Monthly Archives: January 2016

What the Disloyal Spouse Can Do to Save Their Marriage

 

apology1. No Contact with the Other Person (OP).  Under no circumstance should you in any way have any contact with the Other Person!! Delete them from your contacts and then delete the means by which you stayed in touch, and if that means the inconvenience of changing your cell phone number then so be it. Endure the consequence of choosing to use that device to compromise your marriage! For me, I had been in touch via a secret email account , via a second FB account, via a game, and via the game’s forum…so I deleted the secret email altogether, deleted the second FB account and then stayed off FB altogether, removed the shortcuts for the game, deleted the game, and removed the bookmarks for the forum. The point here is not to think “What’s the bare minimum I need to do here in order to appear like I’m removing all contact while keeping one last way of contact open?” but rather to REALLY HONESTLY DO IT. Cut that person out of your life. Go over and above to remove not just the ways you did contact, but ways you could be tempted to contact.

Final thought: often people use their cell phone to either text with or call the OP, and it’s not enough to “remove them from the contact list.” It is much more thorough to get a new phone number. Now you may be tempted to think: “But all my work contacts have that number and it would be so inconvenient….” but you know what that shows? You are thinking of yourself and making YOUR life easy and “to heck with my spouse!” You are a grown up and you chose to be unfaithful, so it is reasonable for you to now endure a little inconvenience in order to go all out in ending contact. You may others endure pain for you–now it’s your turn, and it’s fair.

2. Transparency. This one will be difficult and scary, I guarantee! Being transparent is not just being honest, but rather being “see through.” Right now you have been hiding behind masks of “who you are” “what you think” and “what you feel”…holding up a false facade for your spouse to think you are who you are not. My guess is that you felt things that hurt and you were afraid to say them out loud or you felt unheard. My guess is that you thought things that were were ugly and things you knew would hurt your spouse so you didn’t want to share them…maybe avoiding the trouble you’d get into if you said “the truth.” My guess is that you want people to see you as “a fine, upstanding pillar of the community” and speak highly of you…when you are not ACTING like a fine, upstanding pillar of the community with high morals and character! Soooo…..you lied. And the lies caught up to you! NOW in order to save your marriage you are going to have to go against what you’ve gotten used to, and not only “tell the truth” but also open up about WHO you are, what you honestly FEEL, and what you truly THINK.

To me there were two parts to this transparency thing. First, I had hidden my computer, my secret email, my second FB, etc. from my Dear Hubby, so Part One was relatively easy–I let him in. I realized that a GIGANTIC part of my issue was that I had shut him out of my life and myself by excluding him. So Part One was to actively INCLUDE him in every single thing I did all day long. The easy stuff was letting him see my computer, letting him have my passwords, not locking things down and hiding them from him, letting him see my secret stuff, and letting him see me delete it all. We deleted everything TOGETHER so that it was like a ritual of ending the old/beginning the new. As I said, this was the easier part for me!

Part Two was to actively practice letting him see the True Me…with all my warts and everything… and then see if he really loved me! If I had a thought that was not so lovely, but it was true–I shared it. If I had a feeling that was painful, I didn’t bury it but instead I shared it. And sometimes my thoughts and feelings were “not all that great” and I let him see it! Now, did I come right out and say everything unedited? No. I realize that sometimes, in the heat of the moment my head “sees red” and I think swear words, and repeating that wouldn’t be productive–but what I WOULD do is let him know I was angry…REALLY angry…and that in order to be respectful to him I needed some time to settle down before I could discuss it. So share the truth (anger) but in a way that is still respectful.

3. Commit to actually DOING the work, not talking about it. Lots of people miss this one. They talk about “going to a counselor” and they talk about “doing whatever it takes to save our marriage” but then when it comes down to facing themselves in counseling or facing their fears or facing what they’ve truly done…it’s too much and they avoid, run, hide, flee. So right now, purpose in your heart that you KNOW you are going to have to look at YOU and ways YOU perceive things and ways YOU cope with things, and it’s going to be hard and scary…but you are going to DO it. When your counselor says “Write this journal or list”…you do it. When you come up to something that is hard or scary or painful, rather than avoiding it, make a promise in your heart to not run away. Rather than falling into your old pattern (which got you in this mess in the first place), remember and try the NEW pattern.

Final thought: There is no “say”…only do. Do not tell your spouse a bunch of promises about committing or doing anything blahblahblah. Your spouse does not believe you right now, AND by your actions you’ve already demonstrated that your commitment means nothing. So instead of telling them, just let your actions show them. Seriously, do not promise. Just DO IT.

