Marriage Missions International

Getting “Unhooked” From An Emotional Affair

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“How can I get unhooked from an emotional affair?” There is not easy way, and it will involve a process of time. In that process, several practices are important. First of all, separation is important. The emphasis here is on abstinence and sobriety. You don’t indulge yourself with the other person’s presence. You must stop exposing yourself to this shared life experience. The contact is what keeps these feelings alive; you need to stop feeding the compulsion.

I hasten to add that you just can’t bury these feelings. Therefore, the next step is identification. What is the “something” this person touches inside you? What unmet need does he tap into? Sometimes the infidel can process this with a spouse or a same-sex friend, but other times that will need to be done with an experienced counselor who is committed to restoring the marriage.

My experience is that the longings that underlie infidelity go back to childhood; the infidel brings them with him or her into the marriage. They often were touched upon or satisfied in the initial phases of the relationship with the spouse, but over time have been buried by the crush of life’s responsibilities.

The next process is exposure. Don’t allow these longings and feelings to remain a secret. The longer an infidel allows these feelings to continue as a secret, the more he or she will idealize the person the feelings are attached to. Idealization means this partner becomes perfect, and as a result, no one else (e.g., the spouse) can measure up. The partner is beginning to be seen as “all good,” and therefore the infidel will have to see the marriage as “all bad.”

As mentioned earlier, if you encapsulate these feelings at this point, they will only lie dormant to be triggered again later. I usually encourage the infidel to share his feelings with his spouse, after seeking counsel. After all, the spouse has been involved in this story already (in that all affairs are a triangle, even if the spouse is unaware) and might as well know the secrets that are occurring in his/her marriage.

The next concept here is to journal. Write down the feelings you are experiencing in this rather involved and tortuous journey. Feelings don’t have to control an individual, but their influence is strongest when they are held in secret. The longings that have led to this emotional affair are a part of the childhood magic; journaling them gets them out into the open, into the adult realm.

The next step is displacement. Use this process in tandem with some of the other processes. Here you do something else in lieu of focusing on the partner. You can exercise, get involved in spiritual development, or take on different projects or hobbies. This is the “doing” part of healing.

The final idea is to grieve. Though this is extremely difficult for the spouse to observe, it is important and necessary. Many times this needs to start with a “good-bye” letter (written to the adulterous partner). Most infidels find this very painful to do. It seems so unnecessary initially, because (seemingly “nothing evil has happened,” since they didn’t have sex. Only after thorough processing, and the passage of time, will the infidel be able to look back and see how befuddled his/her thinking really was.

This is also a good time for the infidel to review his/her “loss history,” and this leads naturally to grieving. What other significant caregivers, friends, loved ones, or pets has the infidel lost that parallel the lost feelings in giving up the affair? The infidel will probably want to do this in private and only later will be able to share the depth of the experience with his spouse.

(A caution here: The depression is not about what you feel for the partner, but just what you are feeling, period. Keep the partner out of the equation-it will make it easier for your souse to listen to your feelings, and easier for you to connect with the feelings in your heart that need processing.)

The Healing Process: Neither your partner nor your spouse can release you from the emotional hook you’ve experienced. Many spouses caught in this kind of emotional affair have found portions of The Serenity Prayer helpful:

“Lord, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Be careful of changing the components around. Don’t try to change the things you cannot change-that will only lead to frustration and anger. On the other hand, don’t accept the things you should be changing —that will only lead to feelings of victimization, a sense of “What’s the use? I can’t lick this, so I might as well give in.”

Time, the healing process, always requires a backward look. Encouragement is not usually the result if you look to where you need to be, feel like you ought to be, or even want to be. You will see the feelings diminish as you look backward to where you were three, six or nine months ago.

Rebuild and concentrate on the lost relationships that contributed to the vacuum that the emotional affair filled. That could require quite a search on your part, some intense conversations (even confrontations) with people in your life, a lot of focused reading, and even some trips/visits to significant places in your childhood.

Enjoy the process and reschedule the experiences that made your marriage good in the first place. Here I encourage couples to each identify the “eight greats” of their marital experience. Independently, each spouse should identify the eight great experiences, or highlights, of their marital history, then decide together on five that they’d like to repeat. You see, shared history is a critical component of intimacy. Rare is the spouse who won’t join “the almost infidel” in this endeavor and experience recovery from close call. Why, most of us had close calls ourselves.

Some Cautions for the Infidel: Temptations do not an identity make. Some people struggle with the same temptation for years. For instance, just because someone wants to smoke again because he’s tempted doesn’t mean he’s a smoker. Don’t let the temptation to return to the partner shame you into feeling “What’s the use? I might as well give in. I’ll never be free of these feelings.”

Second, remember that in periods of high stress, difficult emotions, transition, and marital dullness, you will feel an increased desire to return to the partner or to renew thoughts of him/her. At times, infidels report that they have yearnings to think about this person just to see if the feelings are still “available” as in the days gone by. This “testing” is common to obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and the intent is to prove to oneself how far one has come in the recovery process.

Be careful —this process can begin to mimic the destabilization process of a Class 2 affair described in chapter 6. As mentioned there, such practices only intensify, rather than lessen, the attraction —and the hook goes much deeper.

Some Encouragement for the Spouse: First, remember that these longings were present in your spouse before you entered his or her life. You didn’t create them, and you probably can’t fully satisfy them.

Second, you did tap into those longings early in your relationship in some fashion. The longings were present in the initial feelings of what love is all about. For whatever reason, the infidel settled for the initial feelings of what love is all about and superficial satisfaction of those longings, versus deepening and maturing them. This is not your fault. Many times it is the result of a combination of circumstances: work, school, family, and so on. But the exciting thing is now you both can go deeper in your love for each other.

Last, both of you will eventually forget the partner. The memories of this experience will fade in the same way that a widow or widower forgets about the loss of a good first marriage if the second marriage is a pleasant experience.

It is possible to rebuild after an emotional affair has been discovered. Work through these steps and you will make progress. This is the kind of stuff emotional intimacy is built on, and that is the key to any good marriage.

The above article comes from the excellent book, TORN ASSUNDER: Recovering From an Extramarital Affair written by Dave Carder, published by Moody Publishers. This book is very comprehensive and is a great practical guide for dealing with extramarital affairs. It’s very comprehensive because it carefully sorts out the different kinds of affairs and deals with each kind —giving very practical and insightful information. It doesn’t lump all infidelity together “giving over-simplistic spiritual answers.” It’s practical because “it deals with daily, gut-level issues both partners face.” We highly recommend getting this book!


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1,729 Responses to “Getting “Unhooked” From An Emotional Affair”
  1. Trying from United States says:

    WP, and all who read here, I recognize my earlier comments from the resource Every Woman’s Battle are gender speciic. The other priceless resource that I have studied and gained much from over the years is a small booklet “Emotional Dependency” by Lori Rentzel. It is available online here in the US. I hope you would be able to obtain it for yourself. It addresses that yearning and void we feel and try to fill with unhealthy choices from a Biblical perspective and how to apply our Christian faith to overcome this.

    Another resource I found in the past few days that I am reviewing and gaining much strength from. One incident I would like relate also showed me my progress. As I was looking through my journals, I found an entry referring to the “anniversary pain” of 9-25 that I had been feeling that day. This was from 2 years ago. I searched my memory and I had no clue what happened that day in the timeline of my healing. I rejoiced that an event that had caused me such emotional anguish even 2-3 years after that fact was gone from my mind! I did eventually find the reference to what had happened that day, and I could recall the event without emotion. Progress!

