Friday, September 14, 2012

The Ugly Truth - Part 3

The Ugly Truth - Part 1
The Ugly Truth - Part 2

I ended the last post with this:

"As sad as it is, that is where I found myself on February 11, 2012.  Not grieving over the pain I had caused my husband.  Not caring that my marriage was in shambles.  But worried about how I would say goodbye to this other man.
That's the brutal truth.
That is where my heart was."

The next few days went by in a blur.  Kris found out on a Saturday night.  Things were awkward, to say the least.  We carried on as normal, on the outside.  Dealing with the kids, being a "big happy family."  But as Kris and I tried to work through things, and he assured me that we could still make it work and things could still be OK between us, I grew more and more uneasy.
I knew I had to get away.  Even if it was just for a little while.  I told Kris this.

I told him that I wanted to leave.

That I needed time to think and figure out what I was going to do.


I seriously thought that there was a chance, at this point in time, that I might leave and never come home again.  We talked about what I would do.  Go to my parents' house?  No.  Too far from the kids.  His mom's?  No.  My dear friend Jennifer offered up her daughter's bed to me and it was settled that I would go stay with her for a while.  I was home for 4 days before I went to Jennifer's house.  I do not know how I would have made it through those days without Jennifer.

When I knew I was leaving, I wanted to prepare the kids.  Here was the truth of it.  Yes, I had had a 7 1/2 year long affair with another man.  But they were too young to really divulge all of this to.  At the same time, I was really wrestling with God.  We told them that I needed to figure out my relationship with God, which was the truth put mildy!  They accepted this and my plans were made.

I left on a Wednesday night.  This entire time I had stayed in close contact with this other man.  My life was falling apart.  The last thing I wanted was to cut him out of my life and lose the only emotional stability I had.

Like I will never forget the night of February 11, 2012, I will never forget the night that I left my house and walked away from my marriage.

From my family.

There was a lot of tension between Kris and I that night, as you can well imagine.  We sat outside in the van for almost two hours.  Parked in the driveway.  Talking.  It was so painful.  And honestly, I just wanted to leave.  I wanted him to get out of the van and just let me go.  But because I felt I owed it to him, I waited patiently.  Until he was ready to let me go.

But he was clinging to something.  He was trying to hold on.  Trying to find some way to make me stay.  Grasping for ANYTHING.

But I had nothing to give.  Nothing to offer him.  By my own doing, my heart was taken from him and given to someone else.  In my mind, there was really nothing left between us.  Kris assured me over and over again that he loved me and we could get through it.  I didn't believe it, and I didn't want to try.  At least...I knew I needed some time and space to think about what I wanted.  I needed time to say goodbye to this other man.

Kris took my hand while we sat in the van and said with the utmost sincerity "I will NEVER look at porn again."  I immediately thought "Yeah...right...I've heard that before."  Besides, this was so far beyond pornography by now.  I had given myself to another man, body and heart, for over 7 years.  There was no forgiveness left for me.  Not from Kris and surely not from God.  Kris should have been screaming hate-filled, angry words at me.

I screamed them at myself.

He should have been raging and yelling.  But he wasn't.

He told me that he wouldn't look at pornography.  Ever again.

When Kris realized that I was really ready to leave, he looked down.

So lost.

So forlorn.

So sad.

Before he shut the door, he said "I'm afraid that to keep you, I'm going to have to let you go."  The "I'm going to have to let you go" is what stuck with me.  It echos in mind, even now.

I backed out of the driveway and went to "find myself."  I went to figure things out.  To choose.

Nothing about those first five days of "freedom" was easy.

Some freedom.  Sure I could now come and go as I pleased.  I could see this other man whenever I wanted.

I felt trapped.  I was so afraid.  Of life.  Of loss.  Of love.  Of God.

I was unhappy.  I thought about killing myself.  I questioned whether it would be better for the kids to grieve a coward of a mother that didn't have the strength to hang on or for them to have a depressed mother that was a broken, ugly mess.  Those were really the only two options at the time.  As usual, the thought of my kids growing up without a mother at all put an end to that type of thinking.

Indecisiveness weighed on me.  Did I really think I could make it alone?  Did I think I could go back home and put my marriage back together?  Would it even work?  Was there any chance in hell that the marriage was even salvageable?

I was potentially losing my husband.

I was also losing someone else that I had come to depend on.

I cared for this man more than I like to admit and more than thought I thought it was possible to care about another person.  I spent a lot of time with him in those last days.  I knew I was leading up to the final goodbye.  He knew it too.  That definitely did NOT make it easier.