4. Gather evidence of love to get through withdrawal. When you have an affair, it’s very similar to being an addict, because what you are addicted to is the “high” good feeling of someone thinking you’re wonderful. There actually is brain chemistry that goes off when you’re “in love” (infatuated) and thus, once you feel that rush of good feeling, you want more of it and the affair continues. When you end your affair and return to your spouse, to you it is going to feel like you are losing the “good feelings” high from OP, and turning to the person who made you feel bad in the first place (NOTE: I’m not saying that is the truth–just “how it feels.”) To you, it will feel like a huge LOSS because you are losing that person who thought you were great–the person who gave you that ‘infatuation high’ feeling!

So once you initiate No Contact, there is going to be a period of what I call “withdrawal.” Again, it is an analogy and not exactly like addiction withdrawal, but it is somewhat similar enough that it helps people understand. When you were in contact, the contact was “the drug”…so when you remove “the drug” you go into withdrawal: namely, the first couple days every few minutes you think about the OP, you think of excuses to contact them, you crave that contact, you NEED that contact! Gradually it begins to feel more desperate, and to some degree just like cold turkey, you just have to get through this. I did two things: 1) I told myself to wait 15 minutes “I will put this off for 15 minutes and check how I feel in 15 minutes.” Then in 15 min. I put it off again for 15 min. all through the day. The next day I put it off half an hour, then an hour, and so on and so on. 2) I gathered reminders of love, so that when I was craving something positive, something that loving, something that shows caring about me, I looked at my Dear Hubbies old love letters, an old card from him, a drawing he made, songs he wrote, etc. If I need the positive “high” of love, I went to my DEAR HUBBY to get it…no one else.

5. Spend “fun” time with your spouse. Right now, when your spouse thinks of “you” s/he associates you with painful emotions and hurtful thoughts. YOU=Pain, to your spouse. Often times, people get so focused on saving their marriage, and working to fix it, that all they do is the deep, long, intense talks and the tears…and they forget to be the kind of person their spouse would want to be with. So that association of YOU=Pain is enforced (because you=deep, long intense talks, navel gazing, and tears). It is REALLY important right now to begin to look at yourself and think: “If I were in my spouse’s shoes, would I date me right now?” and if the answer is no, then start to become the person they would date again. I’m not talking about “Go buy roses” –I mean being the kind of person with whom they would associate good or happy times! Be the sort of person who is interesting. At some point, you had things in common that you both enjoyed or that you shared together: music, sports, hobbies…something. So rather than being “a downer” who always talks about hurtful stuff all the time…on the occasion, take the pressure off, tell your spouse you just want to be best friends right now who really care about each other, view your spouse as your very best friend to whom you tell everything, and once-in-a-while, take them to something fun. Go to a concert, not as their date, but someone who is interested in a band they also love, and share the fun of hearing a band you both like. Begin to change to YOU=Positive. You=listen without judgement. You=share fun times. You=good feelings. Get it?

6. Be accountable to someone. This reconciling is HARD, so don’t think to yourself, “Oh I got this. I can do this by myself.” Find someone who is a GUY who can be your mentor. Find someone who will know when you are lying and sneaking around and who will call you on it!

7. End Love Extinguishers. Okay I view the love in a marriage like a campfire. There is stuff you can do to the love that builds the fire (that’s a love kindler) and there’s stuff you can do that puts out the fire (that’s a love extinguisher). We all do both, but lots of times what happens is we get so caught up in life, work and bills that we don’t realize we pretty much love extinguish ALL DAY LONG… and we’ve kind of dropped the love kindlers. Now most counselors will tell you to “date your spouse again” and whatnot, and that almost never works, but here’s why! You take your spouse out to dinner (love kindler to them) but then you complain about the bill and make a scene to get a free dessert (extinguisher to them). YOU think you should “get credit” for the dinner, but the dinner was a positive and a negative to the flame of love, and nothing built up! So it feels like spinning your wheels (because you are)!! In reality you don’t need to start dating your spouse–you need to stop the love extinguishers!

So if you really, really want to start working on building love, look at your own self. What harmful spirits do you have inside you that are putting out the blaze of love in your marriage? Are you a scorekeeper? A faultfinder? Disrespectful to your spouse? Withholding? No tender touches that don’t lead to sex? Unstable employment? Hidden debt? Don’t help with the house or kids? Discourteous? Give them the silent treatment? Angry explosions? Attack dog…attacking your spouse? Passive-aggressive?

Don’t think “Yeah, but s/he….” or “Those describe my spouse!” because what we are doing here today is to look at YOURSELF–HONESTLY. If you can say to yourself, just privately, “Yes, I do that” then pick that one and work on that one. If you are a scorekeeper, how can you learn to stop keeping score and give of yourself, your time, and your everything freely without expecting a reward for what you did? If you have had unstable employment, how can you demonstrate with your actions that you want your spouse to feel safe financially like they aren’t going to have to scramble to pay rent right before eviction? Again, this is not the time to make promises…just pick a couple of those typical love extinguishers and work on them, and let your actions speak for themselves.

8. Re-start Love Kindlers. After you’ve worked on becoming the person you want to be, after you’ve done the work and made changes, after you’ve stopped some of the bad habits that have inadvertently been destroying your marriage–THEN if your spouse is willing, you can re-start love kindlers. These are the things that people do to show love through their actions, and this is probably easier for people to do than the love extinguishers and that’s why they start here! However, think about this: at one point you and your spouse got along well enough that you two wanted to get married. You had some similar interests, enjoyed each other’s company, couldn’t wait to be together, couldn’t wait to talk, and did all kinds of goofy things to help love grow. Well…that means you already have a foundation to rebuild on! Think back to the days when you were dating, and become the person who attracted them again. They liked you! So there is hope….

In conclusion, I want to remind you that you committed adultery. Say it: ADULTERY. Your spouse would be 100% within their moral rights to walk away and never give you another chance. Some people are not able to get over infidelity and it is a deal-breaker for them. Period. And here’s the super important part: THEY are not the one who broke the marriage–YOU ARE because they were faithful and you went outside the marriage! If your spouse chooses to walk away, they are walking away from the rubble of the marriage that was, because you nuked it. If your spouse does give you any sort of chance, you have GOT TO think of it not as something they owe you or as a second chance you expect, but as A GIFT. Priceless and Precious.

You can choose to change whether your spouse continues the marriage or not, and I personally suggest that you do change. And here’s how we can tell if the change is “real”–we would see you doing 180 degrees the opposite of what you used to be doing, and more importantly, we would see you taking the time for your life to demonstrate, through your behavior and actions, that you are DIFFERENT! The thief doesn’t only stop robbing-they do actions that help others! The liar doesn’t only stop lying–they start telling the truth. The adulterer doesn’t only stop the affair–they start acting in a way that protects their marriage and spouse FROM YOUR OWN WEAKNESSES.

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An Examination of Common Phrases Disloyal Spouses Use

I have tried to put boundaries in place but he just says I have ‘issues’. I have now told him that I don’t want to be part of his life at all while he’s having or looking for another woman. He rang back again last night and we had an hour conversation about this stuff. He finally said he understood that I would not want to be part of some triangle.

So let me ask you this. You said you’re setting boundaries. Boundaries are when you say out loud what you will and will not accept in your life–not a “rule” he has to follow. So for example, I might say “I will only share myself fully and intimately with an open, honest spouse in my life. I will not accept dishonesty, covering up, unfaithfulness emotionally or physically.” Now, my Dear Hubby is 100% free to choose whatever he wants. He can be open and honest, and I will share myself with him. But he is also completely free to choose to be dishonest and unfaithful–in which case I would not share myself with him.

Now if your boundary is “I don’t want to be part of his life at all while he’s having or looking for another woman” then how does that fit with having an hour long phone conversation with him? It doesn’t! You violated your own boundary!

Here’s how you can diminish your own distress and back your boundary with a firm, cement wall. YOU don’t contact him at all. If you want to, distract yourself…but don’t contact him by phone, email, or text. When he contacts you (and he will because he’s going to try to get some of his needs met with you or to be able to blame you for the ills in his life) you either ignore it–don’t answer, turn the phone off–OR answer and say “Hello (hubby) are you ready to give up having or looking for other women in your life and dedicate your affection and loyalty only to me? You’re not? Okay when you’re ready please call me. Bye!” and then hang up. Don’t listen to his drivel otherwise…it’s just Disloyal Dizzy talk anyway, and the purpose of it is to deflect from the huge phone pole in his eye (the AFFAIR) to the teeny toothpick in yours (you had a “tone” with him).

Now let me translate some Disloyal Dizzy Talk for you. I will write what it REALLY means and what you can reply to the Disloyal Dizzy Talk. You wrote:

I can’t give up the OW even though she keeps me at arms length.

MEANS: Can’t=won’t, so this means “I want to behave immorally and I don’t really care who it hurts. I won’t stop even though I know it’s wrong.”
ANSWER: Oh you’re right! You are unwilling to live a moral life and that’s why I am protecting myself from you.

I still want the excitement of other women.

