Jul 182014


When Craig and I separated, I was approached by groups asking me to be a poster girl for Leaving.

When we reunited, I was approached by groups asking me to be a poster girl for Staying.

Um, no thank you, I said to all the groups.

Here is what I will be the poster girl for:

In the midst of the pain, find some time to Be Still every day. Turn off the voices of friends and family and media and church and blogs and books and listen there for the voice of wisdom that arises in stillness. Because right now- making decisions is not about doing the right thing or the wrong thing. It’s about doing the PRECISE thing. The PRECISE thing is always incredibly personal and unique and often makes no sense to the people in your life. That doesn’t matter right now. You answer to no one except yourself in the quiet.

Don’t get too excited, because this voice will never offer you a five year plan: just the Next Right Thing. It will never tell you what’s at the end of the path- just where to step next. Luckily- this is always good enough. The Next Right Thing, One Thing At A Time- Will Bring You All the Way Home.

After walking through Sister’s divorce/ remarriage, my own separation/ reconciliation, and reading the stories from women around the globe about love lost and found – I have come to believe this:

Some loves are perennials-they survive the winter and bloom again. Some are annuals- beautiful and lush and full for a season and then back to the Earth to create richer soil for new life to grow. The eventual result of both types of plants is New Life.

The only way to find out whether your love is perennial or annual is to Be Still and Do That Next Right Thing until more is revealed. That’s just the Way It Is.

So does a Warrior Go? YES. If that’s what her deepest wisdom tells her to do. Does a Warrior Stay? YES. If that’s what her deepest wisdom tells her to do.

Put that on a poster and I’ll put my face right the heck on it.

Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  240 Responses to “When Craig and I Separated”

  1. You think you’re alone at 3am and then you read this, and all the comments below and realize: wow I’m not. I’m not at all.
    But how can life at 25 be this painful? How did it all happen? When will I be able to smile again?
    Almost at our 5 years of marriage, but it has been a struggle for about a year and a half.
    I’m not alone. But I feel very lonely. Very insecure. Very tired. Exhausted to be honest.
    The hardest part is that I don’t think I’m in love. I love my husband don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my husband. Id give my life for him. But I feel like I never completely fell in love with him. And I hate myself for that.
    He is my best friend. My hero. But it has all fallen apart.
    He used to be the happiest person. Loving, caring, romantic. Now we barely ever touch. We kiss maybe just once a day when he goes to work. We don’t kiss good night or good morning. We don’t hug. We never hold hands.
    All this makes me hate myself even more because it’s my fault.
    I don’t know what to do. When I think of leaving, being on my own, it scares me. I can’t imagine my life without this man, yet I can’t bring myself to show him affection.
    We have a toddler together and this child is the only thing keeping us together. My husband is the most wonderful father, I couldn’t imagine raising my child with another person. Yet I know this unhealthy relationship is not good for our baby. I’m scared that this disconnection, this lack of attachment will soon turn into hate and disgust. It is already getting worse, and I’m scared our little one will begin to feel the tension and the distance will affect him too.
    I know my husband loves me as much if not more than when we first met, and he will never leave.
    I want him to be happy, he deserves the world. And I want to give out child a healthy happy life as well.
    I’m torn and reading this made me feel like I could breathe, even if it’s just for a moment.
    I’m leavin out a lot of details that are key to our fall (my chronic depression, infidelity on my part, me growing up in a home where my parents didn’t show eachother affection…), but without going into details, it has all been my fault
    Thank you to anyone who reads this and comments, also I’m sorry for any errors… I just want my husband myself and my baby to be happy. Whatever that may be.

  2. We are all on individual journeys. We can only be our own poster child. But one thing we can all do when dealing with infidelity and divorce is to treat it like a diving board and fly above the waters of our being. And then dive down deep. My experience with infidelity and divorce (the two don’t need to walk hand in hand) woke me up from what could have been a lifelong slumber. Getting through each day, looking forward to vacations instead of relishing the present moment, never being satisfied, and excelling at filling the role of My Own Worst Critic.

    No matter what your eventual choice, stay or go, you have the great opportunity to spin magic out of infidelity by GOING IN DOORS. The ones inside you. For those who tell you, You’re beautiful, you’ll find someone else, you’ll be fine, I say, This isn’t about replacing what has been lost outside but falling in love with yourself from the inside out.

    Bravo, G friends. You are all magical.

    Cleo Everest

  3. My husband has had 2 affairs that I know of. We have been married for 20 years. The first was 15 years ago when I was pregnant with our second child. The second was 2 years ago but I only just found out about it last November. It was with a woman that he had met through craigslist. We have been going to counseling and we both do not want the marriage to end but my inner voice keeps telling me that there are more affairs out there. (everything that I know about craigslist is that there is always more than just one) He insist that there are not anymore that the one was a horrible experience that he never wants to repeat, but how can I believe him? He appears to be extremely remorseful and I know in my heart that he is a good man. I want so much to forgive him and go forward but I just don’t know how. Most days I am so overwhelmed with a perpetual ping pong game in my head. Stay/go/stay/go truth/lies/truth/lies. I just need to remember to breath and listen.

    • I am so sorry for your pain.
      So sorry.

      • Thank you K. My heart is beyond broken and each day is a struggle to put one foot in front of the other. The one thing I have learned is that my reaction is the only thing I have control over so I keep breathing and listening.

  4. I was told by everyone to leave. Even a psychic who said it wasn’t going to get better. Even our therapist who said she couldn’t figure out what was wrong, so she wasn’t going to be able to save us. My heart died at the thought of him no longer waking me up in the middle of the night because he was snoring. Died at the thought of him loving another. I chose to stay. Because leaving doesn’t always mean fixing, and staying doesn’t always mean settling. Sometimes I like to just wait, and see. I’m also stubborn and have a hard time doing what I’m told. Thank God.

  5. Nobody wants to hear it at the beginning of a relationship, but after years, even the best fit needs some work. Whether it’s worth keeping or tossing is not easy to determine. I am glad you found your answers on your own. :-)

  6. So I am a guy who was directed to this site from Nothing Changes till you do, by Mike Robbins. Hopefully this doesn’t make me the weak person I feel like, so please don’t judge me.

    My wife and I have been married almost five years, within that we have two amazing sons, one is three and ahalf the other is fifteen months. My wife stopped working with the second son was born

    All the pressure, stress and angst of being the sole provider and giving them the best I could.. took a toll. My focus changed from what is/was important to what I thought was important. I lost touch of my wife’s needs, of being there emotionally for her.

    Things had been rough since August, there were peaks and valleys. We started going to therapy in Oct/Nov. I thought we were working on us. Several weeks ago in therapy she said things are getting better but there is still lots to work on.

    I agreed but thought we had turned the corner. I was promoted to a new position that would ease some of the burden Several weeks after that session, she told me that neither one of us are happy and no-one was doing anythign so she talked to a lawyer. One of us had to leave the house. I owner the house before we met so I stayed

    She left to go to her mom’s house with our two sons. For the past few weeks I have been doing intense self-exploration, including seeing my own therapist.

    I feel like a complete failure. Can’t come to grips that she can so easily give up on me and our marriage. I am doing whatever I can do to get better. I’ve appolgized and asked for forgiveness. She returns by yelling at me.

    In the last (and now final) family session, but the therapist and she yelled at me. I can do no right for her.

    Despite the tremendous pain and hurt, I still feel like we can use this to start anew and make us stronger and better. She wont even listen to it. She is my kryptonite. I still love her and my sons more than life.

    I’m broken and not sure it’s fixable. I failed as a husband and best friend. I was so focused stressed and concerned about providing for them.. That I wasn’t there for them. Will never be able to forgive myself

    • Hi, Paul. I’m going to start by saying thank you for being vulnerable and letting us into your world through your story. I wasn’t a fly on the wall in your relationship, so it is impossible for me to take sides. However, as someone who has been an Experiencer of Life on more than seventyeleven times, I can tell you that the only thing you can do is work on you, and let the rest go. Let Go and Let God (whatever God is to you, maybe Universe, maybe it’s the tree outside, whatever, ya know?). Find your peace. Find your you. You have no control over her choices, even if those choices make your soul feel like Chernobyl. *hugs*

    • I too thank you for your honesty. Marriage is extremely difficult. I agree with Luci, I have learned this myself. All you can do is work on you & the way you are with her & the kids. Pray & seek good counsel to confide in when times are tough. Good luck!

    • No judgement here. Marriage is hard and we all do hurt the ones we love in a variety of ways.
      Just sad for all of your family’s pain.

    • You are not a failure. You are a work in progress. We all are. And your sons are young. You can be an amazing father. You can be a supportive ex-husband. You can continue your therapy and mend. You can do amazing things. Don’t give up…you are not broken. You are human and it can get better.

    • Paul,
      You did not fail. You have not failed, and that is because you have not given up. Unfortunately what you *can’t* do is make your wife give you credit or approve of you. If you see where your wife is coming from and you think she has a point, and you are trying to learn and grow because of that, that is the absolute best that you can do. The only one you can change and grow for is yourself, not for her. Not even for your kids. If they also benefit from your growing and learning and positive changes, then that is wonderful, truly. But you can’t do anything merely for the purpose of wishing for someone to give you a gold star at the end. You can be your own star. You are worth it, even if your wife does not acknowledge your efforts or your progress, though that must be so discouraging and frustrating for you, and I am so sorry. Even if it does not bring her back to you, the effort and the place of love it comes from still matter. Keep on truckin’ friend. You may not know where the road will lead in the end, but keep the wheels turning, and you will get somewhere.

  7. my friend just sent me this post. This is exactly what I needed to read today. I keep wanting to know what’s going to happen…if I do this, then that will happen, if I do that then this will happen. That’s not how it works. I cannot predict the future and more importantly, I don’t need to. I need to think about doing the next right thing. One moment at a time is so much easier than trying to look at the entirety of the rest of my life. Reading all the comments on this post really makes me feel connected to women and also makes me just want to pull the covers over my head and cry, we are so hard on ourselves! Why?!? We let fear rule our lives…why!?! I guess it’s just part of being imperfect and human and alive. It’s 5 am and I’ve been awake for two hours thinking….just thinking all kinds of thoughts. Should I leave? What happens if I do? Will I survive? Will my daughters survive? Can I stay and just keep going like this?
    Today I will focus on doing the next right thing and only that. And maybe go back to sleep.

