Shattered Hearts, Broken Promises

The voices in her head are taunting.

Cruel, hateful words come from their lips…

Stupid.

Foolish.

Blind.

So very Trusting.

So Naïve.

The sky is green and the grass is blue today, Tonya!”

She responds, “Oh really?! How lovely that must be!”

She is Stupid.

How could she be SO incredibly blind?

How could she not feel her in the bedroom with them?

Who is HER you ask?

Why, the other woman of course.

  The day I was told the truth, my heart fell down. Down, down, down, until it fell out.

I felt it.

I heard it fall to the floor and shatter.

  Or maybe that was the sound of the glass Cinderella Happily Ever After Castle I had lived in for nearly 10 wonderful years. As it came crashing to the ground, millions of tiny shards of glass pierced my body. My chest felt as if an elephant was sitting on it, my breath coming in short gasps, my stomach churned and I feared I would vomit.

All this as I stood in the laundry room, staring over the heads of our 4 children, to a man with haunted, sorrowful eyes. Our 4 precious ones were between us, lined up to wash hands for supper, after returning home from an evening at church.

Desperately trying to keep the smile pasted to my face, I cheerfully say: “Let’s wash hands and then eat some supper!“

Anything to protect them from what I knew was coming.

Let’s back up a bit:

It was July 10th, 2011. We had gone to pick up Dale from a weekend away at Men’s Encounter. A Spiritual “tear you down and build you up again, lay it all before the cross” kind of weekend. He said we’d talk after the kids were in bed about all the Lord showed him. I was excited, anticipating our quiet time! Anticipating the changes I knew I’d see in him, hoping he’d be ready to kick things up a notch in our home, to really step into the position of the Spiritual leader.

As I was sorting Dale’s laundry, just moments after we arrived home, I found a note, written on a yellow piece of paper. I had already read another stack of yellow notes, encouraging words from roommates from Encounter, so I figured this one was one he had missed.

There was a reason this one was isolated. This one was alone because it housed a dark, ugly secret. No, this one HINTED at a dark ugly secret, but I knew, instantly I knew. The sweet letter to Dale from a leader, suggested another couple to “help us through this difficult time”. As soon as I saw the couples name he suggested we speak with, I knew. I knew their story; the lies, the women, the betrayal. I knew, and it was all I could do to keep it together for the 2 hours until bedtime. I am still not sure how I stood to make supper, my body in such a state of shock.

As Dale tucked the children in, I walked to the laundry room, I’m still not sure why. Maybe to see if I could find my heart? Maybe to re-live what occurred only moments before, or was it hours by now? It all was a blur, I was moving in a cloud, no, my worst nightmare. Unable to stand another moment, I sunk to the floor, back against the cold dryer and wrapped my arms around my knees, burying my face in them. Pressing my forehead down HARD on them. Shaking from head to toe, wanting to bawl, yet nothing. Not one single tear came. Is it possible to be too hurt to cry?!

Yes.

I heard, rather than saw, Dale enter the laundry room once the kids were settled. The familiar pop-pop of his knees as he sunk to the floor, was another stab to the heart. Everything I knew was a lie, the familiar and strangely comforting sounds, yet another painful reminder of all that was lost. This man I loved and adored now represented hurt, betrayal, & indescribable heartache.

 Head still on my knees, I hear a whispered, tearful, broken….

”I’m so sorry, Tonya. So, so very sorry.”

I cannot write the words that spewed from my mouth, the vomit in word form that came. They are too awful. I am too ashamed that those words were in me. But they were, and they spewed forward like hot lava.

“Who was she and how many times?”

I spoke through clenched teeth. Hate pouring through every pore of my being, pulsing with every beat of my broken heart.

If looks could’ve killed, Dale would’ve been dead in an instant, joining the cold, lifeless “Old Tonya“ on the floor. She died the moment she heard the news, you know. She died, along with all of her childhood hopes and dreams of one day having her own happily ever after.

I could only look at him a split second at a time before looking up, down, re-burying my head in my knees, ANYTHING except looking at my betrayer.

I couldn’t.

This- this disgusting thing across from me, was my HUSBAND.

MY LOVER.

MY SOUL MATE.

MY BEST FRIEND.

The man I loved most. The man I SAVED myself for. The man I gave EVERYTHING to. How could I feel so much hate for someone I loved so dearly?

LoveD so dearly? Past tense? In that moment I didn’t know what I felt. It was so jumbled I couldn’t make sense of it.

So I just poured putrid, hateful words from my lips, calling him every bad name I had ever heard.

And do you know what?

He just wept and took it.

“I know,” he said, “I know. You aren’t calling me anything I haven’t called myself 1000 times.”

Dale came across the laundry room and wrapped his arms around me, the tenderness finally provoking tears, and I cried into the chest of the man who caused this pain. Loving him and hating him so fiercely I didn’t know which way was up. Sobbing, pounding his chest with my fist calling him names, yet clinging to his neck like a life line. He is all I know. My heart and body so inner-twined with this man that I feared I would never be just “me” again. I shove away from him, no longer able to tolerate his touch.

For 6 hours, we were in separate rooms of the house. 6 long hours I was locked in hell, being kept captive by my ugly thoughts, by the imagining of horrible details far worse than the truth I was told later.

Dale kindly asked if I’d like him to move out?

I spewed from my mouth:

NO. You deserve to stay here and see what you pissed away. What you lost for 15 minutes on your office floor. You deserve to see those kids faces and imagine your life “Every Other Weekend.”

He made a bed on the couch that night.

Bastard.  Served him right.

I sent an email to a trusted mentor of mine, who had helped us through some of the hurdles before our courtship:

“I sent Dale to a Men’s Encounter weekend, well, what a weekend it was. My marriage is over.
Who’d have thought that me sending Dale, hoping he’d come back ready to be the leader of our home, would unleash a year-long secret. A secret of ultimate betrayal. Every moment of every day for the past year, my husband has lied to me with his silence. Has held me in his arms and made love to me, promising me the world, telling me how good we were together, how much he loved our life…..lies. I want to puke.

Did I tell you my dad cheated on my mom? That it rocked my world at age 17 when we found out? I remember my mom sitting on the front porch, sobbing.
I didn’t speak to the Lord or my dad for a year. My earthly father had broken my heart, what did I have to say to my Heavenly Father?

Nothing.

Fathers couldn’t be trusted.

  Now? I am living my very own hell on earth. I have been so fearful of this from the get go. I begged Dale to be true to me. I checked Dale’s phone often for weird numbers, asked questions about what I thought were lip stick stains on his shirt etc. I’ve spent our entire marriage, begging him to be truthful, I constantly asked him about temptation and porn.

He told me he wasn’t like other guys, that he didn’t have wandering eyes since I was the only girl for him.

LIES!

  My trust and questions got me nowhere. And look at me now. Naive and stupidly trusting, blinded to the truth. Thinking we were happy when we obviously weren’t. Thinking I was all Dale needed, when that was not the case.
I am a happily ever after kinda girl. I just wrote out our whole love story on my blog in May, prompted by the Lord to share, so others could see how the Lord had taken a man who had made some big mistakes, healed him, and used him to teach me about forgiveness. To share how He brought us together, scripting us a beautiful love story, healed my heart and allowed us to become one.  4 beautiful children later, I am living my very own dream come true. How could things be going so WRONG!?
I saved everything for Dale. I prayed for him every day from age 13 on. I wrote him love letters each and every birthday, promising him I was still praying for him, waiting for him, anticipating the day the Lord brought him into my life. When I turned 19 I was able to finally replace “Dear Future Husband” at the beginning of the letter with “My Dearest Dale”. What a moment! What a thrill it gave my heart to finally have a name at the top of these letters!

He didn’t save himself for marriage like I did, but I forgave him, trusting him to change. Guess I wasn’t worth waiting for then or now.

Married to my first love at 20, having our first child at 21. 8 pregnancy’s in 8 years did a number on us.

He stole my everything.

My kisses, my love, my purity, my heart.

I have been robbed. Robbed by a slut named xxxxxxx, an agent he was running appointments with, who took it upon herself to reach across the car and feel him up. Dale’s ring didn’t stop her from trying. Worst of all, DALE didn’t stop her from trying. No wonder we’ve gone through 10 of our hardest months financially. The Lord spewed us from His mouth. No wonder He removed His hand of blessing on us. We all suffered because of Dale’s stupid mistake.
I am so angry right now I could puke. Scream. Sob.

  So there you are. One ugly spewing email. I am scared to tell anyone of this. Scared because I already get flack for my life being too sunshine-y. Too happy. But I really meant it. Every stinkin’ word. I really was THAT happy. I thought he was too.
I have an 8-year-old, a 4-year-old, a 2-year-old and a 10 month old. What in the world am I going to do?

Please don’t tell anyone.

I am so ashamed. ~T

I pushed send, no longer caring if someone found out my ugly secret, I needed counsel, I needed to be told how to breathe, how to live with this pain. After I pushed send, I crawled to bed, alone.

So alone, faith shaken.

Someone pinch me. This can’t be my new life. This can’t be real.

I crawl to bed and roll over. My hand naturally falls to Dale’s side of the bed, as is my habit of nearly 10 years. Except this time, it finds no warm body to draw comfort from. Instead, it rests in the dip of the mattress where Dale used to be found. My heart aches with the emptiness of my new life, my new reality.

Then, the tears came…..

Wracking sobs; the ugly kind of cry where you scream, choke and do the ooh-ooh-ooh between sobs, trying to catch your breath. I kept thinking I was going to vomit. Maybe I would’ve felt better had I been able to.

Sleep evades me that night, my mind returning to the scene he described to me….its ugly beginnings in the car, then on the floor of his office with a woman I don’t know, but HATE. HATE!

Literally pinching myself to make sure this isn’t a nightmare. All I want to do, is go to bed, curl up next to my loving, faithful husband and fall into a peaceful slumber………

But, those days are gone.

I cried all night in my lonely bed; hurting, imagining, despising. Dividing up our home, our furniture; trying to decide where I would live, how I could support 4 young children, how I could take Dale for all he had, how I could make him as hurt and miserable as he made me. Thinking of the “D” word we swore we’d never speak:

DIVORCE.

Well, all other promises had been broken, why not this one too?

