No More Perfect Marriages–A 10 Day Blog Series

NoMorePerfectMarriage blackJill says:
Some of you have been hanging around here for a long time and you may remember when I shared about Mark leaving 3 years ago and then several months later about him coming home. Some of you are newer friends and aren’t aware that my marriage has been through some hard trials.

For many years, Mark and I did Marriage Monday posts together. We ping-ponged back and forth with “Jill says…” and “Mark says…” talking about marriage challenges, lessons learned, and practical take-aways. Those were very popular posts, but they came to a halt when Mark began to go through what we now know was a mid-life crisis.

Today…and every weekday for the next two weeks, we will be unpacking the storm our marriage went through a little over three years ago.

Today we’ll start with the facts:

Mark says:
I remember the day. After a long season of confusion, a hard season of ministry, a change in employment, and my 50th birthday, Jill and I were in Florida on a getaway for just the two of us. I was emotionally depleted, disillusioned with God, and discouraged in every part of my life, including my marriage.

We had enjoyed a few low-key days in her parents condo. On our last day there all of my emotions collided. It seemed our differences were magnified in this time away, God wasn’t changing anything in my life that I was praying about, I wasn’t where I expected to be in life by the time I was 50, we continued to have the same challenges in our marriage year after year, and I decided I was done with it all.

I now know that I was living out a full blown mid-life crisis.

I came home from that trip completely resolved. Shortly thereafter a relationship began through Facebook with someone I’d known long ago. Within a matter of months it had moved from an emotional affair to a physical one. I eventually left Jill to pursue this new relationship. I didn’t care what anybody thought. I was doing what I wanted to do.

If you were following the blog back then and read her “From My Heart” post, you might have thought “What in the world was Mark thinking?” My thinking was skewed, no doubt. However, I want to tell you what I was thinking and I want to share the “slow fade” journey with you because if I can prevent any husband or wife from dealing with their life frustrations the way I did, my vulnerability will be worth it all.

When I left, I was headed out of my marriage into another relationship. I had a huge storm raging in my soul that involved myself, my God, the Church (in general) and Jill. I felt hopeless that anything in my life could be different so I decided to take things into my own hands.

Jill says…
We have survived an affair and lived to tell about it. When you experience deep pain, you long for God to redeem it for His purposes. That’s what we hope to do with this blog series and eventually with the No More Perfect Marriages book we’re already working on.

Sharing this kind of story in a public environment is something akin to standing in the middle of a public square with no clothes on. We’d rather keep it to ourselves; but we can’t. God has given us a platform and a calling to make a difference in families. That means sharing honestly about the challenges we have experienced, lived through, and found victory in on the other side.

In order to share the story in a consistent way, we will be devoting the next 2 weeks to our story and the take-aways for every couple that can be culled from our dark season. Will you help us reach more marriages with this story? If you know someone going through a difficult time in their marriage, or a couple who is trying to put together the pieces of their broken relationship, will you invite them to tune into this series?


If you are already subscribed to my blog, you will receive each post in your inbox. If you are here because you saw the post on Facebook or because a friend shared it with you, you might want to subscribe to the blog to receive each post of this series in your inbox.

We also want you to know that throughout this series both Mark and I are committed to be praying for any couple going through a hard season. If you want us to pray for you specifically, please send us a confidential email to jill (at) and we will add you and your spouse to our prayer list.

There are no perfect marriages, but God uses marriage to perfect us…if we’ll allow Him to.

What about you? Have you been through a hard time in your marriage? Do you have any hard-earned wisdom to share with other couples?

You can read all of the No More Perfect Marriages series here.

Hearts at Home, Jill and Mark Savage, Copyright 2015


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23 thoughts on “No More Perfect Marriages–A 10 Day Blog Series

  1. Thank you for sharing the candid truth. Around the time of your separation, 3 other couples I know who I also felt had strong marriages and had also been married 25 plus years separated and divorced due to affairs. As we approach our 25 years this summer, those possibilities are so real. Our marriage, right now, is at one of its strongest points, but there have been numerous vulnerable times and I’m sure numerous more. I look forward to reading your insight on this topic.

    • Lisa, unfortunately many marriages fall apart after many years together. Our hope is to help stop some of those fades before they become divorces.

  2. Thank you, Mark and Jill, for sharing! I learned of your separation and was devastated! Even thought I’d never met either of you personally, I had been to many conferences where Jill spoke and read many of your books. After hearing about you two, my heart was heavy! How could the authors of so many family-related books and the couple that I saw as the ultimate Christian role models be going through this? It helped me to realize that none of us are “safe” from the devil, and that I had to do everything I could to protect and preserve my marriage. It was a major turning point for me three years ago, and still remains in my thoughts today. I really believe that because of your transparency, you have taught and ministered to so many of us.

