Challenges, Podcast, Real Couples

Surviving Infidelity (Tina Konkin)

Infidelity causes catastrophic damage to a marriage. Can it be survived? In today’s special interview with author and speaker Tina Konkin, we discuss just that. Tina shares with great detail how God used her husband’s affair, despite the damaging effects, to transform her heart and her marriage for the better. Listen in, we hope it blesses you.

Transcript Shownotes

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Scripture, Show Notes, and Resources Mentioned

  • Scripture references: 
    • Matthew 19:8

Full Episode Transcript

Selena: Today we have Tina Konkin with us, and she is the author of the book How God Used “the Other Woman.

Ryan: It was an incredible conversation. I mean, her testimony of how, despite infidelity, her marriage not only recovered and was reconciled, but was better than she would ever have imagined. I think today we have a message of hope. If you have a marriage that has been fractured or even you feel like it’s been shattered by infidelity, loss of trust, or loss of intimacy, I feel like this is a message that everyone needs to hear, whether you’re going through it or you know someone who’s going through it.

Anyway, again, Tina Konkin. We hope you enjoy this episode. We hope it blesses you and we will see you on the other side.

Selena: All right. We are excited to welcome Tina Konkin to the Fierce Marriage podcast. Tina, how are you today?

Tina: I’m good. Thank you.

Selena: We are really just grateful and feel very blessed to have you on the podcast, to share your story and to share…I’m sure our audience is probably familiar with your story and have probably heard about your book.

Ryan: But just in case if they’re not. [Ryan, Selina chuckles]

Selena: Right. I was getting there. I was getting there.

Ryan: Okay.

Selena: In case they’re not, we’re hoping that you would share some of your story and how that led to this current book that you have out.

Tina: Thank you. It took a lot of years to come to the place where I finally decided, “Hey, God, I’m ready to make it a public story, not just an intimate story that we share with the marriages that we coach and that we helped through our intensives weekends.” But when I wanted it out there, I didn’t realize how big out there He was going to make it happen. [chuckles] I just thought, “Oh, I’ll write a book.”

My husband and I—I’m a widow now. He passed away six years ago—we founded this marriage ministry together. But we’d already self-published a book. So I thought this would be that kind of book. Instead, God saw it fit that Focus on the Family approached me and asked me to, maybe, you know, if it’s a message that people need to hear, maybe we make it a bit bigger than was in my mind. So it’s been published by Focus on the Family. I feel honored just even that they thought the story was worthy enough to publish. But in my world, I’ve been dealing with broken marriages for probably about 23, 24 years now. Even prior to the infidelity in our marriage, when we pastored, that was one of the big things. Broken relationships. So when it happened to us, it really was out of left field.

I think my message today is that our marriages are fragile in the world that we live in. And they need to be protected. I can hear baby noises in the background, [all chuckles]. You got a brand new newborn right there.

Ryan: Yes.

Tina: I think about you holding her as she’s making those sounds and you know you can’t drop her. You know that she’s expecting you to hang on to her. She doesn’t even know you’re doing it, but you’re protecting her because she’s not able to totally take care of herself or hold yourself up. But every little noise represents “what can I do to help you be more sound, to help you be more healthy, to help you feel better at this moment?”

So when I think of a baby, I think we’re so protective as parents because we know they need it. But at our marriages, if we treated it a little bit more like it was fragile, I think there’d be a lot less failure. Do you know where I’m coming from? I’m kind of hearing the baby noises and I think, “You know, what if I could hang on to my marriage and my relationship this way, realizing that it is so important, it is something to be protected? If it’s left out to the wild, like if you left your baby out in another room to cry, it would panic. It would feel hurt. It would feel like, “Is anybody taking care of me?”

Really I’ve never used this example but hearing those sounds I think you as the mom are coddling her right now. You know she’s precious. You’re not going to let anything happen to her that is going to hurt her. And I think it would be so cool if we could look at our marriages as something that is delicate, something that is you to be protected, something that is weathered in the storm so that husbands are protecting their wives in the time of a storm, wives are there. So we learned that through our story. We learned that through failure.

Ryan: I mean, I just want to jump in because I feel like you’re hitting a really good point right there, in that our culture tends to downplay really important things. I think marriage is one of those things. I mean, you’re using the example of holding a child in our arms. I want to make this political—but we know that the toll that abortion has had on our country and the millions of lives, the children have been discarded. In a lot of ways, marriages have been discarded in the same way.

