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Ever Wondered Why Women Cheat? A Married Guy Goes Undercover on Ashley Madison to Find Out

This article is SO GOOD that I’m reposting it verbatim:


 

A married relationship expert joins Ashley Madison and learns a valuable love lesson.

By 

“Honey, I have to join Ashley Madison.”

So began the pitch I gave my wife to let me join the marrieds-looking-for-affairs website, AshleyMadison.com. It would be part of my research into women who cheat, why infidelity is increasing, and what can be done to possibly affair-proof a marriage. I proposed to “cheat” on her for a few weeks, to talk to and attempt to seduce as many women as possible, and get a real-world understanding of why women want to stay married but also need some illicit action on the side.

Of course, on my end, there’d be nothing more than conversation. She looked at me straight-faced, unflinching. I searched her eyes for any telltale sign of the Charles-I’m-going-to-punch-you-in-the-face-right-after-I-castrate-you look; nothing. After a long pause, I got her only thought: “No, I get it,” she said emphatically. “It’s a great story. But it’s kinda like asking the newly-vegetarian fox to guard the henhouse, isn’t it?”

I thought about it, and unfortunately her statement wasn’t too far from the truth. If you back me up a few years—sans wife, kids, dogs, published book on relationships, 400,000+ fans following my relationship advice on Facebook—I was a chronic womanizer; a past she knows about, but never experienced personally. To make matters worse, I wasn’t some weak pick-up artist using idiotic dating boot camp approaches that reeked of negativity and douchebaggery on vulnerable women in order to break them down and manipulate them into sex. No… I was far more despicable than that.

Was I looking to get women into bed? Of course, but it was more than that. I worked hard to become the embodiment of seduction. To quickly read the spoken and unspoken clues of what a woman was looking for in a man, and then give her the perception I was that guy. In effect, to become so alluring that she would willingly give herself over, thinking that having sex was her idea. After all, it’s much easier to convince people of things they think they have thought of themselves. It was quite a rush, and as the wake of emotional destruction would later exemplify, seducing women became my drug of choice.

“No, babe … that’s not even close,” I told her, not fully considering the implications of the coming situations. “That was 15… no, almost 20 years ago. And you know that I love you. There’s nothing to fear.”

After another pregnant pause, she consented with a few words of sage advice:

“Don’t. Fuck. Up.”
The Statistics

According to The Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, nearly 50 percent of married women and 60 percent of married men will have an extramarital affair at some point in their marriage. When you consider that these statistics are nearly double what they were a short 10 years ago, clearly this is beyond an issue; it is now commonplace. But it’s far from a surprise; it was predicted. Futurist Alvin Toffler wrote the best seller Future Shock in 1970, and with matter-of-fact conviction he wrote of “trial” or “temporary marriages”—young people’s first marriages, lasting three months to three years—and of “serial marriages” that would take place after the dissolution of the “trial marriage” at specific turning points in people’s lives.

So, does this mean marriage has “jumped the shark” and become obsolete? Hardly. Marriage is not the issue. Commitment and loyalty or the lack thereof are at the crux of this. After all, marriage is a legal and/or spiritual binding of two people… but if commitment isn’t there and loyalty becomes a matter of subjectivity or convenience, the marriage is already nonexistent. Cheating then becomes a symptom of a secretly failed marriage.

But is it really so black and white, with no grey and no room for mistakes, missteps, or moments of weakness? Do people who cheat want to leave their current marriage? Are they secretly trying to get caught so they’ll have an excuse to get out? I needed answers to these questions (and many others), so I headed where any high-tech junkie looking to cheat on his wife would go: online.

The Business of Infidelity

The advent of the Internet has made having an illicit affair easier than ever before. Meeting Mr. or Ms. Right, The Sequel, is a mere mouse-click for anyone with a credit card. If you’re looking to Hit-It-And-Quit-It, there’s AdultFriendFinder.com, Craigslist’s Casual Encounters or Fling.com (among many others). But sex-only semi-anonymous hookups wasn’t where my investigation was headed, as women looking to merely have sex can meet a man anywhere—nightclubs, coffee shops, Facebook, wherever.

