affair recovery · marriage

The Lies We Believe

I am an obsessive researcher, but only compulsively.  Driven by this nature, God spoke to me in a most unlikely place. Through a Google search I wound up on an advertising website reading an article entitled, Changing Beliefs Vs. Changing Behaviors. The article stated that while it is easy for advertisers to change customers behaviors, changing customers beliefs is a daunting task. In other words, if you are a die hard Coke fan, you may purchase Pepsi because it is on SALE–but deep inside, you still believe (and may be willing to argue) that Coke is better than Pepsi.

Now, I am not interested in the cola wars, or even in advertising. What I am interested in is the truth. Recently, I made a lot of self destructive decisions that ended up causing a great deal of pain, and knowing the truth about my motivations matters to me greatly.

One of the things that I’ve come to realize is that my belief about how I felt about my marriage was a major influence. According to Rick Reynolds, Founder and President of Affair Recovery,

“Most of us believe that the path to a better marriage is through better behavior, but that is not the full truth of the recovery process. In fact, it might not even be the most important thing. More frequently, the path to a better marriage is through changing the lens through which we view our mate.”

This is where is gets tricky, because this is where I unload some of my baggage, or “air some laundry.” Prior to meeting my husband, I had a habit of dating young men  who were not chivalrous. I gave myself completely to several relationships, and each relationship followed the same pattern of intimacy & thrill followed by rejection & heartache. My draw towards people who would treat me poorly increased. At the ripe young age of 21, I understood and even empathized with Glenn Close’s character in Fatal Attraction.

Then I met a very kind young man who treated me differently. His composure with me demonstrated the love that my Heavenly Father has for me. He was respectful and faithful. As much as I knew this was a good thing, it was equally confusing. During our engagement period, there were signs that I was struggling. I did not understand why I didn’t have the erratic feelings that I had experienced in the past. What I didn’t know was that the feelings to which I had become accustomed to were not associated with love, but rather with rejection.  I did not understand how to allow myself to be loved rather than used.

Being used was familiar and understood. This was new territory, and while I attempted to understand it–I didn’t talk to anyone about what I had come to believe, because sadly, what I had come to believe was that I had made a mistake. I had taken a vow, and I had started a family–what I felt was irrelevant. I assumed that as long as my behavior emulated a strong Christian wife, my heart would follow suit and walk the line.

Circa 1988

“If I just had the right behavior, it wasn’t important what I believed.”

Over the last several months, that lie has been shattered. I did not make a mistake when I married my husband. It’s a terrible lie and I don’t believe it anymore. It is also true that believing that lie is dangerous. Every single lie we tell ourselves is harmful. Every. Single. One.

Changing patterns of belief may be uphill work, but the Lord is in me and He is driving every step I take. Sometimes it’s unpleasant and ugly, but I am not interested in looking good on the outside and being confused on the inside. I am not interested in presenting a persona that isn’t true to who I am. The only reason I would strive for that would be if I were selling something. And, once again, I am not interested in advertising.

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10 thoughts on “The Lies We Believe

  1. Hey Jackie,

    I’ve been following along and not commenting because I didn’t know what to say. I have been happy to see the support you and David have been receiving and you have been in my prayers.

    I had to comment on this post because I believe it explains so much–not just about our relationships with each other–but our relationship with God. And understanding that… really understanding what our beliefs about God are is such a big deal.

    Thanks for sharing your journey. Give David and yourself a hug from me.

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  2. Stand strong sister. I love your words and how we can all relate to making some kind of bad choice. We all have been deceived by ourselves at one time or another.

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  3. I love this one! Boy did it resonate with me! How many of us women have been in destructive relationships before our hubby’s? I know I have! But in order to break through this pattern we have ask God to show us for signs to the good parts of our lives that He wants to nurture in us. luckily I was a woman who always spoke my mind. That saved my life in many ways.. I applaude you Jackie for being so raw and real! You are certainly teaching us all how to come through the fire and being refined! Love you girl!