We tend to make light of these things that are intended and have always been built to be of utter importance to the Christian life, to the family, obviously children in that case, but also marriage. Marriage is a covenant. So often we hear of stories of people getting divorced mainly because their expectations of what marriage require, but also what marriage is as a reflection of the character of God, I think we can so easily discard it as soon as it becomes inconvenient in our lives. And that’s a tragedy. So I think you’re touching on that.

I wanted to just blow that point up a little bit, because it does kind of speak to the systemic issue that we deal with when it comes to marriage, but specifically how it can lead to infidelity. Which is sadly but also in a way God is glorified through that. That’s been your story—infidelity. And the title of your book. And I want you to share that whole story with us. But the title of your book really strikes me. [chuckles] Your book is called How God Used “the Other Woman”. Or that’s at least. Is that the title of your book?

Tina: It is. It actually is.

Ryan: Okay. So it says “topic” on our briefing here, but I want to make sure it’s the actual title.

Tina: Yeah, it is actually.

Ryan: How God Used the Other Woman. I mean, I don’t know if you could say it in a more grating way, but in a way that’s also hopeful. So can you talk about your story? Share your story with us with as much detail as you’re willing to share. I just know it’ll be helpful for our listeners here.

Tina: Well, I can give you a lot of detail there. I mean, the good, bad and the ugly is all in the book. But to God, I really do give glory because if it wasn’t for those moments where He interrupted that ugly road we were on, I wouldn’t be here to tell the story today. One of the things I want your callers to hear, and that I share with everybody that I help is always watch for God. Not for the big storm, not for the big splash, not for when He parts the water, but watch what He does in the very mundane things. If you’re just watching and listening, that could be the very breakthrough that then open the waters to walk on dry ground. That sort of thing. But it takes that step of watching for Him.

In our story, really, our marriage was not bad. That’s why I don’t want people to think that you’re always derailed. And that’s why I talked about a little baby because it’s that protection of things that we forget, we take for granted. That maybe when we were dating, we were more romantic, then life happens. So it’s all those little things that we stopped doing for each other that ended up sometimes allowing someone else to step in. And by default, not necessarily going and looking for it. We’re not talking about addiction here. We know there’s addictions, there’s sexual addictions, there’s all kinds of things. This was not what that was.

This was a blindsided moment in a couple’s walk with God. We were in ministry. We got married when we were both in separate ministries and then met each other and continued on in ministry. So it can happen. Again, it’s because we don’t realize how fragile. And like you said, in the world that we live in, it’s so easily discarded. It doesn’t have the respect it deserves.

But to us, let me tell you where it started. It really started with what I call my mirror moment. So I’m going to start right after the infidelity and within 24 hours of finding out my husband had been unfaithful with one of my closest friends. So God used her—the other woman. Yes, the title has had both great admiration and also great criticism.

Ryan: Sure. Yeah.

Tina: But the criticism has been “how dare I give credit to the other woman for anything God might do?” I thought, “I don’t know. He uses what was meant for evil for good.” For me, that’s what He used in my marriage to give me the 20 years post the infidelity as the best, best marriage. I couldn’t even have imagined it. Let’s just put it that way.

Selena: Wow.

Ryan: Wow.

Tina: If you had told me, these are the expectations you should have for marriage, and I would have seen the white picket fence, and I would have seen the fairy tale, and I would have seen the princess, it wouldn’t have compared to what we had for 20 years post affair. And that’s why I can truly say God used this. But the mere moment is what I call it, and that is the moment God changed everything for me in seriously less than 30 seconds. It was the morning after.

So I found out…my husband was away…So just a little preface to that. His mom was dying and that’s when he got into the affair. Well, his last couple weeks of his mother’s life. So he had left home to go visit his dad about two weeks after his mom passed away and the funeral was done. So he was away from home. And I found out through a phone call. A friend called me and just said, “I believe your husband is having an affair with so and so,” which was my close friend. And I said, “You’re nuts.” And not believing. Nothing.

