Monthly Archives: May 2013

Question of the Week: May 26th – June 1st

question_of_the_week4

What stages did you go through after discovering your spouse was having an affair?

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Save Our Marriage Saturday — May 25th

Today is  Save Our Marriage Saturday!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HTML CODE:



Please click on the froggy to see the blog hop!

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

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A child born of adultery

baby

We had a GREAT question asked to us on our “The Purpose of No Contact” page.  It was such a great question, in fact, that I thought it would be helpful to several others in a similar situation if I wrote a post about it!   Here’s the question:

“What happens when a child is born from adultery, how do you sustain the no contact rule and do what is right for the child?”

The first thing I want you to do is to take a look at that picture at the top of this post.  Can you tell by looking at that picture if that child was conceived in love?  Can you tell if it is a child of rape or of adultery?  You can not tell, can you?  And to the baby…it can not tell either.  It is a human being whom God did not just “allow” to come into this world–He was actively involved in the conception and creating of life–even if the coming together of the sperm and the egg was through sinful circumstances.  So before we go any further, the baby — the child — is not involved in “how it was conceived.”  The child is an innocent, and the child needs love and needs a mom and dad in its life.

Now that that is out of the way, let’s jump into the actual question.  When one spouse is Disloyal and commits adultery, and the Loyal spouse is willing to reconcile, in order for the affair to truly END and the recovery to begin, there has to be complete and utter, 100% NO CONTACT with the Affair Partner.  I think when there is no child conceived, people generally understand why and how to do this.  But when a child IS conceived, what do you do?    HOW do you do it?   It seems impossible to cut all contact with the person who is the other parent of your child, and to be honest, it is extremely difficult!  BUT that is also one of the reasons why affairs are so destructive and the damage is so devastating–because the Disloyal puts the Loyal into the position of having an STD or a child that will be a constant reminder for life!

But getting beyond that, here are some practical ideas:

1.  Bear in mind that when a man and woman have children together and divorce, they may need to communicate ON THE OCCASION, but by-in-large they do not need to talk every day, they do not need to do things for each other, and they are no longer involved in each others’ day-to-day lives.  Thus, when your Disloyal Spouse claims that they need to be mettling in their Affair Partner’s life or be involved doing things on a daily basis… no they don’t.  No matter who is who, the female person had unprotected sex with someone and made a baby, and she made that choice; she’s responsible TO THE CHILD. And likewise the male person had unprotected sex with someone and made a baby, and he made that choice; he is responsible TO THE CHILD.  Now if they had been smart, they would have considered that the reason a person only has sex within a committed, lifetime marriage is for the stability it offers to their potential children!  But they were not smart, and now they do each owe THE CHILD, but neither one of them owes a thing to their adultery partner!!!!!  Their promise was to their spouse, and anything they owe (like loyalty or honor) is to their SPOUSE.

2.  Get everything about the baby/child legal and court-ordered.  Have a legal custody agreement, a legal parenting plan, and a legal child support order.  This is to protect both the Loyal and Disloyal Spouse from an Affair Partner out for revenge, and to the protect the child.  There should be a way to enforce visitation and where the child lives and when, and if there is a court-ordered custody and parenting plan, even if the Other Person goes insane, the court can help you enforce it.  Likewise there should be clearly-defined child support, which protects you by itemizing exactly how much is owed to whom and when…and can document/prove who gave how much to whom and when.  Of course, if you are the Disloyal Spouse you owe it to the child that you created to take care of its needs and provide for the child, same as if you and your spouse had a child together.  If you owe child support, YOU PAY IT–not your spouse.

3. There is absolutely no reason for either of the Affair Partners to email, chat, text or call each other.  Ever.  There can always be an intermediary, and that can be anyone: the Loyal Spouse, a pastor or mentor, a mutual friend, a parent, an attorney, or a day-care person.  The Affair Partner can send any communication to the intermediary, and the intermediary can get  the message to the Disloyal Spouse.  Period.  NO CONTACT.

