Inside His Head: My husband cheated. Should I stay?

Dear Inside His Head husbands,

My husband had an affair about a year ago and I just found out in a roundabout way through a friend. When I asked him about it, he admitted it happened, but said he hasn’t seen the woman (or cheated on me with any other woman) since then. He says he wants to stay married, loves me and our kids and doesn’t want a divorce. I don’t know if I can trust him again. Do you have any advice for me? I’d like to stay, but I’m so hurt.

MAVERICK: He’s going to have to regain your trust and that will take more than admitting that he slept with somebody once he was caught nearly red-handed. To be honest, the way you describe him he’s not anywhere close to seeming to be sorry enough for what he did.

This is a huge red flag so proceed with caution and your eyes wide open.

I understand you’re hurt, anyone would be hurt in your situation. If you want to continue the marriage then that’s to your credit.

The thing is, he needs to want to continue it too, and he needs to be willing to take some serious steps to begin to rebuild your trust. This is not a situation where he gets to say “Oops, my bad. Sorry about that.” and gets to move on. If he’s unwilling to work on regaining your trust, well, he’s full of crap when he says he want’s his marriage back.

If he starts trying to deflect this back on you. If he tries to imply you let the infidelity happen. If he is pretty much anything but apologetic and willing to work hard and swallow his pride to get his home back, I wouldn’t put much stock in his sincerity or your chances for success.

The bottom like is this: He shattered your trust.

He has to admit that. You have to admit that.

He has to genuinely seek your forgiveness and if his effort is sincere you have to forgive him if you wish the marriage to continue.

He can’t just pay lip-service to this and neither can you.

You can’t say you forgive him and beat him up for the next few decades and he doesn’t get to sulk or imply that he was anything but wrong in his actions and willing to walk through hot coals to regain your trust.

If you don’t  really resolve this issue of infidelity, and just do it half-way, your relationship may still exist but it will do just that, nothing more.  It’ll just limp along, year after year, and never really have a chance to heal and possibly grow moving forward.

Don’t go through this alone.

Seek professional help with someone you trust, a therapist or a member of the clergy you both agree on. If your husband is unwilling to seek help, he’s not contrite, and if he’s not contrite, he’ll cheat again so don’t invest any more time with him.

Rebuilding your marriage is going to be tough, really tough. He must be truly sorry and be willing to prove that with his actions. Your job is even harder, you must be willing to totally forgive. I’m not saying this happens overnight but this is the attitude you must start from.

Good luck

MICHAEL: When we get married, we think we know how everything is going to unfold.

We tell ourselves all the things we’re going to do and all the things that we’d never do.

We envision our perfect children. We see our loving spouse continuing on unchanging from the day that we marry them.

Unfortunately, the reality is that we are all imperfect human beings.  We change over time and deal with issues that others may never know about.

We don’t see the curving path of life that lies in front of us with all its various challenges, pitfalls and setbacks.

We can’t really know what we’ll do in a situation until we’re there in it.  After we encounter them we can’t always be proud of our actions. But we can acknowledge where we are today and move forward.

So let me turn the situation around and ask me the same question as though you were the one that cheated.

Would you want to be forgiven?

If someone is worth loving, then they are no less worthy of that love after a mistake.

GRAY: Trust. Once it’s been broken things will never return to how they were before. Your relationship before this happened is broken as well. You have to rebuild a new relationship without ignoring the affair or merely keeping your fingers crossed that he won’t cheat again.

The first step toward rebuilding trust is to have a completely candid conversation. It doesn’t mean hearing the gory details, but you need to get an answer to every question you have. If you don’t know what made him cheat then you’ll never stop it in the future.

Don’t put a stranglehold on him. Had it not been for your friend, you would have never known about the affair and you may be fighting the compulsion to track his every move so you won’t miss the signals twice. Resist the urge. Hounding him down will just make you paranoid and won’t make either of you trust each other.

Keep track of how you feel as the two of you deal with this. You’re going to have some strong feelings at first, but if trust doesn’t seem to be returning over time you may need to rethink your stance. And it’s not only trust, how’s your self-esteem? Are you able to stand strong or do you feel too marginalized to respect yourself?

If conversation is a problem don’t be afraid to bring in a middle person. Counseling from a therapist or pastor can sometimes bridge the gaps and let you talk with each other without it turning into an argument. And if you’re spending your time name calling instead of really talking then you’re never going to gain traction.

If several months pass and you still can’t face the day without pain, anger and distrust then perhaps it’s time to go separate ways. At the end of this road you don’t need to feel like you’ve just accepted his cheating as a new burden you have to carry, you need to be able to confidently say “Yes, our trust was broken, but we’re too strong to have it break apart our family.”