My hypothesis was simple: women who were looking for an extramarital affair with another married man were looking to connect in some way. If both parties were married, they not only started on even ground, but they had something in common—they were missing something from their current relationship. I needed to uncover the motivations behind starting and maintaining an affair.

And affairs are big business. Numerous websites are dedicated to connecting those looking to engage in flagranté delecto sans spouse. AffairsClub.com, MarriedCafe.com, LonelyWivesAffairs.com are but the tip of the iceberg, and all have women and men signing up in droves. The undisputed leader for cheating is AshleyMadison.com, the “Life is short. Have an affair.” website. AshleyMadison has experienced meteoric growth since its founding in 2002, with no slowing in sight. And while founder and CEO Noel Biderman doesn’t condone having an affair, he seems perfectly comfortable with others doing their infidelity thing. Works for some … and now, it was my turn to get my (feigned) cheat on.
“Hello, Ashley Madison! Long time, no cheat!”

I filled out my nickname and relevant info, plopped down my credit card number (discretely billed as “AMDB” to my credit card statement), and then all I needed to do was … wait a second. I was faced with the eternal online seduction dilemma: now what? What will make the opposite sex want me online? What do women want to see on my profile?

Recent reports state that Ashley Madison has a community that is comprised of 70 percent men and 30 percent women. Clearly women have the upper hand with choice, so I needed to stand out against all the other guys. I posted a real picture of me (I was looking to connect in-person, after all), but I listed a fake name (if they Googled my real name, I was sure to be caught). To formulate the right approach, I decided to do something I couldn’t do in the real world: get into the minds of my competition, albeit a little sneakily.

I signed up for a second Ashley Madison account as a woman, “Shelly,” and began checking out the guys’ profiles. Most of the men’s profiles highlighted attempts at humor, asking straight-out for sex, to … uh … romance (“I like walks on the beach.”) Really?! Walks on the beach?! Come on, now … no, you don’t! I mean, we all like walking on the beach, but that’s not why you’re on the site. And besides, the 1970s called, and they want their pick-up line back. In contrast, so many of the women’s profiles were dripped with laments ranging from “lack of attention” to “seeking excitement” to “need someone who pays attention.” Additionally, it was fascinating to see “Shelly’s” inbox fill up in a matter of minutes. I hadn’t even added a picture or completed the profile for that persona.

With a firm understanding of where my competition played—and the miserable approaches of some—I got to work writing something unique, confident, and (hopefully) mysterious and seductive. I set up three profiles to see which would resonate the fastest and which would hit with the most success. “Scottie” was unsure, shy, and a bit weak (“I’m not sure why I’m here.”), “Greg” was the quintessential Alpha Male (“You know you want me…”), and the aforementioned “Cameron” was closer to the middle (“Too many men get comfortable—even complacent—and forget that foreplay starts outside the bedroom… that kisses can start soft with cheek strokes, but end with the back of her hair being pulled in wild passion.”).

Early Success

Online dating is a complicated arena much like ordering fast food, in that what you get is never really what the picture and description promise. And given the demographical split on the site, I was prepared to be searching and waiting for a number of days for interest or responses. To my surprise, Cameron’s profile had 20 messages on his first night.

I responded to a few messages, and before I knew it I was invited to a chat session with “SexyCat” (profile name changed to ensure her anonymity). SexyCat wanted to know all kinds of things, and what I would do if given the opportunity. With my wife watching TV on the couch a mere 10 feet away, here I was talking dirty to a 36-year-old married woman (who’s husband was probably watching TV on the couch a mere 10 feet away from her). SexyCat wasn’t the only one. I discovered that to satisfy their deep longing for passion with minimal risk, many women sign up for Ashley Madison to have virtual sex via chat.

Over the next several days, I had chat sessions of varying length with 33 different women (hmm … it is online … I wonder if they were all women!). In each session, I attempted to take things to the next level—an in-person meeting—but no-go. Most of these women seemed comfortable in getting what they needed online. It was arm’s-length cheating for them (and perhaps one-handed typing). I hope I didn’t disappoint them and that virtual cigarettes were ablaze in post-coital, pixelated afterglow of my cybersex adventures.

