I know that I was committing adultery even when I was legally divorced from my husband.
After two years of being separated from him (with the exception of a period of dating for three months) there was a connection with my husband that I couldn’t deny. It felt as though I had a wall up, a guard against any other relationship that I just couldn’t break down. I wanted to let another guy into my heart, I wanted to relax in a relationship, but no matter how or what I tried, it just wasn’t possible.
I was talking with a friend a while ago and, without me saying anything, she was describing this exact feeling about a guy she was seeing at the time. She felt as though he just wouldn’t let her in, that he was protecting himself against her, even though she had never treated him badly. They had a great time together, they got along perfectly, but there was still something holding him back from being fully involved in the relationship. I know that this is because he was married before and it was impossible for him to let this guard down to any other woman other than his wife.
I dated a guy while living my own life that had been divorced from his wife for 10 years. After only a few weeks of dating I knew that the relationship wouldn’t be going very far. I knew, before I had even acknowledged the spiritual connection a wife and husband have, that he was still connected to his wife and wasn’t able to let that guard down in order to let any new woman fully into his heart.
I would bet my life that this feeling isn’t unique to these three cases. I am certain, adamant, that if divorced couples were honest with themselves, that they would admit that there is something that holds them back from committing to any other relationship outside of their marriage. That they would admit that no other relationship has compared since.
I believe that divorcees that aren’t being 100% truthful with themselves have settled for a new marriage or relationship that is giving them all they think is possible – a friend. I know that this is all I would have had if I had continued to pursue my own life and a relationship inside that life. No other dating experience compared to the connection or commitment I had with my husband. Looking back, I know that I was only as committed to those men as I would have been to someone I was having an affair with. They were providing a temporary solution to a need, but that was all.
There is a reason that so many divorcees marry multiple times. It’s not because divorce has become easy for them, it’s because they are chasing after the connection they have with their initial spouse and they will never find it in any other person but that spouse. In some ways, the theory that divorce get’s easier after the first time is true. It would get easier if you didn’t have that spiritual connection with that person. Or the next. Or the next.
Another reason I know that I was committing adultery when I was in a relationship with any other man but my husband is that I would think about him…while having sex with that other man. I’m going to be honest about this because I believe it needs to be said, not because I actually want to share about my sex life.
While sleeping with other men I would not only want them to do things that my husband had done, but I would think about him during the act. My husband and I had great and regular sex, but it was more than just sex. There was a bond that was between us that, now having more sexual partners, couldn’t even compare to what was shared between me and other men. No matter how much I liked the other men, how special they treated me, how generous they were…nothing they did compared to my husband.
“You can never forget your first love”…that’s what people say. And to a certain extent, that is true. But this was more than that. My husband and I hadn’t been together in over a year and still, his face would pop into my mind as I was laying with another man. Things he would say to me, things he would do. And after only a couple weeks of sleeping with a guy I was dating, it would grow boring and predictable. Within these few weeks the novelty had already worn off, the honeymoon stage was gone and I was dreaming of my husband. After over a year of being apart. This isn’t “never forgetting your first love”, this is a deep connection that cannot be severed. And if I felt it from the man I was dating, who had been divorced for 10 years, I know for a fact that it wasn’t something that I was going to grow out of.
I don’t want to share this information as a message of hopelessness. Our God is the God of the impossible! However he leads you to process this information, if at all, is between you and him. I just know what he has asked me to do with these experiences. I know that I would rather live a single life for a while, bringing God glory in everything I do, pursuing a relationship with him and watching him work, than I would entering into a half-hearted relationship with anyone other than my husband.
If you are in a similar situation I would urge you to be honest with yourself. With depth, assess your heart and your feelings. Gut it out. Be truthful. Ask God to reveal his truth in your heart and to help you be completely honest with yourself. Sometimes it’s hard, I know that I have struggled with being honest with myself and how I am feeling.
This is not something I have mastered, I still lean heavily on God for his strength and wisdom, I wouldn’t even pretend to have it all figured out. I am so grateful for God’s direction in my life and so in awe of his mercy and grace. He will lead you in his direction if you surrender control of your situation to him. It’s a scary thing to do, considering we humans think that we know best. But he sees the entire picture, he knows how all of the puzzle pieces will fit together in the end. And if our hearts are genuinely wanting him to show us the truth, he will.