Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Reunited

Scott and I had spent a week apart while my head was spinning. My affair was brought to light and I didn't know what to do. Scott spent the week at his parents' house. We didn't talk or communicate in any way.  While we were apart I decided to leave Scott for the other man, but God saved me. God saved my marriage. I said good bye to Ozzy and make the drive to Scott's parents' house to ask for forgiveness.
 
Scott's mother answered the door and immediately invited me in. I declined. I didn't know what to expect from his family after everything I put Scott through. Maybe they were going to be super angry with me for breaking my marriage vows and putting Scott though so much pain and heart ache.. Maybe they were going to shout Bible verses at me in hopes that I would "see the light." I simply asked if I may talk with Scott. Cathy politely informed me that Scott and his dad went on a fishing trip, but that they should be returning shortly. She again invited me in while I wanted. I politely told her that I would just wait for Scott outside. I was ashamed. I wish that I could have been an ostrich so I could have bury my head in the ground. I didn't know what to say to her or anybody else in the family.

I sat on the back of my car and stared down the alley waiting for the truck lights to shine down road. I had gone on many fishing trips with Scott and his dad while we were dating. My mind wondered while I waited. I was extremely nervous, almost, to the point of driving off and returning later. Suddenly, Scott's youngest brother came outside to sit with me. I don't remember if he was living at home or just visiting for the weekend. He was very nice to me. I don't remember much of the conversation, but I do remember him telling me he was glad that I was home and that Scott was going to be happy to see me. Not more than 15 minutes later did the truck pull into the alley.

I wasn't nervous anymore. Scott stepped out of the truck and within a blink of an eye I threw my arms around his neck and hugged him tight. It was the best feeling in the world to feel Scott's arms wrap around me. It was so wonderful to see him smiling. As he was holding me I told him that I was sorry. His reply was simple but exactly what I needed to hear, " I forgive you."

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Gratitude Journal Entry # 10

I am so grateful that God gave me the strength and courage to fight for my marriage. I was so tempted to leave Scott for another man. In my opinion, it would have been the easy way out, a fresh start.Scott and I put in some serious hard work, years and years of hard work, to save our marriage.  I am beyond blessed. God has given us so much joy love and passion, more than I though ever possible.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A week apart (Scott's Perspective)

Shannon once again asked me to make a guest post this week and talk about our week of separation.  It is hard for me to put into words how that week went and the details and order are most certainly jumbled up in a huge emotionally draining black hole.  I remember life up to that point as being a big blur of uncomfortable nights between Shannon and I living in the same house.  She continually wanted to go hang out with Ozzy or go to the bar with Ozzy or go bowling with Ozzy.  I was in full "fight for my marriage" mode by now so I would urge her to go do these things with me instead.  Miraculously, Shannon would tell me over and over again about how she didn't want to do those things with me, how she wanted to do them with Ozzy, but somehow, something was keeping her from just leaving the house and going.  She was respecting me enough to not go out with him.  It was strange at the time, but now I find it amazing that she showed me so much respect.  That was definitely God's hand at work and the beginning of Him helping us restore our marriage. 

Finally Shannon had had enough.  She was getting ripped apart from both sides and needed a break to catch her breath.  Reluctantly I agreed and decided it was time to head home for a week and talk to my parents about what was going on.  I packed a bag and Shannon drove me down to my mom and dad's.  They knew I was coming for a week, but they didn't know why.  After a quick hello, Shannon took off and left me sitting at the table with my parents.  We sat awkwardly staring at each other.  It was one of the hardest things I ever did, but I finally managed to blurt out our story and the horrible shape my marriage was in.  They sat there in shock for a few moments and then showed me such love and compassion that I knew I had made the right choice in coming home.  For the first couple of days, I didn't do much.  I was in pretty bad shape and tried my best to drown out the world and my situation in as many video games as I could.  The turning point for me was when Sunday rolled around.  I had stayed up too late the night before and had no desire to go anywhere or do anything.  My dad came upstairs and told me that he understands that the last thing I probably wanted to do is go to church and be around people, but he believed that the best thing I could do was go and focus on God.  I didn't have anything better to do, so I followed his advice and got in the car.  Once there, I felt the weight slowly lift off my shoulders.  There was a 'silent prayer request' that was prayed for that day and I knew my parents had put that in there for me.  My dad is a wonderful spiritual leader, but my mom, well, she basically has a direct line to the man upstairs sitting on her nightstand.  She is the mightiest pray warrior I have ever known and she made sure there were many, many, many, many people praying for me.  After church I felt re-energized to finish the fight.

