One Step Forward and Two Steps Back

One Step Forward and Two Steps Back

What brought you to RMI? Please use this space to briefly let our readers know what your life was like when you first found us, Tanya, so our readers understand just what a miracle your restoration is.

Tanya, how did your restoration actually begin?

I knew that my marriage was no longer the same as it had been, and I became concerned. The fights were constant, and they were over really small things. Each time we fought, I could sense my husband was moving away from me emotionally. I realized he was avoiding me, as if I had become an unwelcome and unpleasant person to be around. When I walked towards him, he walked away. He seemed to be running away from me. This was troubling because we have always been very passionate, perfect partners and close friends. He never did anything without me, which after a while I started to complain about, because even when I'd go to another aisle to buy a soap in the market, he followed me.

After only 3 years of being married, something broke between us.

It happened one very sad Saturday when he had gone out with my brother-in-law and left his cell phone at home. I looked through everything I could and then found something that caused me to become jealous. So, like everyone, I confronted him as soon as he arrived home. After our "discussion" I remember him walking away, telling me that he did not love me anymore and he saw me as "just a friend." When he said that, I stormed out of the room, I packed up my things and said, "We're done, it's over!" and we are over!!

That night I spent at my parents' house and the next day he begged me to come back, saying that I did not have to stay 10 minutes away from him. He said he wanted me to know that he still loved me.  So, I went home, but we stayed like this, two friends living together, until the cycle started all over again.

One day, after he'd spent all day rejecting my company, I called him "to talk" and try to understand his motives. He told me, crying, that I had been the best thing that had happened in his life, but he could not explain to me what he was feeling—that he rejected me without knowing or understanding it. I broke into a desperate cry, as if my life had ended at that moment. Though this time I did not leave the house.

That same day, before I slept, I had asked the Lord for help. While falling asleep I began to sense what He was showing me. He was showing me that I had not returned to Him. I had not shown Him the love He wanted to have with me. Having a sincerity of heart that I longed for in my husband, I no longer longed for the Lord in the same way. Not for a very long time.

When I woke up, I was still feeling disoriented. Asking Him to show me, He led me to do a Google search for something that could help me find Him the way I needed Him to be in my life. I remember that the very first link that appeared to me was the RMI website and then I discovered the book How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage.

How did God change your situation Tanya as you sought Him wholeheartedly?

As soon as I discovered Erin's book, I read it in two days and felt so much closer to the Lord. I began to apply the principles and my husband began noticing that I was becoming quieter and quieter, more peaceful. I recognized my past mistakes and took them to heart. I had always been contentious, I wanted everything to be my way. I was impulsive and impatient, and I realized that my husband often agreed with what I said so as not to get into a discussion or fight.

I asked the Lord for forgiveness and I began to create a greater intimacy with Him. My journey in the desert began in November and I understood what God wanted to do in me. But as soon as the trials started, I went back to who I was, contentious and I failed to strengthen myself in the Lord.

The enemy continued with his schemes, doing everything to cause me to stumble, because I was weak in faith. Those were very difficult months, the worst months of my life. My husband became more and more distant once I changed back to who I'd been. He became a total stranger to me, a completely indifferent man. To cope, he began drinking more than socially, spending hours in the gym, and packed his life full of things to occupy his mind and stay away from me. I felt horrible and instead of seeking the Lord and remaining steadfastly in His love, I questioned my husband and demanded answers. I was sarcastic, which further distanced him from me. But in spite of everything I knew the right thing to do, according to the principles of the book, but sadly I did not follow them. I was now aware that I was not pleasing to God. Each day I took one step forward and two steps back.

What principles, from God's Word (or through our resources), Tanya, did the Lord teach you during this trial?

Basically, all the principles I've learned have been proven to be true based on my experiences. These principles really work, but only if we apply them. Whenever I did anything His way, God always confirmed to me by so much positive reaction from my husband and I felt at peace. When I did things my way, the world’s way, the popular way, it caused me grief and unraveled what He’d done.

What were the most difficult times that God helped you through Tanya?

After I realized that I knew the right thing to do and did not do it, my spirit began to really bother me, deeply convicting me. Many things that Erin mentioned in her book that would happen, happened. Relatives told me that if he did not love me anymore, it was best to move on and that it did not look like he was ever going to change. They said so many discouraging things. It was then that I felt that I had to follow the principles.  I truly realized it was my fault that my situation had not changed. I had delayed doing what was right. I was a lukewarm Christian.

That day a very great force took hold of my heart and I knew that I must be firm in my obedience because everything depended on me. I had pulled my house down, over and over again, and I had to be who I needed to be, or it would be over.

