Did you know that one of the signs of a cheating spouse is them placing their phone face down instead of face up? Neither did I! So to this very day when Bryan puts his phone face down it really drives me absolutely crazy! My tapes(negative emotions, feelings, inner verbal abuse) about the past begin to flare and I can spiral out of control faster than you can say “Cheater, Cheater!”
Bryan has had during most of his affairs two phones. Honestly, this made cheating so much easier for him! He still has two phones, one that is rarely used and one that is normal daily use. The rarely used phone is my real problem. He uses it to conduct business for his other part time job. In the past, Bryan would guard that other phone like if he lost it, he would be forced into cutting his hand off with a dull blade! No really! He would protect it from any possibility that I or our boys would even touch it, much less look at it! Though he no longer guards the phone like he had, he still faces that rarely used phone face down. And it truly drives me crazy!
I can go days without much worry about the past. Thinking about the affairs outside of helping others or that Bryan will have another affair rarely crosses my mind anymore. But when I see that phone laying face down, I feel like I have been punched in the gut! Every time! Just this morning I could not stop myself from turning it over and looking at the front screen. Yes, only the front screen. I decided early on that scrolling thru Bryan’s phone would not be beneficial to me. If I have to watch his every move, every single aspect of his life then I did not want that life! I would rather just give up and be single than become a husband police detective.
Now that is not to say that I have never scrolled thru. I have, but honestly, Bryan was sitting right there allowing me to do it. Though he allowed himself to be sucked into a world of absolute lies and deception. I can not go there! It truly feels wrong to look at his phone. It is his. I feel a little bit guilty for looking at the front screen this morning.Though I know Bryan does not care anymore.
Each day is a new day. My triggers of Bryan’s affairs can sometimes really throw the whole day or even week for a roller coaster ride of emotions. If I can not learn to trust again quite honestly the devil wins! And my whole goal is to kick him out, not keep him in! So today, I will give Bryan grace for putting his phone face down. I will give myself grace for looking at his front screen and momentarily feeling punched in the gut. This day is just barely getting started. And I choose a day where love and trust rule the day! The devil just got kicked out!
What about Forgiveness? It seems to be the one question asked over and over: “How could you forgive Bryan for what he has done?” This almost always makes me smile. No really, it makes me smile. Why? Because I did not invent forgiveness. I am not even all that good at it. But if we dissect my ability to give forgiveness, then honestly, it is not what I have done, but what God has done.
Shortly, into my battle to save my marriage, my husband, my family: I saw several people write about forgiveness in many different situations. In each of these situations, the outcome was always the same. The person doing the forgiving always suffered far more than the person needing to be given forgiveness. As many have pointed out, “isn’t that exactly what Christ did when he suffered on the cross and died for our sins?” Yes, it is! Again, I am not saying that I am capable of that kind of forgiveness, at least not without Christ fully leading the way. But God in his grace can lead us to offer forgiveness if we could but get our hearts and brains out of the way. And friends and family, but that story is for another day.
Let me point out that by offering forgiveness, I in no way have said that what Bryan has done is okay! It absolutely is not and never will be an acceptable way to treat any person, no matter if you love or even hate them. Let me stress that as I have stated before I have never experienced as much pain as my husband’s affair and each subsequent betrayal was as painful if not more painful. So choosing to forgive and following what I believed and still believe was God’s plan has never been the easy path. It is simply the RIGHT path!
This is the excerpt for your very first post.
Being on the betrayed side of an affair is extremely painful. In fact, it is the singularly most painful experience of my life. There are several different articles and quotes that I have read trying to judge or categorize the pain. Those words helped me know that I was not alone. That my feelings were valid. Others had felt the same intensity and emotions of the pain as I did. It was such a relief to know that I was not dysfunctional or abnormal. No, in fact, feeling such a deep sense of loss and pain is normal!
You see as a young couple Bryan and I lost our first child five years into the marriage. She was so very precious and yet she was taken from us just before term. She had trisomy 18 and did not survive labor. It had always given me comfort that she died safe and protected in the womb, in her home. At that time, that was the worst pain I thought could ever come my way. I was wrong, severely wrong.
I felt so guilty for feeling so much more horrific pain over an affair compared to losing a child. I thought something must be wrong with ME! Now I know so much better but at the time, I was brutal to myself and my own feelings. Though the pain of betrayal can come in all extremes, what YOU are feeling is YOURS. Talking to others who have suffered at the hands of adultery you realize for the vast majority of us that other pains from loss of loved ones, divorce, illness, and many different and various others, in fact, do not even compare to the loss one experiences with infidelity.
What I want for you is to wrap yourself up and know that whatever the pain you are suffering from is your pain and not another person can feel it like you can. No matter how great or how small… it is your pain. Only you know how it feels. Only you know why it hurts so much or so little. The one thing I can say is it is YOUR pain. Do not let others minimize your grief. Even if they have been there. Your relationship could have been different. Your experiences with your spouse are just that yours, no one else has lived them.
So be gentle with yourself. Love yourself right where you are at.