I Have Lost Respect For My Spouse

This is hard, I haven't said any of this aloud, or even allowed my mind to go there . . . but here goes:

I have lost all respect for my spouse.  We have been married almost 15 years, and been together for 20.  He is not the same person I married, or fell in love with.  He has been unfaithful to me, has put us in financial hardships, puts me down constantly and is completely arrogant and believes he has done nothing wrong.

Brief history, he started his "affair" sometime while I was pregnant with our third child.  I found out by finding a note he had written to her and he claims it never became sexual.  I believe it lasted for over three years and it is very hard for me to believe that it was just a very inappropriate friendship.  He has only admitted to what I have been able to prove.  The trust therefore is gone.  We did seek counseling, and came out of it with only  - -it was up to me to forgive if we wanted to move forward with our marriage.  He/we own our own business, but I am not involved with it daily.  I have a full time job that most of the time is the only income we have.  I work 10-12 hours a day, come home help with homework with three children and am still berated for not finding time to exercise.  He has gone from a self-starter, completely committed to making his business thrive and succeed, to barely spending four hours a day with it.  He may deposit one paycheck a month out of four. 

In a lot of ways I am jealous.  He is the one who picks the kids up from school, takes them to dance and ball practice, cooks their dinner and whatever else is needed until I get home at 7 or 8.  I guess I should be happy, he is a good father.  I know in my heart that money isn't everything, this is just not the life that I thought I would be living.  I feel like I am doing everything for us financially and he has given up on his end.

We have tried so many things.  Classes that we have taken at church seem to highlight the fact that a woman needs to feel protected and secure and a man needs to feel respected.  These are so connected, it's like which comes first the chicken or the egg??  How do you get one with out the other?

I still love him.  He makes me laugh, he's is a great father, a good Christian, and a good person.  How do I get past the distrust?  How do I forgive?  How do I learn to respect him again if I do not feel protected and secure?

happinessahead happinessahead
1 Response Feb 28, 2009

It sounds like your biggest challenge is learning how to deal with the affair. You could probably deal with the financial issues better if you trusted him with respect to his fidelity. "Forgiveness" doesn't work if you don't know what to forgive. He needs to be honest with you or this will never work. I would let him know that I need to know the truth. I'd then pray about whatever he told me, asking to know whether this was a lie or not. If I felt it were the truth, I'd stay and learn to forgive. If I felt he were lying, I'd leave. The marriage won't work for you if he won't be honest!