How could I take him back?…. And other questions you’re dying to ask.

I know people have questions. I know the thoughts that run through your mind when you see me. I know because I’ve been you before. I’ve been the one that looks at that person that’s been cheated on and wondered all of those same things.

-How does she do it?

-How could she take him back after what he did?

-How can she ever trust him again?

-How can she look at him?

-How can she ever stand to let him touch her?

-How can she possibly stay in that marriage, does she have no self respect?

-Does she not know her worth? –What about that old saying, once a cheater, always a cheater?

-Why would she take a man back that did not value and appreciate her?

The answer to that last one, is, simply, that I didn’t. The man that lives with me now, that shares my days and my nights, is a very different man than the one that broke my heart. He has the same name, he looks the same, he sounds the same, but he is definitely not the same.

I chose to let him back into my life. But that decision did not come easily, and it is not the right choice for everyone. The time that I took to make that decision was critical. What happened in that in between time was a very specific set of circumstances and choices.
I will tell you the truth,…I always do..๐Ÿ˜Š, I DID NOT want him back. There was no part of me in the beginning that could fathom having him in my life after what he had done. I wanted him out. I couldn’t bear to look at him. It was just too much. And if he tried to sit next to me, to touch my hand, to hug me… I literally couldn’t bear it. All I could see was his hand in her hand. His lips on hers. It was torture, and I couldn’t imagine ever getting beyond it.

Some couples that have suffered through infidelity call the day it all came out D-day,(the day of discovery), I personally think of it as D-day more in the sense that it was a day of destruction. I pretty much had some contact with him every day after our D-day. Even though he wasn’t living with me anymore, we had kids and bills and things that prevented me from being able to just push him out of my life. And on top of that I was determined to put my kids first and make sure they came through this with as few battle wounds as possible. I may have hated him at the time, but I didn’t want them to hate him. He was their Dad. And he had done an awful thing, but he was still their Dad. I wanted to make sure that they were able to have a healthy relationship with him, and it was important to me for them to know that whether we stayed married or not, we were always, always a family.
He was intent on winning me back from the get go. I mean INTENT. Persistent in a way that was nothing short of exhausting. Unhealthy even. He had hit bottom. He was desperate to get his family back. But I was no where near being ready to even hear of it. And the more I pushed him away the more desperate he became and the more he pushed in. It got to a point that I simply couldn’t breathe. I just wanted silence. Just a moment’s worth of peace. I was reeling. My entire world had been turned upside down. Nothing felt real, yet everything felt painfully real all at the same time. My mind couldn’t make sense of anything. My heart felt as if it had been literally crushed. I wasn’t eating. I wasn’t sleeping. I had to really push myself to keep up some semblance of normalcy. Get up, go to work, spend time with friends or family. Some days I had to just really dig deep to hold it together. Just a few more minutes, I would tell myself, just hold it together a few more minutes and then you can go home, lock yourself in the bathroom and fall apart. Then I’d pull myself back together, put on a brave face and go out and do it again. I was quickly reaching my breaking point and I couldn’t take much more. So there came a day that I asked… no, I begged anyone, everyone, to talk to him. To help him see things through my eyes. To convince him to give me some space. To take the pressure off so I could take a breath. And they did. My friends, my family, my church, they stepped up for me. And that day I remember uttering a simple prayer. I didn’t have the strength or clarity to even know what I was asking God for. I couldn’t find the words. All I could muster was a simple cry of “Help. Please, just help.”
That was the beginning of the turning point.

He stopped the constant calls and texts. Not completely, but he definitely dialed it back a notch. Instead, every day that he could, he would come over while I was at work and clean the house. And do the laundry. And fix all the things that needed to be fixed. He brought me treats, like sushi, wine, or flowers. He took Anna Kate on dinner and ice cream dates, and eventually, when she allowed it, Emily too. He wouldn’t overstay his welcome. He would leave when I asked, or sooner if he noticed I was struggling with his presence. He immediately went for counseling, and began working with an amazing life coach.

