Susan was devastated. Her husband Dan was supposed to be in Cleveland on business. Instead he was seen vacationing in the Virgin Islands with a female co-worker. The betrayal took her by surprise. She couldn’t believe Dan would risk the ten-year marriage for another woman.
Susan called a therapist. Dan admitted to the affair. He apologized profusely and cut off all contact with the other woman. The hurt and anger in Susan’s face was hard to bear. Dan hoped that by apologizing and admitting his sin that Susan would get over the affair. He felt his apology and cut off from the other woman was enough to reconcile the relationship.
But Susan couldn’t stop thinking of the betrayal. She found herself obsessing on thoughts of the other woman. She worried Dan would be unfaithful again. She felt guilty. Dan had apologized and promised not to ever have an affair again. Dan went back to church, talked to the minister and put himself under the accountability of a men’s group. But Susan couldn’t sleep and was anxious.
Susan sensed Dan was mad at her for not “getting over” the affair. Dan said, “Forget it ever happened. Why are you still talking about it when it’s over?” He was frustrated with her nervous anxiety whenever the phone rang late at night. He resented her constant questioning about late business meetings.
Dan and Susan represent many couples stuck in the aftermath of an affair. They think because the affair is acknowledged, things should go back to the way they were before. They don’t recognize the traumatizing effects of the affair.
Susan never really talked at length about her feelings regarding the infidelity. She was too afraid Dan would leave the marriage and felt vulnerable due to her financial dependence on him. All through her marriage she avoided conflict. She pretended to believe everything was great when it wasn’t.
Dan apologized but showed little remorse. He broke the marital covenant and expected Susan to be over it much too quickly. He didn’t understand the trauma his wife experienced. The apology wasn’t enough.
Dan needed to:
· Share his feelings of remorse more than once
· Allow Susan to question him and give reassurance
· Be empathetic for the pain his actions caused Susan
· Understand Susan’s reactions were typical
· Learn to share his emotions including his fear that Susan may leave
· Be patient. His wife needed time
Susan needed to:
· Have time to process, talk and explore her feelings more deeply
· Understand that the injured spouse usually has post -traumatic stress like symptoms (difficulty sleeping and concentrating, hyper-vigilance and intolerance for things that brought up memories of the affair)
· Be allowed to question Dan whenever she needed reassurance
· Not feel guilty when she needed to talk more about what happened
Admission of infidelity is just the first step of reconciliation. The betrayal raises complicated emotions that don’t usually fade away without additional work. A one-time apology is not enough to cover the reactions of the partner. Your partner needs to forgive but also process his/her reactions over time. The one who committed the offense needs to be patient and humble.
For more, read about the way back from infidelity in I Married You, Not Your Family by Dr. Linda Mintle. Click on the picture.
This is really hard to believe, but apparently true. As someone with a social work degree, I can’t begin to understand this. Surely, Columbia could find someone to teach who isn’t a convicted felon.
According to the New York Post, Kathy Boudin, paroled in 2003 after serving 22 years in prison for an armed car robbery gone bad that killed two police officers and a Brinks guard, is now teaching at Columbia University. The men were gunned down by her accomplices from the Black Liberation Army. She drove the getaway car. Today, Kathy is an adjunct professor in the School of Social Work at Columbia University. She is also a former Weathermen Underground radical.
But as if that isn’t enough, Kathy has been awarded the Sheinberg Scholar-In-Residence at NYU Law School this year too. She gave a lecture entitled, ” The Politics of Parole and Re-entry.”
This is simply mind boggling!
I looked at her biography on the Columbia Law School speaker biography page, and while it says she served 22 years in prison, it never mentions that 3 people were gunned down in cold blood due to her actions. It doesn’t say that nine children grew up without their fathers. And before the Brinks job, one report says she was also involved in at least a dozen bombings across the country including the Pentagon, The US Capitol and NYPD headquarters.
So help me understand this, Casey Anthony and OJ, both acquitted of murder, can’t be seen in public because they are so publicly scorned, but Boudin, paroled for murder, can teach at Columbia and write and lecture about parenting and family advocacy?
So Kathy, who thought killing people was a way to further her goals with the Weathermen Underground, is now a family advocate and teaching our young adults. Her sentence was twenty to life for felony murder and robbery. In her parole hearing in 2003 she told the board that she participated in the robbery because she felt guilty being white. In her mind, the robbery would help advance the cause of black people and civil rights (One of the victims, Waverly Brown was black and all three victims served in our military).
Nine children grew up without their fathers because of the killings! Now the heist driver is lecturing the next generation of social workers. God help us!
The New York post also reported that Boudin is scheduled to speak at Columbia Law School’s conference on child and family advocacy.
Has she changed? Is she repentant for taking the lives of 3 people and hurting so many others? Has she apologized to all the people she hurt? What is she saying to the students?
People can certainly change, but there is fruit when change is real. If there is no fruit, this is frightening!
This morning I am taking my daughter to get her wisdom teeth removed. She can’t wait for it to be over and I feel the same. Even though this is a routine surgery, it is still a surgery and can give rise to worry. Worry is not something God wants us to do. Jesus repeatedly tells us to be anxious about nothing, a tall order but one we need to live in obedience to every day.
Health is one of those areas it is easy to allow worry to get the best of us. There is a fine line between being too relaxed about health issues and obsessing on everything that could go wrong.
In my new book, Letting Go of Worry, due out October 1, I provide tips for peace when it comes to health concerns. Here are a few tips:
1) Don’t self-diagnosis on the Internet. If you are not a medical doctor, the Internet can be useful but also problematic when you try to self-diagnosis. I once worked myself into a state of frenzy believing I had something seriously wrong with me based on symptom checklists on the Internet. I finally went to my doctor only to find out I was wrong and nothing was seriously wrong.
2) Don’t freak out over all the possible side effects. When reading all the possible side effects of any drug, surgery or procedure, the list is usually long and covers every known side effect. We need to be informed when making decisions regarding use of medications and medical procedures, but also need to be careful not to obsess over side effects or possible reactions once a decision is made.
3) Expect the unexpected. Things happen that we can’t control. A few weeks ago I was at the Meadowlands in New Jersey and ran into a rusty wardrobe cart in a hotel lobby. Because my tetanus shot was not up to date, I had serious problems. Thankfully, the treatment (and new shot) worked. I never expected such a thing, but instead of why me, we need to take the approach of what now. Do what needs to be done, pray and trust God.
4) Do what you can to be healthy. Eat well, exercise, get sleep and take care of your body. You lessen the odds of health problems. This part is in your control.
5) Trust God even when the news is bad. Pray for healing. And if the answer does not come in the way or timing you think, trust God to walk you through the health issue. He never leaves our side. His Spirit is in us. He has our lives in His control. Worry goes away when we fully trust God and do not doubt His Word or character. Bad things do happen, but the promise is that God is with us through it all and will work it for our good and His glory.