is a God of reconciliation. He heals hearts, delivers husbands, and
God's design was for husband and wife to live together with love and
respect. But unfortunately for some, the choice to separate becomes a
reality; usually due to an unrepentant spouse.
Choosing to separate from your husband is not an easy decision. It breaks my heart that you have to even contemplate separating from your husband. But before you arrive at your decision, be sure to consider your goal. Is your goal to be reconciled?* Is your goal to see your husband repent and set free from his addiction? Is your goal to restore your family? Your ultimate goal should be that of reconciliation. Separating, regrettably, often makes reconciliation more difficult. God said it was not good for man to be alone, that's why he created a wife for him. However, if you truly believe separating from your husband will bring you closer to reconciliation, be sure that your goal is to be restored. With that focus in mind, here are some tips to help you on this difficult journey:
1) HAVE A PLAN. Don't just separate
because you need "space". If you have to separate, write
down what you hope to accomplish from it and what you need from your
husband before you can reunite. He needs to know WHY you're
separating and WHAT and HOW to help reconcile the relationship.
2) GET COUNSELING. Individual counseling is great but you need to work on stuff together. Separation makes it harder to spend time working on your relationship. It makes it difficult to find new love and joy with each other when you're not together often. Going to counseling together will not only give you time to communicate regularly, but it will also help your husband work through the wounds that led him to pornography and it will help you work through the pain that caused.
3) START DATING. Once a week go on a date together. Try to do something that requires communication (not just a movie each week). It's sorta like you're starting over and you need to spend time getting to know each other again. Your husband will be a totally different person without pornography.
COMMUNICATE OFTEN. You'll be apart and it can become easy to miss
several days without speaking. The old saying “distance makes the
heart grow fonder” can often times backfire and the old saying “out
of sight, out of mind” can become more of a reality. That's not
good. Keep communicating. Even if it's a quick text to say I hope
you're having a good day.
5) SET A TIMER. If possible, try to
put a time frame on the separation and then revisit the decision
together. ie separate for 3 months and then have a family meeting and
discuss whether it's time to try again or if you need more time. My
experience with couples who separated was that the longer they stayed
apart, the less likely they got back together. So keep that in mind
and don't let your separation be indefinite.
I hope that you and your husband do find healing and restoration. Don't lose hope, nothing is impossible with God.
*We believe in marriage. We believe that divorce should be a last resort. If you don't have a goal to be reconciled, these suggestions don't apply to you. Before you make your final decision, please read this article I wrote about unrepentant husbands. Spend time in prayer and ask God to give you wisdom as you contemplate this difficult decision.
Walking in Freedom,
Tags: separation reconciliation restoration healing pornography addiction plan goal communicate dating counseling marriage hope god
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