May 28, 2014

Walk away


Kandi Hall . . . I had met her many times. She had held my baby and apparently been on dates with my son. She had willingly and with perfect knowledge defiled my family. She had slept with my husband. My anger toward her was boiling. There wasn't a day that went by that I didn't stew about what I would say to her if given the chance. Every time I was driving in the car, I would internally rehearse the conversation I would have with her. I knew our paths would cross eventually. It was inevitable. We lived in a fairly small town, and our houses were only a few miles apart. I had many friends tell me they saw her here or there, or that they were in line behind her at the grocery store. It was going to happen . . . and I was going to be prepared. 



Well, that day inevitably came. I craved it like a lion craves its prey. I dreaded it, and yet I needed it to be. I felt it coming every day for a week. Everywhere I went, I could feel her getting closer. I searched stores for her and checked the driver of every car I passed.

Tiffanie called that week and said she was on her way to our house, and that Shawn and I needed to make hotel reservations so she could come and spend time with the kids. In other words, she was kind enough to realize that we needed some newlywed alone time.

It was fun having a weekend to get away and not think about parenting, or any of the daily tasks that occupied so much of our time together . . . or the trial. It was like a two-day-long date, which made up for the months we had hardly been alone for a second.

While on our getaway, Shawn and I were out for lunch, watching the big Boise State football game at THE RAM. We hadn’t been there long and hadn’t even gotten our food yet. I was looking around for a bathroom, and as I turned to look in the other direction . . . there she was. She was walking into the restaurant with a friend. She looked exactly the same as she did the last time I had seen her at Emmett’s office, and she was smiling as if nothing in her life had ever gone wrong.

I flipped around and almost screamed at Shawn, “She’s here!” He looked over his shoulder and let out a few swear words. Both of us huddled down in our chair in shock. I started shaking and hyperventilating. My whole body went cold and limp. I couldn’t breathe. Once again, it felt just like the detectives were sitting on my leather couch telling me the whole story of my husband’s murder. Her, him . . . the affair. My chest stopped working and my heart tried to stop beating.

Shawn rubbed my back as my panic attack took over. I was so light-headed, I thought I was going to pass out. How was this real? As much as I had craved the chance to give her a piece of my mind, how was I going to spew it out if I couldn’t even breathe?

Shawn put his arm around my shoulder and whispered into my ear. Over and over again he said, “It is going to be okay, Ash. Breathe . . . everything is okay. I am right here. I promise I will protect you. Breathe. Please take a breath. Be calm, Ashlee. I am right here. You are okay. Nothing is going to happen to you. Breathe.”

With the help of Shawn’s words, I calmed down enough to take a full breath. I leaned into him and said, “Shawn, I have been waiting for this. I will be right back.” I got up to go confront her and Shawn grabbed my arm. “Ash . . . this isn’t the time. Your anger at Kandi is not going to change anything, and your going over there in this restaurant is NOT going to end well. Please, let’s just leave and forget that we even saw her.”

I looked him in the eyes, my body still shaking. “Shawn,” I replied, “I have been waiting for this opportunity every single day. I have rehearsed in my mind exactly what I’d say. I have been given this chance, and I am not about to let it pass. She has to hear what she has put me through. She needs to hear about the pain my children have endured. She needs to know exactly what I think about her, and about what her selfishness has done to my family. She just got seated across from us in this restaurant, and I’m going to take that as a sign that she needs to hear about all the emotions and pain in my heart. I am not leaving here until every word of it is said today.”

His eyes didn’t leave mine. “Ashlee. I love you. I can’t imagine what you are going through, but I don’t think you should do this. However, I am here for you and I support you.”

I was still trembling, uncertain about what I should do. “Shawn, I am going to go into the bathroom, but I promise you, I’m coming back out and I’m going to let her have it. She deserves this, and I deserve to give it to her.”

I went into the bathroom without her having seen me. I ran into the stall, hoping to let my tears out so I wouldn’t break down in front of Kandi. But no tears came. All I felt was anger. I prayed for the words to say, the words that had been storming around in my mind since the day of the murder. I whispered out loud the pleas of my heart. “Heavenly Father, I know that I need to forgive this woman who has wronged me, and yet . . . my entire body is shaking because of all the hate I feel for her. Because of her, Emmett stepped out on me. Because of her, Father, I was made a widow. Because of her, I have had many sleepless nights, sometimes because of the taps on my shoulder from my children paralyzed by their own fears. Because of this woman, I have felt immeasurable pain and heartache; and because of her . . . Emmett got shot. And today she is here before me, and she needs to be held accountable for all the pain I hold in my heart. This is my chance. This is a gift I’ve been given to let her know of all the wrongs she has done to my family and me. Please give me the words to say and the power to address everything she needs to hear. Please let me have this chance to put her in her place. I need this moment to help me heal. I have craved it every day. She needs to hear the words that have built mountains inside of my heart. Please let me have this moment today.”

