My friend, Tracy, and I sat in the bleachers and watched my husband play intramural basketball. He was in his last year of school. I had just started teaching sixth grade. Tracy had transferred into our college just months before, but we had struck up a quick friendship because of mutual friends. 

She was younger than me, recently divorced, trying to separate herself from the wake of it all. As we sat there, oblivious to the embarrassing tomfoolery happening beneath us on the court that so starkly contrasted the conversation we were having, she started telling me the story of his verbal abuse and the failure of her first marriage. How he would make her step on the scale every week and call her names in front of his children, the children who now called her mom. How he controlled everything she did and everywhere she went. How it started on their honeymoon and got worse as the weeks went by. 

How he’d been raised by precious, Christian parents and had swept her off her feet with his charm and devotion to her. She talked about how she never saw it coming, how he was Prince Charming, set up to be the perfect husband. Until he wasn’t.

I asked her if there were any red flags. She said no. But I didn’t believe her.

There was no way. Because I was married. And my husband was amazing. And I KNEW, I knew knew knew, he would never do something like that to me.

RELATED: So, Your Husband Cheated On You. But What Did He Do Next?

A couple of months later, I sat in the coach’s office where I worked. One of the other coaches had just remarried and was talking about her first marriage, how she had walked in on her cheating husband with another woman. As though God was trying to soften my prideful heart, she reiterated what Tracy had said, “I never saw it coming. We were so in love. We would have been the last couple anyone would have thought that would happen to.”

I nodded my head but again, I didn’t believe her. There’s no way you don’t see that coming, that you wouldn’t notice those flaws. They just didn’t know their husbands as well as I knew mine. That would never happen to me. He would never do that to me. I am just so blessed.

Then, lo and behold, my neat and tidy world crumbled. The proverbial rug was pulled out from under me, knocking the wind out of my lungs like I’d been t-boned sitting motionless at an intersection. And I just curled up there in the fetal position, inches from our 5-month-old baby, waiting for the breath to return and give life to the sobs building pressure in my chest. Not only had my husband been unfaithfulmany, many timesbut he had been struggling with a sex addiction, one he’d been trying to beat on his own, in the dark, without help, for years.

To say I never saw it coming would be an understatement.

I thought back to him crying to me about his passion for the Lord, about the godly man he desperately wanted to be, about how he wanted to sell all his possessions and do mission work overseas. I thought back to his picturesque childhood, complete with a loving mother and a present father. I thought back to the friendships he’d poured into with homeless men in the area. I thought back to him proposing, only two years before, spelling out “Will You Marry Me” in Christmas lights across his hometown football field, and the way he’d looked at me, hundreds of times like he would literally die without me. 

There were so many signs that this would never happen. And almost none that it would.

RELATED: My Husband Cheated. I Got Angry. He Got Defensive. Then Somehow, We Moved Forward.

I don’t say this to scare you or plant doubts. I say this because I’m not sure we realize, until we are thrust into its muck, how broken this world really is. I didn’t. I thought bad things like this happened to other people, ignorant people, not the people who pursued good and did the work and were kind. But sin is everywhere, ungodly things are everywhere, and the moment we think we are immune to it, the moment we rest easy in our always-right answers is the moment Satan proves us wrong.

There is hope, though.

My husband found healing, supernatural, miraculous, soul-cleansing healing. Divorce is not part of our story. I can look back now at all the ways God had sprinkled breadcrumbs for me throughout our journey, reminders of His goodness and His faithfulness, so I could find my way back to both Him and my husband. We have found that we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus and that faith is much more than praying at the dinner table and going to church on Sundays. It’s new life.

And we know now we are not able, not good enough, to do this well on our own. That no matter how nice we are or how hard we work, our human-ness will always prove its vulnerability.

I realize, now, how prideful I was to think it could never happen to me. I’m thankful for so much about our story, but if there’s one thing I can pinpoint, it’s that. That it forced me to recognize my own ego. Because now I know the truth: life requires a lot more than going through the motions. Marriage is a fight that requires work and time and humility and intentionality and prayer and so much Jesus. 

And most of all, it requires us to realize it can happen to anyone. Even you. Especially, if you think it can’t. 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Her View From Home

Millions of mothers connected by love, friendship, family and faith. Join our growing community. 1,000+ writers strong. We pay too!   Find more information on how you can become a writer on Her View From Home at

Growing Slowly around the Grief of Losing Your Mom

In: Grief, Loss
Sad woman sitting on couch with folded arms

Everyone has heard about the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Society often assumes the stages of grief happen in order, but those who encounter grief know that’s not true. Undergoing grief can feel like riding a rollercoaster blindfolded—disorienting and chaotic. There are numerous ups, downs, and twists you wouldn’t anticipate. Grief is like an ocean. When waves come crashing, it feels like you’re being swept away. Regardless of their size, waves are always rough. Despite everything, you also get pushed forward to the shore after every wave. Sometimes, you may feel like you are drowning...

