How Do You Find New Life Amidst the Struggle?

I was visiting with a betrayed spouse yesterday who was sharing some incredibly bad news about her spouse, her marriage and what she figured was the rest of her life. It was one of the most devastating stories I’ve heard in quite a while (and that’s saying something). While all of our stories are devastating at some level, we all have unique situations in our lives which force us to cry out for new life and new, tangible hope. But how do you find new life after the life you thought you were living has been not only upended, but sacrificed on the altar of another spouse’s choices? Or, how do you the unfaithful, find new life after you’ve basically obliterated the life you once had with your spouse and family?

The answer is nowhere near simple, but does exist. I used to think we simply bury our marriage and find new life in our marriage. Well, the problem is, most times we do have some wonderful history together before the affair and not all of it was bad, regardless of how we rewrite the history of it. The retort from the betrayed though is that we, the unfaithful have wasted all of that. I don’t believe that’s the case as usually, the entire marriage was not full of infidelity, betrayal and misery.  

Alternatively, that once beautiful marriage that seemed so perfect, or in some cases was still full of trouble, has been blown to bits. It can’t be put back together again the same way it was. Many memories, although not all memories, are still able to be cherished. The birth of kids, the early childhood years, family vacations, memories although seemingly jaded right now, still did happen. There was at one time, tangible love and adoration on both sides of the marriage.

Selfishness and deception have entered the picture. What is one to do to find new life when sandwiched between hopelessness and justifiable resentment and the ever present unknown? While I’ve pondered this many times, I think the best answer I can offer you that are not divorced and not already finding new life apart from your spouse, is resurrection.

Our marriages can in fact be resurrected when both parties are willing to give it a shot. We buried our marriage and it was Samantha who said to me “I’m willing to give God a chance to resurrect our marriage. We’ve had some wonderful times and we’ve had some excruciating times. I’m not sure if my love and respect for you can be resurrected but I’m willing to give God a chance to do it. We’ll get all the help we can and see what happens. Right now, I hate you. If he can heal that, I’m open. I make no promises except that I’ll try.”

To say we were both unsure is an understatement. We both wondered if our sex life would ever be the same. We wondered if we would ever be able to talk about anything besides the affair. We wondered if we could ever not have two great days, then 5 bad ones that made us want to quit, time and time again.

Nine years later, we’ve had (and continue to have) more good days and more thrilling days than we ever thought possible. Is the old marriage dead and gone? No. Were there some wonderful times? Without question. Is the new marriage even better? Without a doubt. Has it all been worth it, I mean really worth it? Yes, a million times yes. Every stinking inch has been worth it.

Can this happen in your marriage? I’ll just be honest: I’m not sure.  If you’re willing to try and give it a shot to be resurrected, then maybe it’s possible. I’m not sure where your spouse’s heart is and I’m not sure what help you’re getting. I do know there is new life for you both if you’re willing to try.

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There is life after the

There is life after the destruction it takes work and a vision and hope. I have worked very hard after the descovery of my wife's affairs to build a better marriage. We did not start over but built on that what we had. It just seems that u f you have to start over completely then what did you have to begin with? I the faithful husband felt that I had to take the lead in building a much better marriage then we had before and it started with a vision. I then kept trying to pass that vision on to my wife. Over and over again, at first it did fall on deft ears and the rebuild was one sided for a long time. But now we are about 18 months post d-day and my wife is starting to add the vision and starting to do the work to build a better marriage.it has been a journey and we are in a better place now then we ever have been nut i have not started this journey to settle for just better my vision is still for so much more and I think finally my wife is starting to really understand. Which for me is a blessing. There is great hope for those who want more and are willing to not give up and keep at it.
David

ugh!

David I am in your shoes and I have had a steadfast attitude to stay in this fight for our marriage. Seems my husband is fighting against me deep inside and resents my efforts for his reasons. I sometimes just want him to go away and deal with life without me for a while and miss what I bring so he can see I am not a monster. I am trapped in many ways in my heart to fight and yet he is still ambivalent about what to do. Leave or not to leave. Stay or not to say. That is the question. If I continue to stay here and love on him and support him will he resent me? What a tough place they put us in. So glad your marriage is showing signs of growth and healing!!

Ali

Right now, I am trying to do

Right now, I am trying to do as Samantha did, and allow God to do his work to resurrect the marriage. If God can mend the hurt, grief, and bitterness in my heart and the selfishness in my spouse, then maybe we have a chance at a better marriage. If God can get me through this seemingly unending grief, sadness, and depression I constantly feel 24/7, then maybe I have a chance at a better life filled with joy. My spouse appears to be trying. It's me that was - and still is-- having the difficulty. However, on Valentine's Day, I chose to break through it all. I felt like I had to do something! I was miserable! So I chose to give back to him my heart. I gave him a small wooden heart with my name and "please protect it" written on it. I asked him to keep it in his wallet and take it out and think about it before he makes any more choices to betray. I hope it will help him think twice before he does it again. I hope it will help me get out of this depressed fog I'm in, try to work harder on recovery, and remember the good things about our marriage. Right now, I can't remember any times over the past 20 years in our marriage that are not tainted and soiled with his bad choices and traces and handprints of his AP. I hope I can someday get past it all -- with God's help and the help of that heart. I really need and want a new life!

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