In the early stage of developing an affair relationship with the other woman (OW), a thought became firmly planted in my mind - like leaven in bread. My marriage wasn't going like I wanted. I was lonely, isolated, and "needed" the attention I was getting. The thought that just seemed to mushroom:
I deserve it.
I firmly believe this is just one of the lies that the enemy whispers into the ear of the wayward spouse to lure them into the snare of seduction, and then to trap them there as well. I have also become convinced that the enemy's bag of tricks is only so big, but he doesn't really need a big bag. The tricks he uses just keep on working - over and over again. This lie has got to be one of the worst, most-often employed tricks in his arsenal.
I soon gave in to my desires. After all, I deserved it.
But, like many - if not all - other wayward spouses, I set myself up for further failure. As our "relationship" developed, the OW confided in me how she'd been hurt in relationship after relationship in the past. I vowed that I would be different. I would be the one person to never hurt her. I would be her Knight in Shining Armor. And she - she was exactly what I needed! She understood me on a new and exciting level! She knew just how to make me feel really good about myself. I deserved her.
(Notice how self-focused all that really is? And how delusional! What starts in secrecy and lies can never be healthy or good!!)
But in time the fog of fantasy began to wear thin. I started to see the OW as the broken person she was (we're all broken people, I just didn't want to see her that way). And I started to see the futility of the fantasy. There's a reason it's called fantasy. And honestly, all the secrecy was getting old too. Living the dichotomy that was becoming my life - or more precisely, my two lives, was just tiring. I began to want out. And I wasn't really sure I cared which life I got out of (my marriage or the affair), just so long as one of them ended.
But then the lie - the trick 0f the enemy - became my snare.
I deserve it.
Staying involved with the OW became a burden. But a burden I felt like I had to shoulder. I saw no choice in the matter. I didn't want to "let her down." Hah! Ludicrous, I know.
Only Jesus never fails.
That shining armor I'd donned so confidently turned out to be made of garden variety iron. It was getting heavy and beginning to rust. And let's face it, I was no prince. But, I'd made my bed and...well, yeah...now I had to lie in it. I was either going to stick it out at all costs, or become just another one of those guys who discarded the OW - another relationship gone bad. I did NOT want to be one of those guys. So, I tried to stick it out - for a while.
I still feel a pit in my chest when I think about this part of the story. The incredible pain I caused in the end because I couldn't see past my own selfishness in the beginning. The needless, wasted emotional destruction!
Some wayward spouses, I think, just decide it's easier to inflict the damage on their (already hurting) spouse and destroy the weakened marriage relationship rather than risk "hurting" the affair relationship or the other person. It's the attitude of I've come this far, there's no turning back now.
But that would be a road that could NEVER lead to integrity, or to a godly legacy. I simply couldn't live with myself. I decided that even though a divorce was what I deserved and would likely have coming, even though my wife would be hurt even more deeply than the wounds already inflicted and I may very well end up separated from her and our children, the only way to even have a chance at godly living - at a good life - would be through truth. A painful truth for all involved. But truth at any cost was better than living a lie for the rest of my life. So I chose truth. It was (and always is) the right path.
If you are even considering becoming involved in an affair, I encourage you to carefully consider where the whole "I deserve it" lie will take you. It IS a lie - from start to finish. And nothing less than a trap designed to ensnare your soul!
Is your spouse involved in an affair?
If your spouse is currently involved in an affair, I encourage you to pray that many holes will be poked into the web of fantasy, such that the full light of truth casts that web off entirely. And that this "I deserve it" lie will become incredibly burdensome to your spouse, just as it did to me, so they will desire to break free from it and choose to walk in truth. I also encourage you to be ready for that truth - and the pain it will bring.
It's not too late- God can bring life and healing into your marriage.
You can work through the damage and the pain, together - using God's blueprints for your marriage and for your future. You can build a worthwhile legacy based on mutual trust and integrity. It's never too late! The same God who raised Christ from the dead can - and desires to - bring life and healing into your marriage. It is the right path.
If you're struggling in your marriage, or maybe just need a better blueprint, I encourage you to attend Weekend to Remember. This one weekend can be the instrument of life and legacy change!
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