I told my wife about my hot chats… and she laughed. We got into a long discussion about the arm’s length approach to cheating these women had, and if it was really cheating. If it was borderline anonymous (read: they didn’t know much about me), it was akin to an interactive romance or erotic novel. I recounted some of the more sexually explicit material these ladies had written, as well as what I wrote in response, and we both said aloud what we have known for a long time: When it comes to sex, women will get into the real detail … so much more so than most men. And with the inherent anonymity of chat, those inhibitions only grow exponentially. But I hadn’t been afraid; I can talk dirty with the best of them.

But Ashley Madison had more in store for me than just chat sessions.

Date #1: “Ashley”

“Ashley” initially reached out to me and was eager to meet. After a brief inbox exchange on the website, we decide to meet for coffee at a cafe in Mountain View, a stone’s throw from California’s Silicon Valley. She was a dead-on match to her picture: a striking 5’8″ blonde. As we headed inside, I caught a glimpse of our reflections in the window and laughed quietly. At 5’5″, I look like Dudley Moore to her Brigitte Nielsen.

She was confident, and as it turned out, a bit of a cheating pro. At 43 and a pure Type A personality—a Sales Executive in high-tech—she’d been married for 22 years and has had several affairs. Ashley Madison has been her “outlet” for the past number of years. I ask if her husband has an outlet, as well, and she was clear that he doesn’t. “He would never,” she said with equal confidence. “He doesn’t have time for this kind of thing.”

As we talked, our conversation turned to the philosophical and intellectual side of life and world events: Descartes, Nietzsche, politics, world history, religion, sex… subjects about which I have no shortage of opinions and personal insight. And I realized her outlet was mental and intellectual stimulation. She was fascinated that I was able to keep up with her, and she flushed, showing signs that this was more than banter for her—it was foreplay.

Ashley told me she loved her husband but couldn’t understand why he had dropped back from their relationship. He was “passion and romance” when they dated, but had become “all work and no play.” She shared briefly that as the Chief Technical Officer of a technology start-up, he was too busy for her, with travel and his company taking all his time. “But he’s always been too busy, ever since we got married,” she lamented. I piled on to her discontent by falsely offering that my wife also has no time for me, but I then asked her: “So why don’t we leave them, then? Why are we here?” She didn’t miss a beat. “I need passion. I need to feel something … almost anything at this point. He has great qualities, but … and we then dropped the subject at her request.

She was extremely intelligent and witty—and she was just as clear that sex was a priority.

“You seem a little green, so let me explain where I’m at. I’m not here looking for a husband, so you don’t need to worry about that. I’m looking for a man to take the lead; to invest his time, but not his emotions. Oh, and your height isn’t a problem.” We both laughed.

Our hour-long coffee date flew by, and under different circumstances I would have loved to continue the conversation. She was strong, funny, direct… but she seemed OK with missing out on what she really wants from a relationship and settling for something mediocre in her romantic life. I left the date thinking I might better understand her on our next date.

Date #2: “Shannon”

“Shannon” read my profile and reached out to me to begin a dialogue. When we connected, she was upfront that she wasn’t yet clear on her limits, so if I was looking for sex today, I needed to move on. I told her I wasn’t clear either, and that coffee sounded good, hoping we could share a bit of time to see how we both felt.

Shannon was interesting: 35, dirty blonde hair, smart, funny, full of life, well-read and educated. She had made the decision to raise her two kids as a stay-at-home mom. She and her husband met in college, and had been together since, but his attentiveness waned after the first couple of years. I asked why she stayed. Her answer: “Because I love him.”

I feel strangely comfortable, so I shared that I hadn’t had an affair yet, and that I’m new to the site and not clear on what to do… or when. She empathized, remembering when she was new to Ashley Madison. She’d had two affairs in the past, but they were strictly for sex, and it left her feeling empty. “Sex is great, but I’m looking for some time together, too. Not dating … but just something new. My husband is a great guy, but he talks to me like I’m stupid half of the time. And I have kids; I don’t want to leave.” We talk more and it’s clear she wants to laugh, to live, to love. I wonder why she stays with her husband.

At the end of our date, I keep things cool and she asks if we can get together again. I tell her that I’d love to (knowing I can’t/won’t), and I ask her to reach me back on Ashley Madison. She’s sent me three messages since… and I answered the last one telling her that I realized after we parted that I couldn’t cheat on my wife… just not how I’m made. She responded, telling me she understood and wished me well.

