Monthly Archives: May 2010

>The top seven reasons why military spouses are unfaithful

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Memorial Day is a day when we remember those who were killed in action while serving in the military and are reminded that “The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree.” ~Thomas Campbell. Since our site, Affaircare, specializes in infidelity—today we will take a break from our blogseries on Love Extinguishers to examine infidelity in military marriages during deployment.

First, let’s just be clear.  Not all soldiers who are deployed are unfaithful; many love their spouses and would never cheat!  Likewise many military spouses who stay home and live on base would never cheat on their soldier–so infidelity is not an assumption.  Still, in the comments following one article I read by an NBC war correspondent, the veterans and present military personnel state that their consensus of being unfaithful to significant others would be around 85% as an average!

So why do deployed military personnel and officers cheat? Why are their spouses, at home duty station, unfaithful? The reasons for military affairs are very similar to civilian affairs—being thousands of miles away from their loved one, the Love Kindlers diminish and the Love Extinguishers increase.  The one difference of note is that the order of the top reason is slightly different for the military due to the adrenalin/risk of being in battle conditions and not knowing if they might live or die. The top seven reasons why military spouses cheat:

1.ONE-NIGHT STAND/OPPORTUNITY–in an environment where drinking is unrestrained, personnel are young, death (themselves or their loved one) may be right around the corner, and the attitude is “what happens in the sand stays in the sand” or “my soldier will never find out”…when the opportunity presents itself, the spouse may go for it and their army buddies or army wives might cover for them.
2.EXCITEMENT AND ADVENTURE–in a life full of battle and adrenalin, or the drudgeries of caring for home and children all alone, the allure of an affair can be intense and exhilarating.
3.UNDERSTANDING AND COMPANIONSHIP–both the deployed soldier and the spouse at home find a shoulder to lean on, someone who understands what they’re going through, or a companion….and infidelity blossoms from that small seed.
4.FREEDOM/ESCAPE–wanting to escape the horrors of war or the shackles of life on base, a military spouse can easily turn to adultery as a way to “get away from it all.”
5.ATTENTION/ACKNOWLEDGMENT–they may be just another military spouse on base or just another private in the field, but in the arms of their torrid lover, they are built up so they fall into unfaithfulness.
6.REVENGE/TIT FOR TAT–they suspect their spouse was unfaithful to them and in return they seek comfort in someone else’s arms.
7.LUST/SEX–Hey the deployed soldier is away from his/her spouse for more than a year and sometimes for more than one deployment.  We are sexual beings.

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Love Extinguishers: Emotional Neglect

Love is a decision, not a feeling; it is a conscious choice to act in a loving way toward another person.  Love is an initiated action.  To understand what a Love Extinguisher is, you could read the Basic Concepts article to get a more indepth explanation.  Briefly, to help you envision the idea, think of the love in your marriage like a campfire.  The feelings of passion and interest are the fire.  Around the fire are the protective stones of your vow.
There are actions that people do that are likely to stoke the fire of love and make it hotter–those are Love Kindlers. Then there are actions that people do that are more likely to quench the fire of love like putting water on a fire–those are Love Extinguishers.  Some Love Extinguishers are like dribbles out of a holey bucket and only slightly decrease the blaze, but some are like dumping a big bucket of water on the fire. Actions that kill the fires of your love are Love Extinguishers.  Over the next two weeks, we’ll be going over one Love Extinguisher every weekday to examine them more fully.  Today’s Love Extinguisher is:
1.  Emotional Neglect–this would be neglecting your spouse’s need for you to be sensitive to what they are feeling.  We are not responsible for our spouse’s emotions–that is a choice they make–but we can be sensitive to the emotions they are experiencing.  When we become calloused to what they are feeling and treat our spouses with emotional harshness, it becomes the Love Extinguisher of Emotional Neglect.
  • Scorekeeper–this is the tendency to “keep track” of who is getting what from the marriage.  Usually the scorekeeper starts to become resentful of doing things for their spouse, like picking up their dirty clothes or putting their dishes in the sink.  You may feel like your spouse is taking advantage of you, and you’re not receiving as much out of the marriage as you are giving.  Usually the scorekeeper is much more aware of the negative and fails to notice any positive actions or gestures.
  • Fault Finder–by definition this is a person who makes a practice of discovering the faults of their spouse and censuring them; a scold; one who is given to petty criticism and constant complaint.  Usually the fault-finder tells their spouse what they *should* be doing and sends the message to their spouse that not only do they disagree with what you’re doing but also you didn’t meet their standard.  Fault-finders often say “You should have known…” or will counter attack if they feel criticized.
  • Controller–someone who is a controller rarely thinks of themselves that way until they realize one thing:  Their spouse is an entire individual, separate from them, whose views and ideas and opinions and ways of doing things are JUST as valid as theirs!  A controller will manipulate the environment (and any people in the environment) to get what they want.  Controllers can be aggressive or passive, but both will want to dictate every single moment of their spouse’s life to get the results they want.
  • Bottomless Pit–this person thinks of their spouse as “too needy” and thus they retreat and withhold love, affection and attention. This sends their spouse into emotional deprivation and intensifies the need, and the bottomless pit withholds based on the theory that if they did give love, affection and attention…it would never be enough.  The flip side of this Love Extinguisher is the spouse who actually *IS* so low in self-esteem and self-worth that they constantly pursue their husband or wife night and day for “reassurance.”  They want their spouse to “make” them feel lovable, and since that comes from within (and not from your spouse), the result is emotionally draining the spouse.
After the wedding bells are over and the honeymoon bliss wears off, sometimes life can creep in and without meaning to, slowly but surely more Love Extinguishers creep in while Kindlers decrease…the fire can begin to fade.  To find out which Love Extinguishers you may be doing, please go to the Love Extinguisher Questionnaire and ask your spouse to fill it out–or fill it out as if you were in their shoes.

