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

 

Struggling With Faith When a Loved One Died by Suicide.

By Linda Rooks:

Here’s a story about one woman who struggled with her faith after her beloved brother died by suicide.


When Penny’s younger brother took his life, her heart felt rent in two. Night after night she cried until she fell asleep exhausted on pillows wet with her tears.

This was not supposed to happen. She had trusted God to save her kid brother in his struggle with depression urged him on a regular basis to trust God. She had tried again and again to give him hope.

How could a loving God allow her younger brother to take his own life by suicide?  Where was God on that fateful night?

What made this even harder was that Penny was a woman who had dedicated her life to ministry. With humble hearts she and her husband gave unconditionally to those who were hurting.  Each year Penny and Clint traveled around the country, speaking in churches and ministering to couples whose marriages were in crisis. The life verse Penny had chosen for herself was Isaiah 61:1-4 which began:

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—“

Penny’s mission was to serve God by binding up the brokenhearted. Now she was the brokenhearted.

Her mission had been to comfort those who mourn and provide for those who grieve, and now she was mourning to a depth she had never before gone. She couldn’t imagine her own grief ever ending.  Why would God allow her brother to end his life by suicide, spiraling her down into a depth of despair from which she didn’t know if she could ever rise?  How did God expect to use her now?  What good would she be to anyone?

From the depths of her pain, Penny struggled to understand. And through her wounded heart, she heard God’s voice.

In her blog Marriage on a Mission  Penny openly shares her struggle of faith. The pain is still real, but so is God’s provision.

If you are also struggling in your faith after a loved one has died by suicide, the vulnerability of Penny’s blog may help you grasp onto hope. For at the end of our grief, God has promised:

…a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.(Isaiah 61:3)

Once God has brought healing to your heart and life, you will hopefully see this promise fulfilled.  Read Penny’s blog below and journey with her through this struggle of faith in her blog post with scriptures: The Grief of God’s Mission.

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: