Personal Stories from those affected by sexual sin
Restored to My Wife
—by Jim Glaze, age 58
It all started in the latter part of 1998 after I had suffered a stroke. I was getting better but somewhere in my mind I was feeling my mortality. My mother passed away in November and this added to the feelings I was having. It seemed that there was always something happening to keep my wife and I from having quality time together. In January one of my sons and his wife came to stay with us for several months, I was always a workaholic and always spent long hours at work and got home late. This had been going on for years. In the beginning summer of (1999) our two grandchildren also came for several weeks to stay with us. One night while I was “out” after suffering a stroke, my wife and grandchildren went looking for me. When the didn’t find me they came home and prayed that I was safe and not lying in a ditch somewhere, with another stroke. I got angry with them because they called the police to look for me also. What a mess!
I was still having problem dealing with the feeling I was getting older and was going to die without experiencing any excitement in my life. I was trying to get a web business going, I spent long hours at night working on it. One night I got one of those emails directing me to a sex site. It boasted of free pictures. I normally would have just deleted those kinds of emails, but this night for some reason I just stared at the link for a good long while. I checked to see if every one was asleep and I clicked on it. (Sound Familiar?) There were completely unclothed models, and they were very pretty. I felt strange and guilty, but none the less I started surfing for more. I was getting trapped and didn’t know it. I didn’t realize it was so easy, I would look at a magazine a few times over the years, and I always tried to keep myself from looking at them, (After all, I was supposed to be a Christian). But once in a while, I would give in to that secret sin that plagued my life. THIS was so easy, and I could do it right from my home, and if I was careful no one would ever know or find out. Well I’m here to say that is one of the biggest open doors that Satan can find in a Christian man. He was tempting me, and he was winning.
My Christian walk was being hurt, and I was feeling very unworthy to be around our Christian friends. I was living a lie and I didn’t like it. At church I was getting distant, and never could feel like the other people there, who were worshipping and feeling so uplifted. It was becoming a real problem. Satan was putting images in my mind of things I shouldn’t be seeing more and more often. Every once in a while I would break through, and feel like I had it under control, but I always managed to eventually give in. I was on a treadmill of unhappiness.
One night I stumbled into a chat room about sex and I couldn’t believe the stuff going on. I just watched for quite a while until one night I got an invitation to chat. I chatted with a woman who was unhappy at home and was searching for excitement. We chatted, and I felt excited and sinful. I had strange feelings and it was from writing back and forth and chatting about her problems in her marriage. It was an unnerving experience to say the least. She told me how she had posted ads in the personal classified ads looking for a man. We never chatted again after that night. I remembered what she said, and started looking for these personal ads.
I was shocked at what I found. I read through them. Women looking for Men, Men looking for Women, Men looking for Men, Women looking for Women, and almost anything you could imagine. It was crazy that there could be so much of this going on. You could even search for people in your own area of the country. I answered a couple of the ads just as a joke and to my surprise, I got answers. It was somewhat exciting.
I even got so bold by then I put in a personal ad of my own. I was 56 years old and was sure that no one would want a guy like me. (I didn’t even lie about my age, weight or anything.) I developed a story about how I was unhappy and even stated I was married with children. I said I was only interested in a sensual relationship and nothing long term. I was amazed to receive lots of responses.
Here I could be someone I’m not. I could assume any role I wanted. I was invincible. I was feeling so macho, and desirable. I started feeling very bold as young women were showing interest in me. Women that were the age of my own children! Now understand, I never was very bold and never felt I had the ability to wow the girls when I was young. I did ok, but I was always afraid and shy. It was hard to strike up a conversation with someone of the opposite sex, but here I was trying to sharpen up my skills, and feeling very macho in the process. It was easy on the Internet—you can be anyone you want to be. Now I was feeling like I was much younger than I really was and flattered that younger women were attracted to me. I was getting in deeper and deeper.
Funny how you can start to be attracted to someone you haven’t even met and don’t even know. You tell them what you know they want to hear, and they tell you what you want to hear. You tickle each others ears and senses, and no one really cares if it is real or not. You can make it be anything you want. You can be anyone you want. You can be just as much of a lady killer as that high school buddy you admired so much. You can actually have lines yourself, and they work! Sound familiar?