His focus went from “What do I have to do to get my wife and family and my life back? I know I messed up big time, but do I really deserve to lose everything?” …to … “What can I do to make your life easier? What can I do to show you how sorry I am? What do our kids need? What do you need?”

He went from pleading and pressuring me to make a decision and proclaiming how much pain HE was going through… to…”I want more than anything to earn your forgiveness, your love and hopefully one day, your trust. I take full responsibility for my choices and actions. I hate what I’ve done and would do anything in the world to go back and change it, to have never caused you this pain. I will accept your decisions whatever they may be, but I will always love you, and I will never stop fighting for you. And even if your decision is to never take me back, I will spend the rest of my life trying my best to make it up to you, to ease your pain, to love you the way you deserve to be loved, and to be the best man that I can possibly be.”

And that, that right there was the difference. That is what separated him from someone that was selfishly just trying to get back the life they lost without really making any changes, and someone that was authentically and truly sorry and wanted to be the man his family deserved.

Our separation was extremely important in this process. I needed the space for my sanity, and to get some clarity, and he needed the space to be able to fully see what he had risked with the choices he had made. To see clearly the bad things he had allowed in his life that had held him hostage for so long. To see what he had lost. How far he had fallen. Only then could he see everything that he was so blind to before, to see how much he had taken for granted. Only then could he see the man that he had become, and begin the journey to becoming the man God intended him to be.

Can I ever really trust him? Like fully without any hesitation or doubt? I’d be lying if I said that doubts and fears don’t creep up on me. They definitely do. But what I do know that I can fully and completely trust is who God is in him. I can believe in the work that God has done and continues to do in him. So I have to choose to push those doubts and fears aside and simply trust In that.

When I let him come back home , I still wasn’t certain that I wanted him back. I wasn’t certain I could live with any of it. But I had seen enough of a change in him to know that after 23 years, I didn’t want someone else to be the one that gets to benefit from that change. I mean really, how fair would that be? ย I put in 23 years and get my heart broken and the next person that comes along gets this new and improved guy?!! I don’t think so! ย And I knew that although I was completely justified in moving on, there were no guarantees of me finding an honorable trustworthy man that wouldn’t break my heart again. It kind of came to the point of knowing that the only way I will know if I can live with this, if I can live with him, is to actually live with him. He had made every effort to try and prove himself to me, and I knew I would never feel confident in a decision to end our marriage if I didn’t at least try to see if we could make it work. I needed to see for myself if this change in him was real.
So how do I do it? How do I know that this was the right choice? How do I know that I’m not setting myself up to be hurt again?

I know because I look at him, and I see it. I see that he is made new. I see the love in his eyes. I see the remorse. True and deep remorse. I see it in the way he deals with my bad days, in the way he handles my sadness. In the way he never runs from it, but instead runs to it, wanting so desperately to take it from me. I see it in the fact that he is so attentive, that no matter how hard I try to hide it sometimes, I can barely have a bad thought or a pang of sadness without him sensing it in me immediately. I see it in his faithfulness to his coaching sessions, his dedication to reading the Bible and any and every self help/marriage/positive thoughts/guarding your heart,mind,and body book he can get his hands on. I see it in the way he is no longer self serving, but looks for every opportunity to make my life easier, whether that be cleaning the house,taking care of bills, being a chauffeur to our kids, making my morning coffee, or rubbing my feet. Yes, he even rubs my feet.๐Ÿ˜

I see it in the way he makes time with me a priority, even if that means grocery shopping. I see it in the way that when given a choice between a day of golf or a day spent with me and the girls, he always puts us first. Over GOLF, y’all. That is huge. If that doesn’t prove that he has changed, then I don’t know what would!

I see it in the way he has become an open book, never secretive, never defensive. I see it in the way he offers up every possible way to regain my trust, without having been prompted by me to do so, whether that be access to his phone, or passwords or even his location at any given time. I see it in the way he guards himself and his thoughts. I see it in his generous spirit. I see it in his desire to live a life that is pleasing to God. I see it in the way he shows and tells me daily how he treasures me, and how he will never take me for granted again. I see it in his gratitude for this second chance he’s been given.

