This is Day 19 in the series “31 Days: What You Should Know Before An Affair“
I sat in my living room that Sunday afternoon and asked my husband to sit down so we could talk. Our three-year-old son had just left to spend a week at Grandma’s house and we were now alone. He’d been packing to leave for a conference we’d be attending—a conference I knew all along, we’d never make.
I moved back and forth in the rocking chair and tried to breathe.
I’d been counting down the days for the past few months in anticipation of this moment. Although I was glad it was here, in a certain sense I wished it away—wanting to skip this moment in time and wake up on the other side, no matter the devastation. That however, would be impossible. This day, the only way to the other side would be through.
“You coming?” I pleaded, as my tone and intensity hinted at the weightiness of the forthcoming news.
“Coming,” he called from the other room, “but we really need to get packed.”
I knew there’d be no packing after this.
He rounded the corner, and a wave of curiosity came upon his face when he saw me. He tilted his head in concern, sat down, furrowed his eyebrows, and fixed his eyes on mine.
“Is everything okay?” he questioned, “What is it?”
I had his full attention now—this husband of mine for the past seven years. This was it—the moment I’d been waiting for—the moment I’d denied for so long, and convinced myself would never need to be.
For years I’d believed the biggest lie an affair tells, and I’d counted on it to be true.
More often than not, an affair tells the lie that no one will ever know.
She depends on you believing her, trusting that all the secrets will remain secrets. This allows you to do things you may otherwise never have done because you’re convinced no one will ever know.
But she’s a deceiver.
Your entanglement grows, the affair progresses, you become enmeshed, and before you realize it, there’s no turning back.
This was a moment of no turning back.
“There’s something I need to tell you,” I said. And glancing down at my knees, I breathed deep, and began, one excruciating word at a time.
“You need to know I’ve been having an affair …”
When it comes to an affair, eventually everyone will know, and how they know varies with each situation.
The most common way everyone will eventually know, is also the most embarrassing and humiliating way to be found out. We get caught. Lies get too complicated, mistakes get made, receipts get left behind, and we are discovered—sometimes with our proverbial pants down. And as you can imagine, the news spreads wildly.
And then there’s the crazy and scary choice. We confess. This often becomes a last ditch effort to salvage any ounce of our integrity that still remains, including our reputation.For so long we invested in the affair and believed the lie that no one would ever know. But when the mistakes and guilt are piled on, and we realize that being discovered is gong to be inevitable, we make the decision to confess.
And then there are those situations where an affair begins, and then ends, and no one knows. We keep it a secret, sometimes for years. And it lies dormant within us. Yet in a great majority of cases, over time, its presence slowly erodes and erases the trust and intimacy in our closest relationships.
While those in our lives may not know why, eventually everyone will know something is off. They will see us as a discontented soul in pain, with our guilt and regret preventing us from relating and loving well.
No matter what, whether we get caught, confess, or try to hold in the secret, God always knows. God sees everything along the way, and our sin is never hidden from Him. He knew every one of my intricate thoughts and every tangled-up feeling. He’d been there the entire time, in every moment, watching every detail of my affair.
You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Psalm 139: 1-6 (NIV)
You, God, know my folly; my guilt is not hidden from you.
Psalm 69:5 (NIV)
You need to know today, that if you have an affair, eventually everyone will know. And there will be consequences to face.
But next to those consequences will be a loving and merciful God, who will hold your right hand and walk you through those consequences, with more mercy and grace than you will ever need.
This I know full well.
In your life have you ever believed that no one would ever know?
How has God been with you, even amidst consequences?
Read Day 20 HERE
Throughout this series, if you have a question or a struggle and want me to address it or write on it in this series, please send me an email (jacque at jacquewatkins dot com) or a voicemail (green button on right sidebar) and I will do my best to incorporate it into this series. It will make me so happy to have feedback from you and to write what it is you might need. I can’t wait to hear from you.