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How To Deal With Emotional Triggers After an Affair

 

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I want to address something that occurs for all women who’ve been sexually betrayed.  It’s called triggers.  Also known as a meltdown. A trigger is something that sets off a memory, which takes you back to the event of your original trauma. Triggers are very personal; different things trigger different people. Triggers might be one of the most difficult aspects of dealing with the aftermath of infidelity. Unfortunately, they are quite common, and the betrayed spouse will often experience them when encountering certain locations, words or events that remind them of the betrayal they experienced in their marriage. If you’re not careful, triggers can take over your life; even causing you to avoid going to events or to places that bring up thoughts that you don’t want to think about.

It’s possible that you’ve noticed some triggers in your own life, and in your marriage that is starting to affect the way you live your life. Let’s talk about what some common triggers are and how you can cope with them.Trigger #1: Your Home

Unfortunately, in many marriages, the infidelity that occurred often took place in the couple’s home. When this is discovered, it can be so heartbreaking, and it isn’t surprising that many betrayed spouses begin to view their home as something they despise. If your spouse has disclosed that sexual relations between him and his lover took place in your home, this is a powerful trigger for you. It’s normal for you to want to move, and if you choose to do so, and your spouse should support you in that if he is willing to work on rebuilding your marriage.

Trigger #2: People Who Knew of the Affair

There are usually more people who know of an affair, other than just the two people involved. These individuals may be co-workers, friends or family members. Sometimes, an affair is minimized or even accepted by those who know about it. The knowledge of an affair can make these individuals triggers for you, and you may not want to spend time with them. However, there are some cases when confronting them is warranted; especially if they are family members or mutual friends. Whether you choose to confront them and attempt to repair your relationship with them eventually, or you opt to remove them from your life for the time being, that is a decision that you spouse should support.

Trigger #3: Suspicious Behaviors

When you think back to the time before you realized your spouse was having an affair, you may notice that there were many behaviors that should have cued you in to what was going on. For example, you might remember long nights at the office,  overnight business trips, flirtatious behavior with other women, you could recall picking up your spouse’s phone and finding that all of his text messages had been erased. These behaviors can be triggers too, and even though they might be innocent now, they can alert you to the possibility of another affair. Talk with your spouse about how these behaviors affect you, and ask him to make changes.

Trigger #4: Distant Behavior

Quite often, there is a distance that is felt between a husband and a wife before an affair is revealed, and while it’s impossible to immediately get back the closeness you once shared, your spouse should be making an effort to close in the distance between you as much as possible. Distant behavior can be a major trigger, and it’s up to your spouse to help remove it.

If your marriage has recently suffered through a betrayal, I can assist you with understanding what triggers are affecting you, and work with you to help you get on a path to healing.  You can reach me at hello@drcarolerb.com or if you’d like to speak with me you can schedule a time for us to talk.

The Effect of Pornography On Your Marriage

The Effect of Pornography On Your Marriage

As women,  there is sometimes our tendency is to overlook pornography when we discover our husbands have been watching it or using it. We tend to reason it away, telling ourselves things like:

  • He’s not really hurting anyone.
  • At least he’s not cheating on me with a real person.
  • He only watches pornography when I’m not available for him. What’s the harm in that?
  • I’d really rather not rock the boat, and if pornography is the worst thing he’s doing, I can live with that.

PORNOGRAPHY HAS NO PLACE IN A CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE

We do our marriages and ourselves a disservice when we allow this flippant attitude toward pornography to continue. Perhaps you’ve found that you really do mind if he watches pornography, but you don’t feel comfortable saying anything to him about it. Now is the time to stand up and let your voice be heard for the sake of your marriage.

PORNOGRAPHY STEALS FROM YOUR MARRIAGE

Pornography never blesses a marriage; it only takes from the marriage. By its very nature, it is deceptive, and it puts both you and your husband in harm’s way. Statistics show that about 25 million Americans spend as many as 10 hours per week looking at pornography on the Internet.

One of the biggest ways that pornography steals from your marriage is by inviting comparison to become a part of it. Once the habit of pornography takes root, you can’t help but wonder what your husband finds so attractive about the women he’s watching. You may find yourself asking why you’re not good enough for him, and how you can be more like them to make him happy. These thoughts are not of God, and this type of comparison will quickly steal your joy.

PORNOGRAPHY LOWERS YOUR SELF-WORTH

In Genesis 1:27, it says, So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. We cannot ignore the fact that we are created in God’s image, and so our self-worth should never be threatened. However, this is at the core of what pornography does in a marriage.

Self-worth is an issue for both men and women when pornography is at play in a marriage. For the man, he most likely uses pornography as a way to escape reality, and enter into another world. In this way, his self-worth is low when the pornography session begins, and when it ends. God never intended anything to come between a husband and a wife. His desire was to, Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and the adulterous. (Hebrews 13:4)

Both you and your husband are precious to God, and your marriage should be protected at all costs.

HEALING FROM PORNOGRAPHY WITH A CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE COACH

You may feel as though you don’t even know where to begin when it comes to talking with your husband about his pornography habit. Or, maybe you have tried to talk with him before, and your words of concern fell on deaf ears. It can help to talk with a Christian marriage coach about the best way for you to proceed. I would love to help you and give you the guidance you need. You can contact me at 843-379-0288, I can also be reached via my online scheduler, and you can request a free, complimentary call.

While it may seem difficult, with the right support, encouragement and Biblical counseling, you can tackle the topic of pornography in your marriage and begin to work toward the healing that you need.

Anger After Discovering Your Spouse’s Affair

Anger After Discovering Your Spouse’s Affair

Discovering that your spouse has had an affair you causes a range of emotions. You’re hurt, you’re confused, and eventually, you become angry. In this situation, you’re right to be angry because of what he has done. However, it’s important to understand that the anger you’re experiencing is only a temporary emotion, and there are right ways and wrong ways to express it, according to God’s Word.

YOUR ANGER AT YOUR SPOUSE’S AFFAIR AND YOUR INITIAL RESPONSES

Once the anger stage sets in, we rarely think rationally about our responses. At that point, we’re basically operating solely on our emotions, and that can be a dangerous place to be. Have you reacted in any of these ways?

  • Verbally bashing your spouse – Responding verbally can mean calling your spouse names, looking for excuses to get into shouting matches with him, or putting him down any chance you get. These responses only lead to resentment and they don’t do anything to heal your marriage, or your heart.
  • Non-verbally bashing your spouse – It is possible to bash your spouse in non-verbal ways, and we do this with gestures, with angry looks, or even just purposefully ignoring them.
  • Suppressing your anger – You feel angry on the inside, but you’re working really hard to hold it in. Maybe you don’t want to give in to it because you’re afraid it will make you appear weak, or it’s possible that you just don’t want to start an argument. This type of response might seem like the right one at first, but it can lead to a host of mental and physical problems for you later on.
  • Passive-aggressive behavior – Some become masters at passive aggressive anger, and maybe you have too. You may “forget” to complete a task your spouse has asked you to do, or you might begin being chronically late, or respond to them with sarcasm.
  • Complaining about your spouse – We often refer to this as “venting” and everyone feels as though they have the right to vent at some point. However, what you’re really doing is complaining, and you’re only feeding into the anger you already feel, instead of helping to heal it.
  • Physical aggression – Some act out in physically aggressive ways, and while they might not hit their spouse they will hit walls, throw objects across the room, or break things. It might feel good in the moment to react in this way, but it’s certainly not healthy.

ANGER ACCORDING TO GOD’S WORD

It may feel right for you to respond with emotional anger, but that kind of response never really helps you find a solution. God knew that we were all going to struggle with anger at some point in our lives, but in His wisdom, He provided us with self-control. If you’re not careful, anger can drag you into sin, and that’s something you want to avoid. Ephesians 4:26-27 says, “When you’re angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. Leave no room or foothold for the devil.”

Is your anger over your spouse’s affair righteous? Yes, it is. However, as Christians, we want to be sure we’re responding in ways that are righteous too.

Working with a Christian Marriage Coach can help you understand the root of your anger so that you can deal with it in ways that will help you, and not harm you. If you would like to talk with me about your personal situation, please contact me at 843-379-0288. You can also make an appointment through my online scheduler. Together, I’m confident that we can work through the source of your anger and help you find the healing you need.

5 Reasons Why Most Marriages Fail After Cheating

5 Reasons Why Most Marriages Fail After Cheating

Once you’ve realized your spouse has cheated to you, it’s difficult to think about putting the pieces of your marriage back together again. You feel absolutely shattered, and you’re not really sure what you should do. Maybe you’d like to try to make it work, but it all seems so hopeless.

This is where many couples give up, and one or both of them make some major mistakes that lead to the end of the marriage. Let’s talk about five reasons why most marriages fail after cheating.

