Divorcing Her to Marry One of Her Best Friends

By Linda W. Rooks:

She was stunned to learn her husband was divorcing her to marry one of her best friends.

She considered suicide. Then she found hope.

 

Rock to cling to by Linda Rooks

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer. (Psalm 18:2)

 

His words struck her ears and reverberated through her head as if she had just stepped into the middle of an exploding bombshell.  Georgia saw her husband’s mouth still moving, but a black cloud was descending upon her and the sound of his voice echoed through the chambers of her mind like shots from a cannon.

He’s leaving me. Divorcing me to marry one of my best friends!  They both plan to get divorced, then married to each other.

Georgia asked him questions, but the hardness of his answers made her freeze.  She looked into blue eyes, now dark and cold.  Who was this man?  Where was the man she had married? How could her husband leave her, like her own father had left her as a child? And worse, how could he be divorcing her to marry one of her best friends?

She felt the flesh of her heart tearing apart.  A crushing pain gripped her as if a vice were squeezing the life from her. She could hardly breathe.

After he left, she stumbled out to her car, enveloped in a darkness that shut down her mind and embedded one dark desire into her heart.  “I don’t want to live.  I can’t live.  I must escape this pain.”  As if caught up in a death spiral, her mind raced back to the memory of a friend who had committed suicide years before.  It sounded simple.  She could escape the pain, escape the horror of what was happening to her life.  She would do what her friend had done.

But Georgia was not as skilled as her friend in making the preparations.  After trying her best, she finally climbed into her car, sat at the wheel and in her anguish called out the only name that came to her, “Jesus.  Jesus, if you’re as real as I thought you were,” she cried, “you know I’m not going to make it through this night.  Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.”

After a few minutes of sobbing and calling out his name, she felt a peace pouring down on her like a light gleaming through the darkness.  The darkness released her mind and the light swept in.  Jesus would show her the way.  She didn’t have to take this deadly route.

After Georgia found out that her husband was divorcing her to marry one of her best friends, her pain did not immediately go away after that night, but in the midst of it, she felt the love of Jesus holding her up as never before. Whenever Georgia felt desperate, she called out the name of Jesus, and God became more and more real to her. She immediately had a hunger to read the Bible, and when she opened it up, it was like God spoke to her personally. She and the children began reading the book of Job. Here she read about a man who lost everything and suffered the same anguish and doubts she was feeling. But he continued to worship God anyway.  Eventually, God blessed Job with more than he had before.

Today, years later, despite her devastating experience, Georgia wouldn’t trade where she is spiritually for anything.  The circumstances that tore her apart brought her a deeper love and a deeper joy than she would have ever known otherwise.  When others disappointed her, God was always there, providing her with what she needed in unexpected ways.  As He promised, Jesus has never left her nor forsaken her. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

The name of Jesus carries enormous power when we call on His name.  When our heart cries out to Him. He hears us and surrounds us with His presence.  Jesus is the lover of our soul. He longs to be near us.  He longs to comfort us and give us His peace.  Scripture tells us that “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 4:7).

You might not understand it, but His love and peace can undergird you in your pain.  Just call out His name.  Let your heart reach out to Him. He will become a rock to cling to when you feel you are being enveloped in currents of tragedy and adversity.

Just like Georgia felt when she found out the terrible news about the betrayal of her husband and friend, you may feel like life is not worth living.  You may just want to escape the pain, but Jesus loves you and has a plan for you.  He will never leave you when you call out His name. So right now, call out to Him.  “Jesus!”  Let Him heal your heart.

 

Thinking ‘How Do I Commit Suicide?’ But DO Want Life–Without Heartbreak?

By Janet Perez Eckles:

Are you thinking, ‘How do I commit suicide?’ simply because it’s hard for you to imagine a future without  the heartbreak you feel right now?

 

Those were thoughts Sandy had.

Her husband walked in one night and said he found the woman of his dreams. No warning before dropping that bomb in her heart. No clue he had been unhappy. No idea he could ever betray her.

