Thursday, April 7, 2011

Who Have You Become?

Sin has a very sneaky way of making someone change. I don’t let my husband off that easily as an excuse, I feel in some way it was like he was possessed. He wasn’t the man I fell in love with and had known since I was fifteen. He wasn’t the friend he had been to so many for so long. Instead he pulled away and gave excuses of why he didn’t want to be friends with anyone anymore. Even his mother said she had never seen Jesse so disconnected from his life. She too would have a right to say that, seeing that he did live with them for three weeks while he was “trying to figure out his feelings for me.” No one really understood what was going on with Jesse though some had their own ideas, but everyone could agree that Jesse wasn’t himself.

Jesse is a man who gets along with everyone. He is outgoing, funny - the entertainment in the room. He is a servant and an encourager. He is normally an open book to the world because he wants people to see him for who he really is. He is honest and loving. His mom told us that when he was little he wouldn’t be able to keep a wrongdoing from his mom for very long. He would break down before he got caught and fess up to whatever wrong thing had been done. His nature is kind-hearted and sensitive. So when he started to change to everything he was not, people started getting confused.

Normally slow to anger, now he would pick a fight in an instant. Instead of communicating with me about his feelings, he would lock himself away in his computer room playing games (at least that’s what he said) all night long. I was no longer allowed to look at his phone and though he had been on the internet all night it seemed that a lot of internet history was missing. He would be out till 1-2 in the morning without letting me know where he was and then when he got home would tell me a lie about where he was.

One night it was 1:30 in the morning and I called to see where he was. He told me he was at his friend Gavin’s and he would be home soon. Something didn’t seem right, so I called up Gavin right away and asked why Jesse had been there so long and what they were doing. He was completely confused, caught off guard. He told me he was sorry and said, “I don’t know what you are talking about, Jesse was never here.” When Jesse got home I calmly asked why he lied to me. He was so quick on his feet and came back with a response that he was upset so he was out driving and thinking. Yea, I didn’t believe it either… but I couldn’t prove a thing.

The more and more I asked and the more and more I searched, the more and more he became better at his craft of manipulating things and deceiving me. Every time we talked he would be mean and put me down. He always brought up the things he hated about me, the things that ticked him off. He always pointed out the bad things I did and the bad habits he disliked. I would cry almost every night. He could no longer see a good thing in me.

I tried several times to ask a few friends to speak to him, but no one could speak sense into Jesse. He wouldn’t have it. He just blew everyone off and said that no one really knew who he was. The more he was with her; the more lies started to build up.

Here is an account of Jesse’s thoughts about going through this stage:

Often times we repress the emotional yuck that we don’t want to deal with. We push it down so hard that it clouds our vision and slowly we begin to see the world through lenses tainted by the things we won’t address. I had known that I struggled with depression. There were tell-tale signs that I was entering into my “depressed phase”. First my alopecia, followed by a misplaced sense of anxiety. After the initial excitement and jubilation of having our first child wore off, Lyryn and I quickly became disconnected. I could feel her unhappiness and didn’t want to burden her further thinking to myself, “I can handle this.” Even then I knew however, that I was making things worse for myself and my bride than they really needed to be.

I didn’t want to be honest with Lyryn. I didn’t want to have any deep conversations with her. So I began a shock and awe campaign (though I didn’t really think about it like that). Any time she would question me about anything regardless of her intentions I would respond in ways that were direct attempts at getting her to be the “one who started the fight.” This helped grow the negative feelings I was allowing to set root in my heart.

It always amazes me how we run towards the things we hate the most. Have you ever really disliked the way a particular friend behaves? Be careful, you’re likely to begin manifesting those exact same behaviors. I had harbored hate towards my dad and what he had done and also hated when people wouldn’t share their complete and honest feelings… Quite suddenly I was allowing myself to commit these crimes and though I was well aware I didn’t even think twice about it.

Always quick to make friends with the people around me, I began to invest into the associates that worked with me. Since women usually provide more of an emotional ear than men do I started to pour out my heart to Lauren. She would listen and I would just blab… How I hated this… How I hated that… I have since come to realize that the affair didn’t begin later, it began in those first few overly intimate conversations; conversations that should only be between a husband and wife or in confidence with another man, a support partner. Unfortunately, I shunned all other meaningful contact with anyone… Or just faked it the best that I could, which I was unfortunately very good at.

Lyryn -- I never expected to walk through so much fire in my marriage.  I was not prepared for all the put downs, side jabs to my charter and the complete rejection.  I was not made for this.  I was not strong enough to endure this type of heartache.  I'm weak!!!  With each emotional blow from my husband to break down this marriage, God always had a way of letting me know I was loved, supported and cared for.  He always reminded me that this was a terrible season in my life, but that He would get me through if I would just trust Him.  That was the hope I was clinging so desperately to. 