    I’ve also spent time the past 2 weeks, naming my sin and repenting of my gross lapse of boundaries almost 2 months ago. I’m so thankful that those boundaries are firmly in place again, and that both of us have found God’s grace to adhere to them. When I went through the list that I had posted above, I had failed to honor almost every single one of them!! This may seem extreme to some people, but it’s vital for those of us who are weak in this area.

    • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

      Hi Trying, and everyone, Thank you Trying for your mention of Lori Rentzel’s book “Emotional Dependency.” We have a bookstore here from which I can probably order a copy. I would be very interested in reading this! (Could you forward the publisher’s name and year of publication when you have a chance? Thanks in advance!)

      It’s striking to realize the progress one has made by reviewing journal notes, as you mention. Since my only “journaling” has been the texts I’ve written on this site, I went back though them… and I do see what you mean! Although my journaling spans a much shorter time span than yours, I can read some of my earlier emotion-laden words, remember the emotion at the time, and see that the reaction evoked from me now is far more managable- something I would have thought impossible at that time.

      You, and others have mentioned the “void” as a word which sums up the “yearning and emptiness” we and others feel… I would like to refer you all to an excellent account by Tamara Laroux… her extreme attempt to rid herself of this “void” and the result. I have also written out the essence of her comments, since they were such an inspiration to me. Website: (first 6 minutes 25 seconds)

      I hope you all are given hope and peace… that we CAN overcome, that we are NEVER alone… Please STOP READING HERE. Please see the video clip FIRST before reading the comments below.

      I was convinced that there was no way to live a completely happy life. And if I couldn’t live happy, I didn’t want to live at all. It began with a divorce, a broken home. And I believe that through that, my mentality began to form, and to develop, a sense of rejection… That sense of rejection, just really grew. I began to perceive myself as a burden to other people, so I would take little bitty comments that were relatively insignificant, and I’d make it into a really big deal. Those little seeds in my life, I began meditating on, over and over, and as I grew, the rejection began to grow. What is wrong with me? And so I believed that the only answer for me, was to end my life. I walked to my mother’s room thinking I don’t want anyone to see me- because I’m SO determined to END my life, to END the void, to END the suffering, to END the loneliness, that NOTHING was going to stop me. I began crying out and I began screaming out to God, “God forgive me!, God forgive me…” and the gun went off… (decent into hell)

      The mutual thing that everyone shared there, was their desire, to scream out to everybody on earth, “do NOT come here!” Acknowledge, that LIFE is about Jesus Christ. Eternity is real, and hell is real, and heaven is real, and how you live your life will determine where you go. And everybody cried out, that their loved ones would hear the truth.

      I SAW the hand of God literally come down, and at that moment, I KNEW that He was coming for me and His hand picked me up, and instantaneously, I was no longer a being of tormented sin. I now was a being being cleansed, and God took me over the heavens. It was BEYOND peaceful and gorgeous and magnificent. However, I was not allowed to stay, and I was certainly not allowed to see anything specific. But I was able to FEEL His presence, in its entirety. I was able to FEEL perfect serenity. I was able to feel JOY, for the first time, COMPLETE, WHOLE, JOY. And this hand began to bring me back into the universe and I saw myself coming back to my home and went through the ceiling, and the hand just went, and placed me gently back into my physical body. And He went up and I opened my eyes, and I saw Him go up. And INSTANTLY, I KNEW, at that moment, God LOVED me. I CALLED out on His Name, and I ASKED Him to forgive me, and He did! And at that moment I was given a spiritual strength that I had never known. I was given JOY that I had never had. I was given peace that I knew would take me through what I was about to face…

      When you leave this earth, you’re going to do one of two things. You’re going to be transformed into a being of sin and torment, or you’re going to be transformed into a being of LIGHT and LOVE and JOY. It’s a personal responsibility, who and what you’re going to be transformed into. And I had to LEARN how to take on the responsibility…

      Now I’m full of joy. Now I’m full of peace. I AM who God says I am. I AM loved, I AM adopted into the kingdom of Christ. You know, God says to me that I am His child, and all that He has, is mine. I just have to be able to receive it. And I have to be able to recognize, and replace my junk, with His greatness. As long as I stand on the promises of God, and I allow His presence in my life, I can conquer anything, and I can go through my problems with peaceful sleep, I can go at them with JOY and STRENGTH beyond all comprehension, and I can come out on the other side full of HOPE, and of VICTORY, in Christ. 6.25 You all have a good day… WP (Work in Progress)

      • Cindy Wright from United States says:

        Hi WP… Here’s the info you requested: the booklet is titled “Emotional Dependency” -by Lori Rentzel. It’s a pamphlet: 32 pages. The publisher: IVP Books (December 14, 1990). Usually, if a book is mentioned and it’s available for purchase, we try to put a link embedded into the title so you can read about it in By doing so, you can see if it’s a book you want to obtain (plus, if people purchase it [or ANYTHING] through the link provided, or through the window we have available on the Home Page of the web site, Amazon gives Marriage Missions a small portion of their profit, which we use to help support this ministry). I’m not sure if that’s possible in the Netherlands… it is in the U.S. and some countries. But this booklet APPEARS not to be available for purchase any longer. I’m not sure. I hope you can get it where you’re located. I hope the info given will make that possible :) God bless.

        • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

          Hi Cindy, Thanks for the fast reply! I found the book on Amazon, and International shipping rates were cited, so it looks like it is still available. Since I have never shopped in Amazon before, I need to open an account and set things up…it doesn’t look like a problem!

          Perhaps if you send me the link, then your ministry can obtain the benefit you mention – I doubt if that can happen if I find Amazon through Google, right?

          In any case I will let you know how it works out. Cindy, you…. and everyone…. you all have a nice day …
          WP (Work in Progress)

          • Cindy Wright from United States says:

            Thanks WP… that is great. As far as sending you a link –it doesn’t work that way. All you have to do is go through the blue window on the Home Page of the web site for this or any other shopping you would want to do on Amazon (or any of the linked book titles we feature throughout the web site). A code, which Amazon recognizes as ours invisibly embeds within it (a pre-set arrangement that no one but Amazon and us will see). We don’t know who purchases what, but we get a statement of the amount people purchase every month from the links we provide on the web site. Everyone gets the same discounts, but Amazon will send us a small portion of their profits. We use 100% of it (Steve and I don’t take any salary) to help off-set the expenses of running this ministry. If it works for you… great! If not, then hopefully you can find the booklet another way. It sounds like a good booklet, so I hope it works for you. God bless :)

  2. WP from EU from Netherlands says:

    Hi Cindy, Ahh yes, I found the blue window you mention on the Home Page. I will give that a try. This site has a wealth of information and real-life accounts which are extremely helpful! Thank you! WP (Work in Progress)

  3. Running Man from New Zealand says:

    Hello again to all on this site. A special hello to some new posters and contributors. Wonderful to have fresh input. I will shortly post what I feel is my kind of ‘swan song’ to my episode, which has now reached the 7 year post mark. The Lord was gracious to expose the real root of the issue, which quite literally changed things almost overnight. I have been meaning to share this here, as it may be of help to others. Blessings to all and keep the faith. Keep the intimacy in your marriages, and never stop trying to build, or rebuild the intimacy with your spouse, that was ‘robbed’ when the other man or woman took their place in your heart.

  4. Running Man from New Zealand says:

    Hi again all. Just while I get my thoughts together, here are two pretty much ‘essential’ articles for you all by Tim Challies, a solid biblical Christian teacher:

    1) Did I marry the wrong person?

    2) How an affair really beings

    Both very good reads, not very long and easy to absorb. God bless these to you. RM

    • SDN from South Africa says:

      Hello everyone, dear WP! Thank you RM for the links, more especially the 2nd one was very informative and definitely resonates. I hope all are well. I pray often for all our EA ‘colleagues’ here. It is something I never used to do before -praying on someone’s behalf. However knowing the destruction and pain caused by an EA and more so the blessing I have received from all your prayers compels me to do the same.

