"Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game"
Sympathy for the Devil
I have no end to the ways that I can offend people...To those who endeavored to console me at a low time, I can only say that it was not your heart that was in a bad place. It was mine! That said, if my transparency about my marriage causes you to go to self-examination about your heart and your relationship, so much the better!
It is very common for my flesh to desire to be consoled and comforted. My flesh avoids hard work and pain. My flesh would rather maintain the status quo, stay detached and develop callouses that numb my spirit to the pain that I'm causing others and myself. If my flesh can make an excuse for my actions, can minimize the consequences of my actions, it will attempt to do so. Sometimes suggestions by others, who naturally want to think the best, who want not to judge (lest they be judged), who (with a pure heart) want to represent grace and forgiveness, can help my flesh along in its attempts.
I'd like to move along, quit playing games and get to the heart of this thing. Many of us men need a kick in the pants in this area. Call it "accountability" if you will...
I think many wives would respond the way that my wife did. I think this speaks to the track record that we husbands have with our wives. TRUST is a huge issue with most wives. WHY? Because they've seen us around other women. They've seen our eyes wander. They've seen us flirt. Some wives have figured out that their husbands are looking at porn on the Internet. Some husbands have actually, physically been unfaithful in their marriages. Whatever it is, they have their reasons for not TRUSTING us.
So how do I respond? I have to examine myself. Am I attracted to women other than my wife? What do I do with that? Do I flirt? Do my eyes wander? Am I "unfaithful in my heart?" With my wife, I found that the more defensive I got, the more suspicious she got (with good reason).
Many of us view our wives in an adversarial way...she's the "enemy." This is really, really common for husbands to do. In fact, it's the hardest thing for most husbands to change...their perception of their wife as "enemy."
So, when our wives "hit" us with a million questions and "accuse" us of cheating do we think they're doing that because they hate us and wish us dead? I think what's closer to the truth is that they love us and don't want to lose us. When we are inappropriate around other women, because of our track record, our wives may not (should not) TRUST us. They probably feel threatened, at-risk, overlooked, de-valued, unwanted, even betrayed. This may inappropriately come out as jealousy and possessiveness. Jesus did not lead His church to jealousy and possessiveness. Neither should we lead our wives there.
If we were able to change our perception of our wives from "enemy" to "help" we might find that they're actually right about how we are around other women. Figuring that out, we could, with her "help", acknowledge the sin in our lives and change the way we think, act and talk around other women, changing our track record, letting her know how much we really care for her and gaining her TRUST. That way, we wouldn't have to be defensive and we could live in peace and in love with her and ourselves and GOD...
Your ally in the pursuit of Christlikeness, Kim