It took all of my strength to get out of the van and into the counselor’s office that day. I knew that my husband had just spent three days sitting at his computer writing out his full disclosure letter. Much like the fear/wonder of getting on a rollercoaster for the first time, I wanted to hear it, but I felt so scared that I could have vomited. A thrill ride was going to pale in comparison to sitting in one of those office chairs, listening to my husband read aloud the details of his affair and then some.
A full disclosure letter is more than a detailed summary of an affair.
It is a written timeline of a person’s entire sexual history as far back as they can remember. I couldn’t escape the wonder of why it took him three days to write it. Were there details he hadn’t told me about? Was there more than one woman? Were things about to get worse than I imagined?
There was nothing I could do in that moment to ease my fear so I unbuckled and made my way into the office.
I sat in that chair, opposite corner from my husband, watching tears fall from his face and hearing his voice shake as he began to read the letter aloud. I am certain I held my breath the entire time.
Listening to a sobbing man is probably one of my least favorite things on this planet. This moment confirmed that for me. I will never in my life forget the war that raged in that office when he finished reading it. On one hand, I could see my heart laying on the floor quivering with a dagger stabbed through it. Hearing him explain all the encounters via phone/text/photo/email forced a pain in me that words cannot describe. On the other hand, hearing his entire sexual history from such a young age, I could sense a deep pain in his heart that made me swell with compassion.
He was incredibly brave in that office and I found myself liking the man who came forward.
The counselor was tender with us and able to give us a big picture idea of what our marriage could look like in the future. Both of us feeling simultaneously relieved and hopeless, that day God worked through our counselor in ways that (now looking back) seemed angelic.
My husband and I spent years in God’s word together learning scripture, but this catastrophe would provide a rubber-meets-the-road experience in the gospel.
From that day forward things would not be easier for us, but one thing was sure; I knew Jesus was for us our entire marriage up to that point and beyond. And for the first time…
I actually believed it.
”All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-21