In the silence of my bathroom stall, I didn’t receive the peace I thought would come about my proposed plan of action. The only feeling that came to my heart was, “Ashlee BE STILL. She didn’t care then, and anything you say now won’t change a thing. She will not be affected by your pain.”

I almost stomped my foot in rebellion. “No . . . please. I need this! I need to scream and slam things on the table. I need to tell everyone in this restaurant of the heartache she has caused my family. Please. I am going to go out there, and I need to let this out, so I can let it go.”

Nothing. Silence.

I had made up my mind, and regardless of the impressions I’d received . . . I knew I would regret it if I just walked away from her.

So, I marched myself out of the stall. I was not going to let this chance pass me by. This woman had to hear from me about the mess she had made, and I wasn’t about to spare anyone’s feelings, including Shawn’s.

I walked over to her table and our eyes locked. Her friends began to laugh. Kandi had a look of fear on her face, but there was also a defiant look of "you can’t hurt me!" She didn’t say a word. We just continued to stare at each other.

Chills covered me; Shawn said he could see my heart beating in every vein of my body. I have never felt so much fear, sadness, anger, hatred, and pure disgust in my entire life as I felt as I stared at the woman who had not only slept with my husband, but whose husband had shot bullets into the head and heart of my children’s father.

Just staring. A minute went by. Shaking, staring. Just as I felt in the bathroom, I realized that this woman didn't care about me. I felt hopeless as I stared into her eyes and saw nothing in return. Still staring . . . waiting for the words I thought she might say; hoping to release all the pain I held . . . waiting for her words.

Nothing. Silence.

I threw my hands up in the air, and without a word I turned back toward my table. Shawn—patiently waiting and hoping that I would finally take a breath—had our food all boxed up and ready to go. He grabbed the bags and motioned for me to follow him. I did not take my eyes off of Kandi the entire way out of the restaurant. I walked away with all those words I had scripted out in my mind still stored in my heart.

Forgiveness was walking away.

All the words in the world weren’t going to change the past. My forcing her to see my pain was not going to release it from inside of me. I was just going to add one more thing to the list of things I still had to overcome. The last thing I needed was to add something I needed to repent of to my list.

Regret. I knew I had done the right thing, but where were all those words supposed to go? For the next two hours, Shawn drove us around as I screamed out everything I had wanted to say at the top of my lungs. Everything that woman deserved to hear . . . but which wasn’t worth my spouting off in hatred.



Forgiveness for me was walking away. Forgiveness wasn’t going to come to me by making a scene in a restaurant full of people. And though in that moment, it is what I wanted to do almost more than anything, I would have regretted it.

Forgiveness doesn’t come to our hearts through angry words, but it would start to come to me as my Heavenly Father blessed my heart with peace for doing the right thing in that moment when I wanted to carry out my own will. It came through trusting that God had the power to heal my soul. It wasn’t Kandi’s words that would help me find peace; it wasn’t the screaming and yelling I craved to do that would help me let it go. God had the gift to bless me with power from the Heavens in a vulnerable moment when I felt like crumbling and screaming and making sure that woman knew what was in my heart.

I grew a little taller that day, knowing that I had the power . . . not her. She would no longer control my thoughts. I was going to live with a purpose . . . and that was no longer going to be spent searching the town for her. The power I had been giving her had only brought me more heartache. She didn’t own any part of me. That power was going to be for me. That energy was going to be used for good. 



Being able to forgive doesn’t come just from hearing the words “I’m sorry.” Kandi Hall will probably never say those words to me. It is not through her actions that I can forgive her for the pain she has caused in my life. Being able to forgive is a gift from God that we can only receive from Him. As we seek to follow His counsel and rely on His timing, we can feel peace no matter how or by whom we have been wronged. Forgiving is a process and not something we check off a list. We will find a need for its power over and over again. It is not a magic pill or a one-time event. But each time we do it in our Heavenly Father’s timing, we will gain a testimony of its power and feel its healing in every aspect of our lives.

Sometimes forgiving is confronting our fears at the Walgreens parking lot; then other times, it is walking away from something we want more than anything else in the world.

I never knew how much strength I really had inside of me until that moment I walked away. I saw myself as a warrior laying down my weapons of war. I have never lacked knowing exactly what to say when confronted or put on the spot. My weakness has always been knowing when the heck to shut my mouth.

Warriors don’t always fight battles with guns and bombs, or even harsh words. Each one of us has a warrior inside of us. We put on our armor as we leave our homes every day. We know that we may be confronted with a temptation. For some of us, that temptation may be as simple as spouting off our mouths anytime we have an opinion. For others, the temptation might be to remain the shy girl in the corner who never makes a friend, and never sticks up for herself. Some of us are tempted to bully others and put people down; others are tempted to laugh when someone else is the brunt of a joke.

