Words Cannot Express My Gratitude

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It's been nearly one year since I posted this. I was thinking of waiting for the one year mark, mostly because I just didn't know what to say or how to say it. I also wasn't sure in my heart until pretty recently that it's all going to be alright, so I didn't want to jinx anything. Also, something about the whole St. Blog's Pantsapalooza Event of 2010 made me think here I am actually in possession of some knowledge I should perhaps pass on. In many of the comboxes, in between the yays and nays for pants, there would be talk here and there of not one, but of few couples someone might know, Catholics with large families, breaking up. I stumbled the other day on a statistic that only 1/3 of couples survive infidelity. I cannot even begin to understand why us. I have no idea, except God allowed, chose, helped...He did it. So I guess it was time to write...something. I hope it's not lame.

As of now, we are surviving, we are building a new marriage and our old marriage is dead and gone. It's is withered and decayed and the new one is bright and filled with hope. As of right now, I love my husband more than I ever have. We are not merely "riding it out". Everything is new again. I place the "blame" on you, Dear People. When this broke, my husband was very lost. He will tell you he was in the darkest place he has ever been. He was evil or surrounded by evil, not sure. He was depressed, he obviously wasn't thinking straight and the more he made bad choices, the worse he felt, and in turn would make more bad choices. He was just piling more "spiritual muck" onto himself. As Mark Shea says "sin makes you stupid". So many men I see who take the route my husband have become literally unreachable under all that muck. When you all reached out and prayed, my husband will tell you it was around that time he started to wake up and come out the fog. This wasn't an immediate process and at first, he fought it, but it was a way for God to grab him and take hold and slowly start clearing that muck away.

I cannot underestimate the practical help as well, the donations, the words of encouragement. I was...hysterical. I was scared, confused. At the time, the kind words I read and the support kept me going. I desperately needed it because while I was receiving support here, I was hearing equally...um, "non-supportive" words from some of the icky people my husband allowed to influence him. One of his family members told me it was my fault because I had so many kids. Seven is ridiculous, I should have stopped at three and my husband clearly didn't want any more but I refused to listen. I must have had those kids to keep him around. She, other family, the girlfriend all told me it was because I "was a bad wife". So yes, hearing encouraging words was necessary at that point because I didn't know what was right, what was happening, what was real and my self-esteem struck a huge blow so it was easy to believe I deserved it all for doing things like having children, and being a boring housewife.

The donations helped in more ways than the obvious as well. My husband left and came home in February. Yes, he did support us, but in his very "rational" state, he did not think about what it costs to support a family of 8 in one spot and the cost of supporting himself in the New York City area 3 hours away prior to leaving. The donations helped with practical matters, but it also gave me a great deal of confidence that some how, some way, if things go badly, I'll make it. I think it also sent a signal to him that despite surrounding himself with nitwits like the family members I described who had his ear, most people looked down on his actions to the point they were willing to donate money! (Incidentally, when this happened, I became adept at finding email accounts, decoding passwords and an ex girlfriend came out the woodwork who had been lurking on this blog to congratulate him on finally getting rid of the "old ball and chain", to tell him to contact her and to let him know "do you know she's asking for donations?" I deleted it.)

There has been talk that maybe people should not say bad things about Bud McFarlane Jr for leaving his wife in the comboxes lately. No. He should know that the general population looks down on such actions. Admonish the sinner. It's not simply for the sake of "siding" with Bai, but for the sake of his own soul. My husband, on his own accord went to confession, and spent an half hour bringing the priest up to speed. Mass that day, ended up starting late because of it. I'm not sure if that would have happened if things did not play out the way they did. Every piece of this had it's purpose.

So what happened? I cannot even begin to start, it would take a book. It was the hardest year of my life. I now have grey hair, crows feet. I have these permanent bags under my eyes from crying everyday (great product: ).