Little did I know, that Dale was out on the couch, weeping along with me and praying his heart out. He knew he didn’t dare come offer me comfort. He said it about killed him, he’d never felt so helpless. So hopeless.

All this as I sobbed myself into an exhausted slumber, the last thing I recall is the clock reading 3:12 am.

5 am comes and I wake suddenly and sit up all in the same moment. What a bad dream!

I glance behind me and see an empty spot in the bed. Dear God. It wasn’t a dream, but my new ugly reality. Instantly the tears were back and I WAILED at the injustice of it all. WAILED.

Instantly, Dale came from the living room to my side, offering his arms, wanting so badly to bring me comfort. Repulsed by his touch, I shoved him away. I needed to clear my head, so I left out the front door, sitting at the end of the sidewalk crying out to God, crying:

WHY? WHY? OH GOD WHY? in to the still, silent morning. Birds just starting to stir and sing their cheerful song, the sun turning the sky a lovely pink color as another day dawned.

How could life go on as if nothing had changed?

Hadn’t the World stopped turning last night at 6 pm?

I‘ll never forget that sunrise as long as I live. It was beautiful; pinks, oranges and purple.

As I cried out to the Lord out there at the end of the sidewalk, watching the dawn of a new day, something inside of me broke. I felt it occur. In the same instance, I knew as sure as I know my name, that He spoke something over me.

“Divorce is NOT the answer.”

{Sigh}

“Yes, Lord. I know.”

I had known it all along, but was trying to justify it.

Just like that, peace that surpasses understanding washed me from head to toe. Instantly, my churning, sick gut silenced. In the next second, a thought flitted across my mind, and I was on my feet before the thought even finished:

Our marriage is worth fighting for.

Our marriage IS worth fighting for.

OUR MARRIAGE IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR!

Yes, Lord, yes! It is!

I marched back inside, thankful it was still early and the kids were sleeping through this, and I walked past the couch where Dale was sitting. Just sitting there, head hung, lonely and broken in the darkened office. I went to my jewelry box and got out my wedding rings, placed them in a velvet box and walked back out to the office. I slide them across the desk to him, looked him in the eye for the first time since he told me his truth, and said that we had 4 very good reasons to stay together; that I still loved him inside all the hate, that the love was still there. I went on to say:

“Our marriage IS worth fighting for. And one day you will be able to slide these rings back on my finger and make me yours again because I. Choose. Us.”

He wept. Just held the ring box and wept.

“I don’t deserve you.” he whispered.

No, you don’t!” I spouted, “But I love you and I said I do until death do us part, and unlike you, I meant my vows when I said them. You know the crazy part? I don‘t know HOW to be Tonya without Dale. You are all I know, and I am too entwined in you to remove myself. I‘d never be a whole again. There’d always be jagged edges from where I unwound my life from yours. I love you too much to give up on us.”

Less than 12 hours after the lovely Castle I lived in came crashing around me, I had made my peace that Divorce was not an option.

So, now what?

Little did I know, the Lord was already beginning a work in us.

A Supernatural one.

More tomorrow…..

Listen, before I go and before you begin to comment and send me messages, I ask you this:

Remember that I choose to stay with Dale. That I love him, and that I am rebuilding a life with him. That you just now, got put emotionally where I was in July. We have been fighting tooth and nail for our marriage the 9 months since then, so please, temper your words accordingly.

Also, please pray for us to be protected from the attacks of satan. We know we may lose “friends” over this. We know the rumor mill will fly and in the days to come, we will have to answer lots of questions and may have to defend ourselves and our decision to stay together, as even good friends can give bad advice.

Please pray that our words would be seasoned with salt, that we would be able to show the Love of Christ to all we share about this matter in the days to come. That this ugly could be used for HIS glory. That beauty could come from these ashes we call our marriage.

God is a God of restoration, of total healing…….

Trust me, I’m experiencing it with each and every breath I take.

~T

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163 thoughts on “Shattered Hearts, Broken Promises

    • Your amazing words have so much strength and rawness. Thank you for being real and honest. It’s rare. Thank you for displaying your faith as well. Being strong is hard, sometimes you may feel weary and too tired to continue in that strength. God gave you that strength and is your strength. Give Him as much as you can- everything that you may be holding on to. He knows what to do with it. Thank you for trusting God and for talking about your relationship with God. God bless you and continue to aid your marriage and family. I will pray for you and your family in all that you ask.Blessings, blessings, blessings.

  1. The fact that you are not willing to give up on your marriage, that you are willing to work through this mountain shows you have the strength from Him. What you have gone through is not easy even though I have not personally gone through it. I can only pray that things between you and your husband get better and stay better. Not just for the sake of your four beautiful children, but for you both as well. Stay strong in the Lord and know that I am praying for you even though I do not know you personally. Many blessings and prayers for you both.

  2. I know how difficult it must have been for you to share this part of your life with everyone Tonya (and Dale). No marriage is immune to evil temptations. I don’t care what anyone tells you. All marriages go through difficulties. Some worse than others but they ALL have their trials and tribulations. If anyone thinks they can skate through a marriage without ever having to work on it – well, they are setting themselves up for failure. It takes love, yes, but it takes a lot of work to keep it working well. We can all just *exist* in a marriage but to make it truly work and be happy and functional – we have to work on it daily and bring the Lord into our marriage and keep HIM there. You have made a commitment to each other and God to make it work, and yes, be HAPPY again. And that takes strength, and devotion and love beyond words. It takes an amazing amount of work but it also takes a very strong and amazing woman to forgive.
    Thank you both for sharing your story and the stories that are to come. I think the Lord is going to work in the hearts of the people around you. Anyone who is wanting to judge will first need to admit that they and their spouses are completely perfect. It is not for us to judge Tonya and Dale. We are not the judge and jury here. But I know your story will help countless other couples who maybe have not admitted their sins to their partner and silently suffer in an unfulfilled marriage. Or maybe a woman is who struggling with her husband’s infidelity, who doesn’t know how to handle her grief, will read your story and will have hope on how to move on. You have no idea how many people this may touch. And although you may never hear from those folks. Just know God obviously has a far greater plan than we could ever know. And I know this will be a continuing journey for you both even after all these posts have been shared. It never stops just because the words are out there. It’s a healing that must always be nurtured. But the rewards to you and your family are amazing! Love to my Ferguson family!

    • Ditto what Brandie said.

      A speaker at conference said in her book that “…homosexuals are fighting so hard to have their marriages recognized. They consider it worth the fight. What would happen if we worked that hard to save our own marriages?” While neither she nor I are advocating homosexuality, it is definitely something to think about.

  3. I love you Tonya! I read your story with a very heavy heart. I celebrated inside my soul when you discovered that divorce was not an option. Your story will help others because you are not alone. You are BOLD IN CHRIST! But most of all I feel your hurt! Blessings to you on this day and always! Love, Connie Worthing

  4. I’m incrediby impressed with your courage and in awe of your faith. Thank you for sharing your story and know that you are having an amazing impact on people you’ve never met face to face. Know your family is being prayed for.

  5. And PRAISE the LORD on High!!!!

    It is done…..it is over….. “Your Truth Dear one is Out There for EVERYONE to see”

    after all of these months of FEAR, of Worry, of Wonder what is to come how you will be treated when your “UGLY TRUTH” is out there in full for the world???

    Let those who might choose to Persecute, Gossip of, and Turn on you Answer to the only one that has the right to Judge us. Our GOD – For that which God has brought together as one LET NO MAN put asunder!!!

    For GOD sees No SIN as worse than another……My 4 year old’s “Little White Lie” it is no worse than Dales “Indiscretion” in Gods eyes SIN is just that SIN……

    We LOVE you Dear one and we are behind you 100% and Guess what all the times I have cried over this story on my own before January and with you and for you since then I did not shed 1 tear reading this….. I have decided it is because I already know the outcome……the Beauty that comes through this horrible Haze of a Story…….The Diamond that has grown and shines much BRIGHTER than even before!!!

    Love you and your Amazing God fearing, God living Family Tonya and Dale we are and always will be there for you both!!!

    • Oh Heather – I don’t know you in person, but I know you in my heart, and just wanted to thank you for being such a wonderful friend to my friend Tonya…who I have yet to meet in person. She is such a beautiful woman, inside and out. Maybe I’ll get to meet you when I meet her this summer? Thanks for your beautiful encouragement to her today.

      • :) And to you too Marsha!!! Would love to meet you as well always enjoy your encouragement and support of this very special girl!!! Of course would LOvE to meet you too I only live a few minutes away from Tonya and I am blessed to have her in my life, as she as supported me just as much as I have supported her!!!

        God Blessed me when he gave me Tonya and all the other wonderful ladies in our Sunday School Class – He alone knows what is to come and just who we need in our lives to survive that which is coming!! :)

  6. My sweet, Tonya. Thank you for your courage to be transparent. I have been reading your blog for sometime now. This one has especially touched my heart. We have also struggled greatly in our16-year marriage with bad decisions, hurt, disappointment and more on both our parts. It still isn’t perfect today. I want you and Dale to know that you are not alone. We also are choosing to “love.” But, even in that there are many difficult days, set backs and tears…the waters are not always smooth…the way back is challenging to navigate. I’m learning again and again that God is still working in our mess. We can’t always see it or understand it but he can restore what was lost. (Joel 2:25) Be patient. Trust God to show you his perfect love. The process will look different that you can plan it. Until we are truly broken…then can sit at the cross and understand our deep need for a savior. You are wonderfully made. You are a special. May God wrap his loving arms around you and hold you tight and may your story encourage and bring hope and honesty in the many who read today. And may the tempter and accuser run from our households. ~ Love, your old babysitter (who had the privelage of watching you grow into the beautiful woman you are today)

  7. Wow-what courage it must have taken to put your story out there for all of us to read! Praying for your family as you continue the healing process!

