Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Emotional Affairs

Welcome if you've come over from my P31 devotion "Soul Mates."



On this blog we've talked before about lust, affairs, and why men cheat (according to research). Today we're tackling the sensitive topic of emotional affairs.

Here's why I ask. A sweet friend contacted me to confess that she is teetering on the edge of one ... perhaps even crossing the line. She wants to resist it, but he is filling needs for her that have not been filled in a long time with his words and attention. She doesn't want to do anything wrong; she is a believer. Yet she is finding the feelings he evokes and satisfies so hard to walk away from.

Have you ever found yourself in this situation - or close to it - with someone that is not your husband? If so, how did you get to that place - and how did you get back out of it?

What advice or prayers can you offer my friend?

PS. I promised to give away a copy of my book It's No Secret to a randomly drawn commenter on this post, but I'm going to offer the winner a choice between It's No Secret and Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome: How to Grow Affair Proof Hedges Around Your Marriage. I'll announce the winner on Wednesday afternoon.

68 comments:

  1. AnonymousJune 07, 2011

    I am new to blogging but your devotional hit home in many ways. My husband had an affair in our 9th year of marriage. We told no one and tried counseling and I ran to God who directed me to stay. When I changed to make him happy rather than make Him happy I found myself depressed, lonely and insecure.

    This caused me to make poor choices that led me to an emotional relationship with a long time friend who, "had much more in common with me" than my husband.

    My husband and I are now in counseling with our Pastor and I with an independent counselor to deal with the blow his affair did to me physicial, mentally, sprititually and socially. It is not easy but I trust the Lord will guide us in the correct path.

    What struck me was how alone I feel yet there must be so many other women struggling with the same issue. What happened to the woman that divorced her husband? Is she still following God and is she happier now or does she regret her decisions? It is so hard to rebuild trust in a relationship and find that soul mate when it is has been lost. When the doubts start pouring into my heart I run to Him.

    ~livingthruHim96

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  2. AnonymousJune 07, 2011

    I am coming from a different perpective. I am a wife that has been left with 2 children for another woman. My husband and I will be married 13 years on June 13as he has bought a house with another woman and is living w/her &her 2 small children as my children and I pickup the pieces. Our marriage will end June 30 and the devastation that his/her actions have caused will forever change who my children and I will be. I am thankful for my faith in Christ. I am thankful He has come to bind the brokenhearted and I see His glory in the pain and the brokenness. He is drawing us closer to Him with each struggle but I will never have my family back. God will restore and redeem my children and I as I wait upon Him. His Word has been my only light in this dark year of our lives. I urge any woman who is contemplating or involved with a married man to STOP, get on your knees and allow God to open your eyes to the devastation that this will cause. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. I will pray for any who posts on this blog for the strength to walk in love and not on feelings. May the Lord bless you with my story and may His will be done!
    Bethany-OH

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  3. Bethany, I am sorry for your loss and I admire your faith in the middle of it. I'm also thankful for your commitment to pray for those who comment here.

    I am pausing now to pray for you and your children.

    {hugs}

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  4. AnonymousJune 07, 2011

    I am one of those women who started an emotional affair with a man from my past. As young adolescents we were very close and he had been recently divorced after 23 years, and I had been married 24 years. My marriage has not been good; there are a lot of reasons why; some my fault and some his, but nevertheless it was struggling. I am divorced now, by my choice, my x-husband is devestated; my grown children will have nothing to do with my friend, however my extended family are very supportive and love the man I am seeing now. They have known him for years and see me so happy. I now am dealing with guilt to which my x-husband likes to play on daily. He wants to get back together and try again, says he will stop the drugs and drinking and spend more time with me. i struggle with what to do. This man has asked me to marry him and I said no for now, but I really want to. I feel a horrible guilt for what I have done to my family though. My boys are 25 and 23 years old and I have an 8 month old grand daughter and my x-husband constantly makes me feel like i have cheated them.

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  5. AnonymousJune 07, 2011

    I loved your devotion, you are right the church doesn't address this enough. I had my husband dismantle my facebook for this exact reason. I felt a pull towards someone unsee for years. I made no contact back, but I also know myself and I would know he was out there, wanting to contact me... My marriage is more important than any temporary flirtation. Once facebook was gone, I could feel the pleasure of the Lord and a peace that filled our house. Facebook is great for some, but not for me. Thank you Rachel for your heart to share the truth.

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  6. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Rachel. The message is so timely for me, and one I know is God sent. One of my closest friends is going through a difficult time in his marriage and recently had an affair with another friend of mine. My heart breaks for all involved. I would appreciate your prayers for them, as well as for me and my husband as we try to minister to these dear ones and as we keep our own marriage and lives right with the Lord. Satan knows our every weakness and glories in tempting us, but we have power and victory in Jesus name! May we keep pressing on!

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  7. AnonymousJune 07, 2011

    My husband also left me for another woman 15 years ago. I knew of the affair and was powerless to stop him. The overwhelming feelings of failure and rejection were almost too much to bear.
    The Lord has now blessed me with a new husband who is devout and true. But, there is always a little part of me waiting for him to run off with his secretary, also.
    Thank you for today's subject. We all need to guard our marriages!

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  8. Wow! This really hit home today! I am a first-time blogge(never done this). Last night I thought about a conversation a good friend of mine cousin told me years after I had gotten married. See my bestfriend in high school was a guy not a female. And I adored our relationship. We even date other people (even though his girlfriends didn't get our friendship)We were like buddies to me. So a few years after being married, I saw his cousin and ask why my friend ha not returned any of my calls. I wanted to share with him all the exciting things in my life and meet my new husband. Since he didn't come to the wedding. His cousin quickly shared with me that all those year my friend had been head over hills in love with me. I was stunned.
    I have been married 16 years and the last few years have been brutal. Two years ago was my 20th class reunion I wanted so much to see him. I found out he wasn't going so I didn't either. I secretly wanted to talk to him to see if he still felt that way and he never said anything.
    Well thank God for my accountability partner who I finally shared this with suggested that I not entertain the sin in my thoughts but that me and husband needed to seek counseling. We did and lots of work is still being done. But what helped me was a book by Paul David Tripp "What Did You Expect??" So as I read the devotional today it reminded me of the scripture found in the book Romans 5:1-11 this my friend is real love. It helps me with wrong thinking of what if my soulmate got away thoughts. which only reveals the sin and lack of grace I am willing to extend to my husband. The same sin Christ died for.
    My advice is for her to read Romans 5:1-11 and settle in her heart and flesh who really loves her best. Thanks I needed the reminder as well.

