Question:

Hello,

My wife and I have been married for 15 years. For over five years I have been dealing with jealousy issues because of flirting and her having emotional type affairs with other men. I felt like my masculinity was in question and if I said the way she was acting bothered me, it seemed to make matters worse or I was accused of being controling. During this period I did state I wanted a divorce if the behavior was not going to end: texting men a night, leaving for the weekend without letting me know where she was going or not responding to messages. We do have a son and basically it's been him and I for the last year on the weekends. She disconnected completely from being a good wife and mother.

In April she said she wanted a separation and I said no we need to get into marriage counseling. We did try that, but she was not very responsive and didn't give any effort. Afterward she was adamant about separation and divorce. I continued to say no and that we needed to save our family. She presented a separation agreement and I had to hire a lawyer. Because of the above behavior my lawyer suggested a private investigator. The investigator discovered my wife was having an affair with a close friend of the family who also is married with children. We know the extended families. I feel like I should tell this man's wife about what happened.

This adultery has devastated me emotionally, I feel betrayed and I'm physically drained. I know my wife is passionate in terms of her sexuality, and I can't get the thought of them out of my head. It makes me question my own manhood, and I feel very inferior or that he must be a better lover or what ever. The problem is my wife pursued him. She would go to him and she lured him into this adultery. I felt this was coming for some time and could not stop it. She was not only lying to me but also to our son about what she was doing and where she was going.

Somehow I still want to save our marriage. Is that possible and or should a divorce happen because of the adultery? I still have a very huge place in my heart for her. My family is important, my son loves her and as crazy as it sounds so do I. Can you respond with a course of action on how to proceed?

Thank you.


Answer:

There is no requirement that says a husband must divorce his wife when she commits adultery. However, from your description it doesn't sound like she will be willing to stay with you. You cannot prevent the divorce if she is determined to leave you. And, frankly, since she is continuing her affair, it would not be reasonable to try to force her to live with you.

The key problem is that she is committing adultery and has no inclination to stop. To keep such a person in your life and in your son's life will only allow sin to spread. "Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough?" (I Corinthians 5:6). It would be reasonable to tell her that you want the marriage to continue but only if she gives up her sins. Somehow I suspect she won't accept those simple terms.

I know that you see this as a slap in the face, but it really isn't about you. She chose the life of adultery. She might blame you, but in reality it was her choice to destroy both her marriage and the marriage of the man she is seeing. Yes, you should let the man's wife know that her husband is committing adultery. Send her the evidence so that she can make an informed decision. You will have to tell your wife's parents and your parents why the marriage is ending when the papers are filed, but you should not tell the other man's wife's parents. That is not your place. Perhaps they can repair their marriage, and if so, other people don't need to know.

Yes, you have been betrayed. I'm really sorry for your heartache and the heartache your son will be going through as well. Perhaps she will realize her foolishness and return, but until that point, you have to do what is necessary to preserve what you can of your life.

Hello Jeffrey,

Thank you for the response. Last night my wife admitted she was ashamed of her actions and that she was willing to seek help via reconnecting to the church and counseling through a Christian approach.

She does feel I will not be able to reconcile and she kept saying I would never forgive her or be able to drop the topic or I'd bring it up in arguments moving forward, etc. I'm sure that she is correct to a degree. However I did ask if she had still been in contact with this man and I did not feel like she was being honest when she said no. An affair of this depth does not just end in one phone call. Other details of this affair came up in which I knew the answers and when I asked, she was not truthful in her responses. This is difficult to process, I don't want graphic details, but I feel I have a right to know the extent of what happened in terms of the time line and the scope of their relationship. The affair lasted from what folks are telling me up to a year. My wife is saying six months. She said she never brought him into our home and the neighbor is telling me this man was in our driveway when I was away and stayed over night. How do we get to a trustful place where I'm not worrying about if she's lying?

What am I allowed to know? Again, I don't want graphic details, but I do have several questions and feel I should be allowed to know to a certain extent. Or should I not be asking about it at all? Is there a guideline for help in these areas? I'm confused on how to accept her back and begin to heal the trust in our marriage.

Thank you very much

"Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him" (Luke 17:3-4).

"For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matthew 6:14-15).

Hosea was told to marry a prostitute, who predictably eventually began to cheat on him and eventually ran away with another man. Hosea was told to do this to illustrate God's relationship with Israel. But even after she left, Hosea was told to bring her back. "Then the LORD said to me, "Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery, just like the love of the LORD for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans"" (Hosea 3:1). By this time Gomer, his wife, had fallen on bad times and was in slavery. "So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver, and one and one-half homers of barley" (Hosea 3:2).

It wasn't immediately just like before. Hosea brought her back on a trial basis. "And I said to her, "You shall stay with me many days; you shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man -- so, too, will I be toward you"" (Hosea 3:3).

Your wife says she has repented of her sins. Based on that you are required to forgive her. How do you know she is telling the truth? Time will tell. The difference is that before you lived for quite a while in denial. The evidence that she was seeing another man was plain, but you turned a blind eye to it because it was too painful to admit. It won't be that way this time. It doesn't mean that you have to constantly monitor her every move or spy on all her communications, but it does mean that if hints appear you won't ignore them either.

Since she says she repented, then certain actions would be obviously a part of that repentance. She would end all contact with this man. A block should be put on the man's number so he can't call her. You and she won't be having dealings with this man and his family in the future.

I know you don't trust her at this time, and I don't blame your reserve. Yet, I can see reasons why she would say that the affair was six months when you know she had been seeing him for a year. It would be difference in definition of when the affair started: when she first started talking to this man or when they first had sex.

You don't need any details about what happened. You know she committed adultery repeatedly with this man; that is all the information you need. Anything beyond that will only feed your jealousy and cause you to question your adequacy. Healing is going to come in rebuilding your marriage and falling in love again with each other, not in digging up the past. Love "keeps no record of wrongs" (I Corinthians 13:5 NIV). Yes, I know this is hard, but it is what needs to be done.

Go to the counseling sessions with her and see if it is possible to put your marriage back together.