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Old 24th June 2013, 10:16 PM   #1
RoadHome
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Marriage of obligation vs my happiness?

I have been married for just over 6 years. I am a Christian and have always been prone to putting others first and my own happiness/desires last. This carried over into the dating relationship with my now wife. Coming out of a horrible relationship and turning my life over to Christ, I decided to swing the polar opposite when choosing someone to date. I landed on my wife, a family oriented, smart, opinionated, feisty, and most important Christian woman. All my friends who were Christians told me she was the one and all I needed to do is just settle down and start a family. Whereas my non-Christian friends, who at that time knew me best could see a immediate change in my personality and happiness (not a transformation of the holy spirit being referred to here). I have always been a really outgoing guy, very active, happiness, goofy, and with a heart for people. Shortly after I started dating her this all changed, not for the good. The best way I can describe this is I put on a mask, played the husband and fell in line. Has the month went by the pressure for marriage grew strong and with it the expectation to make it happen sooner rather than later. So, I yielded to the pressure (again a people pleasure, afraid to disappoint) and before I knew it we were married. I remember standing at the front of the church crying (not a typical thing for me - military man) breaking inside knowing that this was the last thing I actually wanted and was not happy in the slightest. But torn with the label I would place on her (bride left at the alter) and the judgments of 300+ in attendance (almost all her guests).

The honey moon was to be as expected, fulfilling for her (was her first) and not for me in the slightest. This carried into our marriage and obviously over time became a source of conflict. As I have never been a player or slept around. But merely unable to separate love with intimacy. Meaning if I truly love (desire to be with, accept, enjoy, connect, communicate, and are best friends) that person, affection in showered on them without holding back. But if it is not there, I do it more out of obligation as if I am just a woman fulfilling their husband needs before he rolls over and goes to sleep while she lays there unsatisfied in every way yearning to have her lover take her, touch her, and satisfy her.
Fast forward 5 years and a marriage that was supposed to be full of happiness, love, and affection was more like a morgue. My heart nearly flat lined and my happiness non-existent. After the birth of my son, which I adore and love with all my heart. I found that nothing changed in the marriage between her and I. I know this probably seems like common sense but with a wife that nagged constantly about how having a child would make her happy, I hoped and prayed it would. But merely shifted to job, house, or my lack of desire for her in the bedroom or in general.

Now comes the stone throwing, so you all know I have experienced a lot of the last year. I began an emotional affair that grew into a full blown one fairly quickly just over a year ago. With a woman that I care for deeply, love without reserve, connect with on a scary level, communicated about everything (including my wife and son), accepts me flaws and all, and loves be without holding back. This is where I open the floor. What is a person to do.... stay married or choose their happiness. I understand and have read my fair share of books, forums, and sat through countless counseling sessions. I know the statistics and what a broken home does to children (as I came from one). But I have to believe that my son growing up in a home that is not full of happiness, laughter, and a mommy and daddy that love each other is just as bad. Maybe I'm wrong, everyone thus far has thrown stones and told me to fall back in line. I am just hoping to hear some unbiased opinions of people that may care enough to hear me out. I appreciate anything that you feel comfortable sharing with me. Thank you in advance. Take care and God bless.

David
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Old 25th June 2013, 07:12 AM   #2
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Re: Marriage of obligation vs my happiness?

David...

What did you think marriage was all about? You did not state your age, but it is hard to overlook your detached and automated reasons you "selected a wife" except she came with all the positive traits that others saw and respected. She was the prize for a man who admits his past choices of women had been pretty disastrous. So you married her under false pretenses, as you admitted you wore a mask while you pretended to care about her and married so as not to disappoint her or cause a scene in front of 300 wedding guests. You played a part as a man pleased with his life, while you had no feeling at all for the woman you married.

You assessed the wedding night as a score you made. You said she was pleased on the wedding night with your skills, while you felt rather bored. Since she was a virgin, she may lack the same degree of expertise, as your former playmates. She was an objective and a decent woman. Once you achieved that goal, you obliged her by making sure she had the child she desired. It is very likely she realized that there was nothing she could do to please you. So now there is a child. Now you got this objective, you find your needs and desires are serviced elsewhere. Is that about the scene you painted here?