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  9. I am currently married... My husband is currently having an affair and has filed for divorce... This devotion was hard for me. Through this long, hard process I have found myself at times saying well maybe I need to find someone with whom I have more in common, or maybe God didn't intend for us to be together. The truth you spoke in the P31 devotion for today about as soon as one pledges themselves to another in marriage God makes them soul mates was exactly the truth I needed. I had read that verse 100 times before but now I have a new perspective. I know that in our unequally yoked marriage I can/will do nothing to keep him with me if he truly desires to go. As I continued to read the devotion I was asking God "in what way can I invest in a marriage that he is unwilling to participate in?" the answer: pray. I will/can continue to honor my pledge to him, praying for him to know Jesus, and praying that no man will separate the bond that God made in joining us together.
    Thanks Rachel!

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  11. I have been in your friend's place and it is a very dangerous place to be. I am so thankful that I got out of the situation before it became a full blown affair. An emotional affair is a very dangerous place to be and very hard to get out of. I turned to other Christians to keep me accountable and pray for me. It wasn't easy. You have to take every thought captive and you need God's help every minute of the day. I am so thankful to God that he delivered me out of this situation and saved my family....

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  12. AnonymousJune 07, 2011

    WOW - your devotion is powerful this morning. I am a reader and I used to read anything that I could get my hands on. I used to read the romance novels and realized that they put thoughts in your head that shouldn't be there. You start comparing your husband to the characters and usually find him wanting. I stopped reading anything but Christian Fiction, my Bible and books from proven resources.
    I have been married for 31 years and last year my husband and one of my friends kept texting one another - I came across one and was shocked to the core. It has been a long road and sometimes when I hear his message sound, I wonder. Praying for all you dear sisters.

    Nancy

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  13. I just want you each to know I am reading every comment and praying for each of you today - and your families.

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  14. I came from the p31 devo- it was SO good! Thanks for making me think!

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  15. Well, with almost twelve years of marriage under my belt, I have certainly had plenty of seasons in my marriage where I felt there MUST be someone better out there for me. But luckily I have never had anyone in my life that I've had those feelings for. I think during the tough times in my marriage when I feel like I need more or "deserve" more, I try to look inside myself. I pray more for my marriage. I search the Scriptures. I do anything to keep my mind focused on what God would have me do. I even went to counseling to work on myself. Because, more than anything, I want to keep my family together... it's more than just a commitment to a man, my husband. It's a commitment to God to raise our family together, and that makes the stakes of a marriage even higher. Prayers for all the ladies who have shared their stories here...

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  16. Rachel: Thank you so much for you post today. I think that this is something that so many women can get caught up in without realizing it, particularly with the proliferation of internet social networking. Guarding our hearts ane mentoring other women to do the same is so critical today. Thank you for reminding us.

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  17. AnonymousJune 07, 2011

    My husband had an affair 3 years ago, the pain and hurt is still in my life. I am praying and reading Godly material, trying to work thru the pain and hurt. I know that I would be very vulnerble to an emotional affair or a real one. I pray everyday that God helps me and gives me the strength not to seek help from another man. The temptation is strong, I feel that my husband and I don't have any common interests. I know
    God can heal, and thats my prayer.

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  18. AnonymousJune 07, 2011

    So I am going through the situation discussed in the devotional today. I love my husband so much and we have a terrific relationship. However, he works so much and has little time to make me feel special. My friend does that for me. Please, please pray that I can overcome this temptation. I am praying each and every day, but it doesn't seem to change anything. Thank you so very much.

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  19. Rachel I would tell your friend to do whatever she can to avoid the temptation because that is exactly what it is. The 'enemy' is working his magic on your friend and so far it sounds like he is winning. If she keeps this up, her husband WILL find out and her marriage WILL be damaged. I speak from experience because 3 weeks ago I was using my husband's laptop (my motherboard crashed in mine) to do some paperwork for our business. I came across a word document that my husband had saved with a name of an old college friend he talks to on Facebook. When I opened up the document I was crushed to read dialogue between the two that was more than just friendship. Trust me when I say it is not worth the pain it will cause and the ripple effect that will take place. I confronted my husband and we are trying to work things out now. He admitted to me that he was just allowing anger to consume his world that included me, so this excuse allowed him to stray. It hurts Rachel. Not a day goes by that I don't tear up or get angry thinking about their
    conversations. It's not worth it.

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  20. I feel God led me to this blog from P31. Definitely something I have wrestled with for a very long time. I had an emotional affair for over 2 years which began about 5 years ago. It affected every aspect of my life. I see this kind of thing as an addicition because the effects are just as powerful. The best advice I could give is just don't go there. Say no to drugs? Say no to other men! As tempting as it is to go this route when your mate falls short, it is counterproductive. The feelings at first will give you an emotional high but the long term effects are devastating.

    I will be divorced in a week. Divorce is worse than death. Even though my divorce is not because of the emotional affair, it certainly put a wedge further between my husband and I who were already dealing with hurt on both sides. We have agreed our current marriage must die. We will now wait upon the Lord to show us if it can be resurrected or if it needs to rest in peace.

