Integrating Compassion with the Wisdom of God’s Word


The purpose of Aunt Dara’s Christian Advice Column is to glorify God by addressing human needs with compassion and the wisdom of God’s word.

Friday, April 22, 2016

She has Fallen Out of Love with Her Husband and has Feelings for a Younger Man

Dear Aunt Dara, 

My husband and I got along great and were compatible the first 2 years we were married, but over time he has become unbearable.  He has a brain injury and has issues with his anger.  He gets mad easily and yells at me and the 3 children.  He has never been on same page with me on parenting.  He constantly teaches bad things to the younger children.  He teaches the 2-yr-old to pull hair, yell, and he won't stop him or put him in time out like I do.  The middle child is in treatment for severe emotional and behavioral issues.  My husband lectures this child constantly and tells him to shut up and be quiet.  He even told this child that he hates him.  I have child welfare, 2 parenting teachers, and 2 therapists coming into our home, but my husband acts like he doesn't care.  He will not listen and will not get with the program.  In the meantime, I see my husband flirt with the young girls coming over to teach us parenting, one of the therapists, and even the welfare worker.  I catch him staring at lots of girls and it hurts me.  My husband never treats me like a woman or a wife.  He no longer wants to make love with me and he doesn't even want to touch me.  He treats me like I am just his friend and nothing more.   

Lately I have developed a friendship with a man who is 10 younger than me.  He and I have more in common than my husband and I do.  He shows me attention and he also flirts a bit.  He rubs my arm to get my attention, he jokes with me, he talks to me, and he invites us all (including my husband) to Christian singings everywhere.  When there, he stares at me while my husband sits way away from me.  As soon as I look over at the other man, he looks away quickly.  So now we have become close loyal friends.  I didn't intend to develop close feelings for him and he doesn’t know that I do.  I tell myself I am married, but I can never say I am truly happily married.  So to deny how I feel, I tried to fix this man up with another single friend of mine, but I ended up depressed after they became friends.  This man continues to flirt with me.  I do have feelings for him, but my husband is in my way.  I have fallen out of love with my husband, but financially we cannot get a divorce.  Please help!

Unhappily Ever After

Dear Unhappily Ever After,

Unfortunately, you are in a marriage that is toxic to you and your children.  Since the Bible teaches against divorce (Malachi 2:16, Matthew 19:3-9, Mark 10:2-12), I rarely recommend that a marriage be broken.  Unless your husband begins listening to you and the various social service workers and mental health professionals who are working with your family, I see no hope of anything improving.  If he is not already getting the professional help that he needs, I urge you get him into treatment. If he already is seeing a neurologist, psychiatrist, or therapist, please consult with them regarding his potential to improve.

Please understand that this is not about you and your happiness.  This is not about whether you are happily married.  This is not about whether you and your husband are compatible or whether or not you are “in love” with him anymore.  This is about your health and the health of your children—mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—and you are in a spiritual battle right now because you have developed an attraction to another man and the two of you have been flirting with each other.  Satan is tempting you with this man by using him to give you the thing that you crave from your husband—attention.  Satan is using your unhappy marriage to tempt you and your male friend to sin.  You cannot work on improving your marriage as long as you remain infatuated with another man.  If you continue your friendship with him, you are playing with fire and both of you are likely to get burned, destroying your marriage and harming your children in the process.

Love is not something that people fall in and out of.  Physical attraction and the warm, fuzzy feeling that we get when we are around someone is not the type of love that can be the foundation of a relationship or marriage.  Too many marriages fail and too many people are tempted to be unfaithful to their spouse based on their feelings of whether or not they are “in love.”  Feelings come and go, and any long-term marriage will have periods of time when one or both partners think they aren’t “in love” anymore.  Don’t mistake the attraction that you feel for this other man as “love” and jeopardize your marriage by falling into Satan’s trap.

Your husband has many, many problems—including his anger issues, the way he treats you and the children, and his flirting with other women.  That is why I said that you are in a marriage that is toxic to you and your children and I don't see it getting any better if he doesn't change his behavior.  You have some decisions to make regarding your marriage.  To remain in this marriage as it is now will ultimately be harmful to you and your children.  To stay requires that you concentrate on what needs to be done to save the marriage, which means consulting with the professionals who are working with your husband and pulling away from your attraction to the other man who is showing you attention with his flirts.  I'm not saying that you have to tell the other man that you can't be friends.  What I am saying is that you should not be alone with him, not confide your problems to him, and not return his flirts.  Please let me know if this helps.

God bless,
Aunt Dara