A Reconciliation Story:
I wanted to put a summary post here, in hopes that it might be an encouragement to other Betrayeds pursuing Reconciliation with a truly remorseful Wayward spouse. (I am sorry in advance if this grieves anyone stuck with an unremorseful Wayward.)
I am more than a decade past my wife's brief affair. It was the darkest chapter of either of our lives-- a period in which she became an entirely different (and frankly pretty awful) woman.
A partial discovery on my part led to our separation for the better part of the year-- and elicited TT confessions of an emotional affair from her. (I wanted so desperately to believe that-- and yet I was consumed with paranoia, rage and suicidal temptations-- so certain was I that she was lying.)
She ended her affair after my separation-- and spent those months growing more and more horrified and disgusted with herself, promising God and herself she'd never stray again. But she refused to confess the full truth to me-- knowing that I'd divorce her before she had a chance to prove to me and herself that she really could be the best wife in the world.
Her prayers grew more desperate, asking God to forgive her, to give her a second chance, to give her a sign, something!-- yet they only made her feel further from Him.
Five months in, she was called up for Jury Duty on a drug possession with intent to distribute offensive-- and she and 11 other people voted to send another man, who'd confessed his guilt and asked for leniency, to prison.
This and many other small encounters with crime and punishment, guilt and confession, finally led her to confess the full truth to me in my apartment. She barely got through it-- choking on her sobs-- and asked not for a second chance, because she knew I wouldn't grant it now that I knew the full truth. She said, "I know you're going to leave me, and hate me, and I deserve both and so much worse. But please, please tell me that one day you might forgive me. I don't have the right to ask it, but I just need it so badly."
I threw her out. Called my family. My brother counseled divorce- my parents said they support whatever I choice I made. I went to bed weeping and praying and screaming until I finally had nothing left.
And the next morning, I woke up to a jarring thought- almost spoken out loud in my skull. "You are forgiven, and you can forgive. You can do it. You can."
I called her back to my apartment-- and she came through the door, ready for divorce papers, rants and the rest. And I looked at her and said, through tears, "I don't know how to do this. But I forgive you. And I'll stay with you."
She collapsed on couch, just sobbing so hard she couldn't talk for five minutes. And when she finally could, she said, "I will never forget this feeling. I've never, ever seen this kind of love before and I know I don't deserve it. But I will spend the rest of my life trying to earn it. I know you can't trust me now, but I will never, ever hurt you, or give you a reason to doubt me again. Ever."
Our new marriage started that day, in the wreckage of the old. And she's kept her promise, and became a better wife than any that I know. Though Reconciliation took years, and was full of all the usual pains, forgiving her was the best decision I've ever made. And choosing it, and loving her, has made me a better man, and made me happier than any husband I know.
I hope the same for anyone reading this.