Does God forgive adultery and accept the new relationship?
What common sufferings do separate people experience?
The separations are not all the same; they depend on different factors. It is not the same to separate by abandonment, by treason, because coexistence is impossible because there is incompatibility because there has been no real love and commitment but illusion and it has been confused with infatuation or desire that has been confused with respect.
So the help that each one needs is different.
Yes, each person requires different answers. God gives the gift of discernment when we freely put ourselves at His service.
As we heal, we may discover that we have previous burdens where we may not have been free to choose.
In well-constituted marriages or that have been transformed later by the grace of God, there are also burdens, but in these cases, God has always allowed the separation for a greater good, both for the person and for the spouse, the children, the family.
This is very difficult to understand because many people reach a separation when they themselves have criticized the separated, they have judged them, And now they see themselves in the same circumstance that they have criticized. And this is also a healing of society through people who have wounds.
How often do we make judgments and have prejudices of people who do not meet our expectations! And we are not God to judge or prejudge anyone.
I have not seen God so much in my successes but in my wounds because it is there, in fragility, where a person has the opportunity to open up.
It is sporadic that God heals through successes, it is more usual that he does it through wounds, where man cannot: the fragile man is the one who attracts the love and mercy of Christ. We learn to read the love of Christ in these people, in every wounded heart that opens.
How can these sufferings be alleviated?
The first thing we do or try to do is listen to conquer the heart, because to the extent that one captures the heart of the other, giving his own, that person opens up.
The tricky thing in this society is to open your heart. They have taught us to defend ourselves, to close our hearts, to distrust, to have judgments and prejudices.
What we are trying to do is conquer it, but it cannot be done if you do not give your own. Because we receive authority when we have captured the heart, because power is not submission, it is given to us by you.
And we do it respecting each other’s times. Those who are prepared to objectively view his life story and acknowledge his mistakes can enter Bethany to do that healing process.
If I am closed because I feel frustrated and failed because my marriage did not respond to my project, and I look for guilty parties, it means that the center is still me, and in these cases, we cannot do much to accompany the person.
In every relationship, there is mutual responsibility. I no longer speak of guilt because guilt does not exist if there is no will, and in addition, the blame blocks, but we do have to have knowledge and responsibility for our decisions.
When we have a more excellent knowledge of ourselves, we can modify, repair, and this frees us from the burdens we have. We learn to forgive ourselves in these processes, with the grace of God. Only God heals and saves.
How did you overcome your marriage failure?
I do not consider it a failure. I have never found it that way. Not all separated consider their situation a failure. Neither did I when I parted. That is the first of all.
Who has guided me, who is healing my heart, and my ego has always been the Lord. Today I see my separation as the opportunity in which I have genuinely met Christ.
Before separating, I looked for help in self-help books, psychologists, and psychiatrists, but at one point, I realized that neither they nor the coaches helped my soul, my heart. They gave me some guidelines, but I was looking for more: the healing of my person, the restoration of my being.
Then I met the Schoenstatt Shrine, I made the Covenant of Love with the Virgin Mary, and I said to her: ” If you are a true mother and God wants to heal me through you, here I am.”
I just said yes to being there, to go at least once a week, not much more, and that was how my heart and thought changed. One has to give a yes; if not, God cannot do anything.
It is God who has healed me. And when I was recovering, it affected my children. God is with me and is faithful to me even if I am unfaithful.
The origin of my healing was the Covenant of Love. Mary took it seriously. I did not believe I was very skeptical, but she has led me by the hand and continues to guide me every day.
I have never been as happy as when I allowed myself to be done. The problem is when we don’t let ourselves be done; When the center is me and my human reasoning, I build myself a wall in which I cannot listen and trust nothing but myself, but the love of God is so great and his patience so infinite.
How can you avoid feeling hatred after a marriage separation?
It is achieved when you look at yourself and recognize that you also have mistakes when you stop blaming only the other person when you stop waiting and demanding that others make me happy. When one discovers that my happiness is not and does not depend on others, but it is within me.
There we begin to realize that the other knows as much as I do and when one discovers that the other has also fallen into traps (for example to get them to love me more, I have depended more, I have been more slave, I have been mistreated, humiliated,).
Another critical step is to learn to forgive yourself, the most challenging thing is not for God to forgive me but for me to forgive myself and for me to forgive. This is difficult because we are very self-centered.
It helped me a lot first to identify this and then think: if Jesus Christ appeared now and I asked him to forgive me because I have been proud, arrogant because I have hurt or because I have stepped on and stepped on others, the first thing I would ask myself is: do you forgive those who have hurt you?
If we do not forgive those who have hurt us, what right do we have to ask God to forgive us? If I do not forgive, I do not grow because I am tied to resentment and resentment, and this reduces me as a person, forgiving frees us, it is the healthiest thing in the world. God cannot be in bitterness and resentment. Grudge, resentment, are the bonds to evil, so I belong to evil; I choose evil.
God’s love is so great that it lets me choose between good and evil. Then I have the great luck that the Lord always forgives me, but if I do not forgive, I will not be able to receive the real liberation from God’s forgiveness.
The healing of forgiveness is the most precious thing; every time we forgive from our hearts, our love resembles the love of God. When we come out of ourselves to forgive, we are becoming like God. The real power is in love.
When one begins to understand this, one begins to perceive God in spite of all the errors, wounds, and sins: of having aborted, of having been sexually abused, of separation, however, the love of God wins, and forgiveness is the power of God, which also offers us, men. Forgiveness is a gift that you have to ask God for.
For Christ, everyone who was outside the law, outside the norm was an opportunity, and Bethany wants to follow in his footsteps the same way, without judgment or prejudice, but as an opportunity for Christ to show himself in that person with his love—respecting and loving her as she is, not as we want her to be.
Time is a gift for conversion and forgiveness. Getting to this is the treasure of happiness in this world, no matter how difficult the circumstances are.
How is it done so that children can grow in harmony with their parents being separated?
Children are the innocent victims and need both references, the paternal and the maternal. The biggest mistake and damage that we can do to our children is to take away the fame of their father or mother, to speak ill of the other, to take away the authority… We must preserve the children from our hatred and rancor. They have the right to have a father and a mother.
Children are the victims of separation, not the cause. There has been an infidelity, even a murder; the reason lies with both parents.
We are all responsible: an abuser does not exist if I do not allow myself to be mistreated. Here are a series of responsibilities for deficiencies in education, for fears. And all that, if we have not known how to do well in marriage, are burdens for our children.
In separation, children feel insecure and need to experience unconditional love. It is cruel to use children speaking ill of the other, or using them as throwing weapons. The most innocent and defenseless in a family are the children, they must be protected even more than the parents because they are the most fragile, although the parents must undergo a personal healing.
Interview with María Luisa Erhardt, an expert in the accompaniment and healing of separated people
Her marital separation has made her an expert in closing emotional wounds. María Luisa Erhardt has been listening and accompanying separated people for more than ten years through a Christian service that she leads in Spain, and that is named after the place where Jesus rested: Bethany. She shares her healing process and assures that “when God allows separation, it is always for a greater good.”
(Mal. 2:16) (Matthew 19: 9) (Matthew 19: 7-8)(Luke 17: 3-4, 1 Corinthians 7: 10-11)
(Matthew 6:15) (1 Corinthians 7:15)(Luke 16:18)(1 Corinthians 7: 10-11)(1 Corinthians 7:39)
(Deuteronomy 24: 1-4)