I can’t tell you how much today’s guest post means to me. This story is one that will show you just how big love can be – so much bigger than I ever, ever expected. As I have said before, Misty is an amazing woman and I have so much love for her and profound admiration for the trust that she shows to me and Rich in supporting our friendship. This post is what Jesus is about.
Shortly after my husband got back from Chicago with another woman, that woman hugged me and said something to me that I won’t soon forget. You see, my husband went to Bold Boundaries: A Sacred Friendship Gathering with his best friend to talk about their cross-gender friendship. As Alise hugged me tightly she said “Thank you, I know that it’s not easy.”
Thank you for knowing that. Thank you for acknowledging that. THAT just made it a little easier.
I used to be a rather naive person, and in many ways, I wish that I still was. I was cruising along life thinking that I had it pretty good, until my husband dropped the bomb that he had cheated on me…twice. The affairs happened years before and I wouldn’t have ever found out about them, but he chose to be honest with me and confront what he had done. He had handed me the only biblical ticket out of our marriage and I knew that wasn’t easy for him. I was faced with a decision and it was mine alone.
Sure, the world had its opinion and I had been raised being fully aware of it. You are never to trust a lying, cheating man. How were we supposed to move on from this?
I wasn’t raised as a Christian and my faith had already been dealt a few blows. My prayers started out as, “God, why do you keep letting these things happen to me?” But I prayed on and at the center of it all, I still loved my husband and he had done the right thing. By confessing to me, he had proven that he was more than simply a lying, cheating man. Christ had modeled love for us already by loving even when it hurt.
I forgave my husband, but how could I get that trust back? That’s where we had to work together. We sat down and talked a lot. He loved me enough to hand all control of our relationship over to me for a time, simply to let me get comfortable with it again.
Trust is something that takes a lot of work and it’s not easy, but love is worth it. We work together still. Communication and love is the key to making this work for us both. Communication between us as a couple and them as friends. Alise and Rich talk about their spouses a lot, they each know that their marriages are a priority and agreed early on that they could not proceed being friends without the consent of us. This is huge and empowering.
We are taught that we, as a spouse, are supposed to be “everything” for the other. That’s a lot of pressure to put on one person. We are beings made for relationships and if we had one only with our spouse, we would be living a one dimensional life, very limited. There is so much more love out there; so much more sky than we can see without moving past the clouds. Rich has grown so much from his friendship with Alise. She is very different from me and much more like Rich – it’s kind of creepy sometimes. But I love her for what she has given me and my husband, a deeper understanding of God’s love.
Yeah, that right there makes it easier.
Misty Chaffins is a married, stay-at-home mom with two boys at home. Living life in small town WV, she shares some of it with readers on her blog, The Family Chaffins. She is the director of the Morgantown chapter of Newborns In Need and serves as Mentor Mom to a local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. You can connect with her on her blog, Twitter or Facebook.