It’s My Story: Gretchen

They were so incredibly in love. Never in a million years did they think their marriage would struggle. But add three children from a previous marriage, a husband’s desire to include pornography in the bedroom, more than one miscarriage and an anger at God for allowing those unborn babies to die, and you will find a recipe for the unthinkable. Gretchen writes:
We have both been believers for many years but we didn’t put God at the center of our marriage.  We also didn’t realize the reality of spiritual warfare.  Those two things made for a very hard fall.  In May of this year I almost had an affair.
Enter Facebook. Many think a friend request from an old boyfriend isn’t a big deal. Hear me…IT IS A BIG DEAL! Gretchen knows this well. And even though she ignored the request, she didn’t ignore the email he sent to her that ended with a “You look great!” comment. That was all it took to reel her in. Because you see, Gretchen struggled with poor self-worth and became addicted to getting attention of other men. She wasn’t satisfied with her husband being the only one who found her attractive. She continued an email relationship with this old boyfriend for a couple of months but the physical distance between them caused it to die off. So Gretchen sought someone else:
I found a guy at our gym that seemed interested so I got his email address and started emailing him. The night I went to meet this guy my husband had fallen asleep after dinner watching TV with our daughter.  I kissed him before I left and said I’d be back soon.  Not too long after I left he was jolted awake from his sound sleep by God with a voice that said “Get up and call your wife!”.  My husband called me to see if I was okay and to verify where I was going.  We hung up after I told him everything was fine.  God then told him to check my location because something wasn’t right.  He saw that I wasn’t where I said I was going and asked me what was going on.  We had a brief conversation because I was trying to get off the phone.  The guy was in my car at this point.  I hung up on my husband but told him I’d call him back.  I got the guy out of my car, but not before he kissed me.  Then he left.  I called my husband and drove straight home.  That was a bad night, but my husband said God clearly told him not to leave me.
Thankfully, Gretchen and her husband saw the destruction and immediately reached out for help:
The next day we called our church and found a couple who could talk to us.  They led us through a prayer of repentance and forgiveness and taught us how to go through each sin and repent and ask God and each other for forgiveness.  It was a powerful and emotional night and that began our healing. Since then the journey that God has brought my husband and I on, both individually and in our marriage, has been nothing short of amazing.  We are both so excited about our future and how our story can help other couples.
I wonder if you see yourself in Gretchen. I wonder if you have crossed the lines in your relationships with others. I wonder if you secretly desire to be found attractive by someone other than your spouse. If that’s you, Gretchen would tell you to run. Run as fast as you can in the arms of your Heavenly Father and press into Him. Yes, Gretchen had emotional affairs and even received a kiss from a man other than her husband, but it could have been so much worse. By the grace of God, she walked away from a full-blown affair. If you’d like to connect with Gretchen for support and encouragement, I know for a fact that she’d love that. Feel free to encourage her in the comments below.

12 thoughts on “It’s My Story: Gretchen

  1. Gretchen, I’ve been where you are but by the grace of God, He also healed our marriage. I just want to say you’re not alone. It helps so much to hear we’re not the only ones that have done something like that. Blessings in your marriage!

  2. Gretchen, thank you for sharing your story. Although I’m not the one who cheated in my marriage I definitely have felt a desire to have another man find me attractive. It is something I feel I have battled since we were married and long before we got married. God is so amazing how He can take a person so far from self-destruction. I praise God for what He is doing in your marriage and both of you individually!! What an amazing God He is!
    Psalms 52:8-9 “But I am like an olive tree
    flourishing in the house of God;
    I trust in God’s unfailing love
    for ever and ever.
    9 For what you have done I will always praise you
    in the presence of your faithful people.
    And I will hope in your name,
    for your name is good.”

