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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

When A Husband is Unfaithful (A Godly Woman's Response to Her Husband's Infidelity)

We do almost everything together, including eating ice cream!

For those who have been reading this blog for some time now, you would know by now that though Dong and I experienced marital problems in the past due in most part to my dominant personality and his passive personality, we never had a problem with staying LOYAL to each other. In fact, we are each other's best friend and we really enjoy each other's company. If we had a "problem", it was that we were together a LOT!

But if this blog were to reach the most number of wives, it should also be able to tackle issues which are not within my scope or experience. That is why I am very honored that a dear sister in Christ whose marriage I have been praying and fasting for, has agreed to share with us her story.

Hers is a very "common" problem among marriages -- that of infidelity. 

Her husband is philandering. Nangangaliwa. :(

May kabit (mistress). :(

It's painful. It's humiliating. It's humbling. :(

But she chose the harder route. She chose to follow Christ. She chose to show God to her disloyal husband by her godly behavior.


She has been keeping this a secret from family, friends and loved ones; but when I asked her if I could share about her journey, anonymously, she graciously said that she is willing to share about her pain if it could comfort another wounded soul, saying:

 "I am happy to share whatever might be an encouragement to other wives or a warning to prevent them (from) pain." 

This post is about how a godly woman is handling her unfaithful husband's philandering through prayer, fasting and a godly life... I am so blessed to know her and  to walk with her as she treads this heartbreaking journey.

As this is about her journey and she explains it so beautifully and so clearly, I edited out my own responses to shorten this already very long piece, but put in nearly her complete emails to me. I could not shorten them because they are a wealth of godly wisdom, knowledge and humility.

 May those who are in similar situations be able to garner courage and hope through this sister in Christ. 

THIS IS HER STORY.
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Hi dear sister!

What areas in your marriage need a LOT of prayer? Will it be okay for you to share them with me, so I may pray and fast for you?

Love,

Nikka


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Nikka,


I would be so grateful and blessed if you were to intercede with prayer and fasting for my marriage.  I have not shared with anyone among our family, friends, acquaintances about what is happening in our marriage because I do not want to malign my husband's name.  I do not believe it is right for me, at this point, even to share for the sake of prayers, though it may come to that.  The only ones that know about my marriage difficulties are April, you and a few other wives on her blog.  I am so blessed that God has provided me with support, encouragement, and prayers in this way for this time in my life.


Yes, my marriage needs a LOT of prayers.  My husband and I have been married for almost 12 years and we have two beautiful children.  I would never have said we had a bad relationship. In fact, I thought we had a good marriage, though there were certainly areas where I longed for things to be better, I still felt that we had a solid foundation and a strong commitment.  I am not one who attacked my husband with my words.  In fact, I'm more one to bottle things up inside which has it's own set of repercussions and I am now trying to learn to "speak the truth in love" through open honest communication, even negative thoughts/feelings. 

My disrespect toward my husband was more in my actions as I attempted to take the lead in certain areas, spiritually and financially in particular, two areas where I felt I was more equipped and should therefore lead.  Plus, there are hundreds of minor issues, the way he did little insignificant things differently than me, where I likely communicated disrespect by valuing my way more than his.  I did not ever realize that I was disrespecting my husband, though, and never did so intentionally, and he never spoke up about what I was doing and how it impacted him.


A couple years ago, after 10 years in a job that was anxiety-provoking and mentally and emotionally draining to him (though financially rewarding), he changed careers.  He had to do so out of necessity as he was laid off from his job. I thought this was an answer to prayer and was so excited for him.  He began a new career which he really enjoys and is really good at and he works very very hard with long hours and a crazy schedule.  The financial compensation is not nearly what his previous job was and not nearly what it should be considering the work he puts into it, but he is happy in his work so that is enough. 
I was willing to make whatever sacrifices were necessary to help him.  I did not complain about our finances or about his hours or about the distance growing between me and my friends because I was not able to see them anymore due to his schedule and having no one to watch our children for me to go out.  Last summer, though, I began to notice a growing distance between my husband and I. 

