The Christian Broadcasting Network

  • CBN'S MINISTRIES
  • Give To CBN
  • Partners
  • Jobs
  • Log In or Sign Up

The Relationship Café

When to Reconcile with Your Ex

There’s something about past relationships that seem to haunt us. We wonder if we’d do things the same way, or if we might do something different. Perhaps you have fantasies of that old boyfriend that you’d like to see again, or maybe a marriage torn apart that you’d like to consider reconciling.

There is something in all of us that hate the loose ends of broken relationships, the unfinished emotions, and want to put broken pieces back together. The following story is one to which many can relate. 

Dear Dr. David. My husband and I divorced two years ago after a two year separation.  We had been married for five years and have two children. I ended the marriage after his repeated infidelities. My husband was not a Christian at the time. The marriage had been otherwise very happy and fulfilling to me and I was perplexed at the ease with which he was able to leave his family. 

We have maintained contact over the last five years and God has worked amazing grace and forgiveness into my heart.  My ex-husband has been a good financial provider for my children.  He currently lives hundreds of miles away and does not see them often but speaks to them by phone daily. My husband became a Christian about a year ago and has had quite a radical transformation.  He has recently approached me about reconciling.  I have a happy and fulfilling life but there is no doubt in my mind that I still love my ex-husband.  The idea of reconciling, however, seems overwhelming to me given his past history and the distance between us.  I do believe he is sincere in his desire to put his family back together but I have no idea where to even begin. I certainly do not want to expose my children to any more pain and suffering.  Do you think it is possible to reconstruct a relationship that has suffered so much turmoil?

Your letter is different than many I receive, given your ex has apparently changed since your divorce. Many consider reconciliation when nothing has changed, and they would be going right back into a troubling situation.

Let’s consider the facts, at least as they appear to you.

1. Your husband was unfaithful as a non-Christian, and you divorced him, presumably after much heartache.
2. He has since become a Christian and seems to have had a change of heart and integrity.
3. He has maintained financial responsibility, and makes efforts to be a good father, given the distance.
4. You still love him and are open to possibilities and he wants to reconcile with you.

Given these facts, your situation sounds hopeful, though there are many reasons to be careful. There are barriers and special considerations which you and he would have to discuss. Is there harm in moving forward cautiously? What are some issues to consider as you might move forward?

One, has he taken full responsibility for his past behavior? Has he apologized and made efforts to make amends to you and his children? Does he show a heart of remorse for his past?

Two, is he willing to do his part to rebuild broken trust? This isn’t something which will automatically occur. Both of you will need to have some heart to heart conversations about what transpired, how he has changed and what needs to occur in the future to rebuild your trust.

Three, do you know what you need to rebuild trust? Many in your circumstances want to see behavioral and attitudinal changes. They want reassurance that those behavior will not recur. They want to know that he will be accountable for his behavior until trust is restored.

Fourth, can you to find a way to make the distance manageable while you attempt to restore a friendship? While hundreds of miles are a barrier, it is certainly not insurmountable. In time, if the lights remain green, one or both of you may choose to alter your living situation to give the relationship a chance.

In summary, listen to your heart while using sound wisdom. Pray about this opportunity and move forward accordingly. Find a trusted friend who can walk through the process with you. God bless.

To our readers: What would you say to this woman? Is she making a mistake, or does it appear that this man has made a transformation, and that a renewed relationship is possible? Let us hear from you.

Print      Email to a Friend    posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 3:54 PM

Comments on this post

# RE: When to Reconcile with Your Ex

Since neither one has remarried, God's word is clear that God hates divorce and His word, will and way is to reconcile or stay single (when both are believers). A prayerful, careful, step-by-step towards the possibility of reconciliation is God's heart and will.
Left by IrishSinger on Jan 30, 2008 1:50 PM

# RE: When to Reconcile with Your Ex

I would strongly suggest they each seek individual counseling from Christian therapists. If both parties are committed to reconciliation, counseling can help confirm and deepen their resolve. Once they are together, they should continue with couples counseling as well. It is so helpful to have influence from someone who is not directly involved in the relationship but cares about both parties in the body of Christ. Good luck and God Bless.
Left by lshaw0911 on Jan 31, 2008 11:53 AM

# RE: When to Reconcile with Your Ex

My soon-to-be ex-husband was a christian and went to the other side of the fence and hid his relationship and the child that came from that affair for 3-1/2 years until he finally confessed all in a matter of 20 minutes. He broke my heart, broke his kids hearts and used many people in the process of all this. I say if he's cheatd once, he will cheat again unless she finds out the reason he did what he did.
Left by 1960lowman on Feb 04, 2008 1:55 PM

# RE: When to Reconcile with Your Ex

As a male,if my EX still felt love, I would give serious consideration for reconcilation. This is a good case for both parties to move forward and resurrect a dead marriage.
Left by quantum327 on Feb 07, 2008 7:28 PM

# RE: When to Reconcile with Your Ex

I cannot imagine ever reconciling with an EX, unless you get clear, distinct directions from the Lord, i.e. He never release you from the marriage in the first place and you were in sin to go thru with divorce. However, I think I'm correct in understanding scripture that, even if you are both christians, infidelity is grounds for divorce. YOU are off the hook. When a person is a beliver and they cheat on their spouse, they weren't a beliver THAT day. Any way you look at it, cheating is grounds for divorce I suppose b/c God knew when the covenant of marriage is severed in that fashion it is almost impossible at best to regain trust. Mind you, I said "almost" impossible b/c all things are possible with God. My mind will not accept this b/c unless they have a radical experience with God, I think they will do it again.
Left by deboraho on Feb 12, 2008 4:24 PM