In the meantime, Kris would call me during the day. He would email or text me, or send me a chat.  Sometimes it made me mad.  Other times, it just confused me.  Why was he so eager to talk to me?  Hadn't I shattered his hopes and dreams about us having a life together?  He would tell me that he loved me.  But I didn't hear it.  I couldn't.  I certainly didn't feel it.  So I immediately dismissed it.

And this other man was telling me that Kris should be respecting my request for "time to think."  I was in a messed up place.  I believed the other man, over my own husband.  This just fueled my anger towards Kris.  It made my decision harder though too.

Why was Kris pursuing me?

What did I have to offer him?

I was absolutely nothing.

Nothing but a "fucked up whore"!

It is the only name I knew.  It is what I believed that I was, to the core of my being.

Nothing more.

Maybe less.

It is the name Satan whispered in my ear over and over again.

A thousand times a day.

As the weekend approached, I began to feel my heart open up to Kris.  He was emailing me and telling me things he had never told me.  He was sharing his heart with me.  He was telling me the truths that God had been teaching him through this mess we had made of our marriage.  Of our lives.    And suddenly, I found myself thinking about Kris more and this other man less.  For the first time since the affair began.

And for the first time in seven years, I felt a tiny glimmer of hope.

Here is why:

I didn't recognize Kris.  I didn't recognize this man that was calling and texting and emailing me.  I didn't see him as the addiction-bound man I had come to know.  Something was different about him.  I couldn't put my finger on it.  Maybe it was instinctive.  Maybe it was just that obvious.

But, Kris was a changed man.

I didn't understand it.  But it was something.  I found myself drawn to Kris.  This new man that was romancing me confused and intrigued me.

By Sunday, February 19, 2012, my decision was made.

I was going to go home.

But how was I supposed to say goodbye to the only man that understood me?

I didn't.

We sat together.

We talked.

We cried.

Before I actually went home, I told Kris that one thing he would need to understand about me being there was that I would need time and space to grieve.  As mean as that sounds...I was losing someone.  Kris walking away from images on a computer screen was significantly different than me walking away from a real, live, tangible person.  I told Kris that for me, it would be as if someone had died.  That is how profoundly I feared I would feel this loss.

And yet, I was willing to go home.

To the unknown.

To the unexpected.

To walk away from the "safety" I found in the arms of another man, to the very real risk that Kris would just be sucked back into the vicious cycle of addiction.  And that somewhere down the road, I would find myself in the same pathetic, miserable situation I currently found myself in.

You see, this was my fear.  This is why I was terrified to go home.  I knew that I was giving up the only thing in my life that in a messed up way made sense to me.  I knew that no matter what, I was going to walk away.

I didn't know what the future would hold.

There were no guarantees that Kris would live up to all the promises he was making to me.  There were no guarantees that I would ever be whole again.  I was so broken.  Beyond repair, I believed. What hope did our marriage have when I was such a hopeless mess?

It was a very scary time for me.

I told Kris that in addition to being patient with me as I grieved this loss, if he EVER looked at pornography again it was over.  I told him "If it happens ONE time, I'm gone."  This was not a point that I was willing to compromise on.  It was essentially a threat.  But it was non-negotiable.

So that Sunday evening, I stepped away from my comfort.  From the only thing in my life that I understood.  I said a wordless goodbye to a man that had been the center of my world for over seven years.

And I walked away from the affair.

I went home.

Homecoming

29 comments:

  1. Can they change that addiction that they have come got to for so long??
    I am amazed your hub gave you space to grieve the other man. Sign of tolerance and patience.
    I could not of that. Actually God knows best what I can or can not do as I have never been in that situation. Deep Jamie, truly deep.

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  2. As you will see as I continue to write, they cannot overcome the addiction on their only. But we serve a mighty God who is in the habit of working miracles in the hearts of those who call upon his name.

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    1. Yes of course. When you give up something for God's sake and are sincere anything is possible, He can make the hardest thing easy. He can wash away desires like water washes away stains.

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  3. Jamie thank you so much for your honesty about such a difficult (understatement!?) situation. God can and will restore everything that was intended to hurt us. It's not an ideal situation, but your marriage will be so strong in the end because you will have proven you can make it through anything!!! I know I'm a stranger, so for what it's worth, I am proud of you guys. Divorce is just a Plan B in marriages and it is refreshing to see two people work out suck a tragic chapter....together!
    (and p.s. thanks for the follow)
    loosecannons-rhea.blogspot.com

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    1. Yes God is in the habit of healing and restoring. i can't wait to share on here all the amazing things God has done here.