I eventually had a meeting with the pastor of that church.  I spent hours searching the bible for anything and everything God has said about marriage.  I prayed constantly and focused on getting closer to God and giving the situation over into his hands.  I started to feel lead to do certain things that didn't make sense to me, but I would do them anyway.  I wrote Shannon lots of letters and I am sure I filled them up with things that I discovered in the bible and urged her to look them up and pray about them.  I sat down one evening towards the end of the week and wrote a nice long email to my 'friend' Ozzy.  I couldn't sleep that night and felt the need to show my findings to him as well.  I filled up that email with all the bible verses I had read and tried my best to show him how what he was doing was a sin and God didn't agree with any of it.  After I sent the email I felt at peace that God was in control and finally got some sleep.  Dad and I had a big fishing trip planned the next day, so when I say some sleep, it wasn't really much.  I got up early the next day and checked my email quick before heading out to the lake with dad.  I was in shock to see a response from Ozzy so quickly.  All that it said was "I am not reading any of those verses.  I met with Shannon yesterday and she told me that she chose you.  Congratulations, you win."  I was in shock.  I didn't know what to do or what would happen next.  I wanted to call her right away, but it was way too early in the morning for that.  I don't know where we went fishing, if we caught anything, or how long we were out.  I do remember though, thanking God and praising him the entire time we were gone.  When we got home from the fishing trip I was rewarded with the most amazing thing I had seen since this all started.  In my parents driveway sat my beautiful wife, with the biggest smile on her face.  The fight was finally over, but the work had just begun...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Drive

I wasn't thinking straight. I was emotionally and physically exhausted.  I had hardly slept the previous night as I was mulling over a million ways to tell my lover good-bye. It was heart wrenching but earlier that evening I actually did it. I told Ozzy our affair was over and that I was choosing Scott. My heart on my sleeve and my face wet from tears, I drove to a friends house and told them everything that had happened. They encouraged me and prayed with me and I drove home.

My heart was beating a millions times a minutes as I was packing a bag. The only thing I had on my mind was running to Scott. I was suddenly filled with a happy joy that had been missing for a long time. I was making the choice to stop my sinful lifestyle and return to my marriage. It was getting very late in the evening and I had a several hour drive to get to Scott's parent's house. I had made an agreement with Scott that I needed a week to myself to think things through and he choose to spend his week with his Mom and Dad. We hadn't spoken to each other the whole week. He did send me e-mails, very long e-mails. I did read them but I never replied to them.

As I was driving, my mind was flooded with possible reactions from Scott. My head over-flowed with questions and doubt. What was going to happen? Was he even going to take me back?  Was he even going to talk to me? If it were me, I won't talk to me. I have been so stupid. What was I going to say? Was I going to hug him? Was he going to yell at me? I wonder if he told his parents? What were they going to say to me? How were they going to react to me? I continued to drive. I was scared to the point of turning around, but something inside me kept pushing me to run to Scott.

I drove slowly by the house. I noticed that some lights were on. I pulled into the driveway and my mind went numb. My hand began to sweat and my heart was pounding so loud I am sure someone would have heard it. I took several, maybe a dozen deep breaths to calm myself down and I knocked on the door.





Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Resuming Next Week

Scott has started a new job and we are currently adjusting to life with the new work schedule.  I will be resuming my writing next week.  Thank you for your patience.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Gratitude Journal Entry # 9

Gratitude Journal Entry # 9

 I have been blogging for about 2 1/2 months now. I try to pour my heart and soul into my writings because I really want others to know what it was like to go through an affair, in hopes that they will see the mess it made and never make the mistake on their own. If they have already fallen into a love triangle, I want to be able to give them hope and encourage them that mistakes can be forgiven and the marriage can be saved if they are willing to work at it.

Writing is hard. Especially because I am trying to be so honest and raw with my emotions. I am so grateful for the feedback I have received from friends and loved ones. Sometimes the feed back isn't something I like to hear, but it is still helpful to know how others are dealing with the story, or what I might be missing. Even if everyone hated  my writings, I would still write because this is what God has laid upon my heart to share. I have received many great comments complimenting my writings and my vulnerability. I am thankful for any and all feedback. Please don't be afraid to leave me a message.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Brokenness

I am trying to learn more about  affairs and the healing process. I have been researching websites and reading lots of books on the topic. I want to be knowledgeable so that I can help others who might be in a similar situation. Once the new year hits, I hope to make a tab displaying helpful resources. In the mean time, I ran across this article from affairhealing.com. I thought it was very helpful. It lists several ideas to help you deal with brokenness.

 Here is the article entitled: It's Good To Be Broken
 http://www.affairhealing.com/affair-healing-journal/its-good-to-be-broken.html

 After I said goodbye to my affair partner, my heart ached like it never had before. It caused pain, sadness, and depression to say goodbye to someone who I was emotionally and physically tied to. I went through several stages of grief all while trying to heal my marriage. I cried several nights because I missed Ozzy so much. To my surprise, Scott would hold me while I sobbed. He somehow knew my pain and understood my brokenness.

At first I was not remorseful or even sorry for my actions. I was in denial because I had convinced myself that I deserved passionate love. I deserved to be noticed.  I was not sorry for the mess I caused or the pain I put Scott through. I was feeling sorry for myself and dealing with the grief of saying goodbye to someone who was very near and dear to me. God called me to go back with Scott and I would argue with God that he didn't know what he was doing and that he was making me go down the wrong path. It took strength and faith in God at my darkest times to stay committed. After time, when I had dealt with some of my own emotions, I was able to see that I did something bad. I felt terrible that I ruined our marriage. I felt shameful and dirty and told Scott he deserved better. He continually showed his willingness to fight for our marriage. Healing isn't pretty. There are back slides, detours and a lot of tears. We both were committed to healing our relationship. Rebuilding trust takes time. It's hard work, but it is worth it. I promise you, it is worth it!

The affair is still very much a part of me, it has broken off a chunk of my heart. I still have terrible flashbacks and currently dealing with depression as I have started to dissect my past, but I know that my God is a God of grace and love. He will deliver me from my pain and the pain that I caused other. I have a story to share  with the world. I want others to learn through my mistake so that they don't have to wake up every day and realize that they messed up. I am working on acceptance and forgiving myself and it has been an 8 year process and I am not there yet.





