How to Stay Confident in a Difficult Marriage {Fierce Friday}

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Hello friends! Today’s #fierceFriday writer is Leah Grey. If you are in a difficult marriage, I encourage you to sit back and lean in! Leah has a powerful story!

“I sat in the dark thinking about what life would be like after being divorced for a second time. I quite liked living alone. Being a perfectionist, living alone suited me just fine. My house would stay in order. I could cook whatever I wanted for dinner. The children would have a routine and it would be blissful. Elizabeth Taylor was married eight times for goodness sake.”

The time on the stove said, “11:13pm”. The lights were off in my parents living room, I was visiting them at the time. I was sitting in my father’s yellow easy-chair talking on the phone to my husband.

I swiveled around in circles in the yellow chair while my conversation with my husband spiraled out of control. He was back in New York, allegedly working. The problem was that every time I left him alone he seemed to forget he was a husband. While I was having family time in rural Ontario, Canada, he spent his days doing God only knows. I didn’t know where he was. That was the whole problem.

You see, I married a drug addict.

How to stay confident in a difficult marriage.

I could tell you about my husband’s pain and the reasons why he used drugs. I could also tell you of his great successes and his savant-like skills in technology but this story isn’t about him.

This story is about me.

I’m a small-town girl who spent most of her life reaching for a bar of success that she personally set too high. I was fearful and insecure. I made friends with “misfits” because I knew they would accept me. I waffled and waned in the crowd of outcasts, drug addicts and drunkards alike, to escape ridicule and years of being bullied.

It was in that crowd that I met my husband.

My husband was a charming, handsome, latin man who promised me security. He was from New York, which was nothing less a dream come true. Typical, small-town girl moves to New York story… I know.

What ensued was nothing less than a nightmare. I won’t go into all the details, I’ll just say that it was bad and leave it at that.

Back to my story:

I vigorously rocked back and forth in my father’s chair trying to will off tears. I thought, somehow, the rocking motion would stop them from rolling down my cheeks. At this point, we had already had a full-on intervention with my husband. He’d been admitted to the psych ward.

He tried to kill himself, more than once.

He went to rehab.

He did an outpatient program. He went to meetings.

He found God.

What was it going to take to wake him up?

As my husband adamantly protested my constant insisting that he needed to go to treatment yet again, I felt hope leaving my body like a gust of wind.

“I’m not going.” He said.  

I told him that if he didn’t go, I wouldn’t see him again. He said, that was alright. No amount of rocking was going to stop the flood of tears that came rolling down my cheeks.

I lost my breath and started hyperventilating.

“How… how… how… could…. you… do…. this…. to… me…?!” I stammered through tears and broken breaths.   

He said nothing.

“What… about… the… kids…?!”

He said nothing.

“I… hate… you…” I said.

A moment passed, “Well, this is your fault.” He said.

I hung up the phone and cried like I’d never cried before. I didn’t know I could be filled with so much agony. I’d mourned before but never like that. A mix of pain and frustration overwhelmed me.

It felt like the room was getting darker.

I didn’t want to fight anymore.

Suddenly, I knew I had a choice. I could walk away. It was my moment to stop fighting for my marriage and let my husband continue on as he chose. In the addiction circles, they would call it, “Letting go” and it would be totally okay if I did. No one would blame me for leaving.

I sat in the dark thinking about what life would be like after being divorced for a second time. I quite liked living alone. Being a perfectionist, living alone suited me just fine. My house would stay in order. I could cook whatever I wanted for dinner. The children would have a routine and it would be blissful. Elizabeth Taylor was married eight times for goodness sake. 

I would be a modern day Elizabeth Taylor and I would be fabulous.

I was so serious, I even wrote it on a post-it-note and saved it to my computer desktop.

How to stay confident in a difficult marriage

This is the actual sticky note I had on my desktop!

In my Father’s easy-chair, I found solitude in fantasies of leaving.

I would paint my walls the perfect creamy white… my bedroom would be bohemian and pink with plenty of natural sunlight… my house would smell like cupcakes and candles… I daydreamed happily.

Be still.

Then, the phone rang.

Reality has a way of coming in fast. It doesn’t sneak in slowly like one would wish for when daydreaming, it comes rushing in all at once. With each shrill ring of the phone I knew I had a decision to make.

