AFFAIRCARE

…nouthetic, Christian care after an affair.


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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.


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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.


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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?  :D   So enjoy–here it is exactly as written:
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Before you cheat… 14 things you need to know.

Posted on November 29, 2012by Rod Arters

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.


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Crucial Steps to Building Trust After an Affair

trust
1. NO contact with the Affair Partner. If you want to prove to your spouse that you are worthy of trust, then that means you need to discipline yourself to never, ever contact your affair partner EVER…not even hearing “how they’re doing.” Keep your focus on your spouse.

2. End Love Extinguishers. To build your spouse’s belief in your reliability, rather than focusing on what your spouse did…you agree to look at yourself and the ways that you contributed to the destruction of your marriage. Also you agree to do the work necessary to change yourself and stop doing the harmful actions.

3. Transparency. Increasing confidence in your honesty requires transparency which is being “see through”…you let your spouse see through to your real thoughts and feelings. In other words, you let them see the real you, warts and all, and stop trying to hide. You let them see what you do, who you’re with, where you are–and you tell them the truth rather than covering up “to keep them from being hurt.”

4. Mutual United Understanding. You can build belief in your trustworthiness by looking at each one of these three words and approaching your spouse with these attitudes. “Mutual” means that there are TWO of you in this relationship, not just you and not just your spouse; you need to RELATE. “United” means that the two of you are as one team–joined together for a common purpose. “Understanding” means both comprehending each other and sympathetic awareness of each others’ feelings.

5. Go to your spouse directly–spend time together. This is fairly obvious, actually. To rebuild belief in your credibility, you need to invest time with your spouse…do things together. If you do not have common interests or hobbies, start something new! But invest your time, energy and money building love with your spouse.

6. Re-start Love Kindlers. After an affair, one way to begin rebuilding trust with your spouse is to once again begin the “the little things” that show a person you love them. Love is an ACTION–not a feeling–so do act in a way that is loving and caring for your spouse.

7. Find one accountability mentor, make amends. The final step you can take to initiate hope and convince your spouse you are worthy of their trust is to pursue it…want it! Show your ability to deliver on your promises by finding someone who will hold you accountable. Admit what you did; name it for what it was; and where possible, repair the damage your choices have made.

If you want to know more, you can read and sign up for the Affaircare Newsletter!  For more in-depth information you can read our article: “Coming Out of an Affair” or read our series “How to Rebuild After an Affair

  • First Step to Get Over Partner’s Affair (huffingtonpost.com)
  • Infidelity: What to do after an affair (cnn.com)
  • Laurie Israel: Infidelity: An Opportunity For Marital Truthfulness (huffingtonpost.com)
  • What NOT to do if your spouse is cheating (affaircare.com)
  • Learning to Trust Again… (justsaynototoxicrelationships.wordpress.com)


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Question of the Week: April 7th – 13th

question_of_the_week4

Your spouse keeps saying they are “just friends” but where do YOU draw the line?

Is is right for your spouse to have opposite sex friends?   To go to lunch with their opposite sex friends?  To text 1000 or more texts with their opposite sex friends?  To talk on the phone with their opposite sex friends?  To have hobbies and interests with their opposite sex friends?  To spend more time with their opposite sex friends than they do with you?  To discuss your marriage with their opposite sex friends?  To discuss sexual topics with their opposite sex friends?  To flirt with their opposite sex friends?  To be suggestive with their opposite sex friends?

What about touching?  Is it right for your spouse to shake hands with an opposite sex friend?  To touch their arm?  To do a short, friendly hug?  To do a “touch cheeks” kiss in the air?  To do a peck kiss?  To do a longer, lingering hug?  To kiss on the lips?  To touch each other through clothing?  To turn each other on?

Where do YOU draw the line?

  • HOW TO KNOW YOU ARE DRIFTING !! – Steven Akinjide Alabi. (tkbeshmagazine.wordpress.com)
  • Should I check his phone? (goodwifetales.wordpress.com)
  • Boundaries. Yes/No? (church4u2.wordpress.com)


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How to Confront a Spouse About Lying

Confront a spouse about lying

So you’ve had the gut feeling for a while that “something is not right” and after doing some investigating, you’ve caught your spouse in a lie. If you suspected infidelity and have now found proof of the affair, your spouse has been lying to you and you need to let them know that you know!

The first thing to remember is that God has told us pretty specifically what He thinks about dishonesty:

Proverbs 6:16, 17 and 19There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue…a false witness who breathes out lies.

Leviticus 19:11-12You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. You shall not swear by My name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.

Psalm 24:4-5 – He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

So clearly, being a deceitful or dishonest just does not please God! No matter who you sugarcoat it or justify it, it is not godly to lie.

