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Have you told Dr. Harley what you have done?


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What to do with an Angry Husband

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I second that. Let Dr. Harley know, because he is a great source of help.

Do you guys listen to the radio show? It sounds to me like you have been immersed in a culture that promotes marriage-destroying ideas, like choosing church activities over your spouse and calling it Godly. I've been in a similar culture to some extent. I use Marriage Builders radio to help change my internal "culture" so that my family and I can be a part of a marriage-promoting culture.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Originally Posted By: Prisca
Have you told Dr. Harley what you have done?

Not yet. I will confer with FF about doing so.

Originally Posted By: markos
If your pastor encourages your wife to reconcile with / forgive OW, are you going to run the other way and leave that church?


Yes! I choose FF and protecting her and defending the re-building our marriage together. Regardless of the advice we receive from our pastor tonight, we plan to leave the church. But I do hope the pastor's advice mirrors that of mrEureka's. It would be nice to know the congregation we are leaving is in good hands.

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Quote:
Not yet. I will confer with FF about doing so.

You don't need to confer. Post to him right now.


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Originally Posted By: Prisca
Quote:
Not yet. I will confer with FF about doing so.

You don't need to confer. Post to him right now.


Yep. Just exposure yourself and ask for help.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Originally Posted By: Learning2Cherish
Yes! I choose FF and protecting her and defending the re-building our marriage together. Regardless of the advice we receive from our pastor tonight, we plan to leave the church. But I do hope the pastor's advice mirrors that of mrEureka's. It would be nice to know the congregation we are leaving is in good hands.


I am glad to hear of your decision.

I hope the pastor's advice is like that of mrEureka, but in my experience, church leaders who will take that stance are few and far between.

(Side note - never knew mrEureka was an elder before - I'm glad to hear it. The church needs more elders with good marriages who take a stand for marriage-building decisions. smile )


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Originally Posted By: markos
It sounds to me like you have been immersed in a culture that promotes marriage-destroying ideas, like choosing church activities over your spouse and calling it Godly.

Well. I take full ownership for my twisted thinking. But, yes, I grew up in an environment that facilitated thinking this way. I grew up as a missionary kid and constantly heard how important a calling to missions is. Those who stepped forward to go to the mission field were lauded as heroes.

My sister is a missionary in Africa. I'd have to say she and her family are esteemed more highly by my parents than my family and me. I have a lot of baggage and I am beginning to see just how burdened down with it I have been. I am beginning to see, too, how much I have been burdening my own family with this same baggage.

Stepping out of church-related ministry for at least the next two years will be a very good first step to breaking away from this mindset and putting my focus on my family as my first and most important ministry. I want to learn to just enjoy them and love them for who they are.

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L2C, you are in good hands. I will make just one quick note:

Originally Posted By: Learning2Cherish

I rationalized to myself this was acceptable ... I was allowing my heart to be drawn toward her and away from FF. Ultimately the OW and I expressed in writing to each other that if ever our current vows were completed, we would each seek the other out for the purpose of a shared, future ministry.


Please refrain from such high-falutin' language. Using language such as this allows you to save face both with others and, more importantly, with your self - thus leaving the door open to future infidelity. You wanted to be rid of your spouses. That is one example, but this admonition is for everything affair-related. The sooner you call this for what it is and not whitewash your actions - because, make no mistake, sir, your actions were far from noble and cloaking them in nice-sounding language or pseudo-holy garb is an affront - the sooner you can help FF heal and begin protecting your marriage.

If you don't admit to the extent of damage you perpetrated, how will you ever be safe for FF? How will you ever provide adequate Just Compensation? How will you prevent "your heart being drawn to another" in the future? You have no integrity when you veil your thoughts and intentions with acceptable-sounding motives.

You can dress up a pig, sure, but then you get to comment on the beautiful dress and omit the fact that it's still a pig.

Last edited by V_planifolia; 08/13/13 01:20 PM. Reason: added thought

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Originally Posted By: markos
I hope the pastor's advice is like that of mrEureka, but in my experience, church leaders who will take that stance are few and far between.
I actually had a pretty bad experience with the pastor in my own personal situation. Pastors are great for putting the "forgiveness" cart in front of the "recovery" horse.


