Yes, you read that title correctly. This is not a bait-and-switch article where you get a title that is opposite to the post’s reasoning. Call me what you will but the truth is, I rarely, if ever, pray for my ex-husband. Not because I hate him. Not because I’m unforgiving and bitter. This is just something I’ve learned through my divorce healing that has helped me. Keep reading…
For more than a decade I prayed… and even begged God on my knees, to change my husband. I read (affiliate link) “Power of a Praying Wife” so many times, highlighting most of the pages. Even prayed over him while he slept. I read all the blog articles, listened to all the best marriage advice, and did all the things they said would help me… to help him. If I did all of what they told me then I’d be able to “change his heart” for me and for our family.
But it didn’t work.
Praying for change became my main focus.
My entire marriage became about praying that things would change, things would get better, and the betrayal and deception would stop. My world was revolving, so much around him, that I wasn’t able to focus on much else. Not God and certainly not myself. I believed the lie that my prayers could change someone else’s true character.
At some point during the divorce process, I told myself that as soon as my divorce was legally final (signed and sealed by the judge), I would stop praying. That day I was no longer focused on him, so I was able to focus on myself, my children, and our healing. I knew if I were still actively praying I’d be worried and watching for any changes, and possibly trying to control the outcome. Personally, I’m better at taking my hands off the situation when not praying for a person or their problems. I never want to be sucked back into another co-dependent relationship again.
I wrote it down in my journals… and then marched on in my divorce healing journey. If it has nothing to do with my children, I don’t even worry about it. I carry my own burden, my own load, and then leave the rest in God’s hands. Not in a selfish way, but a healthy way!
We’re supposed to pray for our enemies.
My ex-husband is not my enemy. Finding healing and forgiveness helped me to not hate him. I actually feel sorry for him and his lack of introspection and repentance. He’s not a victim but I do think he’s unable to see or feel all of the destruction left behind. Me praying for his sight, will not change anything.
In Divorce Care, I was told I should pray for him. Now, I disagree and never say to a divorcing woman, “You have to pray for him!“
I believe that just leads women to keep the healing focused on their ex-husband (remember we call that rumination as I explained last week). Too many women are already focused on him rather than themselves. It’s best to just release all of that to God and let Him take care of it.
It’s not my job.
Another reason why I no longer pray is, that’s not my job as his victim. There are other people who can do that. Other people can pray for him. His own family, who knows. Our children, who know. My son has often asked our church and his youth group to pray, and I’m confident they did just that. But, me, I have nothing to say. Nothing I need to talk to God about my ex-husband. He’s my EX for a reason.
Of course, it’s my heart’s desire that all adulterous and/or abusive men should turn from their sin and repent. Of course, it’s my heart desire that divorce shall never happen to another woman, who wants so desperately to hold her family together. I pray for these things but I won’t pray for a man who continues down the unrepentant wide-road path.
This fixer stopped trying to fix everyone.
During my abuse recovery, I learned that I’m a fixer. “A fixer” is someone who gets fulfillment out of helping everyone else. They really do enjoy taking care of others, often so much that they hurt themselves in the process. Sometimes, the costs outweigh the benefits of being a fixer.
I spent almost 4 decades trying to fix people. Yes, really that long! It started with my bi-polar mother (with a narcissistic-type personality), who needed me to care for her. Then I got married. Like I shared in my practicing self-care article, I had to learn fuel myself so that I’m better able to selflessly care for others.
Plus God does not need me to “fix” other people anymore. He can handle His job of changing hearts just fine without my help. My job is to just be me, the authentic, daring version of who God created me to be. I can encourage and empower women to change themselves, but I leave the actual changing to God.
[socialrocket-tweet quote=”I don’t pray for my ex-husband after divorce, here’s why.” tweet=”I don’t pray for my ex-husband after #divorce, here’s why.”]
Post edited to add.
If you see a fellow believer sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it. All wicked actions are sin, but not every sin leads to death. We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. – 1 John 5:16-18 NLT
What has been your experience with praying for your ex-husband? Are you able to pray without rumination or do you agree with me?