We have all been in these situations. Sometimes we are the top dog, and other times we are the one being shoved in the locker. Wherever you find yourself today, you are not alone. You have mountains to climb in your pain, but also waters to tread in your river of learning to forgive. We all do.

If you are barely keeping your head above water, and waiting for the other person to throw you a life raft . . . stop. There is a life raft already keeping you afloat. You do not need anyone else to help you find peace. Jesus Christ’s atonement is as real for the sinner as it is for the abused. It is our life raft. Whether or not the person who has wronged you ever comes to you with an open heart to ask for forgiveness, you CAN let it go. You do not need their life raft to keep your head above water, and you do not need their “I am sorry” to heal your heart.

In the New Testament (John 8) we read the story about the woman taken in adultery who is brought before Jesus by the scribes and Pharisees. The Savior says to them, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Jesus doesn’t look up, but continues drawing in the sand. As the accusers all depart, the woman is left alone on the ground waiting for Jesus to condemn her. He finally turns to her and says, “Where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?” The woman looks to him and replies, “No man, Lord.” Then Jesus simply says to her, “Go . . . and sin no more.”

We are all sinners waiting for Christ to forgive us for our sins so that we can let go of them and become better people. And yet, we have also at times been among the accusers, waiting for permission to cast the first stone, unable to forgive those who have wronged us. However, many of us are waiting for someone to come and show us how to let go of our fear, and to trust, love and forgive the sinner. In this parable, Christ didn’t say go and harbor all of your pain and never forget that you messed up. Furthermore, He didn’t send off the accusers with the idea that they should throw stones at this woman every time they saw her. He didn’t ask them to stand above her. He simply reminded them that they, like her, were also imperfect.

That day at the restaurant, the words I had planned to speak would not have been kind, and all my eyes could see was hatred . . . but I chose to walk away.

As we go about this life, sometimes we will be the woman taken in sin. We will be the one waiting with tears in our eyes for someone to still be able to see our worth. We will mess up, and at one time or another, we may lose sight of our goals. Our mistakes may even make waves in the lives of others, or they may just cause us to struggle without impacting anyone.

We will snap at our partners. We will get frustrated with our two-year-olds. We may fight with our fathers, or sneak behind our mothers’ backs. We will say unkind words, we will think degrading thoughts. We may even lie, steal and cheat at times to get what we want.

Whatever it is in your past that has humbled you to your knees, look to the Savior’s encouraging words for hope that even you, in spite of your imperfections, can change the course of your life. “Go and sin no more.” Even if you tripped over your shoes today, tomorrow is a new day. Take one step forward and be a little bit better tomorrow. Today, you may have slid down the mountain of your life, but tomorrow, you can still try to keep working your way up to the top.


It may be words that help you forgive those who have wronged you, or it may be silence that reminds you that you have the power to forgive. Even in the moments when you don’t want to stand tall . . . do it anyway. Sometimes standing tall takes courage, and other times it only takes humility. Walk away.

74 comments:

Anonymous said...

You did the right thing. Just as much as remaining silent and walking away were right, so was standing there with your eyes locked on hers. I am glad you didn't just slink away, remaining her victim. You stood there and showed her that you were there, and you knew what you were. Believe me, you held her accountable without having to say a single word. I am impressed.

JanelleM said...

You're feeaking amazing. Great advice. It's true. Putting people in their place is sometimes a waste of breath. Oh the tender mercies.

Scofield Family said...

Wow. I know this is coming from a stranger but I am so proud of you. I think it took more courage to walk away than to walk over and unload on someone who did not care to begin with.

I just wanted to say thank you I needed to be taught this today. I also just love the peace I receive from leaving.

mandi said...

So many times I've been offered that same opportunity to keep my mouth shut and walk away into forgiveness, but I chose to keep that natural man on and spew my venom. I stand and applaud you with the concourses of angels that were at your side that day. Well done, sister.

Jake said...

I think this is my favorite post so far. Thanks for sharing.

.candace. said...

incredible. Ashlee, you are such an amazing example.

Anonymous said...

Its true that many of us wait for the "I'm sorry" before we can forgive. You've given us all a perfect example of how it is possible to forgive without the apology! Thank you for this post Ashlee. I'm sure you have helped many begin on the path of forgiving today, including me!

Anonymous said...

I think you just changed my life today... thank you...

Veronica said...

Oh Ash.... My heart hurts for you, but I admire you so much. Thanks for writing about this.

Boston Anderson said...

You inspire me everytime you post! Thank you for being such a good example!

Anonymous said...

Truly amazing!

Anonymous said...

If I can add one more "because of her, you now have an amazing husband who loves you and is helping your family to heal."

Court and Jill said...