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Our pastor (large church) just preached a sermon about forgiveness last weekend and said that "if you don't forgive, you don't have the spirit of God." Sigh.....I just cringe when I hear stuff like that. Nothing about repentance or compensating the victim. Just do it - Forgive regardless.


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"if you don't forgive, you don't have the spirit of God."
Oh yeah? rotflmao

As I recall the story, the prodigal son was feted with the fatted calf only after he came home in repentance!

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Well. FF and I met last night with our pastor. He did most of the talking. He finally asked FF how she was doing. Half way through her answer he broke in and proceeded to ramble on for quite some time about his own experience with lifes hurts.

He told us he had exposed my affair with OW only to two other pastors and partially to the security team lead. He told us he felt that was as far as exposure needed to go. He told us he hopes in time we will all be restored / reconciled.

WRONG ANSWER, I thought to myself. Why not expose to the whole church and let others learn from my mistakes? Why not cast the whole thing into the light and let the church do what its supposed to do: forgive and encourage right living, to include seeing there are consequences of sin such as families having to find new churches and friendships that will never be the same.

FF asked if it was wrong for her to feel that she does not want to be friends again with OW. To his credit, the pastor said, No. He shared there are several people in his own life whom although he has forgiven, he wants nothing to do with them and chooses to stay away from them because it is too painful being around them. He used the split between Paul and Barnabas over John Mark as a biblical example of two men who forgave each other but chose never to work together again. That is a good example, but he failed to follow it to the logical application of handling an affair within the church.

Before we met with the pastor FF had asked that during this session I not bring up our intention to leave. So I sat and listened, mostly, other than sharing with the pastor that what I want most now is to learn to see my wife and children as my most important ministry.

It is a long journey ahead. It is sinking in more and more the damage I have done. I watched my wife cry tears of pain over talking about the loss of her best friend. I should be the source of comfort in her life but instead I have been the source of grief and pain.

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It's become quite clear that leaving is the only option. With such a pastor, you could not feel safe. Hoping that God will heal and restore everyone to each other...just because?

God doesn't work like that. I hardly doubt that He would fault anyone for leaving a church under such circumstances as this.

Is he afraid of the OW being ruined in the church? It almost sounds like it -- like a weak BH, who doesn't want his wife's reputation ruined, when it's her fault things went that way. Consequences happens.

Quote:
Why not expose to the whole church and let others learn from my mistakes? Why not cast the whole thing into the light and let the church do what its supposed to do: forgive and encourage right living, to include seeing there are consequences of sin such as families having to find new churches and friendships that will never be the same.


Not to mention you will want the other married women to know about this dangerous woman who could be trying to line up someone else!


One year becomes two, two years becomes five, five becomes ten and before you know it, you've wasted your whole life on a problem you can't solve. That's one way to spend your life. -rwinger

I will not spend my life this way.
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Originally Posted By: Learning2Cherish
Before we met with the pastor FF had asked that during this session I not bring up our intention to leave. So I sat and listened, mostly, other than sharing with the pastor that what I want most now is to learn DECIDE to see my wife and children as my most important ministry.


There, I taught you.

Now do.


"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." - Niels Bohr

"Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons." - Michael Shermer

"Fair speech may hide a foul heart." - Samwise Gamgee LOTR
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Originally Posted By: Learning2Cherish
He told us he had exposed my affair with OW only to two other pastors and partially to the security team lead. He told us he felt that was as far as exposure needed to go. He told us he hopes in time we will all be restored / reconciled.
Pastors often don't have a clue on how to recover from infidelity. Our pastor encouraged my wife not to tell me who the other man (her boss) was, and then sent her back to work with zero expectation that she should end contact. To his credit, he told us at the beginning that he wasn't very experience at working with marriage problems. So, he directed us to another Christian counselling service that was not any better. Thankfully, God directed us to MB. That is where the actual help came from.


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L2C, given the situation that you're in, you are actually in a pretty good starting-off point to build a great marriage, if you choose. You have a wife who gets it. You've got a basis to empathize with one another. You've got every reason to say "never again" and I will do better" and mean it.

Maybe you've heard it said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Well, the road from good intentions to a better marriage is (or must be) paved with actions. What you need is a set of actions: extraordinary precautions on your part (and her part, given her past) to keep clear of what you didn't keep clear of in the past; and positive actions & efforts to ID one another's emotional needs better, and to meet them as fully as possible, and to avoid the "love-busters" that weaken one's relationship. Have you got a practical plan for redoubling your efforts to this end? (I trust these terms aren't new to you?)

