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I don’t know where to start in the telling of the story churning in my heart.

It’s been four years since my marriage fell into pieces. It’s been four years since God put it back together. It’s different.

It’s better.

Four years ago, my husband confessed his private battle to me. He lay his struggle at my feet in tears and pleaded my forgiveness.

Although most of our story will remain private, the core struggle was lust. And he is not alone in his temptation: a very large percentage of men, both Christian and non, battle the same demons.

The world considers his struggle not only normal, (as did a couple of the mentors he confided in who even downplayed it with, “Oh, all men do that. All men think that. All men lust.”) but our world even encourages men to lust after women.

With the barrage of immoral media, easily accessible lewd images on the Internet, even the magazines delivered to our front doors, temptation for men to lust, to sin, is everywhere.

My hubby is a good man. I can look back on that day and the heart-breaking, eye-opening months that followed and truly admit that I’ve never loved him more. Walls were shattered and we moved into an intimacy I’d never known before. Because watching your soul mate overcome is beautiful.

But this story isn’t about him. Freedom is a part of his story.

Forgiveness is a part of mine.

Even after eleven years of marriage and two children, I was very naive. From the first day of marriage counseling after we told our tale through tears, I was deemed by the therapist “beautifully innocent.

I was embarrassed, even apologetic for not knowing all the terrible things of the world and for believing my hubby was above them. But after a lot of encouragement, I realized this is exactly how I hope my children grow up, “beautifully innocent.”

So, maybe you can imagine just how heartbroken I felt with my hubby’s confession. (I did learn from our counselor who specialized in these issues that my hubby was only scratching the surface of this deviated world. He didn’t downplay my sorrow, he praised my hubby’s restraint. After all, when you struggle, you are fighting against an opponent).

But I still felt betrayed and devastated. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t stop crying and I blamed myself. If only I was more….. I should have…..

There are a hundred details that don’t need to be told and a million tears shed in disappointment. But it all came down to one choice for me.  Would I forgive? Could I forgive? Could I stand beside my broken man?

On the day of my hubby’s confession, I forgave him. I didn’t do it because I’m some incredible saint. I didn’t forgive because I was trying to save my marriage, I forgave because I’ve been forgiven.

My struggles are impatience and pride. I have a temper and many other weaknesses. They just don’t bare the label of my hubby’s.

I don’t know what lies beneath the surface of your marriage. I certainly didn’t know the walls of mine were cracked. I thought I knew intimacy; I didn’t until our souls were laid bare and broken. I don’t know if you have a choice to make or if you think your marriage is beyond repair, I only know that forgiveness is a part of the healing.

Four years later, our third child was conceived through our sorrow and bears Grace in her name because that’s what saved us.

I get emails every week from women who admire my love for my hubby and comment on his kindness towards me. We are a miracle.

And it started with forgiveness.

The Welches

 

 

My word to you today: Fight for your marriage. Pray constantly for your husband. Since writing this post, I have had TWO women, friends in my real life share in secret that their husbands are involved in an extramarital affair. Satan is real and he wants to destroy your husband. He does this because he knows this is the best way to make families crumble. Arm yourself against his attacks. Stand firm in Christ. Fight.

by Kristen

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  1. 1

    this made me cry. thank you, kristen, for the reminder.

  2. 2

    Beautfiul. The way you have written about your experience. Just beautfiul!

    The marriage I was in fell apart around 4 years ago, too. I thought it was good, but didn’t know SO much. I’m married to the same man, but our marriage is GOOD now and getting better bit by bit. The main thing that has changed is ME… at least, I think so. I changed and have been moving toward God since I became broken by the breaking of my marriage. I’ve since come to the belief that most marriages must break to some degree or another because of untruths told or untold… And that they break for a good purpose in Him – so that He can rebuild them in His way. I believe we must all do as you have done and forgive and move forward in Christ if we truly believe in marriage – and allow our Savior’s Atonement to work in both of us (in the marriage) so that we can have what He wants for us – a truly Spirit-filled marriage!