  8. Oh Tonya Dearest – God bless your sweet heart. He has truly given you a gift to be able to express yourself so beautifully, even in the depths of pain. Words aren’t sufficient to share all I felt/thought while reading your post….definitely through a blur of tears. God is SO amazing – that He wiped your tears away and gave you hope within 24 hours – ONLY
    GOD! Praise Him for all He’s doing in your lives….I can’t wait to share with you what I have talked about with a dear friend who has walked in your shoes. Praise God Dale allowed God to work in his heart. You are going to minister to many in sharing your story…that you have allowed God to weave a beautiful tapestry from the ugliness Praise God for your courage and strength to share the darkness He has brought you through. Your family is a true inspiration and Blessing – know you are all loved so very much! XO

  9. My sweet Tonya and dear Dale, The Lord will honor your committment to heal your marriage. Working it out is never easy…..but He will make a way where there seems to be no way. I am praying that you will have godly counsel as you walk through these days and that your marriage will be stronger than you ever could have believed possible when this time of sharing with others is over. You have a wonderful precious family worth fighting for….the evil one would tell you to do things the worlds’ way and give up, but you have chosen a better way (God’s Way) and He will bless you for that. Love to you both…..Jane

  10. Oh Sister, my heart breaks for you. I just want to give you encouragement to keep on and lean on the Lord. My marriage is living proof of healing after infidelity. It wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen quickly but our marriage is stronger since we have struggled through. It never would have happened without the Lord carrying us and mending our hearts. It does get better. Be encouraged. I will be praying for you

  11. You are an amazing strong woman and I admire you greatly. I hope you don’t lose friends over this. I would love a friend like you. You are encouraging other people that are going through difficult times too. You are very brave to tell your story. God is using you. I will be praying for you and your family!

  12. Dear Sister,
    God bless you! I found out about my husband’s affair 5 years ago and as I read your story this morning I could actually feel your pain, it was as if I was reliving my own story. My husband was a preacher, so it was quite a shocker. Your story was so much like my own. We are working on our marriage becuase like you divorce was not an option for me. I thank you for sharing and I will certainly be praying for you and your husband. I totally understand the fear, worry and loving/hating at the same time. Thank you so much for sharing and I am excited to hear the rest of the story, maybe it will help me to move on also.

  13. What courage you have to not only choose love over hate, but to put it out to all of us you don’t even know.Many of us have choosen love over hate and it is never easy. Bless you and your family for the past 9 months, and the next 50 years. HUGS TO ALL.

  14. I’d just like to say thank you for being courageous enough to share this with us. I literally cried with you through most of it because it was just so familiar, almost our story exactly. I, too, decided to stay and work through it. We also have 4 kids and despite what some of our “friends” said, I feel as though I made the best decision for my children, myself, my family and my life. God has helped us through this, and while I can’t tell you the hurt ever goes away, it honestly does get better. I wish your family the best and I will be praying for healing for you all, God bless.

  15. One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite movies: I couldn’t hear you. There was a crack in the planet. WOW… that was noisy!
    That’s exactly how I felt when I learned of my own husband’s betrayal, so I can truly identify with how you felt in the that moment in the laundry room. I truly hope no one judges you here for telling this, it would be sickening.

  16. You are not alone. Many have gone through this, myself included, and aren’t brave enough to tell the story. God bless you.

  17. Tonya…my heart is aching for you…your words resonated w/me and brought back painful memories that most all of us have at one time or another in our marriages. Rest on your faith, take care of your 4 precious babies, and know that God’s plan for you and Dale, whatever that may be, will make you stronger to walk and witness in His light…sending lots of love and prayers for your well-being…Ally

  18. Unconditional love, the grace of God and the support of your family and friends will see you both thru this. You are truly stronger than you think you are :)

  19. Wow.. Your post made me feel your heart. I am so happy you heard God speak in your darkest moment and you LISTENED and OBEYED!! I can only imagine the betrayal you’ve felt but I’m so proud of you for taking the high road and the bravery and courage to not do the D word. I’ll be praying for God to keep working His awesome miraculous healing in your lives.

  20. Tonya,
    The Lord brought me to your blog late last summer. I’ve read every post you’ve put out, but always found myself more drawn to your personal stories. You have a God-given gift with words! But, more importantly, you draw people in with your enthusiasm for life and for God….an enthusiasm I wish I was as confident to exude. In the beginning, I questioned why I was brought to your blog…you did seem too perfect….but now I know. You are a beacon of light for those of us who struggle with who we are in Christ, and in our everyday lives. Your struggle within your marriage was the solidarity for me, as it came at the perfect time. I am struggling through something similar, and completely connected with your post today. Please know that forgiveness takes more strength than walking away, and you will be rewarded!!! Your light reaches far beyond your wildest dreams, even when seemingly broken.
    Praying for continued strength and faith for you all!

  21. I applaud you for staying, fighting for your marriage, and not giving satan the satisfaction of a broken home. Thank you for having the courage in sharing your story! I am lifting y’all up in prayer!

    Psalm 30:5
    Weeping may endure for a night, but
    joy comes in the morning !!

    Hallelujah! That just makes me wanna dance a little jig! :))

  22. I will be praying for you and Dale….you (or him) does not have to defend anything…Jesus defended everything for us on the cross! That is what is so wonderfully peaceful when we come to the cross like you both did, and receive what Christ did for us! Everything we do and say should direct people back to God….So proud of you both…there is nothing in and of ourselves that could do what you two are doing except for Calvary….and you wrote about it so beautifully!

  23. I don’t know you or Dale personally just through this blog. I have found courage through this blog many times without even knowing I needed it. Thank you or sharing your good & bad.
    Being Happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect….it means you have decided to see beyond the imperfections.
    No one is perfect….our flaws are far to visible….but God believes we are worth more than our flaws.
    Christian growth comes through hard-core, guts perseverance of applying what you hear & obeying it.
    Good luck on your journey. Know I am praying!

  24. What can I say…I love you both. Your words sparked memory’s of my own from that Mens Encounter and that situation. The key to Christian living is actually very simple…and very difficult. We must let God in…to let God do what God does…which is restore and redeem. God’s will for all of us is to empower us to “live and look” like His Son. This story reminds me how the Spirit of Grace will fill us up and engulf us in the comfort and presence of Him…who forgives, who redeems, who restores. I applaud both of you on your willingness to let God in…it speaks to the supernatural power of Him.

    Love ya both….

  25. Oh Tonya my friend I can feel your pain!
    I just had a feeling that this might be what your post was going to be about not sure why but somehow I just knew !
    Yes your marriage IS worth fighting for God will see to that!
    I will be praying for your family.
    You are such a strong incredible woman!

  26. Tonya I can only imagine the way you felt. You did an excellent job expressing your thoughts and feelings for us all to understand. Your story soaked my face with tears and I’ve been praying for your family since I read.

    I know the beginning of this story is in the past, so I don’t know where you’re currently at in your journey, but I hope you remember that He began a good work in you two and He WILL be FAITHFUL to complete it!

    I have to commend you on your honesty, bravery, and faithfulness. It takes so much to share your story with the world, but you are obeying the Lord and there is nothing more important than that. I am excited to see how He “works this together for good”!

    Love,
    Cassi

  27. You are a brave and strong woman~ I envy that in you. I wish you all the happiness your heart deserves. You are an amazing writer also!

  28. May your marriage be forged in the fire and come out stronger, deeper, and richer than you ever imagined. God can work wondrous miracles in anything! I pray for a hedge of protection around you, Dale, and your children so that Satan and his evil can not touch you. Amen

  29. I have never been on your blog before and just read your story. Wow!! …amazing! You are a brave, strong, wonderful woman….your husband is a lucky man and I am sure he knows that! God Bless your family

  30. Tonya, you are such a strong person to be able to share your story. I cried through all of it. I can’t begin to tell you how much I can relate :( My Dad had an affair on my Mom when I was 10 years old, with my moms best friend. They divorced because of it, and my Dad ended up marrying her. It was the hardest time in my life, and obviously my Mothers. My mom, sisters and I struggled for years because of it. Financially, emotionally. I have struggled my entire life to forgive my Dad. Forgiveness is a very tough thing. The whole situation has truly shaped the person I am today. I admire your courage to forgive your husband and make it work. Your kids are so precious and they deserve two loving parents that fight to make a marriage work. Marriage is definitley one of the hardest things to make work, whether there is betrayel involved or not. They say a good marriage consists of two good forgivers, and I dont think it could be described better. You are such a special person, and I am so happy to have gotten to know you :) *hugs* xoxo -Holly

  31. Tonya and Dale, I know it took all 3 of you to share the story, for a thread woven with 3 strands cannot be broken. It will get better, it will be hard work (as all good things take hard work) and it will be worth it. Keep God in the front of you at all times and be thankful for the love God has given you. Dale, I do not know you, but everyone is human and we all make mistakes. Thank you for keeping your eyes on God and being honest with your wife when it would have seemed earthly easier to just go on about your business as if it had never happened. I have never met you, but if Tonya thinks you are worth fighting for, then you must be a prize from God indeed.
    I truly wish your family of 7 (God is the core) the best life. I know it is not your “fairytale” you wished for, but it is YOUR fairytale. Enjoy every minute you have together and always remember to love each other fully no matter how angry you are because the love of each other was given by God and we have to learn it is a precious gift. People mess up. Life happens. Marriage takes work. Enjoy your work, enjoy each other, enjoy your family and remember people love you and are praying for you.

  32. This limp in your walk will be the healing balm of freedom for countless others. God bless you for following Him and allowing Him to unlock this new chapter in your lives. Much love and prayers going out for your family in these days!

  33. Dearest Tonya, I am so glad you are sharing this story, and indeed is IS a testament of beauty from ashes–which is THE GOSPEL!! I pray that God will not only fully restore your marriage but use your story and vulnerability to spread the gospel message to so many women (and men) who will be touched by it.

  34. After I threw up, I wanted to say that your day was July 10, 2011. Mine was July 15, 2011. yes, I too was told I was “too happy”. Many people felt they should tell me “I told you so”. I got anonymous letters. Our children are grown and I’ve probably got 20 years on you but it hurts like there’s not going to be a tomorrow. In fact, you would rather there not be sometime, but like you – it was worth fighting for. Since I”m known for my toughness no one dared say a word about me staying with him – because they knew that without a doubt I would tell them exactly what they could do with their self-righteous, I-would-do-this-or-that attitudes, because NO ONE knows what they would do until they have to do it and you have to be tougher to stay than not. Is it perfect for us? No. Is it better? most days. do I regret staying? No. What I do regret is being stupid enough to think some people in my life were friends – when all they want to do is judge. I know you pain. That’s all there is to say.

  35. You can trust I will not judge or call you names! Well bad names anyways! I will call you brave and many more good names as I I ur to read your story! Today made me want to hug you!

