SurvivingInfidelity.com Forums
Reconciliation
User Topic: Being authentic, but feel like you are living a lie
avicarswife
Member
Member # 35799
Shutup  Posted: 3:16 AM, October 25th (Friday)

I am really struggling with the feeling that I am not being authentic as I feel like I am complicit in a lie.

My WH is a minister and he had just been appointed in his new role when he admitted his affairs to me (several years as a EA, then 2.5 years as a PA and then he says the PA stopped and they went back to being “just friends” and a second PA).

His appointment was at a church we had not previously attended so we had no established relationships (aside from his sister) within the congregation. His role is only 20 hours/week, so I am primary bread-winner and am often on shifts over the week-end and do not attend church very often. This makes it more difficult for me form relationships as I am quite reserved.

On his confession we went to the senior elder and his wife to see if they still wanted WH to take up the role. They took the “go and sin no more” approach and suggested make a “fresh start” in this new role and that this was a private matter between us and no one else’s business. WH was very keen to take this approach and we had both agreed to be guided by what the elders wanted.

So here we are 18 months later and I am still struggling with many of the issues that have been there since day 1.

WH seems on the whole to be remorseful and keen to reconcile. He is transparent, and there have been no new revelations since D-Day 2 (11 months after he started in the role).

I feel like I cannot form real relationships in the church or make friends because I have this enormous secret and I feel like I am lying to them. I think if he wasn’t the pastor I wouldn’t have the same issue, but as the pastor I think expectations are higher and they think he is such an awesome role model. I also feel I am failing in the role as the pastor’s wife because I don’t attend that often, haven’t developed relationships that are more than acquaintance depth and to be honest I am ambivalent about our marriage.

My pre-affair friends mostly know about the PAs so I don’t feel I am keeping secrets from them, they are supportive and let me vent when I need too. However at church I am unable to relax and be who I am as I feel like am not living authentically.

How do your resolve inner conflicts like this?

Has anyone got any thoughts or suggestions?


BS: 47 (me)
WH: 51
Married 26 yrs, 3 kids (16-24)
D-Days 2012: 23 - 24 May + TT
D-Day 2013: 12 Apr OW#3
mOW #1 EA yrs PA Feb 2009-end 2011
mOW #2 EA months PA 4 months 2010
OW #3 PA single time 2010
Status: Maybe 'R'

Posts: 711 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: "down-under"
trynhard
Member
Member # 22698
Default  Posted: 5:50 AM, October 25th (Friday)

I am really struggling with the feeling that I am not being authentic as I feel like I am complicit in a lie…. enormous secret

When you lie, you have feelings of shame.. perhaps guilt. Are these the feelings you have?

It is like when perhaps make a bet with someone can cannot pay.. You may lie to avoid paying that debt. Then you feel nervous, afraid, unworthy.. I suppose feeling words like that?

When you decide to R, it is best to forgive. When you forgive, you behave in certain ways.

One key behavior when you forgive is to never may the offender feel guilt. This means you do not share with the new friends you may meet. People gossip.. people talk… People are not perfect.. Some people have a value that infidelity is not forgivable. They may approach your H in the new church and say.. YOU are a cheater, you are a hypocrite.. he may fall into guilt as the results of your actions.

So.. You have feelings today that are very valid. Your feelings are your feelings.

But it is a choice to forgive. You make the choice.. you still will have those feelings. I know, I had them for YEARS.. not months. I can tell you this.. those feelings I had in the past have turned into feeling of great pride in myself.

Good positive thoughts will bring good feelings. If you continue to work on yourself doing all good behaviors.. They will bring good feelings.

"hey, I am OK with being a forgiving person"
"Hey, I have the ability to forgive someone for such a painful sin.. Pretty good accomplishment"
"hey, I have learned something from all this.. It is good I learn from life's pain."

Today, I am happy I had the strength to control my emotions. I feel a sense of courageous. I turned the corner to turn very sympathetic to the needs of my W. Today, I am at ease with it.

