Marriage Missions International

During Separation: Time Can Be Your Friend

The following article is written to women who are dealing with their husbands who have left them, but the same principles can also apply to men who are dealing with their wives who have left. We encourage you to pray, glean, and see what God could be saying to your heart:

They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles
(Isaiah 40:31 KJV).

Because your emotions are so turbulent, you may think no happy answer to your situation is possible. Your thoughts may run the gamut from a fairy-tale ending to the worst possible outcome. When you find yourself in this state for very long,you may be tempted to do whatever will give a clean resolution. You may want closure, even if that means doing what you really don’t want to do. But making rash decisions may be something you will woefully regret later. Time may be your friend, if you let it.

When this disaster first swooped down upon me, my friend Toni Jo said something that shocked me at first. I didn’t want to hear it.

“Don’t be in a hurry,” she said. “Give him as much time as he needs. He’s confused and needs to figure himself out. Tell him to take a year if he needs to figure out what he wants.”

“A year!” I exclaimed. “A year?”

“What’s a year in a whole lifetime?” she asked. “If it takes a year for him to figure things out, and then you have thirty more happy years together after that, wouldn’t it be worth it?”

As it turned out, it took three years for my husband and me, not one. But yes, it was worth it.

Trusting God includes waiting on him to do whatever he is trying to do during this process. Because God does not force his loving work into our lives, making rash decisions can preclude God from accomplishing new dimensions of spiritual and emotional growth in you and your mate as well as others around you. We need to give God time.

Waiting is extremely hard when each day weighs us down with an eternity of suffering. But time has a way not only of healing but also of giving perspective. What may seem true to your mate today may look different to him tomorrow. Each new encounter between the two of you can set him or you off in a different relational direction, either positive or negative.

Many years of clutter may need to go through the filter before the gemstones of your life together can become clear. If your husband has separated from you, he may be trying not to even think about you now. He may be focusing only on what he can make sense of. And that probably is not you and your relationship. Most likely he is filling his mind with work and other interests that keep him aloof emotionally.

During moments of deep depression, when you really want to give up, pick up your Bible and let God speak to you. Listen to what he says to you at that particular time. He wants to strengthen you, and you need strong wings if you’re going to mount up on the wings like eagles. Wait on the Lord. Remember, he is able to do more than we could ever imagine. But sometimes it requires time.

Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the LORD, my cause is disregarded by my God?’

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:26-31).

The above article is written by Linda W. Rooks and comes from the excellent book, Broken Heart on Hold: Surviving Separation, published by Life Journey. As Linda writes about this book, “Broken Heart on Hold is meant to be a friend to walk beside you through the labyrinths of your confusion and pain. It is not a quick fix or a prescription for how to solve your problems. It is intended to be a daily companion in your crisis. It is not a book to be picked up and read through once and then set on the shelf. Rather, I suggest you read one selection each day and let the devotional thoughts sink into your heart and mind. Mull it over. Chew it up. Then the following day go on to the next.”

You can also visit Linda’s Web site at where she has “individually formatted a number of Bible verses for your strength and encouragement.” As she says, “From my Web site you can download full-color pages of whatever Scripture you choose and post it on your wall, mirror, or refrigerator so you can see it regularly and be encouraged. When our minds are spinning in different directions, being reminded of a Scripture can lead us to a more peaceful and healthy path.”


Join the Discussion!

But please observe the following guidelines:

  • Try to be as positive as possible when you make a comment.
  • If there is name-calling, or profane language, it will be deleted.
  • The same goes with hurtful comments targeted at belittling others; we won't post them.
  • Recommendations for people to divorce will be edited out–that's a decision between them and God, not us.
  • If you have a criticism, please make it constructive.
  • Be mindful that this is an international ministry where cultural differences need to be considered.
  • Please honor the fact this is a Christ-centered web site.
We review all comments before posting them to reduce spam and offensive content.


