Tag Archives: Infidelity

Biblical Precepts on Adultery: Introduction [Podcast]

bible-and-rings

My spouse is cheating, and I’m a Christian, but I’m so upset I don’t know what God wants me to do! I’m the spouse who cheated and I am a Christian, but I ended the affair and confessed to God–do I have to tell my spouse?

In this week’s episode, we begin our new our series “Biblical Precepts on Adultery” as we begin a summer study of what the Bible has to say about infidelity and how God would have us act.

Today we discuss how to study the Bible, the definition of adultery, and what the series will include.  After all, how can you expect to have a godly marriage or know what God thinks of adultery if you never study what HE says about it?

1. How I study the Bible:

2. Biblically define adultery

  • Adultery is a verb–an action–just like “Love.”  It’s not a feeling or “something that just happens” but rather an action that you do.
  • Adultery is between married people.  When a couple is dating, engaged or living together, there can be an expectation of exclusivity, and there can be a break of trust if there isn’t exclusivity, but it is not adultery.  In the Bible adultery is unfaithfulness of a husband or wife to their spouse.
  • Hebrew word Naw-af    Na.af(read left to right)
  • Greek word Moy-khyoo-o    (read right to left)  Moicheuo
    1. Male–unlawful intercourse with wife of another
    2. Female–to be debauched (debauched is an old word that means “destroying someone’s morals”); women that break wedlock
  • Both have the connotation of “those who, via solicitation, are drawn away into idolatry.” Here on this earth, this means idolizing sexual pleasure or idolizing your own ego!
  • In marriage, adultery is an image of one who is faithless toward God.

3. The series:

Today: Introduction
July 5th:  Old Testament precepts about adultery
July 12th New Testament precepts about adultery
July 19th Notable adultery in the Bible and what we can learn
July 26th Q&A – Typical Questions/Biblical Answers!

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/2016/Biblical+Precepts-Adultery.mp3]

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Reconciliation Tool BONUS: Cognitive Distortions [Podcast]

Your spouse had an affair. You followed the steps to end the affair, and now you and your spouse have made the decision to try to save your marriage and recover.  You listened to our series about Recovering After an Affair.  But now you want to learn more about the tools you can use to help you reconcile (the final step).

Today we conclude our series all about the Reconciliation tools–how to use them, and why they are helpful–and we add this new BONUS tool!  Although  there is no guarantee your marriage will be saved, but these tools can help you build a new, more healthy marriage.

In today’s episode we talk about the sixth new tool–Cognitive Distortions.

As Christians, we know that our inner dialog is tainted by sin. Jeremiah says: “…The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?…” (Jeremiah 17:9) Dealing with our sin is the responsibility of all Christians. Our sin is a product of, the result of, and caused by our thinking: “…For out of the heart come evil thoughts–murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander…” (Matthew 15:19), and so on.

Cognitive Distortions is an elaboration on the different types of distorted inner dialogues that we discussed in REBT.  This tool gives you 15 examples of distorted inner dialogue–specifically examples from infidelity–and then 8 ways you can fix your cognitive distortion.

We would point out that as Christians, changing that inner dialog  so that it is in line with the Bible is part of growing as a Christian. And as a Christian, we have the Holy Spirit who helps us grow and change. In this instance, this tool can help us focus directly on where sin and error have been so influential.

We have added new BONUS Cognitive Distortion resources on our Affaircare Quizzes page!

NOTE TO SELF:  This is a self-help tool – it is not meant for use on your spouse: you use it on yourself. This tool gives you a method to ease your aching heart, to calm yourself, and to give yourself the strength to handle the difficult road ahead of you. It gives you some clarity of mind with which you can then prepare and make better decisions. It can help you avoid those bad situations which arise from acting on impulse, or without considering further consequences.

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/2016/Reconciliation+Tools+BONUS+-Cognitive+Distortion.mp3]

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Other podcasts in the Reconciliation Tools series:

The Recovering After an Affair Series:

Reconciliation Tool #5: REBT Part 2 [Podcast]

Your spouse had an affair. You followed the steps to end the affair, and now you and your spouse have made the decision to try to save your marriage and recover.  You listened to our series about Recovering After an Affair.  But now you want to learn more about the tools you can use to help you reconcile (the final step).