“Maybe I could understand if he seemed unhappy,” she sobbed, “but he never showed any signs. How stupid I had been.”

I was there, in her shoes and shedding those same tears. Life crumbles, dreams shatter and the future seems to end.

Sandy thought about ending it. Ending her anguish and ending the heartache she couldn’t mend.  She even thought, “How Do I Commit Suicide?” Yet she really did want to live, just not in pain.

That was the real torment. Her days were dark, but she still longed to restore her marriage. She longed to live for that hope.

Sandy and I had the same situation. We both wanted to live. It was the heartache we wanted to end. But God came into her life and mine. His power that pierced through the anguish—how could you end your life, when I have the beginning of a new one? The life that shines with meaning, confidence and security.

I had dried my last tear. Gave my last sob and chose to believe.

My husband had betrayed me, but God was faithful. My husband had taken his love somewhere else. But God poured his love to soothe my wounds.

The question changed: How can one commit suicide when the healing is in God’s hands, and the future clearly etched in His plans?

I trusted, and no matter what disappointments, big or small, I will look up and repeat over and over again: I want to live because tomorrow is in His hands. I will receive the richness of His love and exchange my pain for joy. Nights will bring back sleep because He’s by my side. I will overcome because He said I could. And He will heal me because He promised He would.

Are you one who is thinking ‘How do I commit suicide’, yet deep in your broken heart simply want to live without pain?  Find out more about God, the master healer of broken hearts, at GodTest.com.

Also read more stories of hope here at our Thinking About Suicide site by clicking on our categories or using our Search box. Do you know that Janet, the author of this article, not only lost her sight, but also lost a son to murder? There truly is hope in all terrible circumstances.

Thinking ‘I Don’t Want to Live Anymore’? Here’s Hope

Please don’t give up, even if your spouse left you.  Thinking, ‘I don’t want to live anymore’? There is hope, even in a broken marriage.

Linda Rooks, author of Broken Heart on Hold: Surviving Separation shares thoughts on remaining hopeful:

By Linda Rooks:

“He said he doesn’t love me anymore.”

“She left me.”

I have heard that over and over from those attending our classes and in e-mails I receive.

A spouse walks out the door saying these words, and the one left behind feels like life has no more meaning, sometimes even thinking ‘I don’t want to live anymore‘.

Due to shock, rejection and all the accompanying emotions, the abandoned spouse’s mind spins in all different directions, collecting memories and fears that spiral him or her down into an abyss of depression. Sometimes when that person hits bottom, they haven’t the will to crawl out. Everything seems hopeless.

As devastating as this feels, however, it may not be the end of the relationship, but a detour.

If this is where you are right now, this may be a time to get away so you can reassess your life and make adjustments.

Along with giving your spouse space and allowing things to unfold at an unhurried pace; along with realizing feelings can change and finding encouraging friends (see my other post, He Doesn’t Love Me Anymore, I Want to Die)  the following approaches might lead you toward healing and restoration. A reconciled marriage can’t be guaranteed, of course, but the following can build bridges to hope:

  • Keep your sanity by putting your spouse “on the back burner” and focusing on God. Otherwise, the default mode is to become obsessed with your situation and your spouse. Spend time reading the Bible, attend church and local Bible studies, listen to radio and television teachers, listen to Christian praise CDs, and read Christian books.
  • Humbly seek God’s direction. Let Him show you any changes He wants you to make that will fulfill you as a person and perhaps bring peace and healing to your marriage as well. Each partner in a marriage brings weaknesses as well as strengths to the relationship.  Pray and ask God to reveal what you can do to become more the person God wants you to be.  Try to identify in yourself habits, reactions, or behaviors that may be a hindrance to a good marital relationship.
  • Take time to nurture yourself.  The stress in your relationship in recent times may have caused you to neglect yourself.  Rekindle some of those interests you may have put aside.  Just make sure they are legal, moral and not too expensive.
  • After giving your spouse space for a while, each time you have contact try to focus on something to appreciate about him/her—and say it.  This may seem difficult, but if you can humbly and sincerely begin to look for the positive, you may set a tone that leads to healing.
  • Pray for your spouse, your marriage, and yourself.  Seek God’s wisdom.  God sees the whole picture, not just the small part that you can see right now.  He can guide you into a future that will unfold blessings you can only dream of now.
Don’t let your husband or wife define who you are.  God created you and loves you.  He has a plan for you and He will guide you through this time.

