My husband left me for another woman nine months ago, an event that sunk me into the depths of depression. I had to re-learn everything — to be a provider, single parent, household manager, etc, after he took off with a younger woman from his office and left the island. I went through everything, every emotion possible, from shame to disgust at myself, because I honestly never saw it coming. But in the last few months, I have finally been coming to terms with my new life, and even enjoying how far I have come, with great expectations for my future. Now he is back, and here is my dilemma. He said he is sorry, made a mistake in his "midlife crisis", and was ready to be a husband and father again. He said the girl is out of the picture, and he wants our family again, and is willing to do what it takes to reconcile. On one hand he's my husband and I don't believe in divorce, but on the other hand, I could never forgive him for what he did, and honestly, don't feel the same towards him, and resent him for coming back to disturb the peace we have found. What is your take on this? I am willing to go against what I believe and divorce him, of course, but would this be considered a kind of prodigal son experience? If all men are dogs, and I can expect much of the same from every man, should I just welcome back the evil that I know?
Certainly many can relate. It's a difficult position to be in. It's sad that some spouses make decisions to pursue an illusion, a simple mirage. As Tyler Perry mentioned in one of his movies, they give up a decent marriage in pursuit of 20 per cent, and ignore the 80 per cent that exists in their home. They feel a need to go after what they think is missing in their marriage, and forget to appreciate the amazing things that are present. Then they realise they're coming up short of the critical 80 per cent. It seems this happened in your husband's case. He's noticed the good he gave up.
You certainly have the right to slam the door and wave goodbye. You have the biblical support to do so, based on popular interpretation of Matthew 19: 9 — the premise being, divorce is acceptable in light of sexual misdeeds. And in the court of public opinion, you'd have people's support to sentence him into obscurity. However, no one can make this decision for you. And you have to determine how far is too far. But make that decision giving full considering to your physical, mental, emotional and financial health. You'll have to give full consideration to the well-being of your children, and your sense of stability also.
Be respectful toward him: You have children and a history with him, so I'd say show your strength by showing him some respect. Yes, he certainly disrespected you. However, his sins don't have to be yours. A big part of your healing will be in forgiving him. That's not to say you should forget his misdeeds. Being able to be respectful will demonstrate you've been able to forgive him, and you've unburdened your heart, no matter what you choose to do regarding the marriage.
Speak to your children: Give them an opportunity to weigh in on the matter. Other close family could weigh in also. However, the final decision will be yours alone.
Get counselling: Whatever you choose you'll need counselling. If you choose to allow him back into your life, it should certainly be under conditions. And one of those conditions should include extended counselling that facilitates accountability.
It certainly is an unfortunate situation and I pray the Lord gives you clarity to choose.
Get on The Counsellor's Couch with Rev Christopher Brodber who is a counsellor and minister of religion. E-mail questions to email@example.com.
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