Next, Matthew 18 does tell us the steps to use when a brother or sister is sinning. I’m paraphrasing here, but first we are to go to them privately and tell them we know what they’re doing and ask them to stop–encourage them to do the right thing. The verse says that if we speak to them privately and they listen, we have won them over!

Still….how do you go to someone and point out their fault? Especially when we, ourselves, are not perfect?

One suggestion I have is to approach the discussion as a “conversation” and not as a “confrontation.” Yes, you want to go straight to them and make them aware that you know what’s happening and you know the truth, but when the two of you speak, it should be in the spirit of “two people on the same team trying to figure out a solution” rather than “two individuals on opposite sides attacking and preparing for battle.”

When you do speak to your spouse, if you focus on “the lie” or “the lying,” the conversation can easily turn into a “he said/she said” discussion which is counter-productive and essentially gives them clues about how you found out! So rather than focusing on the lie itself, focus on the specific issues at hand–contact with others, flirting, use of pornography, etc.–and talk about what YOU thought or how YOU feel, and then ask them specifically for what you need.

Approaching the discussion as a “confrontation” usually results in a competitive mindset, causing a partner to react defensively, by withdrawing, launching counter attacks, being hostile, or denying. In other words, trying to blame, attack or point out your partner’s misdeeds won’t get you very far. Instead, try approaching it as a conversation where your spouse can hear what you are trying to say without feeling like they are being attacked, even if they are to blame for what happened.

For instance, saying the following is not very useful:

  • Did you…
  • I know that you…
  • Why are you lying to me about…

Making such accusations almost always leads to a defensive reaction, which only gets in the way of genuine understanding and a resolution of the problem.

Rather than focusing on your spouse’s use of deception, try to phrase the problem in the least judgmental way possible by focusing on your own feelings. For instance, it helps to start such conversations by saying:

Something I discovered is upsetting me. I’m concerned (sad, hurt, frustrated) about… and I want to be able to talk with you about it…

If you focus on your thoughts and feelings, and discuss your spouse’s underlying behavior tentatively, in the least judgmental way that you can, you have the best chance of being heard. And being heard (understood) is the ultimate goal when trying to work through problems with a spouse so that the two of you can see and talk about problems.

Of course, this method is far from perfect, and it usually requires that both people have good communication skills. But, this method does work better than simply attacking or blaming a partner for his or her deceptive behavior.

The added benefit of using this approach is that if you can create a sense of understanding and a willingness to discuss problems without a lot of negativity, your spouse will feel more comfortable discussing issues in the future!

  • Is Hidden Hostility Derailing Your Marriage? (psychologytoday.com)
  • Can You Catch a Liar? How Negative Emotions Affect Brain Responses when Lying or Telling the Truth (plosone.org)


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Adultery: An Equal Opportunity Evil

Lust sin

 

I received a comment today that was so good, I decided to make a blog post about it.  This was a comment to my blog post: “What NOT To Do If Your Spouse Is Cheating” and the person who commented wrote:

“Interesting. I know in hindsight that I did a little bit of spineless sniveling. Further hindsight would probably show that reparations would have been more sincere had I shown some dignity. Even to this day I harbor some resentment that I did not just laugh at the despicable nature of a dignified spouse of some class and worth stooping to build such a pathetic fantasy with HER mentally-challenged little welfare drunk. Today I know for a fact that I harbor even more anger towards “ladies” such as yourself who have this facade of purity wrapped around you as though you could do no wrong. You will be the first to spout lie after lie about how you never planned your rendezvous, you never committed certain acts of lust, and the warts on his genitalia never alarmed you. Newsflash ma’am. Ladies are perfectly capable at stabbing their partners in the back also.”

There is no one who is immune from sin, so we all know that anyone who tries to “look” pure is truly just presenting an external, hypocritical image.   “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23)    So every single one of us–you, me, our spouses–we have all disobeyed God, not done what He has told us to do, and done what He has told us not to do.  This is why Christ came to the world and became flesh–so that He could live the life we should have lived and then pay the penalty we should have paid!  The Good News is that while we were yet sinners, and at enmity with God…Christ died for us.  His righteousness is imputed to us.

As God would have it, I do happen to be a female person.  My male spouse did cheat on me, break up our family, and end my first marriage.  My current, second spouse is a male person, and his female spouse did cheat on him, break up his family, and end their marriage.  Together, we have worked with hundreds of couples, and I want to be sure this is crystal clear:  Adultery is an Equal Opportunity Evil.  It does not matter if you are male or female, you can still be the Loyal Spouse (whose spouse is unfaithful), and you can still be the Disloyal Spouse (who is the one who is unfaithful).  Your wealth, race, and creed do not exclude you from infidelity, and there is no demographic that is shielded.    In fact, if you think about it, in order for there TO BE an affair, there has to be TWO PEOPLE who are actively participating in actions which are inappropriate.  Now one of the two may be single, but they would still have to be acting that way with someone whom they know is taken and committed to someone else.  Yes, a single person is available to flirt–but the very FIRST thing you find out is whether or not the other person is also available.

