Jacquie's marriage suffered enormous strain when her husband chose to pursue an affair. Despite the infidelity she chose to believe for restoration and now they educate others about healthy marriages.
J: When we first met it was at my best friends wedding.
U: We ended up at the same table together just towards the end of the evening and we were the only two left at the table and the only thing left to do was to ask her to dance, which I did.
J: 5 years into our marriage I became a Christian. About 5 months after that the Lord clearly told me that something was happening. I couldn’t see anything so I really started questioning and saying, well Lord what are you saying to me? And a couple of months later he revealed to me that Umberto was having an affair.
U: I was in a bit of a party mode I suppose. I joined a company that involved quite a bit of travelling and it was auditing. And essentially it was while while working there that I came across this lady and we got to know each other.
J: This was my best friend I was married to, and he was with someone else and I thought life would not be worth living without him. But God held me really tight and was saying to me that it would be ok. But it was dark. It was really dark and it was almost like I couldn’t breathe.
U: The whole thing was driving me slightly crazy in fact. Being torn between this new lady, this infatuation I suppose at the time. And obviously my wife Jackie and my love for her which was obviously many years older. And the fact that we had a daughter then. I didn’t know how to deal with it. I didn’t know what to do.
I couldn’t see myself leaving my wife and daughter basically alone in a new country that we were in. So I think the way I was trying to get around it was by pushing Jacqui to the edge of her boundaries. Where she would actually have enough of it and say enough. Why don’t you just get out. But she never did.
She never ever let go. She just kept the faith and just kept on and kept on.
J: Through the whole time the affair carried on for 4 years. And through that whole time he never left home. He would come home every night but I knew the affair was going on the whole time. About 2.5-3 years into the affair, I had an absolute meltdown. I thought, this can’t be happening anymore. I thought, I’ve heard wrong from God. I thought, Lord you said you would repair, you would restore our marriage but in fact I feel like it’s getting worse.
U: I knew Jacqui’s walk with God and I knew that her Christian faith and coming to New Zealand really opened that up. Jacqui initially struggled a little bit with what church to go to and who and where to go to. So I would join her because I just felt I suppose, in that respect I was feeling sorry for her, having to go on her own to find her way. So I joined her for that reason and I started liking LIFE. I enjoyed the whole vibe, the movement, the people, the music.
J: I don’t know what it was, but somehow I went forward that morning, and I was on my knees. And I just broke down and I said Lord I’m tired of this. When will you bring this man to his knees? The tears were just pouring down and eventually I got up to go back to my seat and when I turned round three rows behind me, he was on his knees.
U: To tell you the truth, if you knew much about me, you’d know that the last place you’d find me would be in public in front of a public forum (J: auditorium) on my knees. It just wouldn’t happen.
J: It was that me asking the Lord, when will you bring him to his knees? You know?
U: It’s been amazing ever since really.
I think throughout it is honouring what you hear from God, honouring God’s word. And I think Jacqui stood steadfast on what she heard and what she believed. And she had faith in what she had heard.
J: I just had a simple faith and when he told me something I believed him. When I look at my husband today and I think of the man, my best friend he’s given back to me. But he’s given me back even better because now we have a healthy love for one another. And God is where he needs to be. At the top and in the centre of our marriage. And because of that, we can love each other the way that we’re supposed to.