Dear Ms. Weems,
My wife and I were married for thirty years. She left me three years ago. It was very hard, because there is a grandchild we were raising. Anyway, now she wants to come back and start over again. Her lover turned out not to be what she thought. But, here is the twist; I accepted the fact that she didn't love me anymore, and began putting my life back together. I've learned to be alone, giving my all to my kids and grandkids. I've actually began to look forward to going out and meeting new friends. I'm afraid that my feelings for her may have changed, and she may have waited too long. Faith and trust aren't there anymore. Does the Lord want me try again? I know there will be a period where I will have to put all my trust in Him if I am to ever love her again. But I don't know if it is worth it, what should I do?

Dear “Unsure,”
It’s not often that I get a letter from a husband who wonders whether he should reunite with a wife who left the marriage for a love affair that’s now gone sour. Your letter is a reminder to all of us that husbands are not the only ones who stray from their marriage vows. Wives cheat too.

I applaud you for wanting to keep your heart open to God’s will. I can understand your uncertainty as to whether or not it’s God’s will that you reunite with your ex and give the marriage of thirty years you had with her another try.

My observation is that try as you may to hide it, the sound of a broken heart comes through loud and clear in your letter. She walked away from a marriage of thirty years. Your letter doesn’t mention whether it was a good or bad marriage at the time she left, but that kind of split always leaves scars. So you are right to have doubts about taking her back.

You’re just now beginning to rebuild a life for yourself, which is a fragile and emotional thing. I certainly wouldn’t recommend reuniting with your ex without the two of you agreeing to a period of counseling beforehand. You need to know whether it’s you that your ex-wife wants, or whether it’s a fear of being alone that’s brought her to your doorstep.
But even with that said, one thing is missing from your letter.

It’s not clear to me whether you still have feelings for your ex-wife. You admit at the end of your letter that it will take all of God’s help for you to love her again, by which probably means it will take God's help for you to trust her again. In my opinion, it’s worth trying to rebuild a life with your ex-wife—if you still love her—despite the fact that she’s broken your heart in the past.

So ask yourself, are there things about her that still rouse your heart (and, um, loins?), and if there are, then I say it may be worth taking the time to get to know the two people you’ve both become over these past three years. If you still love her, if you can remember more good in those thirty years than bad, if you’re convinced that your ex-wife loves you and is willing to do what’s necessary to regain your trust, then, and only then, is it worth giving love a second try.

If, however, as you’ve begun putting your life back together you find that you don’t love your ex anymore and you hardly miss the life you two once shared, then it’s time to move on. In that case, any chance of rebuilding a marriage would be over between the two of you. Even God reminds us, in the book of Ecclesiastes, that there is a time for every season—and it’s important to know when a season is over.

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