Tag Archives: Gospel of Matthew

Back to Basics– Step 6 of 7 Steps To End An Affair -AND- Save Our Marriage Saturday

You’ve suspected for a while that something is not right between you and your spouse. Maybe they were spending lots of extra hours “at work” but there was no overtime on their paycheck. Maybe they completely changed their music, hairstyle, or clothing choices to something appropriate for someone decades younger. Maybe they were chatting or texting all the time and then deleted everything so you couldn’t see it.

Whatever the reasons, you had a sneaking suspicion something wasn’t right…

If you suspect your spouse is having an affair or is being emotionally unfaithful, do not despair. An affair does not have to mean the end of your marriage. In fact, consider this:

  • Approximately 20% of affairs last less than two months
  • Approximately 50% of affairs last more than one month, but less than a year.
  • The remaining 30% last more than a year
  • Very few last more than four years
  • Around 3% result in marriage

There are Seven Steps You Can Take to End an Affair if you have reason to believe your spouse may be unfaithful.  There is no guarantee your marriage will recover, but these steps will give you the best opportunity to recover after the affair ends.

Step 1) Gather Evidence.

Step 2) Confront.

Step 3) Disclose.

Step 4) Expose.

Step 5) Carrot and Stick.

Step 6) Consequences.  This step is the final step of Matthew 18:15-17.  To review let’s look at those verses again, paying specific attention to the final phrases of verse 17:

15  If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.

16  But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’

17  If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

In this step, we recommend that you write your disloyal spouse  a letter and explain that you love them, admit the things you did to contribute to the affair, and indicate what you’re doing to address your own issues and end the Love Extinguishers.   Then, continue with the letter and let your disloyal spouse know that unless they end ALL contact with the Affair Partner and never, EVER contact the Affair Partner again, that you (the loyal spouse) need to end all contact with them.

The idea behind this step is to obey the final parts of verse 17, namely to treat them as a pagan or tax collector.  Now you’ll notice that nowhere does Jesus ever tell us to treat pagans and tax collectors with disrespect or hatred or anger…nothing like that.  But over and over in the Old and New Testament we are told to choose whom we associate with carefully.  Psalm 1:1 says that a person is BLESSED when they don’t “walk around in sinful places, stand loitering with sinful people, or sit and hang out with sinners” (my paraphrase) And it’s not because we hate the people but rather, it’s because if we are constantly around someone who had stiffened their neck and hardened their heart and refuses to obey God.  They will tempt us and council us to be like them!  The whole point of the passage is that in a marriage there is unity–intimacy–and how can there be that kind of oneness between someone who loves and wants to obey God, and someone who willfully continues in disobedience?  You just have to not associate with them.

So you let the disloyal spouse experience a more realistic taste of what divorce could be like–namely that it will hurt them, it will be costly, and it will be HARD.  A typical disloyal spouse has this “fantasy” in their mind that they will move you (the loyal spouse) out, move their lover in, have all their needs flawlessly met by their lover but never have to put in any effort to keep the relationship going–that is, it will come naturally and easily–keep the house, keep the kids, get to keep their lover’s money AND your money (via alimony and child support), and basically life will be a breeze!  Of course, that’s not real life, and the goal here is to allow them to taste what real divorce might be like.  You also give them a chance to see what it would be like to have to depend upon the Affair Partner to meet all of their needs–and honestly this is usually what breaks the affair, because although the Affair Partner may have been in the right place and said the right things, they are often someone who is unemployed (thus they have days free to flirt with a married person) or who doesn’t have the moral character to be faithful.  Chances are, when they have to provide for ALL of the disloyal spouse’s emotional, financial, mental and spiritual needs (without you meeting half the needs)…the two in the affair will start arguing, and when the Affair Partner isn’t “happy” they respond by looking elsewhere!  They’ve already demonstrated that’s how they act!  Finally, you give your disloyal spouse time apart from you so that they can no longer blame you for the day’s events, or “how you made them feel,” or anything because you aren’t in their life anymore!  Thus, if it’s not you…maybe they’ll look at themselves (or at least blame their Affair Partner instead)!  Here are some Sample Consequences Letters.

