Two thieves broke into a jewelry store one night, but instead of stealing the jewels they simply switched the price tags. They put high-priced tags on cheap jewelry and low-priced tags on valuable gems. For several weeks no one noticed. People bought cheap jewelry for exorbitant prices and rare jewels for next to nothing.
Sin is expensive
Every decision has a cost
The full cost of my affair
- Integrity – I have always been a fiercely loyal person. Loyal to family, friends, employers, hobbies, churches, etc. But in a moment of weakness, I sold my integrity as quickly as Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of soup. After I sold it once, I bought into the enemies lies that I had ruined everything and I might as well throw in the towel.
- Self-esteem – Worthless. I felt completely worthless. Unworthy of Tammy’s love. Unworthy of God’s calling on my life. My best bet was to cut Tammy and the kids loose and move on so they could heal.
- Stress – I lived a double life for two months. While I was trying to delicately unwind my marriage and let the kids down easy, I was under a terrible amount of stress. I’d never lived a life full of deceit and I don’t recommend it. I was constantly on edge and even developed a habit of grinding my teeth at night.
- Heartache – As our relationship unraveled and I began pushing for divorce, Tammy and the kids were crushed. All six kiddos had been through divorce before. Those old wounds opened right back up, but this time they would be losing their step-siblings that they had grown to love. Tammy was confused, hurt, and frightened about her future and the kids future.
- Distance – My relationship with Tammy and the kids was frayed and distant. I pushed friends away, mentors away, and God away. I was too busy rationalizing my behavior to listen to wise counsel.
- Wounds – I wounded my children and my wife deeply. It took over two months before one of the girls began to trust me again and three more months for another (the third doesn’t really talk, so we aren’t sure). But Tammy has paid the highest price for my infidelity. Nearly two years later and she still has days that she must battle with ghosts from the past. Every day is a little easier, but sometimes we take a step back. Wounds heal, but they heal crooked.
- Trust – Rebuilding trust has proved to be extremely difficult, as you might imagine. A big part of this is that talk is cheap. So we had to move past just talking about rebuilding trust and actually doing it. We have made great strides, but it hasn’t been easy. Throughout the rebuilding process, we have identified eight rules for re-building trust.
- Peace – I robbed us of peace. I wrestle with forgiving myself. Tammy wrestles with trusting me. On occasion Tammy will have an angry outburst. In other cases, a song, movie, or date on the calendar will bring back a flood of painful memories for one or both of us to unpack.
What have you sold too cheaply?
- Those little white lies you tell your spouse make things easier on you at the cost of your integrity.
- Pornography costs you pure, genuine intimacy with your mate.
- Discontentment with what you have or where you live robs you both of peace.
- Manipulation might pay out at first, but it poisons your relationship, sowing seeds of bitterness.
- Dismissing your spouse’s need for sexual intimacy could be more convenient, but it damages his or her self-esteem in the process.
- Harsh words may win an argument, but your emotional bond suffers.