Am I a fool to give him a second chance? You may believe I am. But I believe we serve a God of second chances. And I believe that when someone is truly remorseful and repentant and seeks God’s goodness and mercy, that they can be forever changed. So no, I don’t believe that old saying of once a cheater, always a cheater. It IS possible for a person to be made new. Isn’t that what Jesus is all about, after all?
So maybe you find yourself in the same place that I was. Sad,scared, and uncertain. Doubts and fears swirling around but also glimmers of hope, of possibility. Just enough confusion to keep you in that place of indecision, unable to move forward. My advice to you is to not rush it. I know I told people many times through this that both choices felt impossible to me at the time. Staying with him felt wrong. Moving on also felt wrong. It was hard for me to imagine a life with him or a life without him. Both paths came with its own set of difficulties. If that’s where you are right now it’s ok not to know. Take all the time you need. You will know what to do when you know. Have a little grace and mercy for yourself, because you need it. You deserve it. What you are going through is hard. It takes a toll emotionally, spiritually and physically. It’s so important to give yourself some space. To take care of yourself, and for goodness sake let others take care of you too. It’s ok to not be a pillar of strength. Did you hear that? I’m gonna say that again. IT’S OK. Take your time. And when you are ready to make a decision,if you decide to move on, that’s ok.
God will honor that.

He will honor you.

He will bless you with happiness and love.

It is scary to start over. It’s not an easy path to choose, but you will be ok.

You will have joy again.

On the other hand, if you see that your spouse has surrendered themselves to God, if you see the evidence of this change in them, (and trust me, if it’s there, you can’t miss it), and you want to give your marriage another chance, that’s ok too.
God will honor that.

He will honor you.

He will bless you with happiness and love.

It is scary to start over. It’s not an easy path to choose, but you will be ok.

You will have joy again.

See how that works? That’s how good God is. In situations such as these, you can’t make the wrong decision. You don’t have to live in fear of making the wrong decision. As long as we are seeking Him, He will always make it work for our good.
And like I said, if your spouse is truly remorseful, and truly wants to be the person you deserve, you will see it. And if they aren’t, you will see that too.

I don’t like what happened. I don’t like the pain our family has suffered because of the choices of Jeff’s former self. But I love my new husband. I love the man that he is today. I love the man that I see him becoming more of tomorrow. I love this new heart he’s been given. It is a gift, and I love that he chose to accept it. I love that we have a God that makes all things new.
So if you find yourself where I was, take a breath. Then go ahead and take a few more. Take as many as you need. God will give you the peace you need to make your decision. You will know, when you know.
Amy Thurston Gordy

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Author: notmystorysite

Contact:acgordy91@gmail.com

9 thoughts on “How could I take him back?…. And other questions you’re dying to ask.”

  1. I truly find your blogs very well written and refreshingly honest. Being a blogger lets readers into a world that can help others – and I strongly feel you are amazing! Keep writing – and consider doing a book. Your voice is very strong and although I’m one of those women who have a similar story, I divorced. BUT, in saying that and having my own beliefs, you made me read with interest and see your point of view. If you can challenge someone’s point of view, that’s a true communicator and writer with passion and honesty. I really like what you say – and how you say it!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Every situation is different and I would never say that staying is always the right choice, because that is most definitely not the case. It was just the right choice for me. Turning all of this into a book is something that I’ve seriously considered and hope to do at some point. Thank you for reading and for your kind words and encouragement to keep writing!

      Like

      1. You will find blogs are a great way to organize and develop as a launching point in writing: I have journaled daily since 1993. The blogs began in 1999. When I wrote my debut novel, although it is fiction, I was able to draw upon many experiences and ideas from my journals (and read some really bad penmanship!) . I chose fiction as my venue of writing (makes immortality better!!), but you are awesomely on your way! I love reading other people’s point of view and thoughts! I learn new ideas and perspectives every day!

        Liked by 1 person

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