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A friend of mine has been married for the past 23 years. Her husband is very unfaithful to her, he even tries to beat her and is not performing the roles of a husband e.g refuse to support his family. He is asking for forgiveness yet doing the same thing, what advise will you give to her should she devorce him even though she loves him or endure the hardship. note carefully they are SDA members

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To be honest if it was me I would've left him a long time ago. I would've divorced him and make no apologies.

Guys usually show you before marriage what their characters are like and we always finding excuses for them. Nothing is wrong with divorcing him.

He made his choice if he loved me he would not mistreat nor cheat on me. In my opinion he needs her to feel like a man and if he was not a coward he would've left her long time...his behaviuor says that..he is selfish and needs to be alone.

Why should she suffer because of his selfishness?
I beg to differ with the answers from below.

Sister, 23 years of staying faithful to an unfaithful and abusive husband is to be commended. When we made our vows, we promised for better or for worse, in good times and in bad times and as God is my witness, till death do us part. Let God be the judge and put your faith in Him. I do not have the right to tell you what to do or to judge your husband for that matter. I wondered what would happen had God accepted the advice that follows below--should i sin consistently, he will turn his back away from me and divorce me. You have chosen to be married to the guy. Marriage is not about discovering that the shoe doesn't fit and then take it off and try another one again. Marriage is a life institution and 23 years is a testimony to your love for your husband. Do not let go because of all this. Stick out to its end for our rewards in heaven and not on earth.......
It is very interesting that you take this view. Do you know how many women end up dead from abusive men? Do you know how many children end up repeating the cycles of abuse because that is all they saw and knew as children? Would you personally think it okay to be beaten till your skin was black and blue? beaten till you lost your unborn baby? Would it still be commendable if the abuse was turned on to your children? Would it be ok if it was physical violence towards them? sexual? Is it acceptable to be a punch bag?
Naome I totally agree with you.

I don't mean to sound judgemental but its hard to believe that people still think that way.

Ladies reading this forum please know that we are Daughters of Heaven and God does not want us to endure this kind of treatment. Men God did not create you to be your wife's fathers..we are equal in God's sight.

Do you know that they are tons of women in this denomination who suffer this kind of treatment in silence? A lot of them think it is their christian duty and that God would not agree to them divorcing the abuser. A lot of them are so unhappy and their children are also suffering and being weaned from that wrong behaviour.

That is not right...We don't serve a God who encourages us to remain in abusive situations...is God abusive to us?....

Please open your eyes and your mouth..SPEAK OUT....
Let me tell you Sunia that I definitely do not agree with you...but....If that is how you feel so be it...

However you are not in that situation (well I should hope not)....this is a matter of life and death. God has never given man...generic male.... dominoin to rule over woman....in Genesis God gave us dominion over animal not man nor woman..he gave responsibility after he gave dominion. Abuse is a power struggle of the weaker sex.

Should she die at the hands of her husband in order to meet the criteria of til death do us part?......further we are not only speaking in terms of a physical death but of emotional, mental, psycological at the hands of her husband.

I agee with you that we should commend her for her 23 yrs of taking it but be real..do you really think we should commend her for taking that mistreatment?... Do you think that God wants her to prove her love for Him by taking abuse and disrespect from a husband who also knows the truth and should know better?

God gives grounds for divorce and adultery is grounds....in this case another word is unfaithfulness and believe you me he has been unfaithful in more than just cheating..he is unfaithful in not supporting his family.

For better or for worse does not mean to take that kind of abuse and disrespect...til death do us part does not mean to stay in that union until he kills her or she dies from all the stress either.

Please this sort of thinking makes me unhappy. I agree that marriage is a life time institution but it is a committment from both parties.

23 yrs is a lot of time being unhappy...can you honestly tell me that God wants her to remain in that abusive situation? can anyone honestly tell me that? I really would like to know....

Men out there....Sammy would you honestly in your heart tell your sister or daughter or mother to do what you wrote in your reply? honestly..if someone you loved was being mistreated in that way? I believe you would warn that man...or try to get them out of that situation.

Please note that I do not wish to offend but that is just how I feel.
Well Cherylann, I read your reply and i was like wow. But you've noted somethings which have also touched me.
But what beats my understanding it's 23years and that's really a long time.

In my previous reply i said to use prayer. Sometimes we make decisions and they turn out to be not from above. So in that case prayer and fasting the Lord will rain the answer, if not that man can change with the help of God. Imagine attending a church and someone giving a testimony the "Lord changed my man"

I've seen this happen, the Lord changing people. Divorce might not be the option here but the will of God. One can divorce and still die of stress, thinking all the years wasted, that's why i was advocating for separation as the church and herself are praying and asking for the Lord's will to be done.

I'm an Adventist man, but I'd definitely not tolerate my brother in Christ to mistreat my sister in Christ. Chery I think the way people meet and get married is important. You are able to see a would be abusive husband.

I don't support that man at all, but I'm advocating for separation and constant supplication in form of prayer.
I agree that seperation might be a good first step. Separation, divorce, whatever, start out by getting to a safe place where you can think. When you are in the situation you are not able to think clearly. By leaving for a while you can clear your head and really think about what is best while at the same time being safe. Friends and family can help with this. Even Ellen White went through periods of separation from her husband. We should not feel bad about that. If after quite pray and thought, you feel it is safe to return and the husband is willing to work on the issues, It would be worth trying to continue. I think the counseling needs to happen before the return to the marriage. You need to know that you will be safe. God did not intend his children to suffer and be hurt by those who are supposed to love them. If the husband is sorry and truly wants to change he will get the help he needs and you will know that he has changed. If he does not want to change and get help for the relationship then you know it is over. I believe some problems can be repaired but others never can. Time apart will tell you which this is and you will know if it is safe to return or not. I hope this helps some. I support marriage but I do not support living in an abusive and dangerous situation. A man is supposed to love his wife as Christ loves the church. Christ would never beat up the church that he loves so that they will do what he wants. God also does not control the church, he allows them to make free choices. When a man controls his wife with his power or with fear or beats her to keep her under control, that is not love, understand? Take care.
This is such a tough subject that one has to very careful in response.

Firstly, I would want to question where the information comes from. For example, that he is "very unfaithful". What does this mean? He has been unfaithful more than once? He is (and has always been) unfaithful to her? Is there a history that might have helped him succumb to temptation?

I note that he "tries" to beat her. What makes him unsuccessful? Can he not actually bring himself to beat her? Does she physically overpower and restrain him to prevent him being successful? Has he always been trying to beat her or is this something that came suddenly, or slowly crept into being?

Does his "asking for forgiveness" indicate that he is sincerely struggling to overcome sin but constantly failing?

You say that she loves him... why? Why hasn't his unfaithfullness, failure as a husband and trying to beat her killed the love they shared? What is it that retains that love in her heart for him? You say that they've been married for 23 years but you don't say how long he has been behaving in the way described. What about the children, how old are they? Are they aware of their father's behaviour? Are the couple only staying together until the children are old enough to accept them splitting up?

It makes it very hard to be able to say anything constructive. She has the option of divorce on the grounds of his adultery, why hasn't she done this already? She also has the option to "put him away" so what prevents her? Could her staying with him be what leads ultimately to the salvation of his soul?

What about from his point of view? Would he agree with the description of his behaviour?

Has she been a "model wife"?

A lot of the responses so far abound with assumptions: that the abuse has been going on for 23 continuous years; that she has been a faithful wife; that he doesn't mean it when he asks for forgiveness.

I don't think I could advise until I had sat down prayerfully with the couple and heard both sides of the story.

If he is really as bad as he is being painted then perhaps the wife has some mental health issues if she stills loves him.
yes she has been a noble wife, they have produce children who are now adults since they started to have them before marriage. He has found no fault of unfaithfulness in her. just then decided to run while now
Cherlyanne & Naomi,

Let me get this straight. When I spoke mine vows, there was no condition there whatsoever that when things are not going as how I expected it to be, separation and divorce is the next expected option. I do understand that once a husband/wife is unfaithful, there is a legal ground for divorce. However, is that the best solution?

I was thinking of our relationship with God. It has typically been called a marriage throughout the bible. Should God divorce us when we persistently sin? When we come for him for forgiveness and yet still do the same thing?

I am a man yet understand the predicament the lady is in. Let me share with you why I do not advocate divorce. Should we divorce everytime things are tough, what kind of message are we teaching our children? That marriage is not a sacred institution and that it is alrite to get married and then divorce later. As a father, I would not want to see a daughter of mine in that situation. But there are ways of handling the issue other than divorce.

There is the pastor to talk to for counseling. THere is the police to call if things get ugly. There is also a network of friends and family to fall back on should none of the above work. However, there is also GOD to call upon and he knows what is best.

Again, 23 years of marriage is a long time. Read between the lines. The woman loves her husband. Do not advocate divorce based on an incomplete and one sided information. The message that we are reinforcing every time we divorce is that marriages do not last; marriage is not a for life business; and marriage is not a sacred covenant betweeen man and woman witnessed by God.

Sincerely,
Sunia
Well we all have our views but just because the marriage lasted for 23 yrs does not mean she has to take that abuse any long...It is entitled she is fed up...maybe she has tried all the suggestions that you made,,what next? you tell me..

I don't agree with you at all..me..I've never been married and if God allows that to happen I intend to honour my vows but let me tell you I will not be living in a situation where I am abused and disrespected.

I'm sorry if that makes me sound unchristian.

JohnB what do you mean by she has not been a model wife?
she did, she will even cry to God , why me God O why me? it touches me a lot since all of us are women

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