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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1,808 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 :-)

    • Beth from United States says:

      Awesome words, only way to move on. In Christ’s arms.

  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)

    • Trying from United States says:

      I am thankful to hear that God gave you the grace to call your wife in to handle the mistake together. I have felt this same grace in calling and telling my sister in Christ about when I broke NC a few months ago. It is hard, but its RIGHT. We have to deny ourselves, and think of our loved ones…..which you did. You may not “feel” like giving thanks for this incident, but I encourage you to truly thank God that He gave you the courage. Each victory is a step on the path of healing. Stay in the Word, and pray often.

      God bless you with peace.

      • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

        Hi Trying…Thank you! I needed to hear that.. Yes, I AM thankful. You’re right,I do need to pray and read. You have a good day Trying. I hope you are well, 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.

    • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

      This is frightening RM….

    • SDN from United Kingdom says:

      WP I responded to you above your own post. SDN

      • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

        Dear SDN,
        Do you mean your text of October 2, 2015 at 2:49 am? I saw that earlier, thank you! Did you see my posts of October 2, 2015 at 9:14 am, and then of October 3, 2015 at 11:26 pm?

        I was rereading your text of October 1, 2015 at 2:11 am….. It reads SO well… and I can identify with virtually all of it…. you write very well SDN….. I’m sure you will use this talent in your work as a attorney…! Guard your heart SDN…. look up…. and know that God is never far away… Please let me know how you are doing?? Take care of yourself SDN, WP(Work in Progress)

        Hi Running Man!
        Thank you for your latest analysis…as I mentioned before, I find this frightening to be honest. I have to read your text a few times to really get it all. I really appreciate the time your took to put it together! I hope you are in a better place now…after such a long “EA road.” You stated: “I want to prepare my heart and soul to meet Him, which will be very soon.” May I ask…what are you implying here? Take care RM, WP (Work in Progress)

        • Running Man from New Zealand says:

          Hi WP. Thank you for your kind words. Thank you to for your honesty. Yes, I think these truths can indeed lead to feeling a form of ‘fear’. I would like to think that the subject of idolatry should engender this response if we rightly understand Gods intense hatred at all forms of idolatry, and also understood His jealousy for a pure-hearted Christian heart in His children. I think that is actually an incredibly heathy response. You know, the longer I live, and the more I read of the lives of the millions of Christians who lived before us, the more convinced I am that we are so immersed in our modern culture, that we have become very infected by it, without even knowing it.

          For example, did you know that it was incredibly common for believers to go though what may be called ‘the dark night of the soul’ prior to conversion? In other words, they felt great conviction come upon them due to their sin, the felt the awesome holiness of God, and cried out for Him to save them. This may last hours, days, weeks or even years!! Then, in His mercy, God would answer their prayer in an incredible saving way, and they were powerfully saved!! The praise such people gave after their conversion is like listening to angels proclaim praises to God!! There are thousands of such cases over the centuries. How different is conversion now!!

          The believers before us, often had such a reverence, such an experience, and such a self-depricating, holy lifestyle, that it makes us look quite sick and weak in comparison. I think Christianity has been terribly assaulted by a post-modern mindset and worldview, and the church has been ill-prepared to counter it, and in the most part, even bought into it in areas. I think we have been sold into bondage by the thought of being ‘judgemental’ at the expense of holding to the truth in love. I think this has also been encouraged by the reduction in the reverence and place given to the bible, to preaching, and critical attitudes to the age-old belief that the Word of God stands for all time. We are the generation of the biblically illiterate. A brief study of the statistics can prove this in no time!

          If we are weak in the Word, we are weak in the world, in our lives, and open to all kinds of problems and deceptions. I say this to point out that weak believers are easy pickings and sure targets of the devil. We resist the devil not only by knowing the word of God, but by OBEYING it.

          This is pivotal to recovering from sin, and avoiding sin. If we realise who GOD is, who WE are, and WHERE we are going, this changes our perspective and thought processes, and of course our actions. If we cannot think the thoughts of Christ (the Word of God) then how can we even attempt to work though issues such as an affair type situation? A study on the ATTRIBUTES of God is well worthwhile. May I suggest “Behold Your God” in this regard:

          A correct view of God, and correct view of our hearts, and a biblical view of salvation changes everything about a man or woman. They will never be the same again. How can they? So a sin so great as idolatry, moves from just being a mere ‘word’ or ‘commandment’ to being seen as foul, hell-deserving, and serious.

          But regarding ‘fear’, it does not stop there of course. As I said to Trying, God is now our Father, so learning a hard truth about ourselves, leads us to repentance, and then to RESTORATION, fellowship and greater love to the Lord. It is RELEASING, not destroying. It is designed to destroy only SIN, but not the believer, who is God’s beloved child. If it does not lead us to worship, liberty and love, then we have approached a doctrine, or truth incorrectly. It should always, eventually, lead to the worship at the end of Psalm 51 after David repented of his grievous sin.

          Regarding my comment “which will be very soon”, I am actually in the midst of ‘preaching’ to my EA partner in reality. I am seeking to bring her to see the brevity of life…all of us have a terminal illness…it is called LIVING. We will be dead and gone in just a few days in reality. It may be tomorrow! Are we ready? Have we got our affairs in order with God? We are on our way to the throne room to stand before the King of the Universe! I feel death approaching, not that I am particularly old or sick, but that I do feel old, and I do long for heaven. I also know that I do not know my hour…so it is soon!

          I hope that helps and is of use WP. God bless you and your input and struggles with this issue. Blessings to you. RM

  11. Trying from United States says:

    RM, I deeply appreciate your expression of your life changing experience. The realization that we have made an idol of SELF is indeed disturbing, and I believe one of the ways satan deceives many. I had come to the understanding that I had made an idol out of the EA relationship. but not an idol of self. I am grateful for that awareness now.

    No wonder Jesus preached repeatedly to deny ourselves. SELF and its needs grabbing at our very soul. Once again, an illustration of the vitality of keeping our focus on Jesus, no matter our circumstances. God is faithful, merciful, and full of forgiveness when we humble ourselves and confess our sin. Praising Him that you have found that to be TRUE.

    • Running Man from New Zealand says:

      Hi Trying. Thanks for the feedback. Yes, I made sure to mention that this was what the Lord brought home to me, not in ‘words’ so to speak, but by impressions upon my heart as I was exposed to preaching and scripture on the attributes of God including His holiness, mankind’s depravity and sinfulness, and my own weakness and sinful nature apart from Christ’s work. i can absolutely see where one might stop at applying idolatry to our placing something/someone on the throne of our hearts, and stopping there.

      My second application does indeed go further. It is a hard pill to swallow, but a study on idolatry will often throw up this more probing suggestion, something I came across in even my small ‘bible study’ of a few days ago on this topic. I was quick to find the application moved from idolatry to showing it as a subtle form of self-worship. But yes, we must know if this is true for ourselves. As mentioned, I found this to be the case with me, but may not be the case for everybody perhaps.

      You will probably know by now that I hold to the view of the total depravity of human nature…being dead in sin, apart from the work of Christ…in other words, worse than valueless…utterly corrupt. This viewpoint magnifies Christ’s work, while minimising the work of a man or woman in the work of salvation in any way. This leads to a very deep distrust of the heart before regeneration, and a continued watch upon the heart after. It places ALL the emphasis on Jesus Christ, and all the weight, strength and trust falls upon His mighty shoulders. Hence my previous posts about STATE verses STANDING. Our state can be so varied. We can feel utterly hopeless, downcast and be in a world of trouble…but this can NEVER affect out standing..This is FIXED and FIRM in Heaven, all due to Christ, and nothing at all to do with our own strength. This fills the believer with incredible assurance! Salvation, sanctification, glorification…it is all due to HIM!

      I must state this: while what I concluded may at first glance seem ‘shocking’, I personally found it to be entirely healing and liberating. This is simply because it finally EXPOSED the root of my problem. This enabled me to see that it was in fact MY problem. It was something I had done. I may have been quick to blame it on my EA partner many times, but God finally showed me it was really a heart issue with me. This turned the tide! Yes, tears of repentance,,,,but then tears of joy!

      I do not boast. Things can still be hard. But I can now go back to this and RECALL! I can THINK it over when I get down on it perhaps. There may not ever be a total ‘quick fix’ to our problems. I for one, know I’ll NEVER be the same again. But I’m not afraid in many ways. I feel imprisioned by this in some ways, but within the prison, even though I feel somewhat of a shadow of the man I was, I can hear the bang of the blacksmith, I can smell the smoke and feel the heat of the furnace! Trials can quicken. While the outward may look to be fading, the inner-man is catching alight! Blessings. RM

    • Beth from United States says:

      Great advice, so true.

  12. Running Man from New Zealand says:

    I would like to say one last thing for now. As I thought over my ‘concluding’ post on the root cause for me, I realised that, I may not have given an APPLICATION. I think I need to apply these truths by bringing out the question: “so what?”. The What is what we DO with the knowledge. I think it is quickly summed up in realising that these trials of the heart, these struggles and pains are always designed to take our eyes of every earthy bastion of hope!

    We are being FORCED to find that the earth we inhabit has no lasting, refreshing wells! It is barren, stony and dark. Even the loveliest person, the most beautiful scene, the most comforting music, or arms, are but broken cisterns, dusty wells, and will soon all be gone from our grasp. There is no balm here…there is nothing that really SATISFIES!

    I do wish I could elaborate, but I have said enough already! I am reading a most wonderful book on the life of George Whitefield, and have met along the way incredible people such as John and Charles Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, Howell Harris, and many others. All these people point to this truth! They found their riches in really KNOWING God, and KNOWING Christ, in a personal powerful way!!

    This is the secret! The answer. I push on, and wish, like these wonderful saints of the past (and present) aim to know Him as my all in all. I posted this hymn previously which summed it all up:

    Blessings to you all my friends!! RM

    • SDN from South Africa says:

      Hi everyone, RM and dear WP. Thank you RM for your graphic and explicit posts. As WP mentioned, it had to be read more than once to truly grasp the intended meaning of your posts. A part of me feels however that I’m not fully equipped to understand the wisdom you are trying to impart. Nevertheless, I do understand bits and pieces. I am grateful for your words and yes your story is scary but I sense a bit of excitement in your revelation. Its almost as though you were given a new life. Indeed you have been.

      WP How are you? I read ALL your posts. There is not much I can say about my EA as it is non-existant and I don’t even think of the OM anymore. However I would love to know about you and your progress more. Tell me, did you expect a response from the OW? I am trying to decipher, did you not feel within yourself or imagine how the OW reacted to your message ? Or did your message TO YOU have a farewell tone behind it? So interesting. To be quite honest the ‘OM’ in my EA seems soo???… How can I say… After I read all your posts here, I feel that the OM had no substance. It was just a very puerile game he played. There was obviously no feelings on his part. So perhaps he was a ‘figment of my imagination’. It was just a fantasy played out in MY mind. Since after the things I heard about the OM, I realise I was just ‘one of them’. So I meant not much to him. THANK GOD! Lol. Oh well, all that is behind me now. Your story seems so much more mature. A lot of feelings involved.

      Have you done your biblical studies today!? Please refer some verses for me to focus, pray and read. I would very much appreciate it. Please let me know how you are doing today. What’s your frame of mind like recently? Do you have any bouts of sadness?

      Thank you for your comments on your last post. I always forget to thank you and let you know how much I appreciate your sentiments. It means the world to me when someone (only you have though) recognises my ‘talent’ in expressing my thoughts well. best of wishes to you WP. Take care. SDN

      • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

        Dear SDN, Hi … very nice to hear from you!… I am very happy you have read all my posts- To answer your question, I am doing pretty well, thank you. I am also very happy to hear that you “don’t even think of the OM anymore.” You have come so FAR in such a short time. May I tell you that I feel proud of how well you are doing? You are stronger than you think SDN.

        My message to OW (in my opinion) DID have a tone of farewell… I did not expect an answer, but she did write back saying she felt hurt that I left her and the children… that was a few days ago (I see her FB messages as an email notice). So I’m thinking about writing another answer. But you know, I have always felt I cared for her and the children “in a right way” as I stated more than once to her, precisely because I did NOT want to cross the line into an “EA”. It got out of balance because of the amount of time we were spending with talking… clearly too much.

        Of course my wife was not happy wth this. We would talk of many topics… often the faith, belief in God, that we cared for each other. (Here I think I DID cross the line…) also her situation at home…. (she was looking after the 3 children of her sister, who was also living with her. They have no work… for sure not easy). But now the pull is far less. It IS getting easier… I AM seeing things more clearly now.

        I have taken your suggestion seriously- to pray specifically that the “pull” would become less, and that I would find my place in the love of God and the love of my wife and family… the proper sources of love which God Himself has provided… It’s getting better SDN. Sometimes the sadness still returns….(Part is my childhood) but progress is steady… I’m still guarding my heart. Your latest text has been a real encouragement for me- that the EA will be behind me more and more. I look forward to that. I am not so sure my story is “more mature.” It is just different.

        Mmmm…. Bible reading. I am not so consistent with it I am sad to admit… but have a look at Psalm 15 (note the very last line of the last verse) and then Psalm 62 (note the difference between verses 2 and 6) What do you see? In Psalm 62 what has changed in the writer’s frame of mind between verses 2 and 6? Then read Psalm 91. :)) Please let me know what you think.

        SDN, you DO have a talent for writing! Do not doubt that… You take care of yourself. Let me know how you are doing when you have a bit of time? Cheers, WP (Work in Progress)

  13. Trying from United States says:

    Once again my faith has been strengthened and I have confirmation that God is guiding my healing. The fact that RM posts now after many months, at a time when I am open and seeking answers. I had another big disappointment with losing a good friend on Friday. In times of sadness and stress, I’m tested and tempted to break NC. How true that nothing in this life is lasting …and I am absolutely drawing towards Heaven with each day! I also feel like the days are very short–evil is prevailing in the world at astounding rates. Yet the fact remains God is in control of all things! Me, included :)

    I would like to share this with you this devotion from my morning reading, as follows:

    “It is enthralling to see how the troubles of one young man named Joseph could kick-start a whole chain of earthshaking events which would ultimately lead to our salvation. Oh, the wisdom and knowledge of God!

    Joseph’s story could be yours. Only heaven will reveal the incredibly complex intertwining of events in which you have played a pivotal role. Like Joseph, you may not be able to discern it at the time, but God has it all in hand…He has it all in control…and you, dear friend, are needed in His marvelous plan to spread His kingdom in your corner of the world.

    God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, thank You for the awe-inspiring lessons about Your sovereignty which You teach us through the story of Joseph. Thank You for Your dominion and rule, not only in his life, but mine.

    Blessings, Joni and Friends — Pearls of Great Price, Copyright © 2006, by Joni Eareckson Tada, Published by Zondervan, All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.” We can Trust Him who will reign forever and forever!

    • Running Man from New Zealand says:

      Thank you Trying. As it happens, I am taking our children through the story of Joseph just now. Appreciate you posting the reading. Hope you are well and happy. RM

  14. WP from EU from Netherlands says:

    Hi All- Dear SDN, I have just answered your latest post just above this last message from Trying (October 5, 2015 at 10:29 am)… You have a GOOD day today! I have included some Bible texts for you, as you requested. :))

    Hi Trying and Running Man… Thank you both- for your posts! Running Man, I have read through your posts more at length and they really illustrate to me how far above our own thinking is the vision and love of God Himself. We are so limited in our understanding and so narrow in our views. He is indeed able to do “abundantly beyond all that we ask or think!” And He does this on our behalf…as your texts illustrate. You have clearly travelled a difficult road, but God has brought you through, intact, to the other side and is using you to impart His special and individual messages to many!

    Trying, Your texts are a real blessing in the sense that they bring out how God is at work with you… and therefore also with us…in ways that I would not see unless you had shared your experiences with the rest of us. How God uses each of us in multiple ways. It’s hard to find the right words for this. Thank you for YOUR contributions, Trying.

    God works in ways far beyond all that we can fathom…May He continue to protect you three: SDN, Trying, Running Man and everone else who reads these posts…and take care of you all today. WP (Work in Progress)

    • SDN from United Kingdom says:

      Hi WP. You prescribed homework? Lol. I did it. Ok 1st of all, I acknowledge your previous posts but since I try my best to make time for my Biblical studies, I read through the verses you suggested and also wrote down what I thought. This post is an attempt to just share my sentiments with you only about the Psalms.

      Psalm 15: ‘Who may worship in your sanctuary Lord?…those who lend money without charging interest, and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent.’ I find this verse very significant in my field of career, given the fact that my job would be to defend the innocent against the ‘lying’ (liars). Also in this cut throat world, there are lawyers who can be bribed to lie about the innocent. Did you think of this in my context as a legal professional or was it purely coincidental?

      Psalm 62: In Psalm 62:2, for me, the difference is in the operative word being ‘VICTORY'(verse 1 followed by verse 2) and ‘HOPE’ (verse 5 followed by verse 6). The frame of mind of the writer in verse 2 portrays a lot of conviction for the writer is most certain that his victory (something positive) comes from Him. So there is a tone of positivity, strength and power. However, I notice that in verses 6, the writer speaks of ‘hope’, yes stil with conviction but he hopes that all the negativity he faces will be rid of by Him. So here, there is a longing?? Perhaps? In verses 1 the writer portrays himself as successful but in verses 5, and because of the word ‘hope’, I feel that the writer suggests that even tho he is successful, he still endures many obstacles, however it is because of his faith and Hope in Him, he becomes successful and attains victory. Perhaps and in my opinion, verses 1 should be read after verses 3-5. Do you understand me? I like this exercise WP but I somehow also feel lost in translation. Perhaps I am too technical. Maybe I am missing the bigger message all togther. Pls correct me where I am wrong.

      Psalm 91: Beautiful and inspiring, actually invokes a lot of trust in God that no matter what, He will never fail me but will always protect me against any calamity and I must just trust Him. Very COMFORTING. I love this Psalm.

      Thank you WP for referring this Psalms to me. My conviction in Him continues to grow stronger. My best wishes and sincere prayers for your wellbeing. SDN

      • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

        Dear SDN… Wow! You have a completely different view on these than I… and very interesting too! Psalm 15- I did not think of this Psalm because of your work in law- that is purely coincidental. But now that you mention it from a lawyer’s angle… yes I can see what you mean re. verse 5- taking a bribe against the innocent. Of course v. 2 is key as well- “he who walks with integrity and works righteousness,” and v. 3- slandering your friends and doing evil to your neighbor… Lawyers deal with all this in a graphic way! I never thought about that… What strikes me about this is much more basic… in short, when we are doing the things mentioned in Psalm 15, we will “never be shaken” (or pulled off track by EA”s, OM’s and OW’s or…!!).

        Psalm 62 verse 2- My soul waits in silence for God only… He only is my rock and my salvation- my stronghold, I shall not be greatly shaken. Here the writer is just starting to concentrate on God… He will “not be greatly shaken.” Here there is the possibility that he WILL be shaken somewhat… still a little unstable.

        Psalm 62:6: Verse 6 = verse 2, but one word is omitted. “He only is my rock and my salvation- my stronghold, I shall not be shaken. Notice he does not say “greatly shaken” Now he is stable and secure…”I shall not be shaken… period.” This is what impressed me with these passages…. what we can do to be “unshakable” but you now add a whole new dimension!

        You’re right… there IS a longing… now that you point this out. You say it very well here…” I feel that the writer suggests that even tho he is successful, he still endures many obstacles, however it is because of his faith and hope in Him, he becomes successful and attains victory.’ True!!

        You see a lot SDN… You would make a good lawyer I think. You have an analytical mind- who would think of placing verses 3-5 before v. 1? Sure I understand what you mean… I never saw that either. I just looked at it again now and noticed the following: v. 1 and v. 5 are very close! You are really teaching me to really OBSERVE… no, you’re not too technical at all. Rather… I am not so observant!

        Ahhh yes, Psalm 91 is wonderful… then you will like Psam 121 :)) These raise us above the EA’s and OW’s and OM’s and their “pools of quicksand” But I have some other Bible questions for you… but these can come later.

        I hope you are well today… and healthy… and basically happy. You seem to be in a good place… EA / OM pretty much behind you… sounds very good! Take care of yourself SDN… and thank you. My best wishes and sincere prayers for you too… WP (Work in Progress) To all… May God surround you with His angels and His care.

        • SDN from United Kingdom says:

          Hi Wp. Sigh. EA and OM behind me but still afraid of another EA coming on. Temptation. Having read your interpretations, I still feel I was rather technical in my understanding. That’s the problem with me. You say I am analytical. I wish I wasn’t, even tho it will help me in my career. Somehow that critical trait of mine somehow overwhelming to others. I read too deeply into things.

          Enough about me, how are you WP? Did you respond to OW’s response? I am so glad that you are also in a good space now. You seem so positive, as well. All in God’s favor. I believe Psalm 121 will help when one is travelling. Wouldn’t you say?

          I hope you are keeping well WP. And of course doing your Biblical studies. How, may I ask you do that? Would love some guidance on that. My best of wishes to you WP. SDN

          • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

            Dear SDN, Re. your interpretation of things, yes, you are technical and analytical- but you should not see this as a problem, but rather as a gift! You are not reading too deeply into things- rather you are seeing what is there!! (and which is not obvious to most other people) I do not see this as “critical” at all.

            I recognize so well where you are…”sigh… afraid of another EA coming on.” Is this a specific person now? or are you saying that you are in general afraid…? The “pull” is there SDN… it is there….and we both know what I mean by this. We need to be aware… our marriages and families are too valuable to put them in danger. I write these words for me as well as for you. I know how that pull feels… and it is powerful. I have wondered how you are doing lately SDN…

            This brings me back to the video clip of Tamara Laroux- who obviously had a difficult childhood, and yet who clearly came through it so VERY well… because of her conviction that she is loved by God and her sin is paid for by Jesus Christ. If she can have such confidence and peace in her heart, than so can you and I. We CAN live in FREEDOM… FREE of the pull of EA’s, and all other forces and temptations that pull on us… when I heard the strong conviction in her voice and sense the complete peace which surrounds her… I was really inspired and encouraged.

            The “runner video clip” as I said before, showed a father’s actions which illustrate to me the love of God the Father… for His highest creation- mankind…. for you and for me.

            To answer your question, I DID respond to OW’s response and it waorked out OK. It’s getting better SDN… but I must never become complacent. Yes I’m in a basically good place… but I need to watch myself and “guard my heart with all diligence.” Psalm 121 is a wonderful passage… so simple and so powerful. Helps when travelling, working, steering clear of EA’s and OM’s / OW’s… anywhere really…. like all the rest of the Bible.

            I am keeping well SDN, Thank you for your comment… I hope you are also keeping well too… As far as Bible reading goes…my mobile phone (an I-phone 4) has the app: NAS Acrobible. This is GREAT I have to admit.

            You asked for guidance with Bible reading. OK- here we go… to begin: I have a question for you: What do the following 4 verses tell you? All taken together? (Just “basic stuff” for now… your analytical abilites can come into play later :)) ) Take your time… ask for help (Ps 121) and it will come.

            Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.

            Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

            John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that all who believe in Him should not perish, but would have eternal life.

            Ephesians 2:8,9 It is by faith that we are saved, and that not of ourselves- it is the gift of God, not as a result of our own works, so that no person can boast.

            I will wait for your answer SDN… Then we can move to other subjects of interest to you… My best wishes to you as well SDN. You have a good day… take care…. WP (Work in Progress)

          • SDN from United Kingdom says:

            HI WP, Thank you for the last post. There isn’t a specific person in terms of a potential EA but as you put it the ‘pull’ is still there. Surprisingly tho, the pull isn’t so intense purely because of my new found knowledge and wisdom (Bible) AND things between L and I are much better. He is truly perfect. However, YES! Pull is still there. Perhaps its my nature to wear my heart on my sleeve (if u know what I mean).

            Hmmm. The Bible verses you prescribed for me, even tho I’m supposed to be looking at the ones you prescribed, I somehow get pulled into reading other verses. Intriguing. I’m hooked. I have a confession to make, I’ve recently been referring my prayers sincerely to Jesus Christ. Fullstop. Beautiful things have happened. Full stop. WP, you may interpret this as you may wish.

            Now, to the Bible verses: I am doing it now as I am online, Ok, here goes… Romans 3:23 reminds me of something I once read: How do you measure a ‘wrong’? Tramping on an ant Vs murdering 10 people. Both acts are WRONG. How do u measure this? Hence in 3:23, it states that ‘ALL’ have sinned. So before the eyes of God, everyone has sinned. We, participants in an EA have wronged and sinned no more than any other person we know of. Roman 6:23, I understood this verse as, Anyone who sins will have to face death unless they believe in Jesus Christ. John 3:16, similar to Romans 6:23 in that those believe and have faith in Jesus Christ, the Lord will have eternal life even if one has sinned. I also understand this as One must give ones life to Jesus Christ. Ephesians- Again similar to above mentioned verses- faith in Jesus Christ will save us from our sins and the wrath of it ie, Death. No death shall comes to us if we believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins. God loved us so much that He sacrificed His only son so that we may have eternal life. We must have faith. Even though we have sinned; engaged in an EA, God loves us,STILL. We must trust Him. These verses I am sure should give us all comfort. Yes maybe we did sin by engaging in an emotional affair but God loves us no less than our neighbour who claims he is righteous. We ALL have wronged in some way. Only God is entitled to judge the measure of our wrong.

            I believe in God WP, I believe he has His hand at work in my life. I find myself at crossroads recently. I wish had more guidance though. You seem SO much better WP! I am so glad that you are. And you bear testimony to the fact that the NC rule really does work. I hope that u move far beyond this. Thank you for the exercise WP, it was hard to find the time to put my mind to things, but here I have done it, and as type this , I somehow feel a sense of strength and peace, as though God is sitting right next to me. My sincere wishes to u WP. I await your next post. SDN

  15. WP from EU from Netherlands says:

    Dear SDN, Thank you so much for your latest post. I’m in a similar place as you it seems- yes the “pull” is still there, but less intense as I’ve really been taking your advice and asking (imPLORing!) that this “pull” would become less difficult to take… less intense… less compelling. That the love of God would become more and more my security, that His love would become yet more real for me… and you know… this is happening! It’s hard to describe… and I really don’t understand this process at all… but yes… it’s happening!

    “You somehow get pulled into reading other verses…” This is fine SDN!! No worries! Your “confession” (your referring your prayers sincerely to Jesus Christ. Fullstop. Beautiful things have happened (Full stop) has me VERY curious!!! Then you say, “WP, you may interpret this as you may wish.” Well, my feeling is that you have become much closer to Jesus Christ… that He is coming into your life in new and beautiful ways. Is this accurate? (He promises this you know… See John 6:37; John 14:27; Matthew 11:28-30; Revelation 3:20)

    I really like your comments on the 4 verses!… you reword them very well… and you go beyond them to truths which are expressed in other parts of the Bible. Again, your analytical mind at work. You have a way of putting different things together to make far- reaching conclusions… (in this case your earlier article, “How do you measure a ‘wrong’?” together with Romans 3:23)… and then your last comments on EA’s and neighbors… Impressive!

    But I also have a confession to make. You say, “You seem SO much better WP!” and you are right. But it has not been easy SDN. As you know I had received an email indication that one OW on FB had contacted me, and that I had answered her… this is true. Well, she contacted me again today. So I elected to answer her again. I ended up in FB talking to ALL 3 of them… short conversations only… in which I expressed that I’m happy they understood that I could not be in FB so often… because my wife was hurt before… telling them that my wife and I both pray for them (this is true) that God would look after them and protect them. I feel ashamed and very tired at one level… but also feel that it was a good thing. VERY unexpected!!

    I told all this to my wife straightaway… our conversation was short…. and I’m thankful to say we’re closer than ever. Only God in His mercy can do that.

    The pull was not nearly so strong as before. I think I’ve closed the chapter in a more complete way, that all sides understand things better. I sense that their hurt is for the most part healed. I feel this in both their comments and in my own reactions. Of course NC has to be the order of the day now. I have to admit… the pull is there.. and I have to make solid decisions now. Still difficult. But my comments at the beginning of this text are true. Now I need to pray and believe… and of course do my part.

    I too believe in God SDN. I believe He has His hand on your life and on mine. God IS sitting next to you SDN, when you write, when you work, when you sleep. I’m VERY happy to hear things are better between you and L. You say you find yourself at a crossroad recently. God is sitting next to you at these key events as well. Today was a crossroad for me! And I feel that God is here with me too.

    Perhaps you can spend some time in Psalm 139 :)) The first verses 1-6 seem to express your thoughts when you say, “and as I type this, I somehow feel a sense of strength and peace, as though God is sitting right next to me.” You have a good day SDN. All my best wishes for you. WP (Work in Progress)

    • SDN from United Kingdom says:

      Goodmorning WP. Thank you for your last post. I thought of you almost the whole morning. I will most certainly look into the Psalms that you suggested. All I want to say to you today is one thing: I asked you previously to focus your prayer on the ‘pull’. The Pull twards the EA and the OW. As humans, we concocted a policy, the NC rule. We put this device in place to help us HEAL. So here you are praying that the pull is less intense and that you maintain NC. I wanna tell you something WP, as much as you feel you defied the rule of NC, maybe your ‘relapse’ was Gods plan. You prayed for the pull to be less intense. MAYBE just MAYBE he wanted you to break the ‘human’ made rule of NC so that possibly the pull could be less intense. How do you feel now after speaking to the 3 OW? You feel at ease. Maybe you needed that final closure for YOURSELF. Maybe subconsciously something was worrying you OR maybe God is answering the OWs prayers. Who know! Only God knows best. Don’t feel ashamed WP. You made the right choice. And good on you for teling your wife immediately. God most certainly has His hand in your life. You are ‘work in progress’. You live by it. Thank God that He guided you. I hope you are better today. My well wishes to you. SDN

      • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

        Hi SDN… Thank you again SO much for your reply. My answer to your question, “How do you feel now after speaking to the 3 OW?” is… “The pull is very much there, but far less intense than before. I can be more objective now but I have to be very careful.” I need to define who these people are for the following text to make sense:

        OW1- a young talented artist and singer, unemployed, very pretty but with very poor self esteem.
        OW2- young mother, one son by a failed relationship, now working as a nanny for a family, very loyal.
        OW3- older woman, abused by her husband who died about a year ago, younger sister with her 3 children live with her, all unemployed, very difficult living conditions, poor health, very caring person, very thankful

        I know that if I were to go back to talking as often as I did earlier, that I would be very soon right back where I was before… emotionally far too close with all the stress that went with that. After our recent and short conversations, they do realize that I DO still care for them… but that, with my being married, it is not possible or good for any of us to feed the emotional bond any further. I specifically said, “It was never my intention to cause hurt here at all. But my wife is hurting when we are talking… and I cannot do that to her. This is my fault more than yours.” I realize that we had gone too far… that we had become too close. I asked the question several months ago to OW1 and OW2 when I was realizing I was in too deep…. “Be honest please –would you really want a man who’d leave his wife and family for another woman?” (Not that I was thinking of doing that… but recognising that that is where emotional affairs eventually end up) Answer from both: “Definitely NOT” I was very relieved… :)) OW3 sees me more as a close brother and friend… until once she said she viewed me as her husband… sweet person… never wanting to hurt but very hurt herself. We have talked since then, and that is all cleared up now. She was upset that my wife was hurting… never wanted to cause hurt… but now we are in a good place.

        I was helping all 3 with finances… OW3 a lot, OW1 and OW2 occasionally. OW3 contacted me for financial help… when I was on FB answering her, I saw a message from OW1 also asking for help… so our conversations revolved more around that, rather than around feelings, emotions, etc. More recently I’ve talked with them about emotions as well… and the conversations went very well. I am more objective and far less struggling with emotions now. I realise I need to take great care though.

        So I think I’m in a good place SDN. Your text rings a bell with me. I think you see things very well. You have been a real help for me you know. I think closure and balance has been achieved now… you have a good point here. I realise I am talking about 3 women in addition to my wife… I feel ashamed that I let things go too far… but it’s better now. We all have learned a lot. I hope I don’t come across here as a man who sees women as toys for his own amusement. I would never want that. I feel very vulnerable now. I am confident that God answers OW’s prayers. They are all praying people.

        Yes I am OK today, thank you SDN. God does have His hand on my life… and also on yours. Always nice to hear from you SDN. Your texts are always very insightful. Thank you!! WP

  16. Laura from United States says:

    Dear Trying, just wanted to let you know I’m thinking about you and praying for you. God bless, Laura

    • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

      Very nice of you Laura… Thank you!! To Laura, RM, Trying, Beth, SDN… other contributors here… I pray and trust you are all well… All of your texts have been such a help… each in your own way… WP

      • Laura from United States says:

        WP, I hope I didn’t offend you or anyone by speaking directly to Trying. I’ve not had the opportunity to catch up on everything and all of you. All of you are in my prayers too. Was just missing my long time friend and wanted her to know I was still here. God bless, Laura

        • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

          Hi Laura, Sure… of course… no worries! But your text is much appreciated. :)) I’m sure Trying will be very happy to see you’re thinking about her… her situation looks very difficult- in a longer term EA where it is hard for her to completely avoid the OM… but she is handling it very well! I appreciate the Scriptures in her texts.. she seems to be a wise and well balanced person.

          I have to admit, I had no idea what I was getting into until I was in “too deep.” These days, with the Internet and social media sites… increased travel and many men and women interacting far more in the workplace. It’s no wonder that marriages are more “under fire” than ever before. I have to be SO careful. I’m taking nothing for granted! My wife and I have had good conversations on this topic, but we both want to relegate this regrettable “chapter” to the past.

          Are you doing better these days?? I am “almost there” I think.. but I don’t want to become complacent. Would be nice to see you and the others a little more often… You, Trying, SDN, RM. You all feel like special friends… WP (Work in Progress)

    • Trying from United States says:

      Dear Laura, I appreciate it so much!! I had a rough week last week… I am very grateful for God’s faithfulness and will try to get back here with some reflection on what He’s teaching me. Prayers are not bound by time or space, and I praise Him that He provides for me (and all of us) in such precious unknown ways as your thoughts and prayers for me after all this time (5 years we have known each other, I believe :) Peace and grace on you and all who read here until next time. I hope to post within the next few days.

      • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

        Hi Laura, Trying… It is so very refreshing to see the close friendship between you two.

        Trying, your texts are always inspiring… thank you! I hope you are navigating calmer waters now after your difficult week. I hope all is well with you two, also SDN, RM… and the readers who visit here. Thank you all for your prayers and input! WP (Work in Progress)

  17. Elaine from Canada says:

    Greetings to SDN, WP, Trying, Laura, RM and all who post here! I have been thinking about all of you and wishing you God’s grace, peace and guidance in this very challenging issue of the EA that most of us are facing. Trying, so sorry that you have had a difficult time. I’m so thankful that you recognize how important it is to seek God’s help. Laura, so glad that you have posted here -you have been a good friend to all of us. WP, SDN and RM I have so appreciated your words of encouragement and support to myself and others.

    I had been in no contact for 3 weeks with my former co worker and fell “off the wagon” so to speak this morning. It hurts, his wife has been suspecting that something has been going on with him. So anyway it came to a head this morning when I called him and he said that we need to say goodbye now. I realize that it’s definitely for the best, and of course it hurts alot but I know I will get through this. I felt that posting here was the right thing to do.

    Things are going okay with the husband. Unfortunately some of his words and actions have been hurtful today and yesterday and so I am dealing with this as well as the death of my father in law.

    • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

      Hi Elaine, I am so glad you decided to post here and let us who read and contribute here SHARE your struggle! Maybe you have read some of my posts about this same process, and the letters I wrote with my wife to the OW’s on FB. Ohhh it hurt!! I felt it coming… I knew it had to happen… but it hurt more than I anticipated. We ALL know how that feels… and we ALL know that the pain DOES pass. Of course, the death of your father in law coming at THIS time adds to the hurt… I can imagine you must be feeling VERY low.

      As you know, sometimes we can only deal with the next few minutes at a time when pain like this is so intense… But those minutes DO pass… and then the next few… and the next. The next day comes… we are busy with chores and work… we get distracted… and somehow the pain diminishes…. and the sun starts to come out.

      This is how I pray…”May the sun (and the Son) drive away the clouds and shine on you and yours with warmth and blessing. May you be able to SEE your way forward and visualize the freedom that will soon be yours. May you sleep well and may God’s angels surround you and give you strength. May these difficult days pass quickly.”

      You’re right! You WILL get through this!! Everyone here I am sure is with you and prays for you… I have found this site to be such a help. I actually do my journaling here. I always appreciate input from you and all the others. Let us know how you are doing? OK?? WP (Work in Progress)

      • Elaine from Canada says:

        Hi WP: Your response/post really came at the right time. I’ve been feeling quite “low” during the past week but also pushing myself to be proactive and continuing with my life’s work. I found your words so supportive and understanding. Although your situation is different from mine I know that you totally understand the struggle that I’m facing. Yours is ongoing but you’re staying focused on your wife and with the Lord’s help that is all we can ask for.

        I know that pain as I’ve experienced that before, and know that it will eventually pass and that we can all be ‘free’ of it! I so appreciae your thoughts and prayers and will post in the coming days. I loved your beautiful prayer about the Son/sun, so inspiring to me! It’s good to get a guy’s perspective on the affair.

        • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

          Hi Elaine…. and Hi everyone, I am very happy that my comments were so beneficial for you Elaine…Whether you are experiencing the pain of the partner who “is rejected” or the partner who “closes the relationship,” I can tell you that it hurts VERY much from both sides. I think I do understand your struggle, which is why your comments struck a chord with me, and why I felt compelled to respond.

          Before I was married, I was engaged to a wonderful girl, who is also a talented musician. We were both Christians, and very committed to following God’s will in all our undertakings. This was not an EA, PA or anything like that….. All was well in that respect, we were both single and unattached. I was 25 years old at the time. I was strongly advised to break off the engagement, which I finally did after much thought, struggle, introspection, and finally, surrender to what I KNEW God was telling me.

          It was a HORRIBLE time! I cried for a WEEK. I am not ashamed to admit that, even though I am a man. I could not work, I almost could not even think. I remember those days (in 1978) like yesterday.

          You know what? The sun DID come out, and I DID move on. I never saw her or spoke to her again. The NC rule in it’s purest form. AND…. it WAS for the best Elaine. I never want to go through that again…and…looking back, it was far better than getting married to her. We would have fought incessantly and probably divorced. I will never know.

          Why am I saying all this? Because I can sense what you feel, and I hope my story gives you strength and takes some of the pain away.

          Now you are in the position of having to let go, and it is SO hard…. I know, OW recently contacted me again without warning… and the pain is back :(

          It is VERY hard to maintain NC right now….More I won’t say at this time, OK?

          What helps me right now is the following:
          – reading the advice at the beginning of this site, and other articles
          – reading the different posts on this site, and writing responses
          – reading about the statistics of affairs, and the destruction they cause
          – concentrating on my wife and throwing myself into our marriage (I DO have a happy marriage!)
          – asking God to take the “pull” away, and do the right thing here…
          – thinking about the consequences of pursuing such an affair…
          *wrecking my marriage, breaking up my family, ruining myself financially…
          – knowing that to stay inside God’s “fences” is the best

          I hope I haven’t “gone on” for too long..

          I could really use your prayers everyone…I hope you don’t mind my asking. Take care you all, It’s always nice to hear from you…WP (Work in Progress)

    • Trying from United States says:

      Dear Elaine, I’ve often thought of you and wondered if how you were doing with No Contact, and if you had met with him anymore. Thanks so much for posting so that we can pray specifically for you during this time. It will definitely be tougher with the death in the family as this loss can have a tendency to increase our longing to “share” with our EA. I’ll pray you can “be there” for your husband and kids as you all work through the grieving and saying “Good bye” to a loved one.

      Please post as often as you want as you work through this. I’m having a better week, was battling depression some last week. Will write more later–do take care and feel the prayers of all of us. I know I felt them in a very special way in June when my loved one passed. God is a Loving Heavenly Father who cares for each of us and knows our very deepest needs. I pray you will feel His Spirit and Presence.

      • Elaine from Canada says:

        Hi Trying: Thanks for responding as it has meant a lot to me. I’ve done my best to be there for my family. I have helped plan the service, which is today, and also hosted a dinner for my husband’s family. You know food is always important when we are grieving! He was a nice man and we always had a good and close relationship.

        I’m sorry you’re suffering from depression. One of my best friends has this and she has found therapy and medication helpful. You’ve probably done that already. Also, occasionally the Doctor has to adjust or change her medication. Depression is an uphill and difficult battle for many. Exercising and being outside can be helpful.

        Well, I did not contact other man after our conversation and felt accepting of the break up in the relationship. However, he showed up at my school after his workday. We exchanged greetings but I was not able to talk as I was leading our weekly Assembly so he stayed to watch it for a while. I experienced this OM #1 where he suggested no contact and continued to be around me. And so it goes… Thanks also for your support and I will pray for you, as well.

        • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

          Dear Elaine, Thank you for your very kind post yesterday- which I have answered above. You WILL get though this! You will…

      • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

        Dear Trying, I hope you do not mind my addressing you here since you are writing to Elaine…I wanted to tell you that your posts have always been inspiring and helpful…and I have great respect for you, the way you have navigated though such a difficult time. Small community, very hard to maintain NC…years-long EA…etc.

        You said in an earlier post, “I’m a very poor, weak woman who has allowed emotions, instead of Jesus, to rule my life for a time. In this period of pain, sorrow, and testing, my love for Jesus and my faith has grown stronger. Once again, He has patiently taught me that His love is the ONLY love that endures forever. As my love for Jesus deepens through trial and suffering, it’s that same love that gives me the courage to say “No” to contact from the OM. I may love OM, but I love Jesus more!”

        This really made an impression on me…and has been a great “stabilizer” for me…this.. and other posts of yours with scripture and exhortation and encouragement.

        I am sorry to hear you battle with depression…we have a friend with the same struggle…more I won’t say. I am happy to hear things seem to be getting better.

        You are a real inspiration on this site. I just thought I would like to tell you that. Hope you don’t mind Trying.

        Thanks a lot that you are here…WP (Work in Progress)

        • SDN from South Africa says:

          Hi Work in progress. I sincerely hope you are well. I have had no real time to sit on this site and put my mind to responding to your posts WP. Things have been real hectic at home recently and my mind is just exhausted reaLly. Know that I think of you a lot and often wonder how you are. I’m SO over this EA with the OM. It’s such a ‘normal’ feeling. Enough about me and more about you WP…

          I had no idea that you were financially supporting the OW. It changes the plot of your story somehow. For YOU, it was EAs but for the OW, I’m not sure what we can call it. WP, I feel so sad for u. I don’t know why really. You are SO precious. My instincts tell me you have a golden heart. I HOPE so much that this EAs can just go to its final chapter for you. Your recent posts here are so beautiful and inspiring I hope to the others. May you be blessed WP. SDN

          • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

            Hi SDN, Thank you SO much for this- your most recent post! I am VERY happy to hear you are really OVER your OM… you must be sensing such freedom and rest now. You deserve that!

            The FB OW contacted me again…and my wife and I talked about it. So, last night I formally deleted my FB account. I have really CUT the lines now to FB and I feel free and released, but also VERY sad. I know this is the right thing, but I have to admit it hurts. I said to my wife, “I want to get off Facebook NOW” to demonstrate to her that I mean business, and also to really take that necessary step. So we googled “Delete FB account” and were able to do it fairly easily. After 14 days the account is deleted if it is not accessed in that period of time.

            What bothers me is that I did not write a letter this time. I just deleted the account. I hope and pray they do not hurt. But this period of almost 4 months has been virtually no contact at all- this will make things easier. I wrote letters earlier as you may recall. Perhaps this is the best…not to write another text. I want to go back in and write a closing letter SO badly!! But I promised my wife. I just HAVE to trust God and His mercy and love now.

            It’s difficult SDN. But I know I will get through it. Thank you SO much for your comments. They come now at exactly the right time. I AM blessed SDN. So are you. I will write again soon, have to go to work now. WP (Work in Progress)

  18. Trying from United States says:

    God just keeps breaking my heart to keep me close to HIM. I am so “prone to wander” as the old hymn words it. Now my -ex EA had a very close family member pass away!! Also a friend of mine–I am grieving many things, yet clinging to Truth, and praying for guidance and grace. I have reached out to the family, but not him directly–how badly I want to. Over and over I just plead that God will turn my tears into prayers of comfort for the family. I confess my weakness, and just pray that I can observe wise boundaries. We will have to have public contact socially with one another in the next week–first time seeing each other in 3 months. I’m afraid yet I know God is able to do “far above what we can ask and think.”

    WP–I am so glad you posted! I know how badly you want to reach out and continue helping–out of a heart of compassion and kindness towards OW–I feel the same way–BUT you are wise to ask for prayers and help.

    Elaine–constantly thinking of you also , and your acute pain–of going NC, and also the family loss–

    A tough time right now for all of us, but WP is right! It will not last…..

    Prayer is vital for us all. Lets intercede for one another, and also for all who struggle to break free from the EA.
    I am in a very busy time, but will try to read every day, although I may not be able to post; know you are in my thoughts and prayers!!

    • SDN from South Africa says:

      Hi WP. Call it mental thelapathy perhaps? Lol. I’m so glad that I DID post. WP, I sense the desperation in the tone of your post. Allow me to remind you: This ‘difficulty’ you feel right now in the letting go process of the EA is JUST a passing ‘MOMENT’. Its ONE OF THOSE days. Allow the time to pass. Engage in some activity. The ‘pull’ here is intense. You feel like you have to text again to say Goodbye: NO, you don’t HAVE to. How many more texts will you send??? It seems to be going on and on even though you are being transparent with your wife. The texts are creating an expectation. Your mind is active with these thoughts. You’re just fueling the whole thing. Remember 99% compliance of the NC policy is Non compliance.

      Let-it-go!!! Pray that you get the strength to let it go. WP, have you ever cried to God in prayer? I know this is an odd question. It’s off the topic, really. With this EA, when you pray, have you ever cried? I hope today you’re feeling better. My sincere good wishes and thoughts to you, WP. Take care. SDN

      • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

        Hi SDN, Oh… you have NO idea how exactly right your words are! I was really wrestling with the idea of writing a letter. I’ve been thinking of it off and on today… but when I came home I first read your text. I realised that you’re right! EVERY word is RIGHT. Your text gave me the push and the strength to say NO, I DON’T have to write another text. It WOULD create an expectation… which is NOT what I want.

        You’re right, my mind IS active with these thoughts. I’m just fueling the whole thing. It IS going on and on even though I am being transparent with my wife. My wife is precious… and she has really been great with all this. It has to stop now. THANK you SDN… Thank you… thank you so much. Your words have pulled me back on track.

        This is NOT an odd question, “have you ever cried to God in prayer?” It’s a very GOOD question. My answer is “No, but perhaps this is what I need to do.” I NEED to let it go now… and I will… You take care too SDN. May God bless you and look after you and protect you SDN. WP (Work in Progress)

    • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

      Hi Trying, Your text sounds confident and painful at the same time… as you know that God wants you close to Him, (the best place to be- Psalm 84:10) and yet you are working through your friend’s (who is your ex-EA’s friend!) passing…as well as dealing with the OM. I hope you feel cared for and supported by all of us here who read your texts, who feel your feelings and who pray for you!

      You’re right Trying, prayer IS vital for all of us, and we SHOULD intercede for one another. So I will do that Trying. I will intercede… for you… and for the others here as you and they come to mind.

      You say, “I am prone to wander”… Ohh… that sounds like me. And I do not want to wander any longer… your words above are such a help to me right now, because I sense you really understand.

      Your prayer, “I just plead that God will turn my tears into prayers of comfort for the family” tells me how selfless you are but… just maybe… your tears are meant now just for YOU -for YOUR healing… for YOUR grieving… to bring YOU closer to God. Maybe you need to consider just yourself for a little while. Later… when you’re stronger… you can more actively intercede for the family. Just a thought for you Trying. See what you think.

      I can understand very well that you’re afraid of the coming public social contact. But I’m sure that all of us who read here will really intercede for you. I’ll do that. You have gathered much Wisdom over the years Trying… this is evident though your texts here… and clearly you “are keeping sound wisdom and discretion: (Proverbs 3: 21). So you can be confident that “you will walk in your way securely” (Proverbs 3: 23), and “when you lie down, you will not be afraid, and your sleep will be sweet” (Proverbs 3: 24).

      God sees your heart Trying- (Psalm 139: 23) He sees every corner of it, and “He understands your thought from afar” (Psalm 139: 1-6.) He sees your years-long “delight in Him,” and He WILL give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4). You will get through this Trying. You will… God will NOT let you go… WP

  19. Trying from United States says:

    Thanks so much for your prayers! Ive kept hymns playing all day long –while in the house on a very dark, cold rainy day. This has been an amazing thing to keep my thoughts on Christ –8 hours of non-stop hymns and songs! I have felt the guidance of the Holy Spirit in my activities today. I deleted a text before sending it–and have felt very specific instructions from the Lord about what to do and say to the family to respect their time together.

    WP- I’ll pray for you as you deal with the loss of FB and the continuation of the unhooking process. The first 2 or 3 weeks will be hard. Praise God for your loving, supportive wife. She’ll appreciate what you’re doing so much, and I believe, in time, you will too. Thanks for the Scripture you have shared with me. I desire to feel my heart and mind with His Word throughout the rest of this week. And Yes, I know God will provide for me. He is Faithful! Always!

    • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

      Good morning Trying … Good morning everyone, So comforting, Trying, to hear, that you are being “cradled in His arms” as you go about your daily activities! I woke up this morning early and I had the following in my head- Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up” And then after that… the old Episcopal Hymn, Holy Holy Hoooleee: Looord God Almighteeee, All thy works shall PRAISE thy name in earth and skyyyyy and seeeaaaa…Holy Holy Hoooleee, there is none beside Theee…WHO wert and ART aaannnd…ever moooore…shalt beeeee…..

      I haven’t thought of that last one in a long time….

      I feel better today…and I know the sadness will slowly dissipate and I know this process has to take place. The urge to write a letter is less now; sometimes there will be periods of more intense sadness, and I am ready for that. Now NC is absolute. And this is best, I know.

      Thank you for your U-tube reference, I will listen later today. You have a good day today Trying. Thank you for your prayers…thank you so much…Yes, God WILL provide for you Trying…He will “in more ways than we can ask or think…”

      I will write again soon. Bye for now, it’s always nice to hear from you, Elaine, SDN, Laura, RM, etc. Let us all know how you are, will you? WP (Work in Progress)

      • SDN from United Kingdom says:

        Hi WP. How are you? Today has been such an odd kind of day. Feeling rather miserable, down with the flu, agitated as well. The thought of going back to work is pressurizing me recently. Its so hectic at home with the kids. Being 6 months and 4 years old. Can you imagine?

        I am back on facebook. Sigh! So much of temptation. It’s like I can’t be happy. It’s like I am always drawn to the prospect of another EA. However I now have the wisdom of the destruction of the previous EA. I know now to guard my heart. But when I chat with ‘friends’ and I see things going in the same pattern as the previous EA. I am quick to pray about it and quick to pull away, as well, but when I pull away I feel down :( I always remind myself that over-chatting with the opposite sex is going to put an expectation. SO, I try my best not to chat. Isolating myself. And yes, feeling down.