Monday, December 3, 2012

Saying Good-Bye


I wiped the tears from my face. I now realized that I had been running in the wrong direction. I found myself between a rock and a hard place. I was in love with two men. My husband, Scott,  found out from a friend that I was having an affair with Ozzy. Scott made it clear to me that he had his boxing gloves on and was ready to fight to the death for our marriage. Ozzy was pressuring me to make a choice about our future. I took a week to myself to think things through, and I made my choice. I was going to fight to fix my marriage.

Scott was spending the week up at his parents house. I decided that, before running to Scott, I needed to close the door on my affair. Now, please remember that I was convinced that I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with Ozzy. He was my soul mate. My best friend. It was just the night before that I had found the Bible verse that changed my mind to return to my husband. My mind was made up, but my heart was fighting every fiber within my being to stay with Ozzy. I called Ozzy and asked him to meet me the next day for coffee.

That night I couldn't sleep. My mind was traveling at a million miles an hour. I was trying to convince my heart that it was okay to let Ozzy go. I needed to let him go. It was the first step towards repairing my marriage. The battle between heart and mind is an exhausting battle. In the end, my mind won and my heart was shredded into a million pieces as I drove to meet Ozzy.

We met late in the afternoon. We met at our usual coffee spot. I pulled in to the parking lot and I was numb. I of course had played this moment over and over in my head as to what might happen, what his response might be. I slowly got out of the car and walked over to Ozzy, who was standing near his car. I think he knew something was not quite right. I usually greeted him with a hug and a kiss. I was usually upbeat and always happy to see him. This greeting was much different.

He went in to get a coffee and asked if I wanted one. I said no. He returned minutes later and asked where I wanted to go to talk. I gave him a long hug. It was the last hug before saying good bye. I suggested a place that was special to us. It was a place that we had walked many times. It was a place we loved. Ozzy must have certainty known something was up when I opted to drive to our rondevue separately.

We arrived and descended down the wooden stairs to a single bench over looking a small lake. I don't remember any details of our actual conversation. It was a fairly short conversation. I recall the hurt in his eyes. The disappointment on his face. I remember crying as I told him the decision that I had made. He stood up, tears in his eyes, and after what seemeed like forever said something. I can't recall what it was. But he then turned around and I watched him as he walked up the steps, got into his car, and sped off.

My heart shattered. I sat on the bench for a long while sobbing. I had thougth for a moment that I was making the wrong choice and that if only Ozzy would drive back to the park I would change my mind. I sat there waiting and crying. I gathered myself and the pieces of my heart and walked up to my car. I didn't dare drive home. I didn't want to be alone. I needed to talk to somebody. I drove with no destination in mind.

I arrived at a house of a wonderful couple. This family had been amazing mentors in during mine and Scott's marriage. This family was a wonderful God loving family. They immediately invited me in. I sat on their couch and told them of everything that happened. They prayed over me and gave me some advice. The consoled me and encouraged me as I faced the next task of revealing my decision to Scott.




Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gratitude Journal Entry # 8

Gratitude Journal Entry # 8

I am so thankful that my Father in Heaven is loving, full of grace and forgiving. I am so grateful to have a second chance at my marriage. I am so glad I heard the voice of God calling out my sins and calling me back into reality. I am so thankful that I despite my prior disobedience I decided to follow God. He has blessed my life and my marriage 10000000000 times over.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Message Board

Scott and I have started a new habit. It might seem a little silly but it all started with a message board I found on Pinterest. (http://www.lifesweetlifeblog.com/2012/01/free-printable-i-love-you-because.html)




I was so inspired by this board that I made my own. We write notes to each other but have also included the kids.


We love it so much that we not only take the time to write on the "love you" board, but we have added a white board on our refrigerator. At first we started writing notes to each other, but it has evolved into drawing pictures. It might seem silly, but I always look forward to the cute pictures that Scott draws. It makes me laugh. It keeps up connected. One of my love languages is words of affirmation and it means the world to me that Scott takes the time to write me little notes or draw me silly pictures.



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Conversation I Will Never Forget

I had pushed God out of my life. I am sure He tried everything to get my attention. Finally, when God was shouting at the top of His lungs, I heard him call my name.

My affair has been brought to light and at this point I was not remorseful about the choices I had made. In fact I was still spending time with Ozzy. I had prolonged my decision making long enough and decided that for my own sanity, I needed to choose who I wanted to be with. I had sent Scott to his parents house for the week and in turn, told Ozzy that I needed the week to think things through. I didn't talk with either man for the entire week. My choice was to start a new life with Ozzy but that was before God got my attention. I ran across the Bible verse from Psalm 37 "Delight yourslef in the LORD and he will give you the desire of your heart."

Twenty four hours ago my bags were pack and I was going to leave my husband for a man I was having an affair with. This verse was a turning point in my decision making and resulted in the following conversation with God:

God's voice called my name, "Shannon, what are you thinking? Are you questioning my plans for you? I know your heart and I know your desires. Of course if you leave Scott I will have a plan for that road-however if you choose to stay on this road, stay with Scott, the plan is amazing! The future might be bumpy at first but it will be more than you ever dreamed. Trust me, Shannon, I know the desires of your heart. Trust me. Love me and delight in me and you will see how amazing life can be."