  3. Jill and Mark,
    I do also remember that day, and I cried with you Jill! I’ve also watched many long time marriages dissolve. One was among friends who were both Lutheran school teachers and I was devastated when I heard of the affair. Their teen daughters used to babysit for us, and they were both friends of ours!
    I agree that it really opened my eyes to to fact that Satan will go after everyone-and I think he really likes to attack those who are in ministry for God.
    I thank you for your candor. I know that you will touch someone and their spouse through this. Like God’s word says; what humans meant for destruction, God means for good! And I know that God will Bless you because of what you are doing!
    Can’t wait to see you in March! 🙂

  4. Jill and Mark

    I can’t thank you enough for sharing your story! This really hits home! I was giving up on myself and my marriage until I read this. I have been very depressed and upset with my marriage. I can’t wait to hear more and can’t wait for your book! See you in March

  5. This found me at the perfect time. My husband has recently revealed to me that he’s had 2 affairs in the past year. He lost his job because of the last one. Our lives have been turned upside down. We have just started counseling through MOVE and I pray it helps. I feel that God urged me to stay and fight for my marriage, but it’s very hard. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Lane, I understand what you are feeling right now. Your world has come crashing around you. You are not alone and it is well worth fighting for it…but yes it is hard. Hang in there. Hopefully you will find some important steps during this series.

  6. Ten years ago, I too went through this, my husband had an affair. I was devastated. But the Lord taught me to depend on Him for everything and my faith grew leaps and bounds!! Today we are still together and the marriage is stronger than before. But, I have not forgotten that it is only God who can keep it together. Thank you for sharing your story. I cannot share mine because it did not go public.

  7. It is refreshing and encouraging to see such transparency and your willingness to not only share the painful journey of what you went through, but also what you learned and the truth that all marriages face struggles. THANK YOU!!

    Every marriage is unique but one universal truth is that they face struggles of some sort. I’ve been through a divorce and I’m remarried. While I am so grateful for what my current husband and I share, I know full well that an intimate life (physical, emotional, spiritual) is not a “given.” It takes effort and courage and vulnerability, over and over again, to intentionally work and savor the marriage and also to deal with struggles.

    Ironically, so many Christians think they need to “appear they have it all together,” when truly our walk is more authentic when we are willing to acknowledge and speak from the messy realities of our lives.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing. It is needed. It makes a difference.

  8. Thank you for this subject. It is very timely. I found out Jan. 1st 2014 that my husband had been having a 2 year affair through a text message on his phone. He intentionally went looking to have an affair on an affair website. (Yes, there is such a website-its’ disgusting). I also saw questionable charges on his charge card statement. It took him a wk or so to come completely clean with all. I would ask him question after question in order to know “everything”….good or bad. My bottom line was absolutely no contact with her. He did break if off with her but she pursued him a few times. He did blocked her phone number and her email address, although she found his work email. (which he blocked as well) During this time, our church had a series on the family. Every single topic spoke directly to my husband and I. We would go out for lunch after church and talk about the sermon and how God was speaking to each of us during that particular sermon. Our church really helped us get on the road to restoration. During the first few months after “discovery”, I would get depressed and feel like I just wanted to give up on our marriage. Trust and restoration seemed like a huge and slippery mountain to climb; one that was filled with deep emotion. Every single time I felt this way, God would put someone in my path to speak encouragement to me. Every single time!! I knew that God didn’t want me to throw in the towel.
    It has been a hard road. I randomly still check his phone and email. I still hurts when I drive past “their” meet up place. But my husband and I have fully committed to healing and making our marriage better than before.
    Would I want to go thru this again?? No, but I have gotten closer to God and rely on Him for EVERYTHING. I don’t know how God will use this but I’m sure He has a special plan. Thanks for reading.

  9. This is not about an affair in my own marriage. This is about how an affair, divorce and remarriage affect a family. This is about my parents, and about my husband’s family.

    Thirty-eight years ago my parents’ 25 year marriage ended because of an affair. In the late 70’s, there weren’t a great many support systems for marriages – and the pastor at the Methodist church my parents attended was no help. When my mom went to him for counseling he made a pass at her.

    I know that the blame can’t always be placed on only person – I know that many times there are problems on both sides.

