Pastors, we are past talking marriage enrichment issues.

Pastors, we–faithful spouses–are past talking about marriage enrichment issues.

One of the many annoying things about talking to some Christians about infidelity is how they seem incapable of basic spiritual care triage.

They do not understand how working on “communication skills” is not going to save a marriage where one partner refuses to stop banging an outside partner.

It is like talking about the importance of vacuuming the carpets while a fire is raging in the same house.

Please, pastors, put the fire out first!

When infidelity has ravaged a marriage, this is the fire that needs addressing. We are past the household chore dividing issues or give-your-spouse-flowers advice level.

That advice has its time and place. By the way, that time and place is NOT upon adultery discovery!

 

12 thoughts on “Pastors, we are past talking marriage enrichment issues.”

  1. I have seen this even with LFMT certified counselors. They move on to communication and relationship improvement techniques without first addressing the big fat elephant in the room. Even if the affair has “ended”, it has to be addressed before working on the relationship. If nothing else, one has to understand the truths of what happened to see if both want to continue in the relationship. I wanted to know what I was going to have to be able to forgive, what I was lied to about and for how long, and not have new discoveries pop up later. My counselor obliged but only after a couple months when I finally said I need to have this addressed. And then it seemed like it was only to pacify me. There should be a new standard for treatment of infidelity established by some expert body.

    1. I agree with you Untold!
      I wanted full disclosure of everything so I could work through everything at once and not have to go through the anguish multiple times. I knew that there was more because X only confessed to what I cornered him on.

  2. One of my biggest regrets was going to my now ex-pastor for help. I kept 24 years worth of pathological lying, EA’s, possible PA’s, porn, strippers and his constant need to have many women “friends” outside of our marriage. The first time we sat down with our pastor, the pastor said, “I just love this kind of stuff!!!” Yay, pastor. I’m so happy that my husbands lying and cheating is so much fun for you. After that he said something like, “Okay. I want you at home to come up with a list of things that you can do to improve your marriage. And also write out of list of things that your spouse can or should stop doing to improve your marriage.” The pastor didn’t want to address AT ALL the reason why we were there to begin with — my husband going out on a drinks date with a newly divorced ho. I actually had to say, “Wait up minute!! We need to talk about this date he went on and all his very close female friends.” This is all a very long story, but going forward. If I ever seek council was a pastor again. If they ever make me feel like I’m to blame for someone else’s lying, cheating or other bad behavior — I’m out the door the first meeting and never coming back. It’s one thing to be emotionally and psychologically abused by your spouse. It’s a whole nother level when it’s coming from a pastor and a church. My sister said it’s okay to pray God for justice against my spouse. Well, I’m now also praying for justice against my ex-pastor and all the “men” in the church who supported the lying, cheating adulterer. My ex-pastor made me feel crazy at times during counseling while he gaslit,and lied to me and seemed to be taking the side of the cheater. And in the end the pastor said to me, “I didn’t cause this mess and I didn’t do anything wrong.” But he did cause a lot of mess with his actions and words. He’s either a narc who doesn’t think he does anything wrong or he is full of pride and can’t admit he made lots of bad decisions and mistakes, including lying to me. Like I’ve told my ex-cheater, “God has seen it all!”

  3. Sorry, I just wrote out a long reply to this and it didn’t go through. Hence my “test” above. Don’t feel like writing it out again, but you are spot on Divorce Minister!

  4. It’s just so much easier to engage adulterers in discussions if the pastor opens it up with some shared responsibility lies & perhaps a few blame shifting strategies!
    [Sorry for the sarcasm. This hits very close to home for me.]
    After D-day, I set up independent visits with pastor for X & I. When X came home from his one & only session he told me he thought we should be going in for couples counseling instead because … (you got it) he had NEVER been able to “communicate” with me.
    That was an ahh-huh moment for me since I finally had a clear understanding of the language he spoke! What he was actually was: I am No LONGER able to “manipulate” you. I also knew by now that “Couples” counseling would mean that I would be expected take on the responsibility & do all the work while he hid behind my efforts & continued his charade until he was ready to call the next shot.

