I wonder too if Anna didn’t think that everything could be overcome with forgiveness and prayer.
I mean, in her perspective:
1. She knew about Josh’s behavior as a teen. Maybe they weren’t forthright. Maybe she had infatuation-glasses. But she knew. And married him anyway. So I don’t think that becoming public would change a whole lot for her. Maybe make her stand by her man all the more.
2. Ashley Madison - it was never clear to me whether Josh physically cheated or was solely addicted to porn. I mean wasn’t the thing with AM that most of the people on there were males? Also, his initial confession (IIRC) listed cheating on her with porn. This totally makes sense in fundie/Christian conservative circles. Porn IS being unfaithful. But even if he had physically cheated, IBLP or any sort of fundie teaching does not have a context for sexual addiction. I also lean toward this interpretation because sexual unfaithfulness is the only thing biblical literalists would accept as a reason for divorce. I do think that if he had actual affairs she might have left him.
All that to say, outside of fundieland it seems crazy to stay with him. Inside, though, she could think of everything as overcomable. Not to mention that to leave would bring all her identity- wife, mom of many, etc. crashing down. If that is truly what you thought you wanted, it would be hard to leave that. Especially raised in a cult where all you know is deny-yourself. She might not even know her true desires and dreams. How terrifying for her to live without that.
I’m not giving her a pass, but I do see how she could stay and actually be happy with it. A “redemption” story still gives her all those dreams.