MISTAKE # 1: THEY DON’T TAKE THE TIME TO HEAL

One of the things many individual do after they’ve discovered that their spouse has been cheating is attempt to jump right into making everything feel as normal as possible. In doing so, they’re rushing through the healing process, and there is a reason why healing is a process and not something that can occur overnight. It’s vital for you to work through the emotions that this betrayal has caused for you, and that means taking the necessary time to heal.

MISTAKE #2: THEY TRY AND “FIX” THEIR SPOUSE

After you’ve been cheated on, it’s a normal response for you to try to make everything right again. Chances are, you’ve thought long and hard about what happened between you and your spouse what may have led to his cheating. You know exactly what needs to change, and you think you know how to change it. This never works. You can never “fix” your spouse, and any attempt to fix him may even do more damage than good.

MISTAKE #3: THEY SUCCUMB TO THEIR ANGER

Anger is a normal response once you learn about your spouse’s cheating, and to some extent, expressing your anger is an important part of the healing process. However, dealing with your anger is so important and there are healthy ways for you to deal with it. When your anger gets out of control, it can actually sabotage your healing, and that’s definitely not something you want to have happen.

MISTAKE #4: THEY FAIL TO TRY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT CAUSED THE CHEATING

At some point, it’s important for you to try to understand the circumstances that led to your spouse’s cheating. While this is certainly not something you should be expected to do right away, eventually, it will help you to know what causes them to sin sexually. Once you can work on this understanding, you’ll also find that you’re releasing your control over their behavior, and allowing them to be responsible for his own actions.

MISTAKE #5: THEY FAIL TO GET PROFESSIONAL HELP

Once cheating has occurred in your marriage, attempting to heal on your own is almost impossible. There are so many emotions involved, and it’s difficult for you to make sense of everything that has happened. You need guidance, and it’s even better if that guidance is backed by the Word of God. Getting a professional to talk with you demonstrates your willingness to work through the sin that has occurred so that you can embrace healing and move forward in your marriage.

A FINAL THOUGHT

Remember, your marriage and family legacy is your greatest asset. When you have been devastated by a cheating spouse in marriage the main thing that is on your mind is to get out of the pain. The pathway out of your pain is to avoid the five major reasons why marriages fail after cheating, while finding the right Christian coach or counselor who has the perfect step-by-step plan to move you out of your pain.

A plan that works.

Has your marriage been suffering because of a sexual betrayal? Maybe you’ve even made some of these mistakes, but you’re not sure what else to do. A Christian Marriage Coach and Counselor can help you see things a different way, and shed God’s light on a situation that otherwise seems hopeless.

3 Signs Your Husband is Honest About His Infidelity

3 Signs Your Husband is Honest About His Infidelity

If your husband has had been involved in pornography, infidelity or a sexual addiction, one of the hardest things to him do is to talk about his sexual betrayal with you. Still, he knows that he has to disclose what happened. Maybe he’s in that position right now, and he’d like to be able to come clean about everything that happened, but he’s just not sure how to do it or what to say. It’s a difficult situation, but it is possible to do it with love and with complete honesty.   Let’s talk about what he can do if he’s ready to start communicating with you and disclose his sexual betrayal.

THE TIMELINE OF TRUTH

In most cases, a sexual betrayal never happens all at once. They happen over time, and this is time that you want to account for. Creating a timeline is the best way to do this. The timeline need to be with five-year increments, and notate all of the instances of the following:

Sexual awakening · Sex education · Sexual experimentation · Sexual abuse ·Introduction to pornography · All sexual and emotional relationships   When your husband is creating his timeline, honesty is the most important element. He might think that a particular item doesn’t matter, or that it’s embarrassing to you, but this is about full disclosure and honesty. If it happened, it should be included.

DEFINING FULL DISCLOSURE

It’s understandable that these situations are hard to talk about. However, full disclosure means telling the entire truth and not leaving any details out, no matter how insignificant they might seem to him. As he works on his timeline, he needs to be sure to describe the nature of the action, whether that means looking at pornography, any emotional or sexual affairs, visiting a strip club, paying for a prostitute, going to massage parlors, or even viewing profiles online. He needs to indicate how long these acts have been going on, and when they occurred in relation to where you were at that time.  For example, did he act out while you were out of town? Or, perhaps he only participated in these activities when he was away on business or while you were working.   Other details he should provide regarding his sexual betrayal should include:  The location of these events · Any excuses he used to find the time or the place to participate in them · The money that was spent · Any consequences he dealt with that you weren’t aware of (arrests, unexpected pregnancy, money lost, etc.) ·Instances of unprotected sex · Secret bank accounts or credit cards · Secret email accounts or PO boxes.

