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#346546 06/21/04 09:55 PM
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What to do, what to do, what to do... sorry about the length of this post, but I think I have to give some background.

I think I am becoming myself again! (I am almost to 3 year anniversary of Dday, so it's about time!!!) (H continues in affair. I am no longer taking it personally. I see it as a symptom of his need to return to God.)

Yes, I have found good in my life after discovering H's affair - I am cured of looking to my H to provide what only God can provide. I have been to that place where you cannot pray, you only moan and let the Holy Spirit speak for you. Amazingly, he did.

This weekend, I cleaned out the storage closet. This is a job I used to do yearly. Somehow it hasn't gotten done for 3 years - wonder why. It was so freeing to take some of that stuff and fling it into the donations box. I feel stronger, I have survived! Also, I'm getting the strength to be honest in a respectful way when H is annoying (he sits down and changes TV channel, etc.)

Now: what to do???
Recently on GQII there are several threads about the need to expose.
I visited the SaveYourMarriage site and that says: immediately tell people.
I have the material from restore and it says: Do NOT tell people, because a wife should not shame the husband.
I have the surrendered wife and also lots of other material about surrendering and it says do what H says unless it conflicts with what God says. And H said "don't tell anyone."
I have another book (forget title) and it says you should tell your family and friends who pray, because the more people praying the better.
I have the BIBLE and it says if you have been wronged and you have confronted and the wronger (is that a word???) refuses to repent, then you should recruit others.

At first I did not tell because I was in total confusion, and I found MB for an outlet (I asked WH before posting here and he said ok.)

Now I do not tell because 1) WH claims that as soon as people know he will move out because if he is taking flack about an affair he might as well enjoy her. (my interpretation - he did say if the word got out he would leave.)
2) I don't trust some people to leave my children out of it. (I had some experience with this as a child.)
3) I know that when you say something you can never unsay it.
4) I know some of my friends would put a lot of pressure on me to just kick him out and move on, and I plan to stand for my M.

But, when I look at these reasons, they all look like fear of consequences, and I have Jesus, so I do not need to make decisions based on fear.

But, there is still that stuff about obeying your husband....

Also, I wanted to finish some plan A goals (lose weight, get the house in better order) before "rocking the boat" in any way.

So you can see I am confused.

Here's what I am asking for:
1) any advice on who/whether/when to tell (caveat - I don't promise to follow it! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" />

and more importantly (2) prayer that I will make decisions that honor Him and lead to the best for me, my children, and my H.

Thanks for reading my long post.

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Bgentle,

I write both here and at SaveYourMarriage, AND I have read the bible (heehee), so I know what you mean...it is all quite confusing and conflicting isn't it?

Well, really it is not as conflicting as it might first appear. I can speak to you from experience...whether you "tell" or do "not tell" is not going to be the deciding factor whether your marriage recovers or not--it is the heart of you and your H. If he is determined to disobey God and continue his affair and end his marriage, he will do so whether you are silent or whether you tell. OTOH, if he is determined to obey God and end his affair and save his marriage, he will do so whether you are silent or whether you tell.

As a god-fearing wife, I agree that it is not our place to shame our husbands; however, it would seem to me that carries the caveat that they not behave in shameful ways. In biblical times, if a man were to run off with a prostitute and leave his wife and children poor and starving, the wife is not supposed to just let herself and the kids die...she is supposed to go to her own male relatives and ask for help. Her father and brothers have a duty to help feed her and the children. Well...how is she supposed to enlist their help without telling????

In my own life, my exH was abusive and a serial cheater, and for most of our marriage I never told a soul...for several reasons. I didn't think of raging as abuse. I was embarrassed that I was being treated that way. We were isolated from friends and family. He said it was between us and no one else's business. I didn't know who to turn to. (You get the drift.) Toward the end our of marriage, when I caught him in yet another affair, I finally called his family and literally begged them to help me help him. I told them that he had been cheating on me all along...that he was mentally ill and as a consequence frequently abusive...and I literally beseeched them to please help. To my complete and utter shock, they all ignored it and have done nothing to help their own son and brother!

