Question:

I accidently came across your web site and labored in mind as to whether I should seek some sort of "final" counsel. I don't know where to start, so please forgive me as I resort to simple point form.

When I was 17, I met a lovely girl my age and we dated for some time. Both of us were church goers, so no sexual touching occurred. We went our separate ways in March but I soon realized that she was truly the one for me. When she graduated from High School, I did everything to re-establish contact with her, but she dismissed me. Later that month gave her virginity to another.

Her liason with him lasted only a few months, but she hooked up with another man who was over twice her age and carried on for several more months before realizing it was me she wanted and made contact with me.

To cut a long story short, we got married the next year, had two children and are still together today -- except I've never been able to feel either complete or happy since. Everything she gave away so many years ago had to have a price, and I was it. The hatred, contempt, depression, the rage and planning on committing an act of fornication, has totally devasted me. I never thought that dealing with pre-marital sexual issues could do this to a person.

What did it do to me ? About two years after we were married I started having affairs, about ten women so far, including one who had an abortion. I'm in the middle of another, with a woman whose much older than me, but is everything my wife should have been. I've never felt so cold, so inhuman, so beyond any hope of redemption. How I wish I wasn't so sensitive, how I now long to simply pass out of this life.

To many people, this probably sounds like such immature stupidity. I always wanted to start out in a marriage situation with a virgin, so we could start on the same foot and same level. I married her because my life had been so empty. I was always that expendable person who didn't matter. I thought it would be the lesser of the evils to marry someone who wanted me rather than be lonely the rest of my life. I was wrong. She is a lovely person who has shed a lot of tears over this. I've been nasty to her for many years, but she's stayed.

Sorry, I don't know why I'm telling you all this. Maybe I just needed to offload some of this pain. I simply don't have any hope left.


Answer:

I disagree. You do have hope left, if you are willing to change. But if you remain the man you are today, you will continue to dispise yourself and you won't reach heaven. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:9-11).

Now to get you to really change, I'm going to have to tell you some things that you just won't want to hear. It is the nature of the beast. If you had found these ideas acceptable, you won't be in the situation you find yourself.

The core of your problem is your unwillingness to forgive. "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matthew 6:14-15). You chose to marry your wife, knowing she wasn't a virgin. At the time you were focused on winning the girl of your dreams, but you never forgave her of her sins. Instead, you dwelt on them, making them grow out of proportion to the actual problem. ""Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil" (Ephesians 4:26-27). What happened over time is that you blamed every perceived problem on the fact that you didn't marry a virgin. Even though there never was a real connection, you thought of it that way, so you convinced yourself it had to be the cause.

In the end you became bitter. You followed a path very similar to Esau. He blamed Jacob for "cheating" him out of his inheritance, even though it was Esau who freely sold his inheritance and who never had a right to the blessing. In Esau's mind it was all Jacob's fault.

"Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears" (Hebrews 12:14-17).

The problem with bitterness is that it is always someone else's fault, so the bitter person never decides to change. Instead, he uses it as an excuse to get deeper into sin.

That is what happened with you. You convinced yourself that you have been justified to commit adultery because your wife sinned before you got married. In one aspect, you did it to get back against her, but later it became a way to get back at God. Over time you have convinced yourself that you have a right to have sex with other women and you didn't care what anyone else thought.

Therefore, the real problem isn't even the fact that your wife committed fornication before your marriage. Those sins were against herself and against God. "Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body" (I Corinthians 6:18). You weren't even in the picture at that time, though you wanted to be. She was rebelling against God, against her parents, and against her upbringing. Somehow she became convinced she was wrong and she changed. And rather than rejoicing as the angels of God did, you imagined you lost something and became bitter about it.

Thus, the real question for you is: Are you going to let go of your bitterness? Are you going to completely forgive your wife? Are you going to put your pants back on and leave these adulteresses? By the way, the adulteress you are with is not the type of woman your wife should be! She is having sex with a man she knows is married and has children. She is willing to destroy a marriage for mere sexual pleasure. She has no love of God. She doesn't value family or home. "For the lips of an adulteress drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps take hold of Sheol. She does not ponder the path of life; her ways are unstable, she does not know it" (Proverbs 5:3-6). You are trying to give honor to a dishonorable woman.

You don't mess around with your words, do you! I appreciate that.

This has been the first time I've ever opened up to anyone about these issues. She was honorable in telling me everything, every detail about what happened and gave me the choice to walk. I didn't. I admit that after all these years, she has been upright and honest.

My hatred and contempt became my driving force to be ten times worse than the men she had been with, and, yes, the wickedness I have and am committing is killing me.

You were correct about her upbringing, it was very bad and hurtful. Many times my heart bleeds for her, then evil takes the reins.

I do think about what Jesus went through and how his own turned and deserted him -- how he cried out to God to forgive them. You are so right, the nature of the beast is to kill and destroy.

I am going to keep your reply, and read and re-read it. There is one remaining small spark inside me that clings to reason. I know there can only be two ends to this story.

Thank you for your time, concern and bluntness. It will take me some time, but I will let you know the outcome.

I appreciate that you are hanging in there with me. I hope that this can turn out like Paul and Corinthians: "Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:9-11).