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  21. AnonymousJune 07, 2011

    All -
    I need your prayers as I have been going through this for the past two years. I work for a good friend and we both are having problems with our marriages. A true recipe for disaster. I know this isn't right in my heart and head and I pray for strength everyday to quit this but then find myself faced with it again. I tell myself I will tell him we can't keep up with the talks and flirtations but it isn't easy when you are face to face and at the core is a friendship I value.

    I was brought up in the church and became a christian at an early age. However, as a teen and early adult I turned away from much of that because of some family situations. I really felt disheartened, like the Lord had let me down.

    I know now that he didn't. I was leaning on my own knowledge and the world's...satan. I don't want to do that in this situation. I truly love God and want to do right but feel myself slipping. As another person mentioned there are just too many ripple effects.

    I know I was meant to read this devotion; it hit the target!

    Words of wisdom would be appreciated.

    Kay

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  22. AnonymousJune 07, 2011

    I have read a few of the comments here and pray for each person who has been "touched" by this very deceitful situation.

    Emotional affairs are usually already in full swing, I find, when they are detected. One goes from the innocence of friendship directly, one day...moment into the fire of intimacy, and then it's too late!

    My husband and I have been together 22 years and are married 8 tomorrow. We have been faithful to one another all this time. There is not an act or an emotion that we have not shared with one another in confession in that time.

    That being said, we lived in the world for many, many years before becoming saved. And then it took years of learning and sitting under the Word and good men of God to come wholly out of the world. So we've experienced much of what the world (unfortunately) offers.

    Recently, after a bought of illness and lonliness because my husband works a lot, I recently realized that I was emotionally attaching myself to a married friend in church. One day in jest he pulled me to him, in a group of friends, so I would enter the conversation! I looked at him, he looked at me, and I knew!

    I immediately told a confidante and my husband! Seriously! Both being my closest friends I asked them to pray. Now, without any request and some discipline on my part, I only shake hands with other men and he seems to be avoiding me and eye contact, and I am thrilled. Prayer and confession works. I knew it was a risk, my husband is nolonger that savvy man of the world, but he IS still my best friend, praise God!

    I do not have a clue as to what our friend has done about what occurred, and it is none of my business. I only know that I can now sit with his wife and my husband and we can be friends and it's nice, no guilt.

    I ran to God...because it was ME who was out of line, off the path, and while I can tell you the whys of what I did, I cannot tell you how I arrived there in an instant.

    As women we think we take care of ourselves when it comes to lonliness and the like. But I can tell you this...if we allow the alone of our relationships to become and remain lonliness we are headed for hard things, that are not of God.

    Blessinga and Continual Prayers for all the brokenhearted here.
    Andrea - NJ

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  23. AnonymousJune 07, 2011

    Good Afternoon Rachel.. I am new to blogging. Thank-you for today devotional hit home. No I haven't across the line. Today devotional held me accoutalbe for my actions and behavior. I would like to say Thank-you to all my sisters in Christ who were honest to share their story. Thank-you for being REAL and not hinding behind the mask. Rachel- thank you for Posting "Emotional Affairs."

    Thank-you for the Tools of Reflections:
    Am I guarding my heart?
    Am I inappropriately flirting?
    What is the current intimacy level in my marriage? In my relationship with God?

    Please remember me in your prayers.

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  24. I get p31 in my mailbox and I am often surprised how many are devoted to the women who are dealing with a cheating spouse. Sometimes I want to scream " what about everyone involved, don't you see the pain in all of them?"
    I started this year on my blog, being nudged by the holy spirit to begin posting about how my emotional turned physical affair has and is affecting life today.
    It made mine so much better I can not begin to describe the joy I feel with my husband and family today compared to 3 yrs ago when I had all of that pent up hurting and didn't know what to do with it.
    My husband is a cheater. He cheated multiple times in his first marriage of 16 yrs saying she didn't love him, it was ok. That was my mind set, basically that when you don't feel the newness of falling in love and the honeymoon phase is over, people turn to affairs for that feeling. All parties get something out of it. The cheater gets that feeling fulfilled, the other woman gets that feeling of, wow he is willing to risk his marriage for me ( very powerful emotion if you have ever struggled with self worth) and lastly, in ours and many other marriages that survive an affair the one cheated on gets the " reigns" per say to set the ground rules. In my case, many of those were unhealthy but they lead me even deeper in the word and I discovered more about myself that way than had he just worked it out with counseling. Many nights I was a verbal punching bag or shoved I'm a corner and degraded. After I admitted, and began meds and counseling, after attempting suicide,
    My advice to her is.
    No FACEBOOK and lose his cell and email.
    If there is a way to contact him, she will have a very very hard time ignoring the attempted contacts from him.
    Lastly, if she can, find a woman who has survived actually cheating, hearing it's devastating affects from someone who made the mistake before her and lived through the guilt process after, will indeed open her eyes to her future if she does not end it.
    I'm happy to minister, talk or give links to my
    Erosional posts about this subject if you want to pass on to her my thoughts.
    Thanks for taking time to expose the subject. It's like all addictions...hard to admit, but that is the first step.

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  25. I wanted to note that the cheating didn't make my life better, but how God used it did. He turned something disgusting into a beautiful mess (me). Who is not afraid to walk with the dirt stains of my past on my face, knowing he made the inside beautiful through it all.

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  26. Thank you for the devotion today. A sober reminder for us all!


