Top 10 Thoughts About the Ashley Madison Scandal

Top 10 Thoughts About the Ashley Madison Scandal

On Friday Johnny from Shine FM in Edmonton sent me a tweet: “You wanna call in to the morning show to talk about Ashley Madison?” I couldn’t call on Friday but I did yesterday, and hosts Johnny and Hollie and I chatted about this huge, honking mess.

Because it is a huge mess, isn’t it? Tens of millions of Ashley Madison users’ data is now online. You can even search email addresses yourself (though I won’t link to where). Thousands of U.S. government emails are listed. Josh Duggar got found out (I blogged about that last week). And he won’t be the last high profile user, either.

So I’ve been thinking about this whole mess for a few days, and I thought I’d throw out ten random thoughts, in no particular order.

2 Thoughts About the Online World

1. Stuff online isn’t secret

If you buy erotica on your Kindle, it can be discovered. If you use porn, your history is never really gone. If you sign up for something like this, don’t expect you won’t get found out. If you text or email nude pictures of yourself–don’t be surprised if they surface somewhere.

Maybe if we realized this we’d all be smarter–and we’d feel less temptation.

2. Giving into temptation is so much easier in the internet age.

Because isn’t that the main problem? In the internet age, it’s much harder to withstand temptation because options are available instantaneously and seemingly anonymously. A guy (or a woman) who may never, ever stray may just be having a bad weekend alone, and may be surfing the internet when they shouldn’t be. Twenty years ago this kind of sin didn’t exist. I’m sure the vast majority of the guys who signed up for Ashley Madison would never try to pick up a woman in a bar in person. They’d never buy porn in person, if they had to look someone in the eye and ask for the magazine. But today it’s so easy!

Covenant EyesAnd that’s why we need to take some of that temptation away. I know sin is ultimately a heart issue, but I also do believe in putting up roadblocks to temptation. It’s just plain smart. And so I completely support having Covenant Eyes on you computer, even just as an accountability tool (and not as a filtering tool). That way you know that if you wander onto a bad site, someone’s going to know about it. Boom! Temptation’s gone, because it’s no longer anonymous.

3 Thoughts About Guys & Ashley Madison

3. A mistake made in a moment should not define a relationship.

All of us mess up. And some of us are going to mess up sexually. But one mistake should not define a relationship.

There were 30,000,000 or so users signed up to Ashley Madison. That’s a lot. But most of them did not actually cheat. They flirted with the idea, but they didn’t follow through.

I do believe that there is a big difference between someone who is tempted and who occasionally falls and someone who is actively seeking out ways to fall. A guy who binges on porn for a weekend after being clean for four years is in a totally different category than a guy who uses it most nights and says, “It’s harmless and it’s my right.”

Similarly, a guy who signs up for Ashley Madison is quite different from a guy who has several one night stands and who is texting several women. One is likely a sex addict; one is simply struggling.

If your husband has fallen, figure out which category he belongs in. If he’s made a mistake and has fallen, then work through that hurt. Allow yourself to feel the weight of it before you try to forgive, or else the forgiveness may not be real. But then fight on the same side as your husband against the porn and the sexualized culture. Don’t fight your husband. Be his ally.

If your husband instead refuses to confess, refuses to admit it, or refuses to deal with it, then you have an issue and you need some help. But, please, don’t wreck a marriage over one mess up. Don’t let darkness win.

4. Avoid the temptation to think, “all men are pigs”

With this in the media, it’s so easy for women to think, “all men are pigs.”

But most guys didn’t go anywhere near it. Most guys won’t have affairs. Don’t let the news cloud your view of all men, and especially your own husband who may have struggles in the past. Don’t blame him for the sins of others.

I know many will say, “women cheat too!” And preliminary reports were that 15-20% of accounts were female. But news is out today that many of those female accounts were actually fake accounts set up by Ashley Madison to make it seem like there were more women on the site than there were in reality.

This doesn’t mean that women are saints; it only means we have different weaknesses. I think men are more likely to struggle with weaknesses in an online, visual world. Shaunti Feldhahn explained that well here.

5. Most of these guys did not have sex with anyone else.

Remember: many of these accounts were set up by guys on the spur of the moment as they explored the possibility of an affair. Most of these men, though, did not follow through (especially since there were so few women actually on the site!) So just because a guy was listed there does not mean that he cheated. This doesn’t mean that he didn’t do anything wrong; just that we shouldn’t jump to conclusions.

5 Thoughts About What The Ashley Madison Scandal Tells Us About Sex

6. Do we give the impression that “marriage is where sex goes to die?”

Look at the motto for Ashley Madison to begin with: “Life is short. Have an affair.” In other words, the affair makes life more fun. Does that mean that our culture tends to think that married sex is really boring?

Yeah, I think it does. Which is awfully odd because the people with the best sex life are routinely found to be people who are married! The hooking up culture really doesn’t result in great sex–especially for women.

But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a lot of couples for whom sex has pretty much died. And if we don’t stress this part of our relationship, our marriage is going to get really boring. So if sex is boring–do something about it! Don’t settle! And if we give our kids the impression that we have no sex life because we’re married, how in the world are we going to convince them to wait until they’re married?

7. Do we have the idea that there’s “sacred sex” and then there’s “fun sex”?

I don’t mean to insinuate, though, that if your husband used Ashley Madison it’s your fault, just like I didn’t mean to blame Anna Duggar in Friday’s post. I actually wonder something about Josh (and about other men that use Ashley Madison): have we given the impression that there is such a thing as “sacred sex”, which is missionary position and entirely clinical and passion-less, and then there’s fun sex, which can’t possibly be done in marriage?

I think there’s a stream of Christianity that inadvertently does this. If we stress purity in the wrong way, we can give the impression that sex itself is the enemy–that sexual feelings or sexual exploration are to be fought against at all costs. And this can easily make us into prudes. I don’t mean just women are prudes–I mean men, too, may think in terms of “I could NEVER do this with my wife! She’s too pure!” So they turn elsewhere for an outlet.

8. Exploring is good!

We’ve got to reclaim the idea that adventure and passion ARE pure. That losing oneself in passion is actually far closer to godliness than staying perfectly in control.

Spicing up your marriage and having more fun is a good thing.

9. If you feel distance, talk about it.

Nobody wakes up one day and decides to have an affair. Distance builds over time. And even if there’s no open hostility, you tend to feel it. You know there are certain subjects that you can’t talk about with your husband.