How in the crap did you not punch her right then and there? I'm only kind of teasing. I know how. But I have to say I had some adrenaline pumping as I was reading your story...very inspiring. Thanks.

C said...

I think you had a bigger affect on her just by letting her know you were there and were given a chance to unleash on her and you didn't! That probably put her more in her place, that you didn't even want to waste your breath! I can't even imagine what was going on in your mind! You are one amazing chica!

Lara Becar said...

This is amazing. I was engaged to a man for a few months only to have the relationship fall apart and him get engaged to one of my closest friends only three weeks after we broke up, and it to later come out that I had been cheated on. I still shake all over and my ears start ringing when someone mentions the name of this friend and my ex. The process of forgiveness has been slow going :( This post gave me strength.

Anonymous said...

Wow, your post taught this 60 yr old grandma a lesson. Well done. Because you walked away, you didn't lower yourself to her level. I agree with others, you put her in her place. Sometimes silence can be just as effective as yelling.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I needed this. I find myself constantly and privately obsessing about a woman who is persuing my husband. Although I trust my husband, I don't trust her and her attempts and what she will do next to get his attention. I carry so much negatively toward her that its consuming. I've taken the high road so far (remaining Christlike in my words to her) but have been so tempted to harshly confront her, wanting to cause her the pain she has caused me. But like you said, why give her any power over me? Why stoop to her level and do something I need to repent for? I need to take my negativity toward her and replace it with positivity about anything else. She is nothing and I need to stop making her something. Thanks again for being an example of walking away.

Anonymous said...

Ashlee thanks for this post today! WOW... I love how real your posts are, I know there are a lot of people out there who can relate to all you have to say. I admire how strong your are! You are amazing!!

Unknown said...

Good for you.
I applaud Shawn as well- for being so understanding and patient. Heavenly Father has definitely blessed you with a great man.
I always tell myself that the Lord will be better able to handle those who have wronged me and my children.
It would be nice to hear the "I'm sorry" from those who have caused so much pain and suffering- but I know I won't be hearing those words in this life.
I think the fact that you walked out of that restaurant with your handsome, loving husband Shawn said a lot more to her than any words you could have said. She hasn't destroyed your life. You have been blessed with a loving husband and family despite her selfish, self-centered actions. Plus, you have a far better reputation. You have every right to hold your head high.
You are amazing.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Ashlee. I'm excited every time I see that you have posted because I know you will make me think and feel! I mostly always keep my mouth shut but it is the internal voice that keeps spewing venom. I need to silence that one as well! Lately I've been just repeating the word charity over and over in my head.

Anonymous said...

May His love, grace and the Holy Ghost continue too guide you and you continue to be worthy of so much love over your entire family!

Heather Maile said...

I love you my dear! Simply amazing.

Anonymous said...

I loved the line, "My weakness has always been knowing when the heck to shut my mouth." I too have that problem. I have taken the opportunity to tell someone who wronged me all of the things I wanted to say and even though I thought I could then move on and never have to think about her again, it made the situation a lot worse. Given a re-do, I would never go back and do that again, but after that experience I will never do it again. I love how you point out that walking away IS standing tall, I need to remember that when thinking of it as being weak.

The Winwards said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Winwards said...

Thanks for sharing, you don't know how much I needed this today. I have been working on the forgiveness thing for such a long time. I have so much bitterness and anger inside for someone who nearly took my sons life. To have someone hurt you the way she did and for you to react the way you did is so inspiring. Thank you for sharing. You make me want to be a better person.

Anonymous said...

Out of the multiple women my former husband cheated on me with, only one has ever contacted me and said "I'm Sorry." Like you, I've learned that forgiving them is not condoning what they did but rather not letting it hurt me anymore. Forgiveness is definitely one of the greatest and most painful lessons we learn in this life.

Anonymous said...

I have grand speeches in my head while I'm driving too. Telling the people off that have hurt me. I have had dreams of confronting them. It doesn't bring peace. Then one night I dreamt they were confronting me. In my dream I was able to have compassion on them realizing that they just didnt know the real story and i was able to let go and walk away. It brought more peace than the times I had yelled at them. Not nearly as brave as doing it in real life. But I had been praying for help to forgive and I believe it has helped me. Thank you for sharing this. Oh and I love the drawing your daughter did of your family with Jesus. Awesome:).

danika said...

I can't believe Kandi never even tried to apologise to you. She must be miserable. Thank you for sharing your story. It has helped me a lot.

Janna said...

