Things have not been right between you and your spouse and your gut instinct is that something is going on . You gathered evidence that proves to you that there is an affair… What should you do?
Today we are continuing the new portion of our Basic Concepts: Steps to End an Affair. There are specific steps you can take if you have reason to believe your spouse may be unfaithful. There is no guarantee your marriage will recover, but these steps will give you the best opportunity to recover after the affair ends.
After gathering evidence, it’s time to confront your spouse and get the help you need by refusing to keep their affair a secret.
In today’s episode we discuss the next three steps: Confront-Disclose-Expose. Using Matthew 18: 15-17 as our guide, we discuss Confronting your spouse directly, letting them know that you know, and asking them point blank to stop the affair. If they refuse, we explain about Disclosing the affair to one or two trusted mentors in your spouse’s life who will tell them to stop committing adultery and return to their marriage! If they still harden their heart and will not stop the affair, the next step to kill the affair is to Expose it to those who will be affected if there is a divorce: your family, your spouse’s family, your employer and if it’s a work affair, your spouse’s employer, your pastor or minister, your life-long friends and your spouse’s life-long friends.
Exposure is one of the most misunderstood steps in ending an affair, and yet it is one of the strongest steps you can take, so give your marriage the best chance of survival and listen in!
Our new program, “90 Days to Save Your Marriage and Save You” will teach you and how your spouse how to recover after infidelity. To introduce our new program, I’m reviewing our Basic Concepts all month!
As is very often the case, I think people confuse “exposure” and “revenge” and the two have nothing whatsoever to do with one another.
Revenge–in this court case and in an affair–would be to take an action purely for the reason of hurting the Disloyal and/or the AP “as much as they hurt you” (the Loyal). The motive is to HURT and HARM (neither of which will save a marriage), and quite often in revenge, the affair is already over so there is absolutely NO BENEFIT to revenge. The poison of it harms the Loyal and eats away at their soul, and the damage it does to the marriage is irreparable.
Exposure–on the other hand–is acting in a way that no longer keeps an active affair “a secret.” As long as the affair is active, and as long as a Loyal silently goes along with it and doesn’t call it what it is or ask for help–they are helping the affair, which is the exact opposite of helping the marriage. So exposure is not from a place of “I’m going to hurt you” but rather from a place of “I refuse to cooperate with adultery by denying that it’s happening and pretending I don’t see you committing it.” Exposure means telling those who will likely be affected by it, such as your parents, your spouse’s parents, your siblings, your spouse’s siblings, maybe lifelong friends if they are people who will help the Loyal cope and tell the Disloyal to end the affair, maybe the pastor or someone you consider your mentor or wise council (because trust me, any Loyal is going to need wise advice), the Loyal’s employer because productivity and concentration are going to be affected, and IF IT IS A WORK AFFAIR, the Disloyal’s employer just so they can cover themselves legally and put an end to use of company resources to support adultery.
It goal of exposure is not publicity or embarrassment. In fact, it’s to provide the truth with as little proof as necessary so they are aware of what’s really going on, so they can help you, help the Disloyal, help the kids and even prepare themselves for the sh!tstorm that is about to hit. Exposure is to shine a light on the thing that has been taking place in the dark, so that when they hear, “S/He and I are getting a divorce…it’s a mutual decision” they’ll know it’s not! Or when your Disloyal tries to say you’re abusive so they HAVE TO leave, they’ll know it’s really to live with the AP!!
To learn more about the difference between exposure and revenge, check out our article: The Difference Between Exposure and Revenge.