Question:

Thank you for your web site. I have a question that you sort-of touched on in a post, but I wanted to confirm. What if a spouse strongly suspects infidelity but has no concrete evidence? (The post I referenced involved a husband who may have been seeing prostitutes.)

My husband has had at least an emotional affair with a coworker in the past and I question if there was any physical contact due to the extent of the texts. He continues to look at porn, and continues to text and meet with a woman who is questionable. I have asked him to stop talking to this woman and even our past marriage counselors have asked him to refrain from this questionable person, but he won't. He went to see her just a few days ago. She works at a risque type of hair salon and has sent him inappropriate texts in the past. He locks his phone now so I won't see the texts, but I know they talk and he sees her monthly. Our marriage has been like this for a little over two years.

I can't make him love me or want this, and I really don't know what else I can do besides marching on and trying to be the best person, spouse, and Christian I can be. I have tried different approaches (marriage builders, power of a praying wife, five languages of love, individual and marriage counseling, and just leaving him alone) and nothing is helping.

His mother took me to lunch around a few months ago and said that they have seen how he treats us and are disappointed in him, and to just not allow him to affect me or upset me. His mother said that she can tell that he wants to end things, but he needs to be the one to do it and take responsibility; she advised me not to leave and to stay and endure.

I have asked him what he wants and he says well, we are married for now, but then also says he doesn't see us married in five years.

What would you counsel a wife to do in this situation? Would adultery be grounds for a divorce in this case? I don't want a divorce, but I don't want to keep living this way. I have read "Love Must be Tough" and "Boundaries in Marriage" and they recommend if a spouse is doing destructive things that a trial separation may be in order. What do you think of a trial separation?


Answer:

You don't have to catch your husband in bed with another woman to know that he is involved with another woman. If you believe you need firm evidence, then I would suggest hiring a private investigator.

It appears that you have enough evidence that your husband is committing adultery and is planning on leaving you for another woman. My guess is that he hasn't found another woman that he is serious enough about yet. The fact that he is hiding what he is doing strongly suggests that he knows he is in the wrong.

There is no reason why the innocent party has to wait for the guilty to initiate a separation or a divorce. Until recently it was always the innocent party who filed for divorce. A separation is useful if you want to try salvaging your marriage and you have hopes that your husband will turn away from his sins. Even after a divorce, the guilty person sometimes does turn around and straightens up.

Thank you, Jeffrey. I appreciate this.