Help! I've tried it all, and I need advice!


#1

To make a very long story as short as possible…

This young woman came to work at my office about 2 years ago. We hit it off pretty well. So well, in fact, that I ended up having pretty strong feelings for her, and she for me. There is one VERY BIG problem with that, and that is that we are both married. We have spent lots of time together, usually in plain sight of others, eating lunch, etc. But then at one point, I opened a secret e-mail account, and we communicated in secret for a while. During this time, I went to confession almost weekly, trying to sort this out. I stopped the e-mail, per my pennance and better judgement, and spoke with her about having big problems knowing where this was leading. I explained to her that I am happily married, and that this just isn’t right. That was about a year ago! Well, things really didn’t change. Our conversations became sexual, and we spent time trading pornographic stories, etc. Recently, I had enough, and I told her that it has to stop completely, because I cannot take being separated from God by this sin anymore. She agreed, (by the way, she is Catholic too) and now, has made veiled threats that she is going to do something drastic, but won’t tell me what that would be. She just says that she is going to “fix everything” so that everything will be OK, and that I won’t have any moral problems any more. She is now acting very different, and I think is messing around with another man, and is planning on leaving her husband for him. I feel a loss like my best friend died, and like I’ve been punched in the stomach. I can’t get her out of my mind. I have prayed the Rosary, and pray a Hail Mary whenever she comes to mind, but it doesn’t seem to work. I have been to daily Mass, and go to confession more frequently again. (I had stopped going for about six months, because I have been questioning my purpose of amendment). Again, I think what bothers me the most is the sense of loss, even though I never really “had it” in the first place! Luckily, we never went “all the way”, but it was certainly discussed, pondered, and almost planned. I just couldn’t do that to my wife. We have a normal, healthy relationship too, which is why I can’t understand how I got myself into this mess. Why does God put people like this into our lives? This is certainly the heaviest cross I’ve ever had to carry. Any thoughts, or suggestions? Thanks!


#2

All I can say is keep praying. Pray to Mary for purity and chastity, pray to St. Michael for protection against the temptation. Keep going to confession when you need to, you will overcome this in time. You’re in my prayers.


#3

If I may suggest that which has worked for me in the past when trying to stop something that is particularly difficult. Walk through the fire. It is right to ask God for strength, but it is you not God who must fight this battle. I would not avoid this person simply keep your relationship with them appropriate. If you avoid facing this person you are fleeing from the very battle you are asking God to grant you strength in. The Lord will be your shield not your crutch. Wield your faith as you would a weapon against temptation. You must overcome it and not flee from it or it will always have power over you. Do not expect the battle to be easy but never forget that you will emerge in triumph at the end. Be a soldier of Christ.


#4

We have a normal, healthy relationship too, which is why I can’t understand how I got myself into this mess.

I’m no expert, but I think you should look deeper into this statement and see if there is anything you are not seeing or don’t want to see. :hug1:


#5

My advice is to face the truth: Your marriage is not as healthy as you are telling yourself.
You have turned to this other woman for something you are not turning to your wife for.

Instead of fixating on why you feel this way about this other woman who has chosen to move on to someone else, fixate on why you are not getting whatever it is you need from your wife.

This begins with asking yourself to literally define just what it was this other relationship had. That can keep you absorbed for quite a while, trust me. Once you figure that out, then you ask yourself if your wife offers that something in your marriage. As you pursue that question you’ll see you have what you need from your loving wife and that will help you reconnect with her to the point where this other woman doesn’t offer anything you need anymore.

If you find your wife doesn’t offer that ‘something’ you have to spend some time asking yourself if you really ‘need’ that in a relationship. If you do, then you and your wife should talk about it to see if it’s something that can be added. If it is, your marriage gets stronger and again, the other woman will no longer have that affect on you. If it isn’t, then you have a whole other issue to resolve in yourself - your ‘need’ for this something which your wife can’t offer. That would be the real cross to bear - not how to get over the other woman - but how to let go of this ‘need’ your wife can’t provide so that you will no longer be prone to temptation in that regard - from anyone.

If you remain focused on the real issue at hand you will find yourself thinking less and less about what this other woman is up to and more about what’s going on with you and your marriage.

Brace yourself, however. It’s quite possible this other woman may be up to manipulating things so that you both are free. Since you say you have exchanged emails and such it is possible she may try to use those to break up your marriage along with her own. I suggest you speak to your priest for real advice.

Oh, and do not allow yourself to believe or even say the rosaries aren’t working. They are. Without them you probably would have crossed that line long ago. Keep praying the rosaries and definitely spend time at adoration as you contemplate the state of your marriage.


