Something had changed. I chalked it up to the fact that four-and-a-half months prior, we added another baby to our family. I was constantly nursing and pumping trying to get our baby to consistently gain weight. Our older child was being occupied with whatever I could do with my one free hand and occasional trips to the pool. My husband was different.

His demeanor had shifted drastically. He seemed borderline depressed. We weren’t being intimate. He wasn’t sleeping, he kept taking long walks and drives randomly, and he lashed out at me and my older child quite a bit. I could feel him drifting further away.

Here I was with a relatively new baby and our older child, feeling like I had done something wrong.

One day I saw a strange message on his phone. It was odd and looked suspicious. I confronted him, and he got defensive. He said his company was having issues with internet security and it got breached. That explanation didn’t sit well with me. For the next few weeks, I waited for the right opportunity to investigate further. 

RELATED: Somewhere Along the Way, We Lost Each Other

The morning we were headed out for our beach vacation I saw him type a heart emoji to someone. He thought I was still asleep. I confronted him again. He broke down and said he was talking to an online psychologist and the heart emoji was from her. He told me he was feeling overwhelmed and depressed, so he sought out online therapy. I supported him and thought, “OK, let’s see how this plays out.”

Several hours later, we arrived at our destination. Things were OK. We were holding hands again. Everything seemed to be looking on the bright side. Then, he left at night for a long walk on the beach to help clear his head.

He arrived back into our motel room around 4 a.m. When he returned, he told me he loved me, and we played footsies in bed with our older child fast asleep in between us. Despite our flirting, he had his phone in his hand the entire time with a smile on his face.

I knew that smile. He used to smile at me that way.

Yet, this smile was a bit different. Eventually, he drifted off to sleep. I waited several minutes and then carefully retrieved his phone. My heart sank, and I felt nauseous from what I discovered.

My husband was talking to another female . . . a younger female. They apparently had hours of FaceTime calls, unlimited Snapchat text messages, sexual pictures, and much more. What crushed me the most were the three words I thought were only sacred to us . . . “I love you.” My husband had exchanged these precious and valuable words with another female outside our marriage. 

RELATED: An Affair Isn’t a Death Sentence for Your Marriage

While others may have been sobbing uncontrollably, I got angry. I took pictures of what I found to have them for evidence. My mind quickly calculated how my husband would leave, pay for the home my children and I would continue to live in, and he could live in a shack for all I cared at that moment.

I’m a planner. I strategically planned for every possible scenario within a five-minute time span. 

Then I woke him up and told him to get outside of the motel room. At 5:30 a.m., I confronted him on the balconyit took every part of me to restrain from pushing him over the balcony. We argued back and forth, I called the woman. It was all confirmed. He could no longer deny his infidelity. He began defending himself. Then, I said, “Leave! Get on a train, a boat, whatever you need to do, and leave!” I honestly, couldn’t stand the sight of him.

About 30 minutes later, after much begging on his part, he wanted to talk. He continued to defend himself instead of owning up to his actions. So I told him to go to his family’s house while I stayed on vacation with our children. 

Eventually, he listened. He realized I was extremely serious. Something finally clicked in him that day. Over the next several days, he made the effort. He scheduled therapy and counseling appointments for us and himself. He cleaned our house after I had given him the OK to come back. He scheduled spa, hair, and nail appointments for me. 

When the kids and I arrived home from vacation it was like I had the man I vowed to marry back into my life.

We went to counseling faithfully. We both fought hard for our marriage and our family. My husband made all of the necessary changes. Those days turned into months of consistent effort.

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

It has been almost an entire year since my husband’s indiscretion. We’ve certainly still had some bumps, but overall our lives are much more fulfilled. I have told him on several occasions, “Just because you made one bad mistake, doesn’t mean you are a bad man.”

We have learned to make each other a priority. We have learned forgiveness (mostly me). We have learned that some things are blessings in disguise. They are blessings in the form of a lesson.

While I abhor the situation that happened, I am thankful in the sense that it saved our marriage. It was a lesson in choices, forgiveness, and love, and I’m forever grateful for the end result.

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