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Is It Christian To Leave Your Husband?

Young married couple leaning on opposite sides of the wall looking like going through a problem

Marriage is not only a civil process between two people but also a sacred covenant before God. The Bible places great importance on marriage’s sanctity, as the vows make man and woman “one flesh.” In a strictly biblical sense, Scripture advocates for solving marital problems through prayer, faith, and seeking guidance and help when needed.

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24 (NKJV)

Intimacy disorders can be a source of strife in a marriage and are the types of situations that may make you want to leave your husband. When your partner has an intimacy disorder, like pornography, masturbation, or sex addiction, Boulder Recovery’s 14-Day Christian Intensive can help. 

The intensive focuses on clinically treating the root cause of the addiction with a faith-based approach. It is helpful for Christian men who want to heal their relationship with God and others, recover from an intimacy disorder, restore their faith, and potentially save their marriage.

Understanding Intimacy Disorders in Christian Marriages

Intimacy disorders happen when a partner is unable to form an emotional attachment with a partner or anyone else in their lives. Pornography, masturbation, and sex addictions are all intimacy disorders. 

Trauma is the cause of most intimacy disorders. Unresolved trauma can cause negative emotions for someone who may then turn to pornography, masturbation, or sex as a form of relief. Once the form of release is a habit that the person can’t stop, and an addiction has formed.

Intimacy disorders are a complex problem in relationships as partners work to navigate the trauma at the heart of the addiction and to heal and recover. As a married couple, you may seek a source of strength and support during stressful times.

If your partner is unable to be there for you as they’re coping with the intimacy disorder, the strain on the marriage may seem like too much to overcome. You may wonder if you should leave your husband. 

A Biblical Perspective on Marriage and Challenges

The Bible teaches that the sanctity of marriage is the joining of two into one. The vows of marriage are to be entered into purely and held in high regard. 

Marriage is a long journey. Like most journeys, there are bound to be difficulties, trials, and tribulations. Part of the growth as a couple requires having faith in the other person, and trusting through faith that they feel the same as you about the marriage and faith in their commitment to the sanctity of marriage.

Finding common ground is tricky when your faith in your partner is shaken, but it can be done with communication, honesty, faith, and love. When the reason for your marriage is suffering is due to infidelity or other signs of intimacy disorders, it’s still worthwhile to consider whether forgiveness is possible and good for you both.

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15 (NKJV)

Partners must work together to become one, as the Bible teaches. That can be especially difficult when a spouse has an intimacy disorder. Christians realize the power of forgiveness and know their faith will be strengthened through showing mercy and forgiving others. And when you ask for forgiveness and mercy, you will be forgiven. As Luke writes, “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37 (NKJV).

When Marital Challenges Lead to Betrayal Trauma

Betrayal can be devastating. Betrayal trauma impacts you mentally, physically, and emotionally. Stemming from the violation of trust, which can happen in any relationship, the betrayal of a spouse shakes the very foundation of any marriage.

Addictions can lead to betrayal through deception, but intimacy disorders in the form of sex, pornography, or masturbation addiction can also cause betrayal trauma in marriage through adultery. The Christian faith holds firm that adultery, even lustful thoughts, are sins. 

“For out of the heart come evil thoughts — murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” Matthew 15:19 (NIV)

Infidelity does not just mean physical adultery. Infidelity happens when one spouse chooses to engage emotionally with a person other than their spouse. Sexual relations with someone other than your spouse is also infidelity, much in the same way chronic viewing of porn or masturbation are also forms of infidelity. 

If you’re coping with the symptoms of relationship trauma, you may feel you are to blame for the infidelity or for your marriage problems. You may isolate yourself from others. You may also feel shame and insecurity, and rather than lean into your faith, you may pull away because you are ashamed.

To deal with a relationship with a person with an intimacy disorder, you should encourage them to get intimacy disorder treatment and seek healing for yourself, said Matt Wenger, Clinical Director at Begin Again Institute and Boulder Recovery.

“When an addict finally decides to seek treatment and pursue recovery, this often opens the door for deep healing for both members of the relationship,” he said. “But even if that never occurs, know that being in a close relationship with an addict is traumatic, and you deserve help and support.”

Seeking Guidance: When to Stay and When to Leave

There are no rules for when to stay in a marriage when you’ve been betrayed. Matthew writes,  “And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery” (Matthew 19:9, NIV). 

Dealing with the trauma of betrayal must be the first step in determining your options. At the same time, it’s essential to set boundaries with your husband. 

“What are your non-negotiables for maintaining the relationship? Develop those with wise counsel and use them,” Matt Wenger said. 

“Boundaries are just that — lines that can not be crossed. When they are violated, do not be afraid to enact the consequences. This is for your emotional and sometimes physical safety. But also for the health of the addict. If they are held accountable with felt consequences for their choices, they may seek treatment more quickly.”

If your partner refuses to admit that he has a problem or seek treatment, you may need to seriously consider whether you should leave your husband. Regardless of his decision, the situation isn’t your fault, and you deserve to heal and live a happy life.

Boulder Recovery’s Approach to Healing and Recovery

Situations that challenge your faith in your marriage can happen to anyone. Strengthening your faith and finding a way to heal alone can seem impossible. During these times, seek support and guidance from those you can trust and rely on. Encourage your partner to seek treatment and find healing for yourself.

Boulder Recovery offers a free virtual Partner Support Program for partners whose husbands are enrolled in our intensive program. The support program helps you cope with betrayal trauma and heal from your husband’s actions. 

We also offer a 5-Day Partner Intensive for partners of sex addicts who’ve experienced the pain of betrayal trauma. During the intensive, you’ll receive multiple types of trauma-focused therapy to help you heal from betrayal.

Contact us today to see how our faith-based program for Christian men and/or partner support programs can help you rebuild your faith, life, and relationships.

  • Category: Relationships
  • By Begin Again Institute
  • April 8, 2024

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