By Neysa Ellery Taylor
When my husband was actively cheating on me, there was a reoccurring thought that kept running through my mind – “I’ll show him!” It was normally accompanied by some variation of this, “He’s gotta be out of his mind. I am fine. I am smart. I am a great catch! This muthaf&*$#@ is tripping! If he can’t appreciate me, I know 10 men who would!” Sounds pretty juvenile, doesn’t it?
I wish I could say that I stopped there, but I didn’t. It was followed by flirting with some peripheral member of my male circle. I would go out with this male friend under the guise of just “kicking it.” But while out the mood would be different. Drinks would be poured. Flirting would intensify. My ego would be boosted. Invariably an offer to go home/ “you should be with me”/”we would be great together” would be extended. In that moment I would think, “Wow! See I still got it! Yep, hubs is tripping. It is sooo him and not me. Me and bachelor #2 could be great together. I could divorce hubs’ tail in the next 3 months and totally get with Bachelor #2 (or 3 or 4). I won’t be lonely or single long. I’m a f&&&ing prize! And Bachelor #2 is cute, has great work ethic and drive, has been married before so he totally gets what it takes to make one fail and to make one work. He’s an active dad to his kids. We could be the black Brady Bunch. I should do this. Maybe this is what hubs needs to get his shit together. Maybe if he realizes that other folks are ‘sniffing around my skirt’ he would act right. Hell, he deserves this. I could sleep with half of the city and he couldn’t say shit. I really want to do this and then tell him all about it. I really want to see the look on his face. I really want him to feel all that he’s put me through. Then maybe he’d understand. That’s what I am going to do!”
But did I do it? Nope. I wanted to act a fool for all the reasons listed above but I didn’t. Why? Because while my marriage was already on it’s deathbed, I knew that my sleeping with someone else would place the covenant in the cemetery. Honestly, I don’t think hubs would have been able to ever see past it. No matter how much dirt he did, the thought of me being with another man made him see red.
I didn’t act on my revenge because I still wanted my marriage to work and didn’t want to see my husband hurt. My cheating would hurt him. And part of me wanted nothing to do with anything that would hurt him.
This next one is going to sound a bit weird but follow me for a second. I didn’t have an affair because I’m strategic and in the back of my mind I knew that if my marriage failed, divorce court would frown upon my actions. I didn’t think the blind eye of justice would understand that what I did was in response to what he was doing. I didn’t want the adulterer label in my court records.
And finally, I didn’t have an affair because I knew it was wrong. Thank God for the presence of the Holy Spirit. As much as my mind could justify the action, my spirit couldn’t. I heard this one question loud and clear, “So you are going to go against God trying to get revenge?” The answer was “No, I’m not.” I knew that God had been working (and is still working) on me. I knew better. And I didn’t want to go back to a spiritual “square one.” Working on yourself and bending your will to God’s is hard work, and I didn’t want to repeat those lessons again. No matter how great a “revenge affair” would have been this was one dish that was best not served.
Neysa Ellery Taylor lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Chris, and their 4 children – Asyen, Maya, Preston, and Patrick. An Emmy-Award winning journalist, she hopes to share her passion for marriage and God through her writing. You can read more of her work at www.myriadthatisme.blogspot.com