Most men, my ex-husband included, would think what has been done to me and our children is the worst kind of injustice. An atrocity. Many men would want to “take my ex to the woodshed” to teach him a lesson, my own brother is numbered among these men. He often wanted to “teach my ex a lesson he would never forget.” Later on, I learned my brother is also an addict with a similar problem of his own. The funny thing is my ex and my brother loath each other for the same sins they clearly see in each other, but not in themselves. They are just alike, but they refuse to see it. Each pointing a finger at the other one, trying to convince me that “his problem is worse.”
I know my ex has made the same observations in others because, while he was serving as a Bishop, he came across many situations like ours. He would shake his head in disbelief and wonder what could make a man stoop so low. He could not understand how a man could betray his wife and children, and break his covenants like that, and worse, why he would refuse to repair the damage and restore his family after the devasation he caused. He would say that, “being a man required him to at least repair what he had broken.”
Over the years we had various, gut wrenching, discussions over how this friends or that family member could leave the church, destroy their family, and turn their backs on everything they knew to be true. We hugged each other and thanked the Lord that we had one of those kinds of marriages that would not become a sad statistic. Until, one of us let his guard down…
Now he knows, with-not-so-perfect clarity, or so it seems, just how easily it could happen to him, because he was not diligent and careful in keeping his covenants. He knows exactly how his pride could make him forsake everything he ever held dear and walk away from his wife, children, and grandchildren, without even so much as a backwards glance, into the arms of another woman. All the while, blaming me for the choices that led him there.
Even over the course of the final year of trying to save our marriage, I would be shocked and dismayed at my husband’s hypocrisy. How he said he would do “anything” to save our family. “Anything” did not include, to stop cheating. It is so easy to see the hypocrisy in another, and so very difficult to see it in yourself. King David had this eye-opening experience about his own hypocricy, when the Prophet Nathan paid him a, much needed, visit:
“And the Lord sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.
The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds:
But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.
And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.
And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die:
And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.
And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;
And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.
Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.
Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.
Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.
For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.”
It is so easy to see your own sins in another and to be outraged by it! So much more difficult to recognize the same thing in yourself. I often wonder if my ex-husband ever sees his own hypocrisy? Does he ever notice that the thing he pitied and condemned in others, is now his own chosen road? Where is his Nathan to set him straight? Who is there to tell him, “Thou art the man!” Does he even realize that he has become “that man?” If so, will he ever do anything to fix it? He is the only one who could answer that, and unforetunetly, he isn’t doing anything so far.
Stay Sweet, Be Strong!
The Cupcake Warrior