So I call him and I’m on the phone and I think the worst three words I ever heard in my entire married life was “it is true.” Anybody who’s experienced infidelity will know what I’m talking about. Your stomach leaves, your spirit is gone, your head goes on fire. You just get this sweep of emotions, and you just want to throw up.

Ryan: Yeah, I can’t even imagine. I mean, yeah.

Tina: It is. In marriage, especially a Christian marriage, I believe it’s probably one of the worst things that can happen, that betrayal. Of course, that night was long and hard, and all of that. But that’s where I thank God for my pastors at the time. I went straight to their house in the afternoon right after I found out, and they just took me in. It was there that at least I was given some good counsel. One of the counsels that I was given was you need to go to him face to face.

Ryan: Wow.

Tina: So I prepared for that to get on a flight the next morning and fly up to his hometown and see what we were going to do with this situation. So I get up the next morning, I haven’t slept all night, as you can imagine, you know, that ugly cry. I go to the bathroom, and it’s 6 a.m., and I look in the mirror. What is it about women when we look in the mirror, we’re still trying to fix our eyes? [all laughs] I mean, I just looked, it was ugly.

I remember just looking in that mirror and just going, “Why? Why God? How? Why us?” Now I’m giving God my credentials. [Selena chuckles] I started telling the Lord, “Can you believe, Lord, that this is happening to us? We’re in ministry. We’re pastors. We help people.” And I’m giving Him all the years, all the people we’ve helped in all the churches we’ve been in like He doesn’t know. So I’m just giving my resume. [Selena, Ryan laughs]

Ryan: That’s so classic, right?

Tina: So I’m crying and crying. Then, like I said, within 30 seconds, I hear this voice coming out of the mirror, looking back at me and saying, “Tina, stop crying and ask yourself what part you played in this.” Now this is where I’ve gotten the criticism because what I heard was what part I played in where I was standing that day in my marriage. Like in the 14 years at that time of marriage. You know what I mean? That’s what I heard God ask.

Whereas my readers or some of my people that are looking at the title and some of the synopsis on it are saying, “Are you saying women should take responsibility for their husband’s affairs?” No. Please hear that clearly. No, no, no, no. And that’s not what God was asking me to do. We are all responsible for our own sin. I believe that with all my heart. It doesn’t matter if you hold a gun to my head and tell me to deny Christ. I still have to decide to do that. So the decisions that we make, right or wrong, doesn’t matter what the other person is holding over you. It doesn’t matter.

So in infidelity, it doesn’t matter that it was a moment of weakness or temptation. You’re still responsible for that. But what God was trying to say, is, and I understood it right away, “What part have you played up to this time to where you’re here now?

Ryan: I know you’ve probably heard this backlash a lot, so I’m really curious to hear. What exactly do you mean by that? And this is probably where you go next. But what role? Give us some texture there.

Tina: To be honest, I didn’t know either. So again, that was my 30-second moment that I went, “What part I played?” Now, I had no problems drying up my eyes because now I’m mad. And I’m actually thinking it’s demons talking in the mirror, right? And I’m going to cast them out of that man. It’s not God because God wouldn’t ask me what part. I’m the victim. So I remind God that I’m the victim. Or I think they’re demons right now. Then all of a sudden, I quiet now and I said, “God, if that’s you, then you better explain what that means.”

I tell you, I can’t tell you if it was more than a minute at that point, but within a minute, I was taken back 20 years into my past. And here I was standing at a funeral parlor. And I knew where it was. I call it my George Bailey moment in that or [inaudible]. And that’s what happened to me. And I’m standing in this funeral home and I see the casket. And I said, “God, what am I doing here?” And He says, “Walk up.” And I walk up to the open casket and I know exactly where I am, what time it is, when it was. And it was a very, very close person that I actually thought I was going to marry. And he died. But this is before I met my husband. He passed away, and I nurtured him for a year.

He had to move back in with his parents because he couldn’t take care of himself. Basically, I was there every day for everything. And he passed away. He didn’t have an open casket at the funeral. But we, just the family and I, were at the funeral home where it was an open casket. So I look into the casket, I don’t see his body, I just see a red rose. And it was the red rose I had placed on his chest that day, 20 years earlier. And I said, “Lord, the rose is alive. What’s going on?” At that moment, God said, “That’s your heart. You left it there and you made a vow that you would never nurture or love like that again.”

