education, food, clothing, stuff…Those “needs” weren’t what she really needed. I’m writing this on the day of our 11 year wedding anniversary and YES we are still together so you can keep reading knowing that there is a great ending.
Just before she left we had an argument. It was about a homeless lady we were trying to help. Imagine this, arguing about helping someone! During this time I was leading worship at the church building teaching class at the church building showing up Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night to the church building not realizing I was supposed to BE the church. I can remember other believers who would ask, “but are they a member of The Church?” As if only those who went to our church building or had the same sign outside their building were the select chosen to be Christ’s church. Believing in Jesus wasn’t enough.
The day my wife left I had no clue what this truly meant. She had decided to help a friend on a long drive to Texas, from Florida and it led for the opportunity to not come back as well. I can remember waiving goodbye not having a clue what was really going on, but reality and truth speak loudly.
I did not hear from my wife much along her journey to Texas, but I did talk briefly with her when she arrived there safely. I thought it odd that we didn’t talk long as we normally would when away or even together, but I soon realized that in previous talking I really did not listen much. You see there we warning signs of this misery. Tears, arguments, requests…I just didn’t hear or understand them. This was because I did not truly know God.
When the time went by with multiple phone calls, messages left, texts not returned I soon became concerned. You see I loved my wife dearly I just wasn’t loving her like Christ. I finally got a hold of the friend she rode with to Texas and I asked if they were okay. She kind of laughed and said they were find and asked what I needed. I then told her I had been trying to reach my wife and couldn’t and wanted to see if I could talk with her. The friend went to my wife and told her I was on the phone and that I wanted to talk of which she replied, “I don’t want to talk to him.” I then pleaded with the friend to give my wife the phone and finally I got her on the phone.
At this point I knew something was wrong, but I felt confident I could work it out in a few minutes time. Wrong. She got on the phone and asked, “what do you want?” This was not her normal tone and I was taken back. I replied that I wanted to talk with her, which she prompted replied with, “we don’t have anything to talk about.” I was stunned., confused, angry, concerned…Where was my wife? This wasn’t like her. What was going on? She then got off the phone and her friend told me that my wife didn’t want to talk anymore. What was going on, I kept asking myself.
After getting off the phone I looked over at my night stand and saw the book The Power of a Praying Husband lying there as it had for the past 7 years. The problem was I never read it nor did I pray for my wife very often as I should. I then got on my knees crying and began to read this book and pray these prayers. God heard my cry.
The next day I logged into our bank account to do our budget, I often did on a regular basis. When I went to check our savings I noticed a significant amount of money missing. Half of our savings at the time was GONE! I thought we had been robbed. I rushed and called the bank. They politely explained to me that my wife had taken out the funds. I then called my wife in panic mode. What did she need this for, was she robbed, was she being manipulated, was she really leaving me, was she going to divorce me? The thoughts raced through my mind. She answered the phone and I tried not to act like something was wrong. I tried to talk about how she was doing, but she knew I was calling about the money. I finally asked if she had taken out the money. She replied that she had. I asked her why. She explained that she needed the money to finish school and possibly buy a car. Money was always something I controlled. I thought I was better at managing it. I felt since I was the one making I should be the one telling the money where to go, not realizing that one flesh means what mine is hers, even with money. I don’t really remember everything that was said except that she then hung up the phone!
I frantically came into work and told my boss at the time that I needed to take emergency leave. Try explaining that one. It was an interesting conversation, but he approved it and I jumped in my car and began to drive. I was still in my flight suite when I arrived in Texas 14 hours later. I had driven straight through and it was about 2am at this point. I went to multiple places where I thought she was and could not find her. I then got an e-mail from her stating that she was with her parents in Oklahoma. I jumped back in my car and drove four more hours straight to Oklahoma and arrived around 7am.
Now realize this was November in Oklahoma. It was cold. I had driven 17 hours and had been awake for over 26 hours. I was tired, but desperately needed to talk with my wife. She met me outside and I asked to come in and talk with her. She then told me I was not welcome inside and if she needed to get her Dad she would. I was taken back. This was not the same woman I married…or was it?! She then went back inside and I went back to my car and tried to sleep. I began to shiver. What had I done? After what seemed like hours I texted her to ask if I could use the restroom inside. She told me I could come inside.
Once inside she allowed me to use the restroom then told me to lie down and get some sleep.
I sleep for what seemed like eternity, but in actuality was only an hour or so. I then helped my father-in-law in the yard the rest of the day and eventually asked my wife if she would go on a date with me that night. She accepted and I then began to pursue her again. I asked questions I hadn’t asked before. I admitted sins I hadn’t before. I attempted to humble myself. She talked only a bit and I did most of the talking or should I say apologizing. I realized I had put money, my career and my happiness above her. I had not loved her like Christ loved the church. I had become angry, bitter and resentful towards her. I had treated her like a child and not as an equal. She forgave me.
That night she told me I should leave the next day, because she knew I had been selected for a special class and she did not want me to miss it. She told me she would be home soon and that we would begin our journey to healing our marriage. She then did the unexpected. Mercy, Love and Grace…she asked me to become one again.
I drove home the next day high as a kite in love. We read the book The Five Love Languages together and found out neither one of us was speaking the same language. We began to realize that the closer we got to God the closer we got to each other and it only had to start with one of us. In this case her leaving was actually loving me. I also gave her all of our finances to manage and that was over 4 years ago now and we didn’t even go into debt or bankrupt 😉 Our marriage is stronger today than it has ever been and we continue to grow closer each day. I am blessed to be married to the most amazing woman in the world and I thank God my wife left me.
Below is a song I wrote for her on our 10 year wedding anniversary. I was blessed to surprise her with a wedding vow renewal on the beach and I flew both sets of parents and the minister who married us in for the occasion. It was such a surprise for her and for them. I had prerecorded this song professionally with a few friends Matt Stansberry, Erick Alexander and Jimmy Breda. Enjoy!
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