The Dark Night of the Soul
Almost three years ago, I found out that my husband had been having an emotional affair with my friend and neighbor.
That day will forever be etched into my memory.
I lay in the bed that night in a fetal position weeping uncontrollably, crying out to God “WHY?” The pain touched the core of my soul. Our then pastor made Jason leave the house that night. Our son (14 at the time) and daughter (11) also crying as they tried to comfort me. My mind began to race, “What was going to happen?” “Was our marriage over?” “What about my hopes and dreams of our future?” “Is this it?” “Could 13 years of marriage just vanish in a moment?”
I wish I could tell you that God answered me that night but it would take many months before I would recognize even a glimpse of his mercy and grace. There were many dark nights ahead. We began therapy right away (the next day in fact). Jason was not immediately sorry, in fact, he became very angry and emotionally abusive. I had never seen him like this, as mentioned in Fighting Fair, we never fought. What was happening? Who is this man? I wanted to forgive him and start working on getting us better, but how could I? He had not even apologized yet. It would be three long and treacherous months before I received a true and authentic apology from him. And two years before things truly started to get better.
I can honestly say today that the affair was the best thing that ever happened to me and ultimately to our marriage.
You see, God was taking me on journey that would forever change the course of my life. How gracious and kind He was to only give me what I could handle (so many have gone through far worse). It was just enough pain to wake me up and put me on the right path. For years I had been searching and praying for answers to my broken childhood. I had cried out to God for freedom and healing from addiction as well as the from trauma that had haunted me most for most of my life. The affair pushed Jason and I into the hands of some amazing therapists where we encountered and continue to encounter radical healing and transformation. And our marriage is now on the path to being better than I could have ever imagined.
I can understand why so many people give up or quit during times like this. There were moments where quitting seemed like the best option because quitting appeared to be the quickest way to stop the pain. But sometimes the good and transforming work of God is painful. And while sometimes divorce may be a necessary ending, I’m afraid that people often give up too quickly.
Looking back through the wall from the other side, I can honestly say, that it was worth the fight, it is worth the tears and worth the pain.