Why You Need to Watch Your Digital Footprint – An infographic by the team at plantasatinlaw.com
Why You Need to Watch Your Digital Footprint – An infographic by the team at plantasatinlaw.com
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 lady whose spouse thinks she is showing all the signs of infidelity. She writes:
Since the end of spring of last year, my husband has accused me of having an affair. Although I did not, I understand that he is scared. I was on my phone a lot … playing games and he hates games, so I hid my playing from him. …I bought new underthings, but didn’t show him. I did this because our marriage was already in trouble and I knew I was pulling away. I needed to feel better about myself, so that was one step that I took. …I had a really tough year and found myself putting up walls because I didn’t know how I was going to get through the year. These factors made him buy a GPS tracking device and a camera, and he took pictures … then accused me of cheating. Although I have been able to prove that some (most) of the things he was using as proof were not true and that he was mistaken, he still refuses to believe me. He tells me that no matter what I say, he has more proof, and that he will always believe that I had an affair. The problem is that now I don’t trust him. Not even a little. I have nothing to hide, but refuse to live like I do. We have lost friends because of this. I think he should have spoken to me about his feelings prior to going to the extremes that he chose to take. He shared with me a guide from this site titled – “All of the Signs Your Spouse May be Cheating” and told me that the signs you listed were reasons to believe my infidelity, even though he can only check off a few things. I figured if he trusts in your site so much, maybe you could give me some advice. Am I wrong for thinking he should have spoken to me about his feelings first?
On the same topic, another husband writes that his wife is showing all the signs of the infidelity:
I feel it in my gut that my wife is cheating. She gives off all almost all the lines listed above. but every time I confront her she denies it. I want to catch her on the act how can I do it.?
Dear Ms. Showing Some the Signs and Mr. She’s Showing Signs,
We are so sorry to be meeting under these circumstance of suspicion and distrust. You are both in our prayers that your marriages will be restored and filled with love and godliness. For Ms. Showing Some Signs, we bet it feels HORRIBLE to be suspected of something you didn’t do–and for Mr. She’s Showing Signs, we bet your intuition is just SCREAMING that something is wrong and you feel sick all the time. Even though you two are kind of at opposite ends of the spectrum, we have chosen to write to you both in this blog because actually your two emails address the same issue:
We want to answer both of you, first. by quoting what’s right at the top of the page we wrote about all the signs of infidelity. We wrote:
“These behaviors are only indicators of a cheating spouse and are not absolutes! If your spouse has one or two of these behaviors, and there is a legitimate reason and a mutual agreement (such as, you two talk about it and agree to try to lose weight…and they’ve gone a little obsessive about it), these signs do NOT prove infidelity. But when you observe several, or maybe MOST, of these behaviors, your marriage may be in trouble! Again, let me reiterate that these behaviors are only indicators of an affair.”
These signs do not definitively prove adultery, but even though it may not be an affair, if these signs exist, the marriage is still in trouble. It just may not have progressed to adultery yet, and it may not be adultery at all but rather some other issues such as addiction or controlling or abuse. But make no mistake, if more than a few of the signs are showing up–then the marriage IS in trouble!
To both Ms. Showing Some Signs and Mr. She’s Showing Signs we would specifically note that your marriages are in trouble, whether your spouses have slept with another or not.
In fact, let us start with the assumption that neither wife has slept with anyone else. The definition of fidelity, here at Affaircare, is giving your spouse and only your spouse 100% of your affection and loyalty. Based on that definition, have they been faithful?
So we would respectfully exhort both of you to look at Matthew 7: 1-5:
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
and also to look at Luke 6: 37-42:
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
In both chapters, Jesus is talking, and He does not say that we are not to have discernment. The word for “judge” there is the Greek word KRINO and it means “to pick out (choose) by separating” or “making a determination of right or wrong (innocence or guilt), especially on an official(legal) standard.” God is the one who JUDGES–our job is to forgive, to give, and to look in our own eye and deal with the plank in our own eye!