      WP, I hope you are gaining strength day by day. I often wonder if you are ok. I would like you to know that I am currently doing my studying of the Bible and I am hooked. How strange, hey! To think that I am not a Christian but I am very much attracted to the versus in the Bible.

      WP, recently you shared something very touching. Your life as a child and the things you had to endure. I have to say that when it comes to some kind of abuse in childhood or the void we both feel, pulling away from an EA is more difficult because I believe that the EA idea is actually a tool to ‘heal’ the wounds of our childhood as well. Yes, an affair also affects our marriage. But I think this EA is a ‘deep SEEDED’ notion in our lives. There is more to it than just a means to avoid our dysfunction marriages. What do u think?

      I am so sorry, WP that you had to go through the things that you did as a child. When I read your post I felt sadness but more so ANGER! I was angry that people could hurt in the way that they did to you. I was also angry that you were not taught how to deal with how you could handle what you were going through. It saddens me, thoroughly! As a child who also went through some kind of abuse, I know how confusing and hurtful it is. As children THEN, we knew no other life.

      WP, you will be very happy to hear that I am out of this EA with the OM. Completely! Can you believe it? Miracles happened, WP. I found out some things about the OM by a complete stranger who has become a very dear friend of mine. The OM was satin! He is currently going through such a bad time in his life. It makes me rejoice that God is teaching him a lesson. OM apparently has hurt too many others.

      The next challenge of course is to not fall into another EA however WP, your letter has done wonders. For all the good things you have done for me, may you be blessed 10 fold! I believe God works in very mysterious ways. One moment you are fighting the battle of an EA and in the very next moment, it’s gone! I hope all is well WP, let me know how things are going with WW. And of course if you’re still on FB! All of my well wishes, SDN

      • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

        Hi everyone, Thank you RM… for your links…. and your encouraging words! Now at the 7-year mark.. Wow! I would be interested to hear your account of things changing overnight, once you were aware of the root cause…. of course only if OK for you….

        Dear SDN,
        So nice to hear from you!!
        Thank you so much for your words… I would like to add some clarification here if I may…

        First of all, I AM gaining strength, thank you… and it’s wonderful- although I am on my guard, and the pull is still there. Did you see the link I posted re. Tamara Laroux? SO inspiring…. my post of September 26, 2015 at 11:10 pm….

        I am happy you are studying the Bible! So good for us all… I have to admit, I have not been so consistent with this, I should be better. Yet verses come to my mind when I need them the most… Psalm 15, 23, 34, 139… I spend a lot of time in the Psalms. I would like to ask you a question though. Why do you say you “are not a Christian?” What do you mean really?

        I think you are right, about the EA being “a tool to ‘heal’ the wounds of our childhood.” But… we both know it doesn’t REALLY work… and yet the pull is so strong! because we are being affirmed by the OM or OW that we are valued and attractive. When that is fundamentally missing in one’s own heart (the “void”), then the pull of an OM or OW can be extreme. The other factor is the EA is also “a connection with” the OM or OW. That is there too….as I think you can imagine.

        I am not sure I understand what you mean by, “the EA is a ‘deep SEEDED’ notion in our lives” Can you clarify please?

        Thank you SO much for your comments about my childhood. I sense that you really understand. For a very long time I did not feel that anyone understood this- It’s a lonely existance.. as I am sure you know. I was angry with “the world” for a long time, but for some reason, not angry with the abuser. Distrustful, yes. Angry, no. I have had a deep sadness for a long time I think….. but after so long, the Love of God has finally become more real and practical. I don’t understand this myself, except to conclude this is His divine work for me. Again.. you are correct- as children, “we knew no other life.” I sincerely hope, SDN, that the Love of God becomes more real for you…. if this can happen for ME, it can certainly happen for YOU.

        Now… your next comment…. Ahh SDN, I am VERY happy you are out of your EA with the OM! This news warms my heart… very much so. This news makes me VERY happy. When you say, “I found out some things about the OM by a complete stranger who has become a very dear friend of mine.” I SINCERELY hope this stranger is a woman… and not a man! Otherwise, of course, you have another EA in the making…..but you know this… yes SDN, miracles DO happen! Miracles turn life around…. they happen every day! We just need to open our eyes and see…..

        I am also very happy to hear the letter has “done wonders!” This news makes me realize again that God is at work…..and knows where you are…. and L. your husband…

        Things with the WW are OK…. looks good, thank you for asking! Yes I have stayed off FB, althrough the pull to go back in is sometimes strong, to be honest.

        Take care SDN…. and everyone.
        WP (Work in Progress)

        • SDN from South Africa says:

          Hi WP. Thank you for your post. I read it last night with the intention of responding today when I have more time to think. WP, I was amused by your statement that you hope the stranger was a woman and not a man. I actually laughed out loud. After reading your post, I got engaged in some other work but I felt I wasn’t feeling very settled. I had to retrace the moments leading up to this feeling and then I realised: How could you possibly think I would be silly enough to converse with another man about something so confidential (the OM and EA), so much so, as to completly rid myself of the feelings I once had for the OM? Another man, even as a friend in my life, would definitely be a threat and I KNOW that all too well. Rest assured WP, I will not fail again.

          This Dear friend is the OM’s ‘victim’ or shall say EX. The things I heard… OMG! The OM used the same lines on her and also did the same gestures with her. And was as suspected a liar and a cheat. So I was just “one of them.” Glad I found out the foul character of him before it was too late. WP, I’m going to answer all your questions in my next post. Chat soon SDN

        • SDN from South Africa says:

          Hi again WP. Everytime THINK I have time to respond, my baby compels my full attention. So here goes… Yes, my previous post… Bottom line is I laughed about you hoping my new friend to be a woman and not man but REST ASSURED, I know the dangers of another OM.

          Today I spent a lot of time reading Proverbs. I reread Proverbs 5. WOW! Even subsequent Proverbs talking about the immoral woman… I felt shameful. I was the ‘immoral woman’ enticing the OM. Thank God it’s over and thank God I am armed with more wisdom.

          WP, when I said the EA is a deep SEEDED notion, I meant… The desire to have an EA comes from something sown deeper. Like in our case, it was the void.. Perhaps the abuse. Maybe I should have not tried to be fancy and just said deep-seated instead. Will know in future.

          WP, I say I am not Christian because my faith is Hinduism. The difference with the conventional idea of the Hindu God and MY idea is that I am a ‘Sai Baba’ devotee. Sai teachings are that all religions are one. There is only one God. The religion of ‘love’ is universal. Hence I look to the Bible and other scriptures for wisdom. We don’t discriminate.

          WP I hope I have answered all questions to your liking. I hope you well today. I pray that you are better, gaining strength. Oh I almost forgot… My previous post in which you responded: when I was typing it out, started typing ‘WP plz refer some versus for me to read from the Bible…’. I somehow deleted that. In your response you answered my unasked task. What do you make of that?? My best wishes to you. SDN

          • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

            Hi SDN! Yeesss, your point is well taken… re. your new friend being a woman and not a man. Nooo I never thought you would (in your words,) “be silly enough to converse with another man about something so confidential…” Sorry SDN. I did not mean to insult you. I was obviousy not thinking. Ooops!! I’m glad you had a good laugh!! :))

            SO- your new dear friend is your OM’s ex?! Your first conversation much have been VERY memorable! I hope you don’t feel too hurt… or feel like “a fool” for falling for his lines. It just means you are a feeling and compassionate person. I’m very happy you have landed with your feet on the ground… you seem to be doing so well! Makes me happy… Please rest assured that not all men are like this.

