Thou Shalt Not…

Adultery: voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not his or her spouse

Let’s talk about adultery. Thou shalt not commit adultery. I broke one of the Big Ten. You know…those ten commandments that God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai…they do matter. And they matter a lot more than we realize most of the time.

I’m prompted, in part, to talk more about this after reading Proverbs 28:13 which says, “He who covers his sin will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy”.

My three daughters are another reason why it has become important to me to share this story. I want them to learn from my mistakes. I want them, and everyone, women especially, to know what it was really like to commit adultery…because let me tell ya, it does not feel good in the end.

And also, I just find it fuckin’ therapeutic to share my story…that’s a bit selfish but at the same time, I need healing, too, ya know.

By the way, I’m using the word “ADULTERY” instead of “affair” in this post because to call it an affair simplifies it in ways it shouldn’t be simplified.

A little something that needs to be disclosed: during the time that I became a woman caught up in adultery, I was taking Adderall by prescription…that shit is basically legal meth and it will destroy your mind! It completely warped some of my thought patterns.

Anyway…here we go!

At first, when the temptation of adultery first presented itself, I fought it. I even told the man, that although I was tempted, I didn’t want to break my wedding vows. At first, the very idea of committing adultery turned my stomach. It was wrong and it was a sin that I said I’d never commit. Never say never.

Instead of casting out the thought, I dwelt on it. I thought about it and talked to him about it. We talked about the relationship we’d had 20 years prior. The idea of being with him began to intrigue me and stir me up in ways I’d not experienced before. That in itself was very confusing. I experienced cognitive dissonance…basically, our human ability to desire two opposites at once…for the first time in that temptation.

I dug into the Word of God (aka the bible). I recited the Lord’s Prayer over and over and over. I prayed and prayed…but in all of my attempts to fight the temptation, I still thought about it. I even somehow convinced myself that Jesus wanted me to sin…because I thought it was somehow for the greater good. The greater good of what I don’t know but, oh! what a tangled web we weave…

Once I decided that I was actually going to commit adultery (yes, it was a conscious decision), it was exhilarating at first. It was one of the worst things I had ever done and yet I found it exhilarating. WTF. As a SAHM, my life was predictably boring and I was fuckin’ excited about the idea of this dirty little adventure. It was a conscious decision but I didn’t consider the consequences. (No matter how we spin the reasons for our actions, we decide how we behave. Y’all, there are always consequences to our actions. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction…Newton’s Third Law of Motion applies to everyday life, too, don’t ya think?)

The most exciting part of the whole ordeal was probably the sneaking around, having a secret, having something all to myself. I’d never had such a dark secret…there was something powerful about it. And that somehow masked the fact that the sex really wasn’t that spectacular…it was just sex with a man that didn’t know me in real life. The sneaking around, all the secrecy, brought with it a sense of high that I’d never experienced…due in part to the cognitive dissonance that I mentioned before, in part to the Adderall, and in part to my own selfish desires.

That high helped me fight off all of the horrible emotions and thoughts that came with the act of committing adultery. I felt shame and guilt on levels that I didn’t know were possible. I felt worthless. I felt like a hypocrite. I lied to and used the people in my life to fulfill my own wants. Eventually, I even felt like I didn’t deserve to live because my sin was so great..and so I latched on to that deceitful high to numb my feelings.

Things came to an end when he told me that he was tired of lying to me, that I had only been a fantasy to him. There are no words to describe the pain that caused me. Ladies (and gentlemen)…that old saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”…it’s a lie. The tongue has the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21), so be careful with your words.

I asked my ex-husband, both the man and his wife, and others immediately impacted by it to forgive me …a completely humiliating step towards repentance. The man’s wife and I are not friends…we haven’t met each other in person but we’ve had several conversations. At one point we even thanked each other for opening each other’s eyes. I don’t know a lot of humans, especially women, who are willing or even capable of such compassion…so I’m giving credit to God for that. Sin stirs up all kinds of things that are not of God and so the ability and desire to forgive can only come from Him. I really don’t think forgiveness is something that comes naturally to us as humans.

In the end, I’ve had to submit my will to Christ. I’ve had to lean into His power to overcome my nearly seven-year addiction to Adderall. Craving that high is still a daily struggle for me. I struggle with anger towards the medical system in our Nation for prescribing addictive drugs that have the potential to permanently change our brain chemistry. I struggle to deal with my emotions with a sober mind. I struggle with accepting all that I lost…relationships, respect, the life that I knew. I struggle with knowing that I hurt people who trusted me. I struggle with knowing that I have the ability to so deeply wound the people that I love. I struggle with forgiving myself.

Even in the struggle though, I am THANKFUL for my life and all that I have gone through because it has molded me into the woman I am today. Today, I can acknowledge my past without continuing to crumble under the weight of the sin.

There is so much freedom in being this transparent…I no longer fear the judgment of other people. But beyond that, there is so much freedom in knowing that my Creator never stopped loving me and in knowing that with confession comes mercy.


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