288 Responses to “During Separation: Time Can Be Your Friend”
  1. Cel from Australia says:

    Hi, I have been married 16 years. I have two children with my husband. He left us a week ago because he’s not happy and I’m not happy. I said to him I haven’t been happy for a while because of all the bad things he said about me that I could not accept. It hurt me deeply not only once but more. I have just lost trust in him. He still sees the children and will support me, the kid’s school fees, and everything the kids need. He also said to me he will still continue paying the mortgage and all the bills while the house is not sold yet.

    Two days later I ring him and said I need to talk to you so I know where I stand; so we did. I asked him if he’s 100% sure he wants a divorce. His responce was yes; we’re getting a divorce. He told me he doesn’t love me any more but he loved me when he married me. I got so angry with him and was upset and I didn’t say a word; I just froze. I still love him even though he says bad things about me. But I am not 100% happy. If he ever asked me to get back together I don’t know if I could trust him again. Five days later I ring all my in laws and told them the reason so they could hear my side. After talking to them I feel happy and feel relief.

    • Ica from Mexico says:

      I know right now you are in so much pain, you feel hurt, betrayed, and angry towards your husband. First af all pray to God to heal your heart, and to provide you with a forgiving heart. Through the marriage years we tend to keep all the little or big offenses our partner has done to us and forget to forgive and so we develop a resentful heart and become bitter, being defensive at anything our husband says or does and sometimes even revengeful. (Ephesians 4:26-27: In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.)

      When you got married, it was God who joined the 2 of you together (Matt 19:6: So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate). If you give up on your marriage now, not only will you suffer, but your children and someday the children of your children. Do not let what he says or does affect you more. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). I’ve been where you are, and let me tell you it hurts so much, and it’s not that easy, but have faith that God will heal yours and your husband’s hearts. Remember God commands us to forgive if we want to be forgiven.

  2. Cathy from United States says:

    I’ve been separated for 3 months after 12 years of marriage. My husband wasn’t happy and wanted out. We had been having issues. This is second marriage for us both. I’m so truly devastated. I don’t know day to day how I even cope. Some days I am ok then I crash hard. I cry all the time. I cry on the phone to him and have begged and pleaded. I don’t understand how someone can just throw another away. Not only me but my children who he was such a big part of their lives, and the Grandchildren. He walked away from them too.

    I would give my right arm to have him back. He was my soul mate. I just need some help to cope with it all and I don’t know how to get it. I see a therapist and am going to go to a support group next month. I know he was so in love with me at one time. I just pray he finds that love again.

    • Veronica from United States says:

      Good afternoon, I’ve been separated from my husband for about 3 months now and it does hurt so bad. I Also find myself crying and breaking down. I’m not sure what will come of us but I want him back dearly. We were not happy for sometime before the separation but I have hope that we are one again. We rarely talk to each other and he’s advised me he has a special friend that he’s been spending time with. I’ve accepted this because I have no choice. I just hopes this time from his family makes him realize what he’s lost.

  3. Christine from Philippines says:

    Hi, my husband left nearly 2 yrs ago for another woman. We are married for 13 yrs together for 19 yrs. I was pregnant with our 3rd child when he left. He was a good man. 2 months ago we talked, he told me he loves us, and will be coming home soon and that he just needs a little more time to fix things. I dont understand why he can’t come home and what things he needs to fix. I feel hurt but I love him and want my family back. He keep on telling ne he loves us and will come home.

  4. Anand from United States says:

    Hello: I have been married over a year now. It was an arrange marriage as per the Indian Hindu culture. I knew that gal only a few months before the marriage. Our marriage was going good, suddenly due to some problem at my place (where I live with my younger siblings and mother) there were clashes between us, as I was eldest and had to face the problem. I lost my temper and one day I broke out on my wife in an argument as she had been constantly nagging me about the problem at my place. She left my home, went to her parents place. I had to convince her for 4 months, after which she came back.