            Proverbs 5… yeesss… very graphic! And yes.. you are right about the weakness to fall into an EA coming from something sown deeper… (I was thinking about your wording after posting my last text and realised you must have meant “deep – seated” – very good play on words SDN!) Mmm… I guess I am somewhat slow with such things. Our earlier experiences… the “void” yes- these play a part- true what you say. But when we know this… and when we know that we are loved and valuable, then I think the temptation is easier to resist.

            DId you see the video clip from Tamara Laroux? What did you think??

            Ahh your faith is Hinduism… Now I understand. I cannot say I know so much about the Hindu faith… except that it seems very strong in terms of nonviolence and being nice to others… True- there is only one God. And the Bible states that “God is love, and in Him there is no darkness at all…”

            I answered your unasked request! Wow! Pretty special!! Again… makes me happy.

            Here is a video clip which meant the world to me… but I will not comment any further until you’ve seen it. (I would be very interested in your reaction…. only if OK for you.) After you see it, I will tell you my reaction.

            Yes I am gaining strength SDN, and I am well thank you…. I hope the same for you. You take care of yourself SDN…. and you have a good day. Everyone… take care!! Nice day!! WP (Work in Progress)

  5. Trying from United States says:

    RM, WP, SDN–so good to hear from all of you these past few days! Better yet to hear of God working in each of your individual lives. He is good and He is faithful all the time.

    Sorry to leave you all with a resource and not a link–hopefully Cindy Wright’s info supplied that. The pamphlet was on given to me by my counselor some years ago. I do hope it is still available. I will be waiting to hear from RM–this is also a blessing with great spiritual depth and insight. I know this is a fruit of the pain and suffering you have walked through with God’s help.

    WP-keep recommitting yourself to exposing your thoughts to God’s Word in any form, through hymns, daily devotionals, sharing a Scripture with your wife. The Bible is Truth and Life, and a mighty weapon against the lies of satan that we have believed in the past.

    SDN–once again God is guiding you through the healing process, giving you an opportunity to speak with the “ex”. You would not have been ready to hear what she had to say a few months ago…just think that God’s timing is perfect. Always. When we trust Him, and give Him control of our lives.

    I say this because of a brief relapse Sunday. I have felt the deep conviction that I need accountability with one of my Christian sisters again since my meeting 2 months ago with OM. As I was in a busy time Sunday aft. messaging several people at once, and multitasking…(bad idea, right?)–I received several messages at once, and without thinking!! I responded to all of them, including one from OM.. It was a specific question that I gave a short reply to…seemingly innocent, right? but the thing is —we had both agreed to NC!! and had maintained it for 2 months! Hmm…

    At the same time I was setting up a meeting with this mentor!! It was so encouraging to confess to her and ask for accountability in maintaining NC. She prayed with me several times, and I know she is praying daily for me specifically to overcome this temptation. The guilt of the “secret” I have been carrying is lessening. WP–I know you can identify with this Truth; the secret loses it stronghold on you once it has been exposed. You know that your wife knows and would be so sad and hurt if you relapsed.

    I also have known the joy of pure worship of my Creator God and Savior Jesus! “restore unto me the joy of my salvation” is David’s prayer in Psalm 51. There is no feeling that surpasses the peace that can be ours–found only through Jesus Christ! I leave you with this worship song “Overwhelmed” by Big Daddy Weave–(enjoy the video of beautiful people also) that has filled my heart and soul the past few weeks. May you find grace and strength for this trial!

    • SDN from South Africa says:

      Dearest WP and dearest Trying. I sense some positivity in the tone of both your posts. WP I think you will agree, Trying am I right? The video you shared Trying is truly beautiful. Africa, hmmmm. Very touching indeed. I’m overwhelmed too! Trying, God is great. Do you recall my fear I expressed to you everytime I read your posts. I wondered if I too will be hurting for ‘years’. I wanted hope. I was praying that I didn’t have to fight the battle you are fighting for as long as you are.

      And yes, God took control and showed me what I needed to see. However I acknowledge that your situation was very different from mine. Let’s call it levels of maturity. My EA was green compared to yours. How’s that analogy? Trying, you speak of your relapse, but you don’t sound very torn about it. I also recall you once stating that after every relapse, the healing gets easier. Or something along those lines. Trying, my sincere and deep prayers to you. May you overcome this curse faster. I want to hear of you rejoicing soon. I will have faith that you will!

      WP! Such joy in your post. NO! I did not take offense, I guess you spoke with the intention of advising and not accusing. I watched both videos. Need to respond at lengths. Duty calls. SDN

      • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

        Good morning to all the readers of this site…
        Dear Trying, Dear SDN, So nice to hear from you two today…you both sound like you are doing well. This makes me happy as I start this Thursday.

        Hi Trying,
        Your points are well taken; yes I do like to listen to devotionals, read Scripture, remember the great price the Lord Jesus paid for me and you and for us all. I will let you know once I get this pamphlet. it sounds very good! It sounds like your relapse was more an honest error, rather than a specific action to get in touch with your OM. (Multitasking too much) It’s all to easy to give up two hard-earned months in an instant! I have not heard your video yet but I will have a chance after work today. Thank you !!

        Trying, SDN-
        This is what I feel sometimes with FB- the pull to get on my page and message the OW’s is still there, especially when the triggers come without warning. Yes- I have promised my wife I would stay off FB- that is a BIG help. What is the pull? Just to talk with them again, and converse with them again, to enjoy their company and their affirmation of their feelings for me. This pulls me in two directions- one- yes I like it that they want to hear from me- (I hope that they want to hear from me) and .. NO this is not good…I don’t want to submit to this pull! I don’t want to admit that this pull is THERE. I have a GOOD marriage!! When I write this I don’t like myself very much. It’s hard for me to write this. But maybe I should admit it. :(( And yet I HAVE stayed off FB…sigh…I care for them, THIS is true. My wife prays for them, as do I. But I know my wife would be hurt if I were talking to them again; so I stay off FB.

        Hi SDN,
        Yes I agree with you…I am basically positive…and Yes I spoke with the intent to advise…certainly not to accuse! You do sound confident. You seem to be in a “good place.” This makes me happy- really! I was wondering when do you go back to work? You wanted to work in a law office? You sound much better equipped to take on the challenges of the workplace than you were before. “For-warned is for-armed” some smart person once said. (Maybe that person went though an EA too? :))

        SDN, Trying….everyone….
        At the end of the day, God knows our hearts through and through. He still meets us where we are. It’s hard to admit some things. I feel a bit shy right now to be honest. But I don’t mind sharing these things with you. It would be so nice if this “pull” was simply “not there” You both know so well what I mean.

        • SDN from United Kingdom says:

          Hi WP. Work in Progress. Do not ever forget that. As each day progresses so does your strength and will power to fight off the ‘pull’ and urges of Facebook. Compelled to start of this way as I notice the ‘pull’ you describe in your post is your most distinctive obstacle to rid yourself of this EA.

          WP allow me to relate a bit. The Pull we feel is connected to the void. As you state what the ‘pull’ meant for you in your post above, we can deduce that ultimately the pull is an attempt to fill the space of the void. My childhood consisted mainly of me having to constantly endure rejection from my father. I was always emotionally and physically abused by him as a child. It was horrible. My father never loved me. I never felt comfortable in his presence, I was just his slave! One of 3 daughters; he gave the other two more love, attention and comfort and I was always neglected CONSPICUOUSLY. Almost deliberately. How sad!

