By JOACHIM OSUR,
Infidelity is much more common than I ever imagined. Many couples’ private lives are quite different from what you see in public. Most married people feign happiness to please the world while seriously hurting in private. These are the thoughts that crossed my mind as I listened to Doris and her husband James narrating their ordeal to me at the sexology clinic.
“So I have finally decided to leave him to his women,” Doris lamented. “This is the last I would have expected of a man of God. He is fake!” James sat quietly, avoiding eye contact with Doris or me. He was obviously ashamed.
James was a pastor at an evangelical church, Doris a teacher. They had been married 12 years and had three children. One evening Doris decided to pass through the church without alerting James. She knew James would be leaving there late and decided to go and keep him company. But she found him having sex with a woman whom he was purportedly counseling. This was the second incident of infidelity, the first time having been seven years into their marriage when James had an affair with their house girl.
“I was devastated the first time and I prayed about it and forgave him because he was quite remorseful and blamed the devil for it,” Doris explained. “I would be foolish to forgive him twice.”
“The Bible says you should forgive 70 times seven!” James retorted.
“Give me a break! So you have been defiling yourself intentionally so that you confuse me with your Bible quotes?” Doris shouted back as I pleaded with them for calm.
Infidelity has never been easy to deal with. While a number of cases end up in separation and divorce, the majority of marriages continue and couples have to find ways of resolving and rebuilding their intimacy. If you are one of those who has decided to stay and resolve the problem, the compromise you have to make is to avoid angry outbursts, insults, judgments and selfish demands. You must approach the crisis thoughtfully and with respect to the wayward spouse.
Your being respectful is part of a game plan that must be executed prudently. First, demand that your spouse totally separates from the other woman. Communication with the other woman must stop immediately and you must agree on how to monitor this. Honesty and sincerity on this are of utmost importance.
“I am sorry for what happened. I already told the woman never to come to my church again, she confused me!” James said desperately.