After thirty-six years of marriage, my husband left me for another woman, even though I had cared for his mother, who has Alzheimer’s, for five years, and I had just gone through successful treatment for hip cancer. He left to live in the other woman’s house, and put his mother in a home. I’ve spent six years without him…. It is very hard to forget, because I was very much in love when we got married and at times I think that I still am. He cheated on me while I was recovering from my cancer operation. I know that he was going out with that woman then, and that he continued afterward…. I have asked God to help me to forget, but nothing changes.

Dear Friend,

We are so sorry to hear of all that you have gone through! It has obviously been very difficult, so you are to be commended for being strong and for having survived so many trials.

There’s nothing you can do about the man who was your husband. Every moment that you spend thinking about him—about how much he hurt you and how unfairly he treated you—is a wasted moment that can never be regained. While it is true that he stole your dreams for married life, you are wrong if you think that he can steal your happiness.

Happiness is a choice you make. And so is contentment. Every day, when you wake up, you choose whether you will continue to think about all that he did to you, or whether you will think about how to find happiness for yourself. Will you be a victim, beaten down, deceived, and broken, or will you be a survivor, facing the future with hope and finding a way to be happy again?

Only you can control your thoughts. And only you can control your attitudes and actions. Determine to find a group of friends and activities that you enjoy. Don’t sit home alone and think. Get out of the house and get busy. Do volunteer work, befriend your neighbors, or join a club or craft group. Find a church where the people love God and follow the Bible, and become a part of that community.

You want God to erase your memory, and you believe that He isn’t listening to you. But the problem is that you are sabotaging yourself by thinking about the past all the time. When you get busy and active, you won’t have so much time for negative thoughts. As you fill your mind with good things, the negative memories will no longer have the same power over your emotions. The Apostle Paul gave us the prescription when he wrote: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”(1) Choosing to think about good and positive things in the present will keep you from dwelling on the past.

We wish you well,

1 Php 4:8