          Growing up I constantly felt the need to get his approval. Some validation. Was I not good enough? Why didn’t he love me like he did the other two? It left a hole in my heart. A wound so deep. The empty space that a father usually fills. No matter how well progress in life; any downfall or depression I feel always leads back to the void and rejection I felt as a child. So many years later, what do I do? I look for the love, approval and validation from the 1st person whom to my taste gives me all of that. Notwithstanding the fact that I am engaged in matrimony.

          The love of my husband never seemed enough. The ‘pull’ of the EA was so intense. It was the desire to be loved and approved of. I did not mention here before that the OM was the replica of my dad in a more younger version. Not in looks but in character. Does this make sense? I did not get the love, approval and comfort from my dad as a child, so the uncanny resemblance of someone just like my father made it easier for me to seek those things from the OM hence fulfilling that rejection and void created by my father.

          WP, there is a correlation between the PULL and the void and I sense the similarity between my story and yours. I think that since the pull is the most distinctive obstacle for you, you should spell it out in your prayers to Him. Ask him to rid you of the burden of the intensity of the pull. He will never refuse if you ask. Ask and you shall receive. Make it your daily prayer. Only about the pull. I’m sure that you’ll feel a difference. I have faith in Him. I believe you’re near to your goal. Soon you WILL feel nothing for these OW. I feel it. Just pray WP, just ask for it.

          WP, yes I AM in a more positive and good space. Feeling confident too. I feel God’s love on me. I feel his protection. He picked me up and saved me. I was so put off by the things I heard about the OM that it is impossible for the EA to ignite again. WP, no I am not yet ready for the working environment. The more I involve myself in the Bible, the more I realise how ignorant I was and how much more armed I need to be. I need to become wiser. There’s too much temptation out in the world. I’m currently healing. I need to be filled up with Gods love 1st. Protected with more wisdom. THEN only will the time come for me to pursue my law career. I need to just serve my articles and do my Board to become an attorney. It will all happen when He wills it. In His time. For now, I’ll continue to read and get wiser for I am still weak.

          WP, the videos! Hmmm. If ever I have watched something that has completely altered my perspective on life, it would be the Tamara video. I was in shock. I believed her and her tale about going to Hell and then being saved by God. It made me realise that I have been living in the incorrect way all along. It was a splurge of wisdom for me watching that. Hell exists!! OMG! And God saved her because He loves her just like how we are given a 2nd chance because He loves us. The video also deters another engagement in an EA for me. Now with all the knowledge I have, falling into an EA would be my fault and THEN would be a sin. Yes I believe this!

          The 2nd video. Ahhh! Made me so emotional. You will never fail if you don’t give up. It’s hard to fail if you don’t give up. Very touching. What a wonderful father. I think it was the display of love from the father that made me cry. The humanity in the whole act. The love. Just thinking of it now makes me want to cry. What was your take on the video?

          Reading the Bible brings such joy to me. I feel so protected. It makes me confident. Just thought I should share that too. My sincere prayers and good wishes to you WP, hope to hear from you soon! SDN

          • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

            Hi SDN! Here below my response to first Trying… and then you. Thank you both, Trying and SDN, for your wonderful texts. They have done wonders. I read them often… WP (Work in Progress)

  6. WP from EU from Netherlands says:

    Dear Trying, MANY many thanks for the video clip “Overwhelmed” done by Big Daddy Weave… beautiful! I like the filming and the music going with it… very natural, real… and the worship was simple and powerful. On the right sidebar are other similar works, so your one reference has opened a wealth of new worship songs and films… Thank you! I hope you’re well and recovering again from your recent “relapse.” I must say I hope you’re not too hard on yourself -you’ve had a harder challenge than most since your EA spanned a longer period of time, and is so much more deeply embedded. You seem to have met this challenge very well!!

    I’m happy to hear you are connecting with your mentor and “exposing the secret.” You’re right, once a secret is shared and exposed, it loses much of it’s power. I have experienced this first hand, as you know. You are fortunate to have such a mentor and friend. Take care Trying…your words are always very encouraging.

    Dear SDN!! Wow! Remember when you said that your feelings and position were so well described in the letter I drafted for you? Well… now you have done the same with your latest text. It’s remarkable how accurate your words are… I have felt for some time now that the “pull” is an effort to fill the “void.” I sense this very well. But to read your words to that effect… very confronting and confirming. As I was reading through your text, I kept saying to myself, “Yes… Yes…. exactly right!!” Thank you so much for your honesty. Your story is VERY similar to mine… very close indeed! There is one difference though… sometimes I did feel my father cared. But more often than not the opposite seemed to be the real truth. We had very mixed messages… was very confusing. We’re in a much better place now… but the old, unanswered confrontations still linger. I have for the most part let them go now. Life is short, I do not want my past to dictate my future any longer!!

    Striking that your OM was so much like your father… No you did not say that earlier. As I reflect on your account, I too feel the sadness come back again. I think I’m in a position to say, “I know how you feel.” (I don’t say this unless I’m sure I’m qualified to say it.) BUT…You don’t have to stay there though.

    Your whole life is ahead of you SDN! Your words come from a person wise beyond her years. Don’t underestimate yourself SDN. I have a high respect for you. I mean what I say… You have advanced by leaps and bounds, and you’ve learned so much. Noooo I don’t think you can be easily pulled in again. But be alert SDN… “guard your heart with all diligence.” I speak to myself here as well.

    I think your prayer suggestion is exactly right. It NEVER occurred to me to pray directly about this “void” and “pull” but your idea makes perfect sense SDN. I will do this carefully and thoughtfully. Oh it would be wonderful to be free! The Bible does tell us, “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Your words I have written out for me where I can read them easily. I cannot thank you enough SDN.

    The videos… now you can see why Tamara Laroux’s account made such an impression on me. At the end, when she says she can deal with her problems with peaceful sleep…that she knows she’s God’s child, and she’s in His care. The security and assurance that she expresses, with her background and extreme reaction, makes me realize once again that God loves you and me… in the same way… that He gave His only Son… when we believe Jesus is God’s Son and was raised from the dead, the Bible says we are SAVED. I don’t have the words for this, but you can sense what I mean. The Bible teaches this very clearly. EA’s and OM’s and OW’s… God knows where we are. I will not forget SDN.

    The second video of the 400 meter sprint… I identify so well with this because I was a long distance runner when I was younger. I know the joy of winning races, and the greater joy of finishing what one has started… even when finishing last and the crowd is all leaving. This all I realize… yes, but I’m emotional every time I see this clip because of the actions of the FATHER. His actions speak VOLUMES and EVERYONE in that crowd of 65,000 realized what was happening, identified with it and expressed their joy with a standing ovation, which no one in that stadium will ever forget. (No one really remembers who actually won that race.)

    You and I both missed that as children. And we still miss it. Why did the crowd react so strongly? Because they saw God at work in such a graphic way. I believe God wants to fill that hole in our hearts with HIS love… as Tamara Laroux said, “I AM who God says I am. I AM loved, I AM adopted into the kingdom of Christ. You know, God says to me that I am His child. As long as I stand on the promises of God, and I allow His presence in my life, I can conquer anything, and I can go through my problems with peaceful sleep. I can go at them with JOY and STRENGTH beyond all comprehension, and I can come out on the other side full of HOPE, and of VICTORY, in Christ.”

    I have talked long enough. These videos made such an impression on me… I am happy they did you so much good as well. You take care of yourself SDN… and you too Trying… May God look after you and everyone here…and surround you all with His angels… WP (Work in Progress)

    • Trying from United States says:

      I will be brief… I too was deeply touched by the videos you shared, WP. Finally took time to watch them this evening AFTER I had watched this one. It is about 40 min long, but compelling! I believe this is in Nigeria. I have wept with joy tonight. They all tie together so well weaving a beautiful tapestry in our journey of healing. My heart is FULL of gratitude tonight for the love of my Heavenly Father.

