Hi! I’m Megan. I’m a single mom of five tiny humans. Living Whole Single Mom is the spin-off dedicated to creating resource-rich community for me, you, and all of the other single moms who need a place to land with others who “get it." The goal of helping women survive divorce, function in life, and thrive in motherhood.
I know … he makes you feel like you haven’t in a long time. He treats you in a way your husband once did and promised to do for the rest of his life. He makes you feel beautiful, strong, and alive again. He’s an oasis in your dry desert, the emotional connection you’ve been deprived of that leads to the physical intimacy you once had, but lost. He’s everything your husband isn’t or once was … and you’re tempted to walk away from it all – your husband, your kids, your mundane life as a stay at home mom or a work all the time career woman, and you’ve rationalized this to yourself.
You have a million reasons to walk away, which double as justifications for your actions. You’ve made a list of reasons why your marriage isn’t worth saving … why this knight in shining armor you’re infatuated with is everything you want and all that you need. Maybe you’ve even convinced yourself to some extent of delusion that God has brought you (a married woman) … THIS man.
I promise you, God has done no such thing. God will not bring a married woman another man and he will not bring your man-on-the-side another man’s wife. There is no room for anyone else in your sacred one-flesh relationship. Though God sees your pain and feels the disappointment each time your husband doesn’t treat you like he should (and each time you don’t treat him like you should), He has already sent you a savior and this man isn’t it.
It’s the agenda of another to make you think your Savior isn’t sufficient and the grass is greener elsewhere. This wide road you’re on leads to nowhere good. Proverbs 5 tells you exactly how this is going to play out: death, delusion, destruction of the self, and the proverbial murder of the family unit. It also tells you what you should do.
(Proverbs 5: Emphasis mine.) My daughter, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge. For the lips of the adulterous man drip honey, and his speech is smoother than oil; but in the end he is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. His feet go down to death; his steps lead straight to the grave. He gives no thought to the way of life; his paths wander aimlessly, but he does not know it. Now then, my daughters, listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say.
Keep to a path far from him, do not go near the door of his house, lest you lose your honor to others, and your dignity to one who is cruel, lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich the house of another. At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. You will say, “How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction! I would not obey my teachers or turn my ear to my instructors. And I was soon in serious trouble in the assembly of God’s people.”
Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
A loving buck, a graceful deer— may his man pecs satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with his love. Why, my daughter, be intoxicated with another man […]?
Why embrace the man pecs of a wayward man? For your ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all your paths. The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast. For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly.
Isn’t it ironic how this man meets every single need that isn’t being met by your husband, how he fills every void you have within yourself, how easy it is to talk to him, how wonderful he treats you, how amazing he makes you feel? (His perfection in your eyes should be your first clue.) It’s like … he’s your “soul mate” … only you’re married and your soul is attached to someone else’s.
Dear wife, this man is not the answer to your problems. He’s an illusionary remedy. Satan will never tempt you with the obvious. He’s done his research and is far smarter than you give him credit for. No, Satan will tempt you with the whole package – a manifestation of your deepest unfulfilled desires. He dresses up ugly packages with pretty paper. He takes all of your insecurities, all of your husband’s weaknesses, and all of your hurts and brings forth a man who appears to have it all.
He’ll play with your emotions, plant seeds of doubt, harden your heart, and he’ll make what you’re doing seem “okay.” But it’s not and the truth is, this man doesn’t really care about you. He doesn’t love you. He doesn’t respect your husband. He doesn’t respect his brother. He seeks married women because he has deep insecurities and in his pride, his need for himself overshadows his regard for others … including you.
Is this the type of man you would want for your kids? Someone who respects them so much he doesn’t think twice about destroying their world … their security? Is this the man you would choose for yourself? A man who doesn’t build but tears down, isn’t a leader, doesn’t show respect, isn’t wise, isn’t following God, isn’t repentant, and shows no remorse? Is this the type of man you would want your daughter to marry or your son to grow up and emulate?
I know the grass seems oh so green, but the green grass on the other side is only green because it has a sewer underneath of it. It is deceptive – perfectly cut green grass with wildflowers of every color on the surface but dig into that soil and you’ll yield nothing but poop.
Sure, there are women stuck in abusive relationships and narcissistic marriages where men have fled their God-given roles but dear wife, even if this is you, this man is not the answer. He is not your savior. He cannot give you what only a savior can. A wife is in no way free to entertain the pursuits of another man and you owe it to yourself not to. You will be a better, fuller, happier, healthier person … if you step away from your affair.
Step away. Take the rose-colored glasses off. Confess. Cut off communication. Just. Like. That. Run as fast as you can in the opposite direction and don’t look back.
Do it for God. Do it for your kids. Do it for your vows, and do it for yourself. Give your marriage a chance to heal and don’t fall for the trap that your feelings will never change because a hardened heart can be softened and feelings are fluid. Recognize that you’re being baited by something far larger than yourself and like eating from the forbidden tree resulted in death … having an affair with another man will birth the death of a marriage.
Nobody wants to have this conversation, let alone be in the position where they have to. Walking away from a man or a marriage is a big deal – a decision that can’t be made lightly. Though the world that hasn’t “wifed” in your shoes won’t always understand, there are times when it’s in you or your children’s best interests to leave.
Adultery, abandonment, narcissism, emotional or physical abuse, a husband who checked out and won’t check back in, and needing to shield your kids, protect yourself, and keep the ship you’re left on afloat are just a few of the many reasons that may have led you to this decision. And once you’re here, you have to figure out what to do next.
You might have given up your career so that he could have his, have small children who depend on you, or have little support. You might not have your own bank account or the first clue on how to protect yourself through this process. You might have committed to leaving in your mind, but aren’t sure how to put your plan into action.