I will say this.. Most people who know me know about my W’s A. I do not fear it. I say.. I have a far better M today than ever. Which is the truth and not a lie. Do you have a better M today verses when H was committing his sin?

And I think some prayers might be key too.

[This message edited by trynhard at 5:54 AM, October 25th (Friday)]


Posts: 2666 | Registered: Feb 2009 | From: Indiana
topperoff22
Member
Member # 40762
Default  Posted: 5:56 AM, October 25th (Friday)

As a man of God....I can't believe your husband does not feel this guilt. He should be confessing before the church because if he doesn't and they find out he will have an entire congregation that feels betrayed.


BS - Me 36
WS - Him 35 (almost 36)
Child: son, 6; just learned one on way
DDAY - July 24, 2013 (thousands spent on ex girlfriend)
DDAY2 -Aug. 3, 2013 (proof he slept with her)
R is slow going after TT for 1 month

Posts: 316 | Registered: Sep 2013 | From: US
MrsDoubtfire
Member
Member # 24786
Default  Posted: 7:21 AM, October 25th (Friday)

I would prefer my pastor to be genuine and authentic rather than 'pretend'

We all mess up but he is hiding his true self from his flock and that means his ministry will become compromised.

Does he preach on infidelity, truth, owning up to your faults etc
"That which is done in secret must be brought into the light"

I hear you on this. He is hiding and you are in a position of suffering because he wants to maintain his reputation over being honest.

But I also see why he wouldn't want to shout it from the rooftops.

Tough call.

[This message edited by MrsDoubtfire at 7:23 AM, October 25th (Friday)]


BS(Me) FWH(Him) DDay 05.09
A went underground. True R 02.10
I won't let another woman reap the benefit of enjoying the man my H has now become†

Posts: 1563 | Registered: Jul 2009
atsenaotie
Member
Member # 27650
Default  Posted: 7:49 AM, October 25th (Friday)

However at church I am unable to relax and be who I am as I feel like am not living authentically.

How do your resolve inner conflicts like this?

Has anyone got any thoughts or suggestions?

You stop ignoring the elephant stink in the room and acknowledge it. The Elder suggested your WH go forth and sin no more, he could incorporate this lesson into his teachings. He could make himself available to counsel others. He could talk of redemption, forgiveness, and love. I am not saying he has to put it out in everyone’s face, but not keep it hidden under a basket either.

We had a similar issue with family gatherings. Some family knew of FWW’s As, some did not, some knew during the As and did not tell me. It was very awkward at family gatherings, and I felt like I was perceived as “the problem”. FWW addressed this by publicly apologizing, in front of me, for her As. She apologized for putting DDs and sister in the difficult position of knowing she was having an A and feeling that out of loyalty to her they could not say anything to me. She apologized to my parents.

Also, as I read your post, I think that he could pick up additional work to allow you to have some additional free time. If he is 20 hours per week with the ministry, he could easily do 20 – 40 hours a week of other work to bring in additional income. Maybe if you had the time to attend services and participate in church groups more you would not feel such the outsider. He would be setting a better example of following his religious calling in addition to his responsibility to help support his family, not in place of it.

--Ats

[This message edited by atsenaotie at 7:52 AM, October 25th (Friday)]


LTA BS 53
M 1990, dday 10-5-09
Separated and Divorcing

Posts: 4079 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: FL
sisoon
Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 8:21 AM, October 25th (Friday)

1) Is he still in the spare room?

2) Are you really committed to R? (The last thing in your profile is sounds like you were on the road to D.)

3) Are you in IC?

IMO, not spilling the beans publicly is fine, as long as your H isn't presenting himself as a model of morality.

It seems to me that it's easy to be authentic about the things you share while keeping other things private. You're entitled to privacy about things you want to keep private. Doesn't being reserved imply that you keep lost of stuff private anyway?

So why are you unhappy about keeping the As private? My guess is that you still have unresolved feelings about the As and the TT. (That's not meant as a criticism in any way - it takes years to resolve most of the feelings, and we'll probably never resolve all of them completely.)

