His story:

It seemed that we were doing well in spite of the obvious challenges.  We were both  still wary of the unknown, but still wanting to be together.  In the confusion of a surviving an affair – that’s a huge thing.

truth hurtsOne Saturday night, the kids were already in bed and we were chatting after drying the dishes from dinner.   She told me of a book she had been reading and that God had been challenging her to be completely transparent an honest.  I was thinking “what? Haven’t you been honest up to now?”. My heart was racing a bit, but I let her continue.  “I have been physical with more than [affair guy’s name] during our marriage”  she shared.  “Just kissing” she continued, “but I wanted to tell you”.  I asked why she wasn’t just honest at the start – why bring this up 4 months later?

She said she was scared of hurting me more.  I explained that dishonesty would never make anything ‘better’.  So I encouraged her to begin with the details.  She told me that she had been ‘physical’ (not sex) with 3 other guys during our marriage. One was her boss at the time.  I was floored.  How was I meant to process this?  I asked her just to tell me all the details – no use hiding anything else.  I knew all of them.  They all knew she was married while it was happening.  I asked “was it just kissing, or a bit of fiddling with each other’s bits as well”.  She started of saying it was just kissing, then corrected herself “with the first guy there was a bit of touching up top”.  It wasn’t any easier to handle.

She got on her knees before me and held my hand while crying “this is everything” she said.  “No more secrets – this is just all of me asking you to forgive me again”.  We talked a bit more and in the context of dealing with the affair, I forgave again.  We went to bed, cuddled and talked some more.  I asked “how could you keep deceiving me?”  She felt it was to protect me, but it was more about self preservation.  She sat there a little scared, pondering if there was anything else to tell me.  She then threw her hands over her face – “God, no!” there was one more.  4 guys.  ‘Just kissing’ or not she had now been unfaithful with 4 guys during our marriage.  “Just those” she said” and the 2 at the student conference I told you about previously (while studying her PhD).  I fired up – “2?”.  “When did it become 2?  You told me it was only one guy.  Why do you keep lying to me?  How long do you think I can keep dealing with this?”

She burst in to tears – realising the depth of her betrayal.  I felt like rolling over and putting my back to her, but I kept facing her and holding her, even thought she couldn’t look at me.  We didn’t sleep much that night.

Her story:

I read a book about a Christian couple that survived an affair while I was away on a work trip and there were many things that hit very close to home.  One thing that God convicted me of was that when we were on our ‘first re-date’ and getting to know each other again, I mentioned about previous indiscretions, but only said about the spin-the-bottle time.  I thought I said there were other times, but didn’t push the issue.  Now, it seemed I needed to make sure that my Husband was aware of just how much I screwed up.

Even during this time of confession, I inadvertently kept details to myself.  My Husband sometimes has a knack of saying something like what he wants to say, but gets it slightly wrong (like calling ‘dates’ ‘prunes’).  When we were talking about previous indiscretions, and I talked about who I had slept with, he did say my boss’s name, but I’m pretty sure he meant to say the affair guy’s name instead.  In my head, that was fine – he understood.

I was still amazed that he would want to share the same bed as me that night.  I’m not sure I would have had that strength if the situation had been reversed.

sadThe big penny drops:  The next morning we both woke early and there were so many thoughts and fears rushing through my mind.  Would I be strong enough to keep fighting after this latest round of deceit?  I ran through what she had told me the previous night – just so there was clarity.  “So, 4 guys, plus the 2 at the conference, and it was just kissing (except for the boobs with one)?”.  “Yes” she responded.  “So how did these not progress any further?  Why weren’t these guys trying for more?” I asked.  She said that she wasn’t wanting anymore.  I guess that was some sort of relief.  I responded “I guess I’m just glad that is was pretty much just kissing!”.  I couldn’t stop asking, probably just to get it straight in my head – “seriously, nothing more physical happened”. She was quiet for a bit and then replied “there may have been a bit more with [her boss].  Oh, no – it begins again!

“What?  So was there or wasn’t there? it’s not a hard question” I persisted.  She replied “I can’t remember – I was drunk”.  I told her if she can’t remember she was either too drunk to do anything.  She said there was some touching.  “Just some boobs?” I asked.  I wasn’t liking where this was headed.  “There might have been some touching downstairs” she continued.  “Was there, or wasn’t there?” I pushed, knowing she was hiding something.  “There was touching downstairs” she confirmed.  “It’s all a blur – I can’t remember” she persisted.  I knew she was covering something that she was trying desperately not to remember.  I asked her whether she slept with him.  She once again said she couldn’t remember.   “You do remember” I said “why are you still lying to me?”.  In tears, she finally admitted “yes”.

I had jumped out of bed by now and was clearly agitated. Not only an affair, but now 3 physical betrayals and another sexual encounter – not to mention all the deception and lies over the last 4 months.  I was so close to either walking out the door or asking her to leave.   I got dressed for Church (ironic, huh?) and looked at her saying “you may have just ruined everything”.  I threw my phone on the bed (that’s about as angry as I get).  She had to drive me Church as I was playing in the band that morning.  When we arrived she looked at me and said “I’m sorry”.  I wasn’t sure if it would be enough anymore.  It was the only time I haven’t kissed her goodbye.

As I went for an early-morning run the next morning, I realised that my Husband probably didn’t know that he’d said the wrong name the previous night, when talking about who I’d slept with.  It was still really hard for me to say the words, I didn’t want to lie to him, but I didn’t want face the reality that I had betrayed him, and lied to him yet again, even after saying that was everything.

That day was hard … I didn’t know if my Husband wanted me to leave, or him to spend time by himself.  I was willing to give him space if he needed it.  I felt really low, but I know it can’t compare to how he felt – knowing it was my fault, for the actual act and for the lying and deception again.

I didn’t know if we could make it past this.


 

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