I fell to the floor weeping. It was so great to hear God call my name, it had been so long. I had given up on God. My sin was too terrible to have God forgive me. But hearing my name reminded me of His sweet grace. He is a God of second chances. "God you are right. Who am I to think I could possibly fulfil my own desires by my own hands. Who am I to question your plan for my life with Scott? God, I know you placed Scott in my life for a reason. I want to delight in you. I want you to give me the desires my heart truly needs. God I don't know how I got to this place, my life is a mess. My marriage is broken. I've lost friends. Help Lord, what am I supposed to do."

"Run to Scott. Say good bye to Ozzy and run full speed back to Scott. He will forgive you. He will take you back. It is going to take work, but your marriage will make it."

I called Ozzy and we made plans to meet the next day.






Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Making A Choice

Making the choice, between staying with my husband or leaving for my lover, was one of the most difficult decisions I had ever made. In the mist of the affair, and during the aftermath, I had no clue how to even go about making the choice. I didn't have family or friends who were very helpful because none of them had been in a similar situation. I felt as if the world was weighing on my shoulders. I wanted to protect everyone who was involved from being hurt any further. Different books have all agreed that taking your time to make the decision is important. Several books have mentioned that deliberation should take a couple of months so that you have a chance to pull yourself out of your fantasy world and regain your emotions.

If you find yourself in an affair and needing to make the choice between stay or leave there are a few things you should consider before making your decision:

  1. Be deliberate with your decision. Take the necessary time to weigh your options. 
  2. Don't make your decision on feelings alone. Feelings change. The more time and energy you invest in a relationship the stronger you will feel towards them. If you are in an affair, you are spending your time and energy with wanting to be with him/her. What would happen if you put your time and energy into your marriage?
  3. Take into consideration that your relationship with your affair partner is secretive, which brings about more excitement and romance.
  4. In your marriage you have responsibility like paying the mortgage, fixing the leaky facet, and perhaps caring for children.  What would these responsibilities look like with your lover?
  5. Are you willing to work hard to repair your marriage? It is a slow process and you have to be willing to work diligently at it.
  6. Do not make your choice simply by comparing individuals because it is not fair to compare secret romance to a stable long lasting marriage.
  7. Would you still want to divorce your spouse if you knew that down the road your relationship with your lover doesn't work out?
  8. Talk to someone; God, a non-biased friend or family member. Don't be afraid to seek the advice of a counselor.
  9. Take time to be alone. 
  10. Replay your marriage in your mind...what is about your spouse that you love? Why did you choose to marry him/her?
Please don't base your answer off these questions alone. These are just some questions to help you make a decision. Take the time to research by reading some books about affairs. Please take the time to realize that you are in two very different situations. Take your time and carefully make your decision. Also, know that you are not the only one with a decision to make. Your spouse has biblical grounds for a divorce. They too need to take the time to think about fighting for their marriage, working on the relationship and forgiveness.



Reading Suggestions:

After the Affair, Updated Second Edition: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been UnfaithfulTorn AsunderNot

 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Making Up My Mind

My secret was revealed. My husband found out from a friend that I was having an affair with Ozzy. I had tried so long to hide my tracks, keeping the affair a secret for as long as I could. 
Despite the fact that Scott knew about the affair, I still went out Ozzy. I would inform Scott that I was going out and I didn't know what I time I would be back. I was relieved that the secret was out. I wouldn't have to lie anymore. I was not remorseful about my relationship with Ozzy. It felt right. I had no regrets. I loved the person I had become when I was with him. He loved me passionately. I never knew love could feel that way. We talked about what our future would look like. I continued to see Ozzy.

At home, life was unpleasant. I was withdrawn from Scott. I wouldn't let him touch me. In my mind, I knew I needed to stay with Scott. In my heart, I knew I needed to be with Ozzy. I was paralyzed. No matter the choice I made people were going to be hurt. I didn't want the responsibility of hurting someone. I figured if Scott would choose to leave me everything would resolve it's self. BUT Scott chose to fight. The husband that I had known to be emotionally quiet suddenly was wearing his heart on his sleeve. He would tell me how mad he was at Ozzy. He was disappointed in me. He was hurt. He was devastated. My mind was spinning out of control because I was the one who did this to him.
 
 At this point I was getter pressure from both partners to make a decision about what was going to happen next. I felt as if I was sinking in quicksand. My world, in a matter of days, came crumbling down. I needed space to breath. I needed time alone to think without others pressuring me. I sent Scott to his parents house for a week and I told Ozzy that I was going to take the week to make my decision. Both men agreed. I didn't talk to either one of them during that week. I went to work and I came home. 

I didn't know the best way to decide so I tried lots of things. I made a pros and cons list. I made a list of what a future would look like with each person. I cried myself to sleep and agonized over the situation. To take my mind off the problem, I would clean. Scott and I lived in a small 2 bedroom apartment. I scrubbed every inch of that home trying to shut my mind off. My brain felt like mush and my heart was in pieces. 

I made my choice. I decided that I would have a better life if I left Scott to be with my lover. I was going to ask Scott for a divorce and start my life over. I was sad for the fact that I messed up the marriage. He deserved better. I was excited to have made a choice. I was looking forward to spending a life time with a man who passionately loved me the way I needed to be loved.

