AFFAIRCARE

…nouthetic, Christian care after an affair.


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Save Our Marriage Saturday–October 27th

Today is Save Our Marriage Saturday!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HTML CODE:

<a href=”http://affaircare.com/category/save-our-marriage-saturdays/”><img src=”http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh76/FaithfulWifeCJ/affaircare/lighthousetale2-1.jpg&#8221; style=”border:none;” />




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


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Save Our Marriage Saturday October 20th

Today is Save Our Marriage Saturday!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HTML CODE:

<a href=”http://affaircare.com/category/save-our-marriage-saturdays/”><img src=”http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh76/FaithfulWifeCJ/affaircare/lighthousetale2-1.jpg&#8221; style=”border:none;” />




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


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How to Rebuild After an Affair: Step 7: Rebuilding Tools

Before there can be reconciliation, there are three things that need to happen for true growth and rebuilding to occur:

  • No Contact,
  • Transparent Honesty,
  • Agreement to work on yourself and your marriage

I will write about those three topics in the Affaircare newsletter this coming weekend–Sunday October 14th!  If you want to hear more, please feel free to subscribe right there on the right sidebar.   But TODAY, the topic is how to rebuild after the affair has ended.  How do  you pick up the pieces and build a new marriage?  What steps should we take to start making a marriage that is mature, healthy, loving and happy for both of us?

Step One: Forgiveness

Step Two: Let’s talk about Commitment

Step Three: Take Some Time

Step Four: Mutual United Understanding

Step Five: W-T-F-S

Step Six: Selfless, Selfish, and Self-aware mode

Step Seven: Rebuilding Tools

Ending the affair is not enough to keep your marriage together. A marriage is hard, continual work – with equally bountiful benefits. Most things that come easy aren’t worth much, and a good marriage is evidence of this. It is quite common for a couple to believe that they have ‘something special’ and that the work other people have to do to keep their relationship happy and healthy is not necessary. These are quite often the very marriages that end in divorce. Happiness is not something that is automatically yours – you have to work to achieve it. And, just as with any other type of work, tools make that work much easier, and more productive. Not only must the affair end, but you need to build a relationship that creates an environment in which an affair seems the least necessary choice. Along with the help of a third party, there are several other tools you can use to help you work toward a better marriage.

Tool #1: Myers-Briggs Personality Type indicator

We use this as a tool with the aim of improving communication and understanding between you and your spouse.   We’ve found that one of the biggest reasons marriages end is that people do not understand their personality differences, and instead spend countless hours resenting the fact that their spouse does not do things the way they expect. We’ve heard countless arguments that ‘my husband doesn’t like my friends,’ or ‘my wife never wants to be home!’ – and after just a little investigation, we’ve found that this is a personality difference.  Understanding your spouse is the biggest tool to creating a healthy marriage. We can’t stress the importance of this tool enough.

Tool #2: Love Languages

Although there are many tools that we suggest a couple use to help rebuild their marriage, we are not the authors of every single tool. Some are just so good, we thought, “Why re-invent the wheel?”  The 5 Love Languages at www.5lovelanguages.com is such a tool.   Dr. Gary Chapman discovered there are five key categories, or five love languages, that proved to be universal and comprehensive:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

Which is YOUR love language?  And which is your spouse’s love language?  Have you been showing your spouse love in YOUR love language and that’s why they haven’t “gotten the message”?

Tool #3: Love Kindlers Questionnaire 

Back in the day, you and your spouse were drawn together like magnets!  Some of HIS actions and character traits were attractive to HER…and likewise some of HER actions and character traits were attractive to HIM.  Find out which actions and which traits really kindle your spouse’s love flame and really turn it into a blaze of passion! Each one of you take this Love Kindlers Questionnaire  and share your answers with each other.  How well does your spouse do this kindler:

1) Emotional Commitment
2) Spiritual Commitment
3) Physical Commitment
4) Financial Commitment
5) Family Commitment
6) Social Commitment
7) Security Commitment

Tool #4: Love Extinguishers Questionnaire 

Have some of your actions been “extinguishing” the love flame in your marriage?  Each one of you can take this Love Extinguishers Questionnaire and share your answers with each other.  How much does you spouse extinguish the love in your heart by doing this extinguisher:

1) Emotional Neglect
2) Spiritual Neglect
3) Physical Neglect
4) Financial Neglect
5) Family Neglect
6) Social Neglect
7) Security Neglect

Happily Ever After: How to maintain an affair-free marriage
Ending the affair and rebuilding your marriage is not the end. Now  how do you live “happily ever after”?

An affair is a severe symptom of a marriage that is suffering  It is rarely, if ever, the cause of the problems in the marriage. A marriage, as a commitment between two people, is only as healthy as the work the partners put into it. Unless that work is aimed at the health of the marriage, unless that work is ongoing, the marriage will begin to suffer. You can restore your marriage from the devastation of an affair. On a practical level, in order to reach “happily ever after” you keep on building.

When you have taken the steps to end the affair, and you have worked together using all the steps to rebuild your marriage, start again. Every six months, retake the Love Kindlers and Love Extinguishers Questionnaires, and revisit your Myers-Briggs Personality types and Love Languages. You may have missed essential points or you may pick up new ones! Update your married life plan, and then work your plan together as a team.

There is no guarantee to success at ending an affair and saving your marriage, but by using the steps we’ve laid out for you here, you have the best possible chance of rebuilding a relationship that is healthy, happy and loving for both of you. In the end, isn’t that what “happily ever after” means?

This is the final post in the CMBA 1/2 Marathon Blogging Challenge to post everyday for 13 days in October … AND is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge!

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How to Rebuild After an Affair: Step 6 Selfless, Selfish, and Self-aware mode -AND- Save Our Marriage Saturday Oct. 13th

Selfish Mode

Before there can be reconciliation, there are three things that need to happen for true growth and rebuilding to occur:

  • No Contact,
  • Transparent Honesty,
  • Agreement to work on yourself and your marriage

I will write about those three topics in the Affaircare newsletter this coming weekend–Sunday October 14th!  If you want to hear more, please feel free to subscribe right there on the right sidebar.   But TODAY, the topic is how to rebuild after the affair has ended.  How do  you pick up the pieces and build a new marriage?  What steps should we take to start making a marriage that is mature, healthy, loving and happy for both of us?

Step One: Forgiveness

Step Two: Let’s talk about Commitment

Step Three: Take Some Time

Step Four: Mutual United Understanding

Step Five: W-T-F-S

Step Six: Selfless, Selfish, and Self-aware mode

A marriage is a union of two distinct individuals. Both of these people have skills and talents. They are able to think, make decisions, like and dislike. Marriage does not merge these abilities into one another – even in the marriage, both individuals exist. It is important to keep this in mind in any situation where there is interaction between you and your spouse. What you think may not be exactly the same thing they are thinking. Many problems occur in marriage because of the assumption that ‘if I think something, my spouse does too’. Understanding the value of each individual in the marriage is vital to a healthy marriage.

There are three ways in which this interaction occurs. For convenience sake we use the terms ‘selfless’, ‘selfish‘ and ‘self-aware’. Because these are states of conscious interaction, we also call them modes.

Selfless Mode

In this mode, you devalue yourself to the point that you subjugate everything about yourself to your spouse. This is not the same as the biblical idea of submission, in which each spouse recognizes that their spouse is indeed better at, or more equipped to handle a particular situation – and supports their spouse in the solution to the situation. Instead, this is an act of fusing yourself with your spouse, so that your spouse is the only real entity in the marriage. This is a very common mode – people have been taught that altruism is a virtue, that emptying yourself of ‘you’ is a preferable choice to its opposite (merging your spouse into yourself). In reality neither option honors your commitment to your spouse. You are a valuable part of your marriage. Without your thoughts, skills and talents, your marriage suffers. It becomes a showcase for your spouse, placing undo, largely unwanted, and extremely stressful pressure on them. By removing your support from the marriage, by turning all responsibility and hence any blame that might happen onto your spouse’s shoulders, you may be saving yourself from temporary consequences of your own actions, but in the end the cost is almost always the marriage. A union of two distinct individuals cannot survive the disappearance of one of them! Once it becomes a fusion, one or both spouses become dissatisfied, and troubles start.

Selfish Mode

This mode is the result of you devaluing your spouse to the point where they are no longer seen as a real person, and instead viewed as an extension of yourself. A spouse in Selfish Mode fits nicely with a spouse who’s in Selfless Mode (above); yet this mode is damaging to the marriage. In this mode you place your needs, desires and wants as the primary reason for your marriage. Your spouse is in the marriage solely for the purpose of serving you. Many people are not aware that they are in this mode and merely think that their own way is the best. Thus, rather than realizing their spouse is also an equal adult and parent, and rather than acknowledging that their spouse’s way is different but just as effective, they only see the one way of doing things (their way) and try to “make” their spouse comply! This is a classic ‘controller’ situation. Unfortunately, being a controller (or abuser) does not distinguish gender; despite the number of shelters for abused women, there are men who are abused too. So unless and until you can value your spouse’s input; their skills and abilities, you will find yourself continually frustrated, angered and depressed that things do not go your way. Unless you are willing to meet ‘in the middle’ you are destroying your relationship.

