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Tough Decisions, Higher Expectations & Feeling Lost

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PreachersWife1 posted 10/1/2013 19:45 PM

I finally got video proof of an affair I knew was going to happen. WH is a preacher (not full time job) and I guess my expectations of him were higher. A young MARRIED woman was coming to our ranch to learn to ride horses and it didn't take long for me to recognize her interest in my husband. I became suspicious when he started locking his phone and deleting parts of text messages. Never really trusted him after I discovered he posted a personals ad 8 months into our marriage stating that he was attached and looking for a discreet "cowgirl type" to have some fun with. Now 4 years later, opportunity presented itself. I busted him sending her a text message while we were all together riding horses that said "your hot" and he claimed it was a joke. After that, he took her to lunch twice and lied to me both times, claiming it was just to ask her if she had inappropriate feelings for him. She was posting all over her FB page about forbidden love so I knew there was more. After hundreds of dollars invested in video cameras, I caught them making out in our barn while I was home. What makes the sting worse is that after/during their make-out sessions, he would invite me out to ride horses with them. I am having a lot of trouble rationalizing how someone can love you and not only have an affair, but do it so blatantly in your face. I recall all the times (and we even argued about it) that they would disappear together while I was left in the arena on a horse, only to have them come back together and continue on like nothing happened. I've read all these stories about affairs but I don't know how I can heal after such blatant disrespect and what I consider an act of kiss her in the barn and then kiss me or make love later that night (double dipping). He led me to believe that all was well with us, all the while making out with her in my own backyard while I tend to supper, schoolwork, raising HIS son, housework, etc (on the occasions I didn't ride with them). The level of deceit is unfathomable for me and I have no clue how to begin healing and if forgiveness and R is even an option. He studied his Bible every morning while he texted his GF. He looked up her FB profile EVERY day for months so he knew that she was posting about the love she had for him. The affair escalated even after a wonderful family vacation together. How do I make sense of this? Are there many WS out there that are this brazen??? I'm just so lost....we are in couseling but it's still very early (3 sessions in). He says all the right things. I've asked for total transparency but it's on HIS terms, not mine (he put conditions on it...we delete our personal accounts and start a family account). I still feel like he's hiding his true self. He's very insecure and has a lot of young, very attractive friends in their late 20's (he's 47). I just don't know if I can forgive this and the guilt of my religious beliefs just complicate it for me.

SpiderGrl posted 10/1/2013 23:02 PM

He is in no place to put conditions on anything if he is wanting to ultimately R. And that includes shutting out the OW with NO contact. NONE. You don't have to decide what you want right now. Focus on yourself. If I were in your position, any and all friendships I deemed inappropriate or leaning that way would come to a screeching halt. You have enough to process without having to play nice with people that you may have to worry about. There is a huge difference in a professionally based friendship and a Friendship.

I am so sorry that you are facing this. I would be utterly graceless in this situation. HUGS!!!

Secrets Kept posted 10/1/2013 23:27 PM

Preachers wife,

I will never understand how men can do this type of thing while their wives are pregnant. (Well, really anytime, but pregnancy adds a whole new level to it in my book)

First,I am not sure what advice to give you besides the usual 180, NC, etc. etc.
(read the healing library on main screen for these things)

Is this girl unattached? If so, rat her out to her mate.

Can you tell the congregation? Wow....I would love to see how that goes over & really don't think it would go well for your husband as their preacher.

I also know that alot of people don't want a lot of others to know, for many different reasons, but in my situation, "publicity" was quite a shock to the XWH.

I will never forget the look on his face when I point blank told his Mother to "ask her son" when she was asking questions about everything. When he saw I wasn't going to continue keeping his secrets, he didn't like it so well because guess what....they were all on my side & letting him know what a scumbag he was being. And then they will rally & support you...especially since you are pregnant on top of everything. Not many outside people really see the A as the BS fault. Most know who made the decision to cheat & act accordingly. Plus you will then have a whole new support system behind you.

Or....what happens if you make him leave the ranch? What will he do without the horses to use as a meeting/make-out excuse? But can you take care of the "chores" & all that horses entail being pregnant or do you have some outside help on that?

