Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.
-Ephesians 5:11-12, NIV
It happened to me, again, today.
I was having a conversation with a work colleague who wanted to know more about me. Of course, I shared about my family Mrs. DM and Munchkin. She asked how long we had been married, and I shared that it was two years. Munchkin is almost five.
Being clergy, I felt like I had to share more about my history. So, I shared I was previously married and that marriage ended via my first wife’s cheating. But life is much better these days…(which is a truthful statement I used to smooth over the awkwardness of talking infidelity).
It really is “shameful to even mention” these things. That ick feeling returned even as I shared about my history. Yet I felt it was and is an important part of who I am today. That experience launched me into creating this online resource for others going through similarly difficult circumstances.
I am glad I shared. As one can tell from this blog, I am a pretty open book on these matters. This part of my past has been formative even though it only forms a chapter or two in my personal history.
The battle over shame is won in increments as faithful spouses share what they experienced. It is won by speaking the historical truth. That includes sharing that we survived some ugly stuff–e.g. adultery committed against us.
My hope in writing this post today is to encourage you.
I still struggle telling people about how I ended up divorced. “I’m divorced, and my first marriage ended via my first wife cheating on and leaving me.” That is not easy to say even though it is the historical truth.
This from the minister who blogs on the subject and is adamant that we–pastors–need to talk more about infidelity, not less!
My point is that it is okay to struggle.
But I hope you feel free to share your story–however briefly or not–when it is appropriately safe and you need to speak it.