I'd say: keep this private, be and realize you're authentic in the things you share, and resolve your feelings on your own time.

JMO of course.

[This message edited by sisoon at 8:21 AM, October 25th (Friday)]


fBH (me) - 65+, fWW (her) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 9753 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
sodamnlost
Member
Member # 37190
Default  Posted: 8:21 AM, October 25th (Friday)

If the elders are not opposed - your WH's story is part of his testimony. Why would a Pastor hide part of his testimony?


If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck - it's not a fluffy pink unicorn squirting liquid rainbows, complete with pots of gold out of it's ass.

Posts: 751 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: Nowhere pretty
avicarswife
Member
Member # 35799
Default  Posted: 10:05 AM, October 25th (Friday)

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

I don't think WH comes across as "holier than thou" - to be honest I think this sad mess has made him much more aware of just how imperfect he actually is. Prior to this I think he thought he was a pretty awesome example. I think he is deeply ashamed and remorseful.

So no he

isn't presenting himself as a model of morality

He defends me if someone makes a comment about my lack of presence etc - this is something new. For some reason being a minister's wife makes some people think they have the right to criticise the way you dress, cook, raise your kids, wear make-up, your weight, whether or not I attend church and the fact you don't play the piano - both to your face and behind your back. It is really quite an odd thing.

I think that the problem is my ability to resolve my own conflict - I feel that I am hiding the secret. I don't think WH feels the same - he believes that he has God's forgiveness and is grateful that I am at least contemplating R.

1) Is he still in the spare room?
2) Are you really committed to R? (The last thing in your profile is sounds like you were on the road to D.)
3) Are you in IC?

No he is back in the same room.

As for R - I don't know. He is very committed, I am still struggling with the enormity of the deceit involved. I am not sure if I am going to be able to work through it. I am in IC - my counsellor says she doesn't think I will be able to leave him. Perhaps she is right - I feel obligated in many ways as he is trying so hard. I don't hate him, I don't love him like I did - probably more fond of him and just incredibly sad about everything.

So why are you unhappy about keeping the As private? My guess is that you still have unresolved feelings about the As and the TT. (That's not meant as a criticism in any way - it takes years to resolve most of the feelings, and we'll probably never resolve all of them completely.)

I don't think I want the As public - but absolutely I have unresolved feelings. In many ways WH has had to face few consequences other than those in our marriage. My family know, his don't, the church where the As occurred do not know they happened and only 2 people at our current church know.

I struggle with why he would risk so much for so little. He tells me he was depressed, his thinking was mixed up, they stroked his ego and made him feel he was in some way helping them so he convinced himself what he was doing was actually not really bad.

Do you have a better M today verses when H was committing his sin?

I actually thought we always had a great marriage - even during his As
I always thought I had scooped the lottery with him - the only real grey cloud his chronic depression and that he did so little around the house.

I'd say: keep this private, be and realize you're authentic in the things you share, and resolve your feelings on your own time.

'Time' - I guess if we successfully R, then in time the period of infidelity will become part of our marital story rather than being what it feels like now - the focus - the marriage.

Thank you.


BS: 47 (me)
WH: 51
Married 26 yrs, 3 kids (16-24)
D-Days 2012: 23 - 24 May + TT
D-Day 2013: 12 Apr OW#3
mOW #1 EA yrs PA Feb 2009-end 2011
mOW #2 EA months PA 4 months 2010
OW #3 PA single time 2010
Status: Maybe 'R'

Posts: 711 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: "down-under"
Alex CR
Member
Member # 27968
Default  Posted: 5:16 PM, October 25th (Friday)

There was a point about two years after Dday where some people made comments about how they wanted a marriage like ours...that we were so in love and seemed to enjoy each other so much. Both H and I were embarrassed and uncomfortable and we discussed how comments like this made us feel like fakes. A friend gave me some good advice..she said if someone compliments you on how good you look you don't say...'yeah but I have horrible hemorrhoids!'....there's just some things that don't need to be shared and for me, infidelity is between me and my husband. It's nobody else's business.

