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I am sorry to learn of this situation.
What is your legal question that I can assist you with today?
You can consider a defamation suit, but I would suggest speaking to a local attorney first and going over what is involved in a civil lawsuit in some more detail - just because a cause of action exists doesn't always make it a good idea to file (once you file the complaint you are "stuck to the tar baby" and it is nearly impossible to get out) - so I would highly recommend talking to a local attorney first (even if you intend to sue "pro per" (without a lawyer) - it would be worthwhile to sit down and have a case evaluation to discuss potential defenses, the length of the suit, and other issues that might come up).
Unfortunately defamation is not handled in small claims, so any suit that you would bring would require a considerable undertaking.
I am very sorry.
Filing a lawsuit against the other party is not likely to help you with this particular pain though - a civil lawsuit will drag out the pain that you have now over 2-3 years in a very public and viscous manner. The truth, if it did come to light in this process (of which you may never be certain), would come at a very high price.
There are other options for help with healing from something like this outside of litigation - such as counseling or mediation (either with your wife, the pastor, the other person, or any combination of these), or individual counseling. These may not have the satisfaction of forcing an issue, but they are generally more successful.