, 6 years 9 months ago

A few months ago my husband Wayne and I were laying on the hammock in the back yard enjoying a rare quiet evening together. I remember it being an unusually still evening, so much so that we could hear cars rushing by on the highway near our home. After about half an hour of relaxing and talking, the peaceful setting was disrupted by a horrible crashing sound. I was so surprised my armpits itched! (I realize this is probably an over-share, but what can I say… my armpits itch when I am scared.) My back was turned to the tree that had fallen, so I had no idea what had caused the unexpected noise. Hardly daring to breathe I whispered, “Fireworks?” Wayne shook his head no. “Pecan Tree” was all he said, but I could hear the disappointment in his voice. When we bought our land a few years...

, 6 years 10 months ago

When I was a little girl I received a lot of forgiveness. Somehow at a young age I discovered that if I confessed what I had done wrong before I got caught, my parents were much less upset with me than if I waited to be discovered. So I told on myself often. After a while I began to do it more out of a desire to be free from the guilt than from a desire to receive a more lenient punishment. I really cannot begin to imagine how many times I went through the process of doing something wrong, feeling terrible, telling on myself, then being forgiven.

While I cannot count the number of times I received forgiveness, I can say for sure that it was enough, because when I found myself in the position of a betrayed spouse I was able to reach deep into my heart and find enough forgiveness...

, 6 years 10 months ago

A very dear friend recently shared the story of her crumbling marriage with me. She told me that her husband had come home one day and told her that he no longer felt anything toward her and was going to move out. A few weeks later he filed for divorce. My heart ached for her as she shared with me her feelings of confusion and abandonment. She said she felt used up and discarded. When her husband had originally moved out she had held onto hope for reconciliation, but with each passing day that hope got fainter as she faced the end of a part of her life that she had thought would be there forever. My heart breaks for her a little bit more every day as I watch her go through the motions of a dance she never signed up for. She had dreamed of forever, but for reasons completely out of her...

, 6 years 11 months ago

I was 18 when I started college and began studying to be a respiratory therapist. I was a young 18. I had lived a very purposefully sheltered life as a home-schooled girl, so there were a lot of thoughts and ideas that I ran across while in college that I had never heard while growing up.

I will never forget the first day I was in a clinical rotation at one of the local hospitals. About half way through the day I turned to the therapist who had been assigned to mentor me and said, “This is a great day!” She gave me a look of sheer horror and said, “What are you doing to me? Don’t you know not to say that? Quick! Knock on wood!” At my look of confusion she followed it up with, “And don’t say it is quiet either. All hell will break loose.” I soon discovered that just about...

, 7 years 1 week ago

What would you think if I told you that you hold the power of life and death in the words that you speak? Would it come as a surprise to you? Think back to when you were growing up. Perhaps a parent or teacher saw a quality in you that they praised, such as: “You are a kind-hearted friend.” Hearing their praise spoke truth into your heart, encouraging you to be that much more kind and friendly. On the other hand, maybe you remember hurtful words: “You are so much bigger than your sister. All you want to eat is junk food.” These hurtful words have the ability to follow a person all the way into their adulthood, making food and weight a lifelong struggle.

Words don’t just hold power over us when we are kids; they affect us as adults as well. I did not understand how much power...

, 7 years 1 month ago

About two years into our marriage Wayne’s papa passed away. I will never forget going to his memorial service. After parking near the cemetery, we met his mom and grandma at their car and walked the rest of the way to the grave site with them. I remember the surprise I felt to see his grandma there since his papa had divorced her about 50 years before he had died. As we got closer to the tent where everyone was gathering, she began to get visibly uncomfortable. When we finally reached the small crowd she quietly announced that she wanted to stand in the back and urged the rest of us to sit in the seats that had been reserved for family to sit in. I had only met his papa once, but had spent quite a bit of time with his grandma, so I felt drawn to stay with her rather than follow Wayne...

, 7 years 1 month ago

I recently read a letter to the editor of a magazine that got my attention. It was written by a woman who was at the breaking point in her marriage. She described how she had spent many years working long hours at her job to the point of exhaustion, until one day when she came home to find her husband with her best friend. The quote that keeps running through my head went something like this: “While I worked myself to death, he was off having romantic flings. It just isn’t fair. Suddenly I realize what I am missing in life. I want to have the secret romantic get-away too. I want that thrill of hidden romance for myself.”

Reading her letter got me thinking about desire. Before we were born there were certain desires poured into us. One of the strongest of these is the desire to...

