AFFAIRCARE

…nouthetic, Christian care after an affair.


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Save Our Marriage Saturday October 20th

Today is Save Our Marriage Saturday!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HTML CODE:

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




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


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My Vows

Do you remember the vows you took on your wedding day?  Word for word?  I remember mine.  My Dear Hubby and I were not dewy-eyed youths when we got married, and we wrote vows to really express the covenant we were making.

I,      Affaircare    , in faith, honesty and love, take you,     Dear Hubby    , to be my wedded husband to share with you God’s plan for our lives together united in Christ.–In the first sentence, I wanted the part in there about sharing with my Dear Hubby God’s plan for our lives, because I wanted to express that we weren’t just here to live for our happiness individually or “our” happiness as a couple, but rather, we were put together specifically to perform a plan that God had for us.  I was to do my wifely duties; he was to do his husbandly duties; and TOGETHER we were to do God’s plan for us…not our own!  Furthermore, that sentence ends with “together united in Christ” because we are both believers–so not only do Dear Hubby and I unite to each other…but we also unite in Christ.

As you have pledged to me your life and love, so I too happily give you my life and love.–This sentence is all about one thing: being married is not about “what’s in it for me?” but it’s all about “What am I going to voluntarily and willingly give TO YOU?”  As a married person, my job and my focus are on studying my husband and learning how to be the best wife I am able to be.  When you become focused only on yourself and your own happiness, rather than focusing on your spouse and on doing what pleases God–that’s when marriages can be torn apart!

It is my prayer and desire that you will find in me the helpmeet God designed especially for you, and in confidence submit myself to your headship as to the Lord.–This part of my vows was my way of acknowledge the authority in my new marriage and the role I saw myself playing, namely that my husband would be the head, that I would willingly submit to him, and that I saw my role as being not just “his helper” but someone who would be fit to help him grow and assist him in his work.

Through the pressures of the present and the uncertainties of the future, I promise to be faithful to you—for better, for worse; in sickness and in health, in joys and in sorrows until in death do we part.–Boy, I bet when everyone says this part of their vows they THINK they mean it, but wow…life can really throw some zingers at you!  For example, this part of the vows means: “I will not threaten to leave when your ex-spouse is a hassle and tries to interfere in our marriage.”  It also means “When your ex stops paying child support and the kids are living at our house all the time, I will stay with you and work it out.”  It also means “When we hit menopause and our sex drives change up, I won’t just leave because I’m not happy.”  It also means “When you get a chronic, life-long illness I won’t just up and leave you when you are too ill to meet my needs.”  It also means “When you lose your job and feel like the dirt on a worm’s shoe, I’ll be the one standing by you.”  It also means “When you parents die and you close up to deal with it, I will patiently wait for you.”  DO NOT take this part lightly, because it means that through every trial and tribulation of life, you promise to turn TOWARD your spouse.

Therefore I pledge you my life as an obedient, faithful and loving wife and pray I will fulfill God’s place in our home.–Yep you see it there–that scary “obey” word.  To me, this sentence is once again stating what I see as the role in the marriage.  It’s not my job to make sure the marriage steers in the right spiritual direction.  That’s my Dear Hubby’s job.  When I’m standing up there before God, He’s not going to put the responsibility of directing the family on me–He’s going to ask me “Did you respect your husband’s authority?”  If I did, that would be fulfilling my place in our home.

“Whither thou goest I will go; whither thou lodgest I will lodge. Thy people shall be my people and they God, my God.”   In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.–Ah the conclusion.  I’ve always liked the story of Ruth.  I love how she was originally from Moab–grew up outside the covenant and just happened to marry a guy who was an Israelite but who was disobeying God.  So she learned about I AM from her husband and she “got it”… through God’s gift of faith, she understood!  Then when her husband died, her mother-in-law says “Hey you’re young yet.  You go to your own family and have a good life and I’m heading back to Israel” but what does Ruth say?   She says THIS VERSE, because she knows that her duty is to help take care of her mother-in-law, and she knows that her mother-in-law’s God is The One God!  She does the honorable thing, pleasing God, and as the rest of the story progresses, she ends up meeting Boaz, they get married and is the grandmother of King David and in the lineage of Christ.  So yeah I love her.  She was an “outsider” and God loved her and added her to His elect.