Date #3: “Lisa”

I found “Lisa” by searching through the profiles. She was an attractive brunette, 5’4″, 39, 130lbs., two kids, residing in the Bay Area. After reading her profile (something I’ve been told many men don’t do with online dating sites), I sent her an inbox message telling her that I really liked her snarky attitude, her bold statements, and her general approach to life (which I had read about in her writing). Her profile stated that she wasn’t sure what she wanted from being a member of Ashley Madison, but she was clear that she wanted to chat with me. We took the chat off the site to Yahoo! Messenger, and within seconds it was clear that she wasn’t after cybersex … she was trying to feel me out. No overtly intrusive questions… just getting to know me a bit. We talked about books, sex, great places to travel, music, sex, movies, sex. After about 40 minutes of banter, I went in for the kill: “Want to grab a bite to eat this week?” I wrote, asking her to lunch. My convincer: “It’s just lunch. :) 60 minutes. If there’s no connection, no harm, no foul. And I know a great place in The City. Come join me. ;)” I typed, dripping with confidence. She agreed.

We met the next day at Albona Restaurant in San Francisco’s North Beach restaurant district. It was crowded, but she recognized me instantly from my profile picture, and I had already secured a table. We exchanged pleasantries, ordered a mid-day cocktail (I think I needed one), and began talking—me sprinkling in my interview questions throughout normal conversation. Over the next hour I played the part of the guy who was married, but just couldn’t get into the humdrum of married life. I needed… something. She quickly agreed with me and then spouted answers as I took mental notes.

I asked her why, with all the choices available to her, she had answered my email. Her answer: because of how I phrased things on my profile. Aside from the raw passion I had exhibited, she said I showed “thoughtfulness, intelligence, and a confidence” that came through in my writing… and I didn’t send her a picture of my penis. At 39 with two young kids, she lamented that her marriage had grown cold, and her husband complacent. Her relationship was good in many ways—financially stable, secure, friendly—but it lacked … and she stopped. I probed, “Passion?” and she almost leaped off her seat in agreement. She longed for spontaneity, the freshness that accompanies new relationships, and the effort that her husband had put in 10 years prior.

Midway through the meal, I started flirting with her. The challenge: I couldn’t get my wife out of my head. But as I continued, I found myself returning to the guy I was years before: focused on seduction, listening for clues to her wants and needs. We were now done with lunch, and I turned my attention to how far I could take her. As it turns out, she was the one who gave me the in by asking, “What do you find the most attractive about me?” This question is a pick-up artist’s dream for a number of reasons. Firstly, it speaks to her not having been complimented often enough, as she was fishing, apparently insecure and looking for validation. Secondly, it shows that she wants to know where my head is at; what do I see first when I look at a woman, and how does that relate to her? And thirdly, it’s an inviting question, in that she wouldn’t have asked if she wasn’t interested in me. So, her simple question tipped the scales in my favor.

“You have a great walk,” I told her. She looked at me like I was crazy. “No, really,” I said. “You can tell a lot about a woman by the way she walks and her body language as a whole. Is she looking at the ground, unconfident, or is she standing tall, greeting the world? And, you have a swing when you walk,” I added playfully. She was taken aback—as I knew she would be. A clever man might talk about a woman’s intelligence being a turn-on, but most men don’t usually talk about confidence in this fashion. I moved the conversation from confidence-building to sex, and she followed along, clearly digging where I was guiding things. She was very interested in how I saw her, hungry for the compliments and clearly longing for the passion I started putting out. She reversed the question on herself and then told me what she liked about me, and the conversation tumbled into her passionate thoughts, how I was making her feel: relaxed, free, feminine. At this point, I was in a dicey situation. I didn’t want to sleep with her, but the challenge of having her commit to giving herself over was intoxicating. So, I kept pushing the limits and pouring it on, all the while hoping that my wife would understand the true motivations for my actions.