If your spouse said, “I don’t love you anymore” and you are still thinking ‘I don’t want to live anymore’, watch the following video. There is hope. Feelings can change, and if you give God time, He can bring healing to your life.

He Doesn’t Love me Anymore; I Want to Die

By Linda Rooks:

Does life offer hope when the one you loves leaves?  Or do you think, “I want to die?”

Linda Rooks, author of Broken Heart on Hold: Surviving Separation shares thoughts on remaining hopeful:

 

 “I don’t love you anymore and I’m leaving.  I want a divorce.”

These words or a variation stun spouses and break hearts every year on a regular basis.  Seldom is a spouse prepared for the suddenness of these words or the devastating ramifications they bring to their lives.

In my ministry to those in broken marriages, I hear this story on a regular basis from women and men who are reeling in pain when they suddenly face the prospect of divorce or separation.  The pain is so great they can’t imagine living with it.  When they hear their spouse say they are leaving and that she or he “doesn’t love me anymore”, they just want to die.

As frightening as these words are, however, there is still hope that things can turn around.  But the way a person handles the situation can make the difference in the outcome.  While no one can promise the marriage will be restored, reconciliation is possible when the following steps are applied.

  • Realize that feelings can change.  In marriage classes we now teach, my husband drives that point home almost every week.  And he knows firsthand—because many years ago he was one of those spouses who left and questioned his feelings of love for me.  After three years of separation, we reconciled with a stronger and healthier marriage.  Feelings fluctuate, and what your spouse feels right now may be very different six months from now.  According to recent scientific studies of the brain, that “in love” feeling is considered a very temporary state that lasts anywhere from 3 months to 36 months.
  • How you react to your spouse at this point is important.  If he or she leaves, give them space.  If they pull away and you chase after them, they will pull away even more.  Of course you want answers, but at this point you probably won’t be able to get them.  But with a little space, he or she may see things more clearly. This means, don’t call, e-mail or text.  Let them clear their head.
  • Give it time.  It may feel hopeless, but things can actually turn around. The problems that led up to this have probably taken a long time to develop, and it will take time for them to heal.
  • Find friends that encourage you, not ones who immediately suggest you file for divorce.
  • Don’t let the person who has left you define who you are.  You are a precious child of God.  God loves you and created you to be the unique person that you are.  He has a purpose and plan for your life.
  • Because it’s so easy to become obsessed with what is happening, take your focus off your spouse and your circumstances and focus on God.  Spend time reading the Bible and listening to Christian speakers.  Pick out Christian books to read.  Immerse yourself in the things of God.

If your spouse said, “I don’t love you anymore” and you want to die, grab onto the Lord and let Him wrap you in His love.  God is a God of hope, and He has good things for you in the future.  If you feel discouraged and need to see a more tangible example of hope, here’s a TV interview I did on this very subject.  In this interview ( starting at about the 4:40 minute mark) I tell a little of my own story and share more about the hope that is possible when your spouse says, “I don’t love you anymore,” and you feel you just want to die. Even though your spouse may have said, “I don’t love you anymore,” there is still hope that those feelings can change.

Here’s video that may help:  http://vimeo.com/44472548

 

Survival Tips for Returning Veterans

  Are you one of those looking for survival tips for returning veterans?  So was Jeff, who said:

“You don’t know what it was like for me when I returned to the states after being in Afghanistan. My wife had left me, my children called another man daddy, and my relatives lived their lives as if they were guests on Jerry Springer.  Then, with my PTSD, it took me months before I could shop in a Wal-Mart without wanting to run out screaming.”

“Did you think about suicide?” I asked.

