Thursday, February 28, 2013

Anger Towards the Cheater

I had an interesting conversation recently with a friend.  We've seen each other here and there, talked in person on brief occasions.  But most importantly also, we're friends on Facebook.  As happens from time to time, I get a message on Facebook that turns into a conversation, and sharing stories with other women.  I've actually lost count of the times this has happened to me over the last year.  But each time, it leaves me marveling at what God is doing through my story.  It's not me.  I'm the broken sinner in all of this.  It's all God.  Everything that happens, the glory goes to Him.  Apart from God, I can do nothing.  I learned that lesson the hard way.

Well, last night I had a friend pop me up on Facebook chat, and the outcome was the same, mostly.  She had read my story on my blog, and wanted to talk to me about it.  I was taken aback when she told me that when she first read my blog, she was mad at me.  As she read more, her anger faded and she started to see me in a different light.  Not just the cheater who ruined her marriage and wrecked her emotions, taking others down with her.  She saw the heart of who I was then, and who I am today.

I really thought her comment about being angry with me was intriguing.  And it made me wonder how many of you have read through my story and gone through similar emotions.  Maybe you were hurt yourself by adultery, addiction, abuse; and when you read my story, thinking maybe you'll just hear a story about a marriage restored, you don't expect to read about the way I destroyed my own marriage with an affair.  And so maybe when you read it, it makes you mad.  How many of you were mad when you first "heard" that part of my story?  I'm curious.  Not to be self-deprecating.  I just really want to know.  I wonder now how many times my affair has elicited that type of emotion out of my readers, especially those of you who know me personally.

I appreciate honesty, and I am grateful that this friend shared her feelings with me.  That she was mad at first, until she read on, and wound up coming full circle, and the anger dissipated.  Was it like that for any of the rest of you?  Are some of you reading STILL mad?  I know I have a lot of support out there, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate your love, compassion, forgiveness, and understanding.  And if you're mad, be mad.  I get it.  I understand.  I did horrible things and hurt a lot of people.  There is no denying that, and I cannot change my past.

Nor can I live under the shame and guilt of it either.

Because God has extended His grace and mercy to me, and so I share my story here (and in person, or via text or email with those who reach out to me), unconcerned with whether or not I offend people or make anyone mad.  Because that isn't what this is all about.  This isn't about a woman flaunting her affair, justifying it or trying to rationalize it.  It's just me, writing out my thoughts and feelings, providing my own therapy, and hopefully showing other people that there is hope out there.  That you can go through devastation and pain, and come through on the other side, even more blessed than you imagined you could be.  This has been such a whirlwind of a journey; amazing and indescribable.  I couldn't imagine a better path to be on, even if I had to get through the pain first.  There is always pain in the growth process.

Kris and I talk often about whether or not we would do things differently, given a choice.  Would he give up his pornography addiction that held him captive for over 20 years, and would I give up the affair, if it meant that we would not have the marriage we do today?  That is such a hard question to answer.  There is so much pain in the struggle we went through to get where we are.  But, on the other side, there is so much joy now that we are on the other side.  I can't tell you that if I had it to do all over again, I'd do it different.  Because first of all, I don't have that chance.  Second, I just don't know.  Would I want to avoid hurting Kris and the others that I hurt?  Of course I don't want to cause anyone pain.  But since I can't change any of it, and God has made something beautiful from the ashes, I also can't say that I would.  I love that God has taken my stony, stubborn heart and given me a tender, responsive heart.  And if I were to go back and change the past, the addiction and the affair, what would it have taken for me to to really understand God's love?  Because I can guarantee it would have been something, you know?

What are your thoughts on the mistakes you've made in your life, that you have now seen God work through?  Would you change it?  If you could do it all over again, would you do it differently, understanding that if it hadn't been that, it would have been something else entirely?


  1. I wasn't angry. I guess I sympathized with you? I have been the adulteress and now am the stander waiting on God to restore my marriage.Thank you for your transparency.

  2. As I read your story, I'm in awe of God and deeply grateful - both for you and for me. I was the one devastated when I found out about my husband's pornography use. I had no idea why he wasn't interested in me at the time; I just knew I was desperately lonely. I felt unloved and unwanted. If the right person had shown me any attention at all, I'd have been tempted to wander away. Fortunately, that didn't happen and God has healed our marriage.

  3. I wasn't angered towards you, because you were being truthful. The continual devastation from ongoing lies has been more destructive than the multiple affairs my wife has sought out, culminating in her leavin me and our 10 year old son, with hardly ever any contact.
    I was slightly re-triggered by how callous and similar your remarks toward your husband were, as you said, stabbing an already broken heart.
    Those types of comments from my wife remain the most painful, because it seems as if she were trying intentionally to hurt me even more than she already had through her betrayals. How could someone who previously felt more loved and adored by me than from anyone else in her life stoop to intentionally twisting that knife seeming to seek such emotional pain on purpose?