I am twenty‑two years old and have been married for five months…. When my husband and I were dating, he had a romantic relationship with another girl that he never told me about…. A few weeks ago, I made him confess whether or not there really had been something between them…. He told me the truth that I was looking for, but it frustrates me so much that I can’t think of a solution other than divorce.
I can’t trust him anymore, even though he promised me that since the time that we got married he has not seen that other girl again…. Please help me! The mistrust and uncertainty keep me from recognizing the man I fell in love with.
You are obviously very upset by your husband’s behavior, as any spouse would be. However, remember that this happened before you were married. Even though you were dating, your husband had not taken the solemn vow of marriage to you yet. And even though we believe that what he did was not right, you need to understand that it is different. If it had happened while you were married, it would not be the same.
Let’s focus on why your husband didn’t tell you about the other girl. He knew how you would react and he didn’t want to jeopardize his relationship with you. You might have called off the wedding, and he couldn’t risk that. So he lied to make sure you would still marry him. We can only assume that’s because he loved you and wanted you to be his wife. He chose you, not her. Of course, we believe it is not right to lie for any reason, so we are not justifying his behavior. But you do need to understand why it happened.
We think that you were unwise to force your husband to reveal the past. Now, the only thing that has changed is that you are miserable. If you are the type that gets jealous every time your husband happens to glance at another woman, you will probably be miserable for the rest of your life.
We have no way of knowing whether your husband is a womanizer or whether the relationship with the other girl was a one‑time event. But unless you have evidence that your husband has been unfaithful to you while he has been married to you, there is no reason for you to even think about divorce.
In this case, what you need to do is to forgive your husband for what he did before you were married. Forgive him and forget about it; don’t keep bringing it up. The Apostle Paul taught, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”1 This reminds us that as we forgive others, God will forgive us when we ask Him. He even gave His only Son to pay the penalty for our sins so that we could be forgiven. The Lord made the decision to forgive us, and you can likewise make the decision to forgive your husband and turn your home into a place of peace and harmony.
We wish you well,
Linda and Charles
1 Col 3:13