Jump directly to the content
The Day I Left My Marriage

The Day I Left My Marriage

(And the unusual advice that challenged my decision)
Average Rating:

The day had come. I'd lasted as long as I could in my marriage. Once my husband, Bill, left for work, I packed a bag for myself and our 14-month-old son and left our home. It was the only year in our married life when we lived in the same town as my parents. Obviously the convenience of being able to run to Mom and Dad made my decision to leave Bill easier.

With a tear-stained, angry face, I walked into Mom's kitchen. She held the baby while I sobbed my declaration of independence. After washing my face and sipping a cup of coffee, Mom told me she and Dad would help me. They'd be there for me, which brought me great comfort.

"But before you leave Bill," she said, "I have one task for you to complete."

Mom put down my sleeping son, took a pen and sheet of paper, and drew a vertical line down the middle of the page. She told me to list in the left column all the things Bill did that made him impossible to live with. As I looked at the dividing line, I thought she'd then tell me to list all his good qualities on the right-hand side. I was determined to have a longer list of bad qualities on the left. This is going to be easy, I thought. I started immediately to scribble down the left column.

Bill never picked his clothes off the floor. He never told me when he was going outside. He slept in church. He had embarrassing, nasty habits such as blowing his nose or belching at the dinner table. He never bought me nice presents. He refused to match his clothes. He was tight with money. He wouldn't help with the housework. He didn't talk with me.

The list went on and on, until I'd filled the page. I certainly had more than enough evidence to prove that no woman would be able to live with this man.

Smugly I said, "Now I guess you're going to ask me to list all Bill's good qualities on the right side."

"No," Mom said. "I already know Bill's good qualities. Instead, for each item on the left side, I want you to write how you respond. What do you do?"

This was even tougher. I'd been thinking about Bill's few, good qualities I could list. I hadn't considered thinking about myself. I knew Mom wasn't going to let me get by without completing her assignment. So I had to start writing.

I'd pout, cry, and get angry. I'd be embarrassed to be with him. I'd act like a "martyr." I'd wish I'd married someone else. I'd give him the silent treatment. I'd feel I was too good for him. The list seemed endless.

No First PageNo Previous PagePage 1 of 4Next PageLast Page

Sign up for TCW's free Marriage Partnership e-newsletter for weekly updates and encouragement through the joys, trials, and tribulations of marriage.

not a subscriber?

Subscribe for only $9.95 yearly!
Start here for complete access to Today's Christian Woman—a mentor to help you love God more deeply and live fearlessly.

Next Steps

Downloadable resources to go deeper

Growing Faith in Your Growing Teen

Your key role in nurturing your child's spiritual development

Navigating the Tough Stuff with Your Teenager

You play a powerful role in guiding your adolescent.

ratings & comments

Average User Rating:

Displaying 1–3 of 96 comments


July 24, 2014  10:25pm

I just want to share my experience and testimony here.. I was married for 6 years to my husband and all of a sudden, another woman came into the picture.. he started avoiding me and he was abusive..but I still loved him with all my heart and wanted him at all cost, then he filed for divorce.. my whole life was turning apart and I didn't know what to do..he moved out of the house and abandoned the kids.. so someone told me about trying spiritual means to get my husband back and introduced me to a spell caster, so I decided to try it reluctantly..although I didn't believe in spell but just decided to give it a try, i contacted the spell caster Dr EMUHI via email and he helped me cast a re-union spell and within 72 hours my husband came back to me and realized his mistakes..i just couldn't believe it.. anyways we are back together now and we are happy.. Contact this great spell caster today for your relationship and marriage problems via this email: emuhitemple@gmail.com or call him on +

Report Abuse


July 21, 2014  9:41pm

You shouldn't need some coffee table explanation of why your holier than thou mentality is crude & unforgiving. you shouldn't need God to spell out for you what any woman with any intellect can perceive. This is why I left Church. Wisdom is not solely born of Christian Religion. Think, Love, & Do... because the God you believe so much in, gave you the ability to do so.

Report Abuse


June 18, 2014  11:00am

I really need to read this today. I've been spending the day fantasizing about what it would be like to leave my husband and just find someone who could truly love and appreciate me. I think and dwell on all his bad habits, how he doesn't show any love/affection towards me, how doesn't help me with the kids and I figured I'd probably be happier being lonely on my own than being lonely in my marriage. I've been arguing with God that he will just have to forgive me for these thoughts and how I feel towards my husband. Wondering why my prayers for change in my marriage hasn't been answered. Now I see what God wants me to do. He wants me to change me first; worry about changing all that's wrong with me and he will worry about the rest. I've prayed for God to give me loving heart and spirit and I feel so filled with hate sometimes towards my husband and his family. This just reminds me that I have to keep trusting that God has a great plan we just have to wait and let God. Thank you

Report Abuse

Rate and comment on this article: *



1000 character limit

* Comments may be edited for tone and clarity.

More For Women
Gifted for Leadership

gifted for leadership

The Leadership Journal blog inspires and connects women leaders in church ministry
Her Meneutics


The Christianity Today  women's site provides news and analysis for evangelical women