This is, by far, one of the most powerful revelations about the human heart and motives, the Holy Spirit has ever given to me to write about. I pray I am able to do it justice and bring the truth to light.

Choosing the High Road 

One of the biggest challenges Standers face is how they portray their lost spouses to their family and friends. What they share, what they withhold, and, more importantly, what they get out of it.

If you have been part of the Standing community, then you most likely have seen many messages about the dangers of spouse-exposing, venting, and the repercussions that it brings when restoration happens. How the very people that you want your spouse to be loved and accepted back into the family by,  are so set against your marriage restoration they give you ultimatums. “If you take them back, I can’t be part of your life.”

We hear it’s wrong, we know the outcome of spouse exposing, and we have heard the story of Noah and how he cursed his son for not covering his shame. (Genisis chapter 9) Yet, Standers still struggle with it.  

This article is here to help expose one of the reasons why the struggle is real.

Standers learn right away about the fruit that a hard-hearted spouse puts out, and it’s so common that lost spouses don’t deviate much from that fruit. It’s something most Standers have in common. The reactions of that hard heart. How in the dark, obstinate, blind, deceived, angry, unforgiving they are, even to the point of being hostile or going no contact. They completely do a 180 and are unrecognizable. Pride is always there to help them defend their choices, and blame and deflection is their go-to methods, even to the point of lying to make themselves look innocent and the Stander out to be the bad guy. 

As Standers, we learn right away, these are fruits of a hard-heart, lost soul, and we are not to take this seriously as the final outcome. We know if we embrace their darkness, it sucks us down with them into despair and makes us question standing at all. We learn about the details and how they are misleading, and it’s important to us to seek what God says, not rest and lean on what our spouses are saying and doing.

We hear out of the mouths of other Standers the very same things our spouses are saying, they are in love with other person, they don’t love us anymore, or maybe never had. Regret marrying us. They are happy and at peace. They say they will never come back. They tell us that they pray, God is totally fine and ok with what they are doing, and will forgive them. They may tell you that the changes you made, it’s too late. You already did the damage, and they are done.

AND just as we hear Standers sharing this, we hear RESTORED Standers sharing as well. 

Lost spouses, now returned, will testify,  “They said they were happy, but they were really miserable.” They say their love for their spouse never stopped, but were so upset and angry that the love was pushed deep down to where they didn’t feel it. They share how they knew they were wrong, but would never admit that because they were so angry and full of pride. They all share about the guilt, shame, and condemnation they had, and many still have and battle with. 

Standers have access to thousands of restoration testimonies to help them understand why this is happening and how real and powerful a hard heart is when they reject God to follow after the lusts of the flesh.


Even though both sides are presented with proof to back it up. The feelings, beliefs, and emotions of a hard-hearted person, and the truth that later comes out when they have a change of heart, even with all this proof, the Stander will STILL stand firm on the lie, and share that lie with others. “They don’t love me anymore, never did.” Or “They will never come back.”

I am going to get real here. I did this many times when I would tell my family about what my husband was saying and doing, even though deep down, I knew I was not sharing it the way God had shared it with me. I was sharing it in a way that made it seem like this was final. “He no longer loves me.” (lie, because God told me he did.) “He loves the other woman.” (Lie because God told me it was lust.) “He doesn’t care, he is happy, enjoying his life.” (Lie because I could see small things that indicated his guilt and remorse; even though they were fleeting, they were still there, and God had pointed them out.)

God would tell me the truth. My husband would tell me the opposite. And when I had a chance to share with my family what was going on, I chose to tell everyone what my husband said, not what God said. Why?

Because as a hurting human who had her nose bent out of shape, had her pride hurt and offended, It felt GOOD to make my husband out to be the bad guy. In a sick, twisted way, I was getting my needs met. What need? Sympathy. Compassion. Empathy. AND it was all for me. What did I see on their faces and in their words toward my spouse?  Anger, scorn, loathing, contempt, disgust. And it felt GOOD to have someone AGREE with me how awful and horrible my spouse was. And how I deserved better. 

