Need advice on my marriage

Jan51

Well-Known Member
My wife and I both accepted Christ as children/teens and were raised in conservative Christian families. We have both attended church our whole lives, and have been members of our current church for over a decade. We have raised our children as Christians in the church. We eat dinner together most nights and pray over our meal. We attend church often, though at times we have conflicts with kids’ sports/activities that preclude us from attending. We tithe regularly. My wife has appeared to stray somewhat in her faith in recent years, admitting a sort of skepticism I did not use to see in her. She still attends church every time we go though and actively participates in worship. I have never wavered in my faith, as God has brought me through some tremendous hardship in my life. I read the Bible, especially when I am struggling. I am not sure about my wife in that regard. I pray often and hope she does too.
Well, my first suggestion would be to both get involved in a solid Bible study.
 

Lynn

Longing for Home
We are literally are so busy with our kids’ activities during the school year that we get maybe 2 hours a week to sit down together. Every other week we have gone 9 straight nights of kids’ activities this fall! It is that busy. Our weekends are also very full. I like your check-in idea, and we actually have done that before, though we have kind of gotten away from it.
Your family life is out of balance, not good for the kids, even if it's their sport/recital, etc., that you're attending. The greatest gift parents can give their kids is a happy loving marriage with total commitment to one another and regular family Bible reading led by the husband/Father. Works every time. It's a win-win for everyone!
 

Lynn

Longing for Home
Your family life is out of balance, not good for the kids, even if it's their sport/recital, etc., that you're attending
Just adding a quick addendum to my previous post. When your children are grown and preparing to marry and start thinking of having their own children, your 'regular' attendance at all their activities will be of no help as they are seeking to navigate the new life path of marriage and parenthood. Teaching them God's Word is what will give them deep roots and the wisdom to pick the right person to marry and how to one day provide godly upbringing of their own children. Think about this, please. :pray
 

Channah

Well-Known Member
Sorry you are going through this. It sounds like what she is doing is “stress relief” the way she sees it.
Have you thought of separation? I believe it’s allowed biblically. As a woman I feel like your wife is crying for attention and punishing you as a man for what happened to her. Sometimes people hurt the ones closest to them as a way of healing themselves.

I am sorry you are going through this but maybe a separation might help her get the needed help she needs. It sounds like she needs trauma counseling and not only marital counseling.

I’ll be praying for you and your wife.
 

cryo

Member
Sorry you are going through this. It sounds like what she is doing is “stress relief” the way she sees it.
Have you thought of separation? I believe it’s allowed biblically. As a woman I feel like your wife is crying for attention and punishing you as a man for what happened to her. Sometimes people hurt the ones closest to them as a way of healing themselves.

I am sorry you are going through this but maybe a separation might help her get the needed help she needs. It sounds like she needs trauma counseling and not only marital counseling.

I’ll be praying for you and your wife.
I wanted to leave that next morning, believe me, but I just couldn’t do it. I could not walk out on the kids. I had to do that at the end of my first marriage (my first wife asked me to leave), and it is one of the most haunting images of my life. I worry I am enabling her behavior and by staying I am saying she can just keep hurting me over and over and I will just take it. Her trauma over her rape also makes me not want to just desert her. It is all very confusing.

She and I are actually getting along really well right now, so we hope we can keep it going, but this has happened before, then we backslide eventually.

She actually had her first session with her new individual counselor today, and we have our first session with our new marriage counselor tomorrow (a different person). Both provide Christian counseling, thankfully, which we are seeking. She also just got an increase in her ADD med dosage today, and she said it already is helping her focus better.

She admits she likes the attention from other men, but it is not like I never give her any, and both times she strayed this year, it was right after we shared a nice time together. It’s not like it was during a period of fighting or anything. That scares me going forward.

Hopefully we can both make a concerted effort here and solve our problems.

Thank you for your prayers!
 

Lynn

Longing for Home
She actually had her first session with her new individual counselor today, and we have our first session with our new marriage counselor tomorrow (a different person). Both provide Christian counseling, thankfully, which we are seeking. She also just got an increase in her ADD med dosage today, and she said it already is helping her focus better.
Sounds very hopeful, cryo. :)
 

cryo

Member
Sounds very hopeful, cryo. :)
Hope so! Our first joint session went well, I thought, and we like our counselor so far. My wife was bawling when we finished, as some hard stuff had to come out in the session, but she recovered and we are okay. The first few sessions, where we share our back story, are going to be rough before we can look ahead to working on healing our marriage.
 

athenasius

Well-Known Member
Funny you mention, ADD, because guess what? She has it! She is on medication for it that she started a couple years ago, and she says it does wonders for her, but I agree with exactly what you said about it, and how it can cause impulsivity.
cryo I'm a retired RN for what it's worth, and Ev Life's post and your answer reminded me of something.

You and she need to talk to 2 people-- her pharmacist and her doctor about this medication. And any others she might be on for other reasons.

Drugs can have side effects and ones for ADD have big ones. There is also a possibility she may have some interactions or may be using the wrong dose.

Impulse control is a known problem with several drugs including ADD, depression and quitting smoking. Someone brought up Chantix causing them trouble on another thread.

Both the dr and the pharmacist (not the dispensing tech, but the one with the degree who is in charge of the pharmacy) need to know.

The root of this may well be the hurts she suffered, but she might be normally able to control herself if it isn't for a drug tipping the balance.

Brain chemistry is a wonderful thing, beautiful in design but it can be unbalanced by a drug, even a legally prescribed one.

:pray
 

crunchymama

Well-Known Member
Thank you so much for your inspirational words and for taking the time to type out such a long post!

My marriage and family mean everything to me. At home is where I am most at peace. Sadly, my wife recently reported at home is where she is at least amount of peace. We do have a crazy household and life with all our children’s activities and busy jobs, so I kind of get it, but she is seeking relief outside our home and marriage, which scares me.

I have not always been a good husband, and that is something we will discuss at counseling. I often take my stress out on my wife verbally, and she does not deserve that. I criticize her too much. The last two years, with the pandemic, have made work incredibly stressful, and I need to leave those feelings at work. I sometimes as she says push her way, and I need to stop doing that, because it does not help matters.

Speaking of staying by her side, I just can’t leave. I keep telling her we are through every time I catch her infidelity, but I just can’t do it. She means too much to me, and I can’t walk out on our kids. They will be devastated. When we are getting along, things are really good. She tells me she loves me and is in love with me, and I believe her, because she still shows it in so many ways. We have been getting along great since I caught her again, but then eventually we backslide, I become critical again, she cheats on me again, I catch her again, then we enter a honeymoon period. It’s a vicious cycle we need to break. I also know the trauma she suffered before we met and she never dealt with is very hard for her at times, and I want to support her through finally dealing with that. She is an amazing mother to our kids, a great wife when things are good, and I know we can get through this.

Funny you mention, ADD, because guess what? She has it! She is on medication for it that she started a couple years ago, and she says it does wonders for her, but I agree with exactly what you said about it, and how it can cause impulsivity. I brought it up to her this summer after I caught her being unfaithful for the second time. It definitely could be a contributing factor.

We have a brand new pastor and do not know him well yet, but we will keep him in mind as well as a support.

It is all very embarrassing, because if you knew us, you would think we are this great family with a happy couple who love each other and have awesome, well-adjusted kids. And for the most part that is all true. My wife and I just have some big issues we need to get past.

Thank you so much for your prayers!
You need to take responsibility for your actions, and part of that is labeling your own behavior. The blame for cheating is all on her. The blame for the issues in the marriage is not. You can only change you. You cannot change her. I see you are in therapy. That's a great start! Not to defend her cheating at all because cheating is always 100% wrong, but she's likely resorting to self-abusive actions because that's what she knows. I really pray that you 2 can work though this, and I mean, really work through this and stop this toxic cycle. :pray:pray:pray
 
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cryo

Member
cryo I'm a retired RN for what it's worth, and Ev Life's post and your answer reminded me of something.

You and she need to talk to 2 people-- her pharmacist and her doctor about this medication. And any others she might be on for other reasons.

Drugs can have side effects and ones for ADD have big ones. There is also a possibility she may have some interactions or may be using the wrong dose.

Impulse control is a known problem with several drugs including ADD, depression and quitting smoking. Someone brought up Chantix causing them trouble on another thread.

Both the dr and the pharmacist (not the dispensing tech, but the one with the degree who is in charge of the pharmacy) need to know.

The root of this may well be the hurts she suffered, but she might be normally able to control herself if it isn't for a drug tipping the balance.

Brain chemistry is a wonderful thing, beautiful in design but it can be unbalanced by a drug, even a legally prescribed one.

:pray
Thank you for this info. Interesting information I had not thought of! I know her recent higher dosage is making her feel more focused (I hope in a good way based on what you are saying).
 

cryo

Member
I'm going to be blunt. You're emotionally abusive. You need to take responsibility for your actions, and part of that is labeling your behavior. The blame for cheating is all on her. The blame for the issues in the marriage is not. You can only change you. You cannot change her. I see you are in therapy. That's a great start! Not to defend her cheating at all because cheating always 100% wrong, but she's likely resorting to self-abusive actions because that's what she knows. 1st her sex abuse, and now your emotional abuse. I really pray that you 2 can work though this, and I mean, really work through this and stop this toxic cycle. :pray:pray:pray
That is a pretty lofty accusation to heap on me when you don’t know me or our marriage. The last time she cheated, it had nothing to do with me in fact. We were having a good week and were getting along great.
 

crunchymama

Well-Known Member
That is a pretty lofty accusation to heap on me when you don’t know me or our marriage. The last time she cheated, it had nothing to do with me in fact. We were having a good week and were getting along great.
Are your harsh words and criticism of her building her up and showing her love and respect, or are they tearing her down and making her feel bad about herself and like she can do nothing right? It doesn't matter if you're having a good week if your other weeks tear her down. We all get frustrated, stressed, and sometimes are harsh with our spouses. Been there, done that. But if it is a continual thing, then it crosses into emotional abuse category. She is not your punching bag to take your stress out on. She is your bride, your love. You should love her as you love yourself. Harsh words, criticizing her, and pushing her away (your words) are not loving.
 

alisani

Well-Known Member
With God there is always hope and even more than hope, we have His promise that He will make all things beautiful in their time. And He will repay us for the years the locusts have eaten. I've been involved in a Christian marriage ministry for about 15 years and I've seen God bring people back from any sin you can imagine. We serve a God of reconciliation. He reconciles us to Him but also to each other. Keep your faith. And while you wait and ask God to work in her heart, ask God to show you what He would have you change too. That way you are productive and prepared for your wife's return. Read the story of Hosea and Gomer. It will be both a comfort and a prayer. And may God do for your wife what He did for Gomer. I will be praying for that very thing.
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
Thank you for this info. Interesting information I had not thought of! I know her recent higher dosage is making her feel more focused (I hope in a good way based on what you are saying).

It sounds like there some better balance with the medication. In working with someone I know on this kind of thing, it had been good for them to try different dosages to find just the right dosage. In some cases with ADD a higher dose can be better.

If she wasn't getting as much medication as needed, her background combined with the need to have dopamine increase in the brain could definitely be an influence to propel her to more destructive actions for the needed dopamine. It's not unusual for some with ADD to move into high risk activities to do so.

It sounds like you both are doing a good job in working towards bringing balance to your marriage and you are also thinking of your family as a whole. The love and care you have for your family is a wonderful blessing for them (along with your own willingness to take responsibility where you're realizing you need to, as you've shared here at RF) and I :pray that God would continue to help you all in any needed balance in any areas you all may not be aware of. :)

:pray
 

Ghoti Ichthus

Pray so they do not serve alone. Ephesians 6:10-20
Might an accountability program like what porn addicts use with an accountabilty partner, for cell phones, computer, etc. help?

In reference to wife not hiding activity, perhaps wanting to get caught/confronted is a desperate cry for help (conscious or subconscious) and not intended as disrespect

Maybe agreeing to and abiding by a rule of only talking about your marriage with partner and/or your therapist(s). No friends, family, or coworkers. There was an excellent book that talked about this, but I simply cannot remember the title . . . maybe someone else knows/remembers.

The Gray Chapman books 5 Love Languages and 5 Languages of Apology are really, really excellent in many ways for any relationship.


:pray :pray :amen :amen
 
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