What the Disloyal Spouse Can Do to Save Their Marriage

 

apology1. No Contact with the Other Person (OP).  Under no circumstance should you in any way have any contact with the Other Person!! Delete them from your contacts and then delete the means by which you stayed in touch, and if that means the inconvenience of changing your cell phone number then so be it. Endure the consequence of choosing to use that device to compromise your marriage! For me, I had been in touch via a secret email account , via a second FB account, via a game, and via the game’s forum…so I deleted the secret email altogether, deleted the second FB account and then stayed off FB altogether, removed the shortcuts for the game, deleted the game, and removed the bookmarks for the forum. The point here is not to think “What’s the bare minimum I need to do here in order to appear like I’m removing all contact while keeping one last way of contact open?” but rather to REALLY HONESTLY DO IT. Cut that person out of your life. Go over and above to remove not just the ways you did contact, but ways you could be tempted to contact.

Final thought: often people use their cell phone to either text with or call the OP, and it’s not enough to “remove them from the contact list.” It is much more thorough to get a new phone number. Now you may be tempted to think: “But all my work contacts have that number and it would be so inconvenient….” but you know what that shows? You are thinking of yourself and making YOUR life easy and “to heck with my spouse!” You are a grown up and you chose to be unfaithful, so it is reasonable for you to now endure a little inconvenience in order to go all out in ending contact. You may others endure pain for you–now it’s your turn, and it’s fair.

2. Transparency. This one will be difficult and scary, I guarantee! Being transparent is not just being honest, but rather being “see through.” Right now you have been hiding behind masks of “who you are” “what you think” and “what you feel”…holding up a false facade for your spouse to think you are who you are not. My guess is that you felt things that hurt and you were afraid to say them out loud or you felt unheard. My guess is that you thought things that were were ugly and things you knew would hurt your spouse so you didn’t want to share them…maybe avoiding the trouble you’d get into if you said “the truth.” My guess is that you want people to see you as “a fine, upstanding pillar of the community” and speak highly of you…when you are not ACTING like a fine, upstanding pillar of the community with high morals and character! Soooo…..you lied. And the lies caught up to you! NOW in order to save your marriage you are going to have to go against what you’ve gotten used to, and not only “tell the truth” but also open up about WHO you are, what you honestly FEEL, and what you truly THINK.

To me there were two parts to this transparency thing. First, I had hidden my computer, my secret email, my second FB, etc. from my Dear Hubby, so Part One was relatively easy–I let him in. I realized that a GIGANTIC part of my issue was that I had shut him out of my life and myself by excluding him. So Part One was to actively INCLUDE him in every single thing I did all day long. The easy stuff was letting him see my computer, letting him have my passwords, not locking things down and hiding them from him, letting him see my secret stuff, and letting him see me delete it all. We deleted everything TOGETHER so that it was like a ritual of ending the old/beginning the new. As I said, this was the easier part for me!

Part Two was to actively practice letting him see the True Me…with all my warts and everything… and then see if he really loved me! If I had a thought that was not so lovely, but it was true–I shared it. If I had a feeling that was painful, I didn’t bury it but instead I shared it. And sometimes my thoughts and feelings were “not all that great” and I let him see it! Now, did I come right out and say everything unedited? No. I realize that sometimes, in the heat of the moment my head “sees red” and I think swear words, and repeating that wouldn’t be productive–but what I WOULD do is let him know I was angry…REALLY angry…and that in order to be respectful to him I needed some time to settle down before I could discuss it. So share the truth (anger) but in a way that is still respectful.

3. Commit to actually DOING the work, not talking about it. Lots of people miss this one. They talk about “going to a counselor” and they talk about “doing whatever it takes to save our marriage” but then when it comes down to facing themselves in counseling or facing their fears or facing what they’ve truly done…it’s too much and they avoid, run, hide, flee. So right now, purpose in your heart that you KNOW you are going to have to look at YOU and ways YOU perceive things and ways YOU cope with things, and it’s going to be hard and scary…but you are going to DO it. When your counselor says “Write this journal or list”…you do it. When you come up to something that is hard or scary or painful, rather than avoiding it, make a promise in your heart to not run away. Rather than falling into your old pattern (which got you in this mess in the first place), remember and try the NEW pattern.

Final thought: There is no “say”…only do. Do not tell your spouse a bunch of promises about committing or doing anything blahblahblah. Your spouse does not believe you right now, AND by your actions you’ve already demonstrated that your commitment means nothing. So instead of telling them, just let your actions show them. Seriously, do not promise. Just DO IT.

4. Gather evidence of love to get through withdrawal. When you have an affair, it’s very similar to being an addict, because what you are addicted to is the “high” good feeling of someone thinking you’re wonderful. There actually is brain chemistry that goes off when you’re “in love” (infatuated) and thus, once you feel that rush of good feeling, you want more of it and the affair continues. When you end your affair and return to your spouse, to you it is going to feel like you are losing the “good feelings” high from OP, and turning to the person who made you feel bad in the first place (NOTE: I’m not saying that is the truth–just “how it feels.”) To you, it will feel like a huge LOSS because you are losing that person who thought you were great–the person who gave you that ‘infatuation high’ feeling!

