Riding Life!

Riding Life!
Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")

Saturday, April 17, 2010

V: A Faithful Man Who Can Find?

If you've been reading for a while you know that "C" often writes about the plight of divorce, and especially how it affects women and children. Sadly, this is because she sees the wreckage in her family law practice everyday. I have to admit that I've become somewhat discouraged lately. Who could avoid hearing daily of the rampant infidelity in the lives of the rich and famous. Are we so desensitized that we just don't care anymore? Have we become completely apathetic regarding the breakup of the family?

C" informed me recently that her estranged husband has been extending requests for "friendship" on Facebook to old friends and relatives. He also sent Christmas cards with a photo of him, his girlfriend and new baby (his new family as he calls them), to friends and relatives of his wife! Remember "C" is still legally his wife! These actions were deliberately cruel. A close mutual friend of ours called me the other day to tell me that she had received one of these requests. "No way am I interested in being his friend on Facebook", she stated emphatically. "C" was relieved to hear this because that's one of the statements her straying hubby goaded her with. "No one really cares", he told her. "People will get over it and everything will go back to normal." In other words, he believes that there are no real consequences for him. Do people really not care anymore when an individual turns his back on his family. This man was an elder in his church, counseled others, was a loving husband for over 35 years. Their marriage was a harmonious relationship and "C" was an exemplary, supportive wife, sometimes setting aside her own career to prop up his new inventions and ideas. He led a faith based community group for several years, opening their home to friends and strangers, leading Bible studies and classes. Many people, including several families, lived in their home for months at a time. He graciously extended hospitality and friendship to many in his community. So how does someone just change suddenly and give up family, honor and reputation? Was he an impostor or did some organic change occur affecting his personality and judgement? There is much more that I wish I could divulge, but it would not be appropriate. The deception in his life involves many other areas and has caused pain and loss to friends and family.

As a father, "C"'s husband was totally involved as soccer coach, scout leader, etc. So this hypocrisy has left us shaken to the core and puzzled as to how he could turn his back on his family and friends, without seeming to have any remorse. When someone rejects their entire family, even their family of origin, you have to wonder what went wrong. Innocent children have also been hurt. "C"'s nieces and nephews adored their Uncle C who indulged them with his time and attention, and to have him turn his back and leave the family has caused confusion and hurt. "C"'s 8 yr. old niece recently asked her mother, "So when do you just stop caring? When is your family no longer your family"?

My heart goes out to "C"'s mother-in-law who is a strong woman of faith. She wrote about her feelings concerning her son recently at Immigrant Daughter. I have also been the mother of a prodigal child, so I can relate to the deep feelings of pain and sorrow. Several months ago over lunch, we talked about how you can never give up on a prodigal child. You MUST persevere in prayer for them and trust the Lord to bring them to their senses. I strongly believe in continuing to love and pray for the prodigal, while not condoning their behavior. When confronted with a defiant, unrepentant attitude, I believe there is a responsibility to NOT give tacit approval to their choices which hurt innocent people. My friend who refused to accept the "friend request" on Facebook, felt that by "accepting" the invitation she would be giving unspoken approval to his behavior. I believe she is right.

Several years ago my own sister, faced a similar situation. Her husband of 25 years waited until their son turned 18 yrs. of age to announce his leaving. Of course he insisted that there was no other person involved. This turned out to be a lie. He even had the audacity to bring this "other woman" to a Christmas party that their Sunday School class had while still married to my sister. It was a couples class that they had been members of for ten years! The pastor and one member of their class did privately confront him, but for the most part many people really didn't seem to care that much. One person even said to my sister "well, at least they are in church". Can you imagine how that made her feel? She soon felt compelled to leave her own church. Her ex-husband and his girlfriend still attend that church.