I continued to cleaned our apartment. I was dusting the book shelves in the living room. I removed all the items on the top shelf dusted them and the shelf and neatly returned each item to its spot. I moved to the second shelf and was about the remove all the items when I came across a small gift we had received at our wedding. It was a set of scripture cards. I took it in my hand and read the card that was on the front:

"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.~Psalm 37:4 "

I fell to the ground, tears streaming down my face, I cried out to God. What was I doing? What have I done? I caused all this to happen all because I was looking for my own desires. Who am I to decide what my desires are?  I was not delighting in the LORD I was running in the opposite direction. I had been running from God, but God was the answer this whole time. I was selfish and living in sin. God put Scott in my life for a reason. God knows my desires better then I could and I wanted to know what God's plan was.

I knew that the road before me was going to be a difficult one. I had to say goodbye to my best friend, lover and soul mate. I had a marriage to mend. I had a lot of explaining to do.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Gratitude Journal Entry # 7


Gratitude Journal Entry # 7

I love to laugh. This week I am grateful for humor. I am glad that my parents knew how to take the time to make us laugh. Laughter heals the soul and makes bad situations better. I can think of a couple of times that humor really changed the outcome of bad situations. (Sorry, both these examples involve elderly people. I love the elderly very much and I am not picking on them.)


females,people,persons,signs,symbols,women,women's bathrooms,women's restrooms,women's toiletsIn high school, my BFF and I were having an argument in the ladies restroom over a boy. I know big shock right. Well, we were fighting back and forth when a cute elderly lady entered the restroom. My BFF and I were quietly arguing when all of a sudden the older lady let out a humongous toot*...my best friend look at me, we covered out mouths and ran for the door as quickly as we could before laughter erupted from us. That old lady and her gas, saved my friendship.

One day, while driving in the car, Scott and I were having a heated discussion. I don't remember what the discussion was about but it was not sitting well with either of us. We were stopped at a red light, when all of a sudden an elderly man, who had the right of way, sprinted across the road. His little old legs moved so quickly. As he ran, he didn't bend his knees behind him, nope! He ran with his legs out straight in front of him, almost like he was high stepping.  Scott and I looked at each other and all the tension in the car melted away.

"Above all else: go out with a sense of humor.  It is needed armor.  Joy in one's heart and some laughter on one's lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life. " ~Hugh Sidey

"Humor is the great thing, the saving thing.  The minute it crops up, all our irritation and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place. " ~Mark Twain
 




Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Betrayed and Confused (Scott's perspective)

My wife has asked me to write a post about the day I found out about her double life.  I know that God has a plan for our story.  I know that Shannon will help countless people that are going through what we went through.  I know that we can provide hope and encouragement when the world seems to be crashing in around them.  Even though I know all of this, it is still very hard to write about those days.  We have talked to people about our past before, but for some reason, sitting down and thinking about the details, writing about events in a more chronological order, and thinking about how we actually felt at different times of the story really brings back the emotional turmoil that I went through.  I have never been the type of guy to rub other's mistakes in their faces.  I grew up learning to forgive and forget.  Everyone makes mistakes and it doesn't do anyone any good to continually remind them of things they have done wrong in the past.  For this reason, it is still very hard for me to talk about my wife's sin openly.  I don't want her to feel like I am rubbing it in or somehow trying to say I am a better person or deserve different things.  I certainly don't.  I have my own sin's I struggle with and I am not going to let her take the full blame for her affair.

I grew up in a christian home, full of love and support.  My dad worked extremely hard to provide for our family.  This is the example I had of how a marriage works.  Shannon was going to school so I naturally took on the burden of earning income for the house.  I worked at a Pizza Hut as a shift manager and I was good at it.  I was immersed in all things of the store and was well on the path of moving up in the world should I ever want to.  The hours were completely opposite of Shannon's, but that was OK with me.  We still had a couple days off a week together and it would only be until she was done with classes.  In any case, we didn't see each other very much.  I did begin to notice her withdrawing from me emotionally, but I just figured it was the stress from her classes and the little time we got together.  I was too busy with work to give any of the other signs much thought.  I even vaguely remember a conversation we had one evening after I got home from work.  I was physically and mentally exhausted from a real late night at Pizza Hut.  I just wanted to come home and go to sleep.  I thought Shannon was asleep already when I got home so I just slipped into bed and dozed off.  Little did I know that we were about to have a conversation that should have changed our lives.  She woke me up a little while after I'd laid down.  It turns out she wasn't sleeping, but she was struggling with something that happened that day and really really needed to talk about it.  Being the good husband I was, I sleepily told her we can talk and promptly fell back to sleep.  I was exhausted, seriously, but when your wife wants to talk guys, get out of bed, stand up, splash water on your face, jump in the tub with ice cubes, do ANYTHING but fall back to sleep!  Anyway, she woke me again and this time I tried to sit up and really listen.  She mentioned that she was out with Ozzy that night just talking in the park.  She told me that at the end of the night, he kissed her, and she kissed back.  WHAT?  Most people would freak out right?  The reasonable thing to do would have been to get out of bed, yell and scream, throw a pillow, respond in some angry way right?  Well, I am telling you, I was EXHAUSTED.  I was working too much and too hard to react in any reasonable way.  What did I do?  I kissed her forehead, gave her a loving hug, told her I forgive her and went back to sleep.  Honestly at the time I thought I was being the good guy.  Like I said, I like to forgive and forget.  It comes very easy for me.  For her to stay up late and have the courage to tell me was enough punishment, I was perfectly happy leaving it at that and moving on with our wonderful marriage.  Shannon said later that my reaction had a hidden message of uncaring.  Me showing no emotion what-so-ever to her kiss, told her that I didn't really care about her at all.  Certainly the opposite message that I thought I had given her.  After that night, things went on without her telling me about them.  I thought we were back to normal and she thought that I didn't care at all.  Definitely a great foundation for a marriage :).

I don't remember how long it was after that before I found out just how much worse my marriage was.  I do remember that I was in charge at Pizza Hut that night, going about business as usual.  It was another busy night and we were already short handed.  I was working with one of my best friends who was also a shift manager, but he was just helping out as a peon that night.  It was past the busiest time of the night, but we still had a lot of business when he got a phone call from his wife that changed my life.  All of the sudden, the world stood still.  You see these scenes in the movies of people freaking out, unable to focus on things around them and it appears that everything is spinning out of control.  Well, let me tell you, that is exactly what it feels like.  Betrayal, anger, confusion, hatred, love all spinning around in your head at one time, it's amazing that I didn't pass out on the spot.  Suddenly, nothing else mattered.  I have to give my friend credit, he was amazingly helpful that night.  He took over all the management responsibilities and let me leave.  I left everything behind and just want for a walk to try and get my mind around the events that were unfolding.  Our store was conveniently right by a park by a lake, a great place to grieve and yell at God.  Our God is wonderful, he allowed me to let out all my emotion and take it out on him.  He was there for me to cry, for me to shout my confused questions, and to hold me when I finally calmed down.  I eventually came back to the store to help close, I didn't really want to go home just then anyway.  I finally woke up from my dream that everything was going the way it was supposed to.  After my walk in the park with God, I knew two things.  I was going to fight for my marriage with everything I had and I was also going to give it all up to God.  If Shannon was going to leave me for Ozzy, there was nothing I could do about it.  It was up to God to take the reigns of our marriage and for me to stand back and watch the magic happen.  Let me tell you, amazing things happen when you finally get out of God's way.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Secret is Out

Ozzy and I walked hand in hand down the halls of the mall. We were on our way to the movies. We sat in a over-sized chair together and he put his arm around me. We were comfortable. We were in love. We were spotted by a very close friend of mine who happened to be working at the mall.

My friend didn't come up and say hi to us...instead that friend called her husband, who happened to be working with my husband. Oh, did I mention that, this night, my husband was at work. Ozzy is not my husband, but rather the lover who I had been secretly been seeing for some time. My husband had no idea what I was doing behind his back. I am sure he must have noticed me withdrawing from his affection and my staying out late. He must have noticed that I was spending all my time with my best friend, Ozzy.

My brain has pushed lot of this memory out of my mind. Until this point, I was happy. Yes I was lying and cheating and breaking my marriage vows. I was happy to be with Ozzy. He was my soul mate and the love I was meant to be with. When my husband found out about the affair I was having, I remember his laid back personality tensing up like a tiger on the prowl. The husband I married never showed much emotion, and when everything was laid on the table, Scott was angry, betrayed, and afraid to trust others.

While working, Scott's boss pulled him aside and relayed the information that I was seen at the mall with Ozzy and that we were holding hands. Scott asked to leave work early while he tried to wrap his head around everything that just happened.

In the days that followed, I told Scott that I wasn't sure what I wanted. I didn't know if I wanted to fix our marriage. Whenever Scott and I were together he asked many questions regarding the details of the affair. I was shocked that he would want to know and at first I didn't want to tell him anything. I wanted to keep everything a secret. It was my secret. I was also trying to protect Ozzy, because that is where my heart was.

However, when I was with Ozzy after the secret had been opened to the world, he seemed to be frustrated and a bit withdrawn. I remember him telling me he was sad for Scott. I felt terrible because here I was, the very person who caused this mess...now dealing with hurt everywhere I looked. I was sad because I didn't know what I wanted to do. I didn't know who I wanted to choose. I didn't want to hurt anyone any longer so I prolonged making any type of decision regarding the future. Scott told me that he was willing to fight for our marriage. Ozzy told me that he needed me and that we could start over. No matter the choice I made, someone was going to get hurt more. In my opinion, losing love is one of the most painful experiences in life and I was the one with the responsibility of choosing.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Gratitude Journal Entry # 6

Gratitude Journal Entry # 6


I am grateful for song writers and singers who can take truth from the Bible and put them to a song. These songs really help me remember the Word of God and keep them close to my heart. I sing these songs to myself as a prayer to God. Here is one particular song that I have been singing a lot of lately.

