Category Archives: Podcast

Examples of How to Talk to Your Kids About an Affair [Podcast]

Here at Affaircare we do believe you should talk to your children when your spouse is having an affair. They are going to notice that something is wrong, and their world is about to be turned upside down just like yours–so they need a parent to tell them what happened and why.

So in this episode of our weekly podcast we are going to discuss WHY you should talk to your kids about your spouse’s affair, HOW to talk to them about it in an age-appropriate way, WHERE they are developmentally, and then give a specific example of how to word it.

Lots advise hiding it from them or lying about the situation by saying something cliche like: “We’ve grown apart and decided we can’t live together anymore.” We don’t believe that’s appropriate, nor does it honor God, no does it respect your children, nor does it teach them to be honest! It sends the children a confusing message for their parents to “grow apart and not be able to live together” but they are told to “just get along” with kids in their class who bully them or tease them. If parents can just run away when they don’t get along, why can’t they?

So we do recommend speaking to the children and telling them the truth about the affair. No doubt the disloyal spouse will be against this because they don’t want their adultery held up to the light of day. And clearly telling the children all the details of infidelity is WAY beyond their capacity to cope and deal with it.

Rather we recommend keeping it simple but honest, sticking with the truth, and keep the focus on what YOU believe and what you think/feel. Do not bad-mouth the disloyal, even if it is the truth, because that puts the focus of your talk on the disloyal and you are saying “S/He did ___” and “S/He thinks we ___” and you can’t speak for them! Plus, the disloyal is your children’s parent and a part of THEM and always will be in their life! Neither you or your kids can make the disloyal be a good parent, but you can be honest with your childrent and tell them how the unfaithful behavior differs from what you believe.

Less than elementary school age:
Developmentally they do not understand anything about “relationships” or “marriage”–they’d only understand that mommy and daddy are their family, and that they need both mommy and daddy. They’d have very basic understanding of right and wrong (something is a ‘no no’), and at this age they tend to see their parents as “gods”.

Be very simple: I believe mommies and daddies make a promise to only love each other and have no other boyfriend or girlfriend. Mommy has a boyfriend and I believe that is a ‘no no’ and I feel sad about it.

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Elementary school age:
Developmentally they do not understand the entire dynamic of “relationships” or “marriage” but they have some idea from observing their parents and seeing their friends’ parents…and they have some vocabulary to express themselves better. They are old enough to have a firm grasp of right and wrong (like lying is naughty), and probably have some basics on morals and values. They will tend to view their parents as “authorities” and they probably will think that parents are splitting because they were bad or because they weren’t good enough for mommy/daddy to love them.

Still keep it simple and no disrespecting the disloyal spouse–just tell the truth and the facts: “You know how we’ve gone to Sunday School and talked about things that are right and wrong, like lying and stealing are wrong? Well I believe when moms and dads marry, they make a promise to only love each other and that would mean having no boyfriends or girlfriends, right? Daddy has a girlfriend and I believe that is wrong. So as long as he has his girlfriend, he will be moving out, and we will be staying right here. You will have your same room and your same school and your same friends, and I will be here if you have any questions or want to talk. Okay?”

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Middle school age:
Developmentally they do not understand the entire dynamic of “relationships” or “marriage” but they may have had their first boy/girl crush and certainly know about dating…plus they have even more ability to vocalize their thoughts and feelings. They are old enough to know right from wrong, and their morals and values are being formed and finalized. This is the age of bar/bat mitzvah or confirmation where they begin the transition to adulthood. They will tend to think that parents are weird, dorks, embarrassing, and irritating…and may try things that are 100% different than their parents’ beliefs just to shock them (and to see if THEY truly believe it too).

It might be similar to the elementary school talk but a bit more advanced–still no disrespecting the disloyal and still just stick to the truth and the facts: I’m sure you can tell something is wrong between your mom and I. She is going to be moving out, and I wanted you to know why. You know how we’ve always taught you about right and wrong? Well I believe when people marry, they take a vow to only love each other and that would mean having no boyfriends or girlfriends, right? Well, your mom has a boyfriend and I believe that is wrong. I’ve asked her to give up her boyfriend and return to the family but she has chosen not to. So as long as she has her boyfriend and won’t give him up, she will be moving out. I suspect you feel hurt and upset, but I’m here if you want to talk, okay?