Today we continue our series all about the Reconciliation tools, how to use them, and why they are helpful.  Although  there is no guarantee your marriage will be saved, but these tools can help you build a new, more healthy marriage.

In today’s episode we talk about the fifth tool–Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), developed by Dr.Albert Ellis in 1955.  Since REBT is such a big topic, we broke up this subject into two parts:  Part One, last week, is a background on what REBT is, what it means, and why it is important.  THIS week, in Part Two, we will show you the technique, how to use it, and then tips on making REBT a habit.

When something negative, or bad happens to you, your inner dialog gives you it’s take on the situation. As a result, you experience an emotion. You are then left with the choice of how to deal with whatever has happened.

As Christians, we know that our inner dialog is tainted by sin. Jeremiah says: “…The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?…” (Jeremiah 17:9) Dealing with our sin is the responsibility of all Christians. Our sin is a product of, the result of, and caused by our thinking: “…For out of the heart come evil thoughts–murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander…” (Matthew 15:19), and so on.

REBT is a tool that helps you investigate that inner dialog – to address and change that inner dialog to be one that is more helpful, wiser, and less prone to error.  We also would point out that as Christians, changing that inner dialog is part of growing as a Christian. And as a Christian, we have the Holy Spirit who helps us grow and change. In this instance, REBT is used as a tool to help us focus directly on where sin and error have been so influential.

We have added several new REBT resources on our Affaircare Quizzes page!

NOTE TO SELF:  This is a self-help tool – it is not meant for use on your spouse: you use it on yourself. This tool gives you a method to ease your aching heart, to calm yourself, and to give yourself the strength to handle the difficult road ahead of you. It gives you some clarity of mind with which you can then prepare and make better decisions. It can help you avoid those bad situations which arise from acting on impulse, or without considering further consequences.

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/2016/Reconciliation+Tools-REBT+2+audio.mp3]

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Other podcasts in the Reconciliation Tools series:

The Recovering After an Affair Series:

Reconciliation Tool #5: REBT Part 1 [Podcast]

Your spouse had an affair. You followed the steps to end the affair, and now you and your spouse have made the decision to try to save your marriage and recover.  You listened to our series about Recovering After an Affair.  But now you want to learn more about the tools you can use to help you reconcile (the final step).

Today we continue our series all about the Reconciliation tools, how to use them, and why they are helpful.  Although  there is no guarantee your marriage will be saved, but these tools can help you build a new, more healthy marriage.

In today’s episode we talk about the fifth tool–Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), developed by Dr.Albert Ellis in 1955.  Since REBT is such a big topic, we are breaking up this subject into two parts:  Part One, today, is a background on what REBT is, what it means, and why it is important.  Next week, in Part Two, we will show you the technique and then choose examples right off the Affaircare website so you can see how to use REBT.

When something negative, or bad happens to you, your inner dialog gives you it’s take on the situation. As a result, you experience an emotion. You are then left with the choice of how to deal with whatever has happened.

As Christians, we know that our inner dialog is tainted by sin. Jeremiah says: “…The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?…” (Jeremiah 17:9) Dealing with our sin is the responsibility of all Christians. Our sin is a product of, the result of, and caused by our thinking: “…For out of the heart come evil thoughts–murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander…” (Matthew 15:19), and so on.

REBT is a tool that helps you investigate that inner dialog – to address and change that inner dialog to be one that is more helpful, wiser, and less prone to error.  We also would point out that as Christians, changing that inner dialog is part of growing as a Christian. And as a Christian, we have the Holy Spirit who helps us grow and change. In this instance, REBT is used as a tool to help us focus directly on where sin and error have been so influential.

You can find out more about REBT on our Affaircare Quizzes page, or here is a link to an REBT Therapy page to learn even more!

NOTE TO SELF:  This is a self-help tool – it is not meant for use on your spouse: you use it on yourself. This tool gives you a method to ease your aching heart, to calm yourself, and to give yourself the strength to handle the difficult road ahead of you. It gives you some clarity of mind with which you can then prepare and make better decisions. It can help you avoid those bad situations which arise from acting on impulse, or without considering further consequences.

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/2016/Reconciliation+Tools+-+REBT.mp3]

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Other podcasts in the Reconciliation Tools series:

The Recovering After an Affair Series:

Reconciliation Tool #4: Love Kindlers Quiz [Podcast]

Your spouse had an affair. You followed the steps to end the affair, and now you and your spouse have made the decision to try to save your marriage and recover.  You listened to our series about Recovering After an Affair.  But now you want to learn more about the tools you can use to help you reconcile (the final step).

Today we continue our five-week series all about the Reconciliation tools, how to use them, and why they are helpful.  Although  there is no guarantee your marriage will be saved, but these tools can help you build a new, more healthy marriage.

In today’s episode we talk about the fourth tool–the Love Kindlers Quiz, by Affaircare!

Love Kindlers are actions that people do that are likely to stoke the fire of love and make it hotter.  Just as adding fuel to a fire keeps it burning–making it brighter and hotter–so concentrating on Kindlers, making them part of your daily interactions with each other, builds the fire of passion in your marriage.  There are seven areas of commitment that we’ve identified as Love Kindlers:

1.  Emotional Commitment

2. Spiritual Commitment

3.  Physical Commitment

4.  Financial Commitment

5.  Family Commitment

6.  Social Commitment

7.  Security Commitment

You can find links to the Love Kindlers Quiz on our Affaircare Quizzes page, or

Here is a link to the Love Kindlers–What Are They? article so you can learn more about them.

Both you and your spouse should take the quiz.  We recommend that you both print the quiz and take it!   You answer for the way your spouse acts toward you, and your spouse answer for the way you act toward them. Then we recommend that you find a time to talk that is calm and relaxing, during which you will not be interrupted, and you both know you are going to talk about Love Kindlers, and exchange quizzes….just like you did for the Love Extinguishers.

As you come together to talk about your quizzes, bear in mind that what you read may hurt you (after all, who likes to hear that they aren’t doing a Love Kindler?), and likewise it your spouse may be hurt by reading what you wrote–even if it is true!  But one of the things we are working to rebuild is transparency, so we are asking you to practice being honest in a situation that is a bit hard. Make it safe for your spouse to be honest with you in the little things, and they will be honest with you in the bigger things.

So, no matter what you spouse says on the quiz, commit to telling your spouse “Thank you for telling me the truth.  I will think about what you’ve said.”  Then, think of what you are willing to do to begin to ADD  or change those actions that would kindle the love for your spouse, and the two of you work out a plan together.  How are you going to work on this TOGETHER?

 

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/2016/Reconciliation+Tools-Love+Kindlers.mp3]

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Other podcasts in the Reconciliation Tools series:

The Recovering After an Affair Series:

Reconciliation Tool #3: Love Extinguishers Quiz [Podcast]

Your spouse had an affair. You followed the steps to end the affair, and now you and your spouse have made the decision to try to save your marriage and recover.  You listened to our series about Recovering After an Affair.  But now you want to learn more about the tools you can use to help you reconcile (the final step).

Today we continue our five-week series all about the Reconciliation tools, how to use them, and why they are helpful.  Although  there is no guarantee your marriage will be saved, but these tools can help you build a new, more healthy marriage.

In today’s episode we talk about the third tool–the Love Extinguishers Quiz, by Affaircare!

Love Extinguishers are actions that people do that are more likely to quench the fire of love like putting water on a fire.  They are when we treat our spouses poorly, disrespectfully or abusively.  There are seven areas of neglect that we’ve identified as Love Extinguishers:

1.  Emotional Neglect

2. Spiritual Neglect

3.  Physical Neglect

4.  Financial Neglect

5.  Family Neglect

6.  Social Neglect

7.  Security Neglect

You can find links to the Love Extinguishers Quiz on our Affaircare Quizzes page, or

Here is a link to the Love Extinguishers–What Are They? article so you can learn more about them.

