You’ve been uneasy in your relationship for a while, but you’ve suppressed your feelings because you don’t have any reason for the uneasiness. You get home and there on the counter is your spouse’s cell phone. Normally, you’d never consider looking at the phone or going through it but today is different. You can no longer fight your gut. You pick it up and start reviewing the social media apps. Almost immediately, you see a message from someone of the opposite sex with a picture. As you read the messages, you realize your spouse has been having an emotional affair for a while. You notice the person in the picture is perfectly chiseled. You begin to think if your spouse is interested in this person, what do they see in you? What do you do? Who do you call first? How do you respond if your spouse sees you holding their phone?
Can you imagine being in this situation? For some of you, you might say, I can imagine that exact situation because I lived it years or months or weeks ago. Others of you cannot imagine your spouse cheating and jeopardizing your family. Still others of you will read the above story and try to rationalize it by saying that the spouse didn’t actually cheat because they were just talking online. Regardless of which camp you find yourself in, no one can prepare you to deal with emotional or physical infidelity. Your trust is immediately broken. You examine the ways you furthered the problems between you and your spouse. You doubt your appearance, your contribution to the marriage, your sexual prowess, and your self-esteem is damaged. What do you do next?
Many people believe if I offer enough sex or if I’m the perfect spouse, then my spouse will never cheat. Sadly, affairs still happen. Partners who are having mind blowing sex, still have affairs. Partners with perfect spouses, still test other waters. People have affairs for a variety of reasons, but one thing is true in each case, one spouse decides to have an affair. In order to have an affair, a spouse must choose to let their guard down, choose to welcome presenting opportunities for an affair, and choose to give in to their desires. Whether the affair is emotional or physical, the steps are the same. It isn’t a passive process; affairs don’t just happen. So again, what do you do?
First, pray. God is the only person, who will and can be there for you every minute of the day. God will listen when everyone around you is tired of hearing more evidence to convict your spouse of being unfaithful. If you aren’t a person who believes in God, I encourage you to seek assistance from your support system. They will be the ones who will sit, listen, and cry with you. Lastly, seek professional help as soon as possible. You may feel more comfortable sharing intimate details with a professional than with close friends.
What boundaries do you and your spouse need to put in place to prevent any unwanted activities with someone else? Put your guard up and find some friends who will hold you accountable.
Complete the sentence below
To protect my marriage, I will...