I love country music…with a passion. If I was a songwriter, I could have written the next greatest country song using the events of my life from the last three months. I’m looking for a new house and job, I lost my dog, and my husband is gone. Perfect subjects for a country song, right?
I can’t believe I just typed that, out loud. The more I say it, the more real it is to me, the more I don’t want it to be real. My marriage is over. It sucks. Life is a little tough right now in my household.
My husband has made some pretty poor life choices lately and one of them is cheating on me…twice. The man that I still love, still want, has decided that because I’ve been unable to ‘get over it’ (the affair) in the time frame that he feels is appropriate, that the next step is to bail. To run when things are tough, to run from responsibility, to run from his commitments, to emotionally destroy another human being, to financially quit, to emotionally hurt children, to end a marriage that had just started. To run from a woman that gave up her career, run from a woman that was committed to getting past the affair the first time and the second time, that centered her life around him and his schedule, that helped him grow his business, that gave him everything.
And when I say ‘get over it’, I mean his expectation was that I was just supposed to not bring it up, ever again. Sorry, not going to happen – at least not within 12 weeks. Cut me some slack – but I guess I didn’t deserve that. We needed to work on this together, and like everyone reading this, I’m sure you are thinking, “he just didn’t want to face what he did” and you are absolutely correct. The most frustrating part is that I barely brought it up. I had one day that I had a ton of questions because I wanted to understand why. And then, because of the way that I’m ‘wired’, I just needed to move on because if I dwelled on it then it would have consumed my thoughts and I just wanted to take the next steps toward improving our marriage and moving past the affair. Yet, that still wasn’t good enough…how I handled it…how I was moving forward…it wasn’t acceptable to him. It was his excuse…because I was human and needed to deal and he didn’t want to deal…so he ran. Sounds like the grown up thing to do, right??
Even our counselor looked at him and told him that he needed to answer every question I had and then looked at me and emphasized that this was not my fault. The issues that we had in our marriage were small and could have been dealt with (as told to us by our counselor). But it was easier to go back to this soul-less girl, to escape from reality, from responsibilities, from his flaws, to forget that he had a family, a marriage, commitments, responsibilities, that he wasn’t 25 any longer. It was easier to make immature decisions that have affected more than just him and me.
I’ve never felt so alone in all of my life. The man that I am so in love with, even after all of this, is gone. My family has been incredible. My friends have been incredible. The irony is that the one person that has surprised me with support more than I ever thought possible out of him, is my ex-husband. I broke the news to the boys which was so incredibly painful and he was there afterward to help me remind them that we were both in love with them and would help them get through this. He stood and talked me to me about how I was worth more than what E had done to me and our marriage. And he never threw it in my face. And I was shocked but thankful all at the same time.
My boys reactions killed me. My #2 man is heartbroken but he’s been so tough and that’s heartbreaking in itself. He doesn’t want to see his step-dad and it’s only because he’s so hurt. My #1 man is at a loss because he had so many dreams of what our life would be like as he grew up and dreams of the life events that he would experience with his step-dad and those dreams are all gone. And it kills me because I can’t protect them from any of this. My husband is gone out of his own selfishness. All I can do now is scramble to try to keep life as close to ‘normal’ for the kids as possible because my husband has left me to figure everything out on my own with his only focus being on what he has to do to take care of himself.
I’ve covered every emotion that God ever created, in the last couple of weeks. Angry, hurt, mad, peaceful, more anger, sad, numb, emotionless, happy, satisfied, more anger…everything. If you’ve ever had an emotion then I have experienced it. And I’m sure that I’ve dealt with everything in the wrong way but…I’m imperfect and my life has been turned upside down – I think I have a ‘pass’ to go through this with emotions that are all over the place. I was even told at one point that I needed to humble myself to be civil towards him (this was my husband’s brilliant suggestion). That was a day that I actually laughed out loud.
This morning at church, the topic was excellence and understanding excellence and authenticity from a church. There were a few points that the pastor mentioned that hit home with me that I wanted to share with you, in case you are in a place that you just want to pull yourself out of, just want to escape from, want something to focus on, or help you deal with because you have no other choice.
#1: How am I honoring God through my story?
#2: God has put me here for some reason.
I think that subconsciously I’m writing this whole post to keep myself accountable to myself so that the next time that I see my husband I don’t lose it on him, even if he may or may not deserve it. But otherwise, I need to ask myself these questions everyday, multiple times a day…not because my husband deserves anything more than anger from me but because I deserve a life without someone abusing me or taking advantage of me in some way.
#1: How am I honoring God through my story?
So #1…this is a hard one. Because right now, I just want to be angry. I just want to hurt. I just want to cry. My husband has been so selfish, I’ve done nothing wrong and I still lost my family. But I need to show grace…somehow. To the one person that has destroyed my life. Destroyed my self-esteem. Destroyed everything I know because he wants to act like a 25 year old with zero responsibilities. I need to forgive him, even though he hasn’t asked for forgiveness, ever. I need to show grace because God does that to me every day. I need to show that I am the bigger person and can see through his ‘tough’ persona to who he really is, which is not the man that can be a husband but instead realize that he is a human being that is imperfect like me. I need to let go somehow. And I need to depend on God to work on him, even if it isn’t to my benefit. I need to show God through me, as hard as that will be, with every interaction, because he’s so far from being a person that has a good soul, yet I have to let that go. To see him as God sees him…and he’s flawed just like me, just in different ways. And I have to find it deep within to cope, to deal, to let God work in my heart, to let God work in my newly defined family, to be someone that others can lean on in their tough times, to deal with things in a godly manner so that I can be a bright spot for someone else. I want to honor God through my pain, through my heartache, through my suffering, through my story.
#2: God has put me here for some reason.
So #2…For some reason, I am where I am at. Everyone keeps telling me how strong I am, but I feel so weak. I just want my family back. My life. My husband. But it’s not going to happen anytime soon, if at all, so I need to be strong for the three hearts looking at me. I don’t know why I am at the point in my life where I’m at, but I’m here. I have to deal with it. I have no choice. I’m the one emotionally, physically, and financially supporting these kids and I have no choice. I have to buck up. But I just really want there to be a reason. I will feel so much better in the end if there is a reason that I’m going through this. Even if it is to help someone else have the strength to leave someone abusive, or to take solace that they aren’t the only ones going through hell and back. I just want there to be a reason. And I hope that soon there will be a reason because it will give me a boost…it will give me a reason to push forward. But until then, I push forward because of the six blue eyes that look to me for stability. And because I have no other choice. The man that I thought was my partner in life was just faking it. Just putting up a façade. And now I have to figure out the reason that I’m in the crappy place and trying to make lemonade out of lemons.
So if you have a moment, say a little prayer for my new family and say a prayer for my husband. We all need it. And say a prayer for yourself that you may be the bright spot for someone today that really needs to see hope in their world.