When you mess up in marriage

Sometimes I think that God is bound and determined for me to air every mistake I have ever made on this here blog ‘o mine.  Today the topic for Wifey Wednesday is “When you are the one who blew it”.

I have blown it in my marriage.  Many times.  In many ways.

I will share with you the BIG one that God laid on my heart when I saw the topic.

I STINK at managing money.  Always have and it is something that God (and my hubby) have taught me a lot about over the years.  I teach on it now (God has a full circle sense of humor). Finances are a major issue for my husband because he grew up in a poor family and has taught himself a lot about biblical stewardship. He helps people in our lives that need assistance in building a budget, etc.

Yet, he married me.

We have had issues in our marriage related to money.  I had credit cards he didn’t know about.  Not once, not twice but three different times over the years.  It is an issue we dealt with in marriage counseling.

He grew to trust me. Again. 

Then in 2007, I wanted to do something.  It was a good something, but not a God something.  Mike supported me with the stipulation that I was completely honest and transparent with him about finances.

Long story short, I wasn’t.  I was stubborn and determined not to fail and racked up over $100,000 in credit card debt for this good something.  And my husband had no idea.

When he would ask how I paid for something, I would act offended that he would question my honesty.  When he would ask for documentation, I would cry about how he didn’t trust me.

I had a financial affair.  And I justified it, rationalized it and the problem grew bigger and bigger and bigger.

I sunk into a deep depression because I didn’t know a way out.  This good something had people depending on me.  The credit cards were reaching their limits.  I was in denial about my physical issues.  I was hiding a huge secret from my husband and family and friends.

I was having a financial affair.

When I came clean (which was not because I wanted to but because I didn’t have a choice) our marriage imploded.  It had been several years since I had betrayed him this way and never like THIS.

The look on his face broke my heart into a million pieces.

He fixed it because he is a good man and that is what he does, he fixes things.  He had to go to family for help, which is something he abhors.  He had to deplete our hard earned savings.

We are still recovering from this massive act of betrayal.  I didn’t know if he would ever trust me again and trust is something that has returned very slowly. And that healing only came from our relationship with Jesus.

What have I learned from being the betrayor in my marriage?

  • I had to be patient with him and understand that my actions had serious and lasting ramifications.
  • God is the only one that can bring healing and restoration to a marriage.
  • Time does heal wounds.  And you can’t be the one to set the time limit.
  • Learn to speak your spouse’s love language and speak it fluently.
  • Pray, pray and pray some more.
  • Forgive yourself.  There is no condemnation in Christ and if you are busy beating yourself up, you won’t be able to focus on healing your relationship with your spouse.
  • Let them deal with it in their own way.  Don’t force them to talk to you, to reassure you, to make you feel better.
  • Seek professional Christian counseling.  If the issue is too big for the two of you to deal with on your own, seek help from a pastor or Christian counselor that you trust and respect.  There is no shame in asking for help.

Our story has a happy ending.  We will celebrate our 13th anniversary in July.  In many ways, the difficulties we have faced in our marriage have made us stronger, more accepting of one another and deepened our commitment to be in this forever.  It is hard to see that outcome when you are in the midst of a betrayal so please remember this:

There is always hope when God is the head of your union.

holy experience

Comments

  1. Finances are such a difficult thing in marriage. Neither Mike nor I are good with money. You can imagine how many times we've been over our heads in debt. A couple of years ago we made plans and a budget and were going to stick to it and get out of it the hard way and then WHAM! We were slammed with a death in the family, two hospitalizations, depression, etc. It's been rough rough rough, but we are standing together fighting it. We'll get it under control. I know we will!

  2. What a blessing your comment was when you stopped by today, Melissa. Thank you for stopping by.

    Thank you for being so transparent here in your blog about this issue of finances. And yes, it is the bends in the road, the bumps (some times big ones) in the road…they can make a marriage or break it. If we allow God's grace to sustain us then it will be for the strengthening of our marriage.

    I noticed in your profile that you are in Martinsburg WV. Don't know if you realize it or not but I'm also from WV. Early in our marriage we lived in the Inwood/Bunker Hill area. We now live about 30 minutes east of Morgantown.

    I am going to bookmark your blog so I can visit you on a regular basis.

  3. Thank you so much for baring your soul! I appreciate it more than you know. Someone married to a very dear family memeber of mine has done this too. She seems to be getting help now, but I have had a very, very hard time forgiving her, even though it wasn't me she betrayed.

    It's nice to have a peek into her side of it. I just need to remind myself that sin is sin. Her money issues are no different than me losing my temper. Bless you!

    • ahh, Cheryl that is so true! “sin is sin”…it is hard though when you see
      someone hurt and in pain. What I discovered is that spending money was a
      way to not deal with things, just like drinking or some other addictive
      behavior. I hope your family member's wife gets the Christian help that she
      needs!

  4. Charity Singleton says:

    Oh, these words are painful yet needed. We can cheat in so many ways. Thanks for sharing this, and thanks for stopping by my blog. Blessings!

  5. I applaud your honesty, Melissa. I love your parting words that remind us that with God as the head of the union, nothing is too far gone. God bless you and your marriage, sweet girl!

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