names have been omitted and/or changed in this post
Checking my email I scrolled down for anything new that had come in… and amongst Snapfish promotional coupons for discounts off prints and photo books my eyes caught sight of an email from my soon to be ex. I had recently filed for divorce without any warning to him upon discovering his infidelities. But since then… him, the very person who had told me to "stop talking to him about God" just a couple weeks prior to my filing was now sending me relationship articles from various Christian websites to read. It was all very ironic to me.
I didn't bother reading them, merely chose to hit "delete" and yet they continued to pop up in my inbox. What his point was I had no idea… some told me it was a desperate attempt by him (others told me it was a genuinely earnest one) at trying to have some sort of communication, one last try in rebuilding our relationship… by coming together over these articles and having ah ha moments over them.
My attorney continued to adamantly tell me my ex still cared for me… he didn't agree with me just cutting the cord so to speak and ending the marriage without a word. He agreed my ex had royally screwed up but over and over again reiterated he didn't believe my ex truly wanted the marriage to end. I stared at him with icy silence. My second attorney told me essentially the same thing. I shrugged. My third attorney questioned if my ex was over the relationship… I was seeing a pattern here and it irritated the living daylights out of me.
THIS(!) … I supposed their opinions were based on the fact my ex was continually attempting to cause havoc like a rejected five year old on the school playground. I surmised that perhaps if more family law attorneys learned how to prove narcissistic injury in the court room versus pondering if a Narc still cares (which they don't) they wouldn't be so ineffective against them.
As women we shouldn't be expected to give second or multiple chances to husbands when it comes to our physical health. Are we really just supposed to turn the cheek to getting an STD from our spouse? No. Our spouse is who is supposed to protect us, not knowingly go out and inflict us with every heebie jeebie out there.
I kept going back to:
He can be "sorry" all he wants to be.
It doesn't change what he's done.
And it doesn't mean I have to take him back.
Some saw my ex as deeply wounded because of my unresolved feelings toward Jeremy all those years and stated that that must have been the cause of a great internal insecurity in him pushing him toward destruction… i.e.; infidelity. After rolling my eyes at that one I went to my seasoned therapist with that who shook her head…her thoughts were that perhaps if the marriage hadn't been so toxic, namely his behaviors, I wouldn't have been focusing on Jeremy as much and been so miserable. Regardless I could and did accept the blame for my contribution; for my sin. I knew I wasn't immune. I had been sorrowful over it and the hurt it had brought not just to my husband but to both of us.
Ultimately my view of it was: I believed I had made the right decision in divorcing my husband based on his infidelity because the marriage had been emotionally toxic and I couldn't change that or him. Most people including my therapist saw my ex's behaviors as being those of a narcissistically entitled individual who didn't care that he cheated but only that he got caught.
"My opinion is that I don't believe he thought you'd give up that lifestyle… he never in a million years thought you'd do what you did if you found out." My mother mused aloud.
I nodded "I guess he thought I'd cry and beg and plead and he'd happily have the authority to decide what he wanted to do… that he would be in the driver's seat and decide my fate… whether I stayed or he kicked me to the curb. He was so shocked to find out that's not what happened."
"I think it just shows he really didn't know you." My mother pointed out… "I always knew that's what you'd do yet he was married to you and I guess didn't realize." She mused aloud.
"I look back on it and his actions in the wake of my filing are what speak the loudest. " I surmised. "He didn't turn from his behavior… he continued seeing random women. I believe we have to look at actions not words. I don't regret filing. I'd do it again in a heartbeat."
A spouse who has been unfaithful to their partner needs help and in that can turn to God. His Word can offer hope to the one who is struggling with sex addiction like that of adultery. The first thing he or she needs to do is confess the sinful behavior to God. This acknowledgment is so important but it's truly only the first step. This first step acknowledges to God that yes, you chose sin i.e.; death over life… and that no amount of justification, excuse or rationalizing will make it better. When we try to hide our sinful behavior like infidelity from others it remains cloaked in darkness… but when we tell others about our struggles it brings our sin to light… out of darkness, in our sharing it's revealed… and others can help hold us accountable for our actions.
If we are in the company of morally sound peers who are after God and living for Him we can go to them with our specks and they can soberly listen to our story… they can give us counsel and pray with us. This is why we all need a support system of friends and share company with those who are believers. Find someone who is supportive, who will listen… who will not shame you but also uses sober judgment….i.e.; in that that they know what you've done is wrong… don't go to the "friend" who says "Ohhhh, wellll… you just need to do what makes you happy!" This isn't about finding someone who pats your hand, nods and justifies your poor choices. That is not a true friend and not someone after Christ.
It's vital the friend is someone whom you can confide in, that will have the insight and strength to guide you. Find someone who is compassionate but firm; doesn't allow you to search for excuses. Also someone who wants to understand and can be trusted with the information you're sharing… that they won't run to the next person they see or any mutual friends and spill everything you've confessed to them. This is a crucial time when wise mature Godly counsel is required… not the immature joking of your old college buddies… if you don't have someone to turn to… find a seasoned pastor at a church and start there.
Confessing isn't enough…. there has to be a true repentance. Repentance is not being sorry for getting caught in causing pain and destruction. Repentance is not confessing then continuing down the same road were on just because that's what we've been doing and we figure, what the heck, why not? Repentance is the confessing then turning away from the sin we've committed. It's a choice to no longer do what we've done… wanting to please God and live by His way not ours. By spending time in His word and studying it we can begin seeing more and more progress in our life… that's what we are all striving for.
There is a root of where infidelity comes from for men… typically it is feeling inadequate. There is a familial root of inadequacy involved that goes back to feeling unworthy as a child that carries into their adulthood. Perhaps deep down they don't feel deserving yet it manifests outward as them behaving superiorly, in a narcissistic manner. A man who doesn't ever address his feelings of unworthiness becomes consumed by his own insecurities… he erroneously believes that his home, his vehicles, his job, his title, his education, his whatever, you name it overcompensates for his hollow feeling inside… that his designer sunglasses and expensive clothes are enough to push him forward into societies eyes as a worthy human being… someone to know, to admire and to be around. But at night, once his heavy tired head hits his pillow the truth threatens to overtake him… there in the quiet silence, there in the inky blackness of his bedroom he fights knowing that absolutely no amount of worldly belongings and status will fill that emptiness inside him. He turns to look over at his beautiful sleeping wife beside him, as she's oblivious to the battle he's fighting… and his unfulfillment can't be blamed on her.
No one can fulfill him in this life but God…
Until he realizes this he will continue
to seek the flesh
and works of the world
and each day
bit by bit risk losing her
until she's gone.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2014