In Proverbs 20:6, Scripture says: "Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find"? When everyday we hear of a new celebrity breakup it seems that there are few faithful men. We live in a society that has chosen for the most part to "look the other way" concerning infidelity. "C"'s husband now proclaims that "God wants him to be happy", and therefore he has done nothing wrong. The human heart is never more resourceful than when it seeks to justify it's own selfish desires. It is interesting to note that is exactly what my sister heard from her ex-husband who sought to excuse his actions.

As I read over my words, I feel that they may seem harsh and judgemental to some. Some may feel that by being his "friend" on Facebook that they would be leaving a door open to have positive influence. Sorry, but I do not agree with that opinion! "C"'s husband said himself that people don't really care and so that is how their acceptance would be interpreted by him. I've chosen to remain silent until now concerning my friend's marital situation. Please indulge my anger over this most recent transgression by "C"'s remorseless husband. Sometimes you just have to speak up for what is right! My own grandchildren have suffered the sorrow and devastation of divorce. God hates divorce. I hate divorce. Unfortunately, it is sometimes necessary. May we lend our love and support to the victims.


Janera said...

Oh, V. If I started agreeing with your individual points in this post, I'd be here all day. Check. Check. Check. Agree with it all.

Just one crazy little thought, though. About facebook friends? They're not really "friends" at all sometimes. Not to discount yours and C's feelings about it; I'd be upset, too, if my friends "friended" the scoundrel, but let's look for a silver lining, shall we?

Such as this one: some folks are just nosy, so "friending" him on facebook gives them freedom to check out his pics and see what he's up to with the little wench, um, er, girlfriend.

It's not much, but in a pinch?

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

Agree 100%....and thankful she has a friend like you.

Vee said...

A couple I know will soon be divorcing after 60 years of marriage. Some will call it a shame. The only shame is that it has lasted for that long. Personally, just reading your viewpoint, it sounds as if this man has lost his mind. Something is terribly wrong with him. As one counselor has said, "It's important to nail them every single time." So I say it's good that the Facebook mutual friend decided not to participate. It does these men no good to have their behavior condoned. It does no one any good to have any behavior that is unhealthy or unloving to be condoned.

Hang tough, gals! And someday you both should write a book.

Mamma has spoken said...

Agree with Janera with why people would friend him on facebook. On a personal note with fb, I too have had some weird friend requests and have accepted them. I have found out that a man from my high school class is a high class sleezeball, my nephew is quite gay, and my SIL likes to take pictures that makes her look like a two dollar hooker. Would I have learned these things if I hadn't friended them, nope. But I am having fun reading and showing pictures on their status to the family. They all comment about how weird, assh**e, stupid, oh I guess you get the jest, they all are. Hopefully, those who did friend him are doing the same thing and sharing the joke.
But back to why would he do such a thing being a God fearing man? Because he is self centered looking for only his own self pleasures......

RivkA with a capital A said...

I fully believe in ostrasizing men who cheat on their wives.

I believe in zero tolerance for such despicable behavior.

My friend's husband left her with 6 children under the age of 15. I will be polite to him, but he will NEVER be my friend.

And I would never "friend" them on FB -- because it implies acceptance of that behavior.

RivkA with a capital A said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
joolzmac said...

Hey V, I think the link to Immigrant Daughter may need a . between daughter and blogspot - I can't get it to load from the link.

Cheers - Joolz

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Thanks for letting me know, Joolz! I am trying to find out what is wrong, but for now nothing I has tried has worked. You can go to Immigrant Daughter on the blogroll on the right-hand side of our blog page and click on it there. It worked for me! I am afraid I am a technological idiot! It takes me forever to write a post & get it on! "C" is now using Live Writer and says it is much easier- I'm going to try it!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful friend C has in you dear V. I agree with the decision your friend made not to befriend him. It would just reinforce his idea that he has done nothing wrong. I will be willing to bet he will be trying to make friends with C before long. Life is hard and sometimes very long and troublesome.

Linda Lou Rogers Averitt said...

