Tag Archives: Christian

Ask Affaircare: I Don’t Know How to Move Forward! Help!

AskAffaircare

The Ask Affaircare Series started because our readers have questions. About Affairs. Reconciling. Marriage. Divorce. Christianity. The Bible. And God.  Initially, we tried to answer each question through e-mail, but we quickly realized that there were many people asking many similar questions, so we started this weekly series!

It’s not our goal to make you agree with us, but rather to explore what the Bible says in thoughtful, and clear manner. Additionally, we try to write our answers in a loving but truthful manner (Ephesians 4:15) because we know there is a real person – with real struggles and dreams – behind every single question. Thank for you visiting Affaircare. Keep those questions coming!


Our question today comes from a Loyal Spouse just 9 weeks past D-Day.  He writes:

I am 9 weeks out from finding out about my wife’s 9 month affair. After individual and couples counseling, including a week-long, 20-hour session with our church, I find myself still struggling greatly. I do not know how to move forward. I need help!

Dear Don’t Know How to Move Forward,

Your email is very short and there are many facts we don’t know that would be extremely helpful, such as “Was it a physical affair or an emotional affair?” and “Is your wife showing true remorse and making the necessary changes…or is she rugsweeping and trying to get you to rugsweep too?”  If we knew the answers to some of those questions, it would really help a lot!  But since we don’t know, we’re going to reply just assuming that it was “generic” infidelity (as if there is such a thing) and, since you didn’t bring it up as an issue, assuming that she is doing the work to face herself and take full personal responsibility for her choice to commit adultery.

If either of those assumptions is NOT TRUE, then be aware that it might change the trajectory of our response.  But for now, let’s “move forward” since that it our topic.

When we received your email, three things jumped out at us:

  1. It has only 9 weeks since you discovered proof of the adultery.
  2. You and your wife are drowning in therapy: individual counseling, couples counseling, and CHURCH counseling!  And…
  3. To move forward you need to let go.

So let’s go over each one of these three topics, shall we?

First, it’s only been 9 weeks since you discovered proof of your wife’s affair.  Now, normally people suspect for a while before D-Day proves it to them, so although you may have had a gut feeling earlier, it has only been 9 weeks ago that the proof was irrefutable and/or your wife confessed.  Traditionally, those in the infidelity industry agree that  it can take YEARS sometimes for the Loyal Spouse to recover from the betrayal of adultery.  Here at Affaircare, our guideline is not blogs or pop psychology though–it’s the Bible.  We don’t know of any place in the Bible that we are told that we have to recover from a painful, life-changing event “quickly.”  God does tell us to forgive (more on that later), but He doesn’t say we have to “not feel the pain” or “be okay with it” or even to “get over the grief fast. ”

In fact, the Bible has a LOT to say about grief, and make no mistake, after discovering adultery, a Loyal Spouse goes through a GRIEF process.  That’s because there has been a death: the marriage died the moment the Disloyal Spouse was unfaithful!  Before the affair, you two were exclusive and you probably thought “Oh affairs happen to OTHER people–that will never happen to us.  We have something special.”  Now that innocent trust is dead.  The image you had of “your marriage” is dead.  And you (the Loyal Spouse) need to mourn just as surely as someone who lost their spouse–only your spouse isn’t dead!  They are right there in front of you.

Here are several verses ABOUT mourning and grief–let’s see what we can learn from them:

Psalm 31:9-10  “Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also. For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away.”  Wow, doesn’t the psalmist do a good job describing grief?  His eyes are SPENT from crying!  His soul is tortured and even his body is ill from the sorrow.  This verse clearly indicates that sorrow takes a while, and it wears on the psalmist!

Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”  Well this one is a promise on which we can depend!  When someone is brokenhearted…when someone’s spirit is crushed… the Lord is NEAR!  We may not “feel” Him because the truth of His nearness isn’t based on our emotions.  He promised it and so HE IS!

Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”  Here we learn that our hearts do fail us, and I don’t think the psalmist means cardiac disease here, do you?  I think he’s talking about feeling so deeply sorrowful that your heart HURTS.  Again, note that nowhere does it say that your flesh shouldn’t fail or that our hearts shouldn’t hurt.  In fact, we could surmise that they will! But when they do… God is our strength.