  36. Dear sweet Tonya-my heart goes out to you so! After reading through the first few words of this post, my mind immediately went back to your “Broken” post from last year, and I just knew this post was going to be about that horrible time in your life. I could not have imagined a horror for you such as this one though. Your Cinderella marriage story is part of what drew me to read your posts each day-I was so enthralled with your story of what a wonderful life a couple can have when they lean upon the Lord. While my courtship was not quite the fairy tale yours was, I still ended up finding the love of my life who has been my partner for what will be 34 years in May. But this part of your story shows me that I should never take my marriage and life for granted-things can and do fall apart so quickly and you never know what might trigger it to happen. I am not surprised that you made the decision to stay and fight for your marriage, because I know that you know that is what the Lord would have wanted you to do. But your strength in sharing this part of your life is truly amazing to me-what courage to bare your soul the way you did, and in such an eloquent way. I look forward to reading the rest of the weeks posts, and you are at the top of my prayer list sweet friend-you and your husband and those 4 beautiful children you have. As long as you look to God to guide you in this “detour” from the life road you thought you were on, and lean upon him for continued strength, I know you all will survive. Even though we have never met face to face, I feel that you are a true friend, and I love you lots. Hey, no wonder the vow renewal coming up!! Mailing your banner this week-look for it in the mail!

  37. Tonya, prayers were said for you and your family when I read this as I know how difficult the road ahead will be, but SO worth it! You are right, your marriage IS worth fighting for. When this happened, Satan wanted and intended it to destroy your marriage, and he is so angry that it did not that he will probably keep trying. But, we have Christ, who is stronger. Your husband felt guilt, shame, regret which says ALOT and I can guarantee that if he could go back and undo 1 thing in his life, this would be it. I totally respect you for your decision and I will continue to pray for your family.

  38. Tonya~
    I have been following your blog for a few months now. I love the way you share everything from recipes and photos to stories about your family. I must say I was shocked when I read this. I sincerely hope that you are able to work things out. I cannot imagine how difficult this had to be for you to share. God bless you and your family.

  39. Your writing is Beautiful. I think you should write a book about this situation in your life. SO many would be able to learn from it

  40. I had to step away a couple of times while reading today’s entry, my heart was breaking so much for you both. I am reassured that you are working to get this behind you and will read the rest of your posts for encouragement. You are brave, faithful and inspiring in more ways than I could express…my prayers continue to be with you and your family.

  41. Thank you for sharing this personal experience with us. You will never know how much you will help someone by doing so. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Stay strong and keep moving forward. You are an amazing woman!

  42. My dear, I am sorry for what you’ve gone through, but I am so hopeful for what is to come for you. It won’t be easy, but you’ve absolutely done the right thing by listening to both your heart and to His words to your heart. My you all be blessed in your upcoming life together.
    Don’t let anyone else’s words change what is in your hearts.

  43. Tonya, thank you so much for sharing. I help lead a group for women whose spouses struggle with sexual sin (of various types) at our church. We have found wonderful help and healing for ourselves (and our marriages) through our group. We mostly use material from Mark and Debra Laaser and Faithful and True Ministries. I would love to share more with you if you are interested. My email is megan.thepearl@gmail.com. You are a precious woman! So interesting that of all the blogs out there you are one of a few I check regularly. Maybe that was God? Love to you my sweet sister in the Lord.

  44. Tonya thank you for your honesty. I love you guys very much and will be praying for you. May God bless you and your amazing family.

  45. I am a newcomer to the site and have been enjoying all the blogs immensely. I was shocked to read this today but stand in admiration of your faith. God bless you all.

  46. You are doing a great job of staying true to yourself and your beliefs. No marriage is easy and there are different ways it can be tested. If you truly believe in your vows do what you think is right and tell everyone else to go JUmp !

  47. God Bless you young lady! You have a big heart full of love! I get that in every blog that I’ve read. Unfaithfulness of a spouse is a horrible kind of hurt to have to endure. I admire you for seeking God’s counsel and support AND for choosing your marriage. Do remember that forgiveness is not for the one who did the offense. It is for your benefit and does not absolve the wrong that was done. Also, forgiveness is not a one time thing–it may take a long time to forgive, maybe every day. You and your family are in my prayers.

  48. Tonya, I am praying for you. Your honesty was so beautiful (and so difficult to read). I am inspired by the depth and strength of your faith and complete trust in our Lord. I know He will bless and protect you. You are incredible! My heart is with you friend!

  49. Dear Tonya,

    I very recently started following your blog through Pinterest. I was drawn to your blog because you are a Believer and I enjoy reading about your family & faith. Some of the first blogs I read were the blogs about your courtship & marriage. I couldn’t help but think how perfect your Happily Ever After story was and what a lucky and blessed woman you are!! :) Reading your blog today, my heart absolutely breaks for you. I commend you for sticking with it and not making the “D” word a part of your vocabulary. I will commit to praying for you and Dale everyday that the Lord will heal your relationship. REMEMBER: What the devil intends for evil the LORD makes GOOD. I will pray the Lord will strengthen you and give you wisdom, peace, and a sound mind. I pray the Lord will work with you and Dale to heal and become one once again. I pray He will heal your families.

    Keep the Faith and know that you are not alone. God is with you every step of the way.

    Phillipians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

    Hebrews 13:5 “……..never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

    Praying for you!
    Nicki

    • Oh my dear Tonya…..I read this first time this am, crying, weeping….And I am still weeping. I have read all of the responses above. I hope you realize how incredibly blessed and loved you are by people you have never met! Think of the prayers being lifted up for you.

      But only God will be able to heal you. You know that….you are often so wise about the Lord I can’t imagine it. You have helped me to grow, long before this post. And all those people above have given you all the wisdom I thought I might give.

      So all that is left is this…..I love you. I even love Dale, even as I shared in your anger! And how can one of your midwives not love those kids??

      Do not feel foolish or stupid for believing in your dream!! It is a dream God gave you….and while your castle may end up with a few cracks, God can rebuild it. Not out of glass, but built on the solid Rock.

      And now God is revealing His plan for compelling you to write the blog. And one of the gifts he has given you is expressing yourself so well in writing. Your ministry on this blog will benefit so many as you share how God has used these horrible circumstances for you and your family’s benefit.

      Have you heard this song by Gungor?

      I love you all. My heartfelt and earnest prayers are for you. Remember it doesn’t matter what others think or say. God is with you, just as He has promised, over and over in His word.

      Debbie

  50. Hi Tonya….my husband and I are Christians as well and I only found out about 1 year ago that my husband has had an on again off again affair with a woman for 20 years…When I was reading your comments about how you felt I could almost predict every word and thought you had…we feel so violated and so distrustful of our husbands, but like you, “I” chose to forgive and press on..We have 5 kids and they do not deserve a split mom and dad…My husband has begged forgiveness and I have ‘chosen’ to forgive him..and more than that I have never mentioned this again…I would be lying if I said it doesnt cross my mind every time he’s late getting home or doesnt call when he says he would…but I will say that our ‘relationship’ is improving daily (we have both been greatly humbled by all this) and I think it has made us more compassionate and less judgmental of anyone..Until you walk in someone else’s shoes no one has a right to judge…There have been ‘people’ (the very few who know) who think Im crazy to stay in this marriage but you have to not only follow your heart but at the end of the day you have to ask “what would Jesus do?!” God is a God of grace and mercy and all have sinned and have come short of His Glory. So sweetie, you will get ‘through’ this..never really over it, but through it…and you just wait and see…your marriage will even be stronger. Trust me, I’m living proof…angie from kingston

  51. Praise the Lord that HE has the infinite power to sustain you and make you strong in an incredible time of weakness. My heart hurts so desperately for you. I know the pain of this sin as you did as a teenager; there is nothing to compare this kind of heartache to. I know next to nothing about marriage, but I know that for each and every purpose God has for us, Satan has a counterfeit plan that he attempts to give us so that we may choose deceit. The counterfeit plan that the devil conjured up for you is your ultimate nightmare. But that life isn’t meant for you. You are meant to have the kind of marriage that people look at and think, “Wow. So it is possible.” That’s how I have felt looking at your life. I still believe the both of you for it. I believe GOD for it. This is your time of testing. But our God stands strong. He holds YOU strong. I believe without a doubt that God plans to turn this into such a testimony, that you wouldn’t believe it if He told you right now. I love you both, and I thank you so much for your transparency and honesty.

    Lord, I pray that you envelop Dale and Tonya in your loving embrace. May they know the comfort, forgiveness, steadfastness, and healing that you provide, Father. Let your Holy Spirit rain down in their lives every single day. May the kids notice that their parents have a burning desire to love one another. May this be a messy situation that brings You immeasurable glory! I pray that Avery and Destiny would be encouraged by their mother’s strength and trust in You, and that Tylan and Paxton would be challenged by their father’s humility and honesty. Protect the entire family from further attacks from people, demons, or satan himself. You alone have the power to mend brokenness. We ask that of you Father. Rain down your love and blessings. We love you, Lord. Amen.

    BEAUTY FOR ASHES

  52. I’m so sorry your family has had to go through such a difficult trial. Thank you for posting, that took so much courage. I’m excited to read the rest of God’s story of redemption. God will use what Satan meant for evil for Good and for God’s glory!

  53. Oh, the amazing beauty of transparency and vulnerability. How precious you are to Christ and His Body to be willing to share this story. Bless you for crashing us through your pain. I so look forward to reading about the healing.

  54. 4 Times…..yes 4 times I have read this since 7:20 this morning. 4 Times that I read a story I already knew and had even heard part of this post written by it’s talented writer!!! Yet 4 times I have been drawn to read it word for word again and again. 4 times I thought of different things and different hopes and prayers and dreams for the future of The 4 Little Ferguson’s and their Mommy and Daddy!!

    We share so many things in common Tonya among many our views and methods of parenting, our ways of running our household and family, our Love of Photography, and our writing!!! I have written the 1st half of 3 different books since I was a new college student, I have written hundreds of poems, and stories, and letters, and e-mails et…. et…… I am a writer – if you have not already been able to tell that through my million mile long status’s on FB I AM A WRITER……

    I am also a reader I love to read over and over things that are close to my heart I always go back many many times throughout the year re reading our Christmas / Holiday Letter I try to send out every year during the year it is read many many many more times each time I get more feelings and thoughts from it, just as each time I read this post even though I know the story, and I know the outcome, and I know the Beauty that has come from these Burned Ashes these dark ashes that have now been swept away from the fire that are almost ready to blow away in a million different directions in the sky never to be seen or heard from again….at least not in the burning wounds they cause but in new clean healed ways with much less significance than they had when the burning of their fire was still creating the heat of the pain, and wounds!!!!

