The first few weeks after my husband confessed he had been having an affair for the previous three months by which he had gotten his mistress pregnant…
I remember waking up in the morning and just wondering how the whole world was even still spinning. Like shouldn’t it just implode or something!? How was everyone still just carrying on like nothing had even happened!? (Yes, Re, the whole world CLEARLY doesn’t revolve around your tragedies and triumphs!! Although at the time I really really REALLY felt like they should do!! I was expecting a phone call and invite from Oprah at any second!!! 🙂 haha)
Sometimes I would wake up in the morning and have a few blissful seconds where I would forget the overwhelming agony of betrayal I was drowning in. But then those few seconds would pass and real time kicked in. Siiiiiiiiiiiigh.
I just kept thinking that surely this wasn’t happening. Surely this was like an Inception nightmare within a nightmare within a nightmare and somebody would eventually just pinch me, punch me, whatever and I would wake up!?!
Not so much.
I felt so beyond words lonely. I was, of course surrounded by close friends but so very much of my identity and security was wrapped in and around the man that I had built my life with for 12 years. I felt so completely incomplete. It literally felt as if half of my heart had been ripped out of my chest and my leftover flesh was left to bleed out for everyone to just full frontal witness.
I remember going over to friends for dinner only a week or two later. I remember the house being full of people I loved, and yet I felt so completely alone. I missed him. I missed him so much it felt like I couldn’t breathe without him next to me.
For me, it wasn’t like this relief of ‘Oh thank God I finally get to get out of this marriage, I’m finally free.’ I loved being married to him. (I didn’t love the system we were apart of but I will share more about this later.) It was like ‘How could the person that knows me better than anyone else, the person that is supposed to defend, protect and love me the most, the person that I have committed to growing old and wrinkly with, just abandon me and our children?’
I couldn’t bare to be alone in our bed, I felt like I was swallowed up in our sheets by hopelessness, rejection and lonely.
In fact my best friends at the time slept with me from that very first night. My best girlfriend next to me in the middle and then her husband next to her. That first week we spent every night just weeping together and then laughing at my friends’ goof and humour which actually felt like a breeze of reprieve amidst a desert of despair. We would also comfort ourselves with none other than Diet Coke and Magnum Bars… Hahahaha… (Literally that is all I ate for the first month. I lost so much weight which I loved haha but TRUST ME a diet of betrayal ain’t worth skinny!! Haaaale to the NO!!!!)
Ohhhh this is taking me back. Even as I sit here typing this from a place of deeper wholeness and healing, tears from the memory of the ache are sliding down my cheeks… I am so grateful that time heals. I am so grateful that my Creator is who He says He is.
Although those days were dark. Very very lonely and very very dark.
When he left me, I felt like I was just a shadow. I felt rejected. I felt betrayed. I couldn’t imagine life without him. I mean I was in love with him since I was 16. My world was completely wrapped up in him. We had three babies together. We had moved nations together. We had dreams of the future. Places we wanted to explore. Countries we wanted to discover together. How would I do life without my best friend? How would I find ‘Me’ when so much of ‘Me’ just walked away?
People ask me all the time, if I would have taken him back.
The truth is: I was never given that opportunity. So I guess not even I will ever know the answer to that.
For me, I had enough security and self worth to know that I deserved true repentance to take place. That I deserved to be pursued and fought for and ‘loved’ back into our marriage.
I never begged or pleaded. Maybe that would have worked against the other who had deceived him so cunningly. But I wanted his decisions and choices to be made out of conviction not out of persuasion. I wanted him to want me. I wanted him to want us.
I believe that true repentance and humility fights for what has been destroyed. Fights for what it has destroyed. True repentance doesn’t play the victim. Only true repentance can discover the fullness of forgiveness and therefore can walk in the fullness of freedom.
There is a story in the Bible of a man named David.
David was king over all of Israel and the Bible says that David was a man after God owns heart.
David was tempted one day by a beautiful woman bathing on a nearby rooftop. David decided to act on his lusts and temptations. He then got his mistress pregnant, even had her husband killed to try cover up what he had done. But David was caught out in his web of deception by a voice of cutting truth in the form of a prophet named Nathan. A man who wasn’t insecure. Nathan didn’t care about David’s position or platform and he wasn’t afraid to say the hard truths even if that meant consequence for himself. Excuse my French but- Nathan had balls. Nathan stood for truth and loved David enough to take a line in the sand and stand for righteousness.
The beautiful thing about David is that he repented. Truly repented. There were severe consequences for David and you know what he did- He owned up to what he had done and he made right. And when true repentance takes place you no longer have to spin stories and live defending because you know that to the people you wronged- the ONLY people whose opinion and truth should matter- you made right with. You get to walk with your head high once again because you know you walked out your wrong into right with those you hurt.
