Our marriage died

We started off as a normal young couple, picturing a future without obstacles and troubles. We felt our love was so strong and could concur everything. We had already Johan’s grief of losing his mum and stepdad in a ferry catastrophe to deal with A catastrophe that cost more than 800 peoples lives on the Baltic Sea the year before we started dating. But our Love was still going strong. At the beginning of our relationship and marriage, Johan didn’t share my faith in Jesus. He believed in God but Jesus was for romantics like myself. Our love was still the main power that kept us going. But in a church in London in January 1999, he did meet Jesus in a way he no longer could deny his existence. This lead to an incredible reconciliation with his biological father who was an alcoholic and had moved to Thailand. It is a beautiful story of How Jesus can heal and restore when you never hear the word “forgive me”. To be honest I don’t think Johan’s dad realized how much he had hurt him. But by God’s amazing love he healed the wounds without Johan’s dad’s involvement. We came back to Stockholm after a year in London with Oliver growing inside me. All was good and we looked forward to building our family on a foundation of Christ. We were two believers loving each other but still living with a lifestyle of this world and not realizing followers of Christ have another life to live.

It didn’t take long after Oliver’s birth we started drifting apart. He got more and more absorbed in his work. And I poured out all the love I had for our baby. I started to spend time with other mums who also complained and shared my frustration with the non-present father. In the end our relationship only involved conflicts. We spend less and less time together. I found the first signs of Johan’s porn addiction when Oliver was 1 1/2 years old. My heart had grown hard over time, but when I opened our computer that afternoon and saw all these images popping up on the screen I locked it completely. The shame was too great to share this with someone, anyone. I kept this by myself and what was already a damaged heart from teenage years died completely emotionally. All I wanted was to be loved and love again, and I found my “answer” in this very understandable and passionate man. After a few months, Johan found our text messages and the truth of my affair was no longer kept in the dark. I actually didn’t think I had an affair as Johan had messed up this marriage before me. Now I know differently.

But I had some pretty good excuses to come up with and kept trusting as the truth for a few weeks. This was not my fault. I had all the reasons in the world to act like I did. Right?

Our marriage had died, no question about it. Our sin had led our marriage to a brutal and abusive death. There was no life anymore. I had already placed our marriage in the grave and was ready to live another life, a new life, an awesome life. But with our councillor’s experience of resurrection power, I got my new life, my new marriage but with the same man, my Johan.

What was dead, was given new life. What had died and been buried, was brought out from the tomb because there was one person knowing the power of resurrection.

I have over the years been a spokesperson for that same message, yes I believe sin kills. But when did we give death the final say? No No No. I will as long as I’m needed standing outside tombs and graves to get Jesus’ attention with my heart telling him to do the same as he did with Lazarus. I’m more than Happy to be the person moving the stone so He can do what he does best- bring Life to what has died!

I now know why we ended up where we ended up. Our Lifestyle and our ways of living didn’t match with God’s. By God’s grace, we got to experience that Forgiveness is something real, and what was broken, could be restored. What had died could live again.

The Lifestyle of Heaven’s foundation is based on grace and forgiveness.

Do you know anyone who needs a helping hand of removing a stone covering the opening a grave? I encourage you to join me to become a spokesperson for resurrection power, remove the stone so the Giver of Life can breathe in new in what has died.

Faith Hope & Love

Linda

8 Comments
  • Liza Piaget
    Posted at 19:04h, 14 March Reply

    I have been married for 5 years this summer and I feel our love is very strong! But I know it’s not something that just happens! I never wont to be naive and think it ” will never happen to us” because it could!
    That’s why it’s so great to read and follow stories like this! Truly my favourite love story ❤️

    Thank you so much for showing hope, light and joy!

