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So...transparency?

Do you have unsupervised internet time? Does she have all your passwords? Do you have a fool-proof accountability method? Do you spend ANY time with members of the opposite sex? Do you have opposite sex friends? Do you spend undivided time together? Do you have something like a net nanny on your devices?

It sounds like you've been nice, romantic, and bought her stuff. But what she NEEDS is to feel SAFE with you.

What have you done about THAT?

No offense, but I would not be impressed if my cheating, porn-addicted husband taught me a Bible study.
 

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Hey Tim,

I assume both you and your wife are Christians, yes?

There's a saying that floats around Christian circles....''those who are forgiven, forgive.''

I think the meaning is clear, but to elaborate for others, maybe, it means, God has forgiven people for their grievous sins against a thrice Holy God, on the basis of Jesus' atoning work on the cross and subsequent resurrection. When we came to faith, our slate was wiped clean, so much so, that one day when we die we will be in the presence of the triune God. Then, we are told, to turn around and be like Jesus. How so? We forgive others as Christ has forgiven us. If you meditate on this simple good news, very soon the profundity reaches you.

So, I ask. Have you asked for forgiveness from her for your betrayal/sin in sincerity? If so, has she accepted? (The reciprocal could also be asked, of course, as no one is without sin, but one thing at a time).

If the answers are yes and yes, and the situation is as it is, then there are bigger spiritual problems in the home.

(And before anyone accuses me of whitewashing the adultery, of course, the consequences will be felt for however long, but there can be no renewal of the marriage bonds if only one person is on board).

Also, I applaud your stance of leading in Bible study and prayer, it is the mandate for all Christian husbands and fathers, even as flawed as we are.
 

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Hey I can't take exception with much of what you say. My wife will not divorce me. Why? Probably financial security and probably also the shame of divorce itself. Just for the record, Darth (your words not mine) I have worked my ass off over the last decade to make my marriage better. I have come to the end and I seeking encouragement if I should hang in there. I do appreciate your candor, but you assume more than you should.
I just recently told my wife I can't stand to see her live in the misery she has been in. I do care for her and I want her to be happy. I really do. She sent me a text saying she will not pursue divorce. If I want it, I need to do it.
BTW, for a couple of you who have responded about what the Bible says about divorce. If you strictly follow Biblical mandates, immorality is not a reason for divorce if you are the offender only if you are the victim. When I divorce and pursue another then I make the other person an adulterer. I want to do what's right.
Also, before you are too hard on the church. The church did host a women's group to help them deal with this in a non judgmental environment. Ironically every other woman in my wife's group was divorced within 2 years.
This is kind of a hard one. Now to @timcarp1964, and I mean this in the best way possible, try not to break your arm patting yourself on the back. And, know that I am not saying that just to break your balls.

I get that you have done a lot of work to get yourself together, I get it, it is admirable in lots of way. It really is.

But here is the deal you cheated, really badly, "Trickle trothed", and on and on. What I am saying is your case was really bad, and you need to understand that.

So it is possible that you have broken your wife, and the question then would be, can you help her to get better if she does not really want to? (I kind of think the answer is no, BTW)

From an infidelity/marriage rebuilding point of view, it takes two... Two people that want the marriage to work, two people that want to do the work, and work through the problems, otherwise, it will fail.

So you have done your work and gotten yourself together, cool. Now your wife may be too broken, two depressed, or whatever, so she had not done the work.

And frankly, she may want a divorce but does not want to be the bad guy.

If you cannot get her on the marriage team, your choices are limited.

They are:

1) Live in a sexless marriage, with a wife that probably does not love you. And even if she does, she may not be able to do the work necessary to recover from all of it????

2) Divorce, with all the negative connotations from that in the church. And start a new life and be a better person in that one.

Now, if the legalistic aspects of the divorce possibility are what is holding you up, then many scholars submit that shunning the marital bedroom are grounds for divorce. And please don't try and debate me on it, I am not saying that it is right or wrong, I am just say some biblical scholars feel that way.

If you love your wife, I don't think that redoubling your efforts to talk to her, get her into some type of counseling or possibly to a medical doctor to deal with the depression... I think really working on these angles COULD help, but at the same time, you can only lead a horse to water...

I think that at some point you have to ask yourself if you can live like you are living for the rest of your live, without love and sex?

So how do you feel about that possibility, no real love, and no sex to speak of for the rest of your life?
 

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It's pretty extensive but for 8 years after the last disclosure, I served her like no other. I have apologized profusely throughout the years. I have given her my undivided attention as her love language is quality time. I have led us in Bible studies and prayer. We have had ceremonies to mark starting over. I have showered love and gifts including expensive cars, anniversary rings, and dogs which she dearly loves. I even let her pick out a house 6 months ago that was 2x the price and size that I would have picked. Little has changed. She says she deserves these things for what I did. I can't refute that but as an engineer that logic defies my thinking. I am tired now after doing it for this long and little has changed. I have worked a lot on me. I am not the same person who cheated on her. If so, I would be cheating again and I'm not. I well know the pain of that for both of us.

Lack of physical intimacy is not Biblical grounds for divorce BTW.
I see you have done a lot of material things and gifts and such. My question is what have you don't to rebuild emotional intimacy? What have you done to make her feel safe? What have you don't to make her feel cherished?

Everyone can say I love you, but you need to say I love you and this is why. I ****ed up and this is where. I get what you are feeling and please let me help you.
 