For some practicalities, one of the common things a female disloyal will try to do,  if you have children, is wanting the loyal to do things “…for the children” when really it’s to meet one of her needs.  A perfect example of this would be the unfaithful wife who is living with her lover at the lover’s house, but she asks her loyal husband to mow the lawn “so the kids have a place to play.”  Then when the loyal husband says “No” or suggests that she get her lover to mow his own lawn, she might try guilt “I can’t believe you don’t want the kids to have a place to play! Who treats their children like that?”  This is why we suggest an intermediary in the Consequences Step–to act as a buffer between the disloyal and loyal spouse.  This can be a person who agrees to do it, a person you both knew as a friend, a parent, a pastor from church–pretty much anyone willing to do it–but the intermediary would be the person who would get the request from the disloyal to mow the lawn, and the intermediary would not pass that on  to the loyal, but rather just return it to the disloyal and ask them to take care of their own situations.  You can see how the intermediary would actually shield the loyal spouse from a LOT of hurt and pain!

Nonetheless, the loyal spouse will have to discipline themselves to not accept phone calls or read IM’s or emails that come from the disloyal spouse.  If the disloyal calls from an blocked number, or for whatever reason the call gets through on accident, the loyal can say something like, “Are you calling because you’re ready to end the affair? Oh, you’re not? Then please respect my wishes for no contact until you’re ready to do that. Goodbye” and hang up.  All email attempts, just forward to the intermediary. Keep the focus on ending the affair and recovering marriage. Don’t get caught up in arguing over secondary or trivial issues.

Again, in this stage there are occasionally disloyal spouses whose affair just die a natural death–the Affair Partner just gets sick of it and leaves them–or they begin to realize that a divorce would be VERY painful to them…and they think maybe that too much water has passed under the bridge. Periodically let your disloyal know that you would be willing to have them back and work on the marriage. but that at this point some substantial damage has been done. Invite them to return. If this is your case, consider yourself blessed and move to the phase of recovering your marriage.

If that is not how it works out for you, please bear in mind that the process of breaking up an affair with a hard-hearted spouse is not “guaranteed.”  Sinful human beings often just REFUSE to do the right thing; hurting human beings often are more afraid to look at themselves and admit they were wrong than they are to live with the mess they’ve made!   If that is the case, please post a comment or post a Prayer Request and we’ll pray for you.  Thank God, He didn’t just leave us at this point, but the Bible does tell us what do do for the next step.  And so we will post tomorrow with Step 6


This is post #6  in the CMBA 1/2 Marathon Blogging Challenge to post everyday for 13 days in October … AND is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge!

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Today is also Save Our Marriage Saturday.

We have a tradition here at Affaircare. We call it “Save Our Marriage Saturday”–and we’re sharing the love.  Link-love that is!  Every Saturday we hold a link-up party so you can share a post of your own and we can all help each other to save our marriages!

Please share your post on any and all things related to saving your marriage after an affair, reconciling after you committed adultery, recovering your marriage after finding out that your spouse cheated, or keeping your marriage affair-free!

1. Please link to your actual “Save Our Marriage Saturday” post, not just the address to your blog or site home page.

2. Please leave me a comment–I would love to visit your site, return the favor, and follow you!

3. Please share the love with your fellow bloggers–Read and leave a comment on at least the two blogs above yours.

4. Please help me spread the word. Let’s create a community of Christian believers who want to bring glory to God by teaching our brothers and sisters about how to have a godly marriage, how to avoid the typical traps that lead to infidelity, and how to be a living testimony of forgiveness and reconciliation if one spouse is unfaithful.

5. Link back to this community, either by using the button below or a text link. You can find the button code here for you to insert in your post:

HTML CODE:

<a href=”http://affaircare.com/category/save-our-marriage-saturdays/”><img src=”http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh76/FaithfulWifeCJ/affaircare/lighthousetale2-1.jpg” style=”border:none;” />


I LINK TO THESE GODLY LINK-UPS:
Beholding Glory’s Blog Hop List, No Ordinary Blog Hop: Family-Parenting-Marriage , The Alabaster Jar-Marital Oneness Mondays, Revive Your Marriage MondaysTime-Warp Wife-Titus 2sdays, …to Love, Honor and Vacuum–Wifey Wednesdays, Unveiled WifeGrace Alone/Women Taking a Stand–Thankful Thursdays, and Beholding Glory–Faith Filled Fridays.