    • Jen–Wow. Thank you so much for your post, it spoke directly to me and cut to the heart of exactly what I am experiencing at this exact moment in time. I’m in recovery now, for over two years (ironically at the urging of my husband, who is an addict), and it has helped me begin the process of rebuilding my life–emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. I have come out of isolation and addressed some long-buried truths about my life and family of origin I thought I had complete control over, but it was entirely the opposite. My husband on the other hand? He chose to run as fast as he could in the other direction as soon as I actually started implementing the tools I had been given. His thought was: “Once you get there, you’ll see this is your problem, too.” He was right, I think he was just hoping we could stay sick together. Anyway, can’t tell you how many sleepless nights/anxiety-filled days I’ve had, wondering exactly what you described…sometimes I think I’m the only one in the world going through it. What will I do to make ends meet? Do I need a second job? Can I even entertain the thought of going back to school at almost-40 with an almost-5-year-old??! If I stay, what am I teaching my child about relationships? About me? Will I be able to trust anyone else, just–ever?!! Then, COMPLETELY by accident (or maybe not!;-)), I come across this post and the comments and know other women, regardless of their personal situation, are also having to choose to live on a day-to-day, sometimes moment-to-moment basis. And I’m somehow comforted. Thank you for your honesty. Best of luck and God Bless your family~

  8. I’m lying in a hotel room alone reading this blog that my sister sent me. Again another broken soul reading this at the right time. I’ve been with my husband 29 years since I was 15. I’ve never really dated anyone else we’be been married 19 years. I found out just before Thanksgiving that he’s been in a serious affair with one of his employees for about 2 years and has had multiple affairs over the course of the last 7 years. We had some strain in our relationship yes, but I thought it was normal, we survived Hurricane Katrina but lost everything, he had severe illness after that, we survived that, he opened 2 small businesses and I thought we were surviving that. He definition of survival was totally different than mine. He had begun to live a double life and I really was very naive and trusting of him and I had no clue. We have 2 daughters who I have always taken care of virtually single handedly in order to allow him to get his companies off the ground. I quit my career for 4 1/2 years after our 2nd daughter was born to stay home and be the glue that kept the family unit going. I went back to work part time one year ago and right now I feel like my world has been ripped from me. I had to just get in the car and leave. I served my husband with divorce papers in January to take a stand against his wrong doings and to show him I was serious and I thought that would shock him back to reality and I really thought we could work things out. It’s been 5 weeks and I found out Friday that he has continued to lie and has been sleeping with his mistress the entire time of this brief separation thus far. I was so distraught that I had to leave the girls with him and just drive. I’ve been praying for clarity and forgiveness but I don’t know what else to do. I’ve never been with another man in my entire life, I am beautiful, I am smart, I have a professional degree, our daughters are gorgeous. It was the total package. I don’t know what is in my husband’s head because all of these women are hideous, none have the education that I have, this current one is a recovering alcoholic who he was checking out of rehab to sleep with. What do I do with this?!? I just had to drive. I’m by myself on Mardi Gras day in a hotel room removed from everything. I’ve tried to put out my hand to him but he doesn’t want it. The advice of my family and friends is just pick up your pieces and move on, he’s grown and clearly doesn’t want to be married. You are beautiful and loving you will find someone else who is worthy of your love. Really people?!? How do I just pick up and walk away form the only life I’ve known after being blindsided like this? I have no clue of what to do!

    • Jennifer,

      I know how incredibly unbelievable and difficult this is for you. No one can “just pick up and walk away” from a marriage, least of all someone who is still totally invested in the marriage. Your moving on will be one moment at a time for a while, then it will be one hour at a time, one day at a time, one week at a time — but start with the one moment and each moment you walk through will make you stronger and give you just enough clarity and strength to go to the next moment. You have a lot to live for – your beautiful children, your future free of deception and hurt, and the life you will build around you and your children and the life YOU choose to live. It will take a while to get there but you surely can do it. The best thing I did for myself was to find a good counselor that helped me walk through that first dark year, and I accepted the love and support of all the others in the world who DO love me. I was a total mess for a while, then less of a mess, then not a mess at all and built a strong, independent, wiser life. You can do the same. There are a lot of us out here who will be thinking of you.

    • Jennifer,

      Reading this, my heart just cried out for you. I too have been broadsided by infidelity and my husband–in a time of strain which I considered bearable–instead chose the arms of a woman even more broken than himself. Which is perhaps is why he chose her–it was a lot easier to feel better about himself and his own financial failures, sense of loss, and crumbling dreams when around someone who needed him and had her own demons. Five years later we are stronger than ever but those first years–and especially the time when we were separated and he was still with her–were a living hell. I couldn’t breathe. The only thing that got me through was my focus on a moment. When I would start to feel the panic and pain overwhelm me—when my thoughts would go down that road of everything from what they were doing together, to how I would live on 1 income, to how I would ever meet someone new when I had no desire to be with anyone else–I would force myself to mentally shut a door in my head and occupy my thoughts elsewhere. I tried to surround myself with positivity–uplifting, non-romantic music, interesting books on everything from the economy to child rearing, and most of all positive people who loved me. And in the end, time will let you breathe again. I promise. You will breathe again. Please go day by day. Hope will not crush you–regardless of whether you are able to be reconciled or not–hope is never a bad thing and it may help you get thru the darkest days until time does the rest. Your children may not remember or grasp the details of this time, but they will undoubtedly remember the honesty, humility, grace, and hope which you can embody. Give yourself grace–you’re certainly not alone in the way you are feeling. And please remember as well–tell yourself as often as you need to–that his actions and choices are in no way a reflection of you or your value as a woman or wife. His actions are a reflection of his own inner demons and insecurities and have nothing to do with whether you are “good enough”. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

      • Thank you. It means so much. I am in a very dark and lonely place right now. It is very difficult and your words have helped me take a breath. I sincery thank you for your reply.

  9. I am sitting in a church parking lot in the pouring rain 500 miles from our house on a “vacation” with the husband and children. It is day 3. I was yelled at yesterday and today. I have expressed for weeks that I am overwhelmed, done, need a break, need silence, hate everything and want to hurt things and people because I am just at my wits end.
    When the whole “you hate my guts, you don’t love me” yelling began again, I just couldn’t do it anymore and I got in the car and I left.
    The only reason I haven’t driven home is because I left my license and I have the car seats. I would leave the car seats somewhere if it wasn’t pouring rain but I keep thinking maybe there is hope.
    Earlier a part of me just wanted to walk away. Leave him with the kids he rarely helps with and just be gone. I love my kids to death but am in that place where I am so completely at the end of myself without a break ever that I cannot even see their sweet faces as blessing.

    I am broken.
    We make 5 years in July.
    I don’t want to just stay got the kids. My parents did that and it was horrible.
    I also don’t want to abandon my kids. I don’t want them to have that pain and anxiety.

    I also don’t want to physically hurt them because they won’t stop crying or I am just worn out and snap.
    I am tired of being blamed as the one who just can’t get their craps together and be “nice” When the truth is that I go to counseling, I am reading the hard books, I am meeting with a woman who is very mature in her faith and is ever pointing me upward to the One who restores all things. I am going to our marriage counseling….I am facing conflicts head on. I am doing all the things.
    It isn’t enough.
    I am trying to find the still.

    • my heart is breaking for you. breathe. please breathe. and then take another breath, and then another. keep breathing. then put one foot in front of the other. moment by moment, you *will* get through this. call on friends and family to take the kids so that you can have the peace you need to make the decisions your soul is calling out for. leave if that is what is best, but do it in the way that is best for you and your children. and know that you are loved.

  10. I am glad there is a place where I don’t need to explain. That right now, after 15 years and all the trials, addictions, infidelities, and pain, we are still not where we need to be. That those things don’t detract from the love, the happy times, and the beautiful lives that came from this mess that is us. That it’s ok if I don’t know whether or not to stay, and that my only focus, for this moment, is trying to make things healthy- for myself, for him, and for our boys. Thank you, G, for showing me that not knowing the answer is not detrimental.

  11. I needed to hear this this morning. I have been married 17years and have 7 children with my husband. I found out after months of him calling me ugly/fat/lazy/old that he had a 23 year old girlfriend. He left me for a week after my father passed away to spend time with her. He stopped taking care of the kids and me and left us to fend for ourselves. His girlfriend was killed by her husband and then he magically “changed” and wanted to work on fixing what he broke.
    Everyone wants to know what I am doing or give me advise. As someone who plans everything out, I am taking it one moment at a time. My heart is so broken, I only feel able to make decisions this second. I know I need to find some quiet time to reflect and heal. I am worth being loved. I have to start believing that.

    • Oh, Amy you are loved! Not only by us Momastery fans, but by the Loving One who created you. He does not create ugly/fat/lazy/old. He only creates beauty & love. We all have different “seasons” of life that we go through. But others who don’t see this are usually not happy with themselves and unfortunately lash out and hurt the ones they were supposed to love. Please don’t see yourself through your husbands eyes. Just ask your kids how they see you, they see you through the Creators loving eyes. I know mine do even on the days I feel ugly, fat, lazy & old! They see a beautiful woman who is wonderful to hug, full of love, needs a rest from time to time, and is mature & full of wisdom. I’m pretty sure your kids will see the same in you!
      Hang in there Amy, get some “quiet time” if you can with 7 kids, and BE STILL and listen to what your PRECISE thing to do is. Most of all get up, look yourself in the mirror right now and say to yourself ” I Am Beautiful & I Am Loved”! Say this every time you pass a mirror til you REALLY believe it. Because you ARE a beautiful woman & you are ABSOLUTELY Loved!

  12. I think there are situations where separation, even divorce may be right (physical abuse, other severe situations) but I want to encourage you to stick it out otherwise. My marriage was really hard for the first many years. It is still hard, but 15 years later, I’m so glad we stuck with it and have figured out how to love each other. Marriage is a picture of the mystery of Christ and His Bride, the Church. It is worth going through the difficulty to figure this out!

  13. This too is ironically coming at a time I need it. My husband and I have been married since we got out of college and were high school sweethearts. We have 3 kids and what I thought was a normal marriage. Yes, there was some distance but I just thought that was the natural progression of things. I found out when one of our kids was a baby he was emailing another married woman, who was at one point a new friend of mine as well. In the emails they shared things emotionally and some sexual as well. He claims it never went any further. I asked him to cut off all contact and now I found out he is in touch with her again. Both times he said the reason he turned to her was because he felt disconnected, mostly because our kids are young, and he more or less can’t handle the attention it takes away from him. We are going to start counseling. I’m uncertain of what will be the next right thing. For now it’s to fight for our marriage. We are starting at ground zero since the trust has been broken not once but twice.

    • I had an emotional affair on my husband. I had a male friend that I would run to to find and seek comfort and connection. I was so lost. I didn’t love myself or know myself. There was an empty chasam within my soul that caused me to seek fulfillment outside of myself. What I did to my husband had nothing to do with him, but everything to do with how I didn’t know who I was, and was unable to be emotionally vulnerable with him. I didn’t lean into the marriage, I ran away from it, into the arms of another man after we separated, broken, for the short term satisfaction of an artificial relationship. I share this with you in empathy for his brokenness, and with my own regrets of not fighting for my marriage. You’ve nothing to lose if you fight and the battle and don’t win the war. You’ll walk away with no regrets.!love and prayers being sent your way.

  14. This article and ALL the comments have made me be still to listen. I don’t know that I know how to do that or if I’m doing it correctly. Strange to not know how to listen. Maybe if I had been listening for the past 17 years we wouldn’t be separating. I still have hope even after I’ve been told that they aren’t in love with me and that they only came back after our first separation (7 years ago) because of our kids. We have been sleeping in separate rooms for 6 months. I pray every morning for His will to be shown to me.
    Sisters, I thank all of you for the courage, experience, strength, hope to speak out. I don’t know what to do but I know I’m not alone.