    Lord, I pray right now for those that are suffering b/c of problems in their marriages. I pray for those women who have commented and are hurting. I pray that they will feel your peace and comfort in the days ahead. I also pray for the children that have been affected. Amen

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  27. AnonymousJune 07, 2011

    Today's Devotional hit home..
    My husband and I have been separated for 2 years (my choice). Things weren't going very well in our marriage we hardly spoke, the only time we really spent time together was when we were watching TV.. So I had enough.. I questioned our marriage every day.. Was he the one?? Was it a mistake?? did we marry to fast??
    I started to confide in someone that was going through a similar situation and found myself falling in love with him...Looking forward to his calls and to his visit ( he lives in a different state)..
    I didn't leave my husband for him but he sure made the transition alot easier and I even thought, This has to be the right thing because it's so easy,the move was flawless.. This man was in love with me too.. The only issue I had in the back of my mind was that I was still married.. We weren't legally divorced... My husband would drag his feet to file and would say he wanted to work things out.. But while I had this other man in my life it really didn't matter.. This man "got me" he understood me.. he made me laugh, he would listen, he was thoughtful..
    Long story short, this man is no longer in my life in that way. My sister passed away a year ago and well I kept alot to myself and didn't want to talk to anyone..
    I didn't want to get attached to anyone because of the pain that I was experiencing because of the loss of my sister..
    Funny thing is my husband would call and check up on me.. he'd come over.. never payed attention to that side of him..
    I don't talk to the man as I did before, I still talk with him every now and then because of work but I make sure to keep it professional..
    I will say that it is hard because when I hear his voice it brings me back to a good place..
    My husband and I are trying to work things out again, we will see how it goes this time..
    I haven't mentioned much of church because I stopped going.. When I told my Pastor and his wife that I was getting a divorced I felt as if they were judging me more so than trying to help.. It was very disappointing.. my husband is not a believer but he was attending the church and actually was enjoying it but when he saw the way they reacted to the separation well it left a bad taste in his mouth as well.
    Sorry for rambling on but please pray for me and my husband.. as we continue this journey on our Marriage 2.0.. :)

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  28. AnonymousJune 07, 2011

    Your devotion today made me cry and brought up so many other emotions that I have felt over the past two years...guilt, shame, regret. I was that woman that crossed the line. I felt like my husband no longer loved me, no longer had time for me and I was dumb enough to believe the lies of someone else, someone I didn't care about but showed me affection and acted like they wanted to spend time with me. My husband filed for divorce in Sept 2010 and I feel like I have died. I have spent most of the last eight months on my knees before God praying for forgiveness and healing. I miss my husband so much. I know that God alone is the only One that can heal and restore. Most days I do not even know how to get out of bed without his strength. My husband will no longer speak to me and I have not seen him in eight months but everyday I pray for the healing of his heart. Please know how much damage this does to families and to yourself. I want my husband back and I know it is all in the hands of our great, powerful God. Please pray for me.

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  29. AnonymousJune 07, 2011

    Realize what it is
    *temptation* and back away. Realization was close enough for me. mheard11@frontier.com

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  30. AnonymousJune 07, 2011

    @ Lf-Thank-You for the prayer.

    Book of James: 5:16
    Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

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  31. I was the one who fell for another, it was years after an abusive time in my marriage, a man came along and just seemed to offer something I wasnt getting. I knew it was wrong, but I wanted to feel the love I wasn't getting with my husband. I did confess to him and he forgave me but the trust had been lost. We are now divorced and I am remarried. For a long time I felt guilty for the affair (s) but when looking for scripture for another woman who's being abused I discovered that once the husband abuses the wife he has already broken the marriage vow to God. What I did wasn't right either and I have confessed that to God and am forgiven. But because he was also an unbeliever a fact I did not know until several years and 2 kids later, when our marriage came to a head and he said he was threw and we divorced I had hoped that I was finally doing what the Bible said, let him who is an unbeliever leave if he wishes. If I had turned to God instead of the other men, I may still be married. I don't know but if my ex chose to leave then I could have said I did everything to get better and save the marriage.

    I am married now and am much happier. I have vowed not to look to another man if things get rough, but to God instead!

    Debi

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  32. Kurtzhals - please share a link to your blog if you don't mind. I would like to read some of your thoughts through this process.

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  33. With divorce rate so high, this is a wonderful devotation to help encourage those in marriage. I really like ~ "Once someone pledges themselves to another in marriage before God, they essentially become soul mates" I have never thought of that. I myself went through a divorcee 10 years ago and now am remarried though it hasn't always been easy, we almost divorced but I fought hard and prayed hard and it has been restored. Praise God!!

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  34. AnonymousJune 07, 2011

    My GOD is an on time GOD. I am a believer and am really struggling with my and my husbands relationship and he been tempted to cross the line with a good friend. I believe that the lack of support that I am receiving financially and I have gotten involved in my church which he refuses to go to with me then he has not so nice things to say about it has really pushed me away. He refuses to talk to the pastor at my chuch so I went by myself to seek guidence and though I have tryed to take the advice home you have to have a spouse with an opened mind to receive it. I have been praying for God to change my heart and let go of resentment that I have built. As for him he will have to change himself. But even so I feel it might be to late. It makes me feel not so alone to know that other Christians are going thru the same things.

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  35. This is an excellent post about a very tough topic. I was involved in an emotional/physical affair at my previous job place. He was older and married, and I am younger and single. It started out so innocently and progressed quickly. I knew it was wrong, but still continued on. I finally went to a pastor who gave me the tools to use to get out of the situation, but I chose not to use them and kept on. A turning point came when a job opened that would take me out of that office. I missed the 1st deadline and I regretted it, and then it miraculously came around again, and then something told me, You were supposed to apply for that and you didn’t, Do it now. So I did, and what do you know? I got it. It was just the rescue I needed. Unfortunately I still continued on with the affair, but things definitely changed once I left the office. The pastor I had confided in checked in with me about the situation, and continued to love me even still. This example of caring about me but not condoning my actions was very helpful in me finally ending the relationship for good.
    I still suffer consequences from the relationship, but am healing and praying for those that were hurt because of my selfishness.
    Emotional affairs are like an addiction, and more often than not, the way to treat an addiction is to re-connect with God, and remove all forms of temptation to the taboo thing. Also, replace the time spent with the addictive thing with something pure. Once you rid yourself of the additive thing, you will find you have way too much time to think and reminisce and it can quickly draw you back in. Accountability is another thing that will help tremendously.
    Please ladies, Guard your hearts and seek the love that is true.

