The Other Woman And The Will Of God [EXCLUSIVE]
I married a Christian who was preparing for full-time ministry. I longed to help others, and I felt that being the wife of an evangelist would fulfill that dream. We had some good years, but soon the challenges and distractions of life took us in a completely different direction. He grew further from God, and my desire for him to be the spiritual leader in our marriage intensified.
The Other Woman and The Will Of God
The divorce was final, my two older girls were in college, and I began to grow accustomed to being single. I finally told God that I was okay if it was His will for me to remain single. I had come to terms with my circumstances and was trusting Him more and more with my fears.
My ex-husband and I managed to maintain an amicable relationship. We tried to do what was best for our children by not maligning each other and treated each other with kindness. The church we had fellowshipped with for over twenty years was extremely supportive and had reached out to him repeatedly, encouraging repentance and restoration. He expressed sorrow for his behavior but remained unwilling to leave his mistress. I chose to forgive him as I moved forward with my future.
Since you claim to be a Christian, I am not going to spend a lot of time reminding you of what our Lord said about adultery in Matthew 19:1-9. You know that adultery and fornication will keep you out of heaven. Instead, I would like for you to see the harm you have done to the lives of so many innocent people.
Several weeks ago Tonya emailed me and told me of her husband's marital infidelity, and how her family's life had "been turned upside down." After nineteen years of marriage, she discovered a "secret mailbox full of romantic emails" from you. She told me how he supposedly met you online, and presented himself as a single man, even though Mike now says you knew he was married all along. Tonya found it hard to believe that any woman calling herself a "Christian" would be involved with a married man. She said you have no clue as to how you hurt her family, including her extended family, and their spouses and children. I could almost hear her sobs and tears as she wrote about how her family had been torn apart by your illicit relationship with her husband.
Rhonda, have you considered what type of man you are now involved with? Nineteen years ago he stood in the presence of his family and friends and swore before his God that he would be faithful to Tonya until in death they parted. With your "help" he has since betrayed those vows. How can you be so infatuated with a man who is willing to break such a sacred vow? How can you spend time with a man whom you know cannot be trusted? Do you think you are so special that he will never lie to you?
At least on one occasion Mike promised to visit his children but failed to show up because he wanted to spend time with you. Can you imagine how deeply hurt his kids were when he failed to show up? How can you be involved with a man who has so little regard for his own children? Is your need for male companionship so strong that you are willing to destroy innocent young lives to get what you need? How could you be in love with a man who is willing to allow his children to suffer so he can spend time with you?
Every time I have counseled people who suspect their spouse has been unfaithful, I always suggest they go to a doctor or health clinic and get tested for sexually transmitted diseases. If you are willing to spend time with a married man, then it is safe to assume that you might also be carrying an STD. I know Tonya had a blood test, but I have not inquired as to the results. I cannot imagine anything more humiliating for a married woman than to have to go for a blood test because she might have contracted an STD from her own husband. Do you have any compassion for this poor woman whose life you have turned upside down? How would you feel if you and Mike were married and some other woman took him away from you? Would you not feel betrayed? Would you not consider "the other woman" to be a tramp, one step above a common whore? This is exactly how people look at you right now.
If you have read this far, then there is hope for you. It means that you are concerned about your soul and how your actions have harmed others. In the Bible, genuine repentance is accompanied by "fruits worthy of repentance." You need to break off your relationship with Mike immediately, and go to Tonya in person and apologize for how you have devastated her life. The good news is that you can repent and renew your allegiance to Christ. The blood of Christ can forgive every sin in your past. Sin does bring shame, but a failure to repent brings on more shame, and finally death.
I had meant every word of the vows I declared on our wedding day. Every word. So how did I end up breaking these promises? My only explanation: I became a woman who thought only of herself, and as I chose this destructive path, I hurt my husband, I hurt my children, I hurt a dear friend of mine, I hurt her family, I hurt my church, I hurt my Heavenly Father, and I hurt myself.