I've been blessed to have a dear friend, Tara, who is a true woman of God and a great intercessor. A lot that my husband did she did not understand, mostly because I saw myself as a victim, and it’s the way I often described myself to her. So, God sent Tara to be part of a powerful three-strand cord and I believe that He loved her so much that He wanted to teach her how to see things. Tara never married, nor does she have or want children. But she has an incredible heart. I knew for Tara to help me, especially to intercede for me correctly, I had to give her the book to read. Even though she was a passionate Christian who knows her Bible, she had never seen things from Erin's point of view. She was astonished and immediately asked me for forgiveness, and also asked God, for all the wrong advice she had given me and so many others who'd come to her for help. Although she had always been by my side, from the first time I foolishly left the house until the last. Once she finished reading the book, I knew I had someone by my side who was like-minded and knew the truth.

Holding me accountable to the lessons, I began by fasting from Facebook, since it was something that took my time. Time I now wanted to dedicate to becoming more intimate with the Lord.

As confirmation that I was to go forward in this purpose, the day I made this decision, my husband became restless and called me to talk. He apologized for everything, for not giving me a hand when he knew I needed help. He apologized for not coming near me and ignoring me. He said he knew he was not acting like we were a couple, but again said he did not understand what was happening inside him. He told me there was a void, an emptiness he couldn't explain. He said that there was no OW (and thankfully there was not) but if that were the case it would be easier for him to explain it. He felt there was no explanation. It was something that made him want to disappear from me and life…

I said nothing. A single tear streamed down my face and I could only respond by saying, "Do not worry about me, I will not do anything foolish. I promise, I'll be fine." I left to get ready to go to church, where I poured my heart out, crying rivers of tears to the Lord. I gave everything into the hands of God and asked Him for two things: that my husband would not take his ring off his finger and that he continue to respect me by remaining faithful. That night I went to sleep without eating anything and I clung to the Lord with all my might.

I always took my worries to God so that was not new. But that night I tried my best to let my husband go, even though we still lived and slept together. To let go in my situation, since we were sleeping and waking up together, was something extremely complicated for me. But the Lord helped me in everything. I always brought my concerns to Him, so I knew He would speak to my husband and he would remain faithful to our marriage, according to His will. The more I let go, the more I sought intimacy with the Lord, the more I saw him pursuing me.

Tanya, what was the “turning point” of your restoration?

I know that the moment I came nearer to the Lord, the enemy rose up strongly against me.

The turning point was when I discovered my husband's involvement with a co-worker. Although he did not demonstrate the existence of OW, because he always came home at regular hours and behaved in the same way he had always behaved, I had no idea. And yet, because of my HH I was already properly prepared by the Lord to deal with this situation.

Tell us HOW it happened Tanya? Did your husband just walk in the front door? Tanya, did you suspect or could you tell you were close to being restored?

One day I had a dream that he had betrayed me. I woke up very distressed and asked the Lord to get rid of it, but that if it was of His will, I would accept whatever came to me and I knew that He would give me the strength to bear it.

Since the day, somewhere in the middle of my journey, I had discovered pornography on his cell phone, which is why we had the huge discussion (that I mentioned early). He had changed the password, so I would not get in, but it didn’t matter. In fact, I did not even want to snoop anymore because I was afraid of what I might see. But the very next week I already knew the new password. But as I said, I didn't use it nor did I tell anyone I knew it. After all, I did not want to tell someone I knew the password, because I knew the enemy would begin to tempt me and I'd make a fatal move. I spent months without even wanting to get near his cell phone.

The turning point happened after a party, when at two in the morning, while we were in bed sleeping, the phone rang with a message on his WhatsApp. I woke up and asked who was sending him a message at that time of the morning. He was drowsy and upset at having been woken up, he said did not know who it was. Then he said that it was probably just a drunk friend. But because I was tired, I kept insisting, which made him get upset. He picked up his pillow and went to sleep on the living room sofa.

Unfortunately, he did not take the cell phone because he was certain that I did not know the password. Foolishly, as soon as he left, I picked up the cell phone, I logged in and saw a loving message from the OW. As much as it had hurt me, hurt too much to bare, I remained quiet. A few minutes later he came back and saw the look of pain on my face. He knew I'd seen it.

Though I would have normally gone off in a rage or cried my eyes out, there was not even a tear on my face! I knew God was with me, holding me and comforting me. I said nothing, just looked into my husband's eyes. I finally had a gentle and quiet spirit due only to His love.

He apologized to me and said that the enemy was trying to confuse and mess with his feelings. It was very difficult for both of us, not just me. He left the room, and only then did I cry at the Lord's feet. I barely slept. I confess that I know I should have stayed, but the next morning I packed some things to spend a few days at my parents' house. He asked me lovingly to stay, but he knew I had to go and get away.