Both you and your spouse should take the quiz.  We recommend that you both print the quiz and take it!   You answer for the way your spouse acts toward you, and your spouse answer for the way you act toward them. Then we recommend that you find a time to talk that is calm and relaxing, during which you will not be interrupted, and you both know you are going to talk about Love Extinguishers, and exchange quizzes.  Wives let your husbands see what you truly think and feel–likewise husbands let your wives see what you truly think and feel.

As you come together to talk about your quizzes, bear in mind that what you read is likely to possibly hurt you, and likewise it is possible that your spouse will be hurt by reading what you wrote–even if it is true!  But one of the things we are working to rebuild is transparency, so we are asking you to practice being honest in a situation that is a bit hard. Make it safe for your spouse to be honest with you inthe little things, and they will be honest with you in the bigger things.

So, no matter what you spouse says on the quiz, commit to telling your spouse “Thank you for telling me the truth.  I will think about what you’ve said.”  Then, think of what you are willing to do to change in those areas that are extinguishing the love for your spouse, and the two of you work out a plan together.  How are you going to work on this TOGETHER?

 

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/2016/Reconciliation+Tools-Love+Extinguishers.mp3]

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Other podcasts in the Reconciliation Tools series:

The Recovering After an Affair Series:

Reconciliation Tool #2: Five Love Languages [Podcast]

Your spouse had an affair. You followed the steps to end the affair, and now you and your spouse have made the decision to try to save your marriage and recover.  You listened to our series about Recovering After an Affair.  But now you want to learn more about the tools you can use to help you reconcile (the final step).

Today we continue our five-week series all about the Reconciliation tools, how to use them, and why they are helpful.  Although  there is no guarantee your marriage will be saved, but these tools can help you build a new, more healthy marriage.

In today’s episode we talk about the second tool–the Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman.

The first love language is Words of Affirmation. If this is your love language, you feel most cared for when your partner is open and expressive in telling you how wonderful they think you are, how much they appreciate you, etc.  If your spouse’s primary love language is words of affirmation, your spoken praise and appreciation will fall like rain on parched soil. Before long, you will see new life sprouting in your marriage as your spouse responds to your words of love.

The second love language is Acts of Service. Do you remember the old saying, “Actions speak louder than words”? For some people, that is particularly true of love. If your partner offering to watch the kids so you can go to the gym (or relieving you of some other task) gets your heart going, then this is your love language.  If acts of service is your spouse’s primary love language, nothing will speak more deeply to him or her emotionally than simple acts of service.

The third love language is Receiving Gifts.  In every society throughout human history, gift giving has been perceived as an expression of love. Giving gifts is universal, because there is something inside the human psyche that says if you love someone, you will give to him or her.  If your partner taking the time to give you a gift makes you feel appreciated. then this is your love language.  If receiving gifts is your spouse’s primary love language, you will make your spouse feel loved and treasured by giving gifts on birthdays, holidays, anniversaries and “no occasion” days.

The fourth love language is Quality Time. This love language is about being together, fully present and engaged in the activity at hand, no matter how trivial. If you walk in on your spouse watching TV, and they immediately put the television on mute and don’t take their eyes off you as long as you’re in the room, and that makes your heart skip a beat…this is your love language. If your spouse’s love language is quality time, giving him or her your undivided attention is one of the best ways you can show your love.

The fifth love language is Physical Touch. This love language is just as it sounds. A warm hug, a kiss, touch, and sexual intimacy make you feel most loved when this is your love language. If physical touch is your spouse’s primary love language, nothing communicates love more clearly than for you to take the initiative to reach out and touch your mate.

You can find links to the Five Love Languages Quiz on our Affaircare Quizzes page, or just click here to go directly to the test.

Here is a link to the Five Love Languages wikipedia page, so you can learn more about it.

Once both you and your spouse have determined your love languages, take the time to share your with each other, and look up your spouse’s love language.  Does it sound like them? Ask them for examples–remember even those who have the same love language may not interpret it the same!  Learn about what makes your spouse tick!

After last week’s discovery that your spouse is not the same as you, discovering the ways in which your personalities the same can give you an intial foundation on which you can begin to rebuild. Learning your spouse’s Love Language can add another layer to your foundation–discover how they “hear” and receive LOVE.  As a couple working to recover after an affair, finding out the ways in which you two are different MAY explain why “he” behaves one way and “she” behaves another.   If you UNDERSTAND each other, you begin to build love.