Ryan: So you come to realize that you’ve not nurtured your husband in his pain, right? Because his mother had gotten sick and had passed away.

Tina: Yeah. He never needed nurture before that. So he never required it, I never gave it, and we were good. Or so I thought.

Selena: Right.

Ryan: I mean, the story is that he went elsewhere to find nurturing, right? He found nurturing in the arms of this other woman, a good friend of yours. Then you find out about this. So obviously you’re reeling from this, you’re reflecting back on, in your words, the role that you had to play. Not dismissing his sin thing but in your own role in it. Correct me if I’m wrong on any of this.

Tina: Yes. And the reason I had to own my part…I didn’t have to, but I was compelled to. Because when God said, “That’s your heart,” He then said, “If you pick it up, I’ll restore your marriage.”

Ryan: Wow. Wow.

Tina: Again, now I haven’t talked to my husband. I haven’t seen him. I don’t know if he wants the marriage back. I just know that I’m having my moment with God and He’s saying, “Your responsibility is that you laid your heart down that day and never gave that part of your heart again.”

This is the part that’s really sad. Not only did I give it to my husband, I didn’t give it to my children either. But when they were babies, like the little baby that you’re holding, I was the best nurturer. I did everything they needed. But once they were old enough, five, six, hey, at five or six, you can put your own pants on, you can…So I didn’t do anything that they could do for themselves or anyone. So I was just not the nurturer. I was known as the non-hugger. But everybody loved me with little kids. They weren’t danger. They couldn’t hurt me. They needed me.

Ryan: So you had unwittingly kind of held your heart back in these seasons of life?

Tina: Yes.

Ryan: So after this realization, how did you start? I mean, so many of our listeners have been here, sadly. We get messages almost daily of husbands or wives who have discovered infidelity and they’re either on the brink of divorce. I got a message today from someone who said they just had filed divorce papers. The woman was sharing this kind of praise report. She said, “We went to the lawyer to get divorce papers done, and the lawyer said, ‘I can see that you still love your husband. I encouraged you to just get counseling before you file for divorce.’”

Tina: Wow.

Ryan: So she’s in counseling now, and then listen to one of our podcast episodes and is seeing kind of this perfect storm of reconciliation is possible. And not only that, but it’s the best way forward. So many people have been where you’ve been. Or they are where you’ve been. So how did you begin to rebuild trust? It’s remarkable to me how you’re taking so much responsibility right now. But you were the one that was wrong in the marriage, in the infidelity, right?

Tina: In the marriage, yes. But I also understood in that very moment that if I would do what God was asking me to do, and all He was asking me to do is have a whole heart again. So it wasn’t then but later we built our marriage ministry. We do intensives, and of course, we see a lot of infidelity. But we do three-day intensives with couples based on Matthew 19:8. There, Jesus speaks of the hardness of the heart is the reason for divorce. You know the story. The Pharisees come to Him and “do you allow divorce like Moses allowed divorce?” He doesn’t disagree that Moses allowed divorce. But He said, “He allowed it because of the hardness of the heart.”

So when God told me to pick up my rose, which was representing my heart, what He was really saying is, “We need to re-soften your heart, get rid of the hardness of the heart, so you can have your marriage and not end up in divorce.”

Ryan: Was that softening…? I don’t mean to gloss over that. That took time, right? It’s not like you just said, “Okay, I’m going to soften my heart.” How did that softening unfold?

Tina: So the softening of the heart took two years.

Ryan: Wow. Wow.

Tina: But the message that I had to soften my heart and I had to examine my hardness of heart, which is what I brought into the marriage, my husband had to look at the hardness of the heart that he brought into the marriage. So in other words, there is not one person including yourselves and all the beautiful work you do with marriages, that doesn’t have to be accountable for some of the things that we bring into marriage because of hurt, because of fear, because of shortcomings, because of our beliefs system, because of what we saw, heard, and experienced. So that’s the part that took two years was the raveling of the hardness of our heart. The forgiveness though had to be a decision I made right then and there.

Ryan: Wow.

Selena: Wow.

Tina: I knew I had to forgive him and I had to forgive her, or there was no way of even taking my heart back.

Ryan: Wow. Wow.

Tina: Or even having a whole heart. You can’t have a whole heart and still be hard towards the people that have hurt you.

Selena: That’s a tall order.