Self-aware Mode

This is the mode of a healthy marriage. You must be aware of your strong points, and be able to use them wisely, as well as your weak points – and be willing to work on improving yourself. You must be aware of your spouse’s strong points, and be able to use them wisely, as well as their weak points – and be willing to work on helping them improve (if they need your help.) This is a mode in which the value of both spouses is recognized, a marriage that is a true union of two distinct people, both of whom have value. The skills, abilities and thoughts of both spouses are recognized as necessary and are therefore respected by both spouses.

When you being to work on your marriage, keep in mind these three modes of communication. Understand which on you tend to use, and work (together) to develop a habit of using the ‘Self-aware’ mode. It will create a more respectful, and honest relationship between the two of you, as well as solve many of the issues that create resentment. If you find that you work mainly in selfless mode, you will need to work to establish boundaries about yourself, beyond which you will not step. You’ll need to learn to become more assertive, and actually practice speaking up for yourself. If, on the other hand you mainly work in Selfish Mode, you will need to work at understanding that your spouse is distinct individual from yourself. You’ll need to make respectful requests and understand that your spouse is free to disagree with you, or to offer alternate choices. Most importantly, you will need to practice Mutual United Understandings rather than make demands or ‘edicts from on high.’

This is post #13  in the CMBA 1/2 Marathon Blogging Challenge to post everyday for 13 days in October … AND is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge!

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Today is also Save Our Marriage Saturday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HTML CODE:

<a href=”http://affaircare.com/category/save-our-marriage-saturdays/”><img src=”http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh76/FaithfulWifeCJ/affaircare/lighthousetale2-1.jpg&#8221; style=”border:none;” />




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


4 Comments

How to Rebuild After an Affair: Step 5 W-T-F-S

Before there can be reconciliation, there are three things that need to happen for true growth and rebuilding to occur:

  • No Contact,
  • Transparent Honesty,
  • Agreement to work on yourself and your marriage

I will write about those three topics in the Affaircare newsletter this coming weekend–Sunday October 14th!  If you want to hear more, please feel free to subscribe right there on the right sidebar.   But TODAY, the topic is how to rebuild after the affair has ended.  How do  you pick up the pieces and build a new marriage?  What steps should we take to start making a marriage that is mature, healthy, loving and happy for both of us?

Step One: Forgiveness

Step Two: Let’s talk about Commitment

Step Three: Take Some Time

Step Four: Mutual United Understanding

Step Five: W-T-F-S

Invariably, as you two are carefully rebuilding your marriage, topics will come up that are difficult to discuss but that need to be brought up for a truly healthy relationship. The problem is that discussions like this were harmful to the marriage, in the past – usually due to one spouse wording it: YOU do this or that,” and the second spouse responding defensively and it all goes spirals downward into a fight from there.

As you can see, rebuilding your marriage is a step-by-step process, and each new step builds upon the previous step. When you two have forgiven each other, both committed to doing the work, taken some time together, and learned how to reach an enthusiastic understanding, you’re ready to start addressing some of the harder topics. One way to respectfully bring up a topic that is uncomfortable, and avoid the downward spiral, is to use the W-T-F-S method. This stands for: “When you…” “I Think…” “I Feel…” “So I’d like to request…” Let’s go over each letter!

When you…   This is where you would put into words the issue that needs to be addressed. The goal here is not to be blaming or pointing fingers, but rather to focus on a specific behavior or pattern. This is to identify the topic.

I Think…   At this point, share with your spouse the words you think inside your own head. We all have a voice inside our head like a running narration of what we think, so share those words—share what you think about the specific behavior or pattern and keep the focus on yourself not on your spouse. If you are blessed with a natural thinker type, you’ll find this one fairly easy—if you’re a feeler type, you will have to put your thoughts into words.

I Feel…   This is the point at which you share with your spouse how you feel about the specific behavior or pattern. Use words that describe your emotions, and try to stretch your vocabulary beyond “happy, sad, or angry”. For those who are a natural thinker type, here are a few words to help expand your emotional lexicon—if you’re a feeler type, you’ll be well acquainted with these words!

So I’d like to request…  This final step is actually extremely important; if you skip this step basically all you’re doing is complaining! This step identifies for your spouse what you would request of them to either fix the problem or make it work for you. At this step do your best to be specific and ask for what you need, and ask them if they’d be willing to do that. They are completely free to say “yes” or “no” but if they do say “no” ask them what they would be willing to do. Maybe they have a suggestion that really would work for you!

Finally, as an example, here’s what a W-T-F-S statement would sound like. The topic: when the Disloyal Spouse gets a cell phone call at home and goes to another room to take the call.

When you get a call on your cell phone and leave to take the call in another room,
I think that you’re trying to hide the conversation or who called,
I feel scared that I’m going to be hurt again and feel a little excluded,
So I’d like to request that if you do get a cell call, would you be willing to answer it right in front of me and take the call right then and there? If you need to go somewhere more quiet, let’s work out a quick signal between us.

