The Other Woman

This post will make no sense to you if you don’t go back and read yesterdays first……..

Shattered Hearts, Broken Promises

  When I left you yesterday, I had decided my marriage was worth fighting for, and divorce was NOT an option.

  So now what?! 

Remember, this all was written 9 months ago.  God has been working in our hearts and lives ever since, praise His name!  

  This was written 7/11/2011, less than 24 hours after “The Truth”:

  Dale is letting me decide where we go from here. His desire is to rebuild, start again, with Jesus in the center.  Funny, I thought He was in the center the first go around?! 

  Yes, Dale is still here, sleeping on the couch per his insistence. I told him I didn’t give a rip where he slept, we’d shared a bed of lies for the last 1 1/2 years, might as well share it again tonight, just don’t you dare touch me, I said.  I want to keep up appearances for the children, who come in at 6:15 often.  Destiny was already very tearful tonight, picking up on daddy’s tears. 

  Sleep evades me, my mind returning to the scene he described to me with a woman I don’t know, but HATE, 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 have no desire for Dale to touch me in any way, yet that’s all I want, is to be loved on, kissed and cuddled….told that I am good enough, that I am pretty enough, that I am worth being faithful to.

  Questions of that fateful day and the events that took place, bombard my thoughts constantly, until I think I will go insane.  Dale, being the non-detailed person he is, just kinda summed it up and thought this should be enough for me.

It wasn’t.

I needed to fill in the blanks so to speak.  I needed answers to quiet these questions in my head.  I desperately wanted to stop imagining that day of betrayal OVER and OVER and OVER in my head.

  I know what I need to do.  I need to talk to the “Other Woman”.  She owed me that much.  So I ask Dale to find her for me on Facebook.  He was very hesitant, but agreed to try to find her, having no idea if she even had an account.  He has to call the office to “check on a case” to even remember her last name. 

Sick.  

Is our marriage worth so little that he was willing to throw it all away for a nameless one time fling?

  With a few clicks, he found her on my Facebook account since he doesn’t have one, and quickly pushes out the office chair to leave the room, saying he was going to vomit.  Calling over his shoulder for me to PLEASE be careful that I didn’t make things worse for us by doing this.

   My hands are shaking as I sit down at the computer and peering closely at the tiny profile picture to see the woman who I “lost” to.  To see if she was prettier, if she had a better body……seeking answers I would not find in her photo.

  Handing shaking, vomit in my throat, I take my mouse and hover over “Message” and I click.  The words that poured from me are not pretty.   I knew I should seek the Lord about the words I wrote, so I too, pushed out the office chair and walked away, pleading with Him to let me have this. 

Let me push send.  Please.

  After an hour and a few edits to erase some of the ugly, I did it, I pushed send.

Here is what I wrote her:

Hi xxxxxxx, This is Tonya Ferguson. I am sure you recognize my last name, seeing how you screwed my husband last October. Dale Ferguson from ##### ring a bell?  How dare you, Home Wrecker. Guess what? You don’t win. Satan doesn’t win. I do. My marriage does. How does it feel to be used? To have my husband turn his face away from you?  You deserve more. I deserve more. You disrespected me, you disrespected yourself, you disrespected my husband and my 9 year marriage. Did he happen to mention we have 4 kids? 8, 4, 2, and 10 months. How does it feel to have torn our family apart? I don’t know how you look at yourself in the mirror each day. When you see a ring on a man’s finger, BACK OFF. All the wives in America will thank me for writing you this, girls like you, make wives like us SICK. I deserve to hear from you what happened between you and my husband. I want to hear it. I NEED to hear it to move on. Please. Tonya

  She wrote back that very night, begging for a chance to talk on the phone with me, saying she had been waiting a long time to get this off her chest.  I kept feeling like I was going to vomit, but after an hour or so of thinking about it and processing, I decided that I wanted to hear it.  She owed me an explanation.  Plus, I wanted to hear her side of the story to make sure Dale told me the truth.

I talked to her for nearly an hour.

AN HOUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Below is what I wrote in my journal:

  You are never ever going to believe this, but she is a really nice girl. Crazy, but true. I could hear her talking to her little boy in the background, and she was very patient, pushing for manners and obedience from him. As much as I didn’t want to, my heart went out to her and I connected with her: mom to mom.  I actually complimented her, telling her she was very kind and a good momma. Then we got down to business……

I told her that she ruined my marriage and then, I asked for her to tell me her version of what happened that day.