 Create in Me a Clean Heart

Create in me a clean heart, oh God
And renew a right spirit within me
Create in me a clean heart, oh God
And renew a right spirit within me

Cast me not away from Thy presence, oh Lord
And take not Thy holy spirit from me
Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation
And renew a right spirit within me

Create in me a clean heart, oh God
And renew a right spirit within me
Create in me a clean heart, oh God
And renew a right spirit within me

Cast me not away from Thy presence, oh Lord
Take not Thy holy spirit from me
Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation
And renew a right spirit within me

Create in me a clean heart, oh God
And renew a right spirit within me
Create in me a clean heart, oh God
And renew a right spirit within me

Cast me not away from Thy presence, oh Lord
Take not Thy holy spirit from me
Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation
And renew a right spirit within me


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"Avoiding Fatal Attraction"


Dr. Shirley Glass - NOT 'Just Friends'




I have been re-reading a book entitled, "Not "Just Friends" Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity." It is written by Shirley P. Glass, Ph.D. with Jean Coppock Staeheli. This book is very informative and gives insight into the process of an affair from 3 different view points; the betrayed partner, the unfaithful partner and the unmarried affair partner.I wanted to pull out one section from the book that offers a few tips on how to "Avoiding Fatal Attraction". It's found at the end of chapter 1. You can find out more about this book and author here at http://www.shirleyglass.com/bookmain.htm

 
 
"Most of us would not want to live in a world where we didn't feel some magnetic attraction to otgher people. But it does make sense to develop personal strategy for protecting yourself and your relationships from the fallout of acting on such impulses. People who know how to safeguard a long-term relationship may not be able to say exactly how they do it, but you can be sure that they follow, consciously or unconsciously, these basic guidelines:

  • Know that attraction is normal. But just because you feel it doesn't mean you have to act on it. Being attracted to someone else doesn't mean that you've chosen  to be with the wrong person.
  • Don't let yourself fantasize about what it would be like to be with that other person
  • Don't flirt.
  • Avoid risky situations."

I know these tips seem so simple and easy.  A no-brainier. If you have not sat down with your spouse and set limits and rules for conduct with the opposite gender, please take the time to do so. Come up with a personal strategy to protect your marriage.





Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Living a Double Life

I had gotten myself involved in an emotional affair that turned physical. The more physical we got the deeper the emotional aspect took root in my heart. I was in love with this man and yet, I was still in love with my husband. At this time, my husband, Scott, had no clue about the affair. At first, it was a little tricky for me to cover up any evidence, but as the affair went on, the lies slipped so quickly from my lips that I didn't even have time to realize what I was saying. I was wrapped up so tightly in a double life that it is shocking to me now as I reflect on my past.

Scott and I had opposite schedules at this time in our marriage. This worked well for the affair but was devastating to our marriage. I spent my mornings in class, while Scott was home sleeping. Weekends I had a little more time with Scott in the morning before he had to rush off to work but  I focused my time and energy on my school work. I was studying to become a preschool teacher. I was stressed about student teaching for a second term. I was nervous and a bit uncomfortable about my new role as a wife. I was worried about our fiances. Scott and I would go out together once in a while and have fun. We would take walks or play cards. I was never "in the mood," and often avoided physical contact with Scott. Overall, I was becoming very withdrawn from Scott, but he didn't seem to notice.

I spent the evenings with Ozzy, while Scott was working. I was much more laid back with Ozzy. I didn't have to worry about money, school, or learning to be a wife. I found that when I was with Ozzy, I wore my heart on my sleeve. He was so easy to talk to. He was a great listener and really showed compassion towards the things that were going on in my life. When we were together, we almost always had fun. We went bowling, to the movies, for long walks, shopping, drinking...the list goes on and on. I didn't have  to worry about life and I could let my worries melt away.

I was very good at living in two worlds. I was compartmentalizing my life and it was getting easier and easier. I spent a lot of time thinking about what my life would be like if I would choose to leave Scott.  At first, when I was with Ozzy, I was really careful about the places that we went because I didn't want to bump into someone I knew while I was doing something I wasn't supposed to be doing. But I didn't spent much time thinking about what would happen if Scott ever found out. As the affair went on, I cared less about who knew my dirty little secret. I confidently held Ozzy's hand as we walked in places that other might see us. And then one day, while Ozzy and I were walking hand in hand at a local shopping mall, it happened. A friend of mine saw us from a distance. My double life was exposed.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Gratitude Journal Entry # 5

Gratitude Journal Entry # 5 

I am so very grateful that the Bible reminds me of the hope I have in God. There are so many people in the Bible that struggled with sin yet God still choose them to be His. God used them for good. David, a man who committed adultery and tried to cover it up with murder, was known as "a man after God's heart." David loved God and learned to find real joy. David always repented and turned to God. I am so grateful that David is such a powerful example of faith and joy.


For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
    you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
    you who are God my Savior,
    and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
    you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is[b] a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise.
18 May it please you to prosper Zion,
    to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
    in burnt offerings offered whole;
    then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Holy Spirit

I was researching the word shame the other day and somehow found myself reading about the Holy Spirit. At first glance it wouldn't seem likely that shame and the Holy Spirit would ever be used in the same sentence but please let me explain.

One of the definition of the word shame according to dictionary.com is: "the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, or ridiculous done by oneself or another." In this definition we find that the feeling of shame comes from the conscience. Our conscience helps to directed us with what is right or wrong. As a Christian I have comfort in knowing that God has given us help, He has given us the gift of His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our councilor.

John 14:15   Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit 

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—  the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.  Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.  On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

 “All this I have spoken while still with you.  But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.  I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me,  but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.

“Come now; let us leave."

