I have been married for approximately seven years, and we have two children…. During an argument, I stabbed my husband in the chest with a small knife. Thank God, it didn’t hurt him seriously; but now we are legally separated and are waiting on a court ruling regarding the custody of the children. I need some advice, please. What can I do?

Dear Friend,

You tell the story about what happened as if it were a minor incident that should not have serious repercussions. You don’t mention whether or not you are sorry for what you did, nor how you feel about any of it. In fact, your story does not contain any emotion about what happened or with regard to the potential loss of custody of your children.

Almost all women and most men include their feelings when they recount their problems. They feel sorrow, shame, fear, anxiety, or any one of the dozens of possible emotions. To talk about problems in a detached, non-feeling way could be a sign of an emotional disorder. When combined with the violent act that you committed, there is certainly reason for you to be evaluated by a psychiatrist as soon as possible. Your regular doctor can recommend someone for you to see. You would benefit from the help that a psychiatrist can give you, so do not avoid this important action step.

Violence in marriage is harmful to all of the members of the family. The children will suffer from the breakup of the marriage, no matter whom they live with. Their safety and security should be the highest priority of each parent.

Although you do not provide the details of the argument that you and your husband had, it is obvious that you must have gotten very angry. You probably felt powerless about some situation, and your anger drove you to use a knife to demonstrate that you were powerful. Unfortunately, violence does not show power; on the contrary, it demonstrates weakness. Furthermore, your lack of self-control and your blatant disregard of the consequences are more signs that you need professional help.

In the meantime, if you are truly sorry, God will forgive you if you just pray and ask Him to in the name of His Son Jesus Christ. But you must show your repentance by determining to live according to His laws and to communicate with Him every day by praying and reading the Bible. You also need a community of followers of Christ who can help you through the difficult times ahead. So find a church where the people’s lives show that they love God, and attend that church at every opportunity.

However, even though God will forgive you, He will not take away the consequences that you must now face for your actions. So ask Him to help you have a positive attitude and to depend on Him no matter what happens.

We wish you the best,