Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? – 2 Corinthians 6:14
There signs were there but either she was blind to them or she didn’t want to see them. They spoke at odd hours. She never met his family or any of his friends and he didn’t seem keen on meeting hers. She had no idea where he lived. He never invited her to his place and always ended up at hers. They never spent the holidays together or attended special events. Once when she got tickets to a play she had always wanted to see, he told her that something had come up and he couldn’t go. She had to ask a friend to go with her.
He never used his credit card. He paid everything in cash. He took her to lonely and secluded places. And whenever they were in public, he was different, not showing any display of affection. To the casual observer, they were just friends, nothing more but behind closed doors, it was a different story. He couldn’t seem to get enough of her. And then there was the wedding band line although he hadn’t mentioned anything about being married. And on more than one occasion she had invited him to go to church with her but he always had an excuse why he couldn’t go.
Her gut told her that something was not right. It kept nagging her driving her to pray about it. God led her to two passages: The first was: 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 which said, For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.”
And the second was Hebrews 13:4: Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
God was telling her plainly that her boyfriend was a married man and that she needed to end their relationship. After she closed the Bible, she collapsed on the carpet and began to cry. The pain was unbearable. She loved him and he had been lying to her all this time.
Hours later when she was composed, she called him on his cell. It rang a long time and just as she was about to end the call, he answered. “Sorry,” he apologized. “I was in the middle of something.”
“I need to see you,” she said simply. “Can you meet me this afternoon?”
“I can’t this afternoon. How about tomorrow afternoon around 4?”
“Fine. I’ll meet you tomorrow afternoon at the entrance of Craigleigh Gardens Park.” They had been to the park before because there was an air of secrecy about it and not many people were around. Whenever they were there, they felt as if they had the place all to themselves.
“Why can’t I see you at your place?”
“I prefer to meet you in the park.”
“All right. I’ll see you then. I love you.”
She didn’t say “I love you” as usual but, instead mumbled, “Bye” and ended the call. She went out onto the terrace where she sat for a long time, dreading the inevitable.
As she stood at the entrance to the park waiting for him, she prayed and asked God to give her the strength to do what she must do. And she had this assurance, “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Knowing that God was with her gave her comfort but it was going to be hard and very painful to say goodbye to the man she loved. How she wished he weren’t married or lied to her about it. What else did he lie about?
Five minutes to four, he showed up. Her heart leapt in her throat and she had to fight the impulse to throw her arms around him. He wouldn’t have minded there wasn’t anyone around. He looked handsome in the expensive looking striped navy blue suit, snow white shirt and no tie. His thick, silky bronze colored hair was neatly combed as usual. He exuded sophistication and virility. As he approached her, she felt her resolve weakening and she frantically said a silent prayer.
She saw his eyes travel over her in the yellow top and black skirt and the desire in his eyes. She tried to ignore her body’s reaction. Not seeming to notice that something was amiss, he said, “Hello, Erika” and was about to take her in his arms when she stepped back. Frowning, he asked, “Is something wrong?”
“Let’s go inside and find a bench,” she suggested and turned away. She went through the entrance and he followed her. Nothing was said until they found a bench. He waited until she was seated and then he sat down. After taking a deep breath, she said, “It’s over between you and me.”
He looked startled and for a few minutes, he was at a loss for words and then he finally asked, “Why?”
“You’re married, Cyrus.”
“How did you find out?”
“The signs were there but I didn’t want to see them. When I see you it’s usually at your convenience. I have never met your family or your friends or been to your place and we only go to certain places. Things haven’t been adding up and my gut kept telling me that something was wrong. And your finger,” she said looking down at his left hand. “has the mark of a ring. When you’re with me you don’t wear it. How long have you been married?”
He sighed. “Ten years.”
“Do you have any children?” She fought to keep the tears back.
“Yes. Two. A six year old boy and a four year old girl.”
She buried her face in her hands and groaned. He was married with children. All those times when they couldn’t spend Christmas or New Year’s together, it was because of his family.
He reached out to pull her towards him as he muttered, “Erika, I’m sorry.”
She pushed his hand away, the tears rolling down her face. “You’re sorry,” she cried angrily. “Sorry that you lied to me or sorry that I found out? All this time you and I were seeing each other, you were really cheating on your wife. If I had known that you were married I never would have gotten involved with you.”
“That’s why I didn’t tell you. I didn’t want to lose you.”
“Am I your first affair or have you had others before me?”
“No. I’ve never cheated on my wife before. The thought never occurred to me but that changed when I met you. I knew it was wrong to get involved with you but I couldn’t help myself. I wanted you so much…”
“I fell in love with you, Cyrus, not knowing that you had a family. When you were with me, did you think about them and how this would hurt them?”
He ran his fingers through his hair, his face pale. “No, I wasn’t thinking,” he admitted tightly. “All I could think about was you and how much I loved you–“
“Please, don’t tell me that you love me.”
“But, I do. I love you more than I love my children.”
“What about your wife? Do you love her?”
“No. I stopped loving her after our daughter was born.”
“Why are you still married?”
“Two reasons are preventing me from getting a divorce–my religion and my children. So, I’m stuck in a marriage to a woman I don’t love while I’m in love with a woman who doesn’t want me anymore.”
For a brief, maddening moment, she wanted to put her arms around him and tell him that she still wanted him, desperately. But, as a Christian, she couldn’t stay in a relationship that wasn’t right for her. She loved him so much that it hurt but she had to obey God’s Word. Sometimes, you had to walk away from love. She stood up, her heart breaking and the tears streaming down her face. “Cyrus, I’m sorry that you are stuck in an unhappy marriage. I hope and pray that things work out for you and that you find happiness but it won’t be with me. I have to find my own happiness.”
He stood up, anguish marring his features. “What are you saying, Erika?”
“I’m saying goodbye. I’m saying that it’s over between us.”
“But, I love you.”
“And I love you but you’re a married man.”
“So, it’s really over?”
“Yes.” The word was choked sob.
“Could I at least kiss you goodbye?” he asked thickly. “Please?”
Against her better judgment, she allowed him to take her in his arms and kiss her. When she felt his lips on hers, she put her arms around his neck and eagerly kissed him back. They exchanged passionate kisses for several minutes and then she pulled away from him. She turned away, gulping for air.
“Please go,” she begged, still with her back turned to him.
There was a brief pause and then he was walking away–out of her life for good.
To truly love is to have the courage to walk away and let the other person who wishes to be free go no matter how much it hurts – Taylor Swift