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You said you've made amends to your wife. Please explain exactly what you've done to make amends.
It's pretty extensive but for 8 years after the last disclosure, I served her like no other. I have apologized profusely throughout the years. I have given her my undivided attention as her love language is quality time. I have led us in Bible studies and prayer. We have had ceremonies to mark starting over. I have showered love and gifts including expensive cars, anniversary rings, and dogs which she dearly loves. I even let her pick out a house 6 months ago that was 2x the price and size that I would have picked. Little has changed. She says she deserves these things for what I did. I can't refute that but as an engineer that logic defies my thinking. I am tired now after doing it for this long and little has changed. I have worked a lot on me. I am not the same person who cheated on her. If so, I would be cheating again and I'm not. I well know the pain of that for both of us.

Lack of physical intimacy is not Biblical grounds for divorce BTW.
The way I understand it is that you can divorce her, you just can't marry another after according to Moses, since she hasn't committed sexual immorality.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
So...transparency?

Do you have unsupervised internet time? Does she have all your passwords? Do you have a fool-proof accountability method? Do you spend ANY time with members of the opposite sex? Do you have opposite sex friends? Do you spend undivided time together? Do you have something like a net nanny on your devices?

It sounds like you've been nice, romantic, and bought her stuff. But what she NEEDS is to feel SAFE with you.

What have you done about THAT?

No offense, but I would not be impressed if my cheating, porn-addicted husband taught me a Bible study.
I am COMPLETELY known. I have covenant eyes installed on all my devices (few as they are), my phone and work laptop. Yes, I have accountability software installed on my work laptop. My wife and 3 other friends in recovery (who my wife knows) get my reports. If I have to spend time with opposite sex, my wife is aware of it. It doesn't happen often, but I do have female suppliers who I occasionally meet with. My wife has access to my whereabouts on our iphones and life360 in addition. If I deviate from the normal schedule, I tell her.
I don't teach her a Bible study. We do it together. No offense taken. To each his/her own...
 

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It's pretty extensive but for 8 years after the last disclosure, I served her like no other. I have apologized profusely throughout the years. I have given her my undivided attention as her love language is quality time. I have led us in Bible studies and prayer. We have had ceremonies to mark starting over. I have showered love and gifts including expensive cars, anniversary rings, and dogs which she dearly loves. I even let her pick out a house 6 months ago that was 2x the price and size that I would have picked. Little has changed. She says she deserves these things for what I did. I can't refute that but as an engineer that logic defies my thinking. I am tired now after doing it for this long and little has changed. I have worked a lot on me. I am not the same person who cheated on her. If so, I would be cheating again and I'm not. I well know the pain of that for both of us.

Lack of physical intimacy is not Biblical grounds for divorce BTW.
Actually it is. I have been involved in ministry for a long time and if a husband or wife refuses to have sex it is absolutely grounds.

It might not be your personal line in the sand. You don't have to divorce anyone for anything.

You can biblically divorce for a spouse who refuses sex.

Your wife does not deserve payment in the form of whatever she wants as far as material possessions go.

You are still required to be a husband and make good decisions.

Being a paycheck genie for her is not being the partner she needs.

You are doing a lot but being a good spouse doesn't mean giving into your spouse like you are.

You still need a backbone with her to have a healthy relationship.

Your dynamic needs to be healthy regardless of past offenses if you both want a future together.

She can't get to be an entitled fixture that determines what you owe her and hope to have a marriage.

You do not have a marriage right now. It is a total sham.

I am not trying to diminish the work you have done at all.

She is not willing to engage in the marriage. It takes two.

She cannot keep you as her little whipping boy and expect to have a marriage.

She needs to make a grown up decision about wether she wants to keep punishing you and herself as a side effect, or build a marriage with you.
 

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@timcarp1964 what do you think your wife thinks when she things about your life together?

What where her dreams?

What do you think her feelings about her marriage were before she found this out?

How about now?

What do you think he things about her life in general?
 

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You have to show that you have a backbone and that your wife can trust you to do the right thing. If you bought a house that was too much for you, that is not showing your wife that you are trustworthy. It shows that you placate, which is the opposite of what your wife needs.

You are being weak, when your wife needs you to be strong. Likely not only is her heart still broken and she doesn’t trust you, but she lost attraction for you and isn’t in love with you anymore.

It seems that your approach to reconciliation has been somewhat groveling, but that doesn’t actually work. Rebuilding a marriage requires you to show strength and to be the man that you promised you would be. You build her up without tearing yourself down. You build up the marriage by building both of your lives. You can’t come from the position of one person being better than the other. That makes you look like a lesser man, which will never reignite your wife’s attraction for you.

If a marriage is going to work, it has to be good for both partners and right now it doesn’t look like your marriage is good for either of you. You two need to engage with each other as equals, but you need to engage as a married couple. Right now you aren’t doing that. You are still in the proverbial dog house after ten years. Why didn’t she divorce you? In agreeing to reconciliation, that means she forgives you and you work together to rebuild what was broken. You cannot build a marriage by yourself. It takes two.

I think it’s time for some hard talks and for you to make a plan on what is going to happen. You need to stand up and lead this situation, not because you are the husband, but because you are the one who caused the damage in the first place. I think what your wife needs is for you to pursue her as a man of value rather than continuing to try to make up for what you did. And you need to make it clear to her that you have expectations that the two of you are going to work through this together and are going to make your marriage vibrant and healthy. If she’s in, great. If not, then it’s time for divorce.

The first thing I would do it tell her to set up individual therapy and for the two of you to set up marriage counseling. Start reading books on marriage and learning how to engage each other in a positive manner. She doesn’t have to start having sex right now, but that should be a goal to have a healthy sex life. If she can’t do any of this, then the marriage needs to end.

I’m not talking about demanding. I’m talking about having an honest conversation that you are not going to wear a scarlet letter for the rest of your life and suffer for your sins. You are going to stand up and take back what the devil stole and to walk in power, love, and sound mind. That’s what needs to happen here, otherwise both of you are going to be miserable for the rest of your lives.
 
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