The choice was very clear…

“Be Still” He said.

“The Lord will fight for you; You need only to be still” -Exodus 14:14

God had been preparing me for this moment for months. The words, “Be Still” were on a craft I made at a random event I wouldn’t have normally gone to, I ordered a t-shirt and it had, “Be Still” on the tag, my son’s agenda from school that year said, “Be Still”, my husband’s devotional from the treatment center had, “Be Still” on it; The message, “Be Still” was everywhere I went.

I knew that if I answered the phone, the road I was going down would be long. I knew it would be hard. I knew it wouldn’t always be rewarding but it would be fruitful. In a moment, I knew that God would go before me and defeat the enemy ahead.

“Hello?” I said, answering the phone.

“Ok” my husband said, “I’ll go”.

Goodbye daydream.

Real inner strength is actually confidence.

Sometimes, that confidence can come from a confidence we have in ourselves but when life strips away our armor and breaks us down, the most powerful thing we can have is confidence in God.

When life breaks us down, the most powerful thing we can have is confidence in God.… Click To Tweet

There is no enemy who can defeat Him.

God will fight for our inheritance, He will fight for our peacefulness and He will fight for our joy.

That day, I wanted to leave my chaotic marriage but I stayed and clung desperately to Jesus. I’ve not been disappointed. The road I’m on is still long and hard but it’s been filled with a bounty of blessings.

If God has called you into battle, be strong and let Him lead.

How to stay confident in a difficult marriage. If God has called you into Battle, be strong and let Him lead. #fiercelyHis #fierceFriday

Our God is a good Father and even though we may sometimes lose confidence in the world, we can stay confident in Him.

We belong to Him.

We are fiercely His and He fights for us, every step of the way.

Leah is a fighter! #fiercelyHis

LGBio

Leah Grey runs a faith-based online ministry for women with loved ones who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. She challenges popular beliefs about addiction and encourages women to support their loved ones’ recovery, without abandoning them, by creating healthy boundaries. In March 2016, she launched her website, leahgrey.com and community for women in crisis, “Live, Love, Hope”.
Twitter Instagram Pinterest Facebook

“Live, Love, Hope” Community link-> http://www.facebook.com/groups/livelovehope

I hope you’ve found inspiration and encouragement through Leah’s story like I have! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts below. 

Also, would you do me a favor —if you can relate with this article or it has helped you today— would you share it with someone else? 

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  1. pam says:

    Thank you for sharing! It was a blessing! <3

    • Shannon says:

      I’m so glad, Pam!

      • Gaileen Holm says:

        Dear sister in Christ, God bless you for sharing your heart and the scriptures that God used to put your heart and mind at ease. You are a blessing to so many. Thank you for your transparency, your love for the Lord, and willingness to follow His leading by sharing part of your life, God’s light and His love.

        • Leah says:

          Thank you so much, that’s beautiful. Encouragement like that gives me such a great boost when I need it most to keep going! God bless you!

  2. Leah says:

    Thanks for reading Pam! So happy it blessed you 🙂

  3. Dawn says:

    Shanon thanks for posting Leah’s story. This is a wonderful and powerful story. WOW!!!!!!

  4. Sara says:

    Thanks for writing about such a tough topic. I was in a similar situation with my addicted husband over a year ago. I very much relate to the daydreams of a life without him. I was both devastated and excited at the very real prospect of divorce.

    But I stayed. Thankfully, my husband is in recovery and has made a 180 degree turn around. I sometimes worry about if or when he will relapse. But for now we are in a very sweet, healthy place that I never could have imagined a year ago. With counseling, a supportive church, and answers to desperate prayers, I made it through a very dark time.

    • Leah says:

      Sara, I’m so happy to hear your husband is in recovery! Not all are that lucky. It’s hard to not focus on, “when the other ball will drop” but try not to. People do recover. God does heal. You’ll know if recovery is failing in your heart. I love success stories like yours and I pray strength, restoration and joy for you both!

