I have been married to an alcoholic for eight years…. A while back I met a man my own age on the Internet, and I thought I was madly in love with him. He took advantage of the situation and asked me for money, and on many occasions I gave him what he wanted. But a couple of months ago he fell in love with a young woman, and our romance ended.
During my romance with that man, my husband went to rehab, and now he doesn’t drink anymore. It hurts me very much to look back and realize what I have done…. Not a day goes by that I don’t regret what I did…. I don’t know if I should leave my husband, because my conscience is screaming at me to do it.
The conscience is a powerful tool that God gave each one of us to help us make right decisions. Many people refuse to pay attention to their consciences because they don’t like what their consciences tell them. It is good that you are listening to your conscience and are anxious to do the right thing from now on.
There is no doubt that life with an alcoholic is extremely difficult. We understand that you were in a desperate situation, and that you were only looking for some relief. However, as you now know, a relationship with another man was not the answer. You only made your situation worse.
The first step in clearing your conscience is to acknowledge your sin to God. The Apostle John wrote, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”1 When you confess your sins to God, He will not only forgive you, but will also give you a clean conscience. This is because His Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross to take the punishment for your sin so that you wouldn’t have to take it yourself. So the punishment that you deserve was already given to Christ. With your sin forgiven and paid for, your conscience can be clean.
However, you also feel guilty for what you did to your husband. So to be free of that guilt, you must tell him what you did. He may realize that his actions while an alcoholic are a reason for him to ask forgiveness from you as well. Perhaps you can forgive each other and continue your life together. On the other hand, he may not forgive you and may choose to end your marriage.
Unfortunately, infidelity breaks the trust between two people. So even if he wants to forgive you, you will have to earn his trust once again. We would suggest that you keep no secrets about where you go, who you talk to, who you correspond with, or how you spend money. The more open you can be with him, the sooner he will learn to trust you again.
Whether your marriage continues or not, we encourage you to pursue a daily relationship with God. By praying and reading the Bible, you can gain emotional strength that you currently do not have. You can find purpose in your life, and a Friend who will never leave you.
Clear your conscience today!
Linda and Charles
1 1Jn 1:9