Tag Archives: Relationships

Question of the Week: July 21st – 27th

question_of_the_week4

After your spouse had an affair, what did you do with your original wedding rings?

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When people say “God is my Husband” or “Jesus is Enough”

 Heart Puzzle

I was reading “Is Jesus Really Enough?” by Lilly Grace, and her blog really got me thinking.  In fact, it inspired me so much I wanted to write about it!  

My “blog sister” Lilly Grace is in a difficult marriage–her husband reminds me of Abigail’s first husband, Nabal.  He is not loving and gentle and kind toward her, but she doesn’t give up.  I would say I’m in a difficult marriage, but not because my husband is abusive or because our marriage is sexless!  Nope, my Dear Hubby who writes here often is a WONDERFUL man and a loving husband, but my Dear Hubby is very ill and so I do have many things I have to do “by myself” where others might have their spouse to support them.  And I’m sure that many of you here who read my blog can relate–if your spouse is committing adultery, whether it’s an emotional affair or a physical affair, your marriage is DIFFICULT.  It can feel very lonely.  You may not have your spouse there for you.  Your Disloyal Spouse is probably angry, abusive, deceptive, dishonest, and hurtful.  Chances are good that your sex life is suffering, and you miss the hugs and kisses and loving physical touches.  

But I still hate it when people say cliche kind of responses like these because they don’t really HELP. I don’t need some meaningless cliche–I need some understanding, sympathy or at least something that’s actually helpful! LOL I will say one thing about these sayings though: they aren’t utterly inaccurate.

To me, when I think of “God is my husband” what I truly, honestly think of in my head is that as a woman, I want a male person to treat me with love and kindness and gentleness, and God is not a male human in flesh and blood in front of me. But when I think about marriage, I think that it is an image of the way God wants to be with us…with ME. Marriage reflects the intimate knowledge of one male person to one female person–full, deep, true KNOWING and BEING KNOWN with covenant commitment to each other. This is what God wants: He wants me to fully, deeply, truly know Him and been known by Him.  He wants covenant commitment to each other. And in that sense, He is my Husband.  

Likewise, I think of “Jesus is enough” I think of Jesus, who is fully the Maker and Creator of the Universe, but who humbled Himself and took on flesh. He was fully GOD, but he experienced the hunger, tiredness, frustration, limitation and yes physical sexual hormones and everything that comes with a human body…and He voluntarily gave Himself to torture and death to atone for us! If He can endure that for us, then yes, I can endure what physical discomforts this short time here on earth  may give me, even if it’s being horny or without sex.  After all, the point of sex is not “to relieve my horny physical itch” but to physically share in the pleasure of my spouse and serve them!  My focus in sex is on intimacy and on my spouse.  

And the last thing I think of is actually adultery, and I think of that because so often we think of our little pain or our loneliness or our lack of sex and try to justify to ourselves “Well, God would want me to be happy” or some such nonsense.  But in real life, marriage is a mirror of our relationship to God (as the Bride of Christ)…and adultery is a mirror of our relationship to God before Christ!  He loved us, as a husband loves his bride, and we “cheated” on Him by loving other gods and chasing them rather than being faithful to Him.  We were rageful, hateful, deceptive, dishonest, and followed our lusts–and despite all that, God kept His covenant with us and sent Jesus to pay the price in our place.  

So at times, the frustration and loneliness and longing for just loving physical touch can feel overwhelming and be very hard to bear–but then I think of what marriage is, what a covenant commitment means, and how God loved me (His Bride) when I was committing adultery.  And with His help, I can endure this small trial here.  

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What if the grass really is greener?

greener-grab1

 

On the occasion, I have had Disloyal Spouses ask me, “What if the grass really is greener on the other side?” when speaking of their affair.  I think the answer may surprise you.

I assume that what a Disloyal Spouse is really asking is this: “What if the Affair Partner is a better match?” or “What if they are younger, make more money, or make me happier?”  Something like that–wouldn’t you think?  “What if I’m ‘affairing up’?  Does that make any difference?”

