Question:

First thank you for helping me develop a more understanding of biblical principles that I was unclear about. †

Today I am emailing you again to ask a question regarding my ex-husband, as from our previous email we were in a state of dating each other trying to see if there is any hope left for our family. I do understand that I must wait until he stops using drugs before ever reconciling with him. Over the weekend we got into dispute because he and I along with my sister and her husband went out together and had a great time. During that time my ex wanted to kiss me on my neck (which made me very uncomfortable) so I moved. Then he asked me for a kiss and I shook my head no. Of course he then showed his frustration and said, ďWhy do you keep treating me like this!Ē I have told him in the past and present that I donít want to be romantic with him at this point because our focus needs to be on other things and that we are divorced so us kissing and doing other things is not right. He on the other hand says that I am just rejecting him. He told me over the weekend that we never had passion in our marriage or even prior to it and we still donít have it now. The truth is we have always lacked a really close feeling. Over the weekend he told me that I had the problem because he is really attracted to me. He told me that it takes nothing for him to be turned on by me. Honestly, hearing that made me a little uncomfortable. In my heart I think what he has for me is mere attraction, lust if I must say and that is another reason, outside the fact that is wrong, that I feel uncomfortable when he touches me. He said this ďItís not me. I am attracted to you until I get rejected, so I see no wisdom in pursuing someone who doesnít feel the same. As far as we are concerned maybe it's not meant for us to be together. I just have to accept that and move on. The kids will have to adjust but they will be o.k.Ē†

I told him that itís not no ones fault and I canít beat myself up for the way that I feel. This is a problem we have always had and we canít force ourselves to feel a certain way. It hurts me to see him hurt.

Oh well I just donít know what to do at this point. Please advise.


Answer:

Like every alcoholic and drug user I have met, your ex-husband is avoiding responsibility. He hasn't left the drugs, but he wants the benefits of a normal marriage, even while not being married. Instead of facing the fact that he needs to straighten out his life, he blames others for the life he has created.

If he is going to change, then he has to first reach the point where he is genuinely sorry for his actions -- in other words, that he has faced the consequences of his actions, realizes that it was his fault, and regrets what he has done. "For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:8-11).

I'm working with a drug addict right now, so I definitely know what you are going through. Just yesterday I had to put my foot down and tell him that until he gets a job, leaves the drugs, and becomes responsible for himself I'm not going to deal with him anymore. He then got exactly the same message from his parents. His house-mates were a bit nicer. They told him he has one week to start working or he's is out on the streets. I'm waiting to see if it actually sinks in or not. Today he called to apologize, but then said he had a cold so he didn't work. I had to tell him to call back when he actually has gone to work.

In the same way, you have to do the same for your ex-husband. You can't help him by shouldering his responsibility. It's tough because you know you can help in many things, but it won't get him out of the drugs if he isn't motivated to do so.

Thanks once again for your advice. I have decided to take a few steps back and leave the situation alone until he has completely left the drugs alone and has been clean for sometime. Until then, I will seek God's face and work to fulfill what God has purposed in my life. I will no longer focus on what my ex says to me or whether or not we should be working on reconciling at this point. I know understand that before we work on reconciliation certain things should be in order. Your advice really made a difference in my life, and the way I perceive my situation with my ex-husband. I went from being lost and confused to feeling assured because of the biblical information you shared with me.

I thank God for your ministry!