Fifteen minutes later—an hour-and-a-half after we arrived at the restaurant—I made The Ask: was she interested in heading down the street to a nice hotel and experiencing what I have been describing? I told her I haven’t prepared for this, but connections like this are rare, and that I’m having a hard time controlling myself. I didn’t want to be so forward, but… and I stopped talking, letting my look fall to the floor. This gave her the illusion of being in control of the situation with a choice. A short pause and a coy smile from her told me instantly that she is absolutely hooked, and mine for the taking. She agreed to go to the hotel with a whisper, and leaned across the table to kiss me to seal the deal. And… I froze. My body language changed instantly, and I sat back from the table and put my hand up to stop her advance.

“I can’t.”

“What?” she laughed.

“No, really. I can’t do this.”

“What are you talking about?” she asked, with genuine confusion. With a sigh—and for the first time realizing that I didn’t have an exit from this situation—I explained: “I’m working on a research project on adultery. This is a part of it. I’m sorry, but I can’t cheat on my wife.

I paused and she stared at me in disbelief. I had effectively brought her to the apex of her wanting, and now I was pulling the rug out from under her.

“So, this was all bullshit?” she asked through her teeth, not wanting to cause a scene in the restaurant. I sat motionless, unsure of what to do when she made the decision for me. With a look that would level an army, she seethed out, “Fuck you, Cameron,” and threw what was left of her martini at me. She turned and stormed out of the restaurant.

My heart went out to her. It wasn’t her fault. I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t tempted, but my wife, my honor, my word and my humanity are not worth it, no matter how attractive she might have been. After patting myself dry amidst slack-jawed looks from other diners, I left the restaurant and headed home. I was emotionally spent.

The Fight

As I pulled into my little suburb-of-a-town, I arrived at a local coffee shop down the street from my house, and I called my wife to see if she would join me. She agreed, but when she arrived I knew something was wrong. My thoughts were confirmed when I greeted her. With a smile on my face and my arms out to embrace her, I was greeted with, “Don’t even touch me, I can smell you from here. You smell like liquor and whores.”

Whoa! This was NOT what I planned on, and this isn’t the way our open and honest relationship normally runs. She sat away from me, her arms folded in front of her, sipping her coffee and barely looking at me. I told her the story of what happened: the restaurant, the lunch, the flirting, the advance from Lisa, the cocktail. Her anger intensified.

“That’s bullshit, Charles. No one throws a drink on someone for nothing. What did you do? Just tell me. What did YOU DO?”

For much of the afternoon, she fought with me. Given what my investigation was trying to uncover, and in light of my recent actions—even though they were “allowed” actions based on what we had discussed—I felt I had nothing to stand on. I tried to explain that I didn’t do anything, but she wasn’t buying it. After three hours of not speaking to me, it became clear what was really bothering her when she told me emphatically: “You know, Charles, it’s amazing. I don’t care about your ‘date’. And for all I care, you could have slept with her. But tell me this: When was the last time you took time out of your day and took me to lunch for no reason?”

A Revelation

Her statement to me was an eye-opener, and in polling 250+ women in the days that followed, I reached an important understanding. When an adulterous man is found out, there are many, many women that can get past the sex act itself. But the real problem is where his effort has been going. As his wife sits idle, being supportive, holding down her half of the relationship, house, kids, etc., a cheating man will put boat loads of effort into seducing the other woman: four-star restaurants and hotels, gifts, laughter, spontaneity, passion, sex. From there, it’s a sad realization for his wife that translates to “I’m not worth the effort.” This is a fatal blow to her self-esteem and self-worth, and terminal to the relationship. My wife and I got past it, but I had to relent to the fact that I hadn’t done those things for her recently… and it wasn’t purposeful, it was a mirror into my own accidental complacently (and I’m supposed to be an expert!!!). It’s not that I take her for granted. But in acting like a cheater, I had fallen into my own trap. Accidentally? Perhaps, but does it matter? Isn’t the end result the same?

With all my experience and expertise, I keep learning.

Reflection

Contemplating all of my experiences with the women of Ashley Madison—chat sessions and in-person dates—several things became painfully clear. First, there isn’t one “type” of woman looking to cheat online. Some were looking to have sex, period. Others were looking to subsidize their current relationship with a human connection… and if it led to sex, even better. But all were clear that they were not leaving their current relationship. These weren’t monkeys getting a grip on the next branch before letting go of the first. They just wanted to feel what they used to feel from the man in their life.

