(Disclaimer: When I speak of the stage of acceptance, in no way am I suggesting that anyone “accept” verbal, physical, or sexual abuse. If your spouse is abusing you please contact your local authorities and seek to get out of danger. You are worth it and your soul is precious.)
It was nearly 10 days of my being in Michigan when I realized it was time to go home. The initial blow of the news has settled in and my mind was adjusting to my new “normal”. By no means was I done asking questions about the details of what had gone on between my husband and the other woman, but I had come to accept that this event had taken place.
Acceptance in grief is both scary and freeing.
On one hand I was scared that my choice to stay married would communicate that I condoned what he did to me. That essentially I was saying it was “ok” that he cheated on me. On the other hand, no amount of crying, yelling or wearing the hat of a detective was going to change the fact that our marriage was forever altered. Adultery happened. And facing this was going to be the foundation for reconciliation.
A necessary part of grieving is acknowledging that something happened and therefore is acceptance.
Adultery is not ok. Let me be clear, acceptance in grief does not look like a free pass to do it again in the future. It is merely admission that this event was now a part of our story. In no way do I accept further betrayal, I am only saying that I can no longer deny that it happened, but instead face it.
Do I love our story? Absolutely not. I am writing this entry nearly 8 months post discovery and I am still grieving. I have these things called “triggers” (something I have slated to write about in a few weeks) and they send my body into frenzy of emotion. However. No emotion too great can over power the transforming grace that God has on my life at this very moment.
The greatest of betrayal can bring us to our knees in order to see Jesus in ways that an easy/pain free life cannot.
I am being pressed in such a way that begs me to rely on the God who made me and came to rescue sinners like my husband and I. So while I do not love our story, I accept what happened to me and allow it to drive me to the cross. Acceptance frees me to have candid conversations with Jesus, rather than pious “Christian” jargon.
Truthfully when acceptance came, I felt like I could breathe. I felt empowered to sit in the mess my husband created and desired to deal with it head on. This encouraged me to pack up our children and make the long trip back to Denver.
A clear mind was the reward for acceptance, and yet a clear mind was what drove me into the final stage of grief in the discovery (for me): Depression.