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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I feel like I am still in love with a person I had an affair with several years ago. My current marriage is bad. A part of me wants my marriage. Another part of me longs for the man of my past. How do I let go of the other man?You have what is known as a “soul tie” to the man you had an affair with. Sometimes people are married for a while and they begin to think about someone they used to be involved with. They wonder about them, and may even long for and miss them. People will even leave their spouse over this, thinking they love the other person and made a mistake in marrying. They sometimes refer to this other person as their “soul mate.” What you feel for the other person is not love, although many people mistake soul ties for love. Your emotions are part of your soul. When you put a lot of time into a relationship with someone, or are intimate with them, and they are removed from you, your soul can stay emotionally tied to them even if you are not involved anymore. There are examples of this in the Bible between parents and children (Genesis 44:30), between friends (1 Samuel 18:1, 3-4), and between men and women (Genesis 34:2-3). What can you do? Identifying what you feel as a soul tie helps. Also, remember that you are no longer with that person for a reason, and it is probably a good reason. You should also pray for closure and healing regarding this past relationship. Here is another Biblical principal that can help you. You become sensitive to whatever you give attention to; giving attention to wrong things hardens your heart toward the right things (2 Cor. 3:18, Heb. 3:13, Joshua 1:8, Psalm 66:18 and others). Making a decision to close that old door once and for all, and focus on your husband, will cause feelings for the other man to decrease, and feelings for your husband to increase. Even though you view your marriage as bad, there are things that you can do by yourself that will make it better. We have a teaching series titled “How to Save Your Marriage Alone” that would be a great help. One final note. You said that part of you wants your marriage. That is your spirit (some would say your conscience) telling you the right thing to do. The spirit of a born again person is a reliable guide.
Our marriage is so bad that at times I really don’t want to be with my wife, but because I know what the word of God says about divorce, I feel like I have to stay. Will GOD still bless me and my marriage? I feel it is more of a sacrifice than being obedient."Yes, GOD will bless your marriage, and not only that, he can turn your marriage around and make it great. I would recommend a few things to someone in your position. First, realize that something has to change. Continuing to do what you have been doing is not going to fix the problem. We all think our spouse needs to change, but changes in you can produce change in your spouse. Somebody needs to initiate change and since you are the one looking for help, it will need to be you. Most marriages are saved when one spouse steps out alone to save it. You can do it. Secondly, you need to keep the focus on you. So often we think about how badly our spouse is treating us. If only they would do this or that we would be happy. We wind up reacting in kind when our spouse does something hurtful to us. They say something ugly and we say something ugly in return. This perpetuates the problem. You need to do the right thing no matter what your spouse is doing. That means you need to learn to love God’s way and walk in love toward your spouse. When they say something ugly, try looking them in the eye and saying, “Look, I love you and I am committed to you no matter what.” Finally, James 5:13 says, “Is anyone troubled, let him pray.” You need to pray for your marriage. There is a prayer on the Resources page of our website that you can use. Also, I would recommend our series titled, “How To Save Your Marriage Alone” that would be very helpful.
Someone told me if your spouse tells you it is over, and that they don’t love you anymore, that it is too late and your marriage can never be good again. Is all hope gone?"This is completely wrong. Hope is not gone; 1 Corinthians 13:13 in the New Living Translation says that hope lasts forever. In 1991, I TOLD Rebekah that our marriage was over and that I wanted a divorce. She didn’t accept that. She turned back to God, started praying for our marriage, and God turned things around for us. In a nutshell, what she did (in addition to praying) was keep the focus on herself, and walk in love toward me. What I mean by 'keeping the focus on herself", is that Rebekah focused on doing the right thing no matter what I did or said to her. If I said something ugly, she didn’t respond with something ugly. By walking in love, I mean that she put 1 Corinthians 13:4 – 8 (called “the love chapter” by many) to work in her life. I particularly like how it reads in The Message; Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, Doesn't have a swelled head, Doesn't force itself on others, Isn't always "me first," Doesn't fly off the handle, Doesn't keep score of the sins of others, Doesn't revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. Love never dies. God turned it around for us, and He wants to do the same for you. God created marriage; He is on your side. We have a whole seminar on CD in our called How To Save Your Marriage Alone. It provides a lot more information on how to deal with this situation.
Our marriage seems to be stale. We love each other and It isn’t like we are going to get a divorce. It just isn’t as fun or passionate as it used to be. Is this just how it is after you’ve been married for a while?No, it definitely does not have to be like this just because you have been married for several years. The truth is that marriage should get better and better from year to year, and that includes the sexual relationship. There is a Biblical principal that people become sensitive to whatever they give attention to and hardened to ward whatever they neglect (2 Cor. 3:18, Heb. 3:13, Joshua 1:8, Psalm 66:18 and others). Almost without exception, people in your situation have given too much attention to things other than their spouse. It may be your career, your children, your house, your friends, serving in church, or whatever. None of those are bad, but they should not take precedence over your spouse. The solution? Focus your attention on your spouse. Do it consistently, day in and day out. Go on dates. Make it a point to make love. Do something fun together. Take a long weekend away by yourselves. Our CD series Marriage By the Book goes into a lot of detail on how to “rekindle the fire.”
My husband and I have been married for six years and I have come to dislike sex. He resents this, and I know it shouldn’t be this way. Help? "Go get your husband and tell him to come and read this with you. I promise, he will be glad he did. First, understand that a good sexual relationship is an important part of a strong marriage. A dissatisfying sexual relationship is too common. If one partner doesn’t enjoy it, the pleasure of the other partner is lessened too. This results in less frequent and less satisfying sex. The solution is simple – serve each other in bed. Men and women tend to be stimulated differently. Men are stimulated by sight, and women are stimulated by romance and foreplay. Men tend to get stimulated more easily and quickly and they are ready “right now”, but it tends to take the woman longer. 1 Corinthians 7 tells us that it is the husband’s job to satisfy the wife’s needs, and it is the wife’s job to satisfy the husband’s needs. Rather than trying to serve ourselves and satisfy ourselves in bed, we need to learn to meet our spouse’s needs. This requires communication. When both people’s needs get met, your sex life will be more satisfying and the frequency of sex will tend to increase because both people enjoy it.
PRAYERS FOR MARRIAGE
Here are some sample prayers that you can view and print to pray for your spouse and marriage. They are adapted from Ephesians 1:17-21 and Ephesians 3:14-19. Simply click the PDF link to download and use these prayers.