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High school age:
Developmentally they THINK they understand the dynamic of “relationships” and “marriage,” and no doubt they’ve had their first boy/girlfriend, but they do not know the entirety of it. They are fully capable of expressing themselves verbally, but with the onset of puberty, the world is one big drama and they may prefer to talk to their friends or write in a journal. They should already have a very firm grasp of right and wrong, and nearly adult understanding of morals and values. This is the age of testing their young adulthood. This is the age when they are separating from their parents so they will tend to see their parents’ weaknesses and feet of clay, and they’ll likely value their friends first.

A bit more advanced than the middle school talk, but still no disrespecting the disloyal and still just stick to the truth and the facts:I’m sure you can tell something is wrong between your father and I. He is going to be moving out, and I wanted you to know why. You’re mature enough now to know right from wrong. I believe when people marry, they take a vow before God to forsake all others and only love each other so the family is stable and strong. Well, I found out your dad has a girlfriend and I believe that is wrong. I’ve asked him to give up his girlfriend and return to the family but he choses not to. So as long as he has his girlfriend and won’t give her up, he will be moving out. I suspect you feel really hurt, but I’m here if you want to talk.

We can not go into everything your kids may or may not ask–otherwise this video would be hours long! But this will be an honest way to get the conversation started so that they know that at least one parent will be honest with them and tell them the real truth!

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/2016/Edit+20160401+How+to+Talk+to+Your+Kids.mp3]
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It’s Not About YOUR Happiness [Podcast]

forever

Society wrongly views marriage as being all about “my happiness,” and about “me feeling loved.” Consequently, if someone’s marriage isn’t making them happy, if they doesn’t feel they’re being loved adequately, then it’s viewed as “a Bad Marriage. ” The insufficiently happy spouse virtually has an imperative to leave that marriage, and look for one in which they will feel sufficiently loved and happy–and it can take two or three or four tries! This is making the commitment to “Your Own Happiness” rather than making the commitment to your spouse–and it is exactly backward.

1.  Your happiness doesn’t depend on your spouse
Like all life, marriage is fundamentally about GOD! Marriage is what God says it is.  We find our happiness within ourselves by obeying God. Much of the unhappiness we feel is often related to some sin in our life: either we are avoiding sin (as in justifying it or enabling it), denying sin (as in not admitting to ourselves that what we are doing is sin–denial), or continuing in sin when we know better (as in, “this sin feels good and I want to keep doing it!”).   So to stop feeling unhappy, admit that what you are doing is sin and stop it.  If the sin that’s making you unhappy is your spouse’s sin, then stop enabling them and look to your own self to do the right thing.

Also, our spouses do not “make” us happy, even though we hear this all the time.  Yes, our spouses can affect the environment of our home and lives, but ultimately we choose our feelings.  Do not put responsibility for yourself onto your spouse.  If you do not feel loved, then BUILD love with your spouse honorably in your marriage, BUILD healthy self-worth by reading the Bible and believing who you are (a dearly beloved child of the Most High God), and BUILD happiness by obeying God!

2. Your happiness doesn’t depend on your marriage
Each marriage vow is a little unique and yet most marriage vows have a few commonalities. Most include something about “forsaking all others” meaning that there is a promise to focus 100% of affection and loyalty on the person you are marrying.  Most also include something about “for better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness and health”…well are you happy in worse, poorer and sickness? Are you happy when the worst strikes? Are you happy eating bologna sandwiches every day because you lost your job? Are you happy when you or your spouse are ill?  NO!

Marriage may well be about suffering… and not necessarily for doing anything wrong.
Happiness (and love) in a marriage don’t necessarily just organically arrive–it’s not a feeling that just comes naturally (although sometimes it can feel easy).  Rather it is something you build by obeying and by honoring your commitment.

Marriage is a covenant to your spouse in front of friends, family and God…and it is honored by working at being soulmates, by having intimate heart-to-hearts in the warmth of acceptance, hearing the most valued praise and understanding this earth has to offer.

3. Marriage is for holiness
Marriage is a covenant…a sacred discipline designed to help you know God better, love Him more deeply, and trust Him more fully.  It is about serving your spouse (not “your happiness”) and loving your spouse (not “being loved”). Society has it exactly backward, focusing on “me, me, me!” and as a Christian, the focus is on pleasing God and spending your lifetime learning about your spouse so intimately that you can love them well.

