Good Afternoon Dr. Rainford,
I finally feel moved to share with you my experience in marriage now that I have gotten some personal insights through a lot of quiet time of meditation. My husband is currently in the process of finding a new apartment so that he can literally escape from me. We have three children …(W and Y are seven and P is 7 months old), who are the subject of the divorce. He believes that I keep neglecting them in terms of the timing and nature of their meals and that I have placed too much spiritual pressure by asking him to give up his pleasure in watching violent shows (Marvel and DC). He does not spend enough time with us as a family in devotions. We use to pray but not anymore because of various conflicts. I admit I have contributed to the breakdown because of my sexual experience. I did not release and I was deliberately pushing away by the way I dress, my hair and care for nails because I did not want to have sex with him. I still need to get past the experience of being sexually molested… when I was about 8 years old. There is a lot more I could share because he and I grew up in a traumatic home situation. We have been separated before … He asked for the divorce in June 2018. The question is how do I get pass this desire for him to be more spiritual in terms of what I see in the bible pertaining to his role as a husband and father?
Dear “ Desiring a Spiritual Husband”,
I would never ask or expect you to get past your desire for your spouse to be more spiritual and I do not believe you should ask or expect that of yourself. That being said, what you can consider focusing on is how you treat your husband despite your desire for him to be more spiritual. Do you love him unconditionally in the way I am sure you love your children? Do you accept him for who he is even if he is not exactly who you want him to be? Do you show him that love and affection? Do you treat him in the way that you are called to biblically? One example is written in Corinthians. “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer.” (1 Cor 7: 3-5, NIV) Based on some of what you revealed I suspect that the answer would be no for some of these questions. While I suspect that many other married women would answer no to some of these questions as well, I encourage you to act towards your husband as if all were a resounding yes. However given that you are on the verge of divorce I believe your marriage needs much more than my advice. I suggest you seek professional help as soon as possible to help you recover from the trauma of your childhood sexual abuse and to restore your marriage. I believe this is possible because “with God all things are possible ”(Matt 19; 26, NIV). It is my sincere hope that your marriage will be restored to a happy one.
Disclaimer: This advice is based on my opinion and is not a substitute for professional advice.