Part of me felt that it was just due to his schedule, his exhaustion from working so hard, and I did not complain, even when he was spending less and less time at home, even choosing to spend his free time away from home.  Part of me knew he needed time to relax and unwind and I did not begrudge him this, even though I missed him a great deal. 

Part of me was too proud, though I didn't exactly realize it at the time or voice it this way, but I allowed the distance to grow unchecked because I felt if he didn't want to spend time with me, then I didn't need him, either (my sinful independent spirit!).  And part of me, as always, was paralyzed by the hurt and negative emotions and couldn't express them.  So we continued to grow farther apart and he became more distant and cold.
Late last year (2013), he asked me out of the blue one night lying in bed if I was happy.  I told him no, I was not happy with the way things were between us.  We talked about this off and on for the next few days as we had opportunity and I felt hopeful that things were going to change. 

Then, he told me that he had met someone else.

This all coincided with, was the catalyst for, my eyes being opened to my sin and disrespect.  God showed me that I needed to examine my own heart and stop blaming him, becoming defensive, thinking that he needed to change.  And so I began my respect journey.  It's been 7 months and has not been an easy journey thus far by any stretch of the imagination.  It's been very painful, but I am learning so much and growing close to my God. He is using all of this to draw me back to Himself, causing me to lean completely on Him.

So, where things are now is that I've been very clear with my husband about my awareness of and repentance for my sins against him: disrespect, rebellion against God's design for marriage, not giving him unconditional love.  I have asked his forgiveness and told him that I love him and am 100% committed to our marriage and family and know that we can rebuild our relationship.

He, on the other hand, is choosing not to forgive me.  He is invested in this other relationship and not ours.  Initially he told me that this person (whom I know nothing about, though I think it may be someone he works with) was his best friend, but then later told me that he loves this person.  He has talked about leaving several times and recently has said our relationship is over, he wants out and is going to seek divorce.  He said if he had the money, he would be gone already.  He is very cold, distant, harsh, and hostile.  He is away from the home as much as possible and when he is here, avoids me as much as possible.  Thankfully our children are young and I don't believe that they have picked up on anything that is going on.  

My husband is in a VERY dark place right now.  He is hurting and so broken and carries a lot of anger and resentment, not only towards me in particular, but also towards his parents and siblings and friends, too.  As I said, he mainly avoids me and doesn't talk to me any more than can be helped, so there are not really any discussions about what is going on, but then he'll go out with friends, come home really late after drinking and wake me up to "talk."  These conversations are very difficult and painful.  His inhibitions are gone at those times and it is so clear just how much pain he is in.  He lashes out at me and the world at these times.  I have no idea, day by day, moment by moment, what he is going to do, whether he is going to leave as he has threatened to do, or what is going to happen.  I am walking on eggshells constantly, but am seeking God's grace and wisdom and praying that I will do nothing except what reflects Christ and His love to him.

My greatest prayer is for his salvation.  He once said he was a believer (he grew up in a strong Catholic family, but fell away from the church after some trauma in his family related to the church).  He was accepting of my faith and I was hopeful that his would grow.  But I had drifted from my First Love and God and His will were not my priority.  Now, my husband says he's all done with God, religion, and the church as it's done nothing but bring trouble to his family.  He's become extremely sensitive to what I do and say to our children as he does not want them to be "brainwashed" as he feels my parents did to me.  His spirit is so broken and I am praying that God will grant him a contrite heart as well.  That his eyes will be opened and his heart softened and that he will experience first hand God's perfect love and amazing grace.

I am praying for protection for our children during this fierce spiritual battle.  They are at such a tender age and their youth is protecting their innocence to some degree, but I know that the evil one is eager to get his claws into their minds and hearts.  I am praying that I can be the mother God wants me to be for them and that God will give me wisdom to teach them about Him in a way that does not feel disrespectful to my husband, but also that I do not use that as an excuse to disregard God's commands to train my children to follow Him.


