I didn’t know at the time that she had a dark secret. . . until one day she told me that she and her siblings were terribly abused by her dad.
She left her childhood home and began to heal. It was sheer joy to watch this young woman grow over the years into a strong woman of faith, and one day, to marry a really good man.
One who was kind to her. One who lived out his faith.
This is Anna’s story.
My husband walked through the door.
“Sit down”, he asked.
Then he told me something no woman wants to hear.
“I had an affair,” he whispered.
I thought we had a great marriage.
Looking back, I realized that there was a time when God was the center of our marriage and over the years, kids, work, ministry, and being hurt by people (which we allowed to be excuses for not staying in fellowship with God), and we simply let those things crowd God out.
Later health issues arose. I was alone a lot during that time and I intentionally walked into a deeper relationship with God. I spent that time in worship and studying scripture.
And now this?
I knew what it meant to forgive. God had me on a journey of forgiveness for years. Forgiving my dad for the abuse was one thing, but my reaction to an affair was shock.
This wasn’t the man I married.
I couldn’t speak for hours. I just sat and cried while my husband repented for his actions.
“Are you okay, ” he asked. “Do you want me to leave?”
He finally left for work. I had that whole time with my God. I wept. I screamed. I yelled. I was furious. But the conversation I had with God wasn’t comfortable, for as I screamed out my hurt, He reminded me of the sincere repentance in my husband’s eyes.
I asked God to help me forgive.
I reminded myself of the vow I made before God when we married.
Yes, this was “for worse” of those vows.
If you knew my past and the extreme abuse by my dad, you would expect me to leave. But I had seen God break the strongholds and curses from my life before, and I wasn’t going to do what my old family would have done. I was prepared to fight spiritually. I have always been a fighter. I wasn’t about to lose my marriage to the enemy.
But I’m human. I felt all the emotions. Anger. Hurt. Rejection. I struggled with my self esteem. I wrestled with guilt and insecurity.
My husband was fighting too. He carried immense guilt for his actions.
Thank goodness, we didn’t have to fight alone. Scripture says that our battle isn’t carnal but spiritual (EPH. 6:12). There were so many times I fell to my knees and asked for grace, strength, and the willingness to forgive. Then I would get up and do what the Word says, which was to choose to forgive over living in hurt.
Maybe you asked this question, like I did: Isn’t it okay to leave a marriage when someone is unfaithful? (Matthew 5:32)
Yes, I could have walked away, but just because I could didn’t mean that I wanted to.
In that verse, unfaithfulness means “living in a sexually immoral lifestyle”. In my case, my husband had repented, and I wasn’t going to leave if there was a chance we could heal our marriage.
I wondered if things would be different in our marriage if I chose to stay and forgive, and I have to be honest with you. At first, we struggled to talk about it, or anything else. There were trust issues and our sex life was non-existent.
But we still sought God together. As we began to change separately, we began to grow closer. . . together. But only with God’s help.
We needed godly counsel. To relearn how to talk, and to communicate through those harder issues.
I needed a daily dose of God’s word, and a daily choice to forgive one more time until it felt real.
Though I forgave, trust had to be rebuilt. His unfaithfulness meant that I had a work of forgiveness in order to heal. That rested on me because I was the one hurt. Rebuilding trust rested on my husband’s shoulders.
I began to do little things in faith. I wrote little notes with a prayer, scripture and one thing that I appreciated about my husband. I stuck it in his lunch box. When we fought over small issues, I chose not to hold them over his head because of the choice he made in the past.
Is unfaithfulness any harder to forgive than other sins?
Not for God.
In John 8:3-11, the religious people brought to Jesus a women caught in adultery and Jesus said whoever has no sin cast the first stone.
We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
Recently I shared with the woman who had an affair with my husband that I forgave her. In John 20:21-23, Jesus said, “Peace be with you,” and then asked them to forgive.
I no longer carry a burden of unforgiveness, and I have peace as a result.
Several years has passed since the unfaithfulness. We continue to allow the Bible, and God, to change and heal us.
We allowed Suzie to share this story with you in hope that it would encourage other couples who hurt because of an affair.
And to let you know that with forgiveness and repentance and a daily choice to grow together, your marriage can become stronger than ever, for we are overcomers by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (REV. 12:11).
