Journey Alone

Brad Says…

We talk all the time about the journey to a one flesh marriage. For some of you this journey seem more like a dream, or a distant memory. Marriage doesn’t seem like a journey at all rather it is a challenging difficult time of feeling alone and desiring together.

If this is the case, don’t give up hope! The journey toward a great marriage can be started by forging on ahead, alone. You can start the journey of a one flesh marriage as a journey of one.

In order for one spouse to effectively start making changes in the marriage it is going to take patience, focus, and a lot of prayer!  We are going to spend the next week giving you ideas, tips, prayers, and thoughts to get your ready for the challenging journey ahead.

Start With Prayer

So much of what happens in marriage conflict is based on cycles. He’s frustrated so he gets distant. His being distant scares her so she pushes. Her push comes off as nagging so he gets frustrated. Round and round we go, and unless someone stops nothing will ever change.

Knowing what to stop, knowing how to break the cycle is the most challenging part of making a change alone. You must start by asking God to open your eyes to the things that you do that are adding to the marriage stress. Pray and listen! He will show you if you honestly want to have your eyes opened.

Research Your Spouse

Step two on this journey alone is some difficult research about you and your spouse. You need to be able to answer 2 questions as if your spouse was answering them. You need to be able to hear and understand what they are saying, although they may not be saying them in very nice ways, so get ready!

What Am I Doing That I Shouldn’t?

What Am I Not Doing That They Need?

These two area will be what you focus on in your journey to make changes! This will not be easy! Listen with love and take the answers to God in prayer to help sort out what you need to do.

Why Bother?

I promise you when one spouse makes changes, it can make all the difference in the world! I know, because I was the spouse that noticed the change after Kate dove deep with God and started making changes in our marriage!

Later in this series I’ll tell you my part of Our Story, and how I started to notice the changes, for now lets just say this blog wouldn’t be written if Kate hadn’t followed God’s call and made a step of faith!

Are you on a journey alone? Let us know how we can pray for you in the comments!

Have you walked a journey from alone back to together? Share your story and give others some encouragement!

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19 Responses to Journey Alone

  1. Great post and reminder that a change in one member causes a shift in the entire system! And who wouldn’t want to to see some shifts in their marriage? Looking forward to reading more in the weeks ahead!

  2. It’s been a lonely walk for awhile. I believe what you say, that the journey to a healthy god-centered marriage can start with one person. I want to be that person, I just feel humanly incapable of that task. It’s been 11 years and I feel like my tank is beyond empty. How does one tap into the power of God to get this started when you’re depleted? As I type, it feels like an excuse, but just trying to keep it real and honest. I’m tired.

    • Jen,
      thanks for sharing your difficult journey! Raw and honest is the only way to start! Be honest with God, share where you are broken and where you need strength. Recognizing that you are empty is a good place to begin. It will not be under your power (out of your tank) that anything changes. Allow yourself to recognize what things are “depleting” your tank, that understand that they will continue for a time. Then try to pray through understanding that your husband’s tank is empty too. That’s not an excuse, just a reality that you will have to get a hold of in order to make changes. Take some time to really pray and think about what changes you are going to make.

      Keep praying, keep reading! Please feel free to email Kate or I if you would like more specific advice!

  3. I’m not saying one shouldn’t. But it’s been my experience that it doesn’t really matter.

    If your wife is having an affair, looking at your side of the street really doesn’t matter.

    Lots of prayers didn’t end the affair. They didn’t stop the divorce, they didn’t result in a marriage, let alone a better one.

    I’d say it is more accurate to say these things MAY change your marriage for the better. I believe MAY is far more accurate than CAN. Can implies there is little chance they will fail. The word May is more accurate as it indicates there is still the likelyhood that the other spouse will not respond to even the best efforts.

    • Tony,
      Sounds like you’ve had a difficult journey! I agree that when an outsider (affair) enters between what should be a one flesh marriage it makes it much more difficult! But that doesn’t mean it is impossible, or hopeless. It also doesn’t mean that you don’t need to look at “your side of the street”. You are correct that not every marriage will be solved. However nothing is impossible! We know of couples who have recovered after an affair! I believe that these things CAN change your marriage!

      • As I said, even if you are looking at your side of the street, it really doesn’t matter.

        I asked those two questions months if not years before I learned of the affair. When the answer you keep getting back is that everything is fine, you tend to keep doing what you are doing because you tend to believe your spouse when she says it’s fine. After all, why would it be in her best interest to lie to you?

        Then, after I learned of the affair, I asked the two questions again, in a different form. If you could rebuild our marriage to be the marriage of your dreams, what would it look like?

        Again, no answer.

        When your spouse is not there, either emotionally or physically, it really doesn’t seem possible to find the answers to these questions.