        Maybe I need to get into the corporate world again. BUT, so much of temptation there too WP! Do u get me? And also the fear of how will I cope juggling it all. What if I get scooped into that outside world n deviate from my fam. I am so afraid. So miserable today. SDN

        • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

          Hi SDN… please read carefully… I hope this isn’t too long. My first reaction to your text here is… PLEASE get off FB for your OWN good! (I thought you changed your password!) I think you know that I know how VERY hard it is- to get out of a FB EA once you’re in! I’m going through it RIGHT NOW… and I’m not happy with this. I know SO well your feelings behind your entire text, I REALLY do! You’re describing my feelings too. I’m afraid for you SDN… I think this temptation may be too much for you. Maybe you can handle this… maybe, but you’re driving on the “edge of the cliff” SDN… Go back and read my texts and know this may be waiting for you too.

          Here are the words I’ve journaled, following my decision to get off FB to describe these last few days for me: and intending to post them on this site when I had a chance later today; remember, my EA’s were on FB! Be aware that I never met these OW’s…

          Start today’s journal: “Hi Everyone… These last days have gone….’OK’…since I deleted my Facebook account, only because I have a lot of things to do here at work, keeps me busy. I see friends on the train- we talk of their concerns, which is a welcome distraction. But when I’m by myself- on my bicycle in the morning to the train station, in my work area by myself…or on the way home, I think of you all.. and so I pray for each of you as you come to mind, which I am happy to do… Elaine, Laura, RM, SDN, Trying (alphabetical order only). (These lines sound really pious- I don’t mean it like that at all!) You each have your own story, and your willingness to share has been so helpful… Thank you… Normally I also pray for the FB OW’s… but it hurts now to pray for them. I don’t want them to hurt…and I AM letting go! I HAVE to and I WANT to let go.”

          “Deleting my account in FB was for sure more difficult than I thought… completely cutting off all ties… I sometimes feel really lost. I admit it. I miss them… God knows I really care for them. This doesn’t mean I love my wife less. Sigh… It hurts… I SO want to stop hurting. If I go back onto FB- I know I’ll regret it. If I’m back in FB again, what will happen? More chatting. OK… but can that go on forever? Of course it cannot. I KNOW I will be setting myself up for yet another painful “Exit” and I will AGAIN hurt my wife and the inevitable FB EA’s which will come along. I love my wife and family too much to do this. It’s unfair of me to do this to another OW on FB”

          “SDN, when I read your text, ‘I am SO over the EA with the OM, It’s such a ‘normal’ feeling.’ it really helps me to see farther down the road…I know that this difficult time will pass, but it is so hard when one is in the middle of it- of course you know what I mean. That “lost” feeling which comes and goes…. I don’t like this AT ALL.

          “I was reading earlier texts… just to occupy myself, and I came across the first text of yours which started my messaging here on this site: August 3- “Hey guys. I’ve made such a huge and terrible mistake. Tomorrow would have been exactly 1 month in NO CONTACT. I contacted him today. He did not respond. I feel so, so, so, so, SO BAD. I feel SO down! I’m such an idiot! That’s how I feel. For 3 years he has been making me feel good when he texts. And now it feels like I’m missing something. I need your help. I’m praying so hard. I wish could turn back the hands of time and didn’t contact him. I feel so foolish. I wish something could just erase the OM from my life forever. It’s such a misery. It’s so painful. I wish I didn’t text him. I’m in tears.” Isn’t the difference amazing?? “I am SO over the EA with the OM,” versus “It’s such a misery. Its so painful. I wish didn’t text him. I’m in tears.” It gives me so much hope…” End today’s journal.

          Here I am again. And now I read your most recent text SDN. I can tell you what may happen. You may very likely find a guy who likes you and you’ll get into a “chat EA.” The exchanges will feel wonderful. You’ll feel SO alive. You know very well what I mean. But you cannot chat when your husband is there… so you’ll have to sneak around. THAT is stressful! You will KNOW it isn’t right and you’ll struggle with being pulled in two directions. What if your FB EA lives near you and he wants to meet you or YOU want to meet HIM? (I didn’t have the problem of being able to meet the OW’s; they live too far away.)

          You’re feeling down because you’re lonely and you’re expending energy resisting this temptation, and yet wanting so badly to go with it at the same time. This comes through in your texts, “So much of temptation. It’s like I can’t be happy, like I’m always drawn to the prospect of another EA. SO, I try my best not to chat. Isolating myself. And yes, feeling down.”

          I know what you mean. Believe me… I know exactly where you are SDN… I’ve been there myself. I’m still there now. When you read my texts, I think you will agree? So what now? SDN, I sense the desperation in the tone of your post. It’s ONE OF THOSE days. Allow the time to pass. The ‘pull’ here is intense. Your mind is active with these thoughts. Let-it-go!!! Pray that you get the strength to let it go. Keep away from FB… SDN, have you ever cried to God in prayer? Did you read my text to you of October 27, 2015 at 11:18 am? in which I said, “Your text gave me the push and the strength to say NO…”

          I get it when you say it’s hectic at home with a 6 month old and a 4-year old… we had our children. The corporate world? Of course I get that too. I am in it now 5 days a week. The temptations there are no worse than what you are dealing with now. In a way, temptations at work are easier to handle than EA’s on Facebook… that is my experience anyway.

          I’m now concentrating on my wife and family… keeping occupied and keeping my mind busy. Prayer when I’m by myself. Crying out to God as you suggested. Talking to friends about their troubles. Reading your texts about being “SO over the OM” Flirting with my wife :)) Telling her I love her so much. Giving her the attention I was giving to my FM EA’s. Asking God for more direction. Reading texts here again… trying not to think of the FB OW’s… sigh. And then remembering your text, “I am SO over the OM.” :))) Ahh SDN… I LIKE that one!!

          I just googled “fall in love with your spouse again” and there is a whole list of sites… Maybe that is an activity you can engage in… to read through these… see what suits you. (I should go and read some of them myself!). This site here has a LOT of helpful articles too.

          I’ve gone on far too long… sorry. I think of you a lot too SDN. Now it will be more so after your latest text. You’re a wonderful person SDN. I often wonder how you are with the two children at home. I hope things continue to go better with L. Please let me know how you are doing? Take care of yourself SDN. WP

          • SDN from United Kingdom says:

            Gosh WP! Hahahaha. Amusement! My 1st reaction expressed. THANK YOU from the very bottom of my heart for your latest post. And to think I was too ashamed to post again about being tempted again on FB. God works in mysterious ways. Good morning WP. I hope you are well. You most certainly seem to be. Positive as well. Today seems to be a brighter day for me. I think I was miserable yesterday bcz I didn’t have my afternoon nap and I was coming down with the flu.

            You know what’s SO uncanny, is the way we relate to each other like a puzzle. Perfectly. I didn’t think you’d understand me yesterday. Like here I am pulled out so abruptly from the worst thing of my life: the EA and the OM and now again, little by little here and there a new prospect comes up. WP, I got back my FB after finding out about the OM and after having fallen out of ‘love’ for him. FB seemed safe, I guess.

            But WP, the feeling of connecting with another is always going to be lurking around. I’m so shocked and glad that you put so much of time and effort in your last post. When I reread my own posting of 3 Aug, it’s like my heart stood still while my mind absorbed the words I wrote. It’s an absolutely effective and good reminder. I must never ever forget that feeling. And yes, yesterday as I wrote my post to you, I also prayed so hard and also knew that another EA or whatever it may be called will bring turmoil to my mind and rob my mind of peace. That is what it does. I know because after the EA I just went through and having gotten over it, my mind was so peaceful. It still is but then the tepting texts from ‘friends’ and the two-way conversations begin. In fact it’s the whole thrill of ‘finding out’ about another. Like the chase is better than the kill. OH, WP, I feel so ashamed right now but I HAVE to confess to you everything that goes on in my mind. And your responses are just SOO amazing!!! It’s like God speaks to me through you. Definitely 100 %.

            I’m SOOO grateful for you WP. Thank you for reminding me about the dangers and of MY own feelings prior and of your feelings. God blessed me by taking away the EA. It would be my sin to allow another. I know all this. I do!!! I will be very very honest. Deleting FB? I really don’t want to. Leave aside the possible new OMs that lurk there. FB is my pass time. Wait! Please say something about this… Do have the will power to remain of FB and not chat to other men? Yes, 70 %YES! 30% No. I could be vigilant? WP, I’m in a safe space at this very instance and everytime I feel temptation coming on, I pray. Ag, I need a job. Fast. God. I just wish my character was such that I’d never feel brave and liberal to chat to another man whilst being married. You know, I wish I was modest.

            Confession #2: conversing with a man that is out of reach and flirting with him in a hidden yet ingenious way and finally gripping him to me knowing full well that I intrigue him is a challenge and conquest for me. I thrive on the success of it. Yes WP, surprise… I WAS that kind of woman. WAS- bcz I don’t want to be that anymore and I’m trying not to be THAT anymore!

            I think if I get a job and start living my life with L, making L more adventurous and going here and there, doing things he would never initiate, would do me good. In fact THAT should be my goal. Yes, working on my relationship. Perhaps changing him into someone that excites me. Ag no no. Maybe connecting with him on a different level and seeing a side of him I never saw before. Yes! THAT should be my goal.

            I confessed SO much to u today WP and I feel better. I cannot wait to read your response. Pleas pleas pleas do not sugar coat your response to me. I take heed to your words and I have a lot of regard to your advises. May you be blessed in abundance my spiritual friend. SDN

          • Trying from United States says:

            Just a very quick response to you dear SDN! Good for you!! You’re doing some very important self analysis! That’s the first step to changing behavior. You identified that you’re feeling stressed, isolated, ill (with the flu) –life is hectic –AND these are the times we’re vulnerable to the temptation to return to a time of “feeling better”. There are healthy and unhealthy ways of doing this. We’ve chosen EA in the past as a way to boost us BUT now we KNOW the Truth about these coping mechanisms. Very temporary way of “feeling better”.

            Let me quote the above article: “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”” or in your case looking for new friends online.

            You’ve taken a big step by recognizing where you are at emotionally, and now is the time to be intentional about taking a step back (from the computer :) and take care of yourself and your sweet babies …hope today is better. Hang in there!

  20. WP from EU from Netherlands says:

    Hi SDN… I’m so happy to hear from you! (AND that you have avoided the flu!) I was thinking you would be a bit overwhelmed since it is a longer text… and together with feeling sick. I was a bit nervous about your response… so your first sentence was quite an unexpected and welcome surprise! SDN, I feel honored and humbled that you entrust me with your confessions. It takes a lot of courage to admit such things. In my mind you are an extraordinary person SDN. I feel priviledged to know you.

    Yes we do relate to each other like a precisely fitted puzzle. Our stories are very similar. And our struggles have much in common. We had similar experiences as children, and the effects have made themselves felt. Remember the video clip of Tamara Laroux? Her rejection, the “void?” We both know how that feels.

    We both struggle to fill this “void.” With you, it is “the whole thrill of ‘finding out’ about another. Like the chase is better than the kill.” This expresses almost the same thing really, as “conversing with a man that is out of reach and flirting with him in a hidden yet ingenious way and finally gripping him to me knowing full well that I intrigue him is a challenge and conquest for me. I thrive on the success of it.” SDN, your honesty humbles me, it really does. I have a question for you though. CAN you steer clear of the temptation, which is on Facebook with so many opportunities to do JUST THIS with the very nice guys you will meet? With photos, texts, stories… the whole lot? You thrive on the attention and the thrill of the chase, and the wonderful acceptance and validation which comes with it! I understand this. From a guy’s point of view, attention like that from an attractive young girl like yourself is very hard to resist! But then what? One phrase of yours is key, which is “out of reach.” You said, “the chase is better than the kill.” SO, once the “kill” has taken place, in effect you’re in a full blown EA, or even PA… more I don’t need to say. You’ve been through it once already.

    But we can reason these things all we want, AND YET, as you yourself said, “The ‘pull’ is intense!” The chase… and the fact that you know that he (the man out of reach) is intrigued by you… is your PULL. This is the way you fill the void. Please correct me if I am wrong… but this is how I interpret your words. One thing you probably already know about most men, they are not as clever or smart as women in the sense we are speaking of here. They would never see what you have described here. All they would realize is, “Wow, I can’t get THIS girl out of my mind!! Ooooo… I can’t WAIT to see her again!!” Their feelings have risen to “fever-pitch” and they have no idea why. You perceive this reaction, and it fills your void. This is the “kill” and the “conquest.”

    With me, filling the void is a little different. You may remember my posts about my early experiences… from which I gained a strong compassion for people who are rejected, misunderstood, in trouble or hurting, etc. To be able to express this compassion, together with the validation of female attention (which any man likes), is what fills my void, and makes me “feel better.” I’ve thought much about your words way back where you said that I was using the OW’s to “make me feel better?” Maybe you were right after all SDN… I feel very ashamed and vulnerable to admit that this is, I think, at least in part true. This is my confession to you SDN. Maybe this is God speaking to ME through YOU.

    You will know whether you can handle FB. For me, it is too much. I cannot do it. It’s also true that I DO care so much for the OW’s there on FB! I love them, It was so wonderful to sense their hearts singing… I got too close to them and it caused such pain in the end. From this I’ve learned that opposite sex friendships… if they get too close, pull me in two directions. One… “Ooooo this is not good!! Be careful!!” The other… “Ohh this is wonderful!” This is what happened with the FB OW’s. I have to be careful of this in the workplace. I found this text from you on August 19: “today for absolutely no reason, not even ‘intense curiosity’, I logged onto FB and checked out his profile. I felt and still am feeling a bit low about that. Not exactly a relapse but I could have done without it. I don’t understand why I always go there. It hurts me if I see something I don’t like. Then why do I still log on? Please help friends. Let’s unscramble the dilemma. Perhaps state the obvious.”

    Our responses to our childhood abuse are slightly different, but for you and me both, “the feeling of connecting with another is always going to be lurking around.” As long as we are very vigilant, we can keep this tendency within proper bounds. After all, we DO need to connect with other people… we just have to avoid destructive ways of doing that.

    SO….. your next to last paragraph is great SDN! You can use all your (God given) female knowhow to chase your husband! “Out of reach” is no problem here! It’s wonderful to know that you can flirt with your husband and yet keep that peace of mind you had when the EA ended… and have all the fun of flirting and chasing. Isn’t this what marriage is all about?? I think this is what God intended…

    I am grateful for you too SDN. You have a way of expressing difficult things in a clear way. And your honesty is so refreshing. You take care of yourself SDN.. If you feel I have not responded to part of your text, it is because I’m quite tired now. I was almost finished when I pressed a wrong key and erased EVERYTHING. Fortunately I had saved my text in a Word doc about an hour earlier. :)) So I had to recall and rewrite. Ah well. I will reread and write more soon. I have great respect for you SDN.
    Bye for now…… WP

    • SDN from United Kingdom says:

      Dear Trying. Thank you so much for such a thoughtful message. I think this is very sweet of you. I did not see my situation in the light that you have. I am so glad that you expressed it this way. You are SO right, I am very guarded now and yes, I have to be more vigilant in times of stress and illness. I’m doing much better today. I hope you are also doing well. All my good wishes to you, Trying. May you be ever blessed for being a blessing on this site :) SDN

      • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

        Hi Trying, Thanks for your texts in these last days! I certainly hope you are feeling better. Your text “God keeps breaking my heart to keep me close to Him” really made an impression on me… I have wondered what happened with your social contact (first time in 3 months) which should have taken place by now. I can imagine… not easy. I want to thank you for your intercession… so needed these days! I did listen to your U-tube site “225 Greatest Hymns” (not ALL 8 hours yet!!) – Wow! I of course bookmarked that site… these are precious… thank you! Also thank you for your prayers for my “FB issues!” I really appreciate your doing this. You’re right, Trying, it’s hard. Take care of yourself Trying… all my best wishes to you …and thanks for you, WP

    • SDN from United Kingdom says:

      Good Afternoon WP. What a lovely post in response you have made:) Once I logged onto the computer because I knew my response to you was gonna be really long and doing it on my phone would take a tad bit longer and I was literally on the very last sentence wishing you well and BHAM, Load shedding- A concept in SA that describes the power failure- a tactic the govt uses to save electricity since we’re short on that TOO!. Thank u for such a thoughtful and beautiful response. Yo describe things in detail so well. I feel ‘protected’ by you. I hope this makes sense. Confessing to you and then reading a response is very healing to me. I believe you and others on this site are respnsible for building my character. I feel more educated thanks to you. Can you ever go to a friend and discuss all of this without being judged? No. Well, in MY opinion NO.

      Writing to you, Thank the dear God for allowing such a pleasure and tool for me to heal and feel secure. It feels nice to have all these feelings and enquiries and to express them and to have some1 respond so well to them.

      You make so much of sense. It’s good to get a male perspective here. Adds some light on the subject at hand. On Sat my family and I attended my nephew’s 1 year birthday party. L looked very smart. I remembered what you said here, I should flirt with my husband. And so that’s what I did. Felt good. It’s a very powerful feeling when you have the wisdom that you needed all along. I Thank you WP for the wisdom you impart on me. The time you take to respond to my posts and the energy you use to concoct a thoughtful response. You said, ‘I love them. It was so wonderful to sense their hearts singing… I got too close to them and it caused such pain in the end. From this I’ve learned that opposite sex friendships… if they get too close, pull me in two directions.’ You’ve expressed so much here . Yo not only educate me, you’ve admitted that you’ve learned a very valuable lesson. God has taught you and saved you. God also taught me and saved me.

      Let me know how you are doing. Ok? This time let’s focus on you and your progress. Rest assured I am feeling safe. I don’t spend too much time on fb. But I find a change in my conduct. Please expect me to pour my heart out here to you. My sincere and well wishes to you. Keep well. Sdn

      • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

        Hi SDN! I’m happy to hear from you! Your last sentence “load shedding” sounds exactly like my last minute “One button delete!” Now I’m careful to save my texts more often… I’m happy you’re feeling safe with FB. I think FB’s a wonderful tool for connecting with friends and family… very powerful. Your comments mean so much to me SDN, that you feel protected rather than judged, as well as safe/secure with your confessions. I’m very honored that you feel you can, in your words, “pour my heart out here to you.” As I go through different experiences, and as I see others deal with difficulties and temptations, I’m less and less inclined to judge, more and more inclined to want to just “be there” for them… just to love them and make a difference to them.

        It’s so nice of you to say, “Let me know how you are doing. Ok? This time let’s focus on you and your progress.” To answer your question, I’ve been thinking a LOT about why affairs happen, especially for people like me who have basically very good marriages. I feel a lot of shame and frustration now… as I write this. I would so love to be free of the “pull” of an EA …for now I’m just making conscious decisions to stay off the social media and make sure that the people I know at work all know I’m happily married! That “lost feeling” comes less often now… and staying off FB is getting easier as the days pass… but sometimes still the real urge to log on comes up without warning, and I have to decide AGAIN to say “NO!”

        I cannot really fathom why some happily married people have trouble with the “pull” of an EA. Please understand me, When I first started on FB, and began to know these OW’s, I did not know what an EA was! I was only after I was “in too deep” that I realized I was “in too deep!” I was not looking for an EA, but it was so wonderful to talk to these people and get to know them… and to care so much for them. This experience woke up a compassion in me I didn’t know I had! Now I’m still “unhooking!” I’m sad some days… but slowly getting there I think.

        All along, I know I don’t want an EA in any shape or form. But when I found myself getting too close, and I started to experience that 2-direction pull I described earlier: “This is not good!!” versus, “This is wonderful!” I’m frustrated and shamed by the difficulty I have in turning my back on the “This is wonderful!” You see? For me… to turn away from someone I really like and care for is very difficult… especially when that person is female! Does this make sense to you? Do you follow what I’m saying?

        This coming Monday will be a “special day for me” since my FB account will be in fact be deleted, since the 2-week “holding period” will be finished. (From the time you ask for an account to be deleted, 2 weeks must pass without accessing the account before the delete is carried out.) Athis coming Monday, the ties will be REALLY cut off. I’ll also be traveling for work on that day. I go to Russia (St. Petersburg) from Monday 9 November, returning Saturday 14 November. I hope I can access the internet and come back to this site during that week.

        You asked me a question a while back SDN: “HOW did you, WP, grow into a person who is capable of expressing his feelings and perhaps showing his love more to his wife???” I gave only a short, cursory answer at the time, but I would like to answer in more detail if I may. I have a few things to adjust, then I’ll post if OK for you. You take care SDN. You take care SDN. My best wishes to you and prayers for you, my good friend! I look forward to hearing from you when you have time, WP

  21. Trying from United States says:

    I’m finally through a very emotional week. God has been my ever present guide and Friend. The prayers of all of you and my dear friends around me have helped so much. I had a number of opportunities of contact with OM, all in a social setting involving some brief conversations, a few texts for several days regarding the death of his loved one and interaction with the family. It was so difficult to reign in my emotions, but God provided the help in time of need (sound familiar, RM, Elaine, Laura?). I had a similar incident with EA #1 years ago where we had to spend time together for several hours at a church event for our children. And I survived and moved on!

    The waves of grief have come and gone. But I have purposed to turn my focus to praising God for anything that comes to mind; To turn my thoughts on my many blessings—what I DO have, not what I cannot have. Once again, the truth that I shared earlier this summer—I may love OM, but I love Jesus more—was confirmed. The old hymns have brought peace to my soul this week. WP, thank you for sharing your experience that am with “HOLY, Holy, Holy” —I’ve thought of that song several times in my times of sorrow reminding that God is in control of ALL things in heaven and earth. I can trust Him!

    I have found courage today to maintain NC as I read all of your posts. I’ve taken the time to print the lessons RM shared in October, and I’ll read and ponder those in my devotional time and also when I do not have computer access. I’ve found this to be so beneficial due to the depth and complexity. I’m able to read and absorb the messages found there at different stages of this journey. And so often, I “stumble across” or “turn to” the exact words I need to read and hear to answer the anguish and question in my heart for that moment. That happened to me twice yesterday—I “found “ the booklet Emotional Dependency “ mentioned above, in a stack of books, flipped it open, and it was to the section titled “the path out of dependency”. These words are highlighted in my book.

    “We need to grasp an important truth: There is no formula that leads to a transformed life. Lifelong tendencies toward dependent relationships cannot be changed by following “ten easy steps”. A close relationship with Jesus Christ is our best safeguard against emotional dependency. Jesus Christ desires to do an intimate and unique work in each of us by the power of his Holy Spirit. Change will come as we submit to him and cooperate with that work.” P. 22 ‘Emotional Dependency” by Lori Rentzel. Just what I needed to hear at that moment!

    WP, SDN I can relate very well to your discussion on the “thrill of the chase” and the desire of validation from the opposite sex, the ego boost received from compliments. You both brought out some very real weaknesses that we struggle with. The key is seeking to fulfill the God-given need we have as humans for intimate fellowship within the boundaries of the relationships that honor God and our marriages. I pray that God will grant us each the peace and security that is found only in our Lord Jesus, not in the false security of the EA. Love and blessings to you all!

    • Laura from United States says:

      Hi Trying, I’m so glad you’ve made it through the challenging experience and I’m sorry for the loss of your friend, as well. I know how important it is to support the ones we love and it seems like you were able to do that. Now the separation again is at hand and the necessary building of appropriate walls. The cycle is so very hard.

      I really appreciated the excerpt you posted about transformation. A good reminder of the truth and reality of our paths and who we need to rely on and surrender to. Sometimes I feel/I know that I get in my own darn way so often. Am really working on that. Praying for you. I hope you have a restorative weekend. Laura

      • Trying from United States says:

        Laura, Many thanks for the thoughts and prayers. I definitely still need them. The withdrawal is painful, and I need wisdom and strength as there has been some ongoing contact over the past week initiated by him. Is this still part of the grieving process? I believe so, and so have chosen to respond briefly and kindly as a friend. Day by day I pray for grace. And God has provided. When I am weak, then He is strong!

        • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

          Hi Trying… I should tell you again that your posts and insights have been of so much help! Seems you are choosing the best path with a difficult situation. Yes withdrawal is difficult and painful… and yet God somehow gets us through another day. One way He does this is for me is to remember your “key phrases,” which I summarized in my post to you (November 3, 2015 at 9:44 am). Seems though that we can remember all the right things to say and do, yet this whole process is anything but easy!

          I really hope things get better for you soon Trying… and for you too Laura. Every day can be a new day… Take care, WP

  22. WP from EU from Netherlands says:

    Hi Trying! I hope you see my text for you just above here… in answer to SDN’s message to you (November 2, 2015 at 3:44 am.) Your observations and comments are always welcome you know.

  23. WP from EU from Netherlands says:

    Hi Trying… Thank you so much for your most recent text. As usual, your insights are invaluable -they seem to keep you steady and headed in the right direction even though you’ve had so many storms in your life! I was able to obtain the little booklet “Emotional Dependency” by Lori Rentzel… really excellent!

    Several phrases of yours stand out: “God has been my ever present guide and Friend.” …”The waves of grief have come and gone.” …(concentrate on) “what I DO have, not what I cannot have.” …”The key is seeking to fulfill the God-given need we have as humans for intimate fellowship within the boundaries of the relationships that honor God and our marriages.”
    “… peace and security is found only in our Lord Jesus, not in the false security of the EA.”

    Yesss…. this is what is all comes down to… at the end of the day. Thank you Trying… I certainly hope the next days and weeks are not quite so emotional!! Take care… WP

  24. Unhooked from United States says:

    What happened to me? One day I’m struggling in my marriage trying to make the best of things (and not doing a very good job of it). The next day I’m heading down a road I never saw coming or intended. If you are being tempted away from your marriage by a friendship with someone of the opposite sex that you are attracted to… RUN, RUN, RUN!!!!!!! Don’t wait until things are just right to leave your job or wherever that other person is. Quit today! Go anywhere else.

    This is a lie from the enemy and the more you are around the person you are being tempted by the more you will get sucked in. This person is not your soulmate. They are not your friend. Anyone that tries to get you out of your marriage is not your friend. There is no such thing as a soulmate. They may fit your personality in ways that your spouse does not, but they are NOT YOUR SOULMATE. It’s a lie.

