What do I do if friends and family don’t understand? When I explained our situation to our small group at church, they told me I need to surrender my marriage to God and trust him to change my husband. They said that as long as I am obedient, my marriage will be healed

Unfortunately, you are right; they don’t understand your circumstances, nor do they realize the depth of the pain you feel. Of course, you need to place your trust in God, but unless they have been where you presently find yourself, they cannot possibly know the anguish in your heart. Their words undoubtedly feel like careless quips and pat answers to the complex questions your soul is asking. Try to give them grace in their lack of understanding, and recognize that this is the best they can do with their limited experience with the tough issues you are dealing with. And make this commitment to yourself and the hurting women you will meet in the future: “Help me Lord, to learn from my pain, and to be willing to use it with love, empathy, and understanding to help the hurting women you bring my way in the years ahead, and to be ‘Jesus with skin on’ in their lives.”

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