I am praying for the restoration of our marriage, but I don't believe that will come until the strongholds of Satan in my husband's life and our marriage (and any in my life that God may reveal) have been smashed.  I know this is a vicious battle and I am praying for God's mighty power and presence in my life, to cling to His peace and promises, and follow His will, trusting Him fully no matter what choices my husband makes, no matter what may happen.  I am also praying for humility (a dangerous prayer, I know!) and true awareness of and repentance for my sin.  My pride has blinded me for so long and I know there is so much more to be rooted out, I am just scratching the surface.

Basically all the areas that I mentioned I am fasting for need so much prayer.  I am hopeful, though, in our Sovereign God.  Since I began fasting and praying on the Armour of God, I have noticed changes in myself -- I feel stronger in His mighty power, I am seeing and experiencing amazing things in His word and prayer.  I know that this battle is already won, I just don't know the battle plan, steps of action, and timeline for the victory, but I am trusting my Commander and I'm done with trying to lead. 

I have so much peace in trusting and following in this fiery trial --  more than I ever had when I thought our marriage was good!

Well, that's the long answer to your short question!  I apologize if I have shared too much.  It's hard to narrow down what needs the most prayer, it all seems so overwhelming, but God is in complete control and is accomplishing His purpose for us through all of this.

Thank you, my dear sister, for your love and prayers and fasting on my behalf.  It is good to have the support of a fellow warrior for Christ!

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace 
(Numbers 6:24-26).

Love and prayers.
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I fasted and prayed for you yesterday. When I went to church, I "brought" you and your concerns along with me. I will continue to fast and pray for you for as long as necessary!
Let us claim victory with Christ!

Love,
Nikka

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Hi Nikka,


How are you, Dong and all your family?  I pray that you will enjoy a special time together this Holy Week.



I wanted to give you and update on my situation so you can pray accordingly when the Spirit leads you.

As you know, I have been fasting and praying, pleading and believing that God is going to do something mighty.  There has been a shift.  It does not appear "mighty" to my eyes, but I am looking at the unseen, not the seen, and trusting that God is working His will in my life and marriage.

 My husband came home the other night, after blowing up at me earlier in the day about something minor, and apologized for that incident and everything else.  He said he's been blaming me and everyone else when that's not really the problem.  He said he's been unhappy for a long time and needs to do something about it rather than just continuing to blame others.


 This was the shift.  He still has a long way to go, but it seems his eyes may just be starting to turn and look at himself and his own responsibility in all this.   

Then he told me about the other woman. He told me her name.  She's married with young children, too.  Her husband confronted my husband the other day and told him to stop, but my husband said he wouldn't.  He told me he loves her and wants to be with her, that he's done with trying to please everyone else and now just wants to do what makes him happy and says she makes him happy.


He denies that he can control his feelings and seems to be basing all his actions and decisions on how he's feeling, making happiness his "idol".  Not good.  He is choosing to do what FEELS right as opposed to what actually IS right and I'm so concerned about how our children are going to be impacted and the wrong life messages they will get from him if he continues on this path.



There's still much more to be said between us, I've asked if we could talk more.  He doesn't seem willing at this point.  Please pray for me to have God's wisdom and compassion to "speak the truth in love" to him and that the Spirit will soften his heart and open his ears to hear and understand the truth rather than continuing on this destructive path blindly following his emotions. Please pray for the "other woman" to come to her senses and return to her family (and for my husband to do the same, obviously! :-)


Thank you, Nikka.  Much love to you, my sister.

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Hi my precious sister!

I would like to encourage you further in your walk with Christ. How totally godly your reaction was to his revelations -- about his other woman, about his feelings for her, about not wanting to stop that liaison even if the husband of the "other woman" already told him to do so. That is the Spirit guiding your steps, sister!!!

I am a bit afraid for your husband, in that, a husband telling off a lover of his wife, is BAD news. He should take the hint because men are very territorial and do not want other men messing with their "properties", even more so their wives! :(

I am still continuing with my praying and fasting so I will include your husband's change of heart and enlightenment of mind tonight. I also am going to fiercely pray for the "other woman". I feel led to pray for her. I think she is crucial to this whole sordid affair.