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  4. Jamie,
    This is so raw and you are so strong to share. God is definitely working through you. You may be working his miracles, just by sharing your story. I'm in tears and aching for how you've had to deal with all of this; and we haven't ever met. Keep writing. God is always on time. I'm interested to see where He and your faith has led your family.

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    1. Your kind words mean more than you know. The last seven months have been such and amazing journey of growth, especially for me spiritually. I can't wait to keep writing!

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  5. Hi Jamie! I found you through Life in a Break Down's blog hop. I wanted to give you support as I saw that yours is a new blog. I never expected such a heart-wrenching story! You are very brave to share and I hope God uses your testimony for His glory. I'm now following you with GFC and Google+

    Tina - mom of 4 and author of 5 blogs
    http://happymomshappyhomes.blogspot.com

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    1. not sure how I missed this comment. thankyou so much. I will check you out soon!

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  6. Hello,

    I am visting your blog through Blog Hop Everyday. You have a great blog and I loved your content as a first time visitor. I am now following your blog, please check out my blogs too and return the love: Empowered Mommy and Pregnancy Forum

    Thanks for your time. :)

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    1. thanks for following. I'll check you out soon. just got back in town.

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  7. Wow, you write so well. I couldn't tear my eyes away from this story... Have you ever considered writing a book ? I think you'd be great at it. You are really strong for opening up about such a personal story!
    I am hosting a blog hop today over at my blog :-)
    http://myfroley.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much. I have considered writing a book. a lot of people tell me that! Some day. ..thanks for stopping by.

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  8. My wife and I have been seperated for over 2-1/2 years. I, too, knew I had to let her go and give her to God if we had a chance. She needed to be able to choose for herself not by my manipulation. Back then I thought it was just her that God needed to work on...little did I know. I have been and still am a mess but I am forgiven. Thank you for sharing. It has encouraged me to hang on trusting God to heal the both of us individually and then US.

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    1. I am praying for you and your wife. I've read so many stories of men or women who held on, for years, waiting for their spouses to return home. I pray that God will work a miracle in your marriage and that you can endure the time that it is taking. Thank you for reading. Just know that you aren't alone and I think you are brave and strong for hanging in there, even if it seems hopeless. I'll be praying that God will soften your wife's heart and expose the darkness in her, and that her eyes will be open to truly see it. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Part of this ministry for me is praying for those who are hurting.

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  9. Jamie I just read part 3 of your journey.........now pass the tissues please.........thanks for being so open and honest..........I was encouraged reading this.....when you and your hubby come to mind just know you guys are being lifted up to the throne...........hope someday our paths will cross

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    1. Sorry I'm just now replying. This was the hardest part to write, because it is the ugliest part of my past. But I couldn't just hide the rest of it...I pray that God restores what the locusts have eaten from your life too.

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  10. It would seem so unlikely, but i wish my separated wife would read this and see herself in your brutally honest story. Unfortunately, her relapse to alcohol coincided with her first of several affairs and not only has she left the marriage, but has only spoken with our beautiful young 10 year old boy 5 times in the 17 1/2 months since she moved out to carry on with affair partner number 3, and has since dumped him and has a New Soulmate that moved in with her for the past year. They continually are out at bars till closing time, yet she doesn't have the time to contact her only flesh and blood son. She truly was my One True Love for the 8 years prior to her relapse and i continue to Pray for her to see what has happened to her Lifes Dreams and Values for the past 4 1/2 years. We haven't even heard from her in over 2 months, which was in response to me informing her sister that we visited her Mothers grave memorial site so that our son could still have a connection with his Dear Grandma and that i had nicely commented how pretty a new flower had looked that was recently placed on the marker She only replied to tell me to Fxxx Off But i still Pray and Hope

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    1. My prayer is that more and more people who have lived (or are living in) this kind of lifestyle will see hope through my journey. There is so much guilt and pain and fear, and shame when we choose this path. Maybe some day she will read it (or something like it) and God will speak to her and break the chains of bondage.

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  11. Jamie, when I read your story, it truly gives me hope. My marriage was not near that bad. My husband and I argued a lot and we had a lot of pride and selfishness, but no addictions, no adultery. When my husband left, I turned to God, he told me to fight for my marriage and that is what I am doing. God has been changing the things in me that needed to be changed and now I am waiting on Him to work on my beloved husband. I trust He is doing so, even though I do not see it yet. Thank you, for being so brave and sharing this hope with others. I know it couldn't be easy.

