The Morelands: Healing After the Affair
By Jewel Taylor
The 700 Club
Original Air Date: October 11, 2010
"You become the person that has all the answers. Pride starts to creep in. I was doing something noble like taking care of people."
Dr. Matt Moreland was doing his residency at a local hospital. It was a stressful job that demanded most of his time.
"It takes a toll on your family and your friends," Matt tells The 700 Club. "'Cause really, even when you’re away from work, you’re not really there."
His wife Sara was prepared for the long hours he spent at the hospital.
"This was a part of the job description," Sara says. "So I was fully aware of it the single parenting was the hard part."
The couple had two small children, and they became the main focus of her life. She and Matt spent little time together. As a family, in time, they drifted further apart.
"We had gotten to the place where, even when he was home, I would be in one room doing my own thing and he would be in his room doing something else," Sara says. "There wasn’t fighting, because there wasn’t communication."
Matt developed relationships with his co-workers at his hospital and one woman in particular. They began flirting and spending time together.
"I enjoyed being pursued," Matt says. "I enjoyed the feeling that I was getting from my ego and my pride."
Both Matt and Sara had grown up in church, but he admits that the busier he got, the less time he spent with God. "Things that we tend to struggle with become much more enticing. Things like lust…."
The co-workers flirted four or five months before the relationship turned physical.
"I distinctly remember the moment when I was walking away thinking how did this happen," Matt recalls. "How in the world did I get to this point? It was a very nauseating and disgusting feeling. And you would think that that would be enough to say stop."
But it wasn’t enough to make him stop the illicit relationship.
"I can honestly say during that time that I loved my wife," Matt says. "I remember distinctly in moments where I was being unfaithful thinking at that moment this is not right. I should not be doing this."
After nine months of an on again, off again affair, Matt couldn’t take the guilt anymore. He turned to God, desperate for a way out. He says, "I’d been fighting the Lord and fighting it and fighting it, and all of a sudden, it was like the Lord was just standing there with open arms. I prayed, 'If You want me to say anything to Sara about this, please let me know. Make it happen before we go to bed.'"
That night they watched a movie then got ready for bed.
"I just looked at him and said, 'Is there anything going on with this person?' It took him a while to answer, but that’s when he came out and told me everything that had gone on," Sara says.
They were up all night as Matt confessed his unfaithfulness to Sara.
"It’s like everything in her life was crashing down," Matt says. "It was a mix of anger. It was a mix of hurt. There was definitely some love in there."
Sara says, "I did a lot of talking. I did a lot of crying. He knew he had hurt me. He knew that I was broken because of this. He knew that his actions had been the cause of all of that."
Matt’s brokenness over his sin encouraged Sara that they could try to rebuild their family.
"He had been led down a path that forever changed us," Sara says, "but who he was and who the person I married was still there and was still my best friend. I wanted to regain that."
The Morelands began spending more time together and went for Christian counseling.
"I think you are faced with a choice of harboring all of this anger and grief and rage and let it destroy or choose to forgive," Sara says.
Matt agrees, "I’m still amazed that she trusts me. Trust is not something that is either there or not there. It’s a process. And we’re continuing on that process of building more and more trust."
Matt and Sara realized the importance of recommitting their lives and their relationship to the Lord.
"Just ask the Lord. Say, 'I don’t know how to get out of this. I don’t know how to do it. You are going to have to do this for me,'" Matt says. "When I finally did that, it allowed me to step out of that and to step out of it fully, not just temporarily."
"This whole experience has grown my faith tremendously," Sara says. "I believed before, but I really believe in a God who is in the business of restoration. He wants to restore us. That’s His heart and that’s where His heart is. He knows that we’re a lost people. He knows that we make mistakes, but he wants to rebuild that. He wants to rebuild it with His vision in mind."
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