25 January 2012

The Internet & Your Marriage: Another Woman Shares Her Perspective

Dear Readers, we think of you all so much.  You should see Danny & I reading and discussing your thoughts & emails.  Our hearts go out to every single one of you.  We really do feel love for all of you.

Today we want to continue the thoughts on "The Internet & Your Marriage".  One of our lovely readers read our last post on the topic (as well as the responses) and it stirred her to submit this post.  She said she has never written a blog post, but couldn't not respond to this topic.  I was touched by her story & the way she has chosen to move forward, despite her trial.  While her trial did not begin because of the internet, she wanted to make the point that EVEN IF you have a really healthy marriage, you still need to be diligent about avoiding inappropriate contact, whether it is on the internet or otherwise.

And, I just want to tell this dear reader thank you for writing this.  She said she has kept this experience from everyone as they have decided to not tell their children what happened to them & they are working on starting a new life as a family.  But she struggled with not being able to share what she learned with others, and she was grateful to have this outlet to do so.

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I, like Shiloh, felt like the luckiest girl in the world the day I married my husband.  We were best friends and completely in love!  13 years of marriage and 4 kids later we were living the dream.  We had a very healthy marriage.  We had a group of friends that we would go out regularly with, even vacation with.  I felt that a woman from this group was flirty with my husband.  We talked about it and he reassured me that our marriage was safe.  But, she started to pursue him through email and text.  It started out very innocent - - she was asking him for help with something.  As a friendship started, she would tell my husband how lucky he was to be in such a good marriage.  She confided in him that she was not happy in her marriage.  She began to ask for advice on how to make her marriage better.  He felt sorry for her and wanted to help, but he soon recognized that their connection was getting inappropriate & told her it had to stop.  The relationship was exposed and it broke my heart.  My husband felt awful and vowed it would never happen again (even though technically nothing happened!)  I was so hurt, and my husband was so ashamed that it was easier to bury it and pretend that everything was alright.  We wanted it to just go away.  I had been taught all my life to forgive.  I had felt so betrayed by this woman, but again wanted to move on.  I told her I forgave her and things went back to normal.  We still would go out together and I really tried to put it behind us.  A few years passed and it started up again.  After 9 months it became physical.  They were having a full blown affair.  Through this process my husband had completely changed into someone I did not recognize.  To spare you the ugly details, I will tell you that there is a happy ending to this story.  Not to say that we both have not been to hell and back.  My world was shattered, but not all was lost.  You see, I can honestly say I am grateful for this experience.  Our marriage is in a better place than it has ever been.  We have both gained a stronger connection with each other and learned to overcome this trial together.  And we have come to know God in a way that we would never been able to.  I once again feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

My whole point in telling you this is that good, healthy marriages can still be vulnerable.  Even if you're in what feels like a healthy marriage, you still MUST guard yourself from potential danger.  No marriage is safe.  And if you think yours is, it might not hurt to humble yourself and recognize that no one is immune to temptation.  

My marriage was saved, because we packed up our kids and belongings into our truck moved, OVERNIGHT!  We removed ourselves from the situation that had caused us so much trouble.  I will add that my husband played his part in this.  He absolutely had a choice.  I want to make that clear!  I believe not many go out looking to have an affair.  It does not happen overnight.  It does not happen because of email or facebook!  But if you want to protect your marriage from that temptation, you need to be aware that the danger is real.  It can happen to good people!  Facebook is not bad, but Facebook does give you the vehicle to start a journey that will lead to something bad.  There is an old proverb that says, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, so watch your step."  Looking back, we should have severed that relationship when it became inappropriate.

Our biggest defense in protecting our marriage is identifying all of the potential dangers.  Recognize how easily things can go from innocent to destructive.  When you are preparing for a battle, you identify the enemy.  You plan ahead to avoid any obstacle that you might face.  Facebook is great for keeping in touch with friends and family, but you should think ahead how you will react in the face of something inappropriate.  It is very hard to resist flattery.  We all want to be accepted.  We all want someone to comment on our picture, or our post or we wouldn't put them on Facebook!   If you find yourself seeking attention from this behavior, ask yourself some hard questions.  Seek to find your acceptance from within or from some higher source.  

I am an advocate of marriage.  I believe there are few problems that cannot be solved ( if both people are willing to try).  Marriage is the most amazing blessing.  Don't give up on it without a fight!  (Even if your husband has an affair on you!)  I want to give that hope to someone who might be going through this right now.  When faced with adversity, understand that it is not the adversity that is the test, but rather what you do with it.  Learn, grow, let adversity teach you.  I am grateful for the things I have learned and for the person who I have become through this trial.

-Anonymous

UPDATE:  Dear Readers, I meant to ask you...is there anything that you have changed or done to protect your marriage from crumbling?  i.e. moving overnight?  Or anything of the sort?  I think it's inspiring to hear about couples' efforts to save their marriages and turn things around....it is a huge deal to do that, for sure...  

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83 comments:

  1. I love love love this.

    I'm also wishing that sweet Mara could say the perfect thing to this unhappy divorced lady who posted over at segullah today:
    http://segullah.org/daily-special/if-you-just-insert-stupid-andor-unhelpful-here/

    All I could do was point her here.

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    1. Em, thank you so much. We welcome her and anyone else to our blog.

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    2. Oh boy - just left a comment on Segullah. Just thought I'd share my perspective :) Thanks for the heads up.

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    3. Thanks Mara - you are eternally sweet. And rather T. Monson-ish in your willingness to reach out to "the one". All of them. I hope it's infectious!

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  2. Wow. Isn't it crazy how vulnerable we ALL are - even when we may be strong or happy or both. Thanks for posting this.

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  3. thank you for sharing this experience. it is scary how quickly how things can change when you aren't totally ready for them.

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  4. Thank you for sharing your experience. As a woman in a fairly new marriage (almost 2 years) we definitely had to have discussions about what was appropriate facebook contact and what we were comfortable with. It wasn't smooth or easy to bring up but necessary and it brought us closer together.

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  5. Wow! Thank you for sharing this story. It us a good reminder that no one is immune to temptaion and the moment one thinks so is when they should take a step back and re evaluate. Thank you for being strong!

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  7. Interesting story.

    I don't think the problem ever is facebook or any social media, it never is. The problem was that two individuals who were married made a conscious choice to have an affair.

    I question the moving aspect because the other woman wasn't the problem. She played her fair role, but in your experience the problem was your husband. HE was the one who broke his vows to YOU. That woman broke her vows to her husband. There could easily be another woman where you live now, but it's shouldn't be about her either. I'm not saying put no blame on the other woman, I think that is fine to a degree, but the issue isn't a woman, a place or facebook- the issue is learning how to be appropriate with members of the opposite sex when married.

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    1. I completely understand what you're saying, since my husband has a pornography addiction problem, and I don't think the answer is taking away our computers and smart phones. BUT at the same time, it's important that he not put himself into situations in which he'll be tempted (like on the computer in the middle of the night when I'm in bed). Just like an alcoholic who is struggling hard to stop drinking should probably stop going to bars, right? If her husband recognized that he needed to move away from the woman in order to get his life in order, then that's what he needed to do. Sometimes we have to recognize the right steps we need to take in order to work on our problems. He was smart enough to know that he wasn't strong enough to work on his problem with her around. I think we should applaud that kind of insight into our strengths and weaknesses.

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    2. My husband also has a pornography addiction, and for him putting filters on our computer and on his phone is just one little thing that has made a huge difference for him. I think it's very commendable that this husband was willing to do whatever it took to fix his marriage, including moving away. My husband was the one that suggested the filters, and I know it wouldn't have worked if I had suggested it.

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  8. Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us your story. It brought tears to my eyes and I am amazed at your ability to believe in your marriage, even in the face of such hardships. I truly believe that you are right to continue believing in marriage the way that you do and your story serves as a great reminder to us all - if you love someone, you don't give up. Ever.

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  9. Thank you for sharing. You are inspiring and I'm confident that to make it back from Hell you listened to your gut- or other promptings- however you see it. Although the obstacles my husband and I face are different, I have been humbled. No one is immune. My heart goes out to you, BUT- you have triumphed and you and your husband will have your reward. God bless! Again, thank you for sharing.

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  10. this was definitely something I needed to hear. thank you so much for sharing this whoever you are.

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  11. Thanks for sharing. I worry all the time that this could happen to us. In fact, sometimes I'm not so sure it isn't only because I've seen so many cases of women who had no idea whatsoever that their husbands were having affairs. So I know we certainly aren't immune no matter how well things are going right now. I am amazed that you and your husband had the courage to up and move in the face of temptation so that you could work on your marriage. That's not an easy thing to do and probably something people who haven't been there may not ever understand. I told my husband a long time ago that I would draw the line at cheating: if he cheated, the kids and I would be gone in a second. How do you do it? I have enough trust issues as it is. How do you work through something like that? How have you rebuilt that trust in your husband?

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    1. Mac- hi! I am the woman in this story. I like you thought that cheating would be a deal breaker. And to be honest it most likely would have been if not for my 4 innocent children. I am very passionate about my role of a mother. There is no pain I would not endure to save my children from heartache and despair. I couldn't think about what I wanted, because my decision would change my children's lives forever. As far as learning to trust again it takes time. It is a choice, as with everything else. It became much easier as my husband transformed into a new person. I trust him more now than ever before. I know, it's crazy!!! We as women have an amazing power. If you believe in your man and they feel it, they can conquer the world. Love and trust attract more love and trust. Fear thrives on fear. Somedays I had to ask myself the question, " has my husband done anything TODAY to make me not trust him?" I had to learn to shut down all the scary stories in my head. I had lots of techniques that I would use. Our minds are very powerful. We need to use that power in our advantage. Forgiveness is a beautiful gift. Equally benefitting both parties.
      Thank you for your kind words. Keep fighting for your marriage. You are an amazing woman!
      Much love!

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    2. Thank you for this message. I love it.

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  12. I've long known that if someone was to have an affair in my marriage, it would be me. My husband doesn't act on impulse, even when I ask him to. I, however, think that's romantic. I try to guard myself and make sure I'm always where I need to be when I need to be there. I try to include my husband as much as possible in what I'm doing. I also try to be completely and totally honest with my husband - like when I get a fleeting mini-crush on someone. (I sound like a monster right now, but just being honest.)

    It's humbling to know that if there was ever a problem, that problem would be me! And my husband is a gem.

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    1. Tamra--I love how honest you are. Seriously.

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  13. My husband and I just spent the entire morning going over the details of the affair I just got out of. He is hurt, and we are both going through hell, but I am lucky enough to have a man who is willing to stand by my side and help me come back to Christ and to him. Mine was started through facebook and progressed from there. I always thought I was far above doing something so devastating and so selfish, but this has taught me that everybody is capable of such an ugly thing. It has increased my compassion for others, you never know what those around you are dealing with.
    I have been humbled and brought to my knees through this process. My biggest challenge now is in finding how to love myself once again. This is what I need the most help with. If any of you out there have some advice on where to start with that, it would be much appreciated!

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    1. My dear friend,
      You've done the right thing by confessing your transgression to your husband. That is the first step in the repentance process. Then you got down on your knees to ask God for help. I want to let you know that you are on the right track, and although there will be sometime for both of you to rise above this. However, if both of you look to God and try to work it out the way you think the Lord would handle situation like this (being Omnipotent and full of Love as He is), you will surprisingly find so much love in your heart that you will be able to forgive and forget. We are all imperfect and we bound to make mistake (it is how we can learn sometime), but the most important thing is to recognize what we did was wrong and truly repent about that( which means we will never done that ever again)then we are forgiven by Him. Isaiah 1:18 says ...though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow...
      So I encourage you and your husband to look to the Savior and His atonement to work this problem out. Someday, you'll look back on this and be glad that you've done the right things to come to God and ask for charity.
      Best wishes to you both,
      A friend

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    2. Dear Anon - thank you for the courage to comment, even anonymously, about your experience. Just looking at the few things that you've posted here, I have a tremendous hope and confidence about the journey you will be walking now, and though you said little, you sound like you're prepared to walk it as best you can. To speak of words like compassion, humbled, love, etc...and to mean them...is the beginning of any road worth walking.

      Regarding loving yourself, I believe it can and will happen for you. You must do your best to embrace feelings that inspire *hope* for a better future and a better you, *faith* that allows you to pursue that better future and better you no matter what the obstacles, and *love* and compassion for a good husband and even yourself...a good woman who made a bad mistake, but is willing to take responsibility and accountability for it and use this as the hinge upon which her life will turn for the better.

      As long as you are taking responsibility for your actions, and owning up and not making excuses, then you will be able to push past the opposites (fear, doubt, enmity) of those three great attributes above that are at the heart of a meaningful life. If you sense doubt arising about your worth...you will have to learn to dismiss it (again, this can only be done by first taking responsibility, which allows you the confidence to say, "though I may have behaved improperly before, I'm doing every thing in my power now to right it, and in that I can begin to stand tall"). If you feel anger or fear or inadequacy, you will have to begin to learn to dismiss them.

      They will come, and they will come often. But you must push them away eventually, or no amount of "right living" will bring you the relief you seek.

      Ahh, there is so much more to write, but I'm out of time. Maybe you can keep me and Mara updated on your progress...who knows...in a few months, a year, or whenever you're ready...you may come to us with an anonymous post about how you began to love yourself again and move forward confidently with your life. Maybe you could share with us the insights you gained. I'm sure there are many would could learn from your journey as you seek to become the woman you know you are deep down. I for one, would love to hear a follow up some time :)

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    3. I am the husband of the woman who wrote this story. I know where you are and my heart aches for your peace. Learning to forgive and love myself again was a huge challenge(sometimes still is). I believe that we are not defined by our problems and mistakes but by what we do about them. Repentance and restitution will bring the change of heart required to overcome our mistakes. It sounds like you are on the right path and your courage and honesty are inspiring.
      At the risk of sounding all 'clichey', Love is the answer. It not only helps to heal the wounds we have caused, but it is essential for us to heal. When our whole thing came out I immediately put up huge walls. I thought that not only did everyone despise me but that I was unworthy of love from anyone. The risk of letting someone in and confirming what I already knew about myself(that I was total scum) was horrifying. Over time I realized that I could only do so much for my own healing. I needed love. An angelic wife, caring parents, good friends and family gave me the love I needed as soon as I let them in. Love is most powerful when it is given. When it is offered we must be gracious receivers and let it in. I know it isn't easy but you have to let those around you who care give you the love you need.
      Having said all that, it will take time. There will be days when it feels like it is all for naught. When those dark feelings come, and they will, send out some love. Light and love dispels all darkness and fear.
      Also, and most importantly, let His cleansing grace continue to humble and inspire you to do good and become better. As I focus on my relationship with Him, I worry less about what the world thinks and more about what matters most.
      I promise you there are better days ahead. Let some love in. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
      Much Love

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    4. John, thank you very much for adding your voice here as well and sharing your side of the story. Mara and I were both touched by what you wrote. Thank you for drawing from your experience and lessons learned to reach out to Anon above and provide some guidance for how she can move forward from here.

      I have a feeling your insights are very welcomed, not only by Anon, but so many others who will come to this post.

      Thank you!

