Monthly Archives: June 2012

Signs Your Spouse May be Cheating

You’ve suspected for days, maybe weeks.  Something is wrong or off between you and your spouse, and you’re beginning to wonder if maybe they might be…. NO! That’s not possible.  Other people have affairs, not you two; what you have is special. Then again there was that thing last week, and when you brought it up, your spouse twisted it around as if YOU were the one with the jealousy issue!  ”You’re just being paranoid–you’re crazy for thinking like that!” they said.  Still there’s that nagging doubt in your mind.

Here are some of the signs of a spouse that may be cheating.  These behaviors are only some of the indicators of a cheating spouse!  If your spouse has one or two of these behaviors, and there is a legitimate reason and a mutual agreement (such as you two talk about it and agree to try to lose weight…and they’ve gone a little obsessive about it), these signs do NOT prove infidelity.  But when you observe several, or maybe MOST, of these behaviors, your marriage may be in trouble!  Again, let me reiterate that these behaviors are only some of the indicators of  an affair–to see “ALL the Signs Your Spouse May be Cheating,” please click on the link to see our article!

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The Classic Clue:
When you see lipstick on your husband’s shirt or strange hairs on their clothing or in the car.

1–Some of the ‘Gut Instinct’ signs:

  • The telltale sign of a cheating spouse? Having to ask that question in the first place.
  • Your intuition (gut feeling) tells you that something is not right.

2–Some of the ‘Behavior That Is Not Their Usual Character’ signs:

  • When your partner shows up without their wedding ring
  • When your mate becomes suddenly forgetful and you have to tell him/her everything several times; their thoughts are obviously elsewhere.
  • When your wife sleeps with her purse by the bed.
  • When they encourage you to have a social life and go places out of town, and it seems like they’re trying to get you “out of the house.”

3–Some of the ‘Birth Control’ signs:

  • When you find birth-control pills in the medicine cabinet, and you’ve had a vasectomy -OR-
  • When you find condoms in the car or in his pockets, and you are on the pill.

4–Some of the ‘Showering/Cologne’ signs:

  • When they arrive home and head straight into the shower or bath, and they work an office job.
  • When he or she has worn the same fragrance for years, and suddenly they are wearing something new and wearing MUCH more than usual.

5–Some of the ‘Uncomfortable Around You’ signs:

  • When your mutual friends start acting strangely toward you, because they either know about the cheating or have been told stories about what a horrible spouse you are.
  • When your spouse avoids social events with you, as if they want to cover up that they are with you.

6–Some of the ‘Electronic Clues’ signs:
Email clues~

  • When your spouse spends all their time on the email, checking their email, or fooling with email somehow.
  • When your husband or wife suddenly deletes all emails from the email account (and it’s not just a clean up) and in the past they used to let them accumulate.

Cell phone clues~

  • When you aren’t allowed to ever look at or use their cell phone, and they go to great lenghts to make certain their cell is not answered by you.
  • When your spouse is secretive about their cell phone and it is on their person 24/7, and they are on it talking or texting that whole time.

Computer signs~

  • When they stay up to “work” or “play a game” on the computer after you go to bed. Excessive internet usage, especially late at night, is a red flag.
  • When your spouse will not allow you access to their computer or they suddenly shut down the computer when you walk into the room.

7–Some of the ‘Things Are Just Different at Home’ signs:

  • When he/she shows a sudden interest in a different type of music that they really disliked before.
  • When he/she has a definite change in attitude towards everyone in the home…including the children.
  • When they talk to you they treat you abusively or with disdain, disrespect or excessive sarcasm. Or. . . they may begin to find fault in everything you do in an attempt to justify their affair.

8–Some of the ‘Lots and Lots of Changes’ signs:

  • When s/he joins the gym and begins a rigorous workout program and “hated” exercise before.
  • Her: When she gets spiffed up and dresses provocatively to “go grocery shopping” or to “get her hair done.” She may also show up with a sudden change of hair style. Him: When he showers, shaves (cologne, deodorant, etc.) and dresses up more than usual to “go out with his buddies” or to “go fishing.”

