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Christian couples....success stories?

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Childoftheking posted 11/4/2013 14:49 PM

Never in a million years did I think I would end up here. I've been married almost 12 years, and we have 4 amazing kids together. We married really young at the age of 18...we were high school sweethearts and neighbors. We got married the day after my husband joined the military and moved thousands of miles away from our friends/family and started our lives together. Despite all the odds against us, we have been happy. We've been through 6 deployments and always have come out stronger than ever. I always thought my marriage was better than everyone else and that we were invincible. My husband deployed a year and a half ago for the 5th time and something horrible happened to him (I'm not sure it relates to the affair or not, but I think it might). Long story short, he went out with some friends on this deployment to be the DD for them, and woke up in a hotel room drugged, beaten, and raped. I expected a very rocky time when he came home from that deployment, but all was well and he truly seemed okay. He had dug into his Bible, church, his relationship with God and I believe that it what helped him heal from this.
Fast forward to a year after him coming home from that deployment...he leaves to go back to the same place the rape happened. During this deployment, he told me how lonely he was every single much he missed us and wanted to come home. I knew he was having a rough time there and was worried about him, but outside of praying for him, was helpless.

He came home September 1st of this year, and my life changed. He came home and was completely shut down emotionally. He couldnt look me in the eyes. He was cold, distant...not the man I knew and loved. He eventually asked for a divorce and said he wanted to be alone. He gave no explanation, and I assumed it had something to do with going back to the place of rape. I thought he had PTSD. I begged him to talk to me, to talk to a counselor, assured him of my love, and refused to give him the divorce he seemed to want. I didn't beleive he truly wanted that. This went on for a month, and he finally asked for help and started seeing a counselor. After the first counseling session, he came home in tears, completely broken and asked me if I really thought we could make it through anything. I said yes, and he he told me he had an affair during his deployment. I thought I'd be infuriated, but was shocked to feel relief. I could see emotion in him again, and he was able to look at me and tell me how much he loved me. His has been completely open with me, cut off all contact with the OW a month BEFORE he came home, is so remorseful, and is doing everything he can to show me how much he loves me. His reasoning for asking for a divorce was because he thought he that is what he deserved. I have told him that I am willing to forgive and rebuild our marriage. We have even had a bit of a "honeymoon" period. I feel my emotions are all over the place. One day I feel like my marriage can conquer anything and am confident that God can make something broken into something beautiful, and the next day I'm sad and go through the "how can he do this to me" thoughts.

I want some badly to heal my marriage and make it even better than before. I guess I'm looking for stories of hope and healing from others. I have chosen not to tell my family...I know they aren't capable of truly forgiving him like I am. I truly believe, and he does too, that this is the worst mistake of his life...completely out of character...a moment of human weakness at his most vulnerable time. Despite what he did, I think he's a great man. Even still, I'm having trouble with understanding how he could let this happen. I know I'll never understand, but how do I get past these feelings? He is willing to talk about it as much as I want, has answered every single question honestly, and has given me every detail that I ask. I don't want to keep bringing this up. I feel like since I've chose to forgive, I need to find a way to do that without bringing it up over and over again. I know I don't need to worry about his feelings in this, but I worry that he wont be able to forgive himself and will never feel worry of me as well.

wifehad5 posted 11/4/2013 15:35 PM

I feel like since I've chose to forgive, I need to find a way to do that without bringing it up over and over again.

What I learned was that I needed to keep bringing it up until I didn't need to bring it up anymore. It took quite some time, and quite a few retellings of the same details, and that's OK. I tried stuffing my feelings, but that always ended badly. You need to process things, and what you're dealing with is a big thing.

Forgiveness is a process. For something this big, you can't just say I forgive you and move on with your life. There are a lot of feelings to work out. Be authentic with yourself and with him, and you'll get to true forgiveness

musiclovingmom posted 11/4/2013 15:41 PM

I am just over 14 months from dday. My H and I are in a pretty good place. My H, like yours, had cut off contact before dday (which prompted OW5 to out them). I knew immediately that staying was the right choice. The first 6 months I glossed over everything and tiptoed around his feelings. Then I broke down. That's when I found this site. I started reading, and sharing with him. Even though he'd been doing the right things, we hadn't dealt with my trauma - and this is traumatic. At 10 months, I found true forgiveness for him. At 14 months, I've even come to forgiveness and indifference to OW2 (who was my friend). Please don't rush yourself to healing. Please don't stifle your emotions and questions. It doesn't have to be punishing, but, if you try to hold it all back, it will only come back bigger and uglier later. Allow yourself the time to feel what you feel, ask what you need ask and discuss what you need to discuss. The only way past this is through it. There are no truly effective shortcuts. That being said, it can be done.

plainpain posted 11/4/2013 16:02 PM

None of us ever thought we'd be here, regardless of our faith (or lack thereof), and the healing process, it seems, is the same for us all as well. It takes time. Forgiveness is not a magic wand, it does not wash it clean, you are not going to get through this without going straight through the fire. I am so sorry this has happened to you. You can read my story, message me if you want. I don't know what qualifies as 'success'. I have hope.