So again, to be crystal clear, unless a person knows them self and their own weaknesses, and unless a person put limits and boundaries around themselves to protect themselves, their spouse, and their marriage from infidelity–it can very literally happen to anyone.  Any gender, any race, any religion, any socio-economic class, any location…  I do my best to write “Loyal Spouse” because it could be a man or it could be a woman.  I do my best to write “Disloyal Spouse” because any one who is a breathing human being could do the wrong thing and choose the evil choice.  In fact, we know that we all do:   “There is no one righteous,  no not one.”  (Romans 3:10)


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What NOT to do if your spouse is cheating

 

When you first find out that your spouse is cheating, it can be very devastating.  Usually in those first few days or weeks, the Loyal Spouse is tempted to do things that are not necessarily in their character, such as scream, fight with the Other Person, or take revenge.  But if you want to save your marriage, here are several things you should NOT do when you find out your spouse has been unfaithful:

 

1. Don’t pretend it isn’t happening.   Yes you’ve known in your gut for a long time that something was wrong,  and now you have a small bit of evidence or you’ve seen it with your own eyes.  Don’t go into denial.  Don’t pretend that spending hours on the cell phone is “normal” or that co-workers need to send each other thousands of emails every week.  Face the truth: your spouse is being unfaithful.

2. Don’t confront without proof.  So you got a small piece of evidence that certainly looks suspicious but doesn’t really conclusively prove anything.  If you confront with that one little piece of evidence, your spouse will try to “explain that away” or blame you, and then will be tipped off that you know about their affair and take it deeper into hiding.  Instead, wait.  Gather not just one suspicious piece but several confirming pieces from several different sources.  Get emails, IM chat logs, phone itemization and credit card statements that ALL confirm there is a lie.

3. Don’t drink or do drugs.   You’ve got all the proof.  You’re spouse is cheating.  The pain is horrific and unending, and the temptation to go numb by getting drunk or getting high is all too intense.  The only problem is that easing the pain with alcohol or drugs does not address the issue of infidelity, and it doesn’t make it go away.  When the effects of the alcohol or the drugs go away, the adultery will still be there.  Not only that, but you are bound to make poor decisions because you’re not thinking clearly!  Your mind is altered.  So I completely understand….it’s tempting…but don’t  go there.  Face it–stone cold sober.

4. Don’t beg.  When you first have the proof that your spouse is unfaithful, there is a temptation to beg them to stay, to bet them to love you, and to beg them to not divorce.  After all, you are clear-headed enough to understand the amount of pain they are inflicting on you and the amount of damage they are about to do to the family; whereas their thinking seems completely unaware of anyone but themselves!  Although begging seems to make sense at first, it’s actually counter-productive because by the time infidelity has reared its ugly head, the Disloyal Spouse is no longer caring about the hurt to the Loyal Spouse or even the hurt to their children.  Begging will come across as weak and unattractive, and if anything it will have the opposite from the desired effect.

5. Don’t promise you’ll change.  This is very similar to #4 above, “Don’t beg.”  At first,it may seem to make sense that if you promise your Disloyal Spouse that you’ll change, they’ll want to stay and “go back to the way it was.”  But in real life, to the Disloyal Spouse it will come across like too little, too late.  They’ll think “I  asked you for change before and you didn’t back then, so you probably won’t now either.”  So if you have things about yourself that you know you should work on, work on them but don’t promise you’ll change.  Just BE different and let them see the changes in your actions.

6. Don’t rage.  No one wants to be screamed at for hours, even if they have committed adultery.  No one wants a partner in their life who will become violent.  Punching out the Other Person doesn’t suddenly make you look desirable and make them look unattractive.  So if you are angry–and it’s natural to feel angry–find a healthy way to express the anger–maybe with a friend or family member.  Raging will just lead to domestic violence or assault charges, police involvement, and consequences like being forced out of your own home -AND- the adultery will not be stopped.

7. Don’t have a revenge affair.  Finding out that your spouse was unfaithful can send your self-esteem plunging, and in an angry state of mind you may want to rebuild your self-worth by going out and having a one-night-stand to prove your desirability.  Trust me on this one…don’t.  Adding another affair to a marriage that is already in dire trouble does NOT make the situation better.  Going against your own moral code will just make things worse, and you will not feel better about yourself.  Instead, focus on doing what you know is right, and that will build your self-worth.

Now that you know the seven things to NOT do if your spouse is cheating, what DO YOU DO?  I recommend you take a look around on our site,  read our articles such as “ Seven Steps You Can Take to End an Affair,”  or contact us via or Contact Page to set up email, mentoring or an appointment!

