Friday, May 8, 2015

My Deep, Dark Confession

Before you get really anxious, I want to reassure you that I have not had an affair of any sort, nor do I harbor some weird fetishes or tendencies. However, this is kind of a serious, and maybe juicy, blog post.

I also want to make it clear that I am not airing my dirty laundry.. I am making my life's troubles relatable to all of you readers so that if you can feel like you're not alone if you've ever struggled with getting pregnant, marital issues, or depression (situational or otherwise).

Anyways, I kind of wanted to come clean. I've vaguely hinted before that I've had issues of my own and drama with other people in the somewhat recent past. I will continue to be somewhat vague to protect the privacy of others as this is a public forum. However, I will be as clear as possible about what I've gone through and how I've dealt with it. I've been thinking for months how to write about it and make it relevant without revealing too much.

About a week ago, I read this article: "When You're Attracted to Someone Who Isn't Your Spouse"... and then I finally got the courage to speak out. I highly recommend this article, especially if you're religious as it does have a Christian writer. I wish I had read this article a long, long time ago!

If you haven't figured it out.. I was attracted to a man who was not my husband. Let me repeat--we did not have an affair or anything close. Now that that's settled, let me tell my story..

It started out innocently like three and a half years ago.. Carter was one years old, Graham was doing well in school, and we were finally getting into a groove with our little family. There was little else to be desired from life. We were happy. I am going to emphasize that point--we were happy. There was nothing truly wrong in our relationship. I wasn't out looking for something to make me feel better. These stories don't always come from people in bad marriages. Anyways, I digress.

One fateful day, I noticed an attractive male who seemingly paid a little more attention to me than other females. I, feeling fat and unattractive post-pregnancy, always having been insecure and a little immature, took note of that. The little elementary school aged girl in me said, "Oh, look! He must think I'm cute! He stopped while he was doing something important, and talked to me and only me!" I distinctly remember that day. From then on, I had a tiny crush that got bigger and bigger. It was literally like a drug. I craved attention, conversation, jokes, anything from him to get me that high. But, because the crush was growing secretly inside me, something else was dying inside me. I was feeling unbelievably guilty. Finally, six months after I admitted to myself that I had a crush, I confessed it to Graham and my best friend. It was so soothing. Because someone else knew, I had some accountability and I felt like I could change a little.

So, for the next year, I tried to change. I tried to avoid conversation and everything, but it was too hard to do on my own. I didn't really want to change, because I still could get that high from the perceived flirting, Facebook likes/comments, dirty jokes, etc. To really make a lasting change, you need inner motivation, but I couldn't muster the desire to change. It was too much. My spirit was suffocating inside me. I pulled farther away from God and His spirit because I didn't want to feel guilty for having feelings for someone else. I wasn't technically doing anything wrong... It was just a feeling!

And so, even though I was reading scriptures every day, my spirituality faltered and wilted inside me. I got to the point where I didn't care. No, I probably never would've had an affair had the opportunity presented itself, but I could see how people could do such horrible things to their loved ones. You get to the point where you don't care about anyone but yourself when you pull away from God and choosing the right. I never, ever thought of myself as being this kind of woman (and maybe you're reading this and think this yourself!).. One who professes to love their spouse and child(ren), but completely ignores that when they're not physically there. I felt so alone, which is what Satan wanted me to feel.. He wants you to feel isolated and horrible so that you will never change or turn from temptation. Again, this is why I'm writing about this. To let you, anyone, know that you're not alone.

Luckily, my life fell apart a year after I told Graham about my crush. My husband was struggling with failing school and lying to everyone about it right before my freaking eyes and I never even noticed because I was too wrapped up in my own stupid, selfish head. I don't feel any guilt for what choices Graham made, but I do feel bad that I failed to take note of the warning signs and questionable things he said/did. I want to wring my own neck when I think of how little I was present at home with my family during these times, and what I could have done to help my failing husband at home and school. So, with the changes in my life and the necessity to focus on my family, I was slowly able to change with lots of prayer. Over time, the crush started to fade. But really, it was sloooooow progress, because I am stubborn and ridiculous. This situation was one of the reasons why I was willing to forgive Graham and take him back.. I am not perfect, and truly, us two imperfect people belong together.

And the real kicker, other people found out about the crush.. and then it was all over with a big, embarrassing collapse. My secret became not so secret.. and it was pretty horrible. It's been a year and a half, and ugh... still not better.

You may think that you are immune and that this will never happen to you or your spouse.. and if so, you're lucky. If you're not so lucky and find yourself in the same boat.. Be careful about who you spend your time with. Be careful with your feelings. Yes, they are just feelings, but they can make you do stupid things, especially if you keep doing the stupid things day after day.. Be careful about your relationship with God. Avoid temptation in all forms. Talk to your spouse openly about your daily dealings (haha--the name of my blog!).

In other words--read the article. She says it better.

So, yeah. That is my life's deepest, darkest secret (maybe), and yet it is cleansing in a way to admit it openly. I was pretty open about my marital troubles and Graham's issues, but a little reluctant to speak out about my own.. mostly because I didn't want anyone else involved to lose their anonymity. But now, you.. friends, family, strangers, blog stalkers, you know.. And please, don't make the same mistakes I did!


Shannon said...

Thank you for sharing Sheri! It's so so hard to be open about stuff that you're not proud of. We all seem to think everyone is perfect except us, but it's a huge lie. Everyone makes mistakes. I'm so glad you were able to pull yourself back to where you are now and that this experience gave you the empathy to work things out with Graham. Glad you are happy. Hugs! :)

Sarah said...

You're my hero. Love you lady. I so appreciate the openness. And I second Shannon's comments. Thank you for the post.

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