Does he know you have the video? If so, let him know that you will happily be showing it at church next Sunday to everyone!!! (and make copies to store in case he destroys it)

How much younger is this woman?

Also, what size town do you live in? I ask because since you speak of a ranch, I assume you aren't in a city??? It is pretty hard in a small town to be the OW & even worse being the OW who cheated while the WH's wife was pregnant.

You are in the right place though here at SI. Keep posting & other veterans will step up with even more great advice than I can give. But we are all here for you & this is most definitely the place to be for support. Sadly, we have all been there in some shape or form.

gonnabe2016 posted 10/1/2013 23:48 PM you gave this guy the keys to the bus, he drove it into a ditch and wrecked it.....and yet he still feels entitled to have access to the keys?

He took advantage of your trust. At the very least, he needs to have the keys taken away from him. He doesn't get to *dictate* the path forward.

He may be *saying* all of the right things....but it doesn't really seem that he's putting any *oomph* behind it. If he were serious, he would be ditching those 20 yr old attractive friends lickety-split. He would be *asking*, and not *dictating.*

You need to play hardball with this guy right now. 8 months into your marriage, you busted him looking for some *fun* on the side. And now, 4 years later, he's up to his same old tricks. The truth of the matter is that we live in a world that contains a LOT of immoral people and there will ALWAYS be an opportunity. Always. You need to know that the person that you've hitched your wagon to isn't going to say *hell yeah* to these opportunities......and *yours*, obviously, isn't one of those. (if it helps to stbx was like that too).

You might want to consider having a talk with OW's husband about what has been going on.......

jjct posted 10/2/2013 07:34 AM

Going off of gonnabe's analogy - this guy has been driving drunk for a long time, it's not his first rodeo and all...
He is very very screwed up - living a double life.

YOU have no part of that - no guilt whatsoever should accrue to you - nothing in the Bible instructs you to be a doormat and suffer abuse.
It instead tells you to shake the dust from your feet!

The good news is you can heal, by paying attention to yourself. Your needs, not his.
Save yourself from the idea that you can fix him - you cannot.

If he doesn't step up to the plate with blubbering remorse (think @ how David felt & acted for the rest of his life) - you need to begin the process of detaching from his toxic self.
You can't make him feel remorse. You can't fix this. You can only control yourself, & you definitely cannot "nice him" into being a decent, moral man who honors his vows to God.

Do not tolerate half measures. He is either remorseful - concerned about the pain he's inflicted on you - or not.
OUT them to the other BS - kindly, with compassion. Do not tell your H ahead of time - just do it.

We are here for you!

sparklezombie posted 10/2/2013 08:12 AM

I will just echo and say not to tolerate 1/2 measures or R/transparency on his terms. I did that after our first DD and it does NOT work. It allowed WH to keep hiding his ongoing affairs and kept me from feeling safe and secure. If he won't go in 100%, then you should decide if it's really true reconciliation and if not, are you willing to stay in a relationship where he isn't honest or faithful.

If you accept less from him, he'll give you less. If you expect more, he'll either step up and you can truly work on your marriage or he won't and you can decide if you want to move on.

But staying in limbo, with transparency on his terms, is a living hell. I couldn't do it again. It's too damaging.

PreachersWife1 posted 10/3/2013 09:20 AM

Thank you all so much for the responses! It's very reassuring to know that my demands are not unreasonable and that HE'S the one who has to step up to the plate just as much as me, perhaps even moreso. Asking me to forgive is a very tall order. The least he can do is give me transparency on MY terms!!! And let me just clarify that I'm not pregnant so I don't have that added complication. He indeed knows about the video and I have ratted out the OW to her H. On Dday, I told him NO contact and he violated that twice within the first two weeks afterward. I didn't see the messages but I saw they were sending FB messages in his internet history. That really threw me for a loop. I've asked him for his passwords and he says we should both delete our FB accounts and start one as a family. Then we can exchange email passwords, etc. I think that's just a bunch of crap personally. We have been to a few counseling sessions and he is committed to that, although the therapist told me last week that he didn't think H was completely onboard yet. He just kinda sits there numb and when I break down, he shows little emotion. I've said before that I feel like he likes having a wife, but he doesn't love ME.