May I send you a link to a blog post I wrote recently? I feel that it may be apt for what you are experiencing right now. It is that of Saint Monica, Saint Augustine's mother. She too was married to an errant husband who defiled their marriage bed. On top of that, he was a pagan!! But God worked in his life and that of Augustine's (a sex maniac in current terms). Prayer was Saint Monica's only weapon!!! But it worked miracles!!!

Here is the link. I feel led by the Spirit to share it with you.


I will pray that should the right timing come, you will be led by the Spirit to speak the truth in love. The truth hurts. But sinning blatantly hurts not only the sinner but those being affected by the sin. :(

Romans 13:13-14
13 "Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh."

It is Holy Monday, 6:50 pm Manila-time. I will be praying and fasting for you and your intentions. I will bombard God to give the "other woman" a change of heart. I think she is the key to your husband, waking up from his "sleep".

God bless you. 

Love,
Nikka


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Nikka,


Thank you so much for your encouragement and for including me and my husband and family and our situation in your prayers and fasting.  I am so blessed to have you as a sister in Christ and so thankful that God saw fit to bring our lives together in this way.  He is so good -- meeting my needs before I even knew I had them!

Thank you for sharing your post on St Monica.  It was very encouraging to read.  What a Godly woman and strong prayer warrior!  I pray that I will be faithful, as she was, no matter what God's timing in accomplishing His will in all of this.  So interesting that you just wrote that post a few days ago -- God knew that I would need it!  Thank you.


Yes, I believe that you are right in saying that "the other woman" is key in all this.  I had resisted knowing who she was or anything about her up until now, telling my husband it is because all of this isn't about her, but about me and I didn't want my focus off of me and what I need to change and being tempted to blame someone else.  I probably would have gone that route at the beginning, but I think God prepared me to handle the knowledge of who this other woman is because my response isn't anger and jealousy, but sorrow and prayer.  I am so saddened for her and her family because I know the exact pain they are going through. 

Oh, how I pray that she will come to her senses!  And that her husband will not stop pursuing her.  I pray that he does feel territorial over his wife and family -- he should! -- and continues to confront my husband and do all in his power to stop this evil and restore his family.  Of course, I don't know him and would hope his confrontations would only be verbal.  I will be praying for protection for my husband and her husband through this.  My husband is strong and had quite the reputation when he was younger as being tough.  He got in a lot of fights.  I don't think he's fearful about defending himself if need be.  I don't think he would attack, though, only defend.  I pray!


Thank you for your encouragement that my response was Godly.  I am struggling, but perhaps in a different way than other wives might.  I am not tempted to yell and scream and attack.  My temptation is more to keep my true emotions and thoughts hidden.  I tend to be a very guarded person.  This is something that has always been a struggle for me and has caused damage in our marriage.  While I didn't necessarily want to be this way, I did not see it as sin before so did not make much effort to change and my husband was always forgiving of me in the past when I would upset him and shut him out emotionally, even though unintentionally.  Now I see that what I was doing was dishonest and disrespectful and I am seeking to change -- for myself so I am not sinning, but am following God's commands to be honest and respectful and loving towards all;  for my husband and our marriage, no matter his choices; and for my children, to teach them right and Godly ways to communicate and relate to others.

So now I'm struggling with making sure that I am not keeping my thoughts and feelings to myself because of my old wrong patterns to guard myself and avoid conflict.  I want to speak the truth to him, but I'm also concerned that I'll just blurt out how much pain I'm in and create more pain for him and further damage in our relationship.  I also do not want to appear to be judging him, accusing him, defending myself, etc.  I guess things can't get much worse, though.  I wrote down a lot of the things I want to share with him to help sort it all out in my head and now I'm praying for the opportunity to do so.  As I mentioned before, he does not seem willing to talk further.  Also, the talks we have had have been very difficult.  He views everything I say and do as manipulative.  He becomes defensive and cuts me off so I'm not able to finish thoughts.  It has been very difficult to communicate with him which tempts me further to sink back into my old avoiding ways.  I do not want to do that!  Thank you for your prayers for me -- I need them so much!!!