So for both of you, we would remind you that you can not change your spouse. The only person you can change is yourself, and even then it’s with God’s aid and not by anything you do. HE regenerates us and thus the question becomes “What am I doing in my marriage that contributes to this rift? What do I need to change?” Now we are not blaming the Loyal Spouse here–do not misunderstand. What we are saying is that rather than pointing fingers at your spouse and saying “S/He needs to change!” we recommend that you look at your own self and ask yourself: “Could it be me?” “Could it be that I have some things that I need to stop doing?” “Could I be looking at this with jealousy and lack of trust?” “Is it my issue?” and if it is–deal with it!
For Ms. Showing Some Signs, even if we assumed that everything you wrote is 100% true (and let’s be honest here, no one paints themselves in a bad light, so we usually assume there are two sides to every story), there are many red flags that raise a warning. You are hiding things from your spouse. Your spouse sounds controlling. You are living life like a single person, not like a married person. He is driving away your friends. You are not submissive. He is not loving. Your marriage is in big trouble! And the way to repair a marriage is not to be disrespectful and secretive and independent!
Does your spouse get every little bit of your affection, or does whoever you are playing this game with get some small percentage? If you hide your gaming from your spouse, then your loyalty is with the game (and whoever is in the game) and not with your spouse! And faithfulness is 100% to your spouse–forsaking all others.
Now we are not saying that your spouse doesn’t have some things we would recommend he work on–in fact there are a couple things!–but in reality you need to work on you and he needs to work on him. So right now our advice to you would be to stop playing the game. That game is going to end your marriage–is a game worth it? Whoever you are playing with–you’re playing with fire so end all contact, and never ever contact that person again nor play that game again. For whatever reason, you have a weakness for or in that game that has harmed your marriage and you are going to have to stay away.
Likewise, you need to stop hiding things from your husband. That only makes it worse. We know you think that what he doesn’t know doesn’t hurt him, but that is absolutely NOT TRUE. When he discovers what you’ve been hiding (and he will because he lives with you), the damage will be magnified specifically because you hid it. Beginning today, be 100% transparent with your husband. That means LET HIM SEE THE REAL YOU. Let him know your thoughts and your feelings. Let him know where you are going, when you’ll leave, when you’ll return, and who you will honestly be with. If you are having a tough year, turn TO YOUR HUSBAND for support and comfort…not others and not all by yourself. You are married now and being married means that you made a promise to include and always consider another person in every decision and choice: your husband. Now he’s not supposed to “lord it over you” and control every little move you make, and if he were here we’d talk to him about that…but he’s NOT here and so we are talking to you about the things you can do to strengthen and repair the damage you’ve done!
To Mr. She’s Showing Signs, the first thing we’d caution you to remember is that the whole purpose of the “All the Signs” list is as an alert–a warning–that your spouse MAY be cheating. MAY is the operative word. That is to say, at this point, we can not definitively say one way or another if she is or is not. If you go to a Disloyal Spouse and “confront” them with no proof and no knowledge of what is is or not going on and ask them if they are cheating , what do you think they’re going to do? Tell you the truth? No, of course not! They are lying to cover the affair and the affair partner, they are lying about where they are and what they’re doing and with whom…why would you all-of-a-sudden think they would tell the truth now? That is an unwise course of action.
Instead we would point you to our article “Seven Steps You Can Take To End An Affair” You need to follow these steps, in order, to give you the best opportunity to save your marriage. Please note that the very first step is to Gather Evidence. That means to keep an open heart–that she may be telling the truth and you’re just being jealous or suspicious–and actually investigate FACTS like a detective to either prove or disprove your possible theory. Look at Ms. Showing Some Signs there–she has not slept with anyone, and she’s showing some of the signs you’re seeing in your own wife. It may be that you will catch something just as it’s getting out of hand! My point is that as you Gather Evidence, keep your heart open to WHATEVER you may discover. It may not be physical infidelity but rather an addiction, or some other issue! Let the facts show you the truth.