It’s confusing – trying to figure out where to go, what to do, and how to take those first steps. People don’t write books for wives who are leaving their husbands, you know. That’s just not proper and it’s uncomfortable to talk about; but we need to, because it happens … all … the … time. If you’ve made the decision to leave, here are seven things you should do next.
#1 Get Your Own Bank Account
The first thing you need to do is get your own bank account – without him knowing about it. If you don’t, your husband could restrict your access to joint accounts when you leave making it very difficult for you to get on your feet and survive without him. He could also start controlling “HIS” money, how you spend it, and monitor how you’re using it.
He may not want you anymore … but he will want to control you and use any means he can to do it.
Once you have your own bank account, deposit your paychecks, any other funds that belong to you, and any funds your husband will have to pay you in the future into it. If you don’t have money of your own, write a check to yourself from your joint account – enough to get you where you need to go and some money for groceries and essentials you and your children need to live on.
#2 Find a Place to Go Right Now & “Tomorrow”
If you’ve decided to leave, you need a place to go. If you’re being physically abused and have no one around you, this might be a shelter. If you’re still holding out hope for reconciliation, this might be a family member’s house. If divorce is inevitable, then you’ll want to find a temporary place to stay until you can get an apartment and establish a safe place for you and your kids to ride it out. If you have no family and you don’t have access to a shelter, look for a ministry that takes mothers and children who are coming out of crisis situations. Divorce is definitely a crisis.
Your end goal is to establish a safe, loving, and secure home for you and your children. You can’t do this on the run – so establish both a “right-now” plan and a “tomorrow” plan.
What I wouldn’t do? Buy a house or leave the state (unless you just moved and your residency is established in a different state). Don’t make any big or stupid financial decisions with so much up in the air and so many changes coming down the road. You don’t want to be strapped in to something you may not be able to afford or might complicate a messy divorce, especially because you’re already strapped to a sinking ship.
#3 Get an Attorney
Get an attorney as soon as you get to your new location so that you can get maintenance, child support, and temporary custody. This will protect you and your kids as you go through your separation or divorce process, and ensures you get everything you’re entitled to. You need someone fighting for you and anticipating the things you’re not able to see. You also need someone to advise you on the requirements for filing, what the legal process entails, and to protect you from your man.
#4 Plug in to Your People
You cannot do this alone. Well … maybe you can but it’s a whole lot easier if you don’t have to. You need people to come along side you, support you, lift you up, bring you meals, confide in, wipe your tears, and help you keep your head on straight. It’s very hard to make wise biblical decisions and to handle something so incredibly stressful if you don’t.
Where can you find these people? Look to your family, small group, pastor, and friends. You can even look to his family if you have a close relationship with someone who isn’t enabling your husband’s behavior and poor choices. (Oh girl … you don’t have to cut off ties with his family just because you’re cutting ties with him. That’s not how this works.)
#5 Find Resources to Support Your Children
As painful as leaving is going to be on you, it might be even harder on your children. The best thing you can do is provide consistency, love, structure, and lots of nurture for your children. Try to keep the routine as normal as possible and look for resources in your state that may help you and your children transition through the changes. Not only will it make you look like you have your head on straight, but it will help give you the tools you need to help your children process their big emotions.
#6 Brainstorm How You Will Provide for Yourself
You shouldn’t wait until you have enough money saved up to get out of a toxic situation, but you do need to brainstorm how you’re going to survive as a single parent. Do you already have a job? Do you have a degree or skill? Are your kids in school? Did you give up your career to stay at home? Are you entitled to a raise? Do you want to stay at home and work from home?
Working from home can give you the flexibility to work on your schedule and the ability to be present for your children – who will need as much of your attention as possible. It may also save you money on childcare and allow you to maintain the stay-at-home mom status if that’s important to you. Make a list of your strengths, create a slammin’ resume, search for online jobs, or start your own money-making blog. Do what you can to bring in the income that you need while being the present parent that your kids need.
#7 Take it One Step at a Time
As women, we have a tendency to want to figure it all out. We want to know all the answers, everything that lies a head, and have a stone-cold immovable plan. The problem with this is that you have no idea what lies ahead and if you lock yourself into a plan, you leave no room for the opportunities that come into your life when you don’t. Have mind-sight. Dream. Think ahead. But don’t plan all of your tomorrows when you’re living for today.
America. We have a race problem. I know you don’t want to see it and I know it brings up all sorts of emotions – different emotions depending on whether you’re on the white side or the black side of the fence … but we need to talk about it because if we pretend it doesn’t exist or fail to talk about it for fear of being labeled a “racist,” we’ll never get to where we should be.
I will never understand what it’s like to be a black woman in a white society and a black woman will never understand what it’s like to be a white woman who carries the weight of sin from people who lived a century before us, but that doesn’t change the fact that racism is alive and well. People look at you differently and treat you differently because of your skin color.
I never really understood just how bad it was until I adopted black children. It wasn’t like I was completely ignorant. I read all of the books and even attended a conference on the Gospel and Racial Reconciliation. I figured people might make comments or ask questions but I was ignorant to what that would even look like until I found myself in it and I was a white woman parenting my black kids on the solo. And it’s true … I’m treated completely different depending on which kids are with me and whether they are black or white.
When I’m out with all five of my children, people automatically assume my black children are adopted and treat me like I’m some sort of savior who lifted two little black children who would not have survived otherwise, out of poverty into this – this life in a first-world American country filled with opportunities. People open doors. They help. They make conversation and smile as we make our way to wherever it is we are going.
When I go out in public with my white baby and my two black kids, many people are noticeably rude. The other night we went to a store for groceries and a little boy from my daughters class said, “HI, J!” She was so excited to see him and she asked him how he was doing. Before he could answer, the boy’s mother gave me a scowl, pulled her son away, and pushed past us. I wonder if she even realized the message she was sending to my daughter, who got tossed from an all black world into a white one and whose very limited experience of “us” is now jaded by people like her.
