Tag Archives: CMBA 1/2 Marathon Blogging Challenge

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:

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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 MondaysTime-Warp Wife-Titus 2sdays, …to Love, Honor and Vacuum–Wifey Wednesdays, Unveiled WifeGrace Alone/Women Taking a Stand–Thankful Thursdays, and Beholding Glory–Faith Filled Fridays.

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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:

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: