True Life: My Husband was Unfaithful

This post is part of our True Life series where OKC moms are sharing real trials & tribulations they have gone through as mothers, as wives, and as women. 

True life- infidelity

There’s no instruction manual on how to go through infidelity. When it happens – it completely rocks your world.

I knew that something wasn’t right in my marriage and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what it was.  I remember crying out to God in the middle of the night to reveal to me what was going on – I was just at a loss and needed answers.

But I never had to snoop around.  I never checked his phone or his e-mails.  I never hired a private detective.

It all just fell in my lap. 

There were times that I went through the motions of confronting my husband and was always left with a lie that, at the time, I trusted was the truth.

And then he finally told me the whole truth. 

I already knew bits and pieces, but I hadn’t heard it yet from him.  I felt numb, confused, hurt, devastated, insecure, crazy, and emotionally unstable.  I couldn’t catch my breath.  And did I mention that I felt crazy?  I was leaning over the sink in the kitchen trying to breathe as my husband and I talked through everything. That day changed our lives – as a couple, as a family, and as people.

I’ll be honest – for a long time after that talk in the kitchen, I prayed for God to release His hand off my marriage so I could just walk away from the hurt in my heart that had taken over my life.  I knew it would be much easier to be out of my marriage than to work to get through it.

But there was so much more to it than that.

What I didn’t know:

  • Would my marriage survive?
  • Could I get through this?
  • Could I trust again?
  • Would the hurt go away?

What I knew for sure:

  • I was hurt and in disbelief.
  • I had to heal – with or without my husband & marriage
  • I couldn’t go through this journey alone.
  • I had to put a plan in action.
  • No matter what, I wanted for each of us to be spiritually sound and emotionally healthy.

Women often say to me, “Why did you stay?” or, “I’d never stay after someone hurt me like that” or, “Women who stay are weak and insecure, I can’t believe you forgave him”.

If these are your thoughts, I want you to know something:

I wanted to leave. I wanted to leave and never come back.
But it’s a lot easier said than done. I knew leaving didn’t line up with what God was calling me to do. I held fast to my belief that God would use our marriage, and this difficult part of our marriage, for good.We are now in our third year of restoration and reconciliation in our marriage.  We have gone through this together with dedication, commitment, counseling, prayer, support, and in-depth work on ourselves as individuals.

My marriage did not go back to what it once was.
And it’s good that it didn’t. When you build a house, you don’t bring in weak wood, or old wood.  You bring in fresh, sturdy, strong wood.  It’s the same thing with rebuilding a marriage – you have to create a new marriage because you both transform into new people.

It is possible to get through infidelity.

But only if both parties work hard at it together.  Both parties have to choose to do the work as a couple, and as individuals.  It. Is. Not. Easy.  But there are three things that helped me get through:

1. Choose your support system wisely
You cannot go through this alone.  Be very selective about who you allow into this journey with you.  Choose people who will not judge your spouse or yourself or any decisions that you make.  My support allowed me to text them the obscene things I wanted to say to the other women, they prayed for me, they were a light in my life.  I did not tell my side of the family – I knew that even if I forgave my husband, they may not reach a place of forgiveness and that would not be okay in the long run.

2. Seek God – Not the World
Whether or not you are a Christian, seeking God was my greatest healer in this journey.  I fully relied on my faith and I cannot express enough how instrumental the Lord is and was in this journey to be restored.  It is only by the love of God that I could extend grace and forgiveness, because I was receiving it myself from Him.  There is no doubt in my mind that if my husband and I didn’t first seek God we would NOT be together today.

3. Grieve. Then Keep Moving Forward.
It’s okay to cry and allow triggers to break you, but it’s not okay to stay there.  You lost a marriage that you once knew and the man you fell in love with.  But as with any loss, you can mourn your whole life and be miserable, or you can move forward and start getting healthy.

To everyone who has been through this: IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. You are worthy, valuable, strong, beautiful – and you are not alone.  Be brave and courageous.
I believe in you.

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8 Responses to True Life: My Husband was Unfaithful

  1. Kristi August 24, 2015 at 8:02 am #

    I am so sorry you have been through this trial but what a light of hope you are giving to others who have been through, are going through or will go through this same trial.