On our way to the next stop we got pulled over by a police officer. I had no idea I was missing one of my license plates and when I rolled my window down and my black kids were in the back, I could feel the energy change. I tried to explain the situation but everything I said just made him even more suspicious and my son just wanted to ask the police officer questions and in my mind I was thinking … “Oh snap. I haven’t had the police officer talk with my black son yet and this is his first encounter. Just don’t make trouble, Megan.”
I walked away with several tickets, little grace, and the realization that I didn’t even think about race because … being white … why would I? And then I thought to myself … if my black son is ever stopped he will be subjected to an interrogation far worse than mine.
Next we went to the DMV because mama needed a new license plate, stat. Different side of town and a different demographic. I walked in and I immediately felt the weight of the stares … you know … the one’s you get when people think you’re poor or on welfare and they’re embarrassed to sit next to you. My black kids were very well-behaved, better behaved than the white kids rolling around on the floor but that didn’t stop people from giving us disapproving looks.
The next day I was out with my black son. I’m not out with just one child very often, so I notice when people treat us differently than they normally would … and they did. I assume they’re trying to figure out if I adopted him or hooked up with a black man … which for some reason is still an “issue” in this day and age. There is no ring on my finger so you can guess which assumption is made 99% of the time. I attempt to make conversation and they politely smile as if to say. “Hello … now move along.”
At home, I try to make them feel better by making their favorite food, but they are focused on the empty chairs of their white siblings next to them. They want to know why some in their own family want their white sisters, but not them.
“Is it because we are black?”
My daughter looks at me because she doesn’t have the english words to explain how she’s feeling.
“Racism lives in Christian families too,” I say.
I tell her that it’s never okay for anyone to base her value and worth as a person on her skin color and anyone who would isn’t worth her time. And then I put on a fake mustache and pretend to be her dad too.
Her concerns are legit though. Why is someone treated differently based on whether or not they have black children, white children, or both? Why can’t people just treat you with respect either way? Why don’t you stop for two minutes and let your white son speak with my black daughter about kid things? Why am I judged if I am walking around with a black boy and no ring on my finger? How can you look at any child and favor one over the other? And yes … it takes hard-core guts to adopt but why should that be the deciding factor that determines one’s behavior?
If you don’t have a black friend … you need one. If you don’t have a white friend … get one. If you feel a flood of thoughts come into your mind when you see a black person or a white mom with black kids or a black mom with white kids, don’t just validate those thoughts. Instead, ask yourself if you might be making a judgment against someone simply because they look different from you.
My friends, children are not born racist. They learn they are different by observation and learn how to respond to those differences by watching YOU.
The truth is, we are different and I don’t suggest we pretend otherwise. Different is beautiful and equality isn’t dependent upon everyone looking the same. Equality is all about respect and that’s something a person is owed regardless of the skin they were born with.
Are you trying to figure out how you can work from home, pay the bills, and be the mom that you want to be, too? Maybe you’ve always been a stay-at-home mom. Maybe your kids need one. Maybe you gave up your career or passed up your education and your options feel limited. If you’re anything like me, there came a point in your journey where you were freaking out because you suddenly had to find a job (with an actual paycheck), had to find a job that would give you more money, or had to find an at-home job because you were super pregnant and had a ton of kids. Oh wait … that was me.
Thankfully, I landed a legit work from home job as a Marketing Manager for a social media company. I stayed at home, worked from home, got a real paycheck, and balanced both worlds. Although the job was demanding, it taught me many things … like how to use social media to do just about anything. It also paved the way to becoming a full-time blogger.
Finding a job you can do from home is easier than you think and since we are friends, I’m going to let you in on a huge secret (that will make your job search so much easier): One of the best places to find a work from home job is on Pinterest.
I know …
Now I know, you thought Pinterest was just for saving your favorite recipes and DIY crafts you’re never actually going to make, but stay with me. You can use Pinterest to find recipes, gardening tips, quick fixes, products, DIY anything, and whatever it is you’re into, but you can also use it to find some pretty sweet work from home jobs. We’re talking tailored jobs, part-time or full-time, with actual paychecks that will give you the freedom to stay at home with your kids and provide for them too.
Here are 3 easy steps to find a job working from home on Pinterest:
Step #1: Create a Pinterest Account
To find a job on Pinterest, you need to have a Pinterest account. If you don’t have one … create one now. Then move to “Step #2.”
Step #2: Create a “Work from Home” Job Board
In the name of all things organization, create a board dedicated to all the pins you’re going to find that will give you tips, ideas, and job listings. Here’s mine.
Step #3: Search and Save
This is where things could get tricky, but it’s Pinterest. Everything is easy on Pinterest. Go to the search bar at the top of the screen and type in one of the search phrases from the list below to bring up the pins we’re looking for:
“Work from Home Jobs”
“Work at Home Jobs”
“Work from Home”
“(Whatever your interested in) Jobs”
After you type in your terms, you can press “enter” and the pins will come up, or you can wait for a drop-down list to appear if you want to select pins, people, or boards. Individual pins and boards are my favorite.
If you can find a good board dedicated to your search terms, you’ll be able to locate more jobs quicker and they will already be organized for you. You can follow your favorite boards so that new pins will appear in your Pinterest feed.
If you select an individual pin, be sure to check out the “related pins” in the sidebar to the right for more pins related to your search terms.
Now that you have a Pinterest account and a board dedicated to your “Work from Home” pins, you can explore all of the posts that match your criteria. Who knew you could find a work from home job on Pinterest?
Be sure to follow me on Facebook and “Subscribe to my Tribe” for more working mom tips and secrets to finding a job working from home! For a jump-start on your “Work from Home” Pinterest board, follow mine here.
