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Learning to Forgive After an Affair

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Unforgiveness is a prison that we get trapped in when someone that we love or really care for hurt us. It can take a significant amount of time to forgive someone after they hurt you, especially after they have cut you really deep. This blog post is talking about my struggle with forgiveness after I found out about my husband’s affair.

Before I found out about my husband’s affair, I talked and preached on forgiveness. I believed that you needed to forgive someone right away. I thought forgiveness was some easy thing, and when people would tell me about their hurts, I would tell them they needed to forgive that other person. It was a whole different story when it came to my situation though. Forgiving wasn’t as easy as preaching about it.

I didn’t know the other woman, although, for some strange reason, we were Facebook friends during the time she was talking to my husband. I knew nothing about her though. I think that was one thing that bothered me so much, is that a complete stranger had helped do so much damage in my marriage. I was convinced I hated her. I could not see her name without getting upset. I could not see her car without wanting to chase her down and harass her. I could not see an innocent post that she posted on Facebook without wanting to reveal to the world about who she “really was” and what she had done to me and my family.

I started searching for so many different things..praying God to heal me of my hurts..I wanted to just live a normal life and not have to worry about forgiveness. I thought since Facebook was bothering me so much seeing all her things being posted, that I would block her.  So, I guess you could say that I was just pushing it under the rug. I wanted it, but didn’t want to take the actions to get there. So anything to do with her made me mad all over again. Her and my husband work together and continued working at the same place and that would make me mad just knowing that they had the chance of running into one another. The more self conscious I got, the more worry came over me, the more angry I became!

My husband and I was at the store when we ran into her and her family one Sunday and it just rolled all over me.. I was mad and my husband had not even seen her. I made my husband pay for the affair that he had had 8 months prior to running into her. I was miserable. I was making my husband miserable. I wasn’t fulfilling my promise on doing my best to work on the marriage.

It wasn’t until almost  year after the affair, I was with my children at the store and saw her car in the parking lot. Instead of getting all riled up, I began to pray. I prayed that God would help me and help me to be prepared because it was a small store and I was most likely going to see  her. I just remember rushing through the store saying to myself, “Lord, help me..give me strength…thank you for healing me.” Sure enough, I passed the woman and I was able to successfully smile at her. I felt relieved. I felt that healing had started. I praised God.

I had unblocked her several months before running into her at the store because I felt that I wasn’t allowing myself to forgive by keeping her blocked. A couple of days ago, it came up in my newsfeed that she had “liked” something I said. It didn’t really bother me. I realized then, I was being healed even more.

Unforgiveness is like a prison. It took me almost a year to make up my mind to forgive her and deal with the problem. It was extremely hard for me because it was someone I shared a town with and would run into from time to time. It was someone my husband still shares the same employer with. Our children attend the same school. If I had to look back, I would have definitely done a lot of things differently, but I believe God has let me see this hard situation so I can minister and share my story with the world.

I can’t tell you how to forgive or how to take steps to forgiveness because I am sitting here still in disbelief that I have been able to come as far as I have. Especially after seeing some of my worst days. My advice, trust God. Ask Him. Remember how God has forgiven us and how bad we want to be forgiven. We sin and do wrong and expect to be forgiven, so I try to offer that same grace to others.

Let me pray for you. Lord, I know how hard it is to forgive someone that has done us wrong. Lord, show us how to forgive because it is our human nature to hate people that have done us wrong. Lord, show us grace and help us to show grace. Lord, thank you for restoring our marriages and giving us strength. We love you, Lord and we thank you!

“Not forgiving someone is like drinking the poison and expecting the other person to die.” Author Unknown

Like, Share, Pin this post and encourage someone who is trying to forgive after an affair! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post as I give more encouragement on how to deal and get over our spouse’s having an affair!

Until next time…be encouraed!!

My marriage was over…but God had different plans!

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My Marriage was over, but God had different plans!

One year ago, I didn’t realize what that day was about to hold. I didn’t know how I would make it this far. One year ago, I thought was one of the worse days of my life. I thought my marriage was over, but God had different plans.

It was a Monday morning, and I woke up and started the coffee just like any other morning. I like to wake up a little bit before my husband and kids so I can have some “me time.” While I waited on the coffee to brew, I read my Bible verse of the day from my app, and then checked to see what was going on on Facebook. I noticed I had 7 messages, which was completely out of the norm. The messages were from a man that I was familiar with. I had called this man a month beforehand to let him know that his wife had been calling my husband quite a bit and I was concerned with her calling and talking to my husband so much. The messages from the man were screenshots of e-mails between my husband and this man’s wife woman. I couldn’t do anything but cry. My world had fallen apart.

