Lying and Cheating Brought Him to His Knees

CBN.com Sam and Toni Gallucci complemented each other: he wanted to give her a nice house; she wanted to give him a beautifully kept home.

Toni: “This was what I’d always wanted. You know, he did his part, I did my part, and we were working together for the same goals.”

Sam and Toni met in college. He was the “big man on campus.” She was the pretty Christian girl who stole his heart.

Sam: “We fell in love - very quickly. And from the beginning of that year to the end of that year, we were engaged.

Sam and Toni married right after graduation. Sam landed a lucrative job working for IBM. It required a lot of travel, and he started right away. In fact, the day after their honeymoon, Sam left on his first trip.

Sam: “That first year I was gone just about as much as I was home.”

It wasn’t long before Toni got pregnant with their first son.  Eventually they had two more boys.  It looked like the perfect marriage.

Sam: “I had a great job. I was making money. We had our first home before anybody else did. We were seen in the church as one of the young up-and coming couples.”

Over the years, Sam’s constant travel started to take its toll on Toni. She was left to do much of the parenting on her own.

Toni: “Over a 10-year period, you start getting tired. I would say, ‘I don’t want the big house, and I don’t want the cars, I want you.’  He would chuckle and kind of say, ‘this is who I am.’”

Sam was ambitious, and well on his way up the corporate ladder.  He quickly became a top executive for a successful software company.   

Sam: “The perks of travel were so alluring; I’d stay in the nicest places and ended up traveling around the world, and being treated like a king wherever I went. I found myself, in blind spots, becoming this person that I really didn’t know anymore. I was so consumed with myself. It was all about me, and not my family, not my wife.”

Sam and Toni grew further and further apart.

Sam: “We coexisted. My wife gave me several indications she was struggling. And I just didn’t want to hear it.”

Toni: “In a woman’s life, she knows when she’s not number one and when work takes precedent over relationship. I knew that Sam was in love with his work more than he was in love with me. You know, resentment starts coming in your heart, and bitterness. And these are aimed at your husband, because he’s not there; and for all the very important times.”

While Sam was missing time with his family, he was filling his nights with pornography.

Sam: “In hotel rooms it was so easily accessible. And all of a sudden I started doing things I never thought I would do, you know, pornography consumed me, the lust for things consumed me, the lust for power and fame consumed me.”
Sam rationalized that watching porn was a way to remain faithful to Toni. 

Sam: “The lie of it is, ‘You know what? I can handle it. It’s not that big of deal. It’s actually protecting my marriage.’”

Sam knew a lot of successful businessmen who brought prostitutes to their hotel rooms.

Sam: “My marriage vow was something that I said I would never, I would never allow that to happen to me. But then one night, I made a fateful call and allowed a prostitute in my room.”

Sam woke up the next morning fully aware that he’d crossed a line.

Sam: “The reality of this lie that I had allowed to consume me, how far I had distanced (me). It was as if there was a light on me looking back and saying, ‘How did I get that far from all that I love and care for, my wife, my family, my faith?’ And being so alone, being so, so utterly feeling disgusted and dirty with myself. And I remember crying out to the Lord, just crying out to Him.”

Sam had a decision to make.

Sam: “There was a big fork in the road and it was if the Lord was saying, ‘Okay, now you have a choice to make, you know, you’ve crossed that line and it will consume you.’ There was no question in my mind if I would have stayed in my career, I would have been completely consumed by that. My pornography had consumed me.

Sam: “I just remember the conversation that I had. ‘Lord, I just pray that you rescue me. I don’t know how you can do it, but I know that you have before with others. Save me. Save me from this addiction.’ And I,  I asked the Lord, I said, ‘And save my marriage.’ And I weeped bitterly, because I was so far from both. And the amazing thing was that when I cried out to Him, He came to me. And I don’t think I’ve ever really understood grace until that moment.”

Sam went home and quit his job, knowing he could no longer travel.  But he had bigger problems.  He still had to tell his wife what he’d done.

Toni: “When he told me what happened, I was so dry at that time that I didn’t even cry.  That’s how barren our relationship was. And it sounds ridiculous, but at the time, I felt like good, now he finally gets it.”

Sam: “Toni had already resolved that we wouldn’t get divorced. So the issue for her and me was what does happen next.”

Toni: “So divorce isn’t an option, okay, so how am I going to make this work? How am I going to trust this man? This is my husband? And I don’t trust him. And I brought it up before the Lord, and it was a key mark in my relationship with God and my husband. And the Lord showed me and told me that I needed to trust Him. I didn’t need to trust Sam.”

Toni and Sam knew if this was going to work, they needed God in the center of their marriage.

Toni: “It was difficult, but we were willing. You know, you can be on the right road and it can be difficult. But it’s the perfect road to be on. And you can persevere through that time knowing that God’s going to accomplish what He wants in your life. And you will be blessed.”

They started going to a Bible study together and volunteering at church. Sam’s leadership qualities stood out.

Sam: “By the end of that second year, it was clear that the Lord had called me to serve him the rest of my life in full-time ministry, so we made that declaration.”

Sam is now a pastor.  He also co-wrote the book Road Warrior that cautions business travelers of the dangers of frequent trips away from family.

Sam: “God uses everything. And He’s a God that blesses you beyond all that you can ask or think.”

Sam and Toni have spent the past eight years rebuilding their marriage and today it’s stronger than ever!

Sam: “We are more in love now than I ever imagined possible being in love. All the hopes and promises of the day I said, ‘I do,’ I think now are finally coming true. And that’s the most amazing thing. That’s when, you know, when we turned, when I turned back and trusted the Lord for this marriage - to see Him miraculously do what I thought was impossible. It really, it was impossible. And then I realized the truth and the dynamic and the breath of the Scripture, ‘With God nothing is impossible.’ And our marriage is phenomenal.”

Toni: “We have God in the middle of our relationship, so we have a perfect God with an imperfect relationship, you know, we’re human, but He works through it as long as we keep our eyes on Him. So, He’s able to restore and not to lose hope because it’s always possible with Him.”

Sam: “Amen. There is hope. There is hope."

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