I don’t know if I need advice per se or if I need an outlet or if I need to be committed . . . or if I need a slap in the back of my head.
My husband has been cheating on me for . . . I don’t know how long now. I thought I reached my limit a few months ago when I saw a video on his phone (yes, yes, a violation of his privacy) with him sleeping and the girl (she looked about 19, maybe 20) next to him videoing it all . . . in OUR bed. Strange enough, what made me say enough is enough was the fact that she was on MY side of the bed.
This wasn’t the 2nd time he had cheated on me and maybe not even the 4th over the seven years we’ve been married and 10 years together. But I thought I’d reached my limit and decided to break things off with him. In that same week he begged to prove himself, asked me to keep our separation a secret. So, I did and told him that counseling was non-negotiable. I also told him he had to break things off with this person and he claimed to . . . by sending me some bulls**t screenshot of the exchange.
I tend to look deeper into things than average because of him so I didn’t believe for a minute that he had broken up with her . . . had no illusions that he would change but I would fake it for his sake . . . and the sake of our church. I went as far as finding the marital counselor and asked him to make contact.
The only difference is that now he no longer blames me for his cheating . . . in a way.
I cut the separation short because he seemed to have been suffering . . . also I was afraid that if our church found out that it would negatively affect them so much that they would leave and he would lose his witness. Yet four months later, he’s still seeing this girl.
I feel like I’m losing my mind some days. Other days I feel like a fool and tell myself that I’m leaving. But then there are other days when we go to church and I see how much it has grown since we have been there, when we see how much God has done, I change my mind because I don’t want to break their hearts. I know it’s irrational to think that way, that God will keep them because He called them, but I can’t help the fear that comes up when I think of leaving him and letting our leaders know.
Then I think of him and how ruined he would be, his ministry would be tarnished all because he can’t control himself or get the simple help he needs. My heart breaks every day because I am not enough and know that, until he gets help, I will never BE enough.
It’s not that I don’t know what I need to do, I do. I’m just scared. I’m not scared of being alone (I actually prefer it), I’m not afraid of being on my own and taking care of myself (my job has blessed me beyond measure this year), I’m not afraid of not having sex anymore (I have investments…LOL).
I’m scared for him and for our church. I have no faith in him to be faithful to me anymore. We are great friends so on the outside, it looks like we have an amazing marriage. Even he thinks that we do. But I have faked it so much that I feel like I’m developing another personality or I’m becoming histrionic (God, I’m dramatic) or something.
This marriage has messed me up so much that I don’t find myself attracted to men anymore or wanting to be with any (I don’t want to be with women either). I just want to be single. Being a cat lady sounds like a dream to me. I don’t want anyone because I just think people are s**t. Sometimes I feel like I don’t even want to walk with God anymore. I am just so drained that I have nothing left to give anyone, least of all myself.
Sorry this is so long (even though it doesn’t scratch the surface of it all). Hope you find the breaking heart in it, in spite of the jokes.
“My heart breaks every day because I am not enough and know that, until he gets help, I will never BE enough.” ~ Mash down that lie right now. How did you take upon yourself the issue of someone else’s lack of sobriety and commitment to you as an indication of your WORTH? Girl, you do deserve a slap back into reality. Now that you are back into reality, let’s settle a few things
- YOU are your responsibility. You’re not responsible for the church & their happiness and expectations at the expense of your own.
2. What do you get out of keeping up appearances? Is your identity wrapped up in that marriage? Who are you? You need to remember that quick and be true to that person.
3. When someone shows you who they are believe them. You’re perhaps sitting there hoping that if you wait around long enough, he would change.
4. I would advise that you use protection if you are going to have sex with him while you keep up appearances. If you have not yet gotten tested for STIs, do that.
5. One of the tenets of Christianity is TRUTH. And you, dear Broken, are living a lie before the people whom you supposedly love and want to protect. Do they deserve to be tricked by your husband and you? You owe them TRUTH. They’ll respect you for it.
And finally, don’t you ever embrace that lie that you are not enough. In fact, #YouAreWorthy
Damien Williams is a Minister & Bible Teacher at Ekklesia Bible Fellowship in Kingston, Jamaica. He is also an Educator, Life Coach and Human Rights & Justice Advocate. His day job is as a Field Operations Manager at Habitat for Humanity Jamaica. If you have an issue that you need advice on, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com