She told nearly the same story as Dale, there were a few details he had forgotten, but close none the less. She apologized profusely the entire time we talked. Saying she was coming out of a dark time of abuse from her ex-husband and was looking for affection.

  We talked further about respect and how she should respect herself enough to say no to cheap propositions. We talked about motherhood and finding Jesus. I told her she should hold out for her hero, rather than to try to find her worth in men or sex. She was so open, so gentle, so hungry for truth.  

  She said that she had started going to her Grandma’s church after what happened with Dale, that it pushed her towards a Savior she needed all along.  She had quit her job soon after it happened, because she just couldn’t stand the hurt and pain any longer, of seeing Dale and knowing what she had done. Towards the end of the hour conversation, I started feeling prompted to offer her my forgiveness.

Seriously, Lord? ALREADY?!  It’s been like what, 24 hours?

I didn’t know if I could do it, but when the Lord gave me the second nudge a few minutes later, I tearfully, obeyed:

“xxxxx, I want to offer my forgiveness to you. I really do. This is what the Lord is asking of me, to forgive as He forgave me.  I think this is a key step in moving forward with Dale and saving our marriage.  Talking to you has made you real, not some evil home wrecker. You are a nice girl who had bad things happen…….and well, I forgive you. I really do.”

She began to BAWL.  Seriously sobbing into the phone, barely able to say the following:

“Tonya, I can’t even begin to tell you….thank you so much.  I am soooo sorry for what occurred, and I can’t tell you how much your forgiveness means to me. I will do anything I can to help you heal from this. Anything! I sound so selfish, but this is so healing for me. You are such a strong woman. I don’t deserve this!” 

  After this, Dale got on the phone, and with tears in his eyes, apologized to her for his part in this. She in return apologized for her part and said she took full responsibility for what happened. He said, no, we both were at fault. She bawled and thanked us for being so gracious to her and kind to her.

  Oh my goodness, a million pound weight has been lifted from my shoulders. This is HUGE in the process. The sick feeling that comes with thinking of her has lessened by a ton…that hatred I felt for this “slut” that ruined marriages, is gone. Having her be a real person, hearing her be a single momma to her sweet polite boy, opened my eyes to the hurt “little girl” she was, just having left her abusive husband. How sad that she was looking for affection after a horrible relationship. Dale seemed safe to her, so she acted…they acted.  

July 12th, 32 hours after “The Truth”

  Despite all the emotion and tears, God is already beginning a work in us. I can feel it.  A mentor of Dale’s from Men’s Encounter called to check on us, and he went crazy and said he couldn’t believe that we had gone from talking divorce to fighting for our marriage in 24 hours! He said that’s like 2 months of marriage counseling already. Then after I told him about the above conversation with “The Other Woman”, he laughed and praised the Lord. He says 6 months of marriage counseling has already been achieved. It was good to hear his praise, and I am thankful.  

But this morning, July 12th, just 32 short hours after my world changed forever, I am struggling with different thoughts:

  Instead of imagining him with this aggressive marriage wrecker, and seething with rage…….I am imaging a different kind of girl.

  Although I am thankful that the venom and churning stomach from my hatred of her are gone, but that wall of anger?  Well, it was offering me protection.  Now, my heart has broken all over again at the thought of them together.  Taking away the anger, left me to feel just how raw my heart is now.  The anger was masking it.   

Now, my chest aches as if there is a knife there, stabbing with every pulse of my heart. 

 Tears flowing with ever breath I take. 

  The part that hurts the worst, the part that makes me sob as I write this, my tears blurring these words, is that she felt it necessary to prove she could be needed by a “Good man”. 

  She said Dale was so kind and respectful in the office to everyone, that if she could “get” someone like him, surely she was of worth, surely she could find value in a man like Dale. It hurts more than I can say, to know that MY ‘Good man’ didn’t turn her down;  he had an opportunity to be Jesus to her, yet allowed satan to blind him so severely, that he didn’t even see the potential of being a light to this hurting woman.

  I wanted MY good man, to say NO to her advances.  I wanted to be the victor that day.  

  Sadly, my “Good Man” stumbled, then fell.  Blinded to the truth, and desensitized to the clanging warning bells by a hidden 23 year long on and off again pornography habit.  He silenced those bells that day and chose LUST.  The Bible is so clear on having pure eyes, the path of choosing otherwise, will always lead to destruction.  Always. Even if you are a “good” Christian man.  You are not immune. It only makes you a bigger target for the devil.