  15. It was over so long before it was OVER. I waited so long to see if I mattered, if the kids mattered, if we were worth taking care of. We weren’t. But there was pain and blame and pain.
    And all the effort – as with all efforts – were on me to end it. Because we weren’t even worth the effort to leave.
    It’s been 9 years. I’m glad it’s over. The kids are still conflicted, because I was so good at letting everything be my fault.
    So, Valentine’s Day, celebrating love, is hollow. But love is there – with my children and their beloveds. With my friends. With me, in the calm of a pj day and British tv.
    love reigns.

    • YOU do matter. Your kids DO matter – just because he couldn’t see that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. You’re worth everything, sister. You are.

    • I could have written the same thing that you did in your comment, @Kfisher, and it has been 10 years for me. I wanted so much to matter to him, and nothing has changed about that except that I’ve gotten over that grief and pain and hurt and moved on. And I had to take all the action to end it after his initial step, too, because it mattered so little to him. But my kids and I have had the best time (and the hardest-but-deeply-rewarding time), and I am thankful for all the growth and all that has happened to me since then (and that I’ve been in charge of deciding what’s best for our lives instead of trying to work together with someone who doesn’t care). You do matter, and so do I, no matter what another person thinks and no matter how many times we have to keep reminding ourselves of that.

      But what Momastery’s Glennon wrote is beautiful and planted with so many truths. It is one of my favorite things I have read. Our path ended in divorce, but I love the NEW LIFE and JOY and PEACE that finally grew from the pain. God can create beauty where things look bleak. Thank you for posting this and keeping the post up, Glennon. Your writing is wonderful and meaningful.

  16. This was beautiful. Thank you.

  17. Thank you.

  18. Reading this is helping to save my sanity. I want the five-year (or 50-year) plan, but what I need is the next right thing. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • Same goes for me, Lisa. Long-term planning is my preferred method and imposing “the next right thing” as my new horizon is a fresh hell of torturous crazy-making. All my best to you on your journey.

  19. Thank you so much for this. I needed to read this today. It has been such a painful difficult day.

  20. Thank you. My husband was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 8 years ago and it has been a difficult journey. I have never read anything so freeing and true.

    • my husband was diagnosed with bi polar 4 years ago after having been married for 6 years. And after we had lost everything due to bad business decisions. He is medicated now but I’m Still finding it very difficult. He says he is a totally different person but I’m still finding him incredibly controlling and manipulative. I don’t know of anyone else living with this. I would love to hear your experiences !

      • You can’t be happy living with someone who tries to control and manipulate you. You also can’t help cure your spouse of mental illness. You CAN work with a therapist on creating boundaries, and creating consequences for crossing those boundaries. And if you find that enough is enough, please don’t blame yourself. You can not single-handedly save your marriage. Sometimes you just have to save yourself. I say this with compassion for your husband, but bi polar disorder (often misdiagnosed for personality disorders) are serious business. It sometimes leads to emotional abuse of the more mentally stable partner. Hugs to you-this is a difficult road!

  21. Thank you so much for that post! I am experiencing the last Valentine’s Day as a married woman because my husband of 15 years and I will be divorcing this year. I feel like I’ve failed…failed to keep one of the most important relationships in my life alive. Your post made me realize that maybe it was a relationship that was meant to be a lovely bloom during its time but one that will feed future relationships. My husband and I so far have been able to remain friends, but it’s still hard. Thank you for providing me a glimmer of hope on a day that’s been a little down for me!

    • Me too Stacey, after 21 years. But I don’t feel as if we failed – more that things just ran their course. It’s sad because no one sets out in a marriage expecting it will end in divorce, and We both took our vows seriously, but other circumstances prevailed. I am open to the possibility that we will be better off individually and for our kids if we are not married. That’s hard to explain to the kids, but I’m trying.

  22. Such a great post. I never thought I’d be here. My husband and I are separated after he had an emotional / texting relationship with my best friend. Two huge betrayals at once. I just can’t seem to find the quiet or the answers. It’s incredibly isolating even with good friends who are supporting me. I’ve been unhappy for a long time and never thought I’d leave (because of our kids) but now I’m not so sure. I’m scared to hear the quiet voice…..what if I can’t do what it says?

    • That’s what I was always afraid of. I found that I could.

      Don’t leave yourself. YOU are the only one you must refuse to abandon. Love and hope and strength to you.


    • You can do what it says. I thought I couldn’t, either, but I’m listening to it right now. It’s telling me that being alone for right now is far better than being with someone who makes me feel alone. I loved with all my heart and my marriage that should have been a perennial love, just wasn’t. I tried with all my might and couldn’t hold it together. So now, I’m believing that there is something more for me, something fuller, something forever. For now, I wait. And learn about me. You can do the same. The very beginning is the hardest and each day, each week, it gets a little less painful, a little easier to breathe. Without him.

    • Thank you for sharing this. My marriage of 39 years is ending. I’ve been fighting to keep it together-my husband refuses to try anything. I’m struggling with why am I not worth the effort? In my weak moments, I want to go back to what was. In my strong moments I’m glad I did the next right thing for my heart and mind. Just wishing these 2 strong emotions would even out soon.

    • My husband is having what I call a texting affair as well. He makes me feel like I’m crazy because he says they are just friends and I am too controlling and need to “get over it.” He can text whoever he wants/whenever he wants. This texting is to a married woman but it is ALL day long. I’m talking from 5 am to 1 am the next morning, every day. I’m at my wits end trying to figure out what to do.

  23. Thanks for being brave enough to say what so many of us feel. Love is hard, complicated, and wonderful all at the same time. There are no right answers for anyone but the two of you and people are wrong to tell you what is right when their opinions aren’t solicited or they’re not living your life and your love.

  24. I, too, could be a poster child but I am choose love instead. Three years ago on February 13, I asked my husband to leave after too much pain and too much of “her.” Little did I know what crazy ride my life would take me on but here I am, here we are, still a little broken but together, loving still through all of this. I think I have a little PTSD around Valtnetine’s Day but I don’t fight it. I sit with it and accept that it’s part of the healing. It’s worth it, too.

  25. I just got the talk yesterday, he said he “thinks” he wants a divorce. We haven’t even hit 2 years yet. We’ve been in counseling and I thought things were turning around. I am so lonely, I paced tracks in our home trying to find the quiet but my loudly thudding heart drowns it out. I love him, I want this to work so much. What do I do?

    • Sending you warm hugs (from another two-year-married wife walking through crisis). Whatever happens, know that you’re not alone. Loving someone doesn’t mean that everything will work out the way you want, but if it doesn’t, you will still survive, and become stronger.

      Build your support system apart from your husband, talk to a counsellor, take care of yourself (get as much sleep and healthy food as you can, go for walks, pray/meditate/whatever spiritual practices will help) and cherish the things that feed your spirit.

      Your identity as “wife” isn’t the only one you have, and it isn’t the most important one either. Breathe, take it one day at a time, nurture hopefulness no matter the outcome and stay strong as things sort themselves out.

      Walking beside you,


    • I’ve been married for 1.5 years and in that time, have struggled SO hard in this marriage. Husband has mentioned being “done” countless times (my 1st marriage; his second) and lays almost all the blame for our arguments at MY feet.
      It is so tough. SO tough. Marriage, not parenting, is the hardest thing ever on this Earth. I have a small child with my husband, that little one is SUCH a blessing.
      Stick with it. Even if he brings you papers….you don’t have to sign them. Remind him of the commitment you both made before God. Keep plugging along….find old married couples and ask them how they did it, how they’ve stuck through it all. Their marriages weren’t all roses every day, they’ve fought and gone to bed angry too!

    • My toughest year of marriage was year two. I was the one who wanted to leave and I said some mean and hurtful things. My husband loved me completely through all of that and we now have been married for almost 19 years and have a deep love for each other. I just wanted to encourage those of you who are going through this crazy time in your marriage. Sometimes you can’t make it work but I am thankful that my husband I matured together in the process and he stuck with me. I am also thankful that we were friends before we got married and I think that helps a lot.

      No matter what happens, know that God loves you.

    • The first few years are tough, I know mine certainly where, the expectations, lack of communication skills, not truly understanding what it means to “becoming one” it takes time. Also understanding you both come into the relationship with two different family scripts (unspoken of course) and that all has to be acknowledged and worked through.
      A friend asked me “what is the problem you are trying to solve?” that is always a great start. Talk to people who have great marriages and find out why their marriages are so great, give yourselves grace for the process, marriage is big!! In many times I have spoken to people, it’s usually about wanting a heart connection, being known and that takes time, skill, tools and patience. Don’t give up, you can do this!! We are all cheering you on!

  26. ” a hero never runs, or surrenders, they fight and if there only option is to leave, they do confident that it wasnt meant to be right here, right now, or right ever. But, they fought. “- all I can say is, what wise words to me from a fellow follower of this blog. Im in the midst of the fight for a marriage of nearly 30 years. I want to end as a hero…with or without him in my life. Right now, I choose to stay and fight. thanks again for the insight and strength

    • I don’t feel so alone now, thank you glennon and monkees. I just found out that my husband was cheating and lying for months and we have a sweet baby girl. I found out 4 days ago and I’m so scared about how to decide what to do next. I hated being the only child of divorced parents, hated it. How could I let it happen to my baby? But I didnt, he did. I hate him for doing this and leaving me so so alone. I want an answer and a crystal ball it hurts so badly but I’ll try to be still and I’ll read this every day. The next right thing. We go to therapy tomorrow then I go sane then I see a lawyer. I am prayer for peace and the right choice because I want a happy life full of gratitude. If anyone is reading this please hold us in your heart. I am so lost.

      • I just found this blog today and have been reading random postings, but not many comments. Then I see yours. Meant to be?? I think so. You and your baby girl are in my heart and my prayers. I haven’t experienced what you are going through personally, but walked alongside my best friend while she did. A few years later, walked with my sister. You are right, he caused this, not you. He made that decision, not you. Try to be still, read the post every day, and remember you’re not alone. Do what is best for you first, then your daughter. If you don’t take care of yourself, it’ll be harder to take care of your baby. It’s not going to be easy, but you will get through it, whatever happens. You’ve taken a great first step by reading and commenting here. Hugs to you!

      • Chris, you are not alone. Your life now was my life last year. My husband and I have been married for fifteen years and have three children. Our entire fourteenth year of marriage we spent apart due to a deployment and during that time I learned eight months of it, he had built a relationship with another woman. He told me he loved her and was ready to leave and wanted to take the kids. It was a horrible way to start the new year last year and we talked more those first few days than we had talked in the past few years. We were at the point where it couldn’t get much worse so we said anything and everything that we were feeling and thinking. Some was good for us and some was bad for us but there was nothing left unsaid. We learned a lot about each other we didn’t know had happened to us in the prior years. When he realized he wasn’t going to be able to take the kids and build a new life as easily as he thought, he took the time to think, talk, and figure out what was really important to him. I always said I’d leave if he cheated…until it happened. I also had to think and decide what was important to me and my children. We have spent an entire year talking, sometimes yelling, but we have never left when it got hard, we never slept apart when we were angry, and little by little, things are getting better. Our marriage is by no means back to what it used to be. I don’t think it will ever or can ever be the same. But, we’ve decided to strive to make it better. Take time, figure out what you need for yourself and your baby girl. Just know that whatever you decide, people are praying for you and that there are always people around to talk to and that can help you through the difficult times, and of course, God is always there to hold your hand or carry you through when and if you can’t find your way.

