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Issue 19 - ©2001 by Kari West - Garden Glories
Topic: When A Wife Cheats On Her Husband
a wife cheats on her husband, the devastation he experiences
is identical to what we feel as betrayed women. In this newsletter, you'll meet Randy in Montana who shares
the pain of his wife's adultery and the eventual divorce.
honesty and transparency, he reveals what he wishes he had
done differently, his struggle to parent two sons, and
night God showed up.
Here's what is new
Kari's recent article,
"Surviving An Anniversary of A Loss," is now posted on her
website. Visit www.gardenglories.com and click on Articles;
then, scroll down the list. This article offers tips for living
out that first year after a loss, especially when family celebrations
and holidays remind us of the empty chairs around our table
and those no longer with us. If you do not have Internet access
and wish a copy of this article, send your request to Kari
at P. O. Box 11692, Pleasanton, CA 94588.
is getting a facelift! Lots more flowers, of course. Additional
Resources and Links. And a brand new section called Relax.
Enjoy! featuring midi files (music) and inspiration. Whether
you're a serious horticulturist or a weekend patio-pot person,
you'll want to drop by the renovated Garden Tips section to
plant your tip for others to view and check out a link that
shows a captivating view of our planet. It's all happening
soon! Now let's meet Randy.
by Randy in Montana
My wife and I
met in the church that I was raised in. I wanted a God-fearing
lady to be my wife. Now I know that this is not a fail
decision. Statistics show professing Christians have a higher
divorce rate than non-believers. I was raised in a Christian
family yet for years I chose to devote much of my life
interests contrary to God's will. My wife was the spiritual
leader of our family at that time as I nurtured a life
sinful behavior. In many ways, I am deserving of her decision
to leave me. Although I stumbled many times in regard to
Christian walk during our marriage, I have always had a repentant
heart for my trespasses against the Lord. Perhaps the biggest
challenge in this divorce has been forgiving myself for
mistakes I made throughout my marriage. I am the beneficiary
of faithful believers who have stood in the gap for me
those sinful years. I will forever be grateful to my mother
and grandmother for their intercessory prayers for me.
a result, I will always pray for my exwife.
I was tremendously
blessed by When He Leaves. However, my initial feeling was
that the book portrayed the husband solely responsible for
the mistakes within the marriages. God soon taught me that
the authors were simply expressing their own individual healing.
I painfully relate to the helpless feeling when a husband
chooses to depart a marriage as my wife did.
She was a wonderful
wife and mother. For many years, she stood in the gap for
me. The first 15 years of our marriage, friends and family
came to love her. She was a sweet, loving, and giving individual
and a beautiful Christian lady totally sold out to glorifying
God through her life. We had a beautiful marriage and love
for one another. Sure, we had our problems just like any other
couple, but we had overcome and accomplished so much together.
I had a successful career and she ran a successful business.
We had two beautiful sons with promise of leading successful
God-serving lives. My wife prided herself on a job well done.
But before long she began to develop a habit of judging others.
I cannot count the times she made the statement, "I can't
believe they did that. I would never do that," referring to
people who had committed adultery.
wife committed those same sins for which she judged so many
others. At first, she engaged in numerous secret emotional
relationships with other men that soon evolved into physical
encounters. Finally, she decided to leave our family and become
involved with a man who was my friend. When this situation
surfaced, my wife maliciously campaigned to destroy me. At
the time, I felt strongly that God was instructing me not
to fight with her in the legal system. But I didn't listen.
To gain custody
of our two children, I lashed out and told my wife that her
adulterous behavior would be revealed if she chose to fight
me for our children. I believed her when she told me she would
withdraw her request and commit to working to restore our
marriage. However, a couple months later I was served a judgment
saying I was in default for failing to appear for a hearing
on her request. I couldn't believe that she had lied and not
withdrawn her petition as she had told me. The court awarded
her custody of our children and almost everything we owned,
including our family home. I was given two months to remove
myself from the home that she had already left nine months
earlier. Thousands of dollars later, the judge dismissed the
judgment based on her deceit.
It has been a horrible
ordeal for my sons and me. They were terribly hurt by the
divorce and suffered immensely. Only by the grace of God have
any of us survived. Only by the grace of God have I been able
to grow as a man of God and not fight back with my wife since
almost every word she says to me is filled with hatred. I
could not deal with any of it if it were not for God carrying
me every step of the way. My oldest son is now a sophomore
in college totally estranged from his mother. My youngest
son, Kyle, would not speak to his mother for several years
after she left us. His behavior was frightening--from failing
school to breaking the law. I enrolled him in a Christian
school, didn't allow him to get his driver's license, and
restricted him from other kids who were getting in trouble.
His mother undermined my decisions by allowing him to get
his license, attend the school of his choice, and choose his
own friends. She also criticized me to him. Once my son got
into so much trouble with the law that I grounded him, but
his mother conspired to pick him up in the middle of the night.
The rules seem so unfair when we try to live by God's standards.