I can say that this was a spiritual battle for sure. At first our progress was teeny tiny baby steps and a lot of uncertainty. It wasn't until late June that I decided I would stay married to him. Before that, I don't think he was certain about staying married to me until February-when he decided he wanted the marriage, I was sick, fed up, done with him. Since June, the progress was slow and then started snowballing. Spiritually, each time we made a large step at progress, Satan was right there with a rebuttal. Every stinking time. This is still the case. It's almost immediate. We actually can see it for what it is and more and more it gives me the confidence that we are "meant to be". The only way things will continue to work from here on out is relying on prayer and the sacraments. Satan has a foothold in our lives. No way around that.

I want to share some things I learned for anyone going through this:
1. Pray, pray, pray. You have nothing else but God. I made the Novena to the 13 Blessed Souls a few times, the St. Rita I don't know how many times. Our Lady Undoer of Knots, St. Jude, St. Joseph the Flying Novena to the Infant of Prague in addtion to tons of rosaries, Chaplets of Divine Mercy, the Angelus everyday for months. I said a Magnificat every time it popped into my head. I don't even know how many novenas I made. I begged for prayers. I debated a lot between telling people and asking for prayers and keeping my dirty laundry to myself. It's a tough call because people who love you and see you suffer will not want you to reconcile with your spouse, which is 150% completely understandable. Still, I think the reason my husband turned around was the prayers.

There will be times when you will doubt if God even exists. Pray harder then.

2. Read Love Must Be Tough by James Dobson. And/or implement the "180" as soon as possible. This will keep your head on straight when you think you are loosing it, and may help get your marriage back-if that is what you wish.
On a side note: we Catholics do a good job in having a preliminary outline how to keep a marriage Godly. We do not have a lot of resources to turn to when things go bad. we have Retrouvaille, but that works only after both parties decide to work it out. There is nothing to stop a man (or woman) in stuck in "the fog" dead in his tracks and let him know what he's doing. We need something. Now. Maybe Greg can help us with that?

3. Take care of yourself. I did a little, but only after everyone else was tended to. I would only work-out as reward if I finished all my chores, which of course, were never finished. I figured once the kids were gown and out, I'd have "me" time again. Through all this I was tired, defeated, depressed. I started drinking. By most people's standards, not heavily, but I know I wasn't doing it "for the right reasons". So instead, I knew I needed an outlet and it would either be negative (drinking) or positive. I hit the gym, I started getting pedicure, I actually bought clothes for myself, I decided to try once a week and get to a restaurant if I could. Being cheated on is a huge self-esteem killer. People stopping you constantly and telling you how good you look, and then finding out you had seven kids, and in front of your husband...priceless!

4. Sacramentals. I said before this is a spiritual battles. Holy water, blessed oil, blessed salt. I mixed all three up and made crosses with it over every window, every doorway. I spiked my husband's food...

5. Get support from people who have been through this. People who have been through this have a very unique perspective. It all seems very black and white, cut and dry until it happens to you.

7. Outside professional help. Get counseling/therapy. Find a priest or a few and talk to them. Appraise your medical doctors, midwives, pediatricians what's going on. My family practitioner knows everything. I have found myself in the emergency room a number of times this year and since my doctor knows what is happening in my life, diagnosing the problems was easy. Did anyone know that you could have panic attacks in your stomach? I didn't.

6. Some good books:
After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful by Janis Abrahms Spring
Love Must Be Tough by James Dobson
Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs
The Love Dare
Here's one I haven't read, but I want to read desperately:
Transcending Post-infidelity Stress Disorder (PISD): The Six Stages of Healing by Dennic C. Ortman
The Bible!!!! This is nothing new and it's nothing the good book didn't warn about. Read Proverbs 5

Marriage Builders
Surviving Infidelity
Four Stages of Grief (apparently, I'm at "anger" right now).

Lastly, I'm talking mostly about me here. I'm talking a lot about what my husband did wrong. I give a lot of credit for the prayers and help people gave me, but I have to also give credit to my husband. It takes a lot to totally admit you are wrong and to allow God to break you down and build you back up again into a new person. I have not made it easy. Yes I prayed, yes I tried to stay "right", but I haven't been a saint on this journey. I've been downright evil and wretched at times. The fact that he stayed when he was unsure if he should to begin with, when he was not raised with a background where people are married is simply amazing. The fact that not only did he decide to stay, but change, that he recognized his bad choices were not the key to happiness...many people can't or do not even know how to not exist in their lies.