Ginny Owens
If You Want Me To 

COME BACK TOMORROW FOR "ASK US ANYTHING FRIDAY."  
It's going to be GOOD!

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

God certainly knows what we need to hear, and today (as with previous posts) this post was what I needed to hear. I recognize all these things you mention ... both from a few years ago, but unfortunately all over again in the past few months. You see, my spouse has allowed the "other person" back into their life. And based on the Holy Spirit speaking into my heart (all of which was confirmed later) it became clear that the affair has resumed. While not necessarily the physical aspect of it (though I honestly don't know) it's resumed nonetheless.

Jesse brought to light something I've tried to communicate to my spouse but has so far fallen on deaf ears. He said, "I have since come to realize that the affair didn’t begin later, it began in those first few overly intimate conversations." Satan doesn't need a gaping hole he can drive a semi through to get into our hearts and lives. It only takes the tiniest of openings, and when left unchecked, the sin grows like a cancer and it's often too late by the time we realize it.

Ok, sorry for the doom and gloom. I know God is in control, and I'm doing my best to leave things in His very capable hands.

In preparation for "Ask Us Anything Friday", my question has a couple parts. First, is "Lauren" still a part of your lives in any way? And have you discussed hard and fast boundaries that apply not only to her but any woman ... and not only to Jesse but to both of you?

Thanks again (to both of you) for sharing!

very married said...

wow - i really appreciate an honest look back into this time in your life. i'm blessed that my husband and i haven't gone through this type of issue but it is helpful to hear from other couples so that if it does come up, i will have others' experiences to draw from.

Tonja said...

Your posts are helping me in so many ways. Jesse's post today really spoke to me. Even though I am not a man, I can completly relate. I have said over and over again that the time before and during the affair I was not myself. And I wasn't. I could feel myself disconnect from everyone and everything around me.

When Jesse said, "I have since come to realize that the affair didn’t begin later, it began in those first few overly intimate conversations." That is so true! In my case it was just a guy who thought he would be there for me since my husband wasn't at the time. I can honestly say that by the time things got out of hand I did not know how to stop them. And then I just piled one lie on top of another. Satan was attacking in full force and was winning.

Your story is so amazing and it gives me so much hope. It is a struggle everyday to not let Satan back into our lives. I can count so many time that when we were both weak that he has come in and tried destroying us all over again.

You twwo are truley amazing people and I am thankful that God led y'all to help other people who have gone through the same thing.

Shannon said...

Thank you for sharing this. I went through something similar with my husband during our first year of marriage (3 years ago). I tried to tell him over and over again that the conversations he was having with this chick at work were crossing the line. That he was disconnecting from me and having an emotional affair with her. He didn't understand what I was saying and I'm not entirely sure he ever got it. But, Thank God, we got through it and that lady seems to be out of the picture, although they still work together. That was the hardest time of my life and I hope that nobody has to go through that, but if they do, I hope they read this blog. Ya'll rock.

Hailey said...

You are so amazing for sharing. I know this is taking an insane amount of courage. But already, you're helping so many people.

I've got a question for tomorrow, though. If you start to see signs of this behavior, how do you suggest intervening (in hindsight)? Obviously, letting it continue isn't good, but what do you do?
Also, what are some words of encouragement that those of us who have never experienced this can offer those who are? I have a tendency to try and be supportive and end up sticking my foot in my mouth. :)

Anonymous said...

I have a few questions.. did you ever confront Lauren? and if so what was the outcome? Is lauren still apart of your life now?

Our stories are VERY similar. My "lauren" was also someone I invited into my life. Invited to bible study, invited with open arms and introduced her to friends and had them over for dinner. We were actually at her and her husbands house the night before my husbands affair was brought to light.
I also had a gut feeling SHE was into my husband and actually brought it to my husband's attention and like Jesse he denied even noticing it.

Kait said...

Ya'll are touching so many people by sharing your story Jesse and Lyryn! I look forward to these posts each morning. Thank you for being so honest and sharing.

Anonymous said...

My parent's divorced due to an affair, and our families were friends. A couple of questions. Was it an emotional affair? physical? both? what did you find harder to accept? is Jesse now completely open with you? do you have access to his cell phones and emails (is he transparent?). like you i'm married to my high school sweet heart. he cheated when we had been dating for about 5 years, and then we broke up for a year and got married 4 years later. now our relationship is stronger than ever. but b/c of my past experiences i'm not oblivious to how prevalent affairs are. love your story and love that you're sharing. do you think it is possible for one person in a marriage to have an affair without the other person having to take responsibility for it? sorry so many questions!

