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When the OW attends your place of worship

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whiteflower99 posted 11/23/2013 14:44 PM

First of all thanks to SI and big hugs for helping me get through my meltdown a few nights ago. Once more my sanity is saved thanks to this board.

Now, those who have had this situation come up, how do you deal with it? Not to give too many details, but this is a small community and I have no where else to go. Not only that, but why the hell should I feel like I have to give up something that brings me comfort and support just because she is there?

I am lucky in that although OWx, WH and I all work for the same corporation we are in different locations and I don't have to ever see her. She lives in another town about 30 minutes from where I am and I never see her out and about except at my place of worship.
I want to ask her to leave, but do I have the right?

Any and all advice welcome.

Skan posted 11/23/2013 15:41 PM

Weekly prayer requests requesting the God shine heal the sinning hearts of all whores present, and in pew #3 left side to be specific?

OK, I'm only semi joking. I sure as heck would not let her drive me from the comfort of the church. And while it is very true that the OW certainly needs to hear and *understand* God's word, I don't think it unreasonable that you ask her (if you can stand to talk to her) to commit to one service (if there are more than one). Otherwise, I think that you're going to just have to stare her down and give her the cold shoulder.

storm77 posted 11/23/2013 16:01 PM

Have you spoken to your pastor about the situation? Perhaps he or she can come up with a solution.

Nature_Girl posted 11/23/2013 16:07 PM

I suggest that you ask your Pastor and Minister of Women's Studies (if you have a position like that, or someone who's in charge of ministering to the women) to meet with you. Explain the situation. Let them know of your discomfort, then tell them you'd like to have the OW attend a different service time than you, and if that's not possible you need the church to act as mediator and help you figure out a solution (which hopefully will include asking her to go away).

Lovedyoumore posted 11/23/2013 16:33 PM

OW does not attend worship at our church. But that did not keep her from walking in one Sunday after DDay, and a few more after that. I felt as if the sanctity of a safe place had been burned so I understand you.

Find a sympathetic ear in a ministry leader. Does your H attend? I would suspect that in most churches the BS would get rights to worship in peace and OW would be asked to leave. However, be prepared for the goose/gander thing with your H. He could also be asked to move on.

Is there knowledge of the A at your church? Was there a confession/repentance done within the church?

I have not felt safe at church since the SOW walked in that Sunday.

solus sto posted 11/23/2013 17:47 PM

Is there more than one service? Even my little church has 2. I'd attend the one that OW does not.

(Actually I'd switch churches, but that's just me. I would no longer find it a place of comfort if I were worried about seeing her.)

Nature_Girl posted 11/23/2013 17:56 PM

(Actually I'd switch churches, but that's just me. I would no longer find it a place of comfort if I were worried about seeing her.)

I'd go this route, too. I'd go without church at all rather than have to be violated every single week by the OW. But the OP says this isn't an option for her.

After EX & I separated one of the church ladies called him up to reinvite him back to church. She was so proud of herself and couldn't wait to tell me the next Sunday morning. I was stunned. Then I told her that if he did show up I would be taking my children & leaving church forever. Her turn to be stunned. I told the security people at church what had happened, told the Sunday School staff that STBX (now EX) had been invited back to church and if he showed up he was NOT to be allowed to see the children (because he would possibly abduct them), and then spent the next several months nervous as hell every Sunday, wondering if he'd show up.

And yes, that church lady knew what had happened in the marriage.

Boundaries are very important. I no longer believe we are called to sacrifice our health for religious reasons.

Kierst13 posted 11/23/2013 18:48 PM

I am not sure you can expect much unless you believe OW is violent. I am not sure the people guilty of the sin of adultery can or should be treated any differently than those guilty of any other sin that emotionally hurts another person. She could be asked to attend another service, but she would not have to agree and then you have given her power in knowing she can get under your skin by her presence.

The exceptions would be if people or children were in physical danger.

plainpain posted 11/23/2013 19:14 PM

I think you absolutely have the right to ask her to worship somewhere else. If she is sincere in her reasons for being at church in the first place, then she should feel some measure of guilt. Maybe she thinks that you seeing her there is comforting to you... maybe she thinks you want to see her repentant. Maybe if she knew how it affected you, she would not want to pour salt on your wounds. I don't know. If OW showed up at my church, I would exit stage left immediately.

I think that, at the very least, your pastor should know what has happened in your family. IMO, I think that it would actually be appropriate for your H to be the one to ask her to leave. While I think it is absolutely your right, I don't think it is your responsibility to ask her to leave. You should not be placed into a position where you are at risk of further humiliation. If she refuses, then at least she is refusing him, not you.

I'm sorry this is your situation. It must be dreadfully painful.

Ashland13 posted 11/23/2013 19:40 PM

People at church where we go and I work were very supportive when they learned what happened to Perv.

I suspect it would be the same for you. They came together almost as a shield if he appeared to drop DD off.

Church is a very personal thing. It should be yours and she should step aside. But as a few posts said, life doesn't always happen that way.

The high road isn't an easy one. I hope you can work it out. Seeking the pastor and people in charge's help is good advice.

Dyinghere posted 11/23/2013 19:42 PM

Shine the light on her. Tell your SS class. Ha. Ask them to pray for her wayward soul. Then sit right beside her in the pew and make her uncomfortable.

Just kidding.

I would change churches too.

Dyinghere posted 11/23/2013 19:42 PM

It posted twice

[This message edited by Dyinghere at 7:44 PM, November 23rd (Saturday)]

whiteflower99 posted 11/23/2013 20:22 PM

If she is sincere in her reasons for being at church in the first place, then she should feel some measure of guilt

This OW is the one who blew their affair wide open. He had totally misrepresented me to her (big surprise there, right) and when she met me and got to know me she (and I'm quoting her now) "felt terrible about how wrong the situation was and couldn't live with it any longer".
I held her hand while she confessed it all to me over an agonizing phone call. I will admit, it helped the situation when I forwarded text messages to her that my husband had sent to two other women as well. She thought she was the only one.
At any rate, I know it took a lot of courage for her to talk to me, and for a few days she I allowed her to lean on me while she gave more information.
She finally stopped trying to reach out to me when she found out through mutual acquaintances that he wants to reconcile. And I don't want to be a source of her strength when she was partially responsible for destroying my world.
I suppose she may have been one of those that thought he would leave me for her. She said he proposed (which I doubt) and had told her he wanted them to be a family (which I believe even less).
He says she read into a lot of what he said that she was always pushing him for more of a commitment.
Of course he says that.

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