Monthly Archives: July 2012

Light the Olympic Flame in your Marriage

The BBC had a wonderful trailer encouraging those with Olympics-mania to follow the Olympic torch.  The flame left Greece months ago and after traveling around the entire world, the Opening Ceremony would be culminating with the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron.  Watch the official BBC video:

Did you notice something interesting about the flame? There was a completely black screen and the flame began with just one, bright dot. From that ONE spot of fire grew another dot and another until finally images were made that crossed oceans and lit the darkness entirely.

Lighting the Olympic Flame in your marriage–especially after infidelity–can be like that too.  At first that one small dot of light doesn’t really seem all that big does it?  And doing one small “loving act” may not see that big either, but to reignite the blaze of passion that has gone out in your marriage, it starts with one small spark and grows from there.

And how do you create the “one small spark”?  Well if you have read “Our Basic Concepts” then you already know that the love in your marriage is like a fire. Actions such as name-calling, scorekeeping, withholding sex as punishment, overspending, or attacking your spouse are called Love Extinguishers because they “put out” the flame.  And actions  such as admiring your spouse, forgiving them, tenderly touching them, providing for your family or living by the agreed-upon budget, and standing by your spouse in times of turmoil–these kind of actions are called Love Kindlers, for they kindle the flame of love until they blaze brightly.  One small spark can lead to another, and another and another. By stopping those actions that extinguish the flame…and doing even small actions to kindle the flame, the passion in your marriage can once again look like this Olympic cauldron:


The Alabaster Jar

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Save Our Marriage Saturday – 7/28

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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The 6 Common Kinds of Affairs

There really is only one “kind” of affair.   All affairs involve disloyal spouses disobeying God.  Exodus 20:14 is very clear “You shall not commit adultery,” and thus if we do commit adultery, we are disobeying.   All affairs involve people who have stumbled somewhere and don’t have a godly marriage.  Sometimes it’s only one spouse that has messed up, but more-often-than-not, both parties have failed to follow God’s plan for a marriage that mirrors His relationship with His Bride, the Church.  That means that although affairs occur for numerous reasons and in myriad ways…really there is just one type, and it’s pretty rough to hear: it’s the sinful affair!   To save your marriage and recover after an affair, what REALLY needs to happen is for both spouses to recognize that ” …all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and as a response, both spouses should “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (Acts 3:19).   If you’re asking: “… what must I do to be saved?’ let me reply: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved —you and your household.”  (Acts 16:30-31).   The transformative power of God in those who are His children is the only thing that can TRULY save a marriage, so to have a deep, real recovery where both partners change, you need to be a Christian.

All that being said, there are some fairly common reasons that people give for having their affair, and identifying the type of affair may help you figure out how to help your marriage and what areas you should address first.  So let’s take a look at the most common kinds of affairs

The “Soulmates” Affair — This is probably the most common kind of affair.  The Disloyal Spouse and the Other Person found they had much in common — a similar outlook on life, compatibility, completeness: emotionally, sexually, intellectually, spiritually. This affair is definitely an Emotional Affair, and sometimes they stop there and don’t go any further.

The Mid-marriage/Mid-life Affair — This kind of affair is very, VERY common!  In this type of affair, the couple has been married for 7-10 years and they have become a little bit complacent and/or they are reaching certain milestone ages (such as menopause).  This is a somewhat typical affair where the older man buys a corvette and gets a 25yo mistress…or the more mature woman starts wearing mini-skirts, going to raves, and gets a tattoo.   This affair is usually a Physical Affair, but not due to connecting with the Other Person–it’s mostly just to prove he’s still a stud, or she’s still a vixen.

The “Personal Issues” affair — This affair is actually pretty common, but it’s fairly hard to describe.  I, personally, call it the “Time Bomb” affair, because inside the Disloyal Spouse there is some trauma or event that affected them SO PROFOUNDLY that when they hit a reminder of that event, their personal issues engage and they just completely change!  Maybe it’s when they hit the same age as the age at which their dad died…or maybe it’s the death of a parent or sibling.  This affair could be an Emotional Affair and/or a Physical Affair.

The Denial Affair — This affair is also pretty common but not quite as common as the previous type.  In this affair, one party may be available and the other is not…and both parties continue to deny that it IS an affair, even though it clearly has gone beyond the bounds of appropriate behavior.   A typical example of this affair would be a brother and married sister who think it’s “not an affair” to flirt and tease erotically because being siblings is “safe.”

The Lust Affair — This affair is just like it sounds.  The Disloyal has no desire to leave their spouse but succumbs to their sexual desire for someone else.  It’s mostly about sex.  It can feel really intense and passionate, but it’s also the quickest to flame out.  This affair is usually all Physical Affair with very little Emotional Affair connection.

The Exit/Revenge Affair — This affair is actually very common also but it ist an affair that RARELY results in saving the marriage.  This affair is the result of deep anger and resentment, feeling unaffirmed and disregarded, or being abused.  Often this is a marriage that is dead already and the Disloyal doesn’t have the courage to end it.  They have no feelings for their spouse other than rage, want to get away from their spouse, and choose to have an affair as one final act to kill the marriage.

Want to find out more about each kind of affair?  Want to hear what the Disloyals typically say?  How they probably met their Affair Partner?  And what you can do to most effectively combat this kind of affair?    Read our new article: “The Six Common Kinds of Affairs…in depth” !

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.

Save Our Marriage Saturday – June 30th

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:

HTML CODE: