It’s My Story: Steven*

I received an email several weeks back from Steven. I appreciated his heart and story so much that I asked him if I could share it with you. The Reader’s Digest Version is that Steven’s wife, Mary, was unfaithful to him with an old high school boyfriend that she reconnected with on Facebook. This was completely from out of nowhere because Steven and Mary were in full-time ministry. They were the ones ministering to others and were the ones that “knew better”. Mary was completely torn up over her choice and actually ended it before ever being “caught”. Not only that, but she carried this burden around for nearly a year before ever confessing this to her husband. God intervened and they are on the road to restoration. God is doing a mighty work – PRAISE HIM! I think you’d benefit from hearing directly from Steven:
If there is a’perfect’ way to own and repent from an affair, Mary has done this. In reading the numerous experiences of others who’ve walked through this, I fully realize how fortunate I am that this is the case. For many, the nightmare of revelation continues long after ‘D-day” as their spouses struggle to leave their lovers or show little or no effort in helping their betrayed partner heal. If there can be a ‘blessed’ in being cheated on…I am, because Mary’s turn-around was instant and complete. I praise God! However, (and here’s the kicker)…it still (even after a year) hurts (at times at least) like Hell. And I guess I just want to encourage that (probably) small sliver of your readership whose spouses have have betrayed them but then ‘perfectly’ repented…that it’s okay to hurt. To help them see that pain, even a year after disclosure, is okay. Sometimes I feel guilty for still hurting! I just want them to know that, even if their cheating spouse has done everything ‘right”…that adultery decimates the tenderest, most raw and sensitive parts of the human heart – and those places simply do not, cannot, and will not heal anywhere close to overnight. My greatest hope is that the offending spouses understand this reality and are sensitive, patient, and gracious to it, especially in light of the grace they have received. I want betrayed spouses to know to be gracious to themselves and know that they were given a mortal wound that failed to finish them off…to be ‘proud’ of that…and to give themselves time and space to heal.
I love his words! They ring so true to me. Just because we still hurt a year or five year later, doesn’t mean we haven’t forgiven or that we aren’t healing. This is just part of the grieving process. As we continue to journey through life and deal with the hurts that come upon our paths, let’s always be mindful that we serve a God who heals and redeems…in His perfect time.   I know Steven and Mary would love your encouragement and prayers as they continue on their journey. If any of my male readers would like to connect with Steven, please let me know in the comments below.

13 thoughts on “It’s My Story: Steven*

  1. Steven and Mary will be in my prayers. May God continue to be your Healer, Steven. I’m so proud and thankful for your wife to face her fear and let the truth be known. Only with truth can one truly heal.
    I also encourage all the readers and those who are hurting rather from betrayel or some other deception. Go to where your hurt is and confront it. I am only now facing some pain and hurt from over 20 years ago. Pushing the pain and hurt away or ignoring it is not the answer. Go to it, bring it to God, and let Him in His awesome wonder restore you.

  2. Truth, truth and more truth! I am a part of that “small sliver” that you spoke of, and your words were a comfort to my heart today as well as a great reminder. Thank you for your willingness to share.

  3. The main idea that stands out to me is Restoring. I think it is important to point out the “ing” of that word. It is still happening. So often we hope to be Restored. Finished. Completed. Yet God is in the process of this. So many words have an “ing” to them and that can be difficult for those around us. I am still healing and believing God. It is a part of the journey…it is ongoing. Be blessed Stephen and Mary as you continue journeying! God is just so big!

  4. I wish I could say I was sad to see another man struggling with his wife’s unfaithfulness but in a way I’m glad to see it talked about more openly – it happens in this direction a lot more than we ever hear about because men are so respect driven that we’re more likely to hide our disrespect than to talk about it. But when we do that, it leaves other men that go through it feeling isolated and even worse about themselves. Friends told us to keep our story as quiet as possible so we could heal. They meant well, but by sharing our story we have already seen God use it to heal others and (I think) prevent “dangerous” situations from becoming “divorce” in at least a couple of marriages. I’m sure Cindy and Chris can relate. Suffering becomes testimony only when it’s shared. Testimony teaches through relationships (we only really listen to people we feel can RELATE to what we’ve gone through).