So once you initiate No Contact, there is going to be a period of what I call “withdrawal.” Again, it is an analogy and not exactly like addiction withdrawal, but it is somewhat similar enough that it helps people understand. When you were in contact, the contact was “the drug”…so when you remove “the drug” you go into withdrawal: namely, the first couple days every few minutes you think about the OP, you think of excuses to contact them, you crave that contact, you NEED that contact! Gradually it begins to feel more desperate, and to some degree just like cold turkey, you just have to get through this. I did two things: 1) I told myself to wait 15 minutes “I will put this off for 15 minutes and check how I feel in 15 minutes.” Then in 15 min. I put it off again for 15 min. all through the day. The next day I put it off half an hour, then an hour, and so on and so on. 2) I gathered reminders of love, so that when I was craving something positive, something that loving, something that shows caring about me, I looked at my Dear Hubbies old love letters, an old card from him, a drawing he made, songs he wrote, etc. If I need the positive “high” of love, I went to my DEAR HUBBY to get it…no one else.

5. Spend “fun” time with your spouse. Right now, when your spouse thinks of “you” s/he associates you with painful emotions and hurtful thoughts. YOU=Pain, to your spouse. Often times, people get so focused on saving their marriage, and working to fix it, that all they do is the deep, long, intense talks and the tears…and they forget to be the kind of person their spouse would want to be with. So that association of YOU=Pain is enforced (because you=deep, long intense talks, navel gazing, and tears). It is REALLY important right now to begin to look at yourself and think: “If I were in my spouse’s shoes, would I date me right now?” and if the answer is no, then start to become the person they would date again. I’m not talking about “Go buy roses” –I mean being the kind of person with whom they would associate good or happy times! Be the sort of person who is interesting. At some point, you had things in common that you both enjoyed or that you shared together: music, sports, hobbies…something. So rather than being “a downer” who always talks about hurtful stuff all the time…on the occasion, take the pressure off, tell your spouse you just want to be best friends right now who really care about each other, view your spouse as your very best friend to whom you tell everything, and once-in-a-while, take them to something fun. Go to a concert, not as their date, but someone who is interested in a band they also love, and share the fun of hearing a band you both like. Begin to change to YOU=Positive. You=listen without judgement. You=share fun times. You=good feelings. Get it?

6. Be accountable to someone. This reconciling is HARD, so don’t think to yourself, “Oh I got this. I can do this by myself.” Find someone who is a GUY who can be your mentor. Find someone who will know when you are lying and sneaking around and who will call you on it!

7. End Love Extinguishers. Okay I view the love in a marriage like a campfire. There is stuff you can do to the love that builds the fire (that’s a love kindler) and there’s stuff you can do that puts out the fire (that’s a love extinguisher). We all do both, but lots of times what happens is we get so caught up in life, work and bills that we don’t realize we pretty much love extinguish ALL DAY LONG… and we’ve kind of dropped the love kindlers. Now most counselors will tell you to “date your spouse again” and whatnot, and that almost never works, but here’s why! You take your spouse out to dinner (love kindler to them) but then you complain about the bill and make a scene to get a free dessert (extinguisher to them). YOU think you should “get credit” for the dinner, but the dinner was a positive and a negative to the flame of love, and nothing built up! So it feels like spinning your wheels (because you are)!! In reality you don’t need to start dating your spouse–you need to stop the love extinguishers!

So if you really, really want to start working on building love, look at your own self. What harmful spirits do you have inside you that are putting out the blaze of love in your marriage? Are you a scorekeeper? A faultfinder? Disrespectful to your spouse? Withholding? No tender touches that don’t lead to sex? Unstable employment? Hidden debt? Don’t help with the house or kids? Discourteous? Give them the silent treatment? Angry explosions? Attack dog…attacking your spouse? Passive-aggressive?

Don’t think “Yeah, but s/he….” or “Those describe my spouse!” because what we are doing here today is to look at YOURSELF–HONESTLY. If you can say to yourself, just privately, “Yes, I do that” then pick that one and work on that one. If you are a scorekeeper, how can you learn to stop keeping score and give of yourself, your time, and your everything freely without expecting a reward for what you did? If you have had unstable employment, how can you demonstrate with your actions that you want your spouse to feel safe financially like they aren’t going to have to scramble to pay rent right before eviction? Again, this is not the time to make promises…just pick a couple of those typical love extinguishers and work on them, and let your actions speak for themselves.

8. Re-start Love Kindlers. After you’ve worked on becoming the person you want to be, after you’ve done the work and made changes, after you’ve stopped some of the bad habits that have inadvertently been destroying your marriage–THEN if your spouse is willing, you can re-start love kindlers. These are the things that people do to show love through their actions, and this is probably easier for people to do than the love extinguishers and that’s why they start here! However, think about this: at one point you and your spouse got along well enough that you two wanted to get married. You had some similar interests, enjoyed each other’s company, couldn’t wait to be together, couldn’t wait to talk, and did all kinds of goofy things to help love grow. Well…that means you already have a foundation to rebuild on! Think back to the days when you were dating, and become the person who attracted them again. They liked you! So there is hope….

In conclusion, I want to remind you that you committed adultery. Say it: ADULTERY. Your spouse would be 100% within their moral rights to walk away and never give you another chance. Some people are not able to get over infidelity and it is a deal-breaker for them. Period. And here’s the super important part: THEY are not the one who broke the marriage–YOU ARE because they were faithful and you went outside the marriage! If your spouse chooses to walk away, they are walking away from the rubble of the marriage that was, because you nuked it. If your spouse does give you any sort of chance, you have GOT TO think of it not as something they owe you or as a second chance you expect, but as A GIFT. Priceless and Precious.