Anonymous said...

My parent's divorced due to an affair, and our families were friends. A couple of questions. Was it an emotional affair? physical? both? what did you find harder to accept? is Jesse now completely open with you? do you have access to his cell phones and emails (is he transparent?). like you i'm married to my high school sweet heart. he cheated when we had been dating for about 5 years, and then we broke up for a year and got married 4 years later. now our relationship is stronger than ever. but b/c of my past experiences i'm not oblivious to how prevalent affairs are. love your story and love that you're sharing. do you think it is possible for one person in a marriage to have an affair without the other person having to take responsibility for it? sorry so many questions!

Cara S. said...

oh my gosh, Lyr...I feel like I know so much about this story already but it is so much deeper as I read these posts every day. I just can't say it enough how awesome it is that you and Jesse are doing this! Oh and I can't wait to see you tonight for dinner!!

Anonymous said...

One of the Anonymous commenters has a great question...

Do I have to take responsibility for my husbands affair? I'm being completely honest in saying that I really don't think it was at all my fault. We had a great marriage. And if we didn't, I didn't know, so how was I supposed to do anything to fix it?

Although I'm quick to say that it had to be my fault (even when he swears that it wasn't, and that I did nothing to cause it or deserve it), that I had to have done something to cause it, I know deep down that it wasn't. I don't know why he did it, but I do know that it wasn't because of me.

Megan said...

The affair always starts at the beginning with the emotional interaction between the two people. When my husband starting talking to the woman at his work, it was just a "friend" to lift his spirit and listen to his frustrations. Little did I realize that it was so much more. There were 5 hour long phone conversations in the middle of the night while I was working. He would go out to dinner with friends (not close to what he was really doing). It hurts me to read these posts because I hate that you went through something that I went through. I rememeber the pain and anger like it was yesterday. Thank you for being strong and allowing us to hear your and Jesse's story.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your story from the beginning (well, this month's beginning) and I can't thank you enough for sharing such personal details with the blogging world.

I've struggled with my own secret for going on 2 years now, unfortunately, the person I relate with to a T here is Jesse.

My husband (very quickly) left for Basic Training for the Army and then directly for even more training. We were being separated for 7 months and I thought I was prepared for it. I knew I could handle it. Everything happened so quickly and before I knew it, I felt like I lost control of my life. I began not eating, working out excessively, and taking Adderall to get through. I was going out almost nightly drinking with friends and co-workers. But not OUR close friends.. I was sure to keep them at an arms length so they couldn't tell that I was faking it with them.. nor could they see what a wreck I was.
I was praised continuously for supporting my husband and how well I was doing without him. No one knew that I was ruining myself and had started sleeping another man.. in fact.. thought I was falling in love with another man.
I was so emotionally checked out that I truly didn't believe at times that I had a husband.. which sounds crazy to even me now.

All of the training came to an end for my husband and I moved miles and miles away to live with him. I knew that I wanted to stay in my marriage and I thought the distance from my past would help me forget. I was so very wrong. There is not a day that goes by that I still do not beat myself up over it. My husband "doesn't know". He's asked me if something happened (I'm sure he could tell from my behavior and demeanor.. but has no proof) and I denied it.

That's the end of my story as of right now. So, I guess my biggest question for the both of you is:
What the person that had the affair knew this was never going to happen again. It's over and has been over for quite a while. There is no contact what-so-ever with the other person. Do you tell your spouse what happened? Some days I want to tell him so badly, but I'm terrified to be honest. And part of me thinks it's selfish if I tell him. Is the remainder of our lives a lie if I don't. Lyryn.. if Jesse's went back to his old self before you ever found out.. would you want to know the truth years later or would that just cause unnecessary pain?

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous poster who said they don't feel responsible at all for their husband's affair, please don't! I also believe all it takes it one person to decide to turn outside the marriage and please don't let anyone tell you should.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this, Lyr. It's so wild how Satan can bring such harmful things to a marriage....to only try and destroy it. I hate that you had to experience this. Praying for you and Jesse.

Elizabeth said...

Oh Lyr...I can't imagine the heartache this must have caused. I'm praying for you and Jesse!

Alicia said...

Wow, Lyr! Again..so proud of you and your hubby for being so candid. Praying, my friend!!!!!! I look forward to your answers tomorrow.

Nessa said...

You honesty and candor is moving. My marriage went through a very hard time. There was not "the other woman" but medical school and study groups. I think there was a woman in the group that would have made it more.. but the group itself cause a rift in out marriage before she could. He thought tof their needs before ours, he said yes to them before he said yes to us. It happens fast and we have to know that it is repairable and worth the fight.

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