Grief in the Discovery - Part 1 - Anger
There were two types of anger present after I found out about the other woman.
One was anger due to the violation that occurred. The other was one that laid dormant in my heart for years unbeknownst to me. Either way, anger is something I have felt the most in the process of grieving, and more explosively in the beginning.
The first anger is what I consider “easy”. It’s the reactive anger that roused me to pack up our small children and drive across the country to get away. The kind that led me to say things like, “Now you’re free to pursue her the way you wanted!” or “You will never see your children again!”. When betrayal happens in marriage, it’s a deep pain. Reactive anger to deep pain is dangerous in word and deed. It flows without a thought.
His pseudo-confession proved that he knew that my anger was not only coming, but it was warranted.
The fact that he was caught made me wonder if he had ever planned to tell me in the first place. It also occurred to me that this may have gone on for years had he not been exposed.
The second kind of anger is not so easy for me to admit. I live my life as a heralding Christian and devote myself to living a “gospel centered” life. What I mean by that is I will say without hesitation that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. (My favorite chapter of the bible is Romans 7 for crying out loud! “Oh wretched man that I am” vs 24) Yet we all know that saying something out loud doesn’t necessarily mean it is true.
Adultery proved that my faith and reliance on the finished work of Jesus alone was mostly smoke-in-mirrors.
Seeing that for the first time, quite frankly, pissed me off.
The anger lying dormant in my heart came alive as I watched mercy pour over my husband in a tangible way. God exposed his sin instead of letting him continue in it. He was breaking his legs and heart over what he had done, and He had every intention to heal and restore him in Christ. My husband truly KNEW he was a sinner in need. Me on the other hand, I was more than ok with leg breaking part. But mercy? Oh no. I was the victim and he deserved to be punished. I did not believe I was a sinner in need, I only claimed to be.
I was (and if I’m honest still am) angry with God for punishing His Son instead of my husband. The God that I proclaim to worship was actually the One I was at war with. In no way did I feel merciful or have a desire to pray that God would allow me to feel merciful toward my husband. I wanted to stand in front of God, scream at Him, and tell him what an awesome person I am. For the next three months, that is exactly what I did.
The anger I felt when I first discovered the adultery was part of the foundation to restoration of my heart.
I couldn’t see it then, but now I do. God wasn’t just breaking my husband’s legs, but mine as well. We would be new people in Christ and the resurrected body that is our marriage would glorify God in ways that the previous one wasn’t.
The best part? God wasn’t afraid of my anger. He was poised and ready for it.