I wrote last week concerning my marriage relationship. I've just found something out that disturbs me greatly. I overheard my wife talking to a friend about being convinced that I have had a sexual relationship with the woman that I had an emotional relationship with. This could not be further from the truth. This never happened, but I have no way to prove it. What's really disturbing also is the fact that her friends who are "Christians," not members of the Church, are telling her that there's no way that I haven't "done it". They don't even know me. This is the reason that she does not want to work on the relationship, even though she says that she is.
Now, one more problem, I overheard this in passing and was not intentionally listening to her conversation. But if I tell her what I heard she will accuse me of spying and tell me that I ruined it again. At this point, she is in full control of what I do and say.
Should I go to the elders regarding this? This is what she said, "I need the proof for my own peace of mind. I can't be okay with re-marrying (if I chose to someday) if there is any shred of doubt in my mind that there was no adultery. I'm mighty sure it has happened, it would just be better if I could get a confession or some other kind of proof. The situation as it is right now is stable. We are taking care of business and I'm enjoying friends and pretty much every other aspect of my life. He's the one who is miserable. If we could both just agree to be roommates, and he would leave me alone about working on the relationship, I would be fine."
Is this the right attitude to have as a Christian? The things that she found were old, dating back to when all this was going on. Since then, I have been doing everything I can do to repair things. I sometimes wish that there were more detailed instructions on what to do in these types of situations in the Bible. When I bring up any Scripture she says that I am throwing it in her face when it is convenient for me or that God didn't say that a wife had to act like that if her husband did what I did. I am at a loss. I appreciate any help you can offer.
Sadly, there is no magic method to undo the damage caused by sin. God did give instruction, but the fact is that you did the very thing God warned you not to do. Now you have a pile of broken pieces and are frustrated that it won't go back together like it used to be.
Trust is easily broken, but difficult to repair. It takes time for others to see consistent, steadfast behavior. What you need to do is consider the source of your wife's "advice." I'm sure these are women who haven't been able to keep their own marriages together, so they think that everyone else has the same problems in her own marriage. You don't have to prove your steadfastness to them. You have to demonstrate it to your wife.
But at the same time, you told your wife that nothing sexual happened. She doesn't believe you and you are right -- you can't prove your honesty. So stop trying to do the impossible. If she asks, state what happened clearly and drop the matter, but don't think you haven't made your case until she accepts your word. Because, as you well know, your wife is dealing with her own temptations and sins.
She is tempted to leave the marriage because you opened the door. But she knows she can't remarry for the reason she wants to leave. Satan has her on the hook and that's why she hasn't forgiven you (other than in mere words) and why she is denying you sex. You can't force the issue because it is her's to struggle with. All you can do is support her through this difficult hour. "And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will" (II Timothy 2:24-26). You'll do more by the way you behave than by what you could ever say.
She knows she is in the wrong. That is why she doesn't want to be reminded of it and makes excuses to twist the application away from her. I don't know when she will decide to leave or decide to forgive you. It might take years. It might take the rest of your married life. What you have to resolve is to continue to show yourself to be steadfast in God's truth.
Look at it this way. If she divorces you over this, it would not be for fornication, thus both of you would have no right to remarry. "But to the married I command--not I, but the Lord--that the wife not leave her husband (but if she departs, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband not leave his wife" (I Corinthians 7:10-11). In such a case you will be without sexual relations anyway -- which is no different than what you have right now. But at least now she is where you can express your love and affection for her and you can daily work on your relationship. Take what you can get at the moment and be patient in winning her back.
Sometimes people resist simply because another person is pushing. It has nothing to do with whether it is a push in the right direction or not. Thus, by removing the pressure, the person doesn't know what to do, but he does have time to think. Surprisingly, most gladly return when they know it is by their own choice which they weren't pressured into making.