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.