[quote=otm]I am all for prayer. I am also all for recognizing serious problems and dealing with them. After a lifetime of experiences, some of which I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, and a lifetime of close observations of people and what makes them tick, I have found that I usually make a very accurate assessment of what is going on. I would not take umbrage with your assessment that my advice was harsh, although I would probably categorize it as blunt.
PraytoStRita seems to be only minimally aware of the fact that his girl friend’s past is still seriously upsetting him, and doesn’t seem to see that he is conveying his upsetness, based on his moral code, to her and she is reacting both to his being upset, and to what she perceives rightly or wrongly, as his moral judgement of her past.
Trust is one of the most basic elements in a marriage, and violation of that trust is one very sure and very short path to a divorce. The couples who have dealt with marital infidelity and survived with a healthy, loving marriage are few and far in between.
Others have survived with that elephant in the room, and their survival is less than healthy, happy and loving; they simply share the household and bills and not much more.
Although this is not a case of marital infidelity, it sounds in the same area of chastity.
The vast majority don’t survive; they become “clients”. I really would hope that these two could put a happy, loving marriage together, but I am not Pollyanna. It is tough enough to do without a major problem, and they now have a major problem (or several).
Go back to what I said about John Lennon. Life is harsh enough by what gets dealt to us that is not of our own making. For whatever reason (her own need to confess; his direct or indirect promptings that lead her to confess), she “let it all hang out”. Now they have to deal with the harshness that they have created in their life together by her revelation of her history.
I am all for prayer. Failure to get professional counseling in addition to that is to play a high risk game. I would like to think that advice is not “harsh”, but rather, realistic.
Some people see the glass half empty. Others see it as half full. An engineer just asks why they have a glass twice as big as needed.
You are quick to write off this relationship, and by the way the more than half of marriages that encounter infidelity survive. Your information is wrong. There has been much research that supports this. Not that I would ever minimize the devastation and pain that infidelity causes in a relationship. No one has to tell me, because we are one of the marriages that survived it. It was hard work, but our marriage is stronger and more solid than it has ever been, and I have never been closer to my husband than I am now. Those effected by infidelty must seek the grace from God to forgive the hurt and betrayal, God will give that grace. The “clients” that you see are the ones that are already at the divorce stage. You experience has made you cynical.
Ofcourse this woman had these encounters before “PraytoStRita” ever came into her life so she has not been unfaithful to their relationship, infact he calls her “one of the most pure, beautiful, loving, compassionate women in the world.”
The fact that is women has been honest about her past is commendable, not a character flaw. The fact that she has a hard time forgiving herself for the mistakes she’s made is hardly abnormal. Most people whether they admit it or not have regrets that haunt them all their lives. And the fact that this guy gets upset thinking about the woman he loves being intimate with someone else is also normal. What guy wouldn’t?
What’s important here is letting go of the past, realizing all of us fall short, all of us make mistakes. She is looking for reassurance from him, that he doesn’t think she is a horrible person, that he doesn’t hold her past against her. All of us has “baggage” in some form of another. You my friend have baggage of your own, you have been burned and it shows.