His Story:

It was difficult day to face.  Knowing I had more than enough reason to take the kids and leave her.  Wondering if I would be foolish not to.  But there was this thing in my head that God had put there right back at the confession.  I knew God wanted me to stick by her and I remember saying to her “if it ever happened again, I’d still forgive you”. Never would I thought I’d be facing that decision.

Alcohol smWe talked a lot that night.  I asked her how it happened.  She told me that it had happened at a work conference they were at together.  They had shared a meal with others and she was a little tipsy.  Being the CEO of the company (he is married with kids), he had a fancy room and asked her whether she’d like to see the view from his  balcony.  Yes, a very pathetic pick-up line, but she didn’t realise.  While out on the balcony, he leaned in and kissed her.  She didn’t immediately pull back but said “we shouldn’t be doing this – you are my boss”.  I told her “Thanks!  You don’t think it’s a good thing to stop because you are married – just because he was your boss?”.  I wasn’t feeling that our marriage had any meaning to her – ever – at this stage.  She said they never talked about it again.

 Her Story:

 I got to the point that morning where I didn’t want to eat anything – in the past I have either binge eaten or starved myself during times of emotional turmoil.  We went to church together, and I was comforted by the fact that my Husband put his arm around me, but I wasn’t sure whether that was an act on his part, or that he really wanted to do it.  We came home and both had something to eat – I didn’t want to sabotage another area of my life by not eating.

The talk we had that day was incredible – I was amazed he was still there and wanted to be there.  I know it was hard on him, but it finished with us in each other’s arms, not knowing what the future would hold for us, but wanting to be there for each other in the now.

I was trying to figure out where these moments into the span of our marriage, so she told me the timeline.  One thing was becoming evident.  I had blamed much of the affair on her work, but it was clear that is not so much a cause, but a conduit.  While spelling out the timeline, she said the affair was from 2007 to 2010.  “What?”  I questioned.  “That doesn’t add up.  You told me the affair was only for two years, now you are saying it was for three?”.  She started to respond saying she told me it was three, but I interrupted and re-stated “no, you clearly told me it was 2 years. So, which is it – 2 or 3?  Or was it more?”.  She told me it was for three years. I asked her again why she keeps lying to me.  “Aren’t I worth the truth?  Especially after all of this?”.  She promised me she would not hide anything from me anymore.  I promised myself I would never let her lie to me again.

 I found a lot of things during this conversation that I thought I had told my husband, I really hadn’t.  It showed me that I was really bad at communicating – especially the tough things that may rebound on me.  It was my self-preservation again at its best.  If I thought I’d told him something I didn’t think I needed to bring it up again.  But if he asked me about it again, and I gave a different answer (rather than a half-truth), it reeked of the deception and lies that characterised my life until then.

pick-up-line-loadingIn the interest of full disclosure she told me, she told me of another incident with her boss – but not sex!  It was in some way a relief, but yet something else she had not been honest about previously.  She told me that 2 years after their first encounter (during the time of her affair), they were away together on another trip for work.  While watching TV together in his hotel room, she mentioned she had a sore shoulder.  He offered her a massage  (cheap pick-up attempt no. 2)  and she accepted.

She lay on the bed face down while he massaged he shoulders, then her back, slowly getting his hands under her t-shirt.  He asked/told her to move so she could take her shirt off.  She would have had to move or sit up to make this possible – which would indicate she was agreeing to it – so the shirt came off and the massage continued.  As soon as the ‘massage’ finished she quickly put her shirt back on and ended the ‘moment’.  It was clear he was hoping for more.  How she could choose to stop the scenario (it was clear where he was wanting to progress to) while having an affair, but not the previous times because of our relationship cut deeply.

It was another thing being thrown on my already struggling shoulders.  Another thing that logic would state I shouldn’t have to put up with.

I don’t know why or how I get into these situations, or how I can be so naive as to not expect them to go any further.  I guess I thought that the guy will always stop before it gets too far, but now I realise that most guys will just keep going until the girl says stop.

The day after this encounter happened, I remember going for a walk by myself and wondering how I let it happen (even though it wasn’t sex, it was still a betrayal to my marriage).  And yes, it was during the time of the affair – why I stopped this rather than the affair as well, is something I just don’t know. 

 

Faith2smReason versus God:  One of the hardest things I have had to deal with is the pressure of worldly expectations and understanding.  If someone came to me with ‘my’ story of betrayal, deceit and infidelity – would I be counseling them to stay, or go?  God’s forgiveness is without measure – I know that personally, but how much can I realistically handle.  I guess the answer is in the fact that we are still together today.  But, I was often confronted with tough questions.

  • Was I not leaving because I’d feel embarrassed that ‘my’ marriage fell apart?
  • Would I feel foolish because people would see that I was ignorant to my wife’s many departures?
  • Was it that I’d not want people in our Church to see our failure as a family
  • Would I be viewed as a’lesser’ Christian because of a marriage breakup
  • many. many others!

None of this makes sense, but I don’t need it to.  I try not to think of why I don’t leave, but rather what we have to gain by staying together.  I have made a choice – to fight for us. It doesn’t need to make make sense when held up to against worldly views – God is bigger than that!

To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.  Hebrews 11:1

 About this time in my relationship with my Husband I was really starting to question why.  Why did I do the things I did?  Why didn’t I stop them before they even started?  I realise that God always gave me an opportunity to get out, but I didn’t take these opportunities, most of the time.  I know that God wouldn’t put me in a situation I couldn’t handle with his help, but I failed so many times and I didn’t know why.

I felt that often I was two separate people – one being the ‘good Christian wife’ and the other being the ‘rebellious teenager’-type that was taking advantage of freedom.  How could I sleep with or be intimate with someone else and then come home and be with my Husband?  I don’t think I ever thought how he would feel if he found out about this stuff – I was just concerned with having my cake and eating it too.  Another reason I feel so sad and sorry about this time in my life, and regret the years I wasted, leading a double life and not giving my Husband the respect, love and time that he deserved.


 

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