Perhaps you can reread your history, as you present it here, and tell us what is so wonderful about you that you can live by a different set of morals or rules in life than the rest of us? Did your wife come from a wealthy family or come with a dowry, that you saddled yourself with a woman who means so little to you? You certainly convey that you sacrificed yourself to please a lot of people! I feel sorry for the wife. She should have found happiness, love and affection, and finds herself married to a man who made a sham from the marriage day forward.

You will not be happy for long while you live a double life, as you string along another woman, and keep a wife and child in limbo. You put all your emotion and energy into a sideline affair.
You stated you are Christian, but nowhere do you live as an honest, forthright, or good man would live! Your non-Christian friends would probably agree that your life choices are pretty rank as well. You are a person who hurts many other people while you live as a selfish cad with no values or integrity! You wanted honesty..that is the straight truth.

I will tell you that you commit terrible moral transgressions, with no honor. I would say you should get down on your knees and beg for some guidance and answers to why you have strayed so far from the man you COULD be! You said you were a military man in past. It is hard to see that background as a man with military service, yet who was such a Pansy, he let others influence him to marry. You married..which you didn't want..to a woman..you didn't want! Talk about lacking reponsibility for ones' decisions! That sure sucks you were so pushed!

You must be REAL prize that your friends thought this woman, who was described by your friends in such glowing terms, might settle you down with all her sterling virtues! I guess they were wrong, that a good woman would settle you down.

Since you came from a broken home, you have little sense of the duty a man has to be decent, moral. Such a man who is a father to a son can teach his child the qualities that will carry him through life as a husband and father. Your child will call another man "daddy" one day. You will continue to meet your own needs and dance to your own music as that is your history. I will tell you now, you will never find happiness. No woman will repect and see you as a good man who walks tall.

My husband is that kind of man and I am blessed to spend all these years with him. It is sad you sold yourself into a marriage you don't want. You have little to bring to the game. Your history is that you were a fun loving guy, easy going, goofy and with not a care in the world more than yourself. You weren't happy with the women you chose before. You aren't happy with a wife who is a good decent woman. You can't put much time into the sideline affair either, in between a job and living with your wife and child? That means you are probably with the OW just long enough for some sex and fun times. As you are spreading yourself pretty thin, I guess when you are home now there is conflict and questions about where you spend your time/energy?

Last edited by 1aokgal; 26th June 2013 at 02:17 AM.
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Old 25th June 2013, 05:32 PM   #3
chosen
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Re: Marriage of obligation vs my happiness?

I am not sure why you have asked this same question twice, but I am putting my answer here as well.


Do you want to hear what is right or what YOU want us to say? if speaking the truth is 'throwing stones' as you put it then so be it. God is clearly trying to get through to you. I have seen so many families destroyed because of cheating, many in my own family, and its horrible, tragic and messy. There are may long term consequences. In the Bible it says that God HATES it when men put away their wives for another woman. Now hate is very strong word, and He hates what you are wanting to do, and He is trying to stop you taking this disastrous step.

It maybe true that you shouldn't have married your wife, but you did. You made promises to her before God, and you have no reason to end the marriage. The only reason that we as Christians have for divorce is if our spouse commits sexual immorality. Well you have sadly done that, so she could end the marriage(does she know?) but you have no reason to.

I have no respect at all for women who cheat with other people husbands, so I totally question this woman's morals and integrity. She knows you are married, and she even knows you have a small child and yet STILL she went ahead and committed adultery with you and carried on doing so. How incredibly cruel, mean and totally selfish of her.
Do you realise how serious adultery is in Gods eyes? No good EVER comes of it. I only hope that she isn't a believer acting this way, but remember that God also makes it clear that we are not to be with non believers.
God can not bless such a relationship, and few marriages that start with adultery last for obvious reasons. The enemy is using this woman to tempt you and to try and destroy another Christian family, and you are falling for it. I have no idea how you can lie and deceive and cheat for so long. How can you live with yourself?

So you need to end the relationship for good. No more contact ever. Tell her that you should never have allowed this relationship to start because you are married with a child, and that you cannot see her again..You have responsibilities to your wife and child and you need to be faithful from now on.

You also need to confess to your wife, and to God, for breaking your marriage vows, and get on with being the best husband and dad that you can. You will have to work hard to rebuild the shattered trust but that's what happens when you cheat.