Back to Basics–Step 3 of 7 Steps To End An Affair

You’ve suspected for a while that something is not right between you and your spouse. Maybe they were spending lots of extra hours “at work” but there was no overtime on their paycheck. Maybe they completely changed their music, hairstyle, or clothing choices to something appropriate for someone decades younger. Maybe they were chatting or texting all the time and then deleted everything so you couldn’t see it.

Whatever the reasons, you had a sneaking suspicion something wasn’t right…

If you suspect your spouse is having an affair or is being emotionally unfaithful, do not despair. An affair does not have to mean the end of your marriage. In fact, consider this:

  • Approximately 20% of affairs last less than two months
  • Approximately 50% of affairs last more than one month, but less than a year.
  • The remaining 30% last more than a year
  • Very few last more than four years
  • Around 3% result in marriage

There are Seven Steps You Can Take to End an Affair if you have reason to believe your spouse may be unfaithful.  There is no guarantee your marriage will recover, but these steps will give you the best opportunity to recover after the affair ends.

Step 1) Gather Evidence.

Step 2) Confront.

Step 3) Disclose. When you have confronted your disloyal spouse about the affair and asked them to end it, and they either refuse to do so or have not done so (maybe they took it more “underground”), what’s the next step?  Well just to review, Matthew 18: 15-17  tells us specifically how to deal with a brother or sister who sins.  What closer brother or sister do you have than your own spouse? So let’s look to God‘s Word for the step we should take next.  Look specifically at verse 16:

15  If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.

16  But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’

17  If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

The next step you can take to end your spouse’s affair is to disclose the affair to ONE very respected authority whom your disloyal spouse  looks up to and may listen to.  See if you can find someone who is likely to be pro-marriage and tell your disloyal spouse that having an affair is not acceptable, and tell them that they should end it and work on the issues in the marriage!  This one person is possibly one of the disloyal spouse’s parents, a pastor or religious leader, a mentor or a lifelong friend. Meet with the one person in confidence; explain to them you expect them to keep it confidential but that you need help; and then explain that your spouse is having an affair and give them the facts. If you can, show them some of the evidence. Then ask the respected person to help you and give you any support they can offer to encourage your disloyal spouse to “come home.” The idea here to keep this to ONE specific person who is pro-marriage, wise, and trusted by both of you so that any potential for embarrassment is minimized and so your disloyal has the opportunity to “do the right thing.”

On the occasion a disloyal spouse will listen to the person they trust and respect, and end the affair.  Like the verse in Matthew says: “If they listen to you, you have won them over.”  If this is your case, consider yourself blessed.

If that is not how it works out for you, please bear in mind that sometimes the one respected person will let you down or will be hesitant to get involved, much less ask your spouse to end their affair.  That’s why we recommend that you choose this person as wisely as you possibly can!   If that is the case, please post a comment or post a Prayer Request and we’ll pray for you.  Thank God, He didn’t just leave us at this point, but the verses continue with the next step.  And so we will post tomorrow with Step 4.

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This is post #2 in the CMBA 1/2 Marathon Blogging Challenge to post everyday for 13 days in October … AND is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge!

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And on Wednesdays I also join these Godly Link-ups:

Bible Verses to Save Your Marriage After an Affair

Romans 6:23   “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 10:4  “Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”

John 3:16  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Romans 10:9-10  “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

If you really want to save your marriage after infidelity, the thing that will help the most is being a Christian.  Our nature is to be sinful people, and the “wages” of that sin–the consequence–is eternal separation from God.  We are spiritually dead.  If you want, you can envision drowned people in a huge sea.  The ocean is the sin that we are in, and since we are drowned, we are dead and powerless to help ourselves.  Thankfully, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to fulfill the Law and take the punishment of our sin in our place.  The price has been paid!  Those whom He has chosen, He picks them up from the death of drowning in sin, and He breathes life into them so they are able to believe and profess with their mouth that they have been saved from death!  So start here … with these verses. 