VULNERABLITY AND A NEW BEGINNING

The fact that your husband would agreed to full disclosure of his sexual betrayal is to be commended. This places him in an incredibly vulnerable position, and you need to see his brokenness and that he diligently pursuing God at this time in his life.  The fact that he’s willing to talk about it takes a lot of courage for anyone to be so honest, and he should be encouraged to know that his willingness to proceed is an excellent opportunity to lay a new foundation for your marriage.

This is a new beginning for you both, and disclosure is the first step towards building a new foundation on truth instead of deceit. You will likely need help with this process. In fact, it is highly recommended that you use a Christian marriage coach to help you prepare.  It is also important that you and your husband are in a safe setting as a coach can serve as a witness to your disclosure and can help guide the process. However, your coach is much more than that. You’ll be seeking the guidance of someone who bases everything on the Word of God, which should give you comfort in this difficult time.

If you would like to make an appointment to discuss the full disclosure of your sexual betrayal, please contact me at 843-379-0288. You can also make an appointment online using my convenient online scheduler.   Going through full disclosure alone is difficult, but it’s much easier when you have someone you can lean on and trust to lead you, according to God’s Word.

 

Why a Complete Disclosure of an Affair is Important

Why a Complete Disclosure of an Affair is Important

If you’re a woman who has been sexually betrayed by a husband struggling with pornography, infidelity or a sexual addiction there’s no doubt that there are a million questions going through your mind. You’re angry, you’re hurt, and you’ve never felt so alone before. You long to have answers to your questions, but at the same time, you’re a little bit afraid of how the answers are going to make you feel. You certainly don’t want to get hurt even worse.

Finding out that your husband has a problem with infidelity, pornography or has a sexual addiction is devastating, and the feelings you’re experiencing are entirely normal. There are some questions you should have answered, but there are other questions you should not. The most important thing to remember is that by talking with your husband about his betrayal, you’ll be doing your part to give him the opportunity he needs to enter into a spirit of repentance, which is really what you want.

THE OPPORTUNITY FOR FULL DISCLOSURE

Talking with your husband about his sexual sin is a healthy exercise for both of you, and it might surprise you that it’s vital for him. Once he begins to talk with you, he’s coming out from the dark shadows he’s been living in. He’s exposing his sin and bringing it to light. It’s not easy to be obedient, and truth is often difficult to face, but by allowing him to do it, you’re also giving him the chance to really see how his betrayal has hurt you, your marriage and your family. Once he understands the extent of his sin, he will understand a need for forgiveness.

Even so, before he can ask for forgiveness, you need to express how the betrayal has caused you to feel. You can talk with him about the impact his affair has had on you, so that he fully understands what has happened within your marriage. Remember, you are being asked to forgive a big debt, and it’s not going to be easy for you to do it. You deserve to be heard.

ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

With so many questions burning inside of you, it’s hard to know which ones are the right ones. Actually the “wrong” ones are probably the first ones to come to your mind. Questions like, “What did you talk about with her?” “Where did the two of you have sex?” “What was your favorite website?” or “What did you like about her physically?” will only make you upset and more frustrated. Instead, stick to the important questions, such as:

·        “Have you ever met any of the women you were talking with online?”
·        “Have you had unprotected sex during your affair?”
·        “Did you have sex with anyone I know?”
·        “How much money was spent on sex?”
 
FINDING HELP TRUSTING GOD

As a professional, Christian marriage coach and counselor I can help you through the process of talking through your husband’s disclosure with methods that are based on Biblical truths. It is highly recommended that you plan a formal time of disclosure with the safety of a trained marriage coach or counselor. Your goal is to remove the ruins of your old marriage, which was destroyed as a result of his betrayal so that you can build a new relationship that’s based on truth. Maybe right now you’re not in a place where you feel you can trust God with knowing more about your husband’s affair. If you’re not, professional marriage coaching and counseling can help you get there.

If you would like to make an appointment to talk with me, please contact me at 843-379-0288. We can work together over the phone or via Skype if you do not live in the Beaufort, SC area. You can also set up an appointment using our online scheduler.

Remember, you don’t have to face your husband’s sexual addiction alone. God is always with you, and Christian marriage coaching is a wonderful option that can help.

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