The Aftermath of My Husband’s Affair (Audio Essay)
In the middle of the night around 12:00 a.m., Lu Lu was staring at the computer screen, not daring to believe that what it displayed was a list of her husband’s expenses from the last few months: a few hundred yuan on women’s clothing at a department store, over a thousand yuan on a bottle of imported alcohol from a high-end liquor store … Seeing this list of numbers, Lu Lu collapsed into the chair and felt a taste of despair for the first time in her life. She never could have imagined that her husband who had been through thick and thin with her would suddenly betray her. Her sister-in-law’s kind warning came to mind: “Lu Lu, aren’t you afraid that my brother will do something disrespectful to you while he’s away?” Her response was, “I couldn’t say what others might do, but your brother isn’t that kind of person.” Her air of confidence at that time surfaced in her memory—faced with the bitter truth in that moment, it really felt like a mockery. The truth, hard as nails, completely obliterated the last line of defense in Lu Lu’s heart, and tears rolled down her cheek one after another, like a string of pearls. She hoped so fervently that this was a delusion and so longed to return to the wonderful times of the past, to the nostalgia of their innocent love. …
When they first met, Lu Lu’s husband was still in his second year of college. As they got to know each other, Lu Lu found him to be an honest, kind person and she couldn’t help but develop feelings for him. Every weekend he took a bus for over an hour to go chat with her. They always had a wonderful time talking to each other and the time flew by. She remembered one time, after winning a 5,000 yuan scholarship, he carefully arranged a big meal and recited a poem he had written for her. Lu Lu was totally enveloped in the sweetness of love, and in spite of both of their families’ firm opposition, they resolutely held fast to their feelings for each other. In 2007, they finally walked down the aisle. From then on, he became Lu Lu’s rock, and she rejoiced that their love had had this outcome because of their persistence. Countless times, she quietly told herself: Cherish this marriage for my entire life so that I can always live with such joy, such happiness.
The little things saw Lu Lu through several lonely years of her husband working away from home. Although in the home she was frequently faced with her father-in-law’s bad attitude and nitpicking, and would often go cry in secret from feeling wronged, she still loved her husband, blemishes and all and did what a good wife ought to do. Although the combined pressures of both work and home made Lu Lu feel that her spirit was willing but her flesh was weak, all of her exhaustion and unhappiness dissolved in the face of her joy in expecting her husband’s return and her daughter’s innocent, guileless smile.
Lu Lu’s thoughts returned to that computer. In that moment, no matter how much she tried to focus on those wonderful things from the past, they didn’t bring her a shred of comfort. On the contrary, they brought her heart-rending pain. She didn’t know where her path would take her after that night or how she could face those around her. She felt she had suddenly become the world’s most grief-stricken person. Lu Lu’s heart suddenly welled with fear, afraid to face what was coming, and she even had thoughts of leaving this world altogether so that she wouldn’t need to face the cruel truth. …
The wind blowing at the window with a sudden “bang” broke the silence of the night, and Lu Lu instinctively looked at her child, deep in sleep beside her. Her daughter’s innocent face reminded Lu Lu: You’re a mother. You cannot be weak—you have a child to care for. Thinking of this, she dispelled all terrible notions and resolved to take their child and go find her husband. Even though she didn’t know what would be waiting for her—perhaps those inappropriate sentiments would be ended before long, or perhaps there would be a different outcome—she was awaiting the judgment of her destiny.
The next day after Lu Lu had done her best to put herself in a positive state of mind, she told her parents-in-law about her husband and her plan to take their daughter to go find him. Everyone in the family advised her to forgive him this once for the sake of the child, and her heart softened. She thought: For the child, for our family, I’ll try to forgive him! So armed with her last shred of hope she started off on her long road in an attempt to salvage her love and marriage.
On the long-distance bus, her mother-in-law said earnestly and gravely: “Lu Lu, marriage isn’t a game. Take my word for it, no matter what happens you need to have a good talk when you meet with him. Everyone makes mistakes when they’re young.” Lu Lu glanced at her daughter, sleeping sweetly, and said heavily, “I know, Mom.” Her mother-in-law seemed greatly reassured by this, letting out a breath. However, Lu Lu still felt deeply unsettled—she had a hope that her husband could explain things clearly to her, but on the other hand, she was afraid of facing the scary truth. Lu Lu watched row after row of small trees speeding by outside of the window and thought to herself: Once this ball is rolling, I don’t know if it can come back to where it started.