Psalm 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”  Again, note that it doesn’t say we shouldn’t have a broken heart or that being wounded is a sin.  It says that when that does happen, GOD HEALS.  And since He promised, we can depend on that even if it doesn’t “feel like it.”

Isaiah 26:3 “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”  We threw this one in, even though it doesn’t specifically speak about grief, because it implies that something has occurred that would create LACK of peace.  There is agitation, distress and conflict!  And this verse talks to use about how we can regain peace: by having our mind, our thoughts, our reflection, our concentration FIXED on HIM.

Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” See how it doesn’t say “Thou shalt not mourn”?  Nope, it says that mourning is going to occur, and we have a promise.  We aren’t alone in our mourning and grief–He is there to comfort us.

Here are three more verses about mourning and grieving and affliction, and you go ahead and write in the comments what you learn from these three verses:

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

1 Peter 5:7  “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

Don’t Know–this is going to take some time.  It will never be “the way it was” and you are going to have to go through a period that is very similar to the grief process for “your marriage of the past.”  Just based on our experience, we’d estimate the quickest possible timeframe would be  a time equal to her affair (9 months) and if you deal with grief slower,  it may be up to two years (roughly).  Now that doesn’t mean that for the next two years there won’t be good times or you’ll hold your wife’s affair against her, but rather it will be like someone who is mourning.  They are GRIEVING but life goes on.  They just “go through the motions” at first.  Then they learn to do a little better but feel guilty for doing a little better.  Then they deal with it and time heals a little more and even more good days sneak in.  And then one day maybe a year later they realize they are okay–they survived.  It will be very much like that.  You won’t “get better” all at once.

Second, you and your wife are drowning in therapy.  What we mean by that, is that clearly you are going to a counselor to address how you are feeling and what you’re thinking and how to deal with all this and to address your own issues.  And clearly your wife is going to a counselor to address why she cheated and to face her demons so she can identify her issues and change.  And clearly you are going to couples counseling to address THE MARRIAGE’S issues and how to do better as a team/couple and how to gain the tools to be better at this whole “marriage” thing.  We totally get that!  And you are off to your church’s 20-hour intensive to try to make a grand gesture at facing and addressing your marriage problems from a Biblical point of view.  Kuddos for that!

But, Don’t Know–you are doing so much therapy that it’s all you think about!  Every second of every day is filled with either the day-to-day things like work and school and chores…or THERAPY.   A person can only do so much deep, intense, emotion-charged, vehement analysis before they start to burn out, and our guess is that a portion of your feeling like you don’t know how to move forward is because you are so overwhelmed by all this analysis that there is no real time off.  YOU are a human and so is your wife.  She can only feel as low as the dirt on the bottom of a bug’s shoe for so long and she’ll get tired just because it’s too much to handle.  Same for you–it’s just too much!  So we would make a suggestion: balance the deep, intense emotional relationship talks with an equal amount of lighter, gentler, more agreeable time together.  For example, if you have one hour of therapy every day in one way or another and then spend another hour talking about whatever went on in therapy–balance that with an equal amount of time doing pleasant, enjoyable things together.

Here’s why, Don’t Know.  When you agreed to reconcile, what you were really saying is that you agreed to build a WHOLE NEW MARRIAGE.  During her affair, your wife equated you (and thoughts of you) with unpleasant feelings and thoughts.  “Well, he was abusive so I deserved someone who treated me better”…that kind of thing.  Anyway, now that her affair is over, your wife equates you with long, painful conversations that feel like the Spanish Inquisition, and tears, and hours and hours of therapy.  Likewise you equate her with destroying your trust, destroying your world, and destroying the very foundation of everything you believed in.  And part of the challenge now is not only facing the issues that brought you to this place, but also rebuilding something loving!  Well, when people love each other, they association POSITIVE thoughts and feelings with the one they love!  They LIKE being together and ENJOY each others’ company and think their spouse makes them feel GOOD.  So right now, you need to add some of that to your new marriage.

