I met my husband 21 years ago. We never married until last year. We have two children 9 and 11. When I met him, we had a great seven years, after that things went downhill, we left each other several times and then we had our first son, he left me when I was 9 months pregnant, and I forgave him and we got back for a while. During that time I became a Christian, and I was also 3 months pregnant. He did not marry me then either. I would see him occasionally, and I make a few mistakes while being a Christian throughout the next 9 years. We started seeing each other around two years ago and decided to marry last year. He started accusing me of cheating and would be angry constantly. I found out he was addicted to porn and other things. Again, he left us two days before our anniversary. How should I deal with this? I know I have to forgive him (again), but I am having a hard time doing so, as a wife to him now. Should I file for divorce? I am pretty confused.
I'm trying to figure out why you are punishing yourself with this guy. Over the years you changed, but your husband has never changed. Yet, you act as if this is surprising. Even though he left you at the most awkward times, such as just before the birth of your first child, you turned around and had a second child with him out of wedlock.
Fortunately, you became a Christian, but it appears you hint that you had sex with him a few times. My dear, that isn't love. That is letting a sinner lead you into sin. Love "does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth" (I Corinthians 13:4-5).
Despite knowing the kind of man he was and that he had not changed, you married him anyway. And now you are upset that he continues to behave as he has done in the past. I hope you see that you haven't been acting very wisely with your life so far.
I'm glad you are willing to forgive him, which is necessary as a Christian. But before forgiveness can be given, he has to want it -- badly enough that he is willing to change. "Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him" (Luke 17:3).
You didn't mention whether your husband is having sex with someone else or not. Only in the case when a spouse is committing fornication can you divorce and remarry (Matthew 19:9). If you are divorcing for any other reason, then you must do so knowing you are going to remain unmarried or reconciled to your husband (I Corinthians 7:10-11).
You are right when you say I have not been acting very wisely with my life. I loved this man with all my heart. As a matter of fact, he has been the only man in my life after the birth of my first child. I sometimes believe that I have a very forgiving heart which he has taken advantage of.
I did not know about his addictions until after he started living with me. I now have put things into perspective and have realized that that was probably the reason why he never married me before. Things are now starting to make sense.
I do believe that I disobeyed God in many ways with him and these are the consequences. Now I am confused and also have thought that our marriage was not blessed by God. He promised that he really wanted to marry me, but his actions have told me differently. I know this kind of addiction can destroy a marriage, but I sometimes think our relationship was destroyed way before we married.
I do not know if he is seeing anyone -- I don't know of any other woman -- but I sometimes wonder if the intention is there because of his addiction.
I have asked God to forgive me for forsaking him and have also confessed my sins to others in the church, but I still feel confused about the divorce. He said he is going to get counseling, but I not sure that that will happen. He accuses me of our relations failing. I have to admit that I have said things out of anger and hurt, but God knows that I did not know how to handle this situation.
What do you suggest I should do from now on, other than pray? Is lust not considered cheating on a wife?
Thank you so much for your response, and I appreciate so much that you emailed me back.
It appears that your husband isn't doing you or your children any direct harm, so there is no real need for a divorce. No, lust isn't cheating on a wife. Divorcing your husband because he looks at pornography does not give you the right to seek another husband.
I would suggest ignoring your husband's accusations. He isn't living properly, but he doesn't want to face it so he blames you for his own faults. That you've had a contributing part in the breakup is probably true, but you've changed and he hasn't; thus, the responsibility for the continued rift is his own.
Since your husband is not content to live with you and his children, you'll have to continue through life as if you have no husband. "But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace" (I Corinthians 7:15). Perhaps one day he'll wake up to reality and straighten out his life. Until then, you have a family to raise.
Thank you. Even though this is not what I would have wanted to hear, it gives me peace somehow. Thank you for providing Scripture with your response, it makes me feel that God is speaking through you. I will wait, pray, and seek God with all of my heart. Until then I can only put my husband in His hands. Please pray for me, to let go of all hurt and anger and seek comfort in God.
Again, thank you. I love your web site; I have learned so much more, just by reading it and knowing that I am not alone in this kind of struggle.