But you need to do what feels right for you. This is your life and we only get one chance at it......


BS Me 61
WS Him 62
Married 33
Together 40
DD 11/16/09
The future looks good....

Posts: 1635 | Registered: Mar 2010
BeyondBreaking
Member
Member # 38020
Default  Posted: 5:25 PM, October 25th (Friday)

This would be a really hard situation for me as well, and I can empathize with how you are feeling.

On the one hand, I refuse to live my life in a way that is secretive, hiding, or lying to people (even by omission). At the same time, it would really negatively affect your husband's job to share the A information with the congregation, and you have been instructed not to by the church elders.

I would probably first rely on that. You went into this situation being honest- and were told not to discuss it. Your H's role is to help others with their faith journey, not to share private and intimate marriage matters between the two of you.

Are there any groups at the church or activities that take place during the week that you could attend to get to know people? I haven't been to church inyears, but I remember at my parent's church there were small groups and bible studies people could get involved in that met at various times during the week. If you are unable to attend all the time on the weekends, that might be a good way to feel more involved and get to know some people there- while at the same time working on YOU via bible study or a small group topic you are interested in.


I have been cheated on by 3 different men, and I have more DDays than anyone ever should. I am here, just trying to pickup the pieces.

At least the current man "only" cyber-cheated.

"Love means never having to say you're sorry."


Posts: 840 | Registered: Jan 2013
Notmetoo2011
Member
Member # 32912
Default  Posted: 2:04 PM, October 26th (Saturday)

I am really struggling with the feeling that I am not being authentic as I feel like I am complicit in a lie.

I can so relate to this^^^^

Lately it seems that whenever we get together with friends, there is always a reference to some form of infidelity ithat has occurred in someones relationship. I just cringe inside and it totally brings me down whenever this happens. Usually the people they are talking about are now getting divorced as a result. I immediately wonder what they would think of me if they knew my situation, that H cheated for basically our whole marriage and yet I haven't left him. It makes me feel weak and pathetic as staying seems to be going against all my principles and values, yet I can't bring myself to leave. WH is very remorseful, is doing everything he can but I just don't feel the same way about him that I used to.

I am ambivalent about our marriage.

I'm sorry I have no useful suggestions. My only thought on this is maybe this was a deal breaker for you. I'm feeling more and more that this is the case in my situation but for some reason I don't want to face up to that and accept it.


Me-BW 49
SAWH 51
Married 27 years.
4 children
D-Day 26/07/11
Multiple PAs, ONS, Porn
In limbo land

Posts: 267 | Registered: Jul 2011
bitterbetrayal
Member
Member # 26326
Default  Posted: 2:16 PM, October 29th (Tuesday)

Hello again. My situation was so similar to you.My WH was the vicar. We lasted one year in the parish after I found out. It was a horrendous lie.He never told his bishop for fear of losing his job and being unable to find another out of the parish system. We did eventually leave to go into school chaplaincy. He has still not told his bishop. However he is working for a non Church of England school so is not compromised.However should he ever wish to go back into the C of E or take a service then I would be sickened by that.I feel he should come clean before doing that.I hated the deceit during the year we were still in the parish. I do not know how in a million years you can cope with what you are having to cope with.I am amazed his elders agreed to him continuing. It is incredible deceit on his part. I do believe he should have the courage to come clean with his congregation and stand down for a very good period of time. You should not have to pretend that all is ok. I am so so sorry for you.


ME.BS 55
Him.WS 55 and a priest!
D-DAY 12/07/09
D-DAY-2 14/08/09
MARRIED 25 YEARS ON 25/08/09
BEEN TOGETHER 28 YEARS
TWO CHILDREN 20 and 22.

Posts: 159 | Registered: Nov 2009 | From: UK
Topic Posts: 12