V thanks for the eye opener, I too was befriended by him and I just said yes, but I was not thinking and I can fix that, I totally agree with you and would NEVER want C to think in any way I excuse his behavior, it will never be the same for me. I, like you said may can keep a door open...but not at the cost of hurting C....tks again

Anonymous said...

v I posted a comment and it disappeared. Good post and it was right on. He gave up the best thing he ever had.

KathyB. said...

Thank-you Vee for posting this for your friend, as in REAL friend! A friend who supports and defends a friend in all the best ways. A friend who does not "friend" an adulterer , cheater, liar, for the sake of being "nice" and "friendly". I really believe a person who calls himself a "Christian" and yet commits adultery, blatantly too, is subject to scriptural discipline which calls for confrontation, a chance for repentance and forgiveness, and if the sinner rejects this, then, he is to be cut off from ANY fellowship with other believers, until there is true repentance. And really, for others to "friend" him on facebook is a slap on the face for precious c. Shame on them.

Debbie said...

Y'alls friendship is a thing to be envied. Seldom seen yet desired. So regarding the husband; The problem goes back to one source and that is sin. Your comment about the heart is one I've copied to use, by the way, thank you.
One thing that would be helpful in the church is 'accountability'. We may get sidetracked, but it helps to have those around us that will come alongside and help us by holding us accountable to God's word. As women, we hope that other men in the church would care enough to step up and try and protect the family, but that is rare, as seen by the ineffectual reaction of his pastor and friends.
The church should have disciplined him when he refused to listen. The Bible then says that we are to ostracize such a brother in order not to be snobby, but to bring him to repentence. (1 and 2 Corinthians)Forget being polite to him, turn your back when you see him coming!
It isn't judgmentalness, it's biblical correctness. By not doing it we encourage the sin, we do accept this behavior and get in God's way of convincing this man to turn from his evil ways. It isn't hating him, it is truly loving him and caring about his life. The problem is in the church, not just in the heart of the sinner. We have become so afraid of being deemed judgemental and having our own conscience examined that we've thrown out biblical obedience entirely! What a price we've paid.

Well, that's my opinion for what it's worth. I really enjoy your blog; it's sure honest!

Marion Williams-Bennett said...

I loved this thoughtful post. One thing that came up for me was the way in which people use facebook as a way of publicly showing how "okay" they are - here are the photos showing how happy they are, here are the status updates that convey a full and happy life.

In the real world, you have to walk around with the (hopefully!) real feelings and sadness over the pain you created, but on facebook all is well.

Peace to C and to her family, this is not easy!

Zuzana said...

What a passionate post, you truly burn for this cause and I applaud your courage to speak out.
I guess the worst is what happens to the people that are left behind...
Beautifully and powerfully written.

Liss said...

I agree with Janera about some people are just nosy.

Has anyone thought that it is the ex husband being nosy? Maybe he is befriending people to find out information about C.

To me this is the very reason why C's friends should not make him a facebook friend. They should be protecting her.

carla said...

Sadly, the situation you've described has become common. Years ago, he would've been shunned. An ugly bi-product of our "tolerant" and "non-judgmental" society are the broken hearts and innocent victims - the wives (sometimes husbands) and children.

Why did he do it? I don't know him or your former brother-in-law. But I'm guessing that he was a sincere Christian who let his guard down and fell into temptation.

Another lousy "virtue" popular nowadays is to discredit temptation. We're told over and over on television and movies that it's petty to think that men and women can't be best friends with members of the opposite sex. That men and women can go out to dinner together and become friendly and nothing will happen. Or travel together on business.

The fallen nature that has been our plight since Adam and Eve, is susceptible to temptation. The Bible tells us to flee temptation, not embrace it.

We have given our children a terrible inheritance by letting Hollywood set our moral code.

My support goes to you and your sister, and C, her son and mother-in-law - the ones left to deal with the hurt, rejection and anger.

The situation in our family is a little reversed; it wasn't adultery (as far as we know). Our daughter-in-law separated from our son in a cruel and vicious way that is damaging our grandchildren. If C lived in Texas, I'd hire her to go after the girl, but good.