For a man, marriage is about:

For a woman, marriage is about:

So rather than viewing marriage as if it is all about YOUR happiness and YOU feeling adequately loved–view marriage in the exact opposite way. In a lifetime of covenant commitment, good times and bad times are going to come, so come to to see marriage as all of life: as a vessel used by God for you to come to know Him better.  The bad times, when they come, are not going to “make you happy” but they will be used as life lessons to teach you to think and live in a godly way.

 

[audio:  https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/2016/Edited+20160324+Its+Not+About+Your+Happiness+(online-audio-converter.com).mp3]

What Does God Want Me to Do About My Marriage? [Podcast]

sign

Here at Affaircare we are asked this question all the time, “What does God want me to do for my marriage? Should I reconcile or should I divorce?”  This week we thought it would be a wise idea to address this question in our podcast.

So for those asking the question we want you to know that  “God’s will” is not some mysterious, mystical thing He reveals via paranormal means to special, elite spiritual people. God’s will and God’s thoughts are revealed to us all plainly in the Bible. Any time that someone claims “the Holy Spirit told me ____” and it contradicts what is written in the Bible, then they are mistaken!  I guarantee you, the Holy Spirit does not tell you that your soul mate is someone else’s spouse!

Second, David and I cannot tell you what to do–God does not give us special revelation on an individual basis for our clients.  We don’t know you, we don’t know your spouse, we don’t know all the facts (we usually hear one side but not both sides and possibly not the truth!), and we don’t know what you two say and do behind closed doors. So we can not predict and we are not “truth detectors.” We are human just like you and all we have to work with are the facts and details that are told to us–and if those facts or details were lies, we can not “just tell.”  No counselor can.

Here is the good news, though!  We CAN tell you how YOU are supposed to act in your marriage, because the Bible tells us the type of married people God wants us to be.  Since we cannot control others, our focus is going to be on YOU and changing YOU–maybe the way you think about your marriage–maybe the way you feel about your marriage–and definitely the way you act in your marriage.  Everything that God wants for your marriage is revealed in the Bible, so let’s look there:

 

GENERAL MARRIAGE VERSES–

Gen 2: 23-24

23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” 24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Prov. 5: 18-19

18 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.

Malachi 2: 13-16

13 Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer looks with favor on your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. 14 You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. 15 Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth. 16 “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the Lord Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.

I Corinthians 7: 1-5

1 Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Ephesians 5: 33

33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

VERSES FOR WIVES–

Proverbs 31: 10-12

10 An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.

Ephesians 5: 22-24

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

1 Peter 3:1-6

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

VERSES FOR HUSBANDS–

Ephesians 5: 25-28

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Colossians 3:19

Husbands, love [your] wives, and be not bitter against them.

1 Timothy 5:8 – But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

So rather than ask us about what God wants you to do with your marriage, look at the verses mentioned today, and apply them to yourself. Is that what YOU are like in your marriage? If not, then that’s where we would start–focus on becoming the husband or wife that God desires. Look at the person in the mirror and put your energy into becoming more godly rather than on changing your spouse. Keep studying the Bible specifically looking at marriage and husbands and wives. The more you obey God, the clearer His will becomes.

[audio:  https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/2016/2016-03-18+What+Does+God+Want+Me+to+Do.mp3]

Recovery Tools: Love Kindlers and Extinguishers– Why They Are Important [Podcast]

During the month of June, we are going to explore the tools that a couple can use to reconcile their marriage after an affair.

So in this week’s episode, we discuss Love Kindlers and Love Extinguishers–but rather than going over the list (we have plenty of articles and blogs from the past for that), this time we’re discussing WHY they are important, and how to use them at the beginning of reconciliation.

URL’s IN THIS PODCAST:

Love Kindlers-What Are They?
https://affaircare.com/articles/love-kindlers-what-are-they/

Love Kindlers Quiz:
http://form.jotform.us/form/40890590616156

Blog posts about Love Kindlers:
https://affaircare.com/category/love-kindlers/

Love Extinguishers-What Are They?
https://affaircare.com/articles/love-extinguishers-what-are-they/

Love Extinguishers Quiz:
http://form.jotform.us/form/40181103830137

Blog Posts about Love Extinguishers:
https://affaircare.com/category/love-extinguishers/

Please join us next week as we continue our June series reviewing tools you can use to recover after an affair. Next week we will be discussing one of my favorite tools: the Myers-Briggs Personality Quiz, and why it’s so important to reconciliation!