You dont say where you met this lady but if it is at work, then you need to look for another job and get away from her. If it is somewhere else, you need to stay away from there. You are not free to be with this lady, you are married. You are committed to your wife and you need to focus on her and your child. Act as if you love and adore her and the feelings should follow. Treat her like a queen. Think of her and her feelings, and not yourself. If you keep allowing your self to be discontent and resentful you will never be happy. Love is NOT all about feelings.

Go and see your pastor or another trusted Christian man in your church and ask for his support and prayers and accountability as you end the relationship and work on the marriage. Meet with him regularly for support and help over the coming weeks and months, as you end the relationship. Some good marriage counselling together may well help.

You seem to think that being with this lady is the answer to all your problems. Its not. If she can act this way once she can do it again to you. You will be going against what God says and what is right. You know you are. It will only lead to more pain for all involved, especially your son, and eventually for you and the OW as well. There are always bad consequences for our sinful actions.

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Old 15th July 2013, 07:36 PM   #4
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Re: Marriage of obligation vs my happiness?

Chosen & 1aokgal,

Thank you for your time and responses. Both are as can be expected. Believe it or not I am a God fearing man and as much as I have chosen to sin, in doing so I have made a decision to suffer as its consequence both in this world and the next if I choose to continue in it. When I made the decision to post my situation, I was not looking for cheerleaders nor did I ignorantly think that there would not be those brothers and sisters in Christ that would not have the boldness to speak truth into my situation, like you both have. I feel like Paul (not in a self-righteous way) that the things I know I must do I seem to fail at. The hard reality is that I made a decision and regardless of the result good/bad, I must live with it. This is a hard pill to swallow, the cause of my wrestling is over what that reality means thus happiness vs obligation title. I know God works in marvelous ways, myself being called out of the darkness at my conversion is simple proof of that. He is able to restore my marriage and transform it and I believe he can. But like many things in His word, whether it be gossip or any other sin applying this trusting promise can be difficult to do when the results may take time or may never come. I wish I did not have the feelings I had for this woman (a believer) and that I had not done the many things out of fear and people pleasing over the years that lead me to marrying my wife. But it is up to me now to accept that choice and prayerfully hope that God can help me find the happiness and joy some way and how within the covenant relationship with my wife that I have made. I appreciate and further wisdom and prayer for me that you can offer.

Thank you and God bless.

David
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Old 17th July 2013, 01:41 AM   #5
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Re: Marriage of obligation vs my happiness?

Dear David..

I do not cast a stone, but speak truth that you have the ability to give great happiness to the woman you chose to marry. A man of substance leaves footprints in time that he is righteous and he amplifies his God with actions that speak of love and caring for a woman and children.
Time passes and a man is known for his actions to protect his family and to teach his son how to live.

It is cowardly and wrong to skulk around outside this lawful marriage to gratify pretty base desires. That leaves a wife to face doubts and fears that she has done something very wrong that a man could so reject her as he goes to another woman. If your time on Earth was done today, what would people say about you? Would they say you took the easy way in life that brought you pleasure while you hurt many others? Would they say you were a great friend and a good example of how to live rightly? Would they say of David that he was one who opened a window on a happy marriage for others to see? I had a brother who died early and all these things were said of him that he was the best husband and father. They reported that he was a friend to everyone he knew. He was a Godly man who treated everyone cordially and gave of himself to help others. He left a great space in my heart, where he stood very tall, and showed everyone how a good man should live.

They said to meet my brother was to leave an indelible memory of a Godly man. He lived more in 50 years, than most in long lifetimes, as he left a memory of a man who amplified his God by his example and his life of service to others. His children succeed today in life because of his footsteps and guidance while he was there with them. Today they have memories of his good personal example and the guidance and help of the many friends who knew their father. That is the kind of man who lives a life of moral decency, kindness and love for others.

I painted a portrait of my brother some years before his death and shipped it to him. It was a good likeness painted in oils from a photo taken on his wedding day. His family said he always loved that painting as looked handsome and happy. For some unknown reason, I was moved to paint him and labored over it about a month until it was right. The portrait was so fine to capture his likeness, his widow had it displayed in the funeral home when over a thousand friends came to pay their respect. It was a shock for me to see it there! His widow said he loved it so, as the portrait captured his happy personality. I always felt God painted it through my hand, to pay homage to a good man loved by many! He was the kind of man one might emulate to live a life of worth and substance. It is not about what material things one can accomplish, but the memories of the good about such a person.

