Monday, November 7, 2011

why we keep talking about the affair.

i keep feeling like i should post about the affair. i have a lot to say about affairs in general...but nato and i have really entered into a season of gratefulness. for each other. for almost losing our family, but then having it saved. so there hasn't been any real drama to write about. that's usually when i write.

usually. but i still need to write what's going on in our hearts in dealing with the affair. i don't want to forget this part.

sometimes i look over at nato across the room. any room. and he's staring at me and smiling.
and he'll be like, i love you.
and i'll be like, babe, stop it. nerd.
but i'm blushing, you know.

and sometimes we lay in bed and he'll try and make out with me...and i'll be like, babe. stop it. can we do it tomorrow? i promise we'll do it tomorrow. not really...that never happens. ha.
but seriously, we'll be laying there and he'll be like, can you believe how lucky we are?

and i can't believe it.

i can't believe that we dedicated penelope at church a couple sundays ago. it was crazy standing up there in front of everyone and promising to do our best to bring up penelope to know and love Jesus. it was crazy because penelope is not supposed to be here. we're not supposed to be up there with her. we're not supposed to be enjoying that creature. that turtle-ee creature.
Photobucket

but we are. and it's insane. because a couple years ago, i thought we were getting divorced. i resolved myself to being a single mom and i began planning my life as such...with me and layne and lila. and we would be ok, but we would be broken. my heart ached because i wanted to change that. but i knew i couldn't. it was over.

the strangest part about this, is that a couple of months later, nato would be back in our home. playing with the kids on the floor while i made dinner. we would both be a lot skinnier and have 200 more grey hairs, but we were back together. we knew it was crazy. how do you recover from something like that? my answer is that it's basically impossible. humanly impossible.

i mean, it's not like we were doing nothing to aid recovery. please. we were in counseling 2 and 3 times a week. together and apart. we were going to marriage conferences. nato was repentant and telling me the truth. finally. we were meeting with couples who had been through affairs and made it. we were getting to know each other again. i was screaming and yelling at him and he was saying, i deserve that. i'm sorry. i love you. i'm not going to leave. it was gut wrenching and hard, but we sprinted out of the shit because we had sat in it for too long and it was awful. we ran to the light.

we were experiencing the Gospel in a tangible way. and it was good.
and that is our prayer for penelope and all our kids. Lord, let them experience the Gospel in a tangible way.

but it wasn't us making it work. it was God. he had redeemed our marriage and we couldn't be quiet about it. we still can't.

people ask why we keep talking about it? like, ok...stop telling us details...it's embarrassing for you.

well we aren't in this to look good or to "save face". we don't care to keep it secret. what holds us back from letting the secret out? really, ask yourself. because you care about what others will think of you. not what God thinks of you. we care about glorifying ourselves, not glorifying Christ. we are unsure where our identity lies, and so we hold back for fear that God is not bigger than our secret.
(no, i'm not saying everyone has to lay their crap out on the intranet)

did you know that statistics show 60% of marriages will go through this at some point? laugh at that number. say, not us!
but it's everywhere and it's damaging souls. and when i was desperate to find a blog that talked about this. i found one. one out of 156million blogs, and i found one lady that was telling the truth about her husband's affair on the interweb. and i can't even remember her blog, but it gave me a lot of hope. she told details and some of them were terrible, but they needed to be said. and details were important for me because i found myself in bits and pieces of her story. i said, me too. it's not my same story, but i get exactly what she's saying. i didn't feel so alone.

we want to never forget the magnitude of what God has done for us, in the details of our mess or in the grand scheme of things. we want people to see our story and praise God. we want to give people hope that their marriage can recover. that God is bigger than your mess.

just look at penelope.

p.s. do you know what her name means? we named her penelope last minute(literally). after we named her, we googled what her name meant. it means faithfulness, specifically in the marital sense. God is IN.SANE. ..ly wonderful.

