Question:

I am amazed at the way my wife asked you the question about us divorcing or not. On Feb 13, 2009 you received a question from her that left out everything that is important. I once served as a minister of a congregation. My wife and I did not have sex before we got married (and I was faithful the whole time). Once we got married, though, we had problems. I can say before God and mankind that I was faithful the whole time. Last year, my wife took out an order of protection against me that put me out of the household and on visitation with my son for a year! I have never been a threat to my wife, I have never laid a hand on my wife, but she took that order of protection out because I advised her of my desire to move out and divorce her. After being away from my wife for months, I did make the mistake of being intimate for the first time with another woman in over seven years! I was man enough to tell my wife about this because I felt she should know. I have to ask you this: How can she say that she wanted me back in her life when she has had a court order of protection for the last year and it is still in effect? I really hope and pray that she does not continue to go around painting the wrong picture of our situation. There is more I should say but I am reminded of Proverbs 29:11.

Question: The Bible says that the husband or wife should not keep sex from one another except it be for fasting and prayer. If not then one can be overcome with lust. I'm not using that Scripture as an excuse, but it is exactly what happened. What did she expect? You toss an attractive man into the world for a whole year and you expect him just to keep to himself? I tried and I failed. I have repented of that and just saving up money for a divorce.


Answer:

Since I'm not a mind reader, all answers given are based what is stated and what I might manage to infer. I know neither you or your wife, let alone the situation you face. I don't even keep the original emails, so it is only because you told me which one is related that I even have a clue.

Should you two being looking at a divorce? Most likely not. You shouldn't have even threatened it. Should she have gotten a court order against you? Probably not. Did your foolishness give her an opening to leave you? Yes. Is she right in doing so? Probably not.

Since I don't know the justification for the court order, I can't comment on it.

I'm glad you repented of your adultery. I hope you will also repent of the other sins which are driving a wedge between you and your wife. Divorce is not the solution to this problem. I hope you realize that divorce or not, leaving her will not give you the right to have sex with another woman. I'm a bit surprised that you minimized giving into sin when you started down a path of celibacy over a year ago. That was your choice. I know you feel that your home situation drove you to it, but it remains a fact that since adultery was not the reason for the divorce, your choice to leave was also a choice to remain celibate. So, yes, I would expect you to have remained faithful to your covenant, even for a whole year.

[Note: This was sent before my reply above was received. I'm posting this mostly because the author requested it.]

I can't believe what she said on 02/13 nor your response. I seriously doubt that you will post my response, but I hope and pray you will. This is one of those rare cases that will hopefully be a teachable moment for you and others in your position. I have a great deal of respect and honor towards what you do and your knowledge. But I find it totally unbelievable that you can call me an unrepentent adulterer and advise someone move on with my son!

My wife and her family has put me through so much over the last year that I had to go from a minister in the church to a member that can hardly show his face due to the lies that she and her parents were telling people once I decided that I wanted a divorce. They began telling people in the church and outside the church that I was not faithful to my wife although I was and never cheated on her at the time that they began this nasty rumor. My wife also had me sent to jail the same weekend I tried to move out. Those charges were later dropped because I never touched her, but I still had to go to classes. Up until that incident last year, I saw my son everyday of his life, but after I was sent to jail by my wife for breaking a door in my house to get my phone away from my insecure wife who thought I was cheating on her, she and her parents kept me away from my son for two weeks straight! An order of protection was also issued that put me out of my house for at least a year.

I had to endure for months the ridicule and shame of someone who cheated on his wife and I never did do anything like that. I had not even touched a woman inappropriately before this all started! After all of this, I knew that there was no way that this woman could possible love me and if she does she sure has a strange of a way of showing it!

I sent you a question describing her actions around the house a couple of years ago and your response was that "this woman sounds to be mentally ill and that I should not leave a mentally ill person." Now that was a tough pill to swallow considering I always thought that but could never tell her that she seems to be bi-polar. She can go from saying I love you to throwing phones at me and my son. Now I have been trying to bite my tongue on some of these issues, but this last question and answer is definitely the last draw. Yes, I do want her to move on with her life because I could never trust her again considering the things that she had me arrested and I never touched her, considering that she took my son away from me, considering that she told me that if I left her that she would make sure that I didn't preach in the church anymore, considering that her own father told me that he never wanted her to marry me in the first place, and there are a few more considerations that I care not to list.

But please advise her of the importance of not taking her frustrations out on me by taking away time from me and my son. Like she just did today! We just agreed last week that I could pick up my son three days each week after school. Well she got mad yesterday and told me that I can't pick him up today. Now where is the Christ in that decision? But she is supposed to be wanting to do what God wants her to do. Come on!

I hope and pray that you respond and that you also post this response. I want to say to you that I have no hard feelings toward you, but I do want you to consider that the questions that you get concerning marriage should be answered a little more delicate.

You misunderstood. I did not call you an unrepentant adulterer, your wife did. I accepted her statement, there is nothing else that I could do because, as I explained, I know neither of you. You state it is not true and I accept that statement as well. I accept that you only committed adultery once during your marriage.

But you also stated you were violent (breaking down a door because you didn't want your wife on the phone) which led to the arrest and the restraining order. I know you were angry at the time, but it wasn't a smart move on your part. "For the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God" (James 1:20). Standing above the fray as a calm, peaceful man would have done more for your cause and you would not have faced many of the current consequences.

I'm sorry that your marital situation has decayed so badly. I sincerely hope you two will be able to repair the breach, though it currently looks like a insurmountable task.

Thanks for your response and I apologize for my rudeness. I'm just going through a lot right now, but I try not to use that as an excuse for rudeness. I apologize again, even for the second question that you received because I just finished it before I read your response. But please post them. I think it might keep others from making the mistakes that we both have made.

 

My wife states and holds to saying that she has done all she can do to save her marriage. I have told my wife almost every month since the order of protection was taken out on me that if she wants us to go to counseling and save our marriage, I will know when she drops that order of protection. The reason I was so stuck on the dropping of the order of protection is because she will tell you herself that she is not afraid of me. I have never hit a woman in my life! I never even called her out of her name. She admitted that she had the order of protection for control purposes. So, if she is trying to do what is right and be a Christian, then she should have had that order dropped because it never should have been issued. She took that order out on me because she was angry, but it is still in effect until this day. Legally, that is, I have been to my house and came in on numerous occasions, but she never drops it because she wants it there so that if she gets mad she can do what she is doing now by trying to make me follow the visitation schedule. We went to counseling not long ago and she stated to a minister of the church that she was going to have it dropped, but she didn't. Now if she knew all these months that it was something I considered to be in the way of our reconciling, then she should have dropped it by now. So, I must ask you to consider all that has been said and all that you know now, which direction to you think we should go?

I still consider what I know to be limited. But I strongly recommend going to counseling with her and independently because it demonstrates your willingness to work through the issues. So far you have been giving her the upper-hand in this matter. Because of the way you've been behaving, she is able to look like the calm, rational person. Each time you misstep, you just add more fuel to her fire. If it is clear to everyone that her court order was not justified, then in the end she'll come out looking foolish. But if you let this one matter stand in the way and irritate you to the point of misbehaving, then she appears to those around to have been justified in taking it out.