Dear Aunt Dara,
My husband and I have been married for 10 years. Our marriage was always a good one until my husband’s mother died two years ago. Since then he has been distant and spends a lot of time alone working in the garage or sitting in front of the TV. When he comes home from work, I try to get him to talk to me about his day, but he just makes vague comments like, “It was just another day,” and goes to the garage. Lately, I’ve been feeling attracted to another man. He listens to me and makes me feel as if I am important to him. He has indicated that he would like to come over to my house when my husband is at work. I know that I would be breaking my wedding vows, but I would really like to go to bed with him. Would it really be wrong for me to be with another man? After all, God wants me to be happy, doesn’t he? I just want to be happy and I need to feel loved and wanted. The trouble is, this man is my husband’s boss and I’m worried that my husband will find out. What do I do if my husband comes home from work early and finds his boss here? I don’t want my husband to end up getting fired.
Dear Lonely Wife,
You have asked me three questions, and I will answer each before giving my recommendation.
First, you asked, “Would it really be wrong for me to be with another man?” It seems that you think that your loneliness and need for loving attention would be an acceptable excuse for you to disobey God—that God will understand your need for happiness and will make an exception for you by setting aside his moral laws and commandments. This type of reasoning is called “situation ethics,” which means that moral absolutes do not exist, but rather that which is right or wrong is determined by the situation. A large segment of our society has accepted situation ethics as their guiding principle. However, God’s word is very clear and absolute. Hebrews 13:4 says, ”Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Adultery is consistently condemned throughout the Bible from Exodus 20:14 which says, “You shall not commit adultery” to Revelation. God is very absolute on this topic. He allows no exceptions.
Next, you asked, “God wants me to be happy, doesn’t he?” It may surprise you to know that no scripture exists that specifically says that God wants us to be “happy.” However, multiple scriptures promise us that we will be blessed if we obey God. “Now therefore listen to me, my children, for blessed are those who keep my ways” (Proverbs 8:32); “But He said, 'More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28); and “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city” (Rev. 22:14) are just a few of them. Therefore, we will be blessed if we obey God, and if we are blessed, then we will be happy. Happiness is the byproduct of holiness.
The last question you asked is, “What do I do if my husband comes home from work early and finds his boss here?” This question is irrelevant. If you do the right thing, you won’t have to worry about what to do in this hypothetical situation.
Now, for my recommendations: Up until now it appears that you have been focusing on your needs and your husband’s failures to meet your needs. From what you say, your husband appears to be emotionally distant from you. If you want this to change, you must change your focus from yourself and your needs to him and meeting his needs. When his emotional needs are met, he will be able to meet your needs. What does he need from you at this time? Asking him about his day at work apparently isn’t want he needs. You indicated that his distance from you began after his mother’s death two years ago. His behaviors (working alone in his garage and watching TV) indicate that he may be trying to distract himself from his grief by keeping his mind occupied with other things. Therefore, instead of trying to engage him in conversation about his day, try suggesting an activity that the two of you can do together—something that you know he would enjoy, something that will keep his mind busy but also keep you close with him so you won’t feel so lonely. After a few weeks of doing things together, he may begin to open up with you about his feelings regarding the loss of his mother. If he doesn’t, you could break the ice by telling him about your favorite memory of his mother. Just don’t ask, “How do you feel?” or say, “We need to talk,” because men hate that.
As for your attraction to the other man, the attraction you feel is only temporary. It will disappear as you and your husband become closer. Above all, stay away from this man and pray!