Updated: May 8
Someone recently said they thought I was brave for being able to end my marriage and be a good mom. The truth is I have not felt brave. I have felt weak, angry, devastated, confused and ashamed. I don’t feel like a good mom, I feel like I failed them.
I cried so much, I yelled, I cussed, I ignored my children’s needs to try to save my marriage. I sought to understand how my husband who I adored (who I wrongly placed on a pedestal instead of God), could betray me with a woman 18 years younger than me!
How could I not have known he was having an affair? I thought it was all my fault, I was overweight, I was not fun because I was exhausted and in pain all the time, I didn’t do enough around the house, I didn’t spend enough time making him feel special, I wasn’t speaking “his” love language etc, etc, etc. I know better now.
The ONLY thing that got me through the heartbreaking pain was leaning on my faith! I’ve had my doubts in the past about Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I questioned if they were really real, but I always felt this pull, this need in my heart.
Life has been messy and painful for so long. But, I’ve never felt more emotional trauma than when I discovered the truth about my husband's affair. I look back and now realize the only way I survived is God intervened.
God put exactly the right people in my life at exactly the right moments every step of the way.
From the very beginning I searched for verses that fit what I was going through. I would search some of my favorite sites for something like “bible verses for a broken heart.” Then I would write down the verses that spoke to me.
Depending on when I read a particular verse, it would have a different meaning than before. God’s words always gave me comfort. I used his words in my prayers as I wrote them down, and later spoke them out loud. Those teachings eventually helped me to understand what kind of woman, mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend I want to be.
Through this journey, from the very beginning, I journaled all the time. Writing in my journal helps me process my feelings without fear of judgement. Journaling eventually helped me to see things clearly (like my husband's patterns of verbal attacks to make me feel worthless).
My journals are a cross between venting and praying. And my husband HATED how much time I spent reading and writing after I found out about his affair. I choose to take time for me instead of focusing only on what he wanted from me.
He threatened to burn the chair I sat in for my quiet time with God. He said he knew I was writing everything down to be able to use it against him later. None of what he accused me of was true, but that didn’t matter, in His mind it was.
I also read a lot of books (The 5 Love Languages and How to Stay When You Feel Like Walking Away, and Torn Asunder).
I took notes, talked to my husband, went to counseling, went to church, talked to a few friends who’d been through something similar. But even though I was working on my marriage, my husband was not.
I could feel his distance. He had no remorse, he turned everything around and made it my fault. He used whatever tactic he could think of to make me hate myself so I wouldn’t hate him.
I watched the movie “War Room” and used the ideas from the movie to give my husband to God, to pray, and allow God to show me what I should do. I wrote a list of things that needed to be done by the New Year, and if they weren’t done I would file for divorce.
I prayed and prayed, I stopped asking my husband where he was, I stopped trying to “catch” him, because I trusted that God would reveal the truth. (He had already done so several times) This last time.... can’t be explained without God’s Holy Spirit.
And that list (which was very achievable), not a single thing could be crossed off!!!! Not ONE!!!! I thought I was going to be torn because one or two things would be left that weren’t accomplished.
Now that I have decided to file for divorce, God is still showing me things that I have been denying myself from seeing.
I was so dependent on my husband for my self worth. I thought because he knew me better than anyone on this earth, if he didn’t love me, then there must be something wrong with me! But that was so wrong! I was so very wrong!
My husband wanted me to think I was worthless so he could be in control, and so he could live his life however he wanted while I was expected to be more, do more, love more ..... he pushed me into a pit of darkness and depression anytime he thought he was going to lose me, any time he thought I was starting to see who he really is.
Do not let anyone but God be on the throne of your heart. Do not idolize a man who does not love or respect you. Ask God to reveal the truth. It will take time, but trust HIS timing.
This has been the most Excruciating season of my life, but I wouldn’t change anything, because now I see that I never “felt” loved because I wasn’t. It wasn’t my fault.
Just because someone says they love you does not mean that they do.
Love should be an action, a choice, love is taking deliberate actions to show how you feel about someone, especially when they aren’t around to “see” what you are doing for them!
I now realize that my husband is a classic narcissist and has used psychological abuse to control and confuse me since I was 16 years old!!!! He saw a weak, low on self esteem beautiful girl (he even told me he thought I was wealthy and that was why he started dating me, and admitted later he was disappointed).
He saw someone he could groom, and control, and someone who would make him feel amazing because I never thought I deserved him!!! Ridiculous, now that I look back on it, and it makes me angry at myself!
I will not regret loving him. We have two amazing boys, who I would not give up for anything! Surprisingly, my husband is good with children. It’s one of the things that made me fall in love with him. He treats strangers' children better than his own though.
He has not been a good example and he has emotionally abused our boys. With children he gets on their level, he cares about what they are learning, and how they are learning.....that part of his personality seems to be the only part of him that I fell in love with that is genuine. There is nothing else that I trust. I have no idea how many times he has cheated.
I always thought he didn’t touch me because there was something wrong with me. He turned me down any time I made advances, the only time he seemed to want me was when he was drunk or half asleep.
I always felt ugly and rejected! I eventually gave up. It was easier to blame his lack of affection on myself for becoming overweight than it was to accept that no man would ever want me, because I wasn’t enough, I wasn’t desirable, I wasn’t sexy, I wasn’t good enough to be loved and wanted.
Someday God will send a man to find me and he will love me the way I have loved and longed to be loved. I know there is a purpose, I know there is a plan, but it isn’t mine to understand.
I must lean on HIS understanding and trust that He will keep my head above water so that I do not drown in a river of despair.
I know my life will continue to be painful and messy, and I will struggle with trusting any man. I will most likely doubt my self worth, and if I’m worthy of love. But knowing that God loves me, that I am worthy of HIS love, because HE knows ALL of me and is still standing beside me, I will survive this!!!!! And so will my precious boys!!!!
***I had gained clarity by writing this, and therefore confidence in myself …. But it’s like he knew I was doing better, because later, the same night I wrote this, 1/20/20, while I was sleeping my husband sexually assaulted me***