    4 times today one of the first things I did today when I woke and just about the last thing I am doing tonight before I sleep yet once again.

    As a writer and a history keeper through both words and through pictures I just want you to know yet one more time that you mean the world to me Dear Girl and I hope others are seeing that God will be there through it all and it can be brought back to Amazing places, places we never even dreamed were possible!!!

    Your Castle has been drawn and altered and changed by the greatest Architect of them all this last 9 months and now it is being built, not with the glass that it was built with before but with the strongest gem available your castle of sparkling Diamonds that is so strong it will cut through glass is being built and one day it will stand Taller and Stronger, and much more Beautiful and shiny, and so much more GRAND than you ever imagined with those childhood dreams!!!

    Your Castle is being built again my Friend and I can’t wait to come visit and be part of your first housewarming and dance with all the Princes and Princesses that will be invited into your Castle of Diamonds!!!

    Your writing truly has touched me beyond measure today my Sweet, Kind, Caring, Friend I LOVE YOU!!!

    p.s. not going to copy paste and spell check this so if there are mistakes they are only the flaws in the story that God is mending even as we speak!!! :) LOL!!!!

  55. I wish I had your strength! I wish I trusted God enough to believe that divorce was not an option and that He’d heal this broken marriage, this broken heart but I don’t! I’m still here a year later but for what? All we do is fight…all I do is accuse and lash out! To learn forgivness, trust…..it seems impossible!

    • Only through God, only through Him…the great healer. We are unable to deal with such devastation on our own. You’re just as brave for having stayed. Chose today to soften your heart and truly start to forgive. You’ll be doing it for yourself, not your husband. I can’t imagine what hell the last year must have been for you. Soften today, work to change your heart today, pray every minute for God to change YOU and make YOU better through this. You can do it, you are not alone. God bless you Broken. You don’t have to stay broken, through Him.

    • My dear Broken friend, don’t give up! No more fighting, no more accusing. Ask yourself, are you speaking life or death in your home and to your hubby?
      God desires to heal your broken heart and marriage, just be sure you are willing to give Him all the pieces.
      Keep reading, it is my prayer you will find the answers you seek to the “impossible”. Hugs, T

  56. Tonya,

    I just read this….I don’t have any words. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for being real. I love you and your family, and I’m praying for you as you walk through the process of revealing what’s been going on in your family. God is so amazing. Praise Him for you, your family, and your marriage!!!

  57. I was so shocked when I first started reading I thought it was just a joke at first or a story about someone else. I’m so sorry you had to/are going through this. This would devastate my world too, I can only imagine the pain and the hard task of rebuilding a marriage after a deceit like this. I think you are a good and faithful woman and I believe you guys will make it through this even stronger than you were before. God bless you!

  58. This is heartbreaking, yet refreshing, all at the same time. Thank you for sharing; I am encouraged that you are willing to fight for your marriage. I will fight with you in prayer. To God be the glory!

  59. Wow! Girl the Lord has blessed you with amazing strength and courage. You are so brave to share this here. I pray in the coming days, you only feel supported. It’s more brave to stay than to leave. I hope that having lived and maybe even survived this devastation at this point, that you feel empowered that the Lord carried you through one of your worst fears. I live in this fear. I wish I didn’t. I hate it. God bless you and your marriage. God bless your kids. I pray through this, good for His kingdom comes in a form you can see. Love and blessings.

  60. I’ve walked a mile in your shoes Tonya. I chose “us” too. Ten years later, I’m still glad I did :) It’s not an easy path but in the end, you’ll be proud that you chose the harder route, the one that glorifies God and not the one that would have glorified only you…

  61. Your story made me cry. There is a truth I have that I shared with my husband after we were married. A lie I coddled and didn’t speak. Praise the Lord that I brought it to his attention. Not when I should have, but God convicted me. I cannot imagine your pain, but I do understand *somewhat* although I was not married at the time, the pain that comes from being a believer and making the worst mistake you truly could ever imagine. When you are promised to someone and completely destroy them and betray them for the most selfish reasons and because I was not putting my strength in the Lord where it belonged. God truly is our fortress, and I will be praying for you so much. Thank you for sharing this. I don’t know that I would have responded as well as you even did.

    http://munchtalk.blogspot.com

  62. My dear girl, I want to give you a hug. You have no idea how badly I want to. And I want to thank you. For being so strong, yet not creating a fake existence. For being so completely honest despite the fear of someone knowing and possibly talking you into leaving. My husband and I know a bit of your pain. Or he does. I didnt cheat on him while we were married but I did withhold things I had done before we were married, things I knew he would have left me for. I just told him 6 months ago. We have been married a year. My heart breaks to read this. You’ve put into words the raw feelings he has only begun to tell me. I know the pain of being the one to crush the one you love. I carry it every day. I know I am forgiven, but I know all to well that forgiveness doesn’t mean you didnt do it. I know how it feels to want to just run as fast as you can in hopes that somehow it will take you back to that moment, back to that place and change everything.
    I know the pain of waking up and realizing that your spouse had another bad dream. It’s like being back at square one. I know the fear of knowing yes you have to come clean about this but how will you survive knowing your comfort and strength is about to be torn from you? After hiding it for so long I had made myself feel like everything was ok. I had pushed it down for 2 years digging it up not only brought my secret to light, it tore the world I had built on top of it to the ground. My heart is broken. Even though I am the one who did the breaking I broke me too.
    So I thank you from the other side of a broken heart I thank you for saying divorce is not the option. My husband is being so strong and so wonderful. divorce is not an option for us either, but I stand in awe of the strength of God in your lives. Thank you.

  63. Wow! If you weren’t telling my story!! I Will pray for your family to heal! For you for forgive, although I know how very difficult it is. You have 4 children and If I had children my outcome might have been different. With experience comes maturity. At 52 I might have handled things differently, Hind site 20-20. I divorced my husband 25 years ago. Spend many years alone, unhappy because of the inability to forgive. Once I learned that the only way to move past the hurt was to forgive, I was able to clearly freely move forward. I am amazed by your strength and love for not only your children and husband, but for yourself. People used to tell me when I wanted to stay, “where is your self esteem” and I listened to them….. You follow your heart, make wise decisions and do what is in your families best interest! You obviously have all of our support no matter how and what you choose to do.

  64. First of all, thank you for your honesty and sharing your experience. It was not an accident that I clicked a link and wound up here for the time today! One year ago, I discover that my husband had been unfaithful for who-knows-how-long. I only have proof of 6 months…. I am still here physically because I am about to give birth to our child, but the pain is more than I can bear…. He says he is sorry – but doesn’t seem to want to make the changes I need to see in order to trust him again. I would so appreciate your prayers…. We have been in therapy since I found out, but is seems like we are getting nowhere…. We really are going to need a miracle to save this mess…

    • I am so sorry for the pain you are enduring! And during a pregnancy to boot. What a beautiful picture of the new life i/e new marriage, Christ wants to create in your home.
      It is my sincere hope you found a good Christian counselor. Marriage is a picture of Christ and His church, so it’s only right that we seek His word for healing. A Christian counseling center is set up to direct you time and time again back to God’s word, rather than using psychology text.
      We serve a God of MIRACLES, believe it! He can make a message from our MESS and use our testimony for HIS glory! Praise God!

      “Love bears all things, endures all things, hopes all things and BELIEVES all things!” (I Corinthians 13)

      Praise God! He can move in the heart of your husband, you just keep hitting your knees and lift him up!
      Hugs, T

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  66. Tonya, you and your family are precious to us. Both Rich and I come from broken homes. When we got married, we both said that Divorce was never going to be an option for us either. I am glad that you chose that for your lives too. And for the lives of your children. Sin can only continue in its spiral as long as we let it. Praise God you all were able to stop Satan’s attack on your family. I am glad you can claim victory in not letting that attack continue. Although I can’t imagine the pain you both must be feeling, I know that we have a God who knows our pain and wants to heal us. I praise God that he is using yours for His glory and that you are allowing Him to do that. You are such an inspiration to so many people. I am glad that you allowed your story to be used to help other hurting families. That takes incredible courage. If we could all be so obedient and transparent, oh, what God could do! Your family was just beautiful today!

  67. You are a strong woman. I always said to myself that I would never stay with a man who cheated on me. But I think those are words from a coward. Now that I am married I can’t imagine ever being without my husband. I don’t believe that he would ever cheat on me, but things happen, I think its a stroing person to forgive and move on. I will be praying for you two. You are great role models for your children.

  68. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is VERY similar to my and my husband’s – I am happy to say I chose us and our marriage as well and we are now over three years into our renewed commitment. The most profound thing I heard during our healing was about marriage being a covenant between 3: God, husband and wife. When you still have 2 of the 3, the odds are good! God is good, always. Blessings on your marriage!

  69. So thankful for sharing from your heart! What an amazing testimony to God’s power of unconditional love, forgiveness, and grace! You are an amazing woman of God!

  70. Hi Tonya,
    I’m not religious so I won’t try to soothe you with words about God. I only hope Dale has himself tested for sexually transmitted diseases before you resume your married life.
    I’m proud of you for hanging in there. Proud of you. I believe I would have done the same.
    Pam

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  74. Hi Tonya, I’m not religious and I don’t believe in god. I appologise if that offends anyone. However I do believe in marriage and doing everything you can to keep your family together. You are so brave and good from the inside out to let us see this part of your life. I just want to hug you and tell you that you are doing a good job. You’re a good mother and a good wife and I truly believe good things happen to good people.

