Something Your Grandparents & Parents Probably Didn’t Teach You

warning signs of on-line affair

If you can’t tell already (ha!), I’m a huge fan of marriage and a huge fan of families.  If I can inspire men & women to not go near an affair with a ten foot pole, then I want to try.   

Our grandparents and parents probably taught us a lot of good old fashioned morals, ones that I think we should cling to in our marriages.  But because of the internet, we need to update our moral codes.  Big time.  I hope you don’t mind a couple of more posts about the Internet & Your Marriage! 

Here we go with 7 tips from Ensign Magazine.  They were written by a woman who developed an innocent friendship online…then an emotional affair…then a physical affair.  Here is what she wants to pass on to you….

7 warning signs that you are having an inappropriate on-line relationship:

1.  You are withdrawing from your spouse. 

2.  You are hiding communications with your friend from your spouse.  If you feel you need to keep the relationship a secret, it’s inappropriate.

3.  You are preoccupied with and day dream about your friend.
Even if you don’t have a physical relationship with your online friend, your thoughts can reveal that the relationship is inappropriate.  Whether it is writing another person or thinking about another person, the way we spend our mental energy is an indicator of our true focus.

4.  You are sharing your thoughts, feelings, and problems with your online friend instead of your spouse.  Would your spouse be pleased if he/she knew I was confiding in, lunching with, or flirting with another person?

5.  Your online friend seems to understand you better than your spouse does.  You find yourself feeling an intimate connection.  You anticipate when you can communicate or be with your online friend again.

6.  You are not interested in being close to your spouse, emotionally or physically.  “When a person loses interest in being close to a spouse – emotionally or physically – that person may make the mistake of looking elsewhere for that closeness. ”

7.  When confronted about having feelings toward someone other than your spouse, you justify your actions to yourself and others.  Friendships are important at all stages of life, but don’t use this to rationalize behavior you know is inappropriate.

Dang.  These are good.  I think these tips seem dead on.

Yes, I am extra passionate about this.  Danny & I have many personal reasons why.  We know people who have ignored these signs and ruined their families.  RUINED THEIR FAMILIES.  It is not worth it.  
Friends – married or single…let’s decide that we won’t ever get involved in this crap.  It will never end well.  It will never be something to be proud of.  It will never have a positive impact on any child or person involved.  Let’s all choose the higher road for ourselves and our families!  🙂  

Can you relate to any of these warning signs (whether due to your own life experience or someone else’s)?  Do you think these are worthwhile to pay attention to? 

(Photo by Vivian Maier)

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  1. Anonymous February 29, 2012 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    What a timely post. I've had to withdraw from Facebook due to the exact same reasons. I found myself doing every single one of the "warning signs"–I've bookmarked this page to remind myself as well to be vigilent. Thank you so much for sharing–I recently found your blog and am absolutely loving it.

    • mara February 29, 2012 at 4:38 pm - Reply

      YOU ARE AWESOME! Good for you for taking steps to make changes. Sending you encouragement to keep it up! xo

  2. Sara February 29, 2012 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    These are 7 important tips and I'm so glad that you are continuing your internet and marriage posts! I'm with you on deciding not to ever let the internet come between my family. I love my boyfriend too much, and I love the family that we are planning too much, to let something destroy it. Thank you for the reminders that nothing is worth losing that.

    Hope you and Danny have a wonderful leap day!

  3. Creole Wisdom February 29, 2012 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    I thought you would love that article when I noticed it this month. It's so you and Danny 🙂 I love what you have to say about families and staying faithful.

    While the beautiful black and white images of our family's past make us believe all was well, it wasn't. Everything that happened now happened then, people just didn't talk about it. There wasn't Facebook, but people found a way to behave inappropriately. My best friend's grandfather was a pilot, cheated his way through his career with other women. In an era without HIV/AIDS and such mosogyny it's no wonder. My mother's cousin was molested by her father for years and years. The photos are pretty, the fashions beautiful, but their lives were filled with just as much challenges as our own.

  4. //nancy February 29, 2012 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    damn. seriously, i love your blog.

  5. Anonymous February 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    Thank you for speaking boldly. I especially appreciate your final remarks, about it never having a positive impact on children, or anyone for that matter. Although I believe there is hope and forgiveness for such behavior, there is no way to deny or ignore the consquences.

  6. Molly February 29, 2012 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    This is a good list. Thanks for passing it on. More people need to read it.