I can tell you no marriage is perfect. No couple ever reach perfect settlements on discussions between them, but one can keep close to another and have ultimate peace and happiness within the soul. I would never want to be anywhere except close to my love.

Do you truly know the heart of the woman, who is a good woman, who shares your life? Do you know the choices she might make of favorite things and moments? Is she a stranger to you, rather than the dearest one, because her thinking is ever sweet and caring, but you never care to find out more about her? If you seek her out, who shares your life, you might find a great treasure. She might be what the Bible would say is a virtuous woman, and the finest gem a man could find. I bet she longs for you to give her the slightest indication you care about her. Your wife must feel great sadness that she has done nothing wrong, yet you care little for her. A woman who saved herself for marriage finds that what she offered you, her innocence, has meant nothing. She was a goal you possessed, and then treated as worth nothing. Her life must be one of sadness and deep scathing pain of the soul.

Reach out and smile at her and make memories together. Learn to know who she is. You may find all your dreams are right there. She also has given you a child you love. The child needs a father who protects and loves his family. I believe that you were brought into conversion, so you can be a man of substance and worth. You have a good mind, but it seems you have not given much thought to the rightness of where you should be in your life plan. Change course now, before another day passes, and leaves you in mortal sin. Turn inward and think about the man you want to be, who walks a path that is good and enviable for the rightness. If you don't alter path, one day you might look back and see the devastation you have caused to others in how you live your life. That would not be a proud moment.

It is not too late to make better life decisions. Don't live life as a duty..for this woman, who is your wife. That is an insult to her, who shares your life. See your wife in love and sharing. Learn to know her and treasure her thoughts and feelings. It will be the best thing you ever do in life. I may not say this to you the best way possible on this forum, but love is not hard to do. You give yourself over and make that partner the most important one. You give it all that you can be. You find how to make another happy. You will never regret that. I don't know how else to say it but you have made terrible mistakes and yes, you will pa for those choices. I hope you can still salvage your marriage and the trust she has in you and the respect she holds for you. Some here might feel you should confess all, but I personally feel you should repent and confess to God. I think it best not to relieve your burden of bad conscience, by inflicting it all on another. That is an issue between you, your confessor and your God. Likely, I am wrong about that, but I would not want to know all the gritty truth of an infidelity.

God bless you, David, I hope you find the right path.

Last edited by 1aokgal; 17th July 2013 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 17th July 2013, 05:05 AM   #6
chosen
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Re: Marriage of obligation vs my happiness?

1aokgal, I am different in that I believe there should be no dark secrets in marriage, and I would always want to know the truth no matter what. Once the truth comes out there can be healing and forgiveness. To me truth and total honesty are vital in marriage. If she were to find out 10 years from now that would be far far more painful, and of course there is always the question of STD's with a woman who sleeps with other peoples husbands. I know a lady whose husband cheated 17 years before she found out She was devastated, not only that he cheated, but that he lied and decieved her all those years.
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Old 17th July 2013, 05:17 AM   #7
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Re: Marriage of obligation vs my happiness?

Chosen...

I absolutely know your feelings on this subject and most here agree with you. That would be just my own choice but the reasons you mentioned..especially STD's is a best reason that information should be shared and dealt with.
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Old 17th July 2013, 05:25 AM   #8
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Re: Marriage of obligation vs my happiness?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadHome View Post
Chosen & 1aokgal,

Thank you for your time and responses. Both are as can be expected. Believe it or not I am a God fearing man and as much as I have chosen to sin, in doing so I have made a decision to suffer as its consequence both in this world and the next if I choose to continue in it. When I made the decision to post my situation, I was not looking for cheerleaders nor did I ignorantly think that there would not be those brothers and sisters in Christ that would not have the boldness to speak truth into my situation, like you both have. I feel like Paul (not in a self-righteous way) that the things I know I must do I seem to fail at. The hard reality is that I made a decision and regardless of the result good/bad, I must live with it. This is a hard pill to swallow, the cause of my wrestling is over what that reality means thus happiness vs obligation title. I know God works in marvelous ways, myself being called out of the darkness at my conversion is simple proof of that. He is able to restore my marriage and transform it and I believe he can. But like many things in His word, whether it be gossip or any other sin applying this trusting promise can be difficult to do when the results may take time or may never come. I wish I did not have the feelings I had for this woman (a believer) and that I had not done the many things out of fear and people pleasing over the years that lead me to marrying my wife. But it is up to me now to accept that choice and prayerfully hope that God can help me find the happiness and joy some way and how within the covenant relationship with my wife that I have made. I appreciate and further wisdom and prayer for me that you can offer.

