This is an old post, from Word press, that I wrote before using Blogger. It is my background story. For those of you who are getting to know me and want to know where I'm coming from.
Here's part One.
I am thinking about writing a brief memoir on the topic of Infidelity and only because I have experienced it myself. Not that I am an expert or have the greatest advice either but more out of therapy. Now the fearful side of me says, "No, stop, don't do it!" It's so personal and close to my heart that I am tempted not to go there but the other side of me says, "What if something you share touches some one?" I won't get into all the nitty gritty details but highlight areas of my past and present journey. I will change names to protect the innocent of course.
As a disclaimer, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all or in this case don't comment at all. It has been almost 4 years (5 years now) since the initial disclosure and I don't need anyone telling me what to do or giving advice. Thanks!
February 14th, 2005. Valentines Day. My husband (of 7 years) and I had just celebrated the holiday over the weekend, so no big plans were in the mix this day. We had enjoyed this time together and treated the day like any other day. I dropped him off at work, dropped the kids of at a friends and went to work. On my break I tried to call him but no answer.
After several tries I went back to work and thought he would return the calls later or I would just see him at home. I had been feeling somewhat off/odd all day but pushed that to the side to focus on my job. At the time we lived next door to my parents and so after picking up the kids, after work, we went home. My dad asked to talk with me and now that I think about it, I have no idea where my children were in all this. I think they were downstairs watching a movie?
My dad and mom, as well as some family friends were there and they sat me down to lay on the news. "_____, has been arrested," my dad tells me. He goes on to tell me the charges and that my husband was now sitting in the city jail for a sexual offense. I sat there very dumbfounded, replaying the last 5 years over in my mind and mentally kicking myself for not "seeing" it before. I actually asked them if they were kidding! Like ha ha, not April fools day!
I was heart broken. In complete shock and then came denial. During the shock phase, I felt better thinking about not staying with him. I was completely justified in leaving this man and wanted him to rot in jail. I no longer would have the burden of dealing with him or feeling like I was the one to blame for all the dysfunction in our relationship. I usually would act first then think later but for some reason chose to sleep on it.
So what little sleep I could get, after crying most of the night, I woke up in a haze the next morning. Some where between reality and dreaming I had landed in a altered reality. I can only describe it like an out of body experience. I had called some close friends over and shared with them the news. I am so thankful that my Friends and family were there to support me at this time. Something that shocked them and myself was my desire to pray, not just for me but for him and pretty much the human race as a whole.
It had become clear to me at that moment, that no one is above making bad decisions and every wrong choice we make is still sin. Its all the same in God's eyes. Sin is Sin, no matter how you dice it. My thought was this. We should all mourn our sin because the effects of sin do the same thing-separate us from God and those around us.
I say there were signs prior, so let me elaborate. College days, I would warn him about girls in youth ministry and to handle with care. The first year of our marriage, there was some sexual dysfunction and I thought this was due to performance jitters but never thought he was still struggling with an addiction to porn. The 3rd year we were married, at a marriage conference he admits to a problem with pornography that he has been dealing with since early adolescence. I was quite naive and this was my response, "Well, talk to someone that can help and take care of that. It hurts me that you would look at such things and makes me feel so inadequate."
During his time as a merchandiser after child 2, he would comment on women hitting on him and giving him their numbers but thought he would throw the numbers away. I would find porn sites on our history on line periodically. His sex drive was hit and miss. He started using work as an excuse to be away from home more. He started caring about his hair and clothing more, which I thought was a sort of pre-mid life crisis.
He played video games in order to escape reality in a out of control way, neglecting me and our children on a regular basis. I thought he had dealt with this so many years prior and had no idea of the struggle going on in his mind. The confusing part is he never once belittled me, he always told me how beautiful I am-even while pregnant and kept up his facade really well.
Two days later I go to visit _____ and the night prior, prayed for God to help me face this man I thought I had known so well. That night I wrestled with God and the only message I received was Forgiveness. God whispered to my shattered and betrayed heart, "Forgive Him". I knew that this wasn't going to be easy and it wasn't going to be a one time thing but something, that even now as I type this, I would have to do over and over again.
The third day comes, Wednesday, and I arrive frightened and foolish to the City Jail. I sign in, check out a locker, put my belongings away and wait with other visitors in the waiting room. I am cold and shiver slightly. My stomach is in knots and I can feel my heart beat in my throat. It feels as if I could stop breathing at any moment and finally, the guards let us go upstairs to our prospective visitation areas. The jail is a bright, slightly grey white and all the visitation areas have hard metal stools and the viewing glass partitions to add to the cold, hardness of it all. I feel like I am walking the line to death row and can't seem to walk fast enough to where I need to be.
After what seems like an eternity I see his face around the corner. He is wearing prison garbs that look like someone washed something red with it on accident but know this is intentional after seeing many others dressed the same way. Later I find out its just another humiliation tactic the jail has for the inmates. I never in my entire life thought I would be on any side of the glass in a jail talking to someone that I loved so dearly. I barely got to the stool and before I could renege, I mouthed the words "I forgive you".
The message had gotten through and we shed a lot of tears. I wasn't sure how I was going to face him or even if he wanted to stay in the marriage. This man had just experienced what forgiveness was really about and could not even embrace me or cry too much for fear of repercussion in jail. It was very hard not to touch him but then again I was glad because even though I had forgiven him, I still wanted to punch him. We could not discuss things too much, due to the nature of his crime and I wanted to reserve story time for when he got out on bail. I could see his sorrow and regret but wanted to wait until he was home to get a real sense of his heart. I wanted to be sure he was sorry and not just because he got caught.
I arranged for a private attorney to handle his case because a trial had been set and made a bail hearing for Friday. I came up with bail and he is only released on the contingency of having third party at all times. Thankfully, his brother and I were allowed this "honor" and he was released on a 1500.00 bail bond. I pick him up the next morning, Saturday, and feel so angry. I didn't speak to him, hardly and after being home awhile I gave him the opportunity to come clean. I told him to lay it all out and that I would not interrupt or judge him.
I wish I could have given him this same safety prior but know it may not have changed any future decisions. So he starts from the beginning and confesses to other affairs. I can hardly stand it but keep my word and just listen. This was one of those moments I am grateful for because it could have turned out so much different and healing would have been that much more delayed. He finishes and we go to bed together. I didn't think it necessary to kick him out or make him sleep on the couch. I wanted to extend grace and mercy to this man because I had received these very things in my own life. It was not forgive and forget but a step toward restoration of our marriage.
The whole week I remember feeling so jilted. Why did this happen? Why didn't God stop him? I don't want to go through this! Is this some kind of cruel cosmic joke? Some generational sin prank? My thought was, my mom went through this pain and I remember being thankful that I didn't have to but now I get to walk in her shoes, feel her pain and experience this world shaking reality. This was a group of women I did not want to be apart of and thought I had done everything to avoid it. I still struggle with being int his camp. To this day I go back and forth. Resenting going to support groups or even sharing "my story" with others but know its necessary to bring this to the light and that there has been so much growth and healing because of the ongoing efforts. Individually and as a couple.
This was only week one. More to come. Why we moved to Hawaii. Tomorrow.