    Lynn

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    1. God's timing isn't always what we want - but he knows what he is doing. Keep waiting and don't lose hope! God is still in the business of working miracles in lives and marriages.

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  12. I believe I didn't stumble upon your blog by chance as I was listening to john c maxwell audiobook. He mentioned about Hosea and his love for his wife. So I went in search about him just to recall that I have read about him before when I was trying to email testimony of restoration of marriage to my hubby. Ever since my hubby pushed me which resulted in a head operation, I had some memory loss n side effects of poor memory. I wished I had died from that push but just to wake up to my nightmare. Your story really saddens me that I don't have a Hosea like you have. In fact, upon discovering my affair, my hubby actually threw me a set of cruel terms that I felt so cornered. Under the support n advice of my sister, we went to look for an attorney. Due to my head injury, I have also suffered PTSD. I could not think properly n was too devastated so ended up being lead by the nose by my sis and the attorney in my every step. My situation is not as fortunate as yours. That guy has a wife who came up me, and my husband wants to divorce me. But ever since I confessed to God n repented, I found myself back n wanted to restore my marriage. However, my hubby fluctuate between restoration n divorce. We even went to meet a pastor but he insisted of divorce. I wanted to end my life longer but I was hanging on to God for my miracle to come. However, today I hit the peak of my depression. I'm nearing the thought of dying to prove my sincerity to my hubby. I was again filled with sorrow n grief when I stumble upon your blog. I found hope again. I wish that day won't come for me to make that living scarifice. Still believing in God for this miracle.

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    1. Our God is a God of miracles. He still performs them...I see and read about it all the time. He can do the impossible! I'm so sorry for what you have gone through, and if you could find hope through my story, praise God. He gets all the glory! I'l be praying for you-for your situation and also your mental state. I know depression and thoughts of suicide all too well, and it is a horrible place to be. May God bless you today and give you strength and courage to take another step, and then another. He's not finished with you yet...so you can't give up. There is more he wants to do through you and your story - and you have to latch on to that and never let go. There is always hope. Always. Listen to Third Day's "I Need A Miracle." It's a great reminder that when you are ready to end it all, God provides a song or a verse, or a kind word from someone at just the right, when you are at your lowest, and you find you have the strength to get through one more day.

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  13. Thank you Jamie for sharing your story. I am just now gaining the confidence to break through the shame of all of the things in my dark past. I am 'practicing' transparency with several people in my life as God heals the emotional wounds in my life. I long for healing. I long for a loving relationship. Your blog gives me hope. Thank you. At some point I will probably send you a personal note. The church is part of the problem when it is not part of the solution. It is my job to do my part.

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    1. The more open you are about your own struggles, the easier it will be, and you'll find that God begins putting people in your life that you can give hope and encouragement to.

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  14. Sorry, but there is nothing special about your story, no matter how you try to spin it or intertwine God and forgiveness into it. Your history follows the prototypical cheaters script and your rationalizations are run of the mill for a wayward wife. Where you both messed up was after the reveal of your EA...your nice guy hubby should have outed you to everyone...his family, your family, the other man's family, your church, no contact letter, etc... Sorry, but I have very little sympathy for you or your rationalizations (still subtly blaming your 7.5 year affair on your husband's pornography addiction). If you don't like something your partner does, you work with them to fix it. If they don't fix it, you can either choose to accept that it will never change, or you can leave. You are simply a cake eater dear. And the character flaw you possess would scare the daylights out of me if I were your husband.

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  15. Thank you for your reply to that last anonymous comment. "Let him without guilt cast the first stone". There was no better response for his sad opinion.
    Thank you for having the courage to share your story. I heard you and your husband on the Power of Purity podcast, and found many similarities with my own troubled marriage. My wife has not returned to our marriage, but I have come to depend on God in a way I never could have before all this suffering. And while every day is extremely hard and lonely, I have more hope than I ever really had before my sin came into the light.
    Thank you for making your story into a ministry. God bless you and your marriage and family.

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    1. That's cool that you found this through the Power of Purity Podcast. It was such a blessing to be a part of that - every time I tell my story, I am stronger and more resolved to never be that person again. There is so much power in sharing what you have struggled with. I will be praying for you and your marriage. That God will restore what the locusts have eaten and you will reunite on this earth.

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