Ashlee, I am amazed by your courage! It disgusts me that Kandi has little, if no, remorse. How can she sleep at night? But I applaud you for confronting her the way you did... because your silence spoke volumes! If she felt no remorse for what havoc she caused in your life in that moment that she saw you, I fear there is very little hope for her soul. Obviously if she was repentant and sought Christ, things would be different. But until then, her life will be superficial and never fully satisfying. I hope she reads your blog and could perhaps see things from a different perspective. If not, you sharing your story here is very beneficial for your readers because so many of us learn so much from the wisdom you have been given by God through your life experiences. Thank you for being willing to pour yourself out like this! I hope it is helping you in your own process of healing. God bless you and your family! Praying for you!

Anonymous said...

and perhaps the sweetest part of this story (aside from your amazing control) is Heavenly Father KNOWS she is a loser!!

Anonymous said...

I think it's kind of sad your perception of Heavenly Father. I would suggest reading 1 John 4:20. While I don't at all support what Kandi did Heavenly Father does not look at His children as losers rather he had such great love for us that a Savior was provided for those who are repentant and will turn to Him. Until a person can pray with charity and feel Christlike love for those who may have wronged them, they too will have no inheritance in Heaven. Charity is a requirement and the scriptures make that clear.

Anonymous said...

Ashley, I have been following your site for quite a while now.
You are a powerful and courageous warrior. Even though I can't imagine what your going through. I would have wanted to do the same thing.
Your post help me every time I read them. Thank you for being a great example to everyone. You are so special to our Father in Heaven. Also, to all of us who love to learn from you.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

BRAVO! Inspiring thoughts and thank you for sharing! Just what I needed to hear.

Lisa said...

I used to have dreams that my husband was committing adultery. I used to think if those dreams were reality- I would be confrontational and have some angry words to say- maybe even get physical...
However, when I discovered those dreams WERE reality. My reaction was,"If that's what you choose- it's your loss not mine." The other women were all older than me (and in my opinion, less attractive). Similar to your situation. You are obviously a far better catch-- inside and out!!!!
I was more upset with my husband than I was with the other women because HE was the one who made promises to me and my children. He betrayed all of us.
I have felt so much heartbreak for my children. Their security was shattered. I have ached so much for them. I am remarried now and I hope my husband never feels that I would prefer to be married to the man who betrayed me. I mean, I wish my children never had to suffer such pains and sorrows- but at the same time- I am grateful I have been blessed with a husband who truly cherishes me. It's hard to imagine what life would be without this honorable man by my side.

I love when you said forgiveness is a gift from God. He is the one who heals us. His love is what embraces us, comforts us- and lets us know that it will be alright in the end. Like Elder Holland said, "Some blessings come soon. Some come late. And some don't come 'til heaven- But to those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ- they come. It will be alright in the end." I believe that. I am counting on that. I love this video: https://www.lds.org/church/good-things-to-come?lang=eng
(sorry, I think it will need to be copied and pasted into the address bar. I can't get it to appear as a link).

Thank you Ashley. I hope your family continues to heal.

Em said...

What an awesome, post!! You really are sharing the pure message that the Lord would want to be shared. Walking away is something I have yet to learn.

Anonymous said...

Forgiveness is truly a gift from God. Sometimes we have been so wronged that our human selves can in no way do it without God. And if we don't do it.......well......we shall torture ourselves and live in bitterness and that in turn will affect everyone else around us including those we love. This is a wonderful post. I am so glad you walked away!

Anonymous said...

Your words truly inspire me every time I read. I have always been a hothead and I have always had a hard time forgiving those that have wronged me. You have given me strength to try to be a little better and to forgive, even if I need to be the one to say "I'm sorry" first. Thank you so much for sharing your stories and for changing my life!

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Anonymous said...

I am at a loss for words - my favorite post! Too many words to express here, thank you Ashley for being an answer to my prayers. P.S. I love that your Sister (www.themomentswekneel.blogspot.com ) & Cousin (www.themomentswemend.blogspot.com ) have similar blog postings that have brought answers and good feelings as well, into my life

John said...

Ashlee,

I have been following your story as you slowly reveal it to the blogging world. Thank you for being brave and using writing to help your healing.

I can relate to your message from God: “Ashlee BE STILL. She didn’t care then, and anything you say now won’t change a thing. She will not be affected by your pain.” Sometimes we need to be still and let God take care of our hurt and anger.

The gift you gave this woman and yourself was the gift of grace and forgiveness. You are a better person because of it, and so are the rest of us who have shared your story.

blessings,
John
www.thehillofbeans.com

TheDooleys4 said...

Absolutely Beautiful! Thank you for your shining example and testimony!

Anonymous said...

Every one of your posts has struck chords with me, but this one especially. I have played over in my mind a hundred times what I would say if I were to meet my husband's mistress. You are right though, silence is the best choice. She doesn't care that she is wrecking my family and nothing I could say will change that. It is powerful to hear that you had the opportunity to confront her and don't regret your silence. I am so sorry for your pain, but so thankful for your testimony.

Anonymous said...