Tina: It is. It is.

Selena: Praise God for the Holy Spirit to help us. Fo your example, I think it’s good that you told people it took you two years to get that softened heart.

Ryan: It’s almost like this moment of, “boom, I need to forgive him. I need to have this resolution almost in my heart that I’m resolved to this process now.” Forgiveness, like you said, it happened in an instant, but the reconciliation and the softening, the untangling of the hardness took two years. I think that’s a beautiful picture. So often we expect that just once we forget, we should feel like the forgiveness is complete.

Selena: Right. And then there’s failure.

Tina: Forgiveness is just like when God forgives us; we’re saved right away. It’s done. The work is finished. But now we got to walk it out. Now we renew. Now we learn what Christ-like is like. Now the discipleship starts. So we were on two years of discipling [inaudible] marriage. And that’s why to me they were the best two years. The most painful two years, but the best for what they gave us—the 20 years following that.

Ryan: Wow.

Selena: So good.

Tina: [inaudible] developed and made out of that. But you know, for a moment, I don’t want to get too spiritual on here because that’s usually not my thing. I like people to think that we’re going to look at your heart and not just throw Bible verses at you. But on this thing of forgiveness, I must say, when I forgave, I finally realized…when I had that moment with that rose, my heart softened in that very moment because I realized that how dare I feel like a victim when I have victimized my husband for 14 years.

Selena: Wow.

Tina: I hadn’t given him my heart. I promised him when I vowed on that wedding day. But then I had to forgive myself because I didn’t even know that I’d made that vow out of hurt. So that’s why I say forgiveness isn’t just for other people. It’s for us. We need to forgive ourselves. In that moment, I forgot all about what he did. I saw my life flash in front of me. I saw how when my children would come to me and just want me to pick them up, and I’d say, “You can walk.” And I thought, “Oh, my goodness. That wasn’t about them walking. That was that vow you don’t nature.”

Selena: Right. Right. There’s so many of those things that we might overlook. And God’s like, “No, I want you to see these. I want you to see these differently than maybe how you were raised or how you experienced love and nurturing.” I mean, everything you’re saying honestly, as a mom, I’m experiencing. Because once they get to that sort of more independent age, it’s like, “No, you can do this yourself.” And it’s not about babying them or not. It’s not a…

Tina: But it’s about differentiating.

Selena: Yes.

Tina: I had to ask myself when I saw it what was it that made me say that. Was it a teaching moment? Do I need to teach you to do this yourself? Or was it, “No.” There’s a difference in our spirit.

Selena: Absolutely. And the hardening of the heart and the softening of the heart, I mean, that is only something that the Lord can do. He is the one that transforms our hearts. He’s the one that brings flesh to our hearts and making those hearts of stone into flesh.

Real quickly, I just wanted to ask you, you talk about first responders in these situations. Maybe touch on that, what they do, and why they’re important when a marriage is threatened by infidelity. Because I think if we haven’t experienced it in our marriage, we probably know people or have close friends that maybe we’re walking through it with them. How can we be a good first responder? Or how would you identify first responder, I guess, and the importance of that role?

Tina: That role is super important because, as a first responder, especially now I am myself in our ministry, of course, the first responder, and I have placed first responders in churches. [inaudible]. Who’s answering the phone when somebody calls? Because a prayer isn’t going to cut it, right?

Selena: Right.

Tina: Yes, you can pray with them, but somebody needs to be physical, somebody needs to step in in the gap. And as they’re drowning at that moment, you need a lifeline. It can’t just be “let me pray for you.” It’s like watching somebody drown with their lifeline in your hand, but you say, “Let me pray.” No, throw me the lifeline and then pray. So it’s that idea. The first responder not only needs to feel their pain and not make them feel like they’re to blame or anything like that, but feel their pain, but also say, “Let’s not make any decisions right now.”

Because my first responders for me said exactly what I needed to hear in that moment. You need to be face to face with him. For everybody is different, but that’s what I needed in that moment. So whenever, for me as a first responder, I always ask God when I’m going to go meet with somebody, “God give me the word they need for this moment to get through this moment so we can help them get through this moment.”

Many times so what they personally need is not hear what their biblical rights are. It’s the next thing I heard from people I really, really admired that were in my circle. If God had spoken to me that very next meeting within a week of all this going down was, “You know you have the biblical right.”