So there you have it!  My vows:

I,      Affaircare    , in faith, honesty and love, take you,      Dear Hubby     , to be my wedded husband to share with you God’s plan for our lives together united in Christ.   As you have pledged to me your life and love, so I too happily give you my life and love.   It is my prayer and desire that you will find in me the helpmeet God designed especially for you, and in confidence submit myself to your headship as to the Lord.  Through the pressures of the present and the uncertainties of the future, I promise to be faithful to you—for better, for worse; in sickness and in health, in joys and in sorrows until in death do we part.   Therefore I pledge you my life as an obedient, faithful and loving wife and pray I will fulfill God’s place in our home.   “Whither thou goest I will go; whither thou lodgest I will lodge. Thy people shall be my people and they God, my God.”   In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Do you remember your vows? If you do, post them in a comment and let’s talk about them.

This is post is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge!

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

  • A Letter to My Children About Marriage-unknown.. (adanmawanji.wordpress.com)
  • Winning Him Without Words: Weekly Overview (girlfriendscoffeehour.com)


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The Power of We

Today is Blog Action Day, which may not sound like a big deal to you…or maybe you’re wondering what it is exactly.  Well Blog Action Day started in 2007.  It brings together bloggers from different countries, interests and languages to blog about one important global topic on the same day, and this year the topic is “The Power of We.”

After a four, seven-step series (The Love Extinguishers, The Love Kindlers, The 7 Steps to Ending an Affair, and Rebuilding After an Affair) and after having a week-long hospital visit interrupt the well-laid plans of mice and men, I thought it might be nice to write blogs for the rest of this month that are just from my heart, topics with which I see people struggling, or topics sharing about us and our life and our reconciliation after an affair.  Today, with Blog Action Day’s topic of “The Power of We” I thought it would be appropriate to offer some thoughts on being unity or on the same team with your spouse, and to offer some thoughts on the people and other bloggers without whom I just COULD NOT do this!

The first “Power of We” that I’d like to discuss is the power a marriage can gain when the husband and wife are united by being Christians.  When both the husband and the wife are part of the consecrated Bride, set apart for God‘s glory, then both of them will be pursuing one thing: pleasing God.  In many, MANY verses the apostles asked us (Christ‘s Bride) to be united:

1 Peter 3:8
“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”

Philippians 2:2
“Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”

As Christ’s Bride, The Church, both the husband and the wife would be living a life that is worthy of the gospel, and the way we LIVE would be a mirror to those around us of the holiness of God.

Philippians 1:27
“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel”

So how does a man and a woman become “of one mind” when one is an Introvert and the other is an Extrovert?  How are spouses supposed to be united when one is a Thinker and one is a Feeler?  They just aren’t alike!  Here’s how (peek at Romans 12:2)…by not going along with and being like “the world” but by being TRANSFORMED so that our minds become more and more and more like GOD’S mind!!  We are supposed to have the mind of Christ.

NOTE: even the verses above mention some of the ways that our minds would be changing: by developing “sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and humility” according to 1 Peter 3:8 and by having the same love (Love of GOD) in Philippians 2:2!   But want to see something AMAZING?  Look at the very next verse, Phillipians 2:3

Philippians 2:3
“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”

So often in marriages, and especially when there’s been an affair, one of the spouse’s thinks something like: “Well my needs aren’t being met.  I need more affection!  He never talks to me anymore.  She isn’t interested in sex.  I can’t remember the last time they complimented me!”  Where is that focus?  It’s a rivalry isn’t it?  Instead of being a united marriage, it’s Spouse A vs. Spouse B in a royal rumble!  And rather than focusing on humility or being sympathetic toward the tough things in your spouse’s life or being gentle and tender when they make a mistake…it’s become HIM against HER.

God has a plan for marriages.  The plan is “The Power of We.”  The husband and the wife are to be His Bride and be united to Him pursuing His mind.  And the husband and wife are a mirror to the world of what that unity to God looks like, by being united themselves.  He says:

Genesis 2:24
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh”

This does include sex–sure of course it does!  But it also includes things like not letting your mom tell your wife she doesn’t cook right!  It includes the wife turning to her husband when she is sad, and not her mom.  It includes backing up your husband in front of the kids when he says something to them (“Did your dad tell you no?  You know I back your dad”)  and if you do think he’s wrong you speak to your spouse privately and explain your reasons, and if they change their mind, then THEY announce the change and why.  It includes doing fun things together.  It includes doing work together.  It includes having an attitude of US on the same page, doing things together as a team, and we’ve got each other’s backs.  After an affair, reconciliation begins when the spouses are a “we” again, because there is Power in We.

The second “Power of We” that I’d like to discuss is the power of working with a group of associates.  I have learned, over the course of my blogging career (lol), that there are  the people and other bloggers without whom I just COULD NOT do this blog and this whole website.  Together, we all minister in our own ways for better marriages, and we are all more effective because we work together.   So my hat tips to these folks:

Christian Marriage Bloggers Association:  You know I started with this group when it was pretty small–and from this group I’ve found mentors and been a mentor.  We’ve shared group topics (like writing about “50 Shades of Grey” and my own “50 Shades and Infidelity–There is a Connection!“), and challenges.  And always these brothers and sisters in Christ continue pursuing godly marriages in their writing and encouraging each other.  I love this group and learn more as part of this association than with any other.

I’m going to mention a few of the newer bloggers I’ve just met recently, in hopes of “paying it forward” a little for them, and in hopes of encouraging them to continue writing:

The Alabaster Jar - Jolene has a wonderful, personal writing style and is very gentle, but extremely biblically accurate.  She’s not afraid to tackle the tough topics either.  She’s pretty much who I hope to be when my blog grows up.

Auntie Em’s Guide To Life – Okay maybe it’s just me, but Auntie Em cracks me up.  I don’t feel like I’m such a dork when I read her blog because she writes like she lives in my life.

Becoming His Eve – I love Hannah.  She is a newer married person and it reminds me so much of what it was like to be relatively newly married and all the things you face in those first years.

Cassandra’s Marriage Mints Ministry – I used to wonder why Cassandra’s blog was called “Marriage Mints” but if you read her blog you’ll understand.  She is cool and smooth in her writing, and yet full of zest … just like a mint.

Hot, Holy & Humorous – “J” is another blogger who just cracks me up.  I guess I should clarify that means that their enthusiasm and energy makes me smile big, full-face smiles.  Her approach is Bigger-than-Dallas, face those issues HEAD ON, and she does not back down from anything.   Ever.

My Beloved Is Mine! (SongSix3) – Jason and Tiffani remind me so much of my Dear Hubby and I just a few years ago (you know…before the kids moved out and we “got old”).  They have been inspiring friends moreso behind the scenes but I’d definitely tip my hat their way!

PeacefulWife’s Blog – Okay I don’t know any other way to say this: here is a woman who knows what she’s talking about.  Listen to her.  I used to be a disrespectful wife myself, and Peaceful is ON THE MONEY.  If only I could have learned this while I was younger it would have helped SO MUCH.   Plus, her vlogs are fun to watch ;)

Pearl’s OysterBed – You know I can’t put my finger on what it is about Pearl.  Maybe it’s because I’m a huge Jimmy Buffett fan and hula girl at heart.  But she puts me at ease even when addressing a difficult topic, and I just like her stuff.

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On Facebook I’ve met several invaluable associates as well.  In particular, I’d like to mention:

I want a Godly marriage – I learn more just from their little status quote and tweets than I do from most folks.  You have GOT to follow them.  No…I mean it.

A Proverbs Wife – It’s one thing to read Proverbs 31 and quite another to live it…and she’ll help you live it day by day.

Marriage Works! – It’s weird, I haven’t as much gotten into their website and whatnot, but I get their statuses on FB every day all day, and again I just learn about having a great marriage.

Making Love in the Microwave – Okay I love this lady!  Her name is Aja and I think I found her when she was relatively new.  But are you one of those time-crunched, two-earner families with kids who have activities?  Yeah–she’ll show you how you can STILL make love even when all the time you have is a few nuclear seconds.

Ruby Wives – A good wife is more valuable than rubies, but who teaches regular women like you and I how to be that kind of wife?  Why Ruby Wives!  Every day I get statuses from them that are helpful that I can put into action today.

Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage – This is Lamar and Ronnie Tyler, and they are into EVERYTHING– Twitter, FB, blogging, podcasting, TV, movies…you name it!  But what they provide is invaluable: an image of black marriage that is something people can LOOK UP TO and admire.  Personally every Wednesday they host a chat at 6pm PT/9pm ET called #marriagechat.  I usually attend and HIGHLY recommend it!!

More Precious Than Rubies – I love these women and sadly they are the only ones I know who are working this ministry.  They train regular women like you or I to reach out to and minister to the women who are in the sex industry (for example, strippers).  Now I realize this isn’t everyone’s cuppa tea, but these ladies help us remember that women who sometimes “get stuck” in the sex industry are our mothers, aunts, sisters, daughters, lovers and the dearly beloved daughters of the Most High God who may not have had someone reach out a hand in love…yet.