        • Em my husband moved away for work so we only saw each other on the weekends. A month after he left we stopped being able to really communicate. It’s been 9 months. The affair started five months in. I am in awe of people like you who have deployed spouses. In this moment I want my story to sound like yours in a year. We will see. Next right thing.

      • Chris- you are not alone. Today I will dedicate my meditation to you and ask that all are guided to their highest good. From experience, I offer you to be mindful of “one step at a time” and sometimes, when you can hardly breathe because there is so much pain, “one moment at a time”.
        Holding you in my heart today,

        • Anne, Em and Carly I never imagined people would respond. Your words and prayers mean more to me than you can know. Thank you for your kindness. You give me hope.

          • Chris,
            I too would be honored to hold you up in prayer. The scriptures are clear that if you cry out for wisdom you will find it. When you step forward or fall back just imagine that there are unseen forces and real time people to support you and love you. You are in my thoughts today dear sister!

  27. I left my husband tonight, after a terrible physical altercation that was the latest of many – and now it’s the last. I am beyond speech, or hope, just a tremendous sense of loss and emptiness. I am safe with friends, but terribly alone in my decisions. I don’t know what to do next, or what the next right thing is…

    • Your courage is amazing….stay strong. My prayers are with you.

    • “I am safe… but terribly alone…” I feel you Natacha! Stay strong and here’s a big hug for you.

    • It’s 54 days post-separation. I’m doing better – maintaining no-contact, going back to classes part-time, have a new place to live and a little bit of my own income, reuniting with old friends from before the marriage. The criminal/family law stuff is hard, and some days are brutal with grief and loss and hurt, but it is slowly getting better.

      Thank you, Char and Cali, for your support!

  28. I love what was shared and how you shared it! Thank you.

  29. I am currently reading Carry on Warrior. I have read several books in the sauna, and I am in a different place when I leave. Sweaty and refreshed. I thought it was so funny to read how you do the same thing while I was in the sauna with your book. There are parts of your book that have reminded me of my own marriage of ten years, though I know every story is individual. I had a wonderful but detached husband, and I too received The News from him. And more news. And more news. At one point, my father suggested I stop asking for disclosures because I was in emotional turmoil. It took me four years to divorce my husband because I wanted to stay, and we have two children. I made every attempt to hold on to our marriage; showing up and soaking up individual, group, and marriage counseling. In the end, I chose divorce because The News kept on coming, and I eventually lost love for him and gained an abundant amount of self-love I never had before. I admire your writing, and your stance on not being a poster person for staying or going. I write too, and would just like to share a poem I wrote while finding self-love in the mist of turmoil.

    Sweeping of Peace

    Peace can sweep in unexpectedly and chill
    The ever heated flow of angst
    Drumming in a heart that paints red
    Upon the eyes of humankind

    And should the heavens intervene
    With grace and might for the fearful lost
    Cold will awaken those who dare to feel
    The drummer holding sticks ablaze

    And unearthly winds ignite the soul
    With painful burn of rapid fire
    Scars are made and lessons earned
    As spirit births new purpose

    God speaks the most in pain and loss
    Chiding tranquil blessings disguised
    And the cloak once a costume falls to ashes
    And swirls about the sweeping of peace

    Cfh 2009

    • Claire,

      I thought your poem was beautiful. I chose divorce too after a 2 year onslaught of News. Reading your words gives me hope that I’ll get better at self love too. Thank you.

  30. I agree with most of your letter. However, calling yourself or anyone a ‘Warrior” is questionable. One would have to take the entirety of the situation or the totality of circumstances to make any judgment on whether the person showed strentgh to leave or stay. If it is an abusive relationship, addiction involved, or a change of heart with honest attempts to rekindle, then YES, that takes strength. But, for someone to be deceitful and have an affair behind their significant others back or just flat out give up on a relationship for any reason takes no strength and those people, in my opinion, do not have any right to be called Heroes. They are cowards. Strength is looking adversity in the eye and facing it no matter what the result is. Being able to look back with a clear concious and say ‘I did everything I could’ and ‘I gave everything I had’ and no matter the results I was a fighter; that is strength and worthy of such a title. One who never fights, never gives for, and never joins’ the fight for love do not belong in such a category. The coddling by society to group these types only makes the separation and divorce rate higher because they lack true ingredients to a long and healthy relationship, and that is committment and selflessness. I hope you see my point in differentiating the two types of lovers and people. Those who fight and those who flight. A hero doesnt mean you stay no matter what, it means you gave no matter what to make it work, but in the end whether it works out or not, a hero never runs, or surrenders, they fight and if there only option is to leave, they do confident that it wasnt meant to be right here, right now, or right ever. But, they fought.

    • I think the use of warrior is perfectly fitting, to me a warrior is brave and fierce, has integrity and courage. I’ve been to the precipice of divorce and clawed and fought for my family and my marriage, and I can say in all sincerity had the stars not aligned just so and the wind blown just the right way had I looked away even one more time instead of catching the look in my husbands eyes this might not be the side I’m standing on. Would it have taken any less courage or integrity or strength of character for me to say no this isn’t what I want for my life? No way! We are given one shot at this life and it’s up to each one of us to make our own decisions about what is good and healthy and right for our lives, the only person who needs to judge whether or not they made the right choice to stay or go is the individual in the situation. It took lots of sweat and tears to build my relationship up to where it is, but I think it would have taken just as much work and sweat and tears to move on.

  31. I need help! We have been together 21 years, married for 16. My husband just told me he wants a separation. There is someone else, just emotional at this point and she has LOTS of baggage – kids, powerful husband, etc. He just wants time to think. He won’t give a time frame. Says he doesn’t know what he wants – just knows he does not/will not come back to THIS. We have 2 wonderful kids who will be devastated. We are/were BEST FRIENDS. Our friends and family are absolutely shocked! As am I. Blindsided. We did everything together, rarely fought. The issue – I have closed him out emotional due to my own untreated anxiety/depression. I have trouble having fun and enjoying life. All he wanted was to enjoy life with his soul mate and now that I have got help, it’s too late. It was like someone who smokes, but doesn’t get help until the doctor says it’s cancer. NOW I am getting help, but he never sat down with me and insisted before that I get help. We fought about it a several times (once/year), but always thought I could handle it on my own. Then, the anxiety grew as he put more pressure on me: taking care of his mother with Alzheimer’s in our home, the main bread winner, all family manager duties, kids’ sports events, helping him with any major business decisions, etc etc. I had a particularly rough year at work and pulled away even more – felt overwhelmed and alone in doing it all for everyone. I lost myself. I know people say “go find yourself” and that will look attractive to him, but now that he’s going, how will he see it? All I want is to save this marriage. He is depressed in his decision because we were so close and friends. He just can’t live the rest of his life feeling alone emotionally. For the last month, he has kissed me daily hello/goodbye and told me daily “I love you.” When I ask why, he says because he does love me and all the history we have. He does not want counseling. How can I show him that things can/will be different if he’s gone? Please! Anyone in a similar situation who was able to show their husband? I need prayers!!!! I need hope!!!!

    • MAM,
      I am praying and I hear you and feel you and see you. We all do. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. We will not abandon you. Answers will come…God enable this sweet woman to be still and hear Your Voice…cloak her in YourSelf. Amen.

  32. YES. yes yes yes yes.

  33. Thank you thank you thank you. From someone in a relationship that’s not sure whether it’s a perennial or an annual.

  34. I don’t know that I’d ever asked myself, “what would I do if he cheated?” But it’s safe to say that if I had, my answer would have been gtfo. Married not 18 months, together for over 8 years by that point. August 3, 2009, the day my earth stood still. And in my stillness of that moment, my inner voice surprised me. It said, “I’ll be DAMNED if your mistake, one that you appear to be truly regretful about, is going to alter the course of my life – OUR life.” You know what I said to him? I still can’t believe this is what came out of me…
    “I’m sorry this happened. I know this must have been really weighing on you, not to mention exhausting trying to keep it from me. Are you okay?”


    Ladies. For a long time I gave God credit for granting me grace in that moment. But – and this right here isn’t going to win me any friends – SCREW THAT. I know God loves me and was with me in that moment, as with all moments of my life, but that grace? It was all me, baby. I was so much stronger and so much more level-headed than I ever would have given myself credit for. In the next moment, a bit of my grace fell away and I made demands (a therapy appointment the next evening, an immediate call to HER to break off any remaining ties, and an appt for him to get STD tests). We had weeks and months when I didn’t think we’d make it. But here we are, almost 5 years out and we’re together. Better. Stronger. My voice never told me to go. It always said stay. But that’s not what everyone’s voice says.

    What I couldn’t have known about surviving and staying together despite infidelity was this: the balance of power in our relationship was off. In my favor. And I didn’t like it. I didn’t want that power. I didn’t want to wonder if, during an everday squabble, is he deferring to me because he really agrees, or because he feels guilty about “it?”

    Staying and leaving each come with such a huge set of challenges. We didn’t have kids at the time and even then, the thought of leaving seemed insurmountable when a friend suggested it. My heart is with all of you who have tiner kiddos and are struggling with staying or going. I love you all. Listen to your voice. She’s always right.

    • Just Wow!!!

    • I love this…

    • What if you don’t like what the inner voice is saying-even knowing in your true heart the she is right? Because mine is saying…GO. But with 2 very young children-it seems like an impossible feat. My broken heart is for my children, not my husband. Ahhhhh…

      • I’m in this boat with you… We have four young sons and after 8 years of me trying to fix his brokenness, and now realizing that he might not be capable of fixing himself…. I have to protect my sons… I can’t let this be what they think life is, what marriage is, what family is! I just can’t. Yet even though I’ve been hearing my voice tell me to go, it’s just so wrong and unnatural, yet what he did was wrong and unnatural- that’s where the problem lies… I don’t know if I’m making any sense, but when I start picturing staying for my littles, it actually makes me feel more sad about myself, because what would I be teaching them if I stayed?? When I really really listen to my voice, it drives me to pick up the slack from their dad and be the stronger one who sets the good example. It isn’t easy, and I still find myself giving chance after chance, but the fallout is always worse every time.
        This is so hard, there aren’t enough words!!

        • I just want to say wow, I was in your shoes, exactly, with 4 boys and “wrong and unnatural” seemed to passive aggressively bully the “normal and healthy” aspects of our family regularly. For me, leaving became the new secondary normal and healthy, dealing squarely with the reality of what he chose to bring into the family. It took me a long time to learn that because of the worry for the kids and the guilt about abandoning a commitment to nurturing what I knew to be healthiest hope. If you’re hard on yourself, don’t be. You’re truly a diamond, choosing to be the strong, healthy one setting a good example. You shine! And you have to be because it is SO HARD. Diamonds can crack, though, so take care of yourself. My boys are turning out fine, better than I could expect. I needed to know that then… hugs and love your way!

    • I had a very similar experience almost five years ago. D-Day for me was June 16, 2010. I fell apart crying on the kitchen floor for a long time but then sat and prayed with him, for him, for us. I didn’t yell. I didn’t condemn.