As soon as I got there, I sent him a message saying that I knew I needed to forgive him but living with him would be more difficult now that I knew.

I turned my focus towards asking my HH to help me find the forgiveness He had put inside of me. I poured myself out to the Lord. I deleted all my social networks and WhatsApp and told God I wanted to let my husband go, so HE would live in me and that my husband could live the way he wanted to live. I gave it all into the hands of God.

Immediately my husband started to look for me when he saw I had shut down my social networks. He called me a couple of times that day to find out how I was and sent several SMS messages.

Very soon I began to feel compassion and I was able to release His forgiveness towards him and the OW. God started to turn my heart towards him and his heart back to me. Once he called me from work to find out how I was, he said he missed me, that it was stupid what he did. I was able to tell him I did forgive him, that I knew he did not try to hurt me, and that I also forgave the OW. He said he was amazed at my behavior, my calmness and thanked me for forgiving him. He said that I am very strong and that I was very different.

I spent two weeks at my parents' house. Soon after he sent me an SMS saying that he always loved me, when I remembered the testimony of Dan, and also Sue's husband. In that time, we began to meet and speak to each other just like we were boyfriend and girlfriend, flirty and sweet to each other. In one of our conversations, he told me that the fact that I had forgiven him, really attracted him to me. I remembered immediately that Erin had written this in her book, and that forgiveness was appealing.

In those distant days, when I was too broken to move, I saw my husband begin seeking the Lord, hearing praises from him daily, and he said for the first time in his life he enjoyed and looked forward to reading the Bible.

Anyway, he asked me to come home and I knew it was time. When I arrived, he asked me to be patient with him, because he was still shaken by everything.

All this 'turning point' happened coincidentally when I started receiving the weekly encouragements on "’Are you really ready?’ for restoration!!” Erin, you helped me IMMENSELY to understand everything that happened and is still happening now!! It's been almost two months since I came home and we're living with a mix of feelings.

He began to call me affectionate nicknames, as he had done before. He wants to be by my side again and we have sensed a tight bond between us. But I still see an inner struggle within him. His cell phone no longer has a blocking password because he wants to be open and transparent. And what the enemy still uses to try to steal my peace, is that OW still works with him. But he's told me that he cut off relations with her, never even speaks to her in any way. I know how difficult it has to be for him, so I cannot do anything but praise and thank God for the wonderful works that He has wrought on our behalf.

Yes, as Erin tells us all the time, the return is hard and difficult, which is why we need to put HIM first in our heart and why He has our restoration journey so difficult to prepare us for restoration. I know that God will continue to orchestrate everything and finish the work that He began in us.

What I can say happened that is important to emphasize is this: the week after my return home, after a nightmare I had about my husband and OW, I woke up with an immense desire to fast. At first, it was for the purpose of breaking any connection between the two of them, but then on the third day, God showed me that He wanted to talk to me, so I could hear Him clearly during my fast.

So, on the third day the Lord spoke, and He warned me that I was again being unfaithful to Him! I was not putting Him first. He said I was again turning away from my first Love. He gave me a verse from the book of Jeremiah that made it very clear and it says: in Psalms "For they triggered His wrath by setting up high places, altars to god's in His land; they aroused His jealousy by bowing down to idols in the shadow of His presence." I had made my husband and my marriage the idol I bowed down to. It's what so many women do today, and I had fallen into that trap again and again.

I thanked Him for alerting me, after all, He is most interested in seeing us happy and restored but never at the cost of our relationship with Him. Always keeping Him first in our hearts and the one to focus on. That's what restored my marriage and that is what will complete our restoration. The more I remain transfixed on Him, the more I see my husband yearning for the things of God. Isn't that what Erin always says?

Would you recommend any of our resource in particular that helped you Tanya?

If everyone would just follow the principles in this one book How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage by doing the daily lessons faithfully, your marriage can be restored. I also recommend reading the Encourager blog to keep you motivated to keep your eyes on Him.

Would you be interested in helping encourage other women Tanya?


Either way Tanya, what kind of encouragement would you like to leave women with, in conclusion?

Do not give up on your husbands and your families. God does not give up on you and me! Believe that He is faithful to make all things new and more than able to make the desert that you live, flourish with streams of water. You must fall in love with the Lord because only then will He give you the desires of your heart. But if you remain focused on your husband and your marriage, you will continue to wander in the desert. Choose Him, for yourself and for the sake of your family!

These testimonies will be available in 

PAPERBACK (Coming December 2017)

By the Word of Their Testimony (Book 5): He will Give You the Desires of Your Heart.

CLICK HERE to Pre-order your own copy to mark and read how others, like you, made it through their 

Restoration Journey and experienced a RESTORED MARRIAGE.