This is post #12 in the CMBA 1/2 Marathon Blogging Challenge to post everyday for 13 days in October … AND is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge!

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And on Fridays I also join this Godly Link-up:

Beholding Glory


5 Comments

How to Rebuild After an Affair: Step 4 M.U.U.

Before there can be reconciliation, there are three things that need to happen for true growth and rebuilding to occur:

  • No Contact,
  • Transparent Honesty,
  • Agreement to work on yourself and your marriage

I will write about those three topics in the Affaircare newsletter this coming weekend–Sunday October 14th!  If you want to hear more, please feel free to subscribe right there on the right sidebar.   But TODAY, the topic is how to rebuild after the affair has ended.  How do  you pick up the pieces and build a new marriage?  What steps should we take to start making a marriage that is mature, healthy, loving and happy for both of us?

Step One: Forgiveness

Step Two: Let’s talk about Commitment

Step Three: Take Some Time

Step Four: Mutual United Understanding

When an issue arises in your marriage, there are two viewpoints involved. Often both viewpoints are the same, and no discussion is necessary. But sometimes there is a difference of opinion – or, one spouse is not even aware of the issue. This is where discussion needs to occur until some sort of solution is reached. This solution ideally should be agreeable to both spouses. In order to facilitate the ideal solution, we use a process we call the M.U.U. – Mutual United Understanding.

The solution must be understood – often in conversation people will reach a conclusion based on assumptions rather than taking the time to investigate. Later, one of the people will do something that entirely surprises the other(s). Arguments or confusion result, because someone acted in way that seemed to show they entirely ignored the agreement. While that can be the case, it is also quite possible that there was not a full understanding of what was agreed.

Hence, it is important to make sure, when there is a discussion, that both spouses fully understand what the agreement actually is. To this end, ask a lot of questions, and explain your points fully. It is not only not fair to your partner to leave out important details, but it is also damaging to the relationship.

The solution must be united – that is, both parties must agree to the solution. It is harmful to your marriage to simply assign a solution to a problem, and then demand your spouse fulfill your demand. It won’t help for both spouses to come up with their own solutions and then try to implement them. Often this arranges to create an even bigger mess (one partner pushing the car forward, the other pushing it backward.) The solution to any dilemma must be the same one for both partners.

The most important element of this method is contained in the word mutual. Although this is essentially a synonym for “united” we use the word to indicate a different shade of meaning. We mean you both must enthusiastically agree to the solution. Unless this seems to be the right decision for both of you, unless the assurance that this is the correct path to take, we suggest you do not proceed at all. Do not use an alternate solution, instead, keep working, talking, discussing – even to the point of involving a third party to help see things objectively if necessary. Keep doing this until you reach a solution to which you both are quite willing to agree and agree with enthusiasm!

One suggestion we do have regarding this Mutual United Understanding is regarding child discipline. Since you two are both individuals, it is likely that one day you will have a difference of opinion about a decision for the children – whether that be just a “yes” or “no” decision or a decision about when and/or how to discipline. In this one specific area we suggest that the two of you agree now that you will always present a united front in front of the children, so they do not try to ask dad, he says “no” so let’s go ask mom. Even if you disagree with your spouse, in front of the children, be united. Then have the understanding between the two of you that if you do disagree, you will go to the other parent, use the next step (W-T-F-S) to explain your reasoning, and reach a consensus. Then the parent who originally made the declaration is the one who goes in front of the child and changes the declaration. That way the children do not play the parents against each other and add another layer of strife and discord.

This is nearly identical to the Policy of Joint Agreement (POJA) used by the Harleys at MarriageBuilders. We have no intention of stealing the idea. It is just so good that it needs to be repeated, so all credit is due to them.

This is post #11 in the CMBA 1/2 Marathon Blogging Challenge to post everyday for 13 days in October … AND is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge!

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And on Thursdays I also join this Godly Link-up:


6 Comments

How to Rebuild After an Affair: Step 3 Take Some Time

Before there can be reconciliation, there are three things that need to happen for true growth and rebuilding to occur:

  • No Contact,
  • Transparent Honesty,
  • Agreement to work on yourself and your marriage

I will write about those three topics in the Affaircare newsletter this coming weekend–Sunday October 14th!  If you want to hear more, please feel free to subscribe right there on the right sidebar.   But TODAY, the topic is how to rebuild after the affair has ended.  How do  you pick up the pieces and build a new marriage?  What steps should we take to start making a marriage that is mature, healthy, loving and happy for both of us?

