Welcome to a new feature here at Affaircare: The Sunday Guest Spotlight. Today I would like to introduce Jaylin Palacio. She has a Christian ministry called Encouragement from the Word of God. Jaylin shares her own marriage story:
After I found out that my husband of 20 years was having an affair, I could no longer function. I stayed in the fetal position staring at the wall, crushed under the weight of this news with no desire to go on living. The ache in my heart was so intense I could tangibly feel pain in my chest.
In the months that followed, though going through the motions of my day-to-day life, the heaviness of my emotional pain left me weary. The only time I experienced relief from this pain was in the presence of God. At first, I couldn’t even pray. I struggled to formulate the words. Many times I would just play worship music and cry. The only words I could get out were, “Help…me.”
Marital infidelity causes a vast amount of destruction. The pain of adultery can last for years, and the healing journey is not an easy one. However, there is good news: it is possible to rebuild what was destroyed after there has been unfaithfulness.
There are predictable stages of grief that people experience once they find out their spouse is having an affair. The first is shock and disbelief, followed by a period of unpredictable emotional ups and downs. It can make you feel like you are losing touch with reality. This is not the time to make any major decisions. Questions such as, “Should I file for divorce?” and “What can I do to get my spouse to come home?” should be put on the shelf while you wait for your emotions to level out. Waiting can be very difficult when we feel as if we need to make a move, but major decisions made out of emotion can make a bad situation worse.
So what should the betrayed spouse do while they are waiting? Some healthy ways to cope during this period are:
- Start a journal. Identify what you are feeling and write it down. This is just for your insight and reflection. Use the journal as an outlet for what you are feeling, and then find other ways to stay busy.
- Eat nutritious meals. Plan small meals that consist of nutritious food, and make yourself eat. Resist the temptation to skip meals or to eat unhealthy food as that will only make the emotional pain worse.
- Exercise. Cardiovascular exercise is an excellent way to release anger and increase endorphins. You might not feel like exercising, but take the first steps. You will not regret it.
- Get adequate sleep. Set yourself up on a sleeping schedule so that you are getting adequate sleep. A well-rested body helps to decrease the emotional pain.
But even if you do none of the things listed above, there is one thing that you must do during this time, and that is to pray.
Remember that television commercial for LifeCall where Mrs. Fletcher yells, “I’ve fallen…and I can’t get up!” and immediately she is notified that help is on the way? She didn’t have to look for her glasses, the phone book, and the telephone. All she had to do was call out for help right where she was, and help was on the way. In a sense, she was never alone.
Many of us go through our days with the “chest pain” of a broken heart. The devil wears us down, and we find ourselves emotionally drained. Our minds are attacked with thoughts and images as the betrayal plays over and over again in our heads. We wear our LifeCall button around our necks, but we neglect to push the button.
Prayer. So simple, yet so amazing! At any moment, regardless of where we are, we are not alone. We have access to our heavenly Father, and as soon as we start talking, help is on the way.
We need the strength of God to get us through. Prayer gives us access to God’s strength. “I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:14-19 NIV). And in the book of Isaiah, God says, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10 NIV).
Not only does prayer give us strength, but it also brings us peace. “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace” (Psalm 29:11 NIV). Only God can keep us in perfect peace. “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3 NIV).
Lastly, prayer opens the door for God to heal our broken heart. We can be healed completely from a broken heart, and God is the One who does the healing. “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed” (Psalm 34:18 NLT). “He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds” (Psalm 147:3 NLT).
Although I was not fully aware of what God was doing at the time, He was healing my heart. And I am happy to report that I can now think back on that time without falling apart. God has restored my marriage and given me the ability to love and trust again. God has strengthened my spirit so that I am now able to help others in similar situations. Only God can take something so devastating and turn it around for good.
In the words of Pastor and author Rick Warren, “Your most profound and intimate experiences of worship will likely be in your darkest days – when your heart is broken, when you feel abandoned, when you’re out of options, when the pain is great – and you turn to God alone.” So, if you are in a dark place, know that this is only a season. I encourage you to put on some worship music and talk to the Lord. Allow yourself to cry. He knows what you are feeling. But if you ask Him to heal your broken heart, He will do it. He is close to you, and He will rescue you from your crushed spirit.
Bio: Jaylin Palacio is the author of He Will Never Leave You. Please CLICK HERE to get your copy. She also has an email subscriber list called Marriage God’s Way where she offers help to ease the pain of adultery.