“A lot.”

“What got you through it?”

“Only God.”

“What would you say to other struggling vets?”

“I can’t promise that it will be easy, but when you live through it, you’ll be stronger for it. That’s how you’ll prove to everyone you can make it.”

Are you feeling suicidal after returning from a term of military service?

 

According to the Make the Connection website, there are some additional tips to help you survive your return home:

  • Reach out to other Veterans or Veterans’ groups for social support
  • Exercise regularly and eat healthy meals
  • Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing
  • Recognize that others may not always agree with you or understand your military service; agree to disagree
  • Be prepared for insensitive questions or topics of conversation; practice how to respond ahead of time
  • Respectfully decline to talk about things that make you uncomfortable
  • Have a plan of action for your adjustment that includes a list of goals for your transition, your future, and your personal life
  • Try to get a good night’s sleep
  • Avoid unhealthy “quick fixes” that you think may help you cope, like drinking alcohol, taking drugs, or smoking cigarettes.

If you or someone you know is suicidal, see Make the Connection  for more tips.

Listen to other vets talk about the difficulties of transitioning into civilian life in this YouTube video below:

You might also be interested in the comprehensive 600 plus page PDF book, The American Veteran’s and Service Members Survival Guide – How to Cut Through the Bureaucracy and Get What You Need—And Are Entitled To – from the Veterans of America. Click HERE to download a free copy.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are a vet who is depressed or in danger of harming yourself or others, contact Veteran’s Crisis Line or call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

If you want to find out how to reach out to God, click HERE:

Hope When Marriage Separation Made Me Think: I Want to Die

By Linda W. Rooks:

Hope for those who feel suicidal after a marriage separation.

When my marriage fell apart, I felt like an old shoe thrown in the trash, unwanted by the person who was supposed to love me the most.  The man who chose me as his wife no longer wanted me.

Often I sat before the TV and saw sad stories of someone dying of cancer or someone who’d been killed in a car crash whose loved ones were in mourning.   Why couldn’t that be me?  I’d think.  They want to live, and I want to die. They’re dying and I’m alive. It doesn’t seem fair.  My marriage separation was just too painful.

And then I’d cry out, “God, why don’t you just let me die?”

I felt like part of the living dead.  My depression was so deep and the pain was so real, I felt like I was being ripped in two.

A few weeks into our separation, the typically unassertive woman who cut my hair, heard my story and challenged me with great passion not to let my husband get the best of me.  “Focus on God,” she said.  “Think about what God wants you to do, and think about your kids and what’s best for them.”

After our conversation, her words rang in my ears for the next few days. As I focused on what she’d said, I experienced a supernatural peace.  I felt somehow suspended above the circumstances of my marriage separation for a time.  And I began to take steps to get beyond my depression.

I typed scriptures and hung them up around the house—on my mirror, on my refrigerator, on the walls—so that everywhere I looked, God’s Word could encourage me.  I turned on my radio or TV and listened to Christian teachers as often as possible.  Throughout the day I listened to praise songs to lift me up emotionally.  I did everything I could to fill my mind with positive thoughts about God. These things helped me get through each day of my marriage separation until I finally began to experience God’s peace on a more regular basis.

My husband and I were separated for three years.  After God did His work in our lives, we reconciled and got back together.

It was a painful time, but today we have a strong, happy marriage, and I’m so thankful God didn’t grant my desperate cry when I told him that because of my marriage separation, “I want to die”.  Now I have experienced the truth of Psalm 30:5:

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”

While the length of your anguish might not last for a literal night and day, your pain will come to an end in God’s timing when you place it in God’s hands and allow Him to work in your life.

I’m so thankful God didn’t grant my desperate cry when I told him I wanted to die in the midst of those difficult three years. If you are suffering through a marriage separation, I invite you to visit my website at brokenheartonhold.com.  There you can find scriptures to download and suggested praise music to salve your spirit, along with many other helps.

