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Ask Rev.Dr. August Abbott Your Own Question

Rev.Dr. August Abbott
Rev.Dr. August Abbott, Clergy
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7574
Experience:  Ordained minister: Counselor (spiritual/life)
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My husband told me he was leaving me in September because I

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My husband told me he was leaving me in September because I have been unable to forgive him for 2 confirmed affairs. He has left 4 other times in our marriage and each time I have taken him back. We have been separated living in the same home since September. He said he is in no hurry to move out or file for divorce because of our 3 children, our business and our home. Recently I have realized I have feelings for a friend and he feels the same. I really like him but he told me last week that he cannot proceed any further until I am divorced. While I know he is right, I am upset because I don't know when there will be an official divorce. I have been told by attorneys in the past that it is in my best interest not to file for divorce or vacate the marital home (which I do want to stay in). I am very upset and don't want to lose a great guy but I know I cannot expedite a divorce process just because of someone I like.
-- First and last: Never stay in a bad relationship "for the children". All you're doing when you do this is teaching the children how to treat their own partner badly or how to tolerate bad treatment by their partner.

Even the youngest child sees and feels more than you can possibly imagine.

When it comes to the new guy though, he's being a bit of a bully isn't he? It's understandable that he wants you truly 'free' to commit to him, but demanding a divorce is a bit harsh.

A legal separation should keep all parties satisfied. Your marriage remains intact for the sake of those things you want it to be intact for; however, it shows your new gentleman that you are serious about being available for him.

In most cases after a year of legal separation the marriage proceeds to legal divorce, but if neither party signs on for that, the legal separation can extend for however long both parties want it to.

--- Obviously when it comes to this you should consult an attorney. If your new friend is unbendable, reconsider his intentions and how appropriate he is or isn't for you.

You don't want to go from one bad relationship into another one, right?

Rev.Dr. August Abbott and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi there, thanks for your reply. What you have said makes perfect sense as far as what my children will see and think is okay. My husband and I tried counseling. Our last separation was in 2008 for 8 months and I really thought we were going to make it. I had told him when he moved home that in order to forget the affairs and the leaving that I really needed alot of alone, one on one time with him outside of our home (where I live and work). He did this initially and then stopped. He said he stopped because I was "bitching" about things in general - not that he stopped.


In regards XXXXX XXXXX friend, he is not demanding a divorce, but what he is saying is that someone is going to get hurt and urged me to clear my head and if I am going to get divorced to move forward and handle it, not because of him, but because I need to have respect for myself (my husband has quite a temper and has shoved me around before but has not hit me with an open hand). I asked if filing for divorce was enough and he said that my husband and I could reconcile before the divorce was final.


My friend has gone as far as to say to pretend that he doesn't exist as I go through the process because he does not want me to make a life altering decision because of him. He is divorced and when he met his now ex-wife, she was in a serious relationship, left that relationship to be with him and then realized it was not what she had hoped for and left him. So I know that is coming into play here - in fact he says it is - he says he is not comparing me to her, but comparing the situations and he doesn't want anyone to get hurt.


I am so confused. I love my husband but I do not see us reconciling. I have fought so hard...... As for my friend, I thought everything was going good and I think the Thanksgiving holiday might have upset him. It was 2 days after Thanksgiving that he said that we needed to do the right thing because what we were doing was not fair or realistic (we have not had sex - have spent time together only once but talk daily) and that someone was going to get hurt. However on Friday an uncle who was like a grandfather to me passed away and I asked to talk to him (about my uncle and his decision to walk away) and he said yes. We ended up talking on the phone for 4 hours until 2 am. We talked about so many things - it was great but we never came to a conclusion as to if he was going to bend or not.


I don't know what to do.... I don't think our state recognizes legal separation and I don't want to say what state I am in. On top of that, my husband and I are both Christians and we know what God says about divorce. Yet, he plans on just us living together until he decides it's time to go - if he ever does. Any further advice you can give me would be appreciated.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Oops... I accepted the answer but I had replied with further questions because I thought maybe the reply didn't go through. Can you please still reply to my other questions? Thanks.
-- Speaking to your husband's behavior, I would have to agree with the decision to get out before it does escalate to something even worse.

