Can he be trusted again?

Can he be trusted again?

Dear Theo,

My husband started seeing someone in 2013 and we had to sell our house. Right now he wants to leave that person and come back to me. Can he be trusted again? What should I do? Thank you.

Confused in RI

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Dear Confused,

I'm so sorry for what you've been through. I'm not exactly sure how the two statements in your first sentence are related, but I'm guessing that you and your husband separated, and that you had to finance your separation by selling your house.

I can only imagine how powerful the desire is to have things go “back to the way they used to be,” especially if that seems to promise financial and emotional stability. But I would caution you:  the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. What evidence is there that your husband is really signed on again for the covenant of marriage, for better and for worse?

The bloom is off the rose of his new relationship, and it could be that he too is feeling nostalgic for the comfort and equilibrium of an old relationship. But if the fundamental frame of mind that allowed him to leave your marriage in the first place hasn't been thoroughly examined and overhauled, it won't take him long to revert to his own old patterns. Give him and yourself some time—and ask him to show, not tell, how things have changed.

Jesus asked us to forgive 7 times 70. But he didn't ask us to belly up to the bar for another draught of hurt.

And Jesus also said: we should be wise as serpents, not just innocent as doves.

God be with you, Confused!

Bless you, and may you be a blessing,

Theo 

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A new letter will be answered by "Dear Theo" each week. Letter writers' identities will always remain anonymous.

"Dear Theo" is written anonymously by three UCC ministers of different ages and backgrounds—one main writer and two respite writers. We welcome questions spanning all kinds of topics: from sexuality and relationships to church culture and conflict to mental health, family drama, ethical and moral dilemmas...and everything in between.

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