By Dr. Kim Logan-Nowlin & Arthur E. Nowlin, LMSW, CAADC
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This article was written by Dr. Kim and Arthur Nowlin for Message Magazine : Drama Files
Social Media Exposed Him But
The Other Woman Took Him Down
Timothy and Joan* originally came to counseling regarding Timothy’s infidelity. Her eldest daughter saw pictures of her father with another woman on a friend’s social media page and immediately sent the photos to Joan. Later that day the youngest daughter used Joan’s phone and saw the photos, then the middle daughter also received the photos from her sister. They went down like dominos. Everyone was devastated.
Timothy and Joan had a very complicated history. He had been there since she was young because her parents and grand parents were users and distributors of drugs. When they were sentenced to prison, Timothy cared for Joan. Later he served prison time as a young adult and because when she was 16, she had a child with him, Joan stayed in touch during his incarceration. By the time Timothy got out, Joan had been married, divorced and had another child with her first husband. They reconnected and they were married soon after.
Though she felt hurt, Joan realized she had to confront Timothy. She would give him one more chance to confess his infidelity and to stop lying to her.
“Why do you keep asking me this? I told you I have never cheated on you,” he insisted. “I love you and my girls.” Joan took out her phone and showed him the pictures. Timothy just hung his head and cried.
“I’m glad it’s all out in the open,” Timothy said. He told her he met the woman at work and that they were involved for four years.
“Remember these words,” Joan said. “This woman you have allowed into our lives is going to someday destroy our lives.”
Repair WorkArthur and I worked with the couple through the shame, guilt, lies, betrayal, vows and broken trust in counseling sessions. Regardless of what Timothy did to his family, Joan and their girls attended counseling to work through the question of why this happened. They hoped they could someday learn to forgive Timothy.
Though this was a very difficult transition, their desire to remain a family gave us a starting point for their counseling. After a year of intense counseling the family was restored and finally at a stable place in their lives. They returned to weekly attendance at church and praying without ceasing. Timothy followed the counseling recommendations to call and check in with his wife and to be more accountable to their daughters. He attended weekly counseling sessions and maintained healthy boundaries so that Joan could feel secure again. Arthur and I praised God for their success.
One day Timothy and Joan were in the office seeing Arthur. When I finished with another couple I went in to say hello. They both looked so awful. They were crying and could barely speak. Timothy had been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for auto theft. The FBI had received an anonymous phone tip from a woman who accused him of stealing and selling auto parts from his job. Investigators caught him in the act of selling the stolen parts through a sting operation. He is now in prison serving time for this crime.
Joan remembered her words about the woman who would destroy their family. “Yes, I remember,” Timothy acknowledged. Although no actual proof existed that this “other woman” made the anonymous call, she was the only one who knew about the thefts. In order to maintain two homes and keep both his wife and his girlfriend happy with gifts, trips and money, Timothy resorted to auto theft for the extra “income.”
Joan still trusted God even after all Timothy had put her and the family through. She held tight to God’s promise and trusted His word. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).
Today, Joan and the girls visit Timothy every month and look forward to his release. Timothy has accepted full responsibility for all his negative choices and the impact they have had upon his family.
Joan and Timothy have been through a lot together and they have always been devoted to one other. However, Timothy took that for granted, and Joan realized she had made Timothy her god.
God had to open Joan’s eyes to understand that her first love must be Him. She has learned to put her faith in God and to lean not to her own understanding. In all her ways she has acknowledged God and asked Him to direct her path. Timothy has also developed a closer walk with God. He also stated that obedience is far greater than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22).
We are still committed to support this family during and after Timothy’s release.
*The names have been changed to protect the innocent.