The Write 31 Days Challenge – 31 Days,Every Day, One Topic
Recently, as I was texting back and forth with a childhood friend about this series, I typed:
“I’m anxious to get through the rest of the hard in the story . . . I want to get to the redemption and the things God has done in my life and the fact that I went from bashful Patti to outgoing Patti who talks to anyone and everyone. I want to share my joy and hope and inspire others to face the painful parts of their lives and move forward into God’s healing!”
And I do!
Hang in there. It will come.
The next week Pastor Nathan spoke to me of two options. I could stay and work at rebuilding the marriage or I could leave.
“What do you want to do?,” Nathan asked.
In tears I answered, “I still love him.”Though broken, I chose to stay. I chose to continue to wait for the miracle. Click To Tweet
Pastor Nathan told Kelly that whatever I wanted to know about what happened between he and his “friend” he was obligated to tell me.
As you can guess there were endless conversations. The many scenarios that swirled through my head were never ending, daily raising new questions to be answered. I’m quite sure Kelly grew tired of my need-to-know, but he was willing to do whatever he could to save our marriage.
Note: There is a term called, “pain shopping.” Asking for too many details can do more harm than good. I did ask a lot of questions but there was a point where I stopped short. I didn’t want to hear the sort of details that would cause me to compare myself to her. I chose to stick to the hows, whys, and whens.
There was no doubt in my mind that Kelly was sincere in his repentance and filled with shame as he admitted his utter stupidity at allowing the situation to develop in the first place. He declared that his love for me had never been in question and that he had never once considered walking away from our marriage.
Yet in my pain, I couldn’t understand how he could love me and still do something like this. I also couldn’t believe that this had nothing to do with me. How old I was, how I looked, how this or how that . . . It would take a lot of counseling to realize that it was all about him and his lack, not mine.
Okay, so let me insert something more positive, after dumping on you this most painful life event. Here it is:
I can honestly say that I’m thankful. Thankful for this and all the things that my husband and I have gone through together, because of the better and higher place those events lifted us to. We aren’t perfect by any means but we are so much better than we ever would’ve been without the trials 😉
Now to those who have not understood my level of anger and pain, given that “he didn’t really DO anything” (and believe me, there have been some) here is another amateur science lesson based on what I’ve been reading lately. Betrayal in marriage, even emotional betrayal, can cause post traumatic stress similar to what is seen in soldiers returning from war. Click To TweetI can only say that this feels like truth to me because,
At times I didn’t know how I would survive. Though I’d been with him through the drug addiction and recovery, which was a betrayal of sorts, that wasn’t a personal betrayal, directly related to me and who I believed I was.
Studies show that “response doors” that developed in childhood (responses to betrayal, being shamed, abandoned, etc.) can be re-opened when triggered again as adults, causing the pain to re-surface with a vengeance.
Amen to that sista’! 😉
But there was also a spiritual side to it. In the midst of my greatest pain, Kelly voiced sorrow that his behavior had opened doors to the enemy in my life. I’ll share later in this series about spiritual warfare, soul ties, etc., because that became a part of our healing process.
My most painful memory of that time was grieving the loss of everything I’d believed about us. Kelly was the first person who had ever made me feel truly beautiful, inside and out. His betrayal caused me to think that everything I’d come to believe over the years meant nothing. All my feelings of being secure and loved became buried under the belief that I was not enough.
Then came the times I felt like I was too much! Too emotional, too sad, too uncomfortable to be around because:
In spite of the chaos we were on track to move and we made that move a few months later. A new community, a new job, a new church, new empty-nesters, and finally, menopause thrown into the mix as the chaser to wash the whole thing down!
That’s funny, right?
Just how many stress points do you think I racked up right there and what do you think the consequence of that stress became for me?
And please feel free to share if you think this series might be valuable to someone you know.
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