My Wife’s Affair Devastated Me
Many people carry issues from their upbringing into their marriages. We can easily justify why we act or react to a situation, yet we judge how our spouse acts or reacts. Unfortunately, that approach never works to change a spouse.
Read how one man decided to look at himself and cry out to God for help. What happened to him may inspire you!
We had a rocky start.
I have been married for 10 years. We were high-school sweethearts and had dated for 3 years prior to getting married. My wife and I are both dedicated Christians.
The first year we dated was pretty rocky. Explosive would be a good term. We constantly argued - and were often violent with one another. My father was a hard-hearted and violent man, and her parents were divorced - her dad suffering clinical depression and her mom being an alcoholic. The 2nd and 3rd years of dating were much smoother and we decided to get married.
I started out as a loving husband.
My wife was a hardened person outwardly, but soft and insecure inwardly. I started out as a very loving husband, but came to a point several years into our marriage where I made a conscious decision not to let my wife's emasculating disrespect affect me any longer. I put a wall up around my heart and wouldn't let her in.
Over the course of the next 6 or 7 years we had a good marriage - smooth, cordial, but something was missing. We were perpetually on the crazy cycle, and each day my heart's walls grew taller and more impenetrable. About once or twice a year we'd have a big argument where she would give me the laundry list of all the things I was doing wrong and ask why I hated her. I was always very surprised - I thought I loved her very much, and by biting the bullet and not letting her emasculating behaviors toward me affect me, I thought I was being the bigger, better man.
In reality, I was the king of the stone wall.
The only time I would show her any tenderness at all was when I wanted to have sex... which was constantly... so I thought I was showing love on a regular basis. I didn't cook, I didn't clean the house, I didn't do the laundry, I didn’t do the dishes -- my mom was a stay-at-home mom who did all these things, so I assumed this was my (working) wife's role.
She became desperate for me to love her.
My wife was self-deprecating to a fault, and loyal beyond belief! She became desperate for me to love her... which I thought I did very much. Only now do I realize that my behavior was telling her just the opposite.
She left her job and started working for a friend of ours. One day, I walked in on the two of them in her office…I came to understand they had been having an affair for a couple of months. This rocked my world. It never occurred to me that she would ever cheat on me.
This devastated me.
How could things have gone so wrong?
Right in the middle of this, a family member had your book, Love & Respect, sitting on his table. I picked it up and started reading... I was at this point desperate... how could things have gone so wrong?
What I read in your book has changed me forever. Through your book, I came to realize that I had failed in my greatest task - to love my wife as Christ loves the church. Never before in our marriage had I seen how MY behavior was affecting my wife. I never believed her - or even stopped to listen - when she said things like "why do you hate me" because I had never said those words to her in my life. I thought she must be crazy.
I hit my knees and begged God for the grace to change.
After reading your book, I now see how my stone-walling and my hard and closed-off heart gave her exactly that message. I was a stubborn, unyielding, unchangeable man until the day I bought your book. After reading, I realized that I did need to change. In fact, I needed wholesale changes. I was selfish, hard-hearted, closed, and did I mention selfish?
I hit my knees and begged God for the grace to change and the grace to forgive her. And boy did He ever grant that. I’ve never understood the idea of 'the fervent prayers of a righteous man avail much' until that moment. I prayed, and the Lord answered my prayers. In a moment, I was a new man. I stopped being selfish... the wall of stone around my heart was crushed and broken... and, armed with the knowledge from your book, I began to love my wife the way I should have been doing for the last 10 years. My wife had decided to leave me. She just couldn't take it anymore.
I see now how my behavior affected her.
I have been practicing ALL of the things you talk about. My wife and I have started cooking together, and it's one of the funnest, best parts of our day. I have learned to love by serving. Not only have I been open and soft-hearted with her, but she has been a COMPLETELY different person towards me. I see now how my behavior affected her.
I know you were simply expounding on a Biblical principle, but thank you so much for your book. It was not simply a light-bulb... but a stadium of light bulbs for me. By the grace of God, and the advice in your book, my life and my marriage are forever changed.
Are you willing to pray to God and ask Him for the grace to change YOU?
Do you need to ask God for the power to forgive your spouse?