When she got off the bus Lu Lu dialed that phone number, so very familiar to her, but her husband wouldn’t pick up for a long time. She and his mother had no choice but to go to his office where they learned that he was about to resign. Lu Lu had a bad feeling in the face of this shock. Her husband finally made his appearance after being persuaded by his colleagues. Seeing the furtive look in his eyes, Lu Lu realized that he was intentionally avoiding her and had not wanted to answer the phone. The truth was devastating. Her mother-in-law was unable to hold back her anger, pointing her finger at her son and scolding him: “You worthless son! You think you’re really something out here and don’t care about your family anymore, is that it? Do you want to keep on living, or what?” He hung his head and didn’t say a word. Lu Lu held back her tears and the blame in her heart, looked at her husband, and forcibly steadied her feelings saying calmly: “I’m not here to fight with you. Considering the situation and that I came so far to find you, don’t you owe me an explanation?” Then, he lifted up his head and said, unperturbed: “I’ve let you down.” Upon hearing those words from her husband, Lu Lu could no longer hold back—tears spilled out and she said, choked with sobs: “I never thought you would betray our family. You gave me such a beautiful dream, but now you have destroyed that dream with your own hands. … We should say our goodbyes with no hard feelings.” He said, “I’ve never wanted a divorce!” Her husband’s words gave rise to a flash of both anger and hope in Lu Lu’s heart, and she said: “If you don’t want a divorce, then leave that woman!” “I don’t want to leave her either.” She gave her husband a look of bewilderment while her mother-in-law stood up, ready to hit her son until Lu Lu held her back. Looking at her husband, he seemed like a stranger while he looked back at her, at a loss. He said: “Don’t look at me that way. Isn’t this kind of thing normal now? I’m not the only one—my boss has women on the side too!” Lu Lu could hardly believe her ears and she glared back at this man who had suddenly become a stranger and was impervious to all reason. She really couldn’t understand how things had gotten to that point in just a few years’ time. Seeing her husband’s wooden expression, it didn’t seem that he was going to explain anything. She then knew with certainty that their love and marriage could never go back to what it had been.
Lu Lu took her child and returned from that painful journey. After returning home she removed all records of her husband’s contact information. She determined to say goodbye to yesterday’s nightmare and steel herself to work for the sake of her and her child’s future. However, late every night when the world was still, the grief and loneliness in her heart would always sneak up on her, and her feelings of confusion, being lost, and endless pain would stab at her delicate spirit. She wanted so badly for someone to soothe her heart’s wounds.
Just as she was struggling with this pain, God’s salvation of the last days came upon her. God stretched out His warm, mighty hand, saving her from the abyss of her pain and telling her who had stolen away the love they had shared.
One day, Lu Lu saw a passage of God’s words: “One after another, all these trends carry an evil influence that continually degenerates man, causing them to continually lose conscience, humanity and reason, and that lowers their morals and their quality of character more and more, to the extent that we can even say the majority of people now have no integrity, no humanity, neither do they have any conscience, much less any reason. So what are these trends? You cannot see these trends with the naked eye. When the wind of a trend blows through, perhaps only a small number of people will become the trendsetters. They start off doing this kind of thing, accepting this kind of idea or this kind of perspective. The majority of people, however, in the midst of their unawareness, will still be continually infected, assimilated and attracted by this kind of trend, until they all unknowingly and involuntarily accept it, and are all submerged in and controlled by it” (“God Himself, the Unique VI” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
These words resolved the bewilderment and confusion in Lu Lu’s heart. She had never been able to understand how her husband who had always been so simple and straightforward, could become so worldly-wise and cold, to the point that he lacked even the most basic moral bottom line. It turned out that it was the toxicity, the corruption brought by evil trends of Satan that led her husband to lose his humanity and conscience so that he only thought of satisfying his own flesh, thinking nothing of their years of a loving marriage, or considering or planning for their child. She thought of when her husband had just finished college, when he was so trustworthy, but now that he had been poisoned by evil sayings and absurdities spread by Satan such as “Having a wife or husband at home but also taking a lover.” That simple, glowing young man was nowhere to be seen, and in his place was a shameless man sullied by evil trends. Many people in modern society accept these negative things as if they are positive—her husband was just one of many victims of Satan’s corruption. At first, Lu Lu thought that it was just her husband’s betrayal that had been so painful for her, but she came to understand through God’s words that Satan was the culprit who had brought about such pain for her.