>What is a Love Extinguisher?

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Love is a decision, not a feeling; it is a conscious choice to act in a loving way toward another person.  Love is an initiated action.  To understand what a Love Extinguisher is, you could read the Basic Concepts article to get a more indepth explanation.  Briefly, to help you envision the idea, think of the love in your marriage like a campfire.  The feelings of passion and interest are the fire.  Around the fire are the protective stones of your vow.  You can choose to do actions that build the fire or you can choose to do actions that put out the fire–but even when the fire is out, there is still the protective barrier of the vow so that the fire could be rebuilt.
There are actions that people do that are likely to stoke the fire of love and make it hotter–those are Love Kindlers. When you make the decision to love, you choose to act in a way that is likely to kindle feelings of interest and passion; so you decide to act in a loving way.  Just as adding fuel to a fire keeps it burning–making it brighter and hotter–so concentrating on Kindlers, making them part of your daily interactions with each other, builds the fire of passion in your marriage. 
Then there are actions that people do that are more likely to quench the fire of love like putting water on a fire–those are Love Extinguishers.  When you do not act in love, you may choose to act in a way that is likely to extinguish feelings of interest and passion.  Some Love Extinguishers are like dribbles out of a holey bucket and only slightly decrease the blaze, but some are like dumping a big bucket of water on the fire. Concentrating on Love Extinguishers, making them part of your daily interactions, will smother the fire of love and eventually put it out.  Actions that kill the fires of your love are Love Extinguishers.
When we first meet the person we love, it’s natural to invest a lot of Kindlers and have very few Love Extinguishers–partly because there are not yet kids, bills, and some of the pressures of living together.  After the wedding bells are over and the honeymoon bliss wears off, sometimes life can creep in and without meaning to, slowly but surely more Love Extinguishers creep in while Kindlers decrease…the fire can begin to fade. When you choose to act in love and kindle the fire, that is honoring your commitment.  When you choose to stop acting in love and extinguish the fire, that is neglecting your commitment–so we use the term “Neglect.”  Here are some of the Love Extinguishers that are the most common, and a few examples under each type:
1.  Emotional Neglect
Scorekeeper
Fault Finder
Controlling
Bottomless Pit 
2. Spiritual Neglect
Will Not Forgive
Lack of Personal Transparency
Smoke and Mirrors
Disrespectful Judgements
3.  Physical Neglect
No Tender Touches (Hugs, Kisses, Touches)
Withholding Sexual Fulfillment
Abandoning Physical Attractiveness
4.  Financial Neglect
Ongoing Unemployment (that is not part of a mutual agreement)
Unwilling/Unable to Live by a Budget
Hidden Debt
Hidden Spending or Overspending
IRS or Legal Financial Trouble (Judgements, Liens)
5.  Family Neglect
Refusing to Leave and Cleave
Not Making Time for Personal Adult Time
Not Making Time for Each Child-Child Rearing
Inequitable Distribution of Household Chores
Getting Too Comfortable–Giving Up
6.  Social Neglect
Irritating Habits (Discourteous)
Independent Behavior
Not Sharing Activities or Free Time Together
The Silent Treatment or Not Listening Actively
7.  Security Neglect
Angry Explosions
Attack Dog (Verbal/Emotional Abuse)
Passive Warmonger (Passive-Aggressive)
Physical Abuse
Not Being a Safe Haven
To find out which Love Extinguishers you may be doing, please go to the Love Extinguisher Questionnaire and ask your spouse to fill it out–or fill it out as if you were in their shoes.  Over the next two weeks, we’ll be going over one Love Extinguisher every weekday to examine them more fully. 