Step One: Forgiveness

Step Two: Let’s talk about Commitment

Step Three: Take Some Time

When there’s been an affair in a marriage, there has been a HUGE disconnect between the two spouses, and after making the decision to forgive, and mutually agreeing to commit to doing the work necessary to rebuild the marriage, the next step is to take some time away – just the two of you – to reconnect in a positive way. Very often one of the two spouses will object, saying something like: “We can’t afford to take a vacation now” or “We don’t have time now; we have to work.” It is precisely this attitude that got the couple into the position to be vulnerable to an affair! If you think you can’t afford a vacation – can you afford to pay for two attorneys, two residences, and lose half of everything you own? If you think you don’t have time or you have to work – do you have time to be attend divorce court and divorce mediation and divorce conferences with your lawyer? This step is SERIOUS and this step is CRUCIAL.

Taking a little time to reconnect does not need to be a 14-day European vacation or cruise. It can be as simple as a long, 3-day weekend or asking grandparents to watch the children so you two have the house to yourselves! It’s nice if you can get away from home, though, so that the surroundings are different and neutral to the issues of the affair. The ideal situation would be to take a few vacation days, go to that fancy hotel you’ve always wanted to go to, or that secluded cabin in the mountains, and purposely have fun together. Prior to this, chances are good that the Disloyal Spouse had a primarily negative association with the Loyal Spouse, and likewise the Loyal Spouse painfully remembers the actions of the Disloyal during the affair. So this getaway is not for deep, emotional, relationship talks nor is it the time to demand sexual fulfillment. This getaway is to specifically do one thing: be with each other in a way that you both find enjoyable, doing things that you both find enjoyable. Find something that you both like to do, such as a sport, a game, or a hobby, and do it together. Reconnect and learn how to like being with your spouse again. If you both agree, make love—and if you’re not quite there, do the actions to rekindle love so you two can make love again. This starts a foundation of positive association, and this is a foundation upon which a new, healthy, happy, loving marriage relationship can be built.

This is post #10 in the CMBA 1/2 Marathon Blogging Challenge to post everyday for 13 days in October … AND is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge!

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And on Wednesdays I also join these Godly Link-ups:


8 Comments

How to Rebuild After an Affair: Step 2 Commitment

Before there can be reconciliation, there are three things that need to happen for true growth and rebuilding to occur:

  • No Contact,
  • Transparent Honesty,
  • Agreement to work on yourself and your marriage

I will write about those three topics in the Affaircare newsletter this coming weekend–Sunday October 14th!  If you want to hear more, please feel free to subscribe right there on the right sidebar.   But TODAY, the topic is how to rebuild after the affair has ended.  How do  you pick up the pieces and build a new marriage?  What steps should we take to start making a marriage that is mature, healthy, loving and happy for both of us?

Step One: Forgiveness

Step Two: Let’s talk about Commitment

“…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…” – Deut. 23:23 (NIV)

Marriage is a commitment. This fairly common understanding is something both overlooked and at the same time frequently, even continually discussed. Most people understand the idea of commitment. We commit our time to the kid’s soccer team, church functions, and social events. We commit our money to purchasing items over time in the form of loans. We commit ourselves in marriage. The idea of commitment is so common to our daily lives that we almost miss just how important it is.

What exactly is it to commit to something, to someone? What does the term mean and how does it affect us? Here’s a reasonable definition of the term ‘commit’ (in the context of this article): “…to obligate, bind; to pledge or assign to some particular course or use; to obligate or pledge oneself…”

Commitment is an intellectual exercise. It starts with a choice you make. You decide to take a particular course of action over and against some other course of action. Commitment is when you also make the choice to continue that action, even when given other options. A commitment usually has a goal in mind – a final destination. For example, if you commit some of your money toward the purchase of a car, the end in mind is the full ownership of that car. Once you make that last payment, you have fulfilled your commitment and are no longer under obligation to continue applying money toward the car

It’s a natural human activity – we can do it as unconsciously as breathing. Think about your search for happiness. Most of us are committed to this goal. It’s such a part of life that it seems more like a natural, organic thing, something that happens to you. But this is not true: it is a choice you make and continue to act upon. You decide what makes you happy and then pursue that objective. You can always choose something else. That may look like insanity to others, but this does not change the fact that it is you making this choice.

In marriage you also decide to commit. This is a much more conscious decision. This commitment is a fulfillment of the vows you make when you marry. The marriage vows are a formal declaration of the terms of the commitment you enter with your spouse. This vow is most often life long – the obligation usually ends upon the death of one of the marriage partners.

The fact that the pursuit of happiness is also a rational choice you make has important ramifications when it comes to the commitment of marriage. You are committed to what makes you happy. This can cause problems; it can even contradict your commitment to marriage. One of the biggest causes of divorce is the separation of a person’s commitment to happiness and a person’s commitment to the marriage. Think of each commitment as a path. When these paths do not coincide, when they head off in different directions, there are troubles. And many people choose the course of happiness over the choice of marriage.