The Holy Spirit is our advocate. He will guide us in truth. In the sin of my affair, I ignored the urges of the Holy Spirit. At first, I could feel the Holy Spirit urging me, putting unrest and guilt in my heart. We are free to make our own choices and I choose to ignore the Holy Spirit. As I continued down the path of sin and shame, it seemed to me that  I was able to turn-out the voice of the Holy Spirit. I am sure He was still urging me and calling me to turn from my sin. I became callous to my sin and began to justify my behaviors. I deceived myslef into thinking that I was doing nothing wrong and I continued to look for validation. I was choosing to disobey God by living in my sin and continuing with my affiir. 

At first I felt terribly guilty about spending time with another man. I ignored the Holy Spirit's direction to stop and made myself believe that what I was doing was okay because we were just friends. But the deeper and deeper I climbed into my sin the easier it was to ignore the Holy Spirit. I wonder if the same thing happened to David when he spied Bathsheba from his rooftop. You can find the story in 2 Samuel chapter 11. 

I still feel shame from by disobedience to God. I wish that I could go back in time and change everything that happened. I wish I would have listened to the urges of the Holy Spirit to run from my sin. But I know that God has graciously forgiven me and cleansed me from my sin. God used David for good and I pray that God can use me and my mistakes for good too.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Really Bad Decisions

Emotional affair is also known as an affair of the heart. I was caught up in an emotional affair...however, my affair soon crossed into physical affair. At first, we did little things like hold hands, and hug. We made excuses to touch each other on the leg or the back. Our hugs were lasting longer and we started to kiss. At the time, these personal displays of affection didn't seem like I had crossed any line. I was in love with my new lover. I was simply showing him how I felt.

It was summer. Scott was working long hours. I was in love with two men. Scott was still in the dark as to what was going on. I had Scott convinced that  me and the other guy were just friends. He seemed to be okay with that. In fact, the story that I am sharing with you today starts by Scott dropping me off to be with him. (From this point on the man I had the affair will be known as Ozzy.) Ozzy and I had plans to go bowling that night. We went to a local place that had free bowling for those over 21 years of age in hopes that the people would drink. I should mention that as a result of dating Ozzy that I picked up drinking. This night in particular was a night of really bad decisions.

We bowled and drank to the point that I was very drunk. We drove to a friend's house. I called Scott and somehow convinced him that I was staying with these friends. He offered to come and pick me up  but  I told him I was too ashamed and I didn't want him to see me when I was drunk. I didn't want him to be upset with me. (I should have let him pick me up.) If I would have let Scott pick me up the night only would have had one bad choice, drunkenness.

Ozzy and I cuddled on the couch. One thing lead to another and we had sex. At the time, it felt so right. I wanted to show Ozzy how much I cared for him and loved him. After, we laid together, I cried. I can't remember if Ozzy noticed or not. I do remember feeling terrible. This was not something I could take back. No amount of apologizing was going to make it go away. My double life was spinning out of control really fast.

The next morning, I knew Scott had the opening shift at his work and I needed him to grab an outfit, and some toiletries from our house and I would meet him at his work. Ozzy woke up and dropped me off at my husband's place of work. I greeted Scott  with a hug and a kiss as if nothing had happened. I had a terrible hangover and I smelled of cigarette smoke. I sobbed in the bathroom trying to wrap my head around everything that just happened. My head was confused and my heart ached. I pushed the feeling aside as I got cleaned up and dressed for my first day at a new job.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Gratitude Entry # 4

Gratitude Entry # 4: My mother's sacrifice.



My Mother’s Sacrifice

As a child it was difficult to understand my mother.
I never realized the strength of her character.
The beauty found in her timid spirit.

Now that I am a mother I can see it
I appreciate the sacrifices she made for us.
The courage to leave behind all that was holding her back.

She was gained the courage to start again.
Leaving behind a job, friends, and a home
Finding freedom in the face of a world unknown

Raising 3 teenagers alone, no help from their dad
She did the very best she could
Seeking help and advice when it was needed

Her children admire her for her courage
Her sacrifice is commendable
She is their friend and support

A mother’s sacrifice is that of love
Assisting when needed
Encouraging always
 



Wildcard Wednesday: Reliving a Nightmare

I know God wants me to share my past. God wants me to encourage others through my experiences..God is good and is in control. I am trusting Him fully as I continue to follow His leading.



Jesus called 12 men to be his disciples. Luke 5: 1-11

Jesus Calls His First Disciples

"One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him."


The fishermen had been out all night trying to catch fish. The never succeeded. Jesus comes along and tells them to throw their nets into the water again the men list excuses: We worked hard. We are tired. We failed. But they decided to put their trust in Jesus and because of that, they caught so many fish that their net was breaking and they called for extra hands to help with the catch. Jesus called me. He told me to share my past with others. At first, I was reluctant like these fisherman.

I don't want to share something so personal.
No body will want to read about my sinful past.
I am not a writer. 
I am to scared.

But just like the fisherman, I began to put my faith in God and did the things He was asking of me. It is still very scary to be sharing my person sins with the world. Each time I sit down to write about my past I relive the nightmare that I caused my family. I am reminded of the shame and hurt. My emotions are stretched and exhausted. I have fallen to my knees writing sessions begging for mercy and grace only to be reminded that God cleared my name. God loves me and give me strength as I write. God hold my hand and guides me each time. I hope and pray that I continue to have the passion and desire to share my story without hesitating. I want to be willing and enthusiastic about sharing the victory that God has given me over my sin.