Ten Steps to Help When You Face Difficult Situations

The WifeBoat “Just for Today” List

The New Year is rife with examples of resolutions and “to-do” lists, but many times, weeks after they are made, there is nothing to show for them.  This year I hope you’ll use of The WifeBoat “Just for Today” List to help as you work through the difficult situation you may be facing–I’ve linked to a pdf version at the end of this article for you to print out for your own personal use. God’s blesssing and Happy New Year. -R 

1. I will let his recovery be his, not mine.
If he wants to change, he’ll do what’s necessary to change. If he’s not willing, I cannot soften his heart. Either way, his recovery must be his own, and I will not attempt to create it, control it or oversee it.

2. I will build more of a life apart from him.
Loving him will not exclude me from friendships, passions and God’s calling on my life. To love him as a partner is to be his wife, but to allow his behavior to dictate my well-being is to become his slave. I will find ways to add joy and peace to my life.

3. I will stop apologizing for the boundaries I set.
When I refuse to accept or tolerate behavior that is blatantly sinful, disrespectful or hurtful, I do no wrong. The greater wrong lies in my allowing these actions to destroy me and my family, so I will make no apologies for saying “Enough!”

4. I will not let his sin distract me from my own.
Although my husband has sinned against me, I know I am far from perfect.  God requires me to humbly examine myself and answer for my own life. In doing this, I must take necessary steps to correct my own attitudes and behaviors.

5. I will be angry and sin not. (Right. At least, I’ll try to sin a little less!)
No matter how gravely he’s sinned against me, I am given no excuses or permission to sin against him in return. If I am unkind, harsh, sarcastic or hurtful, I am wrong, and will admit it.

6. I will neither minimize nor maximize his sin.
There’s nothing OK about sexual sin in any form, nor does sexual sin completely define the person who commits it. His sin has devastated me, but I will remember that his sin is not all that defines him.

7. I will take my pain seriously enough to get help for it.
I will give serious thought to what my soul requires for healing, and will follow through with action. Just as I would see a doctor for ongoing physical pain, I will do whatever is necessary to ease my broken heart and put myself on the path to healing.

8. I will rediscover the joy of long walks, hot baths, chats with friends, and chickflicks.
My life did not stop the day I discovered my husband’s sin. There’s still a world of awesome, God given pleasures and joys to experience, and I will consider it vital, not optional, to partake of them. I will try something new and I will gain perspective.

9. I will despise the very thought of being a victim.
I will grieve without resorting to self-pity; I will weep without surrendering to helplessness; I will protest the wrong that’s been done me without ever calling myself his (or anyone’s) “victim.” I will be courageous.

10.    I will invest regularly and intensely in my intimacy with my Lord.
I will take seriously the First Commandment to love the Lord my God with all my heart, always remembering that I was created first and foremost for His pleasure. Apart from Him I can do nothing and in His presence is fullness of joy!  I resolve that in 2009 I will seek, know and express that joy like never before. I will grow in faith and the knowledge of God through His Word, true fellowship and worship.

Print a pdf


  1. He did come come home, and there was a horrible sense of strangerness between us as we worked on the computer. But later last night we went to see our pastor. She listened and prayed with us and is going to help us find counseling. Just talking to her broke a little of it’s power – the shame and secrecy. And I felt love for my husband well up within me as if Christ himself were pouring it through me.

  2. Thank you Olivia. He gets home in 5 hours…and counting. I want to be done with this job. It’s so strange to be simultaneously feeling compassion for his long struggle and revulsion and anger that he brought this into our marriage and has been lying to me.
    He just called to say that he was able to get off early and is coming home because he wants to see me. But I do not want to see him!

  3. Susan,
    He should remove the stuff from the computer now, and probably should not do it alone. He has to have accountability that he has removed it, and that it hasn’t become another snare to him while he removed it. Whoever sits with him as he’s doing this will have the burden of viewing the stuff. Yuk. It’s not like dumping bottles of booze down the toilet, is it? At least you can hold your nose.

    I’m not sure who that person should be. An accountability partner would be good, but it sounds like he hasn’t set that up yet. If he has one, then maybe that’s the way to go. If it’s you, then it will be real “reality check” for him that his wife is sitting next to him while he’s deleting it. And maybe this will drive home the pain he’s putting you through, I don’t know. You should muster up all the dignity you can, and before you start tell him that you never want to be put in this position again. EVER. It’s not fair that you have to be exposed to this garbage! (Okay. I got a little carried away, cuz this struck a chord with me). But still, it’s good to set a boundary. Then you’ll have to figure out what accountability software to put onto your computer too.

