how do i know…?

Posted: July 11th, 2010 | Filed under: life | 7 Comments »

A while back I started answering some of the questions people send me on a video blog. My latest deals with a reader who wanted to know if he/she was in the middle of an emotional affair. My video response deals primarily with being honest with yourself. The question alone alludes to the lack of emotional honesty within the asker. It’s common, but not something I’ll feed. Then I address the emotional ‘need’ that is being fulfilled by the foreign substance (in this case: a person).

As the survivor (spiritually speaking) of an affair, I have a much different take on the foreplay of a full-blown physical affair than someone who hasn’t overstepped the more obvious boundaries of adultery. There are so many ‘first steps’ that people take regularly that have my antenna up. I’ll list a few of the ones I can think of and call on some of you to add to the list. The point is to educate people who could be traveling down that path and still think their behavior has no real destination and doesn’t hurt anybody. This list is only intended to make you examine behaviors and be honest about what is behind them. I’ll only put a few to start so that you guys can build on top of it. The video is posted at the bottom.

  • ‘Harmless’ flirting (even if you make sure to mention their spouse in the banter.)
  • Private, unnessesary messages (texts, emails, etc.) no matter how innocent the content.
  • You should be aware when you can be friends with a member of the opposite sex, but not with their significant other. (Real and cyber life. I have a lot to say on this, but may have to devote an entire blog to it.)
  • You should be aware if you notice yourself dressing up a little extra or getting a little excited if you know you’ll see a specific member of the opposite sex (or same if you swing that way).

I’ll end my list there to leave room to add your suggestions (or experience).

This weeks blogs will mess around in this stuff a bit heavier. Please share your thoughts (privately or publicly) because my blogs often feed off of them.

Here’s the video…


7 Comments »


7 Comments on “how do i know…?”

  1. 1 Anon said at 7:46 pm on July 11th, 2010:

    I'm so glad you opened this up for discussion. I'm posting anonymously because I can see myself in one particular point of your list. There is someone who I work with who pays attention to me and makes me feel pretty. I dress up extra AND am excited when I know I'll be working with him. Often times we will have lunch together when we're working on a project. I know I like it too much. I've never let on and we've never crossed any lines, but I don't know how to make it go away. I love my husband, but am still left feeling like a high school girl around this other guy. What do you suggest I do? I don't want to feel like this and hate that I like it. Help!

  2. 2 Jayme said at 3:07 am on July 12th, 2010:

    I've always been a flirty person. It's something my husband loves about me. I don't do or say anything that I wouldn't in front of him.

    Is that different or the same as what your talking about?

  3. 3 Serena Woods said at 4:49 am on July 12th, 2010:

    Anon: There are a lot of people who feel the way you do. Remember, the list is just a heads up, it's not imminent danger. Too many factors are left unknown for me to be able to pinpoint your 'location'. (How long has this gone on? Are there unspoken understandings between the two of you? When you're together, do you touch each other a lot when you're talking?) You know where you are better than I do. If you think you're in trouble, then tell your husband or a friend at work. Someone you can trust and would make you feel stupid for the way you're behaving. Nothing takes the helium out of a party balloon like the sharp point of reality.

    Jayme: It's different. Your husband knows you better than anyone else. You have to consider what you would do or say in front of the other guys wife.

  4. 4 MainlineMom said at 5:13 am on July 12th, 2010:

    I'm glad you're talking about this. And I'm glad you mentioned that no one is immune, and if they think they are they are deluded and not aware of how much grace they are under. My eyes were opened up WIDE when I entered the working world as a young married. I was naive for sure, thinking the ring on my finger was some kind of insurance policy that I would never fall victim to anything like that. Once I commented to a male friend that "no one is immune" and he became very offended, saying "I'm just not that type of guy." I guess he's fortunate that his wife meets his needs, and he hasn't encountered another woman that meets whatever unmet needs he may have.

    I will say that victory in this is possible…though painfully difficult. And probably only through the Lord's grace, His timing, and His strength…not your own.

  5. 5 Jenny Smith said at 8:35 am on July 12th, 2010:

    Thank you SO much for this post!! Your timing is impeccable!!!

  6. 6 Serena Woods said at 8:29 pm on July 12th, 2010:

    MainlineMom: Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You're so right about the recovery process being painful. Sin literally kills. As with any death close to you, there is a mourning process. We start out so naive to our own guilt. Then when our innocence dies, we ache for it. The groaning is met with an offer. An offer of real innocence as opposed to naive innocence. That's the gift of grace. We know we're not worthy and so does He. The thing is, He doesn't care. Freedom.

    Jenny: that's good to know. 🙂

  7. 7 Jodie said at 10:42 am on July 13th, 2010:

    I know this is in no way related to what you're saying here but, you have the BEST hair.

    As for the topic, I believe you to be right on. I think we could all take a personal inventory now and again to see how we stack up in this area. I have a girlfriend whom I'm accountable to, and I do tell on myself when I feel myself slipping in this area. Thanks for talking about this though – it's one of those subjects that we're all afraid to talk about – fearful that what we've felt is so evil and so ugly, and so fearful that no one else has felt those things.


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