[Editor’s Note: This a guest post by Tracy Cook. I want to give Tracy a big thank you for bravely sharing her story today. Tracy and her husband were seen as the “perfect” Christian couple, but struggled privately. It’s not always talked about openly enough!]
The “Perfect” Christian Couple
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
Well here goes. I’m not a perfect Christian, I don’t have a perfect life, and now I don’t have a perfect marriage.
Ah there’s the rub… everyone else thought I had the perfect marriage. Married and a daughter arrived soon after, followed 19 months later by a sister then 22 months later a much awaited brother and then after a medically rocky road another sister arrived 28 months later.
So we produced our beautiful family and started on the journey called family life.
We were both involved in our local parish church in various roles from tea rota toddler group Sunday school leader bible study leader church committee and anything else that popped up.
I was a full time Mummy; I did become a child minder so that I could work from home and earn some money.
Man of the house was a building manager; sometimes worked locally and other times stayed away.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not naïve. We were not perfect, certainly not behind closed doors. Yes, a plate of dinner was once hurled across the room by me. As soon as I hurled I apologised as I realised that this was not the right way forward…
We both loved our family, our church, and our friends all mixed well although, we did have friends outside of church.
For the first sixteen years of marriage we lived just outside a city.
It then became apparent that we should relocate and both felt that a beautiful town we came upon was the right one.
We left our eldest daughter in the city to finish her education. It was only a year and fit well with other three children. Plus she came home every weekend as Daddy worked in the city.
Life carried on blissfully for a few years.
I then became aware that Daddy was having an affair. Call it women’s intuition… I wont go into details.
Anyway, I prayed and prayed, sharing with two close Christian friends who also prayed.
Confronted husband who apologised and said it would never happen again well this was repeated five more times.
“Why?!” I hear you shout did I allow it to happen? Easy. I didn’t have a high-paying job and knew I could not afford to keep the house on had I kicked him out so we continued playing happy families holidays and all.
By now I was desperate. I still loved him. He obviously did not love me any longer. His plan was thwarted when youngest daughter announced she would not be going to university. This meant that once daughter had left he could kick me out.
Anyway, he had a rethink and decided to not come home just on a phone call.
“I’m not coming home,” he said.
My reply was, “Oh ok how come?”
“Because we are going in two different directions.”
I then knew where he was coming from, so my retort was “Oh, so you’re having an affair.”
His reply was “No,” to which I replied “Yer, whatever.”
I asked if he was coming home to tell the kids.
His reply was, “I will do it when I’m ready.”
My reply was “No, you have a choice. You either come home today or tomorrow or I will tell the kids the whole story if you chose not to you know what the kids will be told.
His final word was, “Whatever.”
Phone call ended. I screamed. Needless to say, girls came in and I ruined their world. Their father was a good one and if the truth be known, until that day he was their favorite parent.
Cutting a longer story shorter, I divorced him and five months later he remarried.
That date is soon looming and I hate that I remember it every year.
The children have little if any contact with him and he has not seen his grandsons since the youngest was a day old 3 ½ years ago.
I thank God daily for how he has kept us close. I’m saddened by the fallout. One daughter is just getting divorced as she couldn’t trust her husband.
My story is not a story of woe, no it’s a story of faith, family and friends full of love, life and laughter
A final note…our friends were shocked. We were allegedly “the strong couple” destined to celebrate at least our golden wedding anniversary.