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/2016/Reconciliation+Tools-Five+Love+Languages.mp3]

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Other podcasts in the Reconciliation Tools series:

The Recovering After an Affair Series:

Reconciliation Tool #1: Myers-Briggs Personality Test [Podcast]

Your spouse had an affair. You followed the steps to end the affair, and now you and your spouse have made the decision to try to save your marriage and recover.  You listened to our series about Recovering After an Affair.  But now you want to learn more about the tools you can use to help you reconcile (the final step).

Today we are beginning a five-week series all about the Reconciliation tools, how to use them, and why they are helpful.  Although  there is no guarantee your marriage will be saved, but these tools can help you build a new, more healthy marriage.

In today’s episode we talk about the first tool–the Myers-Briggs personality test.

Katharine Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, identified four criterion, or “preferences,” that define each of our personality types. Although everybody functions across the entire spectrum of the preferences, each individual has a natural preference which leans in one direction or the other within the four criterion:

  • our source of personal energy (Extrovert-Introvert)
  • how we gather and perceive information (Sensor-iNtuitive)
  • how we process the information we’ve gathered (Thinker-Feeler)
  • how we implement the information we’ve processed (Judger-Perceiver)

The first criterion, Extroversion – Introversion, signifies the source and direction of a person’s energy expression. An extrovert’s source and direction of energy expression is mainly in the external world, while an introvert has a source of energy mainly in their own internal world.

The second criterion, Sensing – Intuition, represents the method by which someone perceives information. Sensing means that a person mainly believes information he or she receives directly from the external world. Intuition means that a person believes mainly information he or she receives from the internal or imaginative world.

The third criterion, Thinking – Feeling, represents how a person processes information. Thinking means that a person makes a decision mainly through logic. Feeling means that, as a rule, he or she makes a decision based on emotion, i.e. based on what they feel they should do.

The fourth criterion, Judging – Perceiving, reflects how a person implements the information he or she has processed. Judging means that a person organizes all of his life events and, as a rule, sticks to his plans. Perceiving means that he or she is inclined to improvise and explore alternative options.

You can find links to the Myers-Briggs personality test on our Affaircare Quizzes page, or just click here to go directly to the test.

Here is a link to the Myers-Briggs wikipedia page, so you can learn more about it.

Once you have determined your personality type, here is a page that has the 16 Personalities and a description of each one.  Look up your own personality type and find out your own strengths and weaknesses.  Then share your personality types with each other, and look up your spouse’s description.  Does it sound like them?  Find out their strengths and weaknesses.  Learn about what makes your spouse tick!

Discovering that your spouse is not the same as you can be shocking.  But particularly while a couple is working to recover after an affair, discovering the ways in which you are the same can give you a foundation on which you can begin to build.  Likewise finding out the ways in which you two are different can explain why “he” behaves one way and “she” behaves another.  Maybe he’s just a Thinker and she’s just a Feeler: but that explains why he seems like an emotionless “Spock” to her, and she seems like an irrational, emotional jumble to him!  If you UNDERSTAND each other, you begin to build love.

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/2016/Reconcilation+Tools–Myers-Briggs.mp3]

Related Affaircare posts/podcasts:

How did my disloyal spouse become the VICTIM? ~D.A.R.V.O

victim

As a loyal spouse, have you ever wondered at the painful, destructive, abusive things your disloyal spouse says or does to you during their affair yet somehow they turn it all around and blame YOU, so that they become the victim and they are justified in their adultery?

Have you ever wondered how disloyal spouses convince their friends, their family,and sometimes even church leaders  and their parents,  that they are the innocent one but you are a BEAST?

Has your disloyal spouse screamed at you for HOURS and blamed their actions on “a tone in your voice” but never stopped to consider that if a tone justifies how they act…what must hours of screaming justify?

As coaches involved in marriage and recovery after infidelity, David and I come across this phenomenon fairly regularly and the loyal spouse rarely understands how it is possible to do that.  How could anyone look at the situation and spin it so that the one committing adultery is the victim?  Clearly the one who has been cheated on is the casualty, right?  Not on the one did the cheating?  So how do they do it?