, 7 years 1 month ago

I have previously shared how I chose to forgive Wayne out of a desire to protect my heart from the burden that unforgiveness brings. While deciding whether or not to forgive him, I sensed that withholding forgiveness was somehow very dangerous for me, so I chose to forgive. As easy as the words ‘I chose to forgive’ may sound, believe me, it was not at all easy. It was incredibly hard. Having said that though, I can now look back and see that as hard as it was, choosing to forgive my husband was not the hardest choice I had to make in the area of forgiveness. Oddly enough, it took more time and effort to forgive Wayne’s dad than it did to forgive Wayne himself. Forgiving his dad for the choices he had made during Wayne’s childhood, and the way they had affected both Wayne and our family...

, 7 years 1 month ago

Shortly after I chose to forgive Wayne, I began to hear several lies about what forgiveness is. Looking back, I can see that the enemy was aiming his arrows of shame at my heart by trying to get me to agree with his explanations of what I had chosen to do. His methods for delivering those arrows came in a variety of ways. Some of these lies were spoken directly to me by ‘helpful’ friends. Some I read in popular magazines. Other times the Liar would speak silently to my heart, painting a vivid (yet wrong) description of who I was, and what I had chosen to do.

The biggest lie that I heard was that I was living in denial. I saw this reaction on several people’s face when I told them that I had forgiven him. I was told that I was nuts and that he didn’t deserve it. Of course he...

, 7 years 1 month ago

I think it was the night after I had discovered Wayne’s betrayal that he asked to meet with me so we could talk. He said he had some things that he wanted to tell me in person. Hoping to get an answer to my biggest question -“why”- I agreed to meet with him. I did not get the answer to my question that night, but what I did get was more pieces to the puzzle. He told me how he had begun to act out sexually when he was 12, then filled in some details from that time to the present. There was a long silence that followed his revelation. As I was trying to make sense of everything that I had just learned he said, “I am so sorry. I know you will never be able to forgive me.”

Honestly, until he brought it up, the question of forgiveness had not entered my mind. I was in a state of...

, 7 years 2 months ago

I have a great Dad. When I was a little girl I looked forward to going to his boot repair shop so I could hang out with him all day long. I remember him being very busy, but never too busy to talk to me as he worked. One thing he told me on a regular basis was “take no prisoners”. His words keep coming back to me as I think about the recovery process that I went through as a betrayed spouse.

I have begun to see my marriage with Wayne as a union that the enemy wants to steal, kill, and destroy. If you will allow me, I would like to show you a picture of how I saw this played out.

When I discovered Wayne’s betrayals I received a very deep heart wound that required healing in a spiritual and emotional ICU. While I was receiving this intensive care, the enemy did not wait...

, 7 years 2 months ago

I have stared at the computer screen several minutes after writing the title, trying to think of the best way to approach this subject. After our period of separation, I remember the process of going back to being physically intimate was complicated and difficult for me. So many conflicting emotions. So many hopes, so many fears. Looking back, it occurs to me that the Keeper of my heart must have poured a double portion of protection over me as I waded into these deep waters. After being wounded my heart was extra sensitive, so it was easy for even a well-meaning friend to say something that would cause more harm than help. Thankfully though, healing words were also spoken to me during this part of my journey, so I was protected from any long-term issues that may have risen up from the...

, 7 years 2 months ago

Do you ever find yourself rewriting history? I know I did. I remember during the early stages of healing after discovery I spent a lot of time doing just that. I began looking back over our married life and second guessing what was ‘really’ going on. I remembered a few times when Wayne had come home later than expected. At the time I had thought that he had been in a wreck or some such equally tragic scenario, only to find him breezing in the front door, wondering why I was so frantic. He would tell me where he had been, and tell me not to be such a drama queen. I would feel a little silly, then we would go on with our day. As many of these moments came back to my mind I began to suspect that I had not been a drama queen at all, and that while he had indeed not been in a car wreck...

, 7 years 2 months ago

First off, I feel like I should clarify this by reminding everyone that I am not an expert on marriage. I am simply a girl who has been hurt by the man I love, and has been through the grief and healing process. By no means am I in any position to give advice on when one should stay or leave. All I can tell you is my experience and what I learned from it.

My first reaction when I found evidence of Wayne’s secret life was shock. I remember the room went black and I had trouble breathing. After about an hour of staring at the wall and gasping for breath, I had only one clear thought in my head - that I could not stay in the same house as my husband any longer. I remember being scared out of my ever-lovin’ mind because suddenly it became clear to me that the man I thought I was...

, 7 years 2 months ago

If someone had asked me to describe my life during the latter part of 2009, I would have undoubtedly described it as bad. The first six months following the discovery of my husband Wayne’s secret life was certainly the hardest six months of my life. I remember thinking that the depth of grief I was experiencing went much deeper than I had realized humans were capable of feeling. The sounds I heard coming out of my own mouth were sounds I had only heard a few times before. They were like the heart-wrenching sounds I had heard working in the hospital, like those of a momma as she held her sick child. Though I had witnessed several women’s deep level of grief on such an occasion, I had never felt it myself.

