Spiritual Relationships Question - What Should I do Next?

I've been married for 11 years and last year my husband had get-away sex with a mutual friend - X. They were at a retreat and he found the opportunity to sleep with her. He confessed that he had made the advance to her and she was more than responsive. He regrets the act and vows it just happened and he will not stray again. X and her husband socialize with some of our friends. Even before this, I have told my husband that I did not like the way he was relating to X. Though I couldn’t pinpoint what it was, there was a high level of discomfort. My husband blamed me for being jealous b'cos X was a beautiful woman. I was convinced that it was just my insecurity, until this! My husband says that he is not emotional about it and will stay away from her. My husband has informed her about my knowledge and that he wants nothing to do with her, especially with what had happened between them at the retreat. Even after 10 months, I can’t get over it. I can’t imagine that my husband had all along carried desires for her and used the retreat to fulfill it. When I asked him, he says that most men do carry such desires and it is natural. I can’t resolve this feeling that I’m being brainwashed again. Is it possible for him to have desired her for almost 6 years and act on it and now he claims that he does not have any feelings or desire for her? What should I do next?

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The challenge of forgiveness
by: Mashubi

Dearest one, I am so sorry for the betrayal of trust that you have experienced. I understand the deep pain you are going through, the confusion, and the difficulty you are having in moving forward. What I feel in reading what you've shared, is that part of the pain and difficulty is in the communication between you and your husband. You cannot believe how he could do this, and how after their sexual encounter he could say he has no feelings for her. He says this is a common and natural experience for men, which would add to your confusion as that statement trivializes what happened, and does not share what he is feeling.

What is needed is some way for you and your husband to communicate at a deeper level to heal this situation. If you do not feel that you are able to communicate well together, you may need help from a counselor, clergy person or support group to sort through the many intense feelings that are involved.

It is not enough to simply try to go on as though nothing happened. Something did happen, which has forever changed your relationship with each other and with your mutual friend. This must be faced truthfully in order for your relationship to heal and move forward. I send you my prayers for truth, communication, healing, forgiveness and reconciliation in your marriage.

with much love,
Mashubi

Forgive
by: Anonymous

I feel your pain. I have went through what you have experienced 6 years ago. But mine end in divorce. Now that my ex-husband and I are friends I told him, we would have been better off with you cheating that one time than the horriable time of divoricing. As time passed we both have healed and matured.
My advice is first forgive him and release him from the spririt of unforgiveness! Then think about what would it be like with out him! Take some time and heal and then find things to build your confidence in God again and your self as well. Be Blessed This to shall pass (in time)

A different perspective
by: Jai

First, I want to tell you that I do understand the pain you feel and that regardless of the reasons, it is a hard place to be and I empathize completely with this. My strong hope is that you will see positive options to moving forward in life with joy and healing. Part of the problem came about because of a lack of honesty and communication to begin with.

The rest of what I would like to share will probably be earthshaking to both you and the others that have commented here. I do feel compelled to share it as the issues tend to be so misunderstood and it causes so much grief and suffering in the world.

The following thoughts offer a different perspective on relationships and sexuality:
- First, there should be nothing wrong with affection and love whatsoever. The nature of love is not finite and can not be constrained. The limits we place on love are simply ideas that tend to go against the nature of spiritual growth and possibility.
- Second, there is nothing wrong with sexuality which is profound and sacred and a natural part of who are are as human beings. It is something human beings need for both nurturing and growth. It can also be a very spiritual experience and when seen in this light can facilitate spiritual growth and connection to others. Too much negativity has been put on sexuality without enough objective thought placed on understanding this and dealing with this fully and constructively.
- We have all kinds of relationships in our lifes. We love our parents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, best friends, their friends, our pets, our spouses. The love that we have for all these different people do not in any way lessen the love we have for others. You can try this exercise and first think of ALL the people in your life you love and all the others you could also love. So why is it that the instant sexuality comes into the picture it changes how we feel?

Some possibilities:
* We do in fact maintain all types of different relationships with all the people we love in life.
* It is possible to include affection and sexuality into various relationships and if done in an honest, respectful, authentic and caring way, these relationships can be very enriching both spiritually and otherwise.
* Loving infinitely and including and understanding sexuality does not have to be a cause for pain.

Please know that I share this out of a sincere wish that more people can have more enriching relationships and might avoid some of the uneccessary pain that we place on ourselves. That pain tends to come out of a lack of acceptance that we are also sexual beings. More importantly, I feel that affection and different types of enriching relationships carry so much spiritual growth and positive potential that we really need to examine our current thoughts with regard to relationships, family and love.

With much warmth and sincerity,

Jai

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