So … you found out your husband is cheating, huh? I’m sorry. I know what a punch in the gut that is. It’s nauseating and knife in the back painful all at the same time. Your emotions are probably high, or maybe you’re hiding in your closet so you can figure out what to do. Speaking of which … what should you do when you find out your man is cheating?
Well, it depends on whether or not you want to go to prison. If you don’t, you should probably not run him over in your car. If you do … proceed … though I wouldn’t advise it because girl, an orange jumpsuit doesn’t look good on you, and he’s just not worth it.
Since you agree, let’s look at your other options:
1. You could confront him.
Some people say you shouldn’t confront your man when he’s stepped outside of his vows – that you should win him over with your fabulous looks and give him more sex. Others say that you shouldn’t bring it up because it might make him think about her even more. Some say you should confront, but there’s a right and wrong way to do it.
Let me clear this up for you right now … you absolutely have a duty to confront your husband when he is sinning. There’s no way around that. It’s your role as his wife to bring your man back inline. If he chooses to be unrepentant that’s on him, but it’s on you to bring it to his attention in what I call a lovingly-firm, righteous anger, wrath of God sort of way.
Go ahead and take a deep breath to bring yourself back into your upper brain so you can think clearly. Then enjoy a small glass of wine (so you’re not thinking quite so clearly), and grab your Bible so you are prepared for whatever twisted crazy is about to come your way.
2. You could have sex with him. But you’re not going to because …
Oh sweet mama baby child, your man stepping outside of your marriage has nothing to do with your moves in the bedroom and if he’s actively pursuing someone else (or has actively pursued someone else), it’s just physical with you and you my love, are not an object.
You are a human being with emotions and feelings, and if there is somebody else in your one-flesh relationship, that changes things. Whether it’s an emotional affair or purely physical, aint’ no room for anybody in the club but you and your man. You know that verse in the Bible about abstaining from sex to devote yourself to prayer? Yeah. I’m pretty sure it’s there for us … for times like these.
3. You could ignore it. But you’re not going to because you are not a doormat.
Look in a mirror, clap your hands three times, and repeat … “I am not a doormat.” No, you are a queen and queens don’t bow down and look the other way when sin (or a Proverbs 5 lady) is in their midst. Whether you stay with your husband or not, you’re never going to find healing and restoration by washing whatever it is he’s doing under the rug (especially if you are the rug).
4. You could take your kids and go. But I wouldn’t advise it.
Girl I get it, I wanted to take my kids and split too, but look … you have to confront first and get your answers because sometimes, people mess up. There are some lucky ladies out there who have men that when confronted with their sin, feel remorse, turn from it, and make things right. It takes a strong man to own his choices … even the bad ones. If you just take your kids and go you never give him the opportunity to do it.
On the other hand, if your man doesn’t own up, lies, looks at you with those stone-cold eyes and blames you for his sin and tells you that you made him do it and you need to pay penance for all of that crazy … well, you have some serious decisions to make.
5. You could give him an indefinite amount of time to decide whether or not he wants you. But you don’t owe him that…
It’s seems as though men in this generation have little ability to emotionally connect … with women inside their marriages anyway. If this is the case for you and you have confronted your husband and he will not talk to you, is not treating you right, and is subjecting you to the worst form of emotional abuse known to woman (the SILENT treatment) you don’t have to tolerate it because … listen up, you deserve an explanation and you don’t owe him longer than 5 minutes to come up with one. Marriage comes with certain rights and I’m pretty sure this is one of them.
6. You could seek counsel first.
I highly recommend this. You could be consumed by anger and drunk on emotions and having some wise counsel to point you in the right direction isn’t a bad idea. Might I recommend a neutral third-party? Perhaps someone not in either of your immediate families? Maybe someone who knows you both but isn’t going to pretend your man is perfect, who can also hold you accountable, who lives by the word, and won’t be afraid to step in and confront if your man is drunk on sin? Start with your church, pastor, elders, or a small group leader. Start with somebody who isn’t going to make your situation worse.
Do not seek counsel from immediate family members, or at the very least, seek out some objective sources too because the last thing you need is that family member who hates your guts pouring gasoline on an already blazing fire (or turning you against each other).
7. You could seek God.
I highly recommend this … unless you have all the answers. Most of us don’t.
So you found out your husband is cheating, huh?
I’m sorry … really sorry. You don’t deserve this. (If I were a man and I was your husband, I would never cheat on you.) No matter how many times you told him to put down the toilet seat, cooked kale instead of meatloaf, and however many times you fell short of whatever expectations were placed on you as his wife … there’s no excuse. But you do have to do something about it. You have to decide from this point forward if you’re going to turn a blind eye, pretend it didn’t happen, confront and move forward, stay and fight, or protect yourself and leave.
I’m sure you’ll know the right thing to do … you always do.
Wake up church. It’s time. One in three marriages end in divorce, a rising number of women are being left by their husbands who are failing to lead and love, children are being left without fathers or with only a skeleton of what they deserve, and the church is pretending that “this” is not their problem.
You see, the church has fallen asleep, has pushed its responsibilities aside, and is not holding husbands accountable for their sin. When there’s no accountability for sin there’s no reason to stop doing it. When sin continues unchecked, marriages end, families shatter, and mothers are left to pick up the pieces. Their children … are merely collateral damage.
I must admit that I am not the norm. When my world shattered and the Christians I looked up to turned a blind eye, cut me off, and chose to enable my then husband’s sin, I turned to the church we had called home for the prior three years. That’s the only place I knew to go – the only option I had left. I cried to my pastor, who gathered the brothers to help turn a man from his sin, in hopes of saving a marriage. They confronted my unrepentant then husband. He made his choice, and it wasn’t me. And when he chose sin, my church chose the Bible and walked me through the hardest time of my life; but that’s not the norm.
