Brian and Elisha have been married for more than twenty years. They met as teenagers and fell in love fast, after their paths crossed at a grocery store.
“He jokingly says I was ‘stalking’ him. But he was in the grocery, stocking and me and my mother and my sisters, we saw him we thought he was just super cute.”
“I knew the first time I seen her that she was definitely the one.”
“We dated about six months and then nine months after that we were married on April 12,1997.”
They spent the first couple years getting to know each other better but eventually their time together lessened and tension was building between them.
“I had just started nursing school so I was gone all day, and you know, Brian worked second shift. Then when we could connect on the weekends, it was just – it was arguing about -I think it was a lack of intimacy, the lack of time together–we both wanted what we wanted and we weren’t willing to give, and I think that’s where things really started spiraling downward.”
Meanwhile, their family was growing but their arguments escalated and would often lead to Brian leaving home for weeks–even months at a time.
Brian became a successful contractor and prided himself in being a provider, but he filled a void he felt with familiar vices. He found the attention he was looking for in other women.
“Deep down I knew what was going on, but I was still trying to be a somewhat good husband, if that makes sense, and provide and keep things at home intact. I was hiding alcohol in my truck, had my phone in my truck in the evenings in case somebody would call or reach out to me so she would know and hiding. I’d go home at night, take showers, get out of the shower, but still felt dirty. I knew right and wrong. I just couldn’t get free from the things of the world, No matter how much I tried.”
Several years had passed and Elisha had given birth to their second child when Brian’s secrets came to light.
“I remember waking up one morning at 6 a.m. to the phone ringing at that moment my world shattered. Never in my mind would have ever thought that my husband would be cheating on me. Never thought that my husband would cheat on me.”
Elisha forgave him and agreed to work on their relationship. But later, when the infidelities continued, Elisha finally reached her breaking point and filed for divorce. Feeling rejected and hopeless, she attempted suicide.
“After the fourth affair I had given up all hope. I had filed for divorce. I had been on an antidepressant for about three years, and I decided that I was going to overdose on those pills. And so when Brian came to get the kids one day I’d ask him if he would pick up my prescription, it was a full three months, and so when he brought them back, he sat the bag there, took the children and left. I was going to take them all. And when I opened the bottle there was only three pills inside and so when I contacted Brian to find out where the rest of them were, there should have been hundreds, he said that the pharmacy–they couldn’t account for them. They were just gone. At my lowest moment, was when God stepped in and saved my life. I asked to God, what to do about Brian, and so lovingly He just asked me, ‘Would you give him one more chance?'”
As Elisha began to let God heal her heart, Brian was facing the man he had become. “I had tried to commit suicide myself down at my grandfather’s farm. I had taken a gun and put it underneath my chin and pulled the trigger and of course it didn’t go off. I remember God telling me, ‘This is your last chance.’ I knew that I had to change as a dad and a husband, and that was the big turning point for me.”
Broken and desperate, he surrendered his heart to God.
Brian moved back into their home. Together they participated in couples’ counseling and committed to keeping God first in their marriage, while they rebuilt their communication and trust.
“Got rid of my worldly friends, I’d made a promise to myself that I would never get in the truck and leave like I had so many times in the past. It brought me to a really strong relationship with Him, which in turn, turned into a stronger relationship with Elisha and the kids.”
“When we incorporated God back in, when we invited Him back in, when we repented for removing Him, He just started to rebuild our marriage and our love for one another.”
Brian and Elisha say their love for each other is stronger than ever and it’s all because they learned to love each other as Christ loves them.
“It’s almost like trying to imagine Heaven. You know, as much as we can imagine, as good as it’d be we’ll still be blown away on the day we get there. And I feel the same way with our marriage, today what it is–we’re best friends. We love spending time with each other and I couldn’t imagine waking up a day without her by my side.”