  3. 3

    Thank you so much for this. It’s nice to know we aren’t the only ones who had that happen to us. I still fight, I still worry, but it gets easier every day. You are right Satan wants us to lose because we are stronger with our soulmates than without them. I’m praying for your marriage as well as mine.

  4. 4

    That last paragraph was soo well done thank you

  5. 5

    A powerful post, Kristen. I really appreciated the admonition to fight for your marriage. It reminded me of a quote from “A Severe Mercy,” where the author talks about guarding love…because there are many enemies of it.

  6. 6

    Thank you for sharing this experience and post Kristen. God is certainly using you and your story in changing lives and marriages (including mine). Just when my heart starts to harden and I (mentally) stomp my foot and cross my arms and say “I don’t wanna” you and He whisper “forgive” ’cause I am really forgiven.
    Thank you.
    Just checked out your blog also. Love it- your video spoke to the mommy isolation trap I fall into too.
    Our enemy is real- but not so creative, hunh? :)

  7. 7

    THANK YOU!!!! I don’t have words big enough to say thank you for sharing your lives in your blog. I am living through a similar marriage right now. And I appreciate knowing that there is hope to get out of this hole, and to a higher plain through forgiveness. FIGHT! That is what I am going to do. THe world is a scary place, and that picture was just opened before my eyes. I have to shore up that armor and fight like I never have before, to find and strentghen what I have felt was lost! Thanks again. I have spent hours reading a number of your links here. THey have been very helpful. May god comtinue to bless and strengthen your family.

  8. 8

    This is beautiful, thank you for sharing it.

    I don’t want this to sound the wrong way, but, I think you two deserve each other. I mean that in the good way! Your husband sounds like a very strong man for admitting to his struggle and seeking to heal it with you. You sound like a very strong wife to be able to summon forgiveness when few wives in such situations can. You both have God on your side. Despite your struggles together, what a beautiful testimony!

  9. 9

    I am so thankfully to you for having shared your story. I found out yesterday that my husband slept with another woman and am trying to find a way to forgive not knowing if it is a possibility. Your story gives me hope… Thank you so much

  10. 10

    I found you through Pinterest and wanted to say “thank you.” It is always nice and reassuring to find others that are in the positions we are in. I have currently been spending the past 4 months try to repair a marriage that I didn’t realize was as broken as it was. Without going into details, I finally found out the whole truth a week ago today, and my hubby and I have never felt closer or happier with one another. Forgiveness is just the first step, but God is powerful and can transform even the most stubborn of sinners. But mostly the way that God can take the most horrific situation and turn it into the biggest blessing is a complete mystery, but nothing is impossible with Him!

    Thank you again. And thank you for the 100 Ways to Make Your Marriage Rock! I will be putting all of these into practice starting today!! :)

  11. 11
    Michelle says:

    What if your husband wants to give up and divorce? My husband of almost 3 years admitted to an affair in August that actually occured last February. We tried counseling, but felt the first counselor was not lead by God to help us save our marriage, so we tried another. My husband gave up within 2-3 sessions. He admitted to other affairs after this. He says he married me only to make other people happy, and never loved me. Alot of people are saying this is ridiculous, because of how he talked about me and how he looked when he was with me says otherwise. I don’t know if this is full on deception by Satan or what. I have been praying like crazy since August and seeking counsel from books, websites, and trusted friends. I tried to love him unconditionally, yell at him, speak to him in his love language..but his heart is very hardened. He told me today he wants to file for divorce. I have prayed over him and for him, and have no idea what to do now.All I know is that we are one in Christ, and “what God has joined together, let NO MAN seperate.”

    • 12
      Melissa says:

      Michelle,
      I am so sorry to hear about your situation. Have you heard of Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr. ?
      He wrote several great books, but I really recommend His Needs, Her Needs and Love Busters to everyone I know. Check out their website: http://www.marriagebuilders.com/
      He believes in rebuilding the feeling of love by individual needs of each person. Everyone has different needs and if they are not met, we lose the feeling of love. He tells exactly how to get that feeling back again. Through his books, I look at the world with a new set of eyes for every relationship, not just marriage.
      Good luck!