7 In the same way, I tell you, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner repenting than over ninety-nine upright people who have no need of repentance. ~Luke 15:7

Once again, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Welcome Catholic and Enjoying It! readers.
Welcome I Have to Sit Down readers!
Welcome New Advent readers!
Welcome Happy Catholic readers!
Welcome Creative Minority Report readers!


Thank you Sweetie, that means a lot.

Another family that is making it work after problems is here: http://www.kingdomtwindom.com/ They also have a large family and they are further along the healing path than you. Their kids are also all littler so their pictures are always cute. Congratulation for keeping the marriage going. Please continue to ask for prayers. Seeing that prayers make a difference means a lot, so do us all a favor and ask. Remember to take care of yourself so you can take care of those you love/hate. (This is something that I am terrible about myself.)

Blessing to you both!

Thank you for writing this. I am going through a similar situation. My husband is rationalizing every evil move he makes. He says he has moved out to prove a point. That my prayers won't work. He moved in with another woman over a year ago and a couple of months ago he said he would come back if I put him before God. I said no. He was offended. He thinks he's the victim. I know this is a spiritual battle. I had to threaten divorce because that's the only way to get his attention. He uses our house at his convenience and visits our three children when he's not busy having "fun".

He doesn't believe in God (now) but he said he did when we got married. He says I'm the one who "tricked" him when we got married--that he's still the same person. He tells himself lie after lie and he actually believes the lies. I pray constantly for his conversion, but he's only started to be interested in seeing a counselor now that I've mentioned getting an attorney.

My husband has been so angry at me and God that one day he took the crucifix off of our wall and threw it against the wall and broke it with his bate hands. He has also thrown away an image of The Divine Mercy ofJesus and he wrote an "x" through an image of The Holy Face of Jesus.


((Hugs)) Hang in there. Pray. 180. Sacramentals. Frequent Communion and Confession. Take care of yourself.

He has to believe the lies, if he doesn't he will be faced with what he's done and if he doesn't repent, he'll be crushed under the guilt. Do you have a priest you confide in and have you told him about all this?

it was easy to believe I deserved it all for doing things like having children, and being a boring housewife.

When in fact what you were doing was the fundamentally civilizing thing in the universe. That's not boring to me.


I started this Novena to St. Michael on Monday:

Here from Simcha Fisher's blog. I am overjoyed to read this story of healing and redemption. Blessings to you, your husband, and your children.

Huzzahs! Thanks be to God--words can't express how happy I am for all of you.

Do you have a means of contact for one who would like to ask you a question privately?


God bless you and your husband. Thank you so much for sharing this with everyone. Hearing such testimony is much needed for so very many reasons.

Thank you for sharing all of this with us. I will keep you and your husband in my prayers. I completely agree with you about the lack of resources for Catholics who are in horrible marriages. Oftentimes, it's hard finding a priest to talk to, they're so busy. It's hard to know what to do. Someone needs to write a book about it. Maybe, when you two are in the clear, you might consider it. :) I'll be praying for you.

You both rock.

I'm relieved. Praise God. I first became aware of your situation thru Mark Shea's blog and put you on my prayer list.

Can I email you, I'm in a similar situation.


I am so happy for you, your husband, and the kids. I'm sure your blog post has brought happy tears to so many eyes. And no one is more happy than Christ and the saints. God bless you all!

I could almost feel every line you wrote. I will treasure this article, because if you could survive this ordeal, then there is hope - hope for prayer and hope for reconciliation. It is so heart-warming to read, how your relationship was being renewed, it almost compels me to pray for you and your husband to be blessed continuously and to keep evil at bay.May the wings of your Guardian Angels encircle and protect you both as well as your children!

Regards and blessings,

Auckland, New Zealand


Sure. I wrote above, but here it is again:

Sadly, my mother-in-law is putting my husband's family through this ordeal, and seems to be getting very poor advice which is only perpetuating the problem. I (and my husband) dearly wish she would return to her 29 years of marriage and her previous devotion to her family. Supposedly it's "better" that her youngest son is in high school (and therefore most of her kids are adults)? The real answer is it's never "better" until you fix it.

