Topic: Has my husband really changed? Should I reconcile?

Blessings friends,

I posted Sunday because Monday I will be in NYC all day with a friend whose husband is having major surgery. I’d appreciate your prayers.

Thank you for your wonderful response to my new coaching programs. There are still a few more spots if you’re interested. Please contact me for an application.

This month’s newsletter is going out Monday 8/1 , called, Ten Questions that Can Change Your Life. If you do not receive a newsletter and would like to, please sign up at

This Week’s Question: My husband and I have been married for 34 years. During the early years of our marriage he was unfaithful several times (I believe one night stands). He tells me now that he has not been physical with another woman for many years. He has, although continued to flirt when we are out together and stop in to see woman (who he calls friends) during his work day, he is a truck driver.

He has also been very controlling and was very nasty to our children when they were young, emotionally scarring them. Two years ago he began acting very weird for about 3 months and one of his co-workers didn't know that I was his wife and came in to a public place and was telling the women there that my husband was a REAL womanizer. Of course, when he found out that I was his wife he said that he was only kidding. That was the last straw and I left my husband, separating our assets.

We have been separated for 18 months now and our divorce is in its final stage. I have had a really difficult time with the separation, probably due to co-dependency. I was 17 when we got married. Now we have decided to try getting back together and see if we can make this work.

I bought a condo and he sold his house and moved in with me. He lost money on the house as the market dropped, therefore he insists that we put our money back together or it is not a marriage and he is going to finalize our divorce.

I am afraid to put the money back together as he was very nasty when we split and said that I didn't deserve as much as him. I ended up agreeing to take less, and my lawyer made me sign a paper stating that I did not do what he had advised and what was legal (split the assets 50/50). My husband is also very manipulative and lies. We went to New Life Weekend and the counselor there said that he is narcissistic.

My husband has been going to a prayer group at his church 3 mornings a week and reading scripture and praying. He has also tried to form a relationship with our boys and grandchildren. I would like to believe that he has changed from the inside out.

My counselor advised that I do not put our money together or retire (as he also wants me to do that). He said that he is going to tell our sons this weekend that he just can't take any more, and that he is calling his lawyer on Monday to finalize the divorce. I ‘m panicking because I don't know whether to stop him and just give in.

Any advice that you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Answer: It sounds to me that your husband is still controlling and you're still being manipulated. I guess you will have to decide whether or not you want to live the rest of your life that way.

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. From what I read, nothing much has changed on the inside even though he’s going to prayer meetings and reading his bible. Please don't live the fantasy of who you wish he was, open your eyes, see where he really is right now and ask yourself if you want to go back to the same old things?

You didn't listen to your lawyer, you're not listening to your counselor, I'm not sure you’re ready for my counsel either.

I wish I had better news to give you but I would advise you both to continue your individual work but not put yourself at risk financially by joining monies or retiring right now. Perhaps he’s changing, but there is not enough evidence to trust that. Time will tell.

If you want to give your reconciliation a chance to see if deeper change has really happened, tell your husband that although you love him and would like to see if you can reconcile your relationship, he’s had a history of deceit, controlling behaviors and manipulation and you are not comfortable with pooling your financial pot at this time. But over time if you see that he’s truly changed, then you will reconsider in a year.

See if he’ll respect you and understand that his past behavior has caused this breakdown in marital trust and that it’s up to him to be patient with earning your trust back.

But from what you wrote, he’s already threatening to go through with the divorce because you’re not giving him what he wants. Sound familiar?


  1. Amy on August 6, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    Leslie's reply was right on the money. I was in a mentally and verbally marriage for 20 years and when my ex walked out on me and our two boys 2 1/2 years ago I found myself asking the very same question, "was he changing?" People from my church were trying to tell me that he was and I should try to reconcile, but deep inside I knew he wasn't changing nor really wanting to, but I kept questioning it too.
    Well, 2 1/2 years later and after divorcing him this past spring, I see that he has not truly changed and I guess what I would say is to listen to your self and if you have to ask "has he changed" then he probably hasn't. If you were truly seeing a change, a repentance, a real desire in him to reconcile, then you wouldn't need to ask.
    Just my .02cents.

  2. Jeff on November 15, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Women ROCK! –And I think the reason women often times have MORE insight into a situation is that they are (at least a little more) humble/teachable than many men. On average, women seem above the trend line in humility (Unless I’m just projecting –that is possible). Some men are humble/teachable too. Thank God for those cats! However, many men have an ego as BIG as ALL outdoors. Everybody knows the scriptures: “God opposes the proud but shows insight to the humble . . . . Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” . . . . Faith = those bananas taped to that apple tree. Reason. . . . is a proven way to obtain factual information, NOT FAITH. Faith is what con artists use. Faith is what con artists ask you for. Faith is pretending to KNOW things you DO NOT know. Faith cannot guide you to the truth of who a man (who wants to reconcile with you) really is. Yes, I have confidence (call it faith if you have to) that my car will start because for TEN straight years I turn that key and it starts (fast/clean). . . . Why would God create creatures with super strong rational reasoning abilities and then demand that they act in a manner contrary to their creation? Is God’s test how effectively you can shut down your strong rational reasoning abilities? . . . . In God/Jesus we trust, ALL humans have to show evidence (peer reviewed/ out-of-sample/ context controlled)! . . . Men, why not tell your wives all your fears, doubts, uncertainties. For good-willed women that will not push them away (I hope not at least. Maybe it flips them out.). BUT isn’t that first “C” –commitment to really being honest. —Yeah, real, serious honesty –And yes, it’s embarrassing (absolutely) but God rewards it. Being HARD CORE honest automatically humbles you. Otherwise we are just playing a game of ego with no real intimacy.

    “All the church’s theologians teach that the scriptures say the earth is flat and my ships will meet their end, but I know the earth is round, for I have seen the shadow of the earth out on the moon at night, at sea, and I have more confidence in that shadow than in the entire catholic church.” —Ferdinand Magellan, 1507

Leave a Comment

Ask Your Question

Have a blog question you'd like to submit?

Read More

How to Respond When Someone Hurts You

Good Monday friends, I am in sunny California this week being Nana to Amaya and Leilani and cooking up a storm for my daughter and her husband to have meals to eat for the next few weeks. I’ve decided for this week to share a video on a question and answer session I did at…


What’s the Difference Between a Difficult, Disappointing and Destructive Marriage?

Morning friends, Sheesh, I can’t believe Tuesday snuck up on me already. We had such a terrific response to our webinar and subsequent videos, The Three Lies Women Believe that Keep them Stuck, Afraid and Miserable. If you’re interested in joining our six month coaching program starting in January, you can get more information by…


Is God Good?

Q. My mother just died a long and painful death and last year my husband of 30 years walked out on me. I’m struggling as a Christian to believe that God is good when it feels like he doesn’t care and he doesn’t help. How can I get through this period of doubt? Cindy A….