Q&A: Should I stay or should I go?

I received an email from a reader that really touched my heart because I know she is in a bad place right now with a very hard decision.   Here’s the gist.

Her hubby of 8 years has a porn addiction.  She has noticed something different about him lately found out that he had been having an affair and it had ended.   She asked him to leave.  He comes back to see their kids and when he comes over, they have amazing sex.   He wants to kick the addiction….she loves him, but she is torn.  Should she divorce him or not?  The whole experience is drawing her closer to God and she has been in her bible and praying more than ever.   She doesn’t know what to do.

Such a tough decision.

In the Old Testament, there are so many Old Testament verses handing out certificates of divorce.    Yes, her husband was unfaithful to her.    She does definitely have grounds for divorce by both Old and New Testament standards.   I am going to preface what I am about to say by saying this … I have never experienced an unfaithful spouse, and probably never will, so I am really not sure what I would do if it really happened to me….

My Sunday school class has been going through the Gospel of Mark.   Just last Sunday, we covered this chapter and verse

(Mark 10: 1-9)  Getting up, He *went from there to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan; crowds *gathered around Him again, and, according to His custom, He once more began to teach them.

Some Pharisees came up to Jesus, testing Him, and began to question Him whether it was lawful for a man to [a]divorce a wife. And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “ Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and [b]send her away.” But Jesus said to them, “[c] Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother[d], and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” 

Verses 6-9, we had read at our wedding.  We feel that strongly about it.

In these verses, Jesus quotes God from Genesis 2:24-25.   God intended marriage to be one man to one woman, and when they united, they became one flesh.  What God joined together, man should not separate.   Why did God tell Moses to allow divorce then?  Because of our hardness of heart.

I have already written the reader with this issue.  She is in her Bible more.  She is praying more.   She is praying for her husband.   The closer she stays to God on this issue, the more she will be able to hear his voice.    My recommendation would be to put off all thoughts of divorce until she hears clearly from the Lord.  It is obvious to me that God has more in store for this marriage.     I would find a babysitter for her kids, meet with him somewhere outside of the home, and start the process of determining what they are willing to do to save their marriage.   It may be a good time to use 1 Corinthians 7: 1-6  for abstaining for a period of time of prayer for your marriage and wisdom to know where to go from here.   If it were me, I would require him to get some sort of counseling for the porn addiction.  A good sex therapist can help or a marital counselor for both of you.   I would want to definitely get to the bottom of the porn and the affair with a counselor.

Sweetie, I am praying for you.  Any of you going through the same situation have my prayers, too.  God is faithful.  God loves marriage.  He created the unions between you and your husbands.   If you have a repentant spouse who wants to seriously work through the problems, I pray that the God of healing will heal your marriages and make you stronger and closer, to Him and to each other.

3 thoughts on “Q&A: Should I stay or should I go?

  1. That is very sad. I think she should stop having sex with him for awhile until she has made a decision, make him work for her a little bit more, prove that he is really trying.

  2. UPDATE: We have been separated for about a month and a half now. I have been begging God to give me an answer as to what I am to do. I asked Him to hit me between the eyes with it, so I couldn’t miss it. Until a few weeks ago, he kept saying that he wasn’t still with her. She is married (unhappily) and has a little girl. One night… I drug it out of him. He had never stopped and is still with her. He pretty much told me that he wants both. I told him he couldn’t have both and he obviously has made his decision. I feel like this is the answer I had been asking for. However, my heart is in a million pieces. And the emotional roller coaster that I seem to be on is very draining. You can’t make somebody love you. I know God will get me through this. One of the toughest aspects of this is the kids. They miss their Daddy! They don’t understand why he can’t live with us anymore. All I can do is cry with them and dry their tears. I tell them I love them, and God has a plan for our lives. I pray for a hedge of protection around them and their little hearts.
    I spoke with a lawyer a few days ago. I all have to do is email him with some figures to get the ball rolling (for child support, etc). A few days ago, I was ready to pull the trigger. Now, I’m just not there. The constant back and forth is pretty emotionally exhausting. This is a big decision and I want to make it with some peace in my heart. Please keep praying!

  3. I have found your website through internet searches because I am going through something very similar. My husband had an affair a year and a half ago. We agreed to work on our marriage and stay together. Then, a few months ago, with personal failures piling onto him with his career and schooling, a problem with ED he started looking at the internet for pornography – mainly he would go to those “dating” sites and talk to people. It went a bit further and he actually went to meet someone but never did because he got pulled over by the police (he had been drinking-he just found out that day that he had failed school for the second time). We have had many many deep discussions about what has happened to us. We have been married for 16 years and I never in my life thought we would be facing this. I am struggling on understanding what would lead him to do this a second time. The first one I understand where it came from but I don’t the second time because we were working on us. He admits that the first time he blamed me and convinced himself it was because I had rejected him and our sex life was non-existent. But, when it happened again, he realized it wasn’t me; it was him and he had a problem. I haven’t come to fully understand everything yet, it is still so new but I am glad I found this post and I am glad to hear others struggle with these issues. Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t be working on this with him and I should leave but most times I remember that I love him still and I don’t want our marriage to end – anything worth having is worth fighting for, no? He is doing the things I have asked of him to help me heal from his betrayal and he even showed up out of the blue the other day to my work to take me to lunch and told me that he DOES think of me even if he doesn’t always say it. I have prayed that I have the strength and guidance to do the right thing and for these horrible fears of it happening again to be lifted from me so that I can focus on moving forward. I just wanted to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thank you.

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