Prayer for a Hedge of Thorns Living God, take action against my husband, who is straying from the marriage bed. Fence him in with a hedge of thorns and keep him home. Block his path with a wall, so that he loses his way when seeking out other women. When he runs after any woman other than me, may he not be able to catch them. Lord, cause him to give up this sinful lifestyle and return to me. Amen.
Fasting Prayer for Unfaithful Husband Lord of hope, I come to You as I fast and mourn the breakdown of my marriage. Please forgive me of my sins that hurt and alienated my husband. Help me to be a loving wife and appealing in my appearance and demeanor. I pray my husband will turn away from sinning with this other woman. May he turn back to me, the wife of his youth and mother of his children. Amen.
The answer to that question can profoundly influence your ability to release what's happened and move on to a new life. Many run from this question. I hope you won't run but will be courageous and have this painful but meaningful conversation.
Labeling the other woman as a tramp (or other expletive) may prevent the betrayed spouse from ever moving forward. In the same way, the other woman is likely to label the wife as cold or dismissive. In reality there's a bit of good in the worst of us and a bit of bad in the best of us. Failure to see more than just the negative aspects can block your ability to set yourself free from their hurtful actions. Seeing the other woman as human doesn't excuse what she's done, but it does provide a pathway to forgiveness.
Remember, forgiveness is a gift you give yourself to set yourself free. It's not for the sake of the unfaithful spouse nor does it have anything to do with being around the other woman, but it does free you from losing your peace when they come to mind.
A major barrier to recovery for the betrayed spouse is an unrealistic view of the other woman. While incredibly challenging, the wife needs to develop a fuller understanding of the affair partner as a human being if she wants to fully recover.
For married men in an affair with a married woman the affair can be more of a diversion, while for the married woman it can become their life. This woman is looking for traits missing in her husband. Married men in affairs with single women are likely to view the relationship as entertainment or a distraction. Single women, on the other hand may view the affair as a pathway to the life they want. Little do they realize the odds are not in their favor. Jan Halper's survey of over 4,100 prominent men revealed that 85% of those who cheated returned home to their families and only 3% of those who got divorced while in an ongoing affair married the affair partners.1
The following list briefly explains a few of the most common types of affair partners. Remember these are generalizations with the intent of humanizing the other woman so that you can eventually find peace and healing.
In rebound affairs, the case of the other woman flips the script on its head. Many of you reading this are righteously indignant feeling you would never be the other woman in an affair. You may be right, but a large number of the affairs we treat are the result of rebound affairs. One potential consequence suffered by the betrayed spouse is the devastation of the significance of their marriage vows. Pain that's not transformed will be transmitted, and in an attempt to make their mate feel their pain they betray themselves and indulge in the same behavior as their mate. In an attempt to get back at their mate, these betrayed spouses suddenly find themselves as the "other woman." So the other woman you are facing may have started out as a betrayed spouse similar to you, only she couldn't stand the pain and acted drastically. Many who've been betrayed are tempted, but strong morals and values as well as their commitment prevent them from taking this course. Tragically, those who give in not only prolong their own pain, but transmit their pain to their mate and to another woman as well.
While this may be stereotypical, the "married woman" has often become disillusioned with her mate and connects with someone she believes can supply the happiness her mate has failed to deliver. These women have typically watched their marriage fade away for years and feel completely detached from their husbands as a result of years of neglect. Again, this does not justify their actions, but you can see how no longer valuing their own marriage would make it easy to push their guilt away enough to begin an affair.
At times, the other woman is a person who was abused growing up. This person is motivated by identity wounds created by that abuse. Seeing themselves as damaged may create a desire to reinforce that belief by acting out in ways that degrade themselves and others. Frequently, the only way they can feel loved is when they act out sexually. Their desperation to feel loved drives them into an affair. Again, this in no way justifies what they've done.