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  36. I pray in the name of Jesus that God would send your friend or any other lady struggling with lonliness comfort and reveal himself as the source that fills the gap in the areas which our husband nor anyman could fullfill. That instead of looking for comfort and happiness in a man they would turn toward our savior. I pray for their heart and their minds that they would find peace and that they would remember and be assured that temptations will always arise it's when we act on them that we sin. I pray that your friend or any other lady reading this would remember that God truely loves them and forgives them and once they confess their sins they are gone!..as far as the east is from the west and that they would not live in shame nor guilt in Jesus name I pray amen.

    I am praying this prayer as someone who has had the gap of lonliness filled with the love of Jesus. I am in my 2nd marriage and I found myself feeling lonely and that is when God showed me that I was looking for my husband to fill all of my needs when only God can. That I would feel this way regardless of whom I was with because I was expecting to get from man the fullfillment only Christ brings. I am married to an unbeliever so as I became closer to God I felt lonely because I knew we were supposed to be united and it didn't feel that way and then God spoke to my heart and told me to not worry about my husband just do what God has instructed me to do as my husbands wife and as God's child and let God do his job with my spouse. I know the feeling of being lonely is dreadful I was experiencing these feelings with my husband when we moved to a city hours away from our families. But it was in my complete lonliness that I ran towards God for help and now that I have been healed I am truely grateful for all the things including feeling lonely because it has brought me closer to my heavenly father!

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  37. I am no stranger to this topic. I was married at 18 years old, and have been up and down in this area. After coming to Christ, my husband and I have been set free. The Lord has opened my eyes to my former behavior and I have seen how in the past I have failed to guard my heart closely.

    Thanks for such a timely post!

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  38. AnonymousJune 07, 2011

    Hi Rachel, thank you for your devo, I wish I had seen it a long time ago. My husband and I have been married 32 years, but we have been through the fire and back. Due to problems in our marriage I looked outside physically once and emotionally once, and my husband looked outside as well. I won't go into details but the basic cause was lack of respect, communication and commitment on mostly my part. I wanted to share one of the things that saved our marriage. It is called Retrouvaille and although run by Catholics is really nondenominational. It is run by couples who have been through everything you all have been through and come out the other side in love and commitment. Some of the couples who run it were even divorced for many years and learned how to really love each other and have a real marriage. Check it out: retrouvaille.org

    Much love, Deb S.

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  39. AnonymousJune 07, 2011

    This hits home in a different way to me. My husband had an affair early in our marriage. We have reconciled, but sometimes I am reminded of the past hurts. I know God is a healer. Thank you for dealing w/ this topic.

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  40. We are all human and as most humans do, when things aren't going our way, we seek elsewhere.

    We make mistakes! I am in my second marriage of 8 years after being single for 20. We both know that God played a major part in our meeting each other, so I am very blessed, but I to am human.
    I have some days of "what if's"! The biggest mistake you can make is to put yourself in a situation of temptation! Avoid it like the plague!

    Turn to the Bible or a favorite devotion instead. A couple of verses always stand out, "Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father" Colossians 3:17

    and ”Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God"
    1 Corinthians 10:31.

    Let God be your soul mate first, never stop believing or trusting in Him and you will be surprised at the feelings you will receive when the right person,comes along, or when you discover the person you are married to through God's eyes.

    Praying for all!

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  41. AnonymousJune 07, 2011

    As a child of divorce - 3 times over, I try to be so very protective of my marriage, but find sometimes I can be smothering of my husband for fear of him running off. On the other hand, when I back off too much, I find myself wishing for someone else...I need to always gaurd my heart and trust my husband both. Such a fine line that can only be followed with Christ in charge! Thanks so much for your post today!
    EC

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  42. I too had been involved in an emotional affair, and receiving what I was so lacking in my marriage. It felt good, but I knew it was so wrong. I have since cut all ties with this wonderful person, and I have devoted myself to my marriage. I am ashamed of what I have done, but I know that God has forgiven me. I just hope that some day I can forgive myself.

    I still do not get what I need from my husband, but I feel blessed everyday to have him in my life. We choose who we love, and I chose my husband. I know how easy it is to fall, but I am so glad everyday that God helped me to make the right decision.

    Carrie

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  43. Thank you for your words! My friend always says that, "the grass may be greener on the other side, but someone is watering it!" Even though marriage can be tough - it is worth fighting for as divorce, ramarriage, etc bring long lasting havoc to so many. Our churches families are suffering so much from the lack of intact families. God save our marriages and help us to focus on what truly matters.

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  44. You really hit home today, Rachel.

    Happens more times than we can count.

    I'd love to win your book.

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  45. Carrie, I know what you mean, I didn't know what I wanted from my husband but I knew I wasn't happy. Cheating was not what I wanted to do, it just happened. And days following it there were talk shows that were all about cheatin wives. After about the third time, I confessed to my husband asking for forgiveness. I chose my husband for the wrong reasons. I was trying to get away from an abusive mother.

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  46. AnonymousJune 07, 2011

    I was so convicted today when I read todays topic on emotional affairs. I am also here to admit I myself have fallen into the trap but did not stop there & continued until it became physical. I have tried to cut this person out of my life but then I find an excuse to contact him again. He is not a true believer & also married but does not agree with me on how sinful this is. I truly thought I was in a satisfying marriage but clearly Im not. We have been married for 10 years & have 2 small kids. I never expected to be here living this horrible sin. I can barely face my family out of shame & guilt. What kind of person have I become? Definitely no one I thought I would be. I have recently stopped all contact & I am praying constantly, reading Gods word & asking God for forgiveness & strength to get through this. Any advice would be greatly needed & appreciated. Also prayers to help keep me away from this person & put my energy into my husband & my marriage. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to confess this. It has helped a great deal.

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  47. AnonymousJune 07, 2011

    Thank you for reminding me how sacred my marriage is. I am reminded of the importance of investing in it daily and realizing satan is out to destroy my relationship. We must guard our hearts at ALL times!