  And so here I stand, feeling as if I have lost everything I held so dear.  Robbed of the covenant of marriage, the sanctity of the marriage bed, and my self-worth.

I am so very broken.  How in the world does someone move on from this?

Oh Jesus, how I need you.

More Tomorrow…

 ~T

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43 thoughts on “The Other Woman

  1. Beautiful Tonya – I am SO sure I am not going to be the only one shaking my head in disbelief that you got yourself together to have this conversation with ‘her’ so early on. Yes, you were way ahead…as your friend said…in the counseling process. God is truly at work and I am so blessed to know as this story unfolds. Thanks again for being so transparent and a beautiful woman of God. You are loved & held close in prayer daily. XO

  2. I would like to be at day 15 of posts already! I look forward to hearing how God has moved in your heart and in your marriage. Your obedience to the voice fo the Holy Spirit is an example to follow, for sure.

  3. Tonya, Thank you so much for sharing. I have been struggling for a year now since I found out about my husband. The faith and strength you have shared in two days is amazing. I am truly touched.

  4. What strength you had because of your obedience….when we are weak, then He is strong. Fear not, Dale & Tonya….your story is going to be used in peoples’ life and for His glory.

  5. Oh Tonya, I’ve cried the last 2 days for you and Dale reading your posts. I can’t help but think that anyone reading this that doesn’t know the Lord, will LONG to have what you have. A relationship with an all powerful God that can heal us all, and loves us enough to never leave us.
    Thank you for continuing to share your story.
    Praying for you both and those sweet 4 little Ferguson’s.

  6. I said it yesterday and I HAVE to say it again-You are an amazing woman!! Reaching out to “her” like you did? Thinking anything nice about her at all? Amazing and you will be blessed in this life and the next for your forgiveness of her and your husband. Thanks for your story.

  7. thanks for sharing your story on the www for everyone to read. You are a brave, and beautiful person inside and out!

  8. love you T. Can’t believe that you had a conversation with “her”…what an amazing work Jesus did in your heart! Thank you for sharing this hard, hard season with us…

  9. Thank you for having the strength and faith to share these deep personal thoughts & feelings. I, too, experienced betrayal 6 years ago and also fought for my marriage. My betrayal was a double edge sword because it was my best friend and my husband. Recently, she has reached out to me as if enough time had passed. I am currently struggling with old haunting thoughts and emotions.
    I have felt alone in myself for so long as I didn’t want to share some of the same feelings and hatred that spewed from my heart, soul and mouth.
    It has been a very long journey and continues to give me roadblocks from time to time but knowing what I want and fighting for it gives me the direction I need to move forward.
    Lots of thoughts, prayers, love & light my sweet friend xoxoxo Susie

  10. Seriously – why could this not have been one of the Tuesdays that I did not have time to get make up on before heading out to pre-school??? Or at the very least worn Water Proof mascara??? I joke because I know you need a little of that right now too, you are so many months past this post, but reading this my face is Black with Mascara and soaked with Tears.

    You know I heard this whole story from begining to end or at least to many months ago’s end all at one time from your mouth and when I heard that you had contacted her so quickly and how you forgave her so fast it blew me away. Yet as you were saying the words I knew it would be what I would have to have done myself too. Forgiveness comes too fast too me sometimes, well others might say it comes too fast deep down I know it does not come too fast it comes how fast God made my heart to be, and I can’t change that, and I am thankful for that quality that he gave to me.

    As I sat that Sunday afternoon and listened to your words pour out to me and I was amazed at where you already were and I knew that for some reason, somehow this would all end up being used for the Glory of God I soaked in your words and heard the agony in your voice even though all the forgiveness has occured I know that those hurt moments still happen that images still come to your head, that insecurity does still creep up, but Dear Tonya I am ever so thankful and ever so grateful that you have allowed God to do such a deep work of Healing in your Life, and Heart it is not all for loss you will help so many people you don’t even know you will help.

    You WILL help people who are not even dealing with Adultry but other sins of betrayal or pain, or just who are hurting for other reasons.

    I Love you and your family very much and I want you to know that my heart still aches for you, but since day 1 of knowing this story I have never been angry because my heart forgives so fast all was forgiven before we even got off the phone. You are an Amazing Couple you were before this story occured and you still are and some day soon you will be so much more than just the “Amazing you were before” You will not just be Dale and Tonya – love story realized, you will be Dale and Tonya from Ashes to BEAUTY and that Dale and Tonya will be even closer, even stronger, and even more shiny and Beautiful than you ever could have possibly imagined!!!!