9–Some of the ‘Telephone Mannerisms That Are Different’ signs:

  • When your phone bills show unexplained toll or long distance charges. Often you’ll find one phone number listed excessively.
  • When they behave differently or end the telephone call abruptly when you enter the room…or appear to hang up quickly.

10–Some of the ‘Automobile Related Clues That Something is Up’ signs:

  • When you find suspicious items in the car like phone numbers, receipts, lipstick, condoms or strange hairs in the vehicle.
  • When s/he “goes to the store for groceries” or “goes to get some gas” or “goes to the bank” (a task that should take just a few minutes) and comes home 5 hours later.
  • When you notice increased gas purchases that are inconsistent with the amount of miles on the car.

11–Some of the ‘Paper Trails of a Cheating Spouse’ signs:

  • When you find credit card receipts for gifts you didn’t receive -OR- your credit card bills itemizes gifts you didn’t receive (such as florist or jewelry).
  • When you find ATM receipts bearing a time/date stamp from a city you don’t recognize. [Cheating costs money! To play you must pay.]
  • When they begin to volunteer to go to the post office, rushes to check the mail before you do or opens up a new P.O. box perhaps without even telling you.

12–Some of the ‘Sex Tip-offs That Something’s Wrong’ signs:

  • When s/he is no longer interested in sex, or s/he makes excuses for its infrequency.
  • When your spouse starts to request kinky or other erotic sexual activity (behavior) that you’ve never done before, including watching porn.

13–Some of the ‘Work-related Clues That They May Be Cheating’ signs:

  • When they supposedly work a lot of overtime, but it never shows up on the pay stub.
  • When you find out by accident he or she took vacation day or personal time off from work – but supposedly worked on those days.

14–Things you’ll hear:

1. “We are just friends.”
2. “I need you to respect my privacy.”
3. “I Love You But I’m Not In Love With You.”
4. “I need some space to figure out my feelings.”

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Save Our Marriage Saturday — June 23rd

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 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.

4. 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:

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10 Things Children Can Learn From Their Father about Infidelity

It’s Father’s Day so naturally I’m thinking about children today–after all we have seven!  And while we sipped our morning coffee today, I read a blog by Doug Fields, entitled: “10 actions that kids learn from their parent’s marriage” and it got me  thinking.  Our children are always watching us, but children today do not have role models for happy, loving marriages that last a lifetime–so what they’re watching are marriages that are unfaithful, self-centered and eventually…fatherless.

So here are 10 things that children can learn from their father about infidelity, using Doug Field’s list as a guide:

1.  Affection.  Our children can see affection being used as a weapon, withheld as punishment, or exerted to manipulate a spouse into doing what you want.  If their father does not find it easy to display affection, they can learn that if something is hard they should avoid it.

OR…  They can see affection offered as a source of encouragement, security and joy from one committed person to another…at no cost, freely given.  If their father doesn’t find it easy to display affection but he tries anyway, they can learn that even if something is hard, they can do it and keep trying.

2.  Saying “I’m sorry.”  Our children can see their father being blatantly and obviously wrong, inaccurate and incorrect and yet refusing to admit the error, thereby learn blameshifting and deflection and projection.

OR… They can see their father being blatantly and obviously wrong, inaccurate and incorrect and then admit what he did wrong and do an exact about-face, thereby learning that we all make mistakes but a wise man learns from his mistakes and a courageous man corrects himself.

3.  Affirmation.  Our children can hear their father swearing and using negative, derogatory, belittling, criticism coming out of their father’s mouth (about their mother or them) and learn that no one is ever good enough.

OR…  They can hear their father using positive, encouraging, appreciative, praise coming out of their father’s mouth (about their mother or them) and learn that every one is valuable and worthy of being treated with respect.

4.  Attraction.  Our children can see a worldly representation of putting lust and their own “sexual needs” ahead of anything else, with an idea of beauty that only has to do with youth and physical perfection.

OR… They can see a godly representation of putting commitment ahead of lust and your spouse’s sexual desires ahead of your own, pleasing them and seeing both their physical beauty at every age…and their inner beauty of spirit.  Then they will understand what their dad means when he says “Your mom is a beautiful woman.”