      SDN–thanks so much for your encouragement and prayers–priceless!! Our God is an awesome God!

      • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

        Hi Trying! Your video is remarkable!! to say the least. Thank you for sharing this… also now I have the sidebar with other accounts and stories… all precious in their own right. You say it well, “They all tie together so well weaving a beautiful tapestry in our journey of healing.” Our healing is a tapestry… this is true.

        You seem to have such a good grasp of the love of God the Father. This is a precious thing Trying… I’m very happy for you. It has taken me a long time to perceive this, to “get it” and to really make it “my own.” I am clearly not as far along as you are… it is encouraging to read your words and absorb them. Your EA must have been extremely difficult. I marvel at how well you have handled this – truly remarkable! Thanks for your posts… they are always welcome Trying. WP (Work in Progress)

    • SDN from United Kingdom says:

      What a sweet response WP & oh so very well thought of. Or maybe you just have the knack of writing exceptionally well. WP, I did not know that you too felt distant from your dad. So I am surprised. A father plays a different role in the life of his son than in the life of his daughter. Does this make sense?

      O WOW you were/are an athlete. Fascinating. Builds more character to this ‘WP’ that I know of. WP, I will definitely take your word for it, I will be guarded, ALWAYS. Every step towards God, surely Satan will try to deter me. And right now I feel Godly.

      I am about to read the Bible and have a quick nap. Please let me know how you’re feeling today. I think you are doing really well WP. You are handling the EA effects very well. Keep it going. Only with Him by your side will you succeed.

      Trying, I hope you are feelin much better. All my well wishes to you both. SDN

      • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

        Dear SDN!! Yes… I was always distant and afraid, to be honest. I know no other way. It was my father who told me I could have stopped the abuse I mentioned in previous posts. That is when my emotions shut down. Things are better now, but still distant. I hope you understand. I think you do. What you say does make sense -the role of a father in the life of the son versus in the life of the daughter. Different, but a very significant impact for both son and daughter. God is healing me though…it takes time… a work in process… you see? I’m at peace now. I don’t hold this against him. That would be cruel.

        I’ve been asking God directly about the pull of EA, as you advised. The first effect is that I sense I have a better “understanding” of it now… also after your comments re. filling the void. I know so well what you mean when you said, “The ‘pull’ of the EA was so intense. It was the desire to be loved and approved of.” You express it very well. But now it seems more managable, less overwhelming… less “impossible.” I need to keep going of course. I can do that.

        Yeess, I was a long distance runner when I was in my teens and twenties. I loved running through the woods, enjoying the nature… the silence of the forest when all you hear is the wind in the trees, the sound of your own breathing, the pounding of your feet on the path… was wonderful. Now I use a bicycle- to go to the train station to work, and again- to see the nature in my free time. I’m on a bicycle virtually every day now… this is when I’m closest to God. The “running video” had such an impact on me because I saw a father doing something I had never seen or experienced, or even heard of. This is but a shadow of the love of God the Father for us you know. Now the love of God is becoming more real… the concept eluded me for so long… as I think you can now more appreciate. As you so well say, “Only with Him by your side will you succeed.”

        To answer your question, I’m feeling pretty OK today. I hope the same is true for you. Thank you for your comments SDN. I hope you had a good nap and a good read in your Bible. Take care of yourself… WP (Work in Progress)

  7. Running Man from New Zealand says:

    Hello again all. What follows is the culmination of the process I have gone through over what will be 10 years of dealing with inward trials of the heart in the thorny and torrid matter of an emotional affair. My attachment began completely unawares, as I developed a seemingly neutral ‘friendship’ in the workplace with a professing Christian. As time passed, I became aware of a nagging trouble, but in reality, I could not identify what was occurring having no prior experience with any such thing. Of course, the issue is now now abundantly clear. This is all outlined in many previous posts, so I will skip any further details. After a very intense 2 years, I was extricated from this person and situation, but with great damage and loss, after my full and sudden confession.

    Over the 7 years post ‘break-up’ (which was really my ‘rescuing!) I’ve had extreme difficulty healing, and self-diagnosed with symptoms of post traumatic stress, coupled with complex grief disorder. My spiritual life took a huge hit, and the marriage was of course impacted deeply. However, as a believer of many years, all was not lost, and God faithfully restored me from an almost irreversible loss. I was literally spared at the 11th hour from falling completely and finally to this sin.

    My attachment to this other woman ran deep. The bonds I had forged, had, almost unnoticed, become so deep and strong that this woman had taken the place of my wife, my family and my God in my heart of hearts. It was not until much later that I realised how deep this poison ran. It was made worse by the fact that this woman completely closed up to me, and would not discuss any issue, despite her being an emotional time-bomb on so many other private levels. To me, she closed her doors, making any resolution much harder. Honesty evaded her, and, while I was open about everything and desired closure, in the fractured phone calls over the last 7 years, she would never be honest with me, and in the brief minutes I talked now and again when in pain, she kept repeating this pattern.

    As my 6th year post ‘breakup’ came to a close, I had reached a breaking point, and wished to air everything in the hope of being able to finally get my much needed closure, honesty and resolution (perhaps, even an apology!). I began the process of planning this, and first asked permission of my wife to make formal contact. I explained my reasons, and discussed this with my support people also. I then made contact and set up a time to talk. Strangely, she suggested meeting (!), something I was stunned by, and almost was speechless. It remained a strictly ‘over the phone’ meeting. As the day drew closer, I had written a 10 page letter, which was basically an impact statement of what I felt this entire sordid affair had done, and how it should be viewed from a spiritual perspective. I planned to read this letter out, so as not to miss any points I wished to raise.

    By this time, I learnt that I wasn’t the first man to have had advances from this woman. This news had come by a trusted source, several years earlier. Despite this being confirmation to my much earlier suspicions, my heart was still welded to her. How fickle and twisted our hearts can be! They will dominate even our common sense if left to their own devices!!

    When the day came, we spoke over the phone for almost 4 hours. I read my letter, and was in tears for much of the time. I made many statements, questioning her intentions (I felt ‘groomed’ by her in all honesty, and that she did not ‘love’ me as such, but rather her real intentions were much darker.) Despite her not disagreeing with my many points around this issue, she never openly admitted, nor apologised in any way, but did say, that she ‘loved me as a friend’ -I however, know she wanted me to fall for her, and did indeed seduce me, and was quite proud of her immense power over me. All this I said, but it fell on deaf, but listening ears.

    However, I’d like to make some comments on those wishing for resolution via this ‘planned’ route. Firstly, it WILL cause damage by reopening the wounds. Even though you may feel relief initially, the payback is intense. Secondly, you are not guaranteed to hear the answers/words you expected, nor may you get a response that fulfils your needs. I had basically known that I would most likely get the usual avoidance, non-committal responses, and this was indeed the case on the day. Secondly, I think it’s unlikely that your discussion will be complete. The exchange will raise further questions, that will then trouble you as they become pressing, and you require further answers. These answers are now barred from you by the fact that your ‘allowance’ of time is now fully over.

    When I was on the phone, my EA partner took her dog for a walk. It only struck me later that evening, that she was probably walking to where I had told her I might park. I had in fact parked in a totally different area. She wanted me to see her. She even boasted to me about how good she looked! Enough to say, that I deeply mistrust this woman now, but of course, as you all know, the bonds formed almost eclipse common sense in this area!! I was so wrapped up in my ‘pain’ on the day, that I didn’t even think to drive to try to see her -much to my amazement (and subsequent disappointment after the event) -I was quite tormented by this fact for several days.