Thank you and God bless.

David
David I was quite encouraged by your last post.
David, I would suggest that you stay away from the other women completely, no contact at all, stop yourself from thinking about her, and change churches if she is in your church. What sort of women is she who can sleep with another woman's husband and risk ending their marriage and even taking a father away from his child? Her behavior is appalling even for a non Christian. She clearly has few morals or integrity. You both know that God hates and condemns what you are doing, and you are not helpless to stop it. You say that you will take the risk in this life and the next, but you REALLY don't know what you are saying there.

My husbands first marriage of 23 years was not happy. His wife was like you with your wife, never content with him, very critical of him, and was always wanting him to change and to be someone he was not. He stayed faithful to her despite this, because he had made life long promises to do so and he would never break those promises, it was only when she met another man and ended the marriage, that he was free to meet anyone else.

I pray that you will do what you know that you need to do, and God will bless you for it. Take all of your focus off the OW and put it ALL on your wife and child and love her. Even if you dont FEEL that love, act as if you do. Your child needs a father full time not just every other weekend.
I would suggest that you humble yourself, go and see the pastor, or another man who you trust, and tell him what has happened. Ask for his prayers and support as you go forward in your marriage.
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Old 30th July 2013, 09:26 PM   #9
RoadHome
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Re: Marriage of obligation vs my happiness?

Thank you all for your thoughts and encouragement. I took last week off from work just to be with my wife. It had not agenda or expectation that magically our relationship would sproutforth joy and laughter, I know that it may take many months if not years before trust can begin to be restored and for the healing to begin. The week went by much as our marriage has gone, lifeless.

I know that satan wants me to believe this will be my future, as repeat from the past 6 years. I know from the ashes God can restore our marriage beyond what I can imagine or believe will happen. But the leap seems like into the icy deep and my doubt is heavy on my mind, rare truth. I know that there is nothing remotely righteous in what i have done or with that relationship. That the draw is much like a addict to their drug. But in this case it is joy, happiness, and the love I feel for her and I have seen from her. I wish there was a way for that feeling to disappear, Ive prayed for it to over and over again. I have seperated myself from the other woman several times to focus on couseling and my wife and son. But I feel empty, like a robot or like I am checking into work. A sense of duty washes over me, guilt for leading my wife so poorly and into marriage when I knew I was not happy. I know I am suppose to just submit to God word, repend, turn from my sin, and allow Him to restore my marriage. I did this year one, with no affair involved the equation and still... I know that these words do little to capture my anguish and heart ache. I know what God wants and just like everyone as told me in counseling that I just need to focus on my wife, as if there should be no struggle and that I am grieving over this OW that I love, care about, and who honestly brought so much laughter, happiness, and joy into my life. ITS HARD, I WISH IT WASNT. I feel alone in this struggle, the leper and should just cover is face and pretend like hes not.

Pray for me, I need it.

Humbly,

David
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Old 31st July 2013, 03:01 AM   #10
chosen
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Re: Marriage of obligation vs my happiness?

You are not alone in the struggle, I would think that many who have had affairs feel as you do when they break it off. Sadly there are always consequences to cheating and that is one of them I guess.
Yes it is like a drug, because you were in that first flush and excitement of a new relationship that hadn't yet got to that more calm 'normal' stage. It was secret and illicit, which for many makes it even more exciting. That's why many have affairs, because of that excitement and lust and 'drug induced' like feeling that normal every day life just doesn't bring.

You say you had a week off, did you arrange anything nice to do together? Something your wife enjoys? Make the same effort with her that you did with the OW? Treat her? Do you pray together? If you don't, I would suggest that you start.

