Secrets of a Newlywed: Choosing to Forgive

This is the next post in Secrets of a Newlywed, a series where I and other bloggers open up and share some of the lessons, insights and understandings—the little secrets—that have made our marriages the wedded bliss that they are.
(To read through all the posts in this series, click here.)

Today I'm sharing another one of these lessons with you, courtesy of a guest post from one of my friends. Her struggle especially is not an easy subject to tackle, which is why I appreciate her honesty and vulnerability about: Choosing to Forgive.

"I'm sorry." I've probably said it a thousand times in the nine years since my husband and I got married. He's said it just as often. We've said it after leaving a pile of clothes on the floor or accidentally spitting tooth paste on the other in the bathroom (yes, that has happened). We’ve also said it at times when our relationship itself was at stake.

I met my husband on the first day of tenth grade. I had just started attending a private Christian high school, and I was delighted to have met this amazing Christian guy: He was president of his senior class, he led worship during our Friday morning chapel services, and our first date was to a youth group function at his church.

We dated throughout the rest of high school. Three weeks before I graduated, he proposed, and then we were married just months later. Soon after, he joined the US Navy and was deployed overseas.

Somewhere along the way we just lost sight of the important things in life. Our relationship with God became less and less important. We stopped praying together, we stopped going to church, we both drifted away from the very thing that had brought us together.

On one of his deployments, he was gone for a year. It was the longest year of my life. The day he came home was so incredibly happy and special, I felt like a newlywed all over again.

However, I couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong. Our relationship was strained and uncomfortable.

Finally one night in June, the truth came out: My husband had betrayed me in the most intimate way possible. Not just one time but multiple times over the course of our marriage. He admitted to an addiction to pornography and to sexual website that offered chat between members.

I was destroyed. “I'm sorry,” didn't seem to cut it. I was so mad, so hurt, and so unwilling to forgive.

For days I was numb, I couldn't comprehend this perfect life that was in fact a perfect lie. Every story, every experience over the last eight years had to be examined for the truth, and most of the times I didn't like what I discovered. I didn't believe that divorce was the answer, but I knew it would take a long time to trust my husband again.

I cried out to God and asked him why this had happened. I prayed for the wisdom to know what to do. I wanted an easy fix for this situation. "Please God, show me how to forgive him." I searched scripture for answers:

Then Peter came and said to him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I don’t tell you until seven times, but, until seventy times seven." (Matthew 18:21-22)

I wouldn't just have to forgive my husband once. I would have to forgive him over and over again. That was the hardest thing: Choosing to forgive. It's easy to forgive someone for not doing a chore, or forgetting an important event, but how do you forgive someone for such a betrayal?

Sometimes I would just burst into tears as the painful words of that night replayed in my head. Each and every time I had to forgive my husband again. Not always in words that were spoken, but often in my own soul I had to remind myself that I was choosing to forgive him.

Choosing to forgive instead of to hate was like any physical exercise, it got easier over time.

There were many prayers for strength, many late night conversations with wise women who I trusted to counsel me and pray with me, many conversations with my husband about where each of us were in our recovery.

As badly as I was hurt, I had to recognize that my husband was hurting as well. He had lived with the guilt and the shame of what he had done for so many years. Not only had he lived with the secret, but he also thought that our struggle with infertility was God punishing him for his infidelity. He begged for my forgiveness and held me through every tear I had to cry. Through a Christ-based, 12-step program, he found peace and recommitted himself to our marriage and to God.

Together we returned to church. We worked hard to bring our marriage back to God and to realign ourselves with him. We relearned to trust and love each other.

Our story is one of extreme forgiveness, of fighting back from the worst kind of "I'm sorry." Today we're better than ever. Closer than before it all started because now we both know that what we have is worth fighting for.

There are still moments of pain as I look back and remember the betrayal, but each time I pray for strength and I choose to forgive.

This was a guest post by one of my friends, who wished to remain anonymous due to the personal nature of the topic. Please take a moment to leave her a note in the comments and show her some love for her willingness to open up and share this struggle. Thanks so much!

Related Posts
Secrets of a Newlywed: You Did Not Marry Brad Pitt
Remembering Our Wedding Vows


  1. What an incredible testimony of the power of prayer and forgiveness in Christ! Thank you for sharing this with us (and thank you to your friend for her transparency)! It's not a story I'll soon forget.

  2. I so appreciate you sharing your story and being so honest. Forgiveness is so important in any relationship, and I can only imagine how much more in a marriage. p.s. I had no idea you married so young!!

  3. @ Kristin - Agreed. I know it's not something that's easy to talk about, so I appreciated her honesty, too, to share this experience. Because whether others have walked a similar path to hers or not, forgiveness plays such a lead role in every marriage!

    @ Laura - Thanks! Actually, I only got married a couple of years ago, at 26, so I'm still getting the hang of this married thing!

  4. I admire the strength your friend has in sharing her story of forgiveness. She's a strong woman.
    Thank you for sharing her story with us.

  5. Thank you for this. I knew someone who struggled with this when he was younger but is stronger now after lots of prayer and for it getting out in the open. Now, he uses it (amazingly) as a testimony of what God has brought him through. I am so glad to hear of this marriage coming back together again and a couple actually CHOOSING to forgive and fight for one another.

  6. just wanted to say thank you for sharing this. it is a big deal. and your story can really be helpful to a lot of people.

  7. Thank you for sharing your story! I experienced a very similar struggle with my husband before we were married. I found out about his sexual addiction about two months before our wedding. I made the decision to forgive as well. Each relationship is different and not everyone can recover from something like this but I think it's really important for people to see the successes as well. I can relate to your story so much-especially the part about having to forgive again and again. The painful memories can hit at any time and I have to remember to forgive. Thank you for such inspiration!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Next Post Previous Post
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...