Mailbag: What To Do?


Danabern7 wrote,

I would like you and your wife’s advice on my situation . Husband cheated on me in an affair for sure 15 yrs. ago . About 4 yrs. ago I found text messages to him and a married co- worker calling her “baby” and that’s my girl”. When I threatened to call her husband he said his arm hurt.He is verbally abusive to me. He does the minimum,takes me shopping and out to eat 2 times a week. If I accuse him of anything(cheating) he says “prove it”. I just want out of here,but seem stuck. If I accuse him of anything he sAys the house is a mess. If I say I want a divorce he threatens to call our grown daughters and tell them. Please pray for me and give your advice.

Dear Danabern7,

This is DM writing. Mrs. DM will follow with her own thoughts after I share a few here.

Your husband has been unfaithful twice to your knowledge: Once you caught him fifteen years ago in a confirmed affair (I assume by that confirmation that you mean adultery, unfortunately). More recently, you caught him texting inappropriately about four years ago with a married coworker, and he sought your pity to avoid your follow up to that discovery (claiming that “his arm hurt”). It is pretty safe to say such is not the behavior of an innocent man.

Also, I will point out that you have already given your husband many second chances, and he did not deserve one. You are allowed to divorce Biblically even if he only committed adultery once (see Mt 19:9 and Mt 5:32). His response to your mercy and generosity was to have another affair eleven years later and try to get you off its trail when you caught him feigning pain in his arm. Also, his reply ‘prove it’ strikes me as the words of an arrogant man who believes he has hidden his dirty deeds well. (By the way, my cheating ex had a similar response even when I had her nailed with the evidence, and she was certainly not innocent as she even much later admitted.) Furthermore, his insistence on your proving it is not the response of a godly, loving husband who cares about his wife’s heart that he ravaged through his confirmed cheating. A contrite and repentance man would do what he could to assuage your fears and care for your hurting heart. Since that was not his response, I suspect that you have only discovered the tip of the cheating iceberg (see post with Dr. Phil talking about there likely being more “rats” here).

It sounds like you have decided what you want to do–i.e. divorce him. The problem comes in the execution when he sucks you back by using manipulative tactics of telling your kids or equating your housing keeping deficits to his cheating ways. My advice to you is to stop telegraphing your next move to him. Get your ducks in a row. If you still want a divorce, find a lawyer, file the papers, and tell your adult children before he gets served or knows about it. Your children are adults now. While it is sad for a marriage to end in a divorce irregardless of circumstances, I think it is worse to continue in a marriage where adultery is allowed to continue unchecked. I can’t promise you that your children will understand; however, it is Biblical and very reasonable to stop accepting this abuse by divorcing someone who clearly is not repenting from his sin.



PS I will certainly remember you, Danabern7, in my prayers.



I second my husband. Your kids are grown and if your husband’s game plan to get you to stay with him is to appeal to a grown child to tell you what to do, I think you have another red flag to worry about. Your grown children should not be telling you what to do with your marriage. Your marriage is yours and it is your decision, not theirs. It is okay for parents to seek counsel from their grown children if they choose. The rules of counsel still apply in that a) you would need to seek it voluntarily b) they offer their counsel with open hands c) it is counsel, not an order. They do not speak for you. You speak for you. I think it is immature of your husband to say “If you divorce me I’m going to run and tell our grown daughter! Neener neener neener!”

Your husband already has two affairs that you know of. I would bet money there’s a lot more that you don’t know about. The wife in the Dr. Phil post DM cited had the same response. She was fired for having oral sex with a client and her response to her husband was “you can’t prove it.” Right. That response won’t fly with an employer, (hence she was fired), nor should it fly with your spouse. Pure arrogance. “You had an affair!” “My arm hurts!” …what? And that’s related to the conversation how? That’s deflection. Oh no! The truth is out to get me! Deflect! Smoke screen! Throw sparkles to get their attention elsewhere quick! Find a body part that suddenly hurts! Honesty and integrity speak for themselves. They don’t need smoke screens, sparkles, body part pain or any other kind of deflection.

It sounds like you already know what you want to do. If you’re going to file then get your ducks in a row and file. You’ve just gone through 15 years of false reconciliation. Based on your husband’s current response you have nothing to go on. He’s not being honest, he’s not owning anything, he’s acting like a 3 year old when presented with the truth, he doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong and he continues/will continue to have affairs as along as all of that stays as it is. If you’re going to separate, do so with clear intentions of “it’s over,” separate with a clean break. If separation before divorce is legally mandated before the process can be complete and you want to divorce you will have to follow that. Stop giving him your game plan. Call that woman’s husband. The jig is up for both of them. You know the truth and her husband deserves to know the truth too. Call the husband of the next married woman that comes along too. You’re not an adulterer’s PR agent. Don’t talk to your grown child/children until after you’ve made your decision. This decision is yours. You have biblical grounds. Make the decision for you, not for someone else.

-Mrs. DM.

3 thoughts on “Mailbag: What To Do?”

  1. I would say, Danabern7, spend as much time as you can finding more resources on abuse, narcissistic abuse, and the Biblical definition of love. It doesn’t sound to me that you are in a Biblical marriage. I went to Divorce Care (where I lucked out with great leaders who understand that I was being manipulated… like you are), went to an abuse counselor, and read “Why Does He Do That?” and Boundaries (as well as many other books). God does not ask us to be human sacrifices in marriage!! Even a temporary separation might help you to see more clearly and to build your core back up. Stay strong!

  2. Okay… Well all three are right. DM is right about getting your ducks in a row. But please do NOT tell the kids until AFTER ducks are in a row and he is served. Telling the kids will telegraph next move. This is your decision. Your marriage. Not the kids. Homeschool is right about the resources. Used a lot of the same ones. And a separation, at least to help you discern your next move. And Danabern7, you are/were right to give your spouse an opportunity to repent. That means own the mistake that he made of his own free choice and change. But he didn’t, on either count on the occasions you actually caught him on. Whatever you do, pray on it and know that The Lord never abandons you. It … Almost sounds like you are afraid to be alone. You are not. Your best friend is waiting, but you have to talk to Him, because he respects our free will that He gave us…that much. May The Lord be with you at this most difficult time.

    1. Thank you Divorce Minister and your wife. I appreciate your comments, as well as the others.
      I’m pretty sure H is a serial cheater. I’m tired of being the marriage police.I know when I file I must be out of here and far away and no contact.. I’ve got a great lawyer,but must leave a lot behind. I know he will be, even meaner after he gets the papers. It’s divorce or nothing.he’s had many chances.i just need a good swift kick in the pants and prayer to get moving.and yes,the kids will not know till I’ve filed.
      I’ve got a great dog who will go with me and yes,I know I have Jesus. Thanks for all your concern and replies.
      one other thing every time he says “prove it” I think he convicts himself. If someone convicted me of cheating I wouldn’t say prove ” it” as there is no ” it” to prove.he goes to play golf a lot and I asked who was in his group he went ballistic. He treats me like dirt.This is not a good life.Please pray for me you all. There is power in prayer. I’ll keep you posted.

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