    After she came back, we opted to stay isolated from my family. We had quarrels in our day to day life, but they were normal. She used to abuse me whenever we had big fights, she abused me, distrusted me, said I had an affair outside, which I never had. Her abuse increased day by day. But when few days passed, we became normal. I didn’t care much about the abuse. We both partied, drank together, loved roaming places. Suddenly last week, when I had been out for party with my friends and came back home (she knew I was gonna have drinks) and the next day I was to visit my inlaws for casual meet. So I bought some sweets for them. Seeing that, she again started abusing me. I thought of not getting into a fight and went to my bedroom and slept. She came over there, and started again with her verbal abuse about me, my family, my character and so on. Later she went out in living room and started calling my friend, why I drink and all… I kept the phone but her abuse was continuing. I lost my temper and I slapped her 10-15 times on her face and shoulder. She left the immediate day to her parents and doesn’t want to come back. She is asking for divorce now. It was my anger which came out that day, due to her abusive words. But I love her a lot, how can I keep from losing her. When I try to contact her, she doesn’t recieve my call, nor her parents speak to me. I am helpless.

  5. AnnTaylor from United States says:

    I’ve been with my husband for seven years and been married a year and a half. Most of the time we’ve been off and on apart and now as of this year 2014, we’ve not been together since April. He doesn’t call to check on me or anything. I’m so upset with myself because I knew that this man was not going to be right with what so ever. But I loved him and had his back in every way. When we married I did it in the name of Jesus, not to be taken for a joke. I never thought in a million years that I would have gotten married. So many people were shocked because I did and I felt like that because I never wanted to go through what I’m going through now.

    I feel so sad. We both played a part in the separation. I feel like I lost my best friend in the whole world and maybe he feels the same. I want what ever is going to go down to happen already. I’d rather we stay or go; I need to know so we can both move on with our lives. It’s only fair one way or the other.

  6. Carol from United States says:

    My husband and I were high school sweethearts and were married 6 months after I graduated. We were devastated when we miscarried our first child at 8 weeks and 1 day. We had ony been married 3 months and grew angry with God. We stopped going to church every week and only went when every once in a while. We both hurt and I shut down. 2 months after our miscarriage we became pregnant with our son. The entire pregnancy I lived in fear and was emotionally detached from life.

    It’s not that that excuses my husband for cheating on me while I was 7 month pregnant. But I see why it happens now. I was devastated when I found out and being pregnant and 3000 miles from my family I stayed. We never got help. I was to ashamed to admit he cheated on me. My anger grew and I lost my faith. On a visit to see my family with our now 2 1/2 year old I found out he brought another women into our home and marital bed. I choose to not go back. Despite all of this we have remained good friends and our divorce has never been finalized. He has now moved to my town to be closer to our son who is now 6. It has been 4 years and he is living with a girlfriend.

    You may call me crazy or stupid; I don’t care. I love my husband with all my heart and fully believe with all that I am that God can and will restore our marriage. I know that the road ahead of us will not be easy and I have to be strong in my faith to get there. I know all things are possible thru Christ who strengthens me. I now know I am only in control of my choices and I first work on my relationship with God.

    • Miss Smith from United States says:

      Bravo Catherine, for having such faith in the Lord. I am praying for you to get your family fully restored, and that your husband honors his vows and only has eyes for you from now on. My husband and I blew up at each other a few days ago when I found an almost empty bottle of strong wine in his car, indicating drunk driving. He left, EVERYONE PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD HAS MERCY ON MYSELF AND CATHERINE AND OTHERS ON THIS FORUM AND SENDS US OUR HUSBANDS BACK. I miss him so much. I know that God can restore us but each day that goes by without word from him is frightening. I have faith that God is doing an yet unseen work in us and that things are moving and changing for the better.

      I declare that “In the name of Jesus Amen (his name) is coming home sober and better than ever In Jesus’ name. Amen!!!” Could all of you righteous Christians add your powered up prayers to mine? The Bible says that your prayers do much good and I thank you all and the Lord for taking care of us. God Bless You all In Jesus’ name. Amen!

