Highthoughts

Emotional affair and children

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2 hours ago, Grunt said:

So much this. That was why I asked if @mrmarklin  was a member of the Church.  I can't imagine ever telling someone they shouldn't seek the counsel of their bishop over something like that.  "Not going to hell" isn't equal to "pleasing to God".  How can you continue progression without repentance?  How can you be repentant if you are lying to your spouse?

Exactly. Not only that, but the scriptures are also very clear that lusting after someone who is not your spouse is a form of adultery:

“Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery in his heart,” Matt. 5:28.

And

“If any shall commit adultery in their hearts, they shall not have the Spirit,” D&C 63:14–16.

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5 minutes ago, Jedi_Nephite said:

Exactly. Not only that, but the scriptures are also very clear that lusting after someone who is not your spouse is a form of adultery:

“Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery in his heart,” Matt. 5:28.

And

“If any shall commit adultery in their hearts, they shall not have the Spirit,” D&C 63:14–16.

Note that neither of these verses say, "Lustijng after a woman in your heart is a form of adultery. Committing adultery in one's heart is exactly the same as committing adultery in one's bed." The effect on the Spirit within you is the same when you lust after a woman* as when you commit adultery with her, which is after all merely an expression of lust. But given a moment's serious reflection, I doubt anyone here would agree that lusting after a woman* is equal to having illicit sex with her. And if anyone does agree with that, well, I think he or she is wrong.

*Or, in this case, a man.

Edited by Vort

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6 minutes ago, Vort said:

Note that neither of these verses say, "Lustijng after a woman in your heart is a form of adultery. Committing adultery in one's heart is exactly the same as committing adultery with one's privates." The effect on the Spirit within you is the same when you lust after a woman as when you commit adultery with her, which is after all merely an expression of lust. But given a moment's serious reflection, I doubt anyone here would agree that lusting after a woman is equal to having illicit sex with her. And if anyone does agree with that, well, I think he or she is wrong.

Correct, it’s not the same as illicit sex, but I think the verses are saying that it’s the same heart and spirit that would so. And the spiritual downfall is the same. As such, for anyone to suggest that someone does not need to talk to their bishop over an emotional affair, is misguided.

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I'm trying to catch up on reading the Ensign.  Last night I read an article from October's issue, linked below.  I know it's not exactly addressing your situation, but I think a lot of the concepts and questions could still be helpful to you.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2019/10/dating-and-pornography?lang=eng

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Hi,  I can't speak for your husband.  I can only tell you of what I went through.

My wife and I didn't have the best of marriages for a long time.  She ended up have a year and a half long emotional affair with a colleague.  I didn't find out until later.  

I was emotionally devastated by this.  I could barely function for 4 months.  I very much contemplated divorce.  But our Heavenly Father asked me to take a different path.  It was by far the hardest thing that I have ever experienced.

I didn't stay married for the kids.  I stayed married to love my wife.

To me staying married for the kids is just lying to the world.  It is just compounding the sin.

It took me the better part of a year to learn to love her again.

I certainly can't tell you how he will react.  There is a chance that he will want a divorce.  But to set things right, you have to set things right with the person her on Earth you should love the most and that is your spouse.

As much as it hurt, I am grateful that she was honest with me.  Our marriage would probably continue to suck had I not found out.  Is our marriage great now?  No, but it is better today than it has been in a long time and getting better every day.

One thing she did for me that helped me get over it was that she let me read the whole thing.  She answered all of my questions.

If you want this to work for you, I suggest that you in no way shape or form put any blame on him directly or indirectly on him.

It has almost been two years.  It sucked, but I feel healed and I love her.

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On 11/4/2019 at 8:42 AM, Highthoughts said:

I have had an emotional affair. Looking back I believe the reason it started was in dealing with depression. I'm not a very good communicator with my husband and often feel like he is annoyed or upset with me. I had a friend from high school that I felt safe talking to about absolutely anything, partly because there was no investment. I could say anything to him and if he didn't like it, oh well. He wasn't my partner so there was no risk. But it developed into more as I went to him to get the attention/comfort/ etc. I should have sought from my husband. It went too far and we had a "sexting" affair. We never had sex, but there were photos/videos exchanged and we met in person as well.

My problem is this. My husband is an amazing man. He is a leader in the church and a wonderful father. Our issues are all about communication and my inadequacies in everything. We have three young children. I fear upon learning of my affair that he will immediately want a divorce because that's the one reason Christ said it is okay to divorce. I fear he will see it as just the consequence of my action. And I fear my children will suffer greatly.

I'm considering just carrying on as if it didn't happen. Repenting as much as I can and just trying to be the perfect person on the outside that I failed to be on the inside. Isn't it better to go to hell myself than for my kids to suffer through losing a parent and all of that?

Any advice is appreciated. Anyone out there survive something like this? 

Your situation, and the advice you need, is accurately given by Elder Matthew Carter during the Sunday afternoon session of the October 2018 General Conference in a talk entitled Wilt thou be made whole.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2018/10/wilt-thou-be-made-whole?lang=eng

As I have counseled with others seeking to repent, I have marveled that people who were living in sin had difficulty making correct decisions. The Holy Ghost would leave them, and they often struggled to make choices that would bring them closer to God. They would wrestle for months or even years, embarrassed or frightened of the consequences of their sins. Often they felt that they could never change or be forgiven. I have often heard them share their fear that if their loved ones knew what they had done, they would stop loving them or leave them. When they followed this line of thinking, they resolved to just keep quiet and delay their repentance. They incorrectly felt that it was better not to repent now so that they would not further hurt those they loved. In their minds it was better to suffer after this life than go through the repentance process now. Brothers and sisters, it is never a good idea to procrastinate your repentance. The adversary often uses fear to prevent us from acting immediately upon our faith in Jesus Christ.

When loved ones are confronted with the truth about sinful behavior, while they may feel deeply wounded, they often want to help the sincerely repentant sinner to change and to reconcile with God. Indeed, spiritual healing accelerates when the sinner confesses and is surrounded by those who love them and help them to forsake their sins. Please remember that Jesus Christ is mighty in how He also heals the innocent victims of sin who turn to Him.13

With your husband being a leader in the church I expect that he would have a sound understanding of the doctrines of repentance and forgiveness and act accordingly. Also, from my own experience, I know that our perspective on repentance looks very different before we repent than after we repent. Before we repent, we often see it as a scary, embarrasing, fearful, painful process. After we have repented, we often see repentance as a great miracle for which we are truly grateful. Satan doesn't want us to repent so he really focusses on the fear and embarassment.  

 

Edited by askandanswer

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On 11/3/2019 at 4:42 PM, Highthoughts said:

Isn't it better to go to hell myself than for my kids to suffer through losing a parent and all of that?

No.  If that really was better the church would be counseling people in your situation to do that.  God wants you to repent and become clean and free of this sin, anyone or anything or any thought of doing otherwise is not from God.

And you can not repents and become clean of this without making a full confession to your husband.  Yes, he will be deeply hurt.  Yes, he may or may not divorce you (seeing as you have not slept with this other person I think divorce would be an over-reaction), but just because he can does not mean that he should.  Especially with children involved.  If both of you are humble to seek repentance and give true forgiveness your marriage can come out of this stronger than it ever was before.  Not because of the sin, but because of how repenting and forgiving will change the both of you into better people.

The steps of repenting to God of your sin are the same as the steps you must take to reconcile with your husband.  Please see the series of posts I made about that:
https://latterday-marriage.blogspot.com/2017/09/healing-wounds-part-1-where-to-start.html

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