If you missed any of Denise’s story you can catch up here…
The next 12 hours looked like this…
Patrick had just emptied out this huge lie and I immediately erupted in a fury of anger. I felt so stupid, humiliated, and incredibly hurt. He continued to move around like he was leaving. I stopped spewing my wrath to ask him where he thought he was going? He told me one of the other pastors had been told of the same news and THEY were going to talk to him. I was like, “WHAT??? You drop this huge freaking bomb and just leave!! You *&^^%^T* coward!” (Sorry, I’m being real, that’s what I was saying, that’s how I felt and I’m NOT proud of it.) So apparently it dawned on me sometime about then that in his mind that wasn’t a confession and he was sorry. Rather it was a confession and that it was still happening. In fact, he was leaving me, to go be with HER, so THEY could tell the pastor together. I was absolutely the most angry I’d ever been in my life. It was so ugly. I said things I’m not even sure I’d said before. He left that night and our oldest came into the bedroom crying. She had heard the ruckus from the other room. I had to apologize for my behavior but I really had no idea what else to say.
I couldn’t believe this was actually happening. I remember calling him and asking what all this meant for us. I remember him not having too many answers. He said he was going to stay in a hotel for the night, and I told him that was best.
About fifteen minutes after he left someone was knocking on our door. Not exactly the best timing, as it was late for visitors to be popping in, but I answered it. There stood two of our dearest friends in Arizona. They too worked at the mission. They had been friends/parents to us and had taken on a “grandparent role” to our children as well. The couple stood on the deck and she asked me if I was okay. I said no! She then told me Patrick had called asking them to go check on me. At least he did one good thing in the midst of his horrific selfishness. Then she asked me point blank, “Denise is he having an affair?” I was like…What the crap?????? Was it so blatantly obvious even a blind man would have seen it? She said there had been some red flags at work as of late. He would leave and come back at odd times, he would slam his computer shut when someone walked in his office, and she also knew HER and had seen some behaviors from HER that she didn’t like as well. She told me she knew something was up, but didn’t know what, and she flat out asked him just a few days prior if he was involved with someone else. He never gave any real answer. So my friend started praying for the truth to come out, just as I had.
The kids had gone to bed, and the three of us sat on my kitchen floor, as they encouraged me, prayed for me, and held me. Boy was I grateful they were there. I was shaking and felt so nauseous. I was in shock, I was angry, I felt like a pile of bricks were lying on my chest. So many questions needed answers. After several hours I sent them home. Reluctantly they went. I knew I wasn’t getting any sleep, so I prayed. I prayed again for wisdom, for a change in Patrick, for my children. Then, I emailed my sisters and friends of our family to ask them to pray.
I then called HER. I told her that this was an attack on our marriages. I informed her that God doesn’t break up marriages to put two people together. She started to say how sorry she was and basically the same words I’d heard before. I hung up. I’d said what I wanted to and stayed calm throughout. I really wanted to say a whole lot more, but what good would that have done? Really the phone call itself probably did absolutely nothing other than give me the satisfaction of sharing a few things.
I was praying all through the night. Sometimes all I could mutter was “Lord, help!”. I prayed for wisdom and direction and asked for forgiveness for my actions that evening.
There was no way I was going to fall asleep so I texted HER spouse. (Oh yeah, she was a wife and mother too). So, for the next few hours, we talked, comparing notes, and amazingly he had been thinking and doing a lot of the same things I had. They would fight and somehow Patrick would always end up involved in the mix. He felt crazy at times. He was being reassured that nothing inappropriate was going on. He had plenty of his own red flags. Interesting. We both were in complete shock that all this had gone down in a few short months. I hadn’t even known them 6 months. But a huge blow was about to come my way…
He informed me that my husband and his wife were leaving to go to Phoenix in the morning.
Early that morning Patrick came home to pack some things. His countenance looked so different. I asked him if he was on drugs that is how unrecognizable his actions were to me. He didn’t have much to say but one word answers. Then he looked at me and said the words I wish I could forget, “Denise, I don’t think I love you anymore. I fell out of love with you a while ago.” I remember those words piercing me so deep, they do again even as I type them. Who was this man? What happened to him? What was going to happen to our children? What could he possibly be thinking? How did we get here? I told him he was clearly in a fog. He was in lust not love with another person. Again, I said God doesn’t put two married people together with other people. I told him to go to Phoenix for a few days, seek God, clear his mind, but go alone because the fog wasn’t going to clear if SHE went with him. I ended the conversation by telling him I would fight for our family. I would fight for us. He betrayed me for two months, but we had been married for fourteen years. I wasn’t throwing all that away. I knew God had a different plan for us. We were attacked on every side since we’d moved to Arizona. I didn’t want this to be the end of our story! He had made up his mind, he was leaving and she was going with him.
He walked in the living room where the kids were on the couch. He sat and told them he had hurt me, and the two of them, and that he was going to Phoenix for a week or so, but he’d see them soon. He told them he loved them, hugged them and left.
They didn’t know details. He didn’t share much information, so I got stuck with the tough questions after he walked out the door. “Mom, why is he going to Phoenix?” “Are you getting divorced?” I had to look at my children and make split second decisions. What do I tell them? How much do I tell them? Our lives could be over, as we’ve known it. I don’t know if I said the right thing, or used the right words. I only know I sat on the couch holding my two crying children. I told them I loved them very much and I would take care of them. I didn’t know what any of this meant for us, but I did know I would never leave them.
My oldest didn’t let me out of her sight that day. She followed me from room to room and my heart broke for her over and over. She asked, “Mom what are we going to do, where are we going to live?” I told her I didn’t have all the answers, but I assured her we would make it through this.