I was in a state of shock as I left my house after hearing my husband admit to having an affair. I called my dear sweet friends who opened their home to me that night. They were just angels here on earth for me that night. I am quite sure when I called and began talking, I was making little if no sense at all. I know nothing was making sense to me, that was for sure. But they patiently and with compassion made sense of my tearful rant and invited me to come stay with them.
It will never be enough to tell my close dear friends ,a simple thank you. The sweet friends that provided support for me those first 24 hours are irreplaceable. They saw me at my emotional worst. They cried with me. They prayed with me. They listened, loved and let me lean on them.
Having friends like this have been the key to survival my survival. Friendships like this I believe are an essential element for anyone to get through something like this. No one will ever replace the best friend I have in my husband, as it should be. But at that very moment he could not be my friend. I needed a safe place to be vulnerable and it needed to be someone outside my marriage. At the same time I was blessed with Godly friends who did not judge or lecture me. There was honesty and truth shared with me, some of it hard to hear, but all was said with love and compassion. I have heard the term “friends of the marriage” and thats who I surround myself with. I didn’t want to turn to someone who would just bash marriage or run my husband’s character into the ground. Did those friends offer constructive criticism, you bet. Have they held him responsible to the consequences of his actions yes. They have also held me accountable when I needed to be called out on a poor choice.
Friendships outside your marriage are vital. Safe, secure friendships to turn to when you need a sounding board during a crisis like this are essential. They are like a port for a boat to anchor in during a storm. They are there ready to help protect and provide what you need to get through immediate danger but they aren’t the dock where you eventually go home to.
I would eventually need to return home to my dock. I would talk again to my husband. In fact there would be many long hard conversations to be had (more on that in another post for sure). He would again become the primary person that my conversations would be with, but for that first night I needed space. (To be honest, I didn’t want to talk to him. That’s ok-by the way. You can be honest and say, “I can’t talk to you right now”)
My friends are still, even months later, a key element to my life line at times. They still let me vent when needed. They still say the tough things I might need to hear. But they are safe coves of protection and a place to rest when the storm gets rough. They are friends who I know will keep in confidence all I have shared with them. And friends I know will help me turn what I am supposed to back over to God.
I pray if you are reading this that God will provide that cove of friendship for you as well. A trusted friend. Be careful to protect yourself and your marriage, even during the crisis. Your marriage still deserves respect, don’t just turn to anyone and start unleashing. Pray first, make sure you know the cove is a “friend of the marriage” (or marriage in general).
My forever friends, my port in the storm. God’s tangible angels at that moment and since. Thank you!