Four years ago my husband fell in love with another woman and left me and our two children. I thought that he would change his mind and come back. However, he did not, but rather started a new family and forgot about us. That made me feel deeply frustrated and, in spite of all the time that has passed, I think that the rage and the pain have not gone away, and I have turned my back on God.

Unfortunately, I have become a very irritable person. I find it easy to get angry with my children, and scold them frequently. I feel guilty because I have not been able to control the rage, and I feel that it is affecting the children, who in addition to not having their father, also have to put up with my bad moods.

Dear Friend,

We are so very sorry for the abandonment that you and your children have suffered! You are correct when you say that the children are affected by not having their father. But in addition to the feelings of abandonment that they are experiencing, it would be reasonable to expect that they are also suffering from the same frustration, irritability, and anger issues that are plaguing you. It could be that you find yourself scolding them often because they are acting out their feelings in unacceptable ways.

When a father leaves, children often believe that they did something wrong. They can grow to adulthood and still believe that the abandonment is their fault. If their father has stopped seeing them, as you say, then he is not around to reassure them of his love nor to explain that they did nothing wrong. It is critically important that you allow them to talk about their frustration and anger. You are the only one that they have to listen to them and then to tell them that it is not their fault that their father left.

We congratulate you for recognizing that your irritability and bad moods are hurting your children, as well as for your desire to change. We recommend that you begin writing your feelings in a notebook. Write down the details, leaving out nothing. Use large capital letters when you feel like screaming. Write down every negative thought. Then close the notebook and put it away. It will be there if you think of something new to write down. Just don’t let yourself go over and over the thoughts in your mind. Once they are on paper, they belong in the notebook, but not in your mind.

It is critical to your health to stop focusing on the negative. New research shows that all our negative thoughts produce chemicals in the brain that are sent to other parts of our bodies. These chemicals are harmful to our internal organs and can cause disease. You can literally think yourself into being sick.

The Apostle Paul gave us the prescription that can protect our minds from toxic thoughts. He taught, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”(1) Follow this advice and go through each day finding positive things to think about. Ask God to forgive you for turning your back on Him and to help you face the future with courage and strength.

You can do this!

1 Php 4:8