  7. Jayne from United States says:

    My husband and I have been separated since Jan of this year. It was at his request that this happened and he blindsided me with his request. He wanted a trial. He wanted to know. His second marriage, my third. Early in our marriage I became saved and I try to do as God wants me too. I gave my husband his way and I didn’t fight argue or anything. I made the transition as easy as possible. I moved to a different state and let as much communication go as I could. I missed him. I was dying inside.

    During this process he had decided that our separation was a mistake. I’m extremely glad of this, don’t get me wrong; I love my husband with all my heart. He means the world to me, but, now I’m not able to express this. I’m feeling wronged, even though he admits it was a mistake and it shouldn’t have happened. According to him I have turned cold. I’m not as open as I used to be. I know that he is trying to fix things. I’m so grateful for this, but I’m afraid. I have become accustomed to being on my own, to dealing with my for me. I’m planning on going home to him. We have made the arrangements and he is doing everything right. Why am I so separated when I didn’t want this in the first place?

    • Rose from South Africa says:

      Separation I have learnt the hard way, is not a cure. I only recommend separation where abuse is present. Separation leads to believing that we can cope in the world without our spouse as the temporary relief from the tensions and disagreements in our marriage are left behind for a time. When we separate we send out a deep seeded message to each other that we don’t need them in our life. In my opinion separation is the first step to divorce and once that happens sadly we then realise just how much we do need and love each other.

      Jayne, go back to your husband and my God bless you. It is not too late.

      • Cindy Wright from United States says:

        I totally agree Rose. Thank you for sharing this. Jayne, I was going to reply the same thing. Please go back to your husband. You made a vow to be together til death parts you. Please go back to your husband and figure out together (with help from God, this web site and others, and perhaps a counselor) how to make your marriage into a good one. It IS possible. If you invest your time in living apart, you will eventually grow further and further apart, rather than together as you should, and as you vowed that you would.

        We all go through tough times and do things we shouldn’t. Don’t allow the mistakes of the past divide you now and in the future. Please go back home and work on your marriage. There are SO many resources available to teach you how to do that. The Holy Spirit, as your “Wonderful Counselor” is waiting to guide and help you in this mission. Years from now you will be so glad that you did. Persevering in marriage is a godly thing to do. I pray (and I’m sure Rose and others do too) that you will apply yourself to working on your marriage TOGETHER.

  8. Lisa from United States says:

    My husband left me April 1st after 13 years of marriage. He told me for a month he needed to learn to appreciate what he had and to grow up and act like an adult. On May 1st his dad passed and on May 3rd I found out he was dating an 18 year old. He says he gets her, and for the first time he doesn’t feel he needs to lie. My whole life is in turmoil. He barely saw the kids or even asked about them; the ones at home are 9 and 13.

    Now he’s starting to pop in whenever he likes and bring us breakfast and always tells me he loves me and cries. I brought up divorce last week and he freaked out. I’m very worried about him and so wish I could have my husband back. We had our ups and downs but never would I have imagined this. I’m so lost and confused. I want my life back but he still seems so confused. He says he’s not in love with me but he loves me with everything he has. I just don’t know what to do.

  9. Adaugo from Nigeria says:

    Right now I’m so confused. I got separated from husband 18 months after our wedding. It was the hardest thing I could do. Our marriage was attacked so badly by a third party he so believed in, and I was maltreated badly. I left hoping that he would find me or ask for forgiveness but rather it was more like I gave him his heart’s desires by leaving. A lot was said; lies were said.

    After 2 years now, no divorce or physical contact, he just started calling to check up on me, being concerned, cracking jokes with me without either of us talking about the separation. Now I’m so confused. What am I meant to do… Be friends with my husband? Or be his girlfriend? Honestly, I need help.

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      Adaugo, You need to pray about this. It’s important to decide with the Lord when (and if) you are to ask him where he’s going with this. I would probably wait for a little bit –giving yourself time to pray and him time to enjoy being with you again. But ask the Lord. Just like with Queen Esther, in the Bible, timing was important… and I believe it will be for you. Don’t have a conversation like this over the phone, or at a time when either of you have something negative going on… talk about it in person, after lots of prayer, and at a time and place that is safe and conducive for uninterrupted conversation.