You can choose to change whether your spouse continues the marriage or not, and I personally suggest that you do change. And here’s how we can tell if the change is “real”–we would see you doing 180 degrees the opposite of what you used to be doing, and more importantly, we would see you taking the time for your life to demonstrate, through your behavior and actions, that you are DIFFERENT! The thief doesn’t only stop robbing-they do actions that help others! The liar doesn’t only stop lying–they start telling the truth. The adulterer doesn’t only stop the affair–they start acting in a way that protects their marriage and spouse FROM YOUR OWN WEAKNESSES.

An Examination of Common Phrases Disloyal Spouses Use

I have tried to put boundaries in place but he just says I have ‘issues’. I have now told him that I don’t want to be part of his life at all while he’s having or looking for another woman. He rang back again last night and we had an hour conversation about this stuff. He finally said he understood that I would not want to be part of some triangle.

So let me ask you this. You said you’re setting boundaries. Boundaries are when you say out loud what you will and will not accept in your life–not a “rule” he has to follow. So for example, I might say “I will only share myself fully and intimately with an open, honest spouse in my life. I will not accept dishonesty, covering up, unfaithfulness emotionally or physically.” Now, my Dear Hubby is 100% free to choose whatever he wants. He can be open and honest, and I will share myself with him. But he is also completely free to choose to be dishonest and unfaithful–in which case I would not share myself with him.

Now if your boundary is “I don’t want to be part of his life at all while he’s having or looking for another woman” then how does that fit with having an hour long phone conversation with him? It doesn’t! You violated your own boundary!

Here’s how you can diminish your own distress and back your boundary with a firm, cement wall. YOU don’t contact him at all. If you want to, distract yourself…but don’t contact him by phone, email, or text. When he contacts you (and he will because he’s going to try to get some of his needs met with you or to be able to blame you for the ills in his life) you either ignore it–don’t answer, turn the phone off–OR answer and say “Hello (hubby) are you ready to give up having or looking for other women in your life and dedicate your affection and loyalty only to me? You’re not? Okay when you’re ready please call me. Bye!” and then hang up. Don’t listen to his drivel otherwise…it’s just Disloyal Dizzy talk anyway, and the purpose of it is to deflect from the huge phone pole in his eye (the AFFAIR) to the teeny toothpick in yours (you had a “tone” with him).

Now let me translate some Disloyal Dizzy Talk for you. I will write what it REALLY means and what you can reply to the Disloyal Dizzy Talk. You wrote:

I can’t give up the OW even though she keeps me at arms length.

MEANS: Can’t=won’t, so this means “I want to behave immorally and I don’t really care who it hurts. I won’t stop even though I know it’s wrong.”
ANSWER: Oh you’re right! You are unwilling to live a moral life and that’s why I am protecting myself from you.

I still want the excitement of other women.

MEANS: “I’m so immature, I follow my hormones rather than honoring my commitment to my family like an adult.”
ANSWER: Oh you’re right, you are so blinded by the pleasure, who needs to think of the veneral diseases the exciting women may have? I choose to have a pure marriage bed.

Don’t pin your hopes on me.

MEANS: “I’m undependable, immature, and self-centered.”
ANSWER: Oh I have no hope for you.

I don’t want the same old stale relationship.

MEANS: “I want what I want and I want it NOW but I’m not willing to work for it at all.”
ANSWER: Oh you’re right, I would never accept that neglectful relationship we had in the past. Now I expect a mature partner who’s willing to keep his promise to keep working at it until death parted us.

I have too much baggage with you.

MEANS: “I’m not willing to forgive you or let go of the negative memories.”
ANSWER: Oh you’re right you do have too much baggage for me to accept you.

I don’t want to be committed to anyone at the moment.

MEANS: “I’m selfish.”
ANSWER: I can see that you’re only willing to consider yourself and can’t see the damage you’re doing.

I don’t want to be your one and only person.

MEANS: “I know this is wrong but I want to do it, so I want you to do it too so it’s legitimate.”
ANSWER: I can see that you don’t want to be a person who honors their commitments.

You are not my wife anymore.

MEANS: “I’m looking for a way to make my cheating okay.”
ANSWER: (I can see going two ways with this one) #1–You’re right. Until you start treating me better I don’t choose to let you be my husband. #2–My promise to you was to keep working at it until death parted us and I’m not dead, so I’m your wife.

I can’t say if I’m definately not coming home because I don’t know yet.

MEANS: “I want to have the freedom to be sexually immoral and have a safety net just in case.”
ANSWER: “You’re right you can’t say, and right now I’d say you are not invited to come home. I’m not sure yet.”

_________________

Now let me translate the opposite side of the Disloyal Dizzy Talk for you. I will write what it REALLY means and what you can reply to the dizzy talk–just like last time. You wrote:

be more encouraging to me because I might be interested in having a relationship – I don’t know.

MEANS: “I want to have my cake and eat it too.”
ANSWER: You’re right. YOU should be more encouraging to ME because I may be interesting trying to revive our relationship…I’m not sure.

Go to the dance with me and just have fun, they’re baby steps we can take together and might lead to doing more fun things.

MEANS: “Nobody else seems to want me right now so I’ll turn to you as a last resort.”
ANSWER: Are you ready to give up other women in your life? I’m not willing to be second best.

