The memory is burned into my brain.
It's been two hours since I moved from this couch. I'm terrified that this is not a dream. My stomach is in my throat and my eyes are red from tears. I literally can not move. My skin is pale and cold, and my thoughts are running wild and fast. Ten voices all at once barking cruel answers to the questions in my head. Sweaty palms and fast breathing make it all the harder to think clearly. I'm silently going crazy. This is anxiety. It eats you from the inside out. I would rather have been anywhere else than in this position. My life seemed like it came from a set in Hollywood, which made me all the more sick. Just a couple hours earlier I sat sobbing at my kitchen table in front of my cheating husband. I had never felt such emotional pain as I did then, it was excruciating. I could not see how my life could go on. It is a very strange feeling to have someone suddenly so distant emotionally and physically, when days before they were so close and "fine" (or so I had thought). It literally felt like a hole had been punched out of my chest; just existing was painful. The humiliation was unbearable. I hid myself in my house for days. Clinging to the two anchors I had, my son and my unborn baby.
The social media lit up like wildfire. My life and privacy had been exposed in an instant. It hurt to even turn on my phone and see that I had messages, asking about every little thing. The one thing i had tried to hide most was now seen by innumerable people, it was a nightmare. Often times I turned my phone off, lay with my son and watch a movie. It was at these tender moments that I was able to make a stronger connection to him and give him some stability he so desperately needed.
One of the main questions was "wasn't there any signs that this might happen?" How was I supposed to answer such a question. Of course I could look back and see signs, but as a loving wife you always want to think they aren't doing something like that. I always stood by his side and would not believe he was with another woman. So much so that even after a month, of him being gone, I wouldn't believe that he would do such a thing. Not until I found that evidence was I finally convinced, and it crushed my heart.
Satan had his claws stuck into him, and I knew at that moment that he had succeeded in breaking our family apart. He had brainwashed this man I loved more than anything, and i was furious. When it comes down to it, Satan knows the best spot to put pressure. By breaking families apart, he is breaking an eternal union. It brings anger and bitterness, and grudges that sit on our shoulders and break us down. Our spirituality comes to a halt the more that these grudges pile up. I wish that we would have leaned on each other a little more and built trust between eachother. After our silly arguments, instead of walking away even more frustrated, instead we should have came closer together and listened. This dissolution of families has become an epidemic. Marriage is being changed to fit the norms and traditions of man and not God. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and beliefs, but ultimately it will come down to God's law. Whose side would you rather be on?
For months I struggled financially, physically, and emotionally. I was blessed to have strong supports in my life, but it was difficult because they did not know the turmoil of emotions I was feeling. Imagine trying to run in deep water. You can move those legs and arms but your feet will never connect to the ground. It was as if I was that swimmer. I was feeling the same love I had always felt for this man, but I was unable to connect with him. He had distanced himself and was now gone. Every hope of touching ground was gone, so there I was, treading in the middle of my emotions and trying to sort out how I felt. It made no sense to others. How could I love someone who betrayed me so deeply? The answer is simple, the memories of the person I married were still there and every once in a while I saw glimpses of that man. I hated turning on tv shows or movies, because most involved innuendos or references to affairs and I would be sick to my stomach.
Seriously, this has become the number one target of Satan, for some. The destruction of marriages and inevitably families is where Lucifer will put stress on, because it can have more far reaching effects than we ever imagined. It may seem impossible for you to think adultery could ever affect you, but each one of us are capable of making those same mistakes and sinning. It is closer than you think and begins with the most minor actions. So let's talk about this! How could this happen to me? An affair does not happen overnight (excuse the pun lol). Well its really not all that complicated.
It begins inside. With doubt. Doubting ourselves, doubting the gospel, or doubting our marriage and choices. Satan plants those tiny seeds that make us question our lives. Once a seed is planted, and nourished or rather paid attention to, it will grow. One thing we all certainly know, is thoughts become deeds. So, how does Satan plant these seeds?