The darkness that surrounded me felt foreign and frightening. I found...

, 7 years 2 months ago

When I first discovered my husband Wayne’s infidelities the first question I asked was “Why?” Why did he do this? Was it something lacking in me? What did they have that I didn’t? Why did he choose them over me? These torturous questions ran through my mind like a CD in the ‘repeat’ mode.

The friend who had been with me when I broke into Wayne’s email and discovered his secret life begged me to call the girl with whom he had been having an emotional affair. She thought that if we talked to his affair partner we would get the real story, or maybe even tell her that he was married and beg her to leave him alone. Had she been the only one with whom he had been unfaithful, I may have been tempted to think that my problem was with her. But during the week that followed my discovery...

, 7 years 2 months ago

When was the last time you got up from your favorite chair after watching TV with that ‘I could take on the world’ feeling? You know what I mean - the feeling you get after watching Rudy or Braveheart. Now go back a little further in your memory… remember the first time you watched Sleeping Beauty? The prince who bravely fought the evil witch just so he could rescue the girl whom he had danced with ‘once upon a dream?’ Try to put aside any jaded feelings you may have for a moment so you can remember that feeling of pure joy you felt as you watched them dance into the credits.

Now I ask you, what in the world has gone wrong with television these days? Why must so much of it step on wounded hearts? I remember during the first year after discovery my mind would swirl into a storm...

, 7 years 3 months ago

Why do spouses cheat? As I said in part one, this question became a big deal for me during the immediate aftermath that followed the discovery of my husband Wayne’s secret life. While it was important for me to realize I had made agreements with false ideas as to why a person cheats, it was also equally important for me to learn the real reasons why this occurs, and ultimately why he had cheated on me.

My “ah-ha” moment came fairly early in counseling when Wayne began to describe his life as it was when he was eleven years old. His parents were emotionally detached from him because they were dealing with the broken pieces of their own relationship after his Mom had caught his Dad with another woman. Wayne was basically sent outside early in the morning and told not to return...

, 7 years 3 months ago

‘Why do spouses cheat’ is not a question that I spent much, if any, time considering before I discovered that I had been betrayed. If the question happened to randomly float through my mind, I assumed the reasons were some of those that I had heard others come up with over the years. I had heard that one of the reasons is due to ‘falling out of love’ with one’s spouse and ‘into love’ with someone else. I had also heard that it happened after the couple had grown apart, or that it was due to a lack of needs being met. Another commonly accepted reason I had heard was that spouses cheat simply because they are bad, so they selfishly choose to make decisions based only on what is best for themselves.

‘Why do spouses cheat’ may not have been a common topic in my thought life, but...

, 7 years 3 months ago

When I was a little girl I began what was to become a life-long love for allegories. I loved reading stories that let me discover the story behind the story. One of my favorites was entitled Tales of the Kingdom. In a nutshell, it is about an enchanter that ruled over a city where he made everyone sleep in the day and work at night because he was jealous of the light that the sun gave off. The people who lived in his city felt hopeless. There were a few people though who remembered the good, kind King who had ruled the city before it was put under the enchanter’s spell. They would quietly tell their friends that the King was now living in the forest outside the city, and that if they dared to escape the enchanter they could go there to live in freedom with him. The enchanter had...

, 7 years 3 months ago

I think one of the cruelest feelings an already wounded and betrayed heart can experience is shame. Shame has an incredible ability to cripple even the strongest of us. Looking back, I can see how I was very kindly shielded from a large portion of it early on. Starting about two days after I discovered my husband Wayne’s infidelities, several discerning and godly men told me that his actions outside of our marriage had nothing to do with me. I think they actually went out of their way several times during those first few weeks after discovery to reiterate the fact that I had not caused Wayne to ‘act out.’ I am still very grateful to them for standing in the gap for me during that time.

As comforting as it was to have them speak that truth to me, I suspect the biggest canopy of...

, 7 years 3 months ago

During my healing process that followed the discovery of my husband’s betrayal, there were several things that he did to help make me feel safer in my relationship with him. I shared these things in part one. Today, I want to share the changes that took place in my own heart that allowed me to reopen it to him.

The main thing that stands out in my mind when I look back on that time is where I chose to put my focus. During the eight years of our marriage before discovery, I assumed that nothing hurtful would ever occur in our relationship simply because in my mind ‘Wayne would never do anything to hurt me.’ So what did I have to worry about? I trusted him.

After I found evidence of his betrayal I was not only deeply hurt by his actions, but also had lost all trust in him...

, 7 years 3 months ago

I have recently discovered the fun of Pinterest. I am still a little unsure of how to pin any random thing off of the web onto my board, so for now I have to be content browsing other people’s boards and repining interesting items that they have already gathered.