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/Kindlers+and+Extinguishers–Why+They%27re+Important.mp3]

Is Abuse Grounds for Divorce? [Podcast]

ABUSE: “An ongoing pattern of behavior designed to control, manipulate and subjugate another that usually occurs behind closed doors.”

The word abuse has taken many meanings over time, and now is used to describe the mistreatment or misuse of virtually anything. People having an affair use “abuse” as a justification for their choices; people who’s spouse had an affair use “abuse” as a reason for their anger.

So in this week’s episode, we discuss what abuse is, what the Bible has to say about abuse, how we (Christians) are supposed to address it, types of abuse, and whether or not abuse an acceptable reason for divorce.

1. What does the Bible say?

Let’s be clear. Scripture reveals that the marriage relationship is to reflect Christ’s relationship with his church—one of sacrificial love. A wife is called to respond to her husband’s biblical headship, not to his destructive and sinful behavior, just as the wife’s mandate is to respect her husband.

The Bible condemns violence and violent men

The word “man” here does not mean husbands only or even males necessarily, but HUMANS. A wife can also be abusive!

Many passages in the Bible speak out on the issue of violence, and GOD’s attitude toward those that repeatedly use violence:

Psalms 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

Zephaniah 1:9 In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit.

Psalms 37:9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

Malachi 2:16-17 “I hate […] a man’s covering his wife with violence, as well as with his garment.” says the Lord Almighty….”You have wearied the Lord with your words.” “How have we wearied him?” you ask. By saying “all who do evil are good in the eyes of the Lord, and he is pleased with them,” or “Where is the God of justice?”. (NIV)

Scripture also shows us that the very words we speak can be considered as a form of violence:

Proverbs 10:6 Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

Proverbs 10:11 The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

Matthew 5:21,22 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire

As followers of Christ we are encouraged to consider everything we say to one another, whether it stands the test of being for the benefit of the hearer – verbal abuse surely does not qualify:

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

James 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

2. How are we (Christians) supposed to address abuse?

Firstly, the Church – and each individual follower of Christ – has a responsibility to offer comfort and help to those who are oppressed (by their partner), needy (of reassurance and protection), weak (due to the constant onslaught of abuse) and in distress. Galatians 6:2; Hebrews 12:12; Hebrews 13:3; Isaiah 1:17; Proverbs 31:9; Jeremiah 22:3; Genesis 42:21; Isaiah 35:3,4

Secondly, the Church also has a responsibility to hold the abuser accountable, to admonish him, to judge (that is, to investigate and discern right from wrong) and to encourage the abuser to change his/her ways: Romans 15:14; James 5:19,20; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; 1 Corinthians 6:1-3

Thirdly, the manner in which the abuser is to be admonished (i.e. the spirit in which to approach him/her) is also spelled out for us Not one of us is perfect – our aim is not to condemn the person – whom Christ has called – but to condemn the actions, and try to encourage recognition of the sin, repentance and a change in ways: 2 Thessalonians 3:15; Galatians 6:1; Luke 15:7
3. What are the different Types of Abuse?

Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Emotional/Mental Abuse, Verbal Abuse, Financial Abuse

Types of abuse https://affaircare.com/types-of-abuse/

Examples of Abuse https://affaircare.com/examples-of-abuse/
4. Sooo…is abuse an acceptable reason for divorce?

The Bible gives two acceptable reasons for divorce: the first is abandonment of a Christian by an unbelieving spouse (1 Corinthians 7:15), and the second is adultery (Matthew 5:32). Although God allows divorce in these circumstances, He does not command it. It is far better, in the case of infidelity, for two Bible-believing Christians to reconcile, extending the forgiveness and love that God freely gives us. However, in abusive situations, the circumstances are far different. While reconciliation with an abusive partner would be wonderful, it depends completely on the abuser proving his or her reliability, which could take years—if it happens at all—never on the abused party.

So abuse is not adultery. But if you initiate separation for saftey and then go through the steps of Matthew 18 to admonish a sinning brother or sister, and they refuse to repent, then Matthew 18 tells us they are considered a non-believer. And if they refuse to stop abusing, they have already abandoned the marriage.

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/Is+Abuse+Grounds+for+Divorce.mp3]

5 Tools to Help You Decide If You Should Stay or Go [Podcast]

“Should I stay in my marriage? Or should I go?” “Can God even restore my marriage?” “How am I supposed to know if I should stand or divorce?”