>Putting the Kids to Bed: Balancing Kid Needs and Adult Needs

>Last Week: In case you missed it, Let’s Go Out: Dates to bring you closer together by my friends Tony and Alisa DiLorenzo at ONE Extraordinary Marriage.

What you are about to read is only one piece of a 27-chapter collaborative e-book written to help you learn how to make your marriage extraordinary amongst the chaos of life. After reading this post, be sure to download a complete copy of LOVE EVERYDAY absolutely free!
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CHAPTER 27–Putting the Kids to Bed
Balancing Kid Needs and Adult Needs

It’s time for bed, the kids need to be bathed and tucked in, and the adults need time for themselves and as lovers. As a couple who want to keep the love light burning bright, how can a couple balance the needs of their children with their needs as individuals and life-long lovers? How can spouses find balance in a world that has almost unending demands?

To love EVERY DAY, a couple needs to take steps to help balance their adult needs with the needs of their family.

First, prioritize and simplify personal, marital and family commitments. Sit down together and determine your values (what is important to both of you), your goals (what you’d like to do or work toward), and how to contribute towards them with a proactive approach. Lists are one easy way to prioritize, and “the four quadrants” method can really help!

Separate each item on the commitments list into: Urgent and Important (my e-book article is due in an hour); Important but Not Urgent (I need to prepare a webinar for next month); Urgent but Not Important (my library books need to be returned today); Not Important and Not Urgent (play Farmville on Face-book).

From the list, separate them into a list for personal, one for your marriage, and one for family…and then drop one thing from each list.

Another way to simplify is to set limits–there is a limit to the time and energy, so find balance by establishing a limit. Dear Hubby and I have seven children who naturally all want to be in extracurricular activities. We set the limit at one activity per child. Drop things from the to-do list that aren’t absolutely essential.

After priorities have been identified, and life has been simplified, it’s time to create a schedule and make time for each aspect of life. Actually carve out time and schedule personal time, partner time, and family time in that order.

Personal time can be a time for each person to pursue their hobbies and take care of himself or herself! Partner time can be a set amount of quiet time to be together to catch up, hold hands, and reconnect. Partner time is just as vital as a meeting or projects at work, so if you are scheduled to be together, don’t reschedule it. Finally, find time for the family–for both their activities and to give undivided attention to each child.

The final step is to take the time to enhance non-sexual intimacy and stoke the fires of love. Treat your partner as your best friend. Respect them as an individual. Be patient. Exercise some manners and be courteous. Make them feel special. Share yourself openly. Celebrate life together and LAUGH! Listen to what they say. Doing these things to enhance non-sexual intimacy will be a giant step forward to enhancing sexual intimacy…and, BOY, it is vital to maintain a physical relationship–in big ways and small.

A fulfilling sex life is KEY to balancing the stresses of personal, professional, and family life and is one area that couples often put aside because they are “too tired.” Do not fall into this trap. You make the effort for work and for your children, and it is vital to make the effort for your marriage. Run away together, and leave the kids at home. It will teach the children that the loving marriage relationship between a husband and a wife is just as important as the relationship with them.
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Next Week: Don’t forget to check out First Cup of Coffee: Awaken Your Relationship all week on Corey Allan on Simple Marriage!