      I didn’t know that’s the way I would react. I’d always thought we’d be Done if he did that. But you really never know until it’s staring you in the face and you have to decide whether justice is more important than forgiving and fighting. For allowing life as we knew it to burn to ashes and rebuild a life of intimacy that we had never known.

      It’s not easy. NOT EASY. And not for anyone who keeps a record of who owes whom or he would never feel like he can ever be on level ground. But grace is a funny thing. It puts us on level ground in a fresh way and I understand now why Jesus came to wipe the old covenant away and establish a new one of grace. There is beauty in what comes out of pain like that where you honestly realize you’re not the person you were before, and it’s okay. I dare say I’m better for having gone through it, even though I desperately wish it hadn’t come to that for change to come.

      Many times over the past five years I’ve thought it was a mistake. But I look at us on the good days and at my kids, who were only 5 and 7 when everything came out, and I hope years from now I’ll see that fighting and walking through the Hard together will have been our greatest accomplishment.

  35. I have never commented before, but I am amazed to see so many responses that are so similar to my situation. I have shed more tears than I can count, especially in those quiet moments when my heart says, ” you deserve more than this, you deserve to be happy, will my kids learn that this is how a relationship should be…?” I have heard many comments mention roommates, that we are. I feel like there is not much left of our relationship/love & its dwindling. I cannot honestly say I have given it a truly fair fight yet, but I feel that I want to and I try, but it is so hard to make changes in me when it goes unrecognized or his behavior brings me so far down again, I give up. I have begged for years for counseling to which he said, “no.” This past year we started, but he wouldn’t do any of work it took to get to where we needed, then we quit going. At this point, I am frustrated, confused, depressed & unhappy. I know there is more to a happy relationship & I want that so badly. But leaving means giving up my kids every other weekend & holidays would break me. Not to mention how utterly nasty & unrelenting I know he would be. The answer has not been clearly heard in the quiet, but I feel it’s getting stronger & it makes me cry more & scares the heck out of me! How long do you wait?

    • Hey MK it’s BQ. You were brave to write this. Your answer in the quiet sounds like mine was when my kids were younger. So, me too. Giving up the kids every other weekend and holidays would break you. Not to mention how utterly nasty & unrelenting he would be…so wait. I waited…and he left and was nasty & unrelenting anyway. No broken Mommys. Do not break yourself. Prepare yourself. Brace yourself. Slowly, softly, be easy on yourself. Save money. Load a bunch of pre-loadable debit cards. Put them in a safe place. Give yourself wiggle room and choices and options. Stay willing and open to counselling and help for you marriage. Go for yourself. Find things that make you laugh on Youtube. Carry on….we love you.

      • I meant Hi, HK…

      • Great advice

      • Thank you, thank you, thank you. It means so much to share and get advice from someone who understands & has been there. It’s such a conflicting, confusing place to be, but comforting to hear sound words on my situation.

        • And open credit cards in your name only if you don’t already have them…even if its one store, but a Visa is better….to establish the basis of an individual credit rating. I did this and it was a Godsend when I did decide to leave. The advice here is spot on. Whether you stay or you go, creating options (ie not relying on him for you finances) gives you freedom. Good luck.

      • I agree with BQ completely! Especially saving funds on preloaded debit cards that are in a safe (& hidden – ie. not traceable) place. I did this (I did not have children). I laid in wait, asking (begging really) for counselling to save us, he refused for 2+ years…and didn’t agree to go or try to fight for me until I left after 2+ years of verbal abuse. Once he was diagnosed with being depressed (apparently the reasoning for his actions) I was done. I knew it too. Don’t move, just breathe. Laugh (at least try to). Believe it or not, this will make you stronger. I thought it would break me (especially my long & drawn out divorce) but I’m still here, tougher than ever. I have a love-filled marriage now with my Chapter 2 and we have amazing children. Never did I ever think love could feel like this.

      • HK, this is exactly (exactly!) where I am too. I could have written your post myself, to the word. You are not alone in your pain, with your questions. And BQ? Your advice is very helpful for me as well. Thank you, my Dears.

        I am grateful to all of you here…all of you who hope and try so hard and clean up your own side of the street even though you find yourself with a man who thinks you are to blame for his unhappiness and who refuses to try. Because sometimes it is all so isolating and you think everyone else is happy and why is this so hard? You just want to be loved.

        And you are…you are. You are lovable. You are the Beloved. Just…not of your husband. And that’s hurts so much, but it is not everything. Don’t let it be everything. (She’s says to herself.)

        Love wins. I still believe that. Line up with the sources of love where you find them, and let them inform your choices every day. Muddled though you may be, just line up with Love.

        • Ladies, we are stronger than we give ourselves credit for. I have been through days when I truly did not think how I would get to the other side. When I gave myself permission to take it down to one moment at a time, then the morning came easier…the sun rose a little brighter… My hope became a little more credible.

          Took me years to realize that feeling weAk and lost was necessary to my growth. It is ok, trust me and girl code would not allow me to do otherwise. :)

      • What? “Load a bunch of pre-loadable debit cards”? Are you dependent on this person for income? Why is that?

        • Because, TM, being a full-time mum takes … full time. That’s why that is. Live your life how you want, and let others do the same, judgement is pointless.

        • TM – are you seriously asking that? REALLY? Sorry, but your are out of it. I hope you don’t EVER ask a full-time mother that, ever, again.

  36. My husband left me and my 2 year son last summer. I was 3 months pregnant. Now it’s me, my almost 4 year old son & now 9 month old baby girl. What a tough road it’s been. I feel like I’m in a fog sometimes but taking care of my 2 & me have to be my first priority. One foot in front of the other.

  37. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. There are many of us who desperately need to hear that sometimes the right thing is to go. I’ve spent many months jealously reading the posts of others who saved their marriages through hard work and giving it to God, but the plain fact of the matter is this: No marriage can be saved when only one partner wants to save it.

    My husband has emotionally checked out of our marriage by degrees until he all but left. We’re barely roommates, barely acquaintances, and he’s more than made it clear that “we” are not a priority. I never even thought about leaving. I took the blame, made the sacrifices, kept telling myself that if I only worked harder or made myself “be someone better” that he’d open his eyes and open his heart and commit to us again. But in the past year, he’s come to the point where he isn’t even emotionally there for the kids any longer (and that was the credit I always gave him… “he’s a lousy husband, but at least he’s a great dad”).

    In a quiet moment about 6 months ago, I heard the words “You deserve more” and I heard a strong “Leave”. The words get stronger as time goes by. I haven’t left yet, but I know in my heart that I’ve thrown away too many years of my life waiting for a man who has no intention of honoring our marriage the way it deserves. I grow stronger every day knowing that I’m moving in the right direction as I prepare for the transition to life without him. My self-esteem is returning and I know that I deserve more than a life lived emotionally alone. I’ll be okay and my kids will be stronger as a result.

    I know I’ll shock the world when I finally make the announcement. But you know what? No one knows what happens inside the marriage of someone else. Everyone who thinks we’re a true couple, who sees a nearly 20 year marriage and thinks it’s strong? They’re buying into whatever I’ve told them… the lies that I’ve been telling myself for years that pop up in Facebook statuses. My actual truth is somewhere else. It’s in the quiet that I don’t speak to many. But it’s mine and that’s all that matters. It’s time to be my own truth and do this for me.

    • Kelly….. You do deserve more sister. There is pain that keeps you stuck in pain and pain with a purpose that will bring you joy. I’m pulling for you.

    • Kelly,

      I could have typed your exact words. If you ever want to talk to someone that isn’t in your own circle, I’m a good listener.

    • I can really relate!

    • You just wrote my story (minus the kids). I hear you. I see you.

      • You wrote my story, though I have left, I tried and tried for many months after discovering the infidelity that had gone on most of my 15 year marriage, but I decided that I was worth more and deserved more. Even if that means it is just me and my children, that is already more and I am showing them what it means to be truly happy. Good luck on your journey. One day at a time, but I already feel stronger knowing that I am standing on my own two feet and that I can do this!!!

    • Have you considered not lying to everyone on FB or elsewhere?

  38. Can we make this into a shirt? Or a poster? Or paint it on a wall? “The Next Right Thing, One Thing At A Time- Will Bring You All the Way Home.”

  39. I was the poster child for “take him back”. A friend told a friend to call me when found out her husband was cheating and I told her my story and told her to listen to herself because there are people that will judge you either way but I had to judge myself every night when I went to sleep. One year later I called her for help when I found out the one I took back was unfaithful again. Her strength and friendship was paramount in my next decision to leave. I left a crappy marriage that I could not fight for both of us to save and gained a best friend. Win win.

  40. Does a Warrior go? Yes. Does a Warrior go back? Yes. Does a Warrior stay? Yes. Does a Warrior get left? Yes. Does a Warrior say “Enough”? Yes. I realize I can put my face right the heck on THAT poster!( I’ll put initials, for now.)
    Because God is a living God, the Voice is living, all-seeing, all-knowing, deliberating, brooding, working out all possible scenarios and guiding us into the BEST one for our ALIVE, right now, life!
    Why when we are alone and quieted does the Voice of God indwell and guide so tenderly and succinctly? Because that’s intimacy. God has us all to Himself, then. God wants us to know we are loved on purpose.
    And Jesus didn’t die to save marriages. He died to save people. People save marriages. Marriage is not eternal. Marriage is Holy and Sacred and if it’s not kept pure, or it is voilated and brutalized, then it can die…simple as that.

    • I stayed for ten additional years for a total of 23 years. I asked
      Him to leave 3 years ago and it’s been incredible. I never realized how
      deadened I had become. My two children are adults now and doing well
      It hadn’t been easy, going to therapy has been awakening, but I’m determined not to repeat my past mistakes. The pain and grief I have experienced have been completely worth it, because I am willing to work to keep myself whole and happy. I’m the only person it can control, “they” are not in charge of our happiness, we must love ourselves enough to leave. For the sake of our children, to teach them that it’s not ok to be treated that way. Your their shining example of what a loving relationship should look like, beware of what your teaching your children.

  41. Soaking this one up. I agree, I understand. Soaking it up.

  42. Oh, Glennon – remember those “nuggets” you mentioned a while back – after 36 years and 3.5 years of recovery for my husband and 7 years of Al-Anon for me – I am still waiting – still waiting for anything to grow in our marriage. I continue to Be still and try To know. There are no feelings left – none, except for my love for him as another child of God. It hurts so much to have no one to listen to me or have a safe place to land. I know I play a part in all of this too… I want to honor God … it is just so hard…

    • Oh Anna,
      Your reply went straight to my heart. This expresses how I feel in my current state of marriage. Broken with nothing left. Not an ounce of love left…nothing. His choice is to use medication, mine is to rip off the layers and start deep healing. Very very hard to live this way. Waiting…but feeling that this isn’t where I’m supposed to be any longer. I want life.

      • For Julie – I am still waiting – and trying hard to work on myself and be kind. Still waiting. My decision is to stay, no matter what. I am learning to try to love, even when I feel nothing. Because love is a choice, not always good feelings. I believe that I am to stay in order to please and honor God, and to keep striving. Because I am loved by God, I can lean on Him for emotional support, for everything. It is definitely not fun, and yes, I pray we will be reconciled and learn to love each other and support each other. Yes, I am still waiting, 36 years and counting …

  43. “The Next Right Thing, One Thing At A Time- Will Bring You All the Way Home.”