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  77. Well, I have to say…. well done! It is THIS worlds answer to run and not look back. To tear him up and you and the kids all in one fell swoop, but it is not GOD’s answer. Yes, for men who are NOT remorseful we are allow to “d——“, this is not your’s or my case we are held to our Father’s calling. Blessed are you who choose to answer HIS calling. Our stories are a little different but the result is the same. I admire your courage and will pray for your marriage and family. Blessings

  78. Wow so I just came across this and I am going to read every last bit of it! Hopefully today haha! I came to your blog because of a recipe of yours featured on Huffington Post, the Oriental Ramen Lettuce Wraps, they look yummy btw, anyways so when the page loaded my eyes immediately saw the Surviving Infidelity page and I thought to myself, wow I am sure God put that there so I had better check it out! So using Evernote I clipped the recipe and then clicked thru to the page, read the prior posts to this one so I know what going on and wow this one really struck a chord with me as I knew it would! My husband back in May of 2010 I found out was having a very intense emotional love affair with a woman where he was telling her he loved her, fantasized about her and had day dreams about her and hallucinations of her!!! I realize that its different from a physical one but it hurt me just the same! I discovered my husband had been texting this woman day and night, that when I could not get hold of him it was because he was talking and texting with her! I have been struggling for so long with all of it, our marriage had been struggling for yrs as it was with other life stuff and for me this was just it for me. I was completely broke down. I have become apathetic because of it in a bad way and am just now starting to feel like I am getting some internal healing and am ok with it and ready to move on completely and get real good counseling with my husband and as luck would have it, of course my husband who is in the Army gets sent to Korea for yr tour. Anyways I won’t go into any more detail here but I just wanted to say a huge huge huge thanks for sharing this! Thanks to God too for putting it on your heart to share. God is so awesome isn’t he?!?! Always knows what we need to see and hear and read and knows when to do it. Thanks so so very much!!

    • Hi Jenny! I am so blessed by this note. God is awesome and I am always thankful to hear from those that read our story turned HIS! Praise His name!
      Enjoy those lettuce wraps….may God restore your joy and bless you for your drive to saving your marriage and enjoy it too!
      Hugs, T

  79. God brought me through 3 blogs to this one and I am so thankful for you sharing your story. As I read these first two I felt you were telling part of my story and I had a good healing cry as I read. I continue in this struggle and am encouraged that you are willing to share your journey. I will continue reading and praying for your marriage and would ask you to pray for mine. Thank you and God bless your family.

  80. Hi Tonya
    Very shocking belief when this ugly truth hits.. I know.. I am currently going through it.. Praying and seeking God and his guidance daily.. I made a decision to stay married.. I am in love with my husband and the strangest part is i thought this would have sent me faraway from him.. However its teaching me FORGIVENESS.. Keep me in your prayers. Thanks for sharing your story.. Its Amazing!

  81. Thank you for sharing your story. It is similar to mine. A one time event following a secret porn addiction that I was unaware of. I too knew almost as soon as he tearfully admitted everything that divorce was not the answer and God has been working in my husband, in me and in our marriage for the past 7 months. We are not completely healed, but we are more open, honest and loving than ever before. We have both made changes and can now see where it all went wrong. Our eyes have been opened where they were closed before and I actually have begun to be thankful for the struggle (as weird as that sounds) because it has given us something we didn’t have before…a marriage with God at the center. Your posts have been extremely helpful to me and I just wanted to say thank you for being so brave and opening up. I have been blessed through your story!

  82. I have been searching for reading materials to help me become an infidelity survivor and I was led by the Lord to your blog. I am in the same situation as yours,being betrayed by my husband of five years and I found out about his cheating while he was lying at the ICU after a lung operation that turned into worst. Everything happens for a reason and I knew God had to step in for my husband to realize God doesn’t tolerate sin. I have been a christian since I was 10 years old and my first marriage was annulled because I decided to end it when I found out my ex- husband was cheating on me. I remarried and I always thought I’m blessed with a marriage with a loving and kind man who I considered was God’s gift to me. Our marriage was a picture of happiness and one that can be considered perfect.Until that one day that I found out my husband was living another life,having relationships not just with one but with numerous women behind my back. Imagine the hurt and pain that came on me that day when I realized it is happening to me the second time around. I asked God how am I going to look after and care for my husband when he woke up from an induced coma. How can I look at this man who vowed to me his love and loyalty but now has betrayed that love and trust? How can I appear strong infront of our friends and my step-children during our difficult moments of not knowing if my husband will survive his battle against death?Yes,there were times,I wished he will just die and his secrets will be buried with him but God has other plans and He gave my husband a second lease of life. God dealt with him through his sickness and now he realized and acknowledged to God all his mistakes. I survived those hospital visits without anyone knowing how broken my heart was. Everyday I ask for God’s grace and mercy so I can look at my husband with love and compassion. He is now recovering and I’m looking after him so he can get back his strength again. It is tough but God renews my strength everyday so I can minister to him not only to restore his physical strength but to restore his fellowship with the Lord. We have committed to each other that we will rebuild our marriage together with God being at the center of it. It is a long road to recovery. I have to attend to my husband’s physical healing before I can start my own healing. My heart was 
    shattered to pieces but I know God will give me a new heart.My heart may be broken but throughout my crisis,my spirit was never broken.I held on God’s promise that all things work together for good.There are days I struggle but I always remind my self, I chose to forgive and it is fine to feel sad and angry but I can also choose to deal with the situation with positive actions. 

    Thank you for sharing your experience and I know God will continue to guide you and your husband how to go through the process of rebuilding your marriage the same way He is guiding me and my husband…one day at a time.

    God bless you and continue to magnify God’s glory through your blog.

    Your sister in Christ,
    Riza

  83. Hi Tonya, not sure how many men read your blog or comment, but let me just say… more should. My wife sent me your “about me” post and that got the ball rolling. Not sure what it is about your writing that is addictive: perhaps it is your unabashed, refreshing honesty. Perhaps it is your obvious, undying love of your family. Your witty sense of humor? While these are all true, it is clearly the Lord that is drawing people to Himself through you. Be encouraged. You are a daughter of the KING and your FATHER is PROUD. I’ve only read a few of your posts… “so long for now” and “birds and the bees” were right up our family alley (we have 4 kids under 6). This prompted me to learn more about the author, leading me to this post. My guts were churning as I read the raw emotion of the candid account of your heartbreak. My first thought was “all men need to read this, all men need to feel the fear and get a glimpse of infidelity’s high cost”. My second thought was “WHAT?? She forgave him that quick!! She should’ve made him suffer longer.” Only someone sold out to Jesus could’ve come to the table to fight for her marriage that quick. Of course forgiveness is a process over time, but nonetheless you seem to understand that FORGIVENESS is at the heart of what it means to be a Christian. As I read this post I imagined my wife sliding down to the floor in a similar manner if I was to cheat. Broken sobs, wailing, ugly thoughts… you’ve shared the pain of unfaithfulness that is universal. Thank you for sharing the TRUTH, the hard truth that few are willing to expose. While FEAR is not the most honorable reason to stay faithful, it is a tool that the Lord uses… a warning… an awareness of the consequences of sin. Learning from others’ mistakes is something I work hard at… understanding the methods of the enemy is another. Thank you for the encouragement… the warning. You inspire me to draw closer to God, my wife, my family. Job well done my sister!

    In Him, Paul

    p.s. does your husband have any posts? Oh wait, I just had my wife “proof read” this and she assures me that there is lots more good stuff, including Dale’s writing.

    • {tears} Thank you, Paul! This is very timely and I appreciate more than you know, your words of affirmation and encouragement to keep fighting the good fight and shining light on this ugly truth that plagues so many homes. Living in a glass house is a bit difficult, but something I know the Lord has called us to.
      God bless you and your precious family. Thanks for reading our story, turned HIS!
      Blessings, T

  84. Wow…. I just stumbled upon your blog today and this is the only post i’ve read so far but WOW. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I know it must not have been easy and i’m sure the enemy did try to stop you because i’m sure he meant to use this as an opportunity to bring you harm and didn’t want to see God be glorified and turn it around for your good, or anyone else’s good. But it’s so wonderful that you shared it with the world! And I know God is being glorified because of what happened in your lives and in the lives of those you share it with. Thank you so much. As I read your words I could almost feel the same emotions as you described them. I would feel exactly the same way! I too saved myself for my husband since I was 13 years old. He is my everything. My life and heart and soul is completely tied up in him and I hate the vulnerability. I fear what he could do to me. I too have been heartbroken, betrayed and abandoned by my father. He betrayed my mother and I and left us when I was 10. I’ve gotten better about it over the years and i’m not as cynical but I still have a very hard time trusting men, any man in general, and my heavenly Father. God has already done a great amount of work in me to bring to the point of trusting him through my teenage and college years with my love life and leading me to marry the One. I just don’t know what I would do if he ever betrayed me… I like to think that I would never consider divorce. My first extinct would be to leave him and divorce him- to punish him and make him feel as miserable and in pain as he caused for me. But I know that I know that I know, like you said, that divorce is not the answer. Although it is allowed in the occurrence of infidelity, it is still not the better option. God would rather that we choose to forgive (even though it will take a supernatural amount of grace from Him to do it) and to fight for our marriages and to stay committed to each other and to Him in the covenant vows we made to each other. I admire you and praise God for the work He has done/is doing in you to get you to stay with your husband and rebuild your marriage. I’ve heard stories of couples making it through this so I know it’s possible. What seems impossible for us is always possible with God. That’s why He is so glorified through your decision. When the world looks at your story and your choice they say “That’s not possible. How can a human do that? How can her heart stand it? How did she do it?” That’s when they see and know that there has to be something supernatural in you. God shines through so brightly and is so glorified through the unconditional love, mercy and grace you’ve shown your husband. Praise God that he can use even the worst of situations, the most hurtful of sins against us, to make us better instead of bitter and to advance his gospel. Your marriage is a true picture of the gospel and His love and forgiveness towards us. Just amazing!

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  89. God brought me here. We also have little ones at home, and my husband confessed last summer. I forgave quite quickly, but I can’t forget. It’s so raw and reading your blog hits so close to home. Thank you so much for sharing. Please pray for my husband, as he’s very recently decided “there is no god” and I believe it’s the one piece missing from our marriage. It breaks my heart even more than the infidelity. I have grown closer to God and my husband is running from God. Would love any prayers for my husband, Don.

  90. Oh my GOSH. I can not believe how much we have in common, only I have 5 kids instead of 4. All of the details you’ve shared here, ALL of them, I have lived through. The first time I went through it, it was my husband confessing an emotional affair with my sister, of all people. The second time, 2 years later, it was from him abruptly abandoning me and our children for a female co-worker who he had an emotional affair with, and wanted to move into a full-blown physical affair, too! And he did. They were together immediately following his leaving home, and it lasted for nearly 6 months. My life was complete HELL during those 6 months. In the end, they finally broke up and my husband realized he had made some terrible mistakes. We are now going through pro counseling and trying to also help our children heal from the trauma of it all. It has been a terrible dark and painful road to walk down and I wouldn’t wish it on the worst person on earth.

