Question: My husband of more than 20 years decided to leave me. He states that he has fallen in love with a woman who he has been seeing for almost 2 years. He also states that he does not want me or the children to contact him, and of course, we can't since we don't know where he is. When he calls me he is angry but gives me a glimmer of hope that he might return. But I am very confused and don't know what to do. I am praying for him and have spoken with my pastor about this. I love him and still want him back. Signed, Abandoned

Answer: Dear Abandoned:
This is a very traumatic time for you and your family. While you want to give the Lord a chance to bring about a change in your husband's heart and turn him toward reconciliation with you.....you must not be naive.
If this affair has been going on for almost two years, your husband may not return to you. I do think that due to the fact that your husband has abandoned your family without leaving any information as to his whereabouts, you must take a strong stand.

Taking a Stand: Tell your husband that he must decide now between you and this other woman. Do not give him a long time to decide. Tell him he has 3 weeks to decide and then you are filing for a divorce. Tell him you need to know his phone and address or you will file a missing person's report with the police since he is accountable for the support of your family.

Counseling: You, also, need immediate legal counsel now so that he can be found and made accountable financially for the support of your family. Contact the Christian Legal Society at: cls@clsnet.com or call 1-703-642-1070 for a referral to an attorney in your area.
Please contact AACC for a referral to a professional in your area.
Support: I would encourage you to find a Divorce Care group in your area as well. This support group is geared for people who are separated or divorced. Usually they are held in solid evangelical churches. The video series is very biblical and they have great resources as well.
Get pastoral guidance and prayer support at the same time.

Resources: Also, books that I would recommend you read are: Hope for the Separated: Wounded Marriages Can Be Healed by Gary Chapman and When the Vow Breaks: A Survival and Recovery Guide for Christians Facing Divorce by Joseph Warren Kniskern.

Taking Care of Yourself:
Take care of yourself and read some of the many articles on our site for divorce and separation . I hope this is helpful for you. Please let me know how you are doing.

© copyright 2007 by Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC