Tag Archives: Facebook

How an Emotional Affair progresses…

emotional affair

 

Is your spouse “catching up” with an old high school friend on Facebook or chat, and you feel uncomfortable… but you can’t put a finger on WHY?  That’s because right now their texts may be just two old friends talking about the past, but if it continues here’s what they’ll start talking about:

Their lives since they parted
Their relationships since they parted
Their families
Their spouses
You (the spouse)
How you’re an excellent parent
How you’re a great spouse
How you’re a wonderful person
Your job
How your job keeps you busy
How your job keeps you away
How they sometimes feel a little lonely when you’re away
How they sometimes feel a little overburdened at home
How they sometimes feel a little taken for granted
How they feel that you don’t ALWAYS listen
How they feel that you don’t ALWAYS understand her
How they feel that sometimes you’re just “not there” for them
How, okay… you’re not ALWAYS such a wonderful person
How they loved hearing from their old friend again
How they look forward to their old friend’s texts/calls/e-mails now
How they feel young again
How they feel appreciated again
How they feel attractive again
How it’s so nice to have someone who just LISTENS again
How it’s been so, so long since someone made then feel that way
How their eyes have now been opened
How they now realize what they truly want and need
How they now realizes that their spouse could NEVER give them that
How insensitive their spouse can be some times
How their spouse can be a real jerk sometimes
How they wonder what it would be like if the two of you would have stayed together “back in the day”
How they now realize that they never really loved their spouse
How they now realize that they really loved their old friend all along
How they ever could have fallen for a jerk like their spouse
How their spouse is the biggest a++hole they’ve ever known
How their spouse is standing in the way of true happiness
How their spouse ruined their life
How they made a big mistake marrying their spouse
How they made an even bigger mistake letting the old friend go
How now they see that they were really meant to be with the old friend
How they desperately have to get away from their spouse
How they’re definitely going to leave their spouse
How they’re talking to divorce lawyers
How they’re going to live happily ever after…

 

(original author, unknown)

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Vulnerability

One of my “blogosphere” new friends, persuaded2go, has a great new post called “The Vulnerability Scale.”   It’s so good that I thought about reposting it here exactly word-for-word, but then I thought that it wouldn’t have the same context and whatnot that it does over at her site.  So you’ll want to take a moment to read her post right there on her blog!

However, one part I do want to share was that her counselor gave her a Vulnerability Assessment and it’s in the form of a questionnaire.  It’s basically a true or false, and if it’s true, you highlight it.   Based on how many you highlight, you can see how vulnerable your marriage is to an affair.

Did you know you are at increased risk of having an affair simply if:

  • you have a Facebook account?
  • you have been dealing with stress (family, illness, work, marriage, new job)?
  • you have moved?
  • you have had to deal with the loss of a parent, child, sibling, pet, close friend, family member?
  • you have dealt with or are dealing with a physical/emotional illness (stress, depression, low self-esteem)?
  • you feel taken for granted or taken advantage of at work, at home, in life?
  • you have had to deal with children that are teenagers, rebellious, or unruly?
  • you have felt self-conscious of aging, a bulging mid-section, receding hairline, sagging breasts, erectile dysfunction, major weight loss/gain?
  • you have felt sexually inadequate or second-rate in bed?
  • you confide easily in others?
  • you lack clear goals or dreams or sense of purpose for your life?
  • you have thought or spoke negatively about yourself?
  • you have a lack of self-awareness concerning infidelity, such as:
  1. “This couldn’t happen to me.”
  2. “I’m committed to working on my marriage.”
  3. “No one would be interested in me.”
  4. “I would recognize the signs.”
  5. “I can be his/her friend only.”
  6. “He/She is only a friend.”
  7. “He/She is not attractive to me, so this is OK.”
  8. “We are both married.”
  9. “This will not get out of hand.”
  • you have a high need for affirmation from others in your life?
  • you feel sorry for yourself?
  • you often see things as ALL or NOTHING?
  • you are unable to communicate your thoughts and emotions to your spouse?
  • perhaps you have been dishonest with them about difficult issues because you fear them rejecting you or punishing you, or because you think it will protect them…”What they don’t know won’t hurt.”
  • compared to others, you view yourself as: morally superior, smarter than, or more self-aware?
  • your spouse embarrasses you in public?
  • your marriage is “keeping up the image” to others?
  • you have felt your sex life lacked quality, passion or adventure, and/or it has not been frequent enough?
  • you are disconnected sexually because of emotional starvation?
  • you have married friends who complain about their marriages?
  • you spend time alone?