    Marriage is a covenant by God and should be respected and honored on all levels. Go to counseling with your spouse. Go alone, but whatever you do, don’t spend time around that other person another day. Confide in someone who can keep you strong and accountable so you don’t return to that other person for companionship. Block all contact with them at all costs.

    Right now you are like an addict. Emotional affairs have been found to have the same effect on people as cocaine addicts! You can’t think clearly right now because it’s like you’re on a drug. The only way you’ll ever think clearly is time and distance, which could even take years. This is the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve always been very close to God and this has hurt my relationship with God and my spouse. I don’t know when I will heal, but I want to warn others now. I’m thankful I was able to cut things off, but I still lingered too long and even went back to the “friendship” after God delivered me. Now the pain is excruciating. I’m filled with guilt. I’m emotionally, mentally, and spiritually damaged now.

    End this as soon as you can and don’t delay. If you don’t you will regret it more than you can possibly imagine. Does anyone have any advice on how to heal from this if you have been to the point I am at? I’m so broken right now. I don’t know how to begin to pick up the pieces. I always felt like I was a good spouse. Now I don’t recognize myself.

    • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

      Hi Unhooked… Well, you have come to the right place for help with your very painful and all-too-common position. All of us who post here have had the same feelings of guilt, hopelessness, and anguish that you have expressed so well. You ask, “Does anyone have any advice on how to heal from this if you have been to the point I am at? I’m so broken right now. I don’t know how to begin to pick up the pieces.”

      First of all, the advice given in this site’s opening section is very good. Read it carefully… and see how to fit the advice given into your own situation. Second, if you take the time to go through the texts here, they will give you a lot of insight into each of our situations; I’m sure you find bits and pieces which will “ring a bell” with you. And third, I would like to share a little of myself here… I hope you benefit from my comments below:

      I am married to a wonderful wife- now for 36 years- we have 2 children and 3 grandchildren. I was on Facebook for about 2 years… and ended up in an EA (Emotional Affair) with 3 different women. Oh how I cared for them!! I looked forward to talking to them, hearing from them… and they cared for me. I was in the middle of an “EA” before I knew what an “EA” is! As you yourself say- I was heading in a direction “I never saw coming or intended.” I felt broken and guilty… same things you are expressing.

      I finally told my wife about it… and together we wrote a letter to the three “OW’s” (Other Women”). That was 5 months ago. At the beginning I felt very lost… it was painful I can tell you!! I can very well follow what you are saying! It does get better though. The pain does subside… but it takes time. Sometimes little triggers will set me back- a song, a particular place, a photograph… that is difficult. I do notice that it’s a lot better now. Something I thought impossible at the time. A real help was to delete my Facebook page- this was far more difficult that I thought, because I was really cutting the last tie. But… it was DONE… and now there is no turning back. This is painful, but good. As you yourself said, “Block all contact with them at all costs.”

      Your own advice given here is good!! Follow it prayerfully, and you will do well. Between your own words… all our texts here… the advice given in this site. God will indicate to you your own path to healing.

      You may not recognize yourself now… but perhaps you are seeing a side of yourself you did not know existed. I know this is the case for me. Was NOT nice! But you can rest in the fact that God knows all about you… and He still accepts and loves you. He knew this would happen before you were born!! And now He will guide you out of it and continue to “perfect the good work He began in you until the day of Christ Jesus.” You are a good spouse. Otherwise you would not feel so bad about this right now.

      Hope to hear from you when you have some time. All of us here are with you… we are all on YOUR side! Take care…. WP (Work in Progress)

      • Unhooked from United States says:

        Hi WP, Thank you for the encouraging words. It helps to hear from people who have been where I am at. I think you’re right that I am now seeing a side of myself that I didn’t realize existed. I definitely understand the struggle of cutting the last tie. It was not easy. Unfortunately, it seems as though I may have developed very real feelings for this other person while still having feelings for my spouse. I was being pulled in two directions. It was traumatic for me to cut ties. I have been struggling with a lot of anxiety since then and now I feel emotionally numb. I hope this numb feeling passes soon. I keep seeking God, but it’s hard to get close to God when I feel numb. I am trying to stay positive at this point. Have you been able to repair your relationship with your wife? Are things better than they were before? Thanks again. God bless.

        • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

          Hi Unhooked, I recognize your words and emotions so well!! I too was pulled in different directions; I did not understand myself, I was surpised at myself! (And I didn’t like myself…). Now, after reading your first text again… I have to say your own advice is very good! (no not easy! but yes very good!) You’ve developed real feelings for this other person… and yet you love your husband. I know…we on this site, ALL know… so VERY difficult! Intense emotions die hard. But they do DIE! The numb feelings DO get better… IF we cut the ties and get through the pain of the first days or weeks.

          To answer your question, yes, my relation with my wife is good. We talked it out in several conversations… one thing I had to define for myself was “Why do I have these intense emotions? Why is this happening?” For me, it was because I felt wanted/desired and cared for in a very “vibrant way.” It was new and fresh… I loved our conversations. I looked forward to them. I also knew that, although feelings and emotions are, in themselves, neither wrong, nor right… my actions and words here were WRONG. I had wronged my wife, and I had wronged the OW’s. I had (and still have somewhat) the same feelings of numbness and anxiety that you describe. These are far less painful than before I am happy to say. This can, and will happen for you too…

          You said, “…I’m struggling in my marriage trying to make the best of things (and not doing a very good job of it)” May I ask, Why do you feel you are not doing a very good job of it? From the vantagepoint of the “guy” I can tell you that when my wife does the following, it does wonders for me… when she:
          – tells me “I will be here when you get home” (I feel very wanted!)
          – initiates physical intimacy in new ways (of course any guy wants to feel desired!)
          – cooks a nice meal (men love their food)
          – waits until I am finished speaking (then I feel she is really listening to me)
          – asks me questions to clarify what I have said (she shows that she values what I say)
          – asks me what I think, and means it (she shows again that she values what I say)
          – kisses me when I don’t expect it (always nice…..)
          – puts her arms around me from behind (I always like that)
          – keeps within the spending limits we have agreed (avoids unexpected nasty surprises)
          – writes me an unexpected card apart from holidays and birthdays (very nice!)
          – is patient with me when I try to express my feelings (it takes me a while to sort out the right words)
          – tells me how she feels without too many details (then I can follow her better)
          – keeps her promises (make me feel secure)
          – admits to me something she feels guilty about (she is vulnerable here)
          – prays for me (that shows she cares!!)

          and when she does NOT:
          – interrupt me when I am speaking
          – criticize me in the presence of others
          – hit me with problems or chores to do as soon as I get home from work
          – talk too long on the phone
          – leave the refrigerator or freezer door open, or the lights on
          – leave me with the car’s fuel tank nearly empty
          – nag
          – accuse me… “You make me…!!”

          Perhaps some ideas for you? I’m concentrating on my wife far more… paying attention to her… and yes… God can turn around any situation. He tells us, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Ps 34.4) and “Seek first His Kingdom, and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6.33) Hope to hear from you when you have some time… WP

          • Unhooked from United States says:

            Hi WP, I really hope the feelings die because I hate having feelings for that person. When I met the OM, my husband and I had been distant from each other for about 5 years. My husband is the strong, silent type. It seemed to me like I was usually the one seeking closeness to him in any way I could, while he pushed me away and worked long hours. When I say that I wasn’t doing a very good job, I mean I was trying to get close to him in all the wrong ways. Instead of focusing on what he needed from me and getting my emotional needs met by God in the mean time, I pursued him my way. When I pursued him to get my own needs met, he pushed me away further until there was a chasm between us. You attract more bees with honey and I should have been focusing on his needs and finding satisfaction in myself through God.

            Instead after this long battle between us, I became frustrated and critical of him. I didn’t understand what I needed to do differently at the time though and was very lonely. Then it started to seem as though other men could sense my loneliness and I felt like a sitting duck. My husband and I were in a gridlock, when the OM waltzed in. I tend to be shy with people so I didn’t have many friends at the time and the OM seemed to understand me perfectly, too perfectly.

            Looking back, I feel like I was groomed by him. He knew I wasn’t looking for anything more, but didn’t take no for an answer and I was too weak to push him away. Thankfully, I was finally able to push him away before things got worse by the grace of God. Sometimes your closest friends are your worst enemy, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I felt so manipulated by him, like he knew all the right buttons to push, but at the same time I should have been repelling him and not pulling him closer. I liked the attention I guess. I will forgive him in time. I realize that hurting people usually hurt people. He probably has had experiences that have gotten him to the point where he doesn’t respect marriage and is probably not very happy with himself.

            I like your idea of concentrating on your spouse and what they really need from you. I’m trying to cling to God at this time. Right now my mind and heart feel like a prison, but I know if I stay in faith that God can and will heal all wounds.

          • Trying from United States says:

            WP has expressed the feelings of many of us here very well –this is a side of myself I never dreamed I was capable of experiencing. I’ve found the most freedom from honesty–honest with God, honest with myself (very painful! and difficult at times) and honesty with another believer (mature Christian) or spouse. The numbness is our minds self-protective mode from a deep wound–and it DOES get better as time progresses. You are going through a grieving process.

            Great list , WP–really appreciate you taking the time to write the list for us gals ( and the reasons those things are important to guys)–priceless!

            Unhooked–There is hope! Many people have walked through this painful experience, and emerged wiser, stronger, and more compassionate–you will, too, by God’s grace and strength. Grace and peace be yours through Jesus.

  25. Elaine from Canada says:

    Hi All: It has been too long since my last post. I’ve been reading your comments over the past couple of weeks but haven’t found any quality time to contribute something. I hope you’re all in a better relationship with your spouses.

    Trying, so sorry for the difficult time you’ve had lately. I know how hard it is when you have contact with them and the feelings are still there and you wish that it would all go away. I really liked your comment, “I may love the OM but I love Jesus more.” Your heart and faith is in the right place but your feelings are lingering… I know and I really get that. Stay strong in the Lord!

    WP, glad you’ve managed to stay off FB as that can be an addiction. I totally understand about the “rush” that the other person gives us, and also that validation of being attractive that we so desperately need when we are vulnerable. I’m so glad that your marriage is going well.

    For me, things are going pretty well with my husband at this time. We’re processing the grief with the passage of my father in law who we all loved dearly. I’ve contacted the OM on the phone and he has also contacted me. I’m not feeling too happy about that. I can’t seem to go more than 3 weeks without contact and neither can he. I’ve been reviewing the no contact rule and want to do my best to stick with it. These emotional affairs are not healthy relationships and they take our attention away from our spouses. Anyway I will try again now! Blessings and God’s love and peace to all!

    • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

      Hi Elaine… Very nice to hear from you again!! Thank you for your comments to me in your latest post. As I mentioned to Unhooked here above, it was very difficult to delete my Facebook page… because I was cutting the last tie to these 3 special women who mean A LOT to me! This does not indicate that I love my wife less, but rather, that I came to care for these 3 OW’s in a deep way. But you know these feelings all too well.

      I know also how hard it is to keep to the No Contact guideline… so VERY difficult, especially when we are having a hard time with other things, and have the need to talk to someone and share our heavy hearts. Certainly, the passing of your loved father in law has been difficult… and thereby making it even harder not to reach out to your OM.

      This phrase of yours, although obvious, still strikes a chord with me: “These emotional affairs are not healthy relationships and they take our attention away from our spouses.” Yes! Very true! I need to remember this… even when the EA “felt so good!” My wife said to me, “I don’t want to share you with an OW!!” SO true… I’m off Facebook now, and really concentrating on her and on the family now… and the peace is returning. Life is getting simpler again. I am sleeping better now.

      May God look after you and protect you… and may you remember your father in law soon without sadness and pain. You can do this… you can!! Elaine, I hope you post again when you have some time. Take care…WP (Work in Progress)

  26. Trying from United States says:

    Thanks once again for the encouragement and kind words,Laura, Elaine and WP. I came here for reinforcement and reminders of the Truth and found them in your posts (and actually in mine! from Nov.2). I’ve been able to navigate through some sticky situations by speaking Truth, by prayer, by asking for prayer cover, and by speaking with one of my mentors. I’ve been able to chose Praise and Thanksgiving over anguish and despair. I also used distraction–for me–brushing up on piano–simple as it seems. Creating music is another dimension that ministers to me even above listening to music. Its been challenging and rewarding at the same time. (I am very rusty!!) God’s ways work–and each right choice is molding and shaping our character and changing our hearts.

    ps Elaine, thanks so much for the update. I know now why I was so afraid to see him after 3 months–especially in circumstances surrounding a loss in our lives. We’re drawn to each other again for comfort and understanding as we adjust to the loss of a loved one. I wonder if that’s partly why you two are still talking. One suggestion–resolve in YOUR heart NOT to initiate contact anymore. You cannot make him stop calling you, but there are choices you can make to honor boundaries, and break this off. Once again, you may have to be the “strong one”… I am talking to myself here also!!

    Things are good with my husband and I –in the past month, and I am so thankful for that going into the holidays. Love and Blessings –God’s peace and grace cover you all!!

    • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

      Hi Trying…Again, your words ring true. “One suggestion–resolve in YOUR heart NOT to initiate contact anymore.” I know this is right, and it had to happen…therefore was SO hard to delete my FB page. Also Elaine’s statement, “These emotional affairs are not healthy relationships and they take our attention away from our spouses.” You both, and others have really helped me.

      God’s Care and Love is the only thing that really lasts. I know this. Yet God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone….” Too often it seems that God is far away…and that intense feeling of being “in love” was so powerful. I’m still having a hard time as you can see.

      I am happy to hear that you and your husband are doing well going into the holidays. This makes me happy. WP

  27. WP from EU from Netherlands says:

    Dear Unhooked, Reading your first paragraph I can see what you mean…yes- difficult! I had the same with the OW’s – I did not like having feelings for them, but these feelings were very strong, and HARD to resist! However, I knew that I could not keep going this way…was SO hard! I still have my lonely days when God seems far away and when I cannot see the sun through the fog…and when my wife seems preoccupied.

    Horrible that he was manipulating you…grooming you…you know it is a wrong direction and I know so well what you mean when you say, “I was too weak to push him away.” Of course you liked the attention!! I had the same! I still like the attention! We all need attention! But I need that special attention from my wife. You need it from your husband.

    So what do we do now?
    1. I really like to share on this site. It is such a help to express myself, and then to hear from others like you and Trying, to know that there are others who really understand these intense emotions, loneliness and turmoil. I feel safe here. It also helps me to write these things out and when you and others read and respond, it is a wonderful thing!

    2 I am reading other websites on marriage trying to put their ideas into practice…prayerfully.

    3. I am really expressing my deepest needs more to my wife. It is hard, but I am doing it anyway. Not TOO often…But more than that, I am really trying to do the things that make her feel loved and cared for, trusting God that He will in turn inspire her with the things that I need.

    It is true that the Bible says, “Men love your wives.” and “Wives respect your husbands.” I think because men are built to need respect (and they are not so good at “loving”) but of course we men need to be loved too!! AND becasue women are built to need “love” (but women find it more difficult to respect…women tend to try to change their men more?)

    When you prayerfully do the things which I have listed…and of course find other things too, that sooner or later your husband HAS to respond. Perhaps he is reacting to the distance in the only way he knows – to throw himself into his work and push away the lonliness. Could well be. Perhaps consider the sites below?

    Yes, your mind and heart are like a prison but perhaps the above will be in part the key to unlocking the door and walking out into the sunshine!

    I have my difficult days…don’t get me wrong…I seek God, but I’m not so good at that…but somehow He leads me through this crazy period. Sometimes God seems so far away but when I think of the suffering of the Christ, and realize He did all this for me!! Then the loneliness recedes and I find myself again. I hope to hear from you Unhooked… when you have some time…. WP

    • Unhooked from United States says:

      WP, Thank you so much for these resources! I’m definitely trying my best to learn how to give my husband the respect he deserves. I can’t believe how much of a roller coaster ride this is. I saw the OM today and his pain was palpable. I’m worried about him. I’m trying so hard not to reach out to him to make sure he’s OK. Although I do feel he was manipulative at times, there were many times that he was a very kind and considerate friend. He seemed to understand me better than anyone I have ever met. Losing his friendship has left me with a huge sense of loss, but I know this is for the best. Now he can find the right woman.

      I just worry because I have God and he does not know him. As much pain as I feel, at least I have God to lean on. I can’t imagine how this feels to someone that doesn’t know God. I just don’t understand how I could get so emotionally close to someone like this. I don’t think I have ever been that mentally and emotionally close to anyone, but I still know it was wrong and unhealthy. I think it makes sense to express our deepest needs to our spouses more. I wasn’t doing that the right way before and it left me feeling used up.

      God bless everyone on here! You all are really helping me get through this. I hope I can be a resource to others as you have been to me.

      • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

        Good morning Unhooked, Because you yourself are obviously a kind person, who wants the best for others, and cares deeply, these days right now are all the more difficult. I hope you believe me when I tell you that I had the exact same thing! I really worried about the OW’s. I fretted, I wanted to talk to someone, but I don’t really have anyone, and it would take too much time on this site. So I HAD to give them up to God; I HAVE to trust God to take care of them!! I prayed for them every day, but at first it was too hard for me. I still do this now, although I am happy to say that the pain is far less now. This progression will unfold for you too!! The fact that he understands you better…yes, sometimes manipulative, but also a good friend…this is so familiar! Of course there is a deep sense of loss…this grieving process is HARD. It DOES get BETTER though.

        I had to do two things. I HAD to delete my FB page as you know, and I HAD to concentrate on my spouse and family if I were to come out of this. As Trying said somewhere, I have to concentrate on what I CAN have, NOT on what I CANNOT have. When I project forward what would happen if I let myself go farther into a deeper relationship with the OW’s…we both can see that destruction and extreme pain and regret are the inevitable outcome. Cutting off that last tie was the best thing I could have done. Hanging on only increased the pain, and slowed down the letting go process.

        You are now at a fork in the road. You have done so well!! Please do not give up ground you have gained!! Your husband loves you too…when you continue…prayerfully, to pay attention to him and follow what God is telling you to do, things DO get better. I hope you have a good friend with whom you can share your heart…face to face. Yes this site is a wonderful help, but having that personal confidante and help is worth gold when you are going through such a process.

        God is also working out things in your OM’s life, perhaps using the loss of your care and company to draw your OM closer to HIM. Perhaps you should consider allowing this process to keep going instead of hindering the work of God in your OM’s life? An idea to consider?

        In the meantime, I will really pray over this, and for you, as I go to work later. You express exactly what I had not so long ago…I thought it was impossible at the time…that the pain would get better. But it DID!! Your days will become brighter too. Your husband wants and needs your devotion and care -maybe he doesn’t know it yet – but he will!!

        The more you avoid contact with the OM, the faster this “letting go” process will come to completion.
        Hope to hear from you Unhooked. Take care !! WP

        • Trying from United States says:

          Once again–I agree with and support all that WP has said –very wise advice to “give them up to God”, since He can do FAR above anything that we can ask or do” –reminding ourselves minute by minute if necessary that God is in control of all things great and small. Take courage, Unhooked –you’re not alone on this journey.

          • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

            Hi Unhooked, and Trying, and others… Thank you Trying, for your comments… Unhooked, I know and others know very well how you’re feeling, since we’ve been through similar situations… Trying especially. I thought I would share my texts from 3 months ago when I was where you are now. A few changes have been made for the sake of accuracy as I remember those days.

            Aug 25. “Hi Trying, SDN… and everyone. Today is not a good day. The pain is back to be honest… I’m really struggling with feelings…. one, an overwheming desire to make my marriage the BEST… and to this I am committed, and with other feelings, for the OW’s all over again, since I haven’t contacted them at all since 10 June, and again once in late July when my wife was with me, as we had agreed. Today I was visiting another site on marriage, and saw a video… the woman speaking looked SO MUCH like the Social media OW…. it was uncanny. Also I received another more recent email notice that one OW was trying to contact me, as I said above in my last post. This hurts.” It has reopened a scar… without warning, and it really hurts! I worry about them… I hope they don’t hurt too much. I cannot contact them, it will only make things worse… I have to leave them with God… but it’s so hard… my feelings are basically AWFUL right now. I hate feeling so lost…

            This is where I was 6 weeks after breaking off contact last June. Seeing that video set me back to the beginning in about 3 seconds! ALL the old intense emotions came up again… Now we’re three months later. No contact at all for that time. I have to say that praying for them is still hard, but a LOT easier than before! I can think of them in a more distant way now, even though I still, of course, care for them very much. I think I always will. But that’s OK I think. The pain is FAR less, and it is much easier to leave them in God’s hands. I try not to think about them too much… that brings more pain and emotions- so I do not go there.

            I’m trying to follow my own advice… and that of others here… not so easy all the time! But I do know it works. If I still had contact with them now, I know I would be very stressed, very conflicted and angry with myself for not acting sooner. In the first half of this year, I was getting between 3 and 5 hours of sleep per night- no more. I’m not exaggerating… now it is far better.

            You will get there Unhooked… stay the course, trust God with your OM… and take care of yourself. All of us here pray for you. WP

          • Unhooked from United States says:

            Thank you for the encouragement. It helps to know that I will make progress if I stay the course. I talked very briefly with OM today. He is hard to avoid. I am trying though. I can tell he wants me to open up to him about what is going on in my head and heart, but I know I can’t. I have closed the door and it must stay closed. I kept the conversation short and kept the door to my emotions closed, but as I sit here in the quiet, I ache to contact him. I refuse to though.

            I guess if I just sit in these feelings, they will pass. I am giving him up to God, day by day, little by little. I am also trying to get to a point where I never have to see him, but as of now I still have to see him sometimes. I am also barely sleeping. This takes such an emotional toll. I want to reconnect with my husband, but I am in such a state of grief, I don’t know how to start. All the memories keep creeping up on me. I can’t stand the radio right now.

            I want to forget the memories so I can focus on being here and now with my husband, the one I promised myself to. You are right, Trying. God can do far more than what is in our power. I know I couldn’t do this without God. Thanks again to you and WP. I will keep you both in my prayers. It sounds as though you both have made so much progress. I am happy for you both and it also gives me hope for my situation.

  28. WP from EU from Netherlands says:

    Hi Trying, As always – I like your insights and comments! One thing I do not have is another believer or a mentor…that must be wonderful!! This site is my main “mentor” and “sounding board.” Your comments stay with me and help me to find the right direction.

    The above text to Unhooked is, of course, for you too! and for other readers as well….

    My mind is also numb sometimes and I have a hard time really finding my place in God…in His Love. Too often it still feels far away. But I know His love is eternal. Sometimes the mountain feels very steep.

    I really thank you for all your contributions Trying. I hope to see you here when you can find the time. WP

    • Trying from United States says:

      This is going to be a crazy week for me with Thanksgving holiday here in the U.S. I’m hosting a large group on Friday but as the battle is still raging, I’ll be checking in but probably not posting. I pray for all of you, and anyone else who walks this path! I’ll just post a devotional I received this a.m. in my inbox. There are 2 websites that I receive GOOD SOLID BIBLICAL daily devotionals from, and these have ministered to me many times right at the time I need to hear the words. This one is from today–about “right choices”!

      “THE LAW OF HARVEST — Nancy Leigh DeMoss: “Galatians 6 says, ‘Whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life’ (vv. 7-8).

      “For better or for worse, most of the patterns in my life today are the fruit of choices I made years ago. The books I read, the people I spent time with, the way I responded to authority, the way I spent my free time, my study habits—all those things affect me now.

      “In the same way, the choices we make today will affect us down the road. Every sinful, selfish, or indulgent act is sowing a seed that will reap a multiplied harvest. But every act of obedience is a seed that will bless us and those around us. What kinds of seeds are you going to plant today?”

      • WP from EU from Netherlands says:

        Hi Trying, This last post of your is really good! Thank you! I saw your website “Seeking Him, the Law of the Harvest” and then the emailing list -with all the other topics… a wealth of very good “food for thought!”

        So true… the choices I made years ago are affecting me today for sure… and of course it follows that the choices I make now will have a big effect on down the road…

        I do hope that the “crazies” of the coming week will not crowd out the real reason for all the celebrations… that God brought the first settlers through a horrific winter, and that Christ is our Redeemer and Friend, even though we don’t see this so well too much of the time. Also that you weather the possible contact you may have with your former OM… you’ve been through so much, and yet you remain standing tall and strong… but I’m sure you have your lonely days and sleepless nights.

        I do think, that more of us pray for you than you may realize. You take care Trying. I hope you sleep well… and thank you so much for your prayers!! WP

  29. WP from EU from Netherlands says:

    Dear Unhooked, I know it is hard, but you will do yourself a BIG favor if you can avoid contacting your OM as much as possible. You are in the most difficult period of time now, when the break is recent and your emotions are raw. If you sit in your feelings, they may actually take longer to dissipate…anything we dwell on…or wrestle with in our mind, tends to get bigger! This is what I found anyway.

    Even now, when I think back on the OW’s too much, the emotions come again…So instead, I have been involving myself in other things…the children, friends at work, and here at home…other people’s concerns…these things occupy me, make me feel useful, and distract me. The advice given at the beginning of this site is, of course, also very good…also a real help.

    I would like to…very carefully…ask you two questions here:
    1. Do you have a good friend with whom you can talk these things through? and
    2. Have you really expressed yourself to your husband? Your love for him, your wish to have a better marriage, your struggles and mistakes? (I’m not asking you have you talked about your EA with your husband…only you know the best answer for that. I would only like to say it is an idea worth considering).

    Give your feelings to God. Find a close friend you trust. Give yourself away to other people. Spend time on this site…there are many who will spend time with you and pray with you and for you…and answer your texts.

    This way you are not carrying this load all by yourself.

    I don’t want to give the impression that I have all the answers, or that this is easy. But I do know that the above-described steps have worked for me. And the texts and words of others here on this site have really helped me a lot.

    You will get through this Unhooked…You will. A month from now, I am confident that I will hear very different things from you!! Take care…. WP

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