This afternoon as I was scanning through a friend’s board I found this quote to which she had added the comment “so true”:

It has been said that time heals all wounds.
I do not agree. The wounds remain.
In time the mind, protecting its sanity
covers them with scar tissue
and the pain lessons.
but it is never really gone.

--Rose Kenedy

My eyes were glued on her words for a good couple of minutes letting them sink in, feeling the weight of the sadness that she...

, 7 years 4 months ago

I cannot think of much that will break down communication quicker than losing trust. When I first learned of Wayne’s secret life our conversations got a little ‘strained,’ to put it lightly. One minute I didn’t want to talk to him at all. The next I had a half a dozen questions that I wanted answers to. During the first month or so of our separation he would send me a text at night that would say something like, ‘If you want to talk tonight, call me. Otherwise goodnight.’ I appreciated this because it let me know that he was open to talking, but not being pushy about it. This left me free to talk or not, depending on where I was emotionally.

After we were a couple of months into recovery I began to worry about him relapsing into his old lifestyle. When I would ask him how he...

, 7 years 4 months ago

“Don’t do that.”
“Why not?”
“Because it is not safe. You might get hurt.”

I’m sure many of us can recall this conversation from our childhood. As a mom of two very wild boys I have heard those very words come out of my own mouth many times.

After much persuasion from my oldest son I recently watched daredevil Nik Wallenda walk across Niagara Falls on a 200 foot long tightrope. I have to admit that at the beginning of his walk I was only half way paying attention as I folded clothes on the couch, but the further he went, the more excited I became. Not only did he have the challenge of keeping both feet on a two inch cord, but he also had the added difficulty of swirling winds and mist rising up in such a density that he was unable to see where he was supposed...

, 7 years 4 months ago

Have you ever met someone who knows the best way to do everything? You know, the person who has seen it all and done it all, and has now become the self-proclaimed expert. Yeah, I thought so. We all know someone who meets this description.

Unfortunately, it’s when we need them the very least they seem to jump out of nowhere and attack. It certainly felt that way to me. Wayne and I were very open with our friends and family about what was going on in our lives. The double-edged sword that we held by being so open was that while we received an amazing amount of love and support, we also received an amazing amount of unsolicited advice. It felt like everyone and their dog knew what I should do. And, amazingly, each one had a different idea on what that was. It was all well-...

, 7 years 4 months ago

Generally I feel called to write about the emotions that I felt during the first year of my healing process. Today, if you will allow me, I want to share where I am right now. If your wound is still fresh, the insights that I have recently received may not apply to you yet, but I think they are still worth reading. I certainly would have benefited from these words had someone spoken them to me a few months ago. So just put them away for later. You can reach back into your memory file for them when you are ready.

Several months ago I was asked to write about my experience as a betrayed spouse for Affair Recovery’s blog. I should tell you that I felt like the most unlikely choice for this. Not only had I never written anything other than an occasional letter, but I also had never...

, 7 years 4 months ago

In my last entry I shared some of the blessings that I have discovered can only be found in grieving. Today I want to share some practical ways that I learned to grieve. The world around us doesn’t help us with this at all. We grow up hearing “Big girls (or boys) don’t cry.” So what do we do when life hands us pain? How does one properly mourn a deep heart wound?

Finding a few trusted people with whom I could be completely open and honest was very helpful. These were women who rejoiced with me when I had moments of hope and cried with me when I was sad.

Another thing that stands out to me as being particularly helpful was setting aside one day a week to grieve. At that point in our life both of our boys went to school Tuesday-Thursday. This was a huge blessing because I...

, 7 years 4 months ago

If a person had told me that there are blessings found in grieving before I went through it a few years ago, I would have thought they were crazy.

Today’s culture tells us that blessings are found in things that are easy or fun, or in things that generally feel ‘good.’ Situations or people that cause us pain are generally seen as curses to be avoided at all cost. We are also told that when we are hurt the strong among us will ‘suck it up,’ or ‘put on our big girl panties’ and move on. The implication is that crying - or even the mere feeling of pain or sadness- is a sign that we are weak.

One thing I learned after discovering my husband Wayne’s betrayals is that I truly did have a choice. I could choose to ignore and stuff down the pain, or I could sit in it and allow...

, 7 years 4 months ago

No one likes an ambush, least of all me. At the beginning of the day I like to know what is going to happen so I can plan accordingly. Three years ago I walked into the mother of all ambushes. Not only did I discover my husband’s betrayals, but I was also immediately assaulted with lies. They were almost a constant daily and nightly attack. It was like I was constantly bombarded with thoughts that I was not enough. I began to feel like I never truly was loved or celebrated, and I was never the true love of my husband’s life. I felt I had been dumb for falling for the trick that my husband had played on me. Having already been cut deep to my very core, these lies fell straight into my heart like salt in a fresh wound. To say they hurt would be a gross understatement. They were...

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