    • Lifestyle of Heaven
      Posted at 11:57h, 15 March Reply

      To God be the Glory, let him be glorified in every big and small testimony bringing Hope this world so desperate cries for! Thank you for reading and following the journey of this blog! I Love you ❤️

  • Dani
    Posted at 21:38h, 14 March Reply

    How did you regain the romantic feelings for each other after so much hardening and hurt? I’m having a hard time reconnecting romantically with my husband

  • Lifestyle of Heaven
    Posted at 12:10h, 15 March Reply

    Dear Dani,
    What a bold and honest question. I can feel your grief of not being “crazy in love” with your emotions. For me it changed when I started to DO love for Johan. I didn’t feel like hugging him, or encouraging him, I didn’t see him as a strong, brave, handsome or anything of what I saw when I fell in love with him years before. But I started to refer to him as my handsome husband, I laid my hand on his knee when he was driving, because I knew he liked that. I actually started to iron his shirt with one focus and that was to pray blessings over him and his work. I even had sex with him in the early stage of our restoration because i knew it meant so much for him. With my actions my feelings grew. Not only for him but also for myself. I was filled with a very lovely fragrance. Basically I had to train my thoughts to speak good about him to others, I had to remind my body to welcome him and not push him away. I believe in God and the helper we have in the Holy Spirit and He is a very good helper and he reminds me still when I need to Do love and not just feel it. If this doesn’t make sense to. You, please send me an email if you feel confident to share what exactly you need help with, and what damaged your feelings towards your husband. Faith Hope & Love
    Linda

  • Linny Cole
    Posted at 13:02h, 17 March Reply

    I can relate. I have a 33 yr marriage that is currently dead. I am no longer in love. I love him but find it hard to respect him. We have 3 teens and there is no intimacy. It died about 4 years ago. We have a connection but as the children begin to leave, I fear we will become strangers under the same roof

    • Linda Odén
      Posted at 11:12h, 19 March Reply

      Dear sister,
      First of all I want to say a huge thank you for being honest and open with how you relate with my experience of my dead marriage. My blogpost would have been a very tragic and sad one, if I hadn’t been able to also finish the blog off by sharing my experience of how my dead marriage came to life, new life. What was dead is now fully alive. There is a before death and after resurrection of my marriage. What was is no more! I am challenging you now to renew your mind and begin to tell your thoughts that you want to experience the same. I was speaking at a conference last weekend, and again I witnessed dead marriages come back to life.
      IT IS POSSIBLE FOR YOUR MARRIAGE TOO!
      I believe there is nothing that has happened in your marriage or maybe not happened that will bring forever death. I have seen dead marriages and the reality is that they do exist, however, what was dead can be brought out of the grave and to an overflowing life in every area of your marriage! That is good news!
      My

      My first challenge for you is to involve one person you trust and share that you will fight the right fight for your marriage. You will DO love in your marriage. Often our feelings tell us not to do anything unless you feel like it. But in this process feelings will come afterwards. When you start to nourish your dead soil with normal kind of “ marriage stuff” you did when you had a living one, the soil will become soft again and you will see your garden flourish again.
      FIRST, DO LOVE.

      There might be an element of confusion from your husband if you suddenly place your hand on his knee while driving or watching TV, or if you give him a hug when he comes though the door, or if you suggest something you did as a young couple 30 years ago…..but keep DOING love and his heart will sooner and later be able to receive and enjoy your new season.

      ““Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.”
      ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:18-21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

      If you would like more encouragement and guidance in your journey please fill in my contact form.

      Faith Hope & Love
      Linda

    • Geoff
      Posted at 10:33h, 23 March Reply

      Wow. You have wonderful insight. If we were to have coffee and cake together, I would ask you to share that point of pain. That the marriage was functional for 29 years is a tribute to you both. There is hope- with the willingness of just one to embrace change.. one well known marriage counsellor on the net, Emerson Eggerich, who wrote Love and Respect, says it will be the mature one to make the first move.

  • Geoff
    Posted at 10:25h, 23 March Reply

    Thanks for opening up the conversation.

    Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages has been a great resource that I have used to love my wife in meaningful ways.. Yes we need to DO love- no question about it .However, if one is speaking perfect English and the other speaking perfect French- the communication is going to be troublesome. This book explains the five love languages in ways meaningful TO YOUR PARTNER- and, how you want love expressed to you.. The newer editions of the book have a self assessment section which is invaluable in giving insight into the dynamics of the relationship.

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