    “This is BIGGER than You or I this is God’s work NOW”

    • Heather – I giggled to read your first paragraph! OH HOW excited I am to think I’m gonna get to meet you….I get a charge just seeing your name in comments now. =) You are a sweet blessing and encouragement to our special friend Tonya. God bless you richly!!

  11. I was in tears reading about how you went from seething hatred to forgiveness of this woman within an hour. If that’s not the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit, I don’t know what is!! =)

  12. You have said time and again that your blog is a ministry. That it is!! Every day I get a little devotion – based solely on how you live your life. (If it’s not a devotion, I at least come away with a smile, a little ray of sunshine and a watering mouth!) :)

    The past couple of days have been those kick-in-the-butt days on your blog. The days I come to read and shortly realize God brought me because He is going to show me something I don’t want to deal with. If you aren’t ministering to me through scripture, it is through your attitude and the way you handle life as a Christian. It is always so obvious that Jesus is in the forefront of your mind. That is so admirable.

    You showed this “other woman” Christ when it would have been easier not to. You showed her how He heals, restores and most importantly, that He forgives. You. showed. her. grace. You showed Dale grace. Both of which the world would deem as “undeserved”. They both told you so. If God told me to forgive so quickly, I would only hope I could be so obedient. Thankfully His grace is sufficient for you, for me, for her, and for Dale.

    Last night I hugged Dave a little tighter and kissed him a little harder. I realized how I sometimes take him for granted. You also reminded me that instead of assuming that no temptation will come his way, I need to be praying for him, fervently, every single day. Thank you for that.

    Today I am in awe of your grace, faithfulness, honesty, maturity and obedience. Thank you for your kick-in-the-butt post again today. I will be back tomorrow to see what else God is doing in your marriage, and to see what else he wants to teach me through your blog ministry! Thank you, Tonya!

  13. As I read your story my heartaches for you and I am amazed at your strength to go forward, I will pray for you to have peace and strength to walk this rough road you must now travel.

  14. I am a new reader to your blog- I found it through a link from Smockity Frocks.

    I am a 32-year-old, happily married woman with 3 kids, but these last two posts are hitting a raw place in my life. When I was 21 I was engaged. He called it off three weeks before the wedding. He slept with another girl while we were still trying to work things out (I thought). He was not sorry.

    I am left with 11 years of this raw spot. Part of me could say that I have forgiven him, but that raw spot betrays me. There is little chance that we will come into contact with one another, but I still cannot think about him without that anger welling up. That anger is something that I’ve been working hard to release, lately.

    I’m looking forward to the rest of your story.

  15. Your story is bringing back so much as I too, have been in a similar situation. My marriage is currently struggling and my husband is the one who doesn’t want to fight for our marriage. I don’t know how to be me without him – 3 weeks from today is our 13 year anniversary. We have a 9 year old and a 6 year old. I will be praying for continued healing for you and your husband as I know this journey of healing takes a long time. I am so glad you fought and are fighting for your marriage. If you think of it, please pray for my marriage, too.

  16. Pingback: How to Survive Infidelity: The Betrayed «

    • Oh wow, we do have have a lot in common! I just gobbled your blog up for the last half hour, saying Yes, yes and YES as I read your posts! I love that the Lord gave you the same verse He gave us, 2 Corinthians 1:4-5. Comfort, comfort and more comfort being thrown around in those verses. It is our hearts desire that this hurt is not wasted, but that we could come alongside other couples and help them fight and win a Victory that is already THEIR’S, if only they will take it!
      My email is daleandtonya@msn.com if you ever want to be in touch.
      Thanks for the great comment!
      Hugs, T

  17. It’s been 38 year seen my ex husband had affair with one of worker .I remarried to a wonderful man but once in awhile sadness still come to me, He never wanted to see his son who is now 53 yrs ,i feel so sorry for him that he never seen what a wonderful man he become,and that make me sad. But know now that was the best thing he did for me is to have a affair.Sad to say but he did me a favor. Thank you for telling your story.My hearth is with you.

  18. Thank you for much for sharing! Praise God for your testimony! I have also begged my husband for honesty. I told him how important it is. He has said the same thing your husband said. I would never do that. I love you and you are beautiful. I don’t want anyone else. I told him about this and how beautiful you are inside and out and how your husband didn’t say no to someone else. My husband hasn’t said no in little things like chatting on Facebook with other women. We decided to get rid of facebook. Also his friends girlfriend texted him, which I thought was inappropriate. He didnt respond to her one text but I wasn’t happy that he didn’t tell her not to text him at all and to lose his number. I am trying to explain to him that he has to be on guard. Satan is out to destroy marriages. We are no different than anyone else. He wouldn’t go out looking but he is a lot like your husband a very nice guy. So, I think that a another woman would pursue him.