The norm is a church that doesn’t want to get involved, doesn’t want to get dirty, and doesn’t like to confront sin because it’s uncomfortable and ugly and “none of my business.” The norm is a church that tells a woman that she must be to blame for her husband’s infidelity, so she should go home, give him more sex, and succumb to his abuse. The norm is a church that pretends that their sheep don’t have problems with “in name only” Christians who instead of confronting sin head on, cover it up to reinforce a false image of perfection.
The norm is a church that welcomes an unrepentant living-in-sin-man to the table and carries on conversation as if hell didn’t just break loose, instead of calling him out like the Gospel says they should. The norm is a church that is more concerned with statistics, than with doing something about them.
I’m not saying that all Christians are like this, that all places of worship condone this, that men are the only ones who screw up and step out on their vows, but with 2 million single dads in America compared to 10 million (and growing) single moms, I think we can call it what it is … a problem. Adultery, broken vows, abandonment, abuse, deception, lust, and pride are sin problems, heart problems … and church problems.
So what is the Christian’s responsibility exactly?
The bible says that if someone is sinning, you should confront him. If he does not turn from his sin, go and get the brothers to confront him, and if he still does not turn from his sin, cast him out, cut him off, stop enabling him, stop ignoring it, stop pretending that he’s not doing what he’s doing (Matthew 18: 15-17). Nowhere in the Bible does it say that you should celebrate, ignore, turn a blind eye to, or enable someone’s sin.
Why? Because you are not to make it easier for the Christian to continue in his sin by ignoring it. This does nobody any favors. This hurts the sinner just as much as it hurts the church. This rips up seeds sown, tears families apart, and keep souls from being saved.
God hates divorce. The Bible says He does. But divorce is just a “term.” What God hates is the sin that causes divorce and a church that does nothing about it.
I get that it’s uncomfortable – to confront a brother whose sleeping with another man’s wife, to confront the woman he’s sleeping with, to confront a man whose left his pregnant wife and kids either physically or emotionally to pursue a fantasy he met five minutes ago – to get in the mess of it. I get that you don’t feel like your brother’s business is your business – the perfect excuse to pretend what’s happening isn’t your problem. I know that you don’t want to judge, but this places your responsibility to admonish a brother on someone else. I get that nobody wants to takes sides. But there are no sides here.
It’s not him versus her. It’s not about your “BRO” versus your “sister.” It’s God versus Satan, right verses wrong, and sin versus righteous. Taking a stand is exactly what the church is supposed to do because by doing nothing, you are choosing a side.
Church, you have a responsibility to confront the yeast in your dough, to cut off the weak branch so that the tree will be made stronger, to say and do something – whether that person is your friend, father, brother, or a 40-year veteran pew-sitter. You do the sinner no favor by turning a blind eye, as they need the humility that only comes from the accountability that only comes from the church.
But wait, it takes two, right?
Wrong. Marriages end for many reasons but a woman is not to blame for her husband’s affair any more than she is to blame for his abuse. By blaming the wife for her husband’s sin, the church is taking the responsibility off of the one who has actually committed the sin and that game is as old as “Eve made me do it.”
The church should not use the fact that a wife isn’t perfect as an excuse to do nothing. Of course she’s not perfect but she didn’t promise perfection at the altar, she promised unconditional love and her imperfection is never an excuse to cheat, abuse, abandon, or bail.
A woman who leaves her husband because he has abandoned her, cheated on her, used, and abused her physically, emotionally, psychologically, or in any other way, shouldn’t be shunned by the church. In fact, she needs the church to come along side her, not cast her out or force her to pay for her wayward husband’s unrepentant mess.
Church … please wake up.
Wives are leaving their husbands at the hands of broken vows, adultery, abandonment, and abuse, and we need you. We need you to raise strong men, confront them when they’re not, and to walk along side the single moms when their husbands choose not to. We need you to put the gasoline down and to not just stand there as our marriages burn.
So, you want to start a blog, huh? You’ve got a burning story that the world needs to hear, a desire to teach other people the life lessons you’ve learned on the flip-side, or maybe, you just want to express yourself, but you just don’t know where to start. I totally get it.
Starting a blog was one of the best decisions I ever made. I didn’t know it at the time, but what started out as just a means of expressing myself, would become my lifeline – a way for me to stay at home with my kids and make thousands of dollars doing it. As long as you have a story to tell, a need to meet, and the determination to work at it, you can do it too.
Before you can start making money blogging, you need to actually start a blog. I’m going to show you how to easily start your very own WordPress blog. Click here to start your blog on WordPress and then follow my step-by-step guide below.
Step 1: Choose a Host
If you clicked the link above, then you’ve discovered that Bluehost is my go-to for web-hosting. There are ton of different hosting services out there to choose from, and all claim to be the best … but they’re not. Here’s why I love Bluehost:
Bluehost makes creating a blog on WordPress so easy that anyone can do it.
You get a free domain. (A domain is the URL of your website like “LivingWhole.org.”)
Hosting is SUPER cheap – like $3.95 per month cheap. With a limited income, you can keep your costs low and if you decide you just want to “write,” you can literally do it for the price of a cup of coffee.
Bluehost has GREAT technical support. Day or night, you can always get a hold of somebody.
WordPress through Bluehost is FREE.
You can self-host your blog, which is a MUST if you want to monetize (make money off of it) and want the features you need to build an email list and personalize your site.
You’ll look legit, which is super important if you want to stand out in your niche, look professional, and attract readers.
Next, you’ll select your plan. The “basic” or “plus” plans are more than sufficient and you can choose whether you want to pay monthly or get even cheaper hosting by paying yearly. Once you do this, you’ll be ready to register your domain. A domain is simply the URL or web address you want to have for your blog, like “www.livingwhole.org or “www.yourname.com.” If you already know what domain you want, simply enter it in. If you can’t decide on a name, you can actually skip this step and choose your free domain later!
