Today the AffairCare blog is changing. Our very first post was way back in June 2007 when we first got the domain and the idea for AffairCare, but for a couple years the blog sat quiet. We became re-inspired just last year in December 2009, and we’ve been posting regularly every since (so yes–next month is our one year anniversary). So far, we’ve posted mostly article-type posts on infidelity, marriage, and how to recover if your marriage experiences an affair. But today, we are growing once again. We are changing our format a little to make this blog more personal–talk about the day-to-day struggle of staying faithful in today’s world. We’ll talk about our own story, ask others to contribute, and especially discuss thoughts on Christianity and infidelity. So let me tell you about the new style and a few terms we use regularly.
In our new style, rather than having “yet another place to post articles” (not that articles aren’t nice), we thought it might help other couples to know they weren’t alone if we posted some of our normal, daily thoughts. Obviously Dear Hubby and I are not perfect, and anyone who knows us at all can testify to that! But if we hope to teach you how to navigate this, we thought it might be reassuring to read real couples, really struggling, really addressing it head on: What does a loyal spouse REALLY think and feel? How about the Disloyal Spouse? How does all this relate to God? Is it SUPPOSED to be like this–or is it at least normal? So we’ll be sharing some of our observations or thoughts, sharing some of our own story, and asking other folks we know who are “in the trenches” with us to write honestly and openly about what’s on their mind. Some will be educators like us–some will be loyal spouses who recovered their marriage–some will be a person who’s marriage did not survive but THEY recovered as a person.
Now for our commonly used terminology, here are the most frequently used terms:
The Fire of Love–The love in your marriage is like a campfire. There are actions that people do to stoke the fire of love and make it hotter, and there are actions that people do that are like putting water on a fire.
Love Kindlers–Actions that people do to stoke the fire of love and make it hotter–those are Love Kindlers. Much as adding fuel to a fire keeps it burning, makes it brighter and warmer, so concentrating on Kindlers, making them part of your daily interaction, builds the flame of love into a blaze in your marriage.
Love Extinguishers–Actions that people do that are like putting water on a fire; some are like dribbles out of a holey bucket, and some are like dumping a big bucket of water on the fire. Smothering a fire will eventually put it out. Actions that kill the fires of your love are Love Extinguishers.
Loyal Spouse–Abbreviated LS, this is the spouse that did not cheat.
Disloyal Spouse–Abbreviated DS, this is the spouse that did cheat.
Other Person–Abbreviated OP (or OW for Other Woman, OM or TOM for The Other Man), this is the affair partner with whom the DS cheated.
Physical Affair–This concept is a little easier to define: this is infidelity that involves a physical component, usually having sex. Kissing, hugging, touching, holding hands, “making out” or necking also would all count.
Emotional Affair–We define it as any time your spouse does not give you 100% of their affection and loyalty. This category *can* include such things as cyber-sex, internet flirting, or financial infidelity.
The 7 Steps–On our website, we have two articles that this might refer to (depending on the context):”The 7 Steps to Ending an Affair” or “The 7 Steps to Returning to Your Marriage”
Our website–This refers to our doman in the internet! www.affaircare.com
Our Book–This refers to the book David and I wrote together: “Affaircare: Caring for Your Marriage After an Affair”
Personality Test–The Myers-Briggs Personality type test. We have a link on our site and you can find it on http://www.personalitypage.com
Love Language–Dr. Gary Chapman’s five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, Physical Touch. People hear “I love you” in different ways!
Commitment/Covenant–Beyond just the dictionary definitions of these words, these two concepts are the linchpin of our work. Marriage is more than a fancy party and then living together. It is a covenant between the spouses and God in which both volunteer to give their spouse 100% of their affection and loyalty. Most “vows” include “…forsaking all others…” and “…for better, for worse; richer and poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live” so this is a lifetime promise. Infidelity is breaking that promise.
Marriage–When a man and a woman make a committed covenant before God and in public in front of witnesses. The ideas here might be helpful for relationships in other configurations, but we just would not call those “marriages.”
Christian–A believer who has been saved by the grace of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ‘s death…and nothing else. It’s not a “denomination” or by “being a good person” but 100% by the gift of God and not through works or attending a certain “church.”
christian–In the USA people are sort of “christian by default” in that we are not Hindu or Jewish by default. If a person is born here and never goes to church or believes…they may consider themselves a christian.
Disloyal Dizziness/Fog–This describes the mindset an LS will see when the DS is actively involved in the affair, and what comes out of the DS’s mouth is just so “not them” it’s shocking. The LS might wonder, “Do you even *hear* what just came out of your mouth?” This kind of unclear thinking tends to occur when faults in the marriage or spouse are magnified and positives are minimized–while positives in the affair or OP are magnified and their faults are minimized or unnoticed. This is so the DS can justify their behavior and continue doing what they know is wrong. Very typically, the DS claims abuse of some kind. This term is not to say that it’s “not real” or “isn’t happening” but rather is a way to identify this phenomena.
Evil Twin–This term is a description only and does not imply that “all DS are evil.” This term is when the LS knows their spouse (the DS) for 10, 15, 20 years or more and the DS’s behavior while in the affair is “not like them.” It looks like the DS and sounds like the DS, but it is as if another person is in their body. Again, this term is a way to identify the phenomena.
MUU–An abbreviation for Mutual United Understanding. When a couple is working on rebuilding after an affair, one of the first agreements they need to make is to always reach a MUU before making any decision. This means that they will consider their spouse, ask for input and requests, and they will negotiate until they reach an understanding about which they are both enthusiastic. This ensures that you are not controlling your spouse, you are considering your spouse, and you are working together as a team!
W-T-F-S–An abbreviation for “When you…I Think…I Feel…So I’d like to ask…” This is a skill we suggest to our couples when they need to respectfully bring up a somewhat difficult topic. You identify the behavior that is an issue (When you…); you express your thoughts (in case your spouse is a Thinker) and your feelings (in case your spouse is a Feeler) so your spouse can relate and so you are showing your spouse the Real You; and you make a request for what would fix the problem or help you feel better (So I’d like to ask…).
Dear Hubby–That would be my special nickname for my eternally patient, gentle, INTJ spouse, David. I usually call him “Dear Hubby” when I write.