Much love and prayers for you!

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Happy Easter, dear sister! :) Today, we celebrate His Resurrection. The reason why we are Christians in the first place, because we believe in Jesus and in Life After Death! :)
God bless you!
Hugs,
Nikka 
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I read an interesting analogy recently that it can be helpful to think of our times of suffering in relation to Christ and Easter. Jesus endured the pain, suffering, and humiliation of his trial and crucifixion on Friday and the darkness of separation from God and feeling forsaken... because He knew His Father was in control and that Easter was coming! 
Certainly our suffering is nowhere near what Christ suffered, but we can trust in His unfailing love and goodness.  God is in control and He is near and will accomplish His purpose.  No matter the trials we must endure on the Fridays and Saturdays of our lives,  Sundays also come!

I feel like I am in the "Good Friday" of my trial and there is still a Saturday of suffering yet to come.  But there is a Sunday of renewal and restoration to follow, praise God!!!  


The same power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at the right hand of the Father in glory is what is available to us when we trust God and keep our eyes, mind and heart focused on Him and His purpose (Ephesians 1:16-20). 

Now THAT is an incredible thought!

 I am going to continue to fast after Easter, through the end of the month, possibly longer, however the Spirit leads.  I have been fasting my midday meal daily, which is when my children nap, and am finding it beneficial to my time with God.  I feel less distracted.  I will eat supper, but I've also been "fasting" through the evening (not snacking when I might normally) especially if naptime (and thus my quiet time with God) was cut short for whatever reason.  I have been mostly reading my Bible and praying during these times, but also reading books or articles about intimacy with God.  I've had moments of discouragement here and there, particularly recently as the month is coming closer to an end and it doesn't seem like there's been any breakthroughs.  However, I remind myself that just because I can't see it, doesn't mean that God isn't working in a BIG Way and I just need to trust and obey.  

I've been reading the Gospel of John and I long to be like the lame man at the pool or the official with the sick child who simply trusted Christ's word and obeyed immediately and without question, as well as the Samaritan woman who's testimony led many to believe -- how wonderful would that be!  I'm also reading Exodus and fear, for myself and my husband, the Pharaoh's insincere repentance and hardening of his heart, so much so that God continued to harden it and kept him from seeing truth even though all around him did.

Thank you for continuing to include me in your prayers and fasting.  God bless you! 

Happy Easter!






* * * * * * * * * * * * *


I am blessed by this sister in Christ's testimony and witnessing to God's Love and Mercy amidst her painful trial! She is still, as yet, in the eye of the storm, but she remains steadfast in her faith in God and compassionate towards her husband and even his "other woman", all the while being firm in not tolerating the sinful behavior, that is, adultery. This kind of godly reaction cannot be attested to my friend, but to God Who resides in her heart. 

Please include her in your prayers. It is not yet over, but I know the Lord will manifest Himself in her situation and show His Power and Might by changing the hardest of hearts. 

In my next post, I shall write down the "pointers" on how to handle a husband's infidelity based on this lengthy exchange I had with this beautiful, godly woman.

I hope this post has blessed you as it has blessed me. :)


May we all be richly blessed! :)

2 comments:

  1. This is an amazing story! It is great to hear how strong a women can be while leaning on God. I struggle with my husband starring at other women and start fights over this. I can't imagine how hard if has to be to know your husband is having an affair, I feel horrible for acting so poorly over something less serious. This women is amazing and I want to trust God as much as her.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Girly21!

      I agree. This sister in Christ trusts in God fully. This is such a painful trial -- humiliating, humbling and insulting-- and yet she is behaving in a very godly manner. Instead of scorn, there is love. Instead of anger, there is compassion. Instead of hating the other woman, she is praying for her! That is how God transforms His children. They no longer behave according to the flesh or according to how the world would expect them to, but are moved by His Spirit, in order to "love one's enemies, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who persecute you." (Lk 6:27)

      I hope that her story will resonate with you and will enlighten you once you feel the pangs of jealousy again. :) God bless you, Girly 21. Thanks for dropping a line.

      Nikka

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