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    5. I am grateful for your comments back to me. Thank you for your encouraging words and inspiration. John, I really appreciate your insight as someone from this side of things. Thank you for your words and for your courage!
      I am definitely on my way back. I am doing everything I know how to fix the mess I created in my life and in my husband’s life. We have both made a lot of changes, and our lives have become one once again. We are completely focussed on each other and staying connected. We dissected what the underlying problems in our relationship were that caused the disconnect in the first place, and have made changes to prevent it from happening again in the future. We are able to communicate better than ever before.
      I made a huge mistake, and this tragedy that happened in our relationship has taught us things that we likely would never have learned otherwise. We know more fully how to love each other, what each other’s needs are, and how to meet those needs. We have also learned about the Atonement. I always thought I understood what it meant, but I am only beginning to understand it now. We have learned to have much more compassion for those around us. We have learned to be loving and accepting of all kinds of people.
      I have learned who my husband really is. He, within an hour of finding out what I had done, was comforting me and telling me of his love for me. I know he has received a lot of strength from the Lord through this unimaginable trial, and he has never once said a hurtful thing to me, tried to make me feel worse, or done anything but show love. He, of course, is very hurt and was in shock for the first few weeks, but his ability to love me the way he does blows my mind. I am doing everything in my power to earn it and be worthy of him.
      I will write my story some day, and when I do I will share it with you two. We are still in the middle of the healing and I still have a lot to learn I am sure. I have been brought to my lowest of lows, but the Lord is carrying me through this time of my life and I feel nothing but love from Him.
      It’s hard to block the thoughts that Satan puts in my head...the negative thoughts of myself, but I work on fighting him daily. I appreciate your advice, Danny, on how to overcome that. It is a struggle I have always dealt with, and this last year of awful decisions did not make loving myself any easier. I am beginning to now, now that I can see my potential, now that I have felt just how much my husband loves me, and now that I can feel the healing power of the Atonement in my life.
      I found it interesting that you used the word “inadequacy” in your comment to me because that is the exact word I have felt about myself for most of my life. I must overcome that and start seeing myself for who I know God intends me to be. I have to. I know, logically, that I am worth much. I am a daughter of God. I have been entrusted to care for some of His precious children on this earth, and I need to be a strong woman for my daughters and my son. I have been given a wonderful man as my eternal companion. Clearly I am worth much more than I am able to see.
      I am working very hard. The insight you two share on your blog for the rest of us is very inspirational. I can’t thank you enough for putting your knowledge and insights out here for us to learn and grow from.

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    6. Anonymous, you just totally made my day. I cannot express anything but incredible hope and optimism for you and the path you are on. And what a tremendous husband! Thank you for sharing what you did about him, I am seriously impressed with the strength and character he has demonstrated thus far, and could not be more delighted that there are such men and women out there who respond in the way you described to some of the most difficult circumstances in life.

      One thing I know...offering the kind of love that he has been offering to you in this moment of "hurt and shock" is its own reward, and will represent for him a significant turning point in his life for the better, just as your current path represents a significant change for the better. You both will become capable of a greater love than you ever could have imagined before. I am confident of that!

      I'm now just as interested in hearing your husbands story as I am yours. Would you consider emailing me so that I can keep in touch with you both? danny [at] ablogaboutlove dot com

      Thank you for your words above, and for your resolve to forge a brighter path. I have a strong feeling your husband already knows this, and has told you, but I thought I'd tell you as well in case you didn't believe him....you're going to succeed! This new life is yours for the taking.

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  14. This was such a beautiful, raw, heartbreaking, and equally inspiring post. Whoever the author is- Thank you so much for your courage! I am in absolute awe.
    And as for Mara's questions: One time in our early marriage my husband and I finally faced up to the fact that neither of us were happy. We had allowed master's degrees, friends, and especially family to become more important than each other. We had each been terribly selfish and we were paying the price. On a whim we decided to cancel every single one of our prior engagements, to ignore school assignments, etc. and go on a mini-vacation. We had zero dollars to our name at the time (poor, poor students!), but that little trip made all the difference in setting us back on track. I'll never forget hiking through the redrock with my husband, talking to him, hearing him laugh, seeing him again for the first time in far too long. It had been a long time since we had actually enjoyed each other, smiled together, even held hands! That trip still serves as a really important memory for us. And while yes, it wasn't entirely responsible to just up and leave, put everything on a credit card without a clue of how we would pay for it, I credit that trip as a turning point and a stark reminder that selfishness doesn't have a place in a happy relationship and that no thing, degree, nor person is more important than my marriage.

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  15. Affairs obviously aren't a new phenomenon -- the Internet has just made connecting discreetly a little easier. The issue as everyone has pointed out is that people allow themselves to operate slightly outside their moral sphere using vain justifications. ("It's no big deal." "I don't want to be rude." "I deserve to feel loved." "My marriage is a sham.")
    But each time they do so, their sphere grows to include their last transgression. Thus, each progressive slide down a slippery slope seems less egregious. (Just an email = just a lunch date = just a movie = just a kiss ...)
    We often prepare our teenagers to avoid pre-marital sex and substance addictions by having them commit ahead of time to what they would do in great detail. They have to make decisions and game plans well ahead so they aren't caught off-guard. Same goes for marriage.
    Too many of us say, "Well, I think affairs are wrong, so I won't do it," but don't delineate what that really involves. You have to sit down with your spouse and IN WRITING outline what is and isn't acceptable in your marriage (and review it). Be practical, but err on the side of caution. And then you have to be transparent, open and loyal. Ask questions and answer them without offense (often).
    I think we worry about being rude or prudish, but the reality is the Internet is totally superfluous. People survived without staying in contact with old friends before - they can do it again. It's not worth risking your marriage so you can tell your old 8th grade buddy how cute his family is ... because when his marriage falls apart, you already have a door open for him to slip in.

    *Question for Mara: Having been single after marriage, did you find that you fall back into those flirtatious rhythms easily? I'm wondering if all those single-people habits and behaviors are so ingrained that once you let a bit slip out, the whole package comes tumbling after.

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    1. Mrs. Dub - good question! So, the flirting felt very strange when I first started to date. It was just so weird for the gates to be wide open and to be standing at a party talking to a single guy, all the while not wearing a wedding ring. It felt naughty! Like I shouldn't be doing it. It was like I wasn't in my own skin or something. BUT...the comfortability with flirting and being with guys did kick in very quickly...because it was fun. It was great to be noticed & appreciated by a guy (after experiencing the opposite for so long) and I hate to say it, but it felt good to feel like at age 32 I still had game, as they say. So yes, if a married person crossed even a little line of what is/isn't appropriate & broke that initial barrier and succumbed to even a little flirting, I would say that the whole pkg could come tumbling after very quickly...simply because flirting and lack of barriers is now permissable. ALSO, marriage brings confidence & familiarity with the opposite sex / intimacy, etc. SOO, when I was single, it was actually quite easy to become comfortable with a guy quickly, because I already was comfortable being around a man due to a 7 year marriage. (And having experienced a marriage, it actually makes it a bit trickier on a PHYSICAL level to be with another man, because you're already used to certain things (sex, for example!)...so you have to be EVEN MORE DILIGENT than normal if that is something you plan to not do outside of marriage. Too many things come way too easily - it's like muscle memory.)

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    2. Thanks for your response, M! Your explanations and descriptions were insightful and fun to read, (I kept thinking of a recently divorced friend and hoping she gets some well-deserved action after enduring a withholding/critical husband).
      In your case, the flirtation was appropriate (and well-deserved), but if the person is married, I could see how that "naughty" feeling would just heighten the illusion of passion and intimacy.
      * This might be a silly question, but when people cheat, is sex ever avoided? I'm LDS and curious if member affairs are more emotional or with limited physicality due to our beliefs. Like obeying the Law of Chastity, minus the faithful marriage part. Because sex outside of marriage is still so wrong to me, I can't imagine doing it, even if I was "cheating." Is that naive?

