Wednesday, 27 July 2011

On husbands who abandon their wives and children.

An interesting blog on the Daily Telegraph today raises the question of where was Anders Breivik's father during his childhood and youth? (Click here to read it).

Anders' father abandoned him and his mother when he was one year old.

My job means that I often see the effects of marriage break-down, particularly amongst children. It is appalling the level of sadness that is inflicted on the ex-wife and the children. Even in my own family, the adultery of my uncle 20 years ago led to a divorce, which caused a nervous break-down for my cousin, alcoholism for another cousin, and the eldest I have not seen for nigh on 20 years. One of my cousins refuses to refer to his father as Dad, constantly referring to him by his first name. When he speaks to his father I don’t think he calls him ‘dad’ either – in other words, my adulterous uncle is still punished by his son even 20 years later.
Can I urge any husbands reading this post who are contemplating abandoning their wives for another woman to think on these three points:
1) If you leave your wife and children for another woman, you are effectively saying to your children that ‘my hatred for your mother is greater than my love for you.’ And the children will grow up thinking (at least subliminally) ‘Dad didn’t really love us, because if he did, he would have done everything possible to make things work with mum.’ No matter how much you tell your children you love them, they will never fully believe you, because actions speak louder than words. You have abandoned them.
2) If you abandon your wife for another woman, you are telling the world that your word is not to be trusted. For how can you be considered trustworthy if you publicly declare yourself to love a woman through poverty and sickness, for better or worse, to stick with her come what may – and yet you do not keep that promise? The way people perceive you will be altered permanently if you divorce. Your decision, if you make it, to break your vows will alter the way your boss views you, the way your friends view you, the way your family views you. Be aware of that.
3) If you abandon your wife (and children) for another woman, you are saying to your creator that you do not care that he hates divorce and calls the marriage bed to be undefiled.
Heb. 13:4 Let marriage be held in honour among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for God will judge the immoral and adulterous.
If there be readers of this post who have already sinned against God, their spouses and their children in this way, take heart that Jesus Christ came to rescue sinners. He died that you may be forgiven. He calls you to repent and confess your sin. But if there are readers of this post who are contemplating divorce, I say to you, do not do it! If your arm were broken and causing you pain, you’d get it attended to, you wouldn’t amputate it! And if your marriage is in trouble, seek to have it healed, don’t end it.
Thanks for stopping by. (For more thoughts on marriage, as Biblically described, click here.)


  1. My husband just left me for another woman, he is 70 yrs of age, and left to live with a 42 yr old Filipino woman, and he now wants to spend the rest of his days with here, this is after 25 yrs of marriage, unthinkable, and my husband is a Christian! Supposed to be anyhow, and a bible teacher, he tells me she is his second wife, but how is he going to commute between Indonesia where he now lives and Australia where I and our family live? Its been some of the hardest weeks of my life since 2 week's ago when he left. I do not know if or when he will ever be back, he left within a few days of me finding out about his online relationship (by accident he wasn't going to tell me). I cannot understand and not one person agrees with his abandonment of me and our children. From Angela, I am a born again Christian and knew my husband was unhappy, but never thought he would do this to me and our family.

    1. Dear Angela,
      I am very sorry to hear this. What a massive sense of shock you must be feeling, not to mention rejection. But take heart, our God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is the one who brings the dead back to life. Your relationship appears to be dead, but it can be brought back to life by the God who made you and your husband. I would not recommend divorcing him, I would not recommend doing anything in a hurry - because it is when we are emotionally upset that we are most likely to make decisions we regret later. I encourage you to pour your heart out in prayer, seek help from your minister, and stand fast. God will not test you more than you can bear, and this trial will make you more complete and perfect as HIS daughter. I think your husband has fallen into temptation, one which will ultimately cause him even more distress than it is causing you. But he may come to his senses. Do pray for him, and can I recommend you 'Total Forgiveness' by R.T. Kendall. It helped me forgive some people their sins committed against me.
      You are in my prayers.

  2. Hello! Ian...My husband and I have four children 3 girls and 1 boy ages 20, 17, 6 and 3. My two oldest who are girls had their dads walk out on them when they were about 1-6 years of age. My husband adopted my two girls in 2007. We were married on November 29, 2003. My husband comes from a broken home because his father abandoned his mom when he was around 7 years of age and got a DIVORCE. So, my husband back in August of this year 2013 told me that he is not emotionally connected to me, he loves me as human, he can't stay in a marriage because of the kids. He said that I haven't given him oral in 9 years since that is what he prefers. He said I have hurt him and by not giving him oral he felt degraded. He said that two years ago he told me he thought he may have ADD and all I said was why are you telling me this now. So, he says that he can't explain how hurt he is from that. He says that I don't listen to anything he tells me and I do what I want. Yet, he told me that before he got married to me he was lonely and depressed and thought by getting married I would have filled the loneliness in his life. The truth is I have messed up and I did hurt him because of my past family issues with parents and extended family, friends, past relationships and it seems I am not totally healed and brought that into the marriage. But, the sad part is my husband is not a talker and would seek me for conversation out of the blue while for years I have desired for this man to talk to me and love me but he's put everything else first like work, facebook, television, sleep and hanging out with coworkers. I've asked him many times throughout the years for us to pray as a couple, family and it would happen for a few days and stop. I'd ask him to tithe and he would say we don't have the money. My husband knows the Lord and is a believer I'd like to think but he hasn't been able to lead me and my children. I know it takes two in a relationship to mess it up but all I want is for my husband to stop doing things on his own and let God in to heal him. At this time he's still in the home which is a blessing but I am seeking prayer for God to totally heal me and my husband so that we can both be whole and begin a healthy, happy marriage that God desired for us to have. I told my husband that I will stand for the restoration of our marriage and will not give up although it seems he has but I know GOd can heal our marriage without a doubt but I need prayer for strength so that I may press forward in Jesus name.

    Thank you.

  3. I'm really sorry to hear of the difficulties in your marriage. From this distance it's impossible to do any more than prayer, although if I may be permitted to make two suggestions, I would say:
    a) seek help from a trusted pastor.
    b) read 'How People Grow' by Cloud and Townsend.
    Remember that God is the boss, and if you stay faithful to Him, He will lead you through the valley of darkness into the light. He brings the dead back to life - and that includes dead relationships too.

  4. My husband abandoned me while I was in the hospital several times for emotional problems. He was unwilling to stay married to me and abandoned our only child with strangers. I had to call around while in the hospital to find my child and thankfully a friend told me where she was. Even though it has been over 40 years of our marriage, I haven't married another but someone does plan to marry me and promised to never leave me. My heart has begun to heal after all this time and I have fallen in love again. My ex-husband's new wife tries to comment to me on the social network and occasionally I respond but I feel hurt because of our child's not having a dad in her life until she reunited with him in the last few years. It may not have affected me as hard as it affected her, but she is now married and has 4 children of her own. The Lord was my only strength and is now. The Bible says that men should not abandon their wives because abandonment overwhelms them. Abandonment certainly affected me!


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