May God bless your healing journey,
Comment Policy: I reserve the right to delete hurtful, abusive (the need for power and control), or nasty comments. I allow comments of differing opinions but I do not allow abusive statements towards other commenters or myself.
Carol K. says
HOLY COW!!! Are you sure you didn’t follow me around and write this about me? I’ve spent YEARS praying for my husband. After affairs, emotional abuse, and finally his walking out, I still prayed. I begged God to change his heart, and make him see how much he was hurting his family. God finally got it through my thick skull that even though my husband is wrong, and that he is out of God’s will, he still has the free will to make those choices. I’ve stopped praying for him at all. I’m able to see now how detrimental to my mental and physical health all of that begging was. I still want what’s best for him, and I sincerely hope he finds his way in this world, but I don’t let it consume me anymore. I was so caught up in praying for him, that I neglected praying for myself and my children. When I finally let go, I really began to heal.
Jen Grice says
Exactly Carol. I have no ill-will but I’m not praying. I think people need to know there is a difference between the two. Thank you for sharing your story!
Mary Kate says
I have done this exact thing- including praying over him while he slept. I’m so relieved to hear I was not alone in doing this and hoping for a miracle. Yes, prayer is powerful. But you are so right that it keeps you focusing on him instead of your own healing. Your story, Jen, is identical to mine. Why did I stay after learning about affair #1? He was and is a serial adulter, and it absolutely is abuse. Love is protective of the marriage covenant, as you say. Someone who loves you doesn’t act like he’s single, doesn’t text in secret, doesn’t give his phone number to someone who is obviously interested. Why did I not love myself enough? Why did I accept such poor treatment? I am learning so much through therapy and through your series. God bless you for sharing your story and opening your heart to all of us women who felt we were alone in this journey. ♥️
Jen Grice says
I understand and have been there! Glad my story is helping you and others.
It’s about time someone wrote about this. Sometime ppl can be so passive when it comes down ex-husband. I use pray and spend all time as well praying form someone that didn’t care. I been stop praying for ex-husband because it still kept me in my past. I had release a lot concerning my ex-husband especially when it came down to my children. I had to release that as well. I always have to remember whatever concerns me it concerns God. Thank you so much for being transparent.
Jen Grice says
Thank you and you’re welcome!
I haven’t prayed for mine either since I moved out in June 2017. I stopped cause it was over and you are right let his family do that it is not my job anymore. You are not alone.
Jen Grice says
Becky S. says
What I love about your posts is that you have lived through a very similar marriage like mine and the many “off-beat” concerns I have had in the course of recovery of being married to a covert narcissist of almost 32 years are usually found in your posts…like this one. The last time I fervently prayed for my now ex-husband, he was still my husband and the prayer was to expose the deceit and sin in him. Within three weeks, I received an anonymous letter stating her name, where she worked, her age, etc. The biggest change in my prayer life for him was when my therapist (also experienced in abuse recovery) stated to me: “God is responsible for him, you are not.” That was a huge release, and it took some getting used to not. Thank you for stating so perfectly the concerns that fit a growing niche of us who are believers that have had to walk away from something we never thought we would have to do. Blessings to you in this ministry.
Jen Grice says
Yes, exactly. We’re not responsible for him or his choices. Thank you! Blessings to you as well.
Jenny N. says
Well said, Jen, and I 100% agree with you and I haven’t prayed for my ex-husband since he told me he wanted a divorce, because he “wanted to be with someone who trusted him 100%. ” And I couldn’t give him what he wanted, “100% trust.” The truth was he was a pathological liar and serial cheater our entire marriage and he was leaving me (I finally caught him and was figuring out he was a covert narc) for the “woman” I caught him on a date with. I prayed for my husband and our family for most of our marriage. He and my kids were the center of my universe for over 20 years. On the day I stopped praying for him as in all honesty, I just don’t care what happens to him anymore. I know that sounds cold and “unchristian”, but that’s where my heart is after all the emotional and psychological abuse he put me through all those years. My ex-pastor was quick (like the exact same day my ex said he wanted a divorce) to tell me that I needed to forgive my husband or I’d “grow bitter and old” and he also told me I should pray for my husband. I said to the pastors face, “I don’t care what happens to him anymore and he’s no longer my problem.” I have no doubt the pastor thinks I’m a wretched woman for refusing to pray for him, but you put into words exactly what I’ve been thinking all along. I was a “fixer” like you and very much codependent. It’s been a struggle and a bit of a joy to put the focus back where it should be. On God, myself, my kids and with my leftover energy, on others. For some reason I always felt very selfish if I did something nice for myself or put myself first. I’m so happy that there are strong Christian women out there like you that are with us on our journey out of Egypt and into the Promise Land. 🙂
This was an amazing comment. I needed to hear it and know I’m not alone. Thank you for your honesty and the courage to share it!