Selena: Interesting. Yeah.

Tina: It’s like, “Really? Is that what you’re going to say to me right now? I just came to you saying we need help.” And it’s going to be a long road ahead. So be very careful that…first of all, I wish people would study that scripture a little bit more deeply because…

Selena: Thank you for saying that. Thank you for saying that.

Tina: …really what it says?

Ryan: And to be clear, the biblical right is the right to divorce. And you’re saying, “Don’t just jump to that.”

Selena: Right. Right.

Tina: Don’t jump to that.

Selena: So good.

Tina: Again, it’s the same old, same old. In the same scriptures, Jesus talks about the hardness of the heart. And He’s saying there’s no other choice. If you keep your hardened heart, it will be divorce. And I think too. It’s that even if it going to harden your heart, it is going to be betrayal. But just like whoever the first responder was to this couple, for them, a divorce lawyer, God bless his heart, you know, “I can see you still love your husband.” That’s a first responder right there.

Selena: Right. Right.

Tina: Just slow this train down.

Selena: I love that. Be slow to speak, quick to listen, and those things.

Tina: What we do in our weekends is really we tell them this isn’t about getting a divorce or not getting a divorce. At the end of the day, we live in a country that we all have the right to divorce. So we live in the days of Moses. We don’t need a reason to get a divorce. There is a no-fault divorce law right here in California. Well, it started with Moses. So let’s not think we’re so far gone. [chuckles] It started back then with God’s people. But Jesus has brought about a new covenant. He’s saying, “Let’s look at this differently.”

The adulterous should have been stoned. Instead, God used her in my story. So it’s a new covenant. If we look at all things new, I really…In our weekend, it’s not about getting a divorce. It’s not about maybe a divorce is a good idea. Not all divorces are wrong or bad. But we’re not here to do that this weekend. We’re here to put the brakes on, get each person healthy so we can unlock the hardness of our heart, and then decide. So I’ll make decisions not in my moment of pain, but in a healthy place. Not in my moment of anger, not in my moment of unforgiveness, not in a moment of being a victim. No victims ever make good decisions. So I get out of that and then make the decision.

Ryan: I have a question that’s honestly the one that I struggle with the most. In your case, I don’t know how Ron’s heart turned around, or how long that process took. You said your heart took two years to soften. I don’t know if he was automatically willing to reconcile even though he had sinned against you and he recognized that. So many people write in and they say, “I really want this marriage to work. My husband or my wife, he or she does not.” Or “I’m trying to show the actions of love even though I don’t feel the emotions of love, even though he or she is not doing those things.

This will probably be one of our last questions. We’re out of time. But speak to that couple or that spouse, that husband or that wife, who feels like they’ve been fighting, fighting, fighting, and they can’t find a way forward. What hope do you have for them?

Tina: Again, I hate to get super spiritual, but it’s the only thing that I know really works.

Ryan: In the Bible.

Tina: Yeah, yeah. The reason I’m so protective of that is because we throw it out there so easily. “Well, just trust God.” Okay?

Ryan: Yeah.

Tina: So I want to be careful that that’s not how I’m coming across. But this is what I say. I’m dealing with a very high profile couple right now in ministry, and that’s exactly their situation. I have said to her – because she’s believing for a miracle, he was basically done. She’s still believing for a miracle. They’ve been separated, I think, three and a half years now. And I said, “Get a word from the Lord and stand on that. Are you believing for a miracle because you’re desperate? Because you don’t believe in divorce? Get your reasons out”

And she said, “No, because I know in my spirit.” And I said, “Then stand on that.” For three years about six months ago, and I said, “But do nothing. Do nothing. Just stand in prayer and live.” She did that. We started praying, and we started praying specifically for certain things to happen. They did. And now though they are not together under the same roof yet, the last six months, right? So where I’m saying, “Ask yourself why is it that you won’t let go? Is it because you’re humiliated? Is it because it shouldn’t be this way? Is it because you’re not strong enough to stand alone?” You have to become everything in yourself. And God being enough. Jesus plus nothing. Then you can hear His voice. If they hear it, they can stand on it.

An old preacher used to say to me when I was young before I was married, he goes, “When you know that you know that you know that you know, then it doesn’t matter what comes around. You know.”

