I have been married for five years. My husband and I are both professionals, but we have never been able to find jobs in our area of specialization. I feel disillusioned with my husband because he is apathetic and hasn’t come up with anything. He is very good, loving, and helps a lot in the home, but he doesn’t get a job and gives up very quickly. I projected by this time having had my children, a car, a house and both of us with good jobs, but it hasn’t turned out like that. We have no children, having chosen to put that off until he has a job, because I’m the one who works and my salary doesn’t go very far….

I am attracted to a guy… who has all that I have wanted. He has a good job and is diligent. He doesn’t know about my feelings, and no way does my husband. I feel badly about this. I have been unfaithful to my husband in my mind.

Dear Friend,

We all have dreams and plans for our lives. But when reality doesn’t meet the expectations from our dreams, we face possible disillusionment and even despair. These strong negative emotions can cause us to make poor decisions. Poor decisions then lead to negative consequences, and the spiral of negative emotions winds tighter and tighter until we feel trapped in a world that we never imagined or dreamed of.

When we choose to marry someone, we are taking many risks. We risk that the person might become ill with a serious disease. We risk that the person might demonstrate character traits that we didn’t see before. And we risk that the person might be a compulsive spender and get us into serious debt. That’s why the marriage vows say, “For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, till death do us part.” On our wedding day, we vowed to stay together, love each other, and make the best of every situation as long as we both live.

There’s no way for us to help your husband find employment, nor even to tell you how to help him. Until he is motivated from the inside, he may not choose to put much effort into the job search. So instead of concentrating on what he needs to do, you can choose to focus on what you can do differently to make some of your dreams come true.

Together with your husband, make a strict budget that will allow you to save some money from your earnings. Move to a smaller house, give up optional entertainment activities, and decide how you can save on food. You must be willing to make sacrifices if you really want to afford to have a child. Show your husband through your actions that you are willing to do whatever it takes to have a family. As he sees your willingness to sacrifice for what is important, he may gain the motivation he needs to take a job, even if it isn’t what he wants or is qualified for. Do your best to avoid nagging, as it hasn’t had a positive result so far and will not likely work in the future.

Ask God to help you deal with bitterness and regret, so that you don’t alienate your husband emotionally. Also ask God to forgive you for what you have called unfaithfulness in your mind, and for all other sin in your life. Each of us has sinned, and as we ask for forgiveness in the name of Jesus, we can be forgiven and start over. Pour your dreams out to God in prayer and ask Him to help you alter them to fit your reality.

Recognize that the fantasy of the other guy is just an unrealistic fantasy of what would seem to be an easy way to solve your economic problems. Stay away from situations where you would need to interact with the guy, and don’t tell anyone about your fantasy. God doesn’t judge us for being tempted, but He does hold us responsible if we act on those temptations. Make sure that you run from the danger that your conscience has warned you about.

We wish you well,