This is a continuation of a series every Friday where I will be highlighting the growth and healing of one of my readers, a new reader each week. These, my sweet ones, are their brave and vulnerable stories. Take heart…you are not alone. -Elisabeth
After college, at age 22 I married, and I remember my first year of marriage being very, very hard. I couldn’t put my finger on it but I do know I quickly felt disconnected to my husband and frustrated many days at our level of intimacy in all areas. Feeling this way over a long period of time left me vulnerable to attention I was receiving from another person. I began appreciating this attention which left a wide-open door for sin to enter in. At the end of my second year of marriage I found myself emotionally involved with another man and eventually to physical contact though not sexual intimacy. God is gracious and He always provides a way out. I am thankful that I did recognize my sin and was able to stop the cycle of sin with this man after about 6 months of guilt, fear, and pride. But, I did not tell my husband. I thought that telling him wouldn’t be beneficial to our marriage.
Over the years, our disconnect kept growing. I noticed some major changes in my husband at this time and grew increasingly skeptical and fearful of what he was dealing with. Finally, when I felt certain that he was under the influence of a strong amount of alcohol, I pressed him until he admitted to drinking behind my back. That was the first admission after many upfront lies I would encounter with him. But, I felt so much guilt rising up in me about my hidden past that I felt I should share with him in hopes that we could both be completely honest about our hidden sin, forgive, and see the Lord do a redemptive work.
My confession to him was met with such anger, hostility and shame which I initially understood and expected. As soon as I shared this with him, his issues took the back seat and mine were highlighted for a very long time. We met with pastors, counselors, mentors, friends, and family. I spent the next months confessing my disobedience to God and to my husband the people in our closest circles.
Months passed by, I became pregnant with my third, but we were still dealing with anger and lies. Now my husband had a reason for his drinking, and a reason for his lying. It was all my fault and I believed this lie for a long time. I believed I deserved the punishment from him. I allowed him to treat me poorly hoping that at some point things would change.
Sadness overwhelmed my life. My children brought joy but outside of them, I was deeply sad. I began grieving my marriage as I watched it deteriorate and came to the realization that he was in a deep, deep denial of his state of mind and choices. Through grand mal seizures, multiple trips to the ER, abusing medications, struggling with pornography and binge drinking, he could not admit these problems. Over time, I realized that nothing was changing for the better.
As God continued to give me affirmation that things were not changing in my husband and my marriage, I then made the choice to file for divorce. God whispered things to my spirit in the following days to give me the grace to take the steps I needed to protect myself and my children. Although divorce is not the story I want to tell, it is part of the story of God teaching me how to release control and let Him be in control no matter what that might look like. He is not done with me.
If this sweet woman’s post resonated with your heart, please know that you are not alone. Here are a few resources for you:
If you would like to join my closed Facebook group called Hope & Healing, you can find it here.
If you’d like to receive my free resource “Is Your Healing Halted?”, sign up here.
If you need a nudge in your healing, I would love to work with you! Join me for one of my coaching courses.
If in a difficult marriage: Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage is available as a PDF/e-book: www.elisabethklein.com/books
If separated/divorced: Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage is available in paperback/e-book: http://tinyurl.com/phowp95
If a single mom: Moving on as a Christian Single Mom is available in paperback/e-book: www.elisabethklein.com/books