#6

I’m no expert, but I think you should look deeper into this statement and see if there is anything you are not seeing or don’t want to see. :hug1:


#7

I know what you mean about not going to confession when you are not sure about amendment, but the confessional is good for counsel too. You can tell the priest that you are struggling.
Do you have a crucifix that the priest could bless and you could wear? That helps me sometimes in these sort of situations when I have something I can reach for and remind me which way I want to be headed.
Don’t give up.


#8

Also, see what people at TrueKnights.org have to say. And Steve Wood would be another good source, also Jason Evert. More people have carried this cross than you know.


#9

I feel so sad for your wife. I assume she is clueless about the whole thing?

You said it yourself - you didn’t “lose your best friend” - that woman was NOT your friend. Your friend would never want you to sin against God and cheat on your wife. She was never a friend - she was some trashy woman you traded porno with & talked dirty to. Gross.

STOP romanticizing it & making into something more than it was - it was cheating - it was filthy - it was sinful and now - THANK GOD - it sounds like it’s over since she’s moved on to someone else. You said where is God in all of this… that’s where God is - you get to keep your wife and you’ve been spared (hopefully) the pain of divorce and an ongoing affair with that “other woman.”

Keep going to mass. STOP thinking of the other woman - and try to rekindle the spark in your own marriage. Some counseling might be a good idea so you can figure out why you’d risk so much for so very little.

Your wife has my prayers. :frowning:


#10

I think you’re to be commended at least for fighting the temptation to go “all the way” for as long as you have. You’ve spared yourself and your wife immeasurable pain. You need to stop the bleeding where the damage has already been done though, and that means completely divesting yourself emotionally from this woman. She sounds troubled to me, possibly even mentally ill. I think you’ve really dodged a bullet (cannonball) in not becoming more involved than you already have with her (give thanks to God and all that prayer for that). I agree with the previous poster who said you need to walk through the fire. You need to keep in touch with her only through work, but don’t avoid her. When you refuse her overtures, look her directly in the eye, I can’t stress that enough. Take firm control of yourself and the situation.

Have you been married very long? I noticed in your profile that you don’t have any children yet. It boggles my mind how my relationship with my husband has changed since the birth of our son. Our relationship, and both of us as individuals are really really different.


#11

My advice:

Quit your job or request a transfer. Cut off all contact. Move to another state if you have to.

Sound drastic? “If you eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.”

Eternity hangs in the balance.

It’s not worth it.

Get out - REALLY out - now.


#12

I think the punched in the gut feeling that you are experiencing right now is nothing compared to how horrible you would have felt had you actually followed through on your inclinations. I am glad that you went to confession when you knew you were headed down the wrong path. Think about all of the time, energy, and thought you put into this false relationship with this woman. You need to take all of that energy, turn it up, and pour it into your marriage. You are fortunate that you have a good relationship with your wife to begin with. Imagine where you could go with it if you pursued your marital relationship with the same eagerness and interest that you did the non-marital relationship.


#13

My :twocents:

  1. If you need another woman in your life, PLEASE choose the Blessed Virgin. Don’t worry about the formality of the Rosary. Just carry on a conversation with her throughout the day. Ask her to intercede for your purity.

  2. Pray the act of contrition constantly and avoid all circumstances which could lead to near occasions of sin. If porn is a part of your life in general, remove it immediately. It can only serve one purpose, to destroy your marriage.

  3. Definitely develop a good relationship with your Guardian Angel and St. Michael.

  4. Tell your wife. You have a covenental bond with her and she deserves to know the truth. The thought of the consequences may be scary. But, just think about what could happen if this wound is allowed to fester by not telling her. The two of you are one. If you are hurting, she is hurting too.

I will pray for you and your wife. The two of you deserve the abundant married life. Perhaps you two could make a marriage encounter weekend or something, too.

God bless you!
:getholy:


#14

I would urge you to not do this. Protect your wife. You know how much this hurts. Please don’t share that pain with her.


#15

I totally agree. DON’T tell your wife. It will crush her. So long as it is totally over with that other woman and there isn’t a chance that you are going to give her some nasty sexually transmitted disease - DON’T tell.

If you were my husband and you had learned from your HUGE AWFUL HORRIBLE mistake & were willing to get help for yourself so this didn’t happen again, I would NOT want to know. Just deal with it. You got yourself into this mess - now get yourself out.


#16

Not to jump on the “item no. 4 is a terrible idea” bandwagon, but it is. Telling your wife would only be serving the purpose of easing your conscience. Honestly, the only wound that’s festering is on your soul, and it’s adding one more injustice to what’s been heaped on your wife to burden her with this cross that is yours to bear.

