Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Perspectives from the Rear-View Mirror

In both blogging and marriage, days quickly dissolve into weeks. Weeks, in turn, cascade into months. It all flies by and becomes this hectic blur of colors as you ask yourself "where did all of my time go?"  It's been awhile since we've actively updated this page, and I recently began soul-searching as to why this has been the case.  In the process, I've discovered some insights about our healing journey that I feel compelled to share with everyone who has faced the sting of infidelity as we have. Let me summarize it by saying this: I have some good news for you.

I've said it before and I will repeat it again -- marriages are measured in seasons. Every new phase of your life comes with its own themes, motifs, and obstacles. Where are you right now? How would you describe the season that your marriage is traveling through? For many couples who have dealt with the burden of an affair, much of this depends on how long it's been and how your initial recovery process went. The logistics of piecing your relationship back together, one shard at a time, are complicated. I fear that many people stagnate in this introductory path to recovery, stuck in bad habits and poor communication. Couples don't struggle with a lack of intention to stay together -- they struggle in figuring out how.

That brings me to the issue of why we haven't been as active here lately. We are in a new season. This February marks three years since my affair took place. Although it is still on our horizon, we are blessed with the distance that time provides. The era of our relationship now is utterly different -- the defining issue of our life is not my affair anymore.

Instead, we are increasingly facing the issues of our extremely busy schedule. Both Hannah and I are full-time college students. We are part-time youth pastors at a church. I teach music in the evenings and I have a day job too. Hannah is a stay-at-home mom and that, in itself, is enough to exhaust anyone but she is also a part-time nanny to a sweet little boy. Our battle is a grey one, where there is no bad guy or enemy at which we can redirect our efforts. We are facing the entropy of adult life and the moonshot of changing careers. It's a different kind of struggle entirely, and we are blessed to be facing it.

Now, please don't misunderstand me. The scars are still there. We aren't just "over it" now... There is no "over it" as far as I'm concerned, there is only the daily walk towards a better future. The pain still throbs and my infidelity still has a murky, ambient influence on our life altogether... but it doesn't define us. It may have defined one of our seasons, but it doesn't define our whole lives.

That's my good news to you. Whether you are on day 1 of the aftermath, or day 101, know this: the affair does not define you. It may define this season, but it will not define you. You are more than the sum total of your grievances. Trust me when I say that the image from the rear-view mirror looks very different.

It's our sincere desire to begin writing here again -- but the tone may change a bit. The outlook of our marriage is one where the infidelity looks different, because time and experience has molded our vantage point. So, we encourage you -- talk to us, share your stories, and help us share the one we've chronicled on our page. Ask us questions and give us suggestions. In marriage and in testifying about experiences, we are not done. We are just moving forward.

You are reading The Meaning of Repentance, a blog about The Hartsfields and their journey to recovery from infidelity. We encourage you to subscribe via e-mail for regular updates or follow us on Facebook!


  1. Hi! Im "Becky" i met my husband when i was 13yrs old (at church) began a friendship around 15, liked eachother since we were 17yrs old, got married at 22, had our first child at 25, second at 27 Life was good. We had communication issues, intimacy issues but we appear to be the "perfect couple/family" and all that changed in 2008 when my second born was 6months old my husband had an affair. My heart was crushed, life as i new it was over, i forgave him and tried to move foward, but like you said in your article; we didn't know how, i grew colder, and thought "he wronged me so he should figure out how to fix it" mean while he got fustrared at my coldness he stopped trying. We stayed together for five years more, in that time we had another child, we wanted to stay together but we grew colder each day. Almost two years ago he completely changed, he was indifferent towards me, we had no physical intimacy for 7months so i knew something was wrong, i looked for clues found many asked questions but he denied anything was going on. I started traking him and found out he had been having an affair for a year with someone at work. i confronted him he denied it until i showed him pictures, i asked him to leave the house, he did. I truly thought he was going to ask for forgiveness and asked to come back its been 6months and that hasn't happened. No one at work knows the truth, so he acts like everything is fine, he continues with this sinful addiction. To be honest i don't think im in love with him, him choosing someone else is heart breaking and so confusing im having a hard time knowing how to move foward, part of me so dislikes him and part of me feels sorry of how messed up is his life, it saddest me to see how a good christian guy can be so involved in sin that he would choose his sin over his family. I need to stay strong for the three little ones im left with. Any advise would be helpfull.

  2. A Broken and Repentant Heart

    You’ve warred again, and lost to sin,
    And can’t war anymore.
    Tremble at the Word of God,
    And fall down on the floor.
    For holiness is not to those
    Who have a law to keep,
    But those who, sickened over sin,
    Lay before God, and weep.
    Beloved, if you desire the power
    To cease from all your sins,
    Sorrow in repentant prayer-
    That’s where the change begins!
    Present yourself before your God
    To have your spirit rent.
    For what you are and what you’ve done,
    Be broken and repent!
    Your fleshly man has broke God’s law,
    And wallows in pollution!
    Bring that guilty, depraved sinner
    In for execution!
    Repent of all your evil thoughts,
    Your evil works, and lies!
    A broken and repentant heart,
    The Lord will not despise!

    From the new book Comfort in Christ: A Collection of Inspired Poetry


    1. Thank you so much for sharing! That is a beautiful poem!