That’s a bad sign. If you sense distance–even if you don’t think your husband is doing anything wrong–work to fix it. Work to reclaim that feeling of oneness, of being on the same team.

If you sense a problem, just do not ignore it.

10. Life is short. Have an affair–with your husband!

Life is short. Have an affair--with your husband! On Ashley Madison and having fun in marriage.

Let’s have all that excitement and exploration and adventure–with our husbands! Let’s pursue him. Let’s be a little bit “naughty”. Not because we’re scared he’ll stray, but because why on earth would you want to miss out on something so great that marriage has to offer?

Get frisky tonight! If there’s nothing else that the Ashley Madison scandal taught me, it’s that too many people are wasting their lives in pointless pursuits when the best is right in front of them. I don’t want to miss out on that, and I hope you won’t either.

Reader Question: My Friend is Having an Affair

Reader Question of the WeekWhat do you do if you discover your best friend is having an affair?

Every Monday I like to post a Reader Question and take a stab at answering it. And that difficult situation is the subject of today’s letter. A reader writes:

I really appreciated your post about When you catch your husband texting another woman but I’m wondering if you have ever written or would be able to address the topic of when you have friend, who is the wife in this situation, engaging in the affair. She recently told her husband, so it’s out now. I’ve confronted her before about what I saw because I was concerned that she may be headed down this path, but she denied that it was an issue. But now I know it was an issue before I even talked with her. So I’m just looking for advice on how to walk through this with her and respond lovingly and Christ-like. She is a believer.

That’s a tough situation, isn’t it? Few of us like confrontation, but when a friend is having an affair, confrontation is pretty much required of you.

Before I give a framework for this situation, let’s just lay out a few “givens”, that I hope we all agree with. Affairs are horrible things. They should never be justified. If a marriage is abusive, or if there is adultery on the other person’s part, then it could be that the marriage needs to be ended. But that is still not an excuse for an affair. You deal with the marriage you are in before you look elsewhere. The vast majority of affairs, however, do not occur in marriages where divorce is the best option. They occur in unhappy marriages, or in marriages where the couple has just grown distant lately. That is NEVER an excuse for an affair.

An affair blows apart the marriage and it blows apart the family, and people need to understand the gravity of what they’re doing. So if you have a friend who is having an affair, here are some thoughts:

"My friend is having an affair!" How to confront her

1. Affairs are Fantasies that Exist in the Dark. Bring it to Light

Why do people have affairs and continue in affairs? Because it feels so intoxicating! They’re unhappy or bored with their “real life”, and the affair makes them feel alive again. Someone loves them. Someone appreciates their thoughts and their feelings.

But it’s all just an illusion. The reason that person is able to act like they love them unconditionally and that their thoughts and feelings are so important is that they’re not living in real life. They don’t have to pay bills, make meals, take kids to the doctor, dealing with extended family crises, and all those other things that marriage brings.

When you’re in the middle of an affair, too, you start to fantasize about what would happen if this continued. You can see yourself married to this person, and see how that marriage would be wonderful. You don’t take into account how angry and hurt and bewildered your children will be. You don’t take into account how long the legal battle will be to end the marriage and establish custody. You don’t think about that; you fantasize as if all the obstacles just float away.

Nothing ends an affair like a good dose of reality. Now I’m going to recommend something here that is drastic, and some people may disagree with me. Perhaps my advice isn’t the right course of action in all circumstances. But I still firmly believe that secrets are dangerous, and that when we bring things to light, God can start to work.

If you know a friend is having an affair, I highly recommend sitting down with her and telling her in no uncertain terms, “End this right now or I will tell your spouse and the spouse of your lover.”

Don’t get into a conversation with her about how unhappy her marriage is. Don’t get sucked into discussing how great the guy is. Just be firm.

What you are doing is wrong, and it needs to stop. If you are going to go on with this person, your spouse still deserves to know now so they can prepare. I am not going to be a party to something like this, and so I will tell if you don’t end it.

How do you tell? I’d go as a couple, you and your husband, and sit the spouses down and let them know.

What if, like in this letter writer’s situation, you have a suspicion, but the friend hasn’t admitted it? You can say to your friend, “What I’m seeing is inappropriate, whether it’s a full blown affair or not. And I fear for your marriage, and I think your husband needs to know so that you can work on this together. I’d be happy to be there with you when you tell him.”

Will your friend hate you and be angry at you? Probably. But ultimately what is more important? Keeping that friendship, or giving that marriage the chance to survive? That marriage won’t survive if the affair is ongoing. Telling the spouse, though, does two things:

1. It stops this fantasy life where the affair appears so easy
2. It gives the other spouse a chance to fight for the marriage

2. Help Your Friend See the Long Term Repercussions for the Children

If your friend has kids, she needs to understand what will happen with those kids. Ask her these sorts of questions:

1. Are you prepared to only see your children 50% of the time?
2. Are you prepared to spend half of your Christmases away from your kids, and half of their birthdays away from them? When they are grown up, are you prepared to see them and your grandchildren significantly less? (People need to be aware that when they divorce, they end up seeing grandchildren only about 40% as often as if they had stayed married. It becomes too stressful for young couples to juggle two sets of parents, and so they tend to withdraw more.)
3. Are you prepared for your children to understand that it was you who broke up the marriage?

That last one is vitally important. People need to know that they will not get off scot-free. I have extended family members who have had affairs and ended marriages, and their children have all been made aware of the fact (not by me) that one of their parents broke up the marriage over an affair. Even if that affair happened when the kids were young, they do find out. It doesn’t stay a secret. And you should tell your friend, “This will NOT stay a secret from your kids. They WILL know that it was you who ended the marriage. They’ll know that you chose your lover over them.”

Is this harsh? You betcha. But people in the middle of affairs need a good dose of reality.

3. Help Your Friend Understand the Ramifications for Her Social Circle

You may want to stay her friend; this letter writer does want to try to still model Christ to this woman, and I do understand the sentiment. After all, James writes:

My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

We want to be that person who rescues our friend, and so our instinct is often to be compassionate rather than confrontational. We want to listen to her and talk with her and pray with her and say, “I understand that you’re hurting, but there is a way out.” Perhaps there is room for that.

However, I’m not sure that rescuing a friend from wandering always involves being nice. I think it often involves a cold, hard telling of the truth. And the truth is that if this friend leaves her spouse for her lover, you likely won’t be her friend in the same way ever again, nor should you. She has broken faith with her husband, her kids, God, and her church community. Someone who has done that deserves to know that there are repercussions.

You will not socialize with this other person. You will not go to a second wedding. You will not support her; you will, instead, support her husband, providing baby-sitting and whatever else he needs to get set up as a single parent. And you’re pretty sure that everyone else you know will take a similar stance.

And then be sure to tell her: If you do not end this affair, I will tell the pastor and have you removed from any leadership activities. And people will find out.

If your friend is not a Christian, and that isn’t a good threat, then you can still let her know that your mutual friends will eventually find out what she did.

4. Be There When Her World Falls Apart

Most affairs don’t end well. There is no marriage to the lover; there is only destruction in the wake. When the destruction occurs, and if she is truly repentant, be there to help restore her. Once she’s repented, there is no need to ostracize or punish her. Now is the time to restore her.

Help her and her husband find a good counselor. Baby-sit as much as you can so they can work on this. Pray a ton with her. This is when she’s going to need you.

Many of us are awful at confrontation, and we likely don’t appreciate most of these suggestions. And doesn’t talking about all of this to pastors or others in leadership sound like gossip? I don’t think so. I think affairs are so dangerous that they need to be brought to the light, and so basically, you have no choice. Standing by your friend means helping your friend. You don’t help her by letting her continue her fantasy.

You may need to have another friend pray with you or talk you through this before you confront her, and that’s okay. Talking to one or two other people so you can pray and prepare may very well be a good idea. I think sometimes we’re so scared of gossip that we don’t take the proper steps we need to when something serious is at stake. Do what you must.

In the meantime, here are some more posts that may help if your friend is having an affair:

Books on How to Deal with Affairs
What to Say when a Friend Announces She’s Getting a Divorce

Now, what do you think? Have you ever had to confront a friend over an affair? What happened? Let me know in the comments!

Reader Question: I Caught My Husband Texting Another Woman

Reader Question: I caught my husband texting another woman. 4 steps to deal with the betrayal.A woman writes: “my husband is texting another woman. What do I do?”

Every Monday I try to answer a Reader Question. Sometimes the questions I get are really hard ones, and today’s is an example. I know many of you have caught your husband on Facebook with another woman, or texting another woman, and your whole world is thrown up in the air. You’ll likely relate to this:

My husband does have a history of looking at porn on the internet, but claims to not do this anymore. Recently, I logged into his computer to print something, and his facebook was up. There happened to be a text between he and a “friend” who he claims helped him when we were going through marriage problems a while ago. He says they were just friends and she helped him understand a women’s point of view. Well, the FB text was horrible, sexy talk from him. He was asking her about masturbation and if she thought about him during it, etc. I have been praying about this since, but my question is: do I tell him I know? I am having a very hard time with this, as I feel every time he brings up sex or talks to me about something personal, that he is lying to my face.

I am so, so sorry if you’re walking through this, and I want to give a few general thoughts about it. These would apply whether you catch your husband texting another woman, catch him using porn, or even catch him in an affair.

"My Husband is Texting Another Woman". When you catch your husband betraying you, what do you do?

You Are Not to Blame if Your Husband is Being Unfaithful

I see this in so many women’s emails: the husband is doing something that is completely and utterly wrong, and yet she is the one who feels badly or guilty. Here she’s wondering if she should tell him, because if she does he turns it around and often blames her, and this sends her into a tailspin.

When a spouse is doing something wrong, one of the marks of it is that they will deflect the blame. If you’re walking through a relationship like this, you’ll often suspect something, but if you bring it up you’ll be told that you’re crazy, that you’re jealous, that you need to see a counselor, or, if the person can’t deny it, that it is all your fault because you weren’t sexual enough, or you weren’t available, or you nagged too much.

I’ve seen women who were certain their husbands were having affairs for years, but at the same time they felt that maybe they were just too jealous or were reading too much into things. They started to doubt themselves.

There’s two reasons for this: Your husband often denies and turns things around on you; but you also are so scared to face the truth that the relationship may be as bad as you fear that you throw the responsibility back on yourself.

So let me say this loudly and clearly: If your husband is texting another woman, or sexting another woman, he is the one doing wrong, not you.

You are not to blame. Yes, we can contribute to the temptation to sin. But no matter what you did, there is NEVER an excuse to start a relationship with someone who is not your spouse, and you need to let go of that guilt.

No Matter What Happens, You Will Be Okay

Please hear me on this one. You are bigger than your marriage. You are precious to God, just who you are. If your marriage falls apart, God will not leave you, and He will carry you through this.

For most of us, divorce or separation is the scariest thing we can imagine, next to losing our children. Our whole identity is tied up in being a wife. The thought that the marriage may be at stake sends us into such a tailspin.

Marriage is a wonderful thing. Marriage matters. The vow matters. But listen: God is bigger than your marriage, too. You are more important to Him than your marriage. And you honestly will be okay. Yes, it will be hard. Yes, you will cry a river of tears. But He will carry you.

Now, hear me on this, too:

I am not saying that your marriage is over. I am not saying that it can’t be rebuilt. But until you are able to say, “My trust is in God, not in my marriage”, you will not be able to deal with this problem effectively. You will be so scared of losing your marriage that it will be hard for you to confront, to draw boundaries, and to do what is necessary to give yourself a chance at saving your marriage.

Now is the time to go running to God, and to find a close friend or counselor to help you do that, so that you have His inner strength and peace to deal with this.

Dont Doubt in the Dark from Dayspring

 

You Must Confront Him Over the Texting–or the Betrayal

Our letter writer is wondering if she should confront her husband with the texts to another woman she saw on Facebook.

Her reluctance is understandable. As soon as you say the words, you can’t take them back. You can’t go on pretending everything is fine. It’s out in the open, and now all the ugliness has to be dealt with. What if you can’t put that genie back in the bottle?

If you don’t confront him it will get worse. If you don’t confront him you are hurting his own spiritual life. He needs to feel the consequences of his actions; that’s the only way that he will have the motivation to do the right thing.

Love Must Be ToughMany men (and many women) are living in this fairytale that they can have their cake and eat it, too. The more they go down that path–by pursuing a relationship with another woman–the more they damage themselves as people and hurt all those around them. He must be made to choose, which means that you need to be willing to accept the fact that he may not choose you. (The best book on this that I have found is Love Must Be Tough).

A few practical things: If you have caught him texting, take a picture of it. If you caught him on Facebook, take a screen shot. It is best to have proof so that he can’t argue or tell you that you’re crazy. If you found him using porn, take a screen shot of the computer’s internet history, just so that he can’t deny it. Then, instead of debating whether he actually did it, you can move on to dealing with the consequences of it.

Also, sometimes it’s better to confront him in the presence of a third party who can help you navigate that conversation. If it’s something big, talk to a pastor or counselor first, and ask them to be present while you talk to your husband. This isn’t always possible, but often these conversations go better this way.

Living in Truth is Better than Living in a Lie

There is nothing more exhausting than trying to maintain a fiction about your life. It is easier to live in the truth, even if the truth hurts, than to maintain a lie. Jesus said that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus is the Truth; Jesus lives in the Truth. If you decide to live in the Truth, too, His resources and His power are there for you in a very powerful way.

Luke 8:17 says:

For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.

God is in the “bringing things out in the open” business.

When people start to be honest with each other, and honest with themselves, then God can work.

Whether you caught your husband using porn, or caught him in an affair, or caught him texting someone else, the first step always is to run to God and put your trust ultimately in Him. Then remember: things need to be brought to light. Find a friend, or a counselor, or a pastor who can help you do this. Sometimes sitting down with a third party and confronting him is better than confronting him on your own. But do confront, do bring to light, and do know that no matter what happens, God is there for you and He can carry you.

Reader Question: When You’re The One Who Needs Forgiveness

Reader Question of the WeekToday’s question is one I often hear different variations of–how do I get my husband to forgive me?

Maybe you need forgiveness for cheating, or for debt, or for something else big. Here’s one woman’s conundrum:

My marriage is down the drain and mostly it is my fault. My excessive spending and taking loans (which have now amounted to [a significant debt]) without consulting my husband has created a big rift between us that seems unrepairable due to the fact he doesn’t think I will changed.

I must admit that the first time he found out, he tried to forgive, but I did It again and this time he has had it. I no it is going to take time to pay all this debt off but I don’t want to loose my family (we have a 3yr old girl) and my husband because of my selfish actions.

I feel like I am getting depressed by the unhappy environment because we barely talk only when necessary. How do I regain his trust in me and our marriage? This was surely not what I had envisioned for my marriage.

Here’s another one:

Last year my husband was traveling a lot for business and we were having some various marriage problems at the same time. I developed feelings for a neighbor, and we ended up having an affair. I broke it off after a few weeks, but my husband knows, and he’s having a hard time forgiving me. He’s not leaving me because of the kids, but he doesn’t talk to me unless he needs to. I feel so stupid and mad at myself and ashamed for what I did, but no amount of apologizing seems to do any good. What else can I try?

Both these questions have the same root: a wife has done something really horrible and broken her husband’s trust. Now how can she get her husband to forgive her?

Here are a few thoughts:

"How do I get my husband to forgive me?" Thoughts on what to do when you've broken his trust.

1. Apologies are Best Expressed in Actions, Not in Words

Saying “I’m sorry” is absolutely necessary when you’ve messed up and you need your husband’s forgiveness. But that’s only the beginning.

What your spouse really wants to know is that you are committed to never having this happen again.

So what can you do to show your spouse that you are changing? In the case of an affair, can you suggest moving or switching jobs if it will take you away from the guy? Can you ask your husband if he will share email accounts or Facebook accounts with you so that he never has to worry about what you’re doing? Can you give him your cell phone and give it up for a while?

In the case of money, can you cut up your credit cards and hand them over? Can you download a spending app on your cell phone that you can share with him to show him where the money is going? Can you consult a debt specialist about the best way to pay off the debt, and then make a plan and share it with your husband, with specific goals that you can show him that you have met? Can you figure out how you can take on the responsibility to pay off the debt, and not leave it all to him? Can you get a part-time job? Start cooking more efficiently and spending less on groceries? Have a massive yard sale?

In other words, putting yourself in a situation where you are accountable and transparent to him, and where he can see that you are serious, will often go much further than a simple apology.

2. Give Him Time to Be Angry

Your husband is really hurt. His trust is broken. You, on the other hand, are desperate to know that your marriage is going to be repaired. And it’s very hard to stand in that limbo time, when your husband is trying to work through his feelings. You’ve already worked through yours; you’re sorry, and you want things back to normal again. You want to put this behind you.

But you need to give him time to grieve. That is his right, and he needs to see that you have changed. That takes time.

In this period of limbo, throw yourself on God. Spend more time on prayer. Read your Bible a lot. Join a women’s Bible study. Find some people who can help support you and who you can talk to while your husband is working through his issues. That way you don’t have to crowd your husband and put pressure on him.

3. Truly Repent

Remember that not only have you sinned against your husband; you’ve also sinned against God. Work through your repentance with God. Read Psalm 51 on a daily basis for a time, and pray through it. Develop some true humility. That will help you work this through.

And as you’re doing that, you’ll be able to accept God’s forgiveness, which is very freeing. No, perhaps your husband hasn’t let it go yet. But you can feel restored by God, and He can help you move forward with that new humility and that new gentleness that comes from recognizing that you are fallible.

4. Do Random Nice Things

It’s tempting when he stops talking to you or when he reacts in anger to act similarly in return. Don’t. Simply be nice. I don’t mean be luvey-duvey; sending him love notes in his lunch is not appropriate, as much as you may want to do this. You can’t force the romance back. But you can get up early and make his coffee before he leaves for work, without demanding a thank you. You can take the car in for an oil change without him having to prompt you. You can buy his mom a birthday card so he doesn’t have to, and leave it for him to sign. You can just simply BE NICE.

You don’t have to announce that you’ve done these things–”did you like me getting coffee for you this morning?”. You can just do them. And gradually, as you treat him well, with respect, you may notice a thawing.

5. Work on Your Friendship

Conversation often returns before the real expressions of love, and that’s to be expected. You only start rebuilding trust one level at a time. Once you are conversing again, and you’re able to be in the same room again, start doing things as friends that don’t require a screen. Get out of the house this summer and go on hikes, or bike rides. Play golf. Do a puzzle. Anything! Just find things that you can do together that are low stress that aren’t necessarily romantic. That way you’re not forcing a relationship; you’re forging a new one.

