My wife has been cheating on me for the past three years. A year ago, I happened to have her phone and I started looking through it. I found a contact that was a little odd, and saw that she sent him indecent photos. I confronted her, and she admitted it. It bothered me a lot and I decided to leave; but we have two children whom I love, so I came back the same day. We talked, and I thought that it was resolved; but she never changed…. When I asked her about it again, she said that she doesn’t love me anymore; she loves another man…. I don’t want to separate because of the children, but I feel desperate. I love her, and I have never cheated on her.

Dear Friend,

We are so sorry to hear about what your wife has been doing! However, it is important that you not think of yourself as a victim who has no choice in the matter. Yes, she is the one who has been unfaithful, and she has caused problems in your marriage. But she can’t take away your choices, and she can’t make you leave. Until or unless she gets an attorney and a court order, you have every right to stay in the home with your children. (We are assuming that you are not responsible for any physical or emotional abuse.)

As you know, many people in your position do leave their homes, which makes it difficult for them to have the same kind of interaction with the children. Then there is often bitter communication between the former husbands and wives. This rancor and dissension take a toll on the children who experience it, and they definitely suffer the consequences. Sometimes the person who has custody uses potential visits and communication with the children as a bargaining tool to get money or support. Some custodial parents even refuse to let the spouse see the children at all, unless the spouse complies with certain demands.

Fortunately, you fully realize the damage that your leaving would do to your relationship with your kids. Those parents who leave often get so tired of arguing and dealing with the former spouse that they just stop trying to see their children. As time goes on, it becomes easier and easier for them to consider themselves the victims who have no choice, arguing that their spouse’s actions are the reason they have no relationship with their children. But the real reason is that they gave up because it was difficult and unpleasant. Please read Cases 33 and 188 to find out what some children feel when they are abandoned or when their parents are constantly arguing.

Your first priority should be to do everything possible to not abandon your children. But you will need supernatural wisdom and strength to be able to accomplish that goal. Ask God to help you. Let Him guide your steps into the future.

We wish you the best,