It seems that forgiveness is a theme in my life, and it has been painful at times. But I’m willing to allow God to peal back layers and break down walls in every area of my life, for I choose to live with an unburdened heart.
From Suzie: We had planned to share the story of forgiving her father’s abuse, when Anna confided that she had a different story to share.
I had no idea, and as I read through the several emails as we talked back and forth, I wept.
I know both of these people and love them. For years they have kept the story between the pages of their own family, their pastor, and those involved.
“Are you sure you want to share this publicly?” I asked Anna.
Her response was certain. “We both do.”
As I read this, there are two things that really stand out to me in this week’s #forgivetolive Challenge.
First, unfaithfulness isn’t limited to “bad” people.
In the past five years we’ve been rocked by couples and families close to us being divided and hurt by unfaithfulness. It’s made Richard and I sit and talk and pray together, and purposely choose not to take our relationship for granted, or to think that we are somehow above or beyond that temptation.
Second, repentance is such a gift. In 1 John 1:9 we are invited to walk freely into the presence of Christ and receive what we need to start fresh. If you are “Will” in this instance, there is absolute forgiveness for you, but Christ graciously leads you to a place of repentance so that you find His mercy and true transformation. Not just an “I’m sorry”, but “God, change my heart.”
If you are like Anna, or like Carly in Chapter Three of The Unburdened Heart, and you’ve been hurt by unfaithfulness, forgiving allows God to walk into the wounded and broken places and take up residence. Anna’s marriage was made whole. In Carly’s case, her husband chose to leave and be with another.
But both found healing through forgiveness. Vessels where mercy and grace abide.
Anna will be stopping in throughout the day to answer questions. I hope you’ll share your thoughts. I’m so grateful you are here. If you need prayer, please let me know. I consider it a privilege.
Also, if you are struggling to forgive, I pray you’ll consider The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness as a tool to help you in the process.
Thank you so much for sharing your story Anna. How I can relate….it’s amazing the way God uses “the worst” to help us transform into “the best”. It is a long road indeed. It was almost 2 years ago that husband started his affair. He left one day saying he wasn’t coming back. We had been arguing a lot lately and the D word came up a few times but I never thought we couldn’t handle it together. God began to change me and help me become a better wife. When he returned home 6 months later, he told me about his unfaithfulness but he wanted to make it work. I, like you, was out of control with emotions. It feels sureal. LIke you’re never waking up from a nightmare. It was such a hard uphill battle to get to the place of true forgiveness….and just when I was almost there, almost a year later, it happened again. He was writtled with guilt and unforgiveness and didn’t know how to turn it over to God, and was comsumed again. After that, I left with our children. I thought I couldn’t love someone who would crucify me twice. I cry even now at the thought of our precious savior willing to be crucified again and again if he had to, to prove his love and save us from ourselves. God told me very clearly, “You are going to have to be the Jesus that he sees. The Jesus that he can’t deny is real.” While i’m not trying to be Jesus to my husband, he has called me to be an example of his great love in this situation. After another couple of months, my husband begged me to come back, so I did. It hasn’t been easy at all and the intimacy is the biggest thing that was destroyed. I found peace knowing that I do love my husband through anything but if God releases me, he has done a mighty work in me and I will be ok. Being a Proverbs 31 woman is my goal. And my husband sees that. He continues to tell me what a wonderful woman I am and begs my forgiveness even though I’ve told him many time that I forgive him. I’m not at the place of forgiving the other woman….who will still pursue him if she sees a way in. When he has doubts and wants to leave, I know that God is control and He is the only one that can speak to my husbands heart. He is the only one that can change a man from the inside out, to take unfaithfulness and turn into redemption. So I wait on the Lord. Thanks again for the post Susie! Bless you!
Alicia, what an inspiration your story is! I too have suffered unfaithfullness in my marraige three times. Often I think I’m crazy for staying, and that maybe I have just left myself open for more hurt! I think leaving is easy, staying is definately more difficult. This has kept me on my knees, seeking God’s face all the time! – like I said in a previous statement, maybe this is where God wants me. He wants my confidence to be in him not my hubby. I love what you’ve said “That you are going to have to be the Jesus he sees!” Never thought of it like this before. I must say that through all of it, I have changed for the better. Proverbs 31 is my goal too! I pray continually that God will change me, change my heart and mind daily. That my husband and other people will see Jesus and not me! That the change will be so significant that I’ll be almost a stranger to them. Thank you so much for sharing, both Alicia and Anna.
