Sunday, August 6, 2017

Who You Gonna Call? (After betrayal discovery) and Who You Are Married To

Too many have regretted telling certain people because they either have the wrong reaction, tell the whole world or rejoice over their misfortunes.  I know for sure the class you shouldn't tell. (Here, again, I'm talking to 'conservative' sisters whose experience I can best understand.) There are people who just won't know how to say/not say the right things and will only increase the pain you are in. People who do not have the same principles and standards as you do. I know of a mother-in-law who told her daughter-in-law that her husband (MIL's son, y'all!) would cheat on her because she had short hair and wasn't very sexual in behaviour. I was so busy being unimpressed by the shallowness of this MIL that I forgot to ask, "Wait a minute, MIL and her son are both proclaimed Christians, why would she not tell her son that she sees he is shallow and he needs to sort himself out before he falls?"
Then the friend who when she started reforming-stopping wearing pants, had natural hair-was told by her friends, "See, he's cheating on you with all those girls because they relax their hair and aren't as stiff as you are, you need to be like them." Obviously someone like the MIL and these 'friends' will be the type who shout, "See!? I told you so! It's your fault."

This one you will have more discernment on than I would. Sometimes his family is not the best to tell until you've come up with a way forward. Too many sisters or relatives will care more about him saving face and staying married than about the pain you feel having to daily look at him after he has wounded you. For them, living with someone you can not trust nor believe is not a big deal. On the other hand, other relatives-in-law are so principled that they will be fully on your side, listening to you and how you feel, rebuking him where he went wrong, and being there to support you-not him-while you figure things out. This one can be dicey. People who pretended to care about you might very well show their fangs when you need them most. Family..not a sure bet.

Your own family-especially if you're Black in SA-might be your enemy. They might be the very ones to tell you to just endure, or tell you it's not that bad. On the other hand, they might rush to your rescue and whisk you out of there, letting you live with them while you put the broken pieces of your life together again. Again, you'll know them better than I would.

So, who WILL you tell, if you can't bear the burden along? Your friends who have lived betrayal and made the same choice you make. If she kicked him to the curb, she might not understand why you'd stay. Or vice versa. She might be genuinely thinking you gave up too easily if you leave while she stayed. I do have a friend who is hopeful that her godly example will win her husband over one day so they both go to heaven, so she stays despite the daily pain and lack of confession and repentance. They know the betrayed feeling, the deep anguish, they understand that you can never forget and that the pain is permanent.

If your friends have not been betrayed (or their husbands or boyfriends have not been found out yet) talk to a friend with the same values as you and knows you very well. There is nothing as gratifying as a friend telling you, "I know what kind of wife you have been, don't ever blame yourself for this. He had no excuse." And nothing as soothing as a friend who says, "But he claimed to be such a Christian, how did this happen?" instead of the "Oh well, we all make mistakes, I like to gossip, others smoke... We've all sinned." (Yeah, I don't think smoking and gossip merit divorce, maybe I need to re-read my Bible!)

Switching topics a bit. "Who You Are Married To." I was disturbed by the MIL and friends thing. Why should my friends be told to change themselves to please a wayward husband? Especially with regards to the one who was becoming simpler and more modest to fit the Bible mold? Why would she regress spiritually to meet the perceived needs of a spiritually bankrupt man? We need to remember as women that our first 'groom' is God, not our husband. If He is happy, WE should be happy..and a godly husband will also be happy. I remember when I was also changing how I dressed to fit Bible standards of modesty, a male friend asked if my husband was not displeased by my change. It shouldn't matter. God first, then man. And honestly, if it's about dressing skimpily in public-it's not as if we don't undress in front of our husbands-then he'd cheat with any woman with relaxed hair and boobs out, whether we did the same or not. Do not compromise your values for a value-less man when God your Creator who values you so much that He sent His Son to the cross wants you just as you are. No man is worth losing your soul and identity over.

At the end of the day, even Christ needed human sympathy in His hour of suffering, so I would understand if you could not live this horror on your own. Just be mindful of who you tell. Once it's said, it cannot be unsaid.

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