Next, you’ll spend the next 2 minutes entering your account and payment information, including the email address you want the details sent to, and you’ll select the specifics you want with your hosting package. This includes whether you want a 1, 2, or 3-year hosting package, domain privacy protection (highly recommend), site backup, and more. I personally use the domain privacy protection to keep my contact information secure but I don’t use any of the other things Bluehost offers (so you can uncheck those boxes).
When you’re finished, click “Submit.” Within minutes, you’ll have a legit domain and a hosting account, which means you’re officially ready to create your blog.
Step #3 Create Your WordPress Blog
There are a lot of services you could use to create a blog, from Squarespace and Ghost to Joomla and Wix. But let’s not mess around here, WordPress is the best. It has the best themes, the coolest features and plugins, and all of the big bloggers you love and follow, use it.
Plus, starting a WordPress blog through Bluehost is easy and FREE. Simply log in to your CPanel on Bluehost (with the login credentials they emailed you), select “One-Click installs.”
Within minutes you’ll have a blog and you’ll be able to personalize it!
Here are a few other things that may help you with your blog:
Designs/Themes: A free theme is always an option, at the same time, you want to look professional, get noticed, and have a theme that you can customize and call your own. Enter StudioPress. Everything good on WordPress runs on the Genesis Framework, and StudioPress can give you this framework, access to premium themes and plugins, and a step-by-step guide to customize them.
Email List: If you’re planning to monetize your blog, you’ll want to start an email list so you have a way to connect with your readers. I use Aweber.
Social Sharing Plugin: I use Warfare Plugin to increase my social shares and help my posts go viral.
Tips to Help You Start Making Money Blogging
Making money blogging doesn’t have to be complicated. You just need a blog (which you now have), quality content that people want to read or solves a need, and a few revenue streams to get you started. I can’t possibly sum up everything I know about blogging in this post, but here are a few ideas to help you decide which revenue streams you could focus on:
Ads – By far the easiest and fastest way to make money, while allowing you to make passive income (money you’re making when you’re not actually working). Higher frequency posting, better quality posts, and evergreen posts (awesome posts that are always relevant), will generate the highest ad earnings.
Affiliate Marketing – Money you can make from promoting other products or services using a unique link.
Sponsored Posts – Content created for other companies in return for compensation.
E-books, Courses, and Webinars – Special products or services you offer that are created by you and offered to your audience. This requires a LOT of time and effort on the front-end but can yield big results and passive income.
Products or Services – Consultations, apps, products, or other services you could offer to your audience that are unique to you. Examples might include meal planning, health coaching, a fitness guide, or your own brand of natural health products.
Membership Sites – Exclusive content (posts or services) you offer to your readers at a premium price.
Subscribe to my email list or connect with me on social for future posts on creating a great blog, making content go viral, and becoming financially independent making a living doing what you love.
Ladies … you need to sit down for this. Why? Because I’m about to clear the air, drop some truth, and close the lid on the self-blame you just can’t let go of. If you’ve been where I’ve been, and you’re husband just walked away, and there are people in your life who claim to be Christians making all sorts of justifications for it, then you need to hear what I have to say.
If you’re holding on to the broken pieces of an annihilated marriage and the people who are supposed to be lifting you up and pulling you through it, are blaming your husband’s failures as a husband on you, then you need to hear this more than I need to say it. And if you can’t move forward, can’t forgive yourself, and are replaying the last five, ten, or eighteen years of your marriage over in your head … hear this:
You are not to blame for your husband’s sin.
A year ago I found myself at the receiving end of an affair. I was devastated, confused, and had no idea how to handle the explosives that were going off in my life. I immediately turned to God, my Bible, and anyone who looked like they had a good relationship with Christ because I knew He was the only one who had the answers, and I sure didn’t have them.
But, instead of being met with the TRUTH, I was given a laundry list of excuses and justifications for my then husband’s behavior, was met by people who downplayed the gravity of it (probably because they were given a one-sided version of nothing that resembled the actual facts), was confronted by those who claimed to be Christian with twisted scripture (who were clearly confused on who they were supposed to be confronting and the book they were supposed to be using), and was straight up blamed for his affair.
And I believed it…
Well, they had a “bad marriage.” She didn’t treat him right.
You know she never had sex with him, what did she expect? It takes two you know. She must have driven him to it. He’s perfect, so even his own actions couldn’t have possibly been his fault.
Well…you made me do it. If you were “better, smaller, faster, stronger,” then I wouldn’t have [insert whatever yours did to you here].
I didn’t see it coming, wanted my marriage, and was desperately searching for straight answers that I should have known I would never get. In the process, I took on so much self-blame that I adopted the space on the floor underneath the doormat in an attempt to rectify the list of reasons I came up with for why my husband didn’t want me.
We were not perfect wives, but …
Like you, I wasn’t a perfect wife. I think there’s no greater wake-up call than an affair to come to the realization of that fact, but I was a good wife – a loving, devoted, and loyal wife, one who did many things well and was always working to improve upon the things that I didn’t. I was serious when I took my vows and even more serious about keeping them. Chances are, you were too.
But when you stood at that alter on your wedding day, you didn’t promise to be a perfect wife – a promise you couldn’t possibly deliver on. What you did promise was to love, honor, be faithful to, and serve your husband, and he promised the same to you. Every single vow was based on unconditional love – not perfection, an impossible standard to meet if you’re not Jesus. Your obligation was to keep your vows and continue to grow, try, and love – in order to do so.
When someone steps outside their marriage, they usually do one of three things: They hide it, repent, or get caught. If they get caught, they won’t fess up and own up. They’ll look for ways to rationalize their behavior, shift the blame, create justifications that ease their conscience so they can continue doing it, base their willingness to stop on your efforts to change the “issues” that weren’t issues until they looked through the goggles of adultery, and they will go to great lengths to cover up their deception.