It’s a concept that was first “named” D.A.R.V.O. in the 1990’s by Dr.  Jennifer Freyd–so note: this is not a concept taken directly from the Bible, but rather a way of giving a name to the method guilty parties use to spin reality so that they are victim. D.A.R.V.O stands for “Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim Order”…so you can see that in just one acronym it identifies exactly the procedure a disloyal spouse uses. D.A.R.V.O. is not UN-biblical; it’s just a way of labeling or naming the technique that the disloyal spouses use, and thus it’s a way of identifying it for loyal spouses.  Our hope in sharing this is so that when D.A.R.V.O. is practiced on you, you’ll recognize it and have the tools to deal with it.

So let’s go into what each letter of  D.A.R.V.O. means.

DENY–by definition, denial is “the statement or the action of declaring something to be untrue.”  Denial in psychological circles is a defense mechanism in which facing reality is avoided by denying the existence of the reality.  In the instance of D.A.R.V.O., the denial kicks in when the guilty party (the disloyal spouse) is confronted with the truth of what they’ve done (committed adultery) and held responsible and accountable for their choices and actions.

Some different examples of denial:

  • Outright denial or gaslighting. “That never happened.”
  • Minimization. “It wasn’t that bad.”
  • Amnesia. “I don’t remember doing that.”
  • Redefinition. “I have a bad temper, so you shouldn’t upset me.”
  • Projection. “You’re abusive and controlling. You hurt me.”
  • Conversion. “I did wrong, but I’m a changed person and won’t do it again.”

“How does denial work?” you ask?  Well let me give you an example.  Everyone has various values and emotions that affect the way we view reality: shame, greed, desire, revenge, ego, pride, public image, stubbornness, inertia, impulsiveness are all things that change the way we might interpret facts in a given instance.  So if you were at work and someone who’s younger and attractive invited you to lunch, but you knew that your credit card was near the max and your spouse would see it–because of desire, ego and public image, you might go off the lunch anyway and even offer to buy lunch…and all the while you’d be in denial of the financial and marital consequences.  You can see how infidelity and denial go hand-in-hand!

“What makes this denial different than a falsely accused innocent party who says it didn’t happen?” you ask?  When someone is actually innocent and they’ve been accused falsely, they might say “That’s not true!” and then do something like give a list of facts to prove their innocence.  But when someone is guilty and engaging in  D.A.R.V.O. the reaction is a combination of projection, denial, lying, blameshifting and gaslighting (see above examples).  In other words, the disloyal spouse might respond with an act of righteous indignation, claim YOU are the horrible one because you “invaded their privacy” or “how DARE you accuse me.” In the example above, a D.A.R.V.O. denial response to the loyal spouse who holds them accountable for the lunch charges might be: “HOW DARE YOU question my financial judgment! I’m not the irresponsible one here, why just yesterday you spent $125 just on groceries!”

This leads straight into the next step of D.A.R.V.O.–

ATTACK–An attack by definition is “an aggressive and violent action against a person or place.”  In this instance it’s the disloyal spouse being aggressive or violent against the loyal spouse who is holding them personally responsible.  Sometimes the aggression is physical–sometimes it is verbal/emotional/mental violence. Usually there is manipulation, threats, or bullying and the intent is to scare the loyal spouse into ending the consequences or “backing off” the insistence that the affair end!

Attacks typically include almost anything including accusations, legal threats, intimidation, warnings of physical attacks (such as destruction of property or harming a pet), warnings such as “watch your back because when you don’t expect it, you’ll get it!” threats to ruin your credibility or reputation, ridiculing you for trying to hold them accountable, and pretty much any other abusive tactic the disloyal spouse has ever used before.  Women often use crocodile tears as an attack, because they know they can get their spouse to stop if they just cry.  Plus, they can always say: “I can’t believe you’d hurt me by saying that!”

