Tuesday, May 22, 2012

We survived an affair (our story, part 2)

This is the second part of our marriage story (you can read the first part here). It is neither easy nor glamorous, as the movies might make you think about marriage. It is real life. Really, it is a story that shows God's great strength, love, and grace. I share it in the hope that someone else would be encouraged.

When our new baby was born, it seemed like Scott withdrew from me even more. He began sleeping in another bedroom, because I was nursing the baby through the night, and he also began to retire early in the evenings with his computer. One Friday, when the baby was three weeks old, he excitedly told me that he was going to be staying up late that night because the Buckeyes were playing late in a March Madness Tournament game. When evening came, we put the two older kids to bed and then when we came back downstairs he said he was going to go to bed. He got his computer and went upstairs to the room he had been sleeping in. I knew that he planned on being up for a while, so the fact that he had left me in the living room with our new baby made me feel very uneasy. After getting the baby to sleep, I put her in bed and then went into the room where Scott was. He was laying in bed and watching a House re-run on the computer, and I crawled into bed with him. I asked him what was wrong and he said, "nothing." Mustering up determination that I didn't know I had, I told him that I knew something was wrong, that when I hugged him it was like I was hugging a brick wall for all the affection he returned to me, and that I wasn't going to leave until he told me what was going on. I stood my ground, and then he finally realized that I was not giving up.

He said, "You really want to know the truth?"

I said, "Yes, I do."

 He said, "There's someone else."

At that very moment, my world began to spiral out of control. Trying to grasp at something to right myself, I began peppering him with questions. Yes, she was married as well but was going through a divorce. Yes, she had a daughter about the same age as our son. No, I didn't know her, hadn't met her. Yes, he loved her. No, he didn't know what he wanted to decide from there. No, he didn't know if he even wanted to stop seeing her. No, they hadn't had sex. Yes, she wanted to be with him. Yes, if they stayed together he would help her raise her daughter. No, she didn't want to have anymore children. And on and on it went until, at least for the moment, there was nothing more to stay. I told him that of course he could stay, but only if he agreed to stop seeing her. He said he would have to think about it, and talk to her about it when he saw her at school in a few days. I went back to my bed, where I prayed and wept the entire night.

After a few days it was clear that I was not able to get through to him at all about how we could work on our marriage and that it could get better. Once he got the news of the affair off his chest and no longer felt like he had to pretend, I could really see how much I had lost him. He decided that he didn't want to stop seeing her, and he didn't want to be with me. I told him that if he couldn't stay away from her then he had to move out. I later learned that as soon as he got his own apartment, their affair progressed from emotional to physical.

For two months we were separated. Scott was determined that he wanted a divorce. He thought that he had married the wrong person. He thought that there was not any hope that our marriage could be good again. He thought that once he could be divorced from me and be with the other woman, everything would be much better. They would be fine. The kids would be fine. I would be fine. These were all lies that Satan had fed him over time, and he had been in such a low spot that he believed them. I knew this. I also knew that none of it was true.

The moment that Scott told me about the other woman was the moment that I met Christ face to face. With a new baby and a 2 and 3 year old, the reality of what had happened would have literally pushed me over the edge. Instead, Christ carried me through that time. With my eyes fixed solely on Him, on saving my marriage no matter what, and on allowing Christ to transform me into the person He needed me to be, I somehow stayed above water. This, I had decided, was my only option. I knew that my failed marriage was not all my fault, but I was somehow wise enough to realize that it was not all my husband's fault either. I learned that, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't control him. But, I could control myself, and I wanted to use the opportunity to allow Christ to show me what kind of woman and wife I needed to be. I believed that God would bring us back together in His time, and I wanted to be ready. I had faith that God would change Scott in His time as well.

So I prayed, every minute of every day, and all through the night. I leaned very heavily on the shoulders of the people that love me and stepped in to help me (you all know who you are, and I love you dearly). God made sure that my needs and the needs of my babies were met, and in the meantime He transformed me. And in time, he transformed Scott as well. My prayers were that God would change the very heart of Scott, that God would bring Scott to his knees at the foot of the Cross, that He would break down the walls that existed between Scott and me, and put up walls between Scott and the other woman. And this is exactly what happened. Over time God began to open Scott's eyes. Finally, in God's perfect timing, He brought Scott to a place where He could speak to his heart. And He told my husband to come back home. The morning of our 6th wedding anniversary, Scott came by the house to drop the kids off on his way out of town. He and I talked, and I could tell that something had changed in him. I told him about the family reunion coming up that his mother had spoken to me about, and told him that he would be able to take the kids, even Remi for a while. He said, "Maybe we will all go together."

Two hours after he left my house, he called me. He told me that he had stopped by the other woman's house after he left ours, and he had broken things off with her. He said that he wanted to work on himself and our marriage. He didn't know if he was ready to come back home yet, but he was at least considering it. He didn't know exactly what that would look like, but he knew that it was the right thing to do. When he came back into town the next day, he made an appointment to speak to our pastor and great friend after work the following day. After meeting with him, Scott called me and told me that he was coming home. And he was staying.

This is part 2 of a three part story. You can find part 1 here and part 3 here.


Ann said...

Oh, sweetheart, I am so sorry you had to go through this, but so glad to see how God was with you through it all. He truly is faithful in the little and the big. Thank you for your transparency. We ALL have sin that is just as evil as what you've told us about; perhaps it's just not as obvious, but it is still there. We ALL are in need of God's help DAILY, moment by moment. I'm so glad you are so grounded in Him now as a result of having to depend solely on Him through this time. Keep on leaning on Him alone! :-)

Anonymous said...

I admire your bravery. God is good and I'm glad he restored your marriage, thanks for sharing with the world that there is hope after an affair.

Megan Elzey said...

Thank you for your kinds words, Ann. You are right, one of the biggest eye openers for me was when I realized that my husband was just a man who was a sinner, just like everyone else. We are all sinners, we all hurt those we love, and Satan always wants to destroy us. But God is the ultimate redeemer!

Megan Elzey said...

Thank you, Anonymous. It takes a lot of work, and lot of relying on God, but, yes, there is hope after an affair :)

Anonymous said...

Happy 8th Anniversary today, dear daughter! It has been such a joy to watch how God has restored your relationship into something so much better than it was before. I'm so proud of you both for being willing to do the restoration work! Love you, Mom

Anonymous said...

Been there, done that, burned the t-shirt. We're coming up on 30 years now. God IS good, ALL the time and He can heal and restore anything. So very happy that you stood your ground and stood with God.

Tammy O'Callaghan said...

Wow! I just read this and am blown away. You and I had talked around this but I didn't know the details until now. You are a godly woman and I have so much respect for you. Your mama raised you well! ;)
Tammy O

Megan Elzey said...

Thank you all for your kind words! Heavensdaughter, you kit it spot on when you said, "God IS good, ALL the time, and He can heal and restore anything." He sure is and He sure can! My desire is to show that truth to anyone who needs it :)