    Thank you!
    Thank you!
    Thank you!!!!!!!!!

  44. My husband and I have been separated for quite a while now. He wants a divorce but has not filed yet. I do not want to divorce. I am praying everyday, several times a day for the restoration of my marriage. With God everything is possible. My inner voice is the voice of God. My friends don’t agree with me and tell me to move on. My real friends tell me to pray to find the right answer for myself. So I will keep on praying.
    Also I cannot believe there are women out there without moral going after married men, wether separated or not. Marriage is sacred. Women need more boundaries. We need to be there for each other not caused pain to each other.
    Blessings to all of you and hope you make the right choices for yourselves and not for others.

  45. Thank you.

  46. Glennon, this is so true, and we are so affected by this issue in our lives, particularly as women I think – because our sense of responsibility (for our kids, or even for an abusive partner who claims to ‘need’ our love) might be in conflict with our sense of what is Right for Us.

    And also, as you point out, because sometimes reclaiming what is Right for Us eventually leads us to find love again – within the same relationship, transformed in a way we could not have hoped if we had surrendered to our feelings of not being worth it, or in another.

  47. That was perfect…. And then I read all the comments and can’t stop crying. It is complete hell to be stuck in the back and forth – divorce, keep trying, or keep waiting. The process of divorce seems so rigorous and painful (for me and for my girls) and that is what’s kept me accepting crap for so long, too long. I’m afraid and that’s really what it comes down to. I just realized this after reading all the posts. I’m afraid and feel paralyzed. My loved ones are supportive once I move forward with divorce, I have a career and can support myself and my girls, but I’m still scared and trying to figure out what is the next right thing.

    • You have already chosen the “next right thing”. You just need to have the faith to follow through. Once you have the faith you will feel like a giant burden has been lifted from you. I struggled for years because I got married “forever” but he didn’t treat me the way he should have, didn’t respect me or our marriage or our family. After 21 years I decided I didn’t want to waste 21 more years. It was the best decision of my life. Do I still have moments of “wishful” thinking”? Yes, but I know in my heart and soul the best thing I could have done for myself and for my children was to leave.

      • Separated after 22 years of marriage. Kids are 16, 18, 20. I did not want my kids going back and forth between households. I believe I did the right thing to stay but it still hurts that he doesn’t fight for the marriage. It was all me trying to fix our marriage. I am living in my truth and not allowing a passive aggressive man to lower my self-esteem. It is wonderful living w/o the anxiety of feeling judged and controlled by his silence. God has my back. Let go and let God. He has a plan for me and I trust him! Thank you Glennon for reinforcing the message!

    • Jenn, take as much time as you need to listen to your inner voice.

  48. Gosh, there are A LOT of Sara’s that are Monkees! I have been sitting in these moments of “Being Still” for almost 3 years now. I call it a holding pattern. My counselor says “when you don’t know, you do nothing”. So, I hold and I do nothing. I just pray daily for strength and direction to stay or go. In the meantime, we are separated and co-parenting and spend quite a bit of time together. How long do I hold? I suppose as long as something is revealed. This is super hard, especially with the kiddos. I don’t even try to explain it to anyone b/c everyone thinks I/we are crazy. They have no idea what this feels like every day. It’s confusing. It’s frustrating. It’s heart breaking. I just don’t know.

    • Your last 4 sentences say you know. No one is expected to live with those kinds of emotion 24/7. Where are peace and joy on your list? That’s what your children need to know you are feeling. Time to heal you for them. =^.^=

    • more people, women, need to learn to do this. you are brave.

      • Thank you, Sara. It must be the name. :) I don’t feel brave most days but then sometimes I get a build up of figuring out what makes me happy and that’s a process too. I certainly have put my kids at the forefront and do not need to muddy the water with anyone else or any other problems. So, I will keep waiting and be still until I have the courage to make that desision and then move ahead with stength and confidence. I find much of that here in this blog. Until then, I will hold and pray and hope. I love you Monkees!

    • Sara (from STL), I too am in a “holding pattern”-separated for a year and a half, co-parenting and spending a lot of time together with our almost 5 year old son. I’ve found that I actually haven’t found a way to heal my anger and resentment and can honestly say that I don’t know what’s the right decision and what’s the wrong decision. I love what your counselor says “when you don’t know, you wait”. That is what I’ve been doing despite pressure from my FIL to make a decision (which in my opinion is quite insensitive but he is a whole new can of worms) and that’s what I’ll continue to do. We will wait in silence until the answer is clear and there is no fear. Because that is what I need and what I believe will happen-an answer from above so loud and clear there will be no mistake. Can I pray for you, for peace and happiness? Sending you my best brave one!

    • Sara (from STL) I so understand where you are. I have been in a holding pattern for nearly 2.5 years, since my husband left. We’re still separated. Still trying to figure out what the other wants. No one understands why I haven’t just filed for divorce and moved on. (Some people don’t even know that we have separated, because he is an intensely private person and doesn’t share much with anyone.) We have three children together. It’s not as simple as everyone would like to believe it is. Each situation is different. I have refused to give up on us. He has refused to fight for us. We both love each other. We are best friends. What we are trying to figure out right now is whether or not we can be married to each other. It’s a hard row to hoe, I wish you peace and comfort. I’ve been listening to my inner voice a whole lot more the last few weeks. I’ve realized that I’ve been living with my life on pause. I’ve worried so much about his approval, about trying to prove myself worthy of his love, of trying to prove to him that we are worth fighting for. I’ve forgotten that I need to love myself first. That I need to fight to find myself again. I will do as you, continue to be still and listen.

  49. Thank you for your eloquent words! I found out 2 months ago, my husband had an affair starting while I was 9 months pregnant and ending when our son was 3 months old. We also have a 5 year old daughter. The biggest thing I learned is to trust that small quiet voice and to surrender trying to control my husband. It is actually quiet liberating. I have gone to therapy and found it extreamly helpful, especially to deal with the anger I had towards him. I also found out I’m much stronger than I thought. He has yet to go to therapy but that voice tells me to wait. You are all a group of strong amazing women, I’m so glad I clicked on this link tonight. Hugs and love to you all.

  50. Everyday I have to go to that place and decide to stay of go. My husband has been involved with 2 other married women. He is still in love with one of them and compares me to her everyday. We are together but after years of neglect and ambivalence toward me, I feel cheated. Also I wonder how our sisters are so willing to involve themselves with other sisters husbands. We aren’t suppose to hurt our sisters and their kids. I know life is messy and cheaters lie but I would never try to move in on a taken spouse. The pain of even trying to recover from a sexual or emotional affair is excruciating. I can’t trust and therefore have to decide stay or go every day. I feel like I have been a perennial constant and supportive and he is an annual replanting near and far new every year( 2 years into finding out).

  51. Thank you G for your validation. The next right thing is not the same for everyone. My ex and I have chosen a very unconventional way to deal with our separation. Without going into detail on the demise of our marriage, we now live separately in the same house, raising our two teenagers, caring for elderly parents, and my partner has moved in also. We chose not to divide our circle but to enlarge it. Most people think we are crazy but that is ok. It is working. Not everyday is easy but our motto is “Life is hard. Not because we are doing it wrong but just because life is hard.” (Thanks G for that too) Sit with the quiet until you can find what is right for you. What people think about me and my choices is none of my business. Not everyone will be supportive and that’s ok. It’s not easy but it is ok. When you put all your people on a blanket and then give it a good shake, it’s the ones who cling on that matter.

    • “When you put all your people on a blanket and then give it a good shake, it’s the ones who cling on that matter.”

      I love this description, Krissie. I’ve learned this lesson in recent years. Having a few close people who really love and genuinely like you is priceless treasure. Glad you found a solution that best suits your family. That is all that matters.

    • ““When you put all your people on a blanket and then give it a good shake, it’s the ones who cling on that matter.”

      Can I get this stitched onto a throw pillow?

    • Admire your courage.

  52. I love how when we have a realisation, that understanding is everywhere you look. I was just writing to a friend today that we can only do that very thing in front of us, and when we have done that thing, we must do the next thing. And so on. We must turn off the voices, however well meaning, and listen to our voice. That will tell us what is right for us. For my partner of 14 years and I, our perennial relationship is kept alive by living separately. It is like a miracle for us. We love each other, we parent together – and then we go home. Where we miss each other but enjoy our own company. Thus doesn’t work for everyone, but I couldn’t care less. it works for us.

  53. My husband did the absolutely unthinkable thing. He is now in jail, and I have no idea how to “do this” now. I am trying to navigate the emotions and very real situations of single mom hood again. All I can do is the next right step. Thank you. I need to hear that it doesn’t all have to be planned today.

    • Rae, I am not sure exactly what the unthinkable is, but I was married to someone who was in jail for 10 years for a murder he committed as a teenager (I met him after he got out). Against the odds and because of the support of his family he came out a better person than when he went in. He had and still has lots of issues from being in jail for so long at such a formative age. Although we are no longer together, partly because of those issues we had a beautiful daughter together (who passed away from cancer when she was 6 two years ago) and I am proud of him continuing to hold down a job and contribute to society. Not sure if this has any bearing on your situation or not. You may find leaving is the best thing for you but still support him in other ways.

    • My husband went to prison 8 years ago (for the rest of his life), leaving me with our 2 young kids. My kids and I have survived by the grace of God and by always embracing the truth– about how this JUST SUCKS but their father still loves them even though he did something bad. And the three of us always, always, try to tell the truth about our feelings on this subject when we talk about him to each other. I’ve fed them as much about the situation as appropriate for their age. Good luck, Rae, you can do it!

  54. incredible analogy. Beautiful words as always. Thank you

  55. Thank you for the image of the perennials and the annuals… that is a beautiful image for reflection and prayer and it helps with the pain of this gardening work.
    I’m still in the “terrified-to-be-completely-silent” phase…. I can handle a few brief moments of the quiet and keep thinking I’m just hearing “wait”… “wait”… “wait”…
    But I’m honest enough to admit that I won’t let myself be quiet for too long after I hear the “wait” because I’m not sure I’m ready to know which type of flowers were planted. It’s still too hard to get out of the life-long mindset that I would only ever plant perennials.
    Working hard to get over the fear. Thank you for your wisdom.

  56. YES! Brilliantly said.

  57. My sister wrote that post-it on the left (I recognize her handwriting AND her message). I pray for her and her husband all the time: that they fight hard and fight fair and fight successfully and keep fighting for what they want. I am divorced, and while I am living in my new life and have a relatively peaceful relationship with my ex-husband, I can still see and feel damage laying all around me. My kids are doing great 98% of the time, but that 2% feels like everything sometimes. If anyone has a minute to lift Gretchen, Jake and Andrew up today, I know she will feel stronger. xo

  58. I just found out my husband is having an affair.

    • So sorry to hear it. Sending you love.

    • i just found out a few months ago, too. It’s a nightmare, isn’t it? I pray you’re husband will come to his senses (because the fantasy relationship he’s in right now isn’t going to last) and at least try with you. I read a few good books, After the Affair, and also My Husband’s Affair Was the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me (religious). They gave me some direction and made me feel a little more normal in all the initial craziness, including appropriate boundaries and expectations.

