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New Member Struggling with Guilt, Shame, Repentance..

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 5:52 pm
by Sarah-Looking4Answers
Hi, I don't want to overwhelm you all in my first post, so I'll do my best to avoid that. I'm hoping you all can give me your Christian perspective on my dilemma. I'm on my 3rd marriage (7yrs)--should not have married the 3rd in haste... ignored the fact that he is not spiritual and a Christian in the true sense. In other words, he doesn't believe in praying until he attends Catholic Mass once every 3 or 4 or 5 years, and doesn't know if he believes in the Crusifixion (Christian beliefs), but claims to be Catholic. I married him on the rebound rather than taking time for myself. I had abandonment issues as a child, which continued for many years and always clinged to someone in fear of loneliness, so I would rush into marriage with someone who was controlling, or as with the current one, would set aside my beliefs and go along with his. We never really communicated on a deeper or spiritual level, and I would shut down to avoid fights with him, and this is how we've pulled it off for 7 years now.

Fast-forward to present: I feel like I'm using the above as an excuse for my sinful behavior: I stepped outside my marriage and committed adultery!! The person I did this with is spiritual and someone with whom I am able to connect on a deeper/spiritual level. HOWEVER, I know it's WRONG!! Infidelity is INEXCUSABLE!! I did the same thing (but not emotionally--only physically) with my previous spouse because I wanted out due to his anger and control. INEXCUSABLE I know! I have always put Jesus first! Well, NO I haven't; otherwise, I wouldn't have done this! Problem now is....we have a child together that we consider our miracle child--he's just a toddler. I continued this affair with the other guy for about 7 months on/off....saw him 6 or 7 times in 8 months. My husband uncovered the affair out of suspicion, as I had changed a lot, very cold, stand-offish, and told him I wanted a separation. Well, one day he discovered text messages.

My problem is, that I do NOT want to be with him, but rather by myself to be free to see other people, but still co-parent our child. I've really turned to the Lord---after I tried hiding from Him because I knew I broke the Covenant...and 3 times at that (3 marriages!!) I have broken down and sincerely asked for forgiveness, but I realize true forgiveness means REPENT!! Yet I'm on my 3rd marriage!!! I have hit rock bottom here! My husband has forgiven me and wants to make this marriage work, and I've continued to yo-yo on this matter. But following deeper study of God's Word, I'm afraid I will be DAMNED to eternity if I don't REPENT!! I STILL think of the other guy. I'm not saying we will be together, but I'd like to see what happens, yet I feel in God's eyes, this is WRONG, and I should be ASHAMED of myself!

Each morning when I awake, I read my new incoming Bible verse, and I feel it's God's answer to my pleas, and that is to remove myself from this sin and work it out with my husband. Forget about the other guy and work out my marriage!! I have spoken to my husband about us working on our communication and growing together spiritually, therapy, etc., but he refuses and persists that I knew he was not spiritual when I met him and he would not change for me. He hates that I pray so much and can't seem to understand why I do pray and am sincere about Jesus (although I realize I'm a terrible example of a true Christian for doing what I did).

I have been seeing a therapist for my own issues (abandonment, etc.), but I am so tired of suppressing my Christian beliefs in fear of annoying my husband. But I do believe we BoTH need marriage counseling. He argues HE DOES NOT need counseling because he did nothing wrong. I'll never get through him--he's been the same and I can't change him.

I have already judged myself very harshly and even condemned myself, but I truly believe God is merciful and just, BUT.... I realize I need to repent! I am sincere when I break down unto the LORD and beg for forgiveness, yet thoughts of this other guy come up, and I will immediately tell Satan to get away from me (like Jesus in the GArden), but the feelings for this other guy come back. I have, nor has the other guy made any plans/arrangements to be together if/when I'm single, but I would probably still see him.

I realize some of your responses will be harsh, but it's okay, because I'm here to seek other Christian advice. I am torn and my heart is heavy with shame, depression, and sadness, frustration.. Please HELP!

Thank you.

Re: New Member Struggling with Guilt, Shame, Repentance..

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:16 am
by dema
That's a tough one. I do recommend you read the study here on divorce - it isn't what you think.

The Bible says that if your unbelieving husband wants to stay with you then you should stay with him. However, it doesn't say to suppress your worship for him.