This shows the priority given to these commitments. If the pursuit of happiness causes you to break the marriage contract, it is quite evident that the pursuit of happiness is the most important factor, your marriage commitment falling somewhere farther down the line. One of the main reasons people marry is because the actions or appearances of their spouse coincide with that person’s ideas of what makes them happy. This makes entering the marriage contract easy, because the paths are running parallel, if not entirely merged. This can go on as long as the spouse fulfills all the terms of the commitment to happiness.

But when things part ways, troubles ensue, and quite often end up with a destroyed marriage.

It’s important to notice that the troubles, caused by a divergence of the commitment to marriage and the commitment to happiness, occur because of the priority given to happiness. Because marriages are started at a time when each person’s actions or appearance coincide with their partner’s ideas of what makes them happy, it is easy to forget that the marriage contract is also a commitment. In fact, the marriage contract is specific, with a definite list of conditions. The commitment to happiness is by far less defined and more generalized. Very few people have a list of items that they need in order to be happy.

In the past, this was far less of a factor regarding marriage. For example, in a system of arranged marriage, people entered the marriage contract with the full knowledge that the happiness commitment and the marriage commitment were not the same thing. This is not to argue that a system of arranged marriage is somehow superior to the current one. This just points out the fact that the current version of marriage makes STAYING together much harder.

But it does not need to be. The solution is simple! Working it into your life is a lot more difficult. The answer lies in addressing the indefinite conditions of the commitment to happiness. What you need to do is to be extremely specific about what makes you happy. List it, write it down, commit to it. This can be difficult, because people are so used to living a reactive, rather than proactive life. People wait for their emotions to take effect before they make a decision. If they experience a negative emotion, they go in another direction. They move toward, or along with, positive emotions. Their emotions are the guiding force in their life.

But emotions are generally a response to some sort of information: something happens, you process it, and your emotions then kick in as a reaction. A pro-active life is one that looks at what happened, and then makes a decision based upon prior knowledge: “Has this happened before? What can I do now? What exactly just happened? How can I solve this?..,” etc. Instead of re-actively waiting for an emotion to kick in and then responding, a pro-active person will make a decision REGARDLESS of the emotion. They may still experience the emotion, but know that it is a response to their thoughts, and that they already have a definite course of action.

Of course, chemical changes, and imbalances can also cause emotions to kick in. Regardless, you are still able rely on your knowledge and make a decision based upon that, rather than as a response to the emotion. Extremely difficult at times, but still possible.

You can be happy in a marriage that has previously caused unhappiness. Since you already know the conditions of the marriage contract, the answer lies in defining your happiness conditions. You can choose to outlast the cause of your unhappiness if it is a temporary cause such as unemployment. You can choose to proactively work as a couple at the cause of your unhappiness via counseling or problem-solving to reach an acceptable resolution. Or you can redefine your personal happiness. What makes you happy? By changing that definition, you can head in a different direction. Happiness is entirely subjective – you decide when you are happy. The conditions of your marriage contract are objective – they have been listed, agreed upon, and witnessed by at least one other person. They don’t change over time, they are always there.

This is not easy. Your commitment to happiness may simply not include the conditions of your marriage commitment. You probably already know this ahead of time. If this is so, you should not enter the marriage contract at all. If you are considering marriage, either accept the terms, or work with your intended to form some alternate form of marriage contract. Of course, this may also be impossible. Your intended may not wish to enter into such a contract. Your church or other social organization may not allow it. These are things you must consider. It remains, however, that if your commitment to happiness includes both things that contradict your marriage contract, and also the inflexibility to change the conditions, then you should not enter into a marriage contract at all, no matter how tempting. Marriage is very well defined and binding.

Keeping your word is an honorable step toward a good life. People who keep their words are people that can be relied upon. They are respected and often honored by their peers. Can you keep your word when you make a promise? What messages about honor and honesty do you wish to teach your children? This is what your marriage commitment is all about. Many people nowadays have learned that their happiness is the most important factor in life. And they have been taught to regard their emotions as the guide to decision making. They tend to head toward what produces positive feelings and away from negative ones. This is the reactive life, the life of one who is a prisoner to their responses to things they hardly bother to think about. You can be in control of your emotions (at least to a certain extent). You can change your preferences to things that produce positive emotional responses. Your pursuit of happiness can be modified to include your marriage commitment.

Are you willing to commit to it?

This is post #9 in the CMBA 1/2 Marathon Blogging Challenge to post everyday for 13 days in October … AND is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge!

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And on Tuesdays I also join this Godly Link-up:


9 Comments

How to Rebuild After an Affair: Step 1 Forgiveness

Before there can be reconciliation, there are three things that need to happen for true growth and rebuilding to occur:

  • No Contact,
  • Transparent Honesty,
  • Agreement to work on yourself and your marriage

I will write about those three topics in the Affaircare newsletter this coming weekend–Sunday October 14th!  If you want to hear more, please feel free to subscribe right there on the right sidebar.   But TODAY, the topic is how to rebuild after the affair has ended.  How do  you pick up the pieces and build a new marriage?  What steps should we take to start making a marriage that is mature, healthy, loving and happy for both of us?

