A mum said her husband’s affair was “the best thing” for her marriage – and now helps others deal with cheaters.
Charity and Matt Craig, who met at church camp aged 13 and 18, tied the knot at 21 and 25 in January 2004.
But in 2012, Charity found out her partner, Matt, 40, was having an affair with someone he met through work.
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Charity, 45, had a strong feeling he was having a fling and later discovered text messages on his phone.
She then confronted him and he was forced to come clean.
Matt, then a music pastor, decided to stick with his wife and kids – despite having strong feelings for the other woman.
After making the decision to stay, he left his job and changed his number, and promised to start again.
The pair separated and although the mum-of-four didn’t expect to ever forgive him, the two later reunited on Valentine’s Day.
The couple said they both worked on themselves and had therapy to become the best people they could be.
Now Charity coaches other married couples who are trying to overcome infidelity.
The mum, from Florida, US, said: “This affair turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to our marriage.
“It shattered everything, but we were in a toxic unhealthy place.
“It was devastating and it shatters your entire world – I got kicked into black swirling waters and I didn’t know which way was up.
“You can’t drop a grenade in your home and come away undamaged, but it became a very personal journey and I went and did therapy and Matt did the work.
“Now we are happier than ever.”
Before she discovered the affair, Charity said they were “happily married and good friends”.
She said the relationship was “friendly enough”, but she became so suspicious she started following his every move.
From this point everything just “exploded”.
Matt, now the director of a marketing company, finally came clean in the summer of 2012.
He said: “I was working over 60 hours a week in a high stress position.
“I spent more time at work than with my family.
“I was struggling between my family, and my dreams of pursuing a musical career.
“I didn’t want to lose my family, and I didn’t want to hurt the other woman.”
Charity added: “It’s not as cut and dry as it seemed – we had to weed through the mess.
“He actually did the work and – when he wanted to – we moved forward together.
“Everyone has to do what’s right for them.”
Charity did “inner-work” and discovered she was battling with co-dependency and insecurity.
She didn’t realise how unhappy she was until she went through therapy, and learnt she used silent treatment as a “form of control and manipulation”.
Matt said the year apart gave them time to heal, and he did everything possible to rebuild the trust between them.
He said the process really helped their family, and now Matt fully understands his wife’s feelings and can now be open with her.
They have learnt to be both patient and understanding of each other.
Charity said: “I have spent countless hours becoming a better version of myself.
“We were two empty vessels trying to suck the life out of each other.
“We are each responsible for our own happiness.”