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