I was very young when I got married. I love my wife enormously, but I have been unfaithful in a whole lot of ways and with an awful lot of women. I resolved not to do it anymore…. I feel that I degraded my wife and, because I love her so very much, I felt it best to leave her and leave home…. I believe she doesn’t deserve what I did to her…. I want her to forget about me and, even though I love her and am suffering being away from her, I know that I can’t go back. That would only contaminate her more and more with my shameful behavior.

What should I do so that she will understand that I can’t be with her? She insists that I come back, but she never found out about anything, not even why I left. I can’t bring myself to tell her.

Dear Friend,

It is good that you recognize some of the harm that you have caused your wife, and it is good that you don’t want to keep hurting her. However, by not telling her the truth you could be doing something much worse than what you think. You may have given her an incurable disease. How do you know that you haven’t doomed your wife to a life of illness and, potentially, even an early death? If you really love her, as you say you do, you will want her to consult a medical doctor as soon as possible so that she can be checked for any diseases that you may have given to her.

You claim that you are not capable of telling your wife the truth about what you have done. So instead of knowing the truth, she probably imagines that you left her because she is not good enough for you. She may suffer emotionally every day, wondering how she could be a better wife so that you will love her more. Like most women, she may have a poor body image causing her to be convinced that if she were prettier or skinnier, you would not have left.

She doesn’t know that the real problem is you. You are promiscuous, risking your own physical and emotional health while searching for satisfaction that you can’t seem to find. Your behavior is caused by an emptiness inside of yourself, not by any deficiency on your wife’s part.

If you cannot find the courage to tell your wife the truth, then get someone else to do it for you. Find a relative or friend who cares about your wife, and tell that person the whole truth. Then ask him or her to tell your wife everything.

Hopefully, your shame will cause you to repent of your behavior and to realize that you cannot overcome this problem by yourself. You need God’s help and, thankfully, if you are willing to ask Him, He will forgive you for everything. What’s more, He will fill up the emptiness in your life. In spite of all the things you have done, with His help there is hope for your future.

We wish you the best,