  5. It is heartwarming to read the story of a woman who chose to honor God and do the hard thing. In Leah’s words, “I knew it would be hard. I knew it wouldn’t always be rewarding but it would be fruitful. In a moment, I knew that God would go before me and defeat the enemy ahead.”
    Thank-you Leah for sharing your testimony of choosing to trust God to go before you. I am inspired and I’m sure many others will be too.

    • Leah says:

      Thank you Wendy 🙂 To anyone else who reads this, I should of clarified that no matter the outcome, it’s still fruitful. We just can’t go wrong following God. There’s that saying, “Great things never come from comfort zones” it always reminds me of that. True fruitfulness rarely comes easily.

  6. Kelly says:

    Wow, wow, wow! Thank you Leah, that couldn’t have been easy to write but I’m so glad you did. Fierce is right. Marriage is no joke at baseline, but throw in something like addiction and it’s so much more complicated. Praying for you and your boys and your husband.

    • Leah says:

      Thanks for your prayers Kelly, I appreciate it! Addiction is tough. Tougher yet because it usually comes with mental illness and a large load of baggage as well. It’s amazing what we can do when God gives us strength. I sometimes wonder what a normal marriage would be life after going through all this. Would I still think it was difficult? Would the problems seem smaller? I think not. The enemy always finds a way to hit us where it hurts. Luckily, we have the armour of God to protect us!

  7. Yvette lewis says:

    Leah, this post is such a lovely example of being fiercely faithful. I love the part where you point out that the most powerful kind of confidence to have is our confidence in the Lord, who is powerful in our weaknesses. ❤️

    • Tina says:

      Thank you for this story!! It came to me in perfect timing!! I have been praying for clarity comcerning my marriage. “Be Still” is exactly what He has been telling me. I am grateful for you sharing this!!

  8. ruth says:

    Thank you for sharing with such honesty. I have taken such encouragement from your post and also the timing in which I came across your post on Pinterest.
    Thank you so much

  9. larissa says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It takes a lot of courage to be able to do what you do, to stand by your beliefs, and to be strong in the face of troubling and challenging times. Thank you for writing this post and being so open and honest. Your blog does so much good for those with similar life difficulties. May God bless you in all of your endeavors and may he keep blessing you with the wonderful ability to write and provide motivation for those lacking.

    • Leah says:

      Thank you, Larissa! I wish I could take the credit but I cannot. It’s all God. I would never have gotten through any of this with Him. It’s one of those fires we go through in life and we just have to go through it or stay put and burn, does that make sense? I simply decided not to give in.

  10. Fran says:

    Leah, thank you for sharing! Your words of confidence in The Lord bring such hope! His Spirit does, and will, always lead us and we must remember that. Thank God he does surround us with the hope, help and strength we need. You are a blessing! Keep on being that voice for The Lord in this area of ministry…it is so needed. He is a God of Deliverance! We went through this whole cycle with my brother…sadly he lost everything…his wife, 4 children, job, but in his loneliness looked to The Lord. He came back to God and is serving in his church whenever the doors open. God is using him and his children have forgiven him. This went on the whole time his children grew. God bless my sister-in-law, like you, she stood by my brother. What the enemy means for harm, God can turn for good, as we cooperate with His Spirit’s leading in and through us. God bless you, Leah!

    • Leah says:

      Fran- thank you! I love to hear stories of success! I think most times they do need to lose everything before they realize life is better sober. It’s one of those sad realities that can’t be explained until you live it. God bless your sister=in-law indeed! That’s no easy feat, and with four kids?! Wow!!

  11. Vonnie says:

    I have been looking for someone who has gone through something like me. My husband is a alcoholic. Some times i just want to leave. I find when it get hard I give up on God, I’ve prayed for so long. But I realize now if i keep in His word during those times it is so much easier on me. Thank you for making me feel like I’m not alone. I will be still and wait for God.

    • Leah says:

      Hi Vonnie XO You know, there are times God tells us to go too. I think the most important thing is to be still and wait to see what God says. There will be a peace with whatever decision He wants you to make. Sometimes, too, He lets us follow our hearts. In my heart what I really wanted was for us to be a family again, I wanted my husband back. Which is why God blessed my decision. God will bless the choice that’s right for you. Don’t feel guilt or condemnation for staying or going either way. If you ever need support, come join our support group! It’s totally private -> http://leahgrey.com/livelovehope.

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