  5. Completely agree Martha and Nyra. Your stories are painful like mine. It makes you wonder if some of those ministers are hiding their own sins. I later went to another counselor who got a assessment from the first. The first one summarized that neither him nor my cheater wife thought I’d ever be able to forgive. In my opinion that’s because both would not commit to honesty and accountability. It was demoralizing after all the work I did while wife continued to deceive and be resistant. They don’t understand the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. Shameful.

    1. From hindsight, I learned that my forgiveness meant that X was off the hook. Once forgiven, he was free to continue on as usual…..a little more careful as not to get caught though! When D-day arrived I was done “reconciling” without any signs of true repentance.
      (Before I knew about infedalities there were other lies, deceptions, lust & money issues I’d caught him in & forgave him for.)

    2. Untold,
      I found Divorce Minister via Chump Lady. Anyway, I wrote into Chump Lady almost two years ago and she answered my letter. A lot of people who commented on my letter and her response to it said something like, “It sounds like your pastor could be a cheater.” I have no idea, but his actions right from the very beginning were strange to me. The day after I caught my ex out on a date, my ex went to see the pastor all by himself (I had already arrived unannounced and in shambles at church hours before). The pastor talked with my ex for three to four hours and guess what? That night my ex came home and from what my ex was telling me, the pastor didn’t really make him feel bad for what he did. I’m sure my ex gave him the same song and dance he gave me the previous night — “I just wanted to be a good friend to her after her divorce. She’s just a friend! blah, blah, blah.” No, the truth was he was looking to having an affair. I can look back now at the previous two months leading to this night out and can see all the signs now.

      Anyway, of course I can go on and on. But there’s a part of me that thinks the pastor has some hidden sin in his life. Throughout counseling I constantly felt like the pastor was taking my exes side. I even said this to the pastor and he kept saying, “Martha, I’m not taking any sides. I’m for your marriage.” But he was in his own way. I can tell quite a few stories to prove my point, but I don’t want to bore you! 🙂 And FOR SURE the pastor lied to me three times. Why would a pastor do that? And all the men in the boys ministry my ex is still a leader in — they all supported him and most of them are divorced. What what the cause of their divorces? Adultery? I don’t know, but for some reason they embraced lying and cheating.

      One “off” thing my ex-pastor said to us was, “When I go to let’s say the hockey game. I’ll take a picture of myself and send it to Mary. I don’t want her to ever think I wasn’t where I told her I was.” My ex even came home and said, “I’d never do that and don’t want to live like that.”, so the pastor can’t gaslight me again and say, “I never said that.” I found it very strange that he’d even think to take a picture to prove he was somewhere. Well, like just about everything. Only God knows all the truth and I’m trying my best to let him deal with these people.

      1. That is sad to hear Martha. That fraternity mentality validates the cheater and prevents real accountability to atone for sin. My wife has that same environment with a group of friends, many who have not been faithful nor devoted to their marriage. It has been s truggle to separate those unhealthy friendships. The spouse insists they keep these “good friends” and you are called controlling for wanting them distanced.

        1. Untold, you are not controlling for wanting your wife to stay away from women like this. “Birds of a feather……… and show me your friends and I’ll show you who you are.” She doesn’t want to be held responsible for what she did or what she wants to do. I guarantee if the pastor and other men leaders did the right thing from the get-go, maybe just maybe he would have repented of his sin and turned from his ways. But they did just the opposite from the very beginning. It was disturbing to watch and be a part of it as I knew in my heart they weren’t handling things the right way. Well, it’s all on them on Judgement Day. And if they did the right thing, just like your wife’s friends should be doing the right and moral thing — you’re wife probably wouldn’t want to be around them if they were telling her she was doing something very wrong. It just all stinks. 🙁

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