Have you completely cut off that contact with the OW now? If you are still in contact you need to cut that off for good. I myself have no idea why you would want to be with a person who is happy to take a husband from his wife, and father from his small child, but that's me. I would not be interested in a person who has no integrity, and is so selfish. Integrity and high morals are vital for me in any partner. If they weren't there, I would not be interested, no matter how charming or exciting or attractive the person was.

Does your wife know about the OW?

While in some ways I sympathise with your suffering, I also feel for your wife terribly. To have a husband who really doesn't want to be with you and is only thinking of, and wanting, someone else, must be appalling. I am not sure how I would cope with that.

There is a verse in song of songs in the Bible where it says "His desire is towards me". I would strongly suggest that whenever you think of the OW, you say out loud (if you are alone) and to yourself (if you aren't alone), "My desire is towards ....(wife's name). Keep doing this daily and you will see a change, but it will take time.
Read Song of songs and proverbs and find other verses that may also be useful and relevant, and personalise them as well. The Bible really is 'powerful, active and sharp as a two edged sword' as it says, and it does change things.

Do you have a close guy friend at church who you can go to for prayer and support? That may help.

Last edited by chosen; 31st July 2013 at 03:12 AM.
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Old 31st July 2013, 01:56 PM   #11
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Re: Marriage of obligation vs my happiness?

Thank you for recognizing the suffering and agony of breaking off the relationship is the OW. I think I must mention that we have not seen each other for a few months and she lives on the opposite side of the world. The affair (total of 13+ months) has continue via email, phone calls, and skype. As for the trip with my wife last week, I poured everything into it. Camping for 3 day, Montreal for 2, Boston for 3, and then home Saturday night so we could be at church Sunday morning. We had some serious talks in which I was completely honest for the first time in a while. The lead to last night, when she asked me I was still thinking about this woman, wanting to be with her, and if I was going to get counseling. The answer to all three was yes, that I would be lieing if I said that I donít care deeply for this woman even thou it is wrong to. That I think that it is normal to grieve over that relationship and its ending. That I am going to get counseling in addition to that which I have been getting from the church.

That lead to this morning with her stating that she is leaving for a while. That she wanted my decision not to be based out of pleasure or people pleasing like I am prone to do. But out of a desire to make things work. I told her that I know enough about myself that if she leaves, that my quitter instinct will likely kick in and will not draw us together but further apart. That if that was her decision, that I would respect it and honor it. I guess the consequences are many and as a man I full take responsibility for them. Thank you for the prayers now more than ever. I pray that God will change me, my feelings toward this OW, my wife, and His application of truth in my life.
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Old 31st July 2013, 10:35 PM   #12
chosen
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Re: Marriage of obligation vs my happiness?

So you are still in contact with the OW? Really?
Until you cut off all contact for good, nothing will improve. That has to be the very first step in this process, and no amount of counselling will help if you are still having this relationship, all be it a long distance one.
I do feel for your wife, she must be very deeply hurt over the affair for her to want to leave. The thing is that even if she did leave, (and she has every right to), you have no reason Biblically to divorce her to be with the OW.

Does your wife know everything now?
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Old 5th August 2013, 09:32 PM   #13
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Re: Marriage of obligation vs my happiness?

I agree with Chosen. There has to be a complete cut off with the other woman including e mails, phone etc. You need to give God a chance to work by finishing this adultrous relationship which is seriously affecting your marriage.
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Old 29th September 2013, 08:01 PM   #14
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Re: Marriage of obligation vs my happiness?

I often find men who seek passion outside marriage whilst they are still married quite sickening. Sorry to be blunt about that.

It's a cowardly act. Relationship started off with a cheating partner won't last. What kind of woman is this to have sex with a married man? Probably, someone who DOES NOT think TOO well.

NOTHING will justify your cheating. Nothing.
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Old 29th September 2013, 08:15 PM   #15
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Re: Marriage of obligation vs my happiness?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roses View Post
I often find men who seek passion outside marriage whilst they are still married quite sickening. Sorry to be blunt about that.

It's a cowardly act. Relationship started off with a cheating partner won't last. What kind of woman is this to have sex with a married man? Probably, someone who DOES NOT think TOO well.

NOTHING will justify your cheating. Nothing.
I agree and of course many women do this as well. I have no respect at all for people who will cheat with someone else's spouse.
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