Four things to do today to save your marriage.
Please help give me advice on what I need to do.
I'm so sorry you have to face this - but keep in mind that you do not face it alone! You have the best support in all the universe with you all the time (Heb 4:15)
You've come to a good forum - you'll get lots of great advice here. Also, some really bad. Test everything to see if it is the right thing (Acts 17:11) There is a lot of hope for your marriage.
I always argue pro-marriage. I do not believe there are many situations that actually warrant divorce, and as I too am a Christian, I believe that God is able and willing to help His children overcome any difficulty. The first thing to do is keep your eyes on God.
After that - consider what we have to say here.
[quote]I have been married for 23 years. I found out 1.5 years ago that my H has been cheating. Since I am a Christian, I forgave him, and allowed him back to try to work on our marriage. Since then he left came back and 3x in 1.5 has lied about ending his relationship with this OW. I have just in last 2 weeks discovered again that it continues. Please help give me advice on what I need to do.
I dont feel I can live this way, but afyer 23 yrs I feel I cant live without him
First thing to do is change your wording in such sentences: you CAN live without him - you don't WANT to - hence, state it this way: "I don't feel I can live this way, but I don't want to live without him."
Next change the words "I don't feel I can live this way" to "I don't want to live this way" - so, your sentence becomes: "I don't want to live this way, but after 23 years I don't want to live without him."
I urge you to do this for a very important reason: in order to get your marriage on track - and build it into something much better than it was - you'll need to start thinking very clearly. You'll have to be very deliberate in everything you do, and understand why you are doing it. Normal life is easy to get by without putting a lot of thought into - but right now your life is NOT normal, and you need to use every tool at your disposal.
Since then he left came back and 3x in 1.5 has lied about ending his relationship with this OW. I have just in last 2 weeks discovered again that it continues.
In order to get your marriage on track, you'll need to take careful, deliberate steps. There are two parts to getting your marriage back (and making it better):
1) End the affair
2) Work on the marriage.
These must come in order: you can't fix the marriage as long as the affair is going on, because your husband's priorities are given to someone else: the marriage will take a back seat. AT THE MOST, any work you do on the marriage will be limited to what your husband wants from you, and what he wants from this other woman.
He won't be attentive enough to do the work necessary.
So - let's concentrate on the affair:
There are seven steps you can take to combat the affair. Take them one at a time (but I will add an exception) and do them in order. First step
is to gather evidence of the affair. This means save copies of email, get phone records, screen-prints of Facebook chats, IM records, etc - ANYTHING you can find that proves to you that the affair is happening.
I would advise you to do this without telling your husband. Not because I want you to hide things from him, but because the moment you tell him your intention, he will delete and hide anything he can - and proceed to lie to you even more. You do not want to enable him to lie to you any more than you have to.
Gather this evidence and keep it somewhere safe. Second Step
You will confront him with COPIES of the evidence (keep a copy for yourself somewhere safe) and state (do not demand, threaten, etc) that you want the affair to end now, and that you want him to work with you on the marriage. Do not pay attention to what he argues
- this is not a command for him to obey (although that would be nice) - this is a statement that you are aware of the affair, and that you wish to work on the marriage. It is notification that you are fighting FOR your marriage (not fighting him.) Hopefully he will admit his error and ask you what he needs to do (or in some way show that he is willing to work).
What you need: very simple.
1) He writes a NO CONTACT letter to this Other Woman that you read and send YOURSELF.
2) He gives you complete access to ALL his email passwords, facebook accounts, IM accounts, phone, etc., and
3) he commits to working on the marriage.
If he does all that, get the hence to your pastor or a counselor and get to work.
If not: Step Three
Disclosure: Take the evidence to your pastor, or someone else whom your husband respects and considers wise counsel, show them, and ask for their help. Ideally they will set up a meeting to discuss this with your husband. If this is effective, ask for the three conditions I listed above as proof of willingness to work on the marriage. If not: Step Four
Exposure. Take the evidence to his family, your family, friends at church, etc. Expose the affair to the world. Send an email to the Other Woman introducing yourself and telling her you love your husband and are going to fight for your marriage. Send an email to her husband, letting him know of the affair with your husband. Step Five
During ALL of this, be the Greatest Wife the World has Ever Known. Stop doing Love Extinguishers
) and start doing Kindlers (Emotional Needs
). Here's an article that will help you.
There are more steps (as you'll see in the article) but you are nowhere near that yet - start here, go slow and deliberate, pray, vent on this site, seek advice - and keep coming back!
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