Category Archives: infidelity

“An Affairs”

My husband asked me out to lunch.

He drove, and even paid for the meal.  I was shocked.

At our favorite pho restaurant, my husband looked me straight in the eye and explained to me that he had purchased a ticket to France, and his flight was leaving at 8:40 p.m.  He was planning on being gone not for two weeks, but the entire month.

I started to interrupt, but he continued.

He said he had done a lot of thinking about the trip.  Something about it hadn’t seemed “right”.  He then took a deep breath and shared his revelation with me: the way he had been planning his trips had not taken me into consideration, at all.  He realized he had been acting as if he were a 22-year old, very single bachelor.

Well, shit on a shingle.  He gets it.

Furthermore, he realized that if he left on the plane that night, I would leave him.  He didn’t want our marriage to be over.

So he told me he wouldn’t go.

He then asked me to “partner” with him in his career.  He wanted me alongside him.  He didn’t want to be without me in any capacity.  He wanted to try harder.  He wanted my support.  He wanted to include me in everything he did.

That is what I had been wanting, all along!  I almost couldn’t believe that I was hearing it.  Maybe God had, indeed, changed my husband’s heart overnight.

Hope, Part Four.

We made a deal.  I agreed to be his partner.  He had gone out of his way to take a step forward, a giant leap towards a life together.  He still had to fly to Australia in a couple of weeks, but would keep me posted on every detail.  I was dubious but agreed, since a paycheck from one of his recent stories had come through.  We needed more like that to stay afloat.

A blessing and RELIEF, I wrote.  I truly would have left him, I believe, had he gone to France.  I am so glad I didn’t have to make that decision today.

I did not journal for an entire day.  Our exchanges were light-hearted, and full of inside jokes.

The day passed.

Soon after, I found my husband’s unused plane ticket, crumpled up in his backpack.  My heart sank.  His itinerary did not reflect France, at all.  The flight had been headed to Portugal.

Feeling massively disappointed, yet not at all surprised, I calmly confronted him with the evidence.  He made up some cockamamie excuse, but I knew he was going back to see the “investment banker”.  Still, I didn’t want to believe that he had had an affair with her, too.  It was so brazen, so blatant, and SO in-your-face that it couldn’t have been true!  I was officially the biggest, bloodiest fool in the entire universe.

My husband had “an affairS”.

Oh, God, even through my daily disappointment, I know deep down that You are by my side, holding my hand and walking me through this.

Broken.  Human.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  ~Hebrews 12:3

The next day was a good one for me, personally.  I got a lot of work done, then treated myself to a swim at the Rose Bowl.  Feeling strong and confident, I impulsively decided to join the diving team for their nightly practice. I hadn’t been coached on a springboard since competing in high school, so it felt really good to do something fun and productive.  For me.

I went home exhausted, proud and happy.  I walked in the door to find my husband affixed to his usual spot on the couch.  He kept his eyes on his computer screen as I entered the living room.

“I’m hungry.”

Immediately, I felt myself shutting down.

We went to dinner at a BBQ restaurant.  I pushed the chicken and beans around on my plate and verbalized my feelings — the same old, crappy, tired feelings.  How many ways can you wonder if your marriage is going to survive?

My husband didn’t want to talk about it.

I was silent on the drive home, and when we arrived, my husband went to bed.  I had plans to go hiking with my friend, Andrea, in the morning, so I went to bed, too – in the guest room.  I hadn’t slept many nights in my marriage bed.  It was too difficult.

As I lay on my creaky twin mattress, my thoughts started to spin out of control.  I became angry, so I got up and started banging around.  I stormed into the Master bedroom where my husband slept and started to “pack” my belongings.  He woke up and sleepily asked me what I was doing.

“I’m PACKING!” I flailed about the room, wildly.

I shot my mouth off for several minutes, and then stomped back to the guest room, slammed the door, and locked it.

A few moments later my husband pounded the door with his fists.  He was livid.  I opened it, we screamed in each other’s faces, and then I tried to slam it again.  He stopped me.  He pushed his way into the tiny guest room, screaming, “STOP IT, STOP IT, STOP IT!” — through his teeth.  He then grabbed me with all of his strength, and violently threw me down on the bed.