If true repentance and ownership of wrong doesn’t take place then what happens is we have to invent and create stories to try justify what we did. We are continually defending our actions. This is a victim mentality. We are all partial to it.
(I am continually challenged to just own up to whatever it is that I have done wrong and just wear it. Including the numerous speeding fines I have recently been awarded!! :0 Seriously NOT COOL Re. I am hanging on by but a thread of only a few points atm. Buses and trains are gonna be my best friends if I don’t flipping heed the signs!!! haha) Anyways…
It is much, much, MUCH more humbling to just admit that we screwed up. If we don’t do this, then what happens is we have to start creating stories and mistruths in order for us to draw sympathy from those around us and in order for us to feel justified by our actions. We even begin to rewrite our own history of events so to speak, in order for us to make what we did wrong actually all seem okay and justified. We begin to blame other’s for what we did wrong instead of just owning up.
When we’ve done wrong, we’ve done wrong. That’s IT. No back peddling. No choosing to remember events differently in order to justify.
Unfortunately it’s a sick cycle though, as until true acknowledgment and repentance takes place, we will never be able to walk in the fullness of freedom that can only come from walking in true repentance.
Many people think that restoration for a similar journey only looks like one thing- the betrayed and the betrayer making it work and staying married.
For some this is their restoration and it is a beautiful thing!!!! But for others maybe the betrayed was never given the genuine and deserved opportunity to try make it work.
A few weeks after my husband left, a mutual friend of ours was visiting to see us both, to be a help and a support. A man that we had respected and trusted and looked up to for many years. I remember him saying to my ‘husband’ that if we wanted to make it work, then he would have to be prepared to wear the ‘B’ t-shirt. We were both like huh??? He explained: The ‘Bastard’ t shirt. You, for years to come, are just gonna have to own up to what you did wrong and just wear it. She (me) is gonna be mad and hurt and angry and you are just gonna have to wear what you did while she processes all the emotions that betrayal and rejection bring. Wear that ‘B’ t-shirt loud and for all to see just like you walked away loud and for all to see.
This has to take place in order for restoration to happen.
Or maybe the betrayed just said umm no thanks and you know what- THATS OK.
Can I bring you a little bit of freedom and say that both parties need to want to try make it work. And both parties need to want to fight for the restoration of the marriage. And both parties have to walk in humility and accountability. It ain’t an easy road.
There is a scripture in the Bible that says, “God hates divorce.” Ummmm YEAH HE DOES. He didn’t say it wasn’t gonna happen or even that it shouldn’t happen. He just said He hates it. You wanna know why? Cuz He understands how excruciatingly painful and agonising it is and He doesn’t want us to have to walk through such pain. Marriage is the two becoming one flesh, right? Well divorce isn’t just a moderate separation of One, back into two people again. It is literally flesh being ripped and massacred apart. It hurts emotionally, spiritually, physically beyond recognition. Any that have been through divorce can attest alongside me that the ramifications of divorce are severe and ongoing to put it mildly.
Still to this day whenever there is a box to be ticked that gives the choices of ‘Single. Married. De Facto. Divorced.’ – I trip out. I’m like Single- ummm well betrothed really to a rock star who just doesn’t know about it yet!!! 😉 Married- was and do you really wanna hear my story!? De Facto- if you can count living with three monkeys then Yes!! Divorced- ummm what the? how the? why the? FINE!!!! YES!!!!!! Nosey stupid dumb boxes!!!!!! 😉
But thank God there is life after death.
Restoration looks different for every single journey.
But know this…
You can be restored.
And now…3 and a half years later I can tell you that I have learned that whilst there is beauty in finding security and strength in the one you share your life with, your bed with, your children with (and I cannot cannot CANNOT wait to experience this again, #hurryupalreadylenny !!!! 😉 ) there is a depth and weight of security and identity that can ONLY be found in One who created us. I am so deeply grateful I was forced into finding this.
I felt like I was gonna die. I’m still alive and kickin’ 😉
I felt like I would never find ‘Me’ outside of him. I am braver and stronger than I ever dreamed possible 😉
I felt like I couldn’t possibly raise three kids on my own. They are all still alive haha 😉
I felt like I couldn’t possibly start a career from scratch. I did 😉
I felt like I would never live outside the world I had known for so long. I have discovered life and have lived opportunities I never dreamed of 😉
I felt like I would never be able to see a couple in love, a family together the way it should be, without weeping from ache and desire. I now see this all around me and my heart smiles deeply and is filled with encouragement and hope for my future 😉
I felt like no man was ever gonna want me again…. 😉 😉 😉
(I gotta talk a bit about the world of dating soon… Just to lighten it up a bit;) )
Oh and I have some friends I wanna introduce you to soon!! Vlog anybody!?!