Will SHE Look Like a Fool for Staying With Me?

I’ll never forget when the leaders of the organization I worked for during my affair practically bribed Samantha to divorce me when it all came out.  Some of these executives, if you will, were friends of mine for about 10 years who had been through all kinds of life experiences together, all to see them completely turn on me, my wife, and even my kids. They had helped dedicate and baptize my kids. They had been there with me at my greatest accomplishments. I had helped them in their greatest times and their worst times. Instead of rallying behind me, they ran away as fast as they could, considered me dead and even had personal funerals for our relationship. True story!

Through a few sources I also heard they said my wife, Samantha, was “mentally off” for being willing to save our marriage and give me a second chance. Can you believe the complete audacity to mockingly label someone mentally ill for simply being willing to save their family unit, forgive an atrocity, and extend grace?

Who is the mentally ill one now?

True, Samantha, did in fact, have to consider the repercussions to attempting to save her marriage. Consider the gossip….consider the embarrassment just knowing your husband, in a high profile position, was cheating on her behind her back for two years. The shame of being looked upon in so many negative lights and labeled a bitter wife, a failure, this that and the other. The pain that came with looking at your family and knowing that all your closest friends for over 10 years had disappeared overnight. You can barely imagine the rumors and the outright slander that took place about me, but also, oddly and sickeningly enough, about Samantha.

She took all of it and stared it in the face and said, and I quote, “I care more about how my family looks, than my reputation, and your reputation Samuel, and more than any of those *******************’s……. They’ve already shown their true colors.”

Talk about no pride. Talk about a love for her kids more than a love for herself. Talk about a desire to be willing to be looked upon as mentally imbalanced all for the sake of seeing what can happen with a mere second chance.

Who’s the mentally imbalanced one now?

I’d say it was the ones who said their “marriage is over.”

“They’ll never make it.”

“She’s crazy for being willing to take him back.”

It’s not a taunt but it is applause for a betrayed wife who was crazy enough, to give US, and Love, and Grace, and forgiveness, another chance.

Thank you forever My Samantha.

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If you take her back "YOU will look like a F*^king P%#@Y!

I would have to say that is the comment my husband received the most. And as your story states , you really find out rather quickly who your true friends really are. I guess it is natural to form a "Team Betrayed " and "Team Betrayer" none the less it is painful and yet another loss to add to the already increasing pile of crap. The ones that I thought would be my 'forever friends' and the ones I had no doubt would walk away from us was shocking. I would have never dreamed in a million years that even my own family members would turn on me. It is still (almost three years later) a strained relationship with THEM. Even though he had his own re-bound/revenge affair, I am still to this day 'The bad Guy'. People come and go everyday, my marriage is until the grave and that is what counts in my book.Yep he did take that chance and I can't forget, so did I. Worth every horrible conversation, recovery groups and counseling session.

Still going stronger than ever and headed to anniversary #25!

Jana

Thank you, Jana

Like your husband, I faced my friends who knew or found out.  Thank God my friends were mostly true, to both of us.  No one who has not had to deal with it knows how the betrayed partner feels.  I was told the same things as Samantha, but I would not give up.  Like her, I felt my family was more valuable and more important to me than anything my friends said, and I figured if they were my friends, what my wife did would not change that.  I tried to stay true to myself, my God, my wife, and my family.  They are all that truly matters.  I did not want to die and not be able to face my Lord for what I did, so I stayed, and I try daily to put it back together.  Our recovery has been extremely slow, and my wife still does not like to go to church to face people who know what she did, but at least she is still with me and giving us a chance.

Jana, like your family, mine and hers turned against her which makes visits difficult even today after 3 years.  I did not ignore what they said, but I told them rebuilding our marriage was my choice and thanked them for their input.  Some said they would never talk to me again if I didn't listen and do as they say, but those were just idle threats, and the family has mostly recovered.

The saying is "The truth will set you free", but the truth is being true to yourself sets you free.

Challenges

Some of my biggest challenges have been the responses of others, although different than what normally happens. After discovering my wife's affair, we sat down with her brother to let him know of her indiscretions. He responded by telling me that I was going to hell for even questioning her over it. He said that she obviously realized what she did, so drop it. I had no idea at the time that there was still quite a lot of revelations yet to come out. He then proceeded to tell my kids that their dad was going to hell, even though they knew nothing about it. We are both employed in a large ministry in very prominent positions. Our pastors told us to get over it and to not allow it to mess up their ministry. Our pastor's wife even told me that if this is how my wife relates to men, I can't change it and just have to learn to live with it. My wife has painted me as the trouble in our marraige for 28 years (our anniversary is tomorrow). Yet I'm quietly pushing through to protect our kids and protect the ministry that I've laid my life down for, for the past 26 years. I'm believing God, that like Joseph, that there is a reward at the end of this long dark road.