  • Can a Marriage Survive Infidelity? (everydayhealth.com)
  • What to Do When You Are the Cheating Spouse (christinehammondcounseling.wordpress.com)


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How do you start to feel attracted again to your Disloyal Spouse?

heart_and_key

The first thing I did personally was to let go of the idea that “it” would “be like it used to be.” Sadly “the way it used to be” is dead and gone, and will never return. So for me the first thing was to mourn the loss of “what I thought I had.” Of course a lot of “what I thought I had” was a facade anyway, and not honestly there, so that a lot of it was actually letting go of the image I had created in my head and instead looking at what actually true!

The second thing I did was that up to the point of reconciliation there had been a lot done on both sides that was hurtful and built resentment: things my spouse did or didn’t do that I needed, things I did or didn’t do that my spouse needed, things we both said. So in a very general way, the way I viewed my DS and thought of my spouse  inside my own head (so to speak) was negative. I felt negative things, I thought negative thoughts…and nothing personal but who’s attracted to someone whom you think of negatively who makes you feel negative emotions? Right? So the second thing I did was get to work changing negative feelings and thoughts to positive ones.

Now that may soun like a “well yeah…DUH!” statement, but part of changing negative thoughts and feelings into positive ones is being willing to let go of the negative stuff and actually release them–in the sense of “I’m not holding onto this anymore and I’m not going to bring it up in an argument anymore and I’m not going to hold it against you anymore.” So yep there was negative stuff and yep some of it had to be addressed, corrected and changed–but there was also some that I had to choose to either hold onto and remember -OR- choose to let go of and forgive. So I let it go.

THEN rather than looking back and remembering how they did  this  and they did that, I began to do my best to focus on today (and just today) and see what I could that was positive TODAY. So for example, in the past one of the things that had hurt me deeply was that I felt ignored–like if I stood next to my spouse naked, and set myself on fire…they would not have noticed. So I could choose to hold onto that and keep remembering it (after all it did happen), but we decided instead to address it, correct it, and then I began to look at it like this: “Is my spouse ignoring me today? What is my DS doing today to ‘pay attention’? When has my DS spent time with me? What have I done to be the kind of person it’s fun to spend time with?” And lo and behold, I observed that TODAY my Disloyal Spouse had looked into my eyes, gave me a good morning kiss, cuddled in bed before we had to wake up, made coffee the night before to I just had to turn it on, said ‘thank you’ when I made breakfast, gave me a hug goodbye….etc. See all those things? That’s partly my DS changing and making the effort…and partly me taking the time to notice and change the negatives to positives.

It’s also partly each one of you being willing to stop pointing the finger “at the other guy” and start looking at yourself. Not saying anyone is “to blame” here so it’s not that kind of thing, but the fact is that things were done on both sides that were hurtful. If both of you aren’t willing to look at yourself and say “Yeah I’m willing to make the effort to change *this* and *this* and *this* so I’m a better spouse and the kind of person who is attractive”….then you’re in trouble! But if you both ARE willing to do that, and look at yourself, then there’s hope. What is really, Really, REALLY typical is not that anyone did anything horrible before the affair, but that over the years both partners gradually invested less and less in the marriage and invested in other stuff like kids, work or school, or other friends. So to fix that… it’s not a “blame” situation, but rather just remembering, “Oh hey…yeah! When I was single, I was a person who didn’t nag and didn’t rage and I kind of let that creep in. I wouldn’t want to be with someone who nags me! I better get a handle on that.” See what I mean?

Okay finally, you’ve let go of “the way it was”–you’re going to build a whole, new marriage. You’re working on letting go of the negative and replacing it with positive–and you are working on YOU and letting them work on them. Now the last step is to stop trying to “work on your marriage” all the time and start having fun with your spouse! Here’s what I mean: remember that feeling of fun when you go to the football game with your buddies? Or the feeling of fun when you go to the mall and try on every silly hat in the place? Or the feeling of playing together and rolling on the floor tickling each other? When was the last time you were THAT GUY (or THAT GAL) with your spouse? The reason you like some of your friends is because they are fun, and if you never have fun with your spouse you won’t like them either. So find some stuff you both enjoy doing–and I mean you both smile and laugh and get to the end and say “Wow that was fun!” and do that together. Dear Hubby and I used to go camping (his health sort of stopped that), go to car shows, play WoW, read together, watch movies, write…we do all kinds of stuff together that is just plain having fun with a friend. After all, our spouses are supposed to be our best friends, right?

Do that with your spouse and you’ll quickly find that your feelings return because you are building a new romance, you are thinking of them positively, you are associating “good stuff” with them, and you are having fun together! You LIKE them!

  • Marriage Tip: Don’t Be A Spouse Pleaser (christinehammondcounseling.wordpress.com)
  • What a Wife’s Heart Would Say to Her Husband (samjoines.wordpress.com)
  • 5 Ways To Destroy Your Marriage (steppaz1961.wordpress.com)
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