By the way, God never said anything about divorce. God gave us 10-rules (they are not the '10-suggestions'). #7 says 'thou shall not commit adultery' and clearly, your husband has ignored that one a few times. It didn't stipulate "...except when you think your wife is a nag or you can somehow justify it with anything else".

#10 says, 'thou shall not covet' (anything or anyone). Again, your husband has repeatedly violated that one.

God your Father wants only the best for His children and He does not want any of them to suffer at the hands or deeds of others who are breaking his rules.

Divorce should never be entered into lightly, nor should marriage. Your husband broke the marriage single handedly. No one forced him into those affairs and trying to blame you for them only speaks to his lack of character, low ethics and weakness as a man.

A good man is strong enough to be honorable even when it's really hard - and when no one will ever know if he's not. A good man is offered the chance to be with his most ideal, fantasy image of the perfect woman without any chance of anyone ever knowing and yet he doesn't hesitate to say "no thank you. I'd know".

What kind of a man are you letting make decisions for your life? Are you really ok with that?

You shouldn't be.

If you hold true to your faith, you will honor and respect yourself the way your Father expects you to.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you very much for your response. Our marriage has been very difficult and I know I am to blame too since I have held on to some anger.


What about the situation with my friend that I talked about in my response? What are your thoughts about him and what he is saying in regards XXXXX XXXXX my marriage? I am very concerned aboutt this situation as well. What did you think about him saying that we have to stop right after Thanksgiving but then spending 4 hours on the phone with me the other night? Thanks for your help. I am obviously trying to sort this out.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Answer came too late.
I'm very sorry, but it seems there's a misfiring here and I'm not getting notified that you've replied. I am not ignoring you, I'm just not being told you're following up.

Would you like someone else or would you like me to continue with you?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

That's okay. I would really like for you to answer since you have been working with me. I thought you were offline so I took the option to have someone online answer. Thanks in advance.

-- I'm here. I have to check manually to be sure to stay on top of it since notices aren't coming in properly. I'll probably get all of them at once in a couple hours.

I'm typing a reply to you right now, so hang in there
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks so much!
-- I want to briefly touch on something first. You accept 'fault' for husband's philandering because you were angry, or let's say you were even unkind or unforgiving. None of those things should lead him to be unfaithful. To 'commit adultery' . We are not told 'Thou shall not get angry, or hurt or be offended'. We are, after all, human and those less than positive emotions and feelings go along with the wonderful good ones. To be told we must not be angry would be like being told we must not be happy. There is not one without the other.

And God knew anger. Jesus showed anger when he raged at the gamblers and money changers in the temple.

Anger in response to someone breaking a commandment, a promise, a vow, a commitment like your husband did is natural. It does not justify his continuing his bad behavior.

Now, with regard to your new gentleman, as far as I know all states recognize legal separations. Ask him if this would be enough of a move on your part to show him that you are sincere.

If not, then ask him how he thinks you should proceed. Explain, as I'm sure you have already, in a calm and concise manner, the 'bullet points' as they say. That you don't want to lose or move out of your home. So what does he suggest you do? That your husband is being a manipulative bully in expecting you to stay married and living together until he decides otherwise; so how should you, all by yourself, handle it in a way that will be successful this time as opposed to all the other times I'm sure you've tried.

Your new friend has high ideals and finds it easy to make decisions that he doesn't have to put into effect. Perhaps if he were to be leaned on and asked for more practical advice (aside from 'get a divorce') he'd realize there are real people in this equation and real property, real intertwining of finances and lives that have to be carefully unraveled rather than lopped off in a single cut.

I'm not sure if you've done this, but you absolutely need to get to a counselor in your area. Not to 'fix' you, but to help arm you with the strength and the tools you're going to need to get through this.

---- You have very low self esteem. You are assuming far too much of the blame and you are not making your own decisions (yet). so far you've talked a lot about your husband and the gentleman, but what about YOU?
Rev.Dr. August Abbott and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi there, great answer. I would like to continue conversing but would like to pay you over and above what I paid when I hit accept answer awhile ago. How would I do this?
There should be a 'bonus' option, if you want to. What matters to me is that you find your own voice in your life though. It's not about a great answer (although thank you for that) - it's got to be about you actually finding a new motivation. Yourself.