If we can have fun, you might be the one I want to be with.

MEANS: “I’m unwilling to do the right, honorable thing unless it’s FUN!”
ANSWER: You’re right, if you were fun you might be the one I wanted to be with.

You might be one of the other women I’m interested in.

MEANS: “I’ll string you along as long as possible.”
ANSWER: Look me up when you’re ready to give up having or looking for other women in your life and dedicate your affection and loyalty only to me

If you don’t want contact with me you will be burying any chance there is of a relationship.

MEANS: “I’ll threaten you with something I know scares you, if you won’t do things my way.”
ANSWER: You’re right. Your unwillingness to give up other women in your life buries any chance this marriage has.

7 Things We’ve Never Shared With You Before

Broncos 0905  S5000699x200

That’s me, Cindy, showing how “strong” my Bronco fandom is. And that’s David, making his “scary David face” while we watch a horror movie–AAAAAAA!!! We are crazy funny like that sometimes. It dawned on us after nine years of writing here, that maybe you, our readers, don’t know that about us.

When we write here on the Affaircare blog, we compartmentalize a bit–one compartment is our public personas shared right out loud here on the website, and the other compartment is private and we don’t really show it. But we realized that means you never get to see the “whole enchilada” and thus only get a partial view of us.

In any case, we don’t want to come across with a watered-down personality. We want people to know who we really are so we can really connect with the people on a deeper level. And the people who don’t “get us” can continue searching for their right people elsewhere.

There’s a bolder side to both of us to which we want to introduce you.

To kick off this new chapter in our blogging lives, we are going to start by sharing 7 things we’ve never shared with you before. Hopefully you’ll know more about the real “us” after reading this.

Here we go:

David–

1- I’m a consistent Calvinist Christian, and I like the works of Gordon Clark and Vincent Cheung. It’s important for you to know this because this defines what kind of Christian I am and what I believe, and thus how I might coach you in recovering your marriage. I believe that in their natural state, humans are sinful and that the result of sin is separation from God. I believe that Jesus Christ came to earth as a human being, lived a perfect life, and died a substitutionary death for the sins of the elect. I believe that we are reconciled to God ONLY by the work of Christ, and not by anything we do.

2 – My closest friends are HILARIOUSLY funny. I have a very small group of five friends I’ve known since middle school and high school. When we get together, everyone is a comedian, and we all quote Monty Python and sci-fi movies at each other. I love it.

3 – I am a student of Logic, and no I didn’t mean “common sense.” I mean the science of Logic. Here is my favorite intro to logic book: “Logic” by Gordon Clark.  If you’d like a fun place to start, here’s a Logical Fallacies site.

4 – I’m a huge fan of books, movies and music. No, I mean HUGE. For books, I am particular to fantasy/sci-fi and philosophy and theology–in fact, Cindy and I read out loud to each other. My taste in movies is similar–fantasy/sci-fi–and it’s been thrilling to live through the release of the Lord of the Rings movies, the Hobbit movies, and now the SECOND set of Star Wars movies. Okay I have to admit I also love Marvel and Joss Wheadon. Don’t get me started on music–I have tracks in the six figures on my computer and listen to every genre if the musicianship and skill is there. I have a LOT of music!

5 – Politically, I unapologetically believe in libertarian philosophy, specifically the Non Aggression Principle. Just to be clear, I’m not part of the National Libertarian Party or the Tea Party or any of that–I mean that I believe in the ideology of liberty. Then again, this isn’t a political blog, so I won’t expound a lot here.

6 – Part of me wishes I finished college, but at the time I was young and dumb and didn’t see the value in it. On the other hand, I’ve been auto-didactic all my life so I love learning! To live is to learn!

7 – My father died of a heart attack in his early 50s. That is on my mind, since I’m in my early 50s myself now, but it doesn’t really scare me. It’s just part of what made me who I am today.

Cindy–

1 – I’m going to be 54 years old this year, but my friends range in age from pre-teens to 80s. No seriously, I have a couple friends with whom I trade Pokemon cards, and they are 10 or less. And I have a friend I call every week who’s in her 80s. I love people, and most of my friendships last years and years. The weird thing is, though, I don’t really have super close friends–I think I’m afraid to let people in too deep.

2 – I am also a consistent Calvinist Christian. I consider myself reformed as well, because even though we are members of a Presbyterian church and not a Reformed church, I think of it like this: “We aren’t Catholic, so we are Reformed. We aren’t Arminian, so we are Reformed.” I think more than anything, this defines my life, and I apply it to myself in this manner: Does my life convict me of being a Christian? Do my words convict me of being a Christian? Do my thoughts convict me of being a Christian?

3 – I’m a huge fan of books, movies and music too. Can you see why David and I get along together so well? I read all the time–online and on books. In fact we decorated our living room just so we could line with walls with bookshelves! My taste in movies tends to be comedies, sci-fi, and musicals (I love to sing along!). The occasional documentary or foreign film or indie film can be enjoyable too. I am not at all into TV!! YUCK!! And for music, well one reason David loves me is because I also just adore all kinds of music: 30s-40s-50s, country, old westerns, musicals, opera, classical, jazz, classic rock–I love it all. But my favorite: BLUES! Baby wail on that guitar for me!

