Confessions of A Heart Broken Housewife

Just tuning in? Please start at post 1 of this Series “Surviving Infidelity”: Shattered Hearts, Broken Promises.

Written October 7th, 2011

So, why did I chose to share this horribly embarrassing, deeply saddening story with the world, you ask? 

  Well, THAT is the very question I asked the Lord, when He spoke to me:

You will be asked to share and it will be a celebration of my faithfulness to you…..in my ability to make beauty from ashes.” 

This fact was confirmed when two other people, who do not know each other, both told us the same week

“The Lord is showing me that you will be sharing this with a large amount of people…that it will be a testament of His hand in your lives.”

Then, a few weeks later, an entire Sunday School lesson on Saul and his ministry.  How the Lord used his embarrassing story to bring others to Christ.  Remember his HORRIBLE treatment of Christians? He went from town to town persecuting them, seeking them out just to mock and kill them.  I bet he felt pretty foolish after his conversion! Here he was the VERY THING that he used to kill people for.  His eyes were opened, he was willing and the Lord used his testimony to bring others to Christ.  So it will be with this tragedy, that is now a victory.

  Months after that, as I was reading my friend Kristin’s blog over at Sweet Country Life, I experienced head to toe chills and tears streaming down my face as I read her blog post.  She was seeking a “Word of the Year”.  She felt the Lord was showing her the word was to be:

 TRANSPARENCY. 

It was then I had NO doubt what I was being asked to do. She goes on in her post to define Transparency as “A picture made visible by a Light behind it.” 

  I know the Lord wants to use this story for His glory.  I know that in a dark world full of a divorce, He wants to shine a light, HIS Light, behind the shattered pieces of our lives in order to showcase a BEAUTIFUL mosaic for His glory.  He wants to use our story as an encouragement to other couples living this same tragedy, to use it as proof that ALL things are possible through Christ.

  Soon after He asked this of me, He showed me this verse, which helped me to understand the purpose behind all this:

II Corinthians 1:3-7  “All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us.  He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.  When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us  You can be sure that the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.  So when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your benefit and salvation! For when God comforts us, it is so that we, in turn, can be an encouragement to you.  Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer.  We are confident that as you share in suffering, you will also share God’s comfort.”

  “So, now what?” you ask. Now that its out there, how does life look for you, Tonya? How do you get out of bed each day?  How do you not cry all day long?  How can you share a bed with the very man that betrayed you?  How do you show your face at school or church and face the sympathetic glances and well-meaning words of people who don’t get it?”

  I have an answer for you:

It is by the grace of God.  Nothing less than His strength flowing through me to get through those times. 

  That, and these sweet faces that give me 4 really great reasons to fight for my marriage, even when it might seem easier to walk away.  To hold tight to my truth, even when I feel I have nothing left to give to the watching world.  Even when I am too ashamed to lift my head as I imagine the rumor mill spinning new tales, each worse than the last, of poor Tonya and her unfaithful husband.

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  Here is the crazy part, the part that makes me scratch my head in confusion:

IN THIS MOMENT IN TIME, IN THIS UGLY TRAGEDY…..

I LOVE DALE MORE THAN EVER. 

This tragedy has brought me closer to him, and closer to my God.

  Never have I felt more in tune with the Lord’s voice, never has my love felt so real and deep for Dale.  This tragedy made us stronger.  He still makes my heart pitter patter, you know?  The very man that broke my heart, makes it skip a beat.

Do you know how CONFUSING that is? 

  To have the love and hate, joy and anger, clash in my head and heart day after day, night after night. 

  Do you know how impossible it is for my mind to wrap around the fact, that this man that I am one with, that I love desperately with my whole heart, the one I cling to when I sob, the one I call when I am scared ….is the VERY one who caused this crushing, gasping pain. 

  Do you remember my blog post entitled “Broken”?  I am sure it makes more sense to you now.  How about “Fall on Jesus”?  Both were written in a raw moment, as I contemplated quitting the blog, quitting my marriage, quitting it all.  We had no money, our marriage was ruined….why not just throw my hands up and quit. Everything was falling to pieces.  My axe had no blade, I could make no difference to the world in this state of mind, could I? It seemed impossible.

Never have I experienced this kind of pain.  The kind that makes you gasp, unable to catch your breath, the kind that actually ACHES on the outside, right in the middle of your chest, from the broken heart on the inside.  The kind of pain that makes you want to curl up in a ball and sob and sob, but I don’t do that very often.

  I can’t. 

I just can’t let myself go there, ESPECIALLY during they day…….during the day I have my “Mommy Hat” on.  I am too busy meeting the needs of my family to let myself be sad or mourn the loss of something so beautiful.  I am too busy wrapping my arms around those precious little ones, going on with our daily routine, smiling rather than crying, because I NEED their world to feel normal.  And from the outside, it is.  You could sit in my house all day long and observe, and never know that this summer, I died inside, I lost something of beauty, something I valued and held dear to me.  Now, many long, hard months after, I am slowly being brought to life by my Heavenly Father, who is moving Supernaturally to restore us.

So what is life like?

 Well, I miss Dale when he is at work, I love my little family, I love being at home, I still love to cook and try new recipes, I feel so very loved and safe when Dale wraps his arms around me and pulls me close, I find I can smile more, and it sometimes it even reaches my eyes and they sparkle a bit again, as I laugh with Dale at something one of the kids did or said.  Then, the stab of pain in my heart almost doubles me over.  We do so well for so many days in a row, that I almost, ALMOST, can forget the heartache, asking myself for a millisecond, “Hmm, What is wrong?  Why does something feel off, even in my joy?”