So, when I was faced with a choice to share with them in the way God had shared with me, that would bring understanding to them in a way that removed the disgust and contempt and would actually make them feel empathy, sympathy, love, understanding and compassion for my spouse…………..I was appalled and adamant that I was not going to do that. My flesh, emotions, and pride didn’t want that. I wanted that pity, sympathy for myself. 

With my spouse totally in control of everything, to the point he was allowed to ruin my reputation and make me out to be the bad guy, no way was I allowing him to also get this from my friends and family. No, I was going to ruin him, just as he was trying to ruin me. So I kept bad-mouthing him, getting my needs met, or should I say my prides needs met, until God stepped in in a big way and brought chastisement.

I started to walk away from those conversations ……..sick to my stomach. The Holy Spirit was grieved and I could FEEL it. Not only was I sick to my stomach about how I had bad-mouthed, I had to back-peddle and tell them I was not going to file for divorce. Argue with them about how I was not being abused and how my husband was not really a bad person.

My fear, worry, anxiety, anger and unrest would always magnify greatly after these conversations. Not only did I have to deal with what my spouse was saying, but now i had to deal with what my family was telling me. And it made me question everything. I was losing the truth God was instilling in me with every negative conversation I was hosting.

Each time I walked away, feeling this way, and suffering the consequences, I started to learn my lesson.


I started to stop mid-conversation and change course. No longer having the goal of getting fed sympathy, pity, and seeking compassion, I started to flip the script so I could be able to walk away with no remorse or regret. I started to cover my spouse and undo the damage that I had sowed prior by helping them understand what was really going on. It became important to me that I end the conversation and be able to face God with a clear conscience. That is really all I was after. But  I had NO clue what was going to happen to ME, simply by choosing to be honest and not seek out sympathy for myself. 

When I chose a kingdom path, that kingdom protected me and set me on a path of blessings that I didn’t even realize I wanted.

I found as I started to speak things of the Kingdom more, my attitude changed. The depths of my despair, hurt, and pride changed. There was a powerful transformation taking place in me that was coming simply because I was making a choice not to put myself first. I was helping myself in a  new way. As I chose to seek pity, mercy, and grace for my husband………that mercy, grace, and pity produced a fruit IN ME that was far more powerful and beneficial than any pity, sympathy, and vindication I could have gotten for myself from bad mouthing him.

I had less fear, worry, anxiety, and depression. Less bouts of anger and rage. My pride was more manageable. I had HOPE again. PEACE! Oh, those two things are priceless! 

There is something so powerful about choosing to allow grace and mercy to be extended to those who are knowingly hurting you. As I shared about my husband in a kingdom way, how I talked about him, bringing God into the conversation, sharing how God was working out in my husband’s childhood trauma, and how I was trusting God through this all, and knew God was helping my husband, HIS SON, because He loved him so much, I could see my words being a healing balm to those that heard them. No longer were my family members angry, hating, and despising my husband. Instead, they were agreeing with me in hope and prayer for my husband to turn his life around. 

Check your heart motives. As you share about what you are going through, what is the outcome? Are those who listen walking away hating your spouse? Or are they finding mercy, sympathy, grace, and understanding about the spiritual battle they are in? Do you even share that truth with them? Or are you leaving out really important details on purpose? Do you keep to yourself things that would actually make them feel pity? Sympathy, mercy, and most important……….FORGIVENESS toward your lost beloved?

Listen, I get it. I really do. This was a huge inner battle within me. I didn’t want anyone to feel bad for my husband, I wanted them to feel bad for me. But in the end, the one that suffered more was ME.

When you make a conscious effort to walk the kingdom walk, talk the kingdom talk, there is rewards for that. There is a fruit, a transformation that comes with a kingdom power and dynamic that you just can’t argue with. 

Sometimes the things that we go through are not all our spouse’s fault, but the fault of our choices on how we are handling it.

I pray this message from the Holy Spirit blessed you. I know it blessed me.


Standing with you,

Sheila Hollinger

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