I am not a very confrontational person. I don’t like conflict. I am a peace maker. While that is a gift from God it can also be my challenge in life to stand up for myself and be confrontational when it’s truly called for. Because trust me, there are times when you need to be confrontational despite everything your inner self is telling you.
I was home and my husband wanted me to stay home. He didn’t want a separation as we worked through this and he wanted our marriage and life together. I still wasn’t sure what I wanted during those first few days. But I did know a few things had to happen for me to even consider moving forward. Those were and still are three things I needed to him to do for not only me and our marriage but for himself first and foremost. Let me explain where my heart and mind were behind my choice to insist on those few things.
1-There would be an end to any and all communications with his affair partner and all her contact information would be deleted from any and every mode of communication he owned. There would never be any contact between the two of them again! EVER!
NO further contact at all. To overstate the obvious – he needed to choose- it was whatever he had with her or what we hoped we could rebuild. I will not and can not be in a marriage that has another person physically involved with my husband. I married 1 person and 1 person only. Beyond not seeing her anymore I needed there to be absolutely no more contact. He said he chose me and was sorry, therefore she was no longer involved in any aspect of our life or his. Not even an email or text message to make sure she was ok. NOTHING!! EVER AGAIN!
I could not even begin to think about healing or moving forward if I felt like he still reached out to her in anyway. If he had to deal with a loss there so be it. I had just been thrown into the worse emotional tail spin of my life and I will admit not being able to care if he had to grieve any loss of whatever it was he had with her. I deserved to demand priority and actions behind his apology and remorse.
2-He was going to tell his two best friends what he did (face to face) and ask for their help in holding him accountable to making changes and not falling back down this path again, to help him move forward. These were two married men who knew us both and have for a very long time. Despite my rage and overwhelming emotions even at the very beginning I knew he would need someone other than me to talk. He had things he needed to deal with that I could not and still don’t want to hear the details about. And in a healthy way we still needed friends outside our marriage. I needed those friends to know what was going on too. They are extended family to us and I knew they would possibly pick up on things going on. We may have needed help with kids or who knows what as we were in crisis mode. I needed him to tell them what was going on so he could take ownership of this some more. This wasn’t going to be all me working on this and allowing him to hide from the truth and the effects this would have on all our relationships, our’s, family, friends. This situation was a game changer.
I have prayed for those relationships for him. I have at times not been nice about it, I’ll admit. I wished for him to be uncomfortable or called out on things by someone else other than me. But even behind those moments of anger is a true desire to want him to heal and fix this from the inside out. True Godly and honest friends have an amazing presence during times like this and he needed them.
3-I wanted him to seek out and talk with a professional. He needed to work on himself and the reason(s) behind his choices, get a deeper understanding what lead to this and work on him. I myself had seen counselors twice in my life to deal with “life stuff” and I knew the benefits of having that safe, unbiased place to go and talk things out. A person with a non-emotional response, nothing personal at stake to hear you out and call you out. I had to work on my own stuff through counseling as well. This was not a little thing that we could plan a few long chats on the sofa or take the dog for a walk and iron out. We had always been good at showing each other enough respect to be friends first and really talk things out but this time…this wasn’t something I wanted to try and handle on our own. This was a big bump in the road and it was something I felt needed to be addressed with professional counseling. First on his own and then bring me in on sessions when he was ready.
He did those things. And I felt validated and prioritized that he did. Was it always easy or comfortable-NO. Did he resist some of it-yes. But I needed to be honest enough with myself and that meant I was not going to protect him from my pain, fear and needs at that point. We were in the trenches and that called for me to get confrontational.
When it all came down to who I would want to say I was through all this I turned to 1Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8 Love never fails.
That was the definition of love that I wanted to be able to say I showed. And that meant even the love that I showed myself. I needed him to do these few things for me it was what I needed to begin healing.
So I stood up for me. I was confrontational. Behind my choice to insist on a few things was love for myself as well as him.