When I woke up the next morning and went to the kitchen to get coffee I
saw Robert’s cell phone sitting on the counter. I thought that was odd
because Robert was never without his phone. It might as well have been
glued to his hand. I grabbed the phone and held it in my hands. I wanted
to open it and look at it. I felt like a little kid doing something
wrong and was worried I would get caught but it felt like this little
device held the answer to all of my questions.
I felt a very strong desire to look at it, like I was supposed to. It
was as if God left the phone there for me to see. I finally opened it
and started reading the text messages. There were texts back and forth
between Robert and some other woman. She talked about their encounter
and how she was looking forward to the next. I slammed the phone down. I
couldn’t handle what I knew was in front of me. Put it back in the
box. Shove it down deep. I don’t want to know. I can’t handle this!
I stood there staring at the phone. Something compelled me to pick it up
again. As I read the messages Robert wrote to this lady, it sounded so
familiar. These were the same lines Robert had said to me when we were
first dating. How we were soul mates, I was his angel, he felt complete
with me, I filled the emptiness he felt - these were the things he was
texting this lady. I was devastated.
I no longer felt special or loved. I felt like it had all been a lie.
How could he so easily say these things to another woman? She wasn’t
the one who rushed him to the hospital after his heart attack. She
wasn’t the one who gave him a son. She wasn’t the one who gave him a
home and family. But she clearly gave him something that I didn’t.
Oh, I felt so sick. I now knew a dirty secret. My marriage is over. I
wanted to run and never look back, but I couldn’t. I had three kids to
think about. Somehow I managed to get the kids up and out the door to
school without completely losing it. Just as I was walking up to the
school with the kids, Brigitte drove up with her son. I trusted her, so
I asked her if we could talk after the kids started school. Thankfully,
she said yes, as she had nothing else planned for the day.
We went to get something to eat since neither of us had eaten yet. We
took our food outside so we could talk in private. We couldn’t get
seated fast enough; I thought I might burst. There were so many things
going through my head. How could I afford to not be with Robert? How
would I tell the kids? What would our families say? What would our
friends think? I needed to find a job. How was I going to tell Robert I
knew what he did?
When Brigitte and I were finally able to sit down, I just blurted out,
“Robert is having an affair.” She didn’t know Robert but didn’t
seem too surprised. I told her about the text messages I read on his
phone. She then asked me if I wanted to see a counselor. After pausing
for a few moments, I said yes. After I said yes, I wondered what in the
world I said yes to.
I’d never seen a counselor before. I remembered how my first husband
had wanted to see a counselor and I had refused. The thought of telling
a stranger my problems and believing they could help me figure out what
to do seemed foreign. Then I realized I had no clue how to fix this. I
had no idea what to do. I didn’t even know what to say to Robert when
I got home. I needed someone to help me. I needed someone to tell me
what to say.
Brigitte gave me the name and number of a Christian-life counselor named
Martha. She said I had to call her and request her help. Brigitte
couldn’t call her and tell her to call me. I had to ask her for the
help. That was going to be hard. I had not asked anyone for help in a
long, long time. I did everything myself, or I told everyone what to do
and how to do it. Talking to a counselor and doing what she suggested
was going to be different.
Opening up to Brigitte made me feel better. Later that morning, Brigitte
dropped me off at home. I knew I needed to tell Robert what I knew. I
didn’t want an argument. I didn’t want conflict. I already told one
person; wasn’t that good enough? Why can’t I shove it back in the
box and keep it there?
I put the key in the door with the decision made to confront Robert. I
found him sitting at the computer. I came straight out and told him I
knew he was having an affair. “I saw the messages on your phone this
morning,” I admitted. “I read them all.”
He looked at me like I was crazy and denied it. “She’s just a
friend,” he said. “You’re reading too much into this.” He tried
to laugh about it, like that would instantly make this go away. But then
I began quoting some of the messages, and he stopped. He decided to
change tactics. He tried blaming me, saying I made him do it. “You
left me no choice. You’re never there for me to talk to. You don’t
love me the way I need you to.”
I stood there thinking, What a joke! How dare you blame me for this? By
the expression on my face, he could tell this was real. I was serious.
“What are you going to do?” he asked.
“I don’t know.” I said. I honestly didn’t. I needed time to
think and figure things out. I realized how desperate I was to talk with
Martha, the counselor.
On the Inside: The wondering was finally over – my head was spinning.
Until I told him I knew, I felt like I was carrying a dirty secret
around. I wanted to tell the world what an awful person he was. I wanted
everyone to hate him, but what if everyone thought I deserved it. What
if they thought it was my fault and they hated me?
Excerpted from "In His Way" by Rebecca A Duvall. Copyright © 2014 by Rebecca A Duvall. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Rebecca A Duvall
Rebecca Duvall is married to a retired Deputy Sheriff and a mother of three. Her husband is currently a Law Enforcement Chaplain. She studied Accounting and worked in several different Accounting positions as she worked her way up the corporate ladder. Then, not long after her oldest daughter was diagnosed with Epilepsy, she decided to be a stay at home mom to be more available for her family. As her children went through Elementary school she volunteered on the Parent Teacher Club (PTC) Board as Treasurer and President. Her passion was working with other parents to help the teachers, school and district. She was even a part of a district wide campaign, S.O.S~Support our Students, which was all about helping the school district raise extra funds that were needed. Up until 2008 Rebecca had no religious foundation. She thought she had to do everything on her own and the world was expected of her at all times. Then, through the women she volunteered with, she became a Christian in the end of 2008 and was baptized in June of 2009. Once she put her life in God’s hands, she realized He would equip her with all she needed along her journey of life, along with an entire community of people, the church. Since becoming a Christian, Rebecca has been very active at the church she attends. From being on the Outreach Committee helping run the Alpha course to being an Elder over Prayer and Administration and Finance. At times, when needed, she has stepped in as Interim Bookkeeper. More recently, God has given Rebecca the desire to share her story and the struggles she walked through in her marriage. She did this through writing In His Way. She also continues to share her daily struggles with faith and family through her blog www.inhisway.com/blog. Rebecca enjoys connecting with others via the internet and sharing their ‘God stories’ on her blog. If you have a ‘God story’ you would like to share on her blog, you can reach her through her website.
View full Profile of Rebecca A Duvall