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    3. I am also LDS and just a few months ago found out about my husband's affair. There was definitely sex involved. He knew it was wrong, but the way he describes it is that by the time he got to that point, he had made so many other "mistakes" that he figured he was just worthless and it didn't matter anymore. Satan has quite a way of working on people . . . my husband said that even a year ago he would have never thought he would have had an affair. It was completely abhorrent to him, but slowly, little by little, that is exactly what happened. If anything, I think being LDS and what we believe about families makes Satan try even harder to break them apart.

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  16. Thank you for sharing your story. You are so right, even the healthiest marriages aren't safe. I read an article lately that said we should pray every day, asking God to protect our marriage and to bless our families. I do this every day! My husband and I have had our ups and definite downs. It is the trials that we have gone through that have made us stronger and closer. I think when you have to go through repentance together and you see the miracle of forgiveness happen, you find a strength inside that you never knew was there. Satan wants nothing more than to break up as many families as possible, so don't let him win.

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  17. I love your blog and your perspective and I very much try to adopt it.
    I totally agree on the humbling part - never be to sure!
    But how do I deal with a husband that during the first 6 more stressfull, less "us focused" month [buidling a house, I did all the work...] has an affair (after 2,5 years of marriage and an extra 5 years as a couple)? Than I find out about it after 2 month and try to forgive and to make it work and suggest counseling. He just continues his affair and after a month declares that he sees no point in trying to figure it out. Fast forward 4 month in which all I did was try to to be a good person (no scenes, no meanness, no payback, no destrying his things, no lying about him, doing all kinds of little things for him) and all he did was behave like he was the one someone was being unfair to (bickering, complaining about the smalest issued, ignoring agreements and so on). Than we finally talked more openly and he admitted how all his actions the last month were from trying to protect himselfe and how he still loves me but it just wasn't enough to ignore our differnces (meaning different hobbies!) anymore. Now he is behaving all nicely and somehow the old conection is still very much there, the very deep understanding, the trust to let the other one know about our feelings...
    So how would you deal with that. How do you give up on a marriage in which by most standards things are pretty good (it's not like we had nothing in common, just not our main hobbies), but your spouse has an affair/new relationship and never even wants to try to save things. I believe in marriage and it is so hard for me to come to terms with that.
    I try to be a better person and to be positive and more humble and I know that of course things weren't perfect and now I would change quite a few things, but they weren't that broken either...
    Well, I hope I make some kind of sense. Any advice or any perspective from anyone would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks, JJ

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    1. You raise a very interesting question which honestly, only you can answer. I understand the heart of your question better than you might think.

      I too would say that I had a pretty good relationship with my former spouse. And even after some pretty serious things were confessed to me that were very damaging to a marital relationship...we remained great friends (in many ways our relationship strengthened even while going through a divorce because we were both committed to being fair and good and kind to each other).

      It sounds like you've tried to do something similar in your situation. All I can say is this...devoting yourself to being kind, loving, patient, forgiving, drama-free, etc - that is what will give you satisfaction no matter what happens with the marriage. If your marriage ends, you will at least know that you acted with as much dignity and compassion as you were capable of (and you probably will have surprised yourself as you learn to develop greater compassion)...and that alone will be a huge part of what allows you to move forward to the next stage of your life with confidence.

      On the other hand, if your marriage doesn't end, and you are able to not only stay together, but do so because you know you're both committed to it and it really is the best thing for both parties...well then it most likely will have been the kindness, compassion, forgiveness, drama-free nature that will have allowed that new and better relationship to flourish.

      Either way you will win...either way you will experience the peace and comfort of behaving in a way you can be proud of, a way that expanded your heart instead of contracting it, a way that made you a better human being.

      Which course is right for you depends on your specific situation and yours alone. Only you can decide if your once errant spouse is now fully committed to you. If he is and you feel good about it, try your best to move forward and create something beautiful. If he isn't, and his extracurricular activities continue, it may very well be time to move on. But even in moving on, you can do so in a kind way.

      I wish you the best as you sort through a very difficult scenario. I'm confident that if you stick to the path you described, what to do will become clear to you!

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    2. Thank you so much for you quick, kind and thoughtful answer! Especially the third paragraph made me feel so good about trying so hard and gives me new energy to continue to so!

      A few things I feel the need to add:
      He behaves nice now but didn't in the last few month, the "committed to being fair and good and kind to each other" only now kicks in on his side.
      While he talks of an inner tumoil and having to figure out where he even wants to go in life and while he says he feels a need for a seperation in space, now that we lost the emotional seperation we had the last 4 month, he is still very much moving forward with his new life including his new partner.
      (We live in Germany, you have to be seperated for a year before you ca get divorced over here.)

      I feel the marriage could still be saved (that I could forgive and forget and that we could grow together and be great together), but I know I can't save it on my own. I know I can't make him see where he and where we both went wrong, I can't make him choose the hard way of working trough this. And that is so hard for me to deal with, because I believe in marriage and growing and sticking together...

      Thanks again for your reply and for this awesome blog which already helped me so much (When I first discovered you I was in the middle of those 4 month when he was only mean and I was allready trying very hard to be the opposite. Everyone continued to ask me why and told me he din't deserve that and I shouldn't and you helped me to see why I did and why I should and should continue to.) Thanks you!

      JJ

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    3. You are very welcome JJ. I'm delighted that anything I wrote was of worth to you at all.

      To reemphasize a little what you already picked up on - kindness and stillness and love are their own reward...because they immediately positively alter our inner state of being no matter what is going on outside of us. It's clear you've already tapped into this at least a little bit (if not a lot), and I'm glad that you've recommitted to following a course that feels best to you and aligns with these principles.

      I too believed in all those things you described about marriage and commitment, but was faced with the reality of my spouse's decisions and how they no longer represented/aligned with a marital commitment (even if we were committed to being friendly and kind and civil and helpful to each other). I had to accept that reality and make a decision according to those circumstances, and in my case that meant divorce.

      I wish you the best and express my confidence in you!

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    4. Dear Danny (and Mara),

      I just wanted to say thanks again for your kind words during a very hard time. It helped beyond measure to have someone supporting me in "acting nicely".

      Time flies... 1,5 years later I am now divorced (since March, German bureaucracy...) and single and I feel in a very good place. I have forgiven my ex and wrote him to let him know (we don't really have any contact anymore). And I learned to be happy on my own.

      Very early in my struggles I picked up a line from the bible (I am christian, not LDS though) that has been my guideline and I feel it also describes you two so well that I wanted to leave it here:
      Romans 12:21 - Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

      Thanks again and sunny greetings from Germany
      JJ

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  18. You know- this blog is wonderful- Mara, Danny and the guest posters are amazing. But reading through the comments brings me so much... something! SOmetimes it's peace, sometimes it's compassion, sometimes perspective or strength. Thank you to all who share and contribute.

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    1. Mara and I TOTALLY agree with you JoJo...we're stunned at the beautiful community that has formed here and thoughtful responses and experiences shared.

      Every night, Mara and I express gratitude to each other and to God for being able to be a part of something like this. THANK YOU ALL!

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  19. Wonderful post and so much kudos to the woman who shared her story.

    My husband and I hit quite the rough patch when we were married four years. No affairs but we simply started to operate on different wavelengths and instead of walking the path together; we each took our own way. We stopped treating each other with respect - we started arguing all the time. It was awful. We did go to counseling - but my husband wasn't ready to accept that something was wrong and I wasn't willing to shed my selfishness.

    I eventually moved out convinced that our marriage was over and just wanting to move on. My husband fought me - telling me God put us together for a reason and he (husband) believed that we should be together. I was hesitant (I had almost shut down emotionally) but we headed back to counseling and we BOTH worked on ourselves; our perspectives, etc. Then we started to date again - dinner and a movie. Drinks after work. After much counseling and a lot of hard work on our part - I moved back in. We've been married for eight years now and I'm so incredibly thankful for that time in our life. Do I ever want to go thru that again? NO WAY! But we are so much stronger as a couple - we argue better. we communicate SO much better, we LOVE better. As we've faced other trials (infertility, job loss) we've done so together as a team. Each year we celebrate our anniversary - it means so much more to us now.