  

Matthew 19:26  “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

It may seem hopeless, and it may feel futile and discouraging, to hold on to a marriage after infidelity, but there is hope.  God can change a person from the inside out.

Mark 10:6-9   “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

These verses give us some background that marriage was something ordained by God.  They also tell us a lot of facts about what God thinks about marriage.  They say we are to leave the authority of our father and mother’s home.  They say we are supposed to have a physical relationship.  They say husbands and wives are united … we are ONE.  And it says right there that man does not have the authority to tear marriage apart–only God has that authority.  So let’s keep in mind what God thinks about marriage.

1 Corinthians 7:3-5  “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control”.

These verses show us that moral sexuality is pleasing to God.  Please note, however, that our sexuality is not self-centered–to get what we need–but rather SPOUSE-centered.  We are told our bodies belong to each other -AND- that we should not go without sex because we help each other with sexual self-control.  Have you been withholding sex to control your spouse?

1 Corinthians 10:13  “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

This is a promise.  God IS faithful and He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But note that it doesn’t say it will be easy or that you won’t be hurt.  It says that others have been tempted by the same stuff that is tempting you, and that God will give you a way to deal with it.

Galatians 6:9   “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Everyone gets tired…gets discouraged…feels dejected.  Do not give up.  Keep planting the seeds of doing good, even sometimes in the face of evil.  Do the right thing.

Ephesians 4:15  “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.”

This verse has to do with honesty and openness.  I’m sure you would LOVE it if your spouse or “soon-to-be-ex” was honest with you and openly let you into their life and heart.  But how honest are YOU with your spouse?  Do you “speak the truth” to them?  What about when you think they’ll get mad?  Do you lie to avoid their anger?  Speak the truth, lovingly.

Ephesians 4:32  “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

If you had gotten from God what you deserve, you would be spiritually dead.  If your spouse got from you what they deserve for their affair, they might be on the curb with divorce papers.  But God forgave you and gave you a way to be saved–can you forgive your spouse and give them a way to rebuild (if they are truly repentant)?

Philippians 4:13   “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

Oh this is probably one of the most misused verses in the Bible.  It DOES NOT mean that you can do whatever you want and God with give you the strength to do it.  It means that the things that please Him are not always easy…in fact it’s hard to resist our nature and live like a Christian!  But not only does God call us to obey, He also gives us the strength to do the things He asks.

Hebrews 10:24 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

Believe the best of your spouse, and actively encourage them to do the right thing, obey God, and stop doing what they know is wrong.

Hebrews 13:4  “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”

Just so you’re not believing those crazy justifications like “We were called together so we could serve in the Youth Group Ministry”–here’s a verse that says right out that God is not pleased with adultery.  So you’re not nuts.  God does not tell people to break their covenant and be unfaithful in order to serve Him–just the opposite really. 

James 1:19   “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

Did you notice something interesting?  It doesn’t say “No matter what, don’t ever, Ever, EVER become angry.”  It can be righteous to be angry, and anger handled correctly is not sinful.  But the big message here, of course, is to listen a lot more than you speak, and when you listen don’t just be plotting your response.

2 Peter 3:9  “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

The moment you sinned, God could have demanded the price from you immediately–He had the right.  But He was patient with your unfaithfulness to Him…and now you can model His behavior by being patient and giving your spouse every opportunity to do the right thing.

1 John 4:7-8  “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

Please do not be confused: Love is not the same as being a doormat.  Love does not mean “walk all over me.”  It means making the choice to act lovingly toward someone even with they are not acting too lovely, and it means doing what is in their best interests.  

Think of a parent who loves their child.  Does a loving parent just let their child steal a candybar in broad daylight from the grocery store?  OR does a loving parent see the theft and then let their child experience the repercussions of their action (taking the candy back, paying for it, being embarrassed) so that the child learns that stealing has painful ramifications?  If they let the child steal and just cover up the theft, the child will never learn the lesson!  

Same with adultery.  Being loving does not mean “pay no consequences”–it means that you will do what is loving and allow your adult spouse to live through the painful consequences to learn their lesson, but you don’t add vengeance and  spite.  Be loving–love them enough to do what is best for them.