Ryan: [laughing] That’s right.

Tina: Yeah, right? So I kind of go by that: if you know that you know. But you’ve got to ask yourself. Because if you’re still waiting around and he’s already remarried with other children, you’d better think about it, and know that it’s probably time to move on.

Ryan: We had a close friend of ours. His mother in law was…I’ll say she was a stander. She stood for over a decade waiting for his father in law to come around. He went lived life to the prodigal son thing. I mean, quite analogous to the prodigal son. Anyway, like, riches all this stuff. Eventually, he found himself eating with the pigs, so to speak, and came home. It was a long process. But for a decade she stood without an iota of like earthly knowledge that this would work. She was standing in faith, standing on God’s word, trusting that he would come.

She will say this, that even if he never came home, even if he never returned to her, that she still would say that Jesus was enough and that He still be enough to this day. Just her faith was just so immense.

Tina: And that’s why with this person I’m going through it with right now, the first question I asked her is, do you want to be married? Are you interested in someone else? Do you see yourself being…? “No,” she said, “I don’t. I don’t see myself with anyone else. And even if we got divorced, and he remarried, it is not in my heart to ever remarry.” She goes, “I’ve been apart from him now for over three years. I’ve not seen one person.” “So then what have you got to lose?” Do you see what I’m saying? So she can stand because she’s not missing married life. Her life is really Jesus plus nothing is enough. “I’m fulfilled in what I do. I’m fulfilled in the ministry I have. I’m fulfilled as a mother. I’m fulfilled…” Right?

Ryan: Yeah.

Tina: “But I want my marriage back.”

Ryan: Wow. Man…

Selena: He just turned me down for a second. How dare you? [all laughs] Gosh, I feel like we could spend hours talking to you. And I feel like you’re just a wealth of knowledge and wisdom. You have a ton of resources out there, I mean, your book, but you also were talking about kind of your weekends. Where can people go to find more? More of your story, more of your ministry. Tell us where we go from there.

Tina: For the intensives, our three-day intensives which are mostly done in Southern California, beautiful Southern California, you can go to Then if anybody has interest in doing a marriage conference in their churches or doing a mini-intensive that is not three-day-long, but maybe six to 10 hours or Friday night, Saturday or have me come into a conference and do speaking, then it’s

Selena: Awesome. Awesome.

Ryan: That’s Konkin with two Ks. K-O-N-K.

Tina: Yeah, exactly.

Selena: We’ll have those in the show notes for sure. And your book How God Used “the Other Woman”, definitely something to pick up or have in your library, possibly to share at some point if you are a first responder or journeying with someone. It’s a valuable resource. I don’t feel like there’s enough which sounds kind of weird to say. But I think that this is a treasure for people that are just…

Tina: They don’t have to have been unfaithful or have infidelity. There’s some stuff that they can do in the book even if they’re just individuals and singles to look at the hardness of the heart before you enter relationships or whatever relationship it is. Even siblings and parents. You know, there’s a lot to learn about what I learned that day where the hardness of the heart comes from.

Selena: Wow. Thanks for being so transparent and just so open with your story and your heart, and your flaws and everything. I don’t think we hear it enough. Like I said, and it just brings us to our knees and helps us see God in all of your story and everything that you guys have done ministry wise.

Ryan: Absolutely. I totally echo everything Selena said. And also, like she also said, we’ll put this in our show notes, your various websites, and where to find your book. Tina, thank you so much for joining us.

Tina: Thank you.

Ryan: This has been a joy.

All right, friends, we hope you’ve enjoyed this interview with Tina Konkin. If you want to find any of her resources, the simplest way to do that is to go to her website. It’s You can find all of our resources. They have programs, they have media, there’s a way to shop for stuff, obviously get her book and find her and all the socials. Anyway, hope this conversation has blessed you, has given you hope, has given you a picture of what redemption can look like by the power of the gospel.

As usual, we will see you in probably a few days. And until next time—

Selena: Stay fierce.

[00:41:33] <outro>

Ryan: Thank you for listening to the Fierce Marriage podcast. For more resources for your marriage, please visit, or you can find us with our handle @FierceMarriage on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Thank you so much for listening. We hope it’s blessed you. Take care!

[41:50:00] <Podcast ends>


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