Is Emotional Affair Recovery Possible?

Emotional affairs aren’t often talked about but can be as disastrous to relationships as physical affairs would be. You might be asking yourself, “Are emotional affairs even real?”

Unfortunately, not only are emotional affairs real but they are increasingly common in our extremely connected world. Spouses who cross certain emotional boundaries with someone other than their spouse are most likely involved in an emotional affair.

Whether you are the one who is trying to define the relationship you are having with someone outside of your marriage or you are the spouse who wants to understand what to do next, this article might be just right for you.

4 Steps to Emotional Affair Recovery

Here are four steps to achieving emotional affair recovery:

Step 1: Accept that you are participating in an emotional affair.

Emotional affairs often begin as casual friendships, so it can be hard to identify in the early stages. Normally, people are looking for something in another person that they aren’t receiving from their spouse.

Let’s say your spouse never compliments your appearance or talents. At work, your assistant is constantly building you up and giving you daily compliments. You begin to grow closer to your assistant and further away from your spouse.

You begin to look forward to seeing your assistant, making sure you are looking your best. Those everyday compliments transform into late-night chats about home life and work stress. Your assistant is overly compassionate and nurturing, something you haven’t felt from your spouse in years.

Although you notice desires begin to arise, you tell yourself that you respect your marriage too much to jeopardize anything. As the months pass, you begin to celebrate special moments in your life with your friend at work exclusively.

Your wife thinks you are constantly working late, but you are spending time at the office working with your assistant and swapping stories. Your assistant takes emotional priority over your spouse and you begin to feel a greater intimacy with her.

One night you get in an argument with your spouse. She doesn’t remember something you told her that was important to you. Suddenly, you remember it wasn’t your wife you shared these feelings with, but your assistant at work. You are not sure how your appropriate relationship turned inappropriate, but you now recognize that it has to stop. You want to make things right.

Here are some common signs that you are in an emotional affair:

  • You feel you have to hide your conversations with your friend from your spouse.
  • You begin to send more flirtatious messages to each other.
  • You find ways to spend more alone time with this person.
  • You desire to spend more time with this person and make sure you look your best if you know you will see him or her.
  • You compare your spouse to this friend, noticing your friend has qualities your spouse lacks.
  • You share personal issues with your friend because you see them as someone you can trust.

Step 2: Have a conversation with someone.

Now, that you have identified what’s happening as an emotional affair. The next step is to have a conversation with someone, admitting to the emotional affair.

If you are comfortable talking to your spouse about what’s been going on, this might be the ideal place to start. If you don’t feel safe sharing with your spouse yet, enlist the help of a pastor or Christian counselor to support you as you prepare to share with your spouse.

You might be afraid of the outcome of sharing this news with your spouse. Guilt and shame could be overwhelming right now and you are still confused exactly how your friendship became something more. Telling someone will help bring freedom into your life and put you on the path toward healing.

Broken places in your marriage can be restored as you learn more about root problems. James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” There is power in talking to a pastor or a Christian friend of the same sex and asking for prayer.

It’s important to share, but you still might be wondering how to begin a conversation of this nature. You can start by saying something simple like “I really got caught up in a situation that went too far emotionally. I would like to tell you about it now.”

Your goal is to share with someone (spouse, counselor, or pastor) what has been happening and then work toward discovering what led you to enter into an emotional affair. A Christian counselor can offer ways to ensure you avoid going down the same path in the future.

Step 3: Find a Counselor

It would be beneficial to find counseling individually and with your spouse. Individual counseling will help you uncover why the affair began and continued over time. A Christian counselor will walk you through different aspects of marriage and what a healthy marriage looks like to you.

You might be dealing with a past hurt that you carried with you into marriage. Individual counseling can help make you healthy and whole which will then contribute to a healthy marriage.

If you are the one who just found out your spouse had an emotional affair, counseling is a safe place to share your current feelings. You might be dealing with anger or bitterness that can be talked through with a professional before beginning a dialogue with your spouse.

It is helpful to have a conversation with a counselor about ways for you to regain confidence in yourself and your marriage. Meeting with a counselor will grant you clarity and help you move forward in a healthy manner.

Marriage counseling is vital at this point. A Christian counselor can help you both navigate your emotions so that you can understand where things may have taken a turn in your marriage. Counseling sessions are meant to equip you with the tools to communicate with your spouse.

It’s difficult to recover from an emotional affair without understanding fully why the affair happened, what maintained the affair, and how to prevent an affair in the future. A Christian counselor is trained to work through the deepest of pains and more complicated of emotions.

Step 4: Forgiveness

After going through the previously mentioned steps, you might be at the place where you are willing to work on forgiveness.

You will likely have to decide what forgiveness will look like for you either as the person asking for forgiveness or having to forgive. Some people need a verbal apology and explanation of what was wrong and how they will not do it again.

Other people don’t value a verbal apology and would rather see proof of changed behavior. The two people in the marriage should discuss what the offense is and how the future will be different. Trust-building is an important part of this step.

Forgiveness is unique to each individual so understanding what your spouse is needing from you in order to forgive is helpful.

You don’t have to face emotional affair recovery alone. Contact a Christian counselor to begin your journey toward healing and restoration today.

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How to Find the Depression Help You’re Looking For

Depression is a serious mental illness that can become incredibly dangerous if it goes untreated. Unfortunately, due to the stigma that still surrounds mental health, many of those who suffer from this condition do not seek out the help they really need.

Depression is also very common. Millions of Americans will suffer from it this year alone. Despite its prevalence, one person’s experience of depression may be very different to another’s. It is a complex illness with many varied factors and an array of different symptoms.

The causes of depression also vary. Links have been made between depression and negative life events, genetics, environment and overall levels of stress. Some types of depression will grow more severe over a number of years, while others may be confined to a “depressive episode” that might have been triggered by a life event.

Types of Depression

The following types of depression are very common and affect millions of people worldwide.

Clinical Depression

Clinical or major depression may be linked to genetics, hormones or even biological changes. This type of depression may prevent the sufferer from enjoying those things that used to give them pleasure. They may experience intense sadness and might find themselves getting easily irritated and angry.

Other symptoms might include loss of memory loss аnd a reduced interest in ѕеx. Every day may feel as if it is an uphill struggle, аnd thе ѕuffеrеr may stop ѕhоwing аny interest in their former hobbies. The duration of clinical dерrеѕѕіоn may be measured in уеаrѕ and can be absolutely debilitating.

Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)

PDD іѕ a relatively mіld category оf depression that lasts for at least two years. It may not be the most severe level of depressive feeling, but it is there churning away in the background.

Sufferers may feel as if it has lasted for as long as they can remember. PDD is distinct in that it manifests as a low level of depression that is ongoing – often for years – as opposed to major depression that often comes in the form of short bursts or “episodes.”

Atypical Depression (Subtype of Major Depression or PDD)

This is a subtype of Persistent Depressive Disorder and is distinguished by a very specific set of symptoms such as changes in appetite, weakness, environmentally based mood swings, excessive sleepiness, fatigue, sensitivity to rejection. Some of these symptoms are also indicative major depression or PDD.

Postpartum Depression

Thіѕ type of depression is sometimes known as “Thе Bаbу Bluеѕ.” It is common for women to experience some level of depressive feeling as their hоrmоnе lеvеlѕ change, they find themselves short on ѕlеер, аnd thеy are overwhelmed by the responsibility of parenting a child.

But postpartum depression is much more. The mоthеr may experience a heavy weight of dеѕраіr for an extended period of time. They may find it excruciatingly difficult to bond with the child, and may even feel a compulsion to harm their baby.

Manic Depression

Manic depression (also referred to аѕ Bipolar Dіѕоrdеr) iѕ a category оf dерrеѕѕіоn that is often represented bу times оf intense despair аnd mаjоr depression, fоllоwеd bу windows оf frantic hyperactivity and mania. These rhythms of depression followed by mania may occur for weeks or even months. Anyone suffering from this type of depression must seek professional help immediately.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Thеrе are some who find themselves falling into depression durіng fаll or wіntеr. Of course, many people feel a bit low when the evenings get darker and the days get colder, but SAD is more serious than that and may result in extreme feelings of hopelessness.

Therapists саll this condition seasonal affective dіѕоrdеr (SAD). People who are affected by the change of seasons plunge іntо dерrеѕѕion, cannot function normally, and may seem very similar to a person who is suffering from a mаjоr depression. However, those with SAD usually find that by the time the particular season ends, their mood begins to lift and they can function well again.