4.  Exchanging the child does not require contact either!  There is no reason why the child could not be left at an intermediary or neutral place, and this works better as the child gets older.  For example, the “mom” leaves the baby at day care on Wednesday morning and goes to her work…the “dad” picks up the baby at day care Wednesday night on his way home from work.  Then he keeps the child until Sunday, when “dad” drives the child to Sunday School and “mom” picks up the child after Sunday School at church.   The drop off point could be McDonald’s, school, a sport (like if the child is in baseball) or practice, or a park!  When the child is just an infant baby, it may require more time with mom, but even as an infant, the baby could be dropped off and picked up at day care or a mutual friend’s house. Either way… NO CONTACT!

5.  The hardest part of having a child out of adultery is the honest fact that on the occasion there are going to be emergencies–but an “emergency” does not mean “baby mama drama”!!!  It means blood or fire.  It means the child got hurt or is ill.  If the child has a cold–that is not an emergency.  In the event of an actual emergency, I suggest that the Loyal and Disloyal Spouses just have a Mutual Agreement about how to handle it.  If you have a reasonable Other Person, if the affair was literally years ago, and if everyone is out of each others’ lives and pretty respectful, it’s conceivable the Loyal may be okay with the Disloyal getting true emergency contact.  It’s far from ideal, but having an affair is far from ideal!!  On the other hand, some Loyal Spouses may not be able to handle any contact ever, in which case I suggest that the emergency calls go to the Loyal Spouse.  I mean if A and B are married and B had an affair with C and had a child, C could call A and say “There is thus and such emergency” and A could tell B and meet at the Emergency Room!  Chances are that C would not be calling A with every little papercut either.

6.  Finally, if you are a Loyal Wife and your Disloyal Husband got the Other Woman pregnant, it is possible and okay for you to choose to love and raise and accept the child as your own together as a couple.  Likewise if you are a Loyal Husband and your Disloyal Wife got pregnant by the Other Man, there is no law that says you can’t choose to love and raise and accept the child as your own together as a couple either.  My point here is that often people just assume that the baby would live “elsewhere” and that does not HAVE TO be the case.  If you have the love within your heart to adopt a child and love it because you choose to commit to it–then maybe you have the love within to choose THIS child too.   If you can see past the circumstances of how the child came to your life, and instead see all the joys and laughs and energy and fun and life that the child will bring to you… then I encourage you to be the custodial parents!  Show the child what love really is: a choice to treat someone in a loving way.

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It’s Not About The Nail

I saw the best video today, and I just had to share it:

 

 

Here’s why I wanted to share it.  As a lady I know I’ve said this to my husband: “Please just listen and stop trying to fix it!”  I wanted him to empathize and show compassion….maybe comfort me with a hug.  BUT HE SEES A NAIL IN MY HEAD and I won’t even let him help me.

Kinda changes the perspective on letting husband help us, doesn’t it?

Exposure vs. Revenge

Revenge-is-a-lie

As is very often the case, I think people confuse “exposure” and “revenge” and the two have nothing whatsoever to do with one another.

Revenge–in this court case and in an affair–would be to take an action purely for the reason of hurting the Disloyal and/or the AP “as much as they hurt you” (the Loyal). The motive is to HURT and HARM (neither of which will save a marriage), and quite often in revenge, the affair is already over so there is absolutely NO BENEFIT to revenge. The poison of it harms the Loyal and eats away at their soul, and the damage it does to the marriage is irreparable.

Exposure–on the other hand–is acting in a way that no longer keeps an active affair “a secret.” As long as the affair is active, and as long as a Loyal silently goes along with it and doesn’t call it what it is or ask for help–they are helping the affair, which is the exact opposite of helping the marriage. So exposure is not from a place of “I’m going to hurt you” but rather from a place of “I refuse to cooperate with adultery by denying that it’s happening and pretending I don’t see you committing it.” Exposure means telling those who will likely be affected by it, such as your parents, your spouse’s parents, your siblings, your spouse’s siblings, maybe lifelong friends if they are people who will help the Loyal cope and tell the Disloyal to end the affair, maybe the pastor or someone you consider your mentor or wise council (because trust me, any Loyal is going to need wise advice), the Loyal’s employer because productivity and concentration are going to be affected, and IF IT IS A WORK AFFAIR, the Disloyal’s employer just so they can cover themselves legally and put an end to use of company resources to support adultery.