…which this leads right into the final step of D.A.R.V.O.–

REVERSE VICTIM ORDER–There really is no dictionary definition of this phrase, but we should discuss what a victim is.  A victim is “the person harmed or injured as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action,” and as it relates to infidelity, the loyal spouse may have been a jerk prior to the affair, but once the disloyal spouse chose to deal with it by committing adultery, the loyal spouse, the marriage and the family became the injured parties.  The person who made the choice and followed through by committing adultery is not the “victim”…just so we are clear.  The marriage was torpedoed…and unless the disloyal quickly repents and is completely remorseful, the family is also in danger of being destroyed.

Now that we are clear, in order to reverse the victim order, disloyal spouses often use a technique called Persuasive Blaming.  They convince the loyal spouse that their internal, personal issues are external–or in other words, caused by someone or something else.  I VERY typical example of this is “I had an affair because you….”  It’s the same method that abusers use to convince their victims that “I got mad because you burned supper” or “I hit you because you deserved it.”  Once the loyal spouse is persuaded to view the issue backwards like that, then the disloyal can keep the focus off the real problem (themselves) and try to force the focus and blame onto the loyal.  AND once the blame is on the loyal, then they can portrait themselves as the victim!

So in summary, D.A.R.V.O. would be when the disloyal spouse first DENIES the infidelity, ATTACKS the loyal spouse (putting the loyal on the defensive), and then , once the loyal is off balance, acts as if or claims that THEY are the actual injured party!  Here is what an example of D.A.R.V.O. might sound like:

LS = loyal spouse

DS = disloyal spouse

LS: “I have the phone bill, a printout of our credit card statement, and a printout of the text messages between you and XXX at work. I know you have spent 5000 minutes on the cell phone this month; you’ve bought her gifts on our credit card, and you sexted her.  I will not tolerate adultery in our marriage.  Please pack your things and be out of this house by sunset.”

DS:  (screaming) “What are you talking about? I didn’t do any of that! Of course we went to lunch once or twice, but it not like it’s an affair! You just trying to control me!  I can’t believe you’d invade my privacy because you have trust issues.  Who do you think you are?”

LS: “I told you, I have the phone bill and credit card statement right here..”

DS: “I swear if you try to tell everyone I had an affair, I’ll tear you to shreds in court.  You’ll lose the house AND the kids and be out on the street with NOTHING! Give me those stupid papers…look at you holding those papers like they were some kind of shield? Don’t you know better than to threaten ME!? “

LS: “I’m not the one who threatened you. You are the one who chose to have an affair….”

DS: “It’s not an affair for crying out loud! We’re just friends, and plus I wouldn’t even be friends with her if you’d ever shut up and listen to me. You know how much I love to talk but do you ever listen to me? NO! You think you know better and sneak around behind my back lying to everyone about me when I’M the one who has had to put up with you and your constant b.s. for all these years!”

Examples of How to Talk to Your Kids About an Affair [Podcast]

Here at Affaircare we do believe you should talk to your children when your spouse is having an affair. They are going to notice that something is wrong, and their world is about to be turned upside down just like yours–so they need a parent to tell them what happened and why.

So in this episode of our weekly podcast we are going to discuss WHY you should talk to your kids about your spouse’s affair, HOW to talk to them about it in an age-appropriate way, WHERE they are developmentally, and then give a specific example of how to word it.

Lots advise hiding it from them or lying about the situation by saying something cliche like: “We’ve grown apart and decided we can’t live together anymore.” We don’t believe that’s appropriate, nor does it honor God, no does it respect your children, nor does it teach them to be honest! It sends the children a confusing message for their parents to “grow apart and not be able to live together” but they are told to “just get along” with kids in their class who bully them or tease them. If parents can just run away when they don’t get along, why can’t they?

So we do recommend speaking to the children and telling them the truth about the affair. No doubt the disloyal spouse will be against this because they don’t want their adultery held up to the light of day. And clearly telling the children all the details of infidelity is WAY beyond their capacity to cope and deal with it.

Rather we recommend keeping it simple but honest, sticking with the truth, and keep the focus on what YOU believe and what you think/feel. Do not bad-mouth the disloyal, even if it is the truth, because that puts the focus of your talk on the disloyal and you are saying “S/He did ___” and “S/He thinks we ___” and you can’t speak for them! Plus, the disloyal is your children’s parent and a part of THEM and always will be in their life! Neither you or your kids can make the disloyal be a good parent, but you can be honest with your childrent and tell them how the unfaithful behavior differs from what you believe.