5.  Time.  Oh I love this one!  Our children can see their father invest his time, energy and interest in his work, his hobbies, his friends, and some lady AT work…making the marriage falter and their family fall apart.

OR… They can see their father invest his time, energy and interest in their mother, them, their home and their family…making the marriage stronger and their family more secure.

6.  Laughter.  Our children can watch the attitude of their father and see him ridicule and mock their mother, all the while saying “It was a joke! You have no sense of humor” (thereby learning that one way to feel better about themselves is to belittle others).

OR…  They can watch the attitude of their father and see a man find so much joy, happiness, pleasure and amusement with one woman–their mother–that he laughs and frolicks with her and with them!!

7.  Respect.  Our children can observe their father treating their mother with contempt, rudeness, and dishonor–neglecting her emotionally, mentally and spiritually–thereby learning to treat the people in their life with discourtesy and disrespect.

OR… They can observe a father who treats their mother with esteem, regard and honor–taking care of her emotionally, mentally and spiritually–thereby learning to treat the people in their life with courtesy and dignity.

8.  Faith conversations.  Our children can study a father who discounts faith, loses his moral values, and says things like “lying is wrong” but then turns around and lies about where he was or who he was with (thereby teaching the children that once you become an adult you don’t have to obey God).

OR… They can study a father who realizes that faith is the foundation life is built upon, and study a man who guards his moral values and when he says “lying is wrong” he even applies it to himself (thereby learning that we always have to obey, and what is wrong is wrong)!

9.  The value of friends.  Our children can follow a father who will “hang out with” any kind of person, in any kind of place, and listen to the bad advice of people with low morals.

OR… They can follow a father who will not associate with people at the bar and who encourage unfaithfulness, a father who selects his friends carefully and then lavishes respect, love and joy on them.

10.  Servanthood.  Our children can learn from a father who lords-it-over their mom, pounds the bible verse that she has to submit to him, and treat her like she is supposed to SERVE him.

OR… They can learn from a father that true love means that we put the needs of our spouse ahead of our own, serve them, do what is best for them, and follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

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Save Our Marriage Saturday–June 16th

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 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.

4. 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:

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Goodbye, Farewell and Amen

I am not having a great day today.  It’s okay–I know this happens and I also know that it will pass, but while I’m having this “not so great day” I’ve decided to acknowledge it.  Today I found out that someone in my life whom I love is deathly ill and may not be on this earth for much longer.  It’s a person in my ex-husband‘s family.   I was related to and loved his family for a long time, and just because he made the choices he made didn’t mean that I stopped loving them or caring about people whom I considered “family.”  Thank God we had the kind of divorce that was not filled with vitriol and spite.  After it was final, we got together after the divorce–his parents and siblings and cousins and I–and we all decided to be stay in touch and be civil even if we were no longer related by blood.

But this shock–the sorrow of hearing that someone I love is going to die soon–reminds me all too painfully of the hidden costs of divorce.  When you are having an affair, or when your spouse is having an affair or had one, it is all too tempting to think: “It would be so much better if we just divorced and started over.  I could find someone who really LOVES me and I could finally be treated like I deserve.  People get over it.  I’m sure we could move on.”  The thrill of meeting someone for the first time…feeling goosebumps again…falling in love…planning a wedding….it all sounds so NICE (and don’t get me wrong, it can be) compared to looking at yourself and changing, and compared to the hard work of reconciling!

But today is a forceful reminder for me that I want to pass on to you–a warning if you will.  The outgoing ripples of destruction that are caused by a divorce keep going as long as you life.  Today someone I love may well be leaving this earth, and I won’t be a recognized “mourner” because it is one of my ex-husband’s relatives…and I’m not his wife anymore.  Tonight someone I love may pass away, and yet I don’t share this loss with the man I love–my Dear Hubby–because he does not even know her and never will.  The older I get, the more I realize WHY God has the plan of marriage for us…because as life moves along and changes come, our life partner UNDERSTANDS they were there with us! … because as we age and our friends and family die, we have their memories and can share the grief in common!  …because as we age and faithfully get through the changes together, we demonstrate an example of the faithfulness of God sticking with us when we don’t deserve fidelity!

So don’t fool yourself.  The time and effort that it takes to look at your own issues, change to a more godly behavior, and rebuild the kind of marriage that obeys God IS SO WORTH IT.   It can take a while and be really painful, but sometimes purification so that you reflect God’s image requires being put into the fire!  Anyway, make no mistake: divorce is NOT a panacea.   It makes MORE problems, and the ramifications go on and on for decades if not generations.  Like today, as I say goodbye to a woman I love and have loved since I was young–my children’s grandmother.

Don’t Look at the Toothpick in Your Spouse’s Eye

Does this ever happen to you? Something happens that sparks a pretty good discussion–something you’re really thinking about and pondering–and suddenly, over and over again, that issue comes up everywhere? That has happened recently here at Affaircare. There was a pastor that came to chat with us while we were offline, but he left us a message/email instead. He wrote:

“David or Cindy – I recently discovered your website. As a counseling pastor I often deal with the subject matter you address. I like your fire analogy. The questionnaires to assess extinguishers and kindlers is also a good idea. One observation that I would make is that the questionnaires focus on the spouse – what he or she is doing. If the questions were changed to focus on the one taking the questionnaire, I think that would be helpful. So often the problem with couples in marital conflict is the focus is always on what the spouse is doing wrong or could do better. I always have to deal with that early on – to get each person to stop focusing on the spouse and to focus on what he/she must change (James 1:22-25 -mirror analogy, Mat 7:3-5 – speck/log analogy). With the tendency of marital failures to “point the finger” I think your questionnaires feed that. That being said, thanks for what you do.”

For reference, here are the bible verses to which our pastor/commenter was referring:

James 1: 22-25 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”

Matt. 7:1-5 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

[The speck/log anlogy can also be found in Luke 6:37-38, 41-42 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. … Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”]

After that pastor left his message, I started working with a person who’s spouse had a ‘very special friend at work’ and was spending a lot of time listening to and talking with that work-friend whilst simulteously insisting that it wasn’t wrong, it was all perfectly okay, and suggesting that they must have insecurity and jealousy issues if this wasn’t acceptable. Over and over again, the person I was speaking to kept turning the conversation back to “my spouse does this” or “my spouse does that” and even when we were talking about what the client had done in the marriage to contribute to the weakness, gradually the conversation would steer back to focusing on the spouse!   Several times I had to stop and say “You can not change your spouse or make them do anything.  Thus our attention here is going to be on what YOU need to do and what YOU need to change in order to be more in line with the person you should be and more in line with godly designs for marriage!”

ABSOLUTELY 100% the most common issue we find as we speak with married couples is the same problem over and over and over.  It’s looking at the toothpick in your spouse’s eye when you have a big old phone pole in your own eye!  Time and again couples come to marriage counselors and expect us to be able to “see the truth” and within a week or two “make their spouse do things my way” in order to fix everything that took years to gradually erode and destroy.   Most couples do not come to counseling with the attitude that THEY are the one who needs to change or that THEY are the one who will need to put in some effort!  The enormously vast majority point at what their spouse did or said… as if to say “My spouse did something evil and hurtful; therefore it is good and right for me to do something equally evil and hurtful”… as if their spouse’s wrongdoing justifies their own wrongdoing!

As usual, here in the USA, that is almost exactly backward.  (We look at so many things exactly backward!)  In order for marital counseling to work at all, both of the individuals in the marriage have to be willing to look at and work on themselves: the one with the phone pole in there eye is going to need to work a lot!   But the one with the toothpick in their eye still needs to get that toothpick out of there, and they still need to stop justifying the toothpick because “Hey my spouse has a whole phone pole in his/her eye!”

So when you read our blog posts, don’t think to yourself: “Oh my spouse should hear this.  S/He never listens to me and this expert agrees with me. ”  Think instead about how the post may apply to YOU  When you read our articles do not say to yourself: “Well my spouse never does any Love Kindlers anymore.  S/He should do more Love Kindlers for me.”  Think instead about how YOU might do Love Kindlers for your spouse…or which Love Extinguishers YOU do that YOU need to stop.  Don’t look at the toothpick in your spouse’s eye.  Keep your focus on obeying God and being the man or woman God wants you to be, and let your spouse do the same–leave them in God’s hands.