Practical Stерѕ to Fіnd thе Depression Hеlр Yоu Nееd

Consider some wауѕ that уоu саn find depression help :


Talk therapy revolves around openly talking about уоur problems and feelings wіth a trained counselor. They may assist уоu in recognizing thought patterns or behaviors thаt are contributing tо your depression. Perhaps yоu will bе given some sort of hоmеwоrk, like trying to recognize the moments when your thinking begins to shift towards a depressive state. You may be encouraged to rewire those thought distortions; to trасk your mооdѕ, journal about your feelings, and develop a self-care plan. This wіll help you to progress with уоur treatment оutѕіdе of your sessions.

Yоur therapist may аlѕо provide you with еxеrсіѕеѕ for stress and anxiety reduction and hеlр to a better undеrѕtаnding of уоur illness. They may assist you in creating strategies to help identify аnd аvоіd trіggеrѕ thаt set off уоur dерrеѕѕіоn. A therapist саn аlѕо provide you with the tools needed to manage your depression when these triggers do inevitably pop up from time to time.


Medication is commonly used alongside the right therapy, as part of an effective treatment for depression. Sоmе people may use medication for a short time until their symptoms subside, while оthеrѕ may use them over the lоng-tеrm to stabilize their mental health. Common depression mеdісаtіоnѕ іnсludе:

  • Sеlесtіvе ѕеrоtоnіn reuptake іnhіbіtоrѕ (SSRI’ѕ)
  • Sеrоtоnіn-nоrеріnерhrіnе reuptake inhibitors (SNRI’s)
  • Trісусlіс antidepressants
  • Benzodiazepines


Dерrеѕѕіоn саn make іt tough to take care of yourself in the most basic of ways. But actively taking part іn уоur trеаtmеnt and working with a professional to help уоurѕеlf cope wіth things саn mаkе a huge difference tо your overall state of mind.

Engaging in mental, physical, and spiritual self-care on a daily basis can improve your mental health and even lift your depression. There are many brilliant self-care ideas around, but here аrе just a few examples of some things you can try:

  • deep breathing (mental self-care)
  • regular exercising (physical self-care)
  • prayer (spiritual self-care)
  • journaling your experiences, feelings, and emotions
  • соnnесting with your loved ones and friends
  • getting sufficient rest

Making use of sеlf-care techniques fоr treating depression саn be very effective for іmрrоvіng your overall mооd. Discuss various strategies with your therapist to find the best tools for effective mаnаgеment of thе ѕуmрtоmѕ оf your depression. If you have some key emotional strategies in place to deal with your depression when it strikes, you will be much better equipped to cope when your therapist is not around.

Depression can often feel as if it is uncontrollable and impossible to treat. But it is manageable, though it should never be battled alone. Seeking out help for your depression does not imply weakness or inability to cope. Rather, it is an illness that must be treated as such.

Christians should understand that depression, itself, is not a sin nor should you be ashamed of it. Depression does not equate to a lack of faith in God. In fact, many of the great theologians of the Christian Church have suffered from depressive disorders.

The important thing to remember is to always be bold in seeking professional help when you are struggling. With the right combination of therapy and medication, depression can be managed effectively, and you can find greater freedom and strength in your battle against mental illness.

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Are You and Your Spouse Having Boring Sex? What to Do

When sex becomes redundant in marriage, couples complain of a boring sex life. It’s like a domino effect in the bedroom. If you or your spouse think you’re having boring sex then intercourse often becomes nonexistent, which can lead to a host of other marital problems.

After years of marriage, going through the same playbook can become tedious. Think of it like enjoying your favorite meal every single day. It might be your favorite, but over time you will get tired of eating the same dish, prepared the exact same way.

Why Does Sex Get Boring?

Humans are creatures of habit. Spouses find what works for them and, because there is a level of security involved, lack the desire to deviate from the routine.

Not everybody wants to step outside their comfort zones, especially when it involves changing bedroom activity or admitting things could be improved in the bedroom. However, if you want your sexual relationship to thrive, both parties will need to endure some necessary discomfort to become sexually satisfied.

Fear can intensify as partners become more important to each other. Nobody wants to rock the boat by asking for certain things they like. It’s important to respect each other, but avoiding these conversations about specific preferences will only create a silent wedge in the relationship.

When it comes to sexual intimacy, keeping the peace won’t be beneficial in the long-term. If things have grown stale, it’s time to sit down and address the issue directly.