This post was really powerful for me, but, probably for a different reason than most who have made comments. There was a time in my life that I was (Kandi). For all those saying that she didn't/doesn't care that she is wrecking your family.... From my experience, I DID care, which is why the affair ended, why I walked away, why I don't have any contact. I have wanted, needed to contact his wife and express my remorse. However, my ecclesiastical leader and therapist have both advised me NOT to. They said that to do so would cause more damage, reopen wounds that are healing. Sometimes you have to make amends by changing your life, serving someone that reminds you of the person you have harmed, being a completely different person. It's right to judge the ACTIONS of individuals, however, you cannot judge intent or motivation. You don't know WHY people make the choices that they do. THAT is why only Christ can make that judgement. He knows what is in our minds and in our hearts, He knows what would push an individual into situations that they normally would have never dreamed that they would be involved in. We need to pray for others, that they will see the error of their ways and use the atonement to rectify wrongs...It is a waste of time to hold on to bitterness and hatred. When the sin was committed the Lord took possession of it! He owns it, He bought it with HIS blood. If we are hurting.... We take it to HIM and ask HIM what to do with that hurt and pain.... If we need to make amends, then we take it to HIM and ask HIM what He would have us do to make it right. For each person that answer may be different. I pray everyday for the wife and family that my actions harmed. It's something that she will never know, yet, I know, and the Lord knows.....

Anonymous said...

Ashlee...you are so beautiful inside and out! Your stories of such extreme trials are powerful testimonies that good will always triumph evil, because of the work our Savior did in Gethsemane. Also, they serve as potent warning cries about how fragile we are, and how we all need to Atonement to heal us. While reading your post, I resolved to forgive somebody I've been feeling bitterness towards; your story really made me realize how petty I was being!! I have read all your posts, and also watched the Dateline interview with Kandie Hall, and I believe she is absolutely without remorse. I also heard that she was put in jail for embezzlement from her previous employer. I feel so badly for you, your children, and the Hall's children (how tragic to have both mom and dad in prison as felons!). None of your suffering will be in vain....you are going to be so blessed for continuing to stand with faith through all your trials! Also, you and Shawn are the true definition of a match made in heaven!

Anonymous said...

Although I find your completely amazing and know you were guided by the Spirit in your decision to walk away, I have to say that is not the only way to handle the situation. When my husband cheated on me, I was so hurt I could barely function for a month. I, too, knew the girl fairly well, and she had held my baby, played with my older kids, and carpooled with us to events, etc. We started into therapy immediately at LDS Social Services, and the therapist actually recommended for me to write an email to her. This made perfect sense, because I could re-write the email as many times as I wanted until I felt it said exactly what I needed her to hear. Yelling at her would have been wrong, plus I would have broken down in tears anyway while stammering out something about my pain. I also had to be COMPLETELY fine with not receiving a response from her. It was purely for my own healing. That email let me release a lot of the feelings I had. I still have to see her sometimes (she still works with my husband, which was hard for me to accept), but I don't feel the anger I once did because I got it all out. Maybe that's not the approach for everyone, but it worked for me.

Although I rarely think about that time in our life anymore, your explanation of glancing everywhere you went for fear of running into her, brought back those hard emotions. I was a wreck for quite a while after the affair. It slowly got better, but it definitely took time. Years even. But I'm a firm believer that couples can overcome betrayal and become stronger in the future. It's NOT easy, but it's worth it because my eternal marriage is commitment between me, my husband AND God.

Anonymous said...

For the poster on May 30, 2014 at 3:03 PM.....thank you for sharing your story and for the suggestions of ways to make amends. I appreciate that you pray daily for the wife and family.....thank you.

Megs said...

Everytime I read these I want to go find her. I want to tell her that she is nothing. That she should never ever be able to feel love again. That she deserves to have everything taken from her. Then.... I read on. I read your words and your advice and I think. Her day will come. She will have to look our savior in the eyes and with a heavy heart feel the shame that she deserves to feel. You are the rock that every body needs to be. I read your words daily and it gives me the courage I need to be a better person. To love stronger. To hold my husband tighter. To be everything to my kids. Because of you I find that courage to forgive those who have wronged me. And because of that I feel lighter and more at peace. Thank you!

Bethany Ross said...

You're amazing and such a walking testament of love. God Bless you and your new path. You are one of the people in this world that make it better, simply because you are so full of greatness. You're right. You have the power and ultimately the power to live and fulfill everything you want in life and importantly, the ability to positively impact so many people.

Anonymous said...

I got a facebook post from a woman. She wrote to tell me that she did not know if I knew, but my wife was cheating on me with her husband. She wrote many things, and she was exacting revenge in many subtle ways on my wife. I told her what I came to realize:

Her husband did not wrong me by taking my wife from me. My wife is the one who wronged me. Her husband had made me no promises, did not vow to God and to me that he would leave my wife alone. My wife is the one who wronged me.