It goal of exposure is not publicity or embarrassment. In fact, it’s to provide the truth with as little proof as necessary so they are aware of what’s really going on, so they can help you, help the Disloyal, help the kids and even prepare themselves for the sh!tstorm that is about to hit. Exposure is to shine a light on the thing that has been taking place in the dark, so that when they hear, “S/He and I are getting a divorce…it’s a mutual decision” they’ll know it’s not! Or when your Disloyal tries to say you’re abusive so they HAVE TO leave, they’ll know it’s really to live with the AP!!

To learn more about the difference between exposure and revenge, check out our article: The Difference Between Exposure and Revenge.

Save Our Marriage Saturday – May 11th

Today is  Save Our Marriage Saturday!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HTML CODE:



Please click on the froggy to see the blog hop!

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

The difference between Reconciliation and Rug Sweeping

Let’s define a few things:

GASLIGHTING— Gaslighting is a form of mental abuse where false information is presented as true in such a way as to make the “victim” doubt their own observation, their own memory or their own perception. A perfect example of this would be if your spouse were missing all of January 1st, came stumbling home January 2nd, and you have a recording your spouse on January 2nd talking in their own car to another person saying they had sex, and they try to tell you “No you’re mistaken. I said that on January 3rd and remember WE had sex that night before, so I was talking about that!” You KNOW what you have, but they are trying to spin the false information to make you doubt your own self.

RUGSWEEPING— Rugsweeping is a form of denial. Either the Loyal Spouse or the Disloyal Spouse can do this, and basically it is named after the idea of sweeping dirt under the rug, so that it’s not really clean at all…just hidden! Same here. The issues in the marriage are not addressed. There is no real repentance by the Disloyal Spouse … or the Loyal Spouse just pretends that “now that the Disloyal is back everything can go back to normal.” It’s fake.

RECONCILIATION— Reconciliation is when two things occur: 1) the Disloyal Spouse is truly repentant and does a complete about-face regarding the affair, taking complete personal responsibility, and 2) the Loyal Spouse truly acknowledges the issues and forgives the Disloyal, working on making the marriage a place that is mutually intimate and loving. If both things don’t occur, then reconciliation can not occur. (Now… they could continue to live together and co-parent but it would not be a “marriage” relationship–it would be like roommates. )

It is entirely possible in reconciliation that the Loyal Spouse may want to know every single detail about the affair, the other person, each sexual contact, etc. But it is equally possible that the Loyal Spouse may consider it enough to know that their spouse was unfaithful and have reason to believe that is no longer the case–some sort of provable evidence–and be willing to move on from there and rebuild trust. Each Loyal Spouse is different. But overall the following concepts remain the same:

  1. Gaslighting tries to present false info as true–this does not lead to recovery.
  2. Rugsweeping denies that there was a problem and pretends everything is okay–this also does not lead to recovery.
  3. Reconciliation acknowledges the problems, each party looks at their own self, each party does their own work AND does the work to build the marriage, but the level of details may vary–this DOES lead to recovery.

 

Thanks to “lordmayhem” on the Talk About Marriage: Coping With Infidelity forum.

Before you cheat… 14 things you need to know.

This article is so good, I am reblogging it here, word for word.  The original author is Rod Arters, and his blog is “The Official blog of Rod Arters.”  Catchy name, hey?  😀   So enjoy–here it is exactly as written:
_________________________________________________________________________

It seems that every 3 months or so we learn of another celebrity caught cheating on his or her spouse.  To say adultery is an epidemic in our current culture is an understatement.  And it doesn’t seem to be a respecter of position.  Regardless of what we do for a living, (Politicians, Pastors, teachers, athletes, actors, musicians, etc) cheaters are in our midst.   It seems to be so prevalent today that the question isn’t who is cheating but rather – who isn’t?

Too many treat their most important relationships casually and their commitments to them as optional.  Our microwave society mentality (quick and easy) has infiltrated our most sacred institution, marriage.  Many cheaters try to justify their reasons for infidelity.  To a cheater, their reasons make sense.  Perfect sense.  To those who have never strayed they just don’t understand why.