There are a lot of things I don't know - is the toddler your husband's? Or the other man's? Do you and your husband fight? If you worship, does that cause fighting? Does the other man want to marry you? And are you so sure this isn't a habit with him? Many people have a deep need to continually prove themselves. And they do it with affairs. Christian or not ..... you know yourself.

There is a study here in counseling. It is called cccc - you can go to site map and then counseling and you will find it. After you read the study on divorce you might want to do this study and post in the forum. It might clear things up for you.

You have conflicting issues here.

Could the affair be more about rejecting commitment with your current husband than about affection for the other man? How long did each marriage last? If it was a similar time, then this could be a pattern you are reliving due to your past.

Figure out your heart and why you are in this situation. Is it really your husband? Or is it rebellion against commitment? Is it giving him reason to abandon you so that you don't risk true abandonment. If your husband left you because of your infidelity, then basically you chose. Are you choosing? Were you choosing? Not to get warmth elsewhere, but to quit before you got fired?

I don't know you so I am guessing based on very little knowledge. But hopefully my guesses will get you to think and to bring up more information.


Re: New Member Struggling with Guilt, Shame, Repentance..

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:43 am
by Sarah-Looking4Answers
[quote="dema"]That's a tough one. I do recommend you read the study here on divorce - it isn't what you think.

Dema, THANK YOU for your reply. Can't tell you how much I appreciate it! To address your questions:

The toddler is both of ours. We adopted him a few years ago because I was not getting pregnant, and we both love him so so much! Yes, my husband and I fight. We fought just as much before we married. There is no physical abuse, but rather yelling (him) and screaming (me) out of anger. And yes, our toddler has heard us, which breaks my heart. I finally convinced him to start the divorce proceedings because I haven't worked for months due to relocating with him for his job and didn't have the funds. He's finally started the process, but all I do is go back and forth, especially now that I've opened my eyes to God's command. I realize Satan is behind all this, and I'm disgusted I'm so weak.

I have attended Mass with my husband, but for me it's a ritual routine. He was never interested in going to church in the first 6 years of our marriage, but now that we have our son, he wants him to be raised Catholic, and we both need to get him baptized. I was raised Lutheran, although I'm not a "practicing" one--I am a Christian first and foremost (judging time: I know--not after the choices I've made in my life!). My husband does not forbid me to pray at home--I'll share with him that I've been praying, and he questions why I have to pray. He doesn't believe we should need to pray for forgiveness, etc., that it's for confession when he goes once every now and then. So, yes, I do pray at home, just in silence, or I'll watch Dr. Charles Stanley or some other Christian pastor. Yesterday I took my son to a non-denominational church since my husband is out of town.

Does the other man want to marry me? We are not even there. We have had fun together. We talk about God, religion, but then it's a strong physical relationship too. I have never said to him, nor him to me, that we will marry. He was married for 10 years and divorced; then he was with someone that was almost 20 years younger, and they broke it off. We just have a lot of chemistry, but I've told him and convinced myself that HE would not and could not be the reason I'd leave my husband. But if I were single, in our eyes, it wouldn't be so sinful, and I would be free, not "married and having an affair." (Judging time: I know! Disillusioned, AM I NOT???!!)

Another thing I didn't bring up: I am 49, but look 30. I never dated in high school, then was first married at 20 (to a devout Christian)--we lasted for 10-11 years, then I left him. Blamed in on lack of communication, fell out of love, mother controlling our marriage, etc. I was so thrilled with all the attention I was getting and dated like crazy. The 2nd husband and I quickly started relationship. There were red flags (control), but I gave in to his demands, moved in (NOT WISE) and following 6-7 declines to his proposals, I finally said YES.

BAck to the age thing: I'm very scared that I will grow old fast or begin looking older. Mid-life crisis???? I'm even afraid to tell people my true age. (Judging self: Wow, I've some really deep issues! Oh my! You'd look at me or have a conversation with me, and I'm the most down to earth individual, but obviously you now know I'm not!)

My therapist told me I'm a "people-pleaser." I did not want to hurt his or his parents' feelings, so I finally said yes, though I couldn't stand being around him at times and would get so angry (holding it in) most of the time. #2 and I were together for 6 years, but only married for 1 year.