    I think the fact the woman and her husband moved away was a smart decision and a necessary decision! And I admire her for her courage and strength to keep chipping away at saving her marriage. I was about to give up and I'm thankful (SO THANKFUL!) that my husband fought.

    I feel that finding a solid counselor and with both spouses willing to fight for their marriage and change behaviors, etc - marriages can be saved.

    Thanks so much for sharing your story!!

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    1. Thanks, Mara, for this incredibly inspiring story. WOW. You guys rock.

      (Just in case anyone is confused...we have a reader named Mara, too.)

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  20. this is so similar to my story. it's weird. But we moved and things got better pretty immediately. Before we moved we had YEARs of struggles with different addictions including a relationship with another woman. Moving literally saved us.
    I had had to ask myself many times WHY am I still with him. The fact of the matter is that I love him and he wants to change and be better, and I don't want to hurt our kids more than they 've been hurt already. He is aware of his weaknesses now and works hard to be a loving, kind and righteous husband and father. We are on the right track! It has been heart wrenching and incredible painful, but so so worth it. Despite all we've been through together, we have always had a connection that is strong and even though it was weak during our trials, it so much better when our relationship is healthy.
    I personally have learned more about myself, love and life in general because of this and honestly I am grateful for the learning experience.

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    1. Anon- WOW. Thanks for sharing this story here. What an incredible perspective to have.

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  21. Thanks so much for sharing this story. I am just a few months in from being told about my husband's affair. I was completely clueless. After he told me, it made sense as to why things hadn't felt "right" for a little while, things that I had attributed to stress of a new job, moving across the country, raising children, etc. I never thought it would happen to me. I also had, in my mind, the thought that if he ever had an affair, that would be the end of our marriage. I didn't think there was even a question about it. But as he told me, it was as if my heart was just facing that reality and realizing how much I absolutely did not want to let our family fall apart. That's not to say it hasn't been incredibly hard. We've had so many tears and come close to divorce a few times since that day in September . . . but I am so thankful for prayer and scriptures that gives me strength to keep working for what I know is incredibly valuable. Thank you for sharing your story and helping me feel not quite so alone in a very scary and lonely situation.

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  22. Mara (Kofoed), I am not LDS and would love to hear your (and Danny's) insight one day on what I think is the elephant in the room in so many LDS marriages. Because of the Law of Chastity (as someone above called it), it seems that many LDS folks get married VERY young for today's standards - like at age 20, 23, 23. Then they are faced with two issues: (1) finding out AFTER being married whether they are physically/sexually compatible with their spouse and have the same sexual appetite (which naturally varies), and (2) realizing that people change and mature dramatically in their 20's, so they may wake up after several years of marriage and realize who they are, what they want, and that they aren't in love with their spouse (if they ever were). Then, in their early 30's, with one divorce behind them, they find a spouse who is better suited to them - but really, they are just more mature, wiser, and more experienced now.

    As a corollary, many people I know are still in the exploratory stage of sex (both about other people and about their own likes/dislikes) in their 20's, and then "calm down" to some degree in their 30's. So is it any wonder that this thread of pornography addiction in LDS marriages keeps coming up in the comments to your blog? Maybe these men would not be porn addicts if they could've gone through their 20's with a healthy sense of exploration, rather than feeling ashamed or embarrassed or unsatisfied about their desires in their own marriage?

    I know it will never happen, but I wonder if LDS folks weren't under so much pressure to marry at a younger age for sex and child-bearing purposes, they might get married when they are better equipped emotionally to deal with such a huge commitment? Clearly, you and Danny are amazing together, but I wonder this every time I read something about one of your ex-spouses. (And I know these are personality issues, NOT just an LDS issue, but I think it's obvious that the Church creates an environment for this dilemma - at least that's what I've seen among my LDS friends in the Washington, D.C. area).

    Thank you and I'm sorry if any of this sounds misguided. I'm just trying to connect the dots of what I see first-hand and read about LDS members, and your blog invites a discussion of LDS issues.

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    1. Hey Anon - great question (and I think you asked it very tactfully)

      I certainly don't have a definite answer for you, and that's not because I'm skirting the implications of your question. I'm not a sociologist and don't follow some of these greater trends that may be evidenced in the LDS population, and the greater population at large.

      Some quick thoughts based on what you've seen in our comment section from other readers. I am aware of an online support group for LDS women whose husbands are struggling with a porn addiction. Because our posts talk about how one should respond in order to obtain personal peace no matter the offenses going on...we have been linked a few times in this online community, and appear in a few of the sidebars there. That means when we post about "The Internet and Marriage" you've got a whole community for whom this piques their interest and they are anxious to tell their story and how it relates to the overall message of our blog. For that I thank them. I can also see how you'd get a little selection bias that possibly over represents a group compared to their place in the population.

      I think there could be some truth to the 2 points that you made in the first paragraph, but also think it's an oversimplification. One need only to have listened to the Dr. Laura show for a week to realize it's not just "Mormons who didn't have sex before marriage" that struggle to connect sexually (a huge percentage of her calls deal with marital sexuality and expectations), and that it's not just those who marry early that need maturing. These things aren't LDS problems...these are problems of the human condition in general. I would agree that some LDS pressures to meet certain standards can contribute to some poor decisions...but the reverse is also true - where no standards exist there is an equal potential for misguided behavior that could have damaging effects (just like the other comment mentioned).

      I will agree with you that those are real problems, and not just LDS ones. I hope the LDS community continues to improve in regards to how they encourage healthy and good decision making.

      I guess the good thing is, to the extent we can - Mara and I are trying to do what we can to help people become "better equipped emotionally" to make better decisions. We certainly don't have all the answers, but we share what we've learned hoping someone else will benefit.

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  23. to anon above I actually went to a class about similar stuff. I while it is true that some LDS do have problems but the data collected (not by our church, but by several institutions) all showed that sex before marriage does not make for better relations in fact, many young girls end up in relationships not of their choosing (its called the slider effect (sliding versus deciding) - you move in with a guy, you have sex, you think you are free because you are not married when in effect most of these people feel very trapped, and have the same if not more issues than married people, you have forgone the DECIDING part of life ) they are now off the dating scene (once moved in) and in essence settle for eachother and think there is noone else out there for them. The
    association between premarital cohabitation and
    poorer marital outcomes is known as the ‘‘cohabitation
    effect.’

    These problems affect all people not just LDS. I do agree perhaps we do get married young (which could be bad if you were very immature) but our divorce rate is still lower, so it cant be that bad right ;)

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    1. Actually. Our divorce rate is not lower than the general public (http://www.edivorcepapers.com/divorce-statistics/mormon-divorce-statistics.html). There have been several talks about marriage that also state that fact but I'm too sleepy to look them up. :D

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  24. I am about to have an affair. Somebody PLEASE stop me!

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    1. Dear Nilu,
      From your plea for help, it is obvious that you know what you're thinking about doing is WRONG. Don't do it! Cheating on your spouse is an extremely immature and selfish act. It will not only hurt your spouse, but it will hurt you, the "other person", your extended families and even your friends.
      Find a good marriage counselor and seek help. But you need to end your inappropriate relationship with this other person now. No excuses.
      Choose to be a person who lives a life of integrity, courage, honesty, trustworthiness, and love.

