Q: I am a 58 year old Christian woman and have been married to the same man for over 36 years. We have grown apart over the years and can’t seem to get close. My husband is 60 and has taken to writing someone over the Internet that he has never met. He says he loves this other woman more than me and spends a lot of time instant messaging her. I try not to be angry, telling myself that he will grow out of it, or they are only friends. I have put this in God’s hands and prayed and prayed about it. I know God does not want me to be angry. My husband says if I’m not happy, that I should leave, but I don’t want to leave. I just don’t know what to do. I asked him if he would consider going to a marriage counselor and he just says no. Have any ideas?
A: I think the first thing to mention here is that you have a right to be angry. Jesus was angry when He turned over the tables at the temple because the things going on there shoud NOT have been happening. When Paul writes about anger, he doesn’t say that we can’t be angry. Instead he tells us to deal with it (don’t let the sun go down) which is the healthy way to handle anger. You are right to be angry. Now you need to do the right things about the cause of this anger.
It is not acceptable for a man to be talking/writing with another woman despite the objections of his wife. It is even more unacceptable that he tells you that he loves her more than you. In my book, that would meet the criteria of adultery that Jesus taught in Matthew 5:28. What your husband is doing is a violation of your marriage vows and he is sinning not only against you but also against God as well.
Your husband will not grow out of this. (He’s 60 years old…) Even if it became boring and he moved on to something else, it wouldn’t solve the problem of what he is doing. You say that you have grown apart. It appears that this other woman is in some way providing him emotional fulfillment and closeness. To fix this two things have to happen. First, he has to stop all contact with that woman. Second, you two must do the things that need to be done to fall in love with each other again. If that sounds impossible, may I recommend my book Your LovePath. It will guide you through that process. (You can find the book here.) I also strongly recommend that you check out LovePath 911, our intensive workshop for marriages in trouble. Yours is definitely in trouble. (Find more about this workshop here.)
Finally, though this may sound harsh, you must call him to accountability for his behavior. You cannot allow him to continue this relationship with that woman. Tell him to stop or leave. If you have Christian friends who will help, read my free Intervention Document and let it guide you in the process of salvaging this man. (You can find that article here.) If you continue to let things go on as they are, your anger will increase, but not just toward him. You will become angrier with yourself. DO what needs to be done.