So here I was, the morning after Famous Tuesday, wondering how I got here and how I’d be able to go through the day’s work.
I didn’t know if I should confront Ana or wait and see what happens. I was still confused – was she flirting with my husband or was she just too friendly for my liking? In the end I focused on my work, determined to do my best and tried to pretend I was ok.
When I came home I searched for articles on the impact of pornography on our lives, mind, relationships and spiritual growth and also on the emotional affairs. I showed them to Charlie in the evening. He agreed on the points made about pornography but still couldn’t see anything wrong with his close friendship with Ana.
It seemed he was in total denial. I couldn’t understand it: on the one hand he was saying he would never like me to have a close male friend like that but for the whole year he couldn’t see anything wrong with his friendship with Ana!
Suddenly I saw a two-faced man with double standards who was betraying me physically with pornography and emotionally with another woman. It shocked me! I always thought so well of him, he was my perfect husband.
I held up until bed time, then I felt so hurt and betrayed by him I lied down on our bed, covered my head with a blanket and cried out loud. Charlie sat down on the bed beside me.
“What is it? Is it that friendship?”
“It’s everything, I feel as if you stole my dreams and memories of our first summer by bringing her to ‘our’ places last year. I wanted to believe then that it was ok but it wasn’t. I was right when I warned you it would go too far.”
“I’m so sorry, I can see now how it must be hurting you.”
Very slowly he started to admit to himself that what he was doing wasn’t right. On Thursday, the next day, he sent me a text: “I’m in the car crying, it has dawned on me what I have done.”
That day he decided Ana would not work for him anymore. Coincidentally, she had tickets booked to go home for a while in 3 weeks in order to move her project on. The plan now was that she would work only until then. For a moment I hesitated that maybe I overreacted and things were going out of control but when I mentioned it to Charlie he said it’s best for everyone if she goes home.
We spent every evening over the next two weeks talking and just being together, no TV, no internet (apart from a few articles aimed to help), not even news. One night I got an idea to read 1 Corinthians 13 about love. I almost didn’t do it as it is so well known and I thought it might sound clichéd but it was on my heart so I read it out loud to him:
“Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail. Love is eternal (…).”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (GNT)
When I finished reading, it was as if a light bulb went on in his head! He said: “It’s incredible, she is not even one of those things…”
We also talked about his pornography habit. He confessed it was more of an addiction than he wanted to admit before, even to himself. One night he said “I’m such a failure.” I saw a broken man in need of love and help.
“Will you forgive me?” he asked another time.
“Honey, I already have.”
I felt God’s presence with us and his guidance every day in various ways. We visited a different church the following Sunday and the sermon was just right for us. That day I started singing a new song in my head. The words were simple, just a proclamation of faith, but singing it to myself was giving me strength that I needed, I was also sowing the seeds for the future.
By Friday I had it perfected and written down. He went away to a meeting that day and took Ana with him. We agreed to it beforehand, it was to give him a chance to talk to her on the way and explain why she had to go home. I didn’t know why I was singing my new song all the time. Everyone in the office was out somewhere and I could sing it out loud. I was so thankful to God. I believed we managed to avoid a catastrophe in our marriage.
On Saturday I bought a massage oil, we put children to bed early and had a romantic evening. I wanted to do everything to rebuild and build up further the love and intimacy that we had once shared. We talked about this whole situation again, he apologised for risking our marriage and I remember saying: “Even if you told me that you DID betray me with her, I would fight for us.” I can still see the look in his eyes when I said it.
On Sunday, the next day, we decided to fast and pray for a total deliverance from all kinds of bondage to sin. I knew from the past that that kind of prayer is strong.
“Is this not the fast which I choose,
To loosen the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the bands of the yoke,
And to let the oppressed go free
And break every yoke?”
We managed all day, just drinking and praying. It was exactly two weeks from the day I killed the cat on the road and so much had happened in that time.
On Monday I rang my mum. I hadn’t spoken to her in a long time. She had no idea what was going on in our life in recent weeks. After talking about work and children she said:
” I had a strange dream about two weeks ago. You were a small girl and you were playing outside. There was also a man who was torturing a cat, I could hear it meowing terribly. I went outside and asked what was going on, you pointed to the man and told me he was hurting the cat. I got angry and gave out to him, then I went home. When I looked outside the next time, you were gone. I knew it was the man who took you away and was going to hurt you. I was so afraid and worried about you I thought I would lose my mind. I knew he was going to destroy your innocence.”
I said: “You won’t believe what happened two weeks ago…”
I told her about the cat on the road, the message I found on Charlie’s phone, the talks we had, his pornography problem, the whole lot. She listened in silence and then she said:
“He is lying. Don’t believe him. He has betrayed you for sure and now he’s hiding it.”
“No mum, I believe him, we talked honestly and openly so many times since, he would have told me. I asked him many times and he always denied it.”
“Because he’s afraid to lose you and the children, that’s why he didn’t answer you immediately when you confronted him.”
On Tuesday I called my sister and told her too. She said exactly the same thing as my mum but I still didn’t believe.
I knew my husband better than them.