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Finally I most assuredly would not be who I am today without one forum:

Talk About Marriage: Coping with Infidelity Forum – I actually hang out here.  I answer PMs and try to reply on threads, and I write quite a bit in the Private Forums.  So I don’t do it as a “business generator” — I do it because it is SO NEEDED.   Infidelity is so painful, so confusing, and so counter-intuitive that someone has to do it, right?  So I’m there on that forum every day and my user name is just what you’d expect: “Affaircare.”  Come say and discover the “Power of We” being with others who understand what you are going through.

This is post #15 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge!

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I also join this Godly Link-up on Mondays:

The Alabaster Jar
  • Today is Blog Action Day: Are You Joining the Power of We? (blogher.com)
  • Blog Action Day: The Power of WE – WE CAN BE THEIR FREEDOM (thelifeofafifthgrademom.wordpress.com)


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

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

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

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

Step One: Forgiveness

Step Two: Let’s talk about Commitment

Step Three: Take Some Time

Step Four: Mutual United Understanding

Step Five: W-T-F-S

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beholding Glory


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How to Rebuild After an Affair: Step 2 Commitment

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

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

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

Step One: Forgiveness

Step Two: Let’s talk about Commitment

“…Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the LORD your God with your own mouth…” – Deut. 23:23 (NIV)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are you willing to commit to it?

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

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


9 Comments

How to Rebuild After an Affair: Step 1 Forgiveness

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

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

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

Step One: Forgiveness

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

According to Merriam-Webster definition, forgiveness is

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

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

There are five steps to forgiveness:

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

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

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

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

Step 2 – Commitment

Step 3 – Take Some Time

Step 4 – Mutual United Understanding (MUU)

Step 5 – W-T-F-S

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

Step 7 – Rebuilding Tools

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

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I also join these Godly Link-ups on Mondays:

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


2 Comments

Back to Basics– Step 7 of 7 Steps To End An Affair

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

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

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

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

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

Step 1) Gather Evidence.

Step 2) Confront.

Step 3) Disclose.

Step 4) Expose.

Step 5) Carrot and Stick.

Step 6) Consequences.

Step 7) Legal Separation.  The final step that we’d recommend before divorce is a legal separation. To be blunt, many affairs die a natural death within two years, so if a loyal spouse can stall for that amount of time, there is a good chance that the disloyal spouse would at least consider returning. Thus, as a tactic that will both stall the legal process of divorce and protect both the family assets and the loyal spouse and children, we would recommend a legal separation and suggest a minimum of one year of legal separation. During the legal separation, the loyal spouse should continue to work on eliminating Love Extinguishers and once again reclaiming Love Kindlers–but they can also suggest marriage counseling or begin to date the disloyal again.  The disloyal spouse may push for a “quickie” divorce in an attempt to legitimize their affair partner, but if nothing else, a legal separation will give all parties involved a chance to recover from the emotional rollercoaster and a likely chance of ending the affair.  Once the affair is actually OVER–then it’s conceivable the disloyal may still decide they would rather stay apart, but at that point with all good conscience the loyal spouse will have literally done all they could to save their marriage.

If that is how it works out for you, please bear in mind that the process of breaking up an affair with a hard-hearted spouse is not “guaranteed.”  Sinful human beings often just REFUSE to do the right thing; hurting human beings often are more afraid to look at themselves and admit they were wrong than they are to live with the mess they’ve made!   If that is the case, please post a comment or post a Prayer Request and we’ll pray for you.


This is post #7  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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DURING THE WEEK, I LINK TO THESE GODLY LINK-UPS:
Beholding Glory’s Blog Hop List, No Ordinary Blog Hop: Family-Parenting-Marriage , The Alabaster Jar-Marital Oneness Mondays, Revive Your Marriage Mondays, Time-Warp Wife-Titus 2sdays, …to Love, Honor and Vacuum–Wifey Wednesdays, Unveiled Wife, Grace Alone/Women Taking a Stand–Thankful Thursdays, and Beholding Glory–Faith Filled Fridays.


6 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 1) Gather Evidence.

Step 2) Confront.

Step 3) Disclose.

Step 4) Expose.

Step 5) Carrot and Stick.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Today is also Save Our Marriage Saturday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HTML CODE:

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


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


4 Comments

Back to Basics–Step 5 of 7 Steps To End An Affair

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

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

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

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

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

Step 1) Gather Evidence.

