Monday, May 4, 2015

Just Ask Joyce: “My husband refuses to stop texting and messaging other women.”

Q: “I can’t stop my husband from texting women and messaging them on Facebook. I’ve begged him to stop. He swears he’s doing nothing wrong, just talking to them. When I look at the conversations, they seem innocent enough, but these girls are in their 20s and he’s 40! They’re flirtatious. He’s not really, but it still bothers me. Am I overly jealous, or should I be concerned?”

Joyce: It does not concern me that you might be jealous. I encourage vigilance in every marriage because a watchful eye guards against a sneak attack. Your husband’s actions grieve your marriage. He shows not only disrespect but also lack of love and compassion to you, the one he has vowed to devote himself to till death. Likewise, he is opening himself up to be ensnared by temptation when it knocks, and it will. That’s a given.

In the meantime, what should you do? Here’s what I would do if I were in your position.
  • Stop begging and find your backbone. He will not respect your wishes if you allow him to continue in his folly without protecting yourself. When you conflict about this, stand your ground and refuse to allow this pattern to continue.
  • Lay down the law in love. He must choose — you or conversation with other women. I’m not suggesting divorce at all. I recommend doing everything to save marriages whenever possible. That in no way implies that you should be a doormat and allow misuse and abuse to be inflicted upon you. There is a way to establish boundaries you both can live with and create a marriage that is pleasing. Speak to him in a loving but firm manner, and draw the boundaries for what is acceptable and what will no longer be tolerated.
  • Figure out what he is needing from other women that he isn’t getting from you. You may be satisfying his every need, and he could simply be addicted to attention from women. But there is an answer somewhere in between. Seek counseling. That should be a must. A good counselor can teach him how to exercise his self-control. It’s really not difficult. It is a personal choice.
  • You have a decision. If he continues his behavior, you must choose how you respond. Will you be satisfied to be unsettled in your spirit about what your husband might or might not be saying to other women? You will know when enough is enough, but be sure that you have exhausted every effort to save this marriage.
You are right — you cannot stop your husband. He is the only one who can control his actions. But you must find yourself worthy enough to expect respect. Believe in your value, and he might soon decide the price he could pay for his behavior is too costly.

Change your life … NOW! Write Joyce Oglesby, Family-Life Fix-It Pro™, at I’m here to help! Check out my books and other resources today at Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and get connected to great family nourishing ideas! Join me on Just Ask Joyce live on WFIA 94.7fm/900am weekdays at 3pm.

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