Context For This PostI asked my wife to write down a few words to describe the difficulties associated with being cheated on, as well as the process of forgiveness and restoration from her perspective...the one I wounded with my actions.
What She Had To Say
When your spouse has been unfaithful you no longer feel whole. You feel like part of you has been ripped away. You feel like you have been thrown away, forsaken.
When you are told you aren't attractive and no longer loved, it makes you question every comment that was ever said and every moment ever lived. You wonder how much of your life has been a lie...how much you have been lied to. You wonder if you were ever attractive and if you were ever loved.
The Reasons I've Been Shattered
A girl's greatest desire is to be loved fully and unconditionally. Yet, when you are betrayed, left for someone else, you question your worth...your value as a person. Everything comes into question. You begin to compare yourself to the newer model, who happens to be younger, skinner, blonder, funnier, outspoken, and boisterous. Everything becomes a question of why. Why wasn't I good enough, pretty enough, ______ enough? You come to the conclusion that you just aren't enough and you never will be. You don't have what your spouse is looking for. You don't match up to what he desires. You blame yourself. You deny yourself. You lie to yourself. You kill yourself through that process...or at least you feel that the former you has died. You no longer have any self esteem or self worth. You become a shell of a person who can no longer trust what others say because the one who mattered most, taught you that you were nothing as you were thrown out like the garbage.
No matter what, you will never be the same.
So, what happens when your spouse wants to reconcile and claims to have been confused? You question everything. You question your spouse's intentions and sincerity. Why? Because he has already deeply hurt you and eroded all trust, said hurtful things that damaged the soul and spirit, claimed to have never loved...spent so much time convincing...lied continually. That can't be undone. The words fall on deaf ears....you learn to believe nothing the person says. That doesn't mean you don't want to...you can't. How can you trust and believe someone who has hurt you so deeply- that person who was supposed to be your protector, your most intimate ally has betrayed you and left you for dead. Your spouse was evil and malicious; planning and plotting his deceitful actions with purposeful intent. He chose his words carefully, using every weapon in his artillery against you. To the point where you become so wounded you don't even resemble the person you once were.
How can you believe anything? Now he tells you that you're pretty, but last year you were "unattractive." Now he claims to love you, but last year he didn't. You no longer know what to believe.
Why should you allow yourself to believe someone who has already repeated the same thing over and over? You would be stupid according to most people, to let down your guard and try to believe and
trust again. After all, it's already repeated.
Your spouse has shaped what you believe about yourself and has shaped who you are now and who you will be in the future.
Will I ever truly be loved? Will I ever be able to believe that I'm loved? I don't know. Will I ever believe that I am beautiful? I'm not sure. It never mattered to me if others thought I was beautiful. Only one opinion mattered and he made his opinion very clear when he was steeped in adultery.
The Reality Of The Faithful One
Interestingly enough, you are able to realize that your spouse who cheated, and left you for someone "amazing" didn't actually get someone better. You were better because you had integrity and honesty. You were better because you were faithful. You were better because you kept your vows. You begin to realize that he left you for a harlot, an adulterer, someone who was evil and deceitful, someone living a lie in filth. They will never be one ounce of who you were, or who you are. Although that still doesn't change how you feel your spouse perceives you now, even as you reconcile and forgive. Does he truly love you? Does he truly mean what he says? Is his heart truly repentant?
God's Call To The Brokenhearted And Betrayed
"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times." (Matthew 18:21-22 NIV)
The Bible tells us that God "heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds" (Psalm 147:3), and that He is "close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit" (Psalm 34:18).
This doesn't mean that we are to simply be a doormat to be trampled, but a living example of Christ Jesus through our actions. Love is a verb. Love is not a passive nicety stamped on the front of a greeting card. Jesus' love was demonstrated for us like this: "while we were still sinners [He] died for us" (Romans 5:8).
"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8).