6. Allow Room for Anger

You may think that several months have gone by, and things are progressing, so he shouldn’t be angry anymore. But it’s often just as you are starting to talk that his anger starts really surfacing. Now he may have a lot of questions–what did you do with that guy? Tell me in detail! What were you thinking when you spent all that money? etc. etc.

When he starts demanding answers, don’t say, “I’ve said I’m sorry! What else can I say? You seem to want to punish me indefinitely!” That may be natural, but he does need time to get his questions out. I’d advise answering them as honestly and succinctly (you don’t need to go into a lot of detail) as you can.

Also, avoid the impulse to defend yourself. “I wouldn’t have had the affair if you had shown some interest in me!” Or “If you hadn’t spent so much time on video games maybe I wouldn’t have felt so lonely!” Those are real issues, and do need to be dealt with. But leave them for another time, or bring them up with a counselor. For now, let him express his anger. Once you have talked about his issues, you can say, “I don’t ever want to be tempted in this way again. Can we talk about how to build our relationship so that neither of us ever strays?” Then you can mention some of your issues–video games, for instance. But leave this until after he has had a chance to deal with his anger.

6. See a Counselor

Finally, when major trust has been broken it’s often a good idea to sit down with a third party and talk things through, especially if your husband has a lot of questions, and you providing answers doesn’t seem to be satisfying him. Sometimes allowing your husband to ask you these questions with a third party present can help you figure out how much to share, and can help put limits on how many questions he could/should ask.

7. Decide What to Tell the Children

I’m a big advocate in not keeping secrets. Children pick up on things anyway, and when they know there is tension in the house, but they don’t know why, they tend to assume that they are the cause of it. Telling your children what you did, at an age appropriate level, is likely a good idea. If you had an affair, for instance, you don’t necessarily need to say “I had an affair”, but you could tell a young child that Mommy did something that hurt Daddy. That way you’re letting the child know that you are the cause of the tension. If they’re teens, it’s likely a good idea just to be honest. They’ll find out one day anyway. Before you tell the kids anything, of course, talk to your husband about it. Say, “this is what I’d like to tell the children.” But my advice is always to be honest.

During the period of time when you’re trying to get your husband to forgive you, it’s tempting to get your emotional needs met from the kids. You’re heartbroken, so you pull them closer. Don’t do this. It’s not emotionally healthy for them. If you have emotional needs, seek out a friend, not your kids.

If your husband sees you accepting responsibility in front of the kids, and not trying to sugar coat things, that will also go further in showing him that you are serious about your apology, and help your husband to forgive you faster.

If you’ve messed up your marriage, the road back can be very long. But so many marriages have found themselves even stronger several years down the road because they have worked through these issues, and they’ve learned better communication techniques and put in place more boundaries. So don’t despair–fogiveness is possible!

And ladies, if any of you have ever walked through something similar, and had to get forgiveness from your husband, and you now find your marriage stronger, can you leave a comment? That will reassure so many of my readers. And if you have any other thoughts on how to encourage your husband to forgive you, please leave them in the comments, too!

When Your Marriage is in Crisis–Fight!

Fight for Your MarriageThere’s a great scene in the movie Laws of Attraction when Julianne Moore and Pierce Brosnan, who have been in crisis, meet up in a grocery store. And Julianne Moore says, “Sometimes they say you have to fight for your marriage. Do you want to fight?”

So let me ask you today, “are you willing to fight“?

Because sometimes we’re too quick to give in to defeat and feelings of anger and bitterness and disappointment and even just plain hurt and heartache.

Let me tell you of one email I received today, which is quite typical. Here’s the situation:

She’s always been sensitive about her body. She’s a little overweight and not very well endowed. But she used to have fun buying cute lingerie and making herself pretty for him. Then, when she was pregnant, she found out that he was watching porn and that he had cheated on her. He’s now done a complete 180. He’s strong with God. He’s a great dad. He’s truly repentant. He’s got accountability, and he’s not using porn.

It’s not really about forgiving him, she says. That’s not her problem. The problem is that now she doesn’t feel sexy. What’s the point? She used to do all these “fun” things to attract him and they didn’t work. He strayed anyway. All that work in preparing herself and all the while he was looking at women with totally different bodies. He simply isn’t attracted to her. And every time he touches her she feels that. So they just don’t make love anymore, and she doesn’t know how to get past it. How can she ever feel attractive to him again?

Do you feel her pain? I certainly do. That would be so awful; to feel like your husband went for a totally different body type. To feel as if no matter what you did, you could never be good enough. The rejection would be huge.

But here’s the thing: it’s precisely because that hurts so much that it is such an effective weapon. And so you now have a choice:

1. Do I give in to what are perfectly legitimate feelings? Do I let the anger drive a permanent wedge between us?

2. Do I fight against these feelings and try to rebuild intimacy?

Most people choose #1 because they don’t see a choice. That’s how I feel, after all. I can’t change my feelings. And he’s the one who cheated! It’s not me who is wrecking the marriage; it’s what he did.

I realize that. But so what if you’re right? What does being right get you? It lets you feel perfectly righteous all the way to divorce court. It doesn’t rebuild a relationship. Or maybe you never split up, but you lead two completely separate lives under the same roof, and that is not good for your children.

I truly think the only option is #2. You’ll never find peace or intimacy if you pursue #1. You may say, “he needs to make it up to me,” but how can he? He can’t take it away.

And so the ball is in your court–even if that feels unfair.

So fight! Here are some thoughts on how:

1. Recognize that your husband is not the enemy

This is a tough one. Your husband was the one who did wrong. Your husband cheated on you. But right now, he is not the enemy. He loves you and wants to rebuild the relationship. The enemy is Satan, or, if you don’t like that, the enemy is all of these negative thoughts that are in your head trying to pull the two of you apart.

Think about it this way: what would you do if someone threatened your child? You would fight with every ounce of strength that you had to protect your child.

Divorce hurts kids. And what is threatening your child right now? It’s not what he did. It’s those thoughts that are tearing you apart.

If you would fight a stranger tooth and nail who was trying to hurt the kids, then put that same energy into fighting those thoughts.

Yes, it’s hard. They’re legitimate feelings. But that’s why you have to FIGHT. Fight is not a calm word. It takes energy. It takes emotion. It’s difficult. But you have to do it.

2. Rebuild Trust

Right now you’re fixating on all the ways that he chose other women over you–again, very understandably. But if you’re going to move ahead, you have to build something new–build some place in your relationship where he’s obviously choosing you. So work on your friendship. Do things together. Go for walks after dinner just to talk. Share dreams. Plan about where you’d like your family to be in five years. Make financial plans together. Make vacation plans. Plan for what you want to do with your children.

If you can play together, and do things together, and look at the future together, you’ll start to think of yourself as a unit again.

3. Pray

Sex is more than just physical. Sex is also supposed to be a true spiritual connection. Making love is not the same as having sex. What your husband did was have sex with other women–and fantasize about other women. But what he has with you is far deeper. It’s about a total becoming one flesh. It’s a complete connection. And ultimately he chose you. Maybe you worry he did that because of the kids. That’s understandable. But even that shows that there is something special that you share that no one else does. Your connection is deeper than theirs.

So deepen it. Spend time praying together, even if it’s tough (that’s where the fighting comes in again!). If you can start to feel like you’re spiritually one, it’s easier to break through other barriers. And it’s easier to want to feel intimate in other ways again.

4. Be Honest

You’re insecure. It’s okay to tell him that. It’s okay to ask him to go slow and to try to woo you again. Ask him to show you that he enjoys your body, too. And if he’s having a hard time because he’s all tied up in guilt, take things slowly. Don’t necessarily make love, but spend time naked together. Be intimate. Just kiss. Start small and see if feelings return.

It’s okay to make love while you’re crying for all the things you’ve lost. It’s okay to make love while your heart is breaking. And his probably is, too. That’s just being honest, and sometimes when we’re honest the sexual feelings come even more powerfully. So be honest, but don’t avoid intimacy. Just try to build it based first and foremost on you being one flesh, not on it just being about sexual desire.

5. Take Pride in Yourself

One last thing: if you become so insecure about your body, and say, “there’s no point in even trying because I wasn’t good enough when I did try”, who do you end up punishing? Your husband? Certainly, because men are visually stimulated.

But I think you punish yourself more. If you let yourself become dumpy, for lack of a better word, how are you going to feel about yourself? How are your children going to see you?

You are a beautiful woman. God created you just as you are. Whether your husband rejected you or not, you are still lovely in God’s eyes. It’s not about how your husband sees you; it’s about how you see yourself and how God sees you. If you become dumpy, you’re letting the world know, “I don’t think I’m worth much.” But if you put effort in, and take pride in your appearance, you’re letting the world know, “I like who I am. I’m comfortable with me. If other people don’t share that feeling, that’s their problem, not mine.”

Which do you think is more beneficial to you, and your kids, in the long run? Putting in effort, or letting yourself fall apart?

You see, my friends, if you give in to those negative feelings, all you do is punish yourself (and your kids, and your husband). They’re legitimate, sure, but it’s not worth it. So FIGHT. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it takes effort. But God loves a good fight, and He is there to do battle for you. He is waiting for you to put on your armour and say, “I’m entering the battle field.” Do that, and He will show up, big time, and will fight for you.

It reminds me of this graphic I put up on Facebook this week:

RippleEffects

How Do I Forgive My Husband?

What Does It Mean to Really Forgive Your Husband? A different way of thinking about it...

I get the emails or comments on this blog all the time: “My husband confessed he uses porn, and I can’t get past it. How do I forgive him?” Or “my wife had an affair and I can’t see my way through this. How can I ever treat her normally again?”

Forgiving your husband (or wife) is hard.

A while ago I reviewed Vicki Tiede’s book When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography, and she said something very interesting about forgiveness. In essence, she said that God does not ask us to forgive in a way that He does not. He asks us to forgive AS He forgives. And how does He forgive? He forgives fully and graciously, but only when people repent and turn to Him. He doesn’t forgive everybody.

1 John 1:9 says:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all  unrighteousness.

The confession comes before the forgiveness.

Jesus’ blood covers everyone’s sins, but it is only applied to those who repent. And if that’s how God forgives, then God does not ask us to forgive lightly, either. God does not say that if someone confesses a sin, but doesn’t really turn from it, or doesn’t really have any intention of changing, that we need to forgive.

I thought about that long and hard, because that’s quite contrary to what I’ve normally thought about forgiveness. Yet Vicki makes a good point.

She says that “cheap forgiveness” can do more harm than good.

Let’s say a guy is addicted to porn, for instance, and his wife finds out. He acts all contrite because he knows he’s in trouble, and asks her to forgive him. She does, because she feels that she has to, and so she tries her best to treat him exactly the same as before. He goes on sneaking around behind her back again because there is no need to actually change.

God wants us to do the hard work of healing and repentance, and if we offer forgiveness quickly, when there is no change of heart, we take away the need to do that hard work.

I agree with her. I do. And yet I was uncomfortable with this line of thinking. I have tended to think of forgiveness as something we offer partly for ourselves. We grant forgiveness because it frees US. We can’t carry around this anger anymore, and we can’t live always tied to something from the past. We need to walk forward with God.

Perhaps much of this problem is that we mean so many different things by the word “forgiveness”. Vicki was using it to mean a fully restored relationship: you cannot have a fully restored relationship if there has not been a change of heart from the one who has done wrong. Reconciliation demands true honesty and repentance.

But there is an element of forgiveness that does not depend on the other person, and this is how I’ve come to see it:

To me, forgiveness means taking the hurt, no matter what it is, and placing it in God’s hands and saying: I don’t want it anymore. Take it from me. I leave it to You to bring justice. I leave it to You to work out dealing with my offender. I leave it to You to fight for me. As for me, I will walk forward, with this left behind me.

That’s saying, “God, I believe that you are a just God who loves me and will go to battle for me and will work out your purposes for me and for this person, and so I trust you. I’m not going to try to manipulate the circumstances or extract an apology or demand restitution. I’ll leave it all up to you, and I trust you with it.”

How to Forgive Your Spouse

Forgiving your spouse is really more a matter of trust than anything else.

And forgiveness is about letting go. When I walked through the whole forgiveness process with my father, who left when I was very young, I had to come to terms with the fact that he would never apologize, because he didn’t really understand what he had done. He did not get the magnitude of how much he hurt me. And I realized that a part of me was hanging on to the dream that one day he would sit down and spill out all of his offences, and apologize for them, and ask me to forgive him. Forgiveness, though, means letting go of the dream that he will one day ask that. Forgiveness means putting that dream in God’s hands. God will be the One to fight for you. There is justice, and God will work it out. Perhaps the person will come to repentance and will claim Jesus’ forgiveness. And perhaps they will not. But regardless, God will go to bat for you. You don’t have to. And if we let go of this dream of an apology or acknowledgement of our hurt, then we can move forward.