  3. Gretchen, I read your story a couple of hours ago and i cannot get it out of my mind. I know its because I have sin in my life that if i do not continue to work on it God tells me i will end up like you or much worse. After I read your story this morning I was not going to post but God kept at me so here I am. God uses everyone story to help others and I’m so glad God woke your husband up and God kept at him because it would have much worse. I’m so glad you both are working on your marriage and its becoming so good again. Praise God. I will continue to pray for you and your husband thank you for sharing your story. 🙂

  4. Gretchen,
    Jesus will continue to use your story to shed light into the darkness and bring hope to the hopeless.
    I am blown away by His faithfulness and covering you in your complete dependency upon Him. We never outgrow our need for Him.
    In all things we know that we are more than conquerors ~ but in Him alone!
    You have partnered with our savior to seek and save the lost to bring recovery of sight to the blind! Luke 4:18-21
    I PRAISE HIM who began a good work in you and will see it through to completion.
    I am so blessed by you and your husband.

  5. Thank you all for your words of encouragement! God is sooooo good; so much better than I ever knew before!

    “I consider my life worth nothing to me, my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24

    I want everyone to know of God’s grace! My story will tell them if they will hear it!

    Amy, amen!! So thankful that not only am I not alone, but God saved your marriage too! I’m praising God with you!

    Brandy, have you read Beth Moore’s book “So Long Insecurity”?

    Sarah, feel free to email me privately if you want some encouragement or an ear. I’ve been there girl, I know what you’re going through! Or at least can probably relate on some level. RUN TO GOD! Know that He is your loving Father, not to scold you or punish you or hurt you, but to love you into obedience because He knows that’s best for you. I didn’t understand this before, but I sure do now. Trust Him and give Him your everything.

  6. Gretchen, I’m so proud of you both. You’ve come so far. You’ve both grown so much and allowed God to lead you. You are helping people so much with your story and your experience. You’re taking it day by day. I appreciate that you’ve shared your story and thankful that God has received so much glory thru you both. You’re taking a very hard situation and sharing it with others and showing them that people make big mistakes and the Almighty is there to pull you out of the pit you’ve made. Keep holding His hand. Love you.

  7. Gretchen,

    I love that your story shows that just because someone starts down a dangerous path it doesn’t mean they need to go all the way down it. I applaud you for stopping things with the other man when you did.

    I hope your story encourages many people to rethink the slipperly slopes they are currently on. I pray God continues to heal and bless your marriage. Thanks for sharing your story!

  8. Gretchen, I haven’t read Beth Moore’s book but it has been sitting on my dresser for about a year now. 🙂 I take it I should read it!

  9. I would like to add that when you do not now have an insurance policy or maybe you do not participate in any group insurance, you will well take advantage of seeking aid from a health insurance professional. Self-employed or those that have medical conditions commonly seek the help of an health insurance specialist. Thanks for your article.

  10. Hi Gretchen,

    Thank you for your story. My story is the other way around. My husband was found attractive by another married woman and carried on an affair that included pictures of themselves and a shared kiss. I found out 2 weeks ago about the innapropriate freidship but he showed me emails last week and gave full disclosure about thier relationship. He is out of the home currently but we still talk and text. There are moments i think that he doesnt love me anymore or find me attractive. I almost feel so needy and i cant survive without him. Reading the emails and seeing the words that were shared is heartwrenching. I am glad that it was caught before it got more physical and detailed. He has said that he didnt care about her and that it was just exciting to have someone attracted to him. This came at the worst time as our 18 year old daughter graduated from high school. I am having trouble eating and sleeping still. Will it get better? I am on my knees in the morning begging for the pain to stop and to help me feel His peace again.

  11. Maureen, I absolutely LOVE every image you have edietd and posted. I think one of my favorites is of the rose balls with the brides shoes wow! Your boat images are adorable and your relationship shows with your couple. I adore Madison and grew up in Monroe, living in NC for the last 30 years, but enjoy visits to WI with kids. Anyway, so glad Madison has such a fabulous photographer!

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