I would start with the EPs. Which ones will you be taking? It helps to have a concrete list.

I'll start you out with one, in case it's not already at the top of your list, and as you might guess, it's that you need to be gone from that congregation.

I know... it can seem pretty daunting & disorienting. My wife & I left a church that we'd been part of for 13 years. We'd served it, and we & our children had helped build it. We had good friends there whom we knew we would see a lot less of. But... we took our counselor & no-contact seriously, and it had to be that way, because to stay there would've been an anchor dragging back our recovery, a constant source of pain & triggers to my wife. This is so obvious to me, 4 & a half years after the fact, that it seems silly to be typing it -- like typing "rain falls downward" or "the sky is blue" as though they were great revelations. Maybe it doesn't seem as clear-cut to you; but if not, then you're not really taking a clear look at the fear & pain that the prospect of continued contact is causing your wife. She doesn't prefer to leave either, but I think she knows that it's necessary. The constant apprehension of looking over her shoulder (if OW is there) and wondering, and even the mere thought of you & OW sharing confidences & admiration in that setting, is a trigger that you simply cannot permit her to suffer.

Banish all doubt on this point, my friend. Do what you need to do for her peace of mind. Explain your decision to your pastor if you want -- he might learn something from the conversation; but don't be dissuaded by any "resolution" that envisions you & FF and that other couple in the same congregation.

Oh, and: You need to lead on this, L2C. Or, better-put: You need to be side-by-side in lockstep with FF as her protector here. You want a chance to mininster to your family & show spiritual leadership? Here's a chance & it's staring you right in the face.

Last edited by GloveOil; 08/14/13 07:05 AM.

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Married 25 years & counting.
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"I wear the chain I forged in life... I made it link by link, and yard by yard" ~Jacob Marley's ghost, A Christmas Carol
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Originally Posted By: Learning2Cherish
I want most now is to learn to see my wife and children as my most important ministry.


Why do you want to see them as your "most important" ministry? They should be your only ministry, and not just for the next few years. They should be your only ministry for the rest of your life. Your affair and the holier-than-thou attitude toward your wife have nearly destroyed your family. There are plenty of people who can serve God through missions and church leadership. Please have enough humility to recognize that you are not one of them.

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Originally Posted By: Learning2Cherish

Stepping out of church-related ministry for at least the next two years will be a very good first step to breaking away from this mindset and putting my focus on my family as my first and most important ministry. I want to learn to just enjoy them and love them for who they are.


A 2-year hiatus is not going to cut it. And your comment, "I want to learn to just enjoy them and love them for who they are," is very revealing. You said you need to "learn" to love your wife and kids "for who they are" as if they need improvement, but you would try to love them anyway. Do you have any idea how cold and patronizing that is?

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Originally Posted By: JessicaClaire
Originally Posted By: Learning2Cherish

Stepping out of church-related ministry for at least the next two years will be a very good first step to breaking away from this mindset and putting my focus on my family as my first and most important ministry. I want to learn to just enjoy them and love them for who they are.


A 2-year hiatus is not going to cut it. And your comment, "I want to learn to just enjoy them and love them for who they are," is very revealing. You said you need to "learn" to love your wife and kids "for who they are" as if they need improvement, but you would try to love them anyway. Do you have any idea how cold and patronizing that is?
Two years is the basic minimum time to recover. If recovery is successful, then POJA will define what the path forward should be. After recovery, there may be a place for joint ministry. It is premature to say. Recover first, and then use POJA to figure it out.


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I understand what you are saying, but I think he needs to recognize that his personal desire to work in missions poses an unacceptable risk to his family and whatever church he attends. It's as if I had been trying to practice medicine--be advised that I have no medical training whatsoever--and had seriously harmed several people as a result. The solution wouldn't be to make me stop "practicing medicine" for 2 years; it would be to make me stop it altogether. If I were truly remorseful for the harm I'd caused, I wouldn't even consider engaging in that behavior in the future.

Moreover, couples can POJA activities which are harmful to their marriage, and applying POJA to a risky activity won't make it less risky. If EPs are designed to eliminate the conditions that made the affair possible, then his ability to do this activity should be eliminated. Do you see where I'm coming from?

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