Alicia I can see you are a strong, faith-filled women. Thanks for sharing your story.
God, I pray for Alicia and her marriage to become strong again. I ask that you open the lines of communication. I pray He will give you a marriage filled with joy and victory that is far beyond your own capabilities and that you both accomplish more than you ever imagined was possible.
In Jesus name. Amen
I’m on the other end of the forgiveness in the unfaithfullness category. I had an affair with a married man and left my boyfriend/daughter’s father many years back. The affair lasted less than a year and God worked in the life of my boyfriend and eventually in my life and we married. I was not honest and hid the affair and now my husband knows. He has not been seeking God’s plan for forgivneness and wants a divorce. I have been faithful in marriage however I lied through the years and broke the trust and he feels as if he doesn’t know who I am nor does he want someone that could do what I did. We have children in our marriage and I have sought forgiveness and repented/apologized for my choices many, many times. I am glad I no longer have secrets to hide and feel God has worked tremendously in my life and my relationship with Him as a result of finally being honest. I don’t believe it is God’s will for me to divorce. I am fighting to save my marriage and I am clinging to God’s promises of who I am in Him. I struggle with the condemnation and unforgiveness from a man that claims to know the Lord. I have not found freedom from the guilt and constantly feel ashamed of who I am and what I have done. Unforgiveness is one thing, but to be continually reminded of my sin keeps me living a life without victory over that past. And, I know that is what God wants me to do. I feel a strong sense of ministering to women that are dealing with a similar struggle or relationship becasue this walk has been hard and I believe God can take my pain and bring comfort to others. I think I am waiting for healing to finish the story before I take that step, just doesn’t seem the healing will ever come.
One thing that a friend kept telling me through my ordeal was that “Hurting people hurt people.” Women get emotional on the outside after we get emotional on the inside. Men just don’t get emotional period and thus, they don’t know how to let it out or deal with it other than to get rid of the hurt instead of processing it. I equate it to a fist fight (which is ridiculous if you ask me). But If one guy punches another guy, he isn’t going to stand there and take it, he’s going to punch back. That’s the wordly way of “dealing” with it. I was crying out to God in my car “Why?! Why did this happen? I’ve been faithful and good!” His answer: “So.” It was a sin against God first. Men have a hard time exposing their broken hearts. Read the book “The 5 Love Languages”. I would just make every effort to meet his needs. The faithful spouse needs healing from God, their spouse, life, everywhere. I felt bad holding the sin over my husbands head. We went to a “Weekend to Remember” conference from Family Life…I highly recommend it. My husband learned what his roles should be and how his actions lead our family….but he had to hear it from someone else, not me…and I learned that My spouse is a gift from God and I can’t re-heat his sins for breakfast every morning. It’s a daily choice by both parties to release the burdens (yours is your sin and guilt and shame, and his burdens are the hurt and pain and accepting). Either way, they’re burdens that only God can bear. I pray your husband seeks God and his forgiveness and can start that road of healing and that you find the peace of God and his grace.With God, all things are possible!
I keep going back to the moment I chose to tell the entire truth and told God, “No matter what happens, I trust you!” I thought that would mean something different, but I still meant it. So, perhaps my trusting hasn’t been in it’s entirety and thus God knows I need more time to entirely trust Him. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I must leave my husbands healing, actions, and everything in God’s hand and just love him as God loves me. And I need to release the burden all together – permanently – into God’s hand. I’m trying.
Leigh, your story is amzing. I would like to encourage you go ahead and share your story. It has been years since my husbands affair and this is the first time I have shared it publicly. I wanted to share in hopes to help others and remarkably I have found more healing in this process. Reading all of these stories on here helps me to know I am not alone in this. In Rev. 12:11 is says we are overcomers by the blood of the Lamb and the WORD of our testimony.
Also, hold on to those promises in the Word of God. Some of those promise are that there is NO condenmenation in Christ(Rom. 8:1) Once you ask God for forgiveness He cast your sin as far away as the east is from the west(Psmals 103:12). Not only that God FORGETS your sin(Isaiah 43:25 & Hebrews 10:17). There is no need in repenting for the same thing over and over. YOU ARE FORGIVEN!!!