    But I wish that people would think of the fall-out before they act. As the child of this union, I see it and live with it still today. Instead of my parents growing old together, both in good physical health, they are growing old separately. Every holiday, every birthday, every major life event means that we must somehow include them both, either by planning two separate gatherings, or have them at the same time and make sure that my mother and my dad’s wife are not in the same room. We recently went to two consecutive dance recitals for my granddaughter so that both my parents could attend.

    My dad, in his eighties, is caring for his younger wife, in her 70’s, who has Alzheimer’s. My mother became depressed and reclusive and became an animal hoarder with her house falling down around her – that’s another story in itself. We finally moved her to our property and I now take care of her doctors’ visits and shopping (her animals have mostly gradually died off and we have stemmed the tide of additional ones.) All because of an affair. If they were together the work now and effort now would be halved and the peace would be multiplied. I’m 58 years old and I still cry over missing my dad all those times when he should have been included but couldn’t have been, and the sadness I feel because he doesn’t know my grandchildren very well. I see why and how their personalities caused them to not be able to make a go of it, and my dad is a fabulous person in almost every way – he never raised his voice to us and was never abusive and always provided for us, but the fallout is still being felt.
    (My in-law’s marriage endured numerous affairs, but my mother-in-law always took him back. My father-in-law set a horrible example for his sons in parenting and faithfulness. He was awful to live with – physically abusive in addition to adulterous, but his sons’ response to this has been to be fabulous, terrific, extraordinarily faithful husbands and fathers. God truly did a miracle in their lives. )

    I said all this to say in my own rambling way, if anyone who happens to read this blog is thinking about an affair, stop and fast forward your life 40 years. Think about your children and grandchildren – think about your great-grandchildren. You may still be alive to see them – don’t you want to be able to share all those moments with the person who helped you create those lives and that family?

  10. Almost 5 years post affair, I still find myself questioning my husband. I was terrified of an affair ever happening and when it did, I was destoyed. I felt as if all my worrying and wondering about an affair actually became my reality and I just couldn’t believe it happened to us. There were times I would fall to the floor and cry out to Jesus to sustain me and he always would. After much prayer and wise counsel, we kept our marriage and family together. My hope is that 10,20 years from now I am able to take everything I hear my husband say and not think he is lying. I know the biggest issue is ME! My husband is an open book and is always trying to encourage me and reassure me and yet I’m the one still doubting some actions or motives. These feelings come in waves and currently it’s a low point for me. What’s your advice for getting through the low points that are more internal rather an interpersonal?
    Thank you for sharing your story!

    • Morgan, it really requires alot of “taking your thoughts captive.” Our feelings don’t always tell us the truth. Especially with your husband being an open book, the issue really comes down to tackling your fears and feelings. When my fears and feelings threatened to take over my thoughts, I had to replace the lies that were fueling my fears with God’s truth and the truth of my relationship that gave me a sense of security.

  11. Dear Jill,
    Recently I heard your interview on “Javi w/Juli” & honestly it broke my heart. I listened to Mark share lots of “reasons” for his Adultery, however, he did not seem to take FULL responsibility for his choice to go outside of your marriage. I don’t care if you won (as if possible) “Worst Wife of the Century” Mark never had an excuse/reason for committing Adultery. Neither did Mark talk about the pain he caused you, your children & exposing you to possible STD’s. Many Therapists/Counselors tackle marriage issues all the while not calling out Sin. Adultery, Gambling, Domestic Violence, Pornography, Drug/Alcohol Abuse …these are sins that the Offender must be dealt with if the marriage is going to have a chance @ real healing. Dealing with difficult in-laws is a problem, but if your spouse is constantly drunk that first needs to be dealt with in therapy. You deserved Mark to be truly repentant. Only Godly Sorrow leads to Repentance. I hope God’s healing for your heart Jill. For other women whose spouse has committed Adultery please know its not your fault. Yes you are not perfect, but his choice to commit Adultery was never your fault. We are only responsible for our sins before God.

    • Sue, I can assure you that Mark has taken full responsibility for his choices. It may not have come across in that interview, but he has fully. I have never felt in any way it was my fault, but I have chosen to also use that healing season to focus on what I also contributed negatively to our relationship. None of those were the cause–both Mark and I agree with that–but they are still places I could grow in our relationship.

  12. Thank you for sharing .me and a family member are going through the same problems right now . I have been experiencing most of what you have discussed for the passed 26 yrs. thank you and thank the Lord for allowing us to listen at the right time the Christian Channel. Wow when he places his word in our path it is loud so we can not miss… He meets us at our needs. Again Thanks for sharing.God bless . Timothy