How to Fix Boring Sex

You can’t fix anything that you haven’t admitted to being in need of repair. Once you’ve agreed to work on the sexual side of your marriage, the next step is to be vulnerable. You must let your guard down and have conversations that dig deeper into your sexual desires that aren’t being currently fulfilled.

What is something you would like in bed but are afraid to ask for? What is something you have wanted to try, but normally resist doing?

These conversations are rarely easy, especially to those who aren’t familiar with sharing intimate feelings and desires. Refusing to share will only keep your sex life stagnant. As I’ve always heard said, “Nothing changes if nothing changes.”

This is not an opportunity to guilt your spouse into doing something or to be overly forceful. Many men and women have experienced certain pain in the past, where boundaries are necessary to protect themselves from reliving certain pain. The goal of this discussion is to be open and honest in an effort to feel safe talking about sensitive subjects.

Insisting on hiding parts of yourself from your spouse will only cause tension in your marriage. In the end, both people must be willing to hear each other out and take a step of courage together.

Sex should be mutually meaningful and enjoyable. Trying new things together can create a sense of adventure and a deeper bond.

Christian Counseling for Boring Sex

If you, or your spouse, want to reignite the spark in your relationship, consider marking an appointment to meet with a professional Christian counselor.

Counseling is a safe and private place to discuss personal problems that you might have trouble discussing normally. Counselors are trained to draw out the reasons for boring sex and create a plan for you and your spouse.

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Teen Issues: Practical Tips for Families

As the parent of a teenager, you might feel alone as you struggle to orient yourself to this new reality of raising an adolescent. It might feel like just yesterday that your child was a cute, precocious toddler, and now suddenly you’re being barraged by one expression of independence after another.

Your son or daughter might be struggling with serious teen issues such as depression, anxiety, or bullying, and you want to know how you can support them through this time.

Or maybe you have more than one teenager at home and you feel like you’re in a battle zone. You just want to have dinner together as a family without any drama once in awhile!

No matter what your specific circumstances are, raising a teenager is a uniquely difficult stage of life. But rest assured that this is normal, and it will pass. In the meantime, there are things you can do to facilitate the process of growth for your child and for your family as a whole.

First, let’s spend some time considering:

“What is a teenager?”

It’s important to define our terms before we start talking about practical tips. A teenager is generally considered to be someone between the ages of 13 and 19. However, the stage of adolescence seems to be lengthening in our culture, in both directions.

Young adults in their twenties are often relying on their parents financially for a long period of time, while preteenagers are exposed to “older” behavior through social media and seem to turn into adolescents younger than they should.

In a sense, adolescence has its own culture, and teens interact in a way that’s different from both children and adults. The ambiguity of these years seems to leave kids without clear expectations of how they should behave; sometimes, they’re expected to take on adult responsibilities, while also expected to respect authority and behave like children.

Cognitively, teens are forming their own individual identity at this stage and along with the pressures of their family and culture, they may find the ambiguity of their life stage to be anxiety-producing.

Also, teenagers, themselves, are constantly changing, as secondary sex characteristics appear and growth spurts take place. They may seem obsessed with their appearances, but they’re exploring uncharted territory. This is the root of adolescence; it’s self-discovery of one’s internal, external, and social realities.

Navigating and Addressing Teen Issues

It’s no wonder that the adolescent years are often full of complicated issues that affect teens’ well-being. Parents can be a great source of support and security during this time. Here are some ways you can help your child navigate these years productively:

1. Recognize differences and remember similarities

Our culture today is much different than it was even a decade ago, and it’s certainly changed from when we were teenagers ourselves. Social media and smartphones have completely altered the social landscape, in both positive and negative ways.

Regardless of your views on the relative benefits and drawbacks of social media, it’s important to acknowledge that most adolescents stay connected to their peers 24/7. News and gossip travel quickly. An embarrassing moment that happened on a Friday night might be all over town by the next morning. It’s hard for kids to avoid gossip.

Social media can also tend to be a highlight reel of our finest moments, which makes it difficult for teens who struggle to compare their everyday mundane life with their peers’ achievements. This can complicate insecurities, self-image problems, etc.

Mixed messages abound online. We often hear of how the media portrays women in unrealistic ways, but this is true of men also; they’re portrayed as strong, successful, and well-dressed, with nary a patchy beard to be seen. A man who’s slightly overweight will probably end up being a comedic punchline rather than the hero of the story.

To boys, this sends the message that if they can’t live up to the perfect hero standard, they might as well find their value in being funny. Kindness, respect, and intelligence are thrown to the wayside.