Now, you know how many/most couple’s counselors will tell you to “date each other”. UGH, that’s silly!  You’re MARRIED why should you have to try to re-win someone who made promises to you?  So that’s not what we’re saying here.  What we ARE saying is that one piece of this puzzle that is missing is the “remembering the things I love about my spouse” piece.  It is imperative that you two sometimes put all the counseling down, and put all the affair-talk and crying down… and just agree to be each other’s friends and do something fun.  It can be something easy like just renting a video and sitting on the couch holding hands–it can be something complicated like a weekend away riding the nearest rollercoasters.  But balance–for every hour of therapy, have an hour of enjoying each other.

Third (and finally), you say that you don’t know how to move forward and you need help. We partially addressed that when we said that it’s going to take some time–like 9 months to 2 years–in order to go through the grieving process and rebuild a new marriage.  So part of “moving forward” really is just time and giving yourself time to recover.  It won’t be instantaneous and it won’t be “the way it was.”  But that doesn’t mean it can’t be REALLY GOOD!!!  You could even build an even better marriage than you had because now you’ve grown and matured and so has she!

But you know how the final step of the grieving process is “acceptance”?  In the infidelity process, the key step to moving forward is forgiveness.  At some point, if you truly commit to reconciling with your spouse, you are going to have to volunteer to lay down your claim for recompense for the hurt and damage she caused you.  Please note that forgiveness is not condoning (failing to see it was wrong), excusing (not holding her personally responsible for her choices), pardoning (removing the consequence of her debt–it’s God’s job to judge or not) or forgetting (removing awareness of the offense from your consciousness).  Forgiveness means that you KNOW you have the ace up your sleeve that you could always win an argument, you have the sword over her head that you could hold against her, and you have the weapon with which you could punish her forever…and you make a decision to lay that weapon down and let go of your legitimate claim.

Right now it may sound utterly FOOLISH to even think about forgiving.  After all, most of the blogs and psychological “wisdom” will tell you things like “you deserve better” and “once a cheater always a cheater”.  But we are not suggesting that you be a fool.  God has a lot to say about forgiveness, so let’s just look:

God tells us s that we should be willing to forgive because we are sinners too and God forgave us (Matthew 6:14-15 and Colossians 3:13).  He says when someone sins against us and is truly remorseful we should be willing to forgive over and over (Matthew 18: 21-22 and Luke 17:3-4 ).  He says we should forgive people so they don’t feel overwhelmed (2 Corinthians 2:5-8).  He tells us that forgiving is a priority–we should make things right even ahead of worshipping Him (Matthew 5:23-24).  But nowhere is there any mention of forgiveness not hurting or of forgiveness being easy and making all the struggling go away.  We are just told to DO it.

The good news is that  He even tells us HOW to forgive in 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.” 

Step 1–Watch YOURSELF.  Haven’t you ever been in a position of doing something REALLY WRONG and wishing that people would be kind and forgive you?  Then just like the hypocrite in Matthew 7 and Luke 6, we need to watch ourselves and treat others the way we would have liked to be treated when we sinned!

Step 2–A brother or sister (someone close to us–a fellow believer, disciple, spouse, neighbor, or family member) does something against us.  Maybe they gossip or spread a lie or offend us or actively hurt us. Whatever it is, they do wrong by us.

Step 3–Holy smoke look at that.  We are supposed to rebuke them!  Of course, the Greek word there is epitimaó, which means to admonish, or warn by instructing.  Oddly enough that word is a verb (an action) and it has a whole bunch behind it.  It means “have so much value due, that you respond in a way suitable to the situation.”  In other words, we VALUE the brother or sister.  We place due honor upon them because they mean so much to us, and thus, out of love, we go up to them directly and tell them they did wrong and encourage them to DO THE RIGHT THING.

Step 4–“if they repent….”  Note that it doesn’t say “if they are remorseless and continue to sin, you go ahead and forgive them anyway.”  it says that the next step has to be remorse or changing of the inner man.  We like to define repentance as a complete 180 degree change from what they’ve been doing!  A full U-Turn!  In other words, they have to be acting and thinking 100% different from the way they WERE acting and thinking.  They have to “come to themselves” and return to doing the right thing.  And if they do repent and do change… then on to the next step.

