Finding it hard to forgive

by Sorrowful

I am married to a pastor.

He tells me I am the most precious thing in his life. We have a good family, great ministry and have been together for many years.

Recently I was devastated to discover my husband had been flirtatious with other women. He claimed it meant nothing but it hurt me tremendously.

I then discovered he had been lying to me about various issues - nothing too serious, but lots of smaller issues. I suppose to be honest there were a few serious issues. Twice I caught him meeting up with women from church for counseling. Once in a bar and the second time in the church - alone.

He claims he had no feelings for these women but was just trying to do his job. We spoke about boundaries, safety guidelines - all of which he knows - but hey.

Recently we sat down and had a long heart to heart. I explained how hurt by his actions I had been. Okay he did not have an affair, was not committing adultery, but showering other women with compliments, allowing them to pour their hearts out to him and having him and them ignoring me was hurtful. I have begun to seriously dislike the women in my church as they appear flirtatious, giggly and girly around my husband. I am sick and tired of hearing how lucky I am to be married to him. I don't feel lucky.

Okay, so anyway our marriage came through the hard talk and I truly felt the Lord had restored our marriage. We were enjoying each other again - I still found it hard to trust him - but I believed that he was being honest by telling me where he would be and when etc. Slowly the building bricks of trust were being laid. Then on Sunday I overhead him saying to a woman (in front of her husband) 'Let me come with you on holiday, I'll be your bodyguard and protect that lovely body of yours.' Unbeknown to my husband I was standing right behind him. Normally after the church service I am busy with various other things and not free to wander around where he is chatting. In addition to this a woman who only comes to our church once in a blue moon - and mainly to get her kid into church school - flings her arms around my husband and he hugs her back affectionately saying into her ear how glad he is to see her and how happy he is that she came. I confess I have a very hard time even liking this woman as she and her daughters seem to think church is a laugh - once she sat near me in the service and spent the entire time sniggering and giggling at everything - even during communion. At the end of the service I was so upset by her but then right in front of me she went up to my husband and planted a big kiss on his cheek. That night we discussed at length how unhappy this made me feel and my husband seemed to appreciate my feelings, but now this. I understand you can't stop someone hugging you - but you don't have to hug them back and squeeze them and encourage it by telling them how glad you are that they came.

What I would like to know is am I being unreasonable? Am I being overly jealous? I should add that the women with the 'lovely body' is about 10 years older than my husband, but she is a very attractive, well dressed and well turned out woman.

What can I say to my husband who after apologizing to me the first time around for flirtatious comments, now gets caught still saying stupid things to women. How do I cope with my husband always feeling so sorry for these women and their tales of woe when he never feels sorry for me.

I feel so messed up.

I feel like I AM BURNT OUT and no longer want to be married to the flock!

Comments for Finding it hard to forgive

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finding it hard to forgive
by: Anonymous

I understand what you are going through and i do not think you are unreasonable. However i think that he should be willing to work along with you to set some boundaries and for persons to hold him accountable.

While his role takes in pastoral counselling, be guided by rules of counselling. He should be respectful of not just you but the office he holds. Openly flirting is not something that you should condone.

Ask God to guide you as you might allow flesh to govern and in trying to do so you risk the ministry and the calling over both your life and his.

The enemy is after not just you marriage, but the ministry..(expose the enemy, not your husband). Ask the Holy Spirit to show you the spirits that are operating and come against those spirits. They are assigned to destroy your marriage and the ministry and his tactics are covert. Some of the Spirits i see manifesting in your husband and around him are Lust, Spirit of Jezebel, Spirit of idolatry.

You are not selfish!
by: Anonymous

I don't know if I misread that last post but it is nothing like the woman anointing the feet of Jesus. We are talking about a man is acknowledging how lovely other womens bodies are and offering to go on holiday with them as well as meeting in inappropriate situations with women. Your concerns are very valid and his behavior demonstrates that something is clearly not right here. The fact that he is lying to you indicates that he is not at this time behaving in a godly way.

I would seek counseling and confide in a godly friend for prayer support. I would also pray for complete exposure of the situation. Really the situation needs confronting, you can't go on pretending this is not happening and nor can he.

Boundaries need to be put in place and I would recommend that he not counsel women under any circumstances as he clearly has an issue in this area. He should not be making inappropriate comments to women let alone at church.

The other thing is marriage and ministry are not about treating your wife with such contempt and disrespect. You guys are a team, called together to minister. I can't imagine how hard this must be for you. And can I say you are anything but selfish, no body deserves to be treated that way. Praying for you and believing that there will be repentance, restoration and healing in this situation.

Time for Serious Relationship Evaluation
by: Anonymous

Your reactions are valid; your concerns are real. Your husband should not be whispering in any woman's ear that he is glad to see her, etc. Turn to God in prayer and praise. Ask for the strength necessary to come through this hurt and anger. It sounds as if you have had many talks with him. Make a two-columned list on lined paper of the things you love about your husband and the things that bother you. You have to weigh the good against the bad. Do a thorough and truthful evaluation. God does not want you to be unhappy, but God does not want your pastor husband to be intimate (and I'm not talking sex here) with other women. I would not go so far as to say that men and women cannot be friends, but when it's apparent that boundaries are close to being crossed, it's time to step back. To use another burned-out phrase, what would Jesus do? Take your cares directly to our Lord and saviour. Be willing to hear His answer.

Go with your gut
by: Anonymous

Dear Sorrowful:

I regret to tell you this, but I doubt very much your husband has been faithful. He is giving all the signs of an unfaithful spouse. A Godly man will run from all appearances of impropriety. Your husband seeks it out.

If you want to stay with him, it is not unreasonable to put serious demands on his behavior - no hugging members of the opposite sex, no counseling members of the opposite sex, etc.

If he loves you, he will have no problem changing his behavior appropriately. If he balks, well, you have your answer.

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