This isn’t new behavior – all of these things were being done long before the affair actually happened because an affair manifests in the spiritual realm of pride long before it manifests as a physical act.
Finally, you will then see the man who signed on to protect you, gut your marriage and use you as a scapegoat to justify it; and just like any man with an addiction, he will surround himself with enablers who make it easier for him to do it.
It’s funny, how a marriage is suddenly “bad” when one party in it steps outside of it. Yet, expecting a husband to look at his marriage the same way after he’s met a perfect Proverbs 5, is like trying to walk a straight line intoxicated. Your yard can’t compete with that green grass until the septic tank underneath it is exposed. And that bad marriage will be “all your fault” because you made your husband bite that apple from the tree.
But was it really your failures as a wife that led to your husband’s absolute inability to keep his vows? Did Eve let sin into the world when she ate from the apple, or did Adam fall asleep at the wheel and let a snake come rollin’ up on his turf?
Let’s be clear, it was Adam who was entrusted to care for Eve and it was Adam who was off doing who knows what when Satan dropped in for a visit. And over and over in the Bible you see it playing out the same way – people blaming other people, God, or Satan for their sins in order to escape responsibility and the repentance that would turn them from it.
There is absolutely no biblical justification whatsoever for stepping outside of a marriage. Not one. Even if you were a nag, dressed like a sock, couldn’t produce an “heir,” struggled with depression, didn’t heal fast enough, didn’t roll out the red carpet when your man got home from work, got a wrinkle, had the worst case of bed-head ever, or had sex less than 22 times a month … it is not your fault.
You are not responsible for your husband’s adultery, no more than you are responsible for his repentence. You did not make him lie. You are not responsible for his refusal to emotionally connect or communicate with you. You did not put him in another woman’s bed, drive him into another woman’s arms, or put his mouth on hers. You did not make him give up – on his vows to God or his vows to you. You certainly didn’t make him put you last and you certainly didn’t make him choose her first. And, it is impossible for you to make the choice to love you, for him.
You are not the reason your husband stepped out and you are not the reason he isn’t coming back.
The truth is, his relationship with God was broken long before he stepped outside of his marriage and he turned his back on God before he turned his back on you. I know, you heard that it takes “two” to break a marriage, but that’s simply not true. A marriage is between you, God, and your husband, entered into voluntarily by two people, but can be broken by one.
In order to heal your relationship with your spouse, he first needs to heal his relationship with Christ and you can’t seek forgiveness on his behalf to reconcile a space in his relationship with Christ created by his sin.
Taking the blame for something that doesn’t belong to you, only keeps him from dealing with the things that belong to him. You can only take responsibility for you and your choices, working on the areas you need to work on as a wife or as a person, but knowing that none of those inadequacies ever justifies the shattered vow of faithfulness, a lack of repentance, or the non-existent effort on his part to reconcile. Because let’s face it … if he married you, you’re worth it.
I had always said that if I was ever cheated on, I would run my husband over with my car, along with the other woman too. Of course, I never thought I’d be in the position where I would have to choose between taking the high road and prison time, but that’s exactly where I found myself a year ago.
I’ve had a lot of time to think and a lot of time to grieve. I still don’t have answers and I’ve accepted the fact that I never will. I’ve accepted that a marriage I committed my life to has ended and the world tells me that I should be mad about it – that I should out the person who invited herself into a marriage built for two; because maybe if I called her a homewrecker I’d feel better. Maybe if I pulled out my urban dictionary and called her every name in the book, it would change my circumstances. Maybe if she knew…or had a fraction of a clue about what I’ve been through, she would have some magical epiphany and change her ways because let’s face it, telling her where to pick it up and set it down will change nobody.
Believe me, I get that feeling of wanting to lash out but I also know that it comes from a place of pain and deep insecurity and I am not that person anymore. I was to my surprise, never that person. I am strong and I know my worth. I know that it was never about me and the qualities I lack, it was about my husband and the qualities he lacked and a woman who was so insecure that she went for a married man. That insecurity was birthed from some pain somewhere – at least that’s what I tell myself, and running her over in my car is exactly what a crazy woman who drove her husband to cheat would do, validating every single lie that was told.
No, my x-husband made his choice but maybe she’s still worth saving. Maybe if we could shelve our pain for 5-minutes and push beyond it, we could re-write the ending of whatever story was written. Maybe I’m completely wrong and if I am, then this was purely for me because nobody wants to carry around this anger and resentment for the rest of their life.
So the night before my marriage ended, I shelved the boxing gloves and reached out to “the other woman” – for my marriage, for my children, for all of the other women who are sitting where I’ve sat, for those struggling with finding the freedom I’ve somehow found, for every woman sitting at a bar drooling over a man with a ring on his finger, wondering if they should walk away (the answer is “yes”), and for me.
This is my letter to the other woman…
(Can we queue Adele’s “Hello?”)
I bet you are surprised to hear from me. I’m sure I’m the last person you thought you’d hear from and you’re wondering why I am reaching out to you. Rest assured, I wish you no harm. I’m simply asking that you hear me out and I think, at the very least, you owe me this.
As you walk down the aisle to your best friend, I’ll be officially saying goodbye to mine. On the day you sign your marriage license, a judge will be signing my divorce papers and the dreams I have poured into for the past decade will be over.
I loved my husband. I’ve known him since I was in the 2nd grade and though I said I would never get married, he woo’d me and made me believe that fairy tales really existed. I walked down that aisle in my white dress, just like you are about to do, and I never looked back. We survived law school, medical school, residency, multiple moves, health issues, multiple degrees, the birth of our children, the loss of others, the adoption of two children, and started a non-profit that focused on orphan care in Africa. It was hard but we were working towards our future…or so I thought.
