The journey to total restoration can sometimes face roadblocks. One of those roadblocks can be communication with the other person your spouse was involved with when they were away from home. I want to share some thoughts my dad had on this topic and how he handled ending contact with the woman he was involved with.
“I came home physically long before I came home emotionally. Thank God I had a wife who understood some of what I was experiencing.
It’s been said before, and it bears repeating. You must make a clean break with the other person. No contact. No mail. No phone calls. With God’s help, you can do it. Ask Him right now to help remove your hurt over the person.
If contact is demanded, such as pickup of personal effects, discussing financial matters, or a child, take a third person with you. Don’t take Joe from work, who will remind you on the way home what a great person you are trying to forget. Take a Christian friend of your same-sex who can cover your contact with prayer. If you visit that other home again for any reason, you won’t be sitting on the sofa. You will be sitting on a load of dynamite, ready to blow your home apart.
I am sitting in front of my keyboard in the early morning hours writing to you. Charlyne is asleep, and I can’t even ask her wise counsel on this one. I am torn between handing out a few words of advice and moving on or sharing some secrets of my homecoming with you to help you avoid Satan’s traps for your family. I sense that the Lord would be pleased to have me be completely transparent with you.
I had difficulty, a lot of difficulty, making that clean break with the other person. There was always some excuse for contact. After all, I reasoned, she was now going to be all alone, and God wouldn’t want me to hurt her any more.
I rationalized, in error, that it would be possible to maintain a friendship with her, even though I was home. Satan took my misdirected Good Samaritan intentions and almost destroyed our marriage again.
Although it may hurt your ego, that other person can survive without you. God’s plan may include restoration of that individual’s marriage as well. Children in that home are precious to God. He will watch over them. Your physical presence in someone else’s family will do harm, not good. Your prayers are needed there, not your presence.
Some of the wisest counsel I ever received came from a friend who is a Christian counselor. After I had outlined my problem, he asked (actually, he demanded) that I commit to a period of six months with no contact between me and the other person. He gave me an hour to make a clean break and then to report back to him that I had done so. I did as he instructed.
Had my friend jumped on me with both feet, quoting verse after verse to show me the errors of my way, demanding that I stop immediately what was taking place, it might have been too much. I might have decided to give up on my marriage after all. Some might feel that ‘six months’ advice to be weak. For me, it was exactly what I needed.
The enemy of our families, Satan, never quits. I was soon reminded that those six months would be up one week before the other person’s birthday. Those six months came and went. I was not even aware they had ended. The anticipated birthday card was never sent. Having no contact with her allowed our relationship to wither and die. Praise God for His help.
During the early part of that period, I found a reminder of her in almost everything. Gradually this began to subside. One particular incident sticks with me at the very moment I made closure with my past.
In my car, there’s an envelope which holds my vehicle registration and insurance card. That envelope is usually never opened until someone runs into you. I had found this to be a safe place to keep a photo of me and the other person. I was playing by the rules and having no contact, but I was opening that envelope from time to time, even when no one had run into me.
One rainy evening I was driving up I-95 in Palm Beach County. For some unexplainable reason, the Holy Spirit spoke to me that it was time for the picture to go. I resisted. It was the final link with my past. The Lord won as I tore up that last reminder and threw the pieces out of my car window. Never has anyone found such release in becoming a litterbug. God blessed my step of obedience. I knew right then that He and I had won the battle for our home.
I had reached a crossroads in my coming home. Thank God I took His path, and He has blessed our family. I could have chosen to serve my six-month sentence and then picked up right where I left off. Little reminders like my secret photo would have helped keep the spark alive. It doesn’t take a Rhodes scholar to determine what the end result for our family would have been. One hundred percent of my emotions, time, and love now go right into my marriage.” ~ Bob
As you navigate the waters of restoration, understand that every step will take time. One of the most important factors is communication. Be open with your spouse about your feelings and be willing to listen when your spouse is honest with you.
Total healing is possible!