These are questions that people ask us every day, and the same questions that keep Loyal Spouse’s stuck in limbo–sometimes for years!

We aren’t going to tell you what to do–you two are both adults and personally responsible for your choices. If you choose to stay, do so because you have made a decision to stand firm and then stand firm. If you choose to go, do so because the natural consequence of adultery is breaking the marriage covenant. Thus, if the adulterer BROKE it, they would have to be the one to REPAIR IT by coming to themselves and truly repenting. If they don’t, then divorcing is just one of the natural consequences of the choice that they made to break the marriage covenant.

In the end, the decision is yours and you will reap both the benefits and pay the costs of whatever you choose. EVERY choice–every decision–has both a benefit and a cost, and usually people make their choices because ‘the perceived benefit’ is more valuable than ‘the perceived cost.’ Now we all know that people are sinful and that the qualities that sinful people value are not the qualities that bring glory and honor to God! Thus, a selfish person may “value” the ego-boosting flattery of opposite sex attention over the godly commitment to the spouse of their youth.

So since we are not going to tell you what to decide, how about if we look at what the Bible tells us and help you to figure out how to make your own decision?

1. What did Jesus say about Divorce? Well…let’s look! Matthew 19:3-9

“Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

“Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

So straight from Jesus’ mouth, He says you CAN divorce for sexual immorality–that is to say, you are ‘allowed’–but notice that He doesn’t say you MUST. It’s not a commandment. So if you don’t want to divorce after your spouse is unfaithful, God doesn’t require it of us, but He does allow divorce for that one exception: sexual immorality.

Also note, that in these verse, Jesus says that divorce is permitted because of the hardness of the heart. When someone is unfaithful and refuses to end their affair, they harden their heart and DECIDE to commit infidelity. When someone has an unfaithful spouse who just will not end their adultery, eventually they harden their heart and DECIDE they can’t take it anymore. In these verses, Jesus acknowledges that people divorce because their heart hardens. Nonetheless, in the case of sexual immorality, divorce is a moral option.

2. “Can God Restore My Marriage?”  Obviously God CAN restore–He has the ability to do anything. He is God! He can choose to suspend the law of gravity or choose to make the sun stand still if He wills! So the question is not “CAN God restore this marriage?” but rather “Will He? Is it His will?” It can feel very difficult to determine God’s will sometimes, but knowing God’s will is not some enigmatic hocus pocus only revealed to the special, ultra-holy through some mysterious Spirit. One of the best suggestions I can give you to decide what IS and IS NOT God’s will is to read the Bible. The more you read the Bible, the more you have the opportunity to get to know God’s mind. The more you know God mind, and what He has commanded us to do, and what pleases Him that He would like us to do, and what HE is like, and what qualities HE finds admirable…why the easier it is to determine if something is God’s will or not!

One thing I can say that will help is that God is utterly, 100%, always consistent. He does not tell us to be one way in the Old Testament and then change His mind and tell us to be the opposite way in the New Testament. So one easy way to tell if something is God’s will is that if there is something in the Bible that says ____ does not please God, then He will not have us do that displeasing thing! As an example, I’ve heard of married people who are in some ministry together at church, and they are unfaithful and claim that [quote]”God WANTED them to commit adultery so they could be together and serve Him in this ministry.”[end quote] No He didn’t. Affairs and sexual immorality displease God-period. He would not want us to have an affair in order to minister to Him!!

I’ll give one more example that will help demonstrate how reading the Bible can clarify if you should stay or go. Let’s say you were ‘young and foolish’ and married a non-christian even though you are a Christian and God clearly tells us that we should marry other Christians (II Cor. 6:14). So you rebelled, made a vow, and intended to keep it–but your non-christian spouse had an affair, refuses to end the affair, and wants to leave you. You can know God’s will because of I Cor. 7: 15

“But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.”

3. What about forgiveness? Many times people think that “forgiveness” means “forgetting” or “approving” — and nothing could be further from the truth. We are never, ever told to approve of known sin, nor to just forget about it as if it never happened. What ARE we told about forgiveness then? Well let’s look at Luke 17:3-4

“So watch yourselves. If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”

The “forgiveness verses” command us to forgive, even up to seven times in one day…but when does it become a command? These two verses tell us the exact order in which we are to do things:

  1. they sin
  2. we rebuke them (“rebuke” here means “I value you so much that I’m going to guide you back into doing the right thing”)
  3. they COME TO THEMSELVES and repent (180 degrees different)…
  4. THEN we must forgive.