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  48. I have been there too. My boss decided to share his marital problems with me back in 2006 - what lay ahead would become the biggest 2 year battle of my marital life. It was timely of the enemy to bring this before me -& a huge awakening to me at the doors we open to this weazel & his demons. It started with my boss ever so gently telling me how his wife does not love him anymore. He would leave a flower or fruit on my desk at work & try and woo me with very flattering words of emotional & financial stability & encourage me to go and have some fun - even to the point of taking me to lunches fully paid & showering me with gifts. He said all the right things at this stage in my life. I was not receiving from my husband all the things I so longed for as a wife or dreamed of - to feel like his princess and to feel that I was the only one in his life besides Jesus. My husband just didn't get it! I began to slowly buy into the lie that was being played & began to share all my most personal problems also - then it happened...'we clicked' and locked eyes - I KNEW it was wrong, I knew it was sin, I knew the temptation before me was almost unbearable to resist - my boss was a attractive man - the grass sure did seem greenest on the other side! I was on cloud 9 each day, getting up earlier for work. There is not enough room on this page to fill you in on all the pieces of this ugly dilemma, but I think I probably need not elaborate anyway. So, a long long story short I sought the help of some Godley women at church, trustworthy & gifted in intercession - to pray for me, to come against these demonic forces -To sever (cut the ties) that this man had to my heart. It was a stronghold indeed. I thought I would never break free of the temptation even imagining a different life...I even stopped going to church in this time..how could I? How could I worship with my arms raised to the Lord, knowing full well the sin I was caught up in? The first day back at church for me was the hardest. I was so ashamed. Tears began to flow freely as I walked toward the front door..I stopped, unable to go in..."Jesus..How can I come in now? I am not worthy" It was then I heard the audible voice of The Prince of Peace: "Come...Come Daughter...Come as you are"...as He said this to me..my heart began to melt again...I felt forgiveness and oh, the beautiful voice of Jesus, 'Wooing me back' to Him. How deceived I was...and it opened up my eyes to my bosses lack of integrity. You see..this is not the first time he has done this. During the 2 year emotional affair, he admitted to having a 'full blown' affair with a previous work colleague of his! It was then the Lord spoke to me loudly: "He is not good for you - can't you see that - I have given you your husband. This is breaking my Heart"..I heard the Lord speak. THANK YOU JESUS for opening my eyes to this sin and deception. I finally put a stop to it and he did not like it one bit - but I knew God would give me favour if I submitted to Him and got down on my knees - I repented of my involvement and knew that the Lord would help me over come! I am praying for his salvation today & he himself will come to know Jesus in a very real & personal way.. I have learned, that the more I LOVE JESUS, the more I will Love my Husband.....
    Please, if you are involved in an emotional affair - you know in the depths of your heart it is wrong..surround yourself with Godly women that will help you stay accountable and pray for strength to get out and give your heart back to the Lord...
    In His Love

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  49. AnonymousJune 08, 2011

    I am thankful God never let any of mine go further than daydreams. Since my husband passed almost 7 years ago I am even more thankful than ever that God put a hedge of protection around me and with His help I was able to bypass the pitfalls. This makes me no better than anyone else because Satan finds other ways to temp each of us if we are trying to please God. Satan does not like that. Someone told me one time, "If Satan is leaving you alone you are not trying to live close to God. Satan already has you so why should he bother with you when he has others to work on."
    It would be wonderful to receive either of your books. If I didn't keep it for myself, I know our church library could benefit from it. Fannie in Kansas.

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  50. No one should ever think their marriage is invincible. After over 30 years of mostly happy marriage, I felt myself falling into this trap last summer. Thanks be to God, it did not escalate into a full blown affair. In His grace I was able to confess to two accountability partners. God answered our prayers by moving this man to a different work site. I kept in touch for a time after that, but after an inappropriate text made me very uncomfortable I once again tried to establish a boundary with him. He got angry with me and broke it off by text.

    It has been a month since that last text. During that time the Lord has shown me that I was susceptible because this other man was speaking my primary love languages, which my husband does not. Last week I started a reading group with some of my girfriends to go through Gary Chapman's "Five Love Languages", and am committed anew to learning to speak my husband's love languages.

    Lesson learned, don't become prideful and believe it can't happen to you. Satan just focuses like a laser beam on our tiniest weaknesses, and wants to exploit them. Watch and pray, and develop some close friends that can hold you accountable and hold you up in prayer when you are feeling tempted.

    As always, Rachel, thank you for allowing God to use you to minister to so many with the gifts He's given you!

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  51. I haven't had this happen to me - but prevention is the key! So glad for this devotion as it keeps this threat at the forefront of my mind!

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  52. She should cut all communication with the man, that's the only way to avoid any more danger.

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  53. There was a time when I thought another man was great to get along with and gave me praises that my husband did not. (My husband still does not praise me.) However, after confiding in friends, I was able to distance myself and pray out of the situation. It took about a week, but since it was not totally involved, it was easier to say that the other guy was like my brother.

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  54. I have a question, if we all have had this bug crawl under our skin thinking other men are better what steps can we take to preventing this from happening in the first place- is it something "we're" not doing or something that sneaks in ever so slightly?

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  55. I can attest to the fact that there is no peace when we are outside the will of God. Relationships are no different. When it starts in sin and we choose to continue in it despite the Holy Spirit's nudgings to run away from it, we can't expect it all to fall into place and experience abundant life. This isn't God's best for us, and what a shame it is when we settle for less than that. I say we RUN...as fast as we can. Run to Him instead, and see what He has in store. It'll blow us away, every time.

