Resurrection of a Dead Marriage- Healing After Infidelity
Pitcher 10: Resurrection
I’m a failure…I’m a disappointment…I can’t do anything right…I will never be forgiven…I can’t face my family…they will only see my mistakes…
These were just a few of the thoughts swirling through my mind in the moments after telling my husband I had an affair. It was April 2007, and I remember it like it was yesterday.
I had just come back from one of my escapades, but this one had lost its thrill. The night before I was to return home, as I lay in bed next to the man I had secretly been texting, instant messaging, emailing, calling, and more, I was shaken awake by a force that was undeniable.
It was cold in the room…ice cold. Was the air conditioning on? Who is this shaking me? Am I dreaming?
I pinch myself to be sure. Yep, I’m awake. And he is sound asleep.
I rub my eyes, and see a black spirit standing next to my bed. Before I have time to allow that to sink in, I hear, “It’s time to tell him!”
I knew exactly what it meant.
It had been six months since I met the ‘other man.’ And my Soul…my ancestors…the Spirit…God…was letting me know, in no uncertain terms, that it was over.
But, how would I tell my husband?
I really hadn’t thought about an ‘exit strategy.’ I was too wrapped up in a then-unconscious pattern of seeking love and affection externally. As long as the compliments, kisses, hand-holding, hugs, sweet messages were flowing, I felt full – not realizing they were nothing but empty calories, which would leave me in a constant cycle of needing more to feel satisfied.
The love and affection that would keep me full was right within me all along, but I could not see it.
Sometimes our unconscious patterns drive our actions for years, and it requires vigorous shaking to wake us from our slumber (literally, in my case, but figuratively in others). The time period following the ‘shake up’ was disorienting, like trying to regain focus after spinning around for a few minutes.
As I placed my feet on the floor, the evidence that was right before me all along started to come into focus. I had the realization that I had used men to fill what I felt was missing in my relationship with my dad growing up.
My dad was not at all affectionate, to say the least. His relationship with my mother was strained. They argued frequently. I never saw them kiss or hold hands. He didn’t give me and my sister hugs and kisses regularly, like I saw other fathers doing. I craved that more than I realized. And, from my adolescent years on, I began to feed off of the affection and attention of men to make me feel better about myself and so I could feel what I thought was ‘love.’
When I met my husband, I thought this pattern had been overcome. He was the first person I openly told about my promiscuous past and how I believed that was connected to my relationship with my dad. I thought I was living consciously from that point forward. That is, until the affection from my husband began to wane.
We had relocated to a new city and he was extremely busy with his new job. He was going in early and working late. We were doing fewer outings together. He was stressed when he came home, and I felt that in our interactions. He was no longer doing the ‘little things’ to let me know how he felt about me.
I, immediately, internalized this to mean I was unloved. I had my mind made up that he no longer felt the same about me, and entered into a downward spiral of self-loathing.
“Perhaps the most liberating moment of my life was when I realized my self-loathing was not a product of my inadequacy but, rather, a product of my thoughts.” ~Vironika Tugaleva
I did not seek love outside of my marriage. But, one day, the attention I had unconsciously become dependent on came from the ‘other man.’ It began as a professional relationship, and ended in deception. With each compliment from the ‘other man.’ I felt the temporary high I used to receive from my encounters with men in my late teens and early twenties. After months of feeling unlovable, this sudden feeling of being desired by someone pushed all of the buttons I had yet to learn how to press for myself.
All of this flashed through my mind as I sat on the side of the bed with the ‘other man,’ realizing that my next step was to tell my husband everything.
So, I did. I told him everything about the affair – from the moment I met the ‘other man’ to the visit I had from Spirit the evening prior. He was stunned.
I knew this was the death of my old self. And I had no idea what would emerge in place of it.
We navigated the stages of the healing process laid out on the Lemonade album as if they were a GPS.
Intuition…He sensed something was different, but assumed he was just busy.
Denial…He couldn’t believe it.
Anger… He was pissed, and asked me to move out.
Apathy…There were times he told me he didn’t care whether it worked out or not between us.
Emptiness…He felt he had lost his everything…I felt like I was nothing.
Loss…We lived apart for months, not knowing what the outcome would be.
Accountability…We attended weekly individual and couples counseling sessions to hold ourselves and each other accountable for the ways in which our communication had broken down.
Reformation…He asked me to move back in so we could try to put the pieces of our broken
marriage back together.
Forgiveness…Before I moved my things back in, he called me to come over to the house. He sat me down, looked me in my eyes, and said “I forgive you, Kandace.” And, after months of counseling and spiritual development, I was able to forgive myself and remember my wholeness as a child of God.
And, now, the stage of Resurrection…
Yeshua was recorded as saying, “No one puts new wine into old wineskins” (Luke 5:37). I was reminded of that as I looked at the new Self that was birthed from the ashes of my old ways of being. I didn’t recognize myself. All of the old had to be washed away in order for the New to be birthed. The old thoughts of not being good enough, the old beliefs about being unloved, the old desires to see for love outside of God (Who dwells within).
The weight of my old insecurities had been lifted! I had been forgiven, and had found a new Love that was greater than anything I could have imagined: The Love of God. A resurrection of Self and our marital union had occurred!
It has been nine years, almost to the day, that my husband asked me to move back in so that we could work on restoring our marriage. We are approaching 11 years of marriage. I am so grateful for the healing that followed from such challenging circumstances. All things are, indeed, possible.
Our relationship today is stronger than it has ever been. We are confident that there is no trial we cannot withstand. As my husband says, “Marriage, at its best, is a place of healing.”
Thank you, God, for the continuous healing that flows through this marriage. May we continue to be used solely to reveal the power of Your Unconditional Love here on Earth.
Kandace is the author of From Stress to Peace: An Intimate Journal on the Journey from Living in Darkness to Living in the Light, a book that chronicles her journey out of depression and anxiety and into self-love and intimacy with God. The full story of the healing of her marriage can be found in the book. To learn more, visit www.livinginthelight.com.
Until the conversation about each of the phases is complete, you’ll hear the voices of various contributors who will dissect the recently released, updated Black Woman Manifesto: “Lemonade.” This post is specifically about “Resurrection.” Some of the contributors have chosen to use a pseudonym. Others have chosen to submit inspired works of fiction. If any name used reflects that of someone in reality, it is only by coincidence. Read all other posts at www.blackgirlspeaks.me .