Friday, May 31, 2013

Pulling back the curtain.

     If you are reading this, you are probably enlightened to the nature of my grievous actions.  Nonetheless, let me take a moment and frame this blog in context, as best I can. 
    I married my wife, Hannah, on June 7th of 2008.  I can say with painful honesty that I never truly rose to the occasion of being a Godly husband. I neglected by duties, shirked my responsibilities, and avoided confrontation.  I was a coward, and it poisoned me inside.
    In the winter of 2012, I had an affair with one of my coworkers.  It was a haze of wicked mindlessness that sent my family’s life into a tailspin.  Words cannot articulate the damage that I’ve seen… the sleepless nights, shameful recollections and desperate prayers.  My wife and I have journeyed through the storms and uncertainties day by day, and I can say with confidence that we have victory over this tragic occurrence.  There are times of turbulence that arise frequently.  This is our battle, and I know that God is on our side as we triumph and reclaim lost territory.
    So here I am, a man fractured by his own mistakes.  I suppose that some of the friends we’ve disclosed this to secretly harbor judgment towards me… or perhaps they are at least curious on where I stand, and what I’ve seen.  This blog is an attempt to pull back the curtain and provide a rare glimpse into the revelations that I’ve seen bloom from the fallout of my errors. I have witnessed a dispensation of grace that few will ever grasp.  

    The contents of this blog may, at times, be very heavy. They may be hard to digest, confusing, and even offensive.  This is where faith, folly, grace and guilt intersect. I believe that this is the beginning of a greater dialogue in my married life.  I pray that this cultivates conversation, prayer and self-reflection.  If you have a question about what you read, ask me.  If this blog challenges you, examine yourself.  It’s time to use our stories for the greater benefit of all.  
You are reading a post on The Meaning of Repentance, a blog about the Hartsfields and their journey to recovery from unfaithfulness. We encourage you to contact us if you have questions or comments. Make sure to subscribe by email (on the right side) for regular updates and check out our other blog here

14 comments:

  1. I think it would be helpful if it shared how your wife found out and if she knew. How you worked it out and how you got back to your relationship with God. What boundaries have you created to prevent it from happening again. Its good to see it didn't kill your marriage and what a strong woman of faith you havr . I am sure there are days but the moment we think we won't fall it happens. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much for your input! I'd love to share some of that information in the future. I'm going to be posting some more practical/advice-oriented entries down the way. I'm always a little resistant to giving advice, since every relationship is so different, but I think we could share some useful tips from our experience. Stay tuned!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just found out that my husband of 6 years cheated on me and lied for months. I started asking questions as things were not adding up. He finally confessed and told me everything. I can't tell u how sick I felt, how much hate I had in my heart. But no matter how much I hated I still loved him. I called our pastor right away and we are going to counseling at our church. Each day is a struggle for me to keep the thoughts of him being with someone else away, We are working on our marriage and trying to mend the broken. But it's hard and I struggle with it hourly, I love my husband for the man that he is, the wonderful father that he is and for the reasons we fell in love in the first place. With the Lords help we will make it through

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have done what I've always said I'd never do, and that is cheated on my wife. I hate myself for the pain and misery I have caused my wife. We want to make things right and work on us, so how did yall make it through?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for sharing. I know the pain of being so dissapointed in yourself that you can't even describe it well. One thing I would recommend is reaching out for help. In a situation like this, it's natural for a couple to want to insulate themselves from the world and hide their wound for safety's sake. but you need others. You need a circle of people you can trust, whether that is friends, family, church or whatever.

      The voice in your head wants you two to quietly suffer as you figure this out yourself. The voice in your head is wrong. If you need to talk, you can always email me at rayhartsfield@gmail.com.

      Delete
  5. I really think it will be helpfull to tell people how the stage is set for infidelity. How did it all begin? What are the causes? This will be a preventive measure for couples who haven't experienced it. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great idea! I definitely think there are some common contributors that setup couples for this kind of situation. I'll write a post about that soon... Stay tuned!

