Forever Changed

written by the small group leader of our wives support group. 

My husband and I had been married for about 4 years.  I was very happy to be married to such a Godly man who was a great dad to our small children.  He was a respected church leader and teacher.  I thought he was just perfect and he took my breath away when he taught on Sunday mornings.  Occasionally I would see a disconnect at home.  He did not want to get to know the neighbors or let anyone in to our lives as friends, but I figured he needed his down-time.  Our entire world changed the day I discovered the real reason those walls were up.

My husband received a text on his phone that I thought was weird.  I called the number back several times and finally found out this man on the other end knew my husband through a random hook-up.  When I confronted my husband, I found out my husband had been hooking up with men for years.  Long before we got married, this pattern was established in his life.  I was in complete shock and intense grief and pain.  I had nowhere to turn.

My husband was devastated and completely broken over his sin.  He was committed to changing.  I was convinced he loved me and our family.  I decided that if he was serious about changing and was truly repentant, I would stand by him.  I also decided I would not and could not speak of this to anyone. No one must know.

I remember driving around in my car, sobbing, wishing that I had someone to talk to.  I wanted to talk to another wife who had stayed by her husband’s side and figure out how she did it!

As the years went by, my husband was having incredible victory and growth in his life.  He poured himself into a 12 step program to stop his cycle of sexual addiction and I could see he was growing in his relationship with the Lord.  I, on the other hand, had stuffed all of my feelings inside.  I was becoming more and more bitter and angry.  I was happy that he was having victory and was truly changing into this authentic wonderful man of God, but I also felt still very alone and sad.

My husband started going to Living Hope after he completed his addiction work.  His cycle of addiction was broken, but he felt like he needed to really work on his same sex attractions.  He told me that Living Hope had a wives group and I was interested, but scared.  By this time, I had kept this big secret for so long, I wasn’t sure I even needed to talk about it anymore.  I also thought that he was the one with the problem, not me!

I finally attended my first wives group meeting.  I was sure that my story was going to be much worse than any other wife there.  I didn’t even know how to tell my story!  I blubbered through that first meeting.  I was so excited to find women who understood my story, had my story, didn’t judge my story, and loved me (and my husband) in spite of my story.  It was amazing.

Over the weeks and months to follow, the Lord started doing a huge work in my life. I finally started to see my own brokenness and not just my husband’s.  The Lord revealed hidden sins in my heart as well and showed me the love and grace to deal with my own struggles.

Eventually, I was sharing my story more and opening up to the other women.    I was also dealing with the hurt and bitterness I had kept so deep inside.  I was starting to have joy in my life again.  There was great power in getting the hurt out of my heart and out of my mouth.  It was so much more healing than I ever anticipated!  The verse that always assures me of the power of my testimony is Rev 12:11.  We do overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony!

I never thought I would be able to appreciate my husband’s struggle.  I promise you now that I would do it all again if I got to know the Lord like I do now.  My husband and I have never been stronger in our marriage.  I laugh and ask, “what can we not talk about?!?”  My healing began and continues at Living Hope.  I am now privileged to lead the wives small group at Living Hope.  I am now serving in a ministry that I never would have chosen, but have been forever changed by its existence!  Praise God for a safe place to share, to cry, to grow, and to change.