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Question
Posted by: Concerned | 2005/07/04

Sister's pain for having sinned

I'm so worried about my sister and need urgent advice. She was married with 2 children, but fell in love with a colleague (12 years ago). Both her and the colleague got divorced and they've been married for about 10 years now. We as her family gave her such a hard time in the beginning - even now sometimes - but I never realized what pain she was going through. Sadly we called her all sorts of names, she lost all her friends and doesn't seem to trust any member of her family. Her husband is good to her, and they seem to have a strong relationship, but she somehow cannot forgive herself for having had an affair. Last night she told me that she recently went to see her husband's ex to ask for forgiveness, which this lady willingly gave (she's happily married again), she's done the same with her ex who's also married again, she says she constantly prays and asks for forigiveness. She somehow seems unable to forgive herself, and her husband says she is crying all the time. She's given up on herself, doesn't do her hair, no makeup, sleeps a lot. Please advice on how to help her, my heart is breaking for her and all the hurtful and judgmental things we've all said about her. What must I do, I fear that she's considering suicide?

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Our expert says:
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Sounds like she needs counselling --- what she did was nowhere near as wrong as what many others do, and the situation seems to have ended with everyone involved being happily married, and everyone has forgiven her but herself ! She may well have become Depressed, as the symptoms sound like that --- and dwelling excessively on feeling guilty inappropriately is also a typical symptom of Depression. Do all you can to persuade her to see a psychiatrist or at least a GP as soon as possible, for a proper assessment and to be able to start treatment.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: SR | 2005/07/04

Learning to forgive and love yourself again is the hardest hurdle .... it's clear for everyone but yourself to see

Reply to SR
Posted by: Male23 | 2005/07/04

God removes our sin from us. "It is possible for the Lord to look at us without seeing our sins because when he forgave us, he removed our sins as far as the east is from the west" (Psalm 103:12)

We can forgive ourselves. When we are forgiven, we can forgive ourselves and go on with our lives.

"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13,14)

Reply to Male23
Posted by: Buzz | 2005/07/04

Concerned, people sin all the time, and often hurt others in the process. Unfortunately society is very unforgiving when it comes to affairs. So many years after she's "sinned", you and your family still call her names! Who are you to throw stones, are you without sin?

Your sister was wrong, but is obviously battling to cope with feelings of guilt, and you and your family haven't really made it any better by your "withdrawal" of love, and now she needs it, you're happy to "give" your love again. She needs counselling and I would suggest you get her husband involved to get her to one, since she cannot trust you guys! Good luck.

Reply to Buzz
Posted by: Joanne E | 2005/07/04

Yes she WAS wrong. But it sounds like she might need counselling to get rid of this guilt, I've learned the hard way the difference between conviction for my sins and guilt for my sins.

If you think she is suicidal I think legally you can request medical assistance on her behalf but I am open to correction there.

Reply to Joanne E
Posted by: Concerned | 2005/07/04

After telling the rest of my family what a state she's in, they all seem to have had a change of heart towards her. All of us want to help, but she doesn't trust us anymore. You're right, all of us judged her so quickly, and if I look at her life, I feel almost ashamed of myself, because she's really grown in this time, giving a lot of time to an Aids charity nearby, she's a dedicated wife to her husband, wonderful mom, but this crying and sleeping is worrying. In hindsight, we all knew she was very unhappily married to her first husband, she was emotionally abused by him, but we as her family feel that she was wrong in having an affair. She fell in love with her colleague (now husband) and immediately told her then husband, she never lied about it, and her ex told us (her family) that he knows she never slept with this colleague while they were still married. I'm not making excuses for us calling her a wh*re for many years, but she was wrong.

Reply to Concerned
Posted by: Joanne E | 2005/07/04

Do you think the rest of your family would also support her or would they throw her past in her face? Sometimes I wish peopple could see into the future for the words we speak - they might not have an effect immediately but often they come back to haunt.

Reply to Joanne E

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