Eve is right on. Expose this emotional affair. Affairs thrive in secrecy and in fantasy-land. Expose it to your children, your family, your husband's family, all your friends, your bishop, the ex-girlfriends husband, her children, her family and friends. (You can get all the contacts from Facebook.) You don't do this to be vindictive. But it needs to be exposed to quicken the natural death of it. You need their help to end it, and their love and support of you during this crisis. You and your husband's family and friends need to encourage him to do the right thing and END THIS NOW. And the ex-girlfriend's family and friends need to encourage her to END THIS NOW. Expose, expose, expose. That's where you need to start. After that, ZERO contact with that woman ever again, full transparency on his part and working on the repair of your marriage. Good luck.
GTO is the only commenter that hit the nail on the head. old flames change in 55+ years. even if photos have been exchanged, they may not tell the current truth.
I was once married for nine years to someone who was always thinking about a former girlfriend. That was a deal breaker and I left and raised the kids myself. Unfortunately we live in a polygamous church even though we are non-practicing at the moment. I have met so many LDS men who can hardly wait for their harem of women in the next life and are just biding their time being so called faithful here. Like me, the woman in this article is elderly and she may not have the resources plus there is the reality of living alone in old age and not having anyone to check on you to make sure you are okay. There are a lot of considerations in this instance. He has broken her trust and it is a very big deal and things will never be the same unless he realizes the harm he has done and sincerely apologizes and spends the rest of his life showing her she is the one he cares about.. Otherwise this is the death of her marriage and the grieving begins.
She should invite woman and husband to dinner and have a lovely round table meeting at the same time. Break the ice. Get to know everyone. She should tell her hubby that she’d love to meet his old flame in person. Maybe they’d become friends. This way she’s taking control. It would give her the opportunity to check out the competition and see what the reality of this relationship is. Face it head on, courageously. Take back your self respect because situations like these can be so deflating.
Sadly there is a tendency for many in LDS Culture to think of Temple Marriage as completing an important step, perhaps the only necessary step, toward entrance into the Celestial Kingdom. And, once that step has been completed, there is no further need to live a Temple Worthy life.
This Sister deserves far more than she is receiving from her husband. And should be counselled that if she divorces him that does not cancel or remove her Temple Blessings. On the other hand, his right to Temple Blessings should be evaluated by a Judge in Israel. Hopefully he will see the error of his ways and repent, but his Wife has no obligation to wait around to see if this happens.
Smashing and destroying whatever electronic devise your husband does his e-mails on just might get his attention. Then send the old flame's e-mail address to everyone for them to write and shame her. Wow, I'm a guy and am writing this. I would expect nothing less if I acted like this husband.
Her husband is asking that she "put it behind" her, when he obviously hasn't put it behind himself? That alone says a lot.
Personally, I would go to the woman's home and confront her in person. Let her know she is destroying your family. He is married and you hope she would respect what that means. If she is married, visit her husband.
I would contact your bishop and ask him to contact your husband. Get your own counselor. Bishops lack the training you need.
If you have access to your husband's email account, figure out how to have her emails go to spam, then delete them before he sees them.
Put your needs first. Consult a divorce attorney now to see what you legally can do to protect your assets.
She might start by emailing the girlfriend and clearly telling her that her actions are destroying a marriage. If this woman is married, she should contact the other woman's husband and let him know what is happening. Also, the other woman's siblings and children. This situation needs to be taken out of the fantasy world and placed squarely in the light where all can see the real consequences of the road they are traveling.
I echo the advice to limit advice from church leaders. I too found their words more destructive than helpful and some of it completely false. It is not true that the Church will not allow these people to later be sealed in the temple if you divorce. What is true us that they will ignore your protests as the wronged spouse, not even taking the time to respond to your letter. . So if your bishop tells you this, do not believe him. He is ill informed. And believing him just gives you one more thing to forgive because you made decisions based on his assurances.
And take steps now to protect yourself financially. Consult an divorce attorney to see what you can do and not do.
There may be another aspect here. Note that this is a 55 year marriage. I married when I was almost 22 and have been married 51 years. I'm now 73 years old and my husband is 78. We are old-timers. Our short-term memory is getting faulty and we're finding it fun to get into our long-term memories. We wonder about the people we knew in school. We get fuzzy-good feelings about those people. When this husband actually sees his old girlfriend in person (if it ever comes to that), he will discover she's an old lady! So nostalgia and fantasy plays a big part in this sort of thing.
Thank you, Geoff, for advising this woman to seek a specific type of counseling, namely: betrayal trauma! General counselors usually have zero experience in this area and will offer basic advice on marital discord. This can open the door for the guilty spouse to gaslight or manipulate the conversation against the betrayed spouse, causing further harm. In my first marriage, emotional betrayal, emotional abuse was never ever mentioned by the counselor. The narrative was all about "co-dependency" which was not the problem and wasted thousands of our dollars before it ended in divorce anyway. It cost me my livelihood, as I was a homemaker and had to go get an education late in my working years. I am still financially in dire straits. I had to figure all this mess out on my own years later. I would advise this woman not to rely too heavy on her religious leaders either, as they will usually have very limited professional ability to deal with this topic as well. I have been more harmed than benefited myself by their comments. This woman's situation is definitely "Betrayal Trauma" and has a definite set of complexities. The Facebook group Betrayal Trauma Recovery, www.BTR.org, and www.BloomForWomen are excellent sources for this specific topic.
I love the reaction of the therapist on this. Truth is truth. People who are in the wrong so quickly trick the victim into thinking it’s OUR fault or problem. But it’s them projecting their guilt on us so they don’t have to feel it.
I think a lot of people don’t want to have difficult conversations because they want to keep the peace. But what is that helping? Certainly not the victim. As hard as it is to have difficult conversations, in the long run, they are very helpful.
I love how the therapist talked about having dignity. I think we are all so confused now in this world we live in today, where we see infidelity all the time on Tv and it seems normal. It’s NOT
normal and healthy and RIGHT.
Hoping this good sister can get her husband to see the terrible betrayal he has inflicted on her. He can’t have a wife AND a girlfriend. It doesn’t work that way.
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