I went on with my day, taking the kids to school and picking them up. I was alive on the outside, but completely dead on the inside. I locked myself in my room and stayed asleep. When I was awake, I was crying. I didn’t know what to do, how to tell the kids, why this woman. These questions ran through my head for months. I hated my life and couldn’t find any self worth in myself.

For years, my husband and I had experienced a big drought in our marriage. I was sleeping in my children’s room, we weren’t spending much time with each other. Often times, my husband described our relationship as “We were roommates, just living together.” We had no physical contact. Nothing. What was there to fight for after I found out about my husband’s affair? I thought it was time to get a divorce. I questioned God, “Why would God let this happen to my marriage when I had been praying for something to turn our marriage around.” My husband wasn’t in church and had no desire to go to church with me the past 3 years I had been going with just the kids, with the occasion he would go with me. Granted, my husband felt awful for his decision to have an affair. He called and confessed what he had done to our family, to our Pastor and to our closest friends. He was sick and confessed he just wanted to die for making such a careless decision.

Days passed, then weeks, and I could never make myself go talk to a lawyer. This is a man who had been such a great Father to our children, and who did love me, regardless of the many mistakes. I began really seeking God. After the hurt left, I became angry and wanted to seek revenge on him and her. I couldn’t even watch a show that had her name in it. I would see her name and get sick. I would see her car and get sick. I would run into her and have to repent because the words I had for her were awful. Many Facebook messages to her that I had to erase. I was broken and just wanted this all to be a dream, but it wasn’t. God started showing me about forgiveness. God started showing me the times that I had “mental affairs” with different men. We were both unhappy, and honestly, I thought many times  of guys who I came across had it all together…how I just wanted THAT!

Different things began to happen. God started showing me things. I would open the Bible and it would be a scripture on forgiveness. I would hear things on the radio about marriages and how God never wanted to see people hurting and families broken into. We went to a church that had no clue about our situation, and they preached on David having an affair, but still doing great things for God. I saw different posts on Facebook about the people of the Bible who were messed up and God still used them. I began remembering my prayers that I prayed for my husband. I had written the prayer down in a notebook:

January 12, 2014, Lord, please shake our marriage and wake us up! I don’t know how much longer I can take our marriage being this way. I do love him, but I can’t live this way. Please show me, Lord, how to be the wife that you have called me to be, because I’m not doing things right. I don’t have good thoughts towards our marriage and often dream about being in a perfect marriage. I need your help because I can’t do this by myself. Help us, Lord! Make us the people that you have called us to be! Let us be examples for those around us, our children, our family, friends and co-workers. Amen!”

I see it now that God surely woke us up. We had tried Christian counseling, going to different churches, talking to each other…nothing was working. I still have days of sadness that this has happened to our marriage. I still have trust issues. I carried hate for the other woman for awhile, but was able to see her in public and smile at her and truly meant my smile was a friendly one. I smiled because I want her to know that I know she was broken and when I find myself wanting to hate her, I just pray for her and her family. I pray that her husband and her are working on their marriage and it’s going great.

We all get away from God at sometimes. We make mistakes. We sin. My husband had an affair, but God has used that affair to make us realize that we didn’t want to lose each other and he has used this event to get my husband back in church and to start having a personal relationship with God. Even though I went to church every time the doors were open, I still had some learning and growing up to do myself. I wasn’t the perfect wife. I neglected my husband and there were times I could care less. I am learning to love life and enjoy my marriage.

God can restore any marriage. I’ve always said that if you aren’t divorced yet, there is still time for God to work. I’ve even witnessed God restoring marriages after divorces. We get married, and when we say our vows, we are just thinking about the good and don’t ever want to experience the bad. We promise each other through good and bad. This post is to share a little of my testimony. I believe God has allowed me to go through tests this past year, but my husband and I choose to turn those tests into testimonies. If we can share our story and encourage any marriage that is hurting, we’ve met our goal. No, I wish our marriage wouldn’t have to go through the worse, but it did. Like I’ve said before, I believe God uses our struggles to make us stronger and that we may share our struggles with others to encourage them and let them know there is hope for their marriage.

Share this, pin this, e-mail this, please! I know that we aren’t the only couple that has had issues in their marriage. Somebody needs to hope and encouragement today! If you are reading this, please pray for our marriage and all marriages! John 10:10 says that we have an enemy that comes to steal, kill and destroy..but we have a God that promises life and abundance!

Until next time….be encouraged!!!

How to Affair-Proof Your Marriage!

