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clouds5

Marriage issues, eating disorder etc.

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Hello friends,

I decided to at least write in some forum and ask for help/guidance. Here's my situation, I'm not looking for pity or being shamed, I just want to share my story and maybe some of you guys has an idea what I could do/pray for, or something like that:

I'm a man, 33 years old. Married since 5 years. About 2-3 years ago I was working a good job and doing education on the side so I could continue working in the field. Short version: I failed my studies and had to change my field of work. I took it pretty hard because the circumstances were messy and I was doing very well in my job - only the grades were an issue. Anyway I was a mess for a while but I knew God had a path for me.

During that time my wife, who was dealing with depression earlier in her life, started developing an eating disorder. When we realized it was time to do something about it was already pretty severe. I prayed for her and I tried anything to help her anyway I could, encourage her, help her make plans on how to eat enough, went to therapy with her etc. But nothing really helped. She played her therapists, she lied to me and to herself. And after ~2years of ED (eating disorder) in our lives, it started to take a heavy toll on our relationship (I'm not blaming her btw, it's the sickness that's causing this).
I tried to lecture her, she started to tell me things that were not true etc. She temporarily lost her fertility (body shuts down reproductive systems when there is not enough food) and with it, the rest of what was left in terms of sexual desire (we don't have kids!). And me, as a guy who enjoys the more chubby kind of females had a real hard time finding her anorexic body attractive.

About 3 months ago she finally decided it's time to go to a rehab clinic to really concentrate on getting better. The fact that she wanted to do that of her own volition, was like a miracle. All was looking well for a while. But she's on break now from the clinic and it seems to me like nothing really changed. She didn't really gain weight and she still has her eating habits.

Anyway. I mentioned I have a new job now and I'm teaching on the side. My life apart from my wife is amazing right now! BUT. I met this woman in a seminar, also married - getting neglected and hit by her husband (human beings are messed up I tell you...), and we immediately clicked and felt connected. We had amazing talks and it was a "healing experience" for both of us, I'm 100% certain that God made us run into each other. But now I'm afraid we're getting almost too close... :D yay... :/
I believe what we've been doing is called an "emotional affair" (having an affair without the physical component). Well, we just met this evening before I started writing this and after talking for a while we started comforting each other and finally went to the couch and just held each other in embrace for over an hour. Nothing sexual, no kissing or anything - just intense hugging and a little crying. I have to be honest, it was the most wonderful, blissful experience I had in almost all my life. After a while I started shaking all over my body because of all the happy hormones and that feeling of being loved and sheltered...

Now I have no idea what to do. I don't want to leave my wife. I don't want to have an affair but I was craving being close to someone so much... And I really can't tell my wife about it - that could make her kill herself (literally).

 

[e]

Since I cannot find the reply button I'll edit my post. First of all thank you for your answers.

If it were that simple. Cut ties, it's a sin, don't do it. I'm too weak for that right now. I know it will lead to pain, probably. But I already am in pain most of the time. Basically, I'm completely separated from my wife emotionally and physically and I fought for like two years to prevent that. My wife told me a few days ago that it's pretty clear to her that it's my fault that she started developing an eating disorder. I wasn't stable enough for her etc... Just to clarify what's the state of our relationship is ;) she is completely absorbed by her ED-thoughts.
I want to work on my marriage and improve it (it's what I'm trying to do since all this started, we already went to therpy and everything) but as long as we don't have a common ground to build from I don't see the way.
Btw: I cannot completely cut ties with this woman, we are gonna meet semi-regularly because of our jobs for at least another 1-2 years.

 

[e2] @Abby-Joy "All that to say ...I needed my husband's love, understanding, prayer, support. He wasn't there for me like he should have been."

I'm trying to do all that and been trying for the past years. It's just that I'm a human being too, you know. I also have my weaknesses and a difficult past and my strength has its limits. That's no apology for anything - i know the scripture well enough. I have problems with addiction myself - as almost any human has... right? I only recently stopped smoking for example and I could only do that because of the support and faith that other woman had for me. But thank you for encouraging me to go another round.
This is all very very hard and it's times like these when I understand why Paul said it would be best if we would live alone and concentrate full on the Lord.

 

[e3] I'll think about someone I could talk to at my church... I came here because I have a hard time talking to people about these topics. It's well known in our church that she has an ED. And a lot of people come to me and ask me how we are etc. especially now that she's at a clinic. But I feel most of them come because that's what you do, not because they actually want me to open up. I usually tell what they want to hear, you know. And since I didn't have a single male father figure in my life I have a hard time talking to males anyway... But that's another topic :D

-->Thank you for offer Abby-Joy talking to her. Who knows, maybe I'll pm you about that when the time is right. I don't think that I have to be afraid that she would commit adultery, she's pretty much asexual since all this started. At least that's how she behaves. I'm not sure if I still know her well enough though. She has changed soo much since we first met each other. I think the environment of our marriage (the first years) allowed her to start dealing with certain things from her past (much like you described) and then everything turned sideways.

