Info: I am the Wayward Husband.
Married: 30+ years (Oct 27, 1985)
Five kids: Son-30yo, Dtr-27yo, Dtr-25yo, Dtr-24yo, Son-17yo
I have contemplated writing on this topic my story over the last 2 to 3 months since I’ve been on this forum. It’s not because I’m afraid of my story or what people may think, but as TimT stated, it’s a place for healing and the place for you to comment on what we post and to feel safe.
I also contemplated writing on this topic because I was a pastor. Since D-day, February 11, 2016. I have searched to the ends of the bookshelves for books, pamphlets, materials on the fallen pastor and have only found one, Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration In A Broken World: by Ray Carroll. It has helped me to understand the mind of the pastor who commits adultery while standing in the pulpit preaching against the very sin he committed. It definitely is not a book giving license to the pastor to commit sin, excuse slip for his actions, nor the monopoly card to advance to go collect $200, but it is a book to help understand “The Why” and addressed the patterns of not only the pastor who is already committed, but also the pastor who is on the threshold of committing adultery. Every pastor he interviewed fell into the same pattern: 1. High Expectations from church members, 2. Isolation of the pastor, 3. Poor or a broken Relationship/marriage with the spouse, 4. Judgmental & Response to ministry failure. It’s also a book for pastors to help other pastors in either counseling, encouragement, or simply another tool in their utility belt to help stand in the pulpit preaching a message of what the Bible says about adultery.
On with my story. My AP and I have known each other since 2004. We first met while I was out visiting the neighborhood inviting Deaf to attend our church services. I met her in her home, we talked, and she came to our church services along with her husband and her oldest daughter. They attended for only a few months then disappeared for a few years. Then in 2008, I left the church to establish a Deaf Church. She then attended again, but this time alone. Her husband divorced her because she cheated on him. Several months after we established the church, she again vanished.
Then we ran into each other around 2013 through my work as a sign language interpreter in the community. We talked a little, found out that she attended another church in the area and was quite “Happy”. That was the last time I saw her until November 2015. She texted me to pick her up for church again. We arranged our van route so that I can pick her up. She attended faithfully, attended one of our Christmas activities and that’s when “IT” started, not the affair, but the workings of it.
Shortly after our Christmas activity in the beginning of December 2015, I invited her to coffee at a local Starbucks which I usually do when a church member expresses their interest in joining our church (I did not have an office to use). We discussed in short the membership requirements and the simple process of church membership. However, our conversation moved from church membership to church problems to my personal marital problems I was having over the last 30 years.
I felt that he conversation became a little too personal and decided that we needed to end the coffee conversation and take her home. Besides, I had another person to drop off that was waiting at my home. The following Sunday, she suggested to continue our discussion on my issues because she felt that I did not convey everything and she wanted to help. Well, as a guy who was going through issues in my marriage and ministry, I succumbed to the suggestion, this was December 20, 2015. She invited me in for coffee, and the rest is history.
Our only way of meeting was her home after church or after a job that was close by her home since she lived 40 miles north of my home (I did take jobs far from home for the money). Most of the times we met were short and conversational. Sex was not frequent but when it was, it was done. By February 11, I was so full of guilt, remorse, anger, and any other emotion a WS can experience. What made it worse for me was the fact that I stood in the pulpit preaching against living in sin, practicing the Lord’s supper a week before, and lying to my wife when she asked me if I was having an affair with my AP. My BS heard from another friend of ours that something was going on with me but our friend hid the truth until she had more facts.
By February 11, I invited my AP to a Starbucks to tell her that it was over. I told her that I was going home to tell my wife what I have done and pick up the pieces and restore my marriage. I drove off to go to my last job to interpret. Upon arrival to my job, the AP kept texting me in which I could not answer yet. By the time I had my first break, not only did my AP text me about 12 real long messages of, “How Could You?”, but the last one was, “There, I told your wife what we did. I hope you are happy now.” I did not get a chance to tell her myself. Just as I was responding to my AP first text, my BS texted me a cut and pasted text she received from that other friend of ours I mentioned above.
Since D-Day, I have done everything I can to restore our marriage. I have cut off all ties, blocked her and the friends she used to get in touch with me, changed my number, read over 13 books, still reading more on marriage rebuilding and strengthening, and “graveling” down to my BS and what she asks. I have always stuck things to the end, even if I finish last. I will stick to this until the very end.