I was abused by my husband of fifteen years. About eight months after our separation, I began a relationship with a married man. One time my oldest son, who is thirteen, found us kissing. That eventuated in my son going to live with his father, and he hasn’t wanted to see me since then. He is rebellious and says he hates me. When I try to talk to him, he ignores me….

I ended the relationship with the other person, and now my husband wants me to come back to him. But he hasn’t stopped drinking, and I don’t want to be abused anymore.

Dear Friend,

Many teenagers go through a time of rebelliousness, so that in itself is not unusual. It is also to be expected that your son would want to live with his father, as boys need male relationships, especially during the teenage years. But do you believe that your son is in any danger because of his father’s drinking? Does his father drive while he is drinking and take your son in the car with him? If you believe that your son is in any danger, we suggest that you take advantage of the legal system in your country to protect him.

However, it doesn’t sound like you think your son’s life or health are being threatened. Rather, you just want him to stop being angry with you and to choose to come home to you. But it is likely that, in his opinion, your behavior is the cause of the break-up of his home. He may not have blamed one or the other of you for the break-up until he saw that kiss. In his mind, it may be that all his negative emotions got linked to that kiss. There is nothing that you can say or do right now to make it better. However, in the meantime continue to support your son in every way by attending his school and sporting events without trying to force him to speak to you.

You say that your husband wants to get back together. Is he willing to stop drinking? Is he willing to go to a professional counselor with you? We would never recommend that you return to a situation where you expect to be physically abused.

We are very concerned that you would have a relationship with anyone while you are still married. Being separated is not the same as being divorced. We believe that until you are legally divorced it is wrong for you to date anyone, both for your children’s sake and because you are still under the contract of faithfulness that you promised on your wedding day.

Even if you were divorced from an abusive husband, one of the very worst things you could do would be to have a relationship with a married man. It is bad enough to commit adultery, but do you really want to be responsible for breaking up another family? Ask God to forgive you and to give you strength to make better choices in the future.

We wish you the best,