You soon forget that reality is that you are a plain ordinary person that leads a plain ordinary life and forget the beauty of what you really have. You have the American Dream, and the very thing you’ve always wanted already. You start to forget the consequences of what your actions will bring you. You even start to think it would be a better life if you could start living the dream you have concocted in your mind. It becomes obsessive and you begin to develope relationships with women you have never even seen. They send pictures, and strangely they are always beautiful in the pictures.
You think you are falling for someone you haven’t even met. But you think you know this person so well. It becomes a strain on your home-life with your wife and children. You start getting distant and push away those things that you and your wife have shared over the years. You start to feel distant to the woman you have shared half of your life with and that you have loved for years. Yet suddenly you are so close to this one you have never met. You start to think up reasons to justify the on-line romance, and take little differences with your wife and make them great big things.
And naturally, your on-line contact would never treat a wonderful man like yourself in such a terrible way. You start to convince yourself that your life sucks the way it is, even though just a few short weeks ago you were happy with your life. All of the blame is passed on to your partner, all of the bad is caused by her or him and you are the victim of circumstances you now want out of. (If you can be the victim then you won’t have to be held accountable for what you are doing! WRONG!) Who really is the victim in the end?
So, now you decide to meet someone you have met and think you know, even though for 26 years you have been true, and faithful to your wife. You go ahead and meet someone and you feel like some kind of a macho man, even though you feel guilt, but you push it away, and try it again!
It’s a little easier this time and you feel very sure of yourself with so many people interested in you and plenty of emails to answer and its now totally out of hand. The important thing now is to get to the computer and check your email. Well now you’ve done it, you’ve become unfaithful, (“Never thought you would”) and the double life is getting to much for you! You seriously consider leaving your wife and getting together with someone you don’t even know. You are caught in a whirlwind of deceit, hurting all of those who love you the most. But in your caught up state, you begin to believe it doesn’t matter because you think life will be better. You don’t even realize that you have created a pretend life that is a sure way for Satan to keep control of you!
What happens to the reality of what you’ve done when it comes to you? And it will. What happens when the guilt comes? And it will. What happens when you find out the person you would leave your wife for, is not half the woman your true and loving wife is? What then? Will it be too late for you to undo what you’ve done? What do you do when you realize that you really do love your wife? When you start remembering the tender times you have shared all of those years, the love you have shared. You realize that no one can make you happier than your very own wife, the one who stuck by you when you were unlovable, and gave you all of the best years of her life.
What about the husband of the woman you are considering, is this fair to him? What about all of the children involved? It’s all a fantasy, and now you realize how much trouble your in.
My wife used to say, “You stay on that computer so much, and you are so defensive of it, you’d think it was another woman!” She may have been teasing out of frustration but she was right! In hindsight, if I would have spent the time and energy in that double life, we would have gotten past this time of our lives without all of the pain and suffering! Hindsight would have been the “Best Sight”.
Well this works for both women and men, and I hope you take this to heart, I’ve tried to share what you very well may feel, and believe me I felt it first hand. My life was almost ruined by my actions! I paid dearly with my health as the strain from the “double life” got to be to much and I had 2 more strokes.
Where am I now?—And how did I get here?
I went to a motel (alone) and thought about all of what was going on in my life. Notice how every thing is a “my”? Well that’s the way it was. I was only thinking about MYSELF! I thought for a long time about my wife, my family, and started to pray to the God whom I had left behind a couple of months back! So hard to realize that all of this was in just a couple of months, but seemed like years! God started to bring memories of my wife and kids, the things we shared, laughed about, cried about. The intimate times alone we shared over the years.
I then realized I hadn’t even been fair enough to share with her my feelings of insecurity and try to get things back in perspective. I decided that night to try to get my wife and my life back. Normal was good, and I didn’t need or want any more excitement like this. I was ashamed, and worried she would never forgive me. She had told me she didn’t want to lose me and would be what ever I wanted her to be. So I decided to do her a favor and “take her back” and “Stay”.
I went home on a Sunday morning to find she had gone to church. (She had prayed and fasted for our marriage and our love for weeks). When she got home I told her I wanted everything back to normal and that I loved her and wanted to make things work out. She said she forgave me and I felt wonderful. I decided to go see my pastor the next day and I shared everything that had happened. He knew much of what the problem was, just not the nitty gritty details. Well I told him all. I expected him to say, “don’t tell your wife all of this, just live with it and let you relationship get back the way it was supposed to be”. Surprise! He told me to go home and tell her everything!
