QUESTION: How do you focus?
I find myself constantly on the very edge of anxiety moving into the pit of my stomach, losing focus, unable to think or cope with much of anything. I really do need to function.
I am praying , hopeful, scared, nervous, lost, unsure… How do you find a sense of normalcy in the midst of all this? How do you grow strong in the midst of battle?
My wife is all I have really ever known, and I do still love her. Even though she did have an affair (and it might still be going on), she seems to be changing. She seems to be becoming and better person and focusing more on God. I’m so confused, but I want to keep hoping. She wants out of the marriage even though I want to save it.
ANSWER: A rule of thumb I’ve never seen fail is that people don’t leave what they have unless they believe that what they are going to is better.
Typically, people start answering this question by doing these two things:
- Examine the marriage
- Examine the situation
1. Examine Yourself
An affair is never justified. Hear that loud and clear.
That being said, many time the breeding grounds for affairs occur because of things that happened (or didn’t happen) in the marriage. Maybe the two of you grew apart over time. Perhaps one spouse felt that his or her needs were not being met. Maybe one spouse feels controlled by the other.
Is there anything that you can see that could have been a stepping stone in the occurrence of the affair? No marriage is perfect. No spouse is perfect.
Therefore, if you have so mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually abuse her that she feels that being alone is better than living with you, then we’d say you may be the root cause that led to the affair.
However, it could very well be that you had a wonderful marriage. Communication flowed freely, intimacy was at its peak. Yet, an affair still happened. Affairs do happen even if everything in the marriage is going well. It is less common, but it does happen.
That leads us to point number two…
2. Examine the Situation
If you have not been controlling or ignoring her needs or something of the sort and she wants to leave, we suggest that there likely is something in her mind that she believes she will have/gain if she is free from you. Whatever it is, she would see it as impossible or highly unlikely if she stays with you.
For example, sometimes we witness people wanting to live a single lifestyle with total freedom, no responsibility, being with whomever they wish whenever they wish, drinking, partying, and the like. They leave their spouse because they view that lifestyle as better than being married. Much more often, unfortunately, we see this when a person is wanting to be with another person. I’m not saying that is the case with her, or even trying to plant that idea in your mind. I’m simply trying to explain a principle.
Analyze Actions with a Grain of Salt
It’s good that she apparently is seeking God. Though I don’t want to discourage you, I suggest you find limited hope in that for the time being. It’s good, but it doesn’t mean she’s seeking God as He is.
She may be seeking an emotional high that comes from convincing herself that God is in harmony with her decision and is blessing her to pursue it. They become so convinced that what they are leaving for is so wonderful that they actually believe God wants them to do it. They say things such as, “God wants me to be happy.”
This is especially true if a person is in limerence with someone. Limerence is a type of affair that results in a deep connection and a strong relationship. (Read more about limerence) and finish reading this article).
I’m not saying your wife is in limerence with another person. Obviously, I have no way of knowing. I only mention it here because some people who are experiencing the high of limerence also find an emotional high in thinking that God has finally sent them their soul mate.
What can you do?
I understand the pain and the befuddlement of how to live your daily life when you are hurting and so badly wanting this to be fixed. However, none of us have the ability to work a miracle and end this immediately. I know you don’t want to hear this, but you’re going to have to live with this for a while. People in this private Facebook group will be your emotional support as best we can, but we will not be able to take away your pain.
2.Work on Yourself
What does that mean?
Focus on you for a while, especially in these 4 area: Physically, Intellectually, Emotionally, and Spiritually.
Physically – Get in the best shape and look the best that you can for your age and situation in life. Plus, you’ll feel awesome.
Intellectually – Stimulate your brain. Start thinking about things OTHER THAN your situation.
Emotionally – Be a safe place for your spouse. Go back to focusing on how to be a friend to your spouse…all the way back to before you were dating. How did you do things then? How did you respond to hurts, annoyances, etc? Do that again. Do the things to make love grow.
Spiritually – Get with God like you never have before. Pray like you never have before. Long for God more than you long for your marriage.
It is not yet time to give up hope, my friend. May God be with you.
3.Pray for Roadblocks
Speaking of God, may I suggest that you pray that God throws roadblocks, inconveniences, disturbances, in whatever path she is considering. I don’t believe God will make her a robot and make her feel what you wish her to feel. However, I am convinced that He will do things to make her life miserable if she follows a bad path. Pray that He does, not from vengeance, but to keep her and you from negative consequences.
Seems I forgot to answer your specific question: How do you focus? How do you find a sense of normalcy?
Focus on the Father. Then focus on doing the things in the articles I recommended above. There is no normalcy to it. It shouldn’t happen. But with the strength of the Holy Spirit and the comfort of those in this group, you will survive.
Hopefully, also salvage your marriage.
If your spouse is involved in an affair, then the 7 videos in the Affair Toolkit can help you navigate
- Exactly what happened that led to the affair
- How to act to your spouse to get your spouse to come back
- How to react to your spouse during conflict about affair
- and How to Rescue Your Marriage from the Affair