If they sin, and truly repent–even 7 times in one day–we are told we MUST forgive, so that is when it becomes a commandment. But what if they don’t “come to themselves” or repent? What if they don’t act and think 180 differently and stop their sin? Do we have to forgive then? It doesn’t say we MUST–but it also doesn’t say we shouldn’t if we want to. So we are allowed to forgive even if they don’t ask!

So we are still not going to tell you what to decide. Instead we pray that this look at what the Bible tells us has helped you to figure out how to make your own decision.

4. What are you committed to? Marriage is an entity established by God in which two people commit to treating the other with love as long as they live. Put another way, the vows promise to forsake all others and to ACT in a loving way toward your spouse–which means getting to know your spouse so intimately that you learn what means “I love you” to them–and then you agree to DO THAT for them as long as you are alive! Nowhere in the marriage covenant is there a mention of “as long as I’m happy” or “as long as it’s easy” and yet in reality many people do place a commitment to their own happiness ahead of their commitment to their spouse. Sadly, many people put their commitment to ease ahead of the covenant they made before God to put the effort into loving their spouse!

So one way you can decide whether to Stay or Go…is to consider “What are you committed to?” I realize that your own spouse may not be living up to their commitment, but your spouse isn’t here and you are. What are YOU committed to? Honoring your promise? Forsaking all others? Acting in love? -OR- Your own happiness? Deuteronomy 23:23 is the verse upon which Affaircare is built:

“Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the LORD your God with your own mouth.”

5. But what if there is addiction or abuse?  If there is physical abuse, you get to safety first, and then decide if you should ‘stay or go.’ In the instance of physical abuse, I don’t know of a Bible verse that requires someone to part from their spouse, but we can logically deduce that God would want us to take care of our saftey, and thus it’s just wisdom to be apart from the person who is physically harming you or the children.

But what about addictions or “emotional abuse”? These are justifications that people often use as a reason to leave a marriage. Well, those are serious, deeply painful issues that are going to harm the marriage, but there is no requirement to physically move apart from each other. In fact, I do see several instances of marriage in the Bible that were “difficult marriages” and when the person stayed and honored their vow despite the difficulty, God was pleased. That being said, if you are staying because you “hope” that “this time it will be different” or “this time s/he means it” just bear in mind that YOU can not change anyone other than yourself–and for an addict of any kind or an abuser to want to change of their own free will, there usually has to be a foundation-rocking-event that makes ‘changing’ less painful than ‘staying the same.’

So rather than “hoping” that your addicted or abusive spouse will change (which would make the marriage better, no doubt!), I would challenge you to focus on the person you CAN change, and that’s YOU!! Look in the mirror and examine what things you are doing to enable the addiction and stop doing the enabling. Examine yourself and discover the ways you are interacting with your spouse to allow abuse–for example, if they do “dance step #1” of the same old song and dance, do you do “dance Step #2” and play into the pattern? What if you stopped doing “dance step #2” and did something completely opposite instead? Are you covering for the abuse and mopping up after the destruction? What if you called it by name and let them deal with the fallout? In other words, this is not about “blaming the victim” but rather looking at changing the dynamic and changing YOURSELF so you are a more godly person.

URL’s in this podcast:

The Affaircare Blog
https://affaircare.com/

Ask Affaircare: Should I Stay or Go? Can God Restore This Marriage?
https://affaircare.com/2015/05/13/ask-affaircare-should-i-stay-or-go-can-god-restore-this-marriage/

Please join us next week as we continue our “series” for the month of May just discussing topics about infidelity that we find a little intriguing! Next week we will be discussing the music that can help in the 3 phases of recovery after an affair!  We would LOVE it if you’d tell us about the songs that meant something to you as you were dealing with the infidelity!

[audio:  https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/5+Tools+to+Help+You+Decide+If+You+Should+Stay+or+Go.mp3]

10 Signs Your Spouse is Unhappy [Podcast]

Are you and your spouse the dining dead?  Are they rude and always irritated?  Did you hear “We’ve through this already!” and get shut down?  Is your spouse drinking more, over-eating, buying new gadgets, or turning to porn?