MEANS: “I’m so immature, I follow my hormones rather than honoring my commitment to my family like an adult.”
ANSWER: Oh you’re right, you are so blinded by the pleasure, who needs to think of the veneral diseases the exciting women may have? I choose to have a pure marriage bed.

Don’t pin your hopes on me.

MEANS: “I’m undependable, immature, and self-centered.”
ANSWER: Oh I have no hope for you.

I don’t want the same old stale relationship.

MEANS: “I want what I want and I want it NOW but I’m not willing to work for it at all.”
ANSWER: Oh you’re right, I would never accept that neglectful relationship we had in the past. Now I expect a mature partner who’s willing to keep his promise to keep working at it until death parted us.

I have too much baggage with you.

MEANS: “I’m not willing to forgive you or let go of the negative memories.”
ANSWER: Oh you’re right you do have too much baggage for me to accept you.

I don’t want to be committed to anyone at the moment.

MEANS: “I’m selfish.”
ANSWER: I can see that you’re only willing to consider yourself and can’t see the damage you’re doing.

I don’t want to be your one and only person.

MEANS: “I know this is wrong but I want to do it, so I want you to do it too so it’s legitimate.”
ANSWER: I can see that you don’t want to be a person who honors their commitments.

You are not my wife anymore.

MEANS: “I’m looking for a way to make my cheating okay.”
ANSWER: (I can see going two ways with this one) #1–You’re right. Until you start treating me better I don’t choose to let you be my husband. #2–My promise to you was to keep working at it until death parted us and I’m not dead, so I’m your wife.

I can’t say if I’m definately not coming home because I don’t know yet.

MEANS: “I want to have the freedom to be sexually immoral and have a safety net just in case.”
ANSWER: “You’re right you can’t say, and right now I’d say you are not invited to come home. I’m not sure yet.”

_________________

Now let me translate the opposite side of the Disloyal Dizzy Talk for you. I will write what it REALLY means and what you can reply to the dizzy talk–just like last time. You wrote:

be more encouraging to me because I might be interested in having a relationship – I don’t know.

MEANS: “I want to have my cake and eat it too.”
ANSWER: You’re right. YOU should be more encouraging to ME because I may be interesting trying to revive our relationship…I’m not sure.

Go to the dance with me and just have fun, they’re baby steps we can take together and might lead to doing more fun things.

MEANS: “Nobody else seems to want me right now so I’ll turn to you as a last resort.”
ANSWER: Are you ready to give up other women in your life? I’m not willing to be second best.

If we can have fun, you might be the one I want to be with.

MEANS: “I’m unwilling to do the right, honorable thing unless it’s FUN!”
ANSWER: You’re right, if you were fun you might be the one I wanted to be with.

You might be one of the other women I’m interested in.

MEANS: “I’ll string you along as long as possible.”
ANSWER: Look me up when you’re ready to give up having or looking for other women in your life and dedicate your affection and loyalty only to me

If you don’t want contact with me you will be burying any chance there is of a relationship.

MEANS: “I’ll threaten you with something I know scares you, if you won’t do things my way.”
ANSWER: You’re right. Your unwillingness to give up other women in your life buries any chance this marriage has.

7 Things We’ve Never Shared With You Before

Broncos 0905  S5000699x200

That’s me, Cindy, showing how “strong” my Bronco fandom is. And that’s David, making his “scary David face” while we watch a horror movie–AAAAAAA!!! We are crazy funny like that sometimes. It dawned on us after nine years of writing here, that maybe you, our readers, don’t know that about us.

When we write here on the Affaircare blog, we compartmentalize a bit–one compartment is our public personas shared right out loud here on the website, and the other compartment is private and we don’t really show it. But we realized that means you never get to see the “whole enchilada” and thus only get a partial view of us.

In any case, we don’t want to come across with a watered-down personality. We want people to know who we really are so we can really connect with the people on a deeper level. And the people who don’t “get us” can continue searching for their right people elsewhere.

There’s a bolder side to both of us to which we want to introduce you.

To kick off this new chapter in our blogging lives, we are going to start by sharing 7 things we’ve never shared with you before. Hopefully you’ll know more about the real “us” after reading this.

Here we go:

David–

1- I’m a consistent Calvinist Christian, and I like the works of Gordon Clark and Vincent Cheung. It’s important for you to know this because this defines what kind of Christian I am and what I believe, and thus how I might coach you in recovering your marriage. I believe that in their natural state, humans are sinful and that the result of sin is separation from God. I believe that Jesus Christ came to earth as a human being, lived a perfect life, and died a substitutionary death for the sins of the elect. I believe that we are reconciled to God ONLY by the work of Christ, and not by anything we do.