      Delete
  6. Wonderful story, thanks so much for sharing. My husband committed adultery as well, he works at a Christian school and so his other "christian" cohorts lied for him so he could keep his job. To make matters worse they are trying to say I had an affair because I talked to a man on the phone, since we do a blog together. It's sad the level of deception and sin adultery manifests and the lives it destroys.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for reading and for sharing part of your own story! I am genuinely sorry for your familiarity with adultery. I honestly wish that adultery was such a rare thing that we didn't need to even write this blog. But unfortunately, this is a common problem amongst marriages. Christian or not, thousands of people make this mistake every day around the world and you're exactly right.. it destroys lives. We hope to shed light on a very taboo issue and provide hope to those suffering through similar situations. Thanks again for commenting!!

      Delete
  7. I was interested until you mentioned how you were never a "godly" husband. My ex wife was at church five days a week, and cheated several times. And every time she told me that god commanded me to forgive her because I should be as forgiving to my wife as christ was to the church. I was supposed to have "grace."

    By the inclusion of that first line, you are trying to absolve yourself of responsibility by saying you just failed to live up to a perfect standard. And when we can't live up to a perfect standard, we tend to break it again, especially when we know we'll be "forgiven."

    How about instead you be a man and say:
    "I promised when I got married, I wouldn't cheat, and I did. I am sorry I broke my promise and had to spend some time figuring out why it happened. I am also lucky enough to have a wife who didn't walk out on me the minute it happened."

    If all you do to recover is fall back on religion and buzzwords, it will happen again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First off, let me say that I'm sorry for what you've been through. Faith should never be used as a tool to leverage your own way in a relationship. Grace is something that cannot be demanded, by its very definition. Grace is unearned. Grace that comes from coercion isn't grace, period.

      If you re-examine the above post, I think you will see that my mention of "godliness" is used to set the stage. To re-phrase it, I was a piece of crap before my affair.. and THEN, my affair happened. If I merely admitted to breaking my vow of loyalty, I would be selling the issue short. As my post says, I was an immature and childish coward... and THEN... my affair happened. I am, by no means, trying to minimize my error. In fact, I'm trying to accept MORE responsibility.

      I don't know if the presence of Christianity in our story makes you uncomfortable, but the fact is that it is a pivotal element in our journey. My notions of morality are derived from the Bible, so if I avoid acknowledging that, I am doing a disservice to my own convictions. I encourage you to read more of our blog, because I feel confident that you'll discover our faith to be more than religious dogma and buzzwords. Our faith runs down to the very core of our story. Thanks for reading.

      Delete
  8. I am not married, but I discovered your page on relevant magazine. I was searching for answers. I happen to be a single lady that got to a relationship with a man that was married. I never knew about his marriage as at the time I met him he was staying alone and had separated with his wife and he never mentioned anything to me. I struggle to deal with the guilt that comes with such discovery. Not sure if you may help but I felt to share what is on my mind but most importantly, how to heal from a broken heart of a man that never told me the truth from the start.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Young people, life is full of upsets and triumphs. I applaud the honesty and hold no judgments. I myself have been unfaithful many times. For me I brought this into my marriage from self gratis faction and the pain of forsaking my own selfishness was short lived. The world pumps sex and so does the evil one: Satan, is out to divide us. I agree we need others and exposing our weaknesses is the key to restoration. We are not born Men but if we focus on the Man learn from the Man and stay honest with prayer and unity then we will overcome and bring Glory to his name. Jesus The Christ, P.s. setting captives free is a website with courses to defeat our selfishness and work through our #1 covenant for better or worse. Man or Woman, Yes I'm talking to you. Eternal results should be our concern because this life is short. Peace

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm finding out that husband , who he was friends with this women before we started dating / married. I never had a problem with this,but with in the last 6 months I"m finding that he's been giving this women money often and seeing her and secretively. The only reason I found out about this , was he left his email account open and I started looking. But when I started confronting him on his lies he try's to more secretively but I find out. I have this women phone number and email I know I can't call her (for my own personal reasons) but I want to write to this women because she did this when he was married the first time. When they split up and he tried to date her the women didn't want anything to do with him. I didn't know about any of this until recent. I"m numb and confused.

    ReplyDelete