How God Saved Our Marriage : The Emotional Affair

by - Friday, February 16, 2018

Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate.
Mark 10:9

Just writing the title of this blog post makes me sick to my stomach.  It's never easy admitting your mistakes and this post isn't even the toughest one in our series that we are sharing but it's part of our story and also needs to be shared.

Six years of marriage and two babies later, we were constantly hearing from people how we just had the "all American perfect little family."  I'm just here to tell you that's a very high standard to live up to.

Remember the "tiny" issues we shared about last week that we swept under the rug back at the beginning of our marriage??  Well, in 2014 those creeped back into our life.  We were living life, had joined a new church, met a new group of friends that we loved hanging out with, we had a three year old and a one year old.  Life was just going great ... or so it looked that way from the outside looking in.  Have you ever heard the saying "you never know what goes on behind closed doors"?  That's a saying you could've used to describe our marriage at this point.  We may have looked like the "all American perfect little family" ...hardworking husband, stay at home mama, a little boy and a little girl, but we were far from it.

[Whitney]  I was so guilty of always putting our children before mine and Dan's marriage.  He thrives off quality time and that's something I should have known years ago but didn't learn until much later.  We will talk about that later on in our story.

[Daniel] I was guilty of thinking and expecting Whitney to do it all when it came to our kids.  Bedtime, bath time, dinner, cleaning up after them.  I would come home from work and think my job was done for the day.

Both of these drove a wedge in our marriage and we both started resenting each other.

The Bible says that your spouse is to come before your children and sadly a lot of times in marriages, it's not like that.  But take it from a husband and wife who have been there, it's extremely important to make your marriage a priority.  God first, marriage second, children third and everything else next.  When you don't, there is no intimacy, and we aren't just talking physical, there is no connection between the two of you and eventually it starts to feel like your are just two room mates living together raising your children.

That's exactly what happened in our marriage.

[Whitney]  In 2014, I started exchanging text messages with another man.  A man who was a part of our friend group that we had started hanging out with.  Not only a friend but he was the pastor of our new church that we had joined.  You can only imagine how bad things got.  An affair does not have to be physical to be an affair.  In fact, most affairs do not start in the bedroom.  Things weren't going well in my marriage and things weren't going well in his.  We knew this because our friend group hung out a lot.  Him and I started texting one evening and it eventually turned into us venting about our spouses to one another.  Never EVER a good thing.  To be completely honest with you, him and I should have never even had each other's phone numbers to begin with.  The texting went on for a few weeks ... I was saying all the right things to him and he was saying all the right things to me.  We were both filling that void for each other that our spouses were not.

[Dan]  I'm pretty good about knowing when something isn't right.  Especially when it comes to Whitney.  And I'm really good at reading people.  So when Whitney started acting really distant toward me, I knew something was going on.  I didn't know exactly what, but knew something was happening.  Did I ever think of it being an emotional affair with someone who I considered a true best friend and not only a best friend but my pastor?  No.  I would question Whitney, she always denied it and she always got so defensive.  That was a red flag.

[Whitney]  The day we got caught, I was supposed to be meeting his wife, my "friend", for lunch.  And I only say it like that because at this point I was not at all being a friend to her nor was he to Dan.  We were meeting for lunch and on my way there she texted me and asked if I could come by her house.  I knew right then that something wasn't right.  I went, but not wanting to at all because I just knew we had been caught.  I got there and sure enough she knew.  She had intercepted our texts via the iPad.  I left and called Dan on my way home.  I told him that I was coming home to pack up my stuff because I just knew our marriage was over.  He, of course, had no idea what exactly I was talking about but quickly figured it out.  He told me to come home so we could talk about it.  There is no explanation of how he remained so calm through ALL of this except God.  By the time I got home, he had pulled up our cell phone records and had found out that this man and I had been texting numerous times ... more times than I'd ever like to admit.

[Daniel]  Whitney got home and I honestly didn't know what to think or how to feel.  I remember asking her if our marriage was what she wanted or did she want out.  I also told her she had until the time I got back home to decide because I was going to meet this man that was supposed to be my friend.  I got in touch with him and told him that I wanted to meet face to face to discuss the situation.  I had so many questions.  I was frustrated and hurt all at the same time.  When we finally met that afternoon, we met at our local mall in the food court and his wife was with him.  On my way there, I kept replaying in my head how to approach the conversation because I knew with the way I felt, it wouldn't be easy.  I started the conversation and my biggest question was "why?"  He was very apologetic and told me that he had made a mistake.  This guy and I had become close friends and he was someone I even looked up to being my pastor.  I told him at the end of our conversation that he lost a great friend that day, that I was so disappointed in his and my wife's actions and I didn't want him having any contact with my Whitney at all going forward.  The hardest part of our conversation came at the end when I told him that I forgave him.  That was tough but I knew I needed to.  
I came home and that's when Whitney told me how sorry she was and we sat down and she told me she wanted to stay in our marriage. We both agreed that things HAD to change though in order for it to work.

And now, not only were there the issues that led up to this from previous years there, new ones had come up and now there was no longer trust in our marriage.

We cut ties with the other couple completely for several months to work on our marriage.  Just so you know, several months is NOT near long enough to fix the issues we had.  And would you believe that we STILL did not think we needed counseling?!  I mean, we were both still so sure that we could fix this ourselves.  Months went by and things got better between Dan and I ... or so we thought.  We both could see an improvement in our marriage but was it enough?  We ended up meeting the other couple involved one evening to talk things through.  And we did.  However, what should have never happened was us starting to hang out again.  Not near as much as we had been, but still seeing each other and going back to church together.  We should have talked things through, kept away from each other and left it at that.  Because we can promise you, if you don't, things will come right back up ... that's what Satan is good at ... and the next time they do, it will be a hundred times worse.

You know how hard this post was for us to write and you know that the next one will be even harder but Jesus we trust that you are using us.  Lord, if there is someone reading this that has been through a similar situation, we pray that you will heal their marriage.  We pray that they don't give up hope. You are good, Jesus and we trust You.

If you have missed any of our previous posts on our marriage series : How God Saved Our Marriage, you can read them here ...

If there is anything at all that we can pray for you about, please feel free to email us.

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  1. I think it's really awesome that yall are Sharing such a private part of your lives. Ive been married 14 years and we have 3 kids and I wish I could go around giving seminars to young wives on the joys and DIFFICULTIES that make up a marriage! I don't know you but from one Christian sister to another I'm super proud of you for being brave enough to talk about this. I'm praying that your story encourages someone who might be struggling. And I'm praying for the arrival of your new sweet girl! I know y'all are so excited!

  2. I can not imagine how hard this is to write out, but praise GOD we serve a really big God that he can works all things to his good. Your journey is so inspiring and I just know this has to help others.

  3. The Lord is going to use this for his are so brave to share but I always say that my mess can be used for God's greatest message!

  4. I appreciate your transparency in these posts. I belong to a Small Group and other groups within the church. It is our protocol that we don't exchange numbers with people of the opposite sex, and it's for some of the same reason of what you went through. If I need to get a hold of a husband or significant other, my husband can get a hold of them or I can have their wife relay the message.