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For great men who just found it about the affair: an open letter

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Dispirited posted 12/14/2018 23:15 PM

The Catholic Church teaches that you should not divorce except for very limited and specific reasons.

And one of those reasons? Infidelity. Please refer to your Bible as you seem to suggest erroneous information. I can help you hone in that specific passage if you desire. Until then, your contra reasoning is duly noted:)

a54a120 posted 12/17/2018 00:11 AM

I wanted to share an update about my situation.

Nothing I am going to write here is my attempt to excuse infidelity in any way.

My WW feels very remorseful but it's clear to me that she doesn't know how much she hurt me. So I wrote her a letter which she can read as many times as needed to fully understand the extent of what she did.

The letter shocked her. She wasn't ready to experience and appreciate the extent of my pain. She also admitted several times that she doesn't know what to do next, including how to win my trust. Of course she did not even Google any keywords of interest.

My WW is a survivor of sexual abuse. My IC (I go every week since DDay a month ago) told me that it's not uncommon for survivors of sexual abuse to run away from conflicts and refuse to deal with reality. In the past, blocking and disengaging was a defense mechanism needed to survive. But blocking and disengaging also became a pattern which also prevented her to see me for who I am.

Several years ago, I suspected she was a survivor of sexual abuse based on how she reacted while having a normal, but difficult family situation. I consider this to be the start of how her feelings changed. I increasingly became an emotional enemy in her eyes since I discovered her secret. She could no longer pretend to be a perfect wife. Her world just crashed.

She has significant difficulty with my pain and how much she hurt me. Conversations can be blocked. Letters cannot be. So now she is forced to deal with reality, while lacking conflict management and rational thinking skills.

Every reaction mentioned by senior members of this form and in healing library articles is now appearing. My WW has "problems with me. Her love towards me began to change years ago". In short - she is marginalizing and beginning to shift blame. I was even told that "I wish you also had an affair". While it's obvious the comment was made in anger, my WW is looking to establish her own moral superiority of sorts to make her own affair less important. Childish for the lack of a better word.

I don't pretend to know everything about survivors of sexual abuse but I did read a great book on the subject. It helped me understand my WW but nothing can serve as an excuse for infidelity. If she had problems with me, all she had to do is suggest marriage counseling.

Ironically, when I suggested counseling, individual or joint, years ago, she flatly refused stating "I don't believe in this stuff".

I told my WW today that her recovery as a survivor is for herself. Not for me. She needs to be emotionally healthy for our (possible next marriage) or some other relationship.

The truth is she is overwhelmed but I am not responsible for her feelings.

Holidays are very difficult because it's hard for me to pretend while attending parties where everyone knows us as a great couple.

I am observing ...

[This message edited by a54a120 at 12:11 AM, December 17th (Monday)]

notperfect5 posted 12/17/2018 10:38 AM

The Catholic Church teaches that you should not divorce except for very limited and specific reasons.

And one of those reasons? Infidelity. Please refer to your Bible as you seem to suggest erroneous information. I can help you hone in that specific passage if you desire. Until then, your contra reasoning is duly noted:)


Agreed. Their stance regarding what to do is pretty confusing to me. At one point, adulterers were to be stoned. Then it was, don't cast the first stone. Then, no divorce except for adultery or sexual perversion.

Recently I heard it said that it was ok for safety of the spouse and / or children (such as abuse or addiction).

But, reconcile if you can. Separation is allowed only as necessary to protect the spouse or children. I must confess it is all over the map and I have been paying VERY close attention to all of the messaging.

The best I can tell, divorce is acceptable for the safety and protection of spouse or children and with the permission of the bishop. This includes adultery that is pervasive. Betrayed spouses should try to reconcile if they are able.

If the betrayed spouse cannot reconcile they may obtain civil divorce but not remarry. Divorce is not recognized by the Catholic church. Adultery is not, in itself, an acceptable reason for a declaration of nullity. Without a declaration of nullity, you are still bound to chastity till the death of the wayward spouse. (no dating, no sex, etc.).

That's as best as I can understand it. That is what Catholics who follow the teaching of the Church are held to do. It's pretty brutal and it's horribly unfair to the betrayed. That's why adultery is so horrible. If you want to remain in the Church and still receive communion, that's the reality you are facing.

So as I was going through my Dday after Dday, everyone kept telling me to divorce and I kept telling them, "I won't!". Not and still be a Catholic. As I understand the rules, you can separate (with permission) or file for a declaration of nullity which used to be exceedingly rare (like 4000 per year for the entire world's billion Catholics). And if you did separate or divorce civilly, you better like being alone sexually, because you're pretty much done for life.

Now tactically, I did get a lawyer and I did draw up divorce papers and I did show them to my wife and I did tell her I was divorcing her and ONLY THEN did she realize the gig was up. So I get it.

So all the people who move on with someone else, divorce and remarry, find the next someone... well that avenue is not always open to people. This may also be true in other cultures where divorce is extremely taboo and brings such shame as to be nearly life ending.

[This message edited by notperfect5 at 10:48 AM, December 17th (Monday)]

notperfect5 posted 12/17/2018 10:52 AM

Every reaction mentioned by senior members of this form and in healing library articles is now appearing. My WW has "problems with me. Her love towards me began to change years ago". In short - she is marginalizing and beginning to shift blame. I was even told that "I wish you also had an affair". While it's obvious the comment was made in anger, my WW is looking to establish her own moral superiority of sorts to make her own affair less important.
Yes, my wife recommended this as well. This is a power play. If you have an affair then we are all equal and everything is "fixed" for her.

Don't fall for that. It will never be equal and it will not even the playing field, even if you did have a revenge affair. She has a long, long way to go and lots of work to do before she is healthy and a safe(r) partner.

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