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  4. Sending much love and cheering you on as you do this deep heart-work that brings such healing. Know you are so very loved. xo

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  5. I Love You. Always and Forever. I truely believe that the best is in front of us and there is no one else I’d rather be sharing this adventure with.

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  6. Whatever bad thing that happens by our own choices or not, God will work to make something good come out of it and glorify Him. By exposing yourself in this way, by allowing such vulnerability and “rawness” to come through you are helping so many. I’m praying for you and your husband as you go through this painfully difficult time.

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  7. Praying for you and your hubby. I can’t imagine what this season in your life may feel like and I am standing with you & your family knowing that HE will restore your marriage and only through Christ alone . Praying against the enemy and that the Lord heals all wounds during this time. While reading your blog, Job 5:18 was so heavy on my heart “For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal”. Praying for this healing process for all members of your family. Never forget that by His stripes, we are healed.

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  8. “The path to a better marriage is through changing the lens through which we view our mate.” I couldn’t agree more. Mark and I have always had a “good” marriage, but it didn’t turn “GREAT!” until I learned about real Biblical womanhood and genuine submission in marriage over this past year. There’s more to it than I ever thought. I read a book called On the Other Side of the Garden by Virginia Fugate and did a 19 week study with my Bible study on it. Absolutely life changing for me. I never realized that MY attitude regarding my role as wife is what caused me any marital stress and then created stress for my hubby. Thank you for sharing your heart Jackie. I’m sorry that you are facing this right now, but exposing your sin will certainly wipe it out! Satan would rather you keep your struggles silent. I’m praying for you and David and I’m looking forward to hearing about your happy ending. 🙂

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  9. Hi Jackie, I don’t know if you even know who I am. My husband and I started going to CCV many many years ago. We moved out to Rancho Cucamonga in 1983 when we got married but still was going to CCV. We were so totally blessed to have been going to CCV during the time of when we were dating and when we got married. . We had a Sunday School Class called the TLC class. Mike Long taught that class. Tender Loving Couples. During the time of the class Mike had looked around at the couples that were in this class. Which at the time was about 12 to 15 couples, and told us to look at each other and all the other couples. And what he was going to tell us was going to HURT. He said that with in the next 10 years that over 50% of you will have issues in your marriage and that some of you will not make it to reach your 10 year wedding Anniversary. Praise God Tom and I did. But we saw so many crushed marriages not. We left CCV around 1998 or so because living so far it was time to find a Youth Group close to home for our girls. Praise God my daughters were blessed to have Jon Moton as their Youth Pastor for 5 years.Jackie Tom and I have been married now for almost 31 years this September. Not saying it has been easy at all. You sharing what has happen to you in your walk with Christ and what has happen to you in your marriage with Dave is a blessing. There are so many Christian marriages that are failing right now, and I feel it is because they are not opening up with their sin like you have. We all sin and fall short like you have said and God FORGIVES US. The issue is what is so hard is for us to forgive our self and for our love one’s to forgive us. Praise God you have AMAZING husband ❤ who forgave you and was right beside you. Jackie we are so blessed for you reaching out to other women and men who may be going through something just like what you have gone through. I have so many wife and husband's who want to just walk out of there marriages. You and Dave are a true example of Christian Love in a marriage. I know that what you had to deal with was so very hard. But to see you and your marriage come out of this stronger is Wonderful. My husband and I are now with Pastor Rick Schoon at Summit Ridge Church and are helping so many married couples. I would love it if maybe we could get you to speck at our Women's Blend or at our 2015 Women's Retreat. You have so much to share, that I feel will open up the eyes of other women. Tom and I will always pray for you and Dave and can't wait to see more of what God has in plan for your new journey. Love you in Christ ❤ ❤ Theresa Ruteen 🙂 Your are an O:) sent from God ❤ ❤

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