EP. 42: Brandy Goebel | Hope and Healing After Marital Infidelity
Brandy Goebel is a co-host of the podcast The Road Home to You along with her husband of 24 years.
She is also the mother to two mostly grown human beings.
Beyond podcasting, she is the designer behind Bojo Mojo Design Co., a needlework design company.
In her free time she likes to write, study her family’s history, and make music.
Her deepest passion is bringing hope and restoration to hurting people through recovery work.
Brandy and I chat about her extra marital affair and the work God has done in her life during the past 10 years since the affair ended. We chat about the unrealistic expectations we often put on our spouse, destructive behavior we use to numb ourselves, the Christlike invitation from her husband, and pressing in to recovery work.
6:08 Brandy shares how her faith journey with Jesus began
10:07 Brandy shares how she and Matt met. She talks about the early years of their marriage
- Discipleship Training Course
- Year of Biblical Studies
“When God is pursuing you, you can not outrun Him…but I sure tried.”
“We got married in 1995 and I expected that everything from that point on was going to be exactly as I had planned…We’re going to have 2 kids. We’re going to have a cat and a dog. a white picket fence and he’s going to be the spiritual leader and I’m going to be the Donna Reid type of wife….and that is 100% not what happened.”
16:45 Brandy shares some of the warning signs in her personal life and in marriage that she can now see were precursors to her extramarital affair
It boils down to unrealistic expectations…”I had the notion somehow that Matt would be able to meet all my needs.”
“I don’t fault myself for having those needs, but I fault myself very much for where I was looking for those needs to be filled.”
20:09 Brandy shares about how the affair began. We chat a little about the danger of thinking, “It will never happen to me.”
“One day a door opened and we both just decided to walk through it. And it wasn’t anything either of us had planned. It wasn’t anything we had set out to do, but it was definitely something…we had both imagined or fancied or fantasized about for years.”
23:55 Brandy shares her thought process and ideas about God while involved in the affair
“I was running so far from God….Our marriage looked like it was doing fine. Anybody on the outside would have said our marriage was good. And the whole time I am thinking, ‘I am living a complete double life, but if God didn’t want this to be happening, then why would He allow all of these opportunities for us to keep getting together. He wouldn’t allow it, if He didn’t want it to be happening. ‘So it was the most bizarre justification you can possibly imagine, because I knew God wasn’t approving of this relationship, but it didn’t seem like He was closing the doors to it either and for some reason that seemed logical to me.”
27:30 Brandy shares about when the affair was exposed
“I came home and we sat down and he said, ‘Brandy, I love you. I’ve loved you since we were kids. That isn’t going to change, but I’m not going to fight for you. I’m not going to chase you down and make you stay here. If you want to leave, you can pack your bags and go. The kids and I will be just fine, because God will carry us through this. But if you want to stay, I will stand beside you and fight with you.’ Even now, just remembering that gives me absolute goose bumps, because what he did was give me a physical representation of Jesus. Where God very much says, ‘I have given everything to be in relationship with you. I want to be in relationship with you. I want to fight beside you to have this relationship, but I’m not going to force you into this relationship. I’m not going to make you come to me and surrender your life to me, but I offer you salvation and eternity as a gift.’ And that is exactly what Matt did. Matt extended grace to me as a gift.”
“God’s grace just washed over us. Matt and I sat there for 3 months and all we could do was just cry and hold each and just let God love us and heal those broken places.”
36:36 Brandy shares about beginning the journey of recovery. She knew she had to get to the root of the sin, so she began a journey of classes and counseling and so on.
Women’s Bible Study:
“Why did I have such longing in my heart? If Matt couldn’t fill it and if other people weren’t supposed to fill it, then who could fill it? And really finding that Jesus is more than just a 20 minute devotional in the morning. He’s more than a Bible study group. He’s more than the worship songs we sing on Sunday. He is a relational God and He wants to be intimately involved in our lives. When we allow Him that opportunity, He can fill those needs…but He is not going to force His way into intimacy with us.”
Ep. 29 Jan Johnson Interview: “Companion of my soul”
“God will You help me see You where I’m at. In the places I’m in, in the conversations I have, as I interact with people, will you help me recognize Your very real presence in the room with me.”
“As we mature and deepening our faith and as we understand God more, you can’t help but see Him in the details.”
42:40 Brandy speaks encouragement over the listener who may be involved in an emotional or physical affair.
“I was in that boat, ‘I know what I need to do.’ I know I need to stop the affair. I know I need to come clean to Matt, but I don’t know what the consequences are going to be. The fact is, we just don’t. But sin has consequences. Our choices, good or bad have consequences. When we allow God to move in those places, even if Matt had said, ‘I’m done. I can’t be married to you anymore,’ God can still use that to shape me, to mold me, to create in me a clean heart, to make me into a new creation and give me a new start, because my story isn’t finished yet…so God is continuing to do something in my life.”
“It’s time to get super duper real and have those hard conversations and they’re scary. They feel kind of out of control, because you don’t have control. You can not control how your spouse is going to respond to it. All you can do is own up to your own brokenness and then, trust that God is going to turn your ashes into a garland of praise.”
48:03 Brandy and Matt are still married. Brandy shares how she and Matt use their past experience to minister to others.
Road Home to You Podcast, Hosts: Matt and Brandy Goebel
52:55 Brandy shares what she and Matt do to safeguard their marriage now.