However, items 1-3 were great ideas.


#17

NO this is not a good idea. Trust me as someone that has been on the receiving end of such information (actually worse) about something that was over and done with. I really could have gone through life perfectly happy NOT KNOWING.

I agree that you need to stop romanticizing about this situation. You liked the attention of another woman, you liked the the excitement of forbidden fruit - you need a reality check. Can you even imagine what kind of pain your wife would feel if she found out about this betrayal? Thank God you did not actually have sex with this woman. But you shared things with this woman that should only be shared with your wife.

Life is not going about doing whatever feels good or exciting. You are a grown man and a married one. Satan dangled this woman before you and you just bought into the lie. This relationship is poison. This woman is NOT your best friend. You have a wife at home who loves and trusts you. She should be your bestfriend. And this woman has a husband. You have no right to be thinking of her in any way, shape or form.

The loss you feel is this fantasy you’ve built up in your mind about your relationship with her. You need to open your eyes and see this relationship for what it truly was -shameful, obscene, ugly and gravely immoral. Thank God above that you didn’t fall further into sin! You need spend the rest of your marriage being the best and most honorable husband you can be to your wife. God has given you a second chance -do not blow it.

I suggest you go on a marriage encounter weekend with your wife to get things back in order. But you need to carry this shameful situation to the grave unless this is very serious reason to believe this other woman is about to reveal it to your wife.
You have my prayers.


#18

First, Lose the idea that this woman is so very special.

It’s a crush. You’ve had them before, right? When they were unfullfilled you got over it. Fullfilled, you found out that the object didn’t really fill that God-sized hole behind your belly button. Yes, longing and yearning are very intoxicating, we are wired that way. It’s so we look toward heaven; don’t debase a God-given instinct on fantasy lust.

You get to play-act perfection for each other because your relationship doesn’t have to live in the real world. She isn’t really like that and, admit it, neither are you.

So, remember the perfect guy that you were pretending to be for fantasy girl? Start trying to be him, for real, for your WIFE.

This was a bad period in your life that you have to bring to a close. Find something that needs your time and attention and throw yourself into it. Home Parish, School, pro-life activity, get out of yourself and do something useful while you stop obsessing over something that you don’t really want anyway.

Work with folks who really need help and maybe you’ll be the more grateful that you didn’t screw things up any worse than you already have.

Having truly fouled up a marriage without physical infidelity myself, I pray for you both, and tell you that it can be done. But you have to surrender yourself to the marriage. You are now half of something.

Don’t break your wife’s heart, it’s your job to bring her to heaven with it in one piece.


#19

I’ll jump on that bandwagon too. Telling your wife would only hurt her terribly as the price of unburdening YOU. Not a fair trade. End this affair. Protect your wife.


#20

Oooh, first bad move. Secrets with members of the opposite sex behind your spouse’s back can only lead to trouble.

I feel a loss like my best friend died, and like I’ve been punched in the stomach. I can’t get her out of my mind.

I know it hurts. :console: But not as badly as if you had followed through with an affair and had to live with that guilt, and destroyed your marriage and hers. You* do *have to get her out of your mind, though. Not only out of your mind, but better yet, out of your life completely. She is no friend if she has so little regard for your marriage that she would lead you into activities which would endanger it. Her emotional adultery, obsessiveness, and threats are signs of being a bit mentally unbalanced if not downright mentally-ill, with narcissistic tendencies and a pathological need for attention. It takes two to tango, but she manipulated you into giving her an attention-“fix” and she got mad when her fix dried up. Be glad that she is focusing her attention elsewhere, and pity her poor husband! And run for your life and don’t look back!

Why did this happen to you? Well…I do believe that the devil knows our weaknesses, and perhaps this was a test of some kind. Think of this woman not as a lost friend but as a tool used by Satan to lead you on a path to destruction, because that’s where things were heading.

Much of what you felt for her was based on fantasy. You didn’t live with her and have to deal with the day-to-day aggravations that people have in marriage: friends/family of theirs you may not like, squabbles about money, her PMS, whatever. But if you were with her instead of your wife, you’d have a whole different set of problems…such as knowing that you could never trust her because she is the kind who sneaks around behind her husband’s back! If you wound up married to her, you’d be the husband being cheated on. Remember, if they’ll do it with you, they’ll do it to you.

So put this woman out of your mind, get some counseling if you need to, and move on with the woman who you vowed to love 'til death do you part. And I agree with the folks who say “don’t tell your wife.” Good luck and God bless.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.