I find it pertinent, in light of many events in front of my own face, to talk more about marriage here in this space. Marriage is a layer of foundation for motherhood. Marriage is a sacred union that should not be taken lightly. But before I begin to write on ways to keep your marriage strong and ways to avoid falling into traps that can literally ruin your marriage, I want to share my story.
I don't want anyone to think I am sharing information without experience of some of the hard things in marriage, that I believe more couples experience than not.
My husband and I had been married for about 2 years, I had given birth to our first child who was at that point, 3 months old. We didn't have a bad marriage, by any means. But I was struggling to settle myself into marriage and motherhood. I was 19 when I married and at that point in our marriage, I was 21.
I was talking to an ex-boyfriend through Yahoo chat and by telephone. My husband knew we kept in touch, but I convinced myself it was innocent. This ex was a guy I had dated before meeting Jonathan, my husband. This ex had broken up with me and I was devastated by the break up. It was then I vowed not to date again until God brought me my future husband. Lo and behold, I later met Jonathan.
So, there's a tiny bit of history.
This ex and I talked on the phone and through chat about "what could've been" and I struggled with whether I'd married the wrong person--not because Jonathan was doing anything wrong. Because he wasn't. He was (and still is) an excellent husband. But because my feelings were so strong for this ex, still, I wondered if I had married the wrong person.
This ex lived about an hour from me, but once a week, he was in my area going to school. So, one Friday he said he was going to stop by in the afternoon--you know, while my husband was at work. I said, "Sure."
So he came over and we watched a movie together. Before he left, he kissed me. And I let him. Like, a serious kind of kiss, not just a peck. The whole time I was thinking to myself, "What am I doing?!"
I was shaking by the time he walked out the door. I don't know exactly what I was expecting, but what just happened was instant regret.
What happened was a result of having an emotional affair. Talking and sharing parts of myself with this guy lead to something even worse. Emotional affairs are not innocent. They are destructive.
Now, maybe you thinking kissing isn't as bad as sleeping with someone. I guess it depends on your point of view. Granted, yea, I think had I given that part of myself to someone else, my husband would have been quite devastated and quite possibly made our marriage restoration more difficult, if at all.
However, I firmly believe that type of behavior should be just as heavily avoided as se*ual intimacy with someone else. In addition, there's an emotional involvement with other men that women think is innocent because it's not s*x and it is a HUGE mistake to think that way. Women are having emotional affairs with different men all the time---in the work place, on the Internet, through smartphones, etc.
Unfortunately, technology has made it super easy to have emotional affairs (or otherwise). When a wife invests herself emotionally into another man, she begins to withdraw from her husband. She is giving to someone else what only her husband should have.
Ask me how I know.
I was even saved during this time...living for Jesus, but badly misguided by my own feelings. I ignored the pricks of my conscience. There are a dozen excuses I could give for my behavior, but the fact of the matter is, I should have never been in contact with an ex-boyfriend. Under any circumstances.
It doesn't matter how "strong" you think you are. Temptation is a very real predator and sometimes it comes when we least expect it. I falsely believed that as long as I wasn't physical with this guy, it was no big deal. It is imperative we set up boundaries to protect ourselves and our marriages.
We can't make the mistake of believing it won't happen to us. Because it did to me, even though I had that same way of thinking.
I know the road a wife goes down that leads to destruction. And this is only my story. This doesn't make up other struggles we've had in our marriage in the past.
But sitting back and watching marriages struggle and become destroyed because of false doctrine and no support burdens me to speak up.
Wives, I want to encourage you, support you, challenge your thinking to biblical living, pray for you, and walk with you through this journey of marriage.
Marriage is NOT SUPPOSED to be easy. So if you're struggling, know that is a very normal part of marriage and there is a way to get through it.