Jenny H. says
Thanks, Carrie. 🙂 The enemy of our lives and souls tries so hard to convince we are all alone, but we are not! We all have each other, even though it’s on the Internet and we also have God who promised to never leave us. 🙂 Take care!
Jen Grice says
Totally Jenny. Oh yes, the “You need to trust me!” or “I can’t be with someone who doesn’t trust me” when they’re not trustworthy. We don’t have to trust people without integrity yet they expect it and use that as justification for their continued choices or when they leave.
Walking out of Egypt with you all! Glad to have you along on the journey. The Promised Land is coming!
Thank you Jen and ALL of you that have left comments. I’m trying my absolute best to get away from a narcissist. This blog helps me to know that I no longer need to pray from him, or us. He’s not my problem, and what others may think is also not my problem. Even thinking about his man sends me into a negative spiral and I don’t want that. I don’t want to be anything like him. I’m looking for a job out of state (as it’s important for no contact). I do pray that God will direct my path, that I’m following HIS will for my life and when the timing is right I can leave. I could never prove it, but I’m pretty certain he cheated early in our marriage, he’s a liar (no follow through), irresponsible, can’t be trusted and has put me in a position of debt after his financial infidelity (new term for me after reading a prior blog). I no longer owe him anything. I’m diligently chipping away at the debt, finding my way out of the mess and am looking forward to a future of health and healthy relationships. I only need to know what God has promised me, not anyone else.
Jen Grice says
God is with you Kim. Yes, remember His promises. Glad to have you along on this divorce healing journey!
You nailed it, Jen!
Yes, I frantically prayed for my husband. I ordered a book on praying for husbands, received counseling, and scoured the internet for resources on how to repair our marriage. Shortly after he left, I visited a church that had gone through a split. The pastor asked us to put the name of someone we want to reconcile with on a card and put it in the barrel. To me, that act symbolized giving my husband over to God. What a relief! My anxiety dropped. God loves my ex even more than I do and He knows how to deal with him. My job is to follow Jesus and keep my mind on Him! Hallelujah!
Jen Grice says
Yes, exactly Cathy. Thank you for the kind words!
I have thought about it, praying for the ex, and your article was just what I needed. I won’t think about it anymore. My ex was a runaround like no other. Let’s just say he had a serious sex addiction. It took me three years to get off my chest all the pain he caused me. And he responded by ripping my life apart, which he knows NOTHING about. I’m pathetic according to him, have only a couple people who support me, called me a loser. My first reaction was hate, hurt and anger. For a few seconds. Then I realized: HE HAS NOT CHANGED A BIT. It was always MY fault, I was never enough. And he could only justify himself by trying again to destroy me or knock me down. Well, the narcissism rolls off him! And it was at that point that I was finally able to forgive him. I realized I had lost nothing and gained a lot. I did it only for myself. He doesn’t know that, and I’m sure would never “get it.” I had prayed after I filed for divorce that God would show me what to do while I agreed to and waited for him to get help. He didn’t, at least not nearly enough. He was still however, trying to make me think he was trying. The court began to put on the pressure, so I went ahead with the divorce. Best thing I’d done for myself in over 20 years! It’s hard being alone, it gets very lonely, but I am slowly finding things to fill my time and I’m convinced things will get better. Thank you Jen for ALL your articles. I have gotten a lot from all of them. Keep it up!
Jen Grice says
Vicki, You ARE enough! I hope you’re learning that. Yes, this was HIS problem and not yours. I’m sorry he blamed you but they all do that. It often feels like a lonely road, I know! But we’re in this together. Glad to have you along on this journey to healing after divorce. God bless. And thank YOU!
