“I thank God you are my wife. I thank God for our marriage. I will be faithful to you.”
How these words made my heart flutter whenever I heard them! During the early days of my marriage, I felt like the luckiest woman on earth. I was madly in love with my husband, and he knew all the right words to say to make me fall in love with him even more. I never dreamt in a million years that the love we had for each other would suddenly hit rock-bottom, and that I would be fighting a fierce battle for the restoration of our marriage.
Our marriage started getting sour when I noticed that my husband was giving more of his time and effort to his job than to me. I started to see that I, his wife, was less of a priority compared to his work schedule or his company’s events. As he spent less time with me, he began to spend more time with his colleagues during, and even after, his work hours. The lack of attention I was getting from my husband made me bitter and hurt. There were things I wanted from this marriage: his time, his devotion, and his tender expressions of love. I expected the two of us to have a partnership in planning our lives together, in preparing to have children, and in worshipping and glorifying the Lord. Sadly, this wasn’t the case. My fairytale marriage was turning into a nightmare.
Temptations came, and my husband easily succumbed to them. If he was not getting so immersed in his work, he was fooling around with women from his workplace. Although I didn’t know it at the time, I already observed the effects of his adulterous affairs. The person whom I married became so cold and distant to me, that I felt I was on my own in the marriage. What I had thought of as a partnership became my own horrific, solitary confinement. I was a sobbing, heartbroken mess.
“Lord, what’s going on here? Why am I struggling so much for my husband’s time and attention? This isn’t supposed to happen, is it?” I found myself asking God these questions. After all, wasn’t He the one who put the two of us together?
Then it happened. In June 2009, my husband filed for the annulment of our marriage.
It was as if my whole world started crumbling down. Through my grief and pain, I cried out to God and asked, “Why? Was it me, Lord? Did all of these happen because of me?” My married life, which had started out blissfully, was now as hazy as the fog of war. It was now an empty bubble, void of the love and affection my husband and I once shared. After the annulment, it was going to dissolve into utter nothingness.
Then I heard the Lord speak audibly to my heart. “I put the two of you together, and so I have the final say in your marriage. Do not be discouraged. See the deliverance I will give you.”
Although I had heard the Lord speak to me, and I believed that His promises to me would be fulfilled, the next couple of years became a difficult journey of faith. I spent days on my knees, crying, pouring out all my anger and frustration to the Lord. I prayed for my marriage, even as I heard tempting whispers in my head to agree with the annulment and put an end to everything. I asked the Lord to give me love for my husband even if hatred seemed to have the greater appeal. Throughout those tough times, however, God sustained me, comforted me, and even taught me to see the covenant of marriage through His own spiritual eyes: as something that cannot be compromised, dishonored, revoked, and broken– regardless of what my husband thought of and did to our marriage, and in spite of his actions and choices. He also brought people into my life who encouraged and prayed with me.
As a sign of my faith and firm belief in the Lord’s intervention in my marriage, I opposed the annulment procedure. I knew that the Lord was not done moving in my husband’s life.
God did indeed work in my husband’s life. Convicted by the Holy Spirit, my husband finally realized the error of his ways in 2011. The Lord showed Him how much grief I had gone through because of his unfaithfulness to me in our marriage. As the Lord ministered to His heart, my husband came to realize just how shallowly he had treated the sacred covenant of marriage we shared together, and how he had taken His relationship with the Lord for granted.
My husband humbly confessed everything to me—his affairs, his obsession for his work, his feelings of resentment toward me. It was very difficult to hear all that he had to say, but I knew it was part of the healing process. If our marriage would be restored by God, everything had to come out in the open.
It’s been almost a year since my husband ended his affair and dropped his petition for the annulment of our marriage. We’ve renewed our vows as husband and wife, and the Lord has given us a fresh start. Despite all the past heartache and grief, we both have a renewed love for each other—a love that only the God of true love could ever pour into our hearts.
God did have the final say in our marriage. He chose restoration over destruction. He chose love over hatred. He chose faithfulness over faithlessness. Indeed, He brought a miracle to my marriage.
*First published in the Faithfulness issue of One Voice Magazine.