Step 2) Confront.

Step 3) Disclose.

Step 4) Expose.

Step 5) Carrot and Stick.   In this phase you focus on two things: 1) working on yourself to be the person you once were who attracted your spouse again AND simultaneously 2) allowing your disloyal spouse to experience the natural consequences of their choices.

You work on yourself by eliminating the things that extinguished love between you two (like judging, angry explosions, enough is never enough) and by re-starting the things that kindled love between you two (like romantic doo-dads). You need to do BOTH…but eliminating love extinguishers is the most important of the two. If you need a refresher, please turn to I Corinthians 13 to find out what love is like.

The second part is about NATURAL consequences.  In II Samuel 11, we read the story of King David and Bathsheba.  Verse 2 says: “One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her.”  King David was a married man and he slept with (and impregnated) a married woman.  What’s worse, in the rest of the chapter we see that he put her husband in the front lines in a battle specifically so that he would be killed!   In the very next chapter, chapter 12, Nathan the prophet rebukes David for his adultery, and King David immediately realizes he was wrong and repents of his sin.  Psalm 51 is his confession and repentance!  But look at verse 13b and 14: “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.”  God forgave King David of his sin and accepted him back into relationship–just like a loyal spouse would for a disloyal–but God still allowed King David to experience the natural consequences of his choices to sin!!  The child conceived in his adultery died, and his household was brought to calamity.  King David was the apple of God’s eye and the man whom He loved…but God still allowed him to experience the natural consequences of his adultery.  If this is how God treats someone whom He loves and forgives, we can learn that it is LOVING to let our disloyal spouses experience the natural consequences of their choices so that they can learn and grow.

Sooooo…this doesn’t mean that you seek vengeance and punish your disloyal spouse.  NO! NO! NO!!  Rather, you let them experience the natural costs of losing you and “replacing you” with their lover.  For example, you are not leaving the marital home and the children so they can move their lover in. If the disloyal spouse wants to be with their lover, they’ll need to move out–and no the kids do not go with them. There is no reason for the children to leave their home, their bed, their neighborhood, their friends, their school because the disloyal spouse is having an affair!  Thus, one natural consequence is that the disloyal loses some time with their children.  Some additional natural consequences would be splitting any joint accounts 50/50 and making a new, personal bank account for yourself–and having your paycheck deposited to your new, personal account.  If you are paying for their cell phone and they are using their cell for the affair–take them off your account.  If you are paying for household internet and they are carrying on the affair online–stop paying for internet.  Losing those things are the natural costs of choosing to have an affair and what WILL happen if they choose to divorce. Allow them to experience that hurt because it will teach them faster that affairs HURT and cost A LOT!!

You should know that this step is not “long term” because no one can give and give and give forever when an affair is being rubbed in their face. Eventually the time would come for you to say, “I’ve done what I could to win you over and now I need to move to the next step before I lose all love for you.” Sometimes a disloyal spouse sort of sits on the fence in this step because they are getting needs met by two folks.

On the occasion there are disloyal spouses whose affair just die a natural death–like the Other Person just gets sick of it and leaves them–or they begin to see the good of staying and how much leaving would hurt…and they think maybe that too much water has passed under the bridge. Periodically let your disloyal know that you would love to have them back and work on the marriage. Invite them to return.  If this is your case, consider yourself blessed and move to the phase of reconciling your marriage!!

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

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This is post #5  in the CMBA 1/2 Marathon Blogging Challenge to post everyday for 13 days in October … AND is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge!

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

Beholding Glory


6 Comments

Back to Basics–Step 4 of 7 Steps To End An Affair

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

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

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

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

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

Step 1) Gather Evidence.

Step 2) Confront.

Step 3) Disclose.

Step 4) Expose.  When someone that your disloyal spouse respects has spoken to them about the affair and encouraged them to end it, but they have hardened their heart and refuse to end it, what’s the next step?  Well just to review, Matthew 18: 15-17  tells us specifically how to deal with a brother or sister who sins.  What closer brother or sister do you have than your own spouse? So again let’s look to God‘s Word for the step we should take next.  Look specifically at verse 17:

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

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

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

The next step is to “tell it to the church” and here I don’t think that Jesus meant we should stand up in front of the whole congregation and make an announcement.   The Greek word there is “ekklésia” and it means “people called out from the world and to God” so using some wisdom I believe the author (and God) means that if we’ve already spoken to the pastor, that we should now speak to the elders; if we’ve already spoken to the disloyal’s father (one respected parent), that we should now speak to both her parents and both of his parents.