The most common complaint was a lack of passion and effort by the man in their current relationship. It makes sense. When a man begins dating a woman, he puts in tons of effort; he woos her. Once she’s “his,” he stops putting in that effort, but she still longs for it. She wants to be desired, seduced, and connected with on a regular basis. So many men seem to be missing the boat. They start strong, having a decent sense of how to capture a woman at the beginning, but upon entering a relationship they are unprepared for the long haul and investment a successful relationship demands past the dating phase. The situation starts to reek of complacency and satisfaction in mediocrity.

Should the women of Ashley Madison leave their current relationships before starting a new one? Yes… but the sad truth is that these women weren’t looking to start a new relationship. I got the distinct impression that they were filling their needs outside their relationships until such time that he noticed he was disconnected, it became unbearable, or it ended on its own. And until then, they were willing to settle for a half-marriage with a side of passion.

I still feel that cheating is the wrong thing to do… but this is the grey area I didn’t see before.

To the men thinking of getting married: being married isn’t like dating. Marriage doesn’t take “work” per se, but it does require concerted effort and investment in each other, and in you. If you aren’t into it, don’t do it, as you will be setting yourself up for failure—perhaps finding your wife on Ashley Madison. Or worse, out with a guy like I used to be, enjoying passion because you stopped bringing it.

Men in established relationships and marriage need to remember that women are women first and foremost… and wives and mothers second. If a man stops bringing passion and effort to his relationship and stops treating her as a desired woman, he shouldn’t be surprised when she feels forced to fill her needs elsewhere.

Originally appeared at YourTango

– See more at: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/ever-wondered-women-cheat-married-guy-goes-undercover-ashley-madison-find-hesaid/

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Question of the Week: Sept. 1st – 7th

question_of_the_week4

If you are a Loyal Spouse:  After reading
What It Feels Like to Discover That Your Spouse is Cheating would you say it’s accurate?  Is that what it felt like for you? 

If you are a Disloyal Spouse: After reading What It Feels Like to Discover That Your Spouse is Cheating did you know that’s what it felt like for your spouse?  Did you learn something new?

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My Advice To Married Couples After Divorcing My Wife Of 16 Years

 

 By Gerald Rogers

I read this post today and it was just so well written I had to share with you all, so I have reposted it exactly as the author wrote it.  Enjoy!

______________________________________

Obviously, I’m not a relationship expert. But there’s something about my divorce being finalized this week that gives me perspective of things I wish I would have done different… After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I would have had

1. Never stop courting. Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.

2. Protect your own heart. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.

3. Fall in love over and over again. You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.

4. Always see the best in her. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to be have this woman as your wife.

5. It’s not your job to change or fix her… your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.

6. Take full accountability for your own emotions: It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she CAN’T make you sad. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.

7. Never blame your wife if you get frustrated or angry at her, it is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU. They are YOUR emotions, and your responsibility. When you feel those feelings take time to get present and to look within and understand what it is inside of YOU that is asking to be healed. You were attracted to this woman because she was the person best suited to trigger all of your childhood wounds in the most painful way so that you could heal them… when you heal yourself, you will no longer be triggered by her, and you will wonder why you ever were.

8. Allow your woman to just be. When she’s sad or upset, it’s not your job to fix it, it’s your job to HOLD HER and let her know it’s ok. Let her know that you hear her, and that she’s important and that you are that pillar on which she can always lean. The feminine spirit is about change and emotion and like a storm her emotions will roll in and out, and as you remain strong and unjudging she will trust you and open her soul to you… DON’T RUN-AWAY WHEN SHE’S UPSET. Stand present and strong and let her know you aren’t going anywhere. Listen to what she is really saying behind the words and emotion.

9. Be silly… don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Laugh. And make her laugh. Laughter makes everything else easier.

10. Fill her soul everyday… learn her love languages and the specific ways that she feels important and validated and CHERISHED. Ask her to create a list of 10 THINGS that make her feel loved and memorize those things and make it a priority everyday to make her feel like a queen.