    I have had friends in similar situations who have chosen to do the same thing you have done – allow God to work his healing power into your relationship and to see them now it’s so amazing! When both parties are willing to work at saving the marriage, God can take something utterly broken and transform it into something new and beautiful that glorifies him.

    Thank you for sharing a very difficult part of your life and very good points.

  2. Casey August 24, 2015 at 8:36 am #

    Thank you for doing the grueling work of forgiveness, for choosing to trust even when he doesn’t deserve it and for choosing to love even when you don’t feel like it.

    Do not believe the lies that infidelity screams at you. You are beautiful. You are valuable. You are loved.

  3. Stacey August 24, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

    I’ve been through this myself. The easier path is to leave your husband. For me, none of it made sense. I just knew in my heart that my husband was still a good man. He was a hurting man. And I just couldn’t imagine going through life without him. I was one of those woman that always said I would never stay. But until you go through it, you can’t say how you would react. You are right. What got us through it was that we both put in the effort to make our marriage work better than it did before. We did weekly counseling with a wonderful psychologist for 7 months. Counseling is key in my opinion. It has been 6 years since I discovered the infedelity and we have begun a family since then. I would not have 2 amazing children without him. He is a wonderful, engaged father and I would not have known this new life had I not worked through the hardest, most painful thing in my life. It’s worth it! Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. Amy
    Amy August 25, 2015 at 10:33 am #

    Kudos for being real. It would be a different world if everyone felt free to be real and tell the truth. A lot of hope and healing would happen, instead of suffering in silence. You chose the harder path for staying. And you will be rewarded.

  5. Elizabeth August 31, 2015 at 9:13 am #

    Yes, yes, yes! I am with you 100%, Sister! It is so wonderful to have someone say exactly what I did when we also went through this! It is a bomb with shrapnel that rips through your life- But God is FULLY capable of healing all of those wounds!
    I am in AWE of the miracles God has performed through our marriage- we still have a ways to go, but He is creating us through His grace & forgiveness into the people He wants us to be!!
    Thank you for sharing!! This can often feel like a very lonely journey, as it is not one we have openly shared- even with our families.
    I will be praying for your marriage as you continue to be held in the safety of your Father’s wings & move forward to the life He has called you to live!!
    Love & hugs to you!

  6. Sarah September 2, 2015 at 3:03 am #

    Great article! A beautiful perspective on forgiveness, healing and above all strength! The only thing I’d push back on (because isn’t dialogue what this is all about?) is that the path of leaving your husband is most certainly not the “easier” path. One path is not easier than another, each story is different and I only speak from devastating experience. I love to hear your story of success and restoration. But when one side is not open for that journey back towards restoration and redemption, then the path laid out is grueling and deeply sad.
    I write in another city for CMB and hope to write about the other path. Thank you for your inspiration! Rejoicing in your marriage victory with you!

  7. Myssie September 2, 2015 at 9:03 pm #

    Bravo! Thank you for sharing this! I and too many others that I know and love have gone through this same exact ordeal. You wrote verbatim every single heartbreaking moment that completely rewrote my fairytale. And I’ll be honest… I still struggle daily. It isn’t easy.
    Much love and continued hope!!!

  8. Rachel September 3, 2015 at 6:34 am #

    Thank you for this article. I have been going through this too for the past 1.5yrs(after being married for 9 years),and like you, I knew deep down that something was off for a few years,and anytime I would bring something up,it would be met with an argument. It finally fell in my lap by me actually physically catching him.
    If you had asked me 5 or 10 years earlier, I would have said emphatically that there was no way I would ever stay in a marriage after something like that. But as much as I wanted too, that release to leave just wasn’t there from God,and too we have two young kids and the thought of being a single parent frightens me.
    I have 2 people who I have shared this with who have been where I am.
    I still am praying for restoration in our marriage because he really doesn’t seem to really care too much about what happens. Well, he says he does,but his actions don’t line up. I have good days and not so good days. Sometimes it just hits out of nowhere. Praying for the day when when I can look back and see how our my marriage has changed for the better.

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