  7. Anonymous February 29, 2012 at 7:14 pm - Reply


  8. Bri!!! February 29, 2012 at 10:26 pm - Reply


  9. Karen March 1, 2012 at 3:46 am - Reply

    I think these points cannot be emphasized enough. And that even the most innocent of interactions, if we are not careful, can become something more before we even realize what has happened.

  10. Anonymous March 1, 2012 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    I want to comment on this because it's happened to my husband with one of MY BLOG READERS! She would email me all the time, comment on every post, and I even started reading her blog too. Then one day she stopped commenting on my blog completely (out of guilt i'm sure). I had forwarded to her my husband because she had a question I thought he could answer better, and after emailing a few times, they became email friends. she started complaining about her marriage, and he listened. After a short while they were texting and talking on the phone. It broke my heart after I found out, which I did because of snooping. We've been to therapy because being a blogger (with a modest following) I worry about it happening again. Women often joke about having crushes on my husband. News flash…it's not a funny joke to me!

  11. anna March 1, 2012 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this post. It seems to me that among my general acquaintance, staying committed to your marriage, or getting married in the first place, is kind of dorky and old-fashioned. Thankfully, among my closer acquaintance, we are very much committed to our marriages and wish the same commitment for our other friends as well. I completely and heartily agree that agony of ruining your family is NOT worth a silly internet fling. It may be harder to work on an old relationship, but the results – trust, friendship, and the soul-bond of a life time – are well worth it.

  12. Melissa March 1, 2012 at 11:37 pm - Reply

    Preach it, Mara! A year ago March 8th I found out that my husband of 10 years was having an affair. He was also in ministry full-time and lost his "job." To say that we have been through hell the past 12 months is a pretty accurate descriptor. Because I believe that a marriage can survive an affair and because we have three young kids whose lives would be devastated by divorce, we have spent many, many hours in counseling. The effects of an affair on a marriage cannot be understated and the warnings against them cannot be loud enough.


    Protect your marriage as a treasure. It is one of the most valuable things you have in life!

  13. Relacionamento Milionário March 2, 2012 at 5:28 am - Reply

    After that seven signs it goes to cheating to your spouse and your family will not be ok. So if your undergo in these signs resolve it early.

  14. Anonymous March 2, 2012 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    thank you so much for posting this. I thought I was being unreasonable for feeling insecure/disappointed/angry/CRAZY about my boyfriend's online "relationships" with other women (some of them were secret). This post was so timely for me and drew out a strong emotional reaction. A woman sent my live-in boyfriend a message on facebook asking to meet for drinks. After a week of flirting a date was set. When reality set in his guilt made him cancel an hour before the rendezvous. I found all the evidence when I opened my computer a few days later. Needless to say I was crushed. Recently I found he has a different female friend he speaks to online every day for the last two years that he's hid from me, I'm still so wounded from the first incident (that happened months ago). WHY LIE?? I may not have been physically cheated on but the emotional damage was done. I dont know how to move on from this or how we work to get better. Do I forbid him to use the interner? No more social media sites?

  15. mara March 2, 2012 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    I'm going to be honest with you…sounds like you should be grateful you found all this out before you got married. This is a character issue, and there's nothing YOU can do to work on it to get better, it's not about what "we" can do to make it better, behavior like that is all HIM.

    If I were you, I'd be delighted I discovered the character flaw while dating and happily move on. DO NOT FIX PEOPLE YOU'RE DATING!!! Please check out some of our posts on dating 🙂 When people are married, I understand and encourage them trying to work things out, to honor commitments made…but when you're dating and that happens…there is no commitment that needs honoring and you should RUN!

    Don't mistake my direct tone for meanness of any kind, I've just seen way too many people ignore things like this to their detriment. You already know that you deserve better than this, only thing remaining is to act on your convictions. Good luck, continue working on becoming your best self, and go meet a man who knows what it means to honor and respect someone, and be loyal.

  16. Tamra March 2, 2012 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    A few nights ago my husband told me that he wanted to read an article from the Ensign with me – he sounded pretty serious – and then he flipped to this article. I turns out he wanted to discuss another article, but that one caught his eye as he was flipping. It made my heart stop for a minute! We kinda laughed about it, but we still did a mini-relationship assessment on the spot. Can't be too careful! We like our marriage and want to keep it clean.

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