# 3 husband--I was still legally married, but separated from #2 when I met #3--It was strictly physical. Our relationship was constant drama. I broke up with him 6-7 times, but was afraid to lose him, so convinced him we should marry. Many alcohol related fights because when he drinks, it's bad. No physical violence. Have to give him credit--he's done much better since we've had our child.

YOu touched on something: The therapist told me that I feel I have to constantly prove myself, my self-worth. I had a depressing child hood throughout my teen years--never felt loved or that I was good enough. She told me that I am addicted to love also. As for the other guy, I have no idea whether it will work out. We have not spoken of long-term, but take things slowly. He said that he wants to learn from his 2 previous relationships and do things right this time, and Lord knows I need to learn. Truthfully, I enjoy being single and prefer it, but realize it can get lonely too.

I asked the other guy WHY he continued to pursue me when I persisted that I was married and could not be with him, especially when he claims to be a Christian. He said that he justified it in his mind because (as in his past marriage), they were already checked out emotionally, and it was just a piece of paper. (???) But neither of us have made any promises to each other.

I would still be co-parenting my son, and he needs to come first. But for me, being single would be freedom from my husband. But I'm 49 now. Realize something needs to change. Perhaps I should not be married, but I don't think God wants me living in sin as a single.

You asked: ["Could the affair be more about rejecting commitment with your current husband than about affection for the other man?"]

TOUGH question!! I don't think so. I REALLY like this other guy and am intrigued by him. The physical and emotional parts are amazing. But I feel so wrong. I sit here right this, and Satan is the first one that comes to mind. "A wolf in sheep's clothing?" But I don't want to think that about the other guy. I tell you this--It was a relief when my husband uncovered the secret, although it was hell--the worst feeling in the world! I hurt so much for him--that I did this to him.

Pattern with me (3 marriages). Yes, most definitely! I've been like this with jobs though, too. I've left many jobs. Almost as if I'm afraid to let others know the real me. On the outside I'm really confident and sociable, but on the inside, I'm shy, insecure, and have low self-esteem, but people would never guess that about me, other than my therapist. I've opened up to my husband about all this finally. I've also spoken to the other guy about it, because I can talk to him. With my husband, we're fine as long as I say what he wants me to say.

I realize I have blamed my husbands, but I know I am the one to blame. No one else, but ME, MYSELF! I did not have to marry #'2's and #3, but out of insecurity I did. The relationships were right from the beginning, but I married them. EAch husband wanted to work things out--they did not want to leave me, but it helped me with my decision, and I left them. I realize a boring marriage is no excuse! I was getting a lot of attention--STILL NO EXCUSE!

Wow, your last question is powerful, very thought-provoking:
You wrote: [:Figure out your heart and why you are in this situation. Is it really your husband? Or is it rebellion against commitment? Is it giving him reason to abandon you so that you don't risk true abandonment. If your husband left you because of your infidelity, then basically you chose. Are you choosing? Were you choosing? Not to get warmth elsewhere, but to quit before you got fired?"]

Rebellion against commitment??? Don't think so. Commitment is so important, and my traits have always been, or so I thought, unless I was fooling myself..that of loyal, trusting, follow-through, kind, compassionate, sympathetic, caring, yet (judging self: have I been deceiving myself all these years??!)

"Is it giving him reason to abandon me so that I don't risk true abandonment?" GREAT QUESTION!! I think now that the affair's out in the open (although I refuse to talk about it--and insist that it's OVER!) But it may justify my wanting to leave. Then again, I'm apprehensive about leaving, because I don't want to hurt him any longer, and we now have a child together. I'm looking for employment and will be working again soon, so will be able to help support our son, but I'm afraid I may be making the worst decision of my life. But then I look at our marriage/relationship, and I am so tired of settling, and as long as I don't bring up religion, talk about my beliefs, try to have deeper communication with him, we will just end up fighting. So, to keep the peace, I keep my mouth shut and accept this is my life and to make the most of it. There are times when I despise my husband and can't stand being with him. I'm really fighting this.

Thank you again, Dema, for your thought-provoking questions. Yes, I will get into counseling here!!!
And thank you for not being too angry or judgmental with me, although I deserve it!

Bless YOU!!

Re: New Member Struggling with Guilt, Shame, Repentance..

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:37 am
by dema
Christ died for your sins. You are forgiven. Please accept his sacrifice. If you do then deserving punishment is no longer an issue. I look forward to your journal entries.