Step 5–“…forgive them.” Even if they do wrong by you 7 times in one day and come back to you with a changed inner man 7 times, you must forgive them.   The word for “forgive” here is aphiémi, which means “send away” or “release”–“wipe the slate clean”.  See how that fits with our definition above about putting down your legitimate claim to restitution? You make a decision in your mind to let go of that claim and you commit to never, ever picking it up again!  That’s forgiveness.  And note the word MUST!!  This isn’t a suggestion or something we do if we feel like it–we MUST.  That’s imperative, which means it is required.

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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]

Top 8 Affaircare Topics: #4 Bible Verses to Save Your Marriage After an Affair [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 number 4: Bible Verses to Save Your Marriage After an Affair

Verses in this podcast:

Romans 6:23
Romans 10:4
John 3:16
Romans 10:9-10

Matthew 19:26
Mark 10:6-9
1 Corinthians 7:3-5
1 Corinthians 10:13
Galatians 6:9
Ephesians 4:15
Ephesians 4:32
Philippians 4:13
Hebrews 10:24
Hebrews 13:4
James 1:19
2 Peter 3:9
1 John 4:7-8

I Samuel 25 – Abigail
The Book of Hosea

If you’d like to learn more about Affaircare join us next week when we’ll continue our 8-week series on “The 8 Most Popular Topics on Affaircare.”

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/Top+8+-+%234+Bible+verses+to+Save+Your+Marriage.mp3]

Top 8 Affaircare Topics: #6 The Purpose of No Contact & No Contact Letters [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 number 6: it’s a tie between “The Purpose of No Contact” and “Sample No Contact Letters.”

Articles in this podcast:
The Purpose of No Contact
https://affaircare.com/articles/the-purpose-of-no-contact/

Sample No Contact Letters
https://affaircare.com/articles/sample-no-contact-letters/

If you’d like to learn more about Affaircare join us next week when we’ll continue our 8-week series on “The 8 Most Popular Topics on Affaircare.”

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/Top+8+Topics+%236-Purpose+of+No+Contact+%26+No+Contact+Letters.mp3]

Top 8 Affaircare Topics: #7 “Exposure” & “Sample Consequences Letter” [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 number 7: it’s a tie between “Exposure” and “Sample Consequences Letter.”

Articles in this podcast:
The Difference Between Exposure and Revenge –
https://affaircare.com/articles/the-difference-between-exposure-and-revenge/

Exposure vs. Revenge –
http://affaircare.com/2013/05/16/exposure-vs-revenge/

Sample Consequences Letters –
https://affaircare.com/articles/sample-consequences-letters

If you’d like to learn more about Affaircare join us next week when we’ll continue our 8-week series on “The 8 Most Popular Topics on Affaircare.”

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/8+Top+Topics+%237-Exposure+%26+Consequences+Letter.mp3]

Ask Affaircare: I Don’t Know What to Do Anymore

AskAffaircare

The Ask Affaircare Series started because our readers have questions. About Affairs. Reconciling. Marriage. Divorce. Christianity. The Bible. And God.  Initially, we tried to answer each question through e-mail, but we quickly realized that there were many people asking many similar questions, so we started this weekly series!

It’s not our goal to make you agree with us, but rather to explore what the Bible says in thoughtful, and clear manner. Additionally, we try to write our answers in a loving but truthful manner (Ephesians 4:15) because we know there is a real person – with real struggles and dreams – behind every single question. Thank for you visiting Affaircare. Keep those questions coming!


Our question today comes from a Disloyal Spouse who just can not break it off with the Other Person.  He writes:

Hi, I just found your site tonight and I’m really struggling.  I’m the disloyal spouse and I’m still in phone contact with the OP which is my ex fiancée.   My spouse knows about my affair, which lasted years.  I’m still very much in love with my ex, although I’ve tried to not be.  I can’t let the ex go, I’ve tried and tried over 18 yrs.  I keep flip flipping back between the both of them.   I have left my spouse a couple of times for my ex.  I am now back in the marital home since March 2014 after moving out and into my ex ‘ s place for 2 months.  My heart is with my ex, and I have a hard time being intimate with my spouse, to the point of hardly ever.  I’m very depressed over what this situation has become.  Don’t know what to do anymore.  