Our thirst for affairs has become so accepted and normal in our culture that most shows on television mention an infidelity reference somewhere throughout the episode.  Not to be outdone, we even have a reality show (called Cheaters) that is designed to reveal an indiscretion and exploit the humiliation on national television.  Honestly, I’m not sure which is worse – the immoral action of the cheater or the people who produce the show.  The fact that the series is in its 12th season is an indictment against us.  I’m not sure which is more devastating – discovering your lover’s unfaithfulness or discovering the crushing news at the same time as the train-wreck watching public.   We live in a very sad day and age.

I have seen first-hand the destruction of adultery.  Cheating devastates relationships and shatters dreams.  If you have entertained the idea of cheating on your spouse or significant other, let this serve as your official warning.   Your handsome boss, cute office secretary or sultry neighbor down the street comes with a price tag that you cannot afford.   Before you cheat here are 14 things you really need to know.

  1. You will become a liar.   It’s bad enough to bear the title of “Cheater,” but if you cheat, you will also wear the hat of “Liar.”   Cheating cannot occur without deceit on some level and normally the white lies in the beginning become full-fledged lies at the end.  “I’m working late at the office tonight” may be a half-truth but you’ll need to redefine the word “working” to silence your compromised conscience.  Cheating and lying go hand in hand.  (For more about the lies that cheaters tell, click here.)
  2. You will get caught.  It may not be today.  It may not be tomorrow.  But eventually, your affair will come to light.   Your world will come crashing down on you.  If you are fortunate, the story of your indiscretion may avoid the evening news or the front page of your local paper, but your circle of friends will know your deeds.  And everyone likes to share juicy news.  Your poor decision will become as public as a billboard.  It’s not a matter of if but when.  As Pastor Rick Warren tweeted recently, “If the Director of the CIA can’t hide and cover up an affair, no one can.”  As the Chinese proverb goes, “If you don’t want anyone to know it, don’t do it.”
  3. You will disappoint everyone.   Everyone.  Your spouse.  Your friends.  Your co-workers.   Your God.  Your parents.   Your nephew.  Your children.  Yourself.  The disappointment you cause will be like the stench of skunks and it will take a long time to remove the smell.
  4. You will be a bad example.   Everyone is either a good example or a bad example in all things that we do.  Cheating is a not only a very bad example in relationships but brings with it a cloud of doubt that hovers over you in other areas of your life.  If you cheated in one area, would you cheat in another?  Cheating communicates to everyone that you took the easy road.   It tells others that you were willing to cut corners in your most primary relationship.  It reveals that you were not willing to do the hard work and get the help you needed.  No one ever admires a cheater.  No one looks up to an adulterer.  Even if you did a lifetime of good, this one bad deed can erase it all.
  5. You will lose your moral authority.  It’s hard to tell your children (or others) to do the right thing when they know you didn’t.  Saying “Do as I say, not as I do” is the fastest way to lose the respect of others.  Not only will you lose their respect, you’ll lose yours.  Every moral judgment you make in the future will be weighed against your adulterous action of the past.   It doesn’t mean you can’t speak the truth in the future, it just means that few will listen to you.
  6. You will create trust issues for your spouse.  Forever.  You will single-handedly damage the precious self-esteem of the one you promised to love.  Every relationship they have after you will be one that they struggle to trust.  If that were not enough, you will rock the world of children and cause them to question the stability of every meaningful relationship they have.   For children, their parents relationship is their anchor and cheating cuts the line.
  7. You will lose your standard of living.  Depending on what you do for a living, you may lose your job.  Many lose their home.  Most end up with enormous court fees since cheating is usually the precursor to divorce.  Betrayed spouses have a way of making you pay and that payment is always expensive.  Every check you write is a constant reminder of your foolishness.
  8. You will spend years trying to rebuild your life.   Literally years.   Even if you somehow weathered the storm financially, you will find it takes years for you to recover emotionally.  It takes years for you to restore certain friendships, if you even do.  It takes years for you to rebuild your character.  It takes years to rebuild trust.  It takes years to truly forgive yourself.
  9. You will lose relationships.   You will lose a LOT of relationships.  Lifelong friends will walk away.  Close friends that you have helped countless times will not be around to help you.  Even some family members who are supposed to love you no matter what will vanish.   A cheater can end up living a very lonely life.  It’s hard for many people who used to call you friend to get past that skunk smell of disappointment.
  10. You will increase your chances of getting an STD.   Sexually transmitted diseases run rampant among promiscuous people.   But your paramour is “clean,” right?   After all, they told you so.  And if there is one thing we all know – we can trust a cheater and their word.  As the saying goes, “There is honor among thieves.”   One helpful thought may be to assume that everyone but your spouse has an STD.  That should curb your appetite for destruction.
  11. The grass is not greener on the other side.   The “grass is greener” idea is a common misconception.  Because we have never been on that grass, we assume it must be better than where we currently stand.  It’s not.  In fact, though it may look greener from a distance – once you get there and make yourself comfortable, something interesting happens – the grass changes color.  This usually happens soon after you get caught.  You will then see that patch of land differently.  You will also have a strange desire for the green grass you left… except now it is burned and won’t let you back.   The best way to enjoy green grass is to water your own yard.
  12. Would you want this done to you?   Thieves like to steal wallets but hate when it’s done to them.  If we all lived by the Golden Rule (“Treat others the way you want to be treated.”) most of life’s problems would be solved overnight.   Think about this action as if it were being done to you.  The problem is that it requires thought and thinking is often the last thing a cheater has on his/her mind.
  13. You will eventually regret this decision.  In the heat of the moment, cheating appears to make sense.  It feels good and sometimes even feels right.  Feelings are deceitful.  Soon afterward, your eyes will be opened and you will regret that you ever partook of the forbidden fruit.   Don’t we all have enough regrets in our lives?   Why add another one – particularly one that can only destroy everything you have worked so hard to build?  Your home may not be perfect but it sure beats living in a tent.
  14. The pain outweighs the gain.  No one ever says from their deathbed, I wish I would have had an affair.  No one ever leaves their lawyer’s office with a smile on their face – grateful for the experience.  No one loses dear friends and is glad they have one less Christmas card to receive this year.   The loss is immeasurable.  The pain can be unbearable.   Entire kingdoms can be lost for a few minutes of pleasure.  It is just not worth it.

