Adulterous and Abusive Wife: Do I Have Grounds for a Divorce?


Good afternoon Dr. Buckingham,

My wife and I have been married for 19 years. I will admit the marriage has been on rocky ground from day 1, with the exception of the birth of our children. My wife has been verbally abusive the majority of the marriage; she yells and screams at our kids and rarely apologizes when wrong.

A few years ago, I read a text message my wife wrote to someone whom I considered a friend. The message read, “I know old girl is over there, I’m not mad.” I immediately questioned what was going on and received a response of “nothing” and “oh, we are reading each others text now?” Because I couldn’t prove anything, I didn’t confront the issue further. I just let it fade away, but deep within, I struggled dealing with it.

People had made certain statements around me to make me think she had cheated, but I would always say not my wife (but I always did have some doubt). Oh, did I mention that early in our marriage a man called my house (I could hear clearly), and she said “girl, yes” as if a female was on the phone. When asked why she did it, she said she didn’t want me to think anything.

So recently, I finally asked my wife if she loved me or was in love with me. She turned the question over to me without answering. I then asked if she had cheated on me in our 19 years of marriage. And she admitted she had on two occasions (with different people) within the past seven years. She admitted the affair with the friend, but told me it happened during a time she didn’t know if she loved me and wanted out.

At first, I thought I was not ready to give up on my family, and I’m ready to fight to save it. But now I’m not so sure. I really have a problem with infidelity. I know I can forgive her because that is what Christ requires of us, but I can’t get over the fact she put the family through so much over the years, while cheating in the process. Nor can I get over the fact that she allowed a friend to invade what I considered to be mine. Now she wants to make things right. I am now her ROCK, her man, her lover and her friend. This is the first time I have heard this from my wife in 19 years. My plans are to leave, but my children are priority.

Based on my wife’s behavior do I have grounds for divorcing her?

Signed, Husband in Doubt

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My Husband Abandoned Me, What Should I Do?

Dear Dr. Buckingham,

My husband left me after a big disagreement. But here is the kicker, we were only married for four months and we have a baby together. Now, it has been a year since he left.

At the time, he wanted me to kick my cousin and godsister out of our house. I’m from another state, and they were my only close family. I told them that they both had a year to find jobs and get their own place, but my husband could not wait. Since he left, he has been staying at his cousin’s house in the basement. He takes care of our daughter and pays my bills when he feels like it. We see each other once a week, but I am in school now and work part-time. I’m just getting tired and growing frustrated because he hasn’t move back in yet. When he left he gave me a list of things he wanted me to do before he would come back home. I completed them and moved into a new house away from the little bit of family that I do have, and he still has not moved back home.

My husband abandoned me; what should I do?

Signed, Mrs. Abandonment Read more

I Married a Serial Cheater: Is Walking Away the Right Thing to Do?


Dear Dr. Buckingham,

I read a posted letter to you from Young and In Love and I saw myself in this. The only difference is, I am 54 years old and have been married to my husband for 28 years now.  We have four kids, all past the age of 18.

I have been sacrificing for so long living with this cheating husband of mine for my children’s sake and I have always blamed him for making my kids and me suffer. He doesn’t care how I may feel regarding his infidelity because he does it again and again. I feel he knows I get hurt but he does it anyway. Read more