The Question and Answer article below is addressed to Dr David Hawkins, featured on Crosswalk.com. It concerns dating after separated and attending a single’s group. Here is the question asked:
My wife and I have recently separated after several years of difficulties. I did not want the separation, but she insisted on needing time to find herself. Now that we are separated, I have begun attending a Christian Singles program in another church and she is angry. She accuses me of looking for women, which is not true. What should I do? I still want to save our marriage, but since she was the one who wanted the separation, and wants little to do with me, I want to explore new possibilities in a safe environment. -Brian
Dr. Hawkin’s Answer:
Dear Brian: Your situation sounds very complex, and there are many things to consider. Your wife is struggling emotionally, and is asking for time to “find herself.” This usually means that she has spent years caring for her home, children, family and perhaps career. It’s possible that in the process she has lost touch with herself. She needs time to reflect on her situation.
What she does not need to worry about is you and what you might be doing to threaten her. While you may have the best of intentions, there is nothing safe about your environment. I’ll explain.
You are vulnerable right now, given your recent rejection and hurt feelings both of which are reasonable when there is a significant loss. You didn’t want the separation, and undoubtedly are still licking your wounds.
But friendship of any kind with the opposite sex, especially with single women, can only spell disaster. Not only does it preclude you from the opportunity of reconciling with your spouse by creating more angry feelings, but you stand a great chance of falling into a “rebound relationship.” These are rarely satisfying and only cloud the emotional picture.
Backup. Regroup. Make no rash decisions. Follow Solomon’s advice when he says “In good times rejoice, but in bad times, consider.” (Ecclesiastes 7:14) Spend time alone, with safe Christian male friends, and consider what has happened to bring your marriage to where it is today.
Consider your part in the difficulties, and what you might do differently. Consider what can be done to stabilize your marriage, asking your spouse what she needs and, if reasonable, give it to her. This is a stormy time and you will do well to gather loving, but impartial, friends and family about you.
While things may appear uncertain, I have seen many marriages restored after a brief “therapeutic” separation —a time when both parties refrain from other romantic relationships, obtain Christian counsel, and then begin talking non-defensively about their problems. Don’t count out the possibility that this could happen to you. God Bless.
This article was previously featured on the web site crosswalk.com. The Editor’s note on this feature said: “Crosswalk welcomes our contributor, Dr. David Hawkins, The Relationship Doctor. Doctor Hawkins is a licensed clinical psychologist, family counselor and author. He wants to connect with you to answer your relationship questions and concerns.”
David Hawkins, Pd.D., has worked with couples and families to improve the quality of their lives by resolving personal issues for the last 30 years. Furthermore, he is the author of over 18 books. Dr. Hawkins has active practices in two Washington cities.
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Filed under: Separation and Divorce
5 responses to “HUSBAND SEPARATED – Can He Attend a Single’s Group?”
(UNITED STATES) Your wife is probably having an affair and that is why she wanted the separation. By attending a “singles” group, you are opening yourself up for an affair. YOU ARE MARRIED. MARRIED PERSONS SHOULD NOT DATE ANYONE OTHER THAN THEIR SPOUSE!
(USA) I am in a similar situation and must respectfully disagree. I believe that it depends greatly on your intentions. My wife is having an affair, and the men and women that I have come to know in the singles group I attend have been very supportive and have actually encouraged me to pray for my spouse and to forgive her. Sometimes married people (yes, even in the church) pull away from separated people because they don’t understand and don’t know what to say. Separated people need support to avoid isolation, slipping into depression, or trying to cope with the pain that these situations cause in a worldly way. I am extremely thankful for the brothers and sisters I have in my church’s singles group. Through this group I have come to rededicate my life to Christ. Not sure where I would be without them.
(USA) so glad to hear your perspective, Mike. It is so true that the church really doesn’t know what to do with seperated couples. I am really thankful that you have found a group that has turned your focus on Jesus. I am so sorry for your pain and pray for healing and reconciliation in your marriage. You encourage me to continue to reach out. I know that depression and isolation become very real challenges and the church body can offer support to ease this.
(USA) Well my situation is somewhat similar. Although, I was the one who cheated on my husband during our marriage. He is a truck driver and gone for a long period of time leaving me home to raise our children and work at a 9-5 job everyday. I guess I grew resentment towards him for not having to ever participate in the daily chores of our life. When he did come home he didn’t want to do anything but lay around. He would never take me anywhere and he acted ashamed of me because I had put on some pounds.
Sex wasn’t there much and the fire was surely gone. So I started looking for attention elsewhere. After me doing it I confessed to him and we parted our ways, he told me I needed to find out what I wanted. In this process I met a friend whom I am still speaking to, to this day. My thing is am I being wrong in the eyes of the Lord, is that still considered adultery? Why you ask the concern? It’s because I had accepted the Lord Jesus as my savior and I really don’t want to ask the pastor this personal question so soon. Can someone tell me if I need to let this friend go, or what? As for my husband well, he is still in that healing process. He doesn’t think he did anything wrong.
Well Sara, explaining from a biblicial standpoint your husband didnt committ adultery. You did emotionally. It says in Matthew 5:27-29 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.” This applies to us women too. My suggestion is repent. Ask forgivesness from the Lord and then your husband. He truthfully didn’t do anything wrong but exhaust himself to provide for his home. Marriage counseling is best. But since it’s adultery your main focus should be on getting right with the Lord at heart. I hope this helps. God bless!