  19. I can’t quite describe the emotions I am feeling right now after reading your post but I heard your pain through the words and tears came to my eyes. It shocked me, truly it did, I guess because I am so happy how your heart continued to remain available for God to work through. Praise God that you chose victory:)

  20. God is ministering to my heart in reading more of your posts. Thank you for sharing in this way…if you surmise that this topic hits really (really?) close to home, well, I’ll let you surmise. Sometimes fewer words are better. Forgiveness is a gift from Jesus, straight from his heart, and we need God’s grace both to receive it AND to give it. Both come unnaturally to us. The situation I alluded to in another comment, involved immediate forgiveness given to the husband by the wife. No contact was made between the wife and the “other”, though the “other woman” actually ended up being instrumental in waking up the husband to what was happening in his life and how he was drifting further and further from God’s good plans for him. Funny how God works. God even sent the wife a dream in which she saw her husband kissing another woman shortly before his confession. His confession happened halfway through his wife’s pregnancy with their second child. I think that’s all I’m at liberty to share…but just know that this is a subject that few share about, and for those who have experienced infidelity or even seen it up close in lives around them, your boldness and honesty are a true gift from God. I will continue to lift up your marriage, mine, and all the marriages in the world!!

  21. Pingback: 2012 in review |

  22. We are almost eight years past our infidelity and I can honestly say that I am so grateful that I stuck it out. It took many many years before my feeling of bolting left. Hugs.

  23. Hi – I actually found your blog because I was looking at T-shirt scarf tutorials, but I now know God had a different purpose…

    My husband cheated on my when our daughter was only 15 months old. And I think he expected me to kick him out so he would be “free” to run off with this other woman – who was also married and had three young children.

    I knew we were better than some poor decisions; that he was not his actions, just as I didn’t want to be held to mine (depression had lead me to be a not very nice or supportive wife for some time).

    I so wanted to fight for my marriage. And I have, ever since I found out about her in June of 2010.

    Unfortunately, he couldn’t get over her. In March of 2011, he moved out of our home, leaving me to raise our daughter alone. I had to get a part-time job, and though he still supported us financially, he definitely only visited his daughter as he could work her into his busy schedule. In the summer of that same year, he moved in with the woman and her children after her divorce was nearly final, and they have been planning their future ever since. All along, friends and family wondered why I didn’t “get him” for his adultery, take away everything, make him beholden unto his actions and the only answer I could give was “Because God told me to be still and let him work. He told me to let go of the control. He asked me to allow my husband to take full responsibility for his decisions by letting him make the moves.”

    And now it’s three years later and we are nearly divorced; most of his belongings still remain in our home; we are mediating the settlement and he will never have the label of “adulterer” tied to him outside of our friends and family who know; I deal daily with depression that comes from knowing I must share my daughter with “that woman” for the rest of my life; and I have to know that they are carrying on together, planning a future as if their relationship was some special gift from God when in reality, it is the cold lies of Satan which brought them together.

    Like you, I talked to her in the beginning and she was likeable, apologetic, everything you described. But she turned…later saying I had hurt him and didn’t deserve him, never mind the fact that what any of us deserve has nothing to do with the promises we make.

    And so I’m left to care for our now 4-year-old child alone, trying so hard to forgive them, praying fervently each day that it doesn’t have to end this way, that I am willing to do whatever God wants me to in order to have Him restore this marriage. For our daughter’s sake. For ours. For others who would hear the story and see Jesus’ great power through it.

    Thank you for sharing; I’ve been struggling as to whether or not I should share on my own blog the same information, knowing his mistress will read it (she checks up on me regularly). But I just hope you’d pray for me, my husband, his mistress, all our kids and that God would bless me with the ability to forgive fully and wholly this man and this woman who have changed everything. I’ve gained so much in the Lord these last three years, I’m not sure I’d change anything except the final outcome.

    God bless you.

  24. Pingback: 2013 in review | 4 little Fergusons

  25. I stumbled across your blog and have been reading it with such a heavy heart because I currently know this pain. Im glad I found this and will continue to read more. Seeing you talk about The Lord is maybe what I need to start doing….talking to and trusting him. I don’t even know where to begin…..

I adore hearing from you, comment away! :)

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