Thank you so much for sharing with us and trusting us with your story.

KathySue said...

I have experienced a death of a parent and was flooded with well wishers, food, etc., especially from the "church family". But that definitely was not the case when "divorce" was the tragedy! No calls, no visits and the cheating husband was welcomed with open arms into my former Sunday School with the new girlfriend in tow. I was shocked. The pastor did attempt to "talk some sense into him", but he was just "too cold and uncaring" to listen. So "cold and uncaring people" are welcome in the church?

Lesson learned....divorces are devastating. If you know someone going through one....especially if they are the "rejected one"...be their advocate! It can be worse than a death...it is a different kind of grief. Glad that I had some supportive friends and family....very sorry they didn't come from my church.

Joy said...

Carla, Debbie, and Kathy B. have really hit the nail on the head. I couldn't have said it better. You are a wonderful friend to C, you have such empathy for her, and rightly so. Divorce sucks all the way around. Even if someone is happy to have disolved the marriage, the resulting collateral damage is felt for years. These are deep, painful wounds for her and it will hurt for years, but God is good and He will bring good things into her life. We can be thankful that our trials here on earth are 'momentary afflictions' and eternity will be much better for those who love God and who are His. I can see that in the long run, (and even now) the cheating husband is going to come through this all with the short end of the stick. He will ultimately regret his actions, but by then?? My sympathies to C.

Anonymous said...

V, the stories get crazier and crazier. I'll bet the jerk's leaving didn't happen in his head overnight. Those types of things work on the brain, sometimes, over years. Daily mental thoughts and inch-by-in emotional distancing work over years in a relationship, and one day it's over. No remorse. No warning. It's just over. The emotional detachment has set in. Just like in my best-est friend's and sister's marriages. Over. Leaving the family devastated.

Who can understand, except that we have a great enemy who works 24/7 to destroy our lives. That's why God tells us to be vigilant in our faith, alert, watching, praying...even when we think things are going well.

I'm sorry for the hurt you've experienced. Please make room in your heart for forgiveness, and don't let someone else's actions cause you to sin in turn. I'm not judging you but encouraging my sisters. We live in the world with no guaratees but Jesus' love, forgiveness, and a promised abundant life. Go for it.

Jody Blue said...

Romans 1:24 pretty much says that when we choose to indulge ourselves in things that ache Gods heart He lets us dive head first into our own sin. To shine light on things that ache His heart, shines light in the darkness and gives those who are in the midst of self indulgence pause to reflect and hopefully turn and run from themselves as fast as they can!! Great job at flicking that switch!!

Iron Needles said...

I learned that people figure out their own 'truth'. They don't do things they believe are wrong. If they did, they couldn't sleep at night.

One of my ex's reasons for bagging our 25 years of marriage for the bimbo (as I affectionately refer to the new wife)? "If everything was as it needed to be with our marriage, he wouldn't have been seeking companionship elsewhere."

That justifies in his mind and he can live with what he did.

Whatever. Him leaving gave me the chance to be something I would never be in relationship with him.

Chances are, I will never see him see the reality of his actions.

Dave said...

I am a guy, and I had almost the same thing happen to me. My wife of 20+ years worked in a nursing home on 2nd shift. She started to stop at the bar after work with her divorcee girlfriends, just for a couple of drinks. M. was always a good Christian woman, and wee attended Church every Sun. together. I told her she was placing herself in harms way, but of course she wouldn't listen. At 48 years of age, and after 20+ years of marriage, she met some guy in the bar, and left me for him. She too, didn't care who she hurt, but was only concerned with her own selfish wants. This was in 2006,and she divorced me in 2007. I too wonder what happens to these people that can just turn love on and off, like a light switch, and throw their husband or wife under the bus. Years ago the family court used to make people like this go for counceling before granting a divorce, but now with our so called, "no fault" divorce laws, the courts no longer care.

Anonymous said...

Did not hear such

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