What had I done?
I can’t believe that I agreed to that. What had I been thinking? What was wrong with me? Shame was flooding through my veins, I had never felt so guilty or so bad in my entire life.
Deep inside I knew what I had done was wrong, really wrong. I was so afraid of the consequences that I had stayed quiet, the guilt was eating me up from the inside out. Seeing my husband every day made it worse, I had wronged him.
I called my husband’s friend over and over and over again. He assured me that we had not done anything wrong. He warned me that there would be consequences if I told. My thoughts were scattered, I was scared to death. I knew that if I told my husband he would leave me. I tried really hard to convince myself that I was okay, but I was not okay. My spirit told me that I was not okay.
“Sin is the result of deep unmet needs.” ~Spencer W. Kimball
After 6 weeks I could no longer contain the shame.
I was going to explode.
I went to my husband and I told him everything.
It had started so innocently and the advice that my husband’s friend was giving me had been helping. I wanted to connect with my husband so badly. I wanted him to love me. At first, his friend told me how to dress better to get my husbands attention. Then he told me how to act to draw him in and get his interest. We talked a few times a week on the phone and his advice was working. My husband was showing interest and giving me attention. After years of being ignored and neglected I was loving it and I wanted more!
His friend started to give me weird ideas. At first, it was easy to say, “no way” I would never do that. As the weeks passed and the advice continued to work I started to get a little more daring. I wanted results. I didn’t do anything the first, or second, or fifth time that he told me it would be a good idea.
I have no idea how many times he gave me the idea before I took the bait. After hearing it over and over it didn’t sound so scary or bad anymore.
He told me that sometimes people need to do something out of the ordinary. Something that they would never do to change their mindset. He convinced me that if I did this one thing that it would change me and my husband would be able to connect with me. I wanted my husband to see me.
The night it happened
The night started innocently, my husband’s friend was in town and came to get me. I don’t know what this friend told my husband, but he knew that we were leaving together. Maybe his friend told him that he was helping me. Maybe my husband had noticed a difference and liked my changed behavior. I don’t know!
He picked me up at my house, my husband watched us leave. Maybe this is why it seemed so innocent. I wasn’t hiding it.
We went over to a house that my husband had been building. We went inside and we were talking. He was giving me ideas for flirting with my husband, and how to turn him on. His friend asked me if I wanted to learn anything else.
It was in that moment that I agreed to one of the ideas that I would ‘never do’. I remember we decided to go down to the basement. With each step I knew that I had made a bad choice, I think the spirit was screaming at me to STOP. My heart rate increased as the blood pumped through my veins. I’m not sure why I didn’t stop! Maybe it was because I didn’t know about boundaries and I didn’t know how to say no after I had already said yes. Maybe it was because I was so desperate that I would have done just about anything to connect with my husband. I can honestly say that I don’t remember.
Over the years, I had read so many self-help books. I had tried every ounce of information I could find on the internet, gathering information from friends, everywhere and anywhere. Nothing that I had tried had worked. He was distant and didn’t want to be with me. I had gotten more attention from the ideas given by this friend than anything I had read or heard. I was willing to take the chance.
I believed that I was the problem.
I am a sinner
I had agreed to let this man see me naked. He had agreed to let me see him naked. We decided that we should do it separately so that we were not undressed at the same time. I told him to go first. We were 20 feet away from each other in a dimly lit basement. He took off his clothes, turned around. Then he redressed. I took off my clothes, turned around and I redressed. We went back up the stairs and he took me home.
There was no touching and despite what you may think my intent was never to have sex with him. I just wanted my husband to love me.
I wasn’t a germ
Ironically I wasn’t attracted to him. I was surprised, but I loved my husband so much that I didn’t feel any longing or desire for this man. I don’t ever remember fantasizing about what I saw or wanting to see more.
I did gain something that night. I felt so ugly and undesirable that I thought this man might puke or be disgusted by me when he saw me naked. My husband rarely sought me out to be intimate. I thought it was because I was gross and hideous. I remember that most of the time I felt like I was a germ. He treated me at times like he might catch something from me. When this man looked at me he was not grossed out by me. I was so relieved that maybe I wasn’t as bad as I felt.
Cause and effect
As you can imagine I did not get the desired effect. I became distant and withdrawn, drowning in my own shame. I stayed quiet for about 6 weeks and then I couldn’t do it any longer. I was scared to death, but I showed up and told my husband. I decided that if he left me that I deserved it. I was going to own this regardless of the consequences.
- I called my husband’s friend and I told him that I could no longer contain the secret. He tried to get me to stay quiet, but I was done hiding.
- I called my dear friend, the wife of this man and I told her everything.
- I went and talked to my church leader and told him everything.
The story doesn’t end here
There is more to this story, and I will share it in the posts that follow. These are a few things that I learned:
- I learned that I am a sinner, and I have no desire to shame others for their sins. I was doing the best that I could, I believe that others are too.
- I had a deep need that was not being met, this does not excuse my behavior but it helps me understand it.
- I have accepted the pain that I was facing and the pain I caused others when this happened as part of my story and I have forgiven myself.
- I learned that I am human and I will make mistakes.
- I learned about love and forgiveness.
- I learned how my sins were able to bless others. (More to come)
- I accept that this is part of my story. It is not the prettiest part, nor is it a part I am proud of AND it is mine, I own it.
More to come:
- How I told my husband and what I learned
- How I told my dear friend what I had done with her husband
- How I worked through the shame of my sin
- How my sin was able to help someone else