(you can read more about our marriage and the affair in the marriage time on the sidebar)

56 comments:

  1. This is such an incredibly encouraging post...I have my own personal struggles, issues, secrets and constantly feel like I am being called to voice them, work through them out loud, etc. But I don't...years and years and I won't. And I don't know why, but I just can't figure out how to even bring it up now. And just recently I have friends dealing with infidelity issues in their marriage and it breaks my heart, kills me to see them go through it. I hope they will read this and be inspired and encouraged by your story. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. and you are insanely wonderfull.I am so happy for you and your family that you have pushed past your discomfort and got in deep to make it work,and your candidness i think is trully healthy and i have a pretty good idea your children will be proud of you as well.Marriage is hard,but it is also insanely beautiful just like parenting.

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  3. 60% of marriages! This world, man. Keep telling your story. Preach it, girl. Lay that crap out.

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  4. Oh how you bless me.
    Love from,
    Greta

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  5. You guys are amazing and pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease don't stop talking about it. We need people like you!! As a pastor I so appreciate knowing that there are open, honest and amazing couples like you that are sharing their real stories. It's so hard to find people like you (blogs like yours) to refer people onto. You give so much hope to a broken and hurting world. Thanks so much - and so thankful to God!!

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  6. Thank you for being brave and sharing.Trust me maybe some of us dont want to see it in print because it brings the reality of what could be for any of us home.Again I say you are brave.

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  7. Hey jami!
    I've been reading your blog for a while now, and I don't think I've ever commented, so I'm coming out of the woods to say 'thank you'! Thank you for being so honest and real, I really see God working through you! I'm still in awe of the story of Penelope's name, so beautiful!
    God bless you! xoxo Maria

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  8. i could have written this post it's so accurate to me and my life. .......and is the guy to the left of nato in that photo wearing the SAME cardigan??? giggle.

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  9. this is beautiful. thank you for your transparency. Glory to God!

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  10. Alyss said... preach it, keep giving God the glory! Thanks for sharing your story and finding your identity in Christ!

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  11. There's no way you could've known how I needed to read this today. Keep on talking about it! Thank you for not stopping!

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  12. I am one of the couples that is going through the infidelity that Debran (first comment) is referring too. I did read it! ;)
    I was on the other side of the affair but reading your perspective has really helped me. I have been following for just a few weeks but your story has given me comfort, courage and HOPE!! Thank you!

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  13. three words: god love ya'.
    your courage and strength always amaze me. it's awesome that you let god's will be done. i love that about you.

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  14. i love you, jami!! i love to hear stories like this. i love to find out more about you through the internet (haha). i want to buy a plane ticket to KC so i can give you a hug. seriously. you made me cry, and i'm supposed to be cleaning right now.

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  15. this is SOO beautiful!! great post!!

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  16. jami your heart and transparency are life-giving. thank you for continuing to share God's grace, mercy, and healing in your lives. It is beautiful beyond words.

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  17. I think this is wonderful. I mean I am sure it was beyond hard, but so many people can either relate or will be able to. Some might be going through it but pretending like their marriage is perfect. As far as I know, my husband hasn't cheated, and I hope he doesn't, (and me too for that matter) but I am aware that neither of us are perfect, it could happen! Praise GOD for a common ground to serve Him and save things like marriages and lives!! Great post!

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  18. You are so wise and humble to be so transparent and honest with your story. Of course HE wants us to use our lives for HIS glory and how often do we hide the messy parts out of fear of what others will think. Thank you for the encouragement to live openly and use our lives {the good and the ugly} to bring people comfort, encouragement and ultimately point them to who Jesus is and what he offers us. Blessings to you jami & mr. nato.

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  19. You are so brave and amazing!! Like everyone in the comments above has said, keep doing what you do! The world needs more people like you who glorify God in the most difficult of times! Thank you for sharing your story!

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  20. i had to keep myself from crying. god is good and he's showing is through you and nato. amen

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  21. I have left a comment on here before about my mom's affair. I am so glad you are talking about it and I am so glad your marriage surrived. I don't feel like I can really talk about my mom's affair because I don't want to damage my relationship with her (any more then it already is). So, I talk about it without really talking about it. I am sure you bring encouragment to so may people.

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  22. You guys have such an amazing and inspiring story. You are exactly right when you say we don't talk about "those things" because we want to glorify ourselves. Your blog, I'm sure, has been a source for many couples going through the same thing, and I know God is using your marriage to help others.

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  23. Your faith and your honesty really inspire me, Jami.

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  24. Hey lady,

    Thanks for telling your story so truthfully. it is a hard one and a beautiful one. Your children are gorgeous. Penelope is so scrumptious.

    ~em
    talesforkarina.blogspot.com

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  25. i am crying. we so walk(ed) this path. some days harder than others. but seriously God is so GOOD!
    i have been feeling the nudge to tell my story but i feel like all of it went down so long ago. in 05-06'. i don't know i guess i'm just waiting for God to say go before i do.
    love to you.

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  26. I just adore you. I tell you all the time that you're my inspiration so I wont go there again....

    but you are.

    If you wouldn't have shared your mess with the wonderful world of the internet then I wouldn't have known you were going to be my 2 am and I'm hyperventilating talk me through it friend. I'd still be on the crazy train, fo sho.

    Enough mush mush.

    Love your fam, I do.

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  27. my.favorite.blog.EVER.

    you are doing the LORDS will and reaching/encouraging others on this blog. it's all about eternity and HE has given you the writing talent and pedestal to do so. seriously, way to go! {{{virtual pat on back}}}

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  28. I loved this. You speak so beautifully and are really encouraging me to document more of my OWN story. Thank you, for being you!

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  29. For you sharing your story I will forever be thankful.

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  30. Your transparency and story are amazing. Thank you for showing us how God has showed Himself to you. I know Him better because of it.

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  31. God is so great. Bless your beautiful heart. Continuing to rejoice with you,
    Cailan

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  32. You are a brave so and your story is inspiring!!

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  33. I'm one of those random people out there that is so glad you shared your story...because it helped me deal when it happened to me. We are 11 months out now from discovery and it is a bit of a hard season...knowing what my husband was doing this time last year. BUT God has been gracious and in so many ways used the affair to heal some things my husband had never dealt with and some things that were seriously affecting our marriage. He is good like that! Thanks for being open and honest.

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  34. You're awesome and I can't wait till we get to heaven and I can run up and hug you and say I love you without it being weird and stalkerish. ;)

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  35. My friend is currently working through an affair her husband had. They are seeking counseling and trying to restore their marriage. I have passed your blog along to her and she has found a lot of encouragement and hope. It's amazing that you are inspiring people you do not even know. Thank you for you open heart and sharing such intimate details.

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  36. what a beautiful post and Penelope, what a gift from God!
    Love that you guys worked out your marriage and choose to every day!
    tara

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  37. We are so proud of you and nato. you are one of the bravest people I know and I love you. thank you for talking about all of this. i think I may have told you this already but you have changed my perspective on some things since we talked last year (like movies...you are right its ridiculous how easy to is to find yourself routing for a cheater because its a movie) anyway, keep it up :)

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  38. me too.

    thanks for sharing so much of your story. and your marriage. and the redemption of your marriage. it is the most encouraging thing for me right now. it fills me with hope. thank you.

    a friend of mine shared your blog with me. she grew up in charlotte, nc...and supposedly is a friend of a friend of yours. :)

    your family is beautiful. and your marriage is redeeming. and has made me believe that mine can be too.

    cheers!

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  39. when god does a miracle in your life, why should you ever STOP talking about it?! i don't think i've ever commented on your blog before, even though i've been reading for awhile. while my story is different, god worked a miracle in my own marriage. i happen to think it's a pretty awesome story and talk to people about it a lot even though it's far from flattering for me or my husband. that's fantastic that you and your husband are willing to let god use all that pain and embarrassment to encourage so many others around you!

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  40. it's funny. my husband and i talk often about what we would do if this ever happened to us. not about you guys, but just in general...what would we do if our marriage was involved in an affair. our answers always reflect hurt, fear, and loneliness. it's strange to me that you have given me an ounce of hope for this terrible thing that seems to be so prevalent right now in marriages everywhere. this hasn't been an issue in my marriage and for that, i thank God daily, but for some reason, i feel like if i was ever faced with this crap, maybe it wouldn't end in the big 'D'. is that weird? i just find it all so incredibly "hurray!" and i'm cheering you on like i know you or something. God is so much bigger than we ever credit Him. the fact that some people think it has to be themselves that get through it makes me sad. it can't come from them...it has to come from Him. sorry to babble. this happened to my sister and it ended a lot worse. all my long way of saying you rock for sharing. you rock for proclaiming the power of the Lord. so, ...thanks.

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  41. I really loved this post, and this blog in general. It's very encouraging to see such a happy ending. My marriage ended because of my husband's infidelity, and I'm thankful for that. But it still warms my heart to see a couple stay together after such a devastating event.

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  42. I came across this way that Paul talked about the Lord today and it reminded me of what you said about how you weren't supposed to have Penelope, and be standing in front of her church with her, and of all our marriages that have been saved that weren't supposed to be. ..."the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were." Romans 4:17. Jesus is so good. Thanks for being so honest.

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  43. Gosh, you talk about Jesus and the Gospel and you still get like 43 comments! That's crazy! LOL! No, what I was really going to say was that I think it is awesome that you are so real on your blog. You guys are an inspiration and honestly I tear up at the beauty that I see in your marriage and the redemption that is only by Jesus alone. I believe in a God who is so powerful and a Redeemer and yet sometimes I forget just how amazing he really is. I read it here and I give him praise, because I really wanted God to redeem my dad's 3rd marriage and I prayed so hard and it didn't happen, but I don't stop trusting and knowing that he is real and living and active and more beautiful than we know. What a blessing baby that Penelope is! Truly!

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  44. love this, and your heart. i cried at the picture of you all. tears streaming while eating my cereal cry.

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  45. tears+tears+tears... and more tears..
    God does amazing things in an amazing way that it is hard to even process sometimes.
    I thank God for people like Nato and You, who show me it is possible. It's hard, but it is possible....

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  46. You give comfort and hope to those struggling with the same issues...it needs to be out there so good job!

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  47. i couldn't love this more.
    the terrible things are only as shameful as we give them power to be. thank you for being so willing to step out on that limb...
    wait what is that cold sweat heart skip?? oh yeah that's just conviction and the big holy spirit saying hey.
    dangit.

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  48. jami, i know it's been said several times, but thank you for sharing your story. for us who aren't married, it is so encouraging. keep sharing your story, all for His glory! i pray God blesses your marriage more than ever!

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  49. fabulous honesty. keep it up. I'm sure many women are being encouraged and finding hope in your story. Take what the devil meant for harm and let God be glorified through it!

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  50. hope you don't mind that i shared your blog on my fb page. i just have too many friends dealing with this. it breaks my heart, but your story gives me hope for them...just want to share a little of that hope with them. thanks for always being so open.

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  51. There are so many things in life that are "taboo" to talk about. But the reason it stays "taboo" is because no one talks about it. There are always those elephants in the room that everyone avoids but is staring all of us in the face saying, "Deal with me so I can go away. You can pretend I'm not here, but I am, and I will get in your way no matter how hard you try to avoid me." Your journey through this tough place in your life has helped so many deal with their own elephants in the room. Not only that, but you have encouraged many of us to be bold, honest and transparent about our own journeys. God is using you in an extravagant way. Thank you.

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  52. AMEN! God IS so amazing. He saved our marriage. When I think back on the hopelessness I was feeling about it and the emotional affair that happened just 2 years ago and now we're acting like newlyweds and we KNOW it was Christ...wow. Preach it, sister!

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  53. you rock my socks off.
    i'm so glad i get to read your story and be inspired by your faith and trust in Jesus. so glad.

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  54. Jami,
    You blog really inspires me. I have not ever been married or had a child but I read of your stuggles, victories and joyous celebrations and think to myself, "I think she would tell me to go to the seminars from the start, to keep brutally honest communication from the start and to appreciate each other from the start." I'm quite certain that is what you would tell me. Then I would say, "I'm hearing you loud and clear." Then you would tell me that you like my tiara, and I would ask you to pass the tea. LOL. :) Thank you for your blog.

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