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  25. I have appreciated everyone's honest remarks on this post thread. I would like to add my two cent's worth, if I may.
    I'm a 50-year-old faithful LDS women who is currently in the process of a divorce. My husband (of 29 years)chose to have an affair with his brother's wife. Yep, that's right; my own sister-in-law is the "other woman." I was not only betrayed by my husband but also by a woman I considered to be my sister, and that my children loved as their "favorite Aunt".
    The year that they were having an affair was pure torture...I don't know any other way to describe it. Although it happened back in 2009, I still feel like I'm spitting out ashes from my mouth from being dragged through hell by the two of them.
    Now here it is, 2012 and I'm still being abused by him through the divorce process. (Luckily our kids are adults, so there are no custody issues.) He denies committing adultery in his court documents, and he denies that he should have to pay one penny of alimony to me, even though I was a stay-at-home Mom for the past 24 years and he makes a 6-figure income.
    He refused to move out of our house, so I threw my clothes in the back of my Mercedes and escaped. For the past year, I have been living in a dumpy little apartment, eating Top Ramen, and washing my clothes in the bathtub because I'm not making much money.
    Now that you've heard how awful/pitiful the past 2 years have been for me, I want to tell you something else: The past 2 years have also been the years where I have experienced the most growth in my development as a human being. I have spent more time on my knees praying in the last 2 years than I spent all the years before combined! I have come to know a loving Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ, like I've never known them before! They have been my Peace in the storm, my Light, my Life.
    The days and nights that I have been in despair over having my heart broken, my family torn apart, and my life turned upside down have also been the days and nights that I have literally felt God's arms wrapped around me. I have felt His presence in every tender mercy that has been shown towards me. I know that He cares personally for me, and that He doesn't want me to give up on living.
    I know that someday, (whether in this life or the next--it doesn't matter)that I will be able to be with a worthy and kind man...a man who honors and loves his wife and God. Until then, I will continue to have faith in Christ and hope for better things to come.
    If any of you are going through trials that you feel are too much to endure, I invite you to kneel down and pour your heart and soul out to our loving and caring Heavenly Father and He will lift you up, comfort you and direct you.

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  26. Nilu,
    You may think that you have gone too far to turn back. You may feel like there are no options. You may feel you've already degraded yourself so there is no hope anyway. I say this from experience. But please know it can only get worse taking the route of an affair. And also ALWAYS remember you can find your way back. It is very hard and soul crushing but worth it. End the affair relationship now. And start a new relationship with yourself. Be totally critical of your own thinking, of your thought processes, of your emotions and remember that they can and will change. Pray a lot! And then pray some more. You are worth finding a new path to fill the void in yourself that brought you where you are today. (I know a lot of people, myself included, thought everything about their life was just great and then we find ourselves in these situations. We got there for a reason.) Find out why and fix it. Deep down are you lonely? Are you looking for emotional or physical validation? You cannot fill that void with an affair. It is a bottomless well.
    Find someone safe and trustworthy to speak with. A therapist, a friend, a spiritual adviser (someone you won't develop inappropriate feelings for) and let them know what is going on in your heart and mind. Ask for them to help you.
    I am rooting for you no matter what you do. You can come back from this no matter what you do. But spare yourself the deeper depths of despair and come back now!

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  27. A couple of comments on what I've read above:
    1) People always assume that staying together is the best thing for their children. It isn't. Watching your parents suffer through a miserable marriage is miserable. It cuts as deep and hurts as long as divorce does. I think some people use kids as an excuse.
    2)Women, particularly Mormon women, can be such victims (I am a mormon woman). If your husband is mistreating, or cheating on you, photocopy the financial records, put some money aside, gather some evidence he's cheating and stuff it all in a safe deposit box. All this stuff can be burned if the marriage turns around, but in the meantime women need to stop thinking that acting like a helpless, needy, merry miss will earn them love and respect.
    3)Sometimes a Facebook message is just that. I was newly married when I messaged a Facebook friend (also recently married) to find out if he wanted his old DVD player back before I gave it to Goodwill. I think I also said I hoped he was doing well.(Seemed a polite thing to say) He responding only by unfriending me. It was a nice DVD player, I am sure it made some Goodwill shopper very happy.

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  28. To anon above. I have a few points to make about your comment. First, I wouldn't say that every woman should stay with or leave her husband if he cheated on her. You can't say that either. It's such a personal decision hopefully made between her and God.
    Second, just because someone decides to stay doesn't mean that you should assume they are in a miserable situation. If they are then they should figure out why. Stay if thats your desiccation but choose happiness.

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    1. Very well said! Very well said indeed.

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  29. (First of all, sorry for not using my name, anon replying to anon could get confusing, but since the internet is what it is and since I revealed both my gender and religion, in my previous post, I will choose to stay, anon)
    I think what I said was, "Watching your parents suffer through a miserable marriage is miserable." If I could put italics on the "a" in my own quotation of myself I would. If the parents are happy, perhaps by being able to choose happiness, then this statement wouldn't apply, would it? It seemed rather unnecessary for me to state that some marriages are happy, and that people have the right to stay in them.
    I also said, "All this stuff can be burned if the marriage turns around." meaning that sure lots of marriages go through rough times, and then get better, and you are absolutely right, no one can tell any other woman or man to stay or leave. But I think a backup plan is always a good idea.

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    1. Thanks Anon - I do think your statement here makes a lot more sense to me this time than before. Before it may have seemed as though you were attacking some of the woman who, in their circumstances, decided it really was in the best interest of the kids to stay in that marriage and make it work. I appreciate your efforts here to reemphasize the points you feel are most important in a way that, to be honest, sounds a little more considerate and less judgmental.

      In addition to that, I'll just add that I agree with you...staying together is definitely not always the answer that is in the best interest of children. I suppose that's why I liked the other Anon's response - primarily these words "stay if that's your decision, but choose happiness." I would add - leave if that's the choice you think is best, but choose happiness.

      It's not just what we choose to do (leave or stay) but how we choose to do it that often makes all the difference in our lives, and the lives of the children you are supposed to be acting in the interest of.

      Thanks for your clarification. All best!

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    2. Danny,
      I'll come clean and admit that I was a child in a miserable marriage that was held together "for the kids", and I hated it. Maybe some of my resentment spilled out, and I apologize to you and any other people that posted here that I may have offended. I only wanted to put the idea out there, that sometimes, (and I can't say when, though I don't think it has to go as far as actual abuse), divorce is the best thing for the kids, too.
      Sometimes people (and I do believe women are the worst for this, and Mormon women really bad) want so much to be loved they forget to protect themselves. The smartest thing my mother ever did, as her marriage went from bad to worse, was start stashing away some emergency money. Even churches have fire exits.
      OK, I'll stop hogging your blog space.

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    3. I'm sorry that was something you had to experience. I think your assessment can be correct...sometimes the idea that "family is the most important thing" encourages some people to stay in a situation they should have left a long time ago. Thank goodness your mother ultimately made the decision that sounds like was both best for you and for her. And....you're welcome on this space any time :)

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  30. How powerful it is to be able to talk about something so threatening to your family? You are a great example. I tell our students that the way you know you have learned from an experience is when you can not just talk about it, but you can teach others through it.
    I warn all the time about this type of situation. It is far to common to get our minds wondering off to the "what if" space. Every couple should know their spouse's passwords to all their tech gadgets.
    Too many couples fail to have "guards" in their marriage. Systems to continually grow together. The only way two people can grow apart is due to laziness when it comes to "weeding their garden".
    I'm happy things worked out for you and am grateful you are sharing the warning with others.

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  31. What a powerful story. Thank you for sharing.

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  32. for those of you who so bravely & lovingly shared your stories of discovering infidelities against you, i'm wondering how you brought it up to your spouse? how did you find the courage & even the right words to start out that conversation? i'm fairly certain my spouse has had at the least internet-sex, but possibly something in person too, outside our marriage. i can't know 100% for sure without violating his privacy in his email/texts. the evidence i found was naked photos of him & naked photos of a couple other women {not in the same photos, all separate images} in a folder amongst his other photo folders. i found them because he asked me to back-up his computer for him while i was backing-up mine, so it wasn't completely a breech of trust. even though it was completely an accident that i found those {& utterly shocking!} i actually feel guilty for finding those photos! and i am scared. and i don't even know how to bring it up. i'm afraid he'll be angry at me for finding the photos and even more afraid he won't have a good excuse for them and that this will lead to the end of our relationship. yet knowing those photos are there, that he took them of himself & saved them of others, is killing me inside. i really am not sure if i should keep this to myself, or open this pandora's box by bringing it up to him. . . . any advise would be greatly appreciated!

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    1. hey, if you'd like to email me -- crushedwife@hush.com, I'd be happy to talk to you about talking to my husband

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    2. JJ here.
      I found a (normal) picture of her on his phone when he gave it to me for some other purpose. I confronted him (and I think that is what you should do, just say you found the picture when you did the backup for him) and he had excuses.
      He continued to behave very strangely for days (he had for quite a while), so out of total frustration I took his phone from him while he was watching, went into another room (he didn't even try to stop me) and had my confirmation in the form of e-mails. Than I went back to him, tossed him the phone and said "start talking now"...
      I know the horrible feeling of "what if" quite well. But the bottom line is, if there is something to adress, keeping it inside won't change anything!
      I am really sorry for you and hope it all turns out for the best, whatever that may be - if you would like to talk to me about any part of it or anything e-mail me at aboutjj@gmx.de

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    3. PS: The box is allready very much open and there is no way back.

      I know you are very affraid of what will happen next and you have every reason to. But if the relationship ends, it won't be because you talked about it, but because it happened and the way he (and you) react to it!
      Don't feel guilty for finding the pictures, don't blame yourselfe, try to act the way Mara and Danny suggest (it helped me a lot) and just know that you are not alone!
      Whatever happens, one day things will be better again than they are right now.
      Once again, I'd be glad to help you any way I can, so e-mail me if you (or anyone in a similar situation!) want to [aboutjj@gmx.de]
      Thinking of you!
      JJ

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  33. thank you so much jj - your truth is resonating with me. i must find the strength to put my fear aside and open myself up to whatever comes. i can't keep his secret for him any longer. and i know i deserve to have my questions answered. it's a beautiful sunny day here with clear skies, so i'm feeling hopeful. and i'm strengthened by your words & the wonderful woman {crushedwife} who emailed me in response to my call for advice. please have a wonderful friday with an extra spring in your step, knowing you've helped a stranger in her time of need and are being prayed for and appreciated from afar!

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    1. Anon- I'll be thinking of you with a prayer in my heart. There are so many women rooting for right now as you face this. I had to do something similar once - though my situation was totally different, I had to apply the same principles. I waited, as you did. And then I prayed my guts out that I could approach the situation with inner strength/love/compassion/forgiveness/mercy - knowing that if I did that, it was the best offering of love I could give...even if things didn't work out as I hoped. It helped me to take the pain off of myself...it helped me to stop taking the situation personally...it helped me to carry through with handling it in the best way possible....and it worked. WWIII did not happen. It could have. But it didn't. And it was one of the most triumphant things I ever did. It was actually the first time I put any of the stuff from this blog into practice. That experience changed my life. It taught me what I was made of. I never turned back.

      Sending love to you. -Mara

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  34. I wasn't going to comment but after reading all the amazing comments I just had to! My husband had an affair on me when we'd been married just 4 years. It was an emotional affair with a woman from work--but still a very hurtful breach of trust even if there wasn't physical contact yet. And still an affair. We saw therapists and our bishop (church leader) and I still just could not get past what had happened. We had one small child and I really did love my husband and wanted to try and make it work. I emailed a therapist in one last attempt at help and she referred me to the MOST AMAZING BOOK!!! It truly changed our marriage. It helped my husband understand what he had truly done and to help me to understand how to heal. I bought a copy for each of us and we read a chapter and then discussed it. It was painful work but SO worth it. It opened up so much communication and really saved our marriage--like no therapist ever did. It's called "Not Just Friends: rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity" by Shirley P. Glass. I have never been able to share it with anyone before because I kept the affair to myself--so I would LOVE it if is helped even one more person like it did me.

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  37. Thank you for your story! I am amazed at your courage to keep your marriage together, no matter what it took. Thanks for your example.

    In response to the question asked at the end of the post, it may seem like a much smaller sacrifice than moving to avoid temptation, but I have been trying to help my husband overcome his video game/electronic entertainment addiction for the past year and a half. It has gotten in the way of our marriage, as my husband has had trouble being honest with me about how much time he spends being distracted.
    As he has been trying to give up his addiction, I have been trying to give up my need to control his improvement, as well as my anger toward him when he slips up. I know I have played a part in his not being able to be honest with me, but it is a hard journey to change.

    Your story gives me hope that we can make it work. I am a strong believer in keeping marriages together, no matter what, and I hope that my husband and I can work together to repent and trust each other again.

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  38. Post 1 of my journey.
    Your story shows so much hope. I wish mine had hope. we have been married 22 years. His first affair was after about a year of me finding porn on our computer. I was prego with our 2nd baby boy and I knew my husbands behavior was not right. I was 7+ months and he just stopped getting home on time. Stopped calling to see how I and the kids were just so withdrawn. Working long hours watching TV till 3. so I thought. come to find out I found some text from his I guess his girlfriend. She was telling him I love you and he was telling her I was complaining because of him being gone so late while I am just about to deliver his 2nd child. Well I had my sweet baby boy then due to his Anger and his blaming me for his choice saying he was not happy I took the kids and moved to my Sisters home. She lived 2 states away. He would come visit was working with his Bishop and showed signs of improvement was much kinder and loving towards me. After a year he was re baptized and moved to the state I was living in.

    Fast forward a few years and again I was ill prego with our 4th and I broke my arm and needed him to be home. Again he started not coming home being rude when he was home. No call's during the day. I was emotionally spent and felt that I could not take another day. I asked what was going on and he said I know we are having a baby soon but I am just not happy with you. He always used that you word...

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  39. Post 2 of my journey:
    He broke down when that affair was exposed begging me not to leave this time that he will get the help he needs. He did and we were doing so much better but I always worried about his boundaries. How ever the first lady got in telling him her problems at work and then him wanting to help her he gave in to temptation but full neglected us his own family. Now I did see recovery and he got his priesthood back and we had 4 great years. We moved to a new state where I found a really good friend. I loved her family and since we needed a fresh start it was refreshing to make a new friend so quickly. 4yrs later we are really close friends again and our kids are all getting bigger now. We took trips as families when on fishing camp outs took our kids to the amusement parks and everything.

    NOw this is the hard part. Summer was over and we just started doing stuff in we would have them over one Sunday then they would have us over the next. date nights together and all our kids would just hang out because they are older now. She knew everything about my life and I trusted her as she trusted me. My husband and I were having some trials and I thought he was back into porn. I went to my best friends home many many times and just poured out my heart her saying she will keep praying for us and that she loved my family.
    My husband on date nights with them slowly started detaching from me. He would blame it on a rough day at work but stopped showing all affection towards me. I gave him some room and just thought it was stress but it kept going on. Then when they would come over I started to not feel right. I can't place my finger on it and I thought I was losing my mind. So much snow out it's cold now and life just seemed so dark day in and day out. I would ask my husband if he was having an affair and he said no. I said but your not coming home on time and won't date me without our friends. Then he my husband would only come out of his shell when were with the family friends. He showed up on time for them but not our son's football games. He seemed so accountable to that family it was making me nuts. I decided because I felt so horrible I needed to tell my best friend that we could no longer have a Date night a week and that we just needed family time so no Sunday night dinners. She was so upset? confused asking why are you doing this. I just said this is not working well for us. Now i had her and my husband upset. he said I can't believe your are doing this to her what is your problem. We are all such good friends.

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  40. Post 3 of my journey:

    I told him to stop saying that and I was not sure why but it was what it was.

    So when I would pass them on the street they would just still wave to my family. My husband and kids still went to activities with their family all along everyone was acting like there was something wrong with me...

