Ken is the Chairman and CEO of Promise Keepers. These questions are adapted from Ken’s recent appearance on New Life Live, a nationally syndicated Christian counseling call-in program hosted by Steve Arterburn.
Question: My wife and I have been married 32 years but separated for four years. She said she’s not happy and checked out of the marriage. I found out she was having affairs. She doesn’t want to be divorced because I take care of everything, and she likes that. What do I do?
Answer: I’m deeply saddened your wife has chosen to violate your marriage with the sin of adultery. Yet it’s also clear your wife has reached a point she doesn’t respect you. You need to re-establish her respect for you. Go to her and ask her, “What kind of man do you want me to be?” Then see if you can be that man. You will also need to draw boundaries about the kind of behavior you are willing to tolerate from her. In order for you to have a real marriage, she will need to give up her sin. Finally, don’t forget the power of prayer. If we humble ourselves and hit our knees, it’s amazing what God can do to affect other people’s hearts.
Question: When a marriage fails, is it always the man’s fault? My wife is moving out and we’re headed for divorce. I feel like I’ve done everything I can. How is it my fault?
Answer: You, as the husband, are accountable for what goes on in your home, but not everything is your fault. You are the leader and must lay down your life to try to address whatever challenges arise in your home, even if you did not cause them. However, you cannot control other people. If your wife chooses to leave, she is ultimately responsible for her own actions. Jesus, the Love of our souls, still has people reject Him. If you’re struggling under false guilt, let it go. But do continue to pray for your wife and hope for reconciliation.