Is snooping after an affair justified? Is it right? Wrong?
I was reading this post on Affair Advice “22 Months Later–A Setback” and it got me thinking about snooping and privacy in marriage. Paraphrasing the post, the author is a recovering Disloyal Spouse, and he and his Loyal Spouse have been reconciling and doing fairly well in healing their marriage. The event that precipitated this post, is that it has been 22 months since D-Day, and after a business trip, his wife went through his things looking for evidence, and she sort of freaked out because one evidence she was expecting to find was not there…and she took that to mean he had been lying. They had a set back in their recovery.
So on the one hand, Disloyal Spouses may feel like their Loyal Spouse is smothering them, giving them no privacy, and being their parent…telling them what to do, when to do it, and with whom they can do it. On the other hand, the Loyal Spouses feel like their spouses were dishonest and covered things up so they could have their affair…and their trust in their spouse’s honesty was destroyed. Now they just want to know what’s going on and be included rather than excluded.
Now I could tell you MY opinion and you know what it would be worth? A hill of beans! LOL Instead, let’s see what the Bible has to say about peeping, prying and private investigations within a marriage.
One of the first mentions of marriage and this concept of privacy is in Genesis where it says that “Adam KNEW his wife Eve” (Genesis 4: 1, 17, & 25). The Hebrew word used there is “yada” and people often associate this as “he had sex with…” but that is NOT all that “yada” means. In these three verses, Adam shared himself and his life and his affection with his wife, Eve, and from that sharing of love, a child was conceived. Yada/Knowing is sharing your thoughts and feelings so intimately with another person that your body follows along. Yada is dedicating yourself to someone so that you can engage them in love and sharing. BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! “Yada” is also used in Prov. 12:10 where it says: “The righteous know [yada] the needs of their animals, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel. ” Put simply, a wise person understands the needs of those around him/her and meets those needs (even of the ANIMALS!), but a foolish person is so self-centered they not only are they unaware of the needs of those around him/her but they are CRUEL to them!! Yada is acting in mercy to those around you and meeting THEIR NEEDS. Amazingly there is still more!! “Yada” is also used in Jeremiah 22:15-16, where it says: “But a beautiful cedar palace does not make a great king! Your father, Josiah, also had plenty to eat and drink. But he was just and right in all his dealings. That is why God blessed him. He gave justice and help to the poor and needy, and everything went well for him. Isn’t that what it means to know [yada] me?” says the Lord.” In this verse, the prophet is giving a SCATHING rebuke to a king who had been selfish, corrupt, and exploited others, and he is telling the horrible king what it is like to truly KNOW (yada) the Lord. See what it says? Yada is doing justice, showing mercy to the poor and needy, and living a life that shows good character. In other words, Yada is faithfully living our covenant relationship with the Lord in EVERY ASPECT of our lives.
So I like and echo what Warrior Princess says in her blog “After the Affair–Living Life in the Open“. Speaking as a former Disloyal Spouse, I do remember feeling like I was being watched a little–especially at first–but I also remember feeling like I earned that because I had kept so much hidden! I did long for the day that my spouse would trust my honesty again, but I knew that in order for him to have faith in my honesty, that meant I had to:
a) BE HONEST– for a long, long time! My words and my actions HAD to match, for a while! and
b) BE OPEN– I had to stop hiding when I was hurt or lonely or disappointed. I had to stop being one person with him and another person at work. I had to open up my thoughts and feelings to him and let him KNOW me. For so long I had been hiding certain aspects of what I thought or did, thinking he’d get mad or freak out, and that is actually disrespectful; it’s saying “I don’t believe you have the moral fortitude to deal with this maturely.” I had to take the risk!
But even more than that–living life in the open–look at YADA up above: “To Know.” Did you notice anything? Let me restate the bold parts: “Yada is dedicating yourself to someone so that you can engage them in love and sharing. ” ” Yada is acting in mercy to those around you and meeting THEIR NEEDS. ” and “Yada is faithfully living our covenant relationship with the Lord in EVERY ASPECT of our lives.” Did you notice that YADA “To Know” is not about YOU? When you are in a marriage, getting “To Know” your spouse is not about getting them to engage YOU in love and sharing…it is YOU taking the time and spending the energy to do that FOR THEM. When you are in a marriage, getting “To Know” your spouse is not about getting your spouse to treat you with mercy and meet your needs…it is YOU practicing mercy on a daily basis, forgiving their imperfections, and learning what their needs are and actively meeting them! When you are in a marriage, getting “To Know” your spouse is not about living your life to yourself or for yourself…it is about faithfully, day in and day out, living in a covenant relationship with GOD and expressing that covenant in everything you do in your life.
So what do you do when your spouse is peeping, prying and investigating your private life? I say let them. Let them be included in your life. Include them in your activities. Share your thoughts and feelings. KNOW them, and let them KNOW you.