  4. Thank you for praying. We had another long talk last night and ended up sending an email to the couple who did our premarital counseling. We hope they will be able to meet with us this week or at least guide us toward someone who can help. I am so thankful to God that I found this website with your counsel before we had this second conversation.
    I searched out and deleted some of the files off the computers yesterday, but it got to be too painful and I wondered if I should be doing it at all. I think we are going to work on it together tonight, though the idea makes me a little nauseous…that he would see the files and be reminded…that I am sitting right there. Is there another way? Is it better that he does it alone? Alone is a bad word in my mind. Is it better that he do it with an accountability partner? He says that first thing he has to get rid of it, though he has deleted his collections many times before and then started new ones later.

  5. Susan,
    I know it’s probably very surreal to have just found out about this, and after having a long talk about it, being unable to sleep. It’s almost like, if you could fall asleep, maybe you’d wake up and all this would be a bad dream!

    But posting does bring this all home – and I guess that’s the first step. It’s better to be dealing with the truth, than having a secret, because nothing can be done in the dark. I hope you’ll keep checking back here, and if you need help with any resources, please let us know. I know the WifeBoat ladies and I will be keeping you in prayer. -R

  6. Just a few hours ago I found porn on one of my husband’s computers. We had a long talk when he came home; it hurts so much. It’s 2 AM and I cannot sleep. I found your website because I remembered a program done on Midday Connection. Thank you for this website that reminds me that I am not alone. He is struggling. I feel broken and lost. We have only been married 2 1/2 years. God help us on our journey together. I am a shade terrified of actually posting this…like it will make this all true for real.

  7. Becky,
    I’m so sorry to hear about what you’re going through, and I know many of the women who read and post on this blog are as well. They can feel your pain.

    You’re in a very lonely place right now, as I think any woman would be who’se found out such a thing. But is does help if you can get a support system in place to help you through. I’m glad that you’re in counseling, and I’m sure as you continue, this will help you immensely. But outside of counseling, I’d recommend getting into a support group and if possible, and telling a safe, trusted friend or pastor that can pray with you and walk through this with you.

    WifeBoat offers 12 week support groups for women to talk and share about the common experiences they go through, as well as an individaul 5-week support curriculum. For more information on those, please check WifeBoat Suport Groups tab on this site. There is also a yearly conference for couples in Texas, Marriage & Mentors Conference and options for 2-Day Couples Intensive Counseling. If you have any questions on these, please check the links, or let me know if I can help you further.

    I hope you’ll stay in touch with us here at WifeBoat. Read the posts and articles, and I think you’ll find encouragement. And as you yourself are helped, you’ll find healing in helping others. May God work this very moment to comfort you in your distress and bring all the wisdom and peace you need. You are loved my Him! -R

  8. My husband just told me he is gay. He hasn’t acted on it and doesn’t intend to, but I’m still grieving. I’m grieving for our intimate relationship and especially hurting over the fact he isn’t attracted to me. He was molested in his childhood and really feels this is what started his struggles. I want to be supportive and we both want our marriage to survive, but I need help handling the pain and shock. We were both already in counseling (me due to major depression and him due to questions he was struggling with- which I now know was his attraction to men. ) Please share any resources which will give me guidance. It hurts.

  9. Bonnie:
    I agree that we women put up with things we shouldn’t all too often, and sometimes, like you suggest, we should be more angry about what’s been done to us. But if you look at the ten items above, you’ll also notice #9 – ” I will despise the very thought of being a victim”. And you’ll notice that the rest of the items talk about taking responsiblity for your own “stuff” and suggest diferrent ways to do so.

    But everyone is in a different place and is going through a different process. So, although I agree with your comment, there is no one solution or decision that works for everyone. And we can’t look down on people if they don’t do things the way we want them to on our timeline.

    You didn’t mention your own journey, so I hope the next time you visit, you can share a little of what you’ve gone through with the rest of us here. Take care. -R

  10. Are you guys kidding me… get real… so many times we “women” put up with stuff that a “guy” never would. Start taking resposiblity for your own lives… seperate from the “sinner” in your life and learn to never let someone like that in your life again. We have suffered and felt bad long enough!

  11. Thank you!!! both Diana and Renee…that was quite an eye opener for me…that his (husband’s) sin does not define who he is, and that with Him, good can still be found in my husband just as the Word instructs.

    We get so caught up in the sin, and what has been committed against us, that we forget all the reasons in which we married our precious husbands. Love the sinner and hate the sin…I hope that’s what my friends and family do when I sin.

  12. Diana,
    I agree with you – what a beatiful statement: “trophies of His grace”.

    And the idea of our sin not defining us makes me think of Micah 6:8. It gives us a balanced point of view on what our attitude should be: Humility: knowing that apart from Him all of us are morally bankrupt. Justice: that He wants us to speak truth in love, and apply boundaries where needed. Mercy: knowing of the great mercy He shows us, applying that mercy to those who have sinned against us.

    Diana, thanks for your contributions to this blog. Please keep in touch. -R

  13. Thank you, Renee. Those are powerful and very clearly stated. I am especially impacted by the statement that my husband’s sin does not define him. I sure don’t want my sin to define me. Praise God who defines those of us who trust Him for our salvation as trophies of His grace!

%d bloggers like this: