Godly Women · Traditionalist Bird

A Realistic Reason Christian Women Stay with a Cheating Husband

I find it interesting that Christians eagerly say they would stand by their man IF they had or have had an affair, but then at the same time are negative towards couples with open-relationships. A woman who stands by a cheating spouse is not much different than a woman who from the get-go allows an open relationship. In the end they are both standing by men who have not been monogamous. The difference is the one man lied and snuck around and the other man was open and honest about his desires in the beginning.  The christian women think “well he cheated once, but that’s because I was a nagging bitch, I’ve changed now and will now change him without a word and it will never happen again”. I think secretly some Christian women love the idea of a cheating husband, because in the end they will come up on top and appear more godly.
These thoughts stem from the latest Lori Alexander post:
When I was young, I was sure I would divorce Ken if he ever had an affair. Now, I know what a HUGE mistake it would have been.
1. Bitterness defiles many and bitterness is always deeply embedded in divorced couples. This bitterness would have defiled my children too. {Hebrews 12:15} We are commanded to forgive others 70 X 7 times and I would have failed to do this with him.
Bitterness is also deeply embedded in married couples. Heck, there is a whole swath of men who won’t marry because they have seen so many bitter marriages. Bitterness is not a result of divorce but a by- product of the heart and your attitude no matter your marital status. For those who go around saying that being happy and joyful is a choice, then being bitter is a choice too, no matter the circumstances. So, Lori is saying she would fail to forgive him,  but then I guess that means she stays married–bitterly ever after. And no its not “always” embedded in divorce couples. Many choose to put the past behind them and go on to have happy second marriages and fulfilling lives. As Susan comments: “Eventually I forgave him – the Lord sent me a wonderful, kind, gentle believing man and we were married 4 years later. His children joined my children and we raised them together and have been very happy for the past 25 years. ” Imagine that, yet bitterness is ALWAYS with the divorced.
2. Our children wouldn’t have grown up with a mother and father in the same home. They would have been shuffled between his house and my house. There would have been no “home” for my children.
Home is where the heart is. A home is not a structure. If both still love the children and are deeply involved in their life, the children will turn out fine. There are plenty of marriages with parents living under one roof where one or both parents are too distracted to really parent (workaholics, drinking issues, etc). A physical presence does not necessarily mean you are present. But for the godly, who are so consumed by appearances it makes sense that you have to have the perfect semblance of a home. It doesn’t matter if they family is deeply broken internally, the teenage daughter is pregnant, the son is on drugs, the mom drinks and facebooks her days away, and dad works 15 hour days to avoid it all–well as long as they are all under one roof they are a model for traditional values. One roof? Check! Nothing to see here!
3. I would have failed to “bear all things, endure all things” and many other commands from 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter.
No commentary.
4. I would have torn asunder our one flesh marriage and failed to win him without a word with a meek and quiet spirit {1 Peter 3:1-6}. This is what God’s solution is for wives with disobedient husbands.
I hate the referring to your husband as “disobedient”. As if he submits and answers to the wife, like he is a child. Also, not sure if its really a one flesh marriage if he had an affair. An affair would suggest some disconnect there and possibly a relationships never joined in the first place. Once a husband cheats, Christian wives then are told they have a duty to rush in and “win him without a word”. He will only change if he wants to. Then when and if he does change the woman can bask in glory realizing his change is all because of HER, when really its mostly because of him wanting to change and/or God speaking to him.
The news says the terrorist’s wife tried and failed to stop him. I had a sarcastic thought–“darn-it, if only she were Christian she could have won him over without a word”.
5. I would have missed the blessings of growing older with him, enjoying family gatherings, and celebrating thirty five years of marriage to one man! I would have missed the empty nest with him and being able to enjoy our lives together instead of being alone.
Fair point; so, why do Christian women or any women care so much if men are monogamous? If he always comes home to you, provides for you, shares kids and family time with you, and gives you the ultimate prize in the end of “35 years of marriage” to boast about, why does it really matter what he might do on the side, especially if he is open and honest from the beginning. I mean I get the Christian reason…because the bible…because God…and so forth, but from a practical standpoint it seems as long as the husband provides her with a blog worthy life and plenty of material provisions, she will accept his affairs.
6. I probably wouldn’t have four secure, joyful children who are very happily married and all walking in Truth.
She can’t say for sure. Its not the divorce that would have hurt them, if anything it would have been her bitterness she refused to let go of. And like I’ve said, bitterness can hurt children in marriage too. By Lori’s accounts, she spent the first 14 years or so of her marriage being a miserable, nagging shrew. So, that was when her kids were the youngest and somehow they turned out fine. Was her behavior then really any worse than these horrid bitter divorced couples? Just as she got past her years of being a nasty, shrew wife–maybe, just maybe divorced people can do the same.
7. I would have had to get a job, leave my home, and have all the exhaustion that comes from this besides having others raise my children.
Yes, you would have to give up your materialistic, comfortable life and that is real reason women stay, not because of vows. If it was vows, it would be a one sentence post, but rather she says she stays because of “things” or fear of not having something.  I wish the women who stick by their men after affairs would be blunt and say this, “Its not necessarily because of my vows that I stay, its just I have a nice house and comfortable life and I don’t want to lose all that”, but rather they take the negative of a cheating spouse to make them look more godly by staying. “I take my vows seriously”, when really they don’t want to lose their lifestyle. When you rely so heavily on a provider, you really have no choice if he cheats or not–at the end of the day women who have too much to lose will stay. Especially if the affair happens mid-life and the woman has not worked for 20 years and has no employable skills.
If men were so inclined, I think there is a huge window of opportunity for men to propose an open relationship. If a woman has too much material stuff she doesn’t want to lose and/or she is extremely attracted to him, I suspect she will pretty much let him do what he wants. I am guessing there are not many women who stay who are either 1)young and can easily find another man 2)weren’t attractive to their husband in the first place or 3)whose husband doesn’t provide or doesn’t provide well–that actually stay after an affair.
Lori often says “God never meant for life to be easy” (she says it below), but by her accounts she has quite an easy life. Mostly hasn’t had to work, has had nannies, lives in a nice house. I guess “God never meant for life to be easy “only for those “others”; those awful others who she assumes would be raising her kids.
It would have been terrible! Thankfully, he has never had an affair but I have seen too many women restore their marriages to their disobedient husbands and be so thankful that they did. They are bearing fruit for being a vow keeper even when it was very difficult and heartbreaking. God doesn’t say our lives will be easy down here but if we do things His way, we will reap His wonderful blessings.
Of course they are thankful that they did, because now they can wear one more badge on their godly girl scout sash that says “I am better than other woman because I kept my vows despite a cheating husband”. This really adds to their marketability and Titus II resume. Plus, they are thankful they didn’t have to give up their worldly treasures and have to get a job. It all comes down to your personal threshold and what you can put up with. There are plenty of women who would rather have the horrors of a job and less material things than to share the same bed with a cheating man.
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3 thoughts on “A Realistic Reason Christian Women Stay with a Cheating Husband