Thank you for the link to Surviving Infidelity. I hope it will be of some help.

That is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read, in a very gritty way. May God bless both you and your precious husband in ways beyond your imagination and beyond what your heart can express. THAT is the meaning of redemption. THAT is the meaning of reconciliation - that God was reconciling the world to Himself through Jesus.

Am I the only person who is appalled at your decision to make your husband's sin public?

Probably not, Anne. While I wouldn't recommend everyone deal with this the way I did, I think you completely missed the point.

God bless. :)

I did not miss the point but perhaps you missed the serious psychological implications for your entire family and, most likely, for the future of your marriage. Would you do the same to a friend who came to you with a mortal sin? I think that you wanted everyone to know what your husband did and how magnanimous you are. You could have accomplished the same by publishing resources for marital problems. Your public, and I do mean public, humilation of your husband has served you well. Have your children read this blog?

Pansy--so glad to see this post. God is so good!!! You and your family are still and always in my prayers. I'm so glad you both are fighting for your marriage, and that "everything is new again." Praise God!! Your story is so full of hope, and tangible resources too.


I don't think she would have published anything without her husband's consent. Or maybe you missed the first comment, which I could swear came from her own dear husband. I can only see the bravery and the true repentance that allows someone to KNOW that they have been forgiven by God and not worry about what everyone else thinks. Some of the dearest stories I know of reconciliation are ones that are not private - where people have allowed others into their personal struggle to help them fight personal battles that sometimes feel insurmountable. Those are extremely harsh words from someone who has not had to live through the whole thing - or maybe you have. My husband got a degree in counseling after our own divorce and remarriage, and he would applaud both of these courageous souls.

I think Pansy's motives were sincere, that she wants to help other couples who might be going through some similar issues. And a true story is tangible, something people can relate to. It is reassuring for people to see, in black and white, that someone else is going through the same trials and pains. Just publishing links to books and articles is dry, maybe useful, but hasn't the power to reassure, to make a connection, to really give hope.

I am quite certain her husband knew what she was doing, and freely consented to have the story put out there. This isn't just about the betrayed spouse. Its about the betraying spouse, it's about the broken marriage. People who in similar situations need to see that a marriage can recover, that a betrayed spouse can forgive, that a betraying spouse can reform and cooperate to heal and save a marriage.

For the one who commits adultery, who comes across a story like this by chance, or by design, it could be the thing that makes the difference, that turns things around.

I'm sure Pansy prudently left out tons of ugly details that we didn't need to see. She told the story simply and succinctly and charitably, and I think it is very good she did, and good that her husband cooperated in its telling.

Blessings. My son and his wife went through something very similar, ending a year ago. The sacraments, tough love and lots of prayers have made a huge difference and I think they are healing, too. Re making this public, my best friend and her husband went through this over 30 years ago. They have a wonderful marriage still, after all these years. They both believe that they could never help and minister to others in similar circumstances if they had not been open with each other. So, Pansy, thank you for your honesty. I did not realize what a huge number of people were dealing with infidelity and will put y'all on my prayer list. AnneG in NC

D- Proud of you for writing this- I know the ultimate goal had to be to try and make something awful into something hopeful. To try and heal. I know what a difficult road that is. I am amazingly proud of you. Infidelity is a wound most relationships do not recover from- what you have done with your husband may not be perfect but it continues- not too many marriages can say that. To anyone who questions how you chose to go through this process- publicly : community and support, whether online or in person has always been a way to hold a family together. We marry in front of our community so that it can support us in the years forward, through good times and bad, learning from each others lives. The mortal sin, the worst one- is to sit in judgement on one another. A sin that is concealed, festers- a burden shared, is lightened.

I love you D, as I always have.

Love you too, Mel. :)

Hey Anne Godchaux, you get that Pansy Moss is not a real name right? It's a pseudonym. In fact it's a "Hobbit" name. So it's not like she's announcing her husband's name and other personal details - like on Facebook or something.

Lighten up.

Only just read this and am thankful, and crying happy tears for you, J, and the kids. Much love en route to you all! xoxoxo

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