What a Gamer Geek Can Teach You

Did you know that Dear Hubby and I are gamer geeks?  Yep, we play several video games together as one of the recreational activities that we share.  We have shamans and paladins in one game, a demon slayer and wizard in another…and a Kat and a Norski in yet a third game!  For some fun and relaxation, we play together, learn various techniques together, read up on our class or our role in the game, and we work on building all the aspects of the game like exploring the whole map, crafting and achievements too.  This way the games go on and on and on and on!

The other night, as we were playing together in a party, it dawned on me that some of the techniques used when partying in the game really do apply to marriage too:

1. Separately or together?  In all three games that we play, there is an option to play the game solo (by yourself) or to play it in a party with someone else.  If you play the game solo, it can be done but it’s a lot harder, and it takes a lot longer.  Playing with another person makes the game a little less stressful–or at least the stress is different–and now one of you can specialize in doing damage while the other specializes in healing.

As you might imagine, it’s the same for marriage.  You *can* go through life single and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it can be a lot harder (“An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs —how he can please the Lord. ” ~I Cor. 7:32).  You have to bear everything on your own, and every task you do, there is no one there to back you up or support you.  Furthermore, as a single person you sort of have to be a “jack of all trades.”  Being married does not remove stress, but the stress does change and there is someone there to help you get through things and support you.  In addition you do get to use some of your own natural talents to their fullest, and let your spouse handle the things for which they have a natural talent.

2. Someone has to lead.  If you do choose to party with someone in the game, one strategy you need to use is that someone has to lead.  If you both go off in opposite directions or “do your own thing,”  then you both get attacked and get in trouble.  When you try to run back toward the member of your party, BOTH of you are under attack and have quite a battle on your hands!  If one person in the party leads and the other one follows, you can have the same objective and when you’re attacked, you both fight it.

 Again, it’s the same for marriage.  If you both have your own work, your own classes, your own hobbies and interests, and your own friends–to the exclusion of your spouse–then you run in opposite directions and somewhere along the line you get into trouble.  When you try to run back to your spouse for support,  you’re BOTH in trouble and end up with quite a huge issue to deal with!  On the other hand, if the husband leads as the Lord directed (“For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” ~Eph 5:23), and the wife follows, the couple can have the same objectives and when they get into some sort of trouble, they can BOTH face it together and  help each other out.

3. HELP!  Every game has some sort of situation in which there is a surprise attack by some sort of monster or enemy.  Sometimes the goal is to kill X number of the creatures and then report back.  When you’re in a party with someone, if you want you can divide the number of creatures in half and each go out and kill half the creatures to get to the total you need.  But that means that each person in the party is acting independently as if they were alone, and the actual task takes longer.  In addition, if one or the other of you really gets hit HARD and you stop fighting to try to take care of yourself, the enemy keeps attacking and you die! On the other hand, if the lead picks one creature and the other player ASSISTS the leader, you still need to kill X number of creatures, but the two of you doing it together makes it go faster…AND if one or the other of you really gets hit HARD the other one is right there to stop fighting and switch to healing!

This also holds true in marriages.  If the two spouses do stick together but they act independently as if they are single, the marriage may stay together but it definitely makes it harder.  The tasks of raising a family and making a living may get done, but the toll it takes can be damaging.   Plus if one spouse is hit with something HARD, without the other one right there to help them get through it, it may tear the marriage apart (it dies).  On the other hand, if wife allows her husband to lead and actually helps him (“The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ ” ~Gen 2:18) the tasks are shared and they go faster and the burden is just a little lighter.  You still need to raise a family and you still need to make a living, but when you consider your spouse as you’re doing those things and view everything as a couple, the toll can be eased and any damage largely avoided.  More importantly though, if one of you is hit HARD with some huge issue or attack, the other one is right there to help you get through it, and the marriage is saved!