Make no doubt, exposure is one of the MOST misunderstood concepts of ending an affair.  Many people mistake is for vengeance.  Many incorrectly think I’m talking about airing dirty laundry publicly.  Many think exposure is to humiliate the disloyal spouse.  To all these theories and many, many more like it I can not say a resounding “NO!” loudly enough!!

The number one, main idea behind exposure is to take the boldest, most public step in hopes of breaking up the affair partners and reconciling your marriage.  Thus, if you act out of vengeance or even speak in a way that disparages your spouse, you are shooting yourself in the foot and making reconciliation more difficult.  So if you are thinking that you will use exposure after the divorce to “get back at your spouse” or thinking that you’ll wait until they are up for a raise and then use exposure to ruin their reputation at work–then you are acting out of revenge and not exposure.  The heart of exposure is as discreet as possible, honest (no longer hiding the affair), sorrowful, and looking for assistance through prayer or encouragement … both for yourself (to get through this) and for your spouse (to do the right thing and end their affair and honor their vows).  THAT’S IT!

Exposure does not to drag your disloyal spouse’s name and reputation through the mud, even though they may accuse you of that.  Actually just to be clear, this is why you stay very honest and factual, because your honest speaking is not what’s harming their reputation–their ACTIONS are doing that!   Exposure refusing to keep the affair a “secret” so they can continue in secret and spin a story blaming you for their infidelity.

For this step to be effective, there will be a focused limit to the exposure.  The loyal spouse should contact their own family (parents and siblings), the disloyal’s parents and siblings, their church or place of worship, and the other person’s spouse.  You inform your families and religious leaders that the disloyal spouse is having an affair, that it is serious, that the marriage is in trouble, and ask for help.  The focus and main concern here is to contact those who may be harmed by the affair, give the facts, and ask them either to support the loyal or talk to the disloyal and tell them to return to the marriage.

You may also want to speak  to the loyal spouse’s employer, and under very specific circumstances, the disloyal spouse’s employer.  You would speak to your own employer so they know why you seem distracted, cry at work, and aren’t as productive.  You would contact the disloyal’s employer ONLY IF THE AFFAIR IS GOING ON AT WORK!!  I can not stress this enough–there is no need to contact your disloyal spouse’s employer or co-workers if the affair is with someone on Facebook unrelated to work!!  But…

… if  the affair is between a disloyal and their boss or something they supervise

…if the affair began as workplace flirting and fraternization

…if the affair is taking place during work travel or work conferences

…if the affair is carried along by a work cell phone, work laptop, or work car

…then you may also want to speak to your disloyal spouse’s employer because they are seriously in jeopardy of a sexual harassment lawsuit!  Their property, time, and resources are being used for unwanted sexual contact (you, as the spouse, do not want it) and they need to address it or they could be sued.

Finally you will want to contact the affair partner’s spouse and ask, “Are you aware that my spouse is having an affair with your spouse? I have evidence… ” Nothing ends an affair faster than the other person’s spouse screaming and putting their foot down!

Now, your disloyal is likely to be pretty upset with you for exposing their affair!!   A) Affairs are much more “fun” when they are a clandestine romantic rendezvous and not brought to the truth of being adultery!  And B) you are trying to cut them off from the drug they are “addicted” to the affair.  But just like you sometimes have to endure the fury of an addicted friend in an intervention–it’s for their own good and the hope is that once the addiction is broken, they will see and appreciate what you did.  Your marriage can survive your disloyal spouse’s anger–it can not survive ongoing adultery.

On the occasion a disloyal spouse realizes that everyone knows about their affair–and the  Affair Partner’s spouse screams and puts a stop to it–and the affair is killed.  If this is your case, consider yourself blessed and move to the phase of recovering your marriage, even if your spouse is not wholeheartedly into it yet.

If that is not how it works out for you, please bear in mind that sometimes the church will let you down or parents and family  will be hesitant to get involved, much less ask your spouse to end their affair.  That’s why we recommend that exposure be very limited and focused as wisely as you possibly can!   If that is the case, please post a comment or post a Prayer Request and we’ll pray for you.  Thank God, He didn’t just leave us at this point, but the Bible does ell us what do do for the next step.  And so we will post tomorrow with Step 5.

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This is post #3  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:

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