I have written to you several times and each time you have given me helpful advice. A little background: I assaulted my wife and later my wife had an affair. I have been trying to move forward in our marriage, but I can't trust her no matter how hard I try. I can't believe the words out of her mouth nor her intentions. I think I should leave for my own mental safety. If you could give me some Scripture or advice it would be so very helpful.

When God was angry with the nation of Israel, He listed several sins in which Israel was involved. "And this is the second thing you do: you cover the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping and crying; so He does not regard the offering anymore, nor receive it with goodwill from your hands. Yet you say, "For what reason?" Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously; yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant. But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. "For the LORD God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one's garment with violence," says the LORD of hosts. "Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously"" (Malachi 2:13-16).

God hates divorce. He established marriage as a means of raising godly children. It takes both a mother and a father to give children the best chance to grow up and become good people. Children of divorced parents have higher rates of bad things happening to them and causing harm to those around them. It is one of the reason God said that divorce makes a person guilty of violence. Without stability in the home, children have a greater chance of growing up unstable.

No one can make you stay in your marriage. The choice is yours alone, but remember that your choice is going to impact the lives of many others. Since you are wanting to leave for "mental safety" keep in mind that by God's law you are forfeiting all rights to a future marriage, except to return to your proper spouse. "Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife" (I Corinthians 7:10-11).

I can't help but feel that you are causing much of your mental anguish yourself. You and your wife broke trust with each other in a variety of ways and know you are upset that the initial trust doesn't just bounce back as it was in the beginning. The problem is that your memories haven't been erased. It took time to build the initial trust, which was shattered. You started over, not a ground zero, but from a deep hole that both of you dug. It would take years of both of you proving to each other that you are trustworthy to regain the ground that you lost. It sounds to me that you have lost the desire to endure. Perhaps you thought the breach would be repaired quicker and are desponded when you learned it will be a slow process.

There was a prophet in the Old Testament by the name of Hosea, who was told to marry a prostitute. As you can imagine, Hosea found himself in a very rocky relationship. She didn't leave her former ways and cheated on her husband numerous times. God had Hosea do this to illustrate His frustrations dealing with unfaithful Israel. It would be good book for you to read; you will find similarities to your own situation.

If you do decide to stay in your marriage, the only additional advice I can offer is this: don't make your wife's problems your own. Live life to the best of your ability. Sure it would be easier if your wife joined you and helped you, but don't let your wife stop you from doing what you know needs to be done. Be the best father to your children that you can be. Be a steady bread-winner to provide for your family. Be kind and affectionate to your wife. Even if she doesn't return your affection, don't let her stop you from being nice. "If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:18-21).

See also:

Questions and Answers regarding Divorce