Part II: Grace Dispenser
As I enter the corridor of this New Year, I am shedding 2015 like a hot coat. For me, January 1, 2016 represents a new year filled with new possibilities and promise for new beginnings. You might have guessed by now, my husband had an affair. To say that I was devastated is an understatement, but I was not ready to give up on us, so leaving him never entered my mind. I decided to go to war for my marriage the only way I knew how: prayer.
For those of you who know us, but were not aware of the affair, this must come as a terrible shock to you so I apologize. Over the past months, I have cycled through some intense emotions and now that I have enough distance between his confession and my initial shock, I am ready to move forward. I need to discover new meaning, find a new normal to accompany his new promise of fidelity.
The most effective way for me to process a traumatic event is through writing. Writing about the pain helps me to heal. I mean, what do I do with my husband’s betrayal? This was a man who adored me, he was my best friend, my soul mate; he served, protected, provided and promised to love, honor and cherish me all the days of our lives. How do I fit his adultery into the context of who I am as a wife, mother, leader, pastor, counselor and speaker? That answer is obvious: I must tell my story.
According to infidelityfacts.com, only 31% of marriages succeed after an affair. Others need to hear that marriages can survive the worst betrayal possible and come out for the better. I want to help people who have suffered the heartbreak of infidelity restore their identity, their dignity, their self-respect. The worst thing that could happen is to sweep this tragedy under the rug and allow it to remain a secret. I need to know that my suffering has not been in vain and that God will work out this struggle for my good (Romans 8:28).
We live in a culture where it is perfectly acceptable to speak openly about our diseases, illnesses and parenting woes, but we tuck our marital conflicts away because we are either admonished by others to keep our “personal business private,” or we’re too humiliated to tell our stories for fear of losing support from family, friends or colleagues. Sadly, those are very real possibilities for me. I’ve decided I’m taking the risk anyway.
The ruptured connection in my marriage that led to this act of betrayal is a common story. The easiest and best way people learn is from each other. In sharing this insight from my acutely traumatizing experience, I see it as an opportunity to assist other couples that want to rebuild after a grave breach in trust. I’ve never fit anyone’s mold so I’m breaking the silence and telling what needs to be told.
In today’s world people need hope and encouragement for healing. I want to be a grace dispenser and catalyst for healing by sharing what we did to re-establish trust, intimacy and rebuild our relationship. The written word gives me the widest reach in accomplishing this goal.