  1. “Uncharitably, if one were to leave a cheating husband, that means giving up on being able to punish him from close quarters for the next several decades. It just isn’t as satisfying from the next county over…”

    Interesting point. Plus, if you do leave the anguish of probably seeing him remarried to someone else is too great. In that case the other woman wins. Either way there are multiple reasons why women stay that have nothing to do with vows–its practical. So what I don’t like is the holier-than-thou attitude that they stayed because of vows.

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  2. I suppose it makes a big difference if one’s religious tradition doesn’t do divorce and remarriage.

    For Catholics, an annulment really isn’t a sure thing. What I advise fellow Catholics in hard cases is, “Would you divorce him knowing that you’d be alone for the rest of your life?” If it’s that bad, it’s that bad.

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  3. Uncharitably, if one were to leave a cheating husband, that means giving up on being able to punish him from close quarters for the next several decades. It just isn’t as satisfying from the next county over…

    I can’t agree with this:

    “A woman who stands by a cheating spouse is not much different than a woman who from the get-go allows an open relationship. In the end they are both standing by men who have not been monogamous.”

    Anecdotally, cheaters come in two varieties: one-offs and compulsive serial cheaters. I hope I would forgive my husband a one-off, but I would not feel compelled to live with a compulsive serial cheater unless there were major issues (a seriously disabled child, etc.) that made living together a matter of necessity.

    Liked by 1 person

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