    I have got to read all of your blog posts here and see how things changed positively for you. Definitely need the encouragement as we are only a few months into the recovery process. =-/

  91. I saw someone share you’re recent blog about the mommy with the iPhone on my FB newsfeed. As I scrolled past it, something urged me to go back and read it. I can tell you for a fact that was the Holy Spirit talking to me. After reading I noticed at the top, “surviving infidelity.” I curiously clicked on it, and began to read. I have to tell you thank you so much for this. For sharing, for being so honest and most of all giving me hope. As I read these first few posts, I am left in tears. Sobbing. I have been going through a similar situation that started back in the winter of 2011. After many months I haven’t felt much progress and Sunday after church, we got into an argument…it was just a bomb waiting to go off. The past few days I’ve been looking to God for answers, for hope that this all will pass. After these long months of trying to improve our relationship, I too have thought about divorce and each time, God tells me, that’s not the answer. I have been praying, asking God for direction, to give me hope. If divorce is not the answer what is? …I was about to give up, but WOW!!…did He deliver! As I read your words, I can see myself and my life. Your story has given me hope. Thank you for not holding back. God is GOOD! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  92. I am so glad you and your husband are working it out. I went through the same thing in 2009. I didn’t know how I was ever going to trust my husband again. I was a wreck for months but here we are almost 4 years later and we are stronger than ever! It wasn’t easy but my marriage was worth saving also. I have forgiven him but it really is hard to forget. I have had a harder time forgiving the other woman. Anyway, I enjoyed your blog even though it brought back some not so good memories. Lol.

  93. I just happened to find your blog tonight when someone mentioned your “Mommy on the iPhone” post. I have to say, it took a while (through many tears) to read through all of this. I may be young, I may not have any children, and I may not have been with my husband for nearly as long, but there is absolutely no pain out there than the break of a heart due to infidelity. The feelings you described…your heart falling out of your chest? The constant nausea? The intense love and simultaneous hate? I lived with that for over a year…until I woke up one day and realized I couldn’t live that way for any more days. Every ounce of sunshine was taken from me. I quit eating. I quit smiling. I quit socializing. If I could have, I would have quit breathing. I became a shell of the woman I once was…completely dead inside. I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t live a life wondering all the time if he was lying to me…which was something he was exceptionally good at. I sometimes wonder though, how my life would be had I decided to be stronger, to take a stand, and to fight for our marriage. Would I be happy? Would I feel fulfilled? Would I still love him the same? I truly admire your strength…your courage…your trust in and ability to listen to the Lord. I wish you and your family all the best.

    • Thank you for this amazing comment! Don’t look back, God is gracious. Just make sure you have forgiven the past, for it is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. I think the Lord’s ultimate hope is to heal the broken hearted and broken marriages, but I also know when the other spouse is not soft and open to Him moving, it can’t happen until they do. I am so glad you are finding healing.
      God bless you and thanks for stopping by…Hugs, T

  94. All I can say is way to go!!! you guys are amazing, I know it’s been a long time, but I hope that you did not loose friends or have to defend yourselves. You and you alone know how and what you feel. No one else can, and can only offer what they feel or would do. I would fight too. I have been married just over a yr (for the 1st time) at almost 40, I hope the continued best for you guys! Hugs

  95. Beautiful! Your honesty, your love for placing God’s will above your own, your strength in your weakest moment. I have not struggled through infidelity but our marriage reached a point where divorce was definitely considered. The “world” was screaming at me to run from my marriage but God was telling me that wasn’t an option. True love was worth fighting for, worth the sacrifice, worth pressing forward through the obstacles we faced. We did….and now we are closer than we’ve ever been and our marriage is great and growing. :-) Thank you for sharing this! I pray your marriage grows and flourishes for many happy years and pray that Satan will NEVER be able to use this as a foothold against your marriage again!

  96. I don’t know how you did this, how you got through it all. I want to be sick reading about it. But thank you for sharing your journey. I think the level of trust in God’s grace you have displayed is so incredibly beautiful. I hope your writing brings healing to other women experiencing the same kind of suffering.
    God bless you. :)

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  98. I just fell upon your blog by accident and I fell so greatfull to be introduced to such an amazing lady! I am happily married and feel my home life is a lot like yours minus the infidelity( or atleast I hope) My husband tells me the same things your husband said and claims I am the only one for him, and he would never cheat! I am not so convinced since I know we are all human and unexpected circumstances happen. I’m so glad to see you working on the wonderful family you have and I have to say-YOU are amazing and I love reading your story. Thank you for sharing your highs as well as your lows and being a real honest person and someone to really look up to.
    Bless you and your family

  99. This was the first post I read on your blog. Thank you for sharing your feelings. My day was four weeks ago today, July 11th. The pain is still so deep. I admire your strength and faith. I’m trying to find hope and faith.

  100. Thank you. It has been a year and a half for us and it is still hard. Divorce would be devastating to all of us, my husband, my 5 children, myself. It is hard, as my husband really felt something for the other woman, and he struggles with porn still. God is working here, too, and I know that He is healing us. I lift all of our marriages in prayer to The One on the Cross who has the Last Word always. He conquered death. We can never forget that. God bless!

  101. Tonya,

    I’m on day four of knowing the truth…….I feel like I’m standing on a land mine. Yesterday I went to town and had the exact same thought about the Cinderella castle. I had to stop reading this post and cry and praise God for allowing me to find you and some “tools” that I can use because you said what i had been thinking. Please pray for us!

    • Oh honey, hang in there! My heart ACHES for you and day 4. Yes, everything I know and learned about Surviving, no THRIVING despite infidelity is here on this blog. It is my heartfelt prayer that you find pieces of healing as you read and share my grief and pain in your own life and heart. There is hope, and its found in Jesus….I will keep pointing you to Him. He is the Lover of your Soul and He wants you to crawl up in His lap and let Him whisper in your ear words of comfort and hope. He is the God of COMPLETE and TOTAL restoration!
      Hugs to you, T

  102. My nightmare started last night. Reading these first few blogs….I cried and realized they were my own. Thank you for being willing to share…

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  104. I am in month 7 of the truth and still struggling. I am trying to face the fact that I may never understand the ” why” behind the betrayal. My husband was into porn which I did not know. A woman I know was as well and made him an offer he did not resist. It makes me Sick to think about and I still have to see her. I would love advice on that as it is such a trigger for me. She has also threatened to paint my husband as a perpetrator and she the victim if I let anyone know. I am desperately trying to protect by three teenagers from this ugly truth but I am dying inside. Your posts describe so much how I feel. Thank you.

    • Forgiveness is the key to your freedom. It also releases you of her threats. The Lord will go before you, and no matter what happens, pave a way to give you hope & a future. Is your husband remorseful? Is he staying away from her as well? Have you put filters on computers/phones and gone through any addiction counseling? These are all important steps to your success.
      I was fortunate to not have to see “the other woman” ever, I can only imagine the heartache that comes from a run in, especially if she is spiteful. Pray the Lord helps you forgive, and releases you of the fears of her threats.
      Your teens know something is going on, sometimes the truth just needs to be told in a simple, detail free way. Then bind together as a family and remember, this battle has already been won by the blood of Jesus Christ. Remind your kids that you love them and that you and their dad are going to do whatever it takes to get through this.
      “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

      • Thank you for responding. Yes, my husband is beyond remorseful and began seeing a counselor within days of the truth. This woman sickens him and has been a source of other evil to other families as well. I never ever imagined something like this. We have been married 21 years and they have been good ones which is why it is still hard to fathom. My husband doesn’t understand how he allowed it to happen either and since has been incredibly supportive and loving. He wants nothing more then his family and me and I do believe him although I thought that’s what he wanted before. Why would he risk it for a cheap thrill? I appreciate your prayers and words more then you know. Your night in in the laundry room is exactly how I felt. It’s nice to have those feelings validated. Thank you!

      • I promise, this road to healing is long and at times it feels more like an emotional roller coaster than anything, but keep your eyes on HIM! He is the God of RESTORATION, total and complete. The lie here, is that this doesn’t happen to happily married couples, the truth is….it makes us a bigger target. If you told me 5 years ago, that my marriage was going to get way better than it already was, I would’ve laughed at you and told you, I had everything! Our marriage is amazing and happy. What we had before, as perfect as it seemed, pales in comparison to our life now. What doesn’t break you, does make you stronger.
        Keep reading, it is my prayer you will find nuggets of truth and new layers of healing as you read our journey while walking your own….Hugs, T

  105. My heart breaks for you reading this. I can’t help but wonder though, how do you feel now? Was it really that you felt your marriage was worth fighting for, that divorce wasn’t an option because of your beliefs. OR were you afraid to be alone, not knowing anything different? You are amazing for forgiving him if you truly have, but does he deserve it? You waited till marriage, which is your choice, but chose someone he didn’t have those same beliefs. I am not being hard, just hoping you did what was best for you and your children. Good luck.

    • Thank you for asking, I feel thankful and blessed to still be married to my Best Friend, the one who can make me laugh when I am cranky, who can catch my eye across the room and make my heart skip a beat, the one who takes my hand while driving and gives it a squeeze because its really the little things that mean so much.
      I catch these glimpses of what my life could be, had I chosen differently, and am overcome with Thanksgiving to a Father who makes all things new. My kids get to grow up with a daddy at home, I get to grow old with the one who makes me a better me….
      Dale didn’t deserve my forgiveness, you are right, but do we really deserve anything we have? It is because of my faith in God that I was able to forgive him fully, as my Heavenly Father forgave me fully, never looking back to drag up the ugly sins of my life again.
      It also helped that Dale was completely broken, I could see the changes occurring as the Lord took Him through the refiners fier, then made him new. Had he been belligerent or un-remorseful about his actions, I am sure we’d be in a different place right now.
      I sure appreciate you taking the time to comment and ask about us….

