How a husband walked out on his family and found his way back home

Jake and Kristy Tilley’s Story

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Jake Tilley’s parting words to his wife felt like body blows.

When Kristy heard him say he didn’t love her any more, it was like a punch to the gut sucking the wind right out of her lungs.

When Jake said he didn’t ever love her, the words caught her like a swift upper cut to her jaw —  leaving her reeling.

Kristy felt like she was staggering around in a haze of shock.

Since they married in 2007, they had agreed to put God first. They attended church every week, and volunteered on the Care Team, helping others with their struggles.

Everything about their life seemed right. Kirsty never saw any signs Jake was unhappy.

Now this.

“Why did this happen to us?” Kristy cried out to God.

I pretended that my soul was fine - Jake

Pixelated Pleasures

Adultery never crossed Kristy's mind to explain Jake’s leaving. She thought Jake simply wasn’t capable of betraying her — betraying God — like that.

What Jake had never told Kristy, never told anyone, was that his heart had for years strayed to secret loves in secret places.

The images of naked women on a glowing screen were his digital harem from youth, instantly available, day or night. Those mute, always-adoring women had lured him into a lonely, demonic fantasy of pleasure on demand.

He knew what he was doing was wrong. Leading a double life began to tear him apart, and living what amounted to a lie corroded and destroyed his love for Kristy.

“I pretended that my soul was fine,” Jake says.

The porn no longer made him happy. He was depressed and hated life.

Eventually, Jake thought he’d found a woman at work who made him think perhaps she could fulfil him when nothing else could.

I wanted to be so full of Jesus that getting Jake back didn’t matter anymore - Kristy.

A Downward Spiral

The affair was short-lived, but it was long enough for Jake to leave his wife and then 3-year-old daughter — and to discover that his lover didn’t make him happy either.

At the time of the separation, a NewSpring staff member confronted Jake, guessing the split was rooted in porn or adultery or both. Jake denied it all.

The staff member warned Jake that turning his back on his family and Jesus would be the worst decision of his life.

But as determined as Jake was to break free of his family and break free of the church and its warnings about sin, he didn’t pay attention to those words until it was too late.

In just a few months, Jake’s life had collapsed into more affairs, more loneliness, addiction, self-pity and suicidal thoughts. And the staff member’s words kept hammering his conscience like a tolling funeral bell.

"I was so far from God, but I tried everything else to make me happy,” Jake says.

Stubborn Hope

In the year it took for the divorce to become final, Kristy was trapped in the rip currents of her own despair.

Buoyed by her faith in Jesus, she would swim hard toward the shore and safety, believing that God could and would bring their family back together.

Then, exhausted, she’d be tugged back into chaos, back into the open sea, with every day that God did not act and remained silent.

In those dark days, it was Kristy’s church community — longtime friends who stood by her, listened to her, wept with her, and prayed for her — who helped to lift her out of misery. 

With Jesus, they reminded her, the best is always yet to come.

“I wanted to be so full of Jesus that getting Jake back didn’t matter any more,” Kristy says.

Watch the video to see the unexpected way God used one of Kristy’s friends to rescue Jake from self-destruction, and how Kristy’s stubborn hope in God wasn’t disappointed. 

Sharing your story is a simple and powerful way to tell people about Jesus.

Sharing your story is a simple and powerful way to tell people about Jesus. By talking about what Jesus has done for you, it’s like joining a conversation God is already having with them.