sailorgirl posted 11/4/2013 16:25 PM

Whenever I suppress my need to "bring it up" we go backwards in the process of healing. As difficult as it is, we need to talk about this. Every time he stays open to talking and goes through the conversation without getting angry or defensive, my H feels a little bit stronger and a little more worthy of me. Every time he honestly, patiently answers my questions and discusses the fallout, my respect for him grows back and I feel loved again.

sailorgirl posted 11/4/2013 16:31 PM

I was also relieved when I found out (feel free to read my story) but that didn't stop me from going through all the emotions of betrayal.

I hope your H is still in counseling. He has been through a lot of trauma and most likely hasn't processed it all yet. If he doesn't, and if he doesn't regain his self esteem and his boundaries, he remains vulnerable for this to happen again.

Skan posted 11/4/2013 18:28 PM

Both you and your husband have been through a great deal of trauma. Remember how he was before he saw his councilor? Closed off, un-talking, cold, distant? And it took seeing a councilor to whom he could spill his guts to, to start letting you see the man you remembered and to confess to his adultery to you. (And I hope that he is continuing to see that councilor.)

I do not mean to make light of his rape. I've been there more than one time. It's a horrific thing to have happen, I would guess, possibly even more horrific for a man who has not considered that this might possibly happen to him, unlike women for whom, IMO, the possibility of rape is always in the back of our minds.

My FWHs ONS and his cyber-sexcapades were a far worse trauma to me, than my rapes. My rapes haunted me. My FWHs betrayal shattered me. I'm still picking up the pieces and trying to glue them back together.

So please. Know that you have gone through some horrific trauma yourself. At one moment, you were happily married. In another moment, you were facing a stranger. And the next moment, you found that you were betrayed by your husband who vowed before God to have no one else but you.

That's trauma. Just as he needs to let what happened to him out so that he can purge it, get the support of you, his church, his pastor, you need to do the same. YOU need to talk about this until you don't need to talk about this anymore. Please do consider seeing a councilor. If you don't deal with your trauma, I guarantee that it will come out in other ways, in another time. You cannot ignore this, nor sweep it under a run. It will simply grow and become a monster.

You need to keep talking. He needs to keep digging why he decided to betray you, and make no mistake, it was a decision, not a mistake. If you two are to heal and to heal together, you need to be utterly honest with each other and seek support. IC or MC or a combination of both.

I'm not going to lie to you. It's hard. It's the hardest thing that I have even done in my life. God and I have had some interesting conversations, some of which have been with my fists clenched and screaming upwards at heaven. It's not been pretty. But if the two of you have the earnest desire to R, you can. If the two of you can be utterly honest with each other, seek understanding, and ultimately have compassion for each other, you can make it. It sounds to me like you had a good marriage before, with work, you can create a good marriage from this point on. I would like to suggest that you read both "Not JUST FRIENDS" by Shirley Glass, and "Beyond Ordinary" by Justin & Trisha Davis who are the founders of RefineUs Ministries. I found both to be quite helpful.

And keep coming back for support. Christian, Agnostic, Muslim, Zocasternarian, we are all human beings who seek the same things. Love, support, comfort, and community. We are all here for you. (((hugs)))

HFSSC posted 11/4/2013 19:41 PM


Skan, have I told you that I love you? You have the most beautiful, eloquent way of writing/speaking here and I appreciate your wisdom and strength so much.

End T/j

Cotk, I sent you a pm but wanted to reply here too. There is nothing in the bible that I have ever found that commands us to forgive and forget. God says He does. But He made us. He knows our hearts and how we function. If you and your H do not process this, it is very likely to come back and haunt you.

Hugs. It's a tough path ahead of you. But there are a whole lot of us walking with you.

Childoftheking posted 11/5/2013 07:56 AM

Thank you all so much for the wonderful advice. I didn't know if my wanting to talk about the same things over and over and ask the same questions he's answered a million times is healthy or not. I think I fear that my bringing it up a million times just makes us move backwards in the healing process, but that's probably what I need to truly heal. You guys are right...this will just come back up later and worse if I don't do what I feel like I need to do know.

I want to do this the right way, so I don't end up resenting him later on and can find true forgiveness. It's only been a month. Is there even a "right" way to do this?

sisoon posted 11/5/2013 13:01 PM

Child, One thing I did almost from the beginning WRT my questions was to check my motivation. If I wanted to ask because I wanted to know something I didn't understand, I asked.

If I wanted to ask a Q to make my W feel bad, I usually didn't ask (but sometimes I did). Usually, I realized I wanted to hurt my W because I felt so badly hurt myself. Hurting her rarely helped; what helped me most was to let her know I was sad/mad/scared because of what she did or said. Hurting her wasn't healing; expressing my own feelings was.

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