Introduction from Esther
I’m excited to do something a little different here today. Hopefully, this will turn into a series over time and we’ll have the opportunity to hear from many Dearly Loved Daughters of the Lord God Almighty who have overcome intimate betrayal through His mighty power.
Star has been a friend of the His Dearly Loved Daughter ministry from very early on. She was one of the first people to find this blog organically (not through a FB group for fellow bloggers) and message me with words of encouragement. She’s about one year ahead of me on the road to recovery, so her encouragement was helpful in those days when I was still very VERY raw.
I have been blessed by Star and her commitment to God, to her husband, and to her family. I hope that you too will be blessed by her story. I pray it will serve to demonstrate to all of us that God is in the business of redemption. He is working miracles, not just for me and my love, but for many others on this same path. He can do the same for you!
My husband (“H”) and I have been married 30 years, and we have two teens. H was unfaithful with the same AP (coworker) for 4 different periods over 13 years. I discovered the affair by checking his texts and emails.
*AP = Affair Partner, Dday = Discovery Day (the day the affair was discovered)
January 7, 2018 was 2 years after Dday. There was something monumental about surviving this past Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and then the actual Dday, 2 years later. I can scarcely believe that I’m surviving infidelity, which is a wife’s worst nightmare, second only to a child’s death. I never conceived that H could ever betray me. I trusted him completely. He was the most honest and moral person I knew, and was a dedicated husband and father. I can’t adequately convey the disbelief and devastation I experienced at the moment of realization that H had been unfaithful. In one unforgiving second, reality took a seismic shift, and my world as I knew it completely fell apart. Discovery day, along with those first months, was especially excruciating and traumatic. That first year, it was all I could do to survive, work, and be present as a mother while having to keep my emotions hidden from our children, my students, our families, and anyone with whom I came in contact – all while living with the person who had betrayed me so terribly. Living through the painful days ahead felt impossible, so I cried and begged God often to carry me through them. I’ve spent the last 2 years attempting to understand and process specifics of the betrayal, trying to grasp how H could have fallen so far to have put everything he held so dear in jeopardy. I experienced shock, fury, numbness, confusion, devastation, hurt, sadness and a broken heart. I’ve grieved deeply, and came to levels of understanding relatively early on that allowed me to forgive. As time brought more realizations, I would grieve and forgive some more. The process continues to this day. Discovery for me was horrific, but it was also a severe mercy. Through it, H’s sin came to light, as well as the lies he believed, his brokenness, his bondage, and finally, his being freed. It is regretful and still very painful that it came at such great personal cost to me, and, by extension, to others, especially our children, who will be told by us in the future. With supernatural healing received through forgiveness, prayer, time, personal acceptance and surrender to reality, I am able to move forward. The resiliency of the human spirit astounds me, yet I must say that recovery has only come with great effort. H immediately began individual therapy with our pastor, a godly, licensed counselor. I wasn’t able to find a counselor until a few months later. I eventually started meeting with our pastor as well, and we began couples counseling last September. H and I have both done the hard work of recovery through the programs on affairrecovery.com – EMSO, followed immediately by MFL. I also did Harboring Hope. Almost 2 years later, our groups still communicate regularly, though less often. We’ve also spent countless hours reading books, blogs and articles, having heart-wrenching, difficult conversations and intense prayer.
*EMSO = Emergency Marital Seminar Online, MFL = Married For Life curriculum
The pain of infidelity is like no other, yet experts say it can be a catalyst for deep transformation. I began to see this happen early on in H, and slowly, in our relationship. H dedicated himself to doing what was required to regain my trust and to become a better man not just for me, but for himself, our children, and for God. He is learning to walk in the knowledge, assurance and freedom of knowing that his Heavenly Father loves him unconditionally. It is a daily choice. Over the last year, I’ve repeatedly come to the conclusion that I absolutely must trust that God allowed this heartache into my life for a greater purpose, not just for me, but for everyone involved – that there is a bigger, redemptive story I might not get to see this side of heaven, though I pray I get a glimpse. I choose to believe that He is still sovereign, a Good Father, and that nothing transpired apart from His Perfect Love and wisdom. The only way I can move on and not live in a place of defeat is to surrender to, embrace, and extend radical grace. Jesus is my example and my Lord in this. affairrecovery.com offers this perspective on forgiveness:The only way I can move on and not live in a place of defeat is to surrender to, embrace, and extend radical grace. Jesus is my example and my Lord in this. Click To Tweet
“Forgiveness is giving up all hope of having had a better past.“ I think I’m getting there. There was and is a lot to forgive. But I feel increasingly stronger. I possess hope and joy, and am able to create and laugh more as healing takes root. Last July, I started a B.A.N. support group for betrayed spouses through beyondaffairs.com. It’s the first one in this area, and people can now find face-to-face peer support as they experience their own devastation, something I longed to have but could not find. Sometime this year, H and I will train to become facilitators of our own EMSO group. Early on, in the midst of my devastation, I asked our pastor if he thought it was even possible for our marriage to ever be restored. He replied “Yes, that’s the power of the gospel.” I’ve realized that all things are indeed possible with God, but we need to cooperate and submit to His ways even when it hurts and we don’t understand. Truly, it is an act of faith.I’ve realized that all things are indeed possible with God, but we need to cooperate and submit to His ways even when it hurts and we don’t understand. Truly, it is an act of faith. Click To Tweet
A few Words from Star to the Friends/ Family of the Betrayed
When someone dies, there are flowers, cards, meals, phone calls, hugs, words, and a public service or memorial to validate your grief. Infidelity offers no such guarantees. Since the majority of my suffering was done alone, and not really by choice, I truly desire and appreciate tangible evidence that acknowledges and validates what I’ve been through. When you’re hurting, silence can communicate deafening apathy. Even now, please stay in touch so I know that you care. I continue to need your encouragement and presence. I find myself in that place of tension between processing and accepting the past, embracing grief, surrendering to present reality, experiencing healing, recognizing restoration, and possessing hope, faith and vision for the future…called living in the moment. As I go about my days, I am aware of internal, moment by moment choices to leave the past in God’s hands, to live in the present, and to trust Him with the future. It’s not easy, as I live with a heart that still often aches, so I need your prayers to stay in that place of faith as we find our “new normal”. In closing, I share just 2 of the many verses that I cling to on this journey:
Isaiah 43:16-21 (NIV) This is what the LORD says – he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland… I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.
A Few Thoughts from Esther
Thank-you so much Star, for your transparency. Thanks for sharing your story, but most of all, thanks for being obedient to God all along your journey! We link arms with you in prayer, asking God to continue His redemptive work in your life and marriage. We’re also asking Him to bless you and your husband in the ministry He is undoubtedly leading you into in the months and years to come! May you see Him use your story to point others toward His healing power!
Now all glory to HIM who is able, through the mighty power at work within us, to accomplish INFINITELY MORE than we might ask or imagine!
**How about you? Do you have a story of God’s redemptive work in your life or marriage? Please share in the comments below. Or, if you’d be interested in sharing a full post in the “Stories from Other Dearly Loved Daughters” series please email Esther at: [email protected]