« Our Infidelity and Redemption--Grief | Main | Our Infidelity and Redemption--Gender »

Our Infidelity and Redemption--The Confession of the Affair

This post is another excerpt from our talk at the Restoring the Glory conference. It descibes our emotions and worlds leading up to the revelation of the affair. We also touch upon the chaos that ensued immediately after the revelation. The affair is an unfortunate yet important part of our story and we do hope you treat it with tenderness and respect. Feel free to ask any questions you desire if you feel the answer may help you deal with your current situation.

Scripture says, “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness. But rather expose them. Everything exposed by the light becomes visible for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said wake up oh sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you."

Ben

The revelation was painful but it was also a place where Christ did shine.

So the knowledge of the affair came out. Life was flipped upside down. It became so chaotic. Everything that felt solid in my life was no longer solid when I found out.

I had had suspicions; we lived in Springfield, Missouri. A guy who used to be in Ann’s life had showed back up. He was pursuing her to come and work for his company. I felt uneasy inside. Where has this guy been, I thought. I haven’t heard his name in a while. Ann is calling me saying, "Hey I can get a job in medical sales making a lot of money. I’ll have a company car, yadayada. We’ll have to move to LA."

"No way", I said, "I’m not moving to LA." She calls back later, "How about Detroit?" "No." "How about Kansas City?" "Ok, I can do KC, that’s not very far away." We went up to look around. I found Midwestern Baptist Seminary and decided to go to school there. We sold our house, for cash no less. I started thinking, ‘Wow God is really in this’. He was, just not the way we thought.

We moved to Kansas City in May. I thought it would be one of the best summers in my life. We lived about a mile from a golf course. There was also a lake right there with a swimming beach. It was all right there and it would be the kids and me playing all summer. I thought it would be terrific.

Ann had told me she would have to travel with this guy for about a month for training. I told her I could deal with a month. But it went on. "Why are you still traveling with him?" She would get mad. "I don’t know. I can’t control where he goes." So then I would feel like it was my fault for questioning her.

This went on for a while. My suspicions got stronger and stronger. I needed to know. But we had this dance; I would ask and she would lie. I would shrink inside. I wanted to know but I really didn’t. Intuitively, I knew the pain that it would bring to feel that truth.

We went to her parents for Labor Day in 1994. We got back home on Monday night. Before we had left for the trip I had figured out how to get into her voicemail at work without telling her. I don’t apologize for doing that. I think it was the right thing to do.

One, I had the right to know the truth about my own life. Given my suspicions I believe it was the right thing to do. It isn’t in normal circumstances, but I believe it was ok in this instance. Two, when someone I love is in danger, their life and their soul in the balance, I’ll do whatever is necessary to bring that danger into the light. She was hurting her soul in the affair so it was a good thing for her that it was brought out. It didn’t feel that way at first but it was.

We got home that Labor Day night. I listened to her messages that pretty much confirmed they were having an affair. But it was just veiled enough and now I realized that she was a good liar. I went to seminary the next day. When I got home after class I asked her if he had called. She said no. I knew she was lying because in his message he said he was going to call the next morning after I left for class. He knew my schedule and when I would be gone.

I told her I needed to confess to her. "I have figured out how to get into your voicemail."
She said, "What did you hear?"
I told her and then she led me into the living room and told me that she’d been having an affair.

I had never experienced such an explosion in my heart. It was amazing the energy that came out, the shock, the anger, and betrayal. My heart was shattered. It felt like it was in Portland, Maine, Seattle, Washington, San Diego, California and Miami, Florida instantaneously. I learned what the saying meant to hold your heart in your hand.

It was so painful. My heart just ached. I literally had an image in my mind of holding it in both hands and knowing that all I could do was to look at it and feel it ache.

During that summer, before I found out about the affair, as I anticipated going to seminary, I was wondering what was wrong with me. I was miserable. I’d tell myself I should be so excited. I am getting ready to study God’s word. I am preparing to serve in ministry. I’m not working. I’ve got a lot of free time to do what I love. But I was miserable. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!

I listened to a lot of Sheryl Crow at that point, still do. She has a song on her first CD called I Shall Believe. I prayed this song. I put it on repeat, listening to it over and over. This was before the affair came out and a lot after it came out. The lyrics that hit me were… not everything is gonna be the way you think it ought to be. It seems like every time I try to make it right it all comes down on me. Please say honestly you won’t give up on me and I shall believe. I shall believe. That was my prayer to God to not give up on me while I was such a mess.

Ann

So if you can imagine what the revelation was like for Ben it was just as devastating for me. Like he said I had gotten very good at lying. At that point I could lie my way out of just about any situation. I could even turn it around to where he felt like he was the one in the wrong. That wasn’t a very good place to be.

I had been found out. My lying had to end. My lying had to stop. When I sat Ben down on the couch. I also was in shock because, like I said before, my family didn’t deal with stuff. If we did we just swept it under the carpet and pretended it never happened. That was a dynamic that was present for Ben and I as well. If stuff came up we completely avoided it or minimally dealt with it.

But you know what, my rug was standing up about head high. It was full under there. That rug needed to be lifted and shaken out; all that stuff needed to be spread out and dealt with.

Even if I thought he might find out I certainly didn’t expect the type of confrontation we had. I didn’t expect the anger that Ben expressed. I was reeling from the horror of the truth of who I was because all that time I was not only lying to Ben, I was lying to myself as well. The horror of the truth finally hit me. I really am that woman. I really am a woman who is capable of having an affair.

