I started out doing a vlog on these next few chapters. It took several takes, and ended up being about an hour. It still just didn’t feel right…my emotions just come out more authentically when I write.
I’ve been sharing my truth and my story that started at the age of nine. I have not shared every detail, and I won’t share every detail. My hope and prayer is that those of you reading this can feel my heart and can show compassion and empathy and not cast judgement. However, I know some of you reading this may delight in my struggles and can not wait to say ‘I told you so’..and that is ok. My prayer is that you never experience the darkness that I did.
So I sit here now listening to my voice thru my ear buds, with my fingers quickly typing in the words I hear, and my heart racing as I share with you how very lost I had become. I have included several pictures in this post that show a happy family with smiles on each face. Although some pictures do show genuine happiness in that moment, most is just a facade. I was drowning.
I had been living with shame for years, and I started to struggle shortly after my thirtieth birthday. I started to question where I came from, choices that were made that were beyond my control in my younger years, how I felt about those choices now that I was a mother and wife, and how I would have chosen things differently.
Jason and I had been struggling for years financially. It had become a sad joke, because a financial crisis would always hit leading up to the Christmas season. We could never catch a break. I was beginning to feel disconnected from my husband. We had several heated conversations about this, our finances, and how I felt Jason wasn’t living up to the expectations I had placed on him. It also didn’t help that I am about as stubborn as they come.
I remember very clearly standing in our kitchen during one of these conversations. I was looking at him and telling him how lonely I felt in our marriage, how unappreciated I felt, how desperate I was for something to change. I had felt for some time that we were not on the same page. If I wanted to make church a priority, have devotion time with our children, have a game plan to get out of debt and make the sacrifices needed to free us of it… Jason wouldn’t be ready. Then when Jason was ready to change our priorities, I would be too stubborn and spiteful and it would become this vicious circle. So, there we are standing in the kitchen, and I say to him,
“I feel like I need to have an affair in order to get your attention!”
Jason stopped. He just stared at me. I had been known to spew things when I was angry, so Jason probably took this as another ranting of mine and shrugged it off. That was the wrong thing to do, because in that moment, I was reaching for my husband and crying out to him that ‘WE ARE IN TROUBLE HERE! SAVE US..SAVE ME!’. I had been an incredibly faithful, loyal, and loving wife. I swore, from the age of nine, that when I was married, I would never be unfaithful to my husband. I thought that was the most selfish thing a husband or wife could do, it was hurtful, and there was no way I would ever be that type of person. I also didn’t want my children to look at me with the same incredible sadness and pain that I had experienced as a child.
A few weeks go by, and my facebook message pinged. It was from a guy who I knew but never dated. He would message off and on, giving me compliments, and commenting on how happy I looked. Of course I looked happy, we all do on our social media accounts. Heaven forbid people know the real us… our real struggles and hurts. What would people say or think? Would they still see me as a friend?
He was starting to fill the void that I was missing in my marriage. He made me feel good. I remember the day we were going to meet. A dear friend of mine had called me that morning. Our lives had become busy during that season, so it was a surprise that she called me. The conversation was short…maybe five minutes. She said, “Misty, I know this is probably weird, but you have really been on my heart. I was just calling to see if you were ok. Is there anything you need to talk about?” Looking back, I wish I would of said yes, that I needed help. I knew I was heading down a road that I should not be travelling,and that I was so lost, confused, and angry. I didn’t share that with her though. I told her I was fine, and a few hours later, I had my first affair.
The next two weeks, I could barely eat and I wasn’t sleeping. I had been carrying so much shame, and now had just multiplied that greatly. I felt incredibly guilty. Jason knew something was going on, because this girl loves to eat, and I wasn’t. I confessed to him what I had done, and we sat there crying and asking ourselves how we got to this point. We both called into work for two days so we could just spend time together. He forgave me.
Over the next few years, I would go through highs and lows. Jason and I would have seasons in our marriage that were great and I would be faithful, but then old habits and lack of communication would creep back in from both of us. I would then choose to cope with things by finding validation outside of my marriage.
“Desperate people can find themselves doing desperately degrading things to ease their source of pain.” – Lysa TerKeurst, Finding I Am
I knew this was wrong, and I needed to stop. Instead, I would believe the lies that if I really loved Jason then I never would cheat on him. I justified my actions by believing that Jason didn’t really care. He would forgive me each time and never really speak about it. It was like the saying, ‘What you don’t know, won’t hurt you’. I looked at the unconditional love and forgiveness he was giving me, as weakness on his part. I was so off base.
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. John 10:10
My choices continued much longer than what I wish were true. I began going out with some new friends more than I should. It didn’t help matters. I was becoming the mom to my kids that I had resented in my own mom when she was broken, all those years ago. I started separating myself from the women I had been having Bible study with, and I also distanced myself from God; to the point where I started to even question if He was good or existed.
Then in December of 2016, during a good season in our marriage, we became pregnant.
Unfortunately, the next two years would be some of the darkest times of my life and our marriage…
By His Grace