Lu Lu later read these words from God: “Whenever Satan corrupts man or engages in unbridled harm, God does not stand idly by, neither does He brush aside or turn a blind eye to those He has chosen. All that Satan does is perfectly clear and understood by God. No matter what Satan does, no matter what trend it causes to arise, God knows all that Satan is trying to do, and God does not give up on those He has chosen. Instead, without attracting any attention, secretly, silently, God does everything that is necessary” (“God Himself, the Unique VI” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “So what exactly does God give to man? Does He only give you a little care, concern and consideration when you are not paying attention? What has God given to man? God has given life to man, given man everything, and bestows on man unconditionally without demanding anything, without any ulterior intention. He uses the truth, uses His words, uses His life to lead and guide man, bringing man away from the harm of Satan, away from Satan’s temptations, away from Satan’s seduction and allowing man to see clearly through Satan’s evil nature and its hideous face” (“God Himself, the Unique IV” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Lu Lu was so moved by God’s words that her entire face was wet with tears. She understood that even though Satan is continually corrupting and harming human beings, and it seems that the entire world is just lying in the hands of the evil one, that we are in utter darkness, the truth is that God has a grasp on everything. God knows Satan’s tricks and knows its tactics for laying waste to mankind. He particularly knows how miniscule and wretched humans are and He never stops paying the price for mankind. In order to save us, God became flesh, enduring wrongs and humiliations; He uttered words, bestowing the truth upon us so that we could gain discernment regarding Satan’s evil essence, and distance ourselves from the harm done by evil satanic trends. From start to finish, God has been the One saving us! Lu Lu couldn’t help but recall that ever since she learned of her husband’s betrayal, she had just been living within pain and despair and had even lost hope for the rest of her life. She no longer believed that there is true love in this world and the entire world became cold and gray in her eyes. Even standing under the sunshine she didn’t feel any warmth, but just wanted to get through each day so she would have one less in front of her, until the end of her days…. If God’s salvation hadn’t come just in time, there was no telling what her current state would be. She then deeply felt that God had been by her side all along, that He had never been far from her. In her darkest time, God’s words illuminated the path in front of her just like a lantern, soothing her injured soul and helping her gain clarity on everything and come out from the haze. In the midst of these evil trends of the world, it was God who was always silently supporting her and protecting her from being swallowed up by Satan. All that God does is love and salvation. Lu Lu felt true peace and joy deep in her heart and discovered that what she had lost counted for nothing because what she had gained was the most precious gift God could bestow/had bestowed—His salvation.
After that Lu Lu enthusiastically read the words of God and participated in the life of the church. Seeing how straightforward interactions between brothers and sisters were, how free and unrestrained fellowship on God’s words was in gatherings, and the relaxed, happy, and positive atmosphere was deeply encouraging to her. A long-awaited smile emerged on her face. Gradually, she came to understand that romantic love wasn’t all she had to live for, that only by worshiping and praising God could her soul be truly at peace and steady, and that that is the greatest joy. Before long Lu Lu was performing the duties she was able to within the warm family of the church. To this day, Lu Lu still frequently hums her favorite hymn of God’s words: “Regardless of whether you have felt it before, God is caring for every person in every possible way, using His sincere heart, wisdom, and various methods to warm each person’s heart, and awaken each person’s spirit. This is an indisputable fact” (“God’s Perfect Care Over All” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). Lu Lu’s spirit has been reawakened. Gathering with brothers and sisters to worship God and performing her duty, she feels a kind of peace and joy she never experienced before. She is clear in her heart that all of this has been bestowed on her by God.