Let me start by saying that thirty-three years ago, in 1988, I married the most beautiful
woman in the world. From that first moment, I knew this was someone I could live with
for the rest of my life. Everything I was ever looking for and ever needed in a soul-mate.
Marrying her was the easiest thing I ever did. What I have to write next is one of the
hardest, because for the last two years I’ve been trying to forget it ever happened.
Without going into shameful details, I was unfaithful. I’d become an Adulterer.
Yes, I’d been a Christian since a friend led me to Christ in 1984, a month before graduating from college. Yes, I knew better. Yes, I said it’d never happen to me. No excuses. Now for the last two years I’ve been trying to find reasons how I could have ever been unfaithful to Heidi; and to our four kids. But by God’s amazing grace, she has taken me back, and God has been healing both of us. Still a work in progress.
Growing up, I always had a fear of rejection, and failure. I didn’t reach out a lot to make new friends. Always had just one or two close friends. In college I overcame those fears by drinking. When I was drinking, I could be the life of the party. When God saved me, I felt a new lease on life. But after marriage, and more specifically after starting our own business years later, the weight of responsibility let those fears creep back in. I became obsessed with “providing” and succeeding in business. Working eighty hours a week because I had to provide for a growing family. Something had to give. Unfortunately the something was time spent with family. I didn’t know my kids, and it seemed I didn’t know Heidi any more. She also had her own business, and we became more like business partners than soul-mates.
As I got older, into my 50’s, those old fears reared up in a big way. I felt I was no longer attractive, felt I was getting fat and old, and that my wife only loved me because she was “supposed” to (I later found out this was all in my mind’s making). Long story short, I was a prime candidate for an affair! Vulnerable to someone that found me still attractive. To be desired. Who could love me even when she didn’t “have to”. And for a time I fell so hard that I was sure once Heidi found out, she would surely divorce me, and I’d just start over, and make a new life.
But then God got a grip on me. I was sure the “wrath of God” was crashing down on the affair (it was really His Love), and so I drove to my Pastor’s home and confessed everything. I cried with him harder and longer than I’d ever cried in my life, and repented with what can only be described as a Godly sorrow. Then went home and confessed everything to Heidi. I felt free for the first time in so long. But Heidi’s torment, destruction, and eventual, path to healing, had only just begun.
Beauty from ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness – seemed so impossible to imagine. But by the time I’d repented and begged forgiveness, first to God and my Pastor, then to Heidi, and then to our children, God had completely transformed me. I said at the start that Heidi was someone I could live with for the rest of my life. All of the sudden, I knew she was the one I could never live without. I would do whatever it took to win her back. It’s hard to imagine all the changes that God did in me. Heidi later said that without those changes, our marriage could not have been saved. I can’t even explain the changes, and am often amazed when she tells me the way I used to be. I served myself, and that was about it, for many years. Heidi saw something in the “new me” that allowed her to begin the healing process. But that’s her story.