It was a little over four years ago when God promised me He was going to make a miracle out of my marriage. I believed Him then like I did when He saved me from Hell. And, in the four years that Papa Bear and I have been actively rebuilding our home, I’ve had very few moments of out-and-out desperation.
I’ve never written a post for the purpose of shock value, so even though this story might be a classic page-turner without the upfront inclusion of the ending, I am going to go ahead and let you in on a little secret: I’ve had a faithful husband for the entirety of these last four years.
Now, when Papa Bear and I make a mistake, it’s pretty much our norm that we cop to it. I’m not saying we’re perfect in this, but that we lost our painful grip on perfection, finally, somewhere around two years ago. We share our past almost as openly in person as we do from this blog. And we do this even though we know that most don’t really believe that people can change.
This winter, after passing what we thought was the big test and feeling a little overconfident as a result, Papa Bear took two jobs that placed him in a veritable den of temptation. When our lives flipped upside down and Satan was clearly gaining a foothold, Papa Bear not only recognized the sources of temptation, but he quickly quit both jobs. He confessed to me the ways he had allowed Satan entry into his life, and we sat out, once again, to heal.
Which is not something we’d be allowed to do without a fight.
Our feet hadn’t yet hit the ground when we were faced with a much more formidable hurdle. Rumors, which are often vicious and are very common in our small town (it’s a great place to visit but a hard place to live), began circulating that my husband, the precious and profoundly redeemed father of my children, was being anything but faithful.
When I first began to hear the rumors, I knew in my heart that they weren’t true. I only remember being confident because I wrote down my assuredness in my journal, knowing my first instinct would prove to be important someday. But, as the weeks wore on, the seed of doubt that had been planted began to flourish within my soul. Satan watered it and fed it in the beginning, but I took over for him after awhile. Until, almost three weeks ago, less than a week after Papa Bear and I led our church in prayer for marriages and families, all hell broke loose. We began hearing the rumors from people in our own circle of friends. And, what’s worse, they’d been given every reason to believe them.
I cried. I yelled. And I cried some more. I looked deep into my husband’s eyes and I begged through screams for him to tell me the truth, threatening that we could work past anything but lies. It was with so much sorrow and pain that he told me, softly and repeatedly, that he hadn’t sinned against me. But how could I ever believe him?! And, oh, how I wanted to believe him!! I asked God to tell me the truth, but I wailed too loudly to even hope of hearing His answer.
I saw so much weakness in myself last week that the memories are physically painful. I was godless and faithless with nowhere to go for the truth. And, if you must know, I couldn’t stand the thought of everyone talking about us behind our backs: Papa Bear as the womanizing husband and Kingdom Mama as the naive and gullible wife. That’s not exactly the picture we paint for you here, is it? Had I been painting a lie?
Some of you found this blog because you or your spouse are struggling with sex addiction. Some of you don’t believe in sex addiction, and that’s fine too. Actually, I don’t really believe in it myself. I believe in demons and I believe in deliverance. But sometimes I simplify things by using the world’s terms of addiction and sobriety. At any rate, those of you who are familiar with sex addiction may also be familiar with Doug Weiss. I’ve mentioned him before because we received counseling at his center when we first began this journey back. Doug is not only extremely godly, but he is also highly respected and knowledgeable. In fact, he is the premier sex addiction counselor (at least in Christian circles) in the nation. Was it divine appointment that we fell to pieces (just over four years ago) just minutes from his office? Yes, we believe that it was.
At any rate, the thing that I have been avoiding telling you is that sex addiction counselors often recommend that the addict undergo a polygraph*. I think this is more common in Christian circles where we understand that freedom is only possible through the truth, and people who are bound by lies (addicts are usually compulsive liars) cannot even begin the journey toward freedom. We never underwent the polygraph four years ago because I was satisfied that the truth had already been revealed. Also,
the test is expensive “Do you love your wife?” is a mandatory question, and I was terrified to know the answer.
*While untrained polygraph technicians have made somewhat of a joke of the science, a professionally administered polygraph, with a technician trained to recognize all signs of lying, is kind of like having the super power that I want.
After twenty-four hours of vomit and tears and running the full gamut of emotions like it was an Olympic event, I approached Papa Bear and said, “I really want to believe you, but I don’t know how. Would you be willing to take a polygraph?”
To which he replied, after swallowing the thought of the bill in a pile of things we simply cannot pay at the moment, “Yes, if that’s what you need, let’s do that.”
To be continued…