Not Just A New Chapter

Last summer I made a decision to blog regularly. I had even decided to work with someone to redesign the blog and move it to a new domain.

However, none of it ever happened. My laptop stopped working and a nine-day fix turned into a two and a half month ordeal; resulting in a new laptop, but a corrupted hard drive. I lost everything!

But that loss pales in comparison to several life events that began to unfold during the summer as well. I have been debating whether or not to post about this; and every time I decide to post it, the debate becomes how much to share. I love reading blogs; and getting a glimpse of other people’s lives. I have loved getting to know several people I have ‘met’ in this blogosphere. But my pet peeve is reading blogs where the author seems perfect; where it seems that nothing negative ever happens in his or her life. While I don’t believe that bloggers should reveal all the intimate details of their lives, I do believe that if you are blogging about your life you should be real. So that is how I finally made my decision to write this post. I want to be real. Please remember that I come from a Catholic background. Everything I have done has involved prayer and consultation with Godly people, as well as my priest.

So, here goes… last summer I discovered that my husband was having an affair. I certainly did not condone this behavior; and have not, as of yet, forgiven him for it (I’m working on it). I did feel that it was only right to try to fix what was wrong. I prayed, bought books, and sought out couple’s counseling. We even attended a Love and Respect video conference (I highly recommend this conference!). I tried changing to be the wife he said he wanted.

Out of respect for my children & a little privacy, I won’t go into all the details; but let’s just say that nothing made a difference. In fact, a tragedy revealed that he had never really ended the affair. The husband of the woman in question chose to commit suicide. It was this action, in combination with his deception, that began a severe downward spiral. We each spoke separately to a priest at our church, and I had hoped we could somehow reconcile this and move forward. It wasn’t to be. In fact, things began to get worse.

Something seemed to snap in my husband. He began to verbally and emotionally abuse me; in private and in front of my children. He began to get more secretive – removing my name from accounts, changing passwords, and refused any attempts to reconcile. He still went through the motions – we tried to appear ‘normal’ during the holidays and for my birthday in January, but it didn’t work. I would find out later that he was still involved with her, even after her husband’s suicide. The abuse continued to escalate and he claimed his health was beginning to suffer as a result. He blamed me.

At the end of February, I had foot surgery. I was told that I couldn’t walk or drive for three weeks. One week after surgery, he moved out; leaving me with two children unable to take care of themselves. He has been gone ever since. I don’t really know where he lives. To his credit, he continues to pay the bills; though he has mentioned that he does this so the courts won’t consider it abandonment. However, he threatens to shut something off on a regular basis; he’s even threatened to withhold our food money unless I did something he wanted. He does come and visit the kids about once a week for a couple of hours. Ironically, he spends more time with them now; and pays more attention to them, then he ever did before.

But my children are suffering. They don’t understand. I am doing all that I can for them, but it never seems to be enough. I pray for them and with them. I spend ‘alone’ time with each of them separately. I have counseling available to both of them. I’ve kept things as routine as possible. It’s all so difficult – I can’t explain to them why this happened; I can’t change it; I can’t bring their father back; I can’t give them the daddy they so desperately desire. They deserve better. So I pray for them. I remind them that God wants to be their Father. At their ages, it’s just not enough for them.

I have met with my priest and discussed all the details with him; including many not mentioned here (hard to believe, huh?). He said that the separation was probably a very good thing. It would hopefully prevent things from escalating further. He also told me that since we were married in a civil ceremony (at my husband’s insistence), the Church didn’t consider us married. I know that some of you will disagree with that; but it does help in the event I am blessed with another opportunity for marriage. Which means this one will have to be dissolved legally…

I know God hates divorce; but I also know He loves me and my children. He doesn’t want us to remain in a situation where there’s potential danger. I know some people would say to remain married and just live apart. However, that, in my opinion, just condones his adulterous behavior. It’s just not something with which he is concerned. He has already moved on. Also, remaining legally married prevents the children and me from having the opportunity to find a Godly relationship. I believe that God will provide a Godly man for us who will teach my children what a Godly marriage looks like; what God intended husbands and fathers to be.

While I know not everyone will agree with my decision to divorce my husband, I have prayed about this and talked about it with Godly people. It’s not a decision I made lightly. I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mother with no income. With God’s help, I intend to maintain that. As you may know from other posts, my son is on the Autism Spectrum and he needs to have his mother home with him, as it has been for the entirety of his life. Neither of them need any more changes right now. I have decided that I am no longer going to subject them to the abuse. It certainly doesn’t teach my son how to be a Godly man; nor does it teach my daughter how a man is supposed to treat a woman. What I am trying to teach them is strength, integrity, and reliance on God. I am at peace with this decision, even if it’s not what I wanted. I am at peace with it, even if it’s difficult. I ask that instead of judgement you say a prayer for my children and me.