I pray for my xh often- and ask others to as well. And i see change. (now before you think im naive let me explain).
I know its over between us. Even if he suddenly had a change of heart and came begging to come back, i would be a fool to go down that road again. The door is closed on their ever being an “us” again. HOWEVER- my children need a dad. They need a GOOD dad. They need a dad who leads them spiritually and prays with them and teaches them about God. Hes not even close to that, but while I oray for my children to have wisdom and discernment with their father and his mother, i also pray for him and his mother to come to the truth, to fall on their knees to God in repentance, and have their hearts of stone turned to hearts of flesh. Because it would be good for my kids if that ever happened. The blessing in all this is we finally reached a point where he speaks to me respectfully and supports my parenting decisions. Maybe his motives are bent, or maybe not- who knows- but at least im not freaking out every time i have to contact him about money he owes me or our oldests failing grades. He may never be a great dad, but God is working in him- even if it is just to grow up a little and learn to communicate.
But all that to say- when I do pray- I leave the results in Gods hands. I know Gods will and desire is that everyone would come to a saving faith- but some choose not to. Its not my job to concern myself with what he chooses- but as a believer i oray or his salvation and let God do he convicting. He already ruined the best thing that ever happened to him- if he gets saved, that will definitely be THE best thing that ever happens to him.
Jen Grice says
I respect your different choices and opinion. And I’m glad it works for you and your situation.
What I’m hearing from many readers, like myself, is that we *were* so focused on our (husband at the time) now ex and his changing, for so long, that letting go and not obsessing about it becomes part of the healing and forgiveness process. In order to not keep him (and all his needs to change or accept Jesus) front and center in our minds, we had to stop praying for him. Not in an “I hate you, I hope you suffer!” kind of way but an “I wish you well, now I take care of me” way. Yes, if he gets saved, that will be the best thing that ever happened to him. And most of us will witness that and be happy for him and especially our children, who all deserve a healthy, God-fearing dad – who demonstrates that.
Maybe down the road (of this divorce healing journey) we’ll be able to pray again. But for now, this is the truth about where we are. And we accept that about ourselves.
One of the things I realized about my self, that thru his abuse and 20 years of marriage to a serial cheater, I kept the illusion of control. I accepted the blame for his feelings so that I could control the hurt. I was a fixer and I needed a problem I could fix, to control it. Praying for EX to change is just another way of giving me some control, Taking his problems to God instead of him doing it. Handing him over to God and than letting go has been one of the biggest steps for me in growth and self care.
I am with you Jen, I do not pray for my EX, he is in Gods hands now. My kids and I are on our own journey and trying to strength our relationship with God.
Jen Grice says
Oh, yes, Elizabeth!!! I totally agree with you and was that person too. I thought I could control if he ever cheated on me again which would help me not to be hurt again. But no matter what I did or how much I prayed, I could not stop him. And even after he came home saying he wanted to change, and needed my help, the fixer in me took over and so he really didn’t have to do the work to change. He just let me shoulder the burden, which caused me more stress (more praying, making appointments, finding books, etc, etc). That’s why I tell ladies who ask, “how do I stop his cheating?” I say you can’t! Work on you and leave him in God’s hands. If he works with God and wants to change, he will. If not, then you know divorce might be the best option for you and your family.
Keiko Loether says
Wow, thank you for this powerful message!!! I was a “fixer” of my ex-husband and he still plays a game to make me to be his fixer (and his mom who he lives with still thinks I should take care of him). I get so overwhelmed by the idea of it. I am not his wife anymore, I left him, I don’t owe him anything, I moved on. But because of his emotional and verbal abuse during marriage, I feel anxious and panicked when he or his mom tries to make me feel guilty of divorce. For example, I recently purchased a brand new car. I worked so hard for it for 3 years (since divorce). When my ex’s mom saw the car, she freaked out saying it should be his son who should have gotten my old car (because he drives a really crappy car and nobody in the house can’t afford another car). They made a few mean comments to me about it all day to make me feel guilty. But now, after reading this, I am feeling stronger. Why do I still have to take of him for that matter? I worked hard for it, I did it, I trusted God to provide me. Whatever comes in my way in the future, I will keep telling myself that my ex is not my problem anymore!
