Thank you so much for responding to my email. This is truly a very hard thing for me and I hate even telling it just because I know how it sounds. I feel as if I could burst because I get so overwhelmed. This email may get long so forgive but I feel I have so much to say.
To start I'd like to say I have been a Christian my entire life and drifted away at one time when I was in high school. I had stopped putting God first in my life and He still brought me back. I have felt His unconditional love and I know He forgives. I have honestly just pulled away through all this. My family attends church every time the doors open. I have two children and I want them to know the love of God and I want them to live for him. At this point I don't know what to do!
I'm married to my high school sweetheart and have been married for a number of years. He and I dated for several years and then married so he has been my life for a long time! I do love him very much and we have beautiful children. He loves us. He works hard. He has worked and still does many long hours, six days a week, from sunrise until late evening and at times even longer. He has worked many cold days and stormy days outside. I'm saying all this not to build up an excuse, but to show you how blessed I am. God has blessed us and seen us through many hard times.
After we were married for a year, we found out we would become parents. We were so happy. But after the baby came I have seen less and less of him. Even though he was always working I grew to dislike what he was doing. I had no one to talk to and when he did get home he ate and went straight to bed. I dealt with this for a good year and spoke to him many times telling him I felt really lonely and that I need just a little of him. Something he just would never do.
I began talking to a really good friend and I opened up so easily to talk to him and he was always there to uplift me. I started to feel guilty about just talking to this person so I told my husband. He was furious that I had spoke to this other man alone. He knows this person.
Anyway, time passed and I still stayed in contact with this person. He actually is in the military, so he lived away from here and moved a lot, but we stayed in touch. When his deployment ended he came back here to visit family and he and I met up to talk. I did not tell my husband.
I felt a connection to this man, and I could not seem to walk away. So we stayed in touch. He was not married and he told me he had fallen in love with me and couldn't walk away either. I told him I could never hurt my husband or my baby by leaving my husband. So he went about his life. He got married a few years later and we had little contact but still stayed connected.
To make a very long story short I have been in this relationship with this man for most of my married life! And I have slept with him many times. He actually moved closer so we started seeing each other more and I was always alone. I just felt as if he was what I was missing in my life.
I came to a decision to end my marriage and then found out I was pregnant. At the time I got pregnant I had been with only my husband because the other guy was far away on deployment again so I don't think about the baby and wonder. I'm 100% sure it was my husband's. But you see this prevented me from telling my husband and ending it. I felt as if I had to stay in this marriage and that this was a sign. So I have and I'm still married. My husband does not know about the other man.
I have hurt over this so deeply for so long and I love this other man and I promise I have tried to walk away, but I love him. I love my husband too and I know he would never do this to me. I hate myself and I'm so confused. This other person feels the same but he is still married and they have kids now too. We have kept this going for so long. But you see most of it has been email or phone. He and I are very close and I can't explain how he makes me feel. Something is different and I hurt deeply when I think of walking away.
Right now I have been holding back from talking to him because I want something to give here. I can't keep doing this but I can't let go either. Even if I did, it scares me to leave him because then I have to face this. And I know a marriage has to be built on trust and I have thrown that right out the window.
I have not prayed about this because I have pulled away from God. Ashamed I guess. It's strange, but I was in the kitchen earlier and I for the first time started to talk to God, what I said was this "God, I know I have sinned but I don't know where to go from here, and I know how horrible I am but maybe there is someone I can talk to that can help me" then I got online and your church popped up and I read a letter of a girl who was cheating and BOOM I was emailing you. So I feel in my heart God led me to you.
There is nothing to justify what has been done. I'm 100% guilty, but how can I walk away and get peace in my life again? What if I pray and ask God to forgive me, only to let him down again? This would hurt and devastate my entire family. What do I do?
This is long and all thrown together but I have too much to say and I can't seem to get all of it down. Feel free to ask me to clarify. Why has this happened? Most people with my life would be happy and never even feel the need of someone else. But face it, this has been going on most of the time I've been married. I've pulled away from everyone and I know they feel this. My mom always knows when I'm hurting. She had told me that God has shown her that sometimes she has to hold back and let her children make mistakes and then fix then themselves. My husband did not deserve this, but I don't know if this marriage can last if I don't tell him the truth.
Please know that I really do come from a normal family. I know how this makes me look but something has to give one way or the other. This other man says he will back me up no matter what I decide. even if i choose to walk from him. He does love me and I know this. He is my best friend. I've known him longer than my husband. He means so much, but I want him to be happy and his kids and my family as well. Be as harsh as you want; I need it. I can't live the rest of my life in this pain. I cry all the time and I miss this other person so much. Any advice I would greatly appreciate. Thanks so much.
I can give you really good advice, but after reading your letter I wonder if you will actually take it. Your problems are of your own making. They can be fixed, but you have put God back first in your life -- absolute first. "'And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment" (Mark 12:30). It doesn't matter how religious your family is, nor how religious you once were. You made a complete mess of your life, your husband's life, your children's life, another man's life, his wife's life, and their children's lives -- all by yourself. You are on the brink of total chaos and destruction. "Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors" (Psalm 73:17-19). There is a way out of this mess, there always is (I Corinthians 10:13), but it will require that you put total confidence in God's teaching. There are going to be things required that are going to be very hard to do. There are going to be deeds done that you might not fully understand why at the moment. And there are going to be ideas presented that might seem backwards. But they do work. What I'm uncertain is whether you are able to put your full trust in the Master.
Number one: You have known both men for a long while, but you selected only one to be your husband. There is no room for regret or wishing for a different choice. He is your husband for as long as you both remain on this earth. "For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man" (Romans 7:2-3). This not a matter about your feelings. This is a case of right and wrong. You are in the wrong. Dump the other man. Length of time committing adultery doesn't matter. Whether he wants you doesn't matter. The only way to end the sin is to stop sinning.
Number two: While talking and having friends outside your family is perfectly fine, whether male or female, you have taken this beyond what is appropriate. Since you have shown weakness in regards to this man, the communications with him must stop. Anything you have been saving must be destroyed. He is not your best friend, he is a man who almost destroyed your marriage because he wanted what belonged to another man. He is a liar because while sleeping with you, he told another woman that she was his one and only. "... traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts" (II Timothy 3:4-6). What I'm saying is that you are one of those women and he is one of those men.
Number three: Though I would not be surprised that your husband suspects after so many years, there is no profit gained by telling him that you were unfaithful. Instead, it would destroy your marriage. This is your sin and it will be your burden to bear for the remainder of your life. Turn completely away from it, pray to God for forgiveness, and then work to improve your marriage. But don't think to ease your feelings of guilt by tossing them on to your husband. "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails" (I Corinthians 13:4-8). Start thinking about your husband's feelings and don't give him yet another burden -- especially one he may not be able to bear.
Number four: Your double dealings have undermined your marriage in ways that you do not realize and many of the problems that you see are actually side-effects from your own two-timing. I want you to find a copy of The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Even though she is a Jewish author, she gives a lot of good advice about how to treat men. Though most seem silly, or even obvious, her advice is correct and accurate in this matter. I want you to put the advice to work immediately -- whether you feel like it or not. I'm hoping that the fact it comes from a woman will make you realize that it isn't just "a man thing."
Number five: Get back to church. You need God. You need the support of loving people around you. Even if you don't feel like it, do it for your children's sake for the moment. From a firm foundation much can be built. "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matthew 6:33).
This more than enough to keep you busy for the next few months. Once you are well down this path and are beginning to see improvement, let me know if there are some glitches you don't know how to handle and we'll explore the Scriptures to see if we can't find a solution to them.