About six months ago I found some pictures on my computer of my husband with another woman. We are temple-married for 7 years and are active Mormons. My husband, H, travels with work a lot, and had, apparently, cultivated somerelationships with women in other cities. In the pictures he and the other woman were at a tourist attraction, smiling. After I found the photos I confronted H and insisted that he tell me what was going on. He explained that when he traveled he sometimes took off his wedding ring and acted single. That he had just ‘dated’ other women in a friendly way and had upheld Mormon standards on his dates (never doing more than kissing these other women). He promised to stop seeing them and told his boss that he didn’t want to travel anymore, which his boss was fine with. I insisted that H talk to the Bishop and confess. Bishop has had him stop taking the sacrament for a few weeks and referred H to an LDS counselor.
In all of this I have felt alone and confused. I went to see our Bishop, too, and he advised me not to talk to my family about what H had done because telling them would hamper H’s ability to repent. Bishop suggested that I find someone in the ward that I could talk to about this. So I opened up to someone in the YW presidency that I serve with. This person admitted to me that she had had some similar flirtations via the internet and that it was no big deal. One of my closest friends is my son’s schoolteacher. She’s not LDS, but is Christian and has values like mine. One day when I was helping her after school I told her about what had happened with H. She warned me that one of the other teachers in the school had a crush on my husband and had purposefully ‘run into him’ at a local restaurant that he frequents. I came away from talking to her feeling even worse.
I haven’t found anything in the Ensign or in any church books that specifically addresses infidelity. I feel betrayed by the church because I feel like the Bishop has taken H’s side in this issue more than mine. I’m also really scared because I don’t know that I trust that H has been truly honest with me about ending his relationships. So I want to post this to the Exponent II Blog because I just want to get it off of my chest. I have felt alone and frightened over the past 6 months. I’d also like to know if anyone knows of church materials that address infidelity?
I was listening to Dr. Laura not too long ago and she suggested that it’s not necessarily important to know the details of a spouse’s infidelity, instead, you should just move on together and try to repair your relationship. But I find myself insanely curious about what my husband actually did with those other women. I suspect that he might not be telling me the whole truth, like maybe he actually had sex with some of them, and I don’t know if I can ever trust him again. When I prayed about this trial I haven’t felt like I should leave H. I have also told H that I am committed to sticking with him as long as he has really changed. Oddly enough, in some ways this problem has brought us much closer together-he’s been home a lot more because he isn’t traveling, he’s more helpful with the kids and is much kinder to me, and he seems very afraid that I will leave him and seems to be truly committed to changing. So even though I feel hopeful that my marriage will improve, I am also completely scared that someday I will discover that he’s still hiding things from me. In some ways this experience has brought me greater sympathy for the early women in the church who lived through polygamy. I feel like my worries must have been similarto what they felt. I tell myself that I can’t care about who my husband may have flirted with or had a past relationship with. I just need to forgive and forget as well as remember that he is trying hard to make our marriage work.