Because of a lie, my home is disintegrating…. A month ago, I moved in with my parents because of this problem…. On Wednesday, I traveled back to the capital to see my family, but my wife treated me very badly and wouldn’t allow me to see my son. I know that he needs me because he’s only four years old…. I lied to my wife about some money that I spent, though I didn’t spend it on bad things. I spent most of it on my family; the rest I spent on getting our car repaired, because the mechanic ripped me off.

I told my wife that I had the money set aside, and now she won’t believe how I really spent it. I had been lying to her for a year and a half when I finally told her the truth about a month ago. She exploded, and now won’t forgive me. She treated me very badly, and doesn’t want anything to do with me.

Please tell me how to get my family back.

Dear Friend,

We cannot give you a quick list of easy steps to get your family back. Earning your wife’s trust again will be a slow and painstaking process.

Is this the first time you have lied to your wife? If it is not, then you have shown a pattern of dishonesty, which speaks to your character. How did you get the money that you lied about? If it was money that your wife or her family provided, then she probably believes that you stole from her as well as lied to her. Have you spent money wisely in the past? If not, she would see this loss as another pattern of irresponsible behavior. Have you worked hard and provided the income that your family needs? What other issues are there in your relationship with your wife that would cause you to lie to her for a year and a half? Most men don’t leave their homes and move in with their parents just because their wives are angry with them.

You betrayed your wife by lying to her the first time. Over a period of a year and a half, you repeated that lie many times, so that it became a series of lies. In addition to betraying your wife, every time you lied, you were breaking one of God’s laws.(1) If your conscience was bothering you at all, you chose to ignore it.

Your wife needs time to get over the hurt and betrayal that she feels. However, you are correct in saying that your child needs you. Legally, she does not have the right to keep your son from seeing you. But the way that you handle it has the potential to make her angrier, so proceed with patience and with caution.

Find a wise person that your wife trusts, and enlist that person to be a mediator. Send the message that you realize all that you have done, you realize how wrong it was, and you intend to do everything you can to rebuild the trust that you lost. Your son is too young to be put in the middle of this argument, and you want to be able to see him regularly, so a wise mediator will be able to work out the details and will help you begin the long process of getting your family back.

We wish you well,

Linda and Charles
1 Lev 19:11