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

I just didn’t know…

I never knew the full impact of watching my parent’s interaction with each other, I do now. My parent’s relationship was full of vulgarity and abuse.  Growing up, I was exposed to so much drama and trauma that I never realized, until well into my graying adulthood how many small knicks were carved into my soul. I did not see love, I did not feel love, I did not know love.  I craved something I thought was love at a really young age which led to many men taking advantage of my naivete.   And so it began, my own private journey through the hell of passing out pieces of my soul and body to worthless men or them just taking it.  I navigated my own life with no parental guidance, no idea who God was, and no one developing a moral compass within me.

I met my husband Paul at a bar in my late 20’s. I was tired of trying to do life by myself and we got engaged two weeks later.  Looking back, we both really longed to love someone and be loved.  Somehow Paul and I managed to stay married for over 20 years of some pretty challenging moments.  We both did that through our own accord, as Paul also saw disturbing dysfunction in his parents’ marriage.  We were both exposed to less than the ideal image of what love looked like in a marriage.  In his case, he was exposed to “religion”, but not necessarily God.  He was also exposed to a parent molesting his sibling.  To say we were destined to divorce is an understatement. We literally had exposed our marriage to shootings, pornography, gambling, online ads looking for extra marital “fun”, visits to strip clubs, and utter distrust from the beginning.

In late 2012 my old high school love reached out to me through social media and so began the entanglement.  It did not take much for Bill to sweep me off my feet.  Looking back, I was such an easy target.  I was still craving love like a dog chasing its tail, I had no idea that love was not in a man, but in THE man.  I looked to Bill to take over where I felt my husband had failed.  I am ashamed to say that Bill was also married, so ultimately, we managed to ruin two families.  Eventually, as all things done in the dark come to light, Paul discovered my affair, and although it was primarily an emotional affair as we lived over 1500 miles apart, it set the process of the final demise of our marriage.  Ironically through this affair I discovered too late how much I loved my husband and my family.  I could not have been more remorseful. Not because I got caught, but because I hurt someone I really loved.  I spiraled into an emotional hellish pit, complete with the planning of my suicide.  It did not matter how Paul treated me after my affair was exposed, he could not have done what I did to myself.  Yes, the affair hurt him, and yes, he did some pretty horrendous things to me over the years and some especially egregious things toward the end of our marriage, but the worst emotional abusive beatings to me were done by me.

The affair has and will always be the grandest mistake of my life.  I lost my husband, and my family is forever altered.  It was not worth it at all with the exception of this: Through this trial, I met God.  He spoke to me in my loneliest times, and brought people in my life that gave me guidance.  These people filled my empty soul vessel with truth.  I am now ready to receive and give love to the person God has prepared or is preparing for me.  I no longer give any pieces of me away because I am incredibly loved by HIM. I now know better and do better.  I have forgiven, because He has forgiven.

I want to help other women that are on the cusp of this life altering decision…it will never, ever, ever be worth the toll it will take on your soul.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

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 e s-book, You’re Going to Make It Through, you can get it 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

FREE PDF

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My e-book collection of essays, You’re Going to Make It Through, will encourage you to keep moving forward and regain some hope!

Please check your email for details, sweet one.