My wife did not wrong her by taking her husband. Her husband is the one who wronged her. My wfie had made her no promises, did not vow to God and to her that she would leave her husband alone. Her husband is the one who wronged her.

Your husband is the one who wronged you. She does not need your forgiveness, only God's.

Not sure if that helps, for some reason it helped me.

Lora said...

You didn't need to say a word. Whether she feels it in this life or the next, she will feel the pain she caused you and your children. I love how gentle Shawn was in letting you know what he thought but still respecting your right to do what ever you needed to do. You are both incredibly brave souls. Thanks for sharing.

Hiwright said...

I seriously look forward to your posts every week ... It's like a book and I just can't wait for the next chapter!! I love how you always in the end turn it back to Christ and examples. You are soo inspiring and amazing!! You always know just what I need to hear for the week to get through my trial which is very similar to yours. Thank you so much for your time and effort you put into this blog to help so many of us who can relate to you!! I love how you express your feelings so perfectly ... You should right a book .. It would be a best seller for sure!!

Unknown said...

Anonymous June 2 @ 10:32 am. Actually, Kandi did wrong Ashlee. She knew she was having an adulterous affair with a married man. She knew Ashlee was his wife. Even if someone is not married and they have a relationship with a married person- that non-married person is still committing adultery. Back in the day people would be killed for such crimes. Yeah, it used to be a crime!
They are both in the wrong.
But like you- I held my spouse (who cheated on me) accountable and more responsible for allowing it to happen in the first place- because he is the one who made the promises to me.

Part of the repentance process is to make amends for your wrongs. That includes APOLOGIZING when you do something to hurt another person. Kandi will have to do that someday if she intends to fully repent of her wrong doing.
It's the law of repentance. It will have to happen in order for full forgiveness.
No. We are not the judge of that and of us it is required to forgive all-- regardless.
I find it interesting when someone who has committed adultery says they have repented when they have never apologized to the people they hurt.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but the woman who was after my husband absolutely wronge me! She wanted my husband! She was trying to take him
from me and our five children. Even after he ended things with her and told me everything, she still tried luring him back in. My husband is 100% responsible for cheating, but she 100% wronged me and has no remorse whatsoever!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't have said it better! Thankyou!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this!

Anonymous said...

It almost sounds as if you want to bring stoning back but the scriptures tell us how Christ handled the situation. He came to show the world a better way.
As someone stated earlier they were advised not to send a letter of apology both by an ecclesiastical leader and a counselor because at that point it was felt the letter would do more harm than good. The Lord knows all circumstances and what he requires from each person through the repentance process and while most often that would include apology, there are times and circumstances where that may not be the best thing for the involved parties at least in this life. What the law of repentance requires is a broken heart and a contrite spirit and to none else can the ends of the law be answered. That is what the Lord requires and is only for the Lord to judge since only He knows ones heart.
It seems that oftentimes (myself included.) We who profess to believe in Christ and follow the Savior have the hardest time actually living and accepting His teachings in our hearts. He taught us a more excellent way.

Anonymous said...

When it comes to repentance, so often, we want to be the ones that determine how the punishment or amends should be meted out. We want our pound of flesh, we want to dictate what it should look like and what would mean 'true remorse'. Yet, that is something that we have no way to know when true remorse or repentance has been carried out. You could get the apology that you were waiting for and it could be completely hollow because their heart wasn't true. Or you could wait and never receive that 'confirmation' of remorse, and yet, the individual is sincerely sorry and praying for you and staying out of your life because they don't want to cause anymore drama or hurt. Their repentance process is truly between them and the Lord. You can't make qualifications on that. The sin isn't owned by you anymore... The Lord OWNS it. The perpetrators obligation is to the Lord. Just like your healing and forgiveness is between you and the Lord. If you pray and follow the promptings that the spirit gives, on either end of the equation, then you are doing what you are supposed to do. The Lord may require that someone go to the individual that they harmed and apologize in person, but, only if that won't cause more harm. I work with the LDS addiction recovery program and there are just times that you can't do a cookie cutter amends. It takes a lot of thought and prayer and being led by the spirit. That is why we are required to forgive everyone. It's not OURS to decide what is right and what isn't, that is for the Lord only.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

What a wise decision, mature decision to just walk away. Not many people would have that strength. But I have to say, Kandi is NOT the reason Emmett walked away from your marriage. She is not the reason you are a widow and your children are without their father. Emmett made the choice to abandon the covenants he made to you. He made the choice to have an affair with a woman who was married to a violent man. I'm certainly not saying that you shouldn't be mad at Kandi--she knew she was sleeping with a married man who was the father of 5 small children so she has a lot to answer for--but the blame should lie with Emmett. No one forced him to make such terrible choices.

Avry said...