In November 2008, I looked in the mirror and did not like what I saw.  I did not like who I had become.  I was finally at the point where I was willing to admit the dark side of my soul.   The Dark Knight within me had risen indeed.  Days later, I confessed to my wife, children and church that I had been unfaithful during my marriage.  Needless to say, it was the most difficult series of conversations I have ever had in my life.  There is no pain like watching people you love sob in tears because of your selfish actions.  Within one year, I had lost everything dear and precious to me.

The 14 points above come from an extremely painful personal experience.  I know what it’s like to fall and not be able to get up.  Over the last four years, I have had to learn how to tear down my emotional walls – walls that assisted me in getting in trouble in the first place.  I have come to understand the problem with pedastals, especially in the church, and have wrestled with the mechanics of forgiveness, even forgiving me.  As difficult as it is, I now embrace my past and appreciate the many regrets.  They have become precious to me.  As a result of my actions, I have accumulated many scars and now try to learn from each and everyone of them.  I have hit “rock bottom” and realized something amazing in the process.  God is still here, even if others are not.

That’s my story.  Chapters are still being written.  It’s not easy to share but it’s mine nonetheless and I finally accept it as part of HIStory.  As I read the Bible with a humble set of eyes these days, I see that the Book is filled with great men and women who have fallen in some pretty huge ways.  God picks them up and uses them in spite of their past.   I’ve come to learn that we all fall, just in different ways.

If I can help any of you get up from a fall, let me know.  I’m merely one beggar telling other beggars where to find Bread.

Save Our Marriage Saturday – May 4th

Today is  Save Our Marriage Saturday!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HTML CODE:



Please click on the froggy to see the blog hop!

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