Thank you all so much for your replies, really helps me a lot even just writing here.

Edited by clouds5
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For starters, are you a Christian?  If you are, I am not sure what you expect to hear except that what you are doing is absolutely wrong.  First thing you need to do is cut off all contact with this other woman.  What you are engaged in is adultery, plain and simple.  Did your wedding vows not include the for better or for worse part?  Was there a "unless you get ill and skinnier than I would like" clause in there?  The vows you took were not just between you and your wife, God is included.

 

Ecclesiastes 4:9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

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       Your walking down a wrong path that instead,of bliss you will find pain. Go the other way fast. Love your wife for who she is. In Gods eyes you are one flesh. If Jesus is in you then you are sinning against him . Your body is the temple of God. His spirit is in you. If you go with this women your sining against the temple where God is. And Satan will make it seem good until the trouble comes. I hope that helps and return to God.

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Along with what others have said (with which I agree) ...an eating disorder is a pretty serious issue and your wife needs your help, love, understanding, prayers, and support. It is almost always a sign of severe sexual abuse/trauma and/or other forms of trauma. (This may also be why there is no desire for intimacy.) I'm sure she didn't decide to have these issues to hurt you. There is something going on inside her that needs healing. Wait it out through her process. Love her. Hold her...care for her. She needs you.

I went through this as well. I experienced severe abuse/trauma from birth up ....eating disorders were a struggle for me throughout my teens and then again in my 30's when more severe trauma memories were surfacing. I didn't choose it. I just had an extreme aversion to food (especially meat) ...and there was intense pain buried inside over the fact that I lived/survived and others (children) didn't. (I experienced satanic ritual abuse from birth.)  I had no idea that pain and guilt was buried inside and would manifest in that way. 

All that to say ...I needed my husband's love, understanding, prayer, support. He wasn't there for me like he should have been. But I didn't seek another. He did. (And we are both believers.)  It caused my pain to be even worse. 

Stand up!! Humble yourself before God and repent. Be the man God called you to be. Turn your eyes from this other woman and onto God and seek Him as to how to LOVE your wife as Christ loved the Church AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR HER.

Praying for you and for your wife....God only knows what hell she has been through.

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It's okay to feel sad and to grieve. God understands. If you need to be comforted and held... seek a godly father figure who can pray and talk with you and give a firm fatherly hug if need be. But you are wrong in your belief that God sent this other woman. God would never advocate His children to engage in adultery. NEVER. You have lost your focus on Jesus. Your spirit should be grieved and repentent and yet you are seeking affirmation. You are in a dangerous place. 

Also, if you truly care about the other woman....encourage her to seek help from an older godly woman, rather than indulging in sin with her. Repent... cut off the relationship and seek God.

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You can cut the ties in certain ways...meaning, do not purposefully be alone with her, and DO NOT discuss your or her marriage issues with one another, nor engage in physical touch of ANY kind. 

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Bottom line is...adultery is a sin and God will not bless it. If your wife is not committing adultery/having an affair, it's rough for you but it still is not Biblical grounds for divorce or license by God to have an affair. 

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If your wife is a believer, encourage her to seek help and support from others who have walked through the same things and overcame. I would be willing to talk to her (through this site). She may believe that you are the problem/cause of her ED ...but it may very well go much deeper and she may not even be aware of it. 

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Do you regularly attend church? You're right that you need other people to comfort you in this time, but it should be other believers who are male, not a woman who is not your wife. I encourage you to get connected to a church and a group of believers who you can talk to and be comforted and strengthened by!

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Your last (edit) paragraph is where you need to be.... walk this out with God as your focus and do it wholeheartedly before God. Even if you and your wife do not come back together, unless she has committed adultery, there is no Biblical grounds for divorce. Now, she could divorce you because of your adultery. I could divorce my husband because of his. But I didn't ...but we have been separated for 6 yrs. I still honor my marriage vows ...I pray for him (and he did repent, only after I caught him) ...I believe he needs my help, prayers, and support as much as I need/ed his. At this point, I have learned I can and must walk through things alone (without my husband's support) because he is not spiritually and emotionally in the place where he can be there for me. My husband also has a very difficult past. We are not legally separated, only by mutual consent due to the issues at hand. We still have contact and even still pray together. He needs me as much as I need him... I choose to be the helpmeet God called me to be rather than take the easy way out. It isn't easy. You can do this...and God will bless you through it in ways that far far exceed the temporal physical comfort of another woman. 

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