You answer for no one else's life but your own. And your husband will face his maker to answer for his choices that were wrong and destroyed a union he promised to uphold.

I really want you to know you did not make him do anything. He did what he did on his own.

Are you getting that now?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Okay I will do that bonus option, I just don't want to mistakenly end the discussion by hitting accept answer to apply the bonus.


I know that he did what he did on his own. I know he has tried since we reconciled 3 years ago, but he has done what he thought was best, XXXXX XXXXX I specifically requested (lots of time alone) in order to be able to trust him again (as per my earlier post).


Our children have been through so much with him leaving before and the last thing I want is to be the one that forces the divorce issue. I don't know if I can handle the guilt from doing that. My friend is right though, I do need to respect myself.


I think the issue with my friend is that while he does get that divorces take time, he thinks that I need to respect myself and take action for my own sake. At first I thought someone moving out or filing would be enough for him but Friday night he said the divorce would have to be final because too many people reconcile part way through. I understand his concerns, but I cannot rush this process for him or anyone else. I am just upset because we were friends first and have a great friendship that we realized could be something more and I don't want to lose that. I don't know what to do in regards XXXXX XXXXX I don't want to constantly contact him but he won't usually initiate contact first because of my husband. I want to respect his wishes but him pulling back has caused all sorts of doubts...... is he being honest as to why he is pulling back? If I give him space, how will he know I still am interested in him?


Yes, I have some self esteem issues from this marriage. I tend to feel like I am being selfish when I think about my wants and needs. I tend to always put others first and my husband will agree with that sometimes but then other times will say I am selfish and that he can't please me no matter what he does. I am going to see counseling for myself to work through these issues. I have to, or I will keep repeating the pattern.


Please let me know your thoughts on what I have said here about all subjects. Thanks.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I think when I paid the bonus it opened up my last reply to all counselors. I still would like to work with you. Sorry if I caused a problem with hitting that button. Thanks!
- The gentleman does seem to want what is best for you, but again, it's easy to give advice from outside.

You have to do this because you know it's not the life meant for you. You should be more concerned about the guilt that will come when you see your children enter into relationships exactly like this one. When your daughter is ripped apart by a cheating spouse that you know is all wrong, but she keeps going back and keeps blaming herself.

Your son cheats on his wife, his children wonder what's going on in the midst of the turmoil. That's 'guilt' to bear.

Saving your life and getting out of something that is deeply dysfunctional exhibits strength and demonstrates that you can be forgiving and tolerant (which you were) to a point. Then it's not YOUR problem. It's the philanderer's.

You're thinking 'divorce' is a bad thing. It's worse than betrayal, lying, cheating?

Saving your life is somehow bad?

You see, this is why I have to get back to insisting that you get into a counselor right there where you are, in person. I have a feeling you're going to be going back some time in your life to where this de-valuing of your own needs, hopes, dreams began.

By the way, don't worry about the clicking of this or that. Even if this question closes, you can use the 're open' option at any time.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks. I am going to get in touch with a counselor asap. I think this is the last question.... I want to respect my friend's wishes that we not continue the way we were due to my circumstances. Do I send an e-mail or nicely tell him that I respect his wishes and that if he changes his mind to contact me and that I am not going to continue contacting him regularly and that he will have to contact me if he wants to talk? I just don't think he'll initiate alot of contact because he is trying to do the right thing. This is going to be tough for me to do that but I want to do the right thing as well but this is an area where I want to be selfish and have things go my way.
-- Excellent! Both in that you'll get to that counselor quickly (I'm going to ask you to check back and just let me know ok? Like I said, you can re open this anytime and never be obligated to pay more)

AND telling your friend to reach out to you when he wants to, or if he wants to, is excellent too; however, it won't be easy.

Be prepared to have all sorts of second thoughts, depression, feeling all sorts of ups and downs over it.

This is where having that counselor in place will make all the difference.

You are a remarkably smart, insightful and strong woman. You've just forgotten that along the way.

Taking back your power and your identity is going to be one very big fight, but it will be worth it.

I'd love to hear how you do.

---- You do not have to respond to this; I'm signing off now. Don't forget me - let me know how it's going.

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