God Help Me with My Marriage Problems

By Linda W. Rooks:

All day my heart had been racing uncontrollably and my breathing was shallow.  Fear had entangled me in its web as I fought to understand what was happening with my marriage problems.

All I could say to God was, “Please, God, let me die. I can’t bear this pain.” Then I realized I was sinking deeper and deeper into the mire, and I cried out, “God help me. You can take me home if you want, but save me out of this pit.”

With my body limp from depression, but my sense of duty calling me to fulfill the job I had for the evening, I got in the car and headed for the superstore to buy some supplies for the meeting that night.

As I drove into the parking lot and wound between the lanes of cars, I felt myself sinking deeper and deeper into the pit of despair that had been pulling me under for the past two days.  I could scarcely breathe.

“Linda, Linda, Linda . . . don’t do this to yourself.  Linda.” A voice was calling to me, an inner voice that repeated my name over and over. I heard the words clearly in my head.  “Linda, I love you. You are precious to me. Don’t do this to yourself.”

Although it was not an inaudible voice, I recognized it nonetheless. The focus of my thoughts lifted from the pit and disengaged from the pain inside. I raised my eyes to something higher, something bigger. A flood of peace poured through me. God was calling out to me. No, I couldn’t depend on the love of my husband right then, not with our marriage problems, but I could depend on a love that was stronger, a love that would not let me go.

The Creator of Heaven and Earth cared about me. He was walking beside me and calling my name, even in the midst of my marriage troubles. My eyes had been so focused on my pain, so lost in the mire, that I couldn’t see Him. But now, as I heard him calling out to me, I knew He had not left me. I was not alone, and I would be alright. The words of the 23rd Psalm streamed into my head:

“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me.”

Whether I could see Him or not, I knew God had been there all along and would continue to walk beside me while I dealt with my marriage problems. If you are also having marriage problems, know that God’s message for me that difficult night is also for you. Take a deep breath, and know that he will get you through your difficulties, just as he did for me.

If you are wondering if prayer could help your marriage problems, watch prayer author Stormie Omartian address this very subject:

 

 

A Successful Suicide Prevention Story

By Jeenie Gordon:

As a therapist, on occasion, God has granted me the opportunity to successfully practice suicide prevention through office visits or phone calls. Here is one such story.

He was in his late 20s, good-looking enough to be a movie star. Intelligent, with a vibrant personality, he could capture a heart in a minute—but his world fell apart.

Aaron stumbled into my counseling office, and tears cascaded down his sculptured face like a giant waterfall. Slumping on the sofa, between sobs, he told me his story of pain. I listened carefully.

Married a few short years to his beautiful dream girl, he thought life was blissful—until today.

“Angela wants out of our marriage. Her bags are packed, and she is ready to walk out of the door and out of my life forever.”

“I’m so sorry to hear that, Aaron. Tell me what happened.”

“Angela was swept off her feet by an older, married man at work. The more she spoke of his amazing attributes, the more my heart disintegrated. That’s why I decided to seek counseling.”

During the next few weeks, I was supportive and caring toward this broken man. Returning home late one evening, I had numerous messages from him.

“Jeenie, I need you. Please pick up. Jeenie, I can’t stand the pain, and I’m going to end it.”

With a loaded gun and a broken heart, he called for help. My heart was nearly beating out of my chest as I dialed his number.

“Please, God,” I prayed. “Let him still be alive.”

Thankfully, he answered, and I was able to talk him through the night, preventing his suicide.

Years later, Aaron remarried a wonderful Christian woman, had children, and today is involved in ministry to others in despair.

Not all stories turn out as well as Aaron’s. The dark well of emotion surrounds many people in marital trauma as they sink into a pit of deep muck, unable to climb out. Often they do not possess enough strength to grab onto a lifesaving hope of suicide prevention.

You can search a directory of Christian counselors through the National Christian Counselors Association at http://www.ncca.org/Directory/. Even though suicidal people need professional help, do not underestimate the listening ears, encouraging words, and love of family and friends for they may also help in suicide prevention.

This excerpt was taken from Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Suicide Victims and Survivors and used with permission by New Hope Publishers.