No! Surely not! This wasn’t supposed to happen! He told me that I owed it to her to make sure she wanted to stay with me and that if I didn’t tell her, it would just be living a lie again. If something came out later it would just be another problem. But the main thing was I had to give her the chance to either forgive me or not forgive me. That was a risk I just had to take and my actions made this happen. He told me she might not want me, and if not, it was something I would have to live with.
We both prayed she would love me enough and God would give her the ability to forgive me and take me back! I repented to God and everyone that day! The ride home was too short, and while driving, I was remembering when my wife had told me years ago that if I was ever unfaithful she would leave me because she never could trust me again. I was so afraid when I drove home, I honestly did not know what her reaction would be.
Well, we sat down and I shared everything with her. I will never forget the hurt and agony I saw in her eyes. She had imagined things, but not to the extent I was telling her. I begged her for forgiveness and assured her I would never let this ever happen again. The first several months were filled with wonderful love, sharing, and we loved deeper and more than ever before! Sure there were quite a few times she got upset when something reminded her of what I had done, and how I had treated her, but I owed her that. The time to heal, I had to give her time to believe in me once again.
It has gotten better and better every day, and now we are even sharing this ministry. A ministry dedicated to the hope we can help husbands and wives restore their love and marriage—letting them know there is still hope when it seems hopeless. The hope for you that it can be better, and hope is always there. Just put Jesus first (regardless of what may happen) and have faith.
The worry about STD’s and the embarrassment my wife felt when she had to go to the doctor and tell him about it so she could be checked. She couldn’t rest until she was checked. At 56 years old, this was terrible! It wasn’t too neat to have to wait in the waiting room for her either. Seemed like to me, that every nurse that walked by looked at me and smirked!
We were remarried by our pastor and rededicated our wedding vows to each other. We took a small weekend honeymoon and it was so special. It was much better than the first one! The wedding vows meant so much more this time, because we both knew what they REALLY meant this time. And we meant them! For real! I’m not saying we didn’t mean them the first time, but this time we really UNDERSTOOD!
When we went to pick out rings, I found one I just had to have. It has a small diamond on either side of a cross. This meant to me, that my wife and me are on either side of the cross! With the Lord in the center where He should have been all along, and this would have never happened. She + Me = Our Lives with God in between! It reminds me every time I look at it that God is the glue that holds us together, and put us back together!
I am so much in love with my wonderful and sweet wife, and she feels the same about me. We share everything and everything is a “We”. She has given me back her trust, and I will never hurt her again. No one could love me like she loves me, and no one could love her like I love her!
I was a fool, and I thank God for HIS intervention and HIS GRACE on our behalf. I praise Him and hope He will help you! You wouldn’t be reading this if some how it didn’t pertain to your situation, now would you!
Remember, movies like I Got Mail are romantic, but the people were SINGLE and it turned out as a wonderful thing that brought two people together. Sometimes it does but more times than not it doesn’t. Remember it was fantasy, it wasn’t real, they were actors. But then again, most of the people in these situation become actors of a sort.
I thank God for my wife and family, and He restored us! I thank God for a loving pastor who believed in me and gave me good counsel. I thank God for kids who never gave up on me, even though I hurt them deeply. I thank God for a letter from one of them that helped turn my life around. I thank God for loving friends at church who prayed for me and loved me even when I was unlovable. For the ones who never gave up and loved me enough to stand in the Gap for me.
I know that there are people out there who feel that they have failed God. Sometimes, it happens. We say and do things that we know we shouldn’t say or do. We fall flat on our faces and we feel that we can’t go back to God anymore. Well, that is a lie from the pits off Hell. God loves you! He went to the cross to make a way to forgive you and He wants to take you back into His arms and receive you as His child. It doesn’t take great big prayers or some sacrifice on your part. All it takes is for you to say to Him. “Jesus forgive me and take me back.” And He will…if you are honest with Him and yourself and turn away from the snares.
Do it right now.
I am praying for everyone who reads this, and I am believing that the Lord Jesus will touch you right now and bless your life.