    • Devastating ! Crushing! I’m so sorry

  59. I am so thankful you wrote this. Honestly, because I’ve seen such the opposite. I’ve had friends who stay who look at me with judgement because I left. In fact, I got all nervous when you began to post about this because I was afraid it would be a standard “Fighting for your marriage is ALWAYS the best choice” and would bring up the shame that others have tried to heap upon my head. For me, leaving abuse was the right, brave choice. For you, staying in your marriage and fighting for beauty was the right choice. Thank you 10000000 times over for acknowledging both! Carry on, brave sister.

  60. Its really nice to know that I’m not the only wife that has ever dealt with these decisions.I am thankful that my husband and worked and are still working things out…but it did and does take time and quiet and looking within to find not only what you really want but what you need. And that’s not easy…but is worth it.

  61. I so needed to read this today. We’ve struggled for years. Our youngest child – who is almost 7 now – was an ooops. A cute ooops, but not planned. We are cordial, but more roommates. There are days that I think he wants me to just say that I want a divorce, but I won’t, because he’ll fight me tooth and nail for the kids. I refuse to leave my kids.

    I want to love him again, but he makes it hard. He’s not the man I married – though he’d blame it on me. I just keep trying to do the “next right thing” while at the same time preparing myself, just in case. I go back to work full-time this fall – with benefits – so if he leaves, I can at least support us, albeit very minimally.

    This just sucks. Royally. I want my kids to see how to love someone and how a healthy relationship should be. I hope that they learn anyway.

    • Hi Leslie,
      I am praying for you and your precious family. I don’t know if you are religious at all, but I am and I totally relate to the worry about how my kids relate to the crappy parts of life around them. My favourite Bible verse right now, that I try desperately to hang onto and actually believe is 2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'”

      God’s grace is sufficient for me and it is also always sufficient for my kids. They will learn good things and bad things from us as their parents, really there’s not much we can do to change that, but God’s grace will be sufficient in all the places we are not. In fact his power will be made PERFECT in the places we are weak. So maybe, I’m still wrestling this part out, but maybe the places that I fail as a parent are the places where God can and does work most powerfully in my kids’ lives. Maybe those places are the most valuable to how my kids develop into adults, maybe those places of pain, and fear, and disappointment can bring out the greatest new life and hope and fulfilment in God’s hands.

      I truly hope your family can find peace and hope no matter what the outcome of this set of circumstances brings to you.

      With love,

      • Andrea – Your comments about God’s grace were just beautiful. I hope that you are OK if I share your thoughts with others. I love how you said that God’s grace will be sufficient in all the places we are not. His power will be made PERFECT in the places we are weak. Such a beautiful idea to reflect on. I really got a lot from what you said. Thanks. -Lisa

      • Andrea, thank you. I am a believer. The verse I hang on to with all my strength is Isaiah 40:31 – For those that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall walk and not grow weary, they shall run and not grow faint, they shall soar on wings as eagles. “.

        Each day, I try to focus on the next right thing. And prayer. Lots of prayer.

      • Andrea, that was beautiful. Thank you.

      • Andrea, thank you. I have struggled the most with how my kids think, feel, react, grow up, etc., etc. It’s overwhelming. I need to remember that God shows up for them every time, especially where their Dad and I can’t.

    • Leslie- I could of written this though our youngest is only almost 3. You hae described out relationship exactly. Roommates. I work part time but am also going back to school so that I will be able I support our children if I ever needed to. I also won’t leave my children and know that I would be in for a hell of a fight. Hugs and prayers to you sister all we can do is keep warrioring on and taking one step at a time.

    • I just want to tell you that my 20-year old daughter is dating a young man whose parents divorced when he was a preschooler. Recently I met his dad, and this man told me how he has spent years thinking that his kids would not know a good relationship because of all the negative stuff they saw between their parents. He was so relieved and happy to see that his son and my daughter are loving, happy, and good to (and for) each other. Not marrying them off this young, but it is possible to figure it out even if Mom and Dad did not.

  62. Ah…listening for God’s voice in us. He always finds a way to give us Clear Direction.

    • Yes. That’s what/Who it is… “Be still, & know that I am God.”

      After 15 yrs, and with this approach for all that time, the love I receive from my Husband is sufficient for me, when I know, without God in my life, it wouldn’t be.

      We are not all the same, so, of course outcomes will always differ from one person to the next, but if we all applied that ‘be still & quiet’ theory, so marvellously expressed in the post, at least we’d all know peace because of who we are…

  63. Brillant. Truly.

  64. I totally agree. When I was facing staying or leaving decisions…I knew 1 thing for sure..I was not going to live my life ‘by proxy’. I needed to get quiet and really think it through for myself. I did have one confidant and that was a very good thing, but this friend is a very non judgmental person, so that worked out for me. Good article. Hope people understand this message truly.

  65. This is so good. Quiet is very hard, and I steered clear of quiet for a long time. Because it meant I had to be real. I had to be me. I had to face my emotions, which were terrifying. I despised going to church because I had to be really real there, and it was too hard. But when I did allow the quiet, I was reminded of how much I love me and how okay I am being me and loving me and I was able to have more confidence in what I wanted and what I felt were the right things to do. What I wanted and what I felt was right were not always the same thing, and sometimes they were. Through it all I was able to navigate a journey and find a way to get through things and maintain the integrity of me, so I have no regrets!

  66. Thank you for this. I needed to hear this today.

  67. I read you blog often and love it. I often want to reply but never have. Until now. This is right on. Beautifully said. I will keep this for all the times friends ask me “what should I do?” There is no single right answer for anyone. This is the truest advice I could ever think of. Thank you for sharing.

    • I read everything Glennon writes and am humbled by the simple (honest) wisdom in her blogs but like you, I don’t usually respond. I’m in the fortunate position of having a strong, healthy and loving marriage (40 years) but this post resonates with me for other areas of my life. So so so true- we need stillness and quiet to listen to our inner selves.
      (And I know when I’ve been brave enough to comment it felt good to have it acknowledged). Thanks Amie, I will also be mindful of this when others ask for my advice.

  68. Thank you, G. These words are freeing and empowering and put the responsibility in my lap instead of looking for someone else to tell me what to do.

  69. …some loves are annuals some are perennials…and you don’t know which one you’re going to get…
    Also, I have a confession to make: when that still, small Voice nudged me to visit Momastery, I was in the waiting room at the pediatrician’s office with my son. I saw an article in a magazine and “Momastery.com”. I THOUGHT the title of the blog meant Mom-Mastery…someone who had mastered motherhood. (Imagine my surprise and relief.)
    Though I am never lonely because I can live in my own introved head just fine, that still, small Voice wanted me to know I was not alone…Momastery is where I laughed for the first time since “The Day it all Fell Apart”…where I learned to navigate on a computer proficiently because there was love waiting for me here. And I logged on and got an email and learned to cut and paste and send links. I bought copies of Carry On Warrior and gave them away. Signs of New Life. Tender shoots and leaves and branches and fruit. The next right thing is to say “thank you for carrying on and listening to that still, small Voice, Glennon.”

    • I thought that too, about the name! My SIL sent me link and said she thought I would like it, and I wrote her back that she was nuts, cuz I wasn’t the master of anything, least of all motherhood. :)

  70. Love it so much!!!

    My friend Lenore once said, some relationships last 3 minutes, some 3 days, 3 years, etc.

    I find I am challenged to accept the length they are given, when I have other ideas about what they should be! :) But this is just another practice for me…receiving my angels, but also letting them go!!! :)

  71. I am torn as to what to do with my marriage. We have always gotten along well but we are like roommates. We have not been intimate in years and frankly, it’s been so long I’ve forgotten how to do it! He hasn’t cheated on me nor have I cheated on him. There’s just not much there to hold us together except our 2 teen-age girls. I have been staying in this marriage for our girls…I’m so afraid that if we split up it would be detrimental to them. No one would think we are contemplating divorce as to all we seem to get along pretty well….I’m afraid to be alone and I don’t have any desire to start fresh with some one new. But I also don’t want to stay in a withering marriage….I am turning 50 next year and just feeling very alone. I don’t share my feelings about this with anyone. We tried counseling many years ago but we didn’t really put any effort into it. Now, I fell like we need to at least try to make things better and more intimate between us before we decide to definitely split. Thanks for providing me a space to share my feelings where I feel safe and not judged…

  72. Thank you, Glennon. As always, you have reached strait into the deepest part of my soul and given me exactly what I needed….support and belief that only I know what’s best for me and my daughter. No matter how well intentioned my parents and friends are, they don’t have the answer that’s right for me and mine. Thank you for giving me the confidence to trust myself…I really needed that. Sometimes trusting yourself is the hardest of all…especially when the rest of the world is shouting, it’s hard to be still and listen. So, thank you.

  73. G,
    I’ve had both types of marriages. Love the way you wrote it! My first marriage definitely made the earth richer for me to know to fight for my marriage with my current husband and make it the best WE can be! XOXO for your eloquent and TRUE words!!

  74. Thank you, Glennon. Thank you for this. I just divorced my husband of 18 years. I don’t want anyone to think what I did is the right thing to do, or the wrong thing to do. It was the right thing for me to do at this time in my life. I tried as hard as I could as long as I could until I just couldn’t anymore. But their Next Right Thing was not my Next Right Thing.

  75. I’m in the midst of fighting for my marriage. My husband is in recovery (8 months sober now) and it baffles me every day that this is something to fight about. I really thought once the drinking stopped the behavior would stop, but he’s spent the past 8 months clinging to his selfish and self centered ways despite his insistence that he wants to make our marriage work. I am scared that he is just this person now, that the loving and considerate man I married died the same day his dad died (that was when the drinking got noticeable).

    Every day I’m so CONFUSED. I don’t think there is a voice in me that knows the real answer for me. I don’t think I have that inner compass. There is only fear and what-ifs and more fear. So, when you say look for the next right thing, this makes sense to me. The next right thing for me, right now, is prepare for my middle daughter’s birthday party today and go to marriage counseling on Monday. That’s it. That’s ALL I have to do right now.

    Thank you.

    • My heart wants you to know that your doing it:). You have to surrender the need to control your husband and make it ok. Do the thing that is the next right thing for you. And be brutally honest with yourself. Brutally. Once the substance is not the coping strategy, a new, healthy one has to take its place, and that’s not something you can’t control, but you can set boundaries on how you will accept to be treated and need to follow through. It is how I have finally felt as if I have moved towards healing and growth,even years after my husband went through “treatment”. Treatment is only a very small part of the beginning of recovery, although an important one:) Namaste!

    • hello, AB. My husband wasn’t an alcoholic or drug addict but he was on a prescribed ADD medicine that was controlling his life. It made him depressed, he lost his job and I was ready to take our 3 kids and figure life out on our own. He entered inpatient rehab for depression last August. I am recently falling in love with him again. Living the life he lived for so long made an imbalance in his personality. When he returned he was on cloud nine. That only last a month. He became ill all the time, didn’t want to do anything fun, lost all desire for things he once liked to do, had headaches and slept alot, and I just didn’t like him anymore.
      He is now on several different medications and seeing a psychiatrist. He is FINALLY becoming the man of my dreams!
      With this being said, maybe your husband needs more time and an appointment with a doctor,which means you would have to wait some more (which honestly SUCKS!!!) Why should we have to wait for someone to get better when we’ve put so much work in already!!!
      I pray things work out the best for you and your family.

