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pedIf you ask any married woman she will tell you that married couples sleeping in separate places is not a new phenomenon. Many wives have experienced this kind of separation and its accompanying anxiety. This article is written for the one who has just found her husband on the sofa or in the guest room.
I am NOT telling anyone what to do. Everyone’s circumstances are different and each marriage is unique. My goal is to offer food for thought to wives who are overwhelmed with emotion due to a decision their husband made to sleep separately.
Consider these things:
Choices- If your husband has decided to sleep separately then he has chosen not to sleep with you. It seems obvious but to the wife left alone in bed, this can hard to accept. Even when you don’t agree, you must accept his choice.
Trust- Many wives admit their husband has been sleeping somewhere else for a while. Some have been distant in their mind and emotions. Many have stopped having sex and still, others are involved in extramarital affairs. No matter the cause if we are honest with ourselves, many wives will confess that she saw something like this coming. It was brewing deep down in her gut.
Feelings- Ladies, living with a man who will not sleep with you is a huge blow. I dare say that if you were stabbed in the heart you might not feel any worse. Allow yourself to feel. Get to a quiet place for a few hours or even days and let your feelings flow. Be alone with God. Cry, fuss, cuss, yell, sob, beg, cry, cry, cry, and then whimper until you fall asleep in the Heavenly Father’s arms.
Listen- After you express your emotion, you have to deal with your situation. Listen to every word your husband is saying. His conversation will tell you his intention. Don’t try and change his mind or beg him to stop, just listen for some idea of what to do. Write down what he says and then pray about these issues.
Plan- Even if you are caught off guard by your husband’s actions, you can’t ignore such a serious breach of trust in your marriage. In many states sleeping apart for one year can be defined as a legal separation and after that one party can file for a divorce. If your husband says he wants a divorce then take note of the date. Your year may have begun. Put all of this in prayer. Pray but do not keep talking to your husband about it. It will only hurt your feelings and keep you living in fear of the future. Let God give you a plan as you listen to your husband’s words and pray over everything.
Live- I know this sounds crazy to the wife who feels like everything in her life has unraveled but you must continue to live. Eat healthy meals, sleep, exercise, care for children and provide stability for them. Find positive people to be around and continue activities of daily living.
If you are a Christian wife then I add to the list -Have Faith in God. This is the best time to trust Him. Sleeping separately is often the beginning of separation but it does not have to lead to divorce. Christian wives know that only God can comfort a wife who is sleeping alone. Only God can change your husband’s heart and only God can heal a broken marriage.
Praying and listening to God will help you move beyond the shock of your husband’s actions. Prayer will help you recall scripture to guide you and give you peace of mind. From a place of peace, you can make good decisions.
To read my personal account of sleeping separately get Behind the Veil, Devotions for the committed wife. I will be praying for you and if this has helped a wife somewhere, please comment and let us know.
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Lisa Ellis Williams Author, Speaker, and Founder of Wives On Purpose. That is what business card says. Actually I love myself, God, and my husband enough to honor my commitment to marriage through "hell and high water" til death do us part. I have learned to live fully and love deeply. This blog gives glimpses of the journey through the trenches of a marriage through the eyes of a Christian wife. I am THE WIFE ON PURPOSE. You are here with other Wives On Purpose. Join us as we "Minister to marriages one wife at a time. "
I do need to state, that before we go further, that I’m not a therapist or an expert. (I often recommend both.) Please don’t take my advice as a replacement for your own. I don’t know your situation and can’t make any guarantees, but I hope that my ministry is helpful to you.