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When you go into a marriage, you never intend on having an affair with someone else, but it is something that occurs often in marriages. Having an affair is one of the most devastating things that happen in a marriage. Some marriages can’t even get over their spouse having an affair. It seems like the temptation comes on strong and it has become easier for men and women to have an affair- it’s on television, it’s on the computer, it’s in the workplace, it’s on social media, it’s in the music we listen to. There are many ways that we can be sure to “Affair Proof” our marriage.

  • Never stop dating your spouse- It becomes extremely hard when we have to “grow up” after we get married. We get busy. We have jobs. We have kids. We are tired. We don’t have babysitters. We become disconnected to our spouse. It’s extremely easy to get to that point of no longer dating our spouse, but it is CRUCIAL to continue to make time for your spouse. Maybe you and your spouse do have a hard time finding time to still “date” one another. Maybe you can have special dates at home, in the back yard, on the porch. Make time to make your spouse laugh! Have fun! Keep things interesting with each other! Never forget why you married your spouse, and never stop being the googly, crazy, head over hills person for them either!
  • If you have a problem, address it- Marriages aren’t perfect. As a matter of fact, marriages are messy….very messy. If we go into a marriage thinking it will be perfect and the worse problem that we will have is little things like, “This house is too small..” or “I want a dog, you don’t..” you are in for a rude awakening. There will be fights, there will be hurtful words spoken, you will get offended by some things that your spouse says, but if your spouse has a problem with you keep it in consideration and try to make a vow to work hard on those problems. If you have a problem with your spouse, do not go at your spouse yelling and fussing and telling them they need to change. (I’m saying it like that, because I was guilty of it and know a lot of arguments are started by simply approaching it the wrong way!) If you have a record for approaching your spouse the wrong way when you have a problem with them, don’t keep making the same mistakes and approaching them the same way over and over. Pray about the best way to communicate with them. Ask them how you can communicate with them. But never keep a problem to yourself, and never let your marriage have a problem that goes unsolved.
  • Be aware of the opposite sex- When you do have problems in your marriage, it is really easy to turn to someone who really seems like they care for our problems. But, it is very risky talking to the opposite sex about problems with your life. Most affairs are not simply just seeing someone and saying, “Oh my gosh, I am going to have an affair with them!” You don’t just end up in the bed with people. You begin by building relationships. You start thinking of these people as people you can trust and really confide in when you are having issues. Spending time with people that care with you, you start crossing the line a little by doing a little flirting and that is how emotional and physical affairs are started. If you have to hide what you are saying from your spouse, you are probably creating a risky relationship and possibly on your way to an affair. Be careful about how much you say to the opposite sex. Be careful about how much you are around the opposite sex. Make sure you stay in public areas. Make sure that if you are talking to someone of the opposite sex, to bring up your spouse. Have boundaries! Set boundaries! Always be open with your spouse
  • Pornography- Let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment..when we look at pornography, it does something to our minds. We begin to think thoughts like,” I wish my spouse was like that.” We start exploring other sexual fantasies. I’ll just say this…if you view pornography, talk to someone about it or stop and pray about it! The thing with pornography and how it really comes between marriages is that your wife might not always feel like having sex or you may have a drought in your sex life…she isn’t there, porn is. Porn opens your minds to start looking at other people outside of the marriage and affairs are started!
  • Eye Candy- While we are on the subject of pornography, women are bad about having eye candy. Adam Levigne…Ryan Gosling…Lord those two men pop up on my Facebook (a lot of the times by married women!) And they are posting pictures of these men more than they do their own husbands! Women get caught up in books, movies, and call it what it is…I think 50 Shades of Grey is just as bad as pornography. I think Magic Mike is just as bad as pornography. It makes women excited just like pornography. We shouldn’t need books, pornography, or movies to make us feel excited! That’s what our spouses are for. If you are having a sex drought, that goes back to being open with you spouse!!! Let them know your issues!
  • Have Sex- Scratch that!!! Don’t just just have sex, have GREAT SEX! I have had so many sex droughts in our marriage. It’s unreal. I’ve been exhausted, we’ve had different schedules, and to be honest, there was a period of time where I didn’t like who my husband had became…so I didn’t want to have sex. Sex is important. If we don’t “put out” they will find it elsewhere! Believe that! Make time to romance! Guys, don’t expect to just get laid! Some women want to be romanced. Help with chores so she won’t be so exhausted. Let her know you care and love her and are thinking of her. She didn’t just “put out” when you first started dating…you romanced her! NEVER STOP DATING!!! Ladies, things happen to us. We have kids, we have jobs, we don’t feel sexy, but we are not dead and our husbands still have sexual needs! Have sex, even if it’s a quick one in the bathroom! Yeah, I just went there!
  • Keep God first- I know that people have affairs and still go to church. But, I believe that if you truly seek God and you really keep him in the center of your marriage and look to him for guidance, that you will feel that God will pull on your heart when when we get in these situations. I believe that we also have a choice to listen to that pull from God or we can listen to ourselves and make a huge mistake. Pray and pray for your spouse.

Lord, I come to you and I want to pray over all marriages. Lord, I pray for the men and women who have viewed pornography. I pray that they would seek help if they can’t stop looking at it. I pray that couples would be smart about the people they surround themselves with. I pray that you would show us Lord, when we are about to get to that line we ar about to cross into “about to have an affair on my spouse.” I pray for and any unseen threats that may try to come against our marriages. Let us be more aware!  I pray that you would help us communicate with our spouses. That you would show us the best way to communicate with our spouses. I pray that spouses who haven’t been “bestfriends” in awhile, can find there way back to being best friends again. I pray that you give marriages a new spark like when they first started dating. I pray that marriages strive to keep You the center of our marriages! Help us Lord, Affair Proof our marriages- today and everyday!

Please share this, pin this, e-mail this or reblog it! I would love to hear feedback on how you and your spouse Affair Proof your marriage. If you need prayer for any areas that we have spoken on, I’d be happy to pray for you. You can contact me via e-mail or there is a Prayer Wall. Simple comment with your requests and I’ll add you.

Tune in tomorrow for more marriage talk!

Until next time…be encouraged!!!!

Social Media=Playground for Affairs

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When Social Media starts creeping in on your marriage!

I saw a post the other day that said, “Welcome to Facebook: Where people think your status is about them, people add you but will never talk to you in public, affair are started and your enemies visit your profile the most!” Now, how true is this! Statistics show that over 80% of divorce attorneys mention or have proof that affairs have been started via social media. How scary are those statistics?

If you just spend a couple minutes on a social media site, you will most likely see a married man or woman and them posting a picture of themselves and someone of the opposite sex liking their pictures. Affairs start with just one click and we need to be more aware of how to affair proof our marriage!!!

You might be reading this and thinking, I don’t think my husband or I would ever have an affair! But it can happen to anyone if you are not careful! A lady friend of mine recently was sharing with me how she began her affair with just a single click of a button! She and this particular guy started out by working together, becoming Facebook friends, liking each others pictures, commenting more on each others things, and striking and interest in each other. The more they began to talk, the more interesting things became. She shared things on Facebook that lead people to believe she was having trouble, so the guy would question her about it. That’s how they began their emotional affair!

Facebook isn’t bad. Posting pictures without your spouse isn’t bad. Making comments on other people’s posts aren’t bad. But, when you are having a hard time in your marriage, it can become tempting to post pictures of yourself and try to find attention from other people. There are many different ways to “affair-proof” your marriage when it comes to social media.

  • Do not ever talk bad about your marriage or your spouse on social media! People post about their crappy marriages or how screwed up their spouses are and they are just looking for people to talk to them about their problems. When we expose that our marriage is bad or that we aren’t happy with our spouses, we leave doors open for the opposite sex to come in and talk to us about our marriage and spouse. Of course, at first it may seem harmless but whether social media is involved or not, you should never talk to the opposite sex about your marriage or spouse.
  • Do not post pictures of yourself too much if you are noticing someone of the opposite sex liking it too much. Push for more pictures posted of you and your spouse. Sometimes when we think our spouse’s aren’t happy with us, we become self-conscious and begin looking for attention elsewhere. Trust me, social media is not the place to get the attention you are looking for!
  • Do not start private conversations with the opposite sex that you wouldn’t want their spouse’s seeing. I know you are awake, can’t sleep and so and so is on, what will it hurt to message them and just say “Hey?” Do not be private in your messages. And if someone private messages you of the opposite sex, be open with your spouse to tell them about it. When you start keeping secrets is when there are issues!
  • Don’t seem interested in a person from the opposite sex! Be careful of the things that you comment on, like, and how your actions could mislead someone of the opposite sex. It may seem harmless to you, but to them, they might not be getting the attention they want so what you are giving them by “liking” their pictures or commenting on their things might just be the attention that they need!

So many times, we don’t realize how we act when we are “in the act.” Be aware of what you do on social media. Be open with your spouse about your social media. Go each day with thinking, “If my spouse were to get on my social media, would I have some explaining to do?” And, if social media has been an issue in your marriage, then respect your spouse. Many couples have joint accounts or share passwords, and some marriages are comfortable enough not sharing accounts or knowing each others passwords.