4 – When it’s football season, I go into “Crazy Fan” mode. I grew up in Wisconsin and that’s where I learned football, and YOU KNOW how crazy those Cheeseheads are. From Wisconsin I moved to Denver, and I’ll just say this about Broncos fans: the entire city of Denver closes when there’s a Broncos game AND they put their season tickets into their estate planning. Now I’ve moved to the Pacific Northwest and I’m learning to be a Seahawks fan… but in my heart I’ll always love my Pack and the Broncos.

5 – Politically, I honestly believe in anarchy–meaning “no ruler” and not chaos. I don’t think there really is a political party that believes in that anymore, so I call myself a Voluntaryist. I advocate the Non Aggression Principle and voluntary interactions at all levels.

6 – I’ve been in every state of the US except Alaska and Hawaii, and they are on my bucket list.

7 – I met David online! No not on a dating site. We both were on a forum for people whose spouses had been unfaithful, and we didn’t even talk to each other for a long time. What was amazing to me, though, is that even though lived far away, we found each other and we were so much alike it was surprising! Takeaway: if you are single and you would like to be married, God will put you together even if you’re far away from each other.

It’s surprising how easy it was to come up with these 7 things, and we actually have a lot more that we could share! Maybe this self expression thing isn’t so bad after all.

Thanks for reading all the way through this experiment. If you resonate with the souls we’ve just bared, please follow the blog. If we’ve offended you or turned you off, thanks for reading anyway. We know that we don’t appeal to everyone, and that’s OK.

The Prince of Peace

This post is written by Laurence Vance and copied here today to remind everyone what we celebrate on Christmas Day.  See his entire post on the Lew Rockwell blog here.

Prince of Peace

The Prince of Peace bids men to come to him (Matthew 11:28); the god of war bids men to go fight foreign wars.

The Prince of Peace says it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35); the god of war says it is more blessed to kill than to be killed.

The Prince of Peace says to love your enemies (Matthew 5:44); the god of war says to kill your enemies.

The Prince of Peace is righteous (1 John 2:1); the god of war wants men to commit unrighteousness.

The Prince of Peace says to bless them that curse you (Matthew 5:44); the god of war says to curse them that curse you.

The Prince of Peace witnessed a good confession (1 Timothy 6:13); the god of war spouts lies.

The Prince of Peace says to do good to them that hate you (Matthew 5:44); the god of war says to do evil to them that hate you.

The Prince of Peace is the Son of God (Acts 9:20); the god of war is the enemy of God.

The Prince of Peace is the creator (Colossians 1:16); the god of war is the destroyer.

The Prince of Peace died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3); the god of war wants men to die for no reason.

The Prince of Peace rose from the dead (Acts 26:23); the god of war sends men to their deaths.

The Prince of Peace was sacrificed for us (1 Corinthians 5:7); the god of war wants men to sacrifice other men to him.

The Prince of Peace died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6); the god of war wants men to commit ungodliness.

The Prince of Peace was born of a virgin (Matthew 1:23); the god of war encourages men to violate virgins.

The Prince of Peace came in the flesh (1 John 4:20); the god of war is a destroyer of flesh.

The Prince of Peace glorified not himself (Hebrews 5:5); the god of war glorifies war.

The Prince of Peace is the bread of life (John 6:35); the god of war is the slayer of life.

The Prince of Peace redeems (Galatians 3:13); the god of war condemns.

The Prince of Peace is the light of the world (John 8:12); the god of war plunges the world into darkness.

The Prince of Peace is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25); the god of war is the wounder and taker of life.

The Prince of Peace was made to be sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21); the god of war wants men to commit sin.

The Prince of Peace is the mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5); the god of war is the separator of God from men.

The Prince of Peace is the Saviour of men (Titus 1:4); the god of war is the enemy of men.

The Prince of Peace forgives (Colossians 3:13); the god of war punishes.

The Prince of Peace suffered for us (1 Peter 2:21); the god of war wants men to suffer on the battlefield.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas, not a military one. Worship and serve the Prince of Peace, not the god of war.

Triggers and shortcomings

 

This video is important because the Disloyal husband says something really important: Disloyal Spouses all have triggers. We may be able to figure out that we were unfaithful because of “this or that” trigger–but that means it’s something we haven’t dealt with.  We all justify what we’re doing even when we know it’s sin. And if we want something badly enough, we can find a way to justify it! But in the end, we have to identify the sin in ourselves and face it!

Why Doesn’t My Loyal Spouse Just “Move On” and “Get Over It”?

Broken Plate

When a Disloyal Spouse ends the affair and decides to reconcile, they often can not understand why their Loyal Spouse keeps bringing it up, asking question, and not moving on.  Why not just “get over it” and let the marriage be the way it was?

This image helps explain why.  The Disloyal Spouse knew what was going on the whole time; they saw the bigger picture.  But the bigger picture was hidden from the Loyal Spouse, (the Disloyal lied about who they were with, what they were doing, where they were, when they’d be at certain locations, etc.) — or the Loyal Spouse just didn’t want to admit the truth to them self and frankly denied what was obvious!  Either way this is NEW INFO to them.

The Disloyal Spouse did the damage: they “threw the plate on the ground.”  The marriage is the plate.  Now, here at Affaircare, we recognize that some marriages/plates had chips and even some serious cracks–but the plate was not smashed.  After the affair, the marriage/plate is broken into a zillion pieces.  And even though Loyal Spouses do want to hear the regret for breaking the plate (how sorry you are, how you’ll never do it again, that you regret what you did and what you said)–that IN NO WAY repairs the plate! The plate is still completely shattered!