That was when I finally figured it out. It's not so much to TELL EVERYONE. No, you do not put an ad in the paper! haha <img border="0" title="" alt="[Razz]" src="images/icons/tongue.gif" /> The trick is to not keep it the dirty family secret anymore. The trick is to WISELY tell those who will offer you support, encouragement and help for the marriage. The trick is to tell those who will help him see the way back home. The trick is to tell wise, spiritual, trusted people who will love you and strengthen you, and forgive him and encourage him.

If you keep it a secret, it is a little like the pink elephant in the living room. Do you know that story? There is a HUGE pink elephant in the living room, and everyone knows it is there, but everyone ignores it and no one will discuss it and people keep walking around it and cleaning up after it--but pretending it doesn't exist. The pink elephant is the affair. Everyone knows it is there, but they ignore it and refuse to discuss it and keep tip-toeing around it and cleaning up after it--but they pretend there is no affair.

Before you tell someone, ask yourself: "What good will come of telling this person?" If there is good, then it may be wise to tell them. If they can support you, encourage you, assist him, forgive him, pray for you--it may be wise to tell. If there would be no good from it--if it would create family feuds and re-trigger FOO issues and lead to grudges and hatred--then it may not be wise to tell.

And finally, telling the minister, your family, his family, and his boss and the OW's boss may or may not work. All too often the Church really lets people down by refusing to speak up and speak out against adultery. Can you believe it?? THE CHURCH!! In one case, I even knew of a lady who was openly having an affair, and her and the OM were allowed to become SINGLES MINISTERS because they did such a good job! NO KIDDING!!! And your family may end up hating him for having an ongoing affair, so when you do do reconcile and enter recover, then you have all your family's hurt feelings and bitterness to contend with. His family will probably support him because they love him and want him to be happy (I don't blame them--it's just sad that families won't tell their members to return to their marriages). And his boss and the OW's boss may or may not care, as long as work is being done.

The idea about exposure is to not be silent about the pink elephant. Speak up and call the pink elephant a pink elephant. Do not keep it the silent family secret. Just like Nathan spoke right up to King David and said, "DAVID! You are committing adultery!" it is permissible (or whatever) to call a sin by its name.

And BTW, don't forget that often if you tell a person who is sinning that what they are doing is sin, they do NOT like it! They want to keep their sin covered up and in the dark, and they get very angry if their sin is exposed to the light. Thus, just because your H told you to keep his adultery a secret does not mean that it is God's will for you to do so. Doesn't God tell us "Be sure your sin will find you out?" I guess my point here is that some degree of anger and yelling is to be expected if you reveal his adultery because people don't like it when you reveal their sin. DUH! The anger or yelling is not the measuring stick by which to measure this.

Okay?? Hope I've been helpful!


CJ

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great advise, I told some of H family so that I could get sympathy and hear them yell at H, I think, and none of that happened. Afterward, I was sorry that I had told. I have also only told spiritual friends who are positive and help me on my journey and not tear me down. My psychologist said that it feels like if you don't tell H is getting away with it. Hand it over to God and letting go is the biggest leap of faith, I know, because I have not totally let it go yet either.

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There is another way.

You might pray and ask that if it is His will, that God would bring this into the open.

You don't need to do anything. God knows best whether it is best for this to be exposed, and if so, the right timing etc.

You can leave it with Him.

Shul

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Bgentle,

I agree with shul on this. First, ask God who should know, and not know, so that you have a support group. And then ask God that His will de done in this situation. Then you can call different prayer groups like The 700 Club 800-759-0700, and TBN 888-731-1000 for prayer support too. Calling them keeps it anonymous and it also gives you the power of group prayer. I have personally called these 2 numbers many times and it seems like God always gave me the right person to talk to about what ever was going on.

Be Blessed Gentle!!!

sg

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Hi All!
Thanks so much for your advice. It was offered in such a loving spirit - I was really not sure what to expect.

