Never stop…

As you walk through the days after the confession of an affair do not forget this truth. Say it 100 times each day if need be. When the enemy attacks, and he will then say this. Say it out loud if you have to. In those moments when you want to run away read this aloud to your self. Let this be your very breath in each moment. Each line of this is stated in the Bible many times. Let this truth and the person of Jesus Christ that is behind it truly be your strength today!

You are more loved than you can imagine. You don’t feel it right now but let the Lord come in and show His amazing love to you.

If you are recovering from an affair in your marriage and would like us to be praying for you please send us a message or leave a comment. We would be honored to fight this spiritual battle with you!

The first year of firsts…

I have read that it takes at least a year to heal from the betrayal of an affair.  If the affair lasted longer than a year, it may take longer, and also depending on if the betrayer was caught or confessed to the affair, the timeline may look different as well.  During the first year, events and dates will trigger more pain. Be aware that this pain is normal and part of the process. Don’t stuff your emotions down, but be willing to honestly share your pain.

I am very time oriented person, so this has made the first nine and a half months of healing very difficult.  I look back at events we were at together and wonder what was he thinking, how was he just going through the motions with his family.  It makes sense why he wasn’t very engaged at this event or why he was so protective of his phone.  It hurts.  I see pictures from the year during the affair and wonder if he was thinking about someone else or waiting for a text from them.  It makes me sad. I remember things I went to alone when he was out of town, feeling stressed and overwhelmed with all of the children, and I wonder if these were times when he was seeing “her.” It would bring up anger and pain from feeling alone and abandoned.  Then I remember God loves me unconditionally, that I am blessed, I am victorious, I am never forsaken and I am a Masterpiece!

Please don’t look back at phone records during the affair times. I did this, and it caused even more pain during those “special” times of the year like, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Fourth of July, anniversaries and birthdays.  I would see texts on OUR days, and be crushed all over again.  I would have to give my heart back to God again and again and ask Him to start the process.  So I beg of you, please don’t do this, and if you have already, don’t keep looking back. Ask your phone company to get rid of them if you need to. It just brings back the pain that you are trying to work through, and Satan will use this to tell you lies again.

You will have difficult emotions come up, it is normal to feel pain, but how you choose to respond to that pain will determine how your healing will occur.  Do you hold onto the painful moments and later throw them at your spouse as retaliation? Or do you take the thoughts to the Lord and ask Him to give you new grace and mercy? Sometimes you’ll need to talk through those moments with your spouse, but sometimes you just need to talk to the Lord about the hurt you are feeling.

We just celebrated our anniversary this weekend, it was a great time being together and celebrating the healing that has occurred.  We focused on the great memories we have had together and made new special ones.  We went to a bed and breakfast, that I hope will become an annual visit some time each year.  It was relaxing and wonderful because we have allowed God to work on our hearts.  Our healing is still a work in progress, and our marriage will never be perfect, but by God’s grace we will continue to make progress.

I cannot say this enough, but if both of you are willing to work towards the healing process and do whatever it takes to repair your marriage, the healing will come.  It will take different lengths of time for each individual, but don’t give up on the process, it is a journey. For some it may take a year, others two, or maybe five, still for others it may take a lifetime of earning that trust back, but if you are committed to your spouse then you should be willing to keep going ’till death do you part.

Psalms

Where do you turn when you feel scared and alone? Unfortunately, I would often turn to my husband first before God when I was scared or felt alone. (Another post in the future) But when you are so mad at your husband, where do you go? Thankfully, I turned to God and the Bible.  Some people in my life that knew what happened cautioned me about seeking comfort in other male friends.  There are many people who will have an affair after their spouse confesses because they think it will make them feel better. Some people turn to alcohol, drugs or food for comfort, which will all end up disappointing and leave you with a whole other set of problems.  The best place to turn is to God for comfort. I know it is easier said than done when you are mad that God allowed this sin?  

I remembered David’s situation and knew the Psalms fairly well, so that is where I turned. I immersed myself into the book of Psalms. I read at least a chapter a day, and I read it over and over throughout the day. Whenever a bad thought or image came to my mind I would read it. I wasn’t always perfect at this, sometimes I would believe the lies of the devil and that would take me to a very bad place. Those hard places were always difficult to get out of. I prayed and read verses in Psalms that I had written down on index cards or stored in my phone. This would go on and on, until I released the lies and hurt and found comfort in the Lord.

