My husband moved in with his mistress the night I confronted him about his affair.
Literally. 60-minutes later, and my husband of eight years was moving out of our house, and into hers.
As you can imagine THAT. HURT. And while I felt extremely betrayed, I was also disappointed. I know it’s ridiculous to be disappointed about your husband’s living arrangements after he’s had multiple affairs, but I was. You see, after the first affair, my ex and I went through an enormous amount of counseling. For over a year and half, we talked about his past, his family, and what led him to his first affair. Through several intense, and emotionally draining conversations, it was pretty clear my ex struggles with depression and emotional detachment.
Although we ended in divorce, that year and half of counseling was the biggest blessing, because it showed me the truth. As a result of those conversations, I was given the opportunity to fully understand my husband’s actions and his struggles. I understand why he’s emotionally detached, and especially, why I’m drawn to it.
I told my counselor after I filed for divorce, “Well, you couldn’t save the marriage, but you sure saved me.” And it’s SO true, because counseling saved me from doubt. Going through this divorce I have never once wondered why he cheated. I know why. And it wasn’t me.
So, when I confronted him about his second affair (after the yelling, screaming and name-calling) I wiped the tears from my eyes and asked,”what happened? We were doing so great three months ago?”
“I don’t know what my problems is,” he said. “I feel detached. From life. From everything. I think I’m incapable of love.”
That night, we sat on the couch crying and calmly talked about his struggles and the need to go to counseling. How important it was for him to be on his own in order to figure out what was wrong. Not just for himself, but also for our son. The moments after he admitted his second affair were the most truthful my ex has been throughout our entire marriage. I will never forget seeing the pain in his eyes, or the demons haunting him. The tears rolled down his face and he swore he’d get help. But sadly, he took the easy way out.
He moved in with his mistress, and made sure his “humanity switch” was turned off. He made me the villain, himself the victim, and simply moved on.
Not only have I consistently struggled with the injustice of it all, but I have also struggled with being painted as the villian, when I know the truth. I saw it in his eyes. I saw how lost and alone he felt. I’ve been with this man for TWELVE years, and no matter how he likes to pretend he’s changed, I KNOW him. Better than anyone on this planet. So I KNOW he’s living a lie. Every day he wakes up and pretends. About his life and his choices.
I’ve constantly wrestled with the injustice.
“Why does he get someone to comfort him, while I go to sleep alone every night?
“How can he ever be REALLY happy with her until he faces what made him unhappy in the first place?”
These are the questions that have plagued me over the past 11 months. Why God, does he get to pretend to be happy, when I’m struggling. And then I had another “Ah-ha” moment.
I was once again cleaning my kitchen (which is apparently where I do my best thinking) reflecting on all the reasons why my ex is never going to be truly happy, when my thoughts were immediately interrupted. Out of nowhere came, “…YOU never would’ve been happy. YOU never would’ve found happiness in that marriage. Not TRUE happiness.”
So many times I’m asking the wrong questions. In addition to the list of questions I typically ask, I also find myself wondering why the men in my life don’t value me? Desperately wanting God, or another MAN to answer my question. To give me proof.
Men don’t value you because… Exhibit A: You’re too opinionated. And so on.
But the person I need to be asking that question to is MYSELF. Why don’t I value myself? Why don’t I think I’m good enough? Why do I try so hard to get others to value me? Not only would I never have found fulfillment or true happiness in my marriage, but I would have continued to feel unimportant. Desperately trying to show my husband how valuable I was through “acts of service” and constantly feeling the crushing disappointment of having my efforts ignored. I would have continued to feel this way, not only throughout the rest of my marriage, but the rest of my life. Bound to a man who was incapable of providing me what I needed.
So, the other night I decided something. As hard as I can, I’m going to stop worrying about my ex’s happiness in his new relationship, and start working on my own. I need to rest in the knowledge that I never would’ve been happy in a relationship with HIM. But more importantly, to acknowledge the beautiful and wonderful blessing I have been given by being rescued from a bad marriage. I have been blessed with an amazing opportunity to find true happiness and fulfillment.
And that doesn’t come from a relationship with a man.
It comes from a relationship with God. In order to find the answer to “why don’t I value myself” I need to understand and embrace my relationship with Jesus Christ. On my Sprinkle of Jesus app (highly recommend) I got an alert which said, “You pour out what you’re full of.” So, what do I want to pour out into this world?
So, if I want to pour goodness out into this world, I need to rooted in the joy that only comes from Jesus Christ. It’s is only through a deep understanding of the goodness of God, and his love for me, that I can see the truth. What REALLY matters. The rest, is just noise.
“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”- Ephesians 3: 17-19