What message does our modern media put out? Sexual deviance and innuendos are common place in our world of tv, movies, books, music, etc. In fact, I have even heard them in children's media. We are groomed from a young age, it seems, that these are normal. If you look back even just 20 years, you can see how corrupt our world has become. It makes me physically ill and angry to see any sort of acceptance of infidelity and immorality. I had seen a movie where the basis on which they justified their behavior came down to the fact that they were "in love". I scoffed at such an idea. They make such situations glamorous and thrilling. Sex sells, and it is a sad truth. Novels are becoming more graphic and perverted, then made into blockbuster movies. In fact, as I browsed some books in Chapters, a cover caught my eye. Scanning through the summary I could not believe what I was reading! Incestuous love was the theme! Oh but dont worry, they were in love....gag me! Ok so that was a bit much, but it was on a bestseller list! It also seems women are being portrayed as objects instead of people, and sometimes men too. The message is simply, do whatever feels good.
Am I being a little extreme? Is this just my paranoia from having been through an affair? Absolutely not. Am I veering off topic and ranting like a "prudish" loon? Maybe.
As I said before, the breaking apart of families is simply becoming an epidemic. Some may argue that these books and movies are just stories. That they aren't real. But I'm here to tell you they are in fact all too real. Once your life has been touched by unfideilty, I can tell you it never is the same. There is a seed that grows every tree. What seeds are you planting today? And what will they become?
A man came and spoke in our ward on pornography. It was excellent. Most of you probably heard it in your own ward. He spoke on the physical effects and business end of porn. It surprised me and certainly opened my eyes to the truth. Now we have internet access in our pocket and with a click of a button we can access any information we want. But let me plead with you for one second. I hope that there may never be a day where you feel you need to hide or be secretive with your technology. When you aren't looking at inappropriate images or engaging in other relationships, there simply isn't anything to hide. Making your phones or other gadgets secretive WILL destroy the trust you share with your spouse. You can not play with fire when it comes to pornography and inappropriate relationships and expect to not get burned. The truth always comes out. I feel so very strongly when it comes to this subject. There should never be any secrecy when it comes to electronics nowadays. NEVER. The internet and temptations out there are far too powerful and scary to mess with.
Let me make this clear. Infidelity does not only include sexual infidelity, it includes any dishonesty within a marriage. The betrayal stings all the same as when the lie is exposed. When we get married, whether in the temple or not, we vow to be true to the other person. This should not be taken lightly. We are to be one, in a sense, with our spouse. How can we be in a healthy relationship when lies are present? The trust is destroyed, and it is so very hard to repair.
Now, as I've gone off on a tangent, let's get back to the story. I learned, since that horrible day I found the truth, that life does go on. It's up to us whether we go on with life. I had no time to wallow in self pity. I very much had to grieve for my loss, because that was exactly what it was. Trials come upon us in many forms. For me, I did not ask for this. I would never have believed in a million years that I would be divorced at 24 with two little boys. That my husband would succumb to the temptations we all are fighting. But despite this, I had no choice but to be strong. I had to be an anchor for me and my babies. As much as I felt alone, I knew my Savior was well aware of my situation. I have no doubt he was crying beside me when I was crying, and that he felt the immeasurable amount of pain from such a betrayal. From this knowledge I was better able to bear my burdens. I relied on the atonement. You have to understand that Christ literally knows what your pain and anger and sorrow feels like. He probably feels such sadness that we have to endure such pain, but that is why the atonement is so important. It is always easier to exercise and work out with a friend. The same goes for our trials; they are easier to bear when someone has been through this before and can cheer you on.
The temptations of this world are only getting worse. I can no longer keep my mouth closed and see the same mistakes keep happening. I posed the question, "how did this happen to me?" Well I think we've found an answer. By small steps leading away from the Savior, and eventually it is completely in one's power to commit a serious sin. Keep yourself and you spouse in check. Communicate! If my experiences can help even just one person, then it makes it all the worth while. We need to stand firm in our faith and especially our standards. We need to be proud of our beliefs and not be intimidated by the adversary. The proclamation to the family, released by the LDS church, certainly is for our day. We can not pick and choose what commandments and teachings we will follow. More than ever we are being bombarded with immorality and new ideas on what a family unit is. I am entitled to an opinion as much as everyone else on this Earth. With this extraordinary privilege I will stand firm and stay true to my morals. Are you going to be the ones treading in the ideas of the world, confused at who is really in control? Or will you stand on solid ground, and feel a certainty in what you know to be true?