A moment passed.  We stared at each other in horror.

I got up off the bed, rubbing the already-sore spot on my arm where he had grabbed hardest.

I picked up my bag, and moved towards him.  My eyes were flashing but I kept my voice low and steady.

“If you ever touch me again, I’ll kill you.”

The Christian Girl’s Guide to Divorce

Two years ago, almost to the day, I discovered my husband of almost ten years was having an affair.

I will never forget that feeling. How do I describe it?  Vomit. Blackness. Horror. Shock. Loss of appetite. Murderous rage. Immobility. Violence. Death.

I knew something was terribly wrong months earlier; he had become extremely withdrawn and essentially blamed me for the slow, stinking death of our marriage. I was living in New York at the time, working off-Broadway, and had left him in Los Angeles, thinking our marriage was solid. Thinking our enduring marriage would last because we had been faithful thus far; we loved each other; we had prayed together about the decision for me to go to New York – to pursue my dreams – for at least the length of my six-month contract.

I remember getting off the subway one evening about two months after I had gone, and suspiciously yet playfully texted my husband.

“What’s her name?”

His response, of which I later became far too familiar: “What are you talking about?”

What is so weird is that I knew. Even then. But I didn’t want to believe it. My whole body — my entire soul — did not want to accept the fact that a person I loved so much was so capable of such selfishness and careless cruelty.

All this is beside the point.

A few days after returning back home to a (literally) burning Los Angeles, I found enough evidence (flirty Skype conversations with a girl from Australia, and one specific dialogue between my husband and his best friend regarding his love for “UKR”) to confront him.

He confessed that he loved her, but he had not slept with her. Then he had to go figure out what he wanted to do. He disappeared for days.

I waited. I prayed. I called upon all of my Christian friends – the ones that I trusted most.  My small group – a circle of all pastors, who, to this day, have remained close to me.  I cried out in anguish to my friend Jenny, also part of that close-knit group, immediately after discovering the evidence.

“I THINK HE’S HAVING AN AFFAIR!” I sobbed, in utter disbelief.

I clutched my heart but it was nowhere to be found. The emptiness ached inside of my body. I writhed on the white shag rug in our living room, screaming at the single wedding picture displayed almost mockingly on the bookshelf. That lovely wedding picture, which depicted two young lovers in their early twenties, hopelessly in love and devoted to one another.

A few days later, he returned and confessed he had, indeed, engaged in a full-fledged affair.
He blamed me, and said he wasn’t sorry. He wanted to leave me for her. I wanted to fight to save our marriage.

How did this HAPPEN? How could it happen? We had done everything right. We were Christians. We loved Jesus. We went to church. We had church friends. We had saved ourselves for each other.  We even were virgins when we got married. We always had a lot of sex throughout our marriage.  We were a month away from celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary.  We had been an example of marriage to other friends and family. People looked up to us. We were the attractive “power” couple, pursuing our dreams and able to maintain a strong marriage.

Yeah, right. Just because you’re a Christian doesn’t mean you’re actually a Christian.

I have wanted to write about my journey for quite some time. I have written many things down, mostly in my personal journal. I have talked, prayed and sobbed with my close friends, I have gone to marriage counseling and personal therapy. All the while, I have hoped that my story can help others — that my personal hell could serve as a portal to someone else’s freedom. Because, all in all, I have experienced full freedom.  Besides the obvious freedom from the marriage that my husband willfully and proudly chose to desecrate, the new freedom I have found is my identity.  I have found my identity apart from the once-happy marriage; who I am apart from the deceit and shackles of ugly sin, of terrible choices. I have found my identity apart from grief, shame and sorrow.  I have found who I am apart from my old ideas of what a Christian, and a Christian marriage, should be.

Best of all, I’m continuing to find my true identity in Christ.

My journey is one full of searing pain, unbelievable grief and sorrow. Yet that is not all. It is mostly filled with amazing grace, love, tenderness, kindness, laughter and tears of joy. It is full of God’s goodness.

This is the Christian Girl’s Guide to Divorce.