Jen Grice says
So glad you’re getting stronger! Amen, he’s not your problem. Boundaries and assertiveness are also important learning tools during and after divorce. You’re off to a great start! 🙂
Fot 3 years after my husband walked out I obsessively followed christisn marriage restoration websites where you were encouraged to keep praying for the prodigal spouse to return even if they had divorced you snd remarried and had kids!
I realised that all of my time and energy was focused on getting my husband back and I realised my pursuit of marriage restoration had become an idol – so I let go I took the ring off, accepted that none if tbe formulas suggested would bring him back. I’m not gonna lie, it was hard – but it was necessary I needed to connect with God lay all my worries and anxieties about the future before him
It has been a liberating experience God bought me through the most difficult period in my life and walked me through the process of letting go of shame and guilt he showed me his love and caused me to forget my pain.
Jen Grice says
Yeah, I was on those websites while I was married addicted to hope that my marriage would be saved and miraculously changed to a loving marriage. I think a lot of those websites are dangerous, especially if you’re dealing with an abusive husband. They give him permission to keep abusing as we “love him into repentance.” Letting go and giving it to God means healing rather than staying toxic just like the marriage relationship. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Jen for your insights. I do believe it depends a lot on the relationship with your ex, where you’re at in the healing process and what you’re expecting from the prayers. I can definitely understand how praying for your estranged or ex spouse daily may delay or even halt the healing process by maintaining an unhealthy attachment and expectations for reconciliation that may not be of God. However once the healing is well underway, I believe we may need to resume praying. My prayers for my ex are about healing the past hurts that make him the man he is, for a deeper relationship with God and for the role he plays in our daughter’s life. Because of our daughter, he still falls within my circle of connections, and therefore I still pray for him, not daily, not obsessively and not expectantly, but faithfully to a Father who wants me to love and forgive others (including my ex) as He has loved and forgiven me.
Jen Grice says
Very good points! Thanks for sharing! It’s always great to hear other perspectives.
I’d like to take the opposite side! My xhusband was not a good man. We have been divorced for 7 years, we were married for 12. He’s still in my prayers every night right there along with my children. He needs all the help he can get, and it’s not going to come from me, so I choose to lay it down in God’s hands…every evening, before I go to bed. It is THE most empowering and beneficial act I have ever done for myself, and for my children. Prayer doesn’t fix stupid, but It is such a wonderful feeling to let it all go and just wish the best for someone.
Jen Grice says
I’m not sure how that’s the opposite side.
And I don’t suggest anyone call their ex-husband “stupid” or ANY names for that matter. The point is to move on to healing in your life, leaving HIS problems between him and God. We’re divorced – no longer obligated – for a reason.
There came a point about a year into my separation and divorce proceedings of the Lord said, “stop praying for your acts.“ I was so focused on him hoping we would reunite even though he cheated on me, betrayed me, broken the covenant. I was glad when the Lord told me to stop. I felt relieved. And I got the healing I needed. Divorce dragged on another few years, but you’re right other people have the responsibility to pray for him not me anymore. Thank you.
Jen Grice says
Doris B. says
After reading all of the wonderful comments above, I realize, I am not alone in this journey and I am not the only one to feel the feeling I have gone through since my divorce over 20 years ago. Sometimes I even have the nightmares that have kept me from sleep. Recently in the last two months, I have awakened in the middle of the night to see him sitting in my room on the chair close to my bed and both times in the same position I have seen him sit before…especially when he was angry. He has never been in my house or even sat in the chair I visualized him. I screamed and hyperventilated ands then realized it was a dream…nightmare… I just want to be rid of all of this trauma.
I believe Jen’s website can help me and I feel in some respects relieved just because of the things I have read.
I sincerely hope this is my true healing experience because I have paid for several years to no avail. I’m so tired of being told it is my fault.
Jen Grice says
Oh, I’m so glad! That’s why I encourage ladies to join the discussion. Even if someone doesn’t agree with me or have the exact same story, I encourage others to share. Someone else might relate and/or it could spark those feelings of, I’m not the only one who felt/feels this way or experiencing this.
