So, Where Do We Go From Here?

“I’ve been so wrong! I thought I was just helping my husband, but I can see now that I’ve been so wrong. I’ve always told him what he should do, because I want him to do what’s right . . . and usually I feel like I know what’s best, so when he sees things differently, then in my opinion he’s wrong and needs to do things my way. I never realized before that what I’ve been doing is treating him like a child rather than a man.”

You’re witnessing the early stages of birth for a repentant woman. As I’ve said before, every couple’s issues will be different, and the specifics of the relationship struggles will vary, but when it comes to marital conflict—there are no “innocent bystanders.” There is always need for growth in both partners. When we move our focus from the speck in our husband’s eye, and go on a log hunt to see what might be blocking our vision, preventing us from seeing where we’re wrong as well, we’re beginning to experience the labor pains of repentance.

[box]“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3–5)[/box]

For the past several weeks on the blog, I’ve been laying some pretty heavy stuff out here for us wives to deal with. I’ve given you 5 marriage killers, shared with you what the Word has to say about our words, and now, like my friend I quoted above, some of you may’ve had your eyes opened to a few things.

You may be at the birthing point of repentance.

So where do you go from here?

Matthew and Luke both give us a clear answer. When our sins have been exposed, we need to produce fruit that is consistent with a repentant heart:

[box]”Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8).[/box]

Fruits of a Repentant Heart:

  1. Confess

Once we’ve recognized an area where we’ve been wrong, we need to make a confession. As I shared in our marriage video, when I realized how wrong I’d been in how I viewed and treated my husband, I went to him and asked his forgiveness, I also asked my children’s forgiveness because I knew they’d witnessed how I treated their dad.

  1. Specifically Address

When you confess, be sure to specifically address how you wronged your husband. If you’ve taken the reins of leadership, let him know that you were wrong to dishonor him and state the most recent example of that. If you’ve been harsh, rude, unkind, or insensitive, ask forgiveness for that specifically by stating when and how you were.

  1. Ask Forgiveness

Don’t just tell him you are sorry, but ask him if he will release you from the debt you owe by simply saying to him “Will you forgive me for . . . ?” 

  1. Bring No Disclaimers

Don’t follow your confession with a justification for why you did what you did. Don’t say something like, “I’m sorry I yelled at you, but I’ve had a very hard day . . .” or shift the blame to him by saying something like, “I wouldn’t get so upset if you’d just do what I ask!”

Instead your confession needs to sound like a true admittance of wrong: “I was wrong to yell at you. That probably felt pretty crummy hearing that. Will you please forgive me? You don’t deserve for me to treat you that way.”

  1. Commit to Change

This is where it really comes down to whether you’re going to experience transformation as a result of God’s conviction. Are you willing to commit to change? If so, here’s where the hard work begins. Cry out to God for His grace to overcome the temptation to react the same way when faced with a similar situation in the future. Continue to pray for this specific area in your life and ask God what the underlying issue is that triggers that kind of reaction. Consider memorizing Scripture that applies to your particular sin issue. Ask your husband to pray for you (aloud and with you) about this specific issue.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/


  • Caroline

    Great post. I am starting on this journey and know its a looooong road. Commitment is what I cling to (in faith). So far, no noticible fruits in him, but I think I see the fruits in me. Hopefully I’m not fooling myself.
    The problem for me is that he is at the point of despondency and having an emotional affair. I’m not sure how to deal with that aspect. It seems like this implies we just trust and can’t do anything but focus on our own walk with God. But I don’t want to enable his affair either. Advice, anyone?

  • Carrie DeLong

    This is GREAT Kim and super practical. We’re preparing to go through Fierce Women one more time here this Summer. I can’t wait to point them to the blog 🙂 It does get better from here … but these are steps that I still need to walk through EVERY time I slip back into destructively Fierce behavior.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Caroline ~

    Just now reading this, but I responded to a more recent comment you left, so I hope you see that. I am so sorry for the pain you are experiencing. There are steps you can take in dealing with your husband’s unfaithfulness. I hope you’ve been reading “Fierce Women.” If you have the book, check out the Appendix where I have “Guidelines When Confrontation is Necessary.” Or you can read through that content here:

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Thanks for the comment, Carrie ~

    I look forward to hearing how God works this summer! 🙂

  • Caroline

    Thanks Kim. I just got the book so I’m reading through (about 1/2 way). The link doesn’t work on this computer (work). But thank you.

  • Sherri

    Caroline, I was searching Kimberly’s blog for someone in my situation and found your post. My husband is deeply involved in an affair of at least eight months (that I know of). I am preparing to confess my unloving actions toward him, and am wondering if you have seen any fruitful results since your post in May? I am trying to focus on developing fruit in my life and trusting God with my future if he does or does not repent. Thank you for any advice.

  • kyrie

    HI Sherry,
    I’m so sorry you’re in that terrible place of realizing all of this. I have not really seen much fruit, sad to say. Sometimes I see glimmers, for which I am very grateful, but then the rug gets pulled out. We’ve been in a limbo/purgatory for many months now. I really don’tk know what to do anymore and am despairing. I pray things get better for you – all you can do is focus on you – growing in the faith and letting go of what you cannot change (him).

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Sherri ~

    I’m so sorry for your pain, and as difficult as this is, it is gracious of God to uncover your husband’s sin. I pray that you are plugged into a good church with wise and spiritually mature counselors who can help you navigate this season. It is like experiencing a death–but an ongoing death.

    I’m posting links to 2 blog posts that I wrote while our church walked with a young couple through the painful revelation of his affair. You might find some of it helpful (as well as reading through the comments and several posts following those):

    As you look to the Lord, laying out your need and desire before Him, He is listening and is at work. You may not see all you would like accomplished in your marriage, but if you are looking to Christ, seeking His will, and desiring for Him to be glorified through this, He will transform you.

    And isn’t transformation what we all need most?

    “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. Therefore . . . do not lose heart . . . but we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing power will be of God and not from ourselves . . .” (2 Corinthians 3:18–4:1, 7, and read through to the end of the chapter).

    I pray that God meets with you bringing comfort, peace, and healing. Also, asking Him to bring you a spiritually mature network that will provide wisdom and support during this season. I am so very sorry for your pain and loss.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, “kyrie” ~

    I am so sorry. Your pain is palpable as I read your comment. Please read the comment I left for Sherri and see if any of my suggestions to her would be helpful for your situation. Thank you for reaching out to minister to her. Such wise counsel.

    Pausing to pray for you, now!