Jesus has already healed us completely. However, i believe healing is a process. It is like when I run this race with endurance(Hebrews 12:1-2). I picture check points along the way.At these check points I can REST in Jesus and get a DRINK of LIVING water and in doing that my spiritual, emotional, and physical body recieves HEALING. Keep running your race AS UNTO THE LORD. You are an inspirition.
Father God, I ask that you bring complete healing to Leigh, her husband, and that you become the center of their marriage.Lord, I ask that the accusation of past sin stop. Lord, through the washing of your Word daily i ask that you totally FREE Leigh from guilt, shame, and unforgiveness. I speak joy, gentleness, peace, kindheartness, perservence, endurance, and most of all love to come into Leigh”s life, home, and marriage. In Jesus name. Amen
Anna, thank you so much for the encouragement. I was burdened heavily yesterday and on the way home just asked Jesus to take my burden for me. I felt immediately better and more hopeful. I don’t know why I wallow in my sadness at times, but to know Jesus is there and hears me/us and understands our pain is something I would not have known if I didn’t walk the path I did. I had a moment with God this weekend where I knew he was telling me that He could take all that pain and sin from my life and hold it in His hands and turn it into something glorious for Him. I know I am to share my story and I am praying for the way God would have me to do that.
My heart breaks to read the stories of the ladies posted on here and to know I was the cause of this kind of pain for another woman. I am praying for each of them and their marriages and their spouses. If I could spare just one lady from the same choice I made, my pain will have been worth it. I have learned many things about myself through this journey and there has been tremendous healing from my past as a result, but one thing I have learned is that God changes us when we let Him. He tried for years to give me the opportunity to break free from the bondage of my secrets and then He finally cornered me. The freedom from hiding has given me the opportunity to truly trust God and KNOW the depth of His mercy. I see Him work frequently in my marriage and God is so patient with me and now my husband. Thank you, Anna, for your story. It is amazing. Thank you for your prayer as well.
Leigh, God placed you on my heart last night. He reminded me of the day after my husband confessed. He said he felt so Free and comfortable and relieved of the secret. He said he could breathe again. I felt glad for him that he didnt have to carry that burden of secrecy anymore. About 6 months after that, I remember him telling met that he thought it would be different. That somehow, telling me the truth would make everything ok. It took him a while to realize that the release of his secret meant that I now had to walk it out. Praise God you can recieve God’s forgiveness! (my husband still struggles with that and it affects things). I know that your husband sees the remorse and change. He does. I pray God that you would move on the heart of Leigh’s husband and bring him to that place of forgiveness, for himself and for Leigh to glorif you God! I pray that the eyes of his understanding would be opened and he will respond in love. God thank you that the old has passed away and you are doing a new thing in their marraige. Bless Leigh with your grace and peace over her husband’s grief. I pray that he comes through with a mighty hand of victory and operates in your unconditional love just as Leigh does.
Alicia, I don’t know if you can grasp the difference your words make in my heart, but I am grateful to you for not just thinking them but putting them down here. What a gift you have and use!! Thank you, thank you, thank you. They are just perfect.
Is anyone recieving my comments and prayers?
I haven’t seen or recieved anything from you Anna…but we know you’re there reading and praying 🙂
Sorry everyone, I have tried all morning on 3 different computer. I believe it is fixed now.
Anna, how long before you were able to tell the other woman you forgave her? How did you know you were ready to extend that forgiveness? This is a huge burden for me right now.
Last September my husband admitted his emotional affair with a very close friend of mine. (Double whammy on the emotional spectrum.) He showed true repentance and remorse and we are working on making our marriage better together, daily. After recently being at a WinShape Marriage Retreat where the speaker told us that forgiveness is giving up the right to punish the other person, we had a discussion about forgiveness. I realized that after much work (Suzie’s book was a great help!) I was in a place to extend forgiveness to him.