There are too many verses to list that encouraged me and brought me up out of the pit, but I want to give you some of my favorites and hopefully they will encourage you as well. Psalms 9:9, 56:11, 55:22, 119:71, 30:2, 31:24, 16:8, 100:5, 103:2-4, 46:10, 106:1, 107:19-21, 46:1-3, 118:14-16, 119:114-115, 119:25, 119:28, 119:50, 120:1, 3:2-6, 22:19, 28:7-8, 147:3.

God, used these words to bring me to a place of smiling, laughter and enjoying a few days in a row. That increased my hope in the restoration of our marriage.  The visions and images still came, but having somewhere to turn helped them to go away quicker. I prayed and read Psalms for months to combat the enemy throwing things in my face. It has been almost eight months since the confession, and random things will trigger thoughts and I go to Psalms. I have actually had a rough few days and haven’t been able to sleep, Satan has just been throwing arrows of doubt all over the place.

Satan wants to steal, kill and destroy. He wants you to quit because it is too hard. He wants your family torn apart with a divorce, but you have to decide that your marriage IS worth fighting for and fight for it. Trust me, it will be a battle for your mind and your spouses mind. Satan loves when people give up the fight. So often couples just quit when an affair enters the situation believing it is the un-healable pain. The world says divorce, find someone who won’t cheat, and unfortunately so many people in the church divorce after an affair because the Bible permits it for this one reason, or they give up the fight because it is too hard. Make the choice that you and your spouse won’t be another marriage casualty.

Whenever a negative thought or vision comes to your mind, I challenge you to take it to God and immerse yourself in the book of Psalms.  You will find comfort, strength and HOPE!

“When doubts filled my mind, Your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” Psalm 94:19

“Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in you.” Psalm 56:3

“We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.” Psalm 33:20-21

A Girl’s Dream

Most little girls dream about getting married someday and how wonderful life will be. I also dreamed of getting married, but around the age of twelve I started dreaming specifically about a Christian husband. Because I had never had a Christian dad who talked about Jesus or the Bible, I wanted that for my family. I wanted to marry someone who would pray with me and our kids. I wanted someone that loved talking about things that were good and positive, someone that encouraged me with my walk with God. I wanted someone to love me unconditionally, and faithfully. I wanted to marry someone who truly loved Jesus and was trying to live for Him each day.

I married that person. From the beginning we both unknowingly bought each other a Bible as a wedding gift. I wanted that to be central to our marriage and he did too. We prayed together and walked with God.  We were not perfect at it, but we were both trying to love God first and love each other next. We said divorce was not an option we would always work through it.

Flash forward about seventeen years when my dream was crushed. How could this happen? My husband walked away from God and me. I kept asking him if he secretly hated me. I would say over and over, why did you do this to us? I was so hurt and broken inside because I thought I just wasn’t good enough for him. I thought he really didn’t like me and wanted to get away from me. I thought I wasn’t beautiful to him anymore.  I think I even said that I cannot compare to the things these women do in pornography, and I would not want to, so if that’s what you want…I am not that.  I took the affairs so personally. I was so confused because we had a great marriage, not perfect, but great. I was totally blind-sided that he would actually break our marriage vows and actually have sex with other women. I couldn’t get over the fact that my ideal marriage was crushed. If we made it to our 50th anniversary, we wouldn’t be able to say we were always committed to one another, I was so broken and damaged.  He said it was not because of me, or our marriage, it was his fault.  He wasn’t dealing with hurts and disappointments in life properly and was trying to escape and make himself feel better. It was all so self-centered, I was so shocked. How did he get this far from God.  I couldn’t trust him now and that felt so horrible. How can you be in a relationship and not trust? I had no idea, so I had to trust Jesus and His promises for me.

I realized months later that the reason I was taking it so personally was because I had elevated our marriage up on a pedestal. People constantly told us that they looked up to our marriage, so it was built up even more. I was finding my significance in a great marriage. I found significance in being married to a Christian guy who was seeking the Lord.  So when all of the sin was unleashed it was broken, I felt completely frazzled and lost. I blamed myself. The wounds were deep and painful. Then the words of Psalms and the counselor’s words began to settle in my mind. I started hearing God’s voice louder than Satan’s lies.  When you feel like you are not good enough and Satan tells you that your husband wants someone else, go to your Father and be still. Listen to how much He loves you and that is all that matters. You need to heal and the only person that can do that is Jesus. I realized that I needed to love God with all of my heart, mind, soul and strength before I could heal and forgive completely. I needed to believe the Bible and to continue filling my mind with truth.  I needed to believe that I was the daughter of a King!

I am beautiful.

I am victorious.

I am chosen.

I am accepted just as I am.

I am blessed everyday I rise.

I am loved unconditionally.

I am the apple of my Father’s eye.

I am never forsaken.

I am not average. I am not ordinary.

I AM A MASTERPIECE!

…and you are too!

 

 

 

 

With God All Things Are Possible

One thing that really shook me and made me question if I could stay, and make this marriage work was on the night of the confession. We had been talking and crying, and all of our kids were at church except our oldest. The month of the confession was in November, and it was two days after my dad had been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor two years prior, so for me crying this much in November wouldn’t seem strange. Our daughter did come in and ask if I was okay, I think I lied and said I was sad about my dad dying, and her daddy and I were just having a rough time right now.

So we were talking and he said he had one more trip scheduled for work (he traveled- opportunity, access & time for affairs) at the end of the week. I think I said, what?! Then I ran out of the room, down the stairs and out onto the sidewalk. It was cold, about thirty-five degrees and I had no socks or shoes on and no coat.  I sat outside for an hour weeping and heartbroken. I don’t even remember feeling cold at the time because I was in such shock, I felt numb. He just confessed to having affairs in other states and he said he has a trip scheduled this week!!! I sat there thinking through how the kids and I were going to go to my parent’s house until he moved everything out. I thought through my job situation and how to tell my boss. For those two minutes I thought we are going to end up getting divorced.  I was even in disbelief that I was thinking this way.  I was so confused and hurt, that my mind was all over the place.  Then I just started asking God for help, saying I can’t do this, I can’t do this. I need You,  I don’t know what to do, help me. Then I felt a strange calmness that told me I needed to try to reconcile with my husband and pursue restoration. The night continued to be painful, but I knew I was supposed to endure the pain for God’s glory someday.

God gave me the verse in Matthew 19:26, “With God All Things Are Possible.” I just started saying it to myself all the time whenever the pain would increase and a terrible thought came to mind.  Throughout the weeks talking to my husband, I would just say over and over seventeen years of marriage…you want to waste all of that for some strange women on the internet. Seventeen good years of marriage and four amazing kids for living a life of sin, really? Then I started saying that God was going to heal us because with God all things are possible. I would ask him if he believed it and I would even ask myself sometimes when I felt like things were going backwards. But God was so faithful in continuing to give us both the desire to make it work despite the many nights of crying and hurt.  Ultimately, deep down we both wanted to see God heal and restore our marriage, that was an answer to prayer because in the first few days he just kept saying he didn’t know what he wanted to do.

Some nights were so horrific when I would ask a question and hear such a painful response. I couldn’t bear how hurt I felt inside. I literally felt crushed under the reality that my husband had done this. I felt like an elephant was laying on my chest and I couldn’t breath.  Everything had been taken away from me. The life I knew was gone.  My wedding vows were broken.  My heart had been ripped out and thrown out the window on the way to a hotel, then picked up, stomped on and driven home like nothing happened.  I felt like I wasn’t going to survive,  I wanted to hear all of the details at once instead of a little bit more here and there, but knowing so much was unbearable. I couldn’t understand how he got to such a terrible place of sin.  I couldn’t comprehend what he had done to our family and life.  It was devastating.  

But then God became my breath and my life a little more each day.

I had to go to His word all day and night, I was reading and praying to God like breathing. I had to do it to survive this incomprehensible situation. There were so many times that I would just hear God saying, “With Me anything is possible, just believe.” I could not trust my husband anymore, but I could trust God. So little by little, hour by hour, God began to heal my soul for His glory.

So today, I am still walking this journey after 32 weeks, which is 259 days.  God has sustained me and walked with me the entire way, and thankfully after my husband came out of his fog and entanglement of sin, he joined me on the journey.  Some days are still rough at times, but I know that with God all things are possible, and that is how I survive those terrible moments.  If you are struggling now because it seems impossible, please start reciting this verse and ask your husband too as well. God is so good and faithful. He wants to fight for you, you just need to be still in His loving arms.

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37

 

The first date…after

After my husband confessed on Sunday, I took the week off of work because I was in shock and broken inside. Surprisingly, my husband and I ended up spending a lot of time together those first few days. We met with our pastor and his wife, but we also went to breakfast, took a hike and saw a movie. We cried a lot, talked a ton and spent time alone with God as well. During our hike, I let out a lot of anger. I expressed that I felt like I wanted to kill those women. He said then you’d have to kill me too because I did it too. It was so hard feeling that much anger towards him and others because I’ve never had those kinds of feeling before, it scared me. He actually let me say whatever came to my mind and told me it was okay. He continued to say sorry throughout those days, which is always good.  The weekend came and he asked me if I wanted to go on a date, and I said yes.