# RE: When to Reconcile with Your Ex

I can say I can relate some what. I was married for almost 18 years. I left my wife for another woman. lived with the other woman for a few months before the divorce, and been divorced for 10 months. I tried to slowly integrate my children of 14 and 16 years of age, and now really don't think I have the heart. My ex wife is willing to slowly work things out and reconcile, and I want to do the same. I am very fearful that this will always hang over my head. I don't want to be reminded of my selfishness for the rest of my life. Sometimes I think it might be better if I just stayed alone. I have made many bad decisions in this time.

Why divorce? Emotional separation in the relationship. Wanting more of an intimate relationship. Alcohol was in play. Instead of seeking help for her, I bailed. I had been ready for some time. Finally the "right" person came along. This is not going to be easy.

So there is the other side of the story. The deeper you get, the more hearts get broken.
Left by not so smart on Jan 02, 2009 8:53 PM

# RE: When to Reconcile with Your Ex

Direction from the Lord? One day at work, I was listening to a Christian radio program. The Lord started dealing with my heart tremendously. The one thing that stick in my mind like a nail is "its better to suffer for the right things than the wrong things".

Any time discussion about the family comes up, it cuts me to the bone.

If your marriage is on the rocks, and you just want out, take a step back and go slow.
Left by not so smart on Jan 02, 2009 9:01 PM

# RE: When to Reconcile with Your Ex

going through divorce that I don't want, we both have issues that need to be addressed by professionals, but wife is unwilling to seek help.at this point all I or anyone can do is pray and wait on the Lord. For he said he would never leave us nor forsake. The hard part is to remain level headed when you love someone so much at this time,everything seems so sensitive that nothing becomes something. But whatever the problem is we must remember that Christ has forgiven us for all sins, we must extend that towards our spouse.
Left by harold on Jan 28, 2012 10:22 AM

# RE: When to Reconcile with Your Ex

I was married 2x's My 1st huisband in 1993 and divorced him in 1998 cuz he cheated on me. I married my 2nd huisband in 2000 and divorced him in 2005 he also cheated on me. At this time 7 yrs later I still have no remarried nor dated much at all. He married the woman he cheated on me with and now has dovorced her cuz she cheated on him. Sence then we have talked and gotten close and have talked about reconiling. He has apoligized for his wrong doing back then. But I'm not sure he would do it again. We get along better now that ever B4 somewhat of best friends now. His teenagers played a big part in our break up but not the infedelity. They are grown now and regreat how they treated me then. We have a child together he is 10 and his kids are married and have kids. I still have my 17yr old and ours together. If we both go to church do you think we can have a shot at happiness. I pray and God keep him around for some reason. Is this a sign from God that he wants us back together?
Left by Donna W. on Sep 25, 2012 1:19 PM

# When to Reconcile with Your Ex

My fiance and I kept on getting into fights all of the time. We were close to breaking up a few times. I knew that we needed something to stay together because he was pulling away from me day by day. I contacted drstanleyspelltemple@hotmail.com who really helped us stay together and become a closer couple. She did a love binding spell that worked perfectly! He started making more of an effort to talk to me about how he was feeling which helped us work through our problems so much better. My fiance tends to shut down whenever there is conflict and this spell helped him communicate with me. I can also tell that he is more attracted to me because he keeps sending me flowers at work and is always trying to touch me in some way. It's actually really nice and I am very grateful to drstanleyspelltemple@hotmail.com for all that he have done for me.......Caren
Left by bestspellcaster on Dec 26, 2013 6:16 PM

# RE: When to Reconcile with Your Ex

Since Drlawrencespelltemple@hotmail.com cast a love spell for me, things are going great in my marriage life. my husband who was cheating on me almost every week is now a loyal and dedicated man. I’m glad he came back to me after the break up with him because I love him from the bottom of my heart, but without Dr Lawrence help, all of this couldn't happen or even be possible. It is the first time I am using the service of a spell caster and even if I was a bit skeptical at first, I highly recommend his service to people like me who need an extra help.thank you drlawrencespelltemple@hotmail.com
Left by ZOE on Jan 06, 2014 5:46 PM

# HOW I RESTORE MY MARRIAGE

My husband has abandon me and the kids for the the past 8months now, and refuse to come back because he was hold on by a woman whom he just met, for that, my self and the kids has been suffering and it has been hell of a struggle, but i decide to do all means to make sure that my family come back together as it use to,i was surfing online when i found out about drlawrencespelltemple@hotmail.com and i must confess that since i contacted Dr Lawrence my marriage has been healed and i am once again a happy woman
Left by HOLMES on Mar 12, 2014 6:21 AM

# RE: When to Reconcile with Your Ex

I must admit, this caster dr.marnish is real. i called dr.marnish +15036626930 when my boyfriend departed from me. but since my boyfriend came back I definitely believe dr.marnish@ yahoo.com is real
Left by RasasiJosh on Apr 20, 2014 8:30 PM