Affairs – The First Order of Business

Affairs in our society are running amuck! From Arnold and Maria to Senator Weiner, the age-old problem just takes on new names and faces.
I have a lot of experience with affairs. Let me restate that. As a counselor, I have lots of experience with affairs. And a common dynamic is for the betrayed partner to fear confronting his/her cheating partner, or at the very least, setting boundaries with the offending spouse. Usually, there are children involved or financial concerns that keep the betrayed spouse a slave to the offender.
Another dangerous dynamic often develops, the betrayed loses him or herself along the way in the marriage long before the affair occurs. So, by the point of an affair, it becomes very difficult for “the betrayed” to stand up for what is right in the relationship.

And if confrontation does take place, the cheating spouse typically lies about his or her involvement, even in the face of physical proof. So, not only is the cheater betraying his spouse, but he isn’t even willing to be truthful with her when she confronts him. Talk about adding insult to injury!

An important bottom line to all of this is –

As long as one partner runs from honestly taking responsibility while the other partner carries more than his or her share in the marriage, then destruction and damage are imminent.
Sure, there can be huge ramifications and consequences with facing this betrayal head-on. But the real damage will come if you don’t take a stand!
So, the first order of business is to determine what the consequences will be for continued unfaithfulness. Consequences can be anything from; no longer having sex with your unfaithful spouse, to asking the spouse to move out of the bedroom, to other types of separation—always in view of saving the marriage! Seek the help of a Christian marriage counselor to walk with you through what types of consequences you should impose.
Also, consider what types of positive behaviors you will require. For example, one requirement could be to go to a counselor together, or go to church together, or go to a small group Bible study together, or all of the above!
If you’ve been cheated on, you’ll probably have to be the first to raise the standard of respect in your relationship. Don’t believe the lie that you’re not worth it! Christ wants honor and faithfulness for you. After all, you are His precious child that He paid the ultimate price to redeem! And the good news is— 
Christ will never leave you!
For additional reading regarding affairs, check out:
Love Must Be Tough by James Dobson
Torn Asunder by David Carder
Hope for the Separated: Wounded Marriages Can be Healed, by Gary Chapman
Winning Your Wife Back or Winning Your Husband Back, by Gary Smalley

3 responses to “Affairs – The First Order of Business”

  1. Thankful I don’t know this pain, but I know many who do. You give good advice. Thanks for sharing from your counseling experience 🙂

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  2. Whether the affair is sexual or emotional, it still hurts. Forgiving the spouse who has made a bad choice is hard. Praying for the strength to forgive them and pray for them through this time in your marriage. You will have to go through this process of forgivness many times because something will bring back those feelings that you thought were gone. It will take time to restore what seconds took away. Trust in God and pray.

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  3. Thank you for this post.The whole scenario is so accurate, it’s scary.This has touched my home, and the hardest part is finding a way to confront the issue.My biggest fear is that doing so will make ME the one responsible for destroying our family. My fear is the kids will blame me in the end.It’s so hard to pray through this all, and not feel abandoned.I’m about 2 seconds from throwing my shoe through the TV the next time I see another politician revealed–or, worse yet, TV folks questioning why the wife did/didn’t “stand by her man.”No one understands until you’re neck-deep in the situation.

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