I have told a friend who is not happy in her own marriage, but is not going to quit - she gives me books (i can't remember the title but the subtitle is "what if marriage isn't to make you happy but to make you holy.") (H knows I told her)

I told the person that I did premarital counseling with (H know this - she advised not telling)

I don't tell my mom because I am not sure that she would ever forgive H if we did renew our marriage. But then will she forgive me for not telling her if she ever does find out???

And I have asked God to do what He wants, and I am just impatient. Telling someone would certainly stir things up!!!

But... when we go to a gathering of his family, I feel like I am being dishonest not to say anything.

Also, I wonder if I am depriving myself and H and kids of powerful prayers by not telling people?

What if I said "my marriage is in trouble and I don't care to go into specifics and would you please pray." ?

OR: "Please pray for H, he has completely left his faith."

(After all, I believe that this affair is a symptom of his lack of God in his life, anyway.)

I don't think I can go to another family gathering without saying something.

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bump for answers

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Bgentle,

I think this one right here is the way to go. I added the parentheses.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Before you tell someone, ask yourself: "What good will come of telling this person?" If there is good, then it may be wise to tell them. If they can support you, encourage you, assist him, forgive him, pray for you (and him) --it may be wise to tell. If there would be no good from it--if it would create family feuds and re-trigger FOO issues and lead to grudges and hatred--then it may not be wise to tell.</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I probably told a dozen people. They were people I knew would cover my M in prayer. I told my parents and brother. I prefaced it with.

“I am standing for my M and I am telling you this because I need people to support me. I love my W and she’s confused and needs my help through something. I need you to love W as much as I love her and treat her no differently. If you don’t then we have a problem. I am going to help he through this. W has been having an A and …”

I like this for those you know would pray for you, but don’t need to know the specifics. God knows the specifics.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">What if I said "my marriage is in trouble and I don't care to go into specifics and would you please pray." ?</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">If this doesn’t work then it may require telling others that he respects but will also protect your wishes.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"> Also, I wonder if I am depriving myself and H and kids of powerful prayers by not telling people?</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Yes you are.

You know you have our prayers.

If any of your friends tell you to kick him out tell them that you aren’t going to take that advise yet. You want to save the M and ask them if you have their support.

Well I gotta go dinner’s ready.

Bless you

S&C

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Hi Bgentle,

I am thinking that 3 years is a long time.

This has been a very hard time for you, and it must seem like nothing is changing.

I am wondering a couple of things;

Has your husband experienced any consequences as a result of this affair at all?

Is the OW married or single? If married, her husband needs to know at some point.

I am thinking that this has gone on too long.

We can pray for specific things...

(Well I will just pray and you will get the idea)

Father,

Thank you for what you are going to do in bgentle's life and situation.

I pray that you will bring about circumstances that will cause her husband to repent of this behavior. That if it is your will, that this affair would come to light in ways that would cause him and the ow distress.

Father, you say in your word that there is no peace for the wicked.I pray that they would not have any peace and that they would be convicted of the wrongness and harm of their actions.

I pray that the ow would meet someone else, or that if she has a husband, he would discover this sin.

I pray that You would cause a great rift between them- that you would put a hedge of thorns in their paths, that they would encounter difficulty and hardship if they try to remain in contact.

I pray that while keeping bgentle safe, you would allow consequences to her husband and to the ow that would cause them to turn to You for help. that he would come to the end of himself.

Let bgentle's love be salt and light to him.

Let her words be like honey to him.

Let him be attracted to her sexually.

Let him not be attracted to the ow.

I pray that you would remind him of your word and that he would hear or read something that would speak to his condition at just the right time.

I pray that you would put some godly man in his path who would be an example to him and a friend.

I pray that any tactic the enemy has used to decieve him will now backfire and the truth will overcome the darkness in his mind.

I pray for bgentle that you will show her as these things happen. That she will sense yoru hand in this situation, and know how to respond when these things happen.

Let her not be fearful of circumstances that happen but knwo that it is prat of th ework you are doing to bring her husband to the end of himself.

