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I'm a mother of two beautiful girls. I think Sarcasm is a spiritual gift, even Jesus was sarcastic. I have no patience for people who are not real. I'm a Christian, but I hate how so many Christians have made that a bad word. My goal is to be a strong woman who loves God and encourages other women to do the same. I love upcycling and building things from repurposed items and reclaimed wood. We as women don't always see ourselves for the amazing women we are. It took me a lot of pain and hard work to find out who I am and what I am passionate about. I want other women to find their passions and not let others hold them back. Maybe some of my posts and projects that I will post will encourage other women to be who God wants them to be.

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Life after an affair

My husband had an affair. There I said it. That is not the easiest thing to say, but the thing is, it is true. Something even more hard to say is that it happened more than once and that he and I are still married. Many people can't believe that I would even consider staying married to him after an affair and before we went through it I would have been right there with them. Then it happened and while we did originally intend to divorce, (we even drew up the papers), things changed and we worked it out. So how did the affair happen and how did we manage to make our marriage work? The long in short of it is we got lazy and then we stopped being lazy.

When we first started dating our worlds pretty much revolved around each other. We were students with part time jobs, but our free time was pretty much spent with each other. Even after we got married and had jobs with opposite schedules we valued our time together so much that we would squeeze it in whenever we could. Even if we were watching football my feet were in his lap. Then kids came along and we were so busy with them that our free time was spent resting or just vegging on the the couch. He was working way too many hours and neither of us thought about the importance of making that time for each other. Eventually he found someone who would give him the attention he needed and I fell into a pit of depression due partly from the lack of attention I was getting and partly because we lived in a brand new city and I had two kids under 4. This pattern continued for a few years until we realized that we were in fact our own worst enemies when it came to our marriage.

Everyone thinks affairs are never going to happen to them, or they think that who ever has the affair is the only one in the wrong. After going through my husbands affairs, we both realized that neither of us had invested into our marriage like we should have. We also realized that boundaries had to be set. The boundaries were not because my husband was likely to have another affair, but because all marriages need them. These boundaries include never being alone with someone of the opposite sex. This goes for both of us. It is not ok for me to be alone with a man who is not my husband and it is not ok for him to be alone with a woman who is not his wife. It protects not only us, but the others as well. Another boundary we had to have was counseling someone of the opposite sex. Because we have a marriage resource and have been through our own junk, there are quite a few couples that have come to us for advice. We truly believe that because we have been through our junk we can help others with theirs, but we also have a rule though that the women need to talk to me and the men need to talk to my husband. By that same token we agreed not to share personal information or problems in our marriage with someone of the opposite sex. Basically these boundaries keep us from being in any situation with someone of the opposite sex that could ever lead to something it shouldn't or that even looks like it could. I know that there are people who think it is crazy to have those kinds of boundaries, but if you look at the people who have had affairs most did not have these boundaries in place. The thing about affairs is usually people don't set out to have them, they just fall into them by crossing lines and slowly fading away from their spouse and toward the other person.

So once we figured that out we lived happily ever after right?...Wrong, we are still learning even to this day how to have a happy marriage. We found we need to fight. Both of us have the bad habit of avoiding conflict, but after not being honest with each other to protect feelings we recently learned that we have to be honest even if it leads to a conflict. Overall, we are still learning how to have a good marriage. Really thats good though because if you think you can't still learn new things to make your marriage better, then your marriage will never be as good as it can and should be.

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