Can you truly forgive someone after a betrayal? That was the question Lisa had to ask herself when she found out her husband was sleeping with her hairstylist. Before the affair Lisa was a very out-going and trustworthy woman who loved to make people laugh. She enjoyed going out, throwing dinner parties and just being the life of the party. After finding out about the affair between Mark and Kelly, she became distant and angry all the time. Lisa could not understand how the two people she thought respected her could betray her in such a way.
Most women are not emotionally prepared to handle the shock of finding out their mate has been unfaithful. To find out the mistress is someone you know is almost as devastating as finding out your husband has cheated. However finding a way to actually forgive them and move forward is more than a notion, it takes courage, faith and a lot of prayer. Lisa explains how she was able to heal and start her life over and begin to live again.
How did you find out about the relationship between Mark and your hairstylist Kelly?
I found out because my husband had her number programmed under a man’s name, and I knew the number because she was my hairstylist.
What was the first thing that came to your mind after you found out about the relationship?
The first thing that came to my mind was “I knew it!” I had a gut feeling that something was going on between them but I could not prove it.
How did you and the mistress develop a friendship?
Our friendship didn’t develop overnight at all. It took a LONG time, (4-5years) before I could honestly trust her. I would often try to talk to her even though I knew she had wronged me, but I was trying to do the “Christian” thing. Believe it or not, she was very rude to me as if I owed her something, or as if I had been with her man. But, yes contrary to popular belief, we are friends. We hang out, we talk, the whole nine yards, and we really are friends.
Could you forgive your husband/boyfriend and your friend?
Are you still with your husband?
Yes, I am still with my husband. Let me be the first one to say that it wasn’t easy, but we are happily married now.
How does your husband feel about you becoming friends with his mistress?
At first he was very reserved about it because he didn’t believe that I had forgiven both of them and he thought I was setting them up so I could harm her. That wasn’t the case; I was very sincere in wanting to rekindle our friendship.
Do you actually trust her as a friend?
I trust her whole-heartedly. As women, we are so quick to want to “check” the female, when our first stop should be the man. A woman can flirt all day, but it’s not until your spouse/ boyfriend opens up that door to let her in, then the problems start. Both of them were at fault because they both knew what they were doing was wrong. However, I believe she was letting the devil use her during that time and she was expressing her feelings of jealousy and envy because she wasn’t happy with the relationship she was in.
Have you experienced infidelity? Tell us about it.
How has the betrayal changed you?
The betrayal has definitely changed me. Before I tapped into my Spirituality, it made me bitter, angry, I was mad at any woman that was in the presence of my husband. I would fly off the handle at the drop of a dime, and often times try to check a female that had NO interest in my husband. Women never want to admit it, but I was being silly. Once I did a self-evaluation to see what it was that I needed to do to improve myself spiritually, as well as a wife, my whole life changed. I mean I did a 360 degree change…to the point that I questioned myself “is this really you??”
What have you learned from all of this?
(Lisa sighs deeply), I have learned that when your spouse cheats on you, it’s not your fault. This is something that they chose to do. I’ve learned that you have to give people room to err (I’m not saying allow them to misuse you), but know that humans make mistakes. Also, the sooner you forgive, the sooner you heal. I never wanted to verbally say that I forgave her, because I thought that would make me look weak. However, at the end of the day, she was sleeping, and I was up all night, so the only person suffering was me. I have learned that forgiveness is…it’s releasing yourself, giving you the opportunity to rest your heart, mind and soul.
Now, I have to be honest, once I “forgave”, I continued to “whip” my husband in regards to what he had done. That was my way to punish him for hurting me. When he would do something that I didn’t agree with, I would play my infidelity card. My Pastor told me”, what’s on your mind will come out of your mouth.” Meaning, you haven’t really forgiven either of them because you are still talking about it in a persecuting manner, once TOTAL FORGIVENESS comes, you won’t mention it. I will say that forgiveness is a process, and it can only be done with the aid of the Holy Spirit. I am so free now, free spiritually, emotionally and mentally.
Just think about it: Christ forgives us over, and over, and over, even when we feel we don’t deserve his forgiveness. We treat God like a sugar daddy, (we pray, Lord help me pay my bills, heal my body, and I’ll serve you), he still forgives us, and even continues to bless us. So, why do we think that we are so Holy & Righteous that we can’t forgive our fellow man?
Any parting words for people trying to learn to forgive?
I encourage everyone to first of all be encouraged and know that you are not the first person to experience the pain of infidelity, and sadly you won’t be the last. I found, for me, the best way to handle my pain was to tell God where I was hurting, I’m a witness, he healed every scar. You have to take a giant step and learn to forgive, really forgive wholeheartedly, and when you do you free yourself. You may not think so but you will feel so much better once you release the anger and hatred that’s inside of you. Always remember marriage is honorable, respect the covenant of marriage, even if you’re not married, don’t mess with ANYONE that is married. The old adage remains true, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
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