The other woman and I have had no contact. She wanted to talk to me right after I found out but I didn’t feel I should. I felt my emotion and effort would be better spent on repairing and restoring my relationship with my husband. She did send me a letter and apologized for what she had done. Losing her friendship was tough, but I didn’t, still don’t, feel a need to restore that relationship. The part of Suzie’s book where she talks about forgiveness being something we do daily, not just one time, compels me to want to send her a note of forgiveness. I think my biggest fear in sending her a note of forgiveness is that she will want to restore friendship. That is something I’m not sure I can, or want, to do. I think that is a boundary that needs to be in place for my marriage, which is far more important to me than my relationship with her.
Part of me wants to send the note even though I’m not completely sure I’m at the place of forgiveness. The other part wants to wait till I know I’m there, but I’m scared this is from Satan himself trying to keep this stumbling block in my path.
Anna, your courage to step forward and share your story is an inspiration. Thank you for your courage and testimony!
April thank you for your kind words and honesty. My husbands affair was also with a friend. I don’t really know how long it was before i came to that place but I know it was awhile. My first priority was to focus on my marriage just like you are doing. There is not a time table or formula I had to go by.Once I reached a place of true forgiveness with my husband then God began dealing with me about forgiving the other women. For me, there was no apolige,letter, phone call, or anything. I knew if I wanted to be completely healed I had to forgive for her for ME. Holding onto any kind of unforgiveness toward her, my husband, or any part of the affair was keeping me in that moment. I simply couldn’t move forward and recieve my healing and all God had for me. I learned to forgive without someone saying they were sorry.
Now funny you ask this question because as Suzie stated we were going to share my childhood story. It was about 2 years ago and I started running into this lady everywhere. I believe this is when God was really working on me. I finally totally forgave her and actually sat down with her and she did apolige.
I would say to you. Focus on your marriage, set your boundries, it is ok to take your time. But remember Unforgiveness only hurts you. And cast your burdens on God let Him carry them for you.As far as the note you have written. Lay that written note at the feet of Jesus and ask Him if you are suppose to send it.
Heavenly, Father, I pray for April right now and I ask that she lay all her burdens at your feet.I ask that heal the hurt and broken hearts of this home. I ask that you give April wisdom in every area of her marriage and her life. I ask that you comfort her and love her because she is a child of God. Strengthen this marriage so that NO ONE can break it. I ask that you free her spouse of guilt, and shame through forgiveness and allow April and her husband to live with an “Unburdened Heart.”
In Jesus name. Amen.
Pray for my marriage (currently separated.. H left 9 months ago) and for God to provide employment for me (I was laid off 6 weeks ago). I do not have firm evidence of a physical affair but do have evidence of an emotional affair with several women over the last 2 years. I pray for encouragement as I stand in the gap for my marriage and pray for restoration and healing. Pray also for our 2 daughters–ages 22 and 17.
Lord, today I pray for Evalyn. Will you open the doors to a new job that will provide for her needs. Will you bring people around her that will encourage her and pray for her during this hard time. May she know how to reach out to others for that encouragement, knowing that the body of Christ is hands and feet during such a dark time. Thank you that she is worthy of love that you define in scripture, one that loves wholly her, and one that does not deceive. Give her wisdom in the difficult time, and help her husband find you all over again in such a real way. Root him, ground him, stop him in his track as you did Paul and call him to yourself. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Please pray for me. As I work to submit to God and his will in my life thru my life’s toughest challenge at this very moment.
Father, you know what Amber needs. Will you give her wisdom, discernment, and direction. Give her the strength to do what you are so clearly speaking into her heart. You are with us in the good and the hard parts of life, and today you are so near to Amber. May she sense that, in Jesus’ powerful name.
Anna thank you for your story. I am 2 1/2 years into my healing from my husbands affair of 5 years. I have read, subscribed and done practically everything everything under the sun to “heal” from the unspeakable pain of finding out about the affair. Nothing worked, but reading scripture and praying for God to change me. Sometimes i cant believe the strength i have and cant imagine where it came from, but I must have needed it! Anna, like you, I came from a very abusive childhood and like you I wasn’t going to give in to Satan by divorcing my husband and again like you I believed God did not want us to divorce. Now, 2. 1/2 years into my journey, and being separated, my husband and I are living together and going to counseling. We are in different places in our healing but work on our marriage daily; some days are good and some not so good but showing love, empathy and respect during such a “worse” time in our marriage will make way for the new as God has promised. I pray for my husbands’ pain in his heart to be replaced with love again. I thank The Lord for all the changes He has made in me. Anna Thank you for sharing your story and for your faith and patience. We can leave the past behind and start new. God Bless.