Recently I was out with a young friend of mine who had been a victim of a violent random attack. She’d been skittish since this happened, and had experienced a difficult time processing it. We were just chatting about nothing in particular, but I was in the middle of writing the review for Tiede’s book, so I was just talking out loud about some of these thoughts. And I told her what I was thinking about forgiveness: it’s not saying it didn’t matter, and it’s not saying we’re best friends now. It’s just putting the whole thing in God’s hands and letting Him deal with it. It’s letting go of the need or dream of any apology or acknowledgement because you know God will handle it. And it’s turning away from it and walking forward.

Trust in the Lord

A few weeks later her mom called me and said, “I don’t know what you said but she’s been so much LIGHTER.” That made me lighter, too.

I think in marriage that this can be the hardest thing. We want the other person to pay. We want them to list out all their sins in great detail and grovel. And yet I believe the proper model is that if there is true repentance, which is always accompanied by confession, not secrecy, and by a dedication to work hard to ensure that it doesn’t happen again, then you forgive your husband, let it go and are fully reconciled. If there is not that repentance, and the sin is one that could seriously endanger the marriage (like adultery, or addictions, or porn), then you act smart. You draw boundaries. You do not become fully reconciled yet.

But you also leave it to God. You don’t punish your spouse. You don’t demand. You don’t play scenarios over and over in your mind where your spouse humiliates himself or herself before you. You hand the offense over to God and ask Him to take care of it. You let go of the need for that sin to ever be fully acknowledged, or to ever receive a full apology. That’s what that waiting period means: you trust in God to take care of it. And in the meantime, you act in love, but also in wisdom, not reconciling when there isn’t full repentance, but not living trapped in this sin, where everything in your life revolves around your anger and your need for restitution.

Forgiveness, then, is not so much about the sin as it is about trust in God.

And that’s hard. It’s so, so hard. But it’s also so freeing.

What have you found? Have you ever had to forgive and leave something in God’s hands? Have you ever had to let go of the dream of a full apology?

Products Featured in this Post:

When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography by Vicki Tiede
Blessed are Those that Trust in the Lord plaque

This post contains affiliate links.

Why Purity Early Protects You Later

Today’s guest post is from Alecia from Marriage Life Ministries.

My husband had an affair. It almost wrecked our marriage, but instead it was the catalyst for bringing us closer together. But through the whole sordid process, I learned something important: what we do before marriage often impacts what we do after marriage.

Most of the world thinks that purity is for the birds–that saving yourself isn’t relevant, convenient or even necessary. Or that remaining pure in your mind body and spirit after you get married isn’t important. I beg to differ.

It’s interesting that while over the last few decades our culture has gotten more sexually permissive, it has also adopted firmer attitudes against adultery. This “oddity” was found by the Marriage Project at Rutgers University when they were doing research on marriage and infidelity. People now disapprove of adultery more than they did a few decades ago, even though we’re also becoming more promiscuous. How can we as a culture not see how these two things are completely connected to one another?

Our behavior, as a culture, definitely speaks to different priorities than what the studies and surveys are suggesting. A majority might feel that cheating on one’s spouse is wrong, but that’s not stopping very many affairs.

Why? Again, it comes down to this. Purity.

I was slapped in the face with this concept shortly after Clint’s confession. Oh, sure, I’d heard it all growing up: “Don’t’ give yourself away.” “Sex before marriage is bad.”, but it was amazing to me to sit down and think about the ramifications of the choices that had been made in our situation. It wasn’t just Clint’s lack of sexual purity (before marriage and during our marriage) that led to our problem, but also my own lack of sexual purity. I had contributed to an atmosphere in our marriage that made us susceptible to adultery.

Infidelity doesn’t just create an atmosphere of non-purity in our marriage relationship…it stems from one.

Just as much as it matters what you do with your mind and your body after you get married, it matters what you do with it before. Our marriage wasn’t just affected by Clint’s infidelity. His infidelity was made possible because of sexual impurity.

The things you view, the way you think, the relationships you have, the sexual experiences you participate in, can all too easily impact your marriage–its health, longevity, and its ability to ward off infidelity.

If you didn’t have purity when you were younger, single, and dating, though, it’s not too late! With God, it never is. The important thing is to recognize that you need it—that you need Him to help you.

But you also need to work at it. If you don’t work at it, your choices will fester in your marriage like an old rotten pair of gym shoes shoved in the back of the closet. You’d like to forget they’re there but the smell wafts out at you every once in a while until the stench permeates the whole house and you’re hunting around playing the “What’s that smell” game. You can’t shove it under a rug or hide it or minimize it. As a couple you must deal with it.

If you feel like your marriage lacks what we would call purity, make some changes. Take the time to care about what you watch (by yourself, with your spouse, and as a family). What you expose your eyes and ears to will affect your mind and will affect your marriage. Take the time to care about the relationships and connections you make with the opposite sex. Strike up non-negotiable boundaries that serve to protect your marriage. Take the time to care about the type of intimacy you and your spouse have and build up a more positive form of it from the foundation up.

This thing called purity is kind of an important thing. After all, the couples who enjoy the best sex are those who are monogamous, and who waited until they were married to have sex. Oh, the irony!

This antiquated, stuffy, prudish word is actually anything but.

It’s the portal to you and your spouse living the next 50 years happily together.

 

From Sheila: I so appreciate Alecia’s take on this, as someone who has lived through an affair and has come out the other side.

I think sometimes we misunderstand purity. We think that it applies BEFORE marriage, but as Alecia says, it’s just as important once we’re married. We need to keep ourselves pure, which means keeping ourselves focused simply on our husbands.

When we’re married, we have great sexual license, which I talked about in The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex. But let’s not confuse that freedom with a lack of boundaries. Just because you can, and should, enjoy sex now does not mean that it’s a good idea to focus on just getting yourself aroused any old way, like thinking about another man, or watching porn, or immersing yourself in explicit HBO miniseries. Many couples have found that taking this license too far is quite dangerous.

Why? Because it reinforces the idea that sex is only about the physical, only about getting aroused, and not about a spiritual and emotional intimacy. And once we start to entertain these thoughts, it’s too easy to get careless.

