My Wife is Still in Love with Her Ex-Boyfriend
Question: “My wife of 3 years recently told me she still is in love with her ex-boyfriend and that she is considering leaving me because I deserve better. She says she feels the same amount of love for both of us. I need some help to save my marriage please help!!!”
First of all, your wife is not in love with her ex-boyfriend. She is in love with her feelings and the idea of what life would be like with him. She has created a fantasy in her mind of what he is like and what her life would be like once she is able to dump her current marriage and live with him. Little does she know that her life will be just as difficult, if not more, once she makes that plunge.
I also question the ability of her ex-boyfriend to truly love someone else in sacrificial way if he is willing to destroy a marriage to get what he wants. It won’t be long before his selfish tendencies will come back to bite her once he is done getting what he wants out of her. I’ve seen it too many times!
One obvious question would be if he is so wonderful, then why did she marry you to begin with? Unfortunately, it sounds like she has painted a picture of him and her life with him that is not consistent with reality. She is actually like many in that she is reaching for some magical relationship that only exists in her mind.
Let me also add that relationships are like houses in that they always look better at a distance. Once you get closer, you realize that they all take hard work and a lot of “elbow grease” to keep them looking good. This other guy is actually in a dangerous spot because if she is not willing to put the emotional “elbow grease” into your relationship, why should she feel any different once she is with her ex-boyfriend. Your wife would do well to understand that if the grass is greener on the other side, then she may want to start concentrating on how she is keeping up her own lawn.
Secondly, the word love is being thrown around entirely too much in this question. A woman that is willing to break her marriage vows and cause her husband to do the same, knows very little of true love. Remember, true love always wants what is best for others in the sight of God as well as man. According to the scriptures, to divorce and marry another for reasons such as this, is actually just a legal (legal as far as the state is concerned) form of adultery (Matthew 5:32). True love would never want to put others in that position.
Now, where does this leave you? I’ll give a very general answer as time and space would not permit me to do otherwise. I would give the following bit of advice:
1. Understand that you cannot make her do anything. If she chooses to violate the wedding vows, then you cannot help that. All you can do at this point is control the “controllables”, and what you can control is you.
2. You need to be sure that you are not trying to compete with this other individual. In other words, she needs to stay in the marriage, not because you are nicer or better looking, but because it is right. I like to say that in a situation like this, you should take on the attitude that I am going to fulfill my marriage vows because it is right, not because I am competing against this other guy. To do so would be to justify the competition in her mind and it would also make you look like a freshman at a high school dance that is begging a senior to come and dance with you. Your wife does not need a charity case, she needs a man.
3. You should suggest reliable outside help at this time. You both need to transfer from a feelings-dominated relationship to a principled-dominated relationship. Most people do not figure this out on their own. We provide private coaching over the telephone, or you may order our Audio Cd Series called How to Break the Cycle of Resentment and Anger in Your Marriage. This Audio Cd Series features our 2-Step Process to fixing your marriage problems that deals with moving your marriage into a principled-driven relationship. Click Here to Order.