Unhappy in life

Dear Unhappy in life,

Actually, yes, you do know what to do. The problem is that you don’t want to! You write that you are depressed over what this situation has become, and that is quite understandable – and something you can easily overcome. But I have to make a couple of things clear. At Affaircare, we approach reality from a Christian viewpoint, which means that we understand very clearly what is right and what is wrong in this type of situation. We know the solution, and, we know that the solution is both possible and also fulfilling. This means that what we expect you to do is specific and clearly laid out by God in Scripture. Moreover, your depression is self-inflicted and as such, your choices will determine whether you continue in depression or move out of it.

The first thing I’d like to point out is that you are not acting like a man (you aren’t acting like a woman either, so do not misinterpret what I’m saying.) There is an old saying: “A man is as good as his word.” In biblical terms, this is found in Deut. 23:23 “…You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised with your mouth…”  You are only as dependable, credible, trustworthy, and respectable as your ability and desire to keep your promises, and this is something that God promises He will help His children fulfill.

In this instance, you have made a promise to your wife, and you have backed out on your promise. You have not kept your word. You are a liar. You are sinning. Of course, the idea of sin will only bother a Christian, but the rest of this appeals to nearly all walks of life. No wonder you are depressed – you know deep inside that you are a liar, untrustworthy, lack credibility, and respectability. If you didn’t feel depressed, there would be something really wrong with you!

Interestingly, feeling depressed because you realize all of these things is a good sign: your conscience is working and you know the correct path to take. You can overcome this. The fact that it bothers you is actually a good thing!

But there is more. You write that your “…heart is with my ex…”, that you are “…still very much in love with my ex…” although “…I’ve tried to not be…”  Again, it’s understandable why you would feel depressed, and let me say that there is a solution to this. Keep in mind that what you are talking about is NOT love! It is familiarity, lust, admiration, affection, and any number of other emotional states. You have chosen – even if not with explicit intention – to feel these things about a person from your past, rather than giving them to your wife. In this, you are cheating. You are not giving 100% of your loyalty and affection to the person you promised to give these things.

Love is none of the above. It is an action. It is how you treat others. You promised to love your wife – that is, to treat her in a way that is best for her – and yet the only person you are really loving right now is yourself: you are chasing after what you have determined is best for you. And you’ve shown how bad you are at even that simple activity –  you feel depressed because it isn’t working!

On top of this, there is a strong possibility that you enjoy the lure of forbidden activities. That is, you get a thrill out of cheating, out of the actual sin. Adam and Eve were tempted in the same way – and gave in the same as you. Its a very human characteristic. The one thing they were forbidden – that was the one thing they wanted most – because it was forbidden. That is fallen human nature at its strongest.

So you have chosen to give into temptation for the sake of fulfilling what makes you feel good. And this calls up the first point we brought up: a man is only as good as his word. No one says it is easy to do the right thing. Sometimes it is hard. But a real man will do what it takes, because it is the right thing to do, even if it is painful or difficult. What you have chosen, instead, is to worship your pleasure. You do what it takes to feel good – and, ironically, you find that it fails at every turn. What a surprise! You feel depressed!

Yes, you know what to do. You have three choices:

1) Stay the course, keep doing what you are doing, and quit complaining about feeling depressed. That’s the consequence of the choice you made, and no one is interested in your self pity.

2) Divorce your wife, and run to your lover. It’s almost a forgone conclusion that this will end up in failure, but this would at least free your wife from the anguish of being chained to a dishonest, cheating, self-centered fool who refuses to act with love toward her.

3) Drop your ex, turn to your spouse for forgiveness, do the right thing, and take the consequences, however painful they may be in the near future, knowing that as a real man, you are taking steps to build credibility, trustworthiness, and respecatbility. And, if you are a Christian, know that God has promised (and cannot fail) to pull you through and bless your choice. Your depression will end, and you will find life much more satisfying – once you have done the hard work

Faithfully,
David at Affaircare

Help Your Kids Survive an Affair #4 – God Can Heal Broken Hearts [Podcast]

How do you help your kids when your spouse is having an affair?  What is the ideal? What do kids need? What are some common pitfalls that parents make? And how can God heal broken hearts–yours and theirs?