If you loved this article, here’s what you can do:

1) Please share this free download with your family and friends. Click here on LOVE EVERYDAY to get your free download copy today!

2) Check out Tony and Alisa’s chapter by clicking on the link at the beginning of this article, and while you’re there, check out their blog! They care deeply about helping you have a marriage that’s not just okay…it’s EXTRAORDINARY.

3) Check out [name’s] chapter next week and while you’re there, take a peek at their blog too. I’m blessed to work with some very caring people.

4) Finally if you enjoy this article, show some support for Affaircare by subscribing to the RSS feed or signing up for our newsletter so we can help you keep your marriage affair-free.

>The Final Step to Ending Your Spouse’s Affair.

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There are seven specific steps you can take if you have reason to believe your spouse may be unfaithful. Last week we went over the first six steps in greater detail so that you have the best chance possible of ending the affair and saving your marriage. There is no guarantee your marriage will recover, but these steps will give you the best opportunity to recover after the affair ends.

The first six steps, again, are: 1) Gather Evidence. 2) Confront. 3) Disclose. 4) Expose. 5) Carrot & Stick. 6) Consequences. If you have gone through all six of these steps and the affair is still continuing, most likely your disloyal spouse will be either pushing for a “quickie divorce” to legitimize their affair or might possibly have retained an attorney to start the divorce process.


Step 7) Legal Separation.
The final step that I’d recommend before divorce is a legal separation. To be blunt, many affairs die a natural death within two years, so if a loyal spouse can stall for that amount of time, there is a good chance that the disloyal spouse would at least consider returning. Thus, as a tactic that will both stall the legal process of divorce and protect both the family assets and the loyal spouse and children, I would recommend a minimum of one year legal separation. Now I am not an attorney, so I don’t give this as legal advice, but during a legal separation, arrangements are made and enforced by the courts regarding who stays where, issues like child support and visitation are addressed, and finances are itemized somewhat and secured. Thus, the disloyal spouse would have a very realistic idea of the costs of a divorce and realistically find out that divorcing is not “free” but rather that it WILL cost them things that they hold dear. Meanwhile, the children will be provided for and bank accounts will not be raided.

During the legal separation, the loyal spouse should continue to work on eliminating love extinguishers and once again reclaiming love kindlers. Both parties can attend individual counseling or go to support groups, but the loyal spouse can also suggest marriage counseling or begin to date the disloyal again. The disloyal spouse may push for a “quickie” divorce in an attempt to introduce their affair partner and try to make their relationship legitimate. If the disloyal does push for divorce or file, most states in the USA now do not require grounds. They call that “irreconcilable differences.” The loyal spouse can indicate to the court that they do not agree it is “irreconcilable” and request 60 days of court-ordered marriage counseling. In the states that do have grounds, a loyal spouse can also declare the grounds in their response, and that will also slow things down. But if nothing else, a legal separation will give all parties involved a chance to recover from the emotional rollercoaster and a likely chance of the affair bubble being burst so that it crashes and burns naturally. It’s awful, I know…but stall. When the affair does end, it’s conceivable the disloyal may still decide they would rather stay apart, but at that point with all good conscience the loyal spouse will have literally done all they could to save their marriage.

Once the affair ends, there is still more work to be done to recover the marriage…but that will be another post!

>Steps Five and Six to Ending Your Spouse’s Affair

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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…

There are seven specific steps you can take if you have reason to believe your spouse may be unfaithful. This week we’ll be going over two steps in more detail every day: on Tuesday I considered the first two steps, yesterday we looked at steps three and four, and today we are examining the next two steps. There is no guarantee your marriage will recover, but these steps will give you the best opportunity to recover after the affair ends.

Step 5) Carrot & Stick. In this phase you focus on two things: work on yourself to be the person you once were who attracted your spouse again AND allow your disloyal to experience the natural consequences of their choices. You work on yourself by eliminating the things that extinguished love (Love Exinguishers Questionnaire) between you two (like judging, angry explosions, enough is never enough) and by re-starting the things that kindled love (Love Kindlers Questionnaire) between you two (like romantic doo-dads). You need to do BOTH…but eliminating love extinguishers is the most important of the two. The idea here is that the disloyal is getting some of their needs met by the Other Person but you want them to see that you do “get it” and that you are an attractive alternative able to meet their needs.