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  56. Amy , when you said Run to Him I immediately saw a larger then live being with a beard wearing white and standing there with arms wide open just waiting for us-

    Debi

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  57. AnonymousJune 08, 2011

    God knew I needed to read this, and I needed it now. I have been married for 11 years now. While we have our good times, a lot goes unnoticed and makes things hard at times too. I went through an affair that happened 5 years ago. I did tell my husband, and we are still together now. Things are easier, but we still deal with feelings that affair caused. I wish I could go back & change things. Now there is a friend of ours, who is like a dad to me & my husband both. We both grew up with absent fathers. So we are emotionally involved with this other man. I personally have felt a little more closer connection with him, and we have discussed that since he feels the same way.
    I thank you SO much for posting this. I have prayed for God to intervene, because I can not do this on my own. But I can do all things & get through all things because I have Gods strength.
    This was just an eye opener to me to be more careful & watchful before things go further. I refuse to bow to the enemys hold & this turn into a physical affair.

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  58. I have found myself there many times when my husband didnt give me what i need. But then i would remind my self that God is not the author of confusion and that he does everything in decincy and order. its hard when i feel neglected but i have to remind myself who do i want to please.

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  59. AnonymousJune 08, 2011

    I too must confess. I married at age 19, my high school sweetheart. It lasted approx. 18 months. I had started a new career path in EMS, a predominantly male world (high risk factor #1) it wasn't long until one particular guy, seemed to quickly fill all of those emotional voids that were not being met at home. And go figure, he was unhappy in his marriage too, so we just seemed to "click". Well, the next year was one that I am definitely not proud of. We both left our spouses, mine because I was not "happy" nor "in love with him any longer" and he the same. Unfortunately children were involved and hurt in the process. I feel so selfish for my actions and have the hardest time forgiving myself for my involvement in wrecking so many lives. You think you are so mature and smart at 21...wow, how immature I was (risk factor #2) I went on to marry the guy and 15 years later we are still together. I am very grateful that our relationship (through further ups and downs related to trust issues) has lasted. We both have a much stronger walk with God and have come a long way in our spiritual walk. I also realize that our relationship could have gone the other way, since it was built completely on the wrong foundation! So I do feel blessed because as the saying does go: the grass IS greener on the other side: on top of the septic tank! Fortunately it was just as green. However, I still struggle day to day with feelings for my ex and what could have been and would the day come that we get back together. I have seen his picture on Facebook and it is hard to not wonder to it on occasion. So once again, I have made a declaration this past Sunday night: I have asked forgiveness, prayed for my heart to be set free from my past relationship and to move forward. So I can't tell you how much confirmation I had when I read your devotion on "soul mates". Your / God's timing was perfect. I have just struggled so much with forgiveness, forgetting and rationalizing who is my true soul mate. Thanks for the opportunity to express these feelings and move forward. I try to witness to women, when I hear they are just not "happy" and are looking to leave. Marriage is hard work and the newness does wear off, but you must hang in there as you go through different stages in your marriage, some are easier than others.

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  60. I see someone would like my blog address so here it is:
    www.ilikethewayyoudo.blogspot.com
    It started out as a craft/sewing blog but the 3rd year brought about much deeper thoughts and my coming out on my blog to those friends and family that didn't know about my experience.
    It has been therapeutic to say the least. I plan on doing another blog post this week, I have alot on my mind after reading through Rachel's devo on P31.
    And now, after reading so many other women's stories, I know that mine is one that needs to be told, since I'm convinced that God is using me to work that way.

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  61. AnonymousJune 08, 2011

    Thank you for your reply to my comments to your devo. A heavy load is finally off my back. Its like i found daddy god's ans after all these years. I am enlightened. Thank you for your ministry which have impacted women around the world. God led me in the library to pick up your book. Thank pro31 ministry. - jerica, singapore.

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  62. AnonymousJune 08, 2011

    My husband and I are in the restoration period of our marriage after he was involved with a co-worker for 3 years. Before the affair, he pulled away emotionally from me because I nagged and criticized him, and he felt that I no longer loved him. At the same time, another woman began to lavishly pour all her attention and admiration on my husband. "lips like honey". When I first found out about the affair, I repented of my ungodly attitude, and the Lord gave me an overwhelming love for my husband, and took away the jealousy and anger I had toward him. Yet it took 3 years before my husband was able to break free of the emotional and physical entanglement of the affair with the other woman. He was entrenched in the lie of "being in love and having a soul mate". He became a man that I nor his family knew. In the meantime, the Lord told me to trust and to wait. What a difficult time.... my emotions were all over the place... many friends did not understand and urged me to divorce. The Lord showed me that the most important issue to Him was that my husband be restored first to his relationship with the Lord, and that our marriage was second. My burden was for my husband to fall in love with God.... and that is what happened 1 year ago. My husband's eyes were opened and he saw the total deception of everything he had done. He repented and has become a man who wants to know the Lord with all his heart. We start each day with a simple prayer. There are still many emotional repercussions from the affair. I have some physical and emotional challenges that I have never faced before. But, the important thing is that the Lord is always faithful and always good, no matter what. I praise Him and give Him the glory first for delivering my husband from the snare of the enemy and secondly, from keeping our family and marriage from being destroyed. We are now in our 32nd year of marriage. I count every day as a gift from the Lord, a new day, a new beginning in Him

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  63. I am new to blogging either.I am have been married for three years now...and it has been a roller coaster.I am tempted to find comfort in another married man's arms.I have just gone through this devotion....and most the comments it hit me that my marrige is worth saving because that is what God expects of me.I want to work on my marriage and only God can help me achive the best out of my marriage.Forward ever backward never.

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  64. livingthruHim96June 11, 2011

    I just want to first "Thank" God to sending me to Prv31 almost a year ago. This devotional hit me so hard and I felt pushed by Him to do so and it has helped so much to read all the comments and feel the strength given by the words.

    Secondly, it is sad that we as women seem to tie so much of our self-worth up into what "men" think of us rather than what God knows of us and it leads us to render to temptation. As a mother of two beautiful (inside and out) girls I pray that the lessons God has taught me over since my husbands affair 5 years ago and my recent emotional affair that I can pass those on to my girls so they are confident in themselves and in the Word of God and to my son so he knows what is expected of a husband and for all three what is expected of a marriage.