Here’s a video from Linda Rooks on Huntly Street about restoring a broken marriage: 

What is Depression?

By Karen Boerger

My first caregiving role was when my husband was diagnosed with depression.  During his lengthy illness, I struggled to understand the “why” of his despair and spent hours looking for answers to my question, “What is depression?”

We eventually learned that various factors influenced my husband’s depression: sleep apnea, Seasonal Affective Disorder, his parent’s deaths, and work overload.  Any one of those factors would be a cause for sadness, but having all at the same time caused him major trouble.

At some point over 28 years of his becoming depressed, I noticed that every November (as the amount of sunlight decreased) he would began to slowly retreat within himself.  He would close his eyes to the world, stay in bed for long hours and wouldn’t talk except for one word answers to questions. He would cry at times and thought about suicide.

Depression affected each member of the family, not just him. I became a nervous Nellie and hovered over all three of our teenage children as well as my husband. I was the caregiver trying to keep the children’s lives as normal as possible, but it was difficult to do.

We lived on a farm, and my husband was no longer able to take care of the dairy herd and the other livestock.  Our children were often late to school because all the livestock had to be taken care of first. Bless the school principal for his understanding of the situation. Yet even though my husband’s depression was emotionally difficult for all of us; I knew that if I were to lose him to suicide, it would be absolutely devastating.

To gather strength to get through the lonely days, I would read the Bible and pray. God was my constant companion, and I could tell Him anything and everything.  David wrote in Psalm 6 about symptoms of depression:

  • “my soul is greatly troubled”
  • “my bones are in agony”
  • “I am weary with my moaning”
  • “all night long I flood my bed with weeping”
  • “I drench my couch with my weeping”
  • “My eye wastes away because of grief”

WOW!  Even King David suffered from depression!  We can be honest with God even when we are filled with anger or despair because God knows us so well and always wants the best for us.

We Found Hope and Help!

Our family trusted in God, sought help from a Christian psychiatrist, and was supported by our many friends. Medication helped, as well as getting to a sunny place in February, which gives him a boost so he’s able to make it into spring with energy. It’s amazing to me to see the difference in him even now after a couple days in Florida sunlight after a gray Ohio winter.

Today my husband is a thoughtful, loving man with purpose in his life and he enjoys his family. Praise the Lord for the help he received in his time of need.

Had he taken his life, my best friend wouldn’t be sitting in his favorite chair, joking with me, trying to make me laugh, or  able to chat with me about the world situations. He wouldn’t be able to play with our seven grandchildren and enjoy their silly antics. What a loss it would have been for all of us!

For more information about What is Depression? watch this video:

Holding On to Hope When You Want to Die

By Karen O’Connor 

“I am so sorry for the horrible mistakes I made,” said Tony, a man in his early 70s.  His past included an affair that separated him from his wife and daughter, drinking, drugs, and loss of employment. He lived in an abandoned house for a time because he had nowhere to go and no money to start over. “It’s pretty hard to do anything positive when you want to die,” he added. “I started thinking about suicide. I figured no one would miss me.”

But Tony was wrong. Someone would miss him, had missed him for years—his daughter Jane whom he hadn’t seen in ten years. She searched until she found him at a shelter in the city where he’d last lived. They reconnected and Tony became willing to get the help he needed. He went into a recovery program and Jane visited him every day for three months.

“She was my lifeline,” Tony said with tears in his eyes. “I have a long way to go but now I have hope. Jane led me back to church and we’re getting to know each other. I’m learning to focus on what we have, instead of the mess I made.”

Tony admitted that for most of his life he’d been looking for love in all the wrong places.  Now he knows that only God can provide what he needs. “The most important thing to me today,” he said, “is to show my daughter that even though I went to the bottom rung, by God’s grace and her love, I have hope. When you want to die, hope seems like a dream, but when you let God lead you, it’s real.”

Be inspired with this YouTube video, featuring music from Company of Saints, to encourage and give hope when you feel hopeless.