    Well I was looking at photos on the computer and found some odd ones. He took with his phone some pictures of sexual enhancements and this was on his cell phone file as a pic file. Got me wondering and I just thought great I am crazy he does have a girlfriend but how on earth am I going to figure this all out. well it did not take long. I prayed that I would know what was happening. Well there it was a cold bitter morning my husband had left for work. I got the kids out the door to school and and sat down to turn on some peaceful music because I was feeling overwhelmed from his odd behavior the 6 prior months. He left his e-mail open and there it was. Ton's I mean Ton's of e-mails going back and forth between my husband and yep my best friend. I could not believe it but could all at once. My heart sunk as I read on and just was in shock a state I never want to go into again. It lasted about 2 months. I lost my hair, weight and had illness after illness.

    This was my best friend who I trusted and shared everything with. My mistake. I sit here over 7 months later still not trusting people not letting to many in. My husband and I separated but are in therapy and started a program called life-star that is wonderful and has been a blessing in my life. If you don't know about it it's worth a try for your last bit of hope. http://www.lifestarstgeorge.com/ They have them in many areas around the state. Anyway we are doing better but I am still with many walls up and not sure this marriage will last. We are dating. Yes that really is helping.

    I still am sad about how it all went down. I still have a hard time sleeping. But I am no longer in despair my father above really does it all for me. My needs are so fully met by him alone I need not the flesh to fill my needs. I would like to see this work out because I know that divorce would be hard too. But can I trust him? I just need to keep praying and have him apart of my life until I am ready to make a decision one way or another and then go to god and ask him to confirm my decision.
    Satan would have that every marriage be dead and broken but I do have to say I have some home and some is so much better then none. I would like to move away from these people someday. I still have to run into them time to time and the wound still hurts. Good luck everyone. Go to god and I love this blog

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  41. Your journey has been hard but about the friend. Best friends can do this.
    My husband had cheated on my in 2010 and my best friend knew everything. My best friend did the same thing to my husband only he saw through her and got it stopped before it was an affair.

    I have other friends this has happened too and it ended with their husbands leaving them for the best friend. Hang in there.

    This is ugly and it would be hard to trust after any affair just know you can never be friend with this lady again. She was ever a friend if she could do this to you. Sounds like she needs some help. Stay strong. You sound like a very strong woman.

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  42. In no way could this lady be a friend. I am so sorry your having to go through all this just know Kaitlynn god loves you and has something big he is preparing you for. this would be hard on anyone. My problems seem so simple compared to what you have had to go through. Keep staying close to heavenly father. You are strong for sure to go through so much. Forgive your husband and try to make peace with your x best friend. You have to forgive to find that peace so just know that forgiveness is for your benefit the most. Peace can't come till you forgive. The pain will still be there but in a different way.

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  43. My gosh. Your husband and best friend. Well she in know way was your true friend. Devil in sheeps clothing. Its had to read thus without tearing up. Its one thing for your husband to go so lower to cheat but how in earth could a friend do this to a friend. Sounds like your friend must have been very desperate. Hope you and your husband are making it. God would want you to fight for tort marriage. I pray you have a good counselor.

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  44. This would be a very hard pill to swallow the double betrayal of your friend and your husband would be the hardest thing. My husbands porn addiction lead him to have an affair but not with my friend. Lifestar has saved our marriage and I hope it's helping yours. Beyond the best friend there is life. God would love to see your marriage work and to have a husband willing to stick with lifestar I am sure is a blessing. Many men don't and I think even if it was with my best friend in the end if my husband lead his own recovery I think I would try to stay. Hope your doing better. I was reading these threads in tears as it brought back many feelings with me and my husband then I read yours and I am not even close to what you have dealt with.

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  45. i am giving this testimony because i don't no how to thank Dr. Simon, making me to
    be a happy woman in my matrimonial home, over 6years now i married and
    i have two kids my husband never hot me one day, so over 8moths now he
    sturdily change he turn his back on me, he stop paying children school fees
    he turn his back in all his responsibility, thing was not moving fine so i no
    that something was wrong so i called a friend of mine and tell her my pains,
    she told me about Dr Simon, how he help someone who close to her and i told
    her to send me the email of Dr Simon, she quickly send it to me i email him and told him
    my problems, he said that it was a woman who love my husband in were he work
    cast a strong spell on him so that he we forget his family. so i pleas Dr Simon to help
    me, he truly did it for me every thing real work fine am so happy Dr,Simon did a great work in my life. if you are interested quickly email him; oksolutemple@outlook.com


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  46. You blog post is just completely quality and informative. Many new facts and information which I have not heard about before. Keep sharing more blog posts.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I was IN A relationship with an arrogant self centered man for 4 year and had no idea of the kind of man i was living with. What am about to write now, is not a mistake its something am proud of cos i will never stand to see some irresponsible man rise my child. Until now i use to say i am the strongest woman on earth i mean no matter what a man throws at my face in a relationship i will always not let it affect me. Well i was wrong when you have a child with that man every thing he does that is not in your interest hurt you so bad that it feels like your heart is bleeding not cos of you something but mostly because of your child. The name i'm using here is a fictional name cos i don't want anybody talking about me. Mike and i,were together for four years and we had a child a son together but we weren't married. Our relationship was just as fun as it usually is in the dating stage i mean we went dates we text all night he call me on the phone just to tell me i love you. It was the best moment of my life aside from the birth of my son and he was right there with me in the labor room when i put to birth he never left my side i mean my life was a fairy tale with the happily ever after theme. When i look back now i ask myself why?Why did he go through all that trouble when really he didn't love me as he use to say. It was hard for me cos he went from being perfect to being ruthless he made sure i knew he was cheating on me with another b**ch and went i was tried to go away with my son, he threatening to take him away for me that i came with nothing and and also leaving with nothing . I wish i can put this in film to make it more clear for you guy i mean he made me pass through hell. And he was really going to take my son from me cos he was wealthy and the law was on his side cos i had nothing to offer my son i mean i work three job and hardly had time for myself he used that against and i was losing cos i could not even afford a lawyer. Everything was spinning out of hand. All i had with me was the hate and pain in my heart i would stay up all night crying my eyes out cos i had nothing to do. But like they say a desperate woman is a dangerous one. In my quest for help on how to make the scum bag stay away form me and my son i contacted a spell casted i found online i have seen a couple of good remark about him and some most highly recommended him as the best in spell casting. Like i say am proud of what i did if wanting to be with your son by all mean necessary is crazy then i am crazy to have contacted Mutton Osun the spell caster. It made me calm when mutton osun told me he can help me and that he was not going to charge me but how ever he asked me to get the materials we use for the spell and i also paid for the delivery of the parcel he sent me with instruction of how to make the spell effective. Just weeks after i did what he asked me Mike dropped all the case and left the country with his new b**ch i didn't really care cos i had my baby that is alright for me though i love him i don't want a monster as a husband or a father of my child so i let him go. I highly recommend you contact Mutton Osun for help if you need any on his email godsofosunx@rocketmail.com

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  48. My name is mary dave I am out here to spread this good news to the entire world on how I got my ex love back. I was going crazy when my love left me for another girl last month, But when I meet a friend that introduce me to DR ODOMA the great messenger to the oracle that he serve, I narrated my problem to DR ODOMA about how my ex love left me and also how I needed to get a job in a very big company. He only said to me that i have come to the right place were I will be getting my heart desire without any side effect. He told me what i need to do, After it was been done, In the next 2 days, My love called me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me before now and also in the next one week after my love called me to be pleading for forgiveness, I was called for interview in my desired company were i needed to work as the managing director.. I am so happy and overwhelmed that I have to tell this to the entire world to contact DR ODOMA at the following email address and get all your problem solve.. No problem is too big for him to solve. Contact him direct on: odomasolutiontemple@gmail.com And get your problems solve like me..... ONCE AGAIN HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS: odomasolutiontemple@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

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