The night Kyle
left with his mother, I called the police. What happened next
is God at His best. The officer explained to me that these
situations are difficult with respect to law enforcement,
particularly if my son is unwilling to return. Then, he looked
me in the eye: "Randy, there is only one sure answer for your
son in this situation: Prayer!" I could not believe what I
was hearing. The officer took my Bible from the coffee table
and read the story of the prodigal son. He told me that he
felt the spirit of God in my home and believed that he'd been
sent to deliver a message from
God to me.
He said that once
he also had a son named Kyle who died at a young age from
an illness. The officer went on to say that his loss, albeit
devastating, was much easier than mine in a sense. That he
had lost his Kyle to heaven; I'd lost my Kyle to the world.
At this point I was weeping. The officer took me in his arms
and asked if he could pray for my son and me. We prayed. He
told me he would continue to pray for my Kyle; and that if
I would keep the faith like the prodigal son's father that
God would carry me through my pain and keep knocking on Kyle's
door. This is just one of many miracles that God has performed
in my life following the departure of my exwife. God's mercy
and grace is abounding. I cannot imagine surviving without
Help for today
claim that 90% of marriages that end in divorce involve adultery,
and at its root is infidelity. Fidelity is a personal commitment
necessary for a relationship to flourish. Lewis Smedes, professor
of Theology and Philosophy of Religion at Fuller Theological
Seminary, defines fidelity as the single ingredient that stamps
a sexual partnership as a marriage. Like love and forgiveness,
fidelity is not a feeling but an act of the will. Fidelity
means that you determine to remain faithful to the original
covenant, joint goals of your marriage, and to your spouse.
Fidelity is a promise your mind makes and your heart keeps;
it is lived in the choices of each day.
rests upon more than an initial covenant; it rests upon the
fidelity of each spouse to the other," says Dwight Small,
professor emeritus of Westmont College. "Adultery, upon which
we tend to place such singular emphasis, represents an external
(visible) breach ... Infidelity, an internal (invisible) breach
in thought or attitude, can also break the covenant. It is
known only to the one who is secretly pulling away. But if
left to continue the process becomes irreversible in time,
except for God's intervention."
Like Randy discovered,
an affair means that neither spouse wins. The consequences
of infidelity are perpetual; and as for adultery, the stigma
stays. Trust erodes. The betrayed spouse feels anger, humiliation,
and rejection since the adulterer conveys a loud message that
his/her mate is not enough. Children born of this union lose
trust not only in the parent who cheats but in marriage itself,
as their template for a committed relationship is shattered.
Some lose trust in God.
After more than
20 years as a licensed family therapist, Jeff Klippenes believes
we are often more concerned about the death of the relationship
than the emotional and spiritual death of the individuals
within the relationship. Although he tells rejected spouses
that the default setting is always to trust God in the process,
he says, "There's a fine line between trusting God and waiting
in a crazy-making situation, losing your grip on sanity in
a marriage that's distorted and lifeless. Nothing is moral
about a divorce; it's breaching a covenant like adultery,
but God is a God of new beginnings. We need to realize that
God isn't still sitting in the Garden of Eden praying and
trusting that first couple will come back to him. No. He adapted
to reality and moved on. Grace says, 'You blew it, kid. Now
you get to do over.'"
If your former
spouse chose to walk away from you and your children, claim
your freedom to choose the direction of your heart. In God
alone you'll find the belonging and acceptance you long for
and the validation and attachment you need to fully live.
In the light of the truth of what you've been through, step
out of the darkness of deception and over that marriage that
died in divorce. God is calling you to light and life!
by Marie in Georgia
of you invade my sleep. I find myself pushing through another
layer of letting go and yes, more forgiveness for what you've
done to my dream of love and marriage.
who were once friend, then lover, are now a stranger.
see you off in the distance, wandering in the darkness, yet
thinking you're in the light.
who were supposed to be a loving father (mother) to our children,
have bruised their hearts and bodies,
you thought you were doing right.
heart is heavy, deep into the night seasons, trying to shake
the horror you brought through the years.
only joy is that Jesus, You were here to dry all the tears
of little children crying in the darkness
of a wife (husband) with heart forlorn and afraid.
truly have been delivered from a great weight, too heavy to
once again, praises are sung by angels and mortal souls alike,
us joy in our sorrow and freedom from the pain.
us keep our eyes on You, Lord and know You will lift us up
again high upon a mountain,
the cleft of the rock where Your strength and peace keep us
from all harm."
crying myself to sleep
holds me as I weep
He cradles me in His arms
I'm safe from all alarm.
shut them tight
Him keep you
light comes again
God's love for you
erases all fear.
and pain melt away
He gently leads the way.
turn my focus back to You
I find gray skies turn to blue.
warms my face
I walk on in Your grace.
hold my hand tightly
light my path brightly
I walk on with You.
Promise You Can Trust
life, so that you and your children may live ...
Deuteronomy 30:19 NIV
In the Meantime
Please feel free
to suggest topics for the
and share your story. Write Kari at Garden Glories, P. O.
Box 11692, Pleasanton, CA 94588 or Clicking Here.
DivorceWise Newsletter also available online at www.gardenglories.com.
Archived issues available upon request.