I am twenty‑one and have a two‑and‑a‑half‑month‑old daughter. For the past two years I have been living with my daughter’s father. He has two sons with the woman who is still his wife. He takes care of them financially and visits them once each week. The truth is that I don’t like those boys. I have a lot of resentment toward my partner and we fight a lot….

He says he loves me, but he won’t divorce her. I can’t stand this any longer. I don’t have peace in my conscience because I feel that I destroyed a home. I tell him that I hate that woman and her children, but it isn’t really hate; it’s an intense guilt that doesn’t even let me sleep. He doesn’t know that. The guilt torments me day and night, and I don’t know what to do because I love him. But when I think of his past, it makes me feel more resentment.

Dear Friend,

It is good that you have admitted your true feelings, if only anonymously. You are obviously suffering great emotional distress, and we would like to give you advice that will alleviate your suffering.

The conscience is a powerful force for good in our lives. God designed our consciences to help us make good choices and to help us learn from our mistakes. We know that men as great as the patriarch Abraham and King David had times when their consciences were bothering them. They both decided that, in order to have a clear conscience, they must correct the wrong things that they had done. We believe that you must do the same.

You say that you destroyed a home. Your conscience torments you constantly for what you have done. Your partners’ two sons are a constant reminder that you were partially responsible for causing them to live without their father.

Of course, your partner is as guilty as you are. But he is not the one who has told us his story. So we must direct our advice to you and not to him.

We cannot understand why you would choose to live with a man who is married. We suspect that you must not respect yourself enough to know that you don’t have to share a man with another woman. Whether he loves her or not doesn’t matter. Whether he wants to be with her or not doesn’t matter. By living with him, you have made yourself a partner in his guilt.

We feel very badly for your new daughter, who has been innocently brought into an impossible situation. But you must get out of this unhealthy relationship with your partner, even though your daughter will suffer the consequences when she is older.

When you leave, your partner will probably go back to his wife. But you must leave him even if he doesn’t go back. The only way to have a clear conscience is to get out of this relationship. Then God will forgive you for what you have done if you ask Him to do it.

It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it,

Linda and Charles