2 – My closest friends are HILARIOUSLY funny. I have a very small group of five friends I’ve known since middle school and high school. When we get together, everyone is a comedian, and we all quote Monty Python and sci-fi movies at each other. I love it.

3 – I am a student of Logic, and no I didn’t mean “common sense.” I mean the science of Logic. Here is my favorite intro to logic book: “Logic” by Gordon Clark.  If you’d like a fun place to start, here’s a Logical Fallacies site.

4 – I’m a huge fan of books, movies and music. No, I mean HUGE. For books, I am particular to fantasy/sci-fi and philosophy and theology–in fact, Cindy and I read out loud to each other. My taste in movies is similar–fantasy/sci-fi–and it’s been thrilling to live through the release of the Lord of the Rings movies, the Hobbit movies, and now the SECOND set of Star Wars movies. Okay I have to admit I also love Marvel and Joss Wheadon. Don’t get me started on music–I have tracks in the six figures on my computer and listen to every genre if the musicianship and skill is there. I have a LOT of music!

5 – Politically, I unapologetically believe in libertarian philosophy, specifically the Non Aggression Principle. Just to be clear, I’m not part of the National Libertarian Party or the Tea Party or any of that–I mean that I believe in the ideology of liberty. Then again, this isn’t a political blog, so I won’t expound a lot here.

6 – Part of me wishes I finished college, but at the time I was young and dumb and didn’t see the value in it. On the other hand, I’ve been auto-didactic all my life so I love learning! To live is to learn!

7 – My father died of a heart attack in his early 50s. That is on my mind, since I’m in my early 50s myself now, but it doesn’t really scare me. It’s just part of what made me who I am today.

Cindy–

1 – I’m going to be 54 years old this year, but my friends range in age from pre-teens to 80s. No seriously, I have a couple friends with whom I trade Pokemon cards, and they are 10 or less. And I have a friend I call every week who’s in her 80s. I love people, and most of my friendships last years and years. The weird thing is, though, I don’t really have super close friends–I think I’m afraid to let people in too deep.

2 – I am also a consistent Calvinist Christian. I consider myself reformed as well, because even though we are members of a Presbyterian church and not a Reformed church, I think of it like this: “We aren’t Catholic, so we are Reformed. We aren’t Arminian, so we are Reformed.” I think more than anything, this defines my life, and I apply it to myself in this manner: Does my life convict me of being a Christian? Do my words convict me of being a Christian? Do my thoughts convict me of being a Christian?

3 – I’m a huge fan of books, movies and music too. Can you see why David and I get along together so well? I read all the time–online and on books. In fact we decorated our living room just so we could line with walls with bookshelves! My taste in movies tends to be comedies, sci-fi, and musicals (I love to sing along!). The occasional documentary or foreign film or indie film can be enjoyable too. I am not at all into TV!! YUCK!! And for music, well one reason David loves me is because I also just adore all kinds of music: 30s-40s-50s, country, old westerns, musicals, opera, classical, jazz, classic rock–I love it all. But my favorite: BLUES! Baby wail on that guitar for me!

4 – When it’s football season, I go into “Crazy Fan” mode. I grew up in Wisconsin and that’s where I learned football, and YOU KNOW how crazy those Cheeseheads are. From Wisconsin I moved to Denver, and I’ll just say this about Broncos fans: the entire city of Denver closes when there’s a Broncos game AND they put their season tickets into their estate planning. Now I’ve moved to the Pacific Northwest and I’m learning to be a Seahawks fan… but in my heart I’ll always love my Pack and the Broncos.

5 – Politically, I honestly believe in anarchy–meaning “no ruler” and not chaos. I don’t think there really is a political party that believes in that anymore, so I call myself a Voluntaryist. I advocate the Non Aggression Principle and voluntary interactions at all levels.

6 – I’ve been in every state of the US except Alaska and Hawaii, and they are on my bucket list.

7 – I met David online! No not on a dating site. We both were on a forum for people whose spouses had been unfaithful, and we didn’t even talk to each other for a long time. What was amazing to me, though, is that even though lived far away, we found each other and we were so much alike it was surprising! Takeaway: if you are single and you would like to be married, God will put you together even if you’re far away from each other.

It’s surprising how easy it was to come up with these 7 things, and we actually have a lot more that we could share! Maybe this self expression thing isn’t so bad after all.

Thanks for reading all the way through this experiment. If you resonate with the souls we’ve just bared, please follow the blog. If we’ve offended you or turned you off, thanks for reading anyway. We know that we don’t appeal to everyone, and that’s OK.