Grounds for Divorce

 by Chuck Snyder
 co-chaplain for the Seattle Mariners


Dear Chuck
Three years ago before I rededicated my life to God, I went outside of my marriage for companionship. My marriage was full of hurt and disappointment and during that time I met someone who has been a true friend and wonderful to me. I have grown to love this lady very much and I don't known what to do with these feelings that I have for her. There have been so many hurtful things done between my wife and I that I really don't believe that I have feelings for her anymore. I love God and I want to be a good Christian, but I feel like I'm not being honest with my wife. I don't know how to tell her that I don't have the desire to stay in this marriage anymore. I don't want to continue hurting her, my friend and myself. Any suggestions?

Chuck's Response
Thanks for the email about your tangled life. I don't blame you for having mixed feelings concerning your friend and your wife. You are in a very tough situation. The biggest problem is that if you are a sold out, dedicated disciple of Jesus Christ, then you have no alternative but to stay and try to work out your marriage. The Bible says there is only one justification for -- and that's adultery by your mate -- and from your note it doesn't sound like that's happening. God HATES divorce, even with this exception, and much prefers forgiveness and reconciliation. If your God is a teetering old Santa Claus sitting on a cloud somewhere watching the world go to Hell and not being able to do much about it, then you don't have any power to do the difficult thing -- like loving your wife. But the fact is, you are not doing this to please your wife. You are doing this because the God who asks this of you is the one who spoke the universe into existence and knows the future perfectly.

Now it's a matter of deciding between being obedient to His principles or using your own wisdom. He will let you do either, but for me when I see Him face to face one of these days, I want Him to give me a big hug and say, "Well done...good and faithful servant."

It's a difficult message to hear, I know, but you need to cut off the relationship with your friend cold. Turn your focus back to pleasing your wife and working out your relationship. If you decide to please God rather than yourself, then let me know and I will send you the three marriage books we wrote telling the story of how the World's Most Opposite Couple has survived 45 years. It's your call.

Chuck Snyder



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Updated 05/24/2005