11. Be present. Give her not only your time, but your focus, your attention and your soul. Do whatever it takes to clear your head so that when you are with her you are fully WITH HER. Treat her as you would your most valuable client. She is.

12. Be willing to take her sexually, to carry her away in the power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with your strength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul. Let her melt into her feminine softness as she knows she can trust you fully.

13. Don’t be an idiot…. And don’t be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. You’re not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid.

14. Give her space… The woman is so good at giving and giving, and sometimes she will need to be reminded to take time to nurture herself. Sometimes she will need to fly from your branches to go and find what feeds her soul, and if you give her that space she will come back with new songs to sing…. (okay, getting a little too poetic here, but you get the point. Tell her to take time for herself, ESPECIALLY after you have kids. She needs that space to renew and get re-centered, and to find herself after she gets lost in serving you, the kids and the world.)

15. Be vulnerable… you don’t have to have it all together. Be willing to share your fears and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes.

16. Be fully transparent. If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING… Especially those things you don’t want to share. It takes courage to fully love, to fully open your heart and let her in when you don’t know i she will like what she finds… Part of that courage is allowing her to love you completely, your darkness as well as your light. DROP THE MASK… If you feel like you need to wear a mask around her, and show up perfect all the time, you will never experience the full dimension of what love can be.

17. Never stop growing together… The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working on your relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.

18. Don’t worry about money. Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strength to win.

19. Forgive immediately and focus on the future rather than carrying weight from the past. Don’t let your history hold you hostage. Holding onto past mistakes that either you or she makes, is like a heavy anchor to your marriage and will hold you back. FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM. Cut the anchor loose and always choose love.

20. Always choose love. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. In the end, this is the only advice you need. If this is the guiding principle through which all your choices is governed, there is nothing that will threaten the happiness of your marriage. Love will always endure.

In the end marriage isn’t about happily ever after. It’s about work. And a commitment to grow together and a willingness to continually invest in creating something that can endure eternity. Through that work, the happiness will come. Marriage is life, and it will bring ups and downs. Embracing all of the cycles and learning to learn from and love each experience will bring the strength and perspective to keep building, one brick at a time.

These are lessons I learned the hard way. These are lessons I learned too late. But these are lessons I am learning and committed in carrying forward. Truth is, I loved being married, and in time, I will get married again, and when I do, I will build it with a foundation that will endure any storm and any amount of time.

If you are reading this and find wisdom in my pain, share it those those young husbands whose hearts are still full of hope, and with those couples you may know who may have forgotten how to love. One of those men may be like I was, and in these hard earned lessons perhaps something will awaken in him and he will learn to be the man his lady has been waiting for.

MEN– THIS IS YOUR CHARGE: Commit to being an EPIC LOVER. There is no greater challenge, and no greater prize. Your woman deserves that from. Be the type of husband your wife can’t help but brag about.

How Internet Affairs Begin

 

How Internet Affairs Begin

Think of the love in a marriage as a campfire. There are actions that can be done to stoke the fire and make it hotter–those are Love Kindlers. There are actions that can be done that are like putting water on a fire–some are like dribbles out of a holey bucket, and some are like dumping a big old bucket of water on the fire. Those are Love Extinguishers. When two people first met there were no Love Extinguishers because they put forth their best image and the two were not sharing a home, bills, and chores yet. At the same time there were TONS of Love Kindlers. Think about it! People in love tend to spend a lot of time together; they talk to each other and get to know each other–and they actually stop and listen; they do fun things together like go bowling or take walks; they look good for each other and flirt…. See all those kindlers? And sure enough, the fire of love blazes and they get married.

Like all young couples they thought their love would “conquer all” and never even considered that one of them would cheat. Sure that happens to other people, but their marriage was different and special and it would never happen to them.

Then enter just a few Love Extinguishers.

