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From Georgia’s Heart
What Dennis told me in his confession was just the “tip of the iceberg”. There was more to come and I learned that an addict rarely tells everything right up front. The secret is too powerful and lying to protect it has become a way of life. In an instant, all the love and trust we had built over 24 years was gone and I had no idea if/when it would return. I felt like the pictures we see on television of tsunamis hitting land: destroying everything on their way in; sucking everything away on their way out. I wanted desperately to “get back to normal” and it took a long time to accept the fact that we were going to have to create a new “normal”; we could never go back. Acceptance of what has happened to us is perhaps one of our greatest challenges.
When we are betrayed by our spouse, the emotional impact is beyond anything we have probably experienced to date. Nothing prepares us for that trauma and our lives become much like the old game of Pick-Up-Sticks: all thrown up in the air to come down in utter chaos and confusion. We look frantically for just one stick to pick up that doesn’t topple the rest down only to have them all fall into yet more difficult patterns.
We know we are not equipped to handle this on our own yet the shame, embarrassment, fear, confusion, anxiety, and pain often prevent us from seeking the very help we need so desperately. When I talk to women who have been thrust into the unwelcome, painful world of recovery, most of the time they don’t even know the questions to ask or how to express their pain. I certainly didn’t! There are two things I feel are critical for women to know when there has been confession or discovery of betrayal. First, it is not your fault. There is nothing you did to cause this to happen and nothing you could have done to prevent it. Your husband and sadly, other people, will want you to take at least some of the blame but it’s not yours to take. Secondly, you are not alone. Pain isolates us. We become like a wounded animal that drags itself into a cave to lick its wounds in the security of darkness. Your pain has forced you to join a club formed of other women who didn’t want to be there either. We are on the journey together even though our stories are different and we don’t even know each other. You can know there are others who know your pain.
God knows your pain and longs to comfort you in it. He understands betrayal and wounds of the heart. He sees your tears and will walk with you through this “valley of the shadow of death.” You are not alone!
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®),
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