When you get married, your dreams take a hit as two lives merge together and I sacrificed mine. I gave up my law career so he could have his and I stayed at home and devoted my time and my life to being his wife – the wife I thought I was supposed to be and the wife I thought he wanted. I was not perfect but I was loyal, loving, and faithful. I ran five miles a day so that I could stay in shape, made his meals, had his babies, and I accepted the long hours of a demanding profession. I was there at the end of every day, helped him study for every test, and supported every decision he made. I was the one who told him he had what it took to become a doctor and signed up for the long haul right along with him. I would have stepped in front of a round of bullets for that man…I just know now that he wouldn’t have done the same for me.
And then there was you. You came into his life like a perfect Proverbs 5 and I didn’t see it coming. It’s not like there were arguments at home or statements that might have tipped me off – and I consider myself to be quite perceptive. I was pregnant with #5 after all…a son. The night he cheated on me with you, I knew. I remember where I was and what I was doing. I remember the feeling in my gut when I called and he didn’t answer the phone for the first time in my lifetime of knowing him. I sent him an email and asked him the question no wife should ever have to ask her husband and he re-assured me that he was mine forever and was more committed to me than he was the day we were married.
When he came home from his five weeks of bliss, my hell on earth began. I guess it was easier to keep up the charade from a distance, because when you step outside of your marriage you suddenly become repulsed by the person whose still in it. Do you know how I found out about you? I was in church and I grabbed for his hand and he jerked it away like I had a disease. I walked out to the car – heart heavy – because I knew what I had to ask. And then I stopped breathing…at least it felt like it.
I had always said that if anyone ever cheated on me, I would run them over with my car and for the first time in my life, I was put to the test. I was in too much pain to cause pain though and I took myself to see War Room and set up my own where I prayed to God for over six hours a day to save my marriage instead. Despite the fact that my marriage was in pieces, that I was not the one who put it there, I took vows to God and I intended to fight for them.
Some people say it takes two to break a marriage but that simply isn’t true. It takes two to make a marriage but only one to break it and the damage had been done. The wife who had spent almost a decade pouring into him, his first everything, was no match for the woman he knew for five weeks and the stronghold of that sin. I wasn’t good enough for him…because I wasn’t you. Our dreams didn’t matter, because he had his own dreams and you were the person in them. Suddenly you were more important than his wife, our children, and the life we had built together. What you did that night and after, changed everything. It changed him – or maybe this is who he always was. It didn’t just destroy a marriage, it annihilated a family.
Leaving my husband was the hardest decision I ever had to make. I downgraded from the huge house with all the bedrooms – to a couch and then another couch and then a three bedroom apartment. I did my pregnancy by myself and brought our son into the world without him. On a day that was supposed to be filled with celebration, I was met with disgust and disappointment, because I wasn’t you and I was cut off by the people who promised to love me as a daughter because I wouldn’t accept the way I was being treated and wouldn’t settle for being second…to you. When you decided to move on, I was still no match for the fantasy that was left behind.
So I wrapped up my guts post c-section because I didn’t have the luxury of pain meds or honoring a weight restriction, took shallow breaths to combat the six weeks of pneumonia I had been fighting, and I hauled my kids to the store because we needed groceries and who else was going to do it for us?
Six weeks post baby the two children we adopted several years ago were finally released to come home, only he wasn’t there by my side to get them. I transitioned from a woman of two with a husband, to a single mom of two, three, and then five. I was told I couldn’t handle kids with special needs but I did it and I’m doing it and sometimes I don’t know how. My adopted children were torn apart by the rejection of the father they’d seen only a few months earlier – the one who had promised to love them and give them a home…but that was before you.
Can you imagine what it must have been like for them…to wait three years to come home only to realize that the pictures they had poured over for so long no longer existed and what that does to children who have already been rejected and abandoned too many times to count?
During this entire time, I worked no less than 50 hours a week from home because I had to have a job and wanted to be a present mom too. I took not one day of maternity leave because I couldn’t. I didn’t have a choice and I had to keep going. Someone had to think about the kids. Someone had to stand in front of five tiny children and protect them from the bullets. Someone had to answer the tough questions and try to shield little kids from big kid problems.
The last year of my life, has been absolute hell and I now understand why sexual sin is in a different category of it’s own because it is so incredibly destructive. I cannot begin to tell you how many lives have been hurt by this and there is probably nobody else in this entire country sitting in my circumstances single parenting five children under five, two sets of twin (via adoption), two adopted children, two who don’t speak English, two with special needs, and an infant, while working full-time, drilling wells in Africa, and being a full-time stay at home mom.
I am not telling you all of this to pile the guilt on you before your wedding day. (Believe me, this is but a chip at the surface of what I have had to endure.) I’m telling you this because you’re getting ready to walk down the aisle to the man you’re going to pledge your life to and I desperately want to plead with you to take your vows seriously. I want you to understand that what you did had consequences so that you never ever do anything like this again. I want you to understand so that you can spend the rest of your life pouring into your marriage so that nothing like this happens to it. I want you to view the wedding ring differently, not just because you’re getting ready to put one on your finger but because you will hopefully realize that there is another person wearing a wedding ring too.
Despite everything I have been through the past year, all of the hard days, sleepless nights, grief, birth, adoption, moves, and the loss of family, friends, and my husband, I want to tell you that I FORGIVE you. Though you have not sought my forgiveness, I didn’t seek it from Jesus before he died for me and I believe that God has plans for you and he wants to deal with the pain you’ve experienced in your life that led to this and use this situation for something good. He wants you to follow him and honor him with your life and I want you to feel the blessings that come with doing so. It is only because of him that I am not angry, resentful, and am still breathing.
I fought for my marriage and I lost, but when I walk out of that court room and you’re walking down the aisle, I’ll say a prayer for you – that you will never ever have to be in the position of fighting for your marriage like I have mine, that if and when you have children, they will have two present parents who love them and put them first, and that your years will be filled with nothing but love and happiness.