In this week’s episode, we conclude our series “Helping Your Kids Survive an Affair” by discussing how God can heal broken hearts.

Verses Used in this podcast:

Proverbs 12:22Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.”

Job 27:4 “My lips certainly will not speak unjustly, Nor will my tongue mutter deceit.

Proverbs 1:8-9  “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.

Proverbs 12:18  “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Psalm 34:18  “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Hebrews 10:25  “Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Proverbs 22:6Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Ephesians 6:1-4Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

If you’d like to learn more about Affaircare join us next week when we’ll be starting an 8 week series on “The Most Popular Topics on Affaircare.”

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/Help+Kids+4-Heal+Broken+Hearts.mp3]

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Ask Affaircare: I love the Lord but this time I have proof!

AskAffaircare

The Ask Affaircare Series started because our readers have questions. About Affairs. Reconciling. Marriage. Divorce. Christianity. The Bible. And God.  Initially, we tried to answer each question through e-mail, but we quickly realized that there were many people asking many similar questions, so we started this weekly series!

It’s not our goal to make you agree with us, but rather to explore what the Bible says in thoughtful, and clear manner. Additionally, we try to write our answers in a loving but truthful manner (Ephesians 4:15) because we know there is a real person – with real struggles and dreams – behind every single question. Thank for you visiting Affaircare. Keep those questions coming!


Our email question today comes from a devastated wife, who writes:

I just heard a message from another married woman specifically meant for my spouse’s ears only telling him how much she enjoyed their <intimate moment>. I told him that because of his infidelity that I am divorcing him. He has had continual affairs in our 30+ years of marriage. Never did I get any form of confirmation; but this time I have proof. I really despise the thought of my husband sleeping with other women and with me too. He’s the only one that I have ever had sex with. It hurts so bad knowing that he’s <putting my health in harm’s way> by sleeping with me and others at the same time.
I love the LORD and I want to do his will.
PLEASE HELP ME!

Dear Devastated Wife,

I am so sorry that we are meeting under circumstances like this.  A marriage of 30+ years is a long time and I’m sure you have been through the “better, worse, richer, poorer, sickness and health” that life over 30+ years gives.  Please do know that you are in our prayers.  Discovering an affair is so painful, and after such a long marriage, I’m sure it’s even worse.

So in your email you pretty much cry out for us to help you, and you do let us know that you love the Lord.  Devastated wife, I want to remind you that we can maybe give you some tips and suggestions, but that your HOPE is in the LORD… not in us.  HE can save you.  All we do is point you to Him.

So what does the Lord say in instances like this?  Well we know that God considers marriage a covenant and He takes covenants VERY seriously.  The bible verse we use here at Affaircare as our foundation verse addresses covenants: “You shall be careful to perform what goes out from your lips, just as you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised.”  ~Deuteronomy 23:23.  And we’ve all heard that famous verse about God hating divorce (Malachi 2:16) but listen to the whole paragraph that verse is in!  It’s all about breaking covenant through divorce–listen to Malachi 2:10-16:

Do we not all have one Father? Did not one God create us? Why do we profane the covenant of our ancestors by being unfaithful to one another?  …  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.  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. 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. 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.

So I think we can agree that God does take the marriage covenant very seriously, even if we do not.  And He HATES IT when one of the marriage partners is unfaithful and does violence to the ones s/he should protect!  WOW!

God’s purpose for marriage is to mirror His relationship with us, for spouses to complete each other and offer companionship (Gen. 2:18), and to create a godly legacy (Deut. 6:6)…a place where children could grow up to learn values, character and integrity.  Since we are sinners, we pervert EVERYTHING, and we perverted marriage too.  Rather than our relationships with each other mirroring His perfect love for His Bride (us), our relationships are broken and we are not intimately known by our spouses and instead we desire others.  Rather than our marriages completing each other and offering companionship, our marriages are broken and we hide ourselves from each other and choose spouses based on “what’s in it for me?”  Rather than creating a godly legacy, our families are broken and our children see us living with self-centered values, no morals, and dishonesty.  Clearly we are not meeting God’s purpose for marriage!

