Sister Stories: A Secret Revealed

sistersforgindi

I think spouses betray each other all the time, she said when we talked after all these years.  Mine was obvious, of course, but husbands and wives betray each other with more than just affairs.  They do it in all sorts of ways, and she listed just a handful of ways that husbands and wives fail to live up to the promises they made on their wedding day.

This is her sister story, in her words.

Many years ago I read that people going through divorce experience stress equal to losing a loved one in death. In the years since, when I’ve heard someone was going through a divorce, I’ve been quick to offer a prayer and a word of consolation, but I could never have imagined the hurt, the destruction, nor that would I experience it firsthand.

I grew up in a Christian home.  My parents read the Bible every day and we went to church three times a week.

I went to a private, Christian college, where I met my husband.  He was raised in a similar household. Sixteen years of marriage had seen the many stresses of everyday life – births, deaths, mortgages, full-time jobs.  Though we were both believers, we did not pray or read scripture as a couple.

Christ meets us where we are in our life’s circumstance to work for our good (Romans 8:28).  The sad truth is that Satan also meets us where we are to work for our destruction.

In what I would describe as a perfect storm, I started an affair with perhaps the only that could tempt me.  Despite almost constant conviction and knowing I would never leave my husband and children, I continued the affair for 18 months.  Once it ended, I kept the secret from my husband for another 18 months.

Nearly a year after the affair ended, we left our church to find a new church home.  Our reasons were purely human though they seemed spiritual.  We took our two small daughters and started visiting churches… a lot of churches.  Every message from a new minister seemed better than the week before.

Some weeks we would visit an early service at one church and the late service at another.  I loved these times.  I was reconnecting to the core of my faith and experiencing worship in a way that I hadn’t since college.  I knew that God was tugging me to get back in a relationship with Him and to make bold moves.

As that summer turned into the New Year, I made resolutions.  I am the type of person who makes resolutions with just about each new month and rarely carry them into the next month.  Two very small events occurred in January 2013 that changed my life.

A radio station issued a 30-day challenge to listen exclusively to Christian music for 30 days.  I wasn’t sure I could live without NPR, but I would show them (like “they” cared) that I could do without pop without any problem and slip right back to it.

Then my mom gave me a copy of Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling.  Mom was always giving me Christian books.  I threw most of them away because she gave me so many while I read so little. This time I was more open to exploring the Bible plus the devotionals were short.  My faith grew.

Then came April.  I took my older daughter to a Mother-Daughter Retreat at a Christian camp nearby one weekend.  While the devotionals were on an 8-10 year old level, I was tremendously moved. Something dark, however, was eating me alive.

“Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you might be healed,” the Bible encourages in James 5.

Two days after the retreat, I told my husband my horrible secret.  We were a strong team. We’d been through a lot together.  I knew the road would be tough, but we’d come out stronger than ever.

He was, of course, devastated.  I gave him space while I prayed and hurt for him.  He moved his parents’ RV to a neighboring town and spent a few nights a week there for the next two months.  Then one Monday, after a particularly turbulent weekend, he called me at work to say that he’d arranged for a sitter that night so that we could talk without interruption.  I was so relieved.  Our problems were huge, but all we needed was a game plan to get through them.

“I filed for divorce today,” he informed me and his words hung in the air.

{Join us tomorrow to hear the rest of this sister story.}

Comments

  1. Ugh….I hate waiting for more! Praying for this sweet friend!!

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  1. […] you met my dear friend as she revealed the truth of an affair to her husband over a year after it ended.  I asked her […]

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