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She's due out of jail soon and is claiming to have "found the Lord". She wants to come home... should I take her back?

Tagged as: Dating, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (29 February 2008) 6 Answers - (Newest, 29 February 2008)
A male United States age , *utch writes:

Briefly as I can: situation I am 58, ex is 42. She is in jail {6 months} and will be getting out soon. I was married 20 years 1 [15 year old daughter] left. This woman has stole credit cards, bank checks over the 20 years amounting to $100,000 total. I always stayed because of the kids. She admitted she was taking 15 vicodin, alcoholic and cocaine the last nine months before jail. She stole drug scripts, cocaine while on probation, took an illegal pill in rehab and got put in jail. Once I caught her with a guy she spent a day with {found days inn cups in my car, she said they asked for directions and got a drink, no sex, she swears they went to do charity work, we were arguing at the time} she's found the lord and wants to come home. I seem to love her am I stupid????

View related questions: alcoholic, in jail

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A female reader, thatgothgirl20 United States +, writes (29 February 2008):

thatgothgirl20 agony auntGive her a chance. If she does something indicative that she never changed, something major, then let her go.

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A female reader, O Connor Ireland +, writes (29 February 2008):

O Connor agony auntwell she may have really turned over a new leaf and found a new path. so i suggest you take things slow with her wen she gets out, and see if she really is different - you dont want to be introducing your kids back into that life, so you really need to be sure before you open your doors to her again. as for whether you love her or not - if you know, you know. if you dont, then dont lie to yourself and her. if you are certain that you do love her and are able to trust her again, and want her fully back in your life - then give her a chance. good luck

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A male reader, Marriedtwokids United Kingdom +, writes (29 February 2008):

The issue is not whether you are stupid to love her, the question is what you should do when she comes out.

She may have genuinely found religion. She may be genuinely remorseful. On the other hand I am afraid she may be spinning you a line because she is worried she will be fresh out of options once she is out of jail.

I know you love her, but you have got to protect yourself, and your daughter, from the impact any return by her to her previous behaviour could cause. I suggest you seriously consider a divorce, thereby protecting yourself and your family from her behaviour.

However, I suspect if you have not done that yet you are unlikely to do it now, so I therefore suggest you take things very, very slowly. She has to prove she has changed, that she can be trusted. Do not let her re-enter the house but help her find somewhere else to stay. Do not give her any money, but help her find a job. Do help her find help for her addiction problems. Do not spend time with her except at pre-agreed meetings, of which there should be not too many to start off with. Do allow her to keep in touch with your daughter, but only in so far as your daughter is comfortable with it.

If that goes well then you can see how you feel. Love does not mean forgiving and forgetting everything; you have to protect yourself and your family. She has to earn her way back into that trust, to earn your love. If she truly has found religion, she should understand and accept that.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (29 February 2008):

First of all, in a marriage your spouse must enhance your life, be mutually loving, trustworthy and respectable. It cannot be any other way. My suggestion is for you is to not expect a lot. Six months of rehab and religious training is simply not enough time, to turn around the life of a addicted person. You cannot trust a person with a history of addictions...they are good liars and can decieve. I wouldn't trust her. No yet anyways. This process can take years and years. It may be best to tell her that you want undeniable proof, that she is off drugs and living a good, healthy lifestyle. Have you spoken to her pastors, the counselors and support staff at the jail to see how far she has truely come? where she is at? That may be your best indicator, right there. Ask them, if she's capable of being truthful, honest and a good wife and Mother. Tell them you are making a huge life decison-you are thinking you should bring your wife back into your life and that of your kids. And, I would think your first priority would be to this 15 year old, still at home. She needs a good role model in her life, not a Mother, who could possibly bring mayhem and grief, to her young daughter's life.

I know you love this lady, but is she capable of loving you back? Her love affair has been with her drugs, not you, not the kids. How badly do you need this woman back in your life? What has life been like while she's been away? Have you spoken to your children? What are they thinking? I know it is time to decide on your best course of action and what your life will be. You may have every reason to hope she has changed, but you've tolerated her crap for 20 years so I would say, you have absolutely no reason to believe she has changed. She's been in jail; for 6 months, went through rehab and found god in this very, very short time span. People on drugs, that have addictions, can lie, decieve and betray quite eloquently. So I am sorry, there is that strong probability that you are being decieved. One does not change an 20 year alcohol/drug addiction and all the poor behaviors that go with 6 months. She has decades of bad habits under her belt that caused you great pain and your children deep hurt. Your wife will never 'be out of the woods' so to speak. She may falter and flounder. Can you withstand all that, yet again? She will require ongoing counseling and support for years to come. You know her best...and will she do it? Is she committed to being healthy. It's time for you to reach inside yourself and ask...

The best thing you can do is tell yourself, if required, you can live life without her. Once you do that, you empower yourself in a good way and you protect your family.borders. This new attitude gives you strength and the self-confidence, to set boundaries with your wife, if she comes back.

Before she comes back, I would also suggest you get on with your life and find your own sense of happiness. You cannot focus on your wife being sober...she could fall back into her old habits. Her problems are hers and that has always been only under her power, and never under yours. She may be 20 months or 20 years from being totally clean. She may never be there. You can't put your life on hold waiting for someone to do what they may never do.

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A female reader, Laura1318 Malaysia +, writes (29 February 2008):

Laura1318 agony auntI think she paid for her sins and you should give her another chance.

She was lost and now she is found again. You should rejoice for her.

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A female reader, Serinity United States +, writes (29 February 2008):

Serinity agony auntYour not stupid by any means. When we love someone so much we tend to tollerate things we wouldn't normally put up with from just anyone. I certainly wouldn't take her back right away though.

She may have found the Lord and I know from personal experience it can dramatically changes lives. But, keep in mind how she was before she landed herself in jail. She may have found the Lord for the wrong reasons. She's been cooped up in jail with no freedom and nothing to do. A lot of people who end up in jail find the Lord because there's nothing else to do and they start reading the bible and going to service out of bordom, it's better than doing nothing, right? But then as soon as they get out and get a taste of freedom again they go right back to how they were or worse because they haven't had that freedom in so long. Not only that, she's probably deperate for somewhere to go when she gets out, so she's likely to tell you what you want to hear to get what she wants. Her past history confirms that.

I respect you for genuinely loving her after everything she's put you through, but if you want the same respect and you don't want to go through the same thing you went through before, you should make her prove herself to you. If she's sober and she's found the Lord then she'll have no problem proving that to you. And I don't want to sound pessimistic, but don't get your hopes up. People with a multitude of problems like that can't/ don't completely change within 6 months. If you want to give her another chance then go for it, but protect your heart and your finances. I wish you all the best!

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