At the same time I felt relief. I don’t have to hide any more. I don’t have to keep this from him, this man that I really do love. I don’t have to keep this from anyone else any more. I can finally get it out in the light. That’s what was important. It was finally out in the light.

That night I am so thankful that we didn’t have anything in our house stronger than Tylenol. I was ready. I did not want to deal with the pain. I did not want to deal with the hurt. I did not want to deal with my emotions. I didn’t want to look at all my failures, my bentness, all these idols I had been worshipping. I didn’t want to look at all that. I felt we’d just be better off if I just ended it.

But all we had was Tylenol and all that will do is just make you really sick.
I worked in a hospital so I knew. I’d seen people take the charcoal to bring everything back up. I didn't want to do that.

So, I lived in the chaos. We lived in the chaos.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/7600/423511

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Our Infidelity and Redemption--The Confession of the Affair:

Comments

Hi Ben AND Ann I have read your storie and my heart is overburdened right now. My husband and I have been married just a little over a year and a half but been together for almost seven years we had our share of problems but we had a pretty interesting relationship as well to things just have been tough too lenghty to go into details but lately I just found out that he cheated on me I'm not sure how long but I suspect at least a couple of months well he admitted because I pulled it out of him. He says he still loves me and I am going to counseling which that had already started before I confirmed the cheating. We both have children from previous relationship he has a nineteen year old son who has been living with us for 4 years now and overall he is not a bad kid its just that we have clashed over how to discipline him. I also have a 10 year old and thats where we clash whenever my daughter does'nt do her chores the way he says that should be done he uses his tone of voice different towards her than he does towards his son and this angers me because for the past four years there have been chores assigned and things that I have asked of to be done well needless to say there have been so many times that they did not get done or either in the timely fashion that was expected and this has angered me. We have talked so many times about it and as usuual he keeps sayhing that I need to be the one to address the issues with his son because he is the one that I have the problem with and because I don't have a close relationship with him like he does with my daughter then I need to watch the tone of voice that I use with him. Needless to say I should not have to keep repeating myself over and over to a grown man he is 19 and by now should have gotten use to doing what is expected of me. The counselor says that I should stand my grounds with him whether he likes me or not and let him know that I will not continue to tolerate this behaviour. The bizarre thing about this is he does not get on the defense like talking about but she suggested a strategy to use with him that she feels would help. I'm just tired of the frustration and all its driving me crazy and its causing a great deal of stress in my house. I just don't know what to do anymore, my husband says with my nagging and complaining and fussing about the things that the kids havent done is what has provoked his behaviour. He feels that I should not let this bother me and get me stressed out because he says it doesnt stress him out to keep telling the kids things to do over and over but thats him. My husband has been married twice before me and says he has been through counseling with those marriages and they did not work. He feels that he has had enough counseling in his lifetime he previously was a drug addict and alcoholic so he went through counseling during the previous relationship during this phase of his life. I don't want to give up yet I just don't know what to do please help me .

Angela, Step-families are more difficult than anybody ever imagines. There are many different ways of dealing with them. The way things are going now isn't working out for sure. Are you willing to bend on some of the chores for the sake of your marriage? There is a huge variance in the maturity of 19 year olds. Maybe your step-son is on the immature side at this point. Sometimes parents decide that they will just discipline their own bio kids because of all the emotions you've discussed.
This doesn't excuse your husbands affair in any way and is a totally different issue.
Also, how you express your ideas is important. Love and Respect is a good book that shows how men and women can step on each other's toes without realizing it.

I found your web-site and I am thankful. My husband has been having an affair for about three years. He recently filed for divorce. We remain very close and he often telks about reconciliation. I have a tremendous heart for Christ....but I am to the point where I can't take the pain. I don't know what to do.

Hello my name is charles and my marriage has done all but end in these past few months. I'm married to a wonderful woman with whom I have two boys ages three and ten months. I have been married to my wife for five years and have been with her for a total of seven years. It seems that every attempt we've made to get a close relationship with god has failed. It has been no fault but, my own for these failures. I made the horrible mistake of cheating on my wife with her best friend and my wife walked in on us. I would do anything to take back what I have done but, i've learned I can't change the past and that I need to not try to. My wife and I were seperated for one month and she came back to me because financially she couldn't be away from me. When she came back things at first went back to normal and we didn't deal with the problem like we should've. It all finally came to a head one day when she said the hurt she felt inside from what I did had caused her feelings for me to change and she isn't sure if she wants to be with me. All I can think of is how crushed I am by all of this and thinking this way is only making the situation worse. I know I need to not be so selfish and take a step back and realize that it was my wrong doing that brought us to this point and that I need to take into account her feelings. She is still currently here with me and I don't know how things will work out. I can't imagine a second of my life without her and our children. We're starting marriage counseling and I hope that things will one day be better than they ever were. No matter what happends I know god has a plan for both of us and whatever is meant to be will be. Your story has been one that has helped me to see what I need to do and how to go about doing it. My relationship with god is getting better and better each day and I'm so thankful for that. I hope that things will work out for us and I'm hopeful that this storm i'm in right now will clear up with my wife and I together better than ever. Any advice you could provide for me I would greatly appreciate thank you and god bless.

Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In