The whole process before the date was so upsetting and stressful because I had Satan telling me that “he doesn’t even want to be with you, he’s thinking about the other woman”.  I had to combat those lies with truth just to be able to go on the date. I had been nauseous every day since the confession and I still felt sick.  So we went to dinner, and it was awkward, I think I heard crickets a few times!  I had actually looked up questions to ask on a first date on Pinterest because it literally felt like I was going out with a stranger.  I didn’t know what had happened to my husband, and I was very scared.  This was going to be harder than I thought.  So I did actually use those question to get us talking some. There were still moments of awkwardness, but we survived dinner. After, he had asked me if I wanted to go get some things at a craft store and make something together. He knows I like to do this, so that was thoughtful, and we were off to the store. We walked around the store and I still felt nauseous. I not only felt like I was with a stranger, but I felt like I wouldn’t be with this type of stranger. The pain and hurt that he put upon me for self-centered pleasure was so hard for me to understand.  It was so hard! Can I say that again? It was so hard! I didn’t understand how my best friend could do this to me. He kept suggesting things to make and I knew inside I couldn’t make a craft with him at this point.   Finally, I said I don’t feel like making anything tonight, let’s just go home and watch a movie. The car ride home was quiet and painful. I was praying the whole time, God please help us. I know you want to see marriages restored, God please.  We watched “Christmas with the Kranks” something light-hearted and funny, then the night actually ended okay. Praise the Lord we survived our first date!

So please don’t throw in the towel because the restoration process is hard.  I am telling you it will be! If you have kids, it will be even harder.  Because we wanted to protect our young kids from knowing anything, we could really only “talk” when they were in bed. This can be difficult if one of you isn’t a night person and gets tired, because emotions are less controllable when you’re tired.   It will be hard for days and days in row, but you know what? If you stick with it you will start to see little miracles here and there. You will start to see God putting your heart back together little by little. The other cool thing is that you will start to see your dates get better and better the more you go on.

I’m glad I remember how awful that first date was eight months ago because now I can see the progress that has happened in our marriage.

Don’t give up!

The day that will live in infamy?

The day my husband confessed to the affairs changed my life forever…

It was a Sunday afternoon, I remember he seemed down so I was trying to goof around with him, and he got serious and said he needed to tell me something. As I sat and listened, I went from holding his hand to wanting to throw up. I went into shock.  I was crying, I was asking why, and I went in the bathroom and threw up. It didn’t help, I would have this nauseous feeling for the next few weeks.  I came out and I was scared, (whenever I am afraid I will trust in You).  I began to ask him some questions and as he answered, the pain increased inside my body. I literally felt like my heart fell out of my body and crashed onto the floor.  But I started praying…”God, help me. I don’t know what to do.” Then I asked him to call a couple of important men in his life because I needed help, and he did. Unfortunately, I knew a couple of friends who had gone through a similar situation in their past, and I texted them to get some prayers as well.  We met with our pastor and wife that day, and I felt a whole gamet of emotions. I would go from hurt, to sad, to angry, to scared, and even one time the Holy Spirit came upon me and I felt peace, and I actually reached out and laid my hand on my husband. It was seriously an outer body experience; I watched myself go from one side of a couch to another as my husband started crying. I was so mad at him in that moment, I couldn’t have done that, it was the Holy Spirit in me. Despite the enormous and horrific pain, God was working inside of me. 
When your spouse confesses to having an affair, you need to ask for help immediately. Even pausing in the bathroom between throwing up and crying, stop and ask Your Daddy, Jesus to help. He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds. Then you need to ask for some godly help through pastors, mentors and friends that you trust to walk through this moment with you. Don’t wait until the next day to call, call immediately.  I cannot imagine how the first week would have played out if I had waited. Get another couple involved, a husband and wife, that you can both talk to at the same time. You cannot do this on your own.

So the title, “The day that will live in infamy” ends in a question mark for a reason. The word infamy means being well known for something bad, but I often question myself as to if the day should be remembered for something bad or something very, very good. The day of confession…the Holy Spirit bringing him to the point where he confessed. God had planned for this particular day to be when his redemption began.  So even though my heart was broken on this day, my husband returned to God.  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9  Because Christ has forgiven me through His death on the cross, I will forgive even the unthinkable.

Remember to ask for help immediately!