Some of you know I caught my wife in numerous promiscous relationships last year. I then found out she was sexually abused by her father and raped by a neighbor as a child. This behavior of hers is quite common for people abused as she was. “Acting out” is a coping strategy.
It took her nearly a year to be honest with me and I still am unsure if she is still lying. The lies hurt so much.
At time my emotional pain consumes me. One minute I have nothing but empathy for her, the next I can only think of my own pain.
I don’t know what to do. It hurts so bad. I get profoundly sad at times.
Looking to let go of the pain might be the wrong approach. Look to bear the pain–look at Our Lord hanging on the Cross, or think of His agony in the garden knowing all of His beloved would be unfaithful to Him over and over again. Ask His help to bear this Cross, offer your suffering to Him and console Him and He will do the same for you.
Matt. 11:28 Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you. 29 Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. 30 For my yoke is sweet and my burden light.
If you want to, you can post your prayer intention in the prayer intentions forum if you haven’t done that already and the Prayer Warriors will be sure to pray for you.
I am sorry to hear about your issue. It is a heavy cross to carry. Maybe, try to get out of the house for a while if you can, go to adoration, or if you can find a church near you that offers XLT. (Exalt- praise and worship music, a speaker, and adoration… It always helps pick me up, and for the moment make everything so much better).
Stay the course. If you’re doing all of that, then these images and scenes aren’t coming from God. It’s like our priest told us in his homily on Ash Wednesday. On our fasting days, we always feel more hungry than on typical days when we’re just too busy to eat. Satan is trying to attack. Don’t let him win.
When these images enter your mind, call God close and ask him to take them away.
I am unclear about what your real question is. Are you still hoping to repair the relationship and looking for suggestions/encouragement? Have you, through your various counseling routes, determined this is not possible? Have you considered the possibility that because of your wife’s issues you may never have had a valid marriage and/or have grounds for an annulment?
This might be a temptation from the evil one. Whenever you start thinking about the betrayal, offer the pain for the conversion of sinners. You will win many souls for Christ in that way.
Then begin to meditate on Jesus’s passion.
this is a stupid comparison, but I’ll offer it anyway. I hate the house that I live in. Sometimes it makes me bitter when I start thinking about being stuck here. When I start thinking along those lines, I pray, “God make me hunger for you alone.”
I have a friend who tells me that we should thank God for our crosses. I don’t know if you can do it, but maybe you can thank God for the opportunity to bear betrayal and still love. It is making you more Christlike.
On a more practical front, get plenty of sleep, good food and exercise, so you have the strength to do this spiritual battle
We are working very hard to stay married. We don’t believe in divorce. I don’t care to investigate if the marriage could be considered invalid. I married this woman for better or worse. I’m getting a taste of worse.
I guess I’m just looking for some encouragement. Even with the priests and counselors I sometimes feel no one understands.
I admire your convictions, but find serious concerns for the practical challenges of your situation. I don’t know how long you have been married or if you have kids together, but your wife sounds as if she has a history of serious mental health and spiritual issues. You likely know too well that only when she recognizes that she has a problem can she take steps to change her own behaviour. In the meantime, she is exposing your life together, your physical health, the stability of your family life and perhaps your finances to the vagueries and risks of her sexual affairs. If you have children, do you imagine they are free from the effects of this chaos? Uniting your suffering with Christ’s or praying the rosary may help your soul–but it won’t protect you from STD’s, debt, fraud, deception or minor children from abuse, neglect or abandonment. If you don’t have kids yet–how can you reliably post-pone pregnancy until your wife is mentally and emotionally stable enough to function not only as a spouse, but a parent? How do you imagine you will maintain this control when there are other men in her life with whom she is intimate–especially when she lies about it? I could not live like this nor expose minor children to such unpredictability. For the time being, I hope you have the support of friends and/or family as you navigate this challenge.
I feel hesitant in doing this on a public forum but I speak from experience. Your wife more than ever needs your complete unconditional love. As a child her boundaries were completely destroyed and her knowledge of what true love in the sexual act represents was completely twisted.
Know that as you love as Christ loves you and her, that the relationship will grow. It is hard, but complete submission to the will of Christ will strengthen the relationship. I am witness to the complete healing possible when there is submission to Christ and attachment to Him in your suffering.
You bring up many valid concerns but not all are in play here. We are married 17 years. Our kids are teens and our #1 priority has been to keep them safe. They know Mom & Dad are having problems. They also know we go to marriage counseling. They know we attend daily Mass. They come on Sundays. Have they been affected? Yes. But they have also been exposed to a learning experience which may become valuable. No matter what the troubles in a marriage…you don’t quit.
They don’t know any particulars. I would leave my wife rather than exposed them to any danger. I would.
I’ve had to take an HIV exam. That hurt me deeply.
Her lies were about her activity in the past. She is no longer doing those things. Could she again? That is my greatest fear. But, for now, she keeps me informed of all her actions. She journals daily. Attends therapy 10x’s per month. She hates what she did. She is working very hard. She has been attending Mass daily with me for the last year. I believe she is doing her best.
I have to as well.
That said, I still get depressed about losing something of my marriage. Something special and sacred. But I also have to realize that it is not something she “gave away” but rather something that was taken from her.
Imagine for a moment you’re 14, sleeping, you awake with your pajama top over your head. Your father in sitting on your bed with one hand on your breast and another in your underwear. Now repeat this numerous times on numerous nights. You tell your mother. She calls you a liar.
You are a rare example of devotion, forgiveness and love. As you have now explained it, your support of your wife and commitment to your marriage far from compromising your family is a priceless gift to your kids. I hope the issues I identified out of concern for you have not added to any discouragement you feel. I will add some prayers for you and your wife.