I trusted my wife completely until she left home to work far away…. Every week I took care of our four-year-old daughter. As time passed, my wife began to change. Then one day she said she wanted a separation, that she didn’t love me anymore, because she was back together with her ex-boyfriend. At first she said that there had been no physical relationship with him, then later that they had only kissed….

I forgave her, and she quit that job; but I have not been able to forget what happened…. It still hurts me, and I have doubts about whether she slept with him…. At times I want to leave her, but I feel sorry for my daughter, because I love her very much and she loves me. What should I do?

Dear Friend,

We are sorry to hear about your difficulties with your wife. Forgiveness is never easy, but you were emotionally strong enough to forgive her and to take her back. We congratulate you for your clear thinking and for your determination to provide a loving home for your daughter.

Having doubts is part of the human experience. Your wife told you herself that she had kissed her ex-boyfriend, and this is certainly a reason for you to doubt her commitment to you. But you also have doubts about whether she told you the whole truth or whether she lied to cover up sexual infidelity. If she lied to you, then you wonder if she will lie to you again and whether you can trust her at all.

Ignoring the problem and ignoring your feelings will probably not help. We strongly suggest that you go together to a marriage professional or to marriage classes. Churches and community agencies usually can refer couples to organizations where they can get help to rebuild the foundations of their marriages. Couples who make it a priority and set aside the time to work on their marriages have a much better chance of making those marriages work.

Make plans every week to spend time together as a family, visiting a park or playing games. Make it a habit to attend church activities together, and take advantage of any counseling resources that the church may offer. Also plan private times as a couple, both to have meaningful discussions and to enjoy relaxing together. Give your wife the gift of time, and you may find that your trust in her will grow.

We are reminded that your situation is similar to that of God, our Heavenly Father. He loves us and is faithful to us, yet we continuously sin and make decisions that separate us from Him. So does He give up on us? Does He leave us? No, God loves us enough to give us another chance if we sincerely ask for it. He forgives and never again holds those sins against us. And that gives us the opportunity to begin again and to remain faithful to Him.

We wish you well,

Linda and Charles