If you’re new on this journey – three quick tips

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

Okay ladies – something really strange is happening this summer.  Clearly, my children are getting older.  And although that doesn’t mean that they need me less (because I am beginning to wonder if they actually need me MORE as they get older) – I am experiencing a bit more room to breathe compared to summers before.

Maybe this is because my boys are sleeping in until 8am (I know, I never ever thought that I’d say “sleeping in until 8am” counts as sleeping in – wow, what motherhood will do to your perspective!).  Maybe it’s because they are able to ride their bikes around the block without me.  Or maybe it’s because I can now set a timer in the morning and they will make up their beds, brush their teeth, get dressed, and go potty in 10 minutes or less.  Can I get a Hallelujah – Amen?!

With this room to breathe I’ve had the opportunity to talk on the phone to a couple of hurting wives that I normally wouldn’t have the time to talk to.

During these phone calls – it was almost as if I was talking to my younger self at the on-slaught of this journey.  I heard myself in their voices – in their fears, their what-if’s, their confusion, their not knowing what to do next or how this could ever turn into good.

It got me to thinking about some of the quick tips I would have benefited from hearing early in the process.  Simply some concepts to keep close to heart as the days, weeks and months play out.  Here are a few of them –

Listen to his actions, not his words.  

So often, I will hear a wife tell me that he is saying all the right things.  Almost like she is assuring me that he is on the right track.  It might be that he says he wants to make the marriage work.  Or it might be that he says he is done with the affair and hasn’t been in touch with him/her (the affair partner).

Although it feels good to hear these things – don’t get too comfortable yet.  Its important that these promises are backed up with actions.

For instance – Is he initiating getting into counseling?  Encouraging you to go to Restore?  Making plans to go to EMB?  Is he looking for an accountability group through his church or EMB or otherwise?  All with little to no persuasion from you?

Regarding being done with the affair – is he doing a T-30 journal ( see Worthy of Her Trust for more information on this) that he shares with you daily or leaves on your doorstep?  Has he called and ended the affair?  This includes you being on the phone so that you can hear him share that 1) he is done, 2) it was a terrible mistake decision, 3) it crushed your heart, and 4) he is now fully working on mending the marriage.

Remember – actions mean much everything and words mean very little nothing early on in this journey.

You are worth the cost (time, financial, etc.) it will take to invest in help. 

There is really good help out there these days.  However, women struggle to get this help when they find out that their husband has betrayed them.  Two common reasons that I hear often – no time and no money.

I get this.  Recently – we have really struggled with parenting.  We’ve considered getting some sort of help over the last couple of years but it always seemed like when we got to that point of crisis (and needing help) – we quickly worked through it and the immediacy of the problems went to the back burner…until they surfaced again.  Which they always did.

Sound familiar?

It wasn’t until the pain of change became easier to bear than the pain of staying the same that we got sick and tired of being sick and tired and said enough is enough and sought help.

It’s expensive.  It’s time consuming.  And we knew we had to give it a shot – we were desperate.  We’d have to rearrange our priorities for a season – or else…  Because we couldn’t keep doing life this way without someone in our corner that could give us next steps and hold us accountable to make some changes.

Girls – the investment in time and money has been SO worth it!  We are now three months in and the dynamics at home are CHANGING.  It’s made a HUGE difference.

So if you are reading this and you are saying that you still don’t have the time or the money – I want you to ask yourself – what else is preventing you from seeking help?  Could it be fear of facing the pain?  Could it be lack of control of the unknown?

Anger is your friend.

I noticed during one of the convos that it was me getting all bent out of shape more so than the woman I was speaking to.  I got off the phone and wondered – why?!  Maybe it’s because she was in shock or denial.  Maybe it’s because she was on the phone with me and – rightfully so – guarded.

All I know is – it’s incredibly important to engage the anger.  A gal in one of my support groups always says – when she feels the anger – she knows it’s something to press into as it will help her figure out what she needs and it will also help her work through the pain. (There is so much more I could say about anger – another time.  For now, one quick suggestion if you are having difficulty finding your inner anger – I’d suggest reading this book.)

Would love to hear from you – so please join in on the conversation.  xo – Shelley

2 thoughts on “If you’re new on this journey – three quick tips

  1. Tammy Rene’ Crawford

    July 27, 2018  |  10:08 am

    I’ve been reading understanding & loving a person with sexual addiction, intimate deception and others. Going into my second marriage believing this guy was different. Now it’s gone too far with the cube sex and now I found hotel bills. It finally came to a halt when I called him on it and we met with our pastors. My husband has finally come clean after hours of lying to me, our pastor and his wife. He is watching the conquer series and says he is really set on making a change. I’m in ministry and also the worshippers leader at our church. I Grew up a pastors daughter and went through my first marriage unknowing and naïve of the sexual addiction of my x-husband who was a church leader. Back in the 80’s -90’s everything was kept hush hush if I had only had the resources then it would have been a great help. Right now I’m tossed from one side of the fence to the other. I feel I could be an Intercal part of his recovery or his fault to deeper sin through the choice that I make to stay or leave. I’m just praying that God will give me the wisdom encourage to do whatever he calls me to do.

  2. thejoyfulpotter

    March 16, 2019  |  11:29 am

    I’m interested in your advice to listen to the actions & not the words …. but in a different way. My husband’s very recent betrayal was maybe ‘mild’ compared to some, but it has me reeling. He is not saying much, and is not good with demonstrating empathy; this has the effect of making his actions look insincere to me. Should I look at his actions and say “Well, it doesn’t matter what motivated them, or what emotion is behind them, as long as the actions are good” – ?

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