The day I learned my marriage mentor cheated
Mar 19, 2021 1:16 am
[ Read Time: 4 min, 50 secs ]
Back on July 15, 2000, Cetelia and tied the knot.
(She looked exquisite that day ... and still does!)
Three weeks later, we started a year-long mentoring relationship with a couple from our church named Steve and Laura (names changed).
I had known them for almost 15 years, and they had proven themselves to be pillars of godliness, wisdom, and virtue.
So then ...
Why did Steve fall for a young wife Laura was mentoring? Why did Steve sleep with her? Why did Steve have no problems leaving Laura when the other woman got pregnant? Why did Steve call me three years ago and ask me if I would officiate his wedding to the other woman?
I was particularly close to Steve.
In some respects, I was closer to Steve than I was my own dad.
Steve was the first adult I knew when my family joined our new church. He really helped me get through some rocky adolescent teen years.
He taught me a ton about Christ, and really grounded me in the faith.
I admired him a lot, and was grateful he was in my life.
Fast forward 13 years.
I felt good about Cetelia and me going to Steve and Laura for post-marital coaching because they had a steady, long marriage (20+ years), had raised two great kids, and were solid people.
Cetelia didn't know them as well as I did, but she felt good about the decision.
The 12 months were amazing.
We were at their house once or twice a month, and got into the weeds on many issues. I sincerely believe Steve and Laura deserve a lot of credit for Cetelia and me having a solid marriage -- especially through the early years.
Steve and Laura didn't just mentor Cetelia and me. They were "those" marriage mentors. Couples flocked to them.
There was one couple that got married after Cetelia and me, Louis and Beth (names changed).
They spent a LOT of time at Steve and Laura's house. It was almost like they were a second son and daughter.
I never suspected anything.
I spoke to Laura some years ago, and she told me she didn't expect anything.
Neither did Louis, Beth's husband.
Slowly, however, things began to change.
The couple visits turned into one-on-one visits, and those eventually became more and more questionable, then inappropriate, then adulterous.
The result was Beth's second child, this one fathered by Steve.
From what Laura told me, she was willing to forgive and reconcile, as painful as that would have been.
However, Steve was ready to move on.
Steve left Laura, and Beth left Louis.
They started building a new life together with their newborn son.
I was shocked when Steve called me out of the blue three years ago and asked me if I'd preside over this wedding.
I didn't want to do it because it just didn't feel right.
Forget "feel" right. It would not have been right.
I didn't do it, and I haven't spoken to Steve since.
It's just to awkward talking to the guy who taught me about marriage, then left his wife for another woman.
I don't tell you this to bash nor judge Steve. He's faced enough backlash over the years from others, and God is his judge.
So why am I writing this?
To warn you.
You are just as susceptible to drifting into an affair. Yes, you.
And to level the playing field, let me say that I am just as susceptible to drifting into an affair.
I used to think it was anti-Christian to make such a statement. Now, however, I realize it's totally Christian to make that statement.
It shows my frailty. It shows my humanity. It shows my fallacy. It shows my deceitful heart. It shows my need for discipline and accountability.
More than anything, it shows my need for a Savior.
Steve's story illustrates that good, Christian people have weak spots.
Steve's story illustrates that Satan is after you and your marriage, no matter how good it is.
I want you to recognize that a "good marriage" does not serve as a guarantee against adultery.
Be on your guard. Be accountable. Be wise. Be humble. Be holy. Be responsible. Be disciplined. Be like Paul.
You know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize. So run to win! All those who compete in the games use self-control so they can win a crown. That crown is an earthly thing that lasts only a short time, but our crown will never be destroyed. So I do not run without a goal. I fight like a boxer who is hitting something—not just the air. I treat my body hard and make it my slave so that I myself will not be disqualified after I have preached to others.
If you don't have anyone to hold you accountable, reach out to me. I'll help you.
Let's support each other so we don't end up creating more broken marriages.
Good marriages break.
But they don't have to.