I just wanna forget about him ! Please stand with me in prayers! For all soul ties to be broken.
Jen Grice says
I pray God’s healing for you!
I knew my husband was likely an alcoholic. I covered for him, provided for him, encouraged him to cut back just a little. And I knew at 5PM every day, my day was going to get worse but I didn’t know why. Several months after D-Day and after discovering new things almost every day since, I confided in someone who knew him well. I was told to look up narcissist. Funny, but I had seen that reference in his medical record and just glossed over it. Within a couple of weeks, what was a mystery suddenly made sense. The alcohol, the abuse, the affairs, the secrecy about money, the senseless fights, the utter exhaustion I lived…. it made sense, and yet it didn’t.
So I prayed. I had already been praying since D-Day. Prayed like crazy, but now I prayed more. Endlessly. Implored God for healing, for vision, for a miracle for my husband. After millions of tears and hours and hours of sobs and losing my voiced in crying out for Him to save our marriage, I finally stopped and listened. And then I asked… “What do You want me to do, God? Show me the path You need me to be on.” I listened. Silence. I asked again. Silence. I asked again. And in the silence, He was answering. He was not making waves but rather keeping me safe in slow, almost indiscernable motions. The answer was not the one I was seeking or wanting, but nonetheless, the answer came. He put my feet on a path, engineered circumstances, put people in my life that were there for a moment or a day or months to assist in the awful, terrible journey to be free. God wore down my soul to do that which needed to be done, even while I resisted because it was not healing the marriage! Even with meticulous escape plans in place, I could stop the wheels at any time. I wanted to stop the wheels. I wanted the miracle!
But as escape day was getting closer, I ramped up my praying for my husband to be healed of his demons, He simply said, “Nice try, but this isn’t your battle and you are not God. I Am.”
On the day I escaped, I stopped praying for him. And I felt guilty for a while. I was made to feel guilty for not forgiving him even by those who helped me escape. But God heard my prayers and answered them His way.
I am not God. God is God. God is sovereign. God will take care of my husband His way. It’s no longer my concern what that looks like.
This was such a great post because I was told I was “bad” if I did not pray for him anymore and that was all I did for 25 years. It was only when I changed the prayer to God for “Your will Lord, not mine” that everything changed. Divorce happened and quickly. It was long overdue. I also stayed too long due to my Christian beliefs and for the kids. I have prayed generically now for him and his family on occasion hoping things would change (and it only got worse) so I am done now. Thank you for taking the “stigma” away as you saying that takes your focus off healing is so true!!! God can take care of things that I cannot control. God knows my heart and the pain and my hopes. Thank you for this article.
I pray for my ex-husband bc I want my children to have a healthy father, and I feel sorry for him. He is so broken, had such an unhappy childhood and has little ability to form real relationships. His life is a tragedy.
We were married for more than 20 years. He sat next to me in church every Sunday, taught Sunday school, read the Bible with my children, etc. He talked the talk and seemed to walk the walk… most of the time.
Every few years, I would uncover significant financial deception (taking money from my account without my knowledge, running up credit card debt, taking out loans), and I would freak out. He never had a great relationship with alcohol, but kept it under control… most of the time. When he fell off the wagon, it was terrifying (drunk driving with my children in the car, leaving them places, etc), and I would freak out. Work was his obsession, and I took the kids on vacation solo, unless I insisted he join us for a day or two. He hardly recognized our anniversary, my bday or Christmas. I was hurt and responded poorly. After years of this, I was exhausted and depressed. I told him so many times that if he continued to neglect his marriage, one day he would not have one. He would apologize, I would forgive, and he would repeat. I was angry and felt guilty all the time. Ironically, he told me that he prayed that God would soften my heart. All the while, I was praying that God would help me love and respect my husband again.
He decided to change careers without my knowledge and blew through all savings and retirement. I found out and begged him to reconsider. He began telling me that I had to pay the bills with an inheritance I received or I wasnt on his team. I feared he was having some sort of breakdown, so I did. He took more and more advantage of me financially, repeatedly telling me he would be closing a big deal in 60 days, he would pay me back, and all would be ok. He kept telling me “without money, there is no family”. I never really understood what this meant.