I pray that she will remember your promise that when she walks through th efire she will not be burned, the waters will not overtake her.

She will come through this unscathed and just to be patient and trust you no matter what, even if things seem to get worse at first.

For tonight Father, I pray that begentle will be able to show love to her husband in a way that will draw him to her greatly. That he will see her as a person.

Father, let your will be done in all these things, for the sake of your son Jesus.

Shul

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3 years IS a long time. But not long enough for God to finish his work in me. I have learned so much - about leaning on God and not on my own understanding, about letting God be God. There hasn't been much change in my marriage, but there are changes in me.

Last week, WH actually spent more time than I did with the kids. And we have had several good conversations.

She is single, so no H to tell. Believe me, I would tell in a minute.

He has not really experienced "worldly" consequences of affair, no... but on the other hand neither have our kids, and in many ways I have not. He is still here when I need him. When I have to cry, it is on his shoulder. When I have trouble at work, he supports me and vice versa.
Really, he is experiencing severe consequences - he has removed himself from the presence of God, how unhappy he must be.

I have been known to pray that obnoxious telemarketers call whenever they are about to be intimate.

Sometimes I worry that she'll dump him, and he'll just assume we're ok because she's gone. I want so much more, a real marriage. But then I give that to God too. I can't fix this with worry! So I pray only that he will find his way back to God, and I would so honored to be a tool in this process.

I have talked with several godly people, (ok, three, but two of them are pastors) and they all separately told me that they think that the time to make this generally public is not now. But I think I will ask some who will not insist on details to begin praying.

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i can't really say any more then what has already been said here. only a suggestion when asking for prayer. i have found that telling people "without going into details i would like to ask you to pray for me and WS and that God's will be done in his life and our M." see with this request you have covered all the bases 1) identified a need 2)asked for prayer for God to reveal his will for your M 3) asked for God's will in your life as well as your H. it is for sure that God's will is for your H to end his A, return to the M, and definitely turn his life over to God, there is no question that this is what God wants for his children. you are also asking for God to reveal what it is that should be done (or not done) in your situation and that maybe not even through you that things will be "revealed."

think about it this way, what if God is testing you and your faith in the power of prayer. what if he is just waiting for a few more prayers to be offered for you and your H before he reveals things to you or makes known what his plan is for your M and speak to your H's heart. anyone who is a Christian will know what it means to ask for God's will and i believe they would be able to pray for you in this way w/out knowing all the details. you must have some iron resolve to be going through this for 3 years w/out much change, God is blessing you and will continue to bless you as long as you keep your eyes focused on him.

continued prayers to you, RR

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Thanks, roughroad, that was very encouraging. That request you wrote should fit the bill.

WH's parents are planning to visit us in two weeks and I have decided that it is too dishonest to pretend that everything is fine with them here, so I will give some version of what you said. And, they should be strong prayer warriors for us.

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i'm glad and remind us as it get's closer to the meeting so that we can offer some special prayers for you. God Bless, RR

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hi Bgentle- you can read my history on MB- all over the boards for 2 years.
I told ow h within a week. now he doesn't care-2nd M's for both him and ow-they are good at giving up.
my H left 9 weeks ago after a long false recovery.
I never told our parents until he left. IL's don't talk to me and sons- they don't approve of their son but will not tell him. I told h what our last conversation was. (they dont approve but won't say it) I have talked to their priest- he won't intervene without using my name.

Our pastor- finally talked to my h. said he is very confused- knows that everyone wants him to CHOOSE-rest of conversation Pastor says is confidential but he did say h never mentioned D.

my parents are very sad- they abandoned me at 12 and 17 and they see now.....but they support my standing for my M- have not spoken to h. my father has called my h- but h won't call him back.

yesterday I read "Dobsons love must be tough" and see that I have had those conversations in person and thru written word with my h. all I can tell you is it is NOT ok with God for you to enable your h to continue an A and live with you. read-study-pray....I am sad that you suffer this abuse. I've been there. seperated is outrageously painful but perhaps painful for the one who has forsaken me also.........

PEACE OUT...and IN!


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