    I’m so glad your wife chose the road of repentance instead of the road of rebellion. I’m so glad you chose the road of forgiveness instead of the road of judgement. No road is easy, regardless of which one looks easier, but God told you both (in His Word) what HE wanted you to do and you both chose His way. That’s a victory snatched from the jaws of defeat right there!

  5. Thanks so much to all of you for allowing these word and thought fragments into your hearts…we SO need to draw strength and encouragement from one another to keep steadily journeying down this tragically beautiful path. Thanks again to Cindy for encouraging and providing a safe place for us to come and ‘meet’ to drink together from these fragile wells. Blessings to you all…

  6. Thank you!
    Sometimes, when I see how hard my husband is working to make things right (and he is doing a really good job by the way) I sometimes feels guilty for still hurting so much inside.
    Your words were of GREAT encouragement to me today. Thank you.

  7. Thank you so much. My husband is one of the ones that has been trying so hard, but my world was still turned upside down on D-day and now as we approach that 2 year anniversary it has started to hurt – AGAIN. I feel guilty, because I know he is a different man now, but the pain is still there. Thank you Steve for your words. May God bless you and your wife, and all of us recovering from this terrible pain.

  8. I read your story today. My husband had an emotional affair in 2009-2010 with an old girlfriend that he had sex with after high school. Though the actual “affair” was from Oct. of 2009 until April of 2010 she propositioned him 3 years after our wedding. There were several contacts and many events during our marriage that he kept from me. When he finally confessed in April 2010 he still lied about several things. A year and a half later I learned he proposed to her in April 2010. We had been married for 33 years. Much more information, but no need to go into it, I just wanted to give you a general idea of my situation and tell you your story has been a help to me as I try to work through this. Thank you for sharing. God bless.

  9. Steven … thank you for sharing your story. After I discovered … and investigated, finding new things daily for about 2 weeks … my husband (a pastor) did repent, turn from the other woman, and truly want to make things right.

    However … after only about 6 weeks, he thought I should be able to “forgive and forget”. It’s been just over a year, and he absolute doesn’t want to talk about it. He doesn’t want to know that I am still in pain. He refuses to go to counseling. He refuses to be honest with friends (it is still a big secret from our friends and family).

    Iris (other commenter) … we, too, are an “older” married couple. We will celebrate our 30th anniversary this summer. This is something that I NEVER imagined could happen to us.

    Thank you, Cindy, for sharing the stories of other.

    mama of 12

  10. To tell you the truth, hearing stories like this of adultery scare me to death. I’m still single and I don’t know I would react. I grew up in a christian environment. My parents went the extra mile with homeschooling me and my siblings and teaching us to follow Christ. Over the years, I learned that no matter where you come from or how you are raised it’s all about your heart and where your relationship stands. Being raised Christian doesn’t make you a Christian.

  11. As I continue to apologize to my husband for bringing him back to the event (April 2012) and my D-Day, May 6, 2012, because I seem to need his continual reassurance that it was only a mistake and that there wasn’t and never will be another woman from here on out, I realize that it is not uncommon to feel pain and sadness even years after the discovery. I, too, feel truly blessed to see a complete change and recommitment in my husband who is trying so hard to to bring joy and hope into our marriage of almost 20 years.

    I truly believe with all my heart that he was not true to himself that night and that many circumstances, including feeling distanced to God, allowed him to be extremely vulnerable. I am praying for a miraculous healing. I do not want to hold my husband bound to his mistake when God has forgiven him. I sincerely want to move on and never look back. Am I being realistic or just setting myself up for failure?

    Thank you, Steven, for your honesty and transparency. We must live in truth and love.

  12. I am also having trouble with healing. That’s a good point that of god has already forgiven then why can’t we. I would like to talk to someone who has advice on geting over the pain of betrayal. I want to love my husband with everything I have but I seem to get held back :/ If anyone has advice. We have almost been divorced several times and because of my insecurities and not healing sometimes I feel like running… But I’m hopefull that god will heal my marriage

  13. Steve,
    My wife too is doing all the right things.
    God supernaturally busted her to break her from her addiction.
    After 6 months the sadness,anger and invasive thoughts and images are my companions.
    My struggle is to find other men who are believers for support.All the groups I have found eliminate male spouses.Any ideas?

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