This isn’t the entire list but doesn’t it make you stop and think?  How vulnerable is your marriage?  Based on this list, are you vulnerable and you didn’t even know?  I knew all about affairs, love kindlers and extinguishers, all of it, and even *I* was vulnerable!!!

Okay now head over the persuaded2go and take a peek at her post: “The Vulnerability Scale“–it just may open your eyes to how open to an affair your marriage may be!

Fidelity is not asking “How far can I go?”

All the hoopla about Rep. Anthony Weiner has gotten people (and the media) talking about infidelity and asking themselves “Is Sexting the New Infidelity in the Online Era?”  There are numerous articles right now discussing whether sexting even IS infidelity or not, whether it is infidelity to have cybersex, or whether emotional affairs are even real!  Yet with all this talk with so-called “experts” spouting psychobabble opinions, one MAJOR thing is missed.  Why are we talking about infidelity like this: “How far can I go?  What is the boundary so that I can push the limits and then quote this or that ‘expert’ and claim that it not an affair”?  When we got married, we made a vow to forsake all others until death parted us, so rather than look at it asking for the maximum you can do before it’s cheating, I challenge you (the reader) to look at it from a new point of view and ask “What is faithfulness?  What do I do to be 100% faithful to my spouse?”

Fidelity, according to the American Heritage dictionary, is:

  • Faithfulness to obligations, duties, or observances.
  • Exact correspondence with fact or with a given quality, condition, or event; accuracy.

Of course it doesn’t help that they use the word “faithfulness” in the definition–but we could further say that faithfulness is “devotion to a person or duties: allegiance , constancy , fealty , loyalty.”  In other words, fidelity would be “the state of loyalty and devotion to obligations, duties, and observances that are owed to a certain person (namely your spouse).

In addition, there are several Bible verses that can help us get a grasp on what faithfulness means:

Psalm 26:3
for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness

Psalm 36:5 and Psalm 57:10 and Psalm 108:4
Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.

Psalm 89:2
I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.

Psalm 117:2
For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD.

I realize these are all Old Testament references but I think we can get the concept: namely that faithfulness is following through with a commitment regardless of difficulty.  It is over a long time, and it is based on a conscious decision to BE loyal and devoted to a promise.  If we are married people, the promise we would be loyal and devoted to is our marriage vows.

Soooo most marriage vows do promise the “…forsaking all others” part in there somewhere as well as the “…as long as we both shall live” part.  Most marriage vows I know of do not say something like “…forsaking all others until I get bored or until someone more interesting comes along” nor do they say “…as long as you continue to have sex whether I’m romantic or not.”  Thus fidelity is a DECISION.  Like love, it is a choice you make and then act on.  You CHOOSE to be faithful.  And to make it easy, I have a 2-second definition of faithfulness that you can memorize:

Giving 100% of your affection and loyalty to only your spouse.

So rather than asking if it is cheating to have a guy or girl “friend” on Facebook, ask yourself this:  Are you more loyal to keeping that friend then you are to your spouse?  Then it’s infidelity.  And rather than asking if sexting is an affair, ask yourself this: When I’m sexting am I giving 100% of my affection to my spouse or am I sharing at least some of it with someone else?  When I’m sexting am I giving 100% of my sexual loyalty to my spouse?  If not, then it’s infidelity!

The pastor who said quit FB or resign was involved in affairs himself. Should our past stop us from ministering?

The pastor who told his church leaders to either quit Facebook or resign their leadership posts has created a buzz again when it was discovered that the good reverend had an affair himself–with his wife and a male church assistant!  As I understand it, the threesome was ten years ago, so it predated Facebook, and even though they participated together, it would be considered sexual impurity.  Then in 2003 there was a criminal case against the male church assistant, and that is when the facts of unfaithfulness came to light.

In my article as Portland Infidelity Examiner, The Pastor, Facebook, and Threesomes,  I did examine two relevant topics that have been intertwined: Is Facebook really the CAUSE of infidelity?  Should the pastor’s past unfaithfulness make any difference today?  In summary, my conclusions are no and no!  No–Facebook does not cause infidelity and we would serve married couples MUCH more effectively by teaching them how to be faithful, how to honor their commitment, and how to affair-proof their marriages by restarting Love Kindlers and ending Love Extinguishers!  Facebook is not the CAUSE of infidelity–infidelity is a symptom of a much greater illness in the marriage.  And No–what he did in the past and repented of has been forgiven if he confessed his sin.  If it’s forgiven, it is gone and irrelevant to the topic at hand.

BUT that the concept of forgiveness brings up a really tender topic for me that I’d like to address right out loud.  One of my good friends, The Holy Handmaiden, recently wrote a post about being Inadequate, and the two of us have been going back and forth a bit about how we both feel less that suitable to do what we’ve been called to do!  Like Moses, we sort of tell God, “But…but…but  I stutter!  You can’t want ME to go talk to pharaoh!”  Of course our heads realize He is the Almighty God and He’s arranged our lives precisely so we are the vessel He can use, but when it comes time to actually do it…well it can be intimidating.  Especially in my line of work, so many times people say to me, in a somewhat ‘holier-than-thou’ tone: “How can YOU teach people about infidelity and marriage.  You were divorced!  You haven’t had a marriage that lasted for decades” and you know what?  They’re right!

Here’s the truth.  I’m no more perfect than any of you.  In fact, I can say that I’ve had times in my life when I messed up BADLY!  One of the reasons my ex and I did divorce is that I married a man who was not a Christian–mainly because he was cute and because I liked him and didn’t want God to tell me what to do!  And the price I paid for that outright disobedience was a divorce and losing my family.  I could go on and on, but I’m sure you can all identify with looking back on your life when you were ‘young and dumb’ and realizing “Oh yeah–that was wrong.” Ideally God wants us to grow up in godly households where our parents stay married,  where we learn to obey God, where we marry other Christians, and live our entire lives to His glory.  But in the USA in 2010, pretty few of us come from homes that aren’t broken; we weren’t ‘young and dumb’; we have happy, stable, committed, loving marriages; and we have served God our whole lives.  (Just a note–even MOSES didn’t meet that criteria, and I’m telling ya, God used that man!)

So I have not lived a life that pleased God.  I’ve also paid the consequences for my choices.  And you know why I am still absolutely 100% convinced that this is what God calls me to do?  Because as Christians, part of our central doctrines is Forgiveness.  Our faith recognizes that “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23) and that would include Pastor Miller’s past…and mine.  Our faith also recognizes that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just  to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9)  We ALL sin!  So if we sincerely repent, ask God for forgiveness, and demonstrate a change toward godly behavior…then guess what?  It’s in the past, forgiven, and irrelevant to the matter at hand!   Yes, I suspect a person who has been happily married for decades, who understands the concepts of Love Kindlers and Love Extinguishers, and who teaches what covenant really is by their life may have a better life witness of those concepts.  After all–they’ve lived them!  But lots of people who persevere in their marriage, do so without husbands loving their wives, wives respecting their husbands, or using their marriage as a mirror of the kind of relationship the Church has with Christ too.  Living together for decades without divorcing is also no guarantee either, I’ve discovered.  Sadly, many of the people we talk to have been married 20 or 30 years or more, and if they neglect their marriage, it can still end up in divorce!

Noah got drunk and laid naked in front of everyone. Jacob got his daughter-in-law pregnant because he thought she was a hooker.  Moses, murdered a man for hitting a Hebrew.  Ruth spent the night with a man who wasn’t her husband at the place that was known for sexual immorality.  King David killed a man so he could commit adultery with his wife.  Even the apostle Paul murdered Christians before he became a Christian.  And God USED THEM because His strength is made perfect in our weakness.  2 Cor. 12:9 says “But he said to me,’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me .”  I join with the Apostle Paul in stating right out loud that I’m inadequate so that Christ’s power can rest on me..  Thankfully I serve the Lord God Almighty and He is more than adequate!

Welcome to the Affaircare Blog

Like a lighthouse guiding you home after an affair

I know some of you are here because you are having trouble in your marriage and you’re looking for a lighthouse to guide you through the darkness of infidelity. You’ve found help. For more than ten years now I’ve been involved with helping couples recover after the storm of an affair. I offer Christian care and guidance, and I’ll listen to you with compassion, whether you are the loyal spouse or the one who was disloyal and now you want to save your marriage.

We often hear people say, “If s/he ever cheated on me, I’d kick ’em to the curb!” but in real life, the breakdown of a marriage can have unexpected costs. There are heavy physical, emotional, mental, financial, and spiritual costs for divorce, and it’s felt by everyone in the couples’ lives: the spouses, their children, their immediate family, the extended family, employers and co-workers, friends, people in school and church–the devastation can be FAR REACHING. So it’s wise to consider and reconsider forgiving yourself, forgiving your spouse and repairing the damage that’s been done so you can build a new, stronger, more loving marriage! And that’s why I’m here…to help you do just that.

I feel hopeful and confident that you *can* recover and that your marriage can be rescued from the storm, because I’ve helped so many people reconcile and grow. You’ll find a lot of help here if you start on the Affaircare Home Page, and if you’d like you can follow Affaircare on Facebook or on Twitter.  But come here regularly–come often–and let’s bring your marriage back to safe harbor.