Dealing with our past

For the discussion of relationship issues between engaged couples.
Jamby
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Dealing with our past

Postby Jamby » Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:19 am

Hello. This is my first post. I'm posting because having read the forums in the past, I like the honest, real and grace focused responses and am hoping I can get some helpful input.
Here is my problem. I am only newly married. When my wife and I were courting, she kissed another man. My wife was very honest with me at the time and I chose to forgive her and keep pursuing the relationship. I am glad I did as we have been very happy together both before and after we got married. I won't lie, it was hard and I spent lots of time looking at my heart.
I love my wife. I know she loves me. I have no trust issues with her at all. Her repentance was real and we are very close.
But suddenly I had a rush of memories from that difficult time and I felt like I had been taken back again. I know what it is that caused the unsettled feeling. It is something God has shown me and is less about the act and more about how I responded.
What I would like to know is should I speak to my wife about this? Or should I keep it between me and God? We don't keep secrets, we share everything. But I don't want to raise the past and make things awkward. What do I do?

krikkit
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Re: Dealing with our past

Postby krikkit » Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:49 am

I think this is your battle to win.

You and your fiancee had the discussion, you chose to forgive - and forgiving is not just a one and done thing. If she hasn't given you any other reason to doubt her, it isn't right to burden her further.

I think this is an area where the Enemy seeks to plant a wedge between husband and wife. I struggle with a similar issue from time to time. Be strong and fight the good fight, protect your wife against this attack.
-krikkit

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Job29Man
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Re: Dealing with our past

Postby Job29Man » Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:13 pm

Agreed. Jamba I'd keep it quiet and deal with it in my own heart, since you know that she's done nothing wrong.
Wanting to become like Job, as described in the Bible, the book of Job chapter 29. Hence the screen name.

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C_Brown
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Re: Dealing with our past

Postby C_Brown » Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:40 pm

I'm going to go the other way on this.

This is affecting you, and part of being married is helping each other to bear each other's burdens. Share with her your feelings and your struggle, she needs to know the real you, not some putting on a brave face version where you suffer silently. There is a risk that this will eat away at you more and more over time if you don't deal with it, and she is probably the person best able to help you overcome what you are feeling. Don't go to her about it in a way that makes her feel blamed for what you are feeling, go to her asking for her help and her understanding as you work through it.

You need to do some deep introspection too and pin down your feelings and where they come from. Do you need her to address unanswered questions in your mind about how and why this happened that are bothering you? Has she shown a level of regret and remorse for this that gives you confidence that she understand the seriousness of it and that will keep her from doing something like that again? Are you feeling shame over this, that you were somehow not 'good enough' to keep this from happening? I know it is hard for us guys, but you need to look past the feelings and find what internal rules or ideas you have that cause you to feel like that, and talking with her may help with that. When you pin that down, then you can form an effective way to overcome it.

I've also heard it said by people who had their spouse cheat on them that they have times where even though it was worked out it all comes back and they have to go through the task of forgiving their spouse all over again. Kind of like a post traumatic stress disorder flashback to the time they found out. You may have to deal with that, but she should know. Perhaps even have a some kind of signal that tells her you are struggling with it and could use some reassurance from her.

Yes, talking about it with her will likely cause her some unhappiness too as she sees the consequences of actions in the lives of other people, but that is part of how we learn.

Are you both satisfied sexually in the marriage? A mutually fulfilling sex life does a lot to heal hurts.

Lastly, pray for healing in your heart. Pray for it in your personal prayers and pray for it as a couple.
So yes, I know that love is unconditional. But I also know that it can be unpredictable, unexpected, uncontrollable, unbearable and strangely easy to mistake for loathing -- Yvaine (in the movie Stardust)

neilethere
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Re: Dealing with our past

Postby neilethere » Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:57 pm

Oh alright ......... I'll give you a third option. My 20toas worth because I am back in Papua New Guinea.

Can I start by saying I fail at this miserably, so take it with a grain of salt.

There is huge advantage in men having solid male friendships where a group meet and study and share and pray about their particularly male issues. And I mean men who don't then go home and blab to their wives about what they have heard. Men who hold each other accountable. The old 'iron sharpening iron' adage. Men who uphold situations like yours in prayer.

Go find a small bunch of men and share with them.

tjw
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Re: Dealing with our past

Postby tjw » Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:28 am

C_Brown wrote:I've also heard it said by people who had their spouse cheat on them that they have times where even though it was worked out it all comes back and they have to go through the task of forgiving their spouse all over again.


This is definitely true, and can be true for a long time after the event is over.

You have received good advice on this already. My only addition to this is that you search your own feelings out on it BEFORE you speak to your wife about it, and limit your "ask" to the specific content of what causes your ill feelings. Also, beware, that sometimes this makes it worse, when the cheating spouse's answer confirms the area of shame in the betrayed spouse. Make sure that you really want to know, otherwise, don't ask.

alaska bob
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Re: Dealing with our past

Postby alaska bob » Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:41 am

I agree with this ^^^. I think it is appropriate to try to deal with this on your own first. Involve the spouse only after you put forth the effort on your own if you find you still can't come to terms with it.

Sweet Sarah
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Re: Dealing with our past

Postby Sweet Sarah » Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:47 pm

I always encourage my DH to open up about his thoughts and feelings as I believe that is generally the best way to grow together. However, based on what you have written here, I would feel betrayed and my confidence in your forgiveness would be shaken. I wouldn't ignore your feelings but I would recommend following the advice here and working through it with support from others.

Jamby
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Re: Dealing with our past

Postby Jamby » Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:42 am

Thank you for your input. Varied views, but all valid and some very helpful and good points. I will definitely be searching my own heart and working through things. But there is definitely a need to talk. My wife is very perceptive and will pick up there is something wrong. I wouldn't want to leave it and then it comes out later. That will probably make her feel even more hurt. I'm just so very thankful that we have such an honest relationship.


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