Delaina Name: DelainaLocation: TexasOccupation: ManagerSpouse Testimonial: Read Chad's Story HereChildren: 1 Discovery Date: Spring 2010Summary: When I discovered the truth about my husband’s infidelities, I was consumed with anger. I became verbally and even physically abusive and couldn’t stand to be in our home. It took me a full year after disclosure to move back in, and another after that to say ‘I love you,’ but I wouldn’t trade the marriage we have today for anything.Story: My husband Chad and I met in the summer of 2006 which eventually led to us getting married in the fall of 2008. At the ages of 21 and 23 we were married, in the process of buying a house and both had great jobs. Since everything seemed to be falling into place perfectly, we decided it was time to start trying to have a baby. To our surprise, this process took quite a bit longer than expected but I found out I was expecting in the spring of 2010 and we couldn’t have been happier. I scheduled our first prenatal exam at 8 weeks pregnant and everything looked good. We even got to see the babies little heartbeat which filled my heart with excitement. A few days later, I received a call from the Doctor’s office informing me that I had an STD and would need to pick up a prescription. My response was, “I’m sorry, are you joking?” I was in shock and incredibly confused. They had to have made a mistake! There was no way those results could have been accurate…or so I thought. Since I was at work, I immediately texted Chad questioning his faithfulness. He responded to me by saying that he had been faithful and that I could have contracted the STD before we met. This was a long shot since I had been to the doctor after we started dating but deep in my heart, I wanted to believe him. After a couple of days, I decided that his explanation wasn’t possible and I was being unbelievably foolish. I began searching his email and became exasperated by the things on the screen in front of me. Who in the world was this person writing these things? These words couldn’t have come from the man I married! At this point I knew; as I read through email after email I began to get even more furious and disgusted. I woke Chad and began interrogating him about what I had found. He finally confessed, although I found out later most of his confession was only half-true. He tried to control my reactions my managing the flow of information, which will backfire every time. At the time, though, I believed his story and was willing to work on our shattered marriage. When we went back to the doctor for our next prenatal exam, we learned that the heart had stopped. The doctor’s estimated that it stopped the day I discovered Chad’s infidelity. I was devastated but also glad my child wouldn’t be born into that environment. I moved out of the house and stayed with my sister for a while. I just couldn’t be around Chad all day every day anymore. He found Affair Recovery and convinced me to participate in EMS Online. Around this time I convinced Chad to have a session with Rick. Rick saw through Chad’s lies immediately and told him he had to tell me the truth. By this point Chad and I were sharing an email, and when Rick emailed Chad a form to help him give me full disclosure, Chad worried I would find it first. He called me and tried to make up yet another story but this time I pressed on. By the end of that call I had heard everything: prostitutes, online relationships, multiple affairs, sexting…the list seemed to never end. At this point my husband confessed that he is a sex addict.Struggle: I realized I had no idea who Chad was. The person I married was a figment of my imagination and was gone in the blink of an eye. My entire world collapsed around me and I felt like I was in a nightmare. Even though I knew all my surroundings, it felt like I had never been there and couldn’t find my way home. Everything seemed foggy and so unfamiliar. I couldn’t wrap my head around how Chad could do those things to me; how he had a secret life. I felt so stupid for not seeing any of the signs and completely worthless. Why wasn’t I good enough? I immediately began drowning myself in bible reading, devotionals, and anything related to sexual addiction to keep my mind focused on positive thoughts rather than the negative downward spiral I was tumbling down. I attempted to wrap my head around why Chad did the things he did. For a long time his main response was, “I don’t know”. For any of you who have been through this “I don’t know” is NOT a good enough answer (I eventually learned that he honestly did not know). I felt like ‘accepting’ that his actions were the result of an addiction that he had no control over was naive because it was just an excuse. Anger rose up in me and I began verbally abusing Chad immediately after disclosure, but it quickly escalated into physical abuse. I was put on anti-depressants to control my thoughts which had completely taken over my mind. I had been texting Chad a couple hundred times a day while we were both working trying to get answers and lashing out.Course of Action: I began Harboring Hope a few weeks after we began EMSO. It helped a lot to be able to talk with other women struggling through the aftermath of an affair. Rick also had me go through a book about anger called “Men and their Anger” with an accountability partner. After about a year past discovery the anger slowly began to subside but I still couldn’t go home, even though I was ready to be back in my own place. The thought of everything that happened in the house was too overwhelming for me and would instantly trigger rage. Rick suggested that we have prayer partners come over and pray over us and the house so that is what we did. The power of prayer is amazing! We also posted scriptures written on index cards on all the walls of the house and Chad got rid of all the ‘infected’ furniture. Once this was done, I was able to move back into the house. I still struggled every now and then but it was a huge step forward. Once I was back in the house, I couldn’t keep myself from being detached, and I just kept growing more and more distant. I waited for the love I had felt towards Chad to come back because we got along fine, but it just wasn’t like a marriage. We were more like roommates that got along well but had no emotional connection. Actually, I probably would have felt more for a roommate than I did for Chad. I was completely disconnected and didn’t know how to bring the walls down that I subconsciously put up. When I was meeting with Rick, I would tell him I hated Chad. His response was, “Good, hate is the negative aspect of love which means you still have feelings. We would have a problem if you didn’t care.” This is exactly where I was at; I did not care. Chad could have died and I don’t think it would have impacted me in the least. I eventually got tired of waiting for any feelings towards him to return. I stopped spending my time with God and started hanging out with old friends and going out a lot while leaving Chad at home. I decided I didn’t want to be married anymore. Each night I left, Chad would just tell me he loved me and that he’d be waiting at home when I returned. Not once did he condemn or criticize me for my behavior. I ended up having an affair of my own and told Chad a few weeks later. One night when Chad returned from one of his recovery groups, he told me that God was calling him to our marriage and that he was going to fight for us no matter what my actions were. He told me that he was no longer in the marriage for me or for him, but for God. That’s when it clicked that this was where I was supposed to be. The walls that were up came down in an instant. I finally felt as if Chad was choosing me, choosing to commit to marriage with his whole heart. It amazed me that he made this choice, with such conviction, when he had every reason to leave. Almost immediately, I began to fall for Chad all over again. The words, “I love you” which hadn’t come out of my mouth for two years were finally being said again.Lessons Learned: As Rick always says, forgiveness truly is a gift you give yourself. I had to forgive Chad before my anger could subside, and I was not safe for him being that angry. Also, a revenge affair will do nothing for your recovery. I know how tempting it is to want to make your spouse hurt the same way he hurt you, but you’re really just doubling up your own pain.Encouragement: Our marriage has been getting better and better since. We are happy to announce that we are now 5 months pregnant with a little girl due in October. Looking back, the life I thought was great doesn’t compare to what we have now. I truly believe that God worked through AR to give us the encouragement and strength we needed to make it through. I couldn’t be more grateful!