        When you pray and ask God to show you, and nothing comes to mind on either front, it seems fruitless. When you ask your pastor what you should be doing and his only answer is what did you do to force your wife to have an affair, essentially blaming the victim, then it seems fruitless.

        When for every voice telling wives to stay in their marriages, it seems there are 100’s saying, “you go girl” or “you deserve to be happy (regardless the costs to others) girl.” The world seems to be full of Desperate Housewives fans, hundreds for every one who is trying to have a Godly marriage.

        I certainly don’t see God acting. I believe He can. I simply haven’t seen it.

        So I stick by my word choice of it MAY happen. But I believe, as scripture tells us, God gives most over to their own passions. Few will heed His word. Wide is the path to destruction.

        So I’m not saying don’t try. I’m saying keep your expectations low. Otherwise, you may end up losing your faith if you expect a resurrected marriage.

        • Tony,
          Wow, thank you for sharing your story. Very sad! Unfortunately,and regrettably there are times when one spouse is unwilling to change. Be it sin, selfishness, or other there are times. Do you have to just sit back and take it forever? Well that is a question to answer between you and God. Only the two of you know if there is more you can do, or if the ball honestly is totally in her court.

          I agree with you that “blaming the victim” of an affair is wrong. However looking at the causes of distance prior to the affair can have merit.

          I also agree that we have a culture that says it is easier and smarter to toss away your marriage for what feels good rather then spend the energy, time, and emotional pain to make changes.

          I still maintain that keeping hope low is NO way to start changes. They can change!

  4. I too would like to ask for prayer. My wife left me 16 ago mostly b/c she wasn’t happy (no adultery, etc). She barely communicates with since and seems to have an extremely hard heart. I know I wasn’t the best husband, but I love her and am continuing to stay faithful to my vows. I do believe God can do a miracle and would ask for prays for God to do so.

    • Jim,
      Praying for you!

      You say, “I wasn’t the best husband” do you feel you have a full understanding of that that really meant to your wife? Do you know what was lacking, and what you could do better should that miracle happen?

      If you don’t, I suggest you find a way to ask.

      If you do, I suggest you find a way to tell her you know, and then find a way to reinforce your words with actions that show it.

      I’m not sure if you meant 16 days ago, or 16 months ago. 16 months is a very long time for separation, and it will be difficult to find a way to allow her to see changes. That has to be your main objective. To recognize your own lacks and show her you have started to learn how to do marriage differently!
      Keep working, keep praying! Our God is a God of miracles!

      • Both our parents have poor marriages. So my, and her, brokenness came out when things got rough. I do feel like she has given me the things I could have done better. I have gone to counselling and she is not willing to go with me. I have read, studied God’s Word, and other things to improve on me being the man God made me to be. She has been gone for 16 long months, so you are right it, it is almost impossible to show her how I love her and how I have changed. I’d like to say I pray every day, but I pray more often than that for her, for me, and for our marriage! Thank you for words of encouragement that God is a God of miracles! I am believing in that Truth!

  5. I very much feel like Jen….running on empty. I am tired of the lazy husband who does nothing and both my boys see it, to the point that one asked me last night what my next move is. My husband contributed NOTHING to the household (except finances) and I am tired of running the farm myself. And while I am doing all the work, he sits on his computer looking at porn (and both boys have caught him!). He knows how much I hate that, yet he continues daily. I have no idea where to turn, I am not sure that I even want to change things, except to just leave. I am tired of doing all the work, and always being the one to initiate change for the better, or at least trying to. I am waiting for God to answer me to say, yes my child, you should no longer be in this marriage, just so hard to know if that is the right thing to do.

    • Hi Tammy! Thank you for writing and sharing where you are. My heart truly breaks for you and your husband. I am sure you are tired beyond reason. That your marriage seems beyond repair. You are not alone! Please know that. Please know also that I will be praying for you as I send this reply.

      Do you have a church family that you can turn to for support, biblical advice and help? The one common thread that we see time and again with people in a similar situation to yours is that they issolate themselves. Understandably so . . . yet when you do so, you are left to your own devices. God designed us to do marriage within a community. If you don’t have a church, find one! If you have one, talk to your pastors! Find a place where you can learn, grow, worship and seek Godly counsel.

      Remember that even in your weakest state, that is when Jesus says he can be His strongest. There is no gap too big in a marriage that God cannot bridge it and bring hope and healing. Keep seeking God on His leading! Blessings, Kate

  6. I am down a path alone and have been for quite some time. My wife has no desire or any passion for me at all, so it seems.. She has alot of stress on her at all times from her work. When I try to talk about how I feel she tells me that I am being selfish and to stop adding to her stress level. But i feel like I am dieing inside. I do not know what to do.. I do love her and would do anything for her..

  7. I’m not sure that anyone will see this being this blog is over 2 yrs old. I am believing God for a miracle for marriage restoration.