The second part is about NATURAL consequences. This doesn’t mean that you punish the disloyal, but rather, nope–you are not leaving the house so they can move their lover in. If the disloyal wants to be with their lover, they’ll need to move out and nope the kids do not go with them. There is no reason for the children to leave their home, their bed, their neighborhood, their friends, their school because the disloyal is with the OP–so a natural consequence there is that the disloyal loses some time with their children. That’s the cost of choosing to have an affair and what WILL happen if they choose to divorce. Allow them to experience that hurt because it will teach them faster that affairs HURT and cost A LOT!!

You should know that this step is not “long term” because no one can give and give and give forever when an affair is being rubbed in their face. Eventually the time would come for you to say, “I’ve done what I could to win you over and now I need to move to the next step before I lose all love for you.” Sometimes a disloyal spouse sort of sits on the fence in this step because they are getting needs met by two folks. On the occasion there are disloyal spouses whose affair just die a natural death–like the Other Person just gets sick of it and leaves them–or they begin to see the good of staying and how much leaving would hurt…and they think maybe that too much water has passed under the bridge. Periodically let your disloyal know that you would love to have them back and work on the marriage. Invite them to return. If this is your case, consider yourself blessed and move to the phase of recovering your marriage!! If it is not, move to the next step.


Step 6) Consequences. In this step you write the disloyal a letter and explain that you love them, admit the things you did to contribute to the affair, indicate what you’re doing to end those things, and then say that unless they end ALL contact with the OP and never, EVER contacts the OP again, you need to end all contact with the disloyal. The idea behind this step is to give them a more realistic taste of what divorce could be like–to not have you in their life to meet ANY needs! They also can no longer depend on you for those little household chores, blame you for the day’s events, nothing. For some Sample Consequences Letters please click on the link. For some practicalities, if you have children one of the common things a female disloyal will pull is wanting the loyal to do things “…for the children” when really it’s to meet one of her needs. In the Consequences Step, it is already set up ahead of time that there is an intermediary or buffer between the disloyal and loyal spouse. This can be a person who agrees to do it…this can be a notebook that the children carry in their backpack when they go between houses… or it can be a something like the Parenting Notebook which was created to assist custodial and noncustodial parents communicate. By no means is the loyal spouse to accept phone calls or read IM’s or emails. If the disloyal calls the loyal says, “Are you calling because you’re ready to end the affair? Oh you’re not. Then please respect my wished for no contact until you’re ready to do that. Goodbye” and hang up. Undoubtedly by this point life is not going great for the disloyal as they persist in doing what they know is wrong, and so they need to have someone in their life whom they can blame for everything that’s going wrong. If the loyal spouse is the one getting the blame a) that extinguishes a lot of love for the loyal spouse and b) that give the disloyal spouse somewhere to displace the blame rather than looking at themselves and their own choices! So it is necessary for this time of no contact in order to maintain what little bit of love the loyal spouse may still have and allow the disloyal to take personal responsibility for their choices as soon as possible.

Again, in this stage there are occasionally disloyal spouses whose affair just die a natural death–like the OP 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 it is not, move to the final step.

>Steps Three and Four to Ending Your Spouse’s 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…

There are seven specific steps you can take if you have reason to believe your spouse may be unfaithful. This week we’ll be going over two steps in more detail every day; yesterday we looked at steps one and two, and today we are examining steps three and four. There is no guarantee your marriage will recover, but these steps will give you the best opportunity to recover after the affair ends.

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”), the next step is to disclose the affair to ONE very respected authority whom the disloyal is likely to look up to and listen to…someone who is likely to be pro-marriage and tell the disloyal that having an affair is not acceptable…that they should end it and work on the issues in their marriage. This one person is possibly one of the disloyal spouse’s parents, a pastor or religious leader, a teacher or boss. 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 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.” As an alternative, if you would like assistance with this step, we here at Affaircare can help you talk to your spouse. On the occasion there are disloyal spouses who will listen to the person they trust and respect, and end the affair. If this is your case, consider yourself blessed and move to the phase of recovering your marriage!! If it is not, move to next step.


