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Adultery/Is he still cheating?

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I should probably start with the history first.  My husband was a pastor and only admitted to an "emotional affair" with an employee of the church who was a friend of mine and also married. Details included a year and a half of lunches, meetings,gym workouts and very long cell phone conversations, and texting that last all through many nights.  The hours spent "talking" was unbelievable.  He swears he never touched her but he admitted to being infatuated with her and lusting for her.  He came VERY close to saying he loved her.  I saw a sexually explicit text to her and when I confronted him he said it was just a big joke...he knew it was wrong but it was a joke. He told me that he knew I would find out and he knew at that time they would have to end their "friendship".  However when I told him to leave and I was telling her husband he raced to her house.  He later admitted that since I was ending it he wanted to make it work with her.  Turns out she didn't want to end her marriage! I was shocked, and damaged beyond belief.  I truly never had a clue. I trusted him with my life. He was my best friend.  I missed all the warning signs; working out, cologne, phone calls, late nights...even my sister asking me about her and him and I defended them both! He said I made him miserable and he had grown to hate me.  His reason was I worked too much, put too much responsibility on him, and never showed him affection. We had been married 15 yrs when I found out and our intimate life was awesome, but it was just sex, not affection. Now 2 yrs later we have relocated, new careers, and trying to make it work.  I am still so suspicious.  Still late at work, mysterious calls,private email, gets mad if I bring it up, and still swears it wasn't sexual with her. He has recently said some unusual things to me when we are having sex that makes me think he is thinking of someone else. One time it was exactly what the explicit text said to her! I feel like if he would just be honest we could truly move forward. I fear I will be caught by surprise again.  Sometimes I wonder If I really even KNOW this man!  He says he loves me and he treats me better than a Queen most of the time. He claims I am paranoid and over reacting and will not talk about it and that I am wanting him to admit to something he didn't do.  My gut tells me different.  Just don't know if I can trust him again.  Still damaged!!!

Answer
Dear Sandra,

I am so sorry for taking so long.  Please don't rate me badly for timeliness!  My email has been down for two months!

It would help me a lot to see exactly what the "sexually explicit" text said, word for word.  That would be the factor that would sway my feeling on whether he actually got physical with her.  Apart from that, it really seems like he did get physical.  Getting angry when you bring it up is a negative sign.  It means he hasn't repented fully, if at all.  Full repentance includes empathy with what you went through and are still going through.  The spouse who cheated should be prepared to deal with recurrences of your emotional venting for the rest of eternity, although that willingness itself will help you recover to the point that you will no longer have to vent.  A betrayal of a marriage covenant is a permanent thing, kind of like the crime of murder.  It can be dealt with the best way possible, but it can't be undone.  Crossing that line is a one-way thing and everything changes as a result.  Even the emotional shock wave and grief are similar with the effects of murder.  In effect, something has been murdered.  The original marriage, faithfulness, virtue, and anything else that is legitimately included.

I know I took an awful long time, but if you can tell me what that text message said I believe I could make a better assessment and give you something you can use.  Truth is you do need to know.  Everything needs to be clean.  No secrets or garbage to hide reality.  Once you have that clear picture, only then are you positioned to make the real decisions.

I hope I haven't lost your confidence by not responding in so long.  Please follow up if you would like to.  I know exactly what you are going through, and I wish you all the best!

Adultery

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I can answer questions about how to handle your position with a cheating spouse or one that has cheated recently. How to straighten up your life and get back on track one way or the other. My answers will include God because He fills the most vital part in your recovery. They will also include help with the decisions you will have to make to clean things up.

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