These issues exist for girls too, and often there’s an even smaller margin for error. High school is an unforgiving social crucible where kids manifest their own insecurities as they bully others and tear each other down. And this bullying can follow everyone around on social media. Before the days of the Internet, you could get away from your bully by going home. Now your bully is always with you.

Not everything has changed, though; some aspects of the teen years are still the same. You were a teenager once yourself, and you can remember your body changing and maybe the cruelty of some of your peers. Even though your teenager may think you can’t relate, you can remind them that your emotions were similar, even if your experiences were different.

You probably experienced conflict with your parents during your teen years, maybe feeling misunderstood, which is a common generational disconnect. Calling these struggles to mind will help you empathize with what your teenager is experiencing now.

2. Open communication

Even though smartphones seem to keep us constantly connecting, texting your child isn’t the same as having a face-to-face conversation. We often have a sense that we are closer than we are, simply because we’re digitally connected.

Just because you can track your child’s every move doesn’t mean you really know him or her. You might know their location and activity, but you don’t know what they’re feeling. That can only come through the face-to-face connection.

Often, parents feel like their teenagers won’t communicate with them. You have to set the example for initiating conversation. Don’t expect much in return. If your relationship has become strained over the years, your child might not feel emotionally safe enough to share things with you. It’s important for you to be proactive in regaining their trust.

Honesty goes both ways, so open up and share your own feelings and perspectives on life. This isn’t to say you should turn your child’s role into that of the parent and expect them to help you with your problems or be a counselor. The goal is simply to have open communication so your child can see your humanness and your willingness to admit that you too have weakness, struggles, and feelings.

3. Be consistent

This can be challenging. Consistency is one of the hardest disciplines for us as humans. We are affected by our moods, fatigue, health issues, the weather, work, and more. Some days you might be able to naturally tolerate your child’s behavior better than others.

Let it reassure you that even though teenagers might proclaim their need for freedom, they often really crave structure and boundaries. They also want to be able to depend on their parents. If you promise to attend an event, be there.

The more consistent you are, the stronger your relationship will be, and the more your child will rely on you. This means that when they have a problem, they’ll be more likely to bring it to you rather than to someone less dependable.

If your child wants to go see a concert they’ve been saving up for, but they’ll have to stay out a little past curfew, you might consider bending the rules and letting them do so if you believe they’re responsible enough. Help them remember to check in with you, but be willing to have discussions and be flexible with certain rules. You want to be firm but not unbendable.

4. Get to know their friends

Adolescents are quick to take their problems to their peers. Even though you might want them to bring issues to you first, that may not always happen. That’s why getting to know their friends can give you a little more peace of mind.

You can do this by opening up your home and providing a comfortable place for teens to hang out. Be present, but don’t hover or be intrusive. You might want to provide a snack and greet them, possibly have some small talk, without injecting yourself into every conversation.

If you gain the trust and respect of your child’s friends, they’re more likely to encourage your teenager to take his or her issues to you for help.

It’s inevitable that some friends will be a bad influence. This is another reason why getting to know their friends is helpful; you’ll be able to identify which ones are troublesome. Be careful starting conversations about friends who are poor influences; make sure you’ve created an environment of open communication and emotional safety, so your child will be more likely to listen to you when you have something less positive to share.

5. Cultivate support

This is possibly the most important tip of all, and a summary of all the ones that have come before. You might feel like you’re ill-equipped to deal with raising an adolescent, especially if your child is acting out in any way or struggling with depression or anxiety.

The most important facet of parenting a teenager is to cultivate support for them and you. Surrounding them with a supportive network including you and their friends will help them get through this challenging stage of life.

There are times when professional support is warranted as well. Many times, teenagers feel validated when discussing issues with a non-parental adult; this helps them feel like they’re being treated with respect, and they might respond better to advice that isn’t coming from a parent. Both individual and family counseling can be beneficial if you’re going through a particularly tough time.

Family counseling provides a setting to have difficult conversations with a neutral, educated moderator. Many teenagers find counseling to be a constructive way to work through issues that have caused arguments and tension at home.

Raising a teenager may be one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do, but learning some helpful ways to frame your approach can help you set yourself up for success. If you’re working to provide emotional support and a consistent structure, you’re already helping your child. Don’t hesitate to reach out for more help if you need to. This can be a big step towards growth for you, your child, and your family.

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