Yet here was Angela about to end it all, with no apparent cause.I hypothesized to myself that their resolution of the event five years ago left something to be desired, that there still were major factors left unresolved between them.But the best part is that they know for certain that they have forgiven one another.As a result, they know that their relationship is growing closer as time goes by, not more distant. Their communication and sex lives were practically nil, and Stuart was worried. After much discussion about various factors in their relationship, I began to find the clues I was looking for. She didn’t know why, and her husband, Stuart, was equally puzzled. I insisted that Stuart stay around for the first few sessions—I wanted to get an idea of their history together.
In effect, she was moving toward forgiveness right through her anger, not by going around it.Whatever personalized components there are in the message of this affair, it still boils down to a loss of intimacy before the affair occurred.Part of the lure of the affair for an unfaithful spouse was the opportunity to be himself (herself) in his own little private world that he constructed with the partner.He desperately needed that freedom to be himself and be accepted and appreciated.He didn’t feel that he had to pretend or stay within a certain mold, since it was a brand-new world with no rules except those he chose to create with the partner.Stuart, who had begun to feel like a second-class citizen in the church, could finally begin to feel better about himself, because his sin had been fully recognized by the one he had hurt—his wife.The two have a newfound respect for each other, and the children are doing a lot better, too.He dropped his illicit relationship and arranged for his secretary to be transferred to a distant office, and she resigned rather than move. Little did he know that a growing depression was engulfing his wife and beginning to affect her health.When he finally brought Angela in for help, she had very little of herself left to consider her anger at Stuart. It took some digging to link her feelings of “frustration” with the incredibly swift processing of the betrayal.Angela discovered a whole new person—her real self—to share with her husband.At the end of that long and arduous process, they were able to stand before the congregation and share their testimony of healing without shame.