Taking the time to glue the pieces back together is what repairs the plate, and even then it’s not “like it was.”  It may be weaker.  It may have scars. Maybe you can’t use the plate in the microwave because it’s not as tough as it used to be…  But yelling because the Loyal Spouse is not “getting over” the plate being shattered, or telling the Loyal Spouse to just “move on” because the plate is fine, still in no way repairs the plate!

In order to repair the plate (the marriage), the person who broke it (the Disloyal Spouse) has to DO SOMETHING in addition to saying they regret breaking it.  They have to do some actions, and the #1 action is to stop throwing the plate on the ground (end the affair)!

If you have questions, leave them in the comments and we’d be happy to explain more

Why Doesn’t My Loyal Spouse “Get Over It and Move On?”

Broken Plate

When a Disloyal Spouse ends the affair and decides to reconcile, they often can not understand why their Loyal Spouse keeps bringing it up, asking question, and not moving on.  Why not just “get over it” and let the marriage be the way it was?

This image helps explain why.  To the Disloyal Spouse, they knew what was going on the whole time; they saw the bigger picture.  But to the Loyal Spouse, the bigger picture was hidden from them (the Disloyal lied about who they were with, what they were doing, where they were, when they’d be at certain locations, etc.) — or the Loyal Spouse just didn’t want to admit the truth to them self and frankly denied what was obvious!  Either way this is NEW INFO to them.

The Disloyal Spouse did the damage.  They “threw the plate on the ground.”  The Loyal Spouse is the plate.  They are broken into a zillion pieces.  And even though they do want to hear the regret for breaking the plate (how sorry you are, how you’ll never do it again, that you regret what you did and what you said)–that IN NO WAY repairs the plate! The plate is still completely shattered!

Taking the time to glue the pieces back together is what repairs the plate, and even then it’s not “like it was.”  It may be weaker.  It may have scars. Maybe you can’t use the plate in the microwave because it’s not as tough as it used to be…  But yelling at the plate because it’s not gluing itself back together, or telling the plate it should just “move on” from being shattered, still in no way repairs the plate!

If you have questions, leave them in the comments and we’d be happy to explain more.

My Spouse Cheated and Isn’t Showing Any Remorse!

There-is-no-person-so​There is a pattern that we’ve noticed over the years, one that repeats itself with enough regularity that we believe it would be useful to address it. It is a regular problem in marriages that have suffered the agony of an affair, and one that, if not properly dealt with, causes more problems with recovery than almost any other. One way that it manifests itself in the refusal of the betrayed spouse to forgive. It is rooted in the ideas of forgiveness, in refusing to work on the marriage. It’s many offspring include blaming and the art of tit-for-tat. It usually ends with one or both spouses so full of resentment that the marriage fails.

A recent letter expresses this idea with some clarity, and so it will be used as an example. But this idea is quite common, any number of emails could be selected to show the problem. This particular letter is no more special, or troubling, than any other – it is simply a useful teaching example.

It is entirely possible that this letter is mostly a frustrated “rant”.

We live in a society where feelings are considered more important than facts or even the truth. When ranting, people say whatever their emotional state at the time leads them to say. This, the ranter believes, is ‘the truth’ – because this is what is felt at that particular moment. In a rant, people tend to say things they don’t really mean (we normally this call ‘lying’ – but we tend to gloss over it in the pursuit of what we believe will be cathartic.) When ranting, a person will say deliberately hurtful, mean-spirited, and often false things about their spouse. This should never occur, for such actions are the opposite of love. That is to say, this sort of behavior is hatred. We are to love our spouses. In fact, the Bible tells us to love even our enemies (Matt. 5: 43-48 and Luke 6:27-36).  In a rant things are often stated in a highly emotional way that would never be stated had the ‘ranter’ been thinking about their words rather than instinctively barking out what they ‘feel’.

This means that much of what is written MAY BE far from reality and most likely spoken in haste without forethought. Let us be clear, however, a rant is not a truly acceptable way to address any problem. It is childish, inefficient, and detrimental – especially if it garners any support from other people. At best, a rant should be ignored and the focus returned to the real problems and solutions.

Keep in mind that if something is true, it is so -regardless of how you feel. If you believe something you state in a rant is true – then it is also true regardless of the rant. Keep that in mind when you begin to berate your spouse in a rant. This is either telling everyone how you really view your spouse – or else how often you lie!

By saying what is written “MAY” be far from reality, what we mean is that this rant reveals an underlying problem with the marriage that quite likely brought about the eventuality of an affair in the first place. If this is more than a collection of falsehoods and exaggerations (a rant) then it is an overview of the entire marriage. Affairs rarely occur in a vacuum. It is clear that this marriage is in far more trouble than recovering from an affair. It is a marriage without love.

By love, we do not speak of some obscure emotion. At Affaircare, we do not use the word ‘love’ to mean an emotion at all. It is an ACTION. This marriage lacks this action – and may have for long before the affair.

One further caveat: an affair is usually a stupid, and thoughtless attempt to escape symptoms of a troubled marriage, or to avoid the problems of a troubled marriage altogether. At all times, it is a bad idea, it is the WRONG solution, and it causes more problems than it is trying to solve. When a spouse enters into an affair, what they are doing is wrong, stupid, and harmful. There is no moral excuse for an affair.

