I had sunk to the lows of all lows. This was my un-doing. The taste of death was on my tongue. The burden of shame was immensely strong and I rarely ventured out. If I did get out, I kept my eyes straight ahead toward my task never looking at anyone in the eye. I felt like I had a giant post-it note attached to my forehead that read “She’s the one.” I would walk into a restaurant and could feel every head turn toward me. I was certain they all knew. They knew what I had done to my husband, my family, my precious babies. It was all just too much.
If you’re just now tuning in, be sure to read Part One of my story.
We were excited to move. Yeah, it was gonna be hard. All of our friends and family were in Oklahoma. Every thing we knew was in Oklahoma. We were tight with everyone- our family, our friends, our church. But we were ready. We felt it was God’s will and we were ready and prepared (or so I thought) for the adventure.
John had received a pretty significant promotion so he was in a season of proving himself at work. He has always been good at balancing work and home. He has always put family as a priority and he does it so beautifully- it’s one of the things that I admire and love about him so much. So during this season in his career it wasn’t that he really worked a lot, but he was under a lot of pressure. He was stressed out. He was on their radar and they were watching him. He just had a lot to prove.
The house we bought was an older home so it needed some work. The master bathroom was a mess so we had to have it updated. It sounds like a simple task but honestly it was a lot of stress for me because I was the one over-seeing the project. Aside from that, I had to find new doctors, new dentists, new hair stylists – things you really don’t think about when you move, and it was just hard.
Do you remember yesterday how I was talking about the way I let fear creep in? Fear had crept in to such a degree after the death of our friends there was a part of me that I kept away from John…the most vulnerable part. I needed to be strong. I needed to be able to take care of myself. That fear flourished inside of me and taught me how to not need my husband. That fear caused there to be a crack in the door of our marriage. And Satan slivered his way through.
Not too long after our move I opened the door of my heart to another man. This led to an emotional affair and then a physical affair that literally almost destroyed me and my husband and our two girls.
I’m going to stop right here and say to you- if you are flirting with this temptation STOP RIGHT NOW. It’s not worth it. I’m telling you, it’s NOT worth it! I will go further to say that it’s NEVER God’s will to break up a family. NEVER. If you’re involved in a relationship like this than STOP. It is NEVER God’s will for you to leave your spouse to be with someone else. NEVER.
So that’s it. I betrayed my husband. The one who my soul has always loved. The one who I promised to cherish and love all the days of my life. The one who makes up half of my beautiful girls’ heart. I betrayed him. This beautiful man, I betrayed. When the affair came to light, my husband did not kick me out. He should have…but he didn’t. Instead he opened his arms to me. He showed me the love of Jesus. Don’t get me wrong…he didn’t just roll over. He’s a smart guy. He had no idea what I would do, and he had to be prepared. The morning after it came to light he got up (he was sleeping upstairs in the guest room), came downstairs and got in the shower as if he was going to work.
I knew he wasn’t going to work.
He was going to see an attorney. So he left that morning. The girls were with my in-laws so I was alone. I remember just laying in my bed in the fetal position not knowing what was going to happen. I called my dad and I told him everything. I felt like I was a teenager again as I listened. “Shannon, you cut it off! Cut it off RIGHT NOW.” He had a conviction in his voice that I had never heard. He scolded me and told me what a mistake I had made. He spoke truth to me and talked sense to me. Yes, I felt like a teenager again…but it was exactly what I needed, because I certainly hadn’t been behaving like a responsible adult. Gosh- thank you so much Dad…for speaking truth to me. Thank you for not being afraid of the ramifications of how I would react. Thank you for being brave. You have showed me how to be brave. Oh how I love you Dad.
Can I just tell you this?? Speak TRUTH to your loved ones! Speak truth to them even when it will hurt them. And on the flip side- YOU ALLOW OTHERS TO SPEAK TRUTH TO YOU. Speaking truth to others can literally save them! They may not take it well at first, but THEY WILL GET OVER IT.
Later that day I saw Johns car drive in front of our house and pull into the driveway. I walked over to the garage door. I just wanted a hug. I wanted to be in his arms. See, we have this special hug thing that we do. We’ve done it our whole marriage. I walk into his chest and he envelopes his arms all the way around me as if he is shielding me. So he walks in and I’m standing there. I walk right into his arms and he pulls me close. I said “I love you John.” “I love you too honey.” And at that moment we both knew that we were going to try. Little did we know that this was the hardest decision that we would ever make in our marriage.
Here’s the cool part. On the way home John was praying and crying out to God. He asked God to help him know what to do. He asked God for a sign….and when he walks in the door there I am. That was his sign. Our hug.
So the girls were staying with my in-laws and we had about 4 days just to really talk things out and try and move past the initial trauma. Let me say- it would have been SO much easier for both of us just to give up. Infidelity is extremely painful and it’s just too hard to come back from. The world says it can’t be done.
Giving up and getting a divorce would have been the easy part for us.
Instead of kicking me out John welcomed me in. He showed me love. I had mocked him and spit in his face. I caused him to bleed and I shamed him. Sound familiar? Matthew 26:67 “Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him..”
He showed me who Jesus was and for the first time in my life I realized what Jesus Christ did for me on that cross. I’ve been a christian and loved Jesus ever since I was a little girl and at the age of 36 I finally understood. 1 Peter 3:18 – Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring us safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the spirit.
That cross though.
My head was in his lap and I was looking up at the ceiling, wondering how I had gotten here. My little girl hopes and dreams were flashing right before my very eyes. My heart felt like it was literally being torn apart. My husband’s soft hands were brushing away the hairs surrounding my face. “Shannon, do you really think that this is Gods will?” In that moment, that very tiny moment in time, it was like a lightbulb that had been flickering for days finally flashed all the way on and shined bright. “No,” I said. “No, it can’t be.” I was so messed up. I had lost my mind..literally. I actually thought that it was God’s will for me to be with this other man.
I sat up and I asked him, “Why? Why are you treating me this way? Why haven’t you kicked me out?” He got up and started to walk around the sofa and stopped. He bowed over sobbing as if he was in deep pain. He looked up at me and said “Because I love you!- I love you Shannon?!”
I love you Shannon.
John, I love you too.
The days following didn’t get better. In fact, it got worse.
I’ll never forget the day we picked up our girls. I remember them piling out of the car; Alex’s mousey brown hair was just a mess and she had that crinkled up nose smile that she always gives me. Averee’s sweet blue eyes just twinkled when she saw me. (Her eyes are now a warm chocolate brown but they were blue for the longest time.) They both ran up to me and hugged me so tight. We hugged for what seemed like the longest time. They had no clue. They had absolutely no clue what their momma and daddy was going through. Those sweet babies didn’t have a care in the world.
They had no idea that the next couple of years would be the hardest…that it would be an emotional roller coaster. They had no idea their parents were literally fighting the powers of darkness and hell.
So we decided to make it work, but we were very, very broken. There was SO much to be repaired and so much work to be done. I had broken the heart of my husband and completely severed the relationship I had with many of my friends. How could I do such a thing? How could I? It wasn’t my character to do this. I was in such a state of depression for what I had done. There were many days that I didn’t know if I would make it. I just didn’t want to live in the shame and regret. It was too hard.
Can I tell you something else? Never, EVER make this statement: “I would never do that.” You know, that saying… “Well, I would neeever…” Oh Please. (Honestly that saying makes me want to throw up now.) I said it and look what happened. This thing….thing that I did was the NEVER of all never’s for me. It was my un-doing.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering why in the
hell world I would disclose something like this online or in public. It’s something that’s supposed to be kept a secret, right? It’s private. Yeah, I know. Well guess what? I’m doing it because I’m supposed to. God spoke very clearly to me and told me exactly what to do so I’m doing it. What we went through and how God restored us is just too much of a miracle to keep to myself. Honestly it’s His story, not mine.
Go on to Part Three, where I talk about my journey to wholeness and healing.
As I’ve said before, I’m an open book. If you have any questions for me please don’t hesitate to email me. If you are involved in an affair or an affair has wrecked your marriage and you need encouragement, advice or just someone to pray with, please contact me! shannongeurin1 at gmail dot com.
I love you all…very, very much!
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