I don't want to care about what he's doing. I don't want to let his words hurt me. I don't want to wonder who he's sharing his heart with now. I don't want to miss what we had together. I don't want to wish he still loved me. But I'm addicted.
He is etched on my heart and is a part of me. He is a deeply entrenched habit that has shaped who I am today.
Our bond has been broken. My heart is infected with brokenness and it has altered my thoughts and behaviors.
But why? Why has this affected me so deeply?
Because I am an addict and he is my habit.
"Our body chemistry changes the emotional, psychological and physical conditions within us as we bond to another person. Our brain neurologically accommodates familiar things and makes them habits. What that means is that your nervous system literally rearranges to make room for the presence of someone else in your life. They become a literal habit. When relationship habits are broken, our bodies go through withdrawal symptoms similar to that of a drug addict. The emotional roller coaster, depression, physical pains, guilt and shame are all very real. So your brain is responding to your loss of that relationship." (Journey to Freedom)
With God's help, it's time for a detox.
It's time to let go and move toward freedom. It's time for my exodus. It's time to journey from my past, from my hurt, and from those who sought to hurt me. It's time to say goodbye to those people and circumstances that are driving the addiction.
The brokenness will become my testimony that God will use for His glory.
Let the journey begin.
As I take a Iook at my everyday life, not a whole lot has changed. I'm still a busy mom making sure my kids are cared for . I schedule their doctor appointments, take them to friend's houses and sport's practices. I try to keep food in the house...which is not easy with teenagers during summer break!! I remind them to do their chores and make myself available to talk when needed. I take them to church and try to be a godly example to them. In the midst of all of that I still to go to work and try to find time to meet up with friends for some Mom time.
I'm beginning to accept this new reality of being a solo mom. I like that term better than "single mom". I quit being single 22 years ago. And actually, I'll never be single again. Right now I feel that "Solo Mom" fits perfectly.
I came across that term in a blog that I was reading. Here's how it defined Solo Mom: "Solo Moms are women who spend time parenting on their own. Solo Moms are single moms, moms with joint custody, grandmothers who parent their grandchildren, and moms whose partners are deployed, disabled, or incarcerated. Solo Moms are moms whose partners are on the road a lot or living abroad, leaving them to do most of the parenting. "
Even though I am now a solo mom I know that I am not alone, although at times it feels that way. I'm so grateful for my friendships and my relationship with Christ. My friends have spoken life into me when I could do nothing but mourn the death of my marriage. When all I could see was my pain and anger. Some have listened while I vented and cried. Some have made me laugh with sarcastic comments and stories of their own. So many have pointed me continually to Christ and His love for me. His Words are what I cling to. Not the negative words from the enemy. He promises to always be for me....not for my marriage....but FOR ME!!!
In a recent blog, author Gary Thomas said, "If the cost of saving a marriage is destroying a woman, the cost is too high. God loves people more than He loves institutions." That statement spoke volumes to me. I knew that God loved me but I thought that as a Christian woman, He loved my marriage more than me. I now know that was wrong thinking. God places a high value on marriage but he puts an even higher value on ME!!
I can move forward knowing that I have done everything to try to make my marriage work. Some marriages just can't be saved. We have struggled with many issues over the years and I'm not willing to live like that anymore. The affair was a huge blow to my heart, but the deeper pain came when I had to face the hard truth that my spouse no longer loved me. As I processed the hurt and read text messages over and over again, God kept whispering to me "I love you more." When I would read, "You are no longer my family, get over it." God would whisper, "You are my daughter and I love you." When he would say, "I didn't leave the kids, I left you." God would remind me of His promise to "NEVER leave me or forsake me". When I was told that I failed as a wife, God told me to ignore the lies and see the truth.
As I continue to lean in closer to God, he is giving me a peace about the future. I know that there are still many challenges ahead. However, I can face them head on confident that God will give me wisdom to make the right decisions and learn how to live this new reality.
Today I came across a message on Youtube titled "How to Recover After an Affair". I figured I would give it a listen and see what 4 or 5 steps they would outline to help me move on. But as I listened, I realized this was something different. This message brought to light some new perspectives for me that really helped me grasp the truth about my feelings and why the actions of my spouse impacted me the way they did.
The message was by Andre Butler from Word of Faith Christian Center in Detroit. If you marriage has been impacted in anyway by an affair, I encourage you to listen to the entire message here. There were many great takeaways for me.
First, God hates divorce but he hates infidelity even more. (Matthew 19:9) It is a broken covenant that causes great harm to your mate. It's a heinous crime that burns down everything in your life. (Job 31) An adulterer is anyone who receives sexual gratification from anyone other than their mate. There are multiple types of infidelity or cheating other than a physical affair. Infidelity includes pornography, dinners alone with the opposite sex, private conversations in person or via text, lusting after another person and emotional affairs.
Secondly, each person is responsible for their own heart. You don't just fall in love with someone else. You open your heart and allow yourself to be seduced by someone else. For your heart to be deceived you have spent some time with that other person. You have allowed yourself to become emotionally close to another person. You have crossed a line and formed an emotional bond with another person. (Job 31:9-12) You ignored the symptoms of pre-cheating. You put yourself in a dangerous place. You didn't set boundaries or you ignored the ones that were in place. Instead of choosing to live holy, you chose to play near the fire thinking that you had everything under control. You didn't take time to think how your actions would harm your mate or that you would ever get burnt.
And thirdly, infidelity causes a broken heart and a broken spirit. A broken heart is a powerful emotion that turns your world upside down. When you cheat on your mate it causes them great damage, heartbreak, betrayal, rejection, broken trust, jealousy, anger, and grief. It is the death of their marriage as they know it. It can take years for them to process these emotions and move to a place of healing.
Married men and women, I challenge you to guard your heart and your mind. Do not open your heart to anyone that is not your spouse. Set boundaries and don't cross them. You made a vow before God, to love, honor and cherish your mate. There are severe consequences when you break that vow and dishonor your marriage. (Hebrews 13:4)