Rick Reynolds, LCSW
by Rick Reynolds, LCSW
Founder & President, Affair Recovery

Surviving Infidelity: When Hope Crumbles - Part 2

One would think that making the decision to honor my marriage vows when I could have walked away would have made things instantly better. Yes, a peace fell upon me as soon as I decided to trust God for clarity, but the pain and heartache took its own sweet time to diminish.  On the days when I could barely lift my head from the pillow, God gave me strength for the journey. Finding truths to stand on is vital for our faith life - and never more so than when we have been let down by others, ourselves, and a lack of truth in our lives. You truly do feel lost at sea once lies wash over you and threaten to carry away the life you once had. Wisdom from godly people will help you stay afloat, but it will be God’s truth that carries you to solid ground, where you have a better perspective (not to mention a safer one).1  When the images would come flooding into my mind, I was able to turn to prayer or scripture for peace. When the pain bombarded me and suffocated me like a blanket in 100° weather, I knew where to turn for comfort.  Had I never needed comfort, I would not have known the Comforter.

Now I can’t promise all the storms will be removed from your life.   I also can’t promise that you’ll have a comfortable, pain-free existence on this earth, even if you choose to do what seems like the selfless, admirable thing.  I can’t even promise that you’ll get everything you want by pursuing restoration.

What I can promise is that when you are weak, He’ll be strong. When you think you can’t take another step, He’ll carry you. When you are in despair, you can still find hope.  We find these truths in Isaiah 40:30-31:

“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

There are many things I don’t know in life. I don’t understand algebra or physics. I don’t get how a heavy airplane can stay up in the sky and not fall to the ground. I wish I knew why innocent people have to suffer, why children have to die. If I did, I’d bottle up the formula to fix their problems and give it away. I don’t know lots of things.

But here’s what I do know.

According to the Bible, I serve a big God. He created the Universe in less than a week. He formed mountains and scooped out valleys with His hands. He is everywhere, all the time. He can change a heart with the snap of his fingers. He can bring sight to a blind man with some dirt and saliva. He can part a sea and allow his people to cross on dry land. He can make walls fall down with the blast of a trumpet. He can keep a man from being eaten by lions. He can bring forth a child through a virgin. He can turn a Pharisee into a martyr for Christ. He can transform a fisherman into a minister of the gospel. He brings peace that no one can explain. He is truly a remarkable God. My marriage is living proof.

Even if you think your situation is beyond repair, please believe this truth: God is the God of the impossible. He is faithful and loving and kind and tender and good and miraculous and amazing. He is true to His word and will do what He says He is going to do.

Nothing is too difficult for Him.

I hope this two-part series from Cindy Beall has provided a ray of hope in the midst of what may feel insurmountable. It may seem hard to believe, but there are countless stories of restoration and incredible transformations. Infidelity is a pain like no other, and no one is saying it will be easy. In those caverns of despair, look to those who have uncovered an entirely new marriage from the ashes. There is no such thing as being too far gone. Where ever you are in your story, there is hope.

Transformation is typically packaged much differently than we would like. It takes incredible courage to pursue what options may exist for you both after the discovery of infidelity or addiction.  If you’re looking for real stories of healing and restoration, you can read testimony after testimony of actual participants of our EMS Weekend by visiting our Success Stories page. 

If you’re looking for a hope that dares to try and the tools that teach you how to work out your recovery,  I invite you to consider our EMS Weekend. If you’re still stuck in the “What now?” phase of recovery, give the free seven day First Steps Bootcamp a try. We hope it will help you decide what your next step could look like.

 

 

1.    Beall, Cindy. Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken: Finding Forgiveness and Restoration. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, 2011. eBook.

 

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Comments

second time around?

So he's decided to divorce at last after 7 years of to-ing and fro-ing and promising to come back.
And I really need to move on. Start a new life...
Last year I met a man in a similar position to me. Godly people whose spouses had both gone off.
We get along so well, and it is good, but we are both SO wounded.
Can you direct some advice/council towards the likes of us. There doesn't seem to be any around, and it would be good to avoid the pitfalls.
Somehow I feel third class, firstly for somehow initially failing in my marriage,(I must have had some responsibility in him having an affair..)
and secondly for not being in the position of reconciling (not my choice) I am about to be divorced. A place I never wanted to be...
But, going forward, is there a way to make this new relationship better than the last??

losing my faith

I appreciate your writing, but what do you say to the person who doesn't believe in God or has felt a loss in all trust and faith? No amount of prayer eased any of the pains. No peace found its way to my heart. No answers ever came.

My spouse was heavily involved in a leadership role within our church and I was also trying hard to attend and be a part...but this crumbled any faith I had. I realize that much of my faith was based on the good that I thought I saw my spouse doing and being a faithful member. On the surface it was all smiles, but it was all a lie. It was all fake.
How do I reconcile all that? How did I even start to believe that God would have a bigger plan in all this....unless his plan was for me to be devastated, never get over it, and eventually leave?

When you don't love them now

My husband was a pastor when I discovered his 2 affairs. One over and one still active and had been for more than 2 and half years. He had no intention of leaving our marriage and justified and blame-shifted his behaviour. For the year after discovery he lied and minimised his actions - even now at almost 3 years I believe he continues to lie about what occurred in his affairs.
Immediately post discovery, I went with him to our church elders, organised counselling and wanted to repair our marriage. For the first year I felt I was dying from the pain of it all. Finally in desperation to know the truth I meet with one of the women. The year had been full of lies, blaming the church, justifying using scripture, broken non contact and me trying to mend things while he justified his actions. Over the period my love for him died. I was fond of him but no love. At a year I decided I had done enough and decided to leave him. What a turn about, suddenly he is in love with me, begging for another chance, accepting most responsibility and telling most of the information I need, finally agreeing to leave ministry - the church had requested that we keep his affairs quiet making me feel like an accomplice to his infidelity.
I thought I would try and rebuild our marriage - but 3 years later I still don't love him and I really want out. He is a new man in most respects. I remain fond of him but have not fallen in love with him - the agonising ongoing lies and blaming post discovery seem to have done far more damage than the affairs themselves. My relationship with God has taken a big hit too. How long do I have to stay? I am emotionally dying in this marriage.

What type of affair was it?

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