First, there is no one perfect match for you or for anyone.  You can choose someone who is exactly like you in every way and they may understand you easier and speak your Love Language, but in no way will you learn or grow or appreciate other personality types or qualities if they are exactly like you.  You can choose someone who is your exact opposite in every way and they may be very hard to understand and not “get” your Love Language at all, but in every way you will learn and grow and learn to appreciate the other personality types and qualities.  One way is “easier”–one is “harder” but which leads to a better person?  Which is a “better match”?  The best match for you may not be someone who is easy, but someone who challenges you!

Second, the vow you made was that YOU promised to spend your life learning how to love one and only one person: your spouse.  Your marriage vows did not say that now this other person would love you “exactly the way you like” or “meet all your needs the rest of your life”–your vows were YOU promising to love THEM.  YOU promised to investigate them the rest of your whole life…to learn to understand them…to learn what they find loving and do that…to learn what pleases them and do that…and to treat them in a loving way as long as you still draw breath.  People often confuse marriage with “YAY, now I have someone to love me and meet all my needs instinctively forever,” and what it really means is that you will love someone and meet ALL THEIR NEEDS and get to know them so well that you know just what to do to love them!  So if you are looking to someone else to “love you” and “make you happy” then no matter who you choose, you are going to be disappointed and break your promises to them.

Third, it’s impossible to ‘affair up’ because that is someone who has the personal values and morals that it’s okay to commit adultery.  If someone is actually an honest, moral, loving, upright person, the moment they found out you were married, they would say “You have an obligation to another person, and no matter what I may think or feel, I will not be involved in that kind of dishonest behavior.”  Instead, they found out you had a commitment to another and communicated to you through their actions that in their value system, it is okay to be dishonest, to betray trust, to put selfish personal needs ahead of the needs of those you love.  If that is their value system, how could you possibly ‘affair up’?  They may indeed be younger or have more money, but those things do not make them a better person.

Finally, let me just remind you of this: from your side of the fence it may appear as if the grass on the other side is very green and lush, but that’s because you’re thinking that you would get to take  everything on your side with you to that side.  In real life, that grass may look green because it’s painted (fake), because it’s astroturf (deception) or because there is a LOT of “fertilizer” over there…but there is no depth to the roots.  Once you move to that side of the fence, you LOSE what you have on this side of the fence (your home, half your time with your children, any needs your spouse met, any of your spouse’s finances, your dreams of retirement or vacations, even personal items!).  Then you get to the supposedly greener grass, find out it has no root, and since you now no longer have the home and the free time and the funds, the greener grass no longer wants YOU.   No matter how alluring the green grass may look, there is always a cost, and the cost is EXTREMELY HIGH.

 

So rather than looking longingly at the grass across the fence, I have a challenge for you.  Water your own lawn.  Weed it.  Feed it.  Cultivate the grass where you are and make YOUR LAWN to lawn everyone looks at with envy.  Make your own grass greener–do not go to other grass.

 

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Save Our Marriage Saturday — April 13th

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:



Please click on the froggy to see the blog hop!

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

Save Our Marriage Saturday — April 6th

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:



Please click on the froggy to see the blog hop!

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

Adultery: An Equal Opportunity Evil

Lust sin

 

I received a comment today that was so good, I decided to make a blog post about it.  This was a comment to my blog post: “What NOT To Do If Your Spouse Is Cheating” and the person who commented wrote:

“Interesting. I know in hindsight that I did a little bit of spineless sniveling. Further hindsight would probably show that reparations would have been more sincere had I shown some dignity. Even to this day I harbor some resentment that I did not just laugh at the despicable nature of a dignified spouse of some class and worth stooping to build such a pathetic fantasy with HER mentally-challenged little welfare drunk. Today I know for a fact that I harbor even more anger towards “ladies” such as yourself who have this facade of purity wrapped around you as though you could do no wrong. You will be the first to spout lie after lie about how you never planned your rendezvous, you never committed certain acts of lust, and the warts on his genitalia never alarmed you. Newsflash ma’am. Ladies are perfectly capable at stabbing their partners in the back also.”

There is no one who is immune from sin, so we all know that anyone who tries to “look” pure is truly just presenting an external, hypocritical image.   “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23)    So every single one of us–you, me, our spouses–we have all disobeyed God, not done what He has told us to do, and done what He has told us not to do.  This is why Christ came to the world and became flesh–so that He could live the life we should have lived and then pay the penalty we should have paid!  The Good News is that while we were yet sinners, and at enmity with God…Christ died for us.  His righteousness is imputed to us.