Step 4) Exposure. When someone that your disloyal spouse respects has spoken to them about the affair and encouraged them to end it, but they have hardened their heart and refuse to end it, the next step is to expose the affair to those who will likely be affected by a potential divorce. The idea behind exposure is not to drag your disloyal spouse’s name and reputation through the mud (their ACTIONS are doing that!) but rather to refuse to keep the affair a “secret” and to bring the ugly truth of the unfaithfulness to the light of day. In many ways an affair is like an addiction, and in the disloyal’s mind they may be thinking something like, “Oh yes we might be disrupting four people’s lives, but don’t I deserve some happiness too?” What they DON’T realize is that a divorce will not affect four people–it will be a like the ever-widening wake of a nuclear bomb, affecting possibly hundreds of people! For this step though, there will be a focus to the exposure. The loyal spouse should contact their own family (parents and siblings), the disloyal’s parents and siblings, their church or place of worship, some of the loyal spouse’s co-workers, some of the disloyal spouse’s co-workers, the loyal spouse’s employer, the disloyal spouse’s co-workers, and the other person’s spouse and inform them that the disloyal spouse is having an affair, that it is serious, that the marriage is in trouble, and ask for help. The focus and main concern here is to contact those who may be harmed by the affair, give the facts, and ask them either to support the loyal or talk to the disloyal and tell them to return to the marriage. And by the way–YES you speak to your employer so they know why you seem distracted, cry at work, and aren’t as productive–and you contact the disloyal’s employer because they are seriously in jeopardy of a sexual harrassment lawsuit! Their property, time, and resources are being used for unwanted sexual contact (you, as the spouse, do not want it) and they need to address it or they could be sued. And YES you contact the other person’s spouse and ask, “Are you aware that my spouse is having an affair with your spouse? I have evidence…” Nothing ends an affair faster than the OP’s spouse screaming and putting their foot down!

Now, your disloyal is likely to be pretty upset with you for exposing their affair. A) Affairs are much more “fun” when they are a clandestine romantic rendevous and not brought to the truth of being adultery! And B) you are trying to cut them off from the drug they are “addicted” to-the affair. But just like you sometimes have to endure the fury of an addicted friend in an intervention–it’s for their own good and the hope is that once the addiction is broken, they will see and appreciate what you did. Your marriage can survive your disloyal spouse’s anger–it can not survive ongoing adultery. On the occasion there are disloyal spouses who realize that everyone knows about their affair–and the OP’s spouse screams and puts a stop to it–and the affair is killed. If this is your case, consider yourself blessed and move to the phase of recovering your marriage!! If it is not, move to the next step.

>The First Two Step You Can Take to End Your Spouse’s Affair

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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…

There are seven specific steps you can take if you have reason to believe your spouse may be unfaithful. This week we’ll be going over two steps in more detail every day, and today it’s step one and two. 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. Just to be clear, it is very typical for the disloyal spouse to deny they are having an affair, even if you walk in and catch them “in the act” so to speak. They jump up and as they’re putting their clothes on they’ll say “It’s not what it looks like!” So this step is not so much to use as proof to make the disloyal spouse confess, so much as it is proof to the loyal spouse that they are not making a mountain out of a molehill…something REALLY IS going on. So if you suspect, keep an open mind and gather evidence to either prove or disprove your theory. In some states it is illegal to tape someone without their knowledge so you may want to check your state’s laws on electronic surveillance. Click here for links to your state’s electronic surveillance laws. In general some typical “evidence” could be looking at emails if the disloyal leaves their email open (print them!), looking at the cell phone pictures and texts if their phone is left unlocked, or logging onto your joint cell phone bill online and looking for 2000 minutes to the same phone number.


Step 2) Confront. Once the loyal spouse is convinced that there is an emotional or physical affair, the first step is to go to the disloyal directly and tell them to their face that you know about the affair and have evidence in a safe place that proves it’s real irrefutably. Don’t tell them where it is or what it is necessarily, just make the statement that you know about it. Then state right out loud that in order for the marriage to work there can not be infidelity and ask them point blank to end the affair. Ending the affair means that they can never, EVER contact the other person ever again, and they agree to be accountable for their time by sharing passwords to their accounts (facebook, all email accounts, cell phones…etc.). On the occasion there are disloyal spouses who will fall apart just upon being discovered and who have been looking for a way to get out of it but didn’t know how. If this is your case, consider yourself blessed and move to the phase of recovering your marriage!! If it is not, move to the next step.

>Seven Steps You Can Take to End the 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 specific steps you can take if you have reason to believe your spouse may be unfaithful. This week we’ll be going over two steps in more detail every day so that you have the best chance possible of ending the affair and saving your marriage. There is no guarantee your marriage will recover, but these steps will give you the best opportunity to recover after the affair ends–and consider this:

Step 1) Gather evidence. This step is not so much to use as proof to make the disloyal spouse confess, so much as it is proof to the loyal spouse that they are not making a mountain out of a molehill…something REALLY IS going on. In some states it is illegal to tape someone without their knowledge so you may want to check your state’s laws on electronic surveillance.

Step 2) Confront. Once the loyal spouse is convinced that there is an emotional or physical affair, the first step is to go to the disloyal directly and tell them to their face that you know about the affair and have evidence in a safe place that proves it’s real irrefutably. Then state right out loud that in order for the marriage to work there can not be infidelity and ask them point blank to end the affair.

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”), the next step is to disclose the affair to ONE very respected authority whom the disloyal is likely to look up to and listen to…someone who is likely to be pro-marriage and tell the disloyal that having an affair is not acceptable…that they should end it and work on the issues in their marriage. This one person is possibly one of the disloyal spouse’s parents, a pastor or religious leader, a teacher or boss.

Step 4) Exposure. When someone that your disloyal spouse respects has spoken to them about the affair and encouraged them to end it, but they have hardened their heart and refuse to end it, the next step is to expose the affair to those who will likely be affected by a potential divorce. The idea behind exposure is not to drag your disloyal spouse’s name and reputation through the mud (their ACTIONS are doing that!) but rather to refuse to keep the affair a “secret” and to bring the ugly truth of the unfaithfulness to the light of day. The focus and main concern here is to contact those who may be harmed by the affair, give the facts, and ask them either to support the loyal or talk to the disloyal and tell them to return to the marriage. And YES you contact the other person’s spouse and ask, “Are you aware that my spouse is having an affair with your spouse? I have evidence…” Nothing ends an affair faster than the OP’s spouse screaming and putting their foot down!

Step 5) Carrot & Stick. In this phase you focus on two things: work on yourself to be the person you once were who attracted your spouse again AND allow your disloyal to experience the natural consequences of their choices. You work on yourself by eliminating the things that extinguished love between you two (like judging, angry explosions, enough is never enough) and by re-starting the things that kindled love between you two (like romantic doo-dads). You need to do BOTH…but eliminating love extinguishers is the most important of the two.

You should know that this step is not “long term” because no one can give and give and give forever when an affair is being rubbed in their face. Eventually the time would come for you to say, “I’ve done what I could to win you over and now I need to move to the next step before I lose all love for you.” But…do periodically let your disloyal know that you would love to have them back and work on the marriage. Invite them to return. .

Step 6) Consequences. In this step you write the disloyal a letter and explain that you love them, admit the things you did to contribute to the affair, indicate what you’re doing to end those things, and then say that unless they end ALL contact with the OP and never, EVER contacts the OP again, you need to end all contact with the disloyal. The idea behind this step is to give them a more realistic taste of what divorce could be like–to not have you in their life to meet ANY needs! They also can no longer depend on you for those little household chores, blame you for the day’s events, nothing.

Step 7) Legal Separation. The final step that I’d recommend before divorce is a legal separation. To be blunt, many affairs die a natural death within two years, so if a loyal spouse can stall for that amount of time, there is a good chance that the disloyal spouse would at least consider returning. Thus, as a tactic that will both stall the legal process of divorce and protect both the family assets and the loyal spouse and children, I would recommend a legal separation and suggest a minimum of one year legal separation.

Once the affair is over, there is still more work to be done to recover the marriage…but that will be another post! Tomorrow we’ll write about Step 1 and Step 2, so stay please join us for the full series.

What do you do now?

1) To view the longer, more detailed, full article “Seven Steps You Can Take to End the Affair” please click on our Articles Tab here on the website.

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3) If you need more help or want to talk to us personally, you can email us at coachcj@affaircare.com or david@affaircare.com and we’d be happy to work with you.