Then, instantly, before the thought even finishes, I remember why.

Oh yeah, everything is different now, I’ve been betrayed. Our vows, broken. Something beautiful, lost forever.”

3 months after that fateful day of truth-telling, not every day is hard, praise God, not even every other day any more. We can go entire weeks of being so good, so happy, but then, a down day, which was today for some reason. I never know what will cause it to come; a comment, a wedding photo, a phone call.

  Today was the kind of day that my chest ached, and my eyes welled up, as I stood in the laundry room this evening, folding laundry, and weeping bitter tears.  4 pm is the worst time of day for me. The children and I have gotten Destiny from school, all the kids are off playing so nicely in celebration that big sis is finally home, I am busy doing housework and supper prep, all the while lovingly anticipating the homecoming of my best friend, my soul mate, my lover, my husband, the father of my kids, who will RUN to the door with shouts of “DADDY! DADDY!”

  What KILLS me more than anything else, what makes me sob even as I write these words to you, is that at this very moment…….at this very moment in my day, he was well on his way to betraying our covenant, our vows, our unity. He would piss it away for a single act, a few moments of pleasure. Weighing the cost and choosing us as the losers. Discarding our beautiful life as worthless. Selfishly choosing lust. Sex. The moment of pleasure outweighing our future.

A life of secrets and sin come at a high price.

  After a miserable year and a half of self loathing, of not forgiving himself, of beating himself up over and over for his foolishness and his lack of integrity, of watching his words, lest he slip, Dale is scared when I have sad days. He worries that I’ve given up the fight, that I’m choosing to walk away, that he’s losing “The best thing that God ever gave him….”

Good.

The angry side of me is glad he stews, glad he has tears. He owes me that much.

Sad.

The sad, loving part of me, hates the ugly side of the Tonya that finds joy in her husbands discomfort, in his fear.  I am a sunshine person by nature, this ugliness so foreign. This bitterness festers inside of me like an oozing wound.

But, what Dale doesn’t realize, even as I tell him over and over again, is that if I was going to leave him, I would’ve done it already. Right away, that very first weekend. I said I Do, I promised for better AND for worse, and I meant it.

I Corinthians 7:39 “A wife is married to her husband as long as he lives.”

I am learning a lot about myself through all this. I had a sister friend tell me something that changed my world today:

Don’t feel punished! This isn’t about you, this is about Dale. He is now loving you as you deserve to be loved. He is now tender and soft to you, letting that final wall that he kept between you come tumbling down. He IS going to be the man you’ve prayed for since age 13, he is!!!!! It just took this breaking down for the process to start. You’ve asked the Lord for years, YEARS! to make Dale the spiritual leader of your home. You prayed for YEARS as a teen, for the man of your dreams……He IS becoming that man. You are getting your answer: Dale is now stepping up into that roll! He will be that man who you’ve desired all along! And it’s all for God’s glory, Tonya!”

  I never imagined my years of praying for Dale to be softened, wishing he was the kind of guy to be romantic and sweet, to cherish me and whisper sweet nothings as he stroked my face, would ever come to pass. I just figured it wasn’t his way, and I was totally ok with that!!! He loved me the best he could. I loved what we had. I was so so very happy living in my Happily Ever After Castle with my dashing husband and my precious kids.

  Interestingly enough, as hard as this time of our lives is, I’ve never been treated better as I am being treated now. I’ve never felt such love pour out from Dale’s heart and flow freely from his lips. I have never seen his eyes swim with tears as he speaks words of love and affirmation to me.  He is now the man I prayed for, the sweet, tender one I secretly wished he would be to me all along.

  Do you know why?  The Bible has the answer, doesn’t it always? 

“He that is forgiven much, loves much.”  {from Luke 7:47} 

  Dale has died to self, been forgiven of his sins and is no longer holding back his love for me.  He used to have to hold back a little bit of his love, or the truth would’ve flowed out with it.  In that day of truth, walls were shattered, and we moved into a closeness I’ve never known before. 

What doesn’t break you, DOES make you stronger.

  I didn’t realize how far he had withdrawn from me over the weary years of parenthood and miscarriages, until he came back. As soon as he was mine again, I felt the change. I was saddened that we had gotten lazy in our love, in our relationship with Christ as a couple, that what I chalked up to “exhausted life with kids”, was actually a deep ugly hidden secret. How could I not see it? How could I not feel the slow demise of our very existence?

  Well, its out now. The truth is out.  The forgiveness and tears are flowing. True friends stepping forward. God moving and healing, even when I can’t feel Him.

  I know we can move forward in such a positive way. I KNOW we will be better than before, I KNOW the Lord promises to make beauty rise up out of the ashes, I KNOW one day, I will fully embrace the new Dale, will learn to trust him again. But for now, it seems impossible, it’s all still too raw, too fresh. The glass house of trust, hard to build but easy to break, lies in the ruins along side of my Happily Ever After Castle.  But I serve a mighty God, and He promises ALL things are possible.  Praise His Name!

I am SO ready to walk in freedom from this ugly circumstance…..

I am READY Lord, please rain down on me. Gently gather me up in your hands and work your precious blood into the cracks of this broken vessel, making me whole again, Father. I am weary of these trials by fire. Give me a cool drink, a break from the heat, please Lord, please. I have nothing left to give. Take this cup from me, please. Heal me and use this for your glory, here is my broken heart, I give you all the pieces. Trade me beauty for these ashes, strength for all my fears, gladness for mourning and peace for my despair……

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May it be so and done for His glory, and may His strength be made perfect in my weakness…….

~T

Tune in tomorrow for another post by Dale…