DEAR CHRISTINE: Women must be strong in adversity
I am in a situation which I would like to share with you and women out there. I am 45 years old and have been married for 18 years. My husband and I are the parents of three children, ages 16, 14 and ten.
Three years ago my husband started an affair which resulted in the woman getting pregnant. When the child was born he started sleeping away from home.
When the child was a year old he resorted to bringing her to our home. As you would imagine our sex life went through the window as he stopped being intimate with me.
In the early stages, I often spoke to my husband concerning his lifestyle and how much it was hurting me and the children. He paid me no mind and kept sleeping at the woman’s house.
I continued to perform my duties as a wife – cooking, taking care of the children, cleaning house and working to support me and my family.
My husband recently decided that he wants a divorce. Christine, I have not done my husband anything. I never did him wrong, neither was I unfaithful to him. We never had any disagreements, quarrels or misunderstandings prior to his unfaithfulness.
I am saying all this to say that if I was not a strong woman, what my husband did to me and the children would have sent me to the Psychiatric hospital.
I am not sure how divorce proceedings go, but I wonder what he will say to those in authority. I hope he will be able to admit his own shortcomings and shoulder his responsibilities.
I am not going to fight him. I will let him do as he pleases and pray for him; pray that one day when he sits back and looks at how much he has hurt me and the children, he will have the strength to forgive himself.
My children are hurting because they believe in their father. Now that he has let them down, they have become withdrawn. They want to know if daddy does not love them as much as he did and why he had to leave them.
They communicate but it is not the same as before. They are disappointed in him, but my parents and I try to teach them that this life is not perfect and that at times people can make bad decisions and choices.
I am writing this letter so that women who have been in situations like mine would take courage in knowing that they do not have to go around wondering what they might have done to contribute to the break-up of their marriage.
In many cases, they would have done nothing.
As women, we must be strong in the face of adversity and trust God to take us through conflict.
My strong belief and faith in God is what is keeping me through these trying months, and I pray, Christine, as I reach out to women through your column, they would recognize that they do not have to buckle under the weight, hurt and pain their husbands put them through.
Thank you, Christine, for taking time out to read and print my letter.
I feel your strength and tenacity through this letter and commend you for encouraging those who may be struggling with similar situations, even though you are facing your own battles.
You are right when you say that women often blame themselves when relationships go wrong. (The same can go for men whose wives leave them.)
The truth is, life presents choices and since God did not create us as robots, we all make choices – right or wrong. Your husband has made his decision and that’s that.
I like your attitude towards the situation and encourage you to keep the faith. We need more people like you.
Thanks for taking time out to share with readers.