We let jobs, kids and depression and other people come between us in our marriage and it very nearly ended in divorce due to infidelity. While I hated the idea of being a divorced woman, I did not see a way out of it in light of all that had occurred. I was preparing for my future as a single woman. I had been offered a job in Nashville, we had the divorce papers drawn up, we just had to file them. Then in a last minute rescue mission our marriage was saved due to prayers, repentance and a changed heart for both of us. I had felt all along that it could be saved. I even told people that I felt like we would reconcile especially once the other woman was no longer in the picture. I trusted God to heal us, but at the same time I had to take steps to move forward in case we didn't get there due to hardened hearts.
When he came back and asked to work it out, I didn't trust him to mean it. I had heard that story before only to have him change his mind and tell me he didn't want to work it out anymore. He bruised my heart on more than one occasion and trust was no where to be found in me.
While being interviewed I was asked why I stayed after he cheated. I didn't know what the faith background of the people I was talking to so I wasn't sure how to explain it if they didn't understand the concept of forgiveness in Christ how did I tell them that if it were not for the fact that we are called to forgive I could not do it? The pain was very real and the lack of trust was overwhelming, but in the end it came down to love. I loved him, to this very day I still do. I may not be very good at showing it at times and I let myself get distracted very easily, but no matter what I love him. I knew that if he was willing to make this work then I could forgive and we would take steps to fix us.
We began praying together every night and I got a job that I was surrounded by fun people all day. That helped me a lot because after 6 years of being a Stay Home Mom, I had not had real adult interaction that did not involve a play date or at least a mom's night out. I was happy again and he was too.
Over the last 3 years we have been working on learning how to have a good marriage and we have been telling our story to help others not go down the road and make the bad choices that we did. Do we follow our own advice? I would love to say we do, but unfortunately we are human and we make mistakes. I'm a Stay home mom again and while I have more adult interaction than I did, it is still not enough. He works multiple jobs and is gone from us a lot and we don't have the family time that we need. We also don't pray together like we should. Why am I saying this now? Because I am saying that it is easy to screw up again and we do and we will, but when we realize that we are doing it, we have to stop and take a look at the choices we have made and look at ourselves and change ourselves. I can't force him to be faithful to me for the rest of my life, just like he can't force me to have a smile on my face all the time. The key is to work on yourself and pray for the other person and let God take care of it. We can only change ourselves and sometimes it takes being shaken to the core to realize you screwed up again. 3 years ago I was shaken to the core when he cheated, but out of that I looked within and changed me and drew closer to God.
I have to admit, I have not been doing my part lately and I just now realized it. So do I regret staying? No, I do not it was what was best for my family, do I think we will always stay together I hope so and pray that we will, but if we don't keep God in the center of our marriage I can guarantee we won't survive. So let me encourage you. Please! Please keep God in the center of your marriage. Pray for each other, pray together and grow in Christ, because without Him there is no chance.