I want to thank Suzie for sharing my story today. Also, all those who came and read it and commented. I want to let you all know that God heals,restores,and forgives ALL who have sinned and repented. When it seems like no one understands, no one cares, and the burden is just too much. God is right there with you.As I struggled with all my different emotions it was hard some days. You know What? It was alright with God. He already knew what I was thinking and the pain I was feeling. However, in a gentle, tender, loving voice God still said to FORGIVE.
When things seem to become so overwhelming I started to focus on my CONDITION instead of my POSITION in CHRIST. My prayer for all of you is that God show you who you are in Him. Here are a few scriptures I still use today and I spoke over my husband:
I am God’s Child(John 1:12)
I am faithful(Eph. 1:1)
I am confident that God will perfect the work He had begun in me/us(Philippians 1:6)
I am blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing (Eph. 1:3)
I am forgiven (EPH. 1:8; Col. 1:14)
Thank you all for sharing your stories. It has truly been a blessing. I will be praying for complete healing and restoration in your marriages. God Bless
Thank you for this. I wish I could see repentance. I have 3 yrs of circumstantial evidence and complete denial by my husband. In fact, he tells me I’m crazy…imagining things. I long for repentance so we can restore our marriage of 36 years! I am willing to extend forgiveness if he will stop…but since he won’t admit it’s happening I won’t know if it does stop. I’m thinking I need to set some boundaries and just decide when I reach the point to leave. I just hate to throw away the life we’ve invested…with adult children who won’t believe this has happened. It’s all a nightmare. But it helps to know other Christian women are faced with this. Thanks for your courage in sharing.
Hi Lynn, In Chapter Three of The Unburdened Heart I share the story of Carly, whose husband was not only unrepentant, but left her for another. At that point, forgiveness looks a little different, and it’s just as hard a path of faith, but the results were a woman not marked by pain or resentment or bitterness, but wholeness. In no way do I (or Anna) want to make this Pollyannaish, for it’s a betrayal and a hurt that goes deep, and it’s not God’s will. But it also isn’t God’s will that we remain trapped in unforgiveness, either. We were intended to live free. May I suggest another book that is soon to be released (you can preorder it), and that is The Emotionally Destructive Marriage by Leslie Vernick, LMFT, a licensed Christian counselor. It’s a powerful, helpful book that I think will give you some insight and tools to make the decisions you share above.
Thank you for your transparency and hope you share. Forgiveness is truly a process that God is gently walking me. I pray for God to rebuild something even better.
I struggle daily with forgiving my (now ex) husband for his affair. It happened while I was in the middle of chemo/radiation and he left 3 weeks before my surgery was scheduled. He never showed any real remorse and only admitted it when directly confronted with the evidence. Now, 1 1/2 years later he gets angry that I’m not “over it” and I’m still so angry at having to deal with major surgery and an additional round of chemotherapy alone, as a single parent while he “played” with his new girlfriend.. I ask God everyday to lead me to forgiveness, but still mourn the loss of everything I dreamed of. At 49, after an operation that pretty much ensures an inability to have a “real” marriage, I fear spending the rest of my life alone.
Hey Janet, I’m a cancer survivor (of 22 years!) so I understand that you are in a battle that consumes your thoughts, your time, and your body. My heart hurts over this abandonment. I see your picture above, and I want you to know that you are beautiful in person, and beautiful to God. Mourning your loss is essential, but my prayer is that you will also rediscover life, and that which is satisfying and full (John 10:10b). My prayer is also that there is godly counsel that can help you both find healing and tools to work through this untended brokenness. I hope that you’ll pick up The Unburdened Heart and read Chapter Three (Carly’s story). Her story is different than Anna’s in that she didn’t have a happily ever after ending, but she found peace and wholeness after unfaithfulness. May I pray for you today? Father, wrap Janet close today. The enemy has been lying to her and telling her that she is beyond healing. Your very name means healing, and today, in that name, I call our hers to you. Cover her. Heal the past hurts. Give her what she needs to move beyond this, and open the eyes of her husband as only you can to Your tender mercies, but also your transforming power in His life. Cover this home and marriage, and protect this marriage as it begins anew. In Jesus’ name, amen.
