Different people deal with different situations in different ways. That was a lot of “differents!” We are all different. I would consider myself to be a pretty ‘nice’ ‘forgiving’ ‘peaceful’ person, but after I found out my husband had an affair, I turned into mean unforgiving, and hateful. I think that is what bothered me so much is that a complete stranger had so much control over me. It seemed like I tried to find any outlet of hope for my marriage. I was a part of a social networking site for moms, and posted on there my pitiful “My husband cheated, what do I do?!” I counseled with our Pastors. I got responses back, like, “it’s not about her!” “She means nothing!” “It wasn’t about sex or love!” “She’s not the one you should be mad at!” Oh, but I didn’t listen….
Looking back, I don’t know if I could have handled it any better. I mean, throughout our marriages, who wants to prepare for your spouse to have an affair? I surely didn’t! One thing I would have changed and could have changed is trusting in God more. I was mad at God. I was filled with so much hatred. I was broken. But, after a year, I’m starting to see healing. I am starting to feel better. I am starting to feel confident in my marriage. I am starting to find who I am because I was stuck being miserable for a year!
I stalked this woman’s Facebook, her Pinterest, called her work to make sure she was there, passed her house to make sure we was there, WITH her husband. I stalked her families accounts on social network. When I found things that I didn’t like, I would want to tell her dirty laundry and let everyone else know how she was! I drove myself completely crazy! I was miserable and I wanted the ones who caused me misery to be miserable too.
How did I get over it? How did I forgive her?
I would get mad because this woman had so much control over me, but one day I realized I wasn’t doing anything to fix it. I would ‘forgive her’ then ‘unforgive her.’ It changed daily! I had learned things about her past, she had an eating disorder, she was promiscuous, she was broken. At the time, I believed it was all about sex, love, or hurting people that they were married to. But, the truth is, it’s not, and the quicker we learned this, the better we will be able to forgive.
When people are broken, they either draw close to God or they stray from Him. My husband and this woman made the decision to stray. I don’t care how perfect a person may seem on the outside, they may be destroyed on the inside. If your spouse has had an affair, does it make it right? No. Have you done wrong in your past? Yes. Nobody is perfect. Will it still hurt? You bet. But when you picture that person, picture them broken and hurt. They don’t need your hateful text messages, Facebook messages or harassing them. They know they did wrong and beating them up will not help the situation. (Although there were many times I thought it would.)
You see, we do have an enemy. The enemy is not the other person. It is Satan. Satan comes to steal families, kill families and destroy them! But God promised that whatever has been stolen from you, will be given back double! When you think of the other person and see hate, think of it as you are allowing Satan to steal your joy. Instead of hating that person, choose to pray for them. Oh, it’s hard! But just pray that they are being healed! Pray that they are restoring their marriage (if they are married!) I’m not trying to brush having an affair under the rug. Never is it okay! But we make mistakes in life, parenting and in our marriage! Usually our problems lead back to being broken in areas of our lives that we haven’t dealt with.
Father God, it is hard to forgive people who have hurt us. It is hard to forgive people who know better, and do it anyway. God, help us to pray for the other person in the affair. Help us to see them as broken, lost people that either do not know you or have gotten away from you. We feel betrayed, but Lord, we know you have felt betrayed and your response to your betrayal was, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they’ve done.” Lord, we get blinded sometimes and we fall into the sin pit. Help us to keep the blinds off our eyes and stay focused on what is right. Father, show us how to forgive. As you offer grace to us in our time of suffering, bitterness, and hatred, help us to show grace to the people we are holding grudges against. We know that forgiving someone will release up to be more peaceful and that’s what we desire! Thank you , Lord, for restoring us! We love you and thank you for our marriages!!
Tune in tomorrow for more encouragement!
Until next time…be encouraged!!!!