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

Surviving Infidelity: When Hope Crumbles

This week, my team and I are incredibly honored to share part one of a two part  guest post series from our friend and fellow pioneer in caring for couples in crisis, Cindy Beall1. Cindy is a fantastic writer, speaker and mentor of women who are on their own journey of healing from the effects of infidelity. Her first book Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken, was released in 2011 and has been a wonderful source of encouragement and hope to many.

Hope.

An expectation of obtainment. To expect with confidence.

I hope that I get that promotion.
I hope that I find an amazing person to marry.
I hope that my children don’t get hurt.
I hope we can make it through this nightmare.

 

Everybody hopes for something. In something. It’s as natural as breathing.

I hoped that one day I’d find my knight in shining armor. I didn’t know when he’d arrive on my doorstep so while I waited for him, I made a list of things that I desired to find in my future husband. Tall. Musical. Loves Jesus. Sensitive. Funny. Respectable. Admirable. Honest. Trusting. Protecting. Handsome.

I hoped for a lot.

Finally, he found me. And I found him. We were smitten with each other from our very first date at Chili’s in Austin, Texas. Apparently, he liked me so much that, unbeknownst to me, he put a down payment on my wedding ring the next day. And ten months later, I got a new last name.

American author Catherine Marshall said, “God is the only one who can make the valley of trouble a door of hope.” I had no idea how applicable this quote would be in my life one day. Nine years into our marriage, everything crumbled. Actually, it crumbled before that, I just didn’t know it. I’d come to find out that for a period of about two and a half years, my pastor-husband, Chris, acted out on his very sordid addiction to pornography and committed multiple acts of infidelity including a pregnancy from one of the women. The day he confessed all of this to me was the worst day of my life. I came to realize that it was just the first of many worst days of my life.

My marriage died. So did my hope.

I had already allowed my mind to go down the single mother path. I didn’t want to be divorced or raise my young son alone, but the alternative...staying married to a man who’d absolutely destroyed my heart, my trust and our marriage....was something I was just not sure I could do.

I begged God to heal my very devastated heart. I was desperate for my pain to subside even just for a few moments. Although there was a huge part of me that just wanted to just cut my losses and hit the road, there was still this inner voice that kept asking, "What does God want you to do?"

For several days I cried out to God, asking Him to give me a promise to believe in and stand on. I knew then, even in the pit of my despair, that I needed to be grounded in whatever decision I made. No matter which way my marriage went, there would be tumultuous storms coming my direction which would test my resilience in every way possible.  

He spoke to me through a very unlikely, minor prophet named Habakkuk:

"For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay." (Hab 2:3, NIV)

That verse may not mean anything to you but it means the world to me. It's the very promise I needed from God as I was contemplating my future. After this promise was confirmed to me by two unsuspecting individuals on the same day, I heard God whisper this hope to my heart: I know you don't understand what I am asking of you. I know you don't think anything good can come from this situation. But I need to you trust me. And one day, you will see all that I am doing and how I am working this for your good and My glory.

So I stayed.

Are you faced with the same life changing decisions? Perhaps you’ve already made your decision and have no idea how to walk it out? The question we hear more often than any other is, “What now?”

If you too are wondering if you can make it through this crisis, I’d encourage you to start your healing with the First Steps Bootcamp. The Bootcamp is a free 7 day online program that provides the most important information you need at the discovery or revelation of infidelity. You can find the First Steps Bootcamp under our Free Resources tab, where you’ll also find an incredible selection of free articles. For information regarding our in-person EMS Weekend intensives please call Tony, our Intake Adviser, at 512-879-6326.  

 

1.  Cindy Beall is a writer, speaker and mentor to women. She enjoys watching college football, hanging out with her sons, and sitting on her back porch with her husband, Chris. The Bealls have been married since 1993 and have spent most of their marriage in full-time ministry. They have three sons between them which means there is very little pink in their home but a plethora of airsoft guns and camouflage.  