Let’s pray. Lord, I pray for couples that are on social media. Lord, give us wisdom and show us what is smart and what is not. Help us to realize when we are going to far with the pictures that we post or the pictures we like. Help us to use social media for the good and not the bad. Help us to see when the enemy wants to use social media as a trap. Help us to be aware of everything going on through social media.

Please share, pin, e-mail or reblog this post!

Until next time…be encouraged!

50 Shades of My Marriage Sucks!

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It may be a little bit late to hop on this band wagon, but I do have a lot to say about this whole trend of 50 Shades of Grey. When I first heard about the books that were coming out, I was somewhat intrigued. My husband and I were separated, I thought I needed some romance in my life, but what did I know? I have never been a reader, and really didn’t care to spend money on a book that I was going to probably not finish anyways.

The trend of the books died down and then comes the movie. Every married, single, (it didn’t matter) lady was going to see this movie. Some were going to see the movie with their friends some were going to see the movie with their spouse. It was crazy to think some of these people were in the theaters watching this movie and then sitting in church the next morning.

I got to thinking how many men (with already pornography issues-maybe their wife/girlfriend is aware, maybe not) but how many men were triggered by this spicy, sexy movie? How many women have gotten themselves into pornography because they want more spicy in their marriage!

I have admitted, I have never read the books nor have I watched the movies. But, I do know what it is like to have a drought in the marriage. You get married, kids come along, you’re tired, you don’t really want to be intimate…but then again you know you should be and you want to be. It’s confusing being an adult, huh? But, back to the subject. I know marriages can go through periods and seasons where it is crappy. Sex is not the way it should be, communication is not good..so you argue, and marriages are torn apart!

People begin to turn to outlets when their marriages go down hill. They turn to pornography, technology, the flirty co-worker at the office. Things are thrown at marriages straight from the pit of Hell, and if our marriages is not going great 97% of the time, we will find an outlet to make us happy. And, let’s just be honest, a movie that is known to be about sex and spiciness, and a person who is wanting to see this type of movie or read this type of book is looking for something in their life!

Don’t get me wrong, I love sexy, but sexy should be kept in YOUR bedroom with YOUR spouse. A movie, a porno, a magazine, a book, an affair will only last for a season….then you will be looking for the next thing to get you excited in marriage. God created marriage and it is written in black and white in the Good Book..there are no shades of grey when it comes to God’s word and how he intended marriage to be.

I am not trying to judge anyone, but simply say, “Hey, I’ve been there!!” “I’ve looked for outlets in my marriage and THANK GOD it didn’t lead to enough destruction that is destroyed my marriage!” God loves you, and He loves your marriage. I truly believe if we ask Him how to spice up our marriage, He will give us the desire and wisdom and it will be something of Him.

If you have an issue with your marriage, and have been looking for an outlet or have found an “outlet” I just want to pray for you–

Lord God, I know that marriage is hard and that we go through so many droughts in our marriage–droughts in our bedroom. Lord, the World tries to throw these outlets at us, but God I pray that we recognize them and choose to turn to you on how to fix our marriage. Let our outlet be You, Lord! Lord, I pray that any man or woman that deals with addiction to pornography or anyone who uses pornography to satisfy their needs be healed. I pray that us that are in relationships and married, that we turn to you!

Until next time….be encouraged!

Today’s Marriage

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This is the month we face the topic of marriage!

More than 50% of the people who get married end their marriage in divorce. Most of the people who get divorced get divorced before spending their 5 year anniversary with one another. How awful are those statistics? Why can’t we make our marriages work? Why don’t we fight for our marriages anymore? Why do we give up so easily?

There are many things that come between a husband and wife: they realize they didn’t marry the people they fell in love with, kids come between marriage, work gets the best of our time with our spouses, finances become an issue, our spouse’s are unfaithful…CHANGE HAPPENS! This month, we are going to talk about changes that happen during a marriage and how to deal with these changes. I am going to visit the most common problems of a marriage each day in April.

I will be sharing some of my experiences and stories through this month. This is one of the reasons why I decided to start this blog. I was having a hard time in my marriage and I was searching for some sort of hope for my marriage. I wanted to to read that my marriage could make it and I could find very little encouragement on marriages that actually ‘work’ these days.

Can this blog fix your marriage? No. It is going to take work between you and your spouse. Can this blog encourage you? Yes! I hope that this blog encourages so many people that are hurting, that are broken and that need hope.

Stayed tuned during this month for encouragement for April! Looking for a particular topic? Check out topics on the right side of the page!

Until next time….be encouraged!