Step One: Forgiveness

There are several myths about forgiveness. First, there is a difference between forgiving someone and reconciling. Another common myth is that forgiveness is the same thing as forgetting. A third debunked myth is that if you forgive someone, you condone the behavior or it makes you a doormat. In real life, if you can choose enforce your personal boundaries about 100% faithfulness. Finally, often couples think that forgiveness is an emotion. They confuse forgiveness with feeling like everything is fixed feeling like forgiving, whereas actually forgiveness is a choice.

According to Merriam-Webster definition, forgiveness is

“a deliberate intellectual decision to give up resentment of or claim to requital for a perceived offense; ceasing to demand punishment or restitution.”

In layman’s terms forgiveness is giving up your right to hurt them because they hurt you and allowing your Disloyal Spouse room for error or weakness.

There are five steps to forgiveness:

  1. be willing to forgive
  2. take small steps
  3. leave your anger behind
  4. be kind and forgive yourself
  5. don’t hold it over their head

When the thoughts return, tell yourself “I’ve forgiven so and so and won’t think about this anymore.”  To aid forgiveness, educate yourself.  The more you know and understand what happened and why, the easier it is to forgive.

Finally, the source of forgiveness is not within ourselves but God. Remember the sins from which we have been forgiven.  God knows that we are weak, selfish individuals who will commit adultery despite His warnings and commandments, so He provided a way for us to break out of our destructive, sinful patterns. Romans 5:8 tells us that “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

This is the first blog in a seven-part series about rebuilding after an affair.  Here are the links to the other blogs in this series:

Step 2 – Commitment

Step 3 – Take Some Time

Step 4 – Mutual United Understanding (MUU)

Step 5 – W-T-F-S

Step 6 – Self-less, Selfish or Self-aware?

Step 7 – Rebuilding Tools

This is post #8 in the CMBA 1/2 Marathon Blogging Challenge to post everyday for 13 days in October … AND is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge!

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I also join these Godly Link-ups on Mondays:

The Alabaster Jar
  • After the Affair – The Price of Forgiveness (recoveringwayward.wordpress.com)
  • “When you forgive someone it doesn’t mean that you say… (kimmitchellrelationshipadvice.wordpress.com)
  • Forgiveness (bealighthouse.wordpress.com)
  • How Far Does Forgiveness Go? (madekreations.wordpress.com)


6 Comments

Back to Basics– Step 6 of 7 Steps To End An Affair -AND- Save Our Marriage Saturday

You’ve suspected for a while that something is not right between you and your spouse. Maybe they were spending lots of extra hours “at work” but there was no overtime on their paycheck. Maybe they completely changed their music, hairstyle, or clothing choices to something appropriate for someone decades younger. Maybe they were chatting or texting all the time and then deleted everything so you couldn’t see it.

Whatever the reasons, you had a sneaking suspicion something wasn’t right…

If you suspect your spouse is having an affair or is being emotionally unfaithful, do not despair. An affair does not have to mean the end of your marriage. In fact, consider this:

  • Approximately 20% of affairs last less than two months
  • Approximately 50% of affairs last more than one month, but less than a year.
  • The remaining 30% last more than a year
  • Very few last more than four years
  • Around 3% result in marriage

There are Seven Steps You Can Take to End an Affair if you have reason to believe your spouse may be unfaithful.  There is no guarantee your marriage will recover, but these steps will give you the best opportunity to recover after the affair ends.

Step 1) Gather Evidence.

Step 2) Confront.

Step 3) Disclose.

Step 4) Expose.

Step 5) Carrot and Stick.

Step 6) Consequences.  This step is the final step of Matthew 18:15-17.  To review let’s look at those verses again, paying specific attention to the final phrases of verse 17:

15  If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.

16  But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’

17  If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

In this step, we recommend that you write your disloyal spouse  a letter and explain that you love them, admit the things you did to contribute to the affair, and indicate what you’re doing to address your own issues and end the Love Extinguishers.   Then, continue with the letter and let your disloyal spouse know that unless they end ALL contact with the Affair Partner and never, EVER contact the Affair Partner again, that you (the loyal spouse) need to end all contact with them.