These are signs that your spouse is unhappy. It may be that they are unhappy about something in the marriage, and it may be that something else is causing your spouse to feel unhappy.

In this week’s episode, we discuss ten signs that your spouse is feeling miserable and is no longer satisfied in the marriage. How many of these signs do you see in YOUR spouse? To learn more, and #Affairproof Your Marriage, here are the ten signs you should look for:

1.  Your spouse isn’t talking to you anymore.  The two of you are “the dining dead” and sit next to each other without saying a word because the two of you no longer have anything in common.  You know the setting: you haven’t been spending time with your spouse and you finally get them to agree to “talk”… and your spouse says “We’ve been through this already!”  If you don’t talk, if your spouse answer with “yep” and “no” and that’s it, or If your spouse is shutting down your attempts to talk…it is a sign they are unhappy.

2. Your spouse starts to act rude, disrespectful, easily irritated, offensive.  Usually two adults in a mutually happy relationship treat each other kindly and with some manners: saying “pleases” and “thank yous” for example.  So when you start to notice that your spouse isn’t being as polite, or is being insulting and doesn’t care if they offend you, that is a sure sign that they are not happy.

3. Your spouse is “away”–distracted, not mentally “present” in the present.   People who are committed to loving their spouse make the time to pay attention to their spouse. They will listen to and observe the one they love, and it will be enjoyable!  But for someone who is unhappy, their thoughts are elsewhere. They are distracted thinking about whatever it is that does make them happy, and they do not actively listen to their spouse. Even if your spouse is an introvert, if they don’t pay attention or they  are constantly distracted by something (or someone!) else, it may be a sign of unhappiness in the relationship.

4. Your spouse isn’t fulfilling your needs–they’re less affectionate.  If you know our Basic Concepts, you’ll know that we believe that when people first meet and feel that “in love” feeling, it’s because the person they love piles on the Love Kindlers and naturally does the things that build the fire of love.  So when your spouse seems to be less and less interested in doing the things that kindle the fire, and stops being affectionate, it is a sign that they are not happy.

5. Your spouse is compensating for the unhappiness with some addictive behavior.  Some typical examples of a spouse covering the pain of being unhappy are drinking more, over-eating, watching porn, or over-spending.  For the fellas, over-spending looks different than it does for the ladies.  Men will come home with the latest gadget, the latest game, the latest “man toy” over and over again…whereas the ladies will buy shoes, handbags, clothes, facials, hairdos, or chocolate to try to feel better.

6. Your spouse is following you around like a puppy dog.  When you spouse is clingy and looking for any crumb of attention that you might throw their way, that is a SURE SIGN that they are feeling neglected and unhappy in the marriage!  Time to give your spouse some uninterrupted adult time, and we don’t just mean sex either.  We mean having a whole day to focus on them and treat them as if they are valuable.

7. Your spouse is “away” — and we mean they  are physically NOT THERE.  They work long hours and don’t seem bothered but be gone so much.  They leave you, go out, and have other friends.  They go to church–go to class–go to the gym–ANYWHERE but be with you.  They are not happy at home so they go someplace where they are happy.

8. Your spouse’s sexual desire changes.  Let’s say you and your spouse had an average sex life–not something to write to Playboy about, but it was mutually satisfying and pretty regular, 3 times a week, with various positions and techniques.  Then gradually, you notice a change in your spouse’s sexual desire that doesn’t seem to be related to a medical issue.  It can go one of two ways: either they turn into “NoNookie of the North” (frigid, unresponsive, unenthusiastic) or constantly trying to be seductive and provocative.  Either way, your spouse isn’t feeling connected to you sexually, and they are either punishing you by withholding sex…or they are trying desperately to reconnect with you by turning you on.  Either way-they are not happy!

9. Your spouse lets snide comments about you “accidentally slip out” especially when with friends.  When people love each other, from the love in the hearts and the bounty of their thoughts, their mouth sings the praises of their loved one.  When the fire is being extinguished and the thoughts are beginning to be less positive, your spouse will occasionally let the sarcastic, hurtful comment come out …and try to pass it off as a joke. But make no mistake, this is a serious sign that your spouse is not happy and the truth is leaking out.