Now, let’s examine the letter:

“…I wish I could get the kind of remorse and frequent apologies and asking for forgiveness this article talks about, but none of the sort, we are in counseling and {my spouse] is working on the marriage, by letting me know where s/he is, what s/he is doing but the last time we spoke in therapy about asking for forgiveness it blew my mind:

My spouse did not know they were supposed to ask for forgiveness….”

Note first, the author of the letter states that their spouse “is working on the marriage”. Let’s keep that in mind! The Disloyal in this instance IS doing what is necessary. Maybe not on the timeline imposed by the author, but by their own admission, the Disloyal is doing the work. (Interestingly, the Loyal Spouse claims later that they are actively refusing to do their own part.)

The Loyal Spouse is ‘shocked’ to find that the Disloyal did not know they had to ask for forgiveness. The Loyal  gives no reason why this is shocking, and on top of that, gives no reasons why they think this may have occurred. The Disloyal doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt. Instead, the Loyal has boxed their Disloyal Spouse into an inescapable prison – they are actively arranging the outcome. We are not the spouse – but we can offer a couple of possible reasons! Maybe the Disloyal Spouse assumed that the need for forgiveness for a wrong they committed was so obvious it didn’t need to be asked (especially if they are working to fix the situation.) Perhaps the Disloyal made the mistake of thinking it was implied in the process of beginning to work on the marriage. Perhaps the Disloyal was afraid the Loyal Spouse wouldn’t forgive anyway, so why try? We could come up with many more examples.

Affaircare is a Christian coaching service, we base our replies on what we find in Scripture. So we will point out a couple of passages where people prayed for their enemies to be forgiven, even though their enemies not only did not ask for it – but were actively behaving in a way that brought about the need for forgiveness: Luke 23:34, and Acts 7:60.

The fact that the Loyal Spouse’s mind was ‘blown’ because the Disloyal didn’t know that they were required to actually vocalize the words is more of a revelation that the Loyal Spouse is unforgiving than that the Disloyal needs to make the request. The Loyal Spouse is refusing to forgive unless the Disloyal jumps through THEIR hoops – steps that the Loyal has obviously not vocalized! The Loyal will not forgive the Disloyal unless they somehow manage to perform the actions the Loyal imagines they have to undertake. However – what is good for the goose is good for the gander! If the Loyal expects their spouse to say things out loud, then they ALSO need to say things. Out loud. The Disloyal Spouse’s mind may be blown that their Loyal Spouse needs such actions.

They also may learn things about one another!

The Loyal Spouse continues:

“…No remorse, no emotional breakdown, no guilt– nothing, [my Disloyal Spouse] says they feel numb, They weren’t numb when they were with married asshole who pretended to be my friend and hugged our children in front of their own spouse…”

It’s interesting that the Loyal brings up the need for their Disloyal Spouse to ‘break down’. This assumes a personality trait that not all people share. The Thinkers among us rarely have emotional breakdowns. No clue is given here as to what the Disloyal Spouse’s personality type may be – are they more emotionally oriented? or more of a Thinker? Understanding that aspect may well give a clue as to why this Disloyal Spouse is not acting the way the Loyal demands.

Yet – as the Loyal Spouse writes: the Disloyal IS ‘working on the marriage’! And, as is pointed out, THE LOYAL SPOUSE IS NOT.

The Loyal claims that there is “no guilt–nothing”. We must assume the Loyal Spouse
means that their Disloyal is not ‘acting’ like he or she ‘feels’ guilty. This is an error many people make! Guilt has nothing to do with feelings. A person IS guilty if they have committed some wrong. How each person acts when this is realized varies from person to person. The Loyal claims the Disloyal is ‘working on the marriage’ – which means that the Disloyal has already accepted the guilt – and is doing something about it. Perhaps the Loyal would rather if their spouse made no steps toward working on the marriage and instead sat on the couch weeping while the Loyal relieved their frustrations saying mean things – or worse!

The Loyal Spouse claims the Disloyal shows no remorse. This may well be – but that does not mean they don’t feel remorse – nor regret. In fact, by definition, a person who is remorseful takes steps to rectify the situation. They ‘repent’ – that is, they take steps to change their lives for the better. As the author wrote in the first paragraph: the Disloyal Spouse is working on the marriage.

We think it is safe to say that what the author means by ‘no remorse’ is actually ‘no regret.’ The definition of ‘regret’ is “a feeling of sadness or disappointment over something that has happened or been done.” Their spouse does not appear to feel sad – and from this the author assumes that that Disloyal is not sorry – nor wanting to change. But above all, it simply points out that the author is assigning a fantasy set of standards to which they hold the spouse – which, because they are imaginary – are most likely not possible to attain.

Which is why the Loyal Spouse writes the next line; this is the crux of the entire letter, and the story of their marriage. It is the most revealing, detrimentally destructive highlight of the letter:

“…My anger and resentment grow each day, I say nothing,… [my Disloyal spouse] thinks that everything is going to be OK and that time is going to take care of this, it will not…”

Note the Loyal Spouse’s claim of omniscience (knowing the future) and declaration of reality: things WILL NOT WORK OUT. Since the Loyal cannot know the future, the only possible way they can say ‘it will not’ is if they have already determined that the marriage is over. Since the Loyal has already determined this, they have cancelled out any work their spouse may do for the marriage. It reveals a person who has no intention of remaining married and is instead dragging their spouse through a pointless succession of tasks. At the end of each task, they can declare it failed, and the Disloyal will need to do something else. Of course this cannot go on indefinitely: at some point the Disloyal Spouse will give up. But in the meantime, the Loyal Spouse will have had the pleasure of seeing them squirm and beg. For nothing. And in the end – the Loyal may well force the Disloyal to leave the marriage – which will then mean that they can claim the divorce ‘wasn’t their fault!’ God sees all things, though!