  76. So appropriate for me right now, this year has been a tough one for me, after finding out my husband was cheating on me with a much younger woman who was also married, we agreed to go to therapy and fight for our marriage, after 4 months of me fighting like hell, I found out he was still seeing her (found actual pictures of them having sex!). I finally asked him to leave he is moving into an apartment at the end of the month. I still struggle with what to do, he says he wants to try to prove yo me that he loves me that he doesn’t want to lose his family (we have 2 children), I am torn I have been lied to, cheated on, and disrespected, at this point I just feel like I need time away from him, to be separated to really process what has happened and to figure out what I truly want. I love my husband, I wish it were that easy to just turn off your love for someone, but I also hate him for hurting me and our family, and I don’t know if I will ever be able to trust him ever again, TORN that is how I feel. My hopes are that I can take this time apart, use the QUIET to really find out what I want. I always thought I knew what I’d do if my husband cheated (LEAVE HIM) but boy it is so much harder when it actually happens, it’s not so black and white when it becomes your reality. I just continue to have hope and faith that God will lead me down the right path, the path that will lead me back to happiness, the path that will allow me to live the life I deserve!

    • Oh, lady… I’m feeling so much for you right now. When I read your words, I felt their pain but also your strength. I’ve just written “Sister CJ” on a post-it stuck next to my computer. Each time I glance at it, I will take a moment to hold space for you in my heart, and I will hope that you can feel that you are not alone.

    • I too thought my answer would be LEAVE, but in that terrible moment things become a lot more muddled. I had friends and family who looked at me like I had grown three heads when I decided to stay and fight especially once it was revealed that my husband had fathered a child with his affair partner (a former school friend). And even though it’s been almost four years and another child for us, I still have to choose everyday and he knows it. I don’t know if staying will always be the answer but I have learned so much about myself by becoming a truth teller. I am not defined by my husband’s failings.
      Take your time and learn how you feel! I will be praying for all of us.

  77. thank you from someone who has been there too. Whereas my result was different the need for quiet was not and it was uncomfortable sometimes but I sat next to it and dwelled – and love was found again.

    Now I need to remind myself that being in the quiet space with parenting is a needed thing.

    thank you for writing what and as you do,

  78. Yes! I was in this position four years ago. After counseling (couple snd individual), marriage retreats, support groups, reading, and consulting with everyone I could think of who had also been there, I realized that the pain and confusion and fear of making the choice was almost too much to bear. So I found a cabin in the woods, wrote out the name of everyone I had spoken to and every book I had read – each on a separate card. I put the cards in an envelope, sealed it, stuck it in the corner and said, “thank you for caring about me and for your perspectives. Now I need you to be silent.” I spent the next three days completely isolated from anyone. I walked in the woods, prayed, journaled and meditated. My answer came to me pretty clearly once I stopped listening to all of the “experts” and started listening to me: I knew it was time to end my marriage. While the consequences and pain were enormous, I never regretted it because I knew it was precisely the right thing. And we all (my ex, my son and me) survived – and are even thriving. For me, I think that’s due in large part to the fact that through the pain, I found my voice.

  79. “Some loves are perennials-they survive the winter and bloom again. Some are annuals- beautiful and lush and full for a season and then back to the Earth to create richer soil for the new life to grow. The eventual result of both types of plants is New Life.”

    Girl, YASS! This could not possibly more more prefectly-stated! Thank you, as always, for you candor.

  80. Love this. I’ve done both: ended it with first husband. Stayed and made it amazing with number 2. Both right.

    And do the next right thing is genius. I will share with my college students.

  81. I’m in the midst of this dizzy circle…coping with betrayal and anger outbursts from the man I pledged my life to 15 years ago. Three babies, a home, memories we’ve built together…the storm is fierce and feels unrelenting. Run for my life or stay firmly planted until the wind settles?

    Be still. Put one foot ahead of the other and focus on the next right thing…for me, for them, for him.

    I am the child of divorce and it hurts. As an adult, it hurts more.

    These steps are heavy.

    • Right there with you. That’s what makes my decision so hard as well. I am the child of divorce, and I watched my parents give up on one another and our family. That is probably why I have such an intense drive to try, try, try and I am wearing down fast. Blessings to you.

    • I am not the child of divorce, but parents whose love was not necessarily loving, which led to betrayal in later years. Now I feel I am teaching that to my children(not betrayal), do I stay or go? Which is better? Sorry your confusion & heartache, I am I’m such a similar situation.

  82. That is the most amazing advice! My Daddy has always taught me that if I don’t know “what to do” to “just be still and the answer will come”. In this world of “right now” that is sometimes the hardest thing to do. I’ve had to put this advice to the test last year with my marriage and then again this year with my oldest daughter. In my marriage I had to do what felt right to me no matter what friends and aquaintances were telling me (luckily family was telling me to follow what felt right to me).

  83. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for this.
    This really hit home with me, too.
    “You answer to no one but yourself in the quiet.”— that’s something my kids need to learn…too many opinions about my choices and my life in general. Somehow they think they are uniquely qualified to dictate to me how and who i should love. And then when they don’t like my choice, they emotionally blackmail me, and hold my grandkids as the prize I don’t get to see if I don’t follow their demands.
    They need to read this. Pronto.

  84. I love this. I am a firm believer in “til death do us part,” but there are some things that can’t be fixed, and some things that can’t be fixed by only one person showing up, and things that don’t manifest themselves until after you’re married. Life is complicated; marriages are unique. And NO ONE needs to stay in a marriage where there is violence, when “til death” takes on a whole different meaning.

    Going on 29 years with my husband but only a year and a half with G, I’m still working on learning how to be still and “do the next right thing.”

  85. You don’t know how this really really hit me. Last spring, my husband and I separated and reading your spiel about you and Craig hit home…after 5 months of living apart, we decided that we wanted to fight for our marriage. I turned off all social media – deactivated Facebook, put my blog on private, and listened to me and what I wanted, especially what was best for our family and children. After the time apart, I realized that I loved my husband and wanted to fix us. Last night (YES, LAST NIGHT so this post couldn’t have been at a better time), I found out that his bad habits have reared their ugly head again and this was the final straw for me. This morning, I asked him to move out.

    • I’m sorry, Donna. This can’t be easy, even if it is the right thing. God bless you as you move forward with your next right thing.

    • Donna,
      I admire you. I admire you for separating. I admire you for moving back in together and fighting. And I admire you for knowing what your “final straw” was and standing up for it. No matter what your next step is, you have a lot of women out here who admire you and will stand with you.

    • Donna,
      I am sending you love and strength this morning as you do The Next Right Thing. My heart aches with you as I have dealt with my own marriage since last spring as well. I applaud your own strength this morning to trust yourself (as I do I applaud your past strength to try again.) I will be thinking of you all day and the days that follow.

      • Thank you all for your kind words. I look at my young daughter (2 years old) and think “I do not wish this for you…” and tell myself that they are the strength to either fight or stop the cycle. It’s been a battle for the past twelve years and not an easy one…I don’t know what lies ahead, I just know that in the words of G, “Carry On, Warrior.”

  86. I always read your blog, and I always feel like it speaks to me. But this one, at this time, hits the hardest. After 3 years of fighting for my marriage with all that I have, I filed for divorce this week. I know I have given it my all. I know I am not a failure. And I know the next right thing to do is stand up and stop being taken advantage of. Stop allowing my heart to be broken week after week after week. Start showing my daughters and son that Mommy deserves to be loved, even if it is self love. Thank you for sharing your life with us Glennon. It certainly helps me to feel a lot less alone.

  87. Well said. Thank you.

  88. I felt this very thing a couple of nights ago when I decided to drastically cut my hair. To most people that probably isn’t a big thing but for me it represents a world of decisions that I am often to scared to make without seeking the opinions of others. Those opinions that often vary so wildly from what I think should happen. So this time I just listened to myself and I went and did it without telling anyone outside my husband and kids and I’m thrilled with it. I’m sure there will be those who don’t care for it, but it’s done and therefore their opinions won’t change my mind for once. It’s a small step, but in many ways it’s also a big one. :)

  89. Love it. Although I think you reversed annuals & perennials… 😉

  90. Quiet scares me…that seems to be the hard thing I fight…

    I’m not married. I’m not separated. I’m just me. But I still needed the reminder, in my stage of life being a part-time grad student, full time employee, full time sister-soon-to-be-aunt, friend trying to make time for her circle, and follower of Christ trying to find a church that she fits into, that I can’t do it all and i can’t do it all right. So, I will just do the next right thing. One thing at a time.

  91. YES.

  92. Sent this post to a friend this morning. I think she’s been afraid to tell me that she and her husband are going to reconcile after months of divorce talk. I want her to know that I’ll support her no matter what. I just want her to do the Next Right Thing for her.

    • This makes me so happy to read Rikki! It’s wonderful when we know that our friends are there for us, no matter what we do. Sister On, girlfriend!!

    • Did the same thing to my friend this a.m. Told her, either way, I’ll support her and be with her.

  93. “Some loves are perennials-they survive the winter and bloom again. Some are annuals- beautiful and lush and full for a season and then back to the Earth to create richer soil for the new life to grow. The eventual result of both types of plants is New Life.”

    I LOVE this quote! It makes me feel so content.

  94. Perfect. For several years now, and starting in a very difficult but survivable (!) part of my life, my meditation has been “Be still, I am.” Thank you for being who you are, Glennon.

  95. I believe this came to my attention at just the right time. My husband and I are separated and I struggle every day with what I’m supposed to do and many times make decisions from my emotions which are all over the place with having a new baby. Before I make my next move I will take this advice.

  96. For me, of all you have written, which has resonated so deeply, this is what speaks to me at my core.

    Your voice is truly a gift I am thankful for.


  97. When I first got sober 20 years ago, I had a wonderful sponsor who taught me this. When I would call her in a complete tizzy, she would always say, “Do the next right thing.” Literally, one tiny thing at a time. I would stop and ask myself what I needed to do next. Take a shower, shave my legs, take a nap, iron clothes, whatever. One small step at a time. That’s all I did. And it is worked for me for 20 years.

  98. This came at exactly the right moment. I’ve struggled and struggled with the stay/go question for months and months. And everyone around me says, “Go, go, go, go…” Logic says, “Go, go, go, go…” but the stillness says… “Wait…” Thank you for this. Because I need this.

    • I’m right there with you, Gwynne. No one gets a vote on the decision but you who live it… and the hardest part for me was figuring out who was actually speaking when I heard “Go, go, go…” Friends? Family? Society? Or really me? Wait is the perfect next thing until I figure that out in the stillness. xoxo

    • I have been in the same situation for many years. I’m so glad I listen to the stillness and waited. My husband is finally working on his part. I have been working on myself for a long time. I think he sees how much I have changed and it inspired him. My friends and family thought I was nuts, but now they are very supportive.

  99. Amen, Warrior! :)

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