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But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart

Dear Savitrie

"Savi my problem is rather a complicated issue that is causing me a great deal of grief and distress. I am a Christian woman raised in a god loving home. I have been married for 17 years and have three beautiful children aged 11, 13 and 15. I have raised my children to love and honour god however my husband is a non-believer. My husband knew of my faith when we married and he even came to church and told me that he felt god speaking to him - alas his passion and quest for God has not been fulfilled.

Throughout our marriage we have separated 5 times. Firstly as my husband was involved in illegal money making activities and put the children & myself at risk - once he agreed to stop this he returned home. He is also an uncontrolled diabetic which means that his health can affect his mood and he has a tendency towards rage and anger. The second, third and fourth time we separated was so that he could get help and he always promised to change- he was abusive physically, verbally & emotionally towards the children especially and also to me.

The last time we separated 4 years ago I had to ask my husband to leave as the violence was a danger to the children - he was involved with single friends, out drinking and rarely coming home. The police were involved but I never proceeded with formal charges against him as he was seeing a psychologist and I thought he was prepared to change. He came from a home where his father was very emotionally and verbally abusive. We were separated for nearly 6 months and during this time I put my faith in God to restore the marriage. My husband was acting suspiciously and I suspected an affair but could not prove it and he was very nasty if I tried to discuss it. He was also involved with a clairvoyant who told him that I was the barbed wire that was wrapped so tightly around him and choking the life out of him. He became enchanted with new age philosophy and began a quest to find his inner happiness through these beliefs.

He did return home and the next few years we experienced a great deal of hardship financially and emotionally. He was still verbally abusive to the children but refrained from physically touching them. He remained in contact with a lot of his friends and still spent time out drinking with work mates. We drifted apart and I am sorry to say that I found it very hard to be intimate with him as I was often angry or hurt by his actions. Last year he took a job interstate (we live in Australia) for 12 months. He would come home one weekend a month. At first we drew closer and I thought the old adage of absence makes the heart grow fonder was true. Unfortunately my husband would spend most nights and weekends drinking at the local pubs with work mates and sometimes we would get drunken phone calls. When he came home from the job for good he was distant and told me he thought we should sell the house at the end of the year and go our separate ways. At first I did not pay much attention as he said this often but then quite by accident I stumbled across an email from a lady where he was working interstate that clearly indicated an affair. After much denial he finally told me that he had kissed her a few times and went out with her as she made him feel like a king. I did contact the lady by email to ask if there was more to the story and received an anonymous call from woman who would not give her name but told me that my suspicions about my husband were true. I then contacted some friends he had lived with 4 years ago and they told me that he had a 3 month affair and a few one night stands. This was during the time that we were trying to reconcile and go to counselling.

My husband kept on denying the truth and then finally told me that yes he had done all that because I was a (swear word here) bad wife and didn't give him enough sex. My first instinct was to end the marriage which I regretted & then I tried to talk to him but he was adamant to leave. He sold the house and got another job interstate. That was nearly 3 months ago. I am moving to a new house with my children and he has offered some financial help but is not interested in reconciling although he tries to call me daily and act like we are friends.

I must admit I fell into the depths of despair when this occurred & if not for my faith and love of God I am sure that this darkness would have totally consumed me to the point of suicide.

I am praying that Gods will be done in my marriage & that God will lead my husband to him. My family and counsellor are adamant that enough is enough and I should allow the divorce to occur. I am struggling to know what to do - I want to do Gods will, I still love my husband despite this and I also recognise my part in our problems and have asked for Gods forgiveness. My head is so full of contradicting thoughts yet reality is that I must continue to move on with my children. I do not know what Gods will is and I am finding it hard to know what to do with regards to my marriage.

Your advice would be so appreciated. Thank you" - RK
(Question from Australia)

Savi Says

Your husband is a heathen and has crossed many lines in this marriage. He has to come to the point where he wants to surrender totally to Jesus and live for Him before you consider reconciling. I agree with your counselor. Go on with your life. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 7:15, "But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases." Do not let guilt hold you back. I admire your endurance and you should also. You have done your best to save this marriage. If your husband gets saved then by all means go back with him, but you must get mentally free from him. The Bible is very clear on this. You have Biblical grounds for divorce. Matthew 19:9 says, "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery. - Savi










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