Thank you for reading, and not judging. Thank you for praying for us. Thank you for allowing me to be a bit transparent and real. My life is far from perfect, but it contains the most perfect thing there is: the Love of the Blessed Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to do any of this.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13

13 comments

  1. Becca (@theNewBec) says:

    Prayers your way for comfort, peace & healing. A big part of why God hates divorce is because of the hurt the whole situation inflicts. It’s not simply about a standard being broken. His heart breaks because yours is breaking and he loves you SO much. Don’t let anyone guilt you into thinking otherwise. *hugs* and prayers for clarity as God guides you. What an encouragement you will be to others who have faced difficult times.

  2. CaptainConundrum says:

    Lord, please be with Heather as she faces this life-altering decision. Comfort her with Your presence and love, and lead her along a clear and obvious path that shows Your will for her life, future, and family. Give her patience and strength as she teaches her children, and help her to have Your heart and wholly forgive her husband, with no mind toward his future actions, merely striving to forgive as she has been forgiven by You. Above all, Father, reassure her of your promise in Jeremiah 29:11, and assure her every day that You have a wonderful and perfect plan in store for her and her children. I pray these things over her in Jesus’ name. Amen.
    (I’ll keep prayin’ for ya, girl. Hang in there.)

  3. Carey says:

    I’m stopping by from Company Girls and I don’t believe I’ve visited your blog before. First, thanks for being REAL. As Christian women we need to take off our masks and be there for each other. I’m so sorry your going through this. I pray our Heavenly Father comforts you and holds you tightly during such a hard time. From the sound of it, you have done all you can do to keep your marriage together. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty. And I say that from a viewpoint of someone that does not believe in divorce. But sometimes there are no other options, and the Bible even says that about unfaithfulness. Praying for your kids as well.

  4. jennibell says:

    I stopped by from Company Girls and was browsing your blog and found this post. I am so sorry for you. What an incredible blow for your family. Something similar has happened in my extended family this last year too and it is a difficult time for all concerned. Cling to HIM, the One who is the Author of Life, the One who will never leave. People are people. . .human and sinful. . .we can’t always give the “right” advice because we don’t know you as intimately as He does. Guilt is of the devil. . .at no time does the Bible instruct *anyone* to stay in an adulterous relationship. . .there are plenty of couples that do conquer this, but it takes two. . .it sounds like that is not the case right now for you. There seems to be a lot of good, Christian advice “out there” on how to proceed and find support. Blessings to you.

  5. Debi Walter says:

    Heather,
    I found you through a comment you made on our blog, and I’m praying for you. I know that divorce is ugly and causes much pain esp. in children, but adultery and abuse is never to be tolerated. We have seen God restore marriages that have been through an adulterous relationship, but it is a long, hard road. There is no guilt for the choice you’ve made. God’s grace has left the door wide open for you to choose either road. I’m sorry for your loss. But grateful you are safe in the everlasting arms of the Lord. He will never leave you, and I pray you feel His nearness to you now more than ever. And I pray your children will come to know Him through their heartbreak.
    I can only imagine how difficult it will be to continue homeschooling through the emotional pain. I will pray for you!

    • Heather says:

      Thank you, Debi! I truly appreciate the prayers – you can never have too many! I had hoped our marriage would be restored; and I tried. We went to counseling (unbeknownst to me, he was still ‘with her’ in a way), tried the Love and Respect Seminar (great by-the-way, but hard to apply when one party isn’t entirely in), and of course tried prayer. All of this is not to say God didn’t hear/help me – I believe He did/does. But like you said, He has opened the door to either decision. I have come to believe that He has something better in mind for me and my children. I just don’t know what and have to practice patience. The Serenity prayer has been a comfort to me and I’m trying to take things “one day at a time.” Thanks for visiting! Oh, I wanted to mention that my daughter loves the Lord and I’m working with her to turn to Him with questions/decisions regarding her parents. My son’s ASD is a bit of a barrier, but I’m pretty sure he has his own connection with Jesus. I love that I can live out my faith in front of them during this difficult time. If they can see that I clung to my faith instead of blaming God for my situation, and then apply that to their own lives; then in some way it will be a blessing.

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