    In summary, while I made all my points, the fact that I read, meant she listened, and I really never got any straight answers about her real motives in our ‘friendship’. Suffice to say, the very next day, it was windy and wild, and I drove to the spot I had spoken from, and literally screamed out to the Lord as I have never done before. If I could have gone to an isolated mountain top I would have, but instead I used the car to cry out to God to heal me from this most intense emotional pain. As you will know, it is the most gut-wrenching experience.

    To this day, I could ask my questions, and still the answers would not be forthcoming, and it is for me to deal with this. At the time I felt I was great trouble, as things were left hanging. It was only a few months and I called her once more. I was struggling…days later, another call. I realised I was literally fighting for my life here. I was in REAL danger. Over 6 year mark, and in deep still. Our very last conversation ended as I told her to tell me to ‘go away’ to which she expressed sadness. I knew that this time, everything was on the line, and felt I may not even make the journey.

    It was from this fallen and seemingly hopeless position that the Lord did indeed assist me, and answered the agony of my prayer. The post that will follow I trust will help explain an area of that I had not realised was directly responsible for my original sinful actions in an emotional affair. RM

  8. Running Man from New Zealand says:

    Dear Believers in Christ. Are you like David, troubled by your scarlet sin? Weighed down by your transgressions?Defeated by your iniquity? You read that Joseph wisely fled when the vile seductress who sought to trap him, leaving only a tear of his fabric in her clasp. If even righteous Joseph was imprisoned and punished for doing no wrong, then how much more does your conscience prick you as you recall that you did not run like Joseph, but lingered and now your very soul is torn and tattered by your disobedience. Do we not deserve far worse than he?

    But wait! You have forgotten Christ! Recall this: Christ came into the world to save SINNERS! Do you not know that it is a truth that Christ loves sinners? Then your Bible is unread! There is salvation here for YOU! See Him as He talks beside the well, offering the water of life freely to a wayward one, then come with me and hear Him speak with another caught in the very act of adultery asking, “Where are your accusers?”

    Then draw near and observe a sinful woman washing His feet with her tears. Dear one: he who loves much, is forgiven much. Turn from your sin and go in peace! There is healing stream flowing from Calvary. A blood bought sacrifice that washes white as snow. No sin can stand in its wake, and all is washed away into the sea of God’s forgetfulness. Take the promise dear one, and cling to Christ. He is your safety, the lover of your soul. Your broken and contrite spirit, like David, is a sacrifice that God will not despise.

    • Trying from United States says:

      Thank you, RM.

    • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

      Hi all! To Trying and SDN, I’ve written responses to your posts at the “reply” option just below each. Thank you both for your words… they mean so much these days.

      Hi Running Man from New Zealand, Thank you Thank you for your honesty and transparency…and for taking the time to share your very personal details with the community here! These EA’s can be SO compelling and dangerous. I can only imagine the stress you endured for so long. I’ve never heard of complex grief disorder… just the name itself says a lot. Now I understand better the analogies you used in your earlier posts… the poison and the arrows embedded deep? Very graphic! You express such difficult concepts very well RM… You WERE fighting for your life! But you’ve come out on the other side… bruised and bloodied, but wiser for the experience and armed with weapons no one can take away from you.

      I have to admit though, you stated in your first text the following: “The post that will follow I trust will help explain an area of that I had not realised was directly responsible for my original sinful actions in an emotional affair.” However, in the second post I don’t see the explanation of the “origin of your sinful actions” unless it is “that you did not run like Joseph, but lingered…” I must be missing something here…

      Anyway… I need to read your text a few times more to appreciate the full significance of your account. I hope you are doing better… now 7 years later… sounds like a very difficult road. You take care RM.. WP (Work in Progress)

      • Running man from New Zealand says:

        Hi WP – haha – yes, my second post was somewhat unexpected, and I just had to write it at that time…being late…so my 3rd post will explain…apologies there. I seldom can snatch time without rushing at the moment, hence my disorganization :-)

  9. WP from EU from Netherlands says:

    Hi you all… I wanted to share the latest very unexpected development with you… just to get it off my chest. I was in my normal email just now when a notice came in that one FB OW had contacted me. I clicked on the photo… and I was into her FB page without warning. OMG!! My wife was in the kitchen… so I called her in and said, “Can you look at this please?” I had promised her I would never go into FB unless she were with me. SO we looked together… and it turns out she has been writing very short notes, “How are you?” or “How are you doing?” about every 5 days since mid- July… (My wife could also see that I had not answered all these notes… that I had kept my promise… that was good). We talked about it and agreed that I would write a note to her. Here’s the note with which we both agreed to send: (her name is of course not OW)

    Hi OW… I got on FB by mistake when I clicked on your photo, after seeing an email notice that you had contacted me- My wife and I both know you are sorry (note from 19 July) and that is now not a problem. Our friendship went out of balance- it was not good for you, nor was it good for me. My marriage means everything to me, as you know… so I made a promise to my wife that I would stay away from FB. This is why I have not been here. We both think of you frequently and pray for you and the children. I want to keep my promise and stay off of FB. I hope you understand. Please respect my wishes. God knows where you are… and He will take care of you in every way. We are both fine and we both wish you well OW.

    It was difficult to do this, thinking she must be hurting…and not wanting her to hurt…but if I start chatting again… I’ll lose more than 3 months NC and will be back to square 1 in an instant. I’ll also be hurting my wife far more than OW. I KNOW that getting back into FB would be a mistake. So I am OFF now. It is a big help that my wife knows this. I am just trying to adjust now. It’s true that I CARE for her and the children… I don’t think that is wrong. Of course I would like to talk with her… but I KNOW it hurts my wife- I can understand that. It helps me to write this out even though I know it is the right way to go… sigh… WP (Work in Progress)

    • SDN from United Kingdom says:

      O WoW WP! Well Done!!!! I am absolutely proud of your will power. You ‘mistakenly’ clicked on her photo, revealing all her messages to you. Sounds like the works of Satan, wouldn’t you say? I mean, here you are trying your utmost BEST to maintain NC! You prayed specifically that the ‘pull’ be less intense; and here after 3 months, you realize the OW has sent you messages.

      How good you must have felt at that moment. I can imagine you and the shock, the few seconds it would have taken you to deliberate..Be transparent to your wife OR log back on fb and connect again with OW. Quite a difficult choice there taking into account the feelings you have had for the OW. Once again, highly commendable WP! You did the best thing you could have ever done for yourself, your wife and the OW.

      This bears testimony, always be on guard. Every step closer to God and away from the EA, I believe Satan will be lurking somewhere, waiting to catch you off guard. Thank God for the wisdom he gave you at such a crucial moment. You COULD have relapsed, making the 3 months NC go in utter vain.

      PS- Was so amused with the way you felt you needed to state that her name is not really OW. Lol. Made my day.
      All my best wishes to you WP. I am so happy for you. SDN

      • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

        Dear SDN! Ohhhh SDN…thank you for your response!! I have to say at first it wasn’t such a good feeling but rather a feeling of being torn in 2 directions…one- realising the “pull” is still there, but less intense, different…and on the other hand KNOWING that if I did just get on FB and chat…that I would regret that option VERY much. I really wish this had not happened! It was so unexpected…a bit of a shock really.

        I do thank you for your comments. Yes I need to be on guard…so true. I did feel good after we had finsihed talking it through. I felt I was in a safe position and that I don’t have to hide.

        I’m glad my comment made your day…my saying that her name is not really OW! We all need a laugh once in a while…
        I hope you have a good day SDN. Bye for now….WP (Work in Progress)

  10. Running Man from New Zealand says:

    Dear All. In conclusion to my previous post, I’ll detail what I believe is central to the development and continuation of an emotional affair. While I believe this was a central component in my particular situation, I believe it may well be a core component of most, and will have an element to play in all emotional affairs.

    First, let me set the stage by asking you to dwell on something so horrifying that it defies belief: most of us were willing to SACRIFICE our FAMILY and our FAITH for another PERSON. All this, while explicitly outside of our God-ordained marriage covenant and outside the will of God for us. You MUST think on this. As painful as it is, as foul as it is, you must confront this harsh reality. I was willing to put everything at risk (including my children, reputation and home), for another sinful, flawed human being. This is astounding, is it not?? This is so outlandish that were it not true, we would deride any such person as completely insane!! However, this was US!

    Secondly, let us learn from this that for this to occur, we must have allowed another person to completely overtake the place of our husband or wife in our HEARTS. Not only this, this ‘invader’ had robbed our Lord Jesus of His place in our hearts also. He or she had pushed Him aside, even though it may have been slow or sudden, God was eventually replaced by an overwhelming desire for another person. Our ‘first love’ for God, the intimacy with our spouse had vaporised, and the ‘stranger’ had become ‘all consuming’.

    There is no point staying with this, as we overwhelmingly know this to be true. We put this person on a pedestal. We elevated them to a ‘god-like’ status in our hearts. We ‘adored’ them, we ‘idolised’ them. All at the expense of family, faith and friends. Now we must analyse the root cause of this. This is essential, as I believe our entire issue pivots around the above.

    Some of you may already see where I may be heading with this: the issue of this elevation, this lifting up of another. This obsessive focus of attention given to another person. There is something deeply disturbing here, and something so vile in the sight of God, that should make every Christian tremble.

    Many of you will be familiar with the Apostle Paul stating that the law of God had convicted him of sin. His conviction came along the lines of ‘covetousness’. Now this is where it all gets VERY interesting. Seriously interesting. Let me quote the 10th Commandment, given to Moses – Exodus 20:17: “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbour’s.”

    The 10th commandment is often referred to as the only commandment that deals with the HEART. It deals with the INWARD MOTIVES, the affections. It’s here, in the hidden places of heart that lie the secret desires and thoughts of every man or woman. Motives, desires, thoughts that nobody else can see, but God Himself. Now follow me carefully here…the 10th commandment is linked inextricably to the 2nd commandment –You shall not make idols. The commandment against idolatry is of course a warning against worshipping anything other than God Himself (1st Commandment). Exodus 20:3-6 “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”

    This linking of covetousness with idolatry is KEY. This linking is easily proven as Paul goes on to explain: “Therefore put to death your members which are on earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience” (Colossians 3:5-6).

    To solidify this truth, and establish it beyond doubt, Paul writes to the Ephesian church: “For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Ephesians 5:5).

    Dictionaries often describe idolatry as: “Blind or excessive devotion to something” or “the worship of a physical object as a god”. These are biblically accurate descriptions. As we reflect on all of the above, we have quickly established that IDOLATRY lies at the root of our issue. It’s evidence of our CORRUPT NATURE, which leans constantly towards what is FORBIDDEN.

    Return for a moment to Exodus 20 and notice the peculiar expansion that God makes when dealing expressly with the 2nd Commandment: “for I the Lord am a JEALOUS God…” Do you see it? Scripture over and over again points to the sin of idolatry as SPIRITUAL ADULTERY! This is brought home by God’s peculiar depiction of jealousy in connection with this one serious sin.

    Now if this were the end of the story, it would be enough surely to assist us in pinpointing the source of our woes. However, there is yet more to discover here. You see, lying behind idolatry is the real enemy here. It is SELF. At the very heart of idolatry, lies the foulest of idols…worship, adoration, veneration of SELF. It is SELF-WORSHIP that is the crux, the source, the fountain-head from which proceed all these other sins. Once self-worship is established in the heart, the little foxes run wild, multiplying sin after sin, until the entire vessel becomes a corrupt, festering wound, infecting all around.

    Jesus Himself establishes this fact: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).

    And again: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). Again in Matthew 15:19 “For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” In a nutshell: we built up this person, we worshipped and adored them, we idolised them, not for THEIR SAKES, but in the final analysis, FOR OURS! We created, nurtured and fed this obsession, not as a means of EXPRESSION, but rather in SELF-SERVING worship of OURSELVES! We ourselves wished to be WORSHIPPED, IDOLISED and GRATIFIED. I urge you to ponder this on your knees, scriptures in hand, before the Lord.

    Let me know briefly explain how graciously, and powerful they Lord brought this home to me. As I stated, was in grave danger, and felt hopeless after years of struggle in unravelling this issue. In God’s providential timing, a powerful preacher was visiting our country for the first time (Paul Washer). While I was unable to attend the conference he was speaking at, we were able to watch a live feed of the sessions. It was a holiday weekend, so we had three wonderfully blessed days of rich, powerful, humbling teaching streaming into our home.

    Many were blessed up and down our country. On several occasions I had to leave the room, and retreat to private tears and confession, such was the power and conviction of the messages. It’s during this weekend the the Lord exposed the idolatry of my heart, further cementing it by leading me to realise that it was in fact self that lay behind my misplaced affections, and that I had strayed so far from the Lord by my sinful idolatry and culture of self. What a mighty revelation this was to me, considering the lamentable position I had come to, only days before.

    So thrilled by this discovery was I, that I wished to somehow express my release to my EA partner. I initially tried to phone a few days later, but instead settled on a long text message. I think the appropriate way to end is with the message I sent, as it was an outpouring of my heart at that time.

    “Hi. I feel a text is better than talking so let me briefly explain. I wished to tell you how the Lord has taught me, via many tears and trials, the root issues behind so many of my struggles. He has made me wait almost 7 years to finally bring me to see some very shocking truths about myself. Through much disappointment, valleys and heartache, the Lord brought clarity almost immediately, for which I am so thankful.

    It is the Lord alone who rises with healing in His wings. I cannot boast of anything I have contributed. It was only last week that I thought I would not make the journey, and be totally defeated. But in His way and timing God used this weekend to expose the great idolatry that is hidden in my heart. Worse, He then began to show me that this idolatry was nothing short of self-worship, greed, and covetousness.

    In creating a wicked idol, I had sought to worship no-one but myself. Our hearts are terrible idol factories!! These twin truths shocked me to my core, brought me to my knees, and with many tears of repentance, Christ led me to tears of joy. In exposing the wickedness of my own heart, I was set free in that very moment.

    I knew my heart had wandered so far from my first love for God, and I had been distracted from the immense satisfaction of unpolluted worship and service to God alone. I had allowed my own hands to create and fashion this. All in selfish, self-serving motives. I wish nothing more than to find my all in Jesus Christ, and be filled with His Spirit. It is all about Him.

    There is no time to waste. I want to prepare my heart and soul to meet Him, which will be very soon. I fix my eyes on eternity, where there are pleasures without end, and to hell with any wicked scheme and corruption that might seek to draw me away from this. I have much time to make up for and need to wrestle in prayer for more seriousness regarding the reality of judgement, of hell, of heaven and order my life accordingly.

    I’m done with the past and the book is closed and I will not communicate with you again while I remain alive on this earth. It would be totally wrong and unfaithful to God and my family. I wish you and your family to experience the grace and mercy of God in all His fulness. I pray you will use some of your upcoming holiday to this end.

    In the end, all of this comes back to the question: do I fear God? He is both utterly limitless in His love, but completely terrifying in His anger. I’ve had to fall on my face repenting of my unbelief and lack of godliness. God heals the brokenhearted, lifts up the downcast, and in Him are joys beyond compare. I go rejoicing on my journey, having repented of the past, knowing that whatever the future yet has in store, I am “safe in the arms of the Lord.” I do pray the above helps somebody here. Blessings to you all. RM.

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