Less than elementary school age:
Developmentally they do not understand anything about “relationships” or “marriage”–they’d only understand that mommy and daddy are their family, and that they need both mommy and daddy. They’d have very basic understanding of right and wrong (something is a ‘no no’), and at this age they tend to see their parents as “gods”.

Be very simple: I believe mommies and daddies make a promise to only love each other and have no other boyfriend or girlfriend. Mommy has a boyfriend and I believe that is a ‘no no’ and I feel sad about it.

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Elementary school age:
Developmentally they do not understand the entire dynamic of “relationships” or “marriage” but they have some idea from observing their parents and seeing their friends’ parents…and they have some vocabulary to express themselves better. They are old enough to have a firm grasp of right and wrong (like lying is naughty), and probably have some basics on morals and values. They will tend to view their parents as “authorities” and they probably will think that parents are splitting because they were bad or because they weren’t good enough for mommy/daddy to love them.

Still keep it simple and no disrespecting the disloyal spouse–just tell the truth and the facts: “You know how we’ve gone to Sunday School and talked about things that are right and wrong, like lying and stealing are wrong? Well I believe when moms and dads marry, they make a promise to only love each other and that would mean having no boyfriends or girlfriends, right? Daddy has a girlfriend and I believe that is wrong. So as long as he has his girlfriend, he will be moving out, and we will be staying right here. You will have your same room and your same school and your same friends, and I will be here if you have any questions or want to talk. Okay?”

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Middle school age:
Developmentally they do not understand the entire dynamic of “relationships” or “marriage” but they may have had their first boy/girl crush and certainly know about dating…plus they have even more ability to vocalize their thoughts and feelings. They are old enough to know right from wrong, and their morals and values are being formed and finalized. This is the age of bar/bat mitzvah or confirmation where they begin the transition to adulthood. They will tend to think that parents are weird, dorks, embarrassing, and irritating…and may try things that are 100% different than their parents’ beliefs just to shock them (and to see if THEY truly believe it too).

It might be similar to the elementary school talk but a bit more advanced–still no disrespecting the disloyal and still just stick to the truth and the facts: I’m sure you can tell something is wrong between your mom and I. She is going to be moving out, and I wanted you to know why. You know how we’ve always taught you about right and wrong? Well I believe when people marry, they take a vow to only love each other and that would mean having no boyfriends or girlfriends, right? Well, your mom has a boyfriend and I believe that is wrong. I’ve asked her to give up her boyfriend and return to the family but she has chosen not to. So as long as she has her boyfriend and won’t give him up, she will be moving out. I suspect you feel hurt and upset, but I’m here if you want to talk, okay?

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High school age:
Developmentally they THINK they understand the dynamic of “relationships” and “marriage,” and no doubt they’ve had their first boy/girlfriend, but they do not know the entirety of it. They are fully capable of expressing themselves verbally, but with the onset of puberty, the world is one big drama and they may prefer to talk to their friends or write in a journal. They should already have a very firm grasp of right and wrong, and nearly adult understanding of morals and values. This is the age of testing their young adulthood. This is the age when they are separating from their parents so they will tend to see their parents’ weaknesses and feet of clay, and they’ll likely value their friends first.

A bit more advanced than the middle school talk, but still no disrespecting the disloyal and still just stick to the truth and the facts:I’m sure you can tell something is wrong between your father and I. He is going to be moving out, and I wanted you to know why. You’re mature enough now to know right from wrong. I believe when people marry, they take a vow before God to forsake all others and only love each other so the family is stable and strong. Well, I found out your dad has a girlfriend and I believe that is wrong. I’ve asked him to give up his girlfriend and return to the family but he choses not to. So as long as he has his girlfriend and won’t give her up, he will be moving out. I suspect you feel really hurt, but I’m here if you want to talk.

We can not go into everything your kids may or may not ask–otherwise this video would be hours long! But this will be an honest way to get the conversation started so that they know that at least one parent will be honest with them and tell them the real truth!

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/2016/Edit+20160401+How+to+Talk+to+Your+Kids.mp3]