After a long courtship, I married a very good and special man. We have been married for three years. What I have always admired about him is his generosity…. He is too good in every way and with everyone. He believes obvious lies and he has been scammed. He is owed money, but he does nothing about it. And he doesn’t have the character or authoritative voice that our two-year-old son needs….

I want to separate from him because I don’t want to stand by and watch him drown in his own tolerance…. I love him, but I don’t know what to do. After having seen his kindness, tolerance, and good judgment as virtues, now I see them as defects.

Dear Friend,

Your story is very different from most of the other stories we hear. We usually hear about abusive husbands, uncaring husbands, demanding husbands, and unfaithful husbands. But you have the husband that millions of women would love to have!

Your last sentence is very interesting, because you admit that he hasn’t changed; it is you who has changed. Initially you saw his qualities as virtues, but now you see them as defects. His qualities have been the same all along, but you have changed from being appreciative and admiring to being critical and unaccepting.

Every married person finds qualities in his or her spouse that are undesirable. There is no person on earth who has only positive traits. So anyone who marries is agreeing to accept both the positive and the negative. That is why the marriage vows themselves say “for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.” The “poorer” and the “sickness” are general terms for conditions that will not be seen as positive. When you spoke those vows, you agreed to accept the negative along with the positive.

Also in the marriage vows is the phrase “until death separates us.” Did you mean those words when you said them?

What about your son? If you separate from your husband, it will definitely have a negative effect on your son. According to various studies, children who grow up in broken homes have a higher risk of criminal behavior, teenage suicide, homelessness, drug addiction, and behavioral and psychological disorders.

Instead of abandoning your marriage, we recommend that you put all your effort into saving your marriage. Attend child discipline training with your husband, and agree on action steps that he can take to better discipline your son. Make all financial decisions together as a couple so that your husband cannot be duped into more scams. If possible, see a professional marriage counselor so that the two of you can revise your unrealistic expectations of each other.

God wants your marriage to succeed, for your sake, your son’s sake, and your husband’s sake. He loves each one of you and has a perfect plan for your lives. Ask God to help you make your marriage work.

We wish you well,