Oh how powerful you are.. I loved this post I have felt the anger you are referring to with the "other woman" but you are absolutely right in walking away. The Savior was there that day to assist you in learning to let go. He has been there so many times in your journey he sent Shawn to you to be there during those times. I admire your strength and yes... That day you kept your power!

Anonymous said...

I commend you Ashley, I couldn't have walked away like you. You are an amazing person, and truly deserved all the best life has to offer. I hurt for the pain you were put through by Emmett and Kandi. You are right though, she doesn't care about you or your families pain. She is a selfish, mean spirited poor excuse for a woman, and has no regrets. I'm so happy you have Shawn, he is a very special man, so happy for all of you. May God bless you all always <3

Anonymous said...

Ashlee, Thanx for your transparency and grace. Your story has stuck with me all these years. I wish you blessings and happiness. Your sharing out of your pain is helping lots of people and I believe that pleases God.

Anonymous said...

I am lost..... how do you not be lost anymore? I'm so tired and broken. Where does your strength come from? I know, but I don't know. I'm just so tired. I don't know what to do anymore.

Anonymous said...

May God continue to bless you and your family with his Amazing Grace You are an inspiring woman with strength beyond measure. I

Anonymous said...

To anonymous Dec 18, 2014. I hear your plea. May I suggest a song? "Find Me" by Hilary Weeks has been my balm, my healing. Ashlee's words have also calmed my storm and refilled my strength as I sift through the layers of pain. God is there. Listen please. You are loved, don't give up!

Anonymous said...

You are a much stronger woman than I could of ever been & women like Khandi Hall never show regret or remorse!! I pray you continue to have the happiness you & your children so deserve, God Bless you!!

Anonymous said...

You are a much stronger woman than I could of ever been & women like Khandi Hall never show regret or remorse!! I pray you continue to have the happiness you & your children so deserve, God Bless you!!

Anonymous said...

Your situation is terrible, Ashlee, but you gotta remember it takes two to tango. Don't pin all the blame on Kandi. While she did wrong, your husband Emmett bears the responsibility for the harm to your family.

It is hard to think about, but it would appear that he was looking for a way out of his marriage. And I realize that it is somehow satisfying to concentrate your anger and blame the other woman, but I think you'll find peace in letting your anger towards her dissipate.

Don't let bitterness eat you alive. Life is for the living; let the dead lay in peace.

Anonymous said...

God Bless you. Everyone can see the truth. God's got you and she'll get hers.
love and light sent to you and your family.

Marty Reeh said...

You are a hypocrite a Pharisee. You ramble on about the loss of your husband due to the Evil Kandi, but you got married 3 months after his death to someone else. You didn't even take the time to learn to be strong on your own, to learn to take care of yourself, to actually mourn his death. Oh no, you had to be the little Mormon princess who churns out baby after baby, some some damn FLDS cunt. You blame Kandi, but she was not the only affair he had, he just happened to be the last one. Maybe if you'd concentrated on being more of a wife and less of a Mormon cow, you could have kept your connection with him. I feel much more sorry for Kandi than I do for you. She has to live with the consequence of the affair, the fact that her husband killed Emmett and is now in prison for 30 years or more. She's lost much more than you have, you haven't even lost that awful self righteousness you hang onto so dearly. Wake the hell up, would you?

Anonymous said...

Seriously? Wow. This kind of person does exist. You are one of a kind. A kind I wish I'll never meet. You disgust me. Praying for you cause that's all I can do. But seriously your life must be so sad. Or you're BFF with Kandi which would explain a lot. Anywooo have a great life me and the other cows will see you upstairs.

Angela Edwards said...

Really, people? You're going to judge the one who has done nothing wrong? Marriage vows say "until death do us part" and that is EXACTLY what Ashlee did. Whether it was three months or thirty years, she did not remarry until the hand of death separated her from her husband.

I think this is one of the most inspiring blog posts I've ever read and we can all learn from it.

Anonymous said...

Kandi is that you? Absolutely pathetic to sit behind a PC and attack a woman who was kept in the dark. So what if she moved on kandi was sleeping with two men at the same time. Should have been a grown up ..divorced her husband left him alone until he divorced his wife and move the heck on if he didnt. Absolute scum you are to treat someone like this she has a right to be angry as if Kandi would have had she been the one to have an affair and husband kill her husband. Karma is really honey ... Kandi will get her get hers as will you for this nonsense.

Unknown said...

Ashley, my name is Pierre Morris and i live in Augusta, Ga. I saw your story on dateline, and i just wanted to sayit really affected me.
I am so sorry that life gives us moments that make us question, the nature of others and what is in their hearts.
I just want youbto know that i have been where you have, however, i wasted years of my life letting it control me.
I suppose, in some ways it always will.
Just know your story touched me and i have your family in my toughts
Pierre morris

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