As God would have it, I do happen to be a female person.  My male spouse did cheat on me, break up our family, and end my first marriage.  My current, second spouse is a male person, and his female spouse did cheat on him, break up his family, and end their marriage.  Together, we have worked with hundreds of couples, and I want to be sure this is crystal clear:  Adultery is an Equal Opportunity Evil.  It does not matter if you are male or female, you can still be the Loyal Spouse (whose spouse is unfaithful), and you can still be the Disloyal Spouse (who is the one who is unfaithful).  Your wealth, race, and creed do not exclude you from infidelity, and there is no demographic that is shielded.    In fact, if you think about it, in order for there TO BE an affair, there has to be TWO PEOPLE who are actively participating in actions which are inappropriate.  Now one of the two may be single, but they would still have to be acting that way with someone whom they know is taken and committed to someone else.  Yes, a single person is available to flirt–but the very FIRST thing you find out is whether or not the other person is also available.

So again, to be crystal clear, unless a person knows them self and their own weaknesses, and unless a person put limits and boundaries around themselves to protect themselves, their spouse, and their marriage from infidelity–it can very literally happen to anyone.  Any gender, any race, any religion, any socio-economic class, any location…  I do my best to write “Loyal Spouse” because it could be a man or it could be a woman.  I do my best to write “Disloyal Spouse” because any one who is a breathing human being could do the wrong thing and choose the evil choice.  In fact, we know that we all do:   “There is no one righteous,  no not one.”  (Romans 3:10)

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

Vulnerability

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

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

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

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

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

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

Goodbye, Farewell and Amen

I am not having a great day today.  It’s okay–I know this happens and I also know that it will pass, but while I’m having this “not so great day” I’ve decided to acknowledge it.  Today I found out that someone in my life whom I love is deathly ill and may not be on this earth for much longer.  It’s a person in my ex-husband‘s family.   I was related to and loved his family for a long time, and just because he made the choices he made didn’t mean that I stopped loving them or caring about people whom I considered “family.”  Thank God we had the kind of divorce that was not filled with vitriol and spite.  After it was final, we got together after the divorce–his parents and siblings and cousins and I–and we all decided to be stay in touch and be civil even if we were no longer related by blood.

But this shock–the sorrow of hearing that someone I love is going to die soon–reminds me all too painfully of the hidden costs of divorce.  When you are having an affair, or when your spouse is having an affair or had one, it is all too tempting to think: “It would be so much better if we just divorced and started over.  I could find someone who really LOVES me and I could finally be treated like I deserve.  People get over it.  I’m sure we could move on.”  The thrill of meeting someone for the first time…feeling goosebumps again…falling in love…planning a wedding….it all sounds so NICE (and don’t get me wrong, it can be) compared to looking at yourself and changing, and compared to the hard work of reconciling!

But today is a forceful reminder for me that I want to pass on to you–a warning if you will.  The outgoing ripples of destruction that are caused by a divorce keep going as long as you life.  Today someone I love may well be leaving this earth, and I won’t be a recognized “mourner” because it is one of my ex-husband’s relatives…and I’m not his wife anymore.  Tonight someone I love may pass away, and yet I don’t share this loss with the man I love–my Dear Hubby–because he does not even know her and never will.  The older I get, the more I realize WHY God has the plan of marriage for us…because as life moves along and changes come, our life partner UNDERSTANDS they were there with us! … because as we age and our friends and family die, we have their memories and can share the grief in common!  …because as we age and faithfully get through the changes together, we demonstrate an example of the faithfulness of God sticking with us when we don’t deserve fidelity!

So don’t fool yourself.  The time and effort that it takes to look at your own issues, change to a more godly behavior, and rebuild the kind of marriage that obeys God IS SO WORTH IT.   It can take a while and be really painful, but sometimes purification so that you reflect God’s image requires being put into the fire!  Anyway, make no mistake: divorce is NOT a panacea.   It makes MORE problems, and the ramifications go on and on for decades if not generations.  Like today, as I say goodbye to a woman I love and have loved since I was young–my children’s grandmother.