      • You are an incredible women, you are a warrior, you are my hero! I have been in such a battle within myself since learning of his one year affair on Oct 5, 2013. I have been obsessively searching infidelity sites for a month on what to expect, on what to do, on how to go on living, support groups (which i feel don’t really support, because people give you advise based on their own feelings and perspective) no one is truly you and feeling what you feel. No two people are alike although my store mirrors yours, I too lived in total bliss with the man of my dreams 13 years of a fairy tale marriage. We are not you too and you are not us. I don’t know how I never stumbled on your site. You have given me the affirmation I needed. I waiver back and forth to send him packing or stay with him. I too want to stay, but I get poked by a demon and he calls me all kinds of names for staying. my husband is so remorseful and full of pain, guilt, shame that I want to heal him, but I have beat him down so many times. I too say poisonous words when I rage a part of me wants to break him down to nothing, but when he does I want to hold him. We have two boys 10 and 12 that don’t deserve this. Since this was exposed he has done nothing but try to heal me, stop my pain. I would love to speak to you, Your blog alone makes me smile and that we can go on to a better marriage. I will keep reading your blog. I thank God for your blog. I just want to read positive ones, not negative ones. I need to feed the positivity and not the negativity. I wish I could bottle up what you have and had. Please tell me it will get better! I can’t believe how debilitating this is.

      • You have come to the right place! I am here to tell you that if you give this all to Jesus, fully forgive your husband, meaning let go of the hurt and the need to hurt him back, that you can and will be restored. Not just restored, but made completely new! I no longer have the ache in my heart, the stab of pain, when I think of the past. It is the FREEDOM that comes from moving forward in a healthy way, and you can do it too.
        Keep reading, forgiveness, the stages of grief, all part of our story of healing and key steps for you now! Take your thoughts captive as they come and know that your battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of darkness. Satan loves when he can get you in a bad place and attacking your husband.
        Imagine a tug of war rope, you and your husband on each side. Satan sits and laughs as you do all the hard work for him, fighting each other. As soon as he puts you against each other, he wins. BUT, when you join your hubby on his side of the rope, guess you who you battle? Yup, the devil. Now as a unified force, you are making him work again, but this war won’t last long. The good news is WE WIN. Victory is ours, bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ.
        Have you guys found a Christian counselor? Some things are just bigger than ourselves, and we need an outside party to help us sort through the shattered pieces of our lives.

  106. Tonya,

    Even though there are many miles between us, you have healed a little piece of my heart with your words. I will continue to seek comfort through your writings. I will continue to battle the war within me. Today for the first time in a month, I was able to find the warmth and comfort in my boys. Today they made me not want to run and hide, but rather fight and stay. I prayed and prayed. We do not have a church we are apart of. I will seek one out. We do go to counseling, not sure it really helps me, but he finds that it is helping him. Today that heavy weight on my heart lifted slightly. Your words, your smile, your FAMILY is precious. One day I hope to be where you stand.

    • You will get there, one weary step at a time! And remember, when you are too weary to stand, you fall on Jesus!!!! HE will get you through. Go read Exodus 14:14 and allow Him to fight this battle for you.
      If you aren’t benefiting from this particular counselor, find one you connect with, a trusted pastor or Christian counselor in your area. Someone that will lead you to the Bible and God’s plan of total healing and restoration, not through their psychology book.
      Thank you for sharing your heart with me, it does get better, I promise.

  107. I think you’re very brave to share such personal experiences so that others can grow and be comforted.
    I know you feel that God is working his magic through you, but I also believe you have a will of your own and that the strength and love you have displayed is all you. Pride in this case is nothing to be ashamed of. You should be proud your family has such a selfless, forgiving leader, for in the end that’s what you have become.

  108. Wow! I have not finished reading the other posts… only this one… I am glad that the Lord is working it out for you and your husband…This has never happened to me as I have been married 1 year and 1/2 but I can only imagine the pain…The Lord is sooo faithful though…I am sure He gave you the strength… I enjoyed reading this ( not your pain of course)…and I really like your blog…my blog is up and coming lol I am just starting it…check it out if you have the time…like I said it is totally under construction LOL virtuouswoman0325.blogspot.com

  109. I read this holding back tears because I couldn’t believe that God answered my prayers. I told myself that a Christian person out there must have this story and shared it. If possible, can you please e-mail me when you get a chance. I desperately need your help.

    In His hands,

    V.

    • Please feel free to email me at daleandtonya@msn.com Also, if you can, keep reading the series, every stage, every emotion, every step to healing is written out in these series. I am so glad the Lord lead us to write when we did, as I look back, I read things I would’ve already forgotten in our journey. Bless you for reaching out, I am so glad you found us. Total healing is possible in Jesus Christ….T

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  111. My husband just confessed an affair he had seven years ago…one I suspected but he would never admit to until now. This post made me bawl – brought back all those raw emotions. We are five months in and working hard on our marriage. We are spending a fortune on a marriage therapist, but it is so worth it. Thanks so much for posting this. I wish I was brave enough to share my story, but I am just not there. I think there are more marriages suffering from infidelity than we know, but most of us are doing it in silence.

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  113. I began reading this blog post again. This time I wanted to feel the sting of betrayal, but what I found was hope and courage. You are right. You marriage is worth fighting for in good times and bad. I cannot dog you for taking him back, and choosing to allow God to heal those broken places. You are right. People don’t want people to fight for other peoples’ wrongdoings. This has become too common place in society. When people like you stand up for what is noble and right and just, you show them what respect looks like, how you can show your husband to honor you, and point your broken places to how God is healing your marriage out of the brokenness. The most amazing thing that occurs in my mind’s eye–you allowing God to come alongside you. Thank you for standing up for your marriage. To God be the glory for two years since!!!

  114. Oh my goodness. I just stumbled on your blog. Praise God! Last month my husnahusband confessed his affair. Last week was our 17th anniversary. I have been searching the internet daily for help on how to heal. And good, godly advice is near impossible to find. Thank you so much for your story. I will spend the next several days reading your posts. Thank you!!

    • I stumbled on this blog too! Definitely a God thing. Hang in there. My husband confessed 2 years ago and it is a struggle that gets a little easier every day, but is very much there.

  115. What an eloquent way to share the hurt you’ve faced with the world-at-large. I’ve come to your blog for other reasons (Mary & Martha), but many moons ago I shared in the same hurt you have. I think as long as you hold what’s near and dear to you with strong arms, you’ll get through anything. LOVE is a very powerful weapon, even more so when it’s backed by He Himself!

    I’m really thankful to have read through and look forward to your brighter days…. :) Since this post is old, I’m glad to see that the weather changed. ;)

    ~Bree

  116. I can’t stop crying. That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling for the past yr. Only thing is my husband doesn’t want to fight for our marriage. I am fighting alone. Not really alone because the Lord is on my side. But my husband wants the d. A yr later and this whole thing hurts me like if it happened yesterday. Your story gives me hope. God bless you and your family!!

  117. I have only read this section, and can’t stop the tears. I have been fighting for my marriage for 6 years. He has only physically cheated once but still talks to other women. I just don’t feel as though The Lord is ready for me to give up on this man, this man that I choose to spend my life with and have kids with. I took my vows to heart and divorce is not what I want right now, and it’s not what he wants. I have so many emotions going on inside me and I pray for The Lord to guide me. We are temporarily separated and it is the hardest choice we have made. He is going to therapy so he can get the tools to be a better husband and father to our daughter. I am so broken inside, I cry at the drop of a dime. Any advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you Stephanie

    • Stephanie, I am so encouraged to hear your husband is going to therapy. I hope you can find a trusted Christian counselor to help in your healing as well. Everything we went through, is in this series. Every painful step, written out for you to find truth in, hope in and encouragement. It took 9 months to write, and just like birth, it was scary and painful….then amazing. So many people have found hope in the ashes of our story, that Jesus Christ made beautiful.
      You CAN fight and win in your marriage. But You HAVE to lean on Him the entire way. The forgiveness, just as outlined in His word, the cutting ties, dog returns to vomit verse applies here, your thought life, your husbands thought life…..all need to be given to Jesus. He bought the Victory that is yours for the taking, with His precious blood on the cross. He is the key to survival, and that is why I always tell people to skip the therapists that want to analyze you and all the psychology mumbo jumbo, and find someone who digs into God’s word with you EVERY counseling session, so you understand they why’s behind the changes that needs to be made.
      Keep reading….the Lord wants to take your broken, and make it beautiful. {Go read Isaiah 61….it will blow your mind!}

  118. There are no words. I’m studying spelling words with my daughter as I’m reading your blog. The word demoralizing and the word repulse are on there and I’m thinking my God this woman’s pain I can’t imagine being hurt so deeply by the one person who’s to be your biggest fan in the world. God bless you and keep you. Your in my prayers. I cried reading your story. Stay strong your kids need you. Your loved so much by them today and always. I pray you two make it. Forever!

  119. I do not personally know you but it appears that my cousin knows you. I decided to read your blog about your new haircut and noticed other blogs as well. I decided to read a couple more and I have to say that I have been in sort of the same situation. I have been with my husband for almost 6 years and married for a little over two and we have had issues as well. Our first two years of marriage have been the farthest thing from peaches and cream. The “D” word has come out of my mouth more than once but then I realized it was not an option because I also meant what I said the day I said my vows. It has been the hardest thing to sit here and watch all of this unfold and has been so hard to build that trust back up. I still am not all the way there. We have two young beautiful children and I swore before I ever got married that even if a situation like this arose, divorce wouldn’t be an option. Every situation can be fixed, it all just takes time. Some situations take more time than others to heal. I got to deal with this since I was 14 and I found out about my real dad. He cheated on every female he has married and hasn’t stopped yet with his current wife and they have been married for years. I have struggled to help her through this because it is so painful to find out something like this about someone who is supposed to be by your side cheering you on day in and day out. The one person who is supposed to be there for you and ONLY you….I have to say in some aspect it is nice to know there are others out there and I am not alone in trying to heal these types of wounds. Reading your blogs has been super encouraging for me because you and I have the same mindset in this situation. Divorce in my opinion is the easy way out and NO where does it say marriage is easy. It is one of the hardest things at times I have encountered to be quite honest. But it is something that is worth the work and so worth fighting for not only for ourselves, but for our children and husband as well. It is so great and encouraging to see you both aren’t throwing in the towel. I am so happy you chose to work it out.

I adore hearing from you, comment away! :)

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