Marriage expert Joe Beam advises a woman on how to handle verbal and emotional abuse from her spouse and his affair partner in a manner most likely to help keep the marriage intact.
Joe Beam, author, speaker, Ph.D.and founder of marriagehelper.com, advises a wife who wants to keep her marriage intact but who is enduring abuse from both her husband and his affair partner. Joe receives questions regularly from those in difficult marital situations. His advice is based upon years of experience helping those in even the most dire marital situations.
QUESTION: My husband has been having an emotional affair for 9 months but decided to come home after I told him to choose between her or me. Despite telling me that she has his heart and is everything he has ever wanted (and that I never will be), he came home and started wearing his wedding ring again. He said he was doing this only to be 100% father to our kids~not because he wanted to make our marriage work.
Things seemed to be getting a bit better, but now are horrible again, as the other woman won’t go away. She texts me that she “will have him” and that I cannot stop their “love” for one another. She sends me screenshots of his texts professing his love for her.
Now, he has become angry toward me again, saying that I do not submit to him like the Bible commands, that I do nothing for him, and that I am just a bitter hag…… He says his life is horrible because he can’t have what he wants (her) and have his children too. Does he really mean all of these hateful words, or is this a part of limerence? Do I need to just give up and let him go? I’m so lost and confused. I love this man with all of my heart, but he just continues to walk all over me.
ANSWER: I am so sorry for your pain. His anger is because he isn’t getting his way. People in deep limerence truly believe the cruel things they say…even though many of those things aren’t true. They often also believe that God sent the other person, although the Bible is extremely clear that God hates divorce, sees adultery as violation of one of the ten commandments, etc.
If you can keep from reacting negatively until the limerence finally fades (and it can take a while), then it’s good that he’s home and not with her. However, I suggest that you evaluate the damage he’s doing to you by his purposely hurtful actions. I find myself wondering how it’s affecting you in terms of your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. I realize that you are in a situation where anything you do or say may be the final excuse he has to go be with her. If you can tolerate this for a while, then time is on your side; however, if it’s destroying you or your children, time is against you.
As for abuse from the other woman, I suggest you refuse to receive it. Block her texts. Ignore her. Refuse to allow her access to you. Why allow the enemy to attack, demean, and wear you down through her words?
As to abuse from your husband, you may wish to consider setting boundaries for him in the things he can say to you. If his words are destroying your health, then you may have to create negative consequences if he continues to do so. Yes, this could give him an excuse to leave. However, your welfare is important. Of what value is it to have him home if he’s destroying you?
Please note that I’m NOT saying to throw him out or to make things so intolerable for him that he leaves. I’m with you that his being there is likely a positive. I am suggesting that you consider the cost. As always, it is your decision. God bless, Joe.
Note from Jamie: In addition to Joe’s very wise counsel, I would like to share a few thoughts from my perspective. If you are a Christian enduring the aforementioned abuse, it is important to stay in the Word, pray continually, and claim God’s truths about who you are in Christ~loved, precious, and chosen. Whether you choose to stay in the marriage or not, it is imperative for you and your children that you believe in and rest upon God’s truth in these circumstances.