Also, bear in mind that the point of Gathering Evidence is not so you can throw down all the “proof” in front of your spouse and they will automatically cave and tell you the truth. Nope, the point of Gathering Evidence so that YOU have enough concrete proof in YOUR MIND that you are convinced of what is true and what is not. We guarantee you no matter what concrete evidence you gather, at first your spouse will deny it. That is what Disloyal Spouses do! They lie! In reality, if you walked in on your wife and another man naked in the act, that they would jump out of bed, throw on their clothes, and say, “It’s not what you think!” Right? So the point of the Gathering Evidence is to find something that is not circumstantial, to find something that convinces you that it’s not all “in your mind” or you making a mountain out of a molehill, and then you will know how to proceed.
We have two blog posts on ways to Gather Evidence: “Low tech ways to check if your spouse is cheating” and “High Tech ways to discover if your spouse is cheating” We personally recommend that you use both ways (low tech and high tech) to corroborate the conclusion. After you are convinced of whatever the truth may be, you will know the truth. If she is not cheating, and you try all the low tech and high tech ways but just find no evidence, we would say consider if there might be other issues like Ms. Showing Some Signs–issues like games that need to stop, living like a single person, or hiding things. If that’s the case–address it! And if you find she is cheating, then we would recommend going to Step Two in the Seven Steps and proceeding down that list in order.
Before there can be reconciliation, there are three things that need to happen for true growth and rebuilding to occur:
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 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!
And on Wednesdays I also join these Godly Link-ups:
I am not having a great day today. It’s okay–I know this happens and I also know that it will pass, but while I’m having this “not so great day” I’ve decided to acknowledge it. Today I found out that someone in my life whom I love is deathly ill and may not be on this earth for much longer. It’s a person in my ex-husband‘s family. I was related to and loved his family for a long time, and just because he made the choices he made didn’t mean that I stopped loving them or caring about people whom I considered “family.” Thank God we had the kind of divorce that was not filled with vitriol and spite. After it was final, we got together after the divorce–his parents and siblings and cousins and I–and we all decided to be stay in touch and be civil even if we were no longer related by blood.
But this shock–the sorrow of hearing that someone I love is going to die soon–reminds me all too painfully of the hidden costs of divorce. When you are having an affair, or when your spouse is having an affair or had one, it is all too tempting to think: “It would be so much better if we just divorced and started over. I could find someone who really LOVES me and I could finally be treated like I deserve. People get over it. I’m sure we could move on.” The thrill of meeting someone for the first time…feeling goosebumps again…falling in love…planning a wedding….it all sounds so NICE (and don’t get me wrong, it can be) compared to looking at yourself and changing, and compared to the hard work of reconciling!
But today is a forceful reminder for me that I want to pass on to you–a warning if you will. The outgoing ripples of destruction that are caused by a divorce keep going as long as you life. Today someone I love may well be leaving this earth, and I won’t be a recognized “mourner” because it is one of my ex-husband’s relatives…and I’m not his wife anymore. Tonight someone I love may pass away, and yet I don’t share this loss with the man I love–my Dear Hubby–because he does not even know her and never will. The older I get, the more I realize WHY God has the plan of marriage for us…because as life moves along and changes come, our life partner UNDERSTANDS they were there with us! … because as we age and our friends and family die, we have their memories and can share the grief in common! …because as we age and faithfully get through the changes together, we demonstrate an example of the faithfulness of God sticking with us when we don’t deserve fidelity!
So don’t fool yourself. The time and effort that it takes to look at your own issues, change to a more godly behavior, and rebuild the kind of marriage that obeys God IS SO WORTH IT. It can take a while and be really painful, but sometimes purification so that you reflect God’s image requires being put into the fire! Anyway, make no mistake: divorce is NOT a panacea. It makes MORE problems, and the ramifications go on and on for decades if not generations. Like today, as I say goodbye to a woman I love and have loved since I was young–my children’s grandmother.