Advances in technology have changed the many ways we, as a society, perform a number of activities. Our lives are significantly different than they were ten years ago. One of the major advances in technology is communication. We are able to communicate in so many different ways. Through social media apps, instant messenger, text, e-mail, FaceTime, and (God forbid) even calling someone. This also means we have various new tools to help people cheat. Hell, all these new forms of communication have made it easy. Everything is password protected, so unless you’re a moron (or your partner is stealthy) I’d say it’s pretty easy to get away with contacting “the one that you want” without anyone else knowing. This leads to a moral question…what justifies cheating? In this new world where you can cheat on your partner without physically doing anything immoral, where do you draw the line?
Maybe this is a question each couple has to answer for themselves, but for the purposes of this blog I’ll let you know where I stand. If you don’t want your partner to know about it, you shouldn’t be doing it. If you feel like you need to hide it, odds are it’s wrong. If you would be ashamed if your family knew, then you better rethink your life choices. I’m all for having friends. Even having friends of the opposite sex. But those friendships don’t need to be hidden in private conversations, confidential messages, or secretive texts. Come on now, we’re all smart enough to know that, right? Perhaps I’m more sensitive than most regarding other women contacting the object of my affection…fair enough, but I’ll just chalk that up to more divorce PTSD.
My musings on cheating actually have a point, believe it or not. I woke up the morning of January 1, 2014 with a sinking feeling in my stomach. He was still passed out. I decided to check his phone. Listen, I am NOT that girl. Until the day I found out my ex-husband was cheating on me I had never checked his phone, or anyone else’s phone for that matter. It makes me feel icky that I felt the need to do it and I pray to God I never have to even think about checking someone’s phone again. That’s not the kind of relationship I ever want to be in. So, here I am, on our couch early in the morning and I am scrolling through inappropriate text after inappropriate text. I can’t stop myself. I keep reading and reading and reading. I am oddly calm. I don’t know how much time I have until he wakes up. I want to know everything. There’s no going back now. So I keep reading. Then, in a move of clear headed brilliance, I forward all the texts to my phone. Just in case.
Sidebar: I have gone back and forth on how much information to share in this blog. The whole truth would disgust you, and perhaps isn’t necessary. I never want this blog to be about ganging up on my ex-husband. I’d prefer to focus on the reality of my depression and the overwhelming amount of God’s grace that pulled me onward and upward. If that is truly my intention, then I must do my best to write “just the facts” and not wallow around in the details of my ex-husband’s adultery. I’ll try, anyway.
After reading all the text messages I sat still for a long time. What is a wife supposed to do at a time like this? Seriously, I’d like a real answer. Nothing had worked. Therapy was a disaster. Crying, begging, pleading all fell on deaf ears. Even trying to turn myself into the perfect wife was pointless. I’m not perfect. I can’t cook. I’m always carrying extra weight. I don’t know a lot about sports. Good God, I had been trying for four months to be everything I thought he wanted. I had prayed in every corner of our tiny apartment. I had read every book on how to be a Godly wife. It. Wasn’t. Working. The drinking, the anger, the cheating…it was still going on. And by staying I was enabling him. I was saying “Yes, treat me like a dog…I’ll still be here when you’re ready to love me again. And P.S., I’ll also make sure your laundry is done, your dinner is ready on time, and your home is clean.” So, I’ll ask again, what is a wife supposed to do at a time like this? I didn’t know anymore. But I knew I was tired. I knew I was slowly dying. I knew I hated the person I had become. And I knew I was leaving his sorry ass.
My father, who always knew I would come to this conclusion, had found an attorney who he knew would take care of me. A friend. A man who loved our family so much, he would fight for me like he would fight for his own children. He would let me speak to him in confidence. He would be strong when I didn’t have strength. He would wait until I was ready. So on this cold New Year’s Day morning I called him, with my pathetic ex-husband still passed out in bed, and I told him I had to leave. And we formed a game plan. And just like that I took the first steps, the scariest steps, in leaving my life.
2 Corinthians 6:14 “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?”