This is also a continuation of yesterday’s post, “What if You’re the Only One Holding On.”
Today I will deal with what you should do if your spouse has found someone new, but you still want to save your marriage. Although this is an affair issue,
I will not be talking about how to catch your spouse, how to stop the affair, or how to reconcile after the affair has stopped. And I should also add that I’m not a trained counselor and the advice I give is strictly based from my own experience, my study of God’s word, and the helpful counsel I received when I went through this same ordeal.
As I promised yesterday I want to share some things I learned from my own experience with a spouse that wanted to be with someone else. This is a very tough issue and there is no way I can be completely thorough with just one blog post. So for more information please read some of our other post. And don’t forget, if this is the situation you find yourself in, I strongly recommend you read Dr. James Dobson’s book, “Love must be tough.”
Here are my tips
- Prayer: It is obvious that you need to pray and if you’re in the middle of a bad situation you are probably already praying as much as you are able. I know, because sometimes there are no words to express how deeply you are hurting. Sometimes all you can do is say, “help me Lord” and “I need you Lord.” Then there are times when you have to tell the Lord how you feel and how it all seems so unfair. That’s okay, you need to unload your burdens and cast your cares. But you just don’t want to stay there. Don’t let yourself fall into a victim mentality. You need to be proactive and take on a warrior’s mentality for your spouse, and a humble servant’s mentality for yourself. What does this mean?
- As a prayer warrior you need to pray for your spouse. Don’t pray for them as just your spouse, but as someone who has lost their way. Pray for their heart to be tender and open to the Lord. Pray that their eyes will be opened and that their ears will hear truth. Pray that the broken places in them will be healed.
- Then as a humble servant, pray that your heart is tender. Pray that your eyes are open and truth prevails. Pray for healing in your heart. Pray that you will use wisdom and grace as you move forward. And pray that God will use this difficulty and mold you into the person He wants you to be.
- Hope: You have to have hope to believe for a healed and restored marriage. Hope is the fuel that keeps you pressing forward. It is what keeps you looking at the marriage you want in spite of the difficult situation you’re in. With hope you can fight to save your marriage even if your spouse “thinks” your marriage is over. For more on hope read, “9 Ways to Keep from Losing Hope.”
- Open the door: Don’t get me wrong, this is not, “don’t let the door hit you on your way out.” This is something I learned from Dobson’s book. If your spouse feels like they are a caged bird and they are thrashing about trying to find their freedom, you have to open the door and set them free. You can never win at love if you have to hold your spouse captive. It will be scary to set them free, but remember the only love you will ever receive from them is a love they choose to freely give you.
- Create your own space: The second thing I learned from Dr. Dobson was when your spouse moves away from you it is because they want to create some space between you and them. When this happens, the last thing you want to do is close the gap between you. That will only push them further away as they try to maintain the space they feel they need. What you have to do is start to create your own space. Start moving in a direction that shows you are capable of making it in life without them. When you do this you will create more space between the two of you and if your spouse has any reservation about the direction they have chosen, they will feel a greater distance between you and they will move back in your direction in order to close the gap. Caution; this is not a game and it is not playing hard to get. It is about you moving forward with confidence and setting boundaries for what you will accept in you life.
- State your position: This is something you must do right away with absolute clarity so that once you have done so; you will not have to keep pleading your case and as a result push them further away. Just simply, let your spouse know that you want your marriage to be restored. Tell them you are willing to do the work and get the help that will enable the two of you to rebuild your marriage. And that you will in no way tolerate their affair. Let them know they have a choice, either they can have you with 100% commitment to rebuilding the marriage or they can have their affair and risk the strong possibility of loosing you forever.
- Be attractive: The law of attraction is what brought you together and it is something that will help you restore your marriage. This is not about comparing yourself with your spouse’s lover and you trying to present yourself attractive in an effort to compete. It is simply presenting yourself as someone your spouse will want to take notice of and think twice about loosing. It may mean presenting yourself attractive in a physical way, like you would if you were going out on a date. But not in a way where you are over stressing to change your physical appearance. And most importantly, this is about being an attractive person on the inside. You may have to put on a strong face when you are around them. But be sure, your spouse will only want to be with you again when they feel they are going to lose something very valuable if they let go of you. If you show yourself to be somebody they pity or are someone they disrespect they will likely want to continue moving away from you. So, be strong, confident, full of life, full of joy. If you have to fall apart, save it for your time alone with the Lord or someone else who is helping you through this.
Finally three simple don’ts that will help you to not sabotage your hard work. When you are dealing with a spouse who is trying to pursue a relationship with someone else you must keep these simple rules; don’t beg, don’t fight, and don’t preach.
I know this is a hard time in your life and it is not easy to walk out all of these tips I have given. But if you don’t do anything else, you must cling to the Lord. He is faithful to see you through this and He WILL cause this to work together for your good if you will only fully surrender to Him and trust His ways are always best.
Thanks for reading. Please fill free to leave us a comment.