  12. 13
    Cheryl says:

    One year ago today as all the pieces of the puzzle finally came together, my heart was shattered into a million pieces when I found out that my husband of 39 years was involved in a 3 year affair with my best friend. At that time he resigned as the pastor of our church of 19 years. satan desired to destroy him and the ministry, and the best way to do that was to destroy our precious family. But satan is a LIAR!!!! God removed the blinders from his eyes, broke the web that had entangled him and delivered him Praise be to His Holy Name!! I never thought I could live through this, I couldn’t even breathe! Not only did we have a devastated family, but a desperately hurt church, and no job. NO INCOME at all for 8 1/2 mths!! But God! Even though it is still very hard, God has restored an intimacy and love that I never thought possible and I am so thankful. We have spent the last year in each others arms under God’s wings as He is healing and restoring us and the ministry- and God has assured us the marriage and the ministry will be BETTER THAN EVER!!!!!Glory to His Name!

  13. 14
    Forgiven and Free says:

    My hubby and I lived a similar story, only it was me who confessed to him. I overcame, through giving myself wholly to the Lord, and then it took 8 years for me to confess to my husband, because I just KNEW that we’d be finished.

    So this past Thanksgiving, I told him everything (at God’s urging), and you know what? He forgave. And he said that even though he was hurt, he couldn’t hate me because the 8 years of having stopped the behavior was testament to the person I truly am.

    We’re working though, and talking, and I still occasionally beat myself up over it, but the reality is just what you said. Freedom is a part of my story, and forgiveness is a part of his.

    Thanks for writing this.

  14. 15
    Forgiven and Free says:

    My hubby and I lived a similar story, only it was me who confessed to him. I overcame, through giving myself wholly to the Lord, and then it took 8 years for me to confess to my husband, because I just KNEW that we’d be finished.

    So this past Thanksgiving, I told him everything (at God’s urging), and you know what? He forgave. And he said that even though he was hurt, he couldn’t hate me because the 8 years of having stopped the behavior was testament to the person I truly am.

    We’re working though, and talking, and I still occasionally beat myself up over it, but the reality is just what you said. Freedom is a part of my story, and forgiveness is a part of his.

    Thanks for writing this.

  15. 16
    Kirsten says:

    I stumbled across this post on Pinterest over a year ago and read it, and I admired your strength and moved on. Then I stumbled across it again this morning when I really needed it. Until recently, my marriage was (in my mind) perfect. About a month ago I discovered my husband was having an emotional affair with his “one who got away”, which started 3 weeks (3 WEEKS) after we married, and didn’t end until 2 years ago. He was unfaithful for most of our marriage, and I was devastated. Like you, I forgave him the night I found out- not because he deserved it, not because it made me feel better in the moment, but simply because Christ forgave me.
    Simply functioning was nearly impossible at first. I could not eat, sleep, or go to work for 2 weeks. I swung wildly between very different emotional and mental states, but through everything, I still ran to my husband. I refused to close myself off to him. He held and comforted me when I was heartbroken, he let me yell at him when I was feeling furious, and he was simply there with me when I was too exhausted and confused to feel anything.
    Strangely, this situation has exposed sins of my own that I had been unaware of. My sin was idolizing my own marriage. I was proud of our marriage and constantly tending and pruning and perfecting. I came to a point where I didn’t think I needed God to be the foundation and center of our marriage. I thought we were doing just great on our own. I thought that by simply being a good wife and loving and honoring my husband, I was glorifying God enough.
    Since this all happened, we have started praying and reading scripture together, something we really only did individually in the past. We’ve been playing more and spending more time together, and started running. We’re falling in love again, and I am healing.
    I am still struggling with trust. He has promised me that he will be more protective of his heart, and we have agreed to clearer and more distinct boundaries in regards to our friendships and relationships. I have finished grieving the loss of “perfection” and with that have learned that there is far more beauty in REDEMPTION. Every day my marriage is a testament to Christ’s sacrifice, and God’s boundless grace and love!

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