The Loyal Spouse put the Disloyal Spouse through college so they could get ahead in life, and the Loyal Spouse always thought that his/her sacrifice would be paid back worth it “someday” when they were successful as a couple. Meanwhile, Disloyal Spouse worked and worked to climb the corporate ladder, thinking that he/she was “providing for the family” and doing it to get ahead. The Loyal Spouse began to be involved with their own college, work or activities and forgot to take time for Disloyal Spouse. In fact, when he/she did see Disloyal Spouse, he/she complained because Disloyal Spouse wasn’t helping out with the shared household chores. And Disloyal Spouse also forgot to make time for him/her and began working longer and longer hours at work. Sometimes they didn’t even see each other awake for DAYS…and when they did, one or the other of them had negative things to say. Maybe she’s not a great money manager (or the opposite, a controlling penny-pincher); when he’s home he’d rather sit in front of the TV or PC to veg out. They don’t talk anymore…and the Love Extinguishers are dribbling on the fire. Then more Love Extinguishers are added–kids are born and there’s even LESS time together; she gains some weight and he wear sweats; he yells at her about bills and she disrespects his job; he wants sex and she doesn’t feel connected to him so she resents it. The Love Extinguishers are getting to be less like a drip and more like a downpour.

Right about then…the Other Person will connect via “Classmates” or will make a friend request on Facebook.   An Internet Affair Partner is usually an old classmate from college, or an old romance from “way back when” — but via the internet people can also meet someone via the chat in a game, or in a chatroom. The Other Person has no Love Extinguishers because they are putting forth their best image. The Other Person is happy to hear from them–they send little love texts and poems, whereas the Loyal Spouse says “Can you stop and get some milk?”  The Other Person shares a common interest with the Disloyal Spouse, whether it’s the game they play together or memories of yesteryear, and probably spends hours a day enjoying them–whereas the Loyal Spouse is bored hearing about the mechanics of the game, has no idea how to play, and spends hardly any time with Disloyal Spouse. Pretty soon, the Disloyal Spouse starts talking to Other Person about a fight that s/he had with the Loyal Spouse the night before…and Other Person is understanding and takes their side. Soon, they are talking like teenagers at lunch–phoning each other on the cell phone “for work”–and emailing all night long. Part of the Disloyal Spouse is thrilled that someone else thinks they’re neat! They are happy…and a little love zing of amphetamine hits their brain. Then they flirt a little and the Other Person flirts back! And pretty soon after that, one of them mentions that they have feelings for the other … and that’s it. The decide they are “in love” and kiss.

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If you’d like this article and want to do more, here what you can do!

1) To know more about how affairs start and how they progress, check out our article “How Do Affairs Start?
2) If you need help or know a friend who’s marriage has been affected by an affair, you can Contact Us on our Contact page!
3) To learn how to LOVEveryday and make your marriage affair-free, click the title for a free download.
4) Sigh up for our newsletter or RSS feed so you are emailed every time we add new content.

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Save our Marriage Saturday – Nov. 17th!

Today is  Save Our Marriage Saturday!

We have a tradition here at Affaircare. We call it “Save Our Marriage Saturday”–and we’re sharing the love.  Link-love that is!  Every Saturday we hold a link-up party so you can share a post of your own and we can all help each other to save our marriages!

Please share your post on any and all things related to saving your marriage after an affair, reconciling after you committed adultery, recovering your marriage after finding out that your spouse cheated, or keeping your marriage affair-free!

1. Please link to your actual “Save Our Marriage Saturday” post, not just the address to your blog or site home page.

2. Please leave me a comment–I would love to visit your site, return the favor, and follow you!

3. Please share the love with your fellow bloggers–Read and leave a comment on at least the two blogs above yours.

4. Please help me spread the word. Let’s create a community of Christian believers who want to bring glory to God by teaching our brothers and sisters about how to have a godly marriage, how to avoid the typical traps that lead to infidelity, and how to be a living testimony of forgiveness and reconciliation if one spouse is unfaithful.

5. Link back to this community, either by using the button below or a text link. You can find the button code here for you to insert in your post:

HTML CODE:



Please click on the froggy to see the blog hop!

I LINK TO THESE GODLY LINK-UPS:
Beholding Glory’s Blog Hop List, No Ordinary Blog Hop: Family-Parenting-Marriage , The Alabaster Jar-Marital Oneness Mondays, Revive Your Marriage MondaysTime-Warp Wife-Titus 2sdays, …to Love, Honor and Vacuum–Wifey Wednesdays, Unveiled WifeGrace Alone/Women Taking a Stand–Thankful Thursdays, and Beholding Glory–Faith Filled Fridays.