My wife and I have been separated for a week because she got tired of me lying about loaning money to my brother…. We are both doctors. We have no financial problems, but my wife, having decided that I have lied to her more than once, asked me for a divorce. I told her that we should seek help, that separation is not the way to go. I love her.

We don’t have children because our studies have about killed us…. At times I don’t have the strength to even live or to believe in God. I am desperate! I feel that divorce is inevitable, because she doesn’t want to have anything to do with me and she thinks that finances are the most important thing.

Dear Friend,

We are sorry for the difficult time that you are going through. However, we disagree about the real source of the problem. You believe it is all about money, but it seems to us that it is more about integrity and trust.

You admit that you have lied to your wife more than once, and you even say that she is tired of your lying. By lying to her, you have taught her not to trust you. How can she ever know when you are telling the truth or when you are lying because it is just more convenient? If you lie about money, you will lie about other things as well. How can she have an intimate, loving relationship with you when she cannot trust you?

Lying is a symptom of a lack of integrity. Integrity means telling the truth and being honest even when it hurts, and even when the potential consequences are severe. Your wife is separated from you because she has been confronted by your lack of integrity, and she does not want a husband who does not have integrity.

Lying is a hard habit to break. You must decide that you won’t lie anymore, no matter what the consequences are. However, lying is such a way of life that it will happen to you before you have a chance to even think. So you have to tell everyone who is close to you that you have decided to stop lying, and that you want to be able to take back anything you say as soon as you realize that you just lied. After you have to correct yourself a few times, telling the truth will get easier.

Admit your problem to your wife and ask her to postpone a divorce until you have had a chance to prove that you are no longer a liar. It may take a year or more, but if you are determined, you can do it.

You say that you are sometimes too tired to even believe in God. Your weakness makes it easier to accept that you need a strong God who can not only help you with this situation, but also forgive you for lying and for the other ways that you have sinned against Him. Ask Him to forgive you and to help you remember not to lie. You need His help to face the future.

We wish you well,