It would be nice if we could just end this blog right here and say “There is no reason for divorce ever. Husbands are to love their wives–Wives are to respect their husbands” The End.  Wouldn’t it?  But in real life husbands are sometimes unloving, and wives are disrespectful.  In Matthew 19, Jesus was asked about this and here’s what He said (Matthew 19:1-8):

“When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They (the Pharisses) asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” “Haven’t you read,” he (Jesus) 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 (the Pharissees) 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.”

What can we learn from this passage?  To make it easier to understand, I made the Pharisees’ comments blue, and I made Jesus’ answers red.  The Pharisees were asking Jesus if a married man could divorce his wife for “any and every reason.”  In other words, “He’s having a cranky day and she’s not pleasing him–can he divorce her?  She’s talking back. She lost her looks. She’s critical. Can he divorce her over that?”  What did Jesus say?  He says that the Creator put them together and intended for them to become ONE (very intimate with each other physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually)…so how can you separate what God has put together?  But then the Pharisees asked a pretty good question! They said “Well why did Moses tell us we could get divorced then?”  And look at Jesus’ reply!! He says that Moses PERMITTED (not demanded, not commanded, not required) divorce because the people’s HEARTS WERE HARD!  In other words, Moses “allowed” it because the people were sinful and determined to do what displeased God!!  And then Jesus really makes it clear: “Anyone who divorces EXCEPT FOR SEXUAL IMMORALITY commits adultery.”

So from this passage we can see that if you divorce because your spouse didn’t make you happy–you are committing adultery.  If you divorce because “the two of you grew apart” that’s infidelity.  If you divorce because “sometimes mommies and daddies just stop loving each other” you are unfaithful.  But look closely: the one and only righteous exception is divorcing due to sexual immorality.  Now it does not say that if your spouse is sexually immoral that you MUST divorce them, but rather that you are permitted.  It is allowed.  Make sense?

Further, let’s look at what the Apostle Paul says.  In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t look at just one verse, but rather at the whole paragraph surrounding a verse to make sure to get context.  Okay let’s look at I Corinthians 7: 10-16 (really you could start at verse 1):

“To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.  To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?”

What can we learn from this passage?  Well, do you know of a couple where one lives in “the city” and the other lives somewhere else, and they are perpetually separated and live as if they are single–dating and sleeping with anyone?  Paul makes it pretty clear that married people are not supposed to separate, unless it’s for a short time of prayer and spiritual growth, and then we are to come back together and be reconciled!  He also makes it clear that a husband isn’t supposed to destroy his marriage and family by divorcing his wife!  Then he goes into this question: “Well what if my spouse isn’t a Christian?” and he says if the non-believer wants to stay married–coolness show them God’s love through witnessing how you live!  But if the non-believer wants to divorce, what does the Apostle Paul say?  “Let it be so. The Christian brother or sister is not bound in that circumstance; God calls us to live in peace.”

So there are two instances where a divorce is “allowed” but not required: sexual immorality and if your spouse is a non-believer and wants to leave.

Now Devastated wife, you have mentioned that YOU love the Lord and want to do His will, but you do not mention if your husband claims to be a Christian, if he says he loves the Lord, or if he wants to do God’s will. I would posit that if your husband has committed adultery multiple times, it doesn’t seem like he is  repentant or acting in a way that is pleasing to God.  So if your husband IS a Christian and you are convinced that he is depending upon Jesus Christ to pay the penalty of his sin, then the first thing you would have to do is to encourage your brother in Christ to do the right thing and stop the adultery. If he has hardened his heart and will not stop doing what he knows is sin, you can use Matthew 18:15-17 for instructions on how to proceed.   We also have two resources for you: the Affaircare “Just Found Out” page and our article “Seven Steps You Can Take to End an Affair.”  You’ve already done Step 1 (Gather Evidence) and you already have proof…so start on Step 2, which matches with the verses in Matthew 18.

If you are considering divorce, I suggest that you seek God, pray about it, and take your time reaching your decision. Read God’s word and be sure to look for what GOD wants and not what you want.  I pray that my reply here has been a blessing to you.