He Won’t Let The Affair Go.
Question: Twenty-three years ago (after being married 5), I had an emotional affair at work. The church advised me to quit my job. I did and immediately got pregnant with our first. I separated for a while because he was so mean to me, but the church said I needed to be with my husband for protection (nobody ever questioned my husband. He was the victim of an adulterous wife).
After the birth of our son, I divorced him. I made him an even bigger victim within the church. Women felt led to focus on me and get me back into my marriage. Four years later we remarried. Submitting to my husband, I found myself constantly trying to please him (I have a bookcase full of books on how to be a good wife), which resulted in a bad case of people-pleasing.
Not realizing how easily I was being manipulated, I allowed myself into a situation three years ago, that resulted in gross sexual imposition, which I am being blamed for because I was told I wanted it. I feel like a fool!!!! I am stupid trusting! I had to tell my husband to call this man to leave me alone. I had given him my number before he tried to rape me thinking he was a nice older man in the military taking care of a military wife on her way to visit her husband out of the country.
Sometimes I feel like I blame my husband for my situation, but that isn't right either. I made the choice because I chose to marry a man that cares nothing for me, but just that his meals, laundry, and home are run from top to bottom. I am a slave. The slave who strayed and now I am being punished. I want to be free of this chain. With God, I am forgiven. With my husband, I am not. What do I do and how should I react to him?
Answer: First, I’m so sorry for all the pain you’re going through. Marriage, even good marriage is hard work and over time exposes our own issues – jealousies, insecurities, immature coping mechanisms, wrong thinking patterns, etc. We can blame marriage for exposing them, but they were in us. Your husband’s jealousy, entitlement thinking, and selfishness were in him before you had the emotional affair at work. Your people-pleasing and naivety were in you before your husband treated you so poorly.
But that’s not all. You also have strengths. You separated after your first baby was born because of your husband’s mistreatment of you. You sought counsel from those you believed had godly wisdom, even though they too were naïve and idealistic about how a destructive marriage is reconciled. You were an eager learner, reading a lot of books on how to make your marriage work. You care for two special needs children. You took what you read in Boundaries and applied it to many areas of your life and your relationship with God grew stronger and more secure than ever.
Currently, you are telling yourself that you must stay married for financial support. Yet you recoil at the thought of being just a slave who does his meals, laundry and takes care of the home. No one who is married wants to be “Just a paycheck” or “Just a maid”. Your question is where do you go from here?