I’m amazed at this account… May GOD bless you and your marriage.
Tricia, Anna is special, but I think that’s because she has grasped who she is to God, and what He can do when she opens her heart to his healing presence. Which means, then, that we are all special to God, because He offers that to each of us daily, in the good and the harder parts of our life and faith. Thank you so much for coming her today.
In January of this year my husband of 13 years came to me and confessed he had a month long affair with someone he worked with. We are in ministry, which made it public and much more difficult. He stood before our congregation to confess and ask forgiveness. This is by far the most difficult thing I have ever been through. In the moments after his confession to me, God audibly spoke to my heart and told me, “Show him grace. I’ve been teaching you about grace for a reason. You’ve got to show him grace.” In the 6 months since then, I have wanted to leave at times, because I just don’t think I can do it. I wonder how I will ever feel happiness and love again for a man that ripped my heart out. We are fighting every day to repair our marriage. We are pursuing ministry again even in the midst of this crisis because we believe God doesn’t want us to sit idle, but that He wants to use us somehow for His glory. I’m more broken than I’ve ever been. I’ve been angry at my husband, angry at God, angry at myself for not continuing to confront him, but at the end of the day, I know in the deepest places of my soul that I love my husband, and we both love God so all things are possible. It isn’t easy, but I’m praying that it will be all worth the heartache and pain someday when we are on the other side of this. “Even what the enemy means for evil, You turn it for our good, and for Your glory” (Sovereign Over Us by Aaron Keyes) is my prayer for our lives.
BR, I have great compassion and hurt reading your story today. We as women were created as emotional beings. The humiliation, brokenness, and anger are all normal. In Chapter 10 of Suzie’s book, “The Unburdened Heart” she talks about God being angry at evil. Though unfaithfulness is not mentioned in this chapter and I am not saying your husband is evil. God hates the evil act of unfaithfulness. God shares your anger.
BR, I struggled for about a year and kept all these emotions inside. I was confussed between communication and heaping condemnation on my husband. I was also afraid if i confronted him with all of my feelings he might leave. By doing this all of sudden little things would bother me and i was about to explode.Finally, after godly consel and praying for God to prepare my husbands heart to recieve what I had to say.We began our conversation. Now I didn’t have to yell and scream but gently confront and asked all the hard questions, and just said whatever I was feeling. My husband didn’t like it but said he knew I had to talk about it with him. Much to my surprise the communication lines were open to talk freely anytime.
One more thing before we pray. You have mentioned about doing ministry because God doesn’t want you idle. In Colossians 3:23-24 it is talking about do EVERYTHING as unto the Lord and you will recieve a reward of the inheritance. I so wanted to get back and start sharing Jesus with people. God began to share with me that MY MINISTRY WAS MY MARRIAGE!!! I encourange you to focus on God and your husband. Trying to be a Proverbs 31 wife is not easy but it is in the bible and God will give you the strength to become a Proverbs31 women.
Lord, I pray for BR today and I ask that you just wrap your arms around her and comfort and love her. God take the fear away and replace it with supernatural faith. Begin to heal this marriage and teach them both how to minister to one another. Open the lines of communication without condemnation or guilt.I speak joy, posperity, peace, and love into their hearts and lives. In Jesus name. Amen
Thank you for your words of wisdom. You mentioned that our marriage is my ministry, and I do agree. While I know that I am not perfect, I have always tried my best to honor, respect, and love my husband and be a Godly wife as I feel the Scripture commands. Even when I knew the affair was going on, I continued to try to be a Godly example to him.
We are (self supported) missionaries. We are currently living in the US raising support (the affair occurred as we were doing this). Would you suggest that we put fundraising and moving on hold for a while? We really felt like the Lord was leading us to continue to purse a move to our destination either this fall or early spring of next year. I know time tables are different for everyone. Would you say it’s possible for healing to have taken place enough that we might minister in a foreign country?
BR, only you and your husband and prayer can make that decision. Is there someone whose counsel you can trust, perhaps a licensed Christian counselor, or a godly and wise and caring elder in your missions organization? I think that Anna and I and others know that we aren’t big enough to tell you what to do, but my hopes are that someone who can truly hear your heart and assess your questions with skill and knowledge and insight could be a huge help to you right now. Even they will not be telling you what to do, but giving wise counsel, prayer, and tools to help you and your husband make a decision together.
