A little more than four years ago, I met a wonderful man who is ten years older than I am, and we began a romantic relationship. He is married and has two precious daughters…. The point is that I have tried a thousand times to leave him and end it, but it has been almost impossible to do.
… Lately I have been feeling very badly because it hurts me to think that… we will never be together. My intention is not to do away with his family, but way down deep inside I would like him to decide to marry me in the future. Can God be present in our relationship?
We are glad that you care enough about God’s presence to ask us this question. God is present everywhere, but that does not mean that He is in agreement with every action done by every person. So, even though God loves each one of us, He does not approve of our bad choices. In fact, our sins (brought about by bad choices) are what separate us from God. That is why He had to sacrifice his only Son to pay the consequences of our sins, so that we would not be separated from Him permanently.
You obviously know that one of the Ten Commandments is to not commit adultery. God did not include that commandment to put an end to everyone’s fun. Instead, He included it because He could foresee the ruined lives and destroyed families that would result as a consequence of committing adultery.
You say that you do not want to do away with your boyfriend’s family, and that his daughters are precious. These are the very people that your actions are hurting. (Obviously he is hurting them too, but he is not the one who has asked our advice.) We urge you to read through our other “Cases of the Week.” Many of them were submitted by the children of men who were unfaithful, just as your boyfriend has been. The pain and hurt that they have felt is the same as what you and this man are purposefully choosing to inflict on his “precious” daughters.
What character traits are evident in this man that you love? First, he is a liar. He must lie to his wife in order to hide his relationship with you. And if he will lie to cover up his infidelity, don’t be naïve enough to think that he won’t lie to you. Second, we know that he doesn’t keep his promises. He promised to love and be faithful to his wife when he married her. Now, he has changed his mind. And he will likely also change his mind about promises he makes to you. Third, and as a result of the first two, he cannot be trusted. Just as he has turned his back on his family, he will likely turn his back on you someday.
An honorable man does not lie to his wife. A man with integrity keeps his word. And a man with good character can be trusted. Do you not want a man with those qualities, instead of a lying, cheating, untrustworthy man who puts his own selfish pleasure ahead of those he claims to love?
You say you have not been able to end the relationship, and then you reveal why. It is because you secretly hope that his wife will someday disappear and you will be able to step into the family and have a loving relationship with the girls and their father. You want to live a happily‑ever‑after fairy tale in which he magically becomes your knight in shining armor and you get to be the princess. You are wasting your life waiting for such a fairy tale to come true!
You probably think that this answer shows a lack of compassion for your situation. But you would not be in this situation if you had not agreed to date a married man, even though you obviously knew it was wrong. When we disregard the laws of God, the feelings of others, and our own consciences, there are always physical and emotional consequences. The only way to get through this is to acknowledge your sin to God in prayer, ask for His forgiveness, and then show that you are sorry by living with the emotional pain that will result from breaking off the relationship completely and permanently. In time, the pain will lessen and you will be able to get over the hurt. Then maybe you can find the kind of man who has character and who can be trusted.
We wish you well,
Linda and Charles