Why is Hiding So Tempting?

Find the courage to come out of hiding

Why is hiding so tempting and where does the desire come from?

Hide and seek. This is a game my kids play for hours, even now as teenagers. There is such terror and anxiety in the moments you are waiting but the best part of the whole game is the feeling you get when you are found. I remember when my girls were little and would find great hiding spots. They were so excited they would often yell out, “I’m in here, come find me!” I often wonder why the game was so delightful for them. I’m guessing it had something to do with the smile and embrace they received upon discovery. If that was the case for everyone hiding, who wouldn’t want to be found?

Oh, how saddened I am to think of how we, the unfaithful spouses, have sorely misapplied and manipulated the rules to this game. D day (discovery day) was the most painful day in my husband’s life. And if you were anything like me, too cowardly and afraid to expose all of the deception the first time, you gave your spouse two d days.

I can only imagine the horror the betrayed spouse experiences when they find us in our hiding place with all of our dark secrets. I know for me, there were moments in my affair I wanted to be found. But selfishly I wanted to avoid any pain or consequences that would come with telling the truth. I now know God has much to say about that. He calls us fools, as only fools despise discipline. (Proverbs 1:7).

The truth is - other than being an utter fool - I was terrified of judgement and losing this reputation I had built for myself. I admire people who are willing to admit their mistakes and shortcomings. However, I had believed the lie that my transgressions were too many. I was terrified my husband would surely leave me if he found me in my hiding. So I continued to hide. And lie. And manipulate my image to portray nice and perfect while I was frozen and dark inside. I have often thought about how unfair d day was for us. This was the second time my husband had to hear “well, there’s more.” He had to experience even more excruciating pain as he discovered the wretchedness and selfishness of all of my lies.

I would have preferred to have been struck by lightning. For years I had believed the lie that I would die before letting my darkness come to light. How selfish of me. How sad of a thought. As he was receiving the weight of my shame, the amount of freedom that came from sharing every last detail of my secret was unfathomable and enormously unfair. I transferred all of my darkness onto my husband. The only currency I have to spend in our relationship are my actions. I wish I could change everything. Take it back. Spare him even an ounce of the pain he has endured. But I can’t. So I have to continue the work of figuring out how I got here.

So what makes us hide?

I can’t answer for anyone but me, but hiding, lying and shame have been the norm beginning in my family of origin. Did your family keep secrets? Were there things you found out about years later or did either of your parents have a secret addiction? Did anyone hide spending? Drinking? Family shame? I can put a check mark next to all of those. It’s not an excuse for my actions, but I have realized I have come from a history of hiding. I have recently talked with my therapist about this. He seemed shocked when I told him that as a little girl I believed you took bad things and buried them so deeply you just never brought them up again. Sadly, that little girl grew up and still lived this out as a wife and mom.

This is a pattern I have lived all of my life. From something that happened to me in 5th grade, to an abortion I had in college, the pattern was there. Bury it. Never speak of it again. Smile and pretend it didn’t happen. Little did I know I had been hardwired for dishonesty. Admitting that is terrifying and freeing. But being found is something God has always longed for. He has something so much better for me and rewards my courage to bring every single thing to Him in the light.

I know the damage in my own marriage and family has already been done. We haven’t told our kids yet, but plan to one day. With His help, I have to change the legacy of secret keeping.

Are you still hiding anything? And if so, what are you afraid is going to happen to you if found? I pray today you trust that God is delighted in you and you find the courage to come out of hiding.

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Comments

Thank you!

I am an unfaithful wife too. Thank you for having the courage to share your story. It truly helps.

Thank you Anna. It takes

Thank you Anna. It takes courage for us all to come into the light.

Thank you

I have cried so many tears over your post. It is so very beautiful and true. My husband found it first and read it to me this past Saturday morning. The tears streamed down my face as I realized that I could have written this exact message. Your metaphor of hide and go seek shook me to the core as my first experience being sexually abused was by a cousin during a game of hide and go seek. Thank you for shedding light on the shame I hid behind for so long. As I walk this path of recovery, I am empowered each day by the strength honesty and authenticity provide me and the renewal God's grace and mercy has given. These have allowed me to leave the dark shadows and walk in the light! Thank you for giving voice to my struggle.

I am sorry and saddened to

I am sorry and saddened to hear about your pain and all of the layers that come with that. Your message means a lot and I believe it helps us all to know we aren't alone in this. I hope God continues to grow you in healing.

Encouraged

It is encouraging to see your words for the betrayed to see. When the unfaithful are hiding, it is almost impossible to understand what is happening! You are brave and have provided me with hope!! Thank You!!
I look forward to reading more of your posts.

Encouraged

It is encouraging to see your words for the betrayed to see. When the unfaithful are hiding, it is almost impossible to understand what is happening! You are brave and have provided me with hope!! Thank You!!
I look forward to reading more of your posts.

Thank you for your comment.

Thank you for your comment. It means a lot to me that we can all try to help one another heal. I am sorry those of us who have been unfaithful have such difficulty learning how to be direct, expressive and honest.

Thank you Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth,
I appreciate your voice on this site. You help me to gain some insight into my unfaithful husband in a way that lets me have understanding and also compassion. I think he hides from reading blogs, too, but I am sharing it with him.

Thanks for the encouragement.

Thanks for the encouragement. We as unfaithful cannot change what we have done, but the hope is we can all continue to provide light so that we never return to those dark and destructive days. I hope you guys keep fighting for healing.

Thank you Elizabeth!

Your post on hiding was very eye-opening for me. After reading it, I began listing things/events/traumas/secrets in my family of origin and in just a couple of minutes, I was able to get to 10. I so appreciate your posts; I’m an unfaithful wife, too, and there isn’t much written for us. Thanks again and God bless.

Thank you for your comment of

Thank you for your comment of support. I am happy to hear that you are starting to dig into some hard questions and take a look at "how we got here". Family of origin stuff isn't an excuse, but I have found it is a pretty helpful place to start. Best to you in your recovery and your healing journey.

Me too!

I was so thankful to see you on the blog. As I’m an unfaithful wife as well. I’m just discovering how I’ve hid all my life and how shame has had such a hand in that.
I’m looking forward to reading everything you write. As I hope that one day I could be vulnerable and transparent to share my story of hope and healing with others.

Thank you Inchope. Keep

Thank you Inchope. Keep working on the shame piece. I am still working on it (and probably always will), but it is much easier to recognize. It will help not only you, but your husband as well. We have all been at day one and you aren't alone. You will find a pretty encouraging community on here...both sides of the equation. I look forward to hearing about your progress.

Your posts are encouraging

Elizabeth,

I, too am an unfaithful wife. I too wanted to keep my darkness hidden until I was no more. It sounds like some time had passed before your affair was brought into the light. For me it was 18 years. I had never told anyone and had truly buried my affairs. I never said anything, but one day (about five months ago) my husband directly asked me - "Have you been faithful to me?" I was unable to lie to a direct question. And so, here we are. We are in EMSO and I am in H4H. My secret is out. I would be lying if I said that I am glad it is out. The devastating pain I have inflicted on my husband is unconscionable. It is totally unfair. He did not deserve this. I was content to carry this cross that I had built for myself.

I would love to hear stories from others whose unfaithfulness came out years - even decades later. We still love each other, but I know I have irreparably broken his heart and he will never be the same. He is a wonderful man and we both thought we had a wonderful marriage. But I was hiding a deep dark secret. I know in my heart that with God's help and a lot of work, we can make it through this. There is no alternative.

Thank you for your well-written blog. Keep writing and encouraging us still in the trenches.

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