Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
-Psalm 139:16, NIV
I start today’s post from this famous Psalm to make a point:
Knowing is not the same thing as condoning or causing a behavior!
God knew all of what King David–the Psalmist here–would do. That includes committing both murder (of Uriah) and adultery (with Bathsheba). God clearly does not cause us to sin (see James 1), and certainly, God does not condone murder or adultery (see Exodus 20).
So, just because a faithful spouse may have had some idea that their spouse was cheating does not mean the faithful spouse either condoned or caused said cheating.
I remember uncovering evidence early and quickly dismissing it making up a more benign narrative about that information. My spirit knew, but I didn’t really.
This intuitive awareness makes sense as I believe our spirits are made one in marriage, and any such violation of said oneness will resonate in our spirit even if not in our brains (see Genesis 2:24).
For people who have never experienced being an adultery victim, they may not comprehend how easy it is to not fully register such a heinous marriage violation. Let me explain:
1) Faithful spouses give their partners the benefit of the doubt. Who wants to actually believe their spouse has betrayed and humiliated them in the most intimate and treacherous way a human can do to another?! I know I did not want to believe my first wife was capable of such evil. It is not a character flaw to default to trusting someone’s solemn vow. But it may be unwise to continue doing so in the face of clear evidence the other person is not keeping said vow.
2). Faithful spouses are trained by their cheaters to discount their intuition and even hard evidence of infidelity. This is the whole gas-lighting thing. Cheaters essentially deny the actual reality presented by the desperate faithful spouse that exposes the cheater’s infidelity suggesting the faithful spouse is crazy or overly jealous and controlling to think such a thing of the cheater. In truth, the cheater is fully aware that the faithful spouse is correct but is actively lying and undermining the faithful spouse’s ability to trust their own senses and intuition, which happen to be correctly registering the reality of the cheater’s infidelity.
These two things combine to create the state:
I knew, but didn’t.
My spirit and my senses registered the clues telling me the reality of my ex-wife’s infidelity. However, I didn’t want to believe it. I even made up a story that kept the reality of the Other Man (OM) hidden from my consciousness for months before the awful reality finally was exposed.
My ex-wife lied for months–which she admitted to later in writing–about the inappropriate nature of the relationship that she had with the Other Man–i.e. it was sexual. Up until she verbally confessed to me her sexual infidelity with him, I was still hoping it was “only” an emotional affair despite evidence I held suggesting otherwise. Her vehement denials for months undermined my ability to trust the evidence and what I knew was the case.
Knowing and believing are two different things. It is not until you believe your intuition and evidence that you are armed in dealing the awful reality in the face of cheater lies, denials, and attacks.