We seemed like your typical happy couple. We were successful in our jobs, active in our community, and held leadership positions at our church. But behind closed doors, we were emotionally detached and unhappy. Over time, I began to travel more as a reason to be away. He said he needed space. I said I was tired of fighting for us. Then he said he didn’t love me. So I asked him to move out.
I never thought it would come to this. I was scared, angry, and exhausted. But instead of seeking help, I chose to tirelessly “manage” my crisis and keep it hidden from those I knew. How was I to explain this to my family, my church, myself? It felt easier to micromanage the situation than to deal with the shame of failure. So I controlled the crisis through lies and self-deception, perpetuating the illusion of an intact marriage to others and to myself. But in just one morning, I lost control of the life I was trying to manage.
Letting Go, Losing Control
While sitting in my office drinking my morning coffee, I received an anonymous email at work explaining that my husband had left me for more than just a lack of love—he had left me for another love. The email detailed how, for years, my marriage had been full of deception and infidelity. I immediately got on the phone to ask him if this was true. Complete silence was his response, as if he couldn’t come to terms with the truth himself. I’d heard enough, so I hung up the phone.1