I just don't know that I'll ever be able to trust him. He seems to live with the mentality of "I can say/do whatever I want as long as she doesn't find out about it" as a justification for his flirting. He also seems to have this extreme insecurity where when he gets angry or frustrated with me, he turns toward other women (either his "friends" or the OW....that was his excuse. He was angry with me for snooping thru his stuff and thinking that I had spoken badly of him to a mutual friend....which I did not). The way he handles his "anger" is not OK and his massive ego and underlying insecurity...I just don't see how it's NOT destined to happen again. If you can read your Bible while texting your GF, you have NO conscience!

avicarswife posted 10/6/2013 02:28 AM

Of course you had higher expectations - so did I.

I don't think that most WS's no conscience but I do think they can compartmentalize and justify their actions to themselves. It is like they re-write the story of their marriage - so they deserve this, it isn't so bad and their spouse isn't giving them what they need etc - self lies.

I think guilt from my WH's affairs made his depression reach crisis point - he knew what he was doing was wrong on one hand but on the other justified it with he was her friend, he was helping her (delusional much ) and she was telling him no one had ever understood her, supported her or helped as much as him.

My WH like yours appears on the surface to be confident, in fact my mother thinks he is arrogant. Yet I have always been aware that this is a projected image. Unfortunately that need for validation and ego stroking seems to have been one factor in making him so susceptible to flattery from mOW.

For me it is totally unbelievable even now, that a man I would have described as honest, faithful and with huge integrity could betray himself, me, our family, his faith and so many other people so.

Take your time making a decision. Your WH needs good IC to explore with him why he gave himself permission to do this. See his actions, see the changes - lay out your expectations for any chance at reconciling. Do what is best for you. You can decide in a month, a year or years.

Does anyone in your church know? Who is he spiritually accountable to? One of my conditions was that we went to the senior elders in the church and told them. It was a different church that he had just started in and his PAs were over (not the EA however). If they wanted him to resign he would.

Unfortunately when we went, I was still unaware of the extent of his infidelity. They have since learnt the truth, I do think their attitude is very naive (they sort of approached it as "go and sin no more!"), but I am glad that someone at church knows the truth.

Hang in there!!

[This message edited by avicarswife at 2:32 AM, October 6th (Sunday)]

soconfusednow posted 10/6/2013 03:11 AM

I just don't know if I can forgive this and the guilt of my religious beliefs just complicate it for me.

First I'd like to say I would prefer R & hoping we are heading in the right direction for that. But I do find comfort in Matthew 19:9 should things go the other way. My take on it may be wrong, but I understand that as an "acceptable out" if needed.
Forgiveness? When I feel I can't I ask GOD to do it for me, eventually it comes. I'm still waiting on that one in this situation though.

However this all works out for you, I hope you eventually find peace with the outcome.

jjct posted 10/6/2013 04:40 AM

When I feel I can't I ask GOD to do it for me, eventually it comes.

This is the approach I took as well. I just straight-up confessed I couldn't do it - and asked. It did eventually happen (mostly - there's still some material losses to my boys, as in she gave their inheritance to her lover, that lingers...ugh) -

I just don't believe that it includes acceptance. Sure, I can accept that it happened, but I don't have to accept unacceptable behavior.
If you do not have all 4 basic foundational things from your WS:
NC cannot Reconcile.
It's not your job to "make him" have, or do those things - it's all his job.
All of it.

You can forgive
not accept the unacceptable.

doggiediva posted 10/6/2013 11:04 AM

*****It's very reassuring to know that my demands are not unreasonable and that HE'S the one who has to step up to the plate just as much as me, perhaps even more so*****

You don't have to step up to any kind of plate unless the balance of your marriage was so skewed, i.e. him(WH) doing all of the giving and you doing all of the taking in the relationship...This is an issue to be dealt with in MC( someday way in the distant future) after your WH has identified and started to work on his own issues as to why he prefers to lie and cheat..

Since we are talking about a WH here who has been lying and cheating it is his lying and cheating behavior that trumps any and all other problems that were ever present in the marriage..

He is the one who has to do ALL of the stepping up to the plate...Even if he was doing everything a remorseful WH should, it is still up to you to decide if you want him back..

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