Rebuilding a Marriage: A Wife’s Journey

Posted on April 14, 2012 by

This post was submitted by Sis, who blogs at Passionate Christian Marriage

It’s been almost a year now since my husband had an affair with another woman, since our marriage and my faith was torn apart, since hopelessness and sin invaded our lives.  Our tenth anniversary is in June and our marriage has grown more in this single year than in the past nine years combined.  I want to say that I was hopeless, I didn’t know how to fix our marriage, I didn’t know how to stop my husband from cheating on me and I didn’t know if I could ever love or trust him again.  I was mad at God, I doubted that He was good, and I doubted that I could trust God.  I was shocked and in a place of deep despair; desperate to find a way out.  My husband said some really hurtful things to me, he said that he wasn’t sure if he wanted to stay married to me if our sex life wasn’t going to be different and he fell in love with another woman.  Once I discovered the affair, something happened to change him and he decided that he wanted to stay married.  I didn’t decide anything until much later about our marriage.

I had a huge battle to go through with God and myself.  I had to decide to trust Him and not myself and I had to decide that God was good.  I would drive myself crazy trying to figure out how to stop this from ever happening again and the only solution I could come up with was to leave my husband.

Somewhere along the way, I sat down and thought really, really hard about what I wanted.  Did I want to leave my husband, be a single mom for awhile, go find another nice Christian man and start over, never to be hurt again? (Right, like that wouldn’t happen no matter who I might get married to).  Or did I want to stay married?  I got this beautiful vision in my head (with the fading sunlight and everything) of me and my husband in our future with our daughters, we were laughing, we were happy again, and we were so in love.  In my made-up vision (not prophecy or anything), he was holding one of our girls and playing with her and I was right next to him, happy and watching.  We were a family, we were where we were supposed to be, and I knew that was what I really wanted. I wanted him, not another man.  I wanted us to stay together.  So that is what I decided to do.

I was very frustrated with God because He wouldn’t promise me that an affair wouldn’t happen again.  That is what I wanted most.  So I really didn’t want to trust Him, for awhile I thought that if I could be sexy, skinny, wonderful enough I could figure out how to keep my husband on my own. It was exhausting, demeaning, and I knew I wasn’t going to last very long before giving up.  So I decided that God was smarter than me, even if He decided to let the affair happen again.  I let go. It was very hard for this type-A personality to do so.

Not only did I have to figure out that God was smarter, I had to figure out that God was good and trust Him.  Let me tell you, with all the lies going through my head attacking me, I couldn’t do this one on my own.  My head was telling me lies, “your husband is still in love with her”, “it will never last”, “this is impossible”, “you are not worth loving”, “you will find more happiness with another man”.  So to combat the lies, I had to find the truth, I had to tell my common sense that it didn’t know what it was talking about.  So I went to the Bible, because I couldn’t come up with truths on my own.  God was good, He gave me what I needed every day, I just needed to go to Him.

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

When you are in the pit, soaring like an eagle sounds impossible.

Psalm 18 comforted me. Yes, the entire psalm.  There is something very satisfying about a God that can violently crush your enemies. This trusting God and forgiving my husband was something I had to do on a daily basis, several times a day, every single time my mind attacked me with lies and hopelessness.

Next, I got some very wise counsel from the book “Holding on to Heaven while your husband goes through Hell”, by Connie Neal.  She laid out some boundaries for marriage that I needed.  Namely, that I am supposed to not mess with my husbands spiritual life (that is between him and God), I am not supposed to mess with his work life, and I think there were others.  It was the spiritual one that was a problem for me, (although she did say I could pray about it).  I wanted to make sure that he did not commit this sin again and I was going to preach to him, make him do devotionals, do everything in my power to stop it.  It was such a relief to hear that I don’t have to be in charge of his sin, that his sin is not my fault, and that God has a plan for him that might be completely different from God’s plan for me.

She also mentioned some boundaries in my husbands life that I can mess with, that are our shared boundaries.  They are our home, our sex life, our relationship, and our kids.  She said to repair our marriage and make my husband feel loved, I needed to focus all my energy into our shared boundaries.  So, that is what I’m doing.  I’m focusing my love on these areas; making our home a wonderful place to be, making our sex lives fun and exciting and loving, loving our kids.  If I did these things, our love is supposed to gradually grow.  This is one of the main reasons I write about our adventures in sex, I couldn’t find a Christian source that would give me specifics, and I was desperate for details on how to love my husband sexually.

Skip ahead one year, and it is working.  God has worked His miracles in our lives, God is good, you can trust Him.  We still mess up all the time, both of us, but we are living in grace because we know that we can’t do this on our own.  My husband loves me, I really feel love for him, and I’m not anxious about our future (other than the occasional bout, which I have to battle).  We have fun together, we flirt, play together, laugh together, play with our kids together.  I have seen God bless us through this difficulty and I would never want to go back to our marriage pre-affair.  That is hard to say, but I’m glad the affair happened now, because we would never be where we are today without it.  Trust God, He really does know what He is doing.