The idea behind this step is to obey the final parts of verse 17, namely to treat them as a pagan or tax collector.  Now you’ll notice that nowhere does Jesus ever tell us to treat pagans and tax collectors with disrespect or hatred or anger…nothing like that.  But over and over in the Old and New Testament we are told to choose whom we associate with carefully.  Psalm 1:1 says that a person is BLESSED when they don’t “walk around in sinful places, stand loitering with sinful people, or sit and hang out with sinners” (my paraphrase) And it’s not because we hate the people but rather, it’s because if we are constantly around someone who had stiffened their neck and hardened their heart and refuses to obey God.  They will tempt us and council us to be like them!  The whole point of the passage is that in a marriage there is unity–intimacy–and how can there be that kind of oneness between someone who loves and wants to obey God, and someone who willfully continues in disobedience?  You just have to not associate with them.

So you let the disloyal spouse experience a more realistic taste of what divorce could be like–namely that it will hurt them, it will be costly, and it will be HARD.  A typical disloyal spouse has this “fantasy” in their mind that they will move you (the loyal spouse) out, move their lover in, have all their needs flawlessly met by their lover but never have to put in any effort to keep the relationship going–that is, it will come naturally and easily–keep the house, keep the kids, get to keep their lover’s money AND your money (via alimony and child support), and basically life will be a breeze!  Of course, that’s not real life, and the goal here is to allow them to taste what real divorce might be like.  You also give them a chance to see what it would be like to have to depend upon the Affair Partner to meet all of their needs–and honestly this is usually what breaks the affair, because although the Affair Partner may have been in the right place and said the right things, they are often someone who is unemployed (thus they have days free to flirt with a married person) or who doesn’t have the moral character to be faithful.  Chances are, when they have to provide for ALL of the disloyal spouse’s emotional, financial, mental and spiritual needs (without you meeting half the needs)…the two in the affair will start arguing, and when the Affair Partner isn’t “happy” they respond by looking elsewhere!  They’ve already demonstrated that’s how they act!  Finally, you give your disloyal spouse time apart from you so that they can no longer blame you for the day’s events, or “how you made them feel,” or anything because you aren’t in their life anymore!  Thus, if it’s not you…maybe they’ll look at themselves (or at least blame their Affair Partner instead)!  Here are some Sample Consequences Letters.

For some practicalities, one of the common things a female disloyal will try to do,  if you have children, is wanting the loyal to do things “…for the children” when really it’s to meet one of her needs.  A perfect example of this would be the unfaithful wife who is living with her lover at the lover’s house, but she asks her loyal husband to mow the lawn “so the kids have a place to play.”  Then when the loyal husband says “No” or suggests that she get her lover to mow his own lawn, she might try guilt “I can’t believe you don’t want the kids to have a place to play! Who treats their children like that?”  This is why we suggest an intermediary in the Consequences Step–to act as a buffer between the disloyal and loyal spouse.  This can be a person who agrees to do it, a person you both knew as a friend, a parent, a pastor from church–pretty much anyone willing to do it–but the intermediary would be the person who would get the request from the disloyal to mow the lawn, and the intermediary would not pass that on  to the loyal, but rather just return it to the disloyal and ask them to take care of their own situations.  You can see how the intermediary would actually shield the loyal spouse from a LOT of hurt and pain!

Nonetheless, the loyal spouse will have to discipline themselves to not accept phone calls or read IM’s or emails that come from the disloyal spouse.  If the disloyal calls from an blocked number, or for whatever reason the call gets through on accident, the loyal can say something like, “Are you calling because you’re ready to end the affair? Oh, you’re not? Then please respect my wishes for no contact until you’re ready to do that. Goodbye” and hang up.  All email attempts, just forward to the intermediary. Keep the focus on ending the affair and recovering marriage. Don’t get caught up in arguing over secondary or trivial issues.

Again, in this stage there are occasionally disloyal spouses whose affair just die a natural death–the Affair Partner just gets sick of it and leaves them–or they begin to realize that a divorce would be VERY painful to them…and they think maybe that too much water has passed under the bridge. Periodically let your disloyal know that you would be willing to have them back and work on the marriage. but that at this point some substantial damage has been done. Invite them to return. If this is your case, consider yourself blessed and move to the phase of recovering your marriage.

If that is not how it works out for you, please bear in mind that the process of breaking up an affair with a hard-hearted spouse is not “guaranteed.”  Sinful human beings often just REFUSE to do the right thing; hurting human beings often are more afraid to look at themselves and admit they were wrong than they are to live with the mess they’ve made!   If that is the case, please post a comment or post a Prayer Request and we’ll pray for you.  Thank God, He didn’t just leave us at this point, but the Bible does tell us what do do for the next step.  And so we will post tomorrow with Step 6


This is post #6  in the CMBA 1/2 Marathon Blogging Challenge to post everyday for 13 days in October … AND is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge!

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Today is also Save Our Marriage Saturday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HTML CODE:

<a href=”http://affaircare.com/category/save-our-marriage-saturdays/”><img src=”http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh76/FaithfulWifeCJ/affaircare/lighthousetale2-1.jpg&#8221; style=”border:none;” />


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

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