A sobbing man recounted his story to me: “After over 20 years of marriage, I was truly surprised to discover that my wife was having an affair for years. Several times, I caught her communicating with the other man after promising to change. She lied, deceived, and falsified papers. To discredit me, she would also tell our son and daughter terrible lies to cover up her affair, greed, and fraud. Several days ago, she abandoned our house with all our money to live with the other man.”
From this story, the wife has indeed gone to great lengths to create an adulterous and double life. This may had been her true character even prior to their marriage. The spiritual and psychological/emotional sins that cause a wife to behave this way couldn’t have been corrected by more flowers, kind words, or income from the husband. She needs professional help, spiritual rehabilitation, and psychotherapy.
Psychiatrists and psychologists invariably call this a type of “character disorder.” Next to psychoses, “character disorders” are one of the most difficult to deal with in psychotherapy. In divorce court proceedings, the adultery and deception reflected in the character of the wife can be used to prove “psychological incapacity” in marriage.
Is there therapy for the prodigal wife? Yes – spiritually, mentally, emotionally. Her therapy lies only in her recognizing and repenting of her sins and shameful behavior (Psalm 51). If she won’t, she’ll continue to deceive and damage herself, her family, as well as others. Just as God loves us too much to look the other way when we sin, He does the same with her until she turns away from her wicked ways.
“Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light, because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” (John 3:19-21)
“For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10)