      Perhaps you may need to go out on a few (non-sexual) dates together to start rebuilding.

      When you DO talk on this issue, if he tells you he just wants to be friends, then (if the Lord leads you accordingly) I would tell him I didn’t marry him to just be his buddy. I married him to be committed together to build a good life together, “for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, til parted by death.” Keeping promises, as voiced, is important. It’s obvious that he forgot his vows to you and to the Lord. If he wants to “just be friends” then I would probably tell him (if the Lord leads) that he needs to let you figure out your life without him. You have other friends. You want to be “friends” with him, but married friends. If he doesn’t want that, then ask him to go and work out his life without you, as he has obviously chosen. When he’s ready to be married friends, you are MORE than willing to be a part of his life.

      I wouldn’t talk about divorce or whatever… just the boundaries of friendship, now that you are married. You aren’t his girlfriend apart from being his married wife, who is committed to work on your marriage WITH him. He can’t have both worlds –one step into your heart and life and one step outside to act as if he is single… he isn’t. He is married and you both need to get on with building your lives TOGETHER, rather than playing house. Marriage is serious, and it’s good, but it’s also for grown-ups. He needs to act like one and come back home. I’m praying for you, and hope you are able to get back together.

  10. Issa from United States says:

    Hi, I’ve been married for 3 years. We have a 3 months old baby girl. My husband filed for divorce last July of this year. It hurt me so bad, and since then we’ve never talk with each other. I saw him a couple of times for the child visitation. I know still love him. We never had any fights before, and if we do it’s always about money. He wants to be in control of everything. For the first 2 years I allowed him to do that. It was just last year, when I got pregnant and realized that I needed to have my own decisions and not just follow whatever he wants. This is when he decided that he wants a divorce.

    I know that I have my faults in regards to this divorce, but I still love him. I know that I want to spend the rest of my life with him. I was so lost and scared knowing how much I love him. I can’t imagine my life without him. I want our baby to grow up with a complete happy family.

    Right now, all I can do is pray and just have faith, that God can change everything. I’m praying that one day I wake up next to him again. I trust in God almighty that he will touch my husband’s heart and fix everything in His right time.

    • Liane from Canada says:

      Hi Issa, My husband and I have also been married for 3 years. We also have a young baby (our first child), a 6 month old daughter. Having a young baby while trying to cope with a separation makes things even more difficult, although I’m blessed by God with our daughter. This drives me even more to do the best that I can for her. I have been separated from my husband since the end of July but it feels like much longer as our issues have been dragging on for many months now, with a recent heightened fight that resulted in my husband displaying acts of violence by throwing/breaking objects.

      I too continue to pray for guidance from God. I trust that I need to be patient and not rush things although this is certainly challenging specifically when all I want is an answer to what will happen next. I too want our daughter to grow up with a loving and caring mother and father in a strong marriage. At this time the thought of being a single mother frightens and deeply saddens me. I pray especially for my husband at this time, that God would touch his heart, that my husband would accept God into his life again and realize that this is a crucial and necessary step if there is any chance of our marriage being saved.

      I chose to separate from my husband until he realizes he needs to make some changes to his behaviour and actions; I have seen neither happen yet or throughout our marriage yet so I’m doubtful. I feel like I’m in constant turmoil. I’ve decided to stop communicating with him until I’m able to handle this situation more clearly. The communication I have provided to him I feel is supportive and loving yet what I get from him remains selfish and controlling. I too feel like I have a controlling husband who I’ve also recently discovered is a deceiver, manipulator. I have lost trust in him. My husband has been battling with depression, unemployment for over a year, and suicidal thoughts off and on, although at the same time I cannot continue to see any of these things as an excuse for him to continue escaping from reality and responsibilities.