Keep Reading

The Shattering Grief of Suicide

In: Grief, Living, Loss
Sad person sitting in darkened hallway, black and white image

Navigating through my second Christmas without my dad, the weight of grief seemed even heavier this year. In fact, everything felt and looked different to me. As I unwrapped the ornaments and cards he gave me over the years, a tidal wave of madness and sadness engulfed me. I know many feel sadness and grieve during these times, but let me just say . . . suicide is a different type of grief. My vibrant, happy, physically fit dad committed suicide on April 30th, 2022. There, I said it. In the aftermath, a myriad of emotions consumed me. One perplexing...

Keep Reading

Dear Dad, Maybe You’re the Bird

In: Grief, Loss
Young girl sitting on father's lap, older color photo

Maybe you’re the bird. The one I see outside my door. The one who flies so low it seems you’re somehow weighted down. Like you’re carrying more than just yourself. Like you’re carrying a message. Just for me. Maybe you’re the rain. The sound I hear that reminds me so much of home. Of you. Of driving in your car as a little girl when you looked over and asked my opinion about everything. When you made someone so small feel so very big. RELATED: Dad Left a Legacy in Fried Green Tomatoes Maybe you’re the butterfly. The one I...

Keep Reading

I Hope You Never Know What it’s Like to Forget Who You Are

In: Grief, Living, Loss
Woman staring at camera, black-and-white photo

I write best when I’m passionate. It’s always been my release. But lately, I’ve struggled to write. I’ve struggled to find purpose in my words. It’s all been twisted and choppy, not a bit poetic or beautiful. These feelings are what the struggles of loss, parenting, work, and marriage push against. It’s finding yourself over and over again and trying to make sense of the senseless. It leaves you questioning most things and leaves you feeling broken with no idea how to put yourself or others back together. I hope you never know. I hope you never know what it’s...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Know How to Live Without My Sister, But I Must

In: Grief
Sisters smiling in posed color photo

I’ve spent a year of my life living in a haze. Holding my breath, afraid to exhale. Focusing on staying in this frozen moment where there is no reality. I pressed the pause button. Pumped the brakes. I’ll stay right here and wait for my life, life as I knew it, life as I loved it, to come back around. Where there is no future to mourn, thinking about the way it should have been and no torturous past to remember, recalling the horror of that day. The special occasions that will come are now outlined in sadness. Wait, she’s...

Keep Reading

6 Ways to Be a Friend to Someone Grieving

In: Friendship, Grief, Loss
Friends hugging

Grief can truly be such a lonely experience after you lose a loved one. The loneliness isn’t necessarily because you don’t have anyone around you. It’s because only you had your relationship with the person who died, and it’s hard to find anyone to replace that. I have first-hand experience. My mom died recently and unexpectedly at the age of 62 and I at the age of 34, and it single-handedly has been one of the most painful experiences of my life. However, having support from family and friends will help you navigate this difficult time. Without it, the loneliness...

Keep Reading

These Final Gifts from My Mom Are Hard to Let Go

In: Grief, Loss
Little girls boots with worn toes, color photo

My daughter wobbled toward me in silver, square-toed go-go boots, one heel dislodged and flopping against our hallway’s faux wood floor. On her opposite foot, a striped sock peaked curiously through the growing toe hole. “Mama,” she said. Her tiny voice raised another octave, “My shoe!” I sighed, then sat on the floor. Waves of grief washed over me as I contemplated what kind of glue might capably reconstruct the shoe’s sole. Elmer’s glue? Textile glue? Maybe Krazy Glue? I knew the boots should just go into the bin. And yet, they—along with a vibrant, overbearing cat dress that would...

Keep Reading

A Daughter Is Never Ready To Let Her Dad Go

In: Grief, Loss
Grown daughter hugging older man

I wasn’t ready to let you go. When I was a little girl, one of my greatest fears was that something would happen to my parents. If they had to go somewhere, I would nervously follow their route in my mind, mentally noting where they probably were and when they should be back home. If they hadn’t returned by the time I thought they should, my imagination would get the best of me as I pictured a thousand things that could have happened. But the day I sat having a late breakfast at my kitchen table and saw an ambulance...

Keep Reading

Memories of Mom Are Everywhere

In: Grief, Motherhood
Family campsite with bikes, tents, and totes, color photo

Two weeks after my daughter was born, my dad drove from Pennsylvania to our home in Florida to stay with me for the week. I was nursing my daughter on the couch when my dad drug in four humongous plastic storage bins and staged them next to the Pack ‘N Play in the living room. The bins were full of my baby clothes, baby shower cards, a silver spoon, plastic and probably lead-infused rattles, and two cellophane balloons neatly folded. A time capsule of my babyhood. I thought of my mom’s hands being the last to touch these items. Had...

Keep Reading

Don’t Forget the Heartbroken Mothers

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Woman sad sitting on couch

The loss I recently experienced hit differently than others I’ve experienced. I thought that with three kids already in tow, it wouldn’t ache quite this bad. But it has. I don’t know if it’s because I was further along or because my entire household was over-the-top giddy and excited for this precious new life to enter the world. Perhaps it was the trauma of how everything happened or because I actually gave birth to him and held him. RELATED: We Lost Our Baby at 17 Weeks Pregnant Attending my first appointment to confirm the loss was brutal. I was surrounded...

Keep Reading