10. Your spouse starts to EXCLUDE you.  Married people are indeed two individuated beings–that is to say, you can distinguish one from the other.  They are distinct, and they are UNITED, not FUSED.  “Fused” would be where one of the married people loses their own identity, or they both do, and they say things like: “I can’t live without you!”  “United” would be where both of the married people keep their own identity but also operate as a team or unit. But when your spouse–who is part of a unit with you–begins to exclude you from their life, their friends, their activities or their interests, they are connecting with someone else and do not want you to be involved in their thoughts and feelings. This is probably the most dangerous sign that they are deeply unhappy and about to plunge down that slippery slope toward an affair.

Please join us next week as we continue our “series” for the month of May just discussing topics about infidelity that we find a little intriguing! Aren’t you curious?

[audio:  https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/10+Signs+Your+Spouse+is+Unhappy.mp3]

Top 8 Affaircare Topics: #1 All of the Signs Your Spouse May Be Cheating Part Two [Podcast]

I just found out my spouse is cheating-what do I do? How do I do ‘no contact’ when we have children? My spouse was unfaithful and there’s going to be a child! Before you cheat here are some things you should know.

In this week’s episode, we begin the conclusion of our new our series “The 8 Most Popular Topics on Affaircare.” We’ve been doing a countdown from #8 to #1, and today we are at THE most popular topic on our blog: “All of the Signs Your Spouse May Be Cheating.” This article is so long and has so much information in it, that I decided to divide it into two parts: Part One (today’s video) is all about the first 6 categories of signs of infidelity. Next week’s final video will be about the final categories of the signs of cheating.

URL’s in this podcast:

ALL of the Signs Your Spouse May be Cheating:
https://affaircare.com/articles/all-of-the-signs-your-spouse-may-be-cheating/

Please join us next week for our a new series! Aren’t you curious?

[audio:  https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/Top+8+-+%231+All+the+Signs+Pt+2.mp3]

Top 8 Affaircare Topics: #1 All of the Signs Your Spouse May Be Cheating Part One [Podcast]

I just found out my spouse is cheating-what do I do? How do I do ‘no contact’ when we have children? My spouse was unfaithful and there’s going to be a child! Before you cheat here are some things you should know.

In this week’s episode, we begin the conclusion of our new our series “The 8 Most Popular Topics on Affaircare.” We’ve been doing a countdown from #8 to #1, and today we are at THE most popular topic on our blog: “All of the Signs Your Spouse May Be Cheating.” This article is so long and has so much information in it, that I decided to divide it into two parts: Part One (today’s video) is all about the first 6 categories of signs of infidelity. Next week’s final video will be about the final categories of the signs of cheating.

URL’s in this podcast:

ALL of the Signs Your Spouse May be Cheating:
https://affaircare.com/articles/all-of-the-signs-your-spouse-may-be-cheating/

High Tech ways to discover if your spouse is cheating:
https://affaircare.com/2012/11/04/high-tech-ways-to-discover-if-your-spouse-is-cheating/

Low tech ways to check if your spouse is cheating:
https://affaircare.com/2012/11/01/low-tech-ways-to-check-if-your-spouse-is-cheating/

Please join us next week for Part Two–the conclusion of our most popular blog by reviewing the final categories of ALL the signs of a cheating spouse! In May we will begin a new series! Aren’t you curious?

[audio:  https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/Top+8+-+%231+All+the+Signs+Pt+1.mp3]

Top 8 Affaircare Topics: #2 Understanding Your Loyal Spouse Part Two [Podcast]

I just found out my spouse is cheating-what do I do? How do I do ‘no contact’ when we have children? My spouse was unfaithful and there’s going to be a child! Before you cheat here are some things you should know.

In this week’s episode, we continue our new our series  “The 8 Most Popular Topics on Affaircare.” We’re doing a countdown from #8 to #1, and today we are at the second most popular topic on our blog: “Understanding Your Loyal Spouse.”  This article is so long and has so much information in it, that I divided it into two parts: Part One was all about the Section 1–The Wild Patchwork of Emotions (last week).  This week’s video is all about Section Two–What Else Can You do to Ease Their Pain and Stress? and Section Three–What Are The Next Stages?

URL’s in this podcast:

Understanding Your Loyal Spouse:
https://affaircare.com/articles/understanding-your-loyal-spouse/

Please join us next week when I conclude our series of the Top 8 Most Popular  articles on Affaircare and we hit the #1 topic!!

[audio:  https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/Top+8+-+%232+Understanding+Your+Loyal+Spouse+Pt1.mp3]