I would like to share with evryone 2 paragraphs from Suzie’s Book “The Unburdened Heart.” In chapter 3 it reads;
“If your trust has been betrayed, the thought of forgiving might make you feel vulnerable, not just with your spouse but with God. You might think that it’s impossible to forgive. And you are right on every count. It does make you vulnerable; but don’t confuse vulnerablilty with weakness. To be vulnerable simply means that you choose not to live a sheltered, fenced-in life that keeps you hemmed in.
Give yourself permission to be honest with your heavenly Father, but with the understanding that there is nothing in Scripture that condones unfaithfulness. It’s not in God’s plan or His character. And if this same God grieves over the fallen sparrow(seeMatt.10:29), then He grieves over your broken relationship. He is big enough to handle your honesty while leading you to a new level of spiritual joy and intimacy and even tender vulnerability in your relationship with Him.”
WOW! I mean God grieves with me and when we come to Him so broken He is big enough. I found in my brokennenss that is when God put me back together the way He wanted.
Look, I have not written any books, I dont travel around the world speaking to thousands of women, I barely know how to use a computer. i am a normal everyday person who Loves God and shares my testimony whenever I can.
However, I know who I am in Christ. I had to dig deep in th word of God daily, I had to crucify my flesh. This journey was not easy but I was so determined to obey God and that meant FORGIVENESS.
It is so amazing to read all these posts and realize I am not alone in this place that I feel like I can never escape from.
My husband of 5 years left about 9 years ago while I was expecting our first child. I pleaded with him to stay and asked him to go to counseling. He told me how he felt unloved by me- like we were living as friends not as lovers. I realized my faults and was prepared to do anything to save our marriage. He wasn’t. I found out about a much younger woman that he was with at the time. This crushed me, but I had to be strong for our child. He was there for the baby being born. I had hopes that he would see our son and that would bring him back home. It didn’t. After 3 years of separation, I divorced him. I moved on and God showed up in my life. He allowed me to see my son as a blessing during the worst possible time in my life. He brought me closer to my family and close friends. He allowed me to pursue dreams that I never knew I had. God was my “husband”.
Fast forward 7 years. He remarried, we have better communication then when we were married. We are both great parents to our son.
Then his wife leaves him- for a variety of reasons, wants to move away, but he won’t move away from his son, etc. etc. He does what a wise man should do and try to make it work and fight for her. (Of course I got mad at that!)
Not too long after she filed for divorce and took all of their earthly goods, he started coming around me and our son a lot more. Eventually he asked if we could try to make it work again. He did everything you could think of to make it right – he wrote letters to every one of our friends apologizing for his actions and for affecting so many lives. Of course many would think this was a dream come true… even I would have.. until it happened.
I started feeling so much “stuff” inside of me- it was not pleasant… distrust, confusion, walls so high, lack of emotion toward him. I struggled, went to a counselor, talked through it, dove into scripture. I had to be honest with him and little by little I was. The last 2 years he has tried so hard to love me and our son. He has gifted me with surprise birthday parties, anything i could ever want, told me everything I was to him- but still I struggle to accept anything he says. I struggle to trust him, even with everything he is doing. I want to love him, I try to practice forgiveness DAILY, but the fears are so real inside me. He just can’t understand them. I have a tough time communicating this to him.
So this past month he decided he did not want to try anymore. I blame myself in many ways because I can’t seem to get over my fears of what else he is capable of doing. He told me he was done and that I will never be able to love him like he needs. I am crushed again- I guess it’s partly my own fault, but how do I heal? and trust someone who is capable of doing that to me? And I found out he is dating someone else. Another thing for him to do to crush me.
Part of me wants to fight for him and for healing for us. But he doesn’t believe me anymore. He says he doesn’t want to be married to me again if it’s going to be like the last 2 years- ouch, again. Part of me says- just like I thought, he’d do it again… I am torn. I know my God is greater than this and even now wants to heal me, but I have a tough time allowing him and even knowing what to do. Always feel confused. Nothing I can say or do (I don’t know what to do) ever seems to change. Feeling hopeless.