Cindy's husband, Chris, serves as the Oklahoma City Campus Pastor at LifeChurch.tv and also oversees half of the OKC metro LifeChurch.tv campuses. Cindy oversees the Equipping arm on the Leading & Loving It team that ministers to pastor’s wives and women in ministry. Her first book, Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken, released in 2011 with Harvest House Publishers.  cindybeall.com    leadingandlovingit.com

 

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affairs

This article is all very well done. But my husband has not "confessed" anything to me. He has left myself and 6 yr and 4 yr. I am 43 he is 40, and he his now living with a 29 year old girl (six months today)
From a few days before he left he has energetically proclaimed that our marriage was horrendous (never mentioned it before) and now accuses me of withholding his children from him. He has seen our children every single weekend all day saturday or sunday at his option at our family home and is aggressively negotiating with me that he can introduce our kids to his girlfriend and telling me his rights at a father. There is no confession at all. He just tells me the last 10 years of our marriage has been terrible and he has been short changed by me. He is currently abroad on an action packed sports Easter holiday with his girlfriend. He has asked me to file for divorce against him as he is "content to be the respondent". What is all this stuff about "confession"??? That has not happened in my life, he has just binned me and the last 14 year of our life a lot of which was clearly untrue.

Praying for you Joanna

I am so sorry to hear about your pain. I am suffering to from betrayal. My husband was not forthright about confessing ... he kind of dropped the bomb on me (even though what he confessed to was a lie and not near the truth of reality) and then assured me "that I would be just fine without him". Without FAITH I would be hopeless. Even though we are still together and trying to work it out. I am devastated (10 months after D day).
I encourage you to keep reading sites like this one... if you are a believer, keep praying!! I am believing for a miracle for myself and I will ask for one for you too!! With love... RB

Hope

Six months into your ordeal probably feels like a lifetime but hang in there. My husband has not confessed or said he's sorry and its been two years. I could be angry, vendictive...but i'm attempting a different path. AR has a program Harboring Hope. It helped me immensely to focus on what i needed and helped me stop focusing on my husband, his affair partner, his trips, his spending, his lies, etc.

Recommend Cindy's book to pastor's wives dealing w/infidelity

Cindy's book was my manna in the days and weeks following D-day for me. As a pastor's wife, my support circle was virtually non-existent because my spouse had circled the wagons in an effort to protect his image, his reputation and his ministry, in an effort to minimize damage at all cost. I have read Cindy's book at least three times now in the 10 months since discovery (and subsequent relapse) and each time learn something new and am fed by the word of the Lord being spoken through her. Thank you so much for bringing her in to the AR community.

I can't begin to express how

I can't begin to express how much Cindy's book helped me through those first few months last year. I read it 3 times and then my husband and I read it together. I even exchanged several emails with Cindy where she encouraged me and gave me hope. It has now been almost 13 months and I am beyond thankful to say that my husband has made a complete transformation and now says he is the man God called him to be and the man he should have been his whole life. I never expected this to be my reality, but as Cindy reminds us in her book, God can work all things for good!!

I can't express what a

I can't express what a blessing Cindy's book was to me in those first few months last year. I read it three times and my husband and I also read it together so he would have a better understanding of where my feelings were and what the road ahead could look like. I am so thankful to say that five weeks after his admission to the affair my husband made a complete transformation and is now the man God called him to be and he says this is the man he should have been his whole life! It has now been almost 13 months and we have come so far......it's crazy how the worst time of our lives can lead to the best time we have had in our 22 years of marriage. I still have some emotional days and I suspect that will happen for a while but I am a firm believer that God can work all things for good. Cindy and her transparency helped me to cope and gave me the words I needed to hold on and I am so glad I did or I would have missed out on some of God's greatest blessings!!!

Waiting

I, too, heard that voice, Cindy, and knew that because the man I married loved Jesus he would turn away from the infidelity and return to Gods grace and my arms. But here I am, twenty-some years later, with the fifth "fresh start" and more complications than I can admit. I know I would have benefitted from books such as yours, and I plan to get it and read it. How comforting it is to have other women who can share experiences and advice without judgment.

When Hope Crumbles....

Like many of you I also have had no 'confession' - indeed, if I hadn't found out for myself I would probably still be in ignorant bliss 5 years on (as is the OW's husband). This is his third affair but the longest. I don't know what makes me hang on in there but something does. At the age of 60 I really don't need this. I am not a religious person but I do find myself asking this god person what I have done wrong and I admit I have prayed for help in what to do. Many things have changed over the last 5 years including me becoming ill due to the stress and also changing myself a great deal - for the better I hope - and my husband is still here, despite saying he couldn't wait to leave. Maybe that's because things in his and her life have gone wrong, like losing the house he had bought her. She is very good at manipulating him but he is blind to it. So I just hang on, hoping he realises what he has done. I find this site invaluable and it has helped me through many a very depressing time.

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