Question:

I found out less than six months ago that my wife of two years was seeing another man.

My wife and I had been together for over five years before I asked her to marry me. Before we were married she was in a short relationship with her boss who is married with kids. She explained to me that no sex was involved, but that they had kissed and would meet for lunch during work hours. After she told me, I was livid and told her to leave. She told me she could not live or breathe without me, and I could see that she had remorse for what she had done. I took her back, and we got married.

Our first year of marriage was great but then came the work overload. I had been working nothing but overtime for over half a year, and she was feeling lonely. She would read marriage books and would ask me to read them after she was done, but I never did. She would always cook and clean, but I was always too tired to help her since I was working so much. I would just sit on the couch and wait for dinner to be made. She even wanted to do marriage couple getaways and counseling, but I would tell her it’s a waste of money and that they are only going to tell me what I already know.

Little by little she was growing apart from me, and I never even knew it. I thought she loved me so much that we would always be together and things would just work themselves out. She would always want to go to church, but I strayed from God because of what happened in my past. I also had an addiction to pornography and she hated that I would look at it all the time. She felt like I was cheating on her. I admit what I did was wrong and that it hurt my wife so much. God has helped me break that addiction I had with pornography. This trial in my life has brought me back to God but now my wife has strayed from Him.

When I first found out about the other man she said he was just a friend who has been there for her since I wasn’t there. Eventually it grew into more than just friends. She had told me that he was different from the others as far as flirting goes. She said she loves and cares for him as does he for her. I found text messages of what they would talk about with each other and it made me sick. She still to this day says she has not had sex with him, but it’s hard for me to believe nothing like that has happened since I caught them at the same hotel together one night. She has admitted that they kiss and see each other, they even go dancing.

It hurt me so much that I fell into a deep depression and started drinking. But then I realized that drinking doesn’t stop the pain.

She tells me that she loves me and loves him. She says her heart is torn between two people. I’ve ordered divorce papers, but sent them back even though I know I am allowed to divorce her I couldn’t find it in my heart to file the papers. I’ve told her to leave because I was so angry, but just recently I told her to stay. I’ve been talking to a church marriage counselor and I was told if I want this marriage then I would need to fight for it. I was told even though she will be seeing the other man and maybe even sleeping with him that I should continue to go to church and praise God. And that I will be the one to show her God through me.

My wife knows what she’s doing is wrong but she says the other man has a hold on her and she just can’t break it. She doesn’t want to hurt him or me. She also told me that she never had the chance to party and do whatever she wants, and she doesn’t want to be in her thirties with kids doing what her mom used to do leaving the kids and going out. This guy she is seeing takes her out and she enjoys it. I told her I would take her out and show her a good time because I didn’t do that as often as I should have because I was working hard to pay off our debt.

Now I’m at the point where I don’t know if I should divorce her and move on with my life or deal with what she’s doing and keep praying that God will turn this situation around. She asked me last night “what’s going to happen if I move out next week” I told her that is your decision to move out and that it’s not over until God says it’s over. Am I wrong for wanting to divorce her if she moves out? She says that if she moves out, she will be living by herself and doing what she wants to do. But I told her with the text messages I’ve read it doesn’t seem like that. She told me she does not want to divorce, but I feel she wants her cake and eat it too.


Answer:

Refusing to acknowledge what you were being told is not the same as not knowing. From what I read the state of your marriage is due to both of you not working on it. A marriage can be put back together, even after disasters like the ones you've described, but only if both of you are willing to work on the problem.

The number one problem that I see is that neither of you have had God as foremost in your lives. You do things because it is what you wanted to do. If God enters the picture, it is more of an after thought. To solve these issues, both of you have to be willing to put yourselves second and God first.

For example, "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10). If this is believed by both of you, then there is no question of whether the other man continues in your wife's life. He has no place in it, period, because it is adultery. There is no drinking to drown sorrows. Christians live a sober life. "For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles -- when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries" (I Peter 4:3). Until both of you love God more than yourselves, you are going to run around in circles.

I would suggest telling her that if she wants to be married, she has to stay and work on her marriage. If she leaves then you know she prefers adultery over God and that you won't accept being married to an adulteress.

If she stays, you have a lot of work on your hands because you haven't been behaving as a Christian ought to behave, let alone how a husband should behave. She has to realize that staying means dropping the other guy.