Since the Loyal Spouse has publicly declared that this WILL NOT WORK OUT, they need to be true to their word, or else be revealed as a liar, and untrustworthy themselves. In other words, if this is over, end it–do not lead the Disloyal Spouse on and give false hope.  Or, as the Bible declares: “let your yes be yes and your no be no.” (Matt 5:37 and James 5:12)  Moreover, since the Loyal Spouse’s declaration is public, they have made a statement in front of witnesses: “… Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the Lord your God with your own mouth…” Deut. 23:23 (the founding verse of Affaircare)!

Keep in mind that the Bible specifically tells us not to ‘let the sun go down on our anger’ (Eph. 4:26). It means that we must work toward solving the problem immediately – and that involves direct, verbal communication, using the skill of active listening, with the intention of ending the dispute in a loving, God-honoring fashion. No matter how big the problem, the Bible offers solutions, and God promises healing. The Loyal Spouse can not cling to their anger and must actively work to resolve the anger.

“…How can you trust someone who has no remorse, no empathy, no compassion for the hurt they have caused? You can’t, and living with someone you can’t trust sucks in the worse possible way…”

Indeed it does, and living with someone who refuses to work on the marriage (and refuses to forgive, with no remorse for such an action) – also “sucks in the worse possible way.” See Luke 6:42. We have covered the idea of trust elsewhere on our site (for example, HERE), and anyone interested can easily search and find what we have to say on that issue. But note:  searching would be part of the work one must do on the marriage. For someone who has declared that they will not work on the marriage, there isn’t any point to reading up on it.

“…I am doing things for myself now, back to my activities friends and [hobbies], my Disloyal can join or not their choice, I have stopped “working” on this, it was their fuck up, it’s their job to fix it, I am done trying to make things into something they are not…”

Here is a very revealing sentence: “…I am done trying to make things into something they are not…”

Any marriage that goes through the agony of an affair never returns (with any success) to the way things were. Instead, it MUST become something that ‘it was not.’ It is unfortunate that the author of this letter will have nothing to do with this. By declaring that they have stopped ‘working’ on the marriage the Loyal has declared the marriage over.

The affair was a very stupid and destructive choice – but that is not the primary problem. Almost no affair happens in a vacuum. There is almost ALWAYS a prior set of problems that existed before the affair. The affair was a stupid, thoughtless attempt to either fix or escape those problems. And the attitude of the author of this letter reveals a lot more about the marriage than they  would like to admit. The author’s treatment of their spouse creates an environment where an affair is more likely. With this kind of treatment, it is easy to see why this Disloyal Spouse may have blundered into the arms of an unscrupulous pursuer.

Since the Loyal has stopped working on the marriage (the use of quotes around the word working is revealing in itself) – and since the Loyal has declared that it CANNOT work out – our advice is to cut it off NOW and stop trying to punish the Disloyal for their sin. “…Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord…” (Romans 12: 18-20). This Loyal does not love their spouse. “…Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” (Eph. 5:25) and as such, is just as guilty as their Disloyal Spouse is of destroying their marriage. Admit it, repent, go and sin no more.

“…[My Disloyal] needs to make me fall in love with them again or it is time to pack my bags and enjoy life, it is way too short to be miserable, my kids deserve a better example than that….”

The author’s spouse did not “MAKE” them fall ‘in love’ in the first place. They CHOSE to love their spouse; they CHOSE to feel affection, pride, admiration, and a host of other emotions regarding them. Making any other person responsible for their own emotions and actions is just as destructive as any affair. The Disloyal Spouse will fail at some point, and the Loyal will be right back on the throne demanding reparation and dictating punishment.

“… it is time to pack my bags and enjoy life, it is way too short to be miserable, my kids deserve a better example than that….”

It is time to pack your bags because you declared that this WILL NOT WORK OUT. DO IT NOW. Do not abuse your spouse and children any longer. You have that moral option whenever there is an affair – with one caveat: once you commit to working on the marriage, you no longer have that option. You have recommitted and are bound by that promise as surely as you are to your initial marriage commitment.

As for ‘life being too short’ – placing your need to feel comfortable and happy over the word you give to another reveals that your promise was a lie in the first place: your commitment is NOT to the marriage – it is to YOUR HAPPINESS. Such a person cannot be trusted to be there ‘for better or for worse’. And, as the author stated: “…living with someone you can’t trust sucks in the worse possible way…”

As for “my kids deserve a better example” – we have to question the sanity of this statement. The author’s Disloyal Spouse is – by their own admission – ‘working on the marriage.’ What BETTER example can be given than working to repair a problem? Is running away, hating, refusing to forgive, and chasing after happiness in ANY WAY a BETTER example?

In close: a marriage is a partnership encased in commitment, fortified by repentance and growth as a Christian. It requires diligent work from both partners, working together to go the same direction. Picture trying to push a stalled automobile: if one of you takes the front end and pushed, while the other takes the rear end and pushes, nothing happens. Get together and work from the same side!