      I continue to pray for guidance and patience and strength from God, and will do the same for you. I hope that you have a strong support system in place to help your through this. I am so blessed and fortunate to be staying with my loving and supportive faith centered parents who are also deeply troubled by what is happening. I never would have thought this would happen, no one does. I can’t fathom at this point why anyone would so readily chose to give up on his marriage, his daughter, his life.

  11. Olivia from South Africa says:

    We both agreed to be on separation but he is constantly checking up on me, monitoring all my moves.

  12. Williams from United States says:

    My wife and I have been separated 2 weeks, with no contact, and no calls. We have been together a year and half. I was accused of giving my ex wife money for her kids school clothes in which I didn’t do. I did do the texting and inboxing on facebook. I bought her a gift she accepted but she keep saying she is done. Her birthday and anniversary are a week away on same day. So what do I need to do?

  13. Tina from United States says:

    Hello all. My story is a little different then most. I got pregnant when I was 16. My husband (boyfriend at the time) and I decided we were going to commit our lives to each other. Five years later, we a have two girls, a four year old and a 9 month old. We have been through many struggles. He supported me with finishing high school, and I even went on to completing online college.

    Within the past few months, things have taken a turn for the worse. He had a career change, and has been struggling with choosing a job he loves. This has caused him a great deal of stress and unhappiness. I have been very unhappy, and I have not dealt with it well. He left me about 6 weeks ago. In this time, he got a new job. After about 3 weeks, he came back, and we decided we were in it for the long haul. Three weeks went by, and here I am again, alone. We definitely have had our share of immature fights, but the majority of our problems all revolve back to emotional problems.

    We cannot meet each others needs emotionally. When we get upset with each other, our arguments hurt each other emotionally. It just keeps eating and eating away at us. I have asked my husband if he would like to go get help together. He seemed interested in why I wanted to, but ultimately went back to not wanting to work things out. I am so confused.

    All I know is that this HURTS. I really need a friend to just listen. I am hoping time will heal our hearts. I see my parents marriage, and the struggles they have made it through. It motivates me to fight for my love. If he isn’t interested, should I just leave him alone? I feel like he knows how I feel. I don’t know what else I can do. I am trying to let go and let God. Please pray for me.

    I am trying to be strong for my children, but all I can do is cry. :S I would also like some advice on how to handle this with my 4 year old daughter. She is struggling to understand the problems and fighting.

    • Michael from United States says:

      Tina, You aren’t alone. I’ll write my own story in a few minutes. Know you are loved and God loves you. I pray your husband will want to work things out and continue with the marriage if you want that as well. I’m not sure your 4 year old would fully understand the situation so it would be best to keep any explanation simple.

      I’ve been constantly reminded lately that many people have overcome challenges such as this to reach new heights. I know it is difficult. You have two young children that will depend on you. I’m sure you will be a wonderful mother for them. Along the journey, whichever path it may take, remember to take a few moments to take care of yourself as well.

      I hope and pray you find some comfort in these words and your relationship is filled with love again soon.

  14. Michael from United States says:

    I’ve been separated two weeks and this is the most difficult thing in my life. I’ve been married 26 years and with my wife for 31 years. We have been together since high school. We have one son aged 10. I’ve always loved my wife and we have always been faithful to one another.

    I believe the problem started about 14 years ago. I purchased a company and as time went by became more and more tied to the company. We still did things together but I was so stressed that I often neglected my wife. I didn’t listen, criticized, and otherwise made her feel unloved. In the last couple of years she found a new hobby and someone that made her feel wanted. Nothing happened between them.

    I recently realized the error of my ways and told her that I wanted to change and wanted her in my life. She exploded. I’ve been seeing a counselor since the first week and she went once. She said she needs space to deal with this. In an effort to save the marriage I moved to an apartment nearby. I’m still going to counseling and to church.

    I accept responsibility for my actions. I love my wife and son and will do anything to keep my marriage. I just want a second chance. I don’t know how to be without her. I pray God will help us get back together. It is hard to stay positive. It has only been two weeks but it seems like a lifetime.

Marriage Missions International