I had a meltdown…I’ll admit it…my husband came home from an office function and I lost it. The reasons why and the triggers that brought it about don’t change the point of this post so I’ll spare you those details…
I was upset, angry and in a place or real hurt again.
Despite all my attempts to not allow the emotions to win out while he attend the function-it was going to be one of those days where I needed to (like my earlier blog said) let myself have a bad day. After taking a minute and asking for grace to just say what I was feeling and then explain it I blurted out,
“I just feel like I’m the only one still stuck dealing with consequences of this whole mess and everyone else has gone back to normal. Everyone else seems to have gotten off scott free and here I am still struggling to even keep it together some days.”
It wasn’t my proudest moment but it was the truth, it was how I was feeling. I wasn’t going to stuff it down or pretend I wasn’t bothered. He just listened to me which I appreciated and we talked it out. (We really can do that well even still and I love that about our friendship).
What I got from talking it out and facing what I was feeling is that consequences are a funny thing. And consequences take the same aspects as perceptions in people’s lives. What I feel is a fair and just consequence may not even speak to someone else’s heart. A consequence that just rips me to shreds may not even make someone else batt an eye lash. Just like two people can see the same movie and walk away with completely different interpretations of what they saw.
I needed to stop trying to live for anyone else. Even when it came to consequences. By worrying about the other people outside my marriage I was still letting the affair and those relationships take control of my present and future. I needed to stop myself from going down the rabbit hole and refocus on my marriage and that relationship not others.
I needed to just express my concerns about my husbands actions and reactions instead. Those were the consequences effecting he and I that needed to be my focus, NOT if the other woman was feeling badly or upset. Truth be told one of his consequences was playing out as I lost it. His actions (his affair) created my level of discomfort with office events now and we had to work through it.
A question was brought to my attention once, “Is it true or false that once sin is forgiven God removes the consequences of sin so that our original privileges are fully restored?”
The answer-according to this source was false. God doesn’t take away the consequences of our sin. He offers ultimate forgiveness but there will always be cause and effect, action and reaction to all we do while on this earth.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” Ephesians 1:7
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” 1John 1:9
Webster’s dictionary defines a consequence as: something produced by a cause or necessarily following from a set of conditions. It defines a punishment as: the act of punishing (to impose a penalty on for a fault, offense, or violation). The two seem the same at first until you internalize the motive behind each. I needed to let go of feeling like I was punishing my husband by having different levels of comfort and new boundaries. I was reacting, I am still reacting, to the biggest crushing blow of my life so far.
I have had to be honest with myself and take the hard approach at times, completely against my grain I might add, and tell my husband “NO” for no other reason than I’m just not comfortable with “that” (whatever it might be). The consequences of his choices and the affair have altered my trust. The situation has changed boundaries for his friendships and even mine when it comes to others outside our marriage. The reality of this pain has put further limits on what I feel is appropriate in certain situations. I hate that I feel guarded and even somewhat removed from even being kind or going the extra mile toward some people but my marriage took a hit because those friendly actions and relationships turned into an affair on his part.
I had to give myself permission to say NO and not have any other reason than, I’m just not comfortable with it. In time it might change, and I pray everyday that it will. I don’t like feeling this way but I do and it’s where we are. Its a consequence and not a punishment. I had to see the difference in those two things as well.
God forgives and redeems us from the ultimate punishment of death. AMEN to that! We are all offered a forgiveness that I myself have prayed my husband truly knows he has (more on that in my next blog). I do however know God is not going to remove the consequences of what is now part of our marriage testimony. God didn’t remove the consequences even from his own son’s death on the cross.
So I stand behind my choice to allow the consequences to be there, and to not excuse how I feel. And when need be remind my husband of my motives and the inside stuff driving my reactions-I am not aiming to punish him but I can not and will not protect him or avoid what are real consequences of this reality.