I have now been married for two years. My husband has a daughter with another woman…. Before we were married, he swore to me that he didn’t love that woman… and proved to me that he loved me. That’s why I decided to marry him.

About six months ago, he had sexual relations with the mother of his daughter. That was very painful for me, but I forgave him and we are starting over.

My dilemma is: Should I separate from him so that he can make a family with his daughter and her mother, or should I continue to try to keep our marriage afloat? …

I have asked God for forgiveness many times, in case I am guilty of destroying a home. Truthfully, I am not sure. Could what happened to me be divine punishment?

Dear Friend,

Let’s consider your last question first. You want to know if your husband’s infidelity could be God’s punishment on you for having married a man who had a daughter with another woman.

Your question is a common one. People often refuse to follow God’s laws and instead do what they choose. Then when what they have decided to do doesn’t turn out well, they wonder if God is punishing them.

Think of it like this: You see that it is about to rain. But you decide that you’d rather not carry your umbrella. It begins to rain, and you get soaking wet. So then you wonder if God is punishing you for not carrying your umbrella.

No! God is not punishing you for leaving the house without your umbrella. You got wet because you went out into the rain, not because you were being punished. Getting wet was not the action of an angry God; it was the natural consequence of what you chose to do.

God lets us make our own choices, but those choices and actions always come with consequences. We must consider the potential consequences before we make our decisions.

What did you do wrong that brought about negative consequences? You let yourself believe that your husband’s previous relationship would have no impact on your marriage. You trusted a man who got a woman pregnant and then moved on to someone else. You believed his lies even though you obviously had misgivings. You followed your heart instead of your head. And you ignored the danger signs.

So, what do you do now? Many, but not all, who have studied the Bible believe that it is acceptable to terminate the marriage when your spouse has broken the marriage vow of sexual fidelity. Unfaithfulness brings with it a loss of trust and the possibility of sexually transmitted diseases. Even though it is difficult to overcome these obstacles, a decision to save the marriage is usually the best option when the unfaithful spouse is truly sorry for what happened.

You say that you have forgiven your husband. We sincerely hope that he will be faithful to you for the rest of his life and that your marriage can be saved. However, it will be challenging because he must continue to have a relationship with his daughter, and that will bring frequent opportunities for him to fail again with her mother. Should that happen, it will be very obvious that your marriage is over.

We wish you the best,