Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
but an enemy multiplies kisses.
-Proverbs 27:6, NIV
I was incredibly naive prior to experiencing my first wife’s adultery and abandonment. Very naive! And I am thankful for the friends God put in my path who gave me the proverbial “wake-up whack” when I needed it.
While being blunt, they were kind to point out places where I had been too willing to compromise turning a blind-eye.
One friend listened as I told him about my (now ex) wife’s favorite hobby of going out drinking with her “girlfriends” at night multiple times a week without me. He told me straight up that such is not wise behavior for a married woman. It is the behavior of a woman who is living as if she were single. He agreed with me that I was had been foolish not to put my foot down and point this problematic behavior out to my (now ex) wife.
As if that was not bad enough, that conversation happened months after telling incidents from her drinking seen. One of those incidents happened at a party with this same group of her female (single) friends. I remember coming up from the downstairs at the same place after watching a sports game only to see my (now ex) wife club dancing with another man.
I was sooo naive!
I believed her lines that it was just an isolated incident.
I know better now.
That friend did more than just help me realize how drinking at clubs regularly without your spouse is highly unwise. He also gave me pep talks to draw boundaries and take my (now ex) wife at her word enforcing the choice she made. My buddy helped me lovingly but firmly confront even though it meant the confrontation made my (now ex) wife furious. I am very grateful for those talks even though he was blunt. He helped me grow a backbone.
Another friend helped me see that living in marriage limbo is not healthy. She pointed out to me about how it was cruel to dangle divorce in front of me and yank it away while not seriously engaging in rebuilding the marriage. I remember her telling me that my (now ex) wife ought to either file or stop with the divorce talk. She was right even though at the time I was desperate for my marriage to survive and willing to put up with my (now ex) wife toying with me through continuing this “dangling marriage hope game.” Little did either of us–my friend or I–know at the time but my (now ex) wife was already involved with her adultery partner.
My friend’s advice was sound even though it was tough to face the facts.
I needed friends like these two who were willing to point out the facts.
Whack me with the truth, so to speak!
The quicker one comes to grips with these difficult truths, the better equip one is to move forward whatever the marriage outcome.
Denying reality does no one any good.
We are called to walk in the light and truth even if those are difficult truths.
So, these two individuals–among others–were true friends.
And I thank God for them.
I hope you have such friends in your life as well!