At long last, I found out he was having an affair, probably multiple. He left to live with his mother, so he could carry on his drinking and his current affair in peace. She is almost 10 years older than I am, no responsibilities and tells him how fabulous he is. He became more and more verbally abusive. 2 months after he left, I served him with divorce papers, begging him to stop the affair and come home throughout most of the divorce process, and praying like a wild woman that God would bring my husband home. I was a crazy person terrified of what divorce meant for my family. I would do anything to save my marriage.
Of course, he blames me for the affair. He blames me that the children want little to do with him. He parties like a rock star, posts cringy pics on social media (incl one saying he now has someone in his life who he can trust!) and rarely sees his children. His life is a disaster. I feel sorry for him. More than anything, I’m horrified for my children that this is their father. I came from a Christ-centered family and enjoy the benefits of a prayerful intact family that my children will not have. I’m horrified for them and feel partially responsible bc I married him and could not handle his pre-affair behavior in a more Christ-like manner. This is why I pray that he will have no peace in his current lifestyle until he turns back to God or that he understands what it is to have a relationship with Christ.
What am I missing?
I wholeheartedly agree!
When I ask for prayer for myself and my child from others, they always add him to the prayer and that bothers me – he is the reason we are in this situation.
Emily W. says
I have been praying for my stbx since before we were married over thirty years ago. Like you, I used the book The Power of a Praying Wife, for about seven years. And like you, I decided to pray for him until our divorce was finalized. Less than one month to go!
I needed this article TODAY. 🙏💜
Separated 8 years ago. I spent much of our 13 year marriage praying fervently, leading our family spiritually, hoping, believing, declaring, buying the books, making the counseling appointments, “shielding his reputation” and covering his sin before our family, friends, church, and even children. He played guitar on the church stage for years, while I cried myself to sleep- if insomnia didn’t win. I was so desperate. Even after I had concrete evidence of repeat adultery, drug and alcohol abuse, I made a “vow renewal” Pinterest board. I was convinced we would be that beacon or hope story of miraculous redemption and reconciliation. I even bargained with God after he had the audacity to “lightly” threaten me for low, low places I was willing to go just to peel back the veil and get some truth I could stand on. “6 months” I told God, like I knew better. Like I was telling God to sign on MY dotted line for MY idea of how much more dedication and patience it would take. When I finally filed for divorce, I was old him- “I forgive you, and I release you. This is now only between you and God”. He responded “I thought I knew you, but you’re not the forgiving and gentle person I thought you were” ya/ well. I was actually. I was willing to forgive and do the hard work of healing and reconciliation with a REPENTANT person who demonstrated change and forward movement, but he never emerged. The half hearted apologies came through texts or empty promises “call off your attorney And I will I’ll go to rehab” upon discovery of multiple affairs “but I’ve never loved anyone the way I love you” Some twisted and obscure definition of love that is! The abuse continued and I had involuntary physiological responses to his presence and texts. Nausea, trembling, brain fog, gripping fear and more. Thank you God for the precious people who were instrumental in my healing and liberation. These days people still say they’re praying for him, I even lost close friends who stayed in touch with him, despite knowing much of the uncovered truth of his ongoing abuse and deliberate behavior patterns, for “the sake of his salvation”. They too- sucked into the tears and victim theatrics from a person who learned only to hide more effectively.
I am not God. Only the Holy Spirit can transform a heart and renew a mind.
My children need my protective prayers and shielding. The actual victims need the support and tender care instead of the abuser being tip-toed around and sympathetically patted on the back with Christianese.
May God have mercy, yes. May these broken abusers have their Damascus road moment, yes- but please Church, stop revictimizing those who have simply chosen to remove themselves from the line of fire. That doesn’t equate bitter and scorned. He’s living his life over there, and I’m over here. His continued choices continue to harm. Do I hope he has a sincere revelation and comes to truly know Jesus and live a life of wholeness and freedom? Of course- is it my job to help usher that in? No- he actually forfeited my partnership and covering when he trampled our covenant.