Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1Peter4:8
In order to get to know me, you have to get to know the reasons behind what made me what I am today. As I mentioned in my About Me page, my personal marriage struggles has been the biggest thing that has shaped me into the person I am today. In fact it is my biggest testimony. I once had a wise friend, counselor, and teacher tell me one day my mess would become my message. I’ll tell you at the time, I thought she was one crazy lady!! But you know what? She was right!! More than right, in fact I think she may have written my story before it ever happened. I know there are many stories out there just like mine. Many people going through the same things, or worse and many people with bigger problems than mine. In fact every time I get on social media or the internet, I realize I am not alone. I applaud all those men and women out there that stand up and share their stories. No one really knows until it happens to them the feelings that come along with it. I’m not writing this to seek sympathy, to share my dirty laundry, or embarrass my family. I’m sharing it because my mess has become my message. And I pray by reading it, that hope and encouragement will touch someone who may be reading it.
This is not easy but here it goes:
My husband Ryan and I started dating at age 15!! Wow, that’s hard to believe. Even though we were young we quickly fell for each other, and our love story began. We dated all through high school and the start of college, and by the age of 19 we were engaged and then married on August 3rd, 1996. Now it may seem like a fairy tale, but our relationship was far from perfect. Chalk it up to being young, immature, or other reasons, but our relationship had issues that I think most couples face. Despite the small issues I was always still very confident in the fact that no matter what, Ryan would never hurt me. Yes, I was one of those women that would say my husband would never do that to me.
The years passed and along comes our four daughters. We seemed to be just moving through the world as a normal family would. Then in 2011, I noticed a huge shift in my husband, he had become almost a stranger to me. He was distant, degrading, and overall just not good to me. We had began hanging out with a group of couples that we met through our church we were attending. There was several couples, but one in particular that we got closer to. I will say from the very first day I met them, my gut was saying something was off. But I am one of these that I always root for the underdog, and seeing that most other people did not like them, I felt sorry for them and decided to really befriend them. We spent a lot time together, and our lives, our kids everything became intertwined.
My worst nightmare came true when in the Spring 2012, while away on a Spring Break vacation with my daughters, sister, and friends, I got a call that my husband was caught with the wife of the other couple by her husband. As you can imagine my world crashed. This was my husband, the father of my kids, the man I said would never do this me. And he did it to me with a woman who had become what I thought was my best friend. I also found out it had been an ongoing 2 year affair. Two years of lies, deceit, manipulation, hurt and pain. I will spare the details of the days, weeks, months that passed after I found out. That is something I will continue to write about in future posts. There are many details, many feelings, many things to write about that I will share. For this post, I just wanted to share the backstory so you would know me a little better and know where my heart is.
I don’t want this post again to be about gaining sympathy, and in no way do I want embarrassment brought to my family. I also am not on here to bash my husband, and I certainly do not want others to do that. I just want to let others know that no matter how hard the road is in your marriage you can make it. You can overcome infidelity. You can forgive, you can move on, you can trust again. You can come out on the other side. You just have to make the choice to do the work. I chose to do the work, I choose to still do the work, and most importantly I decided to let God guide me in my decisions after the betrayal. That was not an easy task, because in this situation there is so much anger, bitterness, pain, and raw emotion. There are a lot days you just want to hate, scream, and hurt those who betrayed you back. It takes a lot of self-discipline, strength, self-reflection, and prayers.
It will be shocking for you all to hear that I can say after time has passed that this hurt that happened, has actually been a big blessing to me. Sounds crazy, huh? It wasn’t a blessing as far as the pain and brokenness that it caused, of course not. And I also can’t say that there still isn’t negativity that comes from it , because there is. But, oh boy, did it make me learn what a strong woman I really am. I am fierce, I have a voice, I have power, and I can do anything!! As an insecure person all my life, what a blessing it is that through this I am able to to discover that. And you can to. You will make it. It is so important for me to tell someone that. I wish I had more people that did to me. Unfortunately I pretty much fought my battle alone. I had friends before this, but after this happened I was left in the dust. Sure, a couple of people were there a few weeks after it happened, but then it is as if everyone just disappeared. I’m still confused by this and why it happened, but it was another lesson that came out of this also, be careful who your friends are. But that is one of the main reasons I want to share my story, because I know how it is to fight this battle alone, and trying to figure what the next step will be.
I look forward to sharing more of my story with you, and I would love to hear from you about your story or any questions you may have. I can’t wait for us to grow together . Just remember you are one strong lady!!!
Hugs and love,
God is within her she will not fall Psalm 46:5