    Thank you all and never underestimate that still small voice that is His. Please pray that the Lord will continue to give me strength to work through the issues in my marriage and save the wonderful family He gave to me.

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  65. AnonymousJune 18, 2011

    I have had this on my mind for days and feel I must respond. My wife of 13 years had an affair with a co-worker. Probably started with feelings similar to yours. Justifications similar to yours. You really have no idea of the longterm damage this action will impale on your family.
    In short, after learning of the affair while she had divorce papers in her hand, it made more sense to me some of the arguments that had occurred in the past months. The act of this affair robbed energy and love from our home and our children. We indeed attempted to reconcile this and repair our marriage.
    Months after this was exposed was still difficult in manys ways. Soo much trust had been broken. We compromised on our own values and did something out of character for ourselves. We took a trip to the wineries to enjoy a great day together and continue working out trying to put the affair into farther times in our past. We did not make plans for a designated driver as in the past in groups. We did have plans to not put ourselves into a position of driving but did not stick to them. We had a 3 mile trip to our destination and did not complete that trip. We were involved in an accident that thankfully involed no others but my wife who was currently removing her seatbelt at that very moment did not survive.
    I can only guess when this all started that she felt she deserved and justified her actions in whatever way she did.
    I assure you we could not have predicted the cost this would have in the ultimate end. It is a cost that lives with us daily and all that knew my wife. That loss continues in ways you cannot understand and be grateful for that. The affair also remains, 2 1/2 years after the accident, a painful event. Somehow the accident and challenges involved have been more easily accepted in the mind than the affair.
    There are answers and things may not even work out the way some may prefer but I can assure you, the answer lies with trust in Jesus Christ and hopefully work from the partners in the marriage. Nothing good will arrive from the CHOICE for the affair. You are being fooled by cherry fellings right now never knowing the true cost of your actions. I am praying for your strength and guidance from Jesus. Do the right thing!! You do not understand the cost this will have in the future on all.

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  66. Good Morning to all, Rachel your blog continues to minister to me even now days after I read and replied here. I know I can't go back and make things right with my first marriage- For two reasons, I have burned that bridge, and two I am now remarried. But the events of my past serve to remind me of the pain and hurt caused to all and how important it is for God to be head of the family.

    It wasn't until after I married a second time that I really begin to dig into God's Word to see what it said about marriage and how I as a rededicated Christian woman/wife should respond and react in my marriage. I try not to dwell on past mistakes that were made but try to remember what went wrong not to dwell but remind myself I need to put God first And my husband second, and search the scripture and pray over my marriage and my husband. There are times it is hard but remembering that my husband has feelings and is a man trying his best just like me levels the playing field. I remember what happened when God was not placed at the top. And I also see what happens when He is placed at the top. The circumstances may be the same-it's my reaction and response to them that's different. The praise and Glory Goes to God!

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  67. AnonymousJune 22, 2011

    WOW! It's amazing how many people are effected by emotional as well as physical affairs! Sometimes I think that the sanctity of marriage has been lost in this "new world" we live in. It scares me to death!

    I am single. I have been divorced now for 7 years and am having a very hard time trusting enough to begin again! I've only been on about 4 dates in those 7 years and well..I'm still sitting here single, but it's okay...I am way to comfortable being alone! You know...if you don't get close, you won't get hurt! I know God does not want me to live completely alone (as my children are grown and have their own families) I am trying to break down the walls to begin dating, but wouldn't it be easier with someone I already once knew?

    SEE...I AM that other woman that is on the receiving end of THOSE PHONE CALLS...THOSE EMAILS...THOSE REQUESTS TO MEET UP! with an EX Boyfriend that since I became single- has called, texted, emailed at different periods throughout the years! NO...I have NOT met him...I keep putting him off for this reason or that! I know without a shadow of a doubt that he will not get a divorce, for any reason! But I also know that they go through stages of unhappiness (both of them) and I am always the one he calls to talk to, and most of the time, it becomes inappropriate after a few conversations! I don't like it...I do like talking to him and wouldn't mind being his friend (someone he can vent to, come to for advise) but I don't want to be the other woman! I don't ever want to come between him and his wife...EVER! But I don't stop talking to him! I don't know why!

    I do know that...because of my spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ...I would NEVER cross that intimacy threshhold! But it's obvious that an emotional one can be just as bad...as it will make his mind wander away from his wife!

    Here's what really hurts.."ME": He knows I have trusting issues with men...when he's calling me, what is he thinking of me? Does he think that I have no self respect that I'll simply meet up with him? What does that say about me? When I step back and think about it, I feel like he's disrespecting not only his wife, but me as well. I guess because I don't have MEN that I talk to and because it's comfortable talking with him (until it gets uncomfortable) I feel it's no big deal!

    Thank you for writing about this topic...I was stunned when I started reading it...I thought...do you know me? I don't want to be that other person, I really don't! I want my own love! One that GOD himself sends me...for ME! I already know what I have to do...it was more than a blessing to see your blog (this was the VERY FIRST TIME I've ever read your blog as well!) God works in mysterious ways....doesn't he? I will do what God is telling my heart, my soul to do...and I will continue to work on my trust issues and wait on my SOUL MATE that he has prepared for me to meet....SOME DAY!!! In the mean time, I will have conversations with Jesus...when I feel lonely, rather than (you know who!)

    Much love in Christ!!

    ...Patiently waiting

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  68. Hey all, I don't know why I didn't think of this book earlier, It just dawned on my after anonymous ( patiently waiting) wrote about living alone first your not, Jesus lives with you and second I have a book that is absolutely ( I think) beautiful. Its called " Falling in love with Jesus, by Dee Brestin and Kathy Troccoli. And its about the love we have with and the love Jesus has for us. shoot I just may read it again. A definite love story if there ever was one.

    Hey y'all how are the rest of you doing.

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