Wearing my third shirt, I bombed the first one with peanut butter and the second one with coffee, Ann and I shared our story on infidelity and redemption at Restoring the Glory. It is always an honor and a privilege to share what we went through and what we learned. It also does keep us in touch with the pain of what we did even if we can dance there some today.
We had a prayer intercessor in our workshop to pray for us as we spoke. She related that she felt incredible amounts of pain in the room as we shared. Betrayal is heartwrenching.
We have added a little more humor given the heaviness there when we speak and share our story. Folks have no problem connecting with the pain and just need a small break here and there.
We outlined our story in four sections. For the entire text see Our Story in the categories section of the blog. Otherwise keep reading for a brief synopsis.
1) Our failure--how did I fall short as a man--I was weak and avoiding-- and she as a woman--she was emotionally unavailable and controlling--that set us up for the affairs in our marriage, hers sexual and mine emotional. What choices did we make and what did we bring in from our families of origin that contributed to us not dealing with life head on.
2) The revelation--We had perfected a dance. A heinous dance. I knew something wasn't right. I questioned Ann and she would lie and I'd say ok. I didn't want to face the pain. She could make me feel like I was the problem. I finally sneaked into her voicemail and heard a message that all but confirmed my suspicions.
3) The Chaos--I was angry, hurt, confused, numbed, in love, rejected and in shock. This usually cycled through every 20 minutes or so. :) Ann felt the same plus some freedom in her secret being out and shame over realizing what she had done.
4) Redemption and Restoration--We had good friends we could be ourselves with no matter how wild that was. We also saw counselors. Ann and I talked and talked and talked. We became more honest sharing our joys, pains, dreams, love, anger etc. and not just the facts of the day. The biggest leap in the process of forgiveness came 14 months after the revelation when I was seized by the power of a great affection. I realized that more than anything else in my life I wanted to be close to God. Ann and I had walked through hell together and encountered God's grace in the depths. I forgave her, she forgave me and we grieved our losses together expanding both our souls in the capacity to give and receive love.