“Hey, you okay?”
“Yeah. Actually I am. I don’t feel guilty at all, which is weird.”
“Me too. I feel alright.”
“Cool. Alright, then I’ll talk to you later.”
I pushed “End” on my phone and drew in a shaky breath. The emotional affair we’d been having had just turned physical and neither one of us felt guilty. Wasn’t this just more evidence that God had orchestrated this relationship? I pondered for a moment and decided, yes. After all, God puts people in our paths for a reason, and He very well knew this was going to happen. Why would God put this guy in my life if he knew it would lead to an affair? There’s a reason this was happening and it must be okay because God’s in charge here.
My wings were beginning to spread beyond stay-at-home motherhood. I had finally taken the leap into running my own business, and I was feeling alive. Networking events, client calls, and projects outside of changing diapers, grocery shopping, and laundry reminded me there was an intelligent, desirable woman behind “mommy.” My husband didn’t seem to notice or care. All that seemed to matter to him is why I spent $75 at Target today and what the kids and I were planning to do tomorrow.
At home, I felt taken for granted and controlled; however, I felt validated, understood, and appreciated by my new business acquaintances and clients. I felt fulfilled by the work I was doing in my new business. One client-turned-friend took particular notice in my business and harnessed the role as my mentor, affirming, encouraging, and guiding me as I began to build my little company. A mutual favor and attraction began to grow quickly and it felt thrilling.
I quit praying for my marriage, believing that perhaps my husband and I weren’t even meant to be married. I felt like we were moving in different directions, and the further I soared into my new world, the more controlling my husband became. It’s was a tense dissonance that deepened as the months wore on, feeding the connection between me and this other man. I didn’t realize I was seeing things backwards.
Despite the crumbling inside my own marriage, what I was doing didn’t become real until the day I got a text from this “boyfriend” letting me know his wife had found out about the affair; he was cutting off communication with me. I was horrified and crushed. For weeks following our break up I was depressed, sick to my stomach with grief and struggling to function in my daily life as a mom. I felt alone, confused, and ashamed.
I went to God in prayer: “Lord I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what I’ve done. What is wrong with me? I’m lost. Why did you even put this guy in my life? I don’t love my husband. What do I do?”
Things with my husband seemed hopeless; we were so far apart, in my opinion, that I couldn’t see our marriage ever working. I began to imagine a life as a single mom: I’d get a job, an apartment in town and we’d figure it out. While the idea seemed possible, something deep inside was telling me NO. Like a pebble in my shoe, there was a tiny nagging in my heart that said, you are not in love with your husband but you want to be.
I didn’t believe myself, but I went to my husband nonetheless and said, “We need to go to counseling. I am not in love with you right now. If we don’t go to counseling, this marriage isn’t going to work.” I don’t think I have ever said anything more honest, dishonest, and hurtful at the same time. Though my husband had asked if there was someone else, I denied it and had no intention of revealing the truth.
My husband agreed to counseling in earnest, stating he’d do whatever it took because he loved me. He wasn’t kidding. Together we actively engaged in the sessions, the assignments, and the measures needed to find each other again. I didn’t feel like participating at first, but I did anyway choosing to believe that I wanted to love my husband. I began praying for our marriage again, asking God to help me love him again. Within a month of my husband pursuing me in a new way a spark of desire began to burn. With this desire came the burden of guilt from my infidelity.
“Lord, forgive me for being so selfish. Forgive me for being unfaithful. Forgive me for blaming You. When do I tell my husband? When shall the truth be revealed?”
For two years I prayed this prayer as my husband and I grew together. We learned how to appreciate each other, affirm each other, talk to each other, laugh together, and be intimate again. Slowly our marriage transformed—I transformed. I began to see my husband as the gift God intended. I often found myself saying, “Jesus, he’s just like you! He loves me as I am. He’d do anything for me. His love for me resembles yours. I don’t deserve this.”
The dichotomy of growing peace in my heart against the deep guilt in my gut was sickening. I lived in fear of when the truth would be revealed. “Lord, when do I tell him? I know you won’t let me get away with the lies. The truth always comes out. When, Lord? When?”
Then one day it happened. At 5:30 a.m. I had just poured my coffee when I heard, clear as day, “It’s time.” My legs went limp under me. “No! Please. Everything is good now. You’ve redeemed the brokenness. Please. No.”
“It’s time. Now.”
I knew. This was part of the redemption God was orchestrating. I set my coffee down and trudged up the stairs to my sleeping husband. My mouth was dry, my heart pumping in my throat. I expected the worst. After all the work we had put in; after all the lessons we had learned God still had every right to take it all away if he wanted. I deserved nothing. I believed it with all my heart, and I was ready to let the marriage go if that is what God and my husband wanted. “I trust you, God. May your will be done.”
I woke my husband:
“Babe. I need to tell you something.”
“Remember when we were going through our troubles and you had asked me if there was anyone else and I said no?”
I swallowed hard; tears began to fall.
“I lied. There was someone else. I am so sorry.”
I continued confessing who and what happened. To my great shock and relief, my husband tenderly responded,
“You know, I wasn’t there for you the way you needed me back then. You found someone who could support you emotionally. I get that. And if you would have confessed this back when we were in counseling two years ago, I wasn’t mature enough to handle it. You probably weren’t mature enough to deal with it either. Neither of us was. This whole thing would have been different. It’s okay. I forgive you.”
That moment, God’s moment, my marriage was fully redeemed by the grace of God. There was nothing I did or could do to deserve the grace I had just received. God had, yet again, shown Himself through my husband.
God puts people in our paths for a reason, but God didn’t put another man into my path. I allowed another man to enter my life. God didn’t orchestrate my sin; I did. God orchestrated my redemption using what He had already given me—grace and an amazing husband. After all, God is the one in charge here.
This story was sent to me by a friend who agreed for her story to be told but wishes to remain anonymous. If you have a story to share, you will find those details HERE.