Life after the affair


My life today is rich, fulfilling, rewarding, Christ-centered, and different than I had ever planned or imagined; very different! It is also, deafeningly quiet, unfamiliar, unsettling, and unpredictable. Is it possible to feel all of these things at the same time? It is after your world has been shaken to it’s core by divorce. I had been married 23 years to same man and father of my 2 daughters. MY plan was to live in our empty-nest and revive our shaky marriage because NOW we would have time for ”us”. We would travel, have the honeymoon we never had, and fall in love again. Well, that was MY plan; not Jeff’s, and not God’s. All the while, Jeff was planning his ”escape” from our marriage. In December of 2009, Jeff met another soccer mom/author/blog writer on a club soccer trip in Orlando. She thought he was handsome, attentive, and funny. I guess all of the things that she felt her husband was not, and must of been the ego boost Jeff needed after 23 years of marriage to the same person. Jeff and I had our ups and downs, as all married couples do, but this time was different. The ”down” lasted longer than usual, and was combined with Jeff taking a pay cut at work, turning away from God, and drinking more and more. His ego was shaken, and he turned to alcohol, and an affair to numb the pain. Shutting me out of his life completely, I thought it would be temporary and we would survive it. It did not happen that way! Jeff told me in January, after returning from Florida that he didn’t love me anymore, hadn’t for a long time, and was moving out in March. Everything became very secretive from that point on (computer, mail, phone, etc) but he would not say that there was another woman in the picture. This left me very confused and very angry as to why he would not go to counseling, or even TRY to work on our marriage. Our youngest daughter had just gotten her drivers license,and our oldest was at OU. This was so difficult for them to accept as we had always portrayed the image of the”perfect” church-going, home room mom, soccer dad family. They were shocked, confused, and sad beyond words that they too were now a statistic. Not only was their dad leaving, but now they had an extremely depressed mother to console. Jeff claimed that this divorce would not affect anyone except he and I. Please know that divorce is like dropping a pebble into a pond. The ripple effect is endless. Our couple friends disappeared, everyone was angry at him, the family was affected by all of the depression and tears shed. The pain was endless; so it seemed. Fast-forward to today… the girls have an amazing testimony because of this life experience. They have walked many young girls at Young Life camp through ”surviving your parents divorce” through Christ. They recognize that God is is using this experience to help others, and they have stepped up to the challenge. I too have found many ways to help my friends that are facing the same fate of their marriage, by helping them see that there is life after the affair and divorce. I struggle each day with letting the anger and resentment be handled by God, but each day it gets easier to let go and let God. Today, my girls have a ”new” relationship with their dad. It’s good, but different than they one they knew 2 years ago. They worry about the fact that he has turned from God, and is not the spiritual leader that they needed. They are worried that their future spouse might do the same thing. They struggle with being forced to have a relationship with his fiance, and her 4 young kids. They struggle with the fact that she writes a blog with less than Godly topics and the embarrassment that they feel because of it. They have learned than life isn’t black & white, and that you can love someone who is broken, and that forgiveness goes a long way in healing. Today, I have forgiven Jeff and healed from the pain (although it still hurts at times). My home is so quiet because my empty-next is truly empty, but God fills the quiet spaces now. I no longer ”plan” my life according to my wants and desires, as I have learned that we truly are not in control. I met an amazing man 2 years ago who has walked through the pain with me and let me grieve my lose while giving me hope for a loving relationship again in the future. He leads us to church regularly, and has his own personal relationship with God. After 2 and half years of not painting anything, I have recently started painting again with more passion than ever. I am having an art show this week, and feel so alive again. My relationship with my girls is stronger than it’s ever been, and my relationship with God has flourished through this experience. I no longer try to predict the future and plan my whole life. I now live in the moment listening for God’s plan for my day. Just when you think God has taken a break from guiding your life because you don’t like what is happening, open your eyes….. he has always been there waiting for you to trust in HIS plan! He is so good, and has been, even in the dark times. Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you.


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