So let’s keep pure in our marriages! Today, can you tell us how you do that? Leave a comment, or if you’re having a tough time figuring out what this means, leave a question, and maybe we can help you!

Alecia and Clint blog at Marriage Life Ministries.  Find them on Facebook here.

Reader Question of the Week: Sexless Marriage

'Questions?' photo (c) 2008, Valerie Everett - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Every weekend I like to post a question someone sends in and let you readers have a go at it. This week a reader shares her very personal story of a sexless marriage.

My husband has always been a Choleric driver-type personality who is very focused on work and being productive.Sometimes his job seems like it’s 24/7 – when we were first married he wasn’t home much and now he is home more but slaving away in our home office. Even when he’s not at work he spends a lot of time doing yard work or researching and managing our investments. Like so many people in the current economy, he is stressed out about his job security. It seems like he’s either working like a madman or worried if things are slow.

This has been going on ever since I met him and of course, it has negatively affected our intimate life. I think that he sees sex as a fun leisure activity when he has some spare time. However, he never has any spare time! He would feel guilty taking time out for sex when he should be doing something more productive like reviewing the investments or answering work email. As a result, our sex life has been pretty sad – we have officially been in the sexless marriage category for years, and only really had sex while on vacation once a year! Since I’ve been reading your blog, we have been having sex more – maybe more like every 2-3 weeks. But I can sense that he is just going through the motions and has a hard time focusing. I know that this could be for other (scary) reasons – maybe he’s just not attracted to me anymore, or maybe he’s looking at porn, or having an affair, or maybe he’s gay. But I have known this man for 20 years and I honestly feel it’s work stress more than anything else.

What advice would you give to her?


Avoiding the Grass is Greener Syndrome in Your Marriage

Avoiding the Grass is Greener Syndrome in your #Marriage!

Every Friday my syndicated column appears in a bunch of newspapers in southeastern Ontario and Saskatchewan. This week’s is a reprint from 2010, as I am taking some down time for the summer. Let’s talk about that grass is greener syndrome and marriage!

In West Knoxville, Tennessee, Lee Miller has the best lawn in the neighbourhood. The uniformly green grass is always 1 ¾ inch high. People stop their cars to touch it. Dandelions don’t invade it. Grubs don’t munch the roots. And Lee never, ever has to turn on the sprinkler. But though the grass may be greener on Lee’s side of the fence, the grass also isn’t real.

I have killed so much grass myself that I have dreamt of a fake lawn. But I’d miss the robins digging for worms, and the bunnies that gorge on the greens that grow under our bird feeder. A fake lawn may look nice, but there’s no life there.

That doesn’t stop the envy, though. When we’re in the midst of a season where all we see is the grubs, it’s easy to turn and look at Lee’s lawn and think it’s superior. It’s beautiful. It’s easy. And so we’re tempted to abandon our own lawn for another.

Big mistake. I have known so many who have walked out on marriages and families to take on all the problems of another family. I’ve known men who have abandoned families they have cherished and cared for for twenty years, only to start all over again with another woman with toddlers. They often realize, after they have wrecked their relationships with their older children, that just because you start fresh doesn’t mean it’s easier. That first family doesn’t go away; you still have to work out custody issues and vacations and university plans and even eventually weddings. But you’ve burned bridges and caused ill will in the meantime.

Why are we so easily enticed to stray over that fence? I think we’re naturally lazy. When we’re in the midst of a difficult period in our relationships, and we feel like the other person doesn’t value or understand us, to work through that seems exhausting. And then we meet someone we can talk to, who’s new and therefore exciting, and we convince ourselves that life would be easier if we could jump that fence.

That’s a very short-term view. We forget the value of the history that we have built up. I don’t think I could ever leave my husband because nobody else has walked my life with me. He has been a witness to every major event in my adult life. If we were to split, I couldn’t talk about them in the same way anymore, because others wouldn’t understand. They weren’t there when Rebecca was born. They weren’t there when we laid my son to rest in the cemetery. They weren’t there when my grandfather died, or when my first book was published, or when I learned to drive. Those shared memories are worth something.

Case for MarriageLinda Waite and Maggie Gallagher, in their study A Case for Marriage, found that couples from unhappy marriages who split up were far less likely to be happy five years later than couples who stayed together. Even those who found new partners were less likely to be happy than those who worked on their own marriages. That’s probably why second and third marriages fail at rates far greater than first marriages.

Life is messy, but that’s only because it’s real. If someone else’s grass is greener, it’s either because it’s fake, or because you’ve never been up close and personal with it. Get up close, and you’ll see that it has just as many flaws as yours does. Remember, the difference between a beautiful garden and a wilderness is the time that we spend caring for it. So if your lawn is straggly, maybe instead of leaving it, you just need to care for it a little bit more. And while you’re at it, fix the fence.

Don't compare the outside of someone else's marriage with the inside of yours.

Don’t miss a Reality Check! Sign up to receive it FREE in your inbox every week!

31 Days to Great Sex
31 Days to Great Sex is here (only $4.99!) It's the best $5 you'll ever spend on your marriage!

Learn to talk more, flirt more, and even explore more! You'll work on how to connect emotionally, spiritually, AND physically.

Find out more here.


Reader Question of the Week: Can You Get Over Adultery?

'Questions?' photo (c) 2008, Valerie Everett - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Every weekend I like to throw up a question someone sends in and let you readers have a go at it. This week a reader asks, “Can you get over adultery?”

We’ve had an affair rock our marriage, and I’d like to know from others who have been there: can you get past this? Can you rebuild trust and find intimacy again? In our case both parties are sorry and want to work it out, but I just don’t see how we can get to a point where this isn’t always hanging over us.

What a heartbreaking question! But I know that it is possible. Here are a few links to other blog posts I’ve written about recovery from an affair:

Books to Help you Recover from an Affair
When You’re the One Who Needs Forgiveness (if you’re the one who had the affair)
Discovering Your Husband has had an Affair

Now let me hear from you! Have you walked through this? Let us know how you recovered. Leave your thoughts in the comments!

31 Days to Great Sex
31 Days to Great Sex is here (only $4.99!) It's the best $5 you'll ever spend on your marriage!

Learn to talk more, flirt more, and even explore more! You'll work on how to connect emotionally, spiritually, AND physically.

Find out more here.