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CBN.com “As I was coming home that night, that was one of the toughest things I ever had to do in my life. I was going to confess to my wife that I’d been having an affair. There wasn’t a place in my life that wouldn’t be affected by this revelation.”
Gary Shriver hid his secret for three years. The other woman was his wife’s best friend.
He says, “One baby step after another, we got a little bit more intimate and a little bit more intimate. Eventually it fell into a sexual relationship. I didn’t think we were vulnerable but that’s where it ended up.”
A co-worker confronted Gary about his sin.
“He sat me down and said, ‘Gary, I think you’re having an affair, and you really need to do something about this.’ It was the perfect opportunity. God was leading me there, shouting and saying it was time to do something. I just agreed at that point. I said, ‘You’re absolutely right.’”
Gary continues, “So then I picked up the phone, and I called my senior pastor. He agreed to meet with me. On my way home that night I stopped by his office. We talked and I confessed everything to him.”
The worst part was still to come.
Mona recalls, “When Gary walked through the door that night, I could tell by one look on his face that something horrible was wrong. I remember thinking that somebody had died. But he came, sat on the bed and said, ‘I’ve betrayed you.’”
“I confessed everything to Mona,” Gary says.
In making that confession to his wife, Gary felt an incredible weight lift from his shoulders. But at that point, Mona had a decision to make….
“We left the house,” she says. “We needed to talk, and our children were in bed. So we left the house and went to the office and talked briefly. He asked me if I wanted a divorce. I asked him if he wanted a divorce. Neither one wanted a divorce… In terms of fault and blame, everybody wants to find something to blame -- someone at fault. If you can pinpoint exactly how this occurred, then maybe you can prevent it from ever happening again.”
“Obviously this was my fault. I’m the one that did this,” says Gary. “It’s not that we didn’t have issues as a couple. Don’t get me wrong. There is never an issue big enough that would ever justify adultery. That needs to be said and underscored right here.”
“One of the things that was such a deep need for me personally was I needed hope that we could heal,” Mona says. “We desperately wanted to be able to sit across the table from another couple that could look us in the eye and say, “You can heal from this. You can make it. It is possible.’ Quite frankly, we didn’t know if it was possible. We certainly didn’t know how to do it.”
Gary and Mona persevered. They spent time in counseling and in prayer. Healing came one day at a time and with it hope.
“We’re wiser now,” says Mona. “There will always be issues, because Gary and I are two individual human beings. We are not perfect and our relationship is not perfect. But the difference now is that when we encounter issues, we deal with them. We recognize them earlier. We don’t just shove them under the mat because it’s a little uncomfortable. We’re both more willing to give.”
It’s been more than a decade since the affair, and now Gary and Mona have started a support group for those going down the same road.
“Satan is a great deceiver, and the world out there says [to] throw it away,” says Gary. “’You can’t make it through this, this is too tough. You can’t get through this.’ You can. We are here to prove that. Mona and I have been through this. So if they hear anything out of this today, just know that there’s a loving God. Jesus Christ is willing to heal their relationship.”
“Not only can they make it through, but it’s worth all the pain,” says Mona. “Maybe the only reason you would consider doing that is because you believe in God and you know that would be the desire. That’s okay. You can start there. We would just encourage you to recognize that there truly is hope for healing. It can be done. It’s worth it.”
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