guest post by Deb Kalmbach (if you missed Deb’s interview on Living Inspired last week – check it out here. Some good stuff there!)
Deb is also giving away a copy of her book, Because I Said Forever! Leave a comment on this post for your chance to win.
I recently received an email from a friend with the subject line: Our society has stooped to an all-time low. A link to a commercial shows a middle-aged couple in bed. The husband tosses and turns while the homely woman next to him snores. The tag-line states something like this: There’s only one thing worse than waking up in the morning and not knowing the woman next to you. And that’s waking up with the same woman every day for the rest of your life. Then there’s a link to a website.
Being curious, I checked it out. It looks like a legitimate site, basically promoting extramarital affairs. The site actually says: Life is short. Have an affair.
Yep, that’s great advice. You could ask Tiger Woods or Elin Nordegren or Mark Sanford or Elizabeth Edwards, for that matter.
I was 24 years-old when husband Randy’s announcement shattered my world. He had met someone when he was away on temporary duty with the Air Force.
“Deb, I didn’t mean for this to happen. I think I’m in love with her.”
I felt like I’d been punched in the stomach, the wind knocked out of me. In a blink, the trust we had enjoyed during our first 6 years of marriage had been severed. I quickly learned that heartbreak is real.
I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I cried for days, if not weeks and months. I’m not sure how I managed to put one foot in front of the other and keep going for my own sake, as well as our little boys, ages five and two.
Randy said he wanted to work things out. He was confused and distraught. We started counseling and embarked on the arduous journey toward healing–one that’s difficult to describe in a short blog. It all seems so tidy. We persevered. We made it through, even though it was tough. Yes, there is life and reconciliation possible after adultery. But at what price?
I can only say the consequences of infidelity are huge, devastating, life-altering. By the grace of God, I found the strength to go on, believing all things are possible with God, even impossible forgiveness. As strange as it may sound, I believe the scars Randy bore were more damaging than my own.
He couldn’t accept what he had done, and turned to alcohol to medicate his pain and guilt. After many long years, he finally believed he could be forgiven.
So I say, Life is short. Love the one you’re with, the husband, the wife of your youth. I can’t think of anything sweeter than waking up each day with the man I love sleeping next to me–even if we both snore!
Deb is the author of Because I Said Forever: Embracing Hope in a Not-So-Perfect Marriage (co-authored with Heather Kopp) and the author of a book for children, Corey’s Dad Drinks Too Much. She has been a contributor to many books, including The New Women’s Devotional Bible and Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace. She has written for Focus on the Family, Christian Parenting Today, and many other publications.
Deb married Randy Kalmbach at 19. They thought all they needed was love—and the possessions they could fit in their metallic blue VW bug! What they didn’t realize was how much it would take to live with adversity, disappointment and heartache. They never imagined their journey taking them into the depths of addiction with Randy battling alcoholism for almost 30 years before he experienced the miracle of sobriety.
Deb isn’t just theorizing when she gives hope and practical solutions to those who struggle with difficult relationships. Her own brokenness has given her great compassion and insight for others who are hurting. With her vibrant and engaging manner, she speaks profoundly about God’s faithfulness and how to embrace a God-honoring life in the midst of almost unbearable circumstances. Deb and Randy are grateful beyond words for their 39 years of “not-so-perfect” marriage.
They make their home in rural Washington State with their two lively Jack Russell Terriers, Kramer and Kosmo (yep – they even have their own blog!). Their grown sons, Chris and Jeremy, and a daughter-in-law, Jen, live on the Seattle side of the North Cascades Mountains. Find out more on her website: www.debkalmbach.com