Ask Affaircare: Who Should I Talk To About This?

AskAffaircare

The Ask Affaircare Series started because our readers have questions. About Affairs. Reconciling. Marriage. Divorce. Christianity. The Bible. And God.  Initially, we tried to answer each question through e-mail, but we quickly realized that there were many people asking many similar questions, so we started this weekly series!

It’s not our goal to make you agree with us, but rather to explore what the Bible says in thoughtful, and clear manner. Additionally, we try to write our answers in a loving but truthful manner (Ephesians 4:15) because we know there is a real person – with real struggles and dreams – behind every single question. Thank for you visiting Affaircare. Keep those questions coming!


Our question today comes from a Loyal Husband who needs to talk to someone about his wife’s affair.  He writes:

Should i confide in a close female family friend about my wife’s affair? I really need to talk to someone…..

Dear Loyal Husband who would like to talk to a close female family friend, 

I can give you a very, VERY short answer to this question:  NO!!!

NO, you should not confide in a close female family friend about your wife’s affair, because developing close friendships with members of the opposite sex is what got you and your wife into this trouble in the first place!  She developed a “friendship” with a close classmate or a close co-worker or a close man from the gym, and now, because she confided in someone who listened to her and offered sympathy and support, she thinks she “loves you but she’s not IN LOVE with you.”

When one of you does the wrong thing (aka “is unfaithful”), that does not give you the justification to go out and do another wrong thing of your own.   In a summary, her sin does not justify your sin.

I don’t want to be harsh, here, and I do want to offer you some true hope, so the very first thing I’d recommend is getting a good grip on what fidelity means.  My definition of fidelity, or “faithfulness,” is that you voluntarily, of your own free will, promised to give 100% of your affection and loyalty to your spouse and only your spouse as long as you were alive.  Note that means that you don’t get married “because they meet all your needs perfectly/naturally” — but rather that you made a commitment to study and learn about your spouse to show love TO THEM.  Also note that 100% means that NO PERCENTAGE goes to any other person!  If you have a close female family friend, that means some percentage of what you owe to your wife and volunteered to give her is being given away to some other woman…and that’s destructive to your marriage.  So number one–keep your own side of the street clean by not turning to the close female family friend. Make sure that you are giving the same 100% to your wife that you expect from her.   And yes, I get it–the close female family friend could be an aunt or 2nd cousin twice removed, but that’s not the point.  100% is due to your wife, and no one else.

Second, I would recommend that talking to someone about it is a great idea!  I can’t imagine trying to get through the heartbreak of adultery all by yourself–but right now if you turn to a female, if she is anything even close to understanding, providing encouragement and emotional help, then you will begin to bond to HER and that is 100% reserved for your wife!  So avoid that temptation right now by turning to the men in your life who are likely to understand and support you.  I don’t know you or your situation specifically, but maybe you could turn to your father or a brother, or if your family of origin is dysfunctional, try some local, pro-marriage male friends or some guys from church. You’d be surprised (and probably saddened) to realize how many men at church have been through the same things themselves!  And if family, friends or church doesn’t work for you–there are support groups like the Beyond Affairs Network – Support Groups for Betrayed Spouses.   Not to toot our own horn, but you may want to take to David too–you know the other co-founder of Affaircare!  You can email him directly at affaircare@gmail.com if you’d like. The point here is to DEFINITELY talk to someone, but make that person a male person for now at least until you get your head on straight.

Finally, let me end my answer with a few bible verses, because our whole goal here is to act and live like God wants us to act and live.  So how would we know what He wants if we don’t look at what He wrote, right?  Here’s how we are to treat one another:

Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”

Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:14 “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.”

Hebrews 10:24 “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

Clearly we are not meant to go through our trials and tribulations and difficulties alone. Clearly as Christians we have a mandate to support each other and encourage each other and pray for each other and help each other.  But we don’t “encourage the fainthearted” by encouraging or allowing sin.  In fact, these verses indicate the opposite–we are to sharpen one another and admonish the idle and stir one another up to love and good works.  So…

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

I encourage you to be TRUE to your promise.  I encourage you to do the HONORABLE thing. I encourage you to remember that you have been forgiven too, and to be JUST.  I encourage you to be PURE for your wife.  I encourage you to be a LOVELY man inside and out.  I encourage you to do the really hard, COMMENDABLE thing.  Speak to the men in your life and give your marriage the best possible chance for reconciliation.

Faithfully,

 

~Cindy

 

2 thoughts on “Ask Affaircare: Who Should I Talk To About This?”

  1. Cindy,

    While I mostly agree with you, I think you may have lost me on this one when you say in the fourth paragraph that a married man should not have any close female friends. You are really leaving no room for opposite sex friendships? I understand your principle here; there is danger associated with opposite-sex friendships, especially when you are in an emotionally vulnerable state, but a complete prohibition on friendship seems a bit extreme. I’ll offer three short stories from my own life:

    Right about the same time as I discovered my wife’s affair, a female co-worker lost both of her parents to cancer. Knowing and confiding about our struggles with someone else who is also going through a tough time of loss has really helped both of us. She is a married woman, and of course I’m married as well. There has never been a hint of inappropriate closeness in that friendship, and if there were, I would shut it down immediately. I would never do to another man what has been done to me. Actually, her husband knows we have leaned on each other for support.

    Secondly, another Christian married female colleague who obviously sensed I was going through something tough came into my office one day and asked if she could pray with me. She was so perceptive that she knew what was wrong without my having to tell her, so I eventually confided in her and she offered me some good advice and spiritual support.

    I do have a close male friend to confide in – actually a couple of them, but to be honest these two women have been more of a help to me. Women are just naturally more empathetic – and yes, that’s partly why it’s dangerous because empathy can develop into something else but it doesn’t have to.

    I believe it is possible for men and women to be friends, even close friends, without it developing into a sinful relationship. Both parties have to be honest with each other and with their spouses, and understand the dangers. I suppose it could be argued that I also risked derailing reconciliation with my wife by befriending these women, but I don’t think so and I can’t really explain why without turning this into a very long post.

    Finally, I have to say that any relationship outside of marriage can lead to infidelity. In my case, it was a SAME SEX FRIENDSHIP that led to my wife’s affair. My wife became friends with and emotional support for a very insecure woman who had many issues. They started spending more and more time together, and it is that woman who became my wife’s affair partner.

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