Paul

Paul I am so sorry, it sounds like you have much more than just your wife to deal with. I know that the "accuser" comes masked in our friends and loved ones voices. Ask The Lord for truth in your life, knowing when you ask He will be faithful to help you. Know that when The Lord corrects He does it in Love and not condemnation. Satan always condemns, always tears down. There is always room for us to learn and change, this is the way The Lord matures us from children to mature believers but He does it in Love...sometime it hurts but it always brings us up spiritually. You know in all relationships there is never just one side that is to blame for the decaying of intimacy, but that never condones infidelity...never, never, never. You are not the reason she cheated. She cheated because she wanted to..period. Keep on trusting The Lord in your life, ask daily for His guidance and believe He will direct your path. He is always faithful. Karen

Thank you

Karen, thank you for the encouraging words, I will take them to heart, stay open to the Lord and His Word, and trust Him for the healing. God bless you on your path to healing!

Challenges

Hi Paul, Thanks for sharing your journey. I too have been a pastor for 28 years and married 28 years. And I too have chosen to fight for my marriage though my wife has chosen friendship with me at this time after trying to withdraw herself from an emotional affair. She is pursuing singleness by trying to shut the other guy out and keeping herself open to me. My children are unaware of the affair but very much aware of our separation. While my wife may have broken her covenant to me, I have not. Further, I have realized that I made a covenant to my Father in heaven to love her no matter what. If she chooses divorce in the end (though she has asked for it three times and by God's grace I was able to talk her out of it so that she might take the time for a deeper healing for herself), I will let her go. But for now, she is still in my care...but at a distance. The challenge for me is to keep my own emotions and longings in check, along with moments of anger or pity over the unfairness of it all. I am currently out of pastoral ministry, but recognizing that there are very important treasures for our hearts, when we feel stuck, or we feel we are missing out on dreams we always had for sharing life together with our spouse until we were old and gray.

Betrayed

The betrayed have many things that slam into them all at once. The loss of identity (you doubt everything you think you know about yourself and everyone else), your past as you experienced it, your self worth, your self image, your intelligence, your pride, your judgement of "good and bad", your ability to love and be loved, you loose everything that made up the person you were. You struggle to put pieces back together and they don't fit anymore. It is like some one has erased your being and you are empty and foreign inside. I equated it the first week after disclosure as if I were walking in a totally black place, no light, having to shuffle my feet in tiny steps feeling for the cliff I knew was there in the dark, waiting to fall into a black and bottomless pit.  I could see no light ahead of me at all. I was paralyzed with fear and hopelessness. At that time I had no choice but to ask for mercy from The Lord, to give me the strength to walk forward and trust that He was there with me. I look back now and see how He did stay with me and He led me forward until the pain subsided for me to see that I was not empty and what was left of me was enough to go on. This is why it takes so many of us betrayed a long time "to get over it". We are rebuilding and it depends on how much was lost as to how long it takes. Karen 

Betrayed

Ahiodessa, Thank you, thank you. You have stated perfectly the great array of emotions, confusion, despair, darkness, attempts at hope, the cycles of feelings and on and on. I discovered her affair shortly after our 25th wedding anniversary. It was an emotional one that grew to some physical intimacy. She asked for a divorce three times over the two years that followed and for three times God has given me the words to talk her out of it. Oh but the pain involved, and the grace that has grown in my heart are immeasurable. And while she has backed away from the relationship (though not completely so), the woundings in my heart are still very real. She believes she understands my hurt, but she doesn't no matter how many times I have explained it. I think if she did she would end the other relationship completely. Though many of my Christian counselors want me to force her back into the marriage relationship through tough love, or to wake her up by me leaving and ceasing all or most communication with her, I have taken the path of painful grace by attempting to simply work on our friendship without bringing up the infidelity and hopefully creating a relational environment that she feels safe enough in to share her inner feelings about life and love. It is long and arduous process on my side of things. And I guess that is why I connected to your article. The long hurt and the long healing are felt through your words. Thanks again

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