If you have a question for our panel of husbands, please email it to them at mamas{at}nwaMotherlode{dot}com. Rest assured we won’t share your name in the Q&A.

Life with Ladybug: Perspective

Love people sign.

By Shannon Magsam

I picked up the phone to call my husband. To vent.

I’d been to the dentist and I really needed to get a crown — plus I was reminded that I really need to have some dental surgery I’ve been putting off. And I remembered at the dentist that I also “really need” to get a mammogram, but our insurance has changed and that may be an out-of-pocket expense this time.

All I could see were dollar signs — disappearing fast down a big, huge drain.

It put me in a terrible mood.

When I called, my normally upbeat husband sounded sad and I asked what was wrong.

He told me that a woman we used to work with – who moved to another state several years ago – just lost her only child in a car accident.

My heart squeezed and, as a mom, I put myself right there in her shoes. As best I could, anyway, since I’ve never known that kind of pain.

I prayed for her (and will continue) and her loss immediately put my petty problems into perspective.

I often say to my parents and siblings that we need to enjoy each other’s company THOROUGHLY whenever we’re together. I told my sister recently: We can’t take this time for granted. We don’t know whether all of us will be sitting at mom and dad’s dinner table this time next year.

Our friend’s loss is a terrible reminder.

I read these sorts of posts all the time and I remember to be grateful and less annoyed about the small crap that happens in life for a few days. I’d like to hold on to this perspective for much longer. Like, until my last breath.

Life can be short.

You only get one.

Love God.

Love your people.

Love other people, too.

Praying for you, Cristal. We are so sorry.

Northwest Arkansas Business Women’s Conference Wrap-Up

2012 BWC Logo-NoTaglineWe had a GREAT day at the 16th Annual Northwest Arkansas Business Women’s Conference on Tuesday, September 16th. There was a full house at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center in Rogers, with more than 1,200 women in attendance. (If you missed this year’s conference and want to go to the next one, be sure to buy tickets early because it ALWAYS sells out early!)

We hosted a nwaMotherlode booth and gave away a really cute Halloween wreath custom designed by Teresa Huddleston (who also designs the fabulous decor at the NWA Mom Prom.) Dilynn Dodd, Assistant Vice President with Farm Credit of Western Arkansas, was the lucky lady whose name we pulled out of a very full bowl of entry slips. Congrats Dilynn! Hope you enjoy the wreath this Halloween season. :-) (Dilynn and her new wreath are pictured below.)

winnerWe took one of the “celebrity prom dates” from this year’s Mom Prom and brought him along to the Business Women’s Conference. Channing Tatum was already wearing a business suit, so we figured he’d fit right in with this group of fashionable business women. Several ladies stopped by and snapped a few selfies while standing next to Channing. Here’s a photo collage of some of the fun people we met who cozied up to Channing.

biz collageWe met so many wonderful women who live and work here in Northwest Arkansas. Thank you to all those who dropped by our booth to say hello and throw your name in the drawing. Hope you enjoyed the conference as much as we did.

Beauty Buzz: Get a head start on upcoming make-up trends

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode.com beauty editor

First of all, I have had a wonderful article on beauty-related ways to stay cool in the hot weather in my back pocket the whole summer.

I have been mentally preparing these little nuggets of information and waiting for the right time. But every time I went to write it, we had a freak cold front.

I had my list of products, my opening line, and my funny quip to wrap it up, and then bam, a beautiful 72 degree day. C’mon nature! Some of us have plans! Some of us promised, PROMISED, our kids we could swim on Friday, or carefully laid out a weeks worth of clothes for a very picky 5 year old.

But, it looks like summer has officially passed, so I am throwing in the proverbial cooling towel (which you will hear all about next spring), and I’m embracing the cooler weather and diving into what’s hot for fall.

NY Fashion weekNYFW just wrapped up (that’s New York Fashion Week for those of you who didn’t say “huh?” and then Google it like I did).

Technically, the fall show is designed to debut collections for Spring 2015, but if you like to stay ahead of the trends, now is the time to start implementing some of the beauty looks to walk the runway.

Here are a few of the NYFW trends:

A natural face continues to be a dominating look with designers, but took on a more ethereal glow with a dewy complexion and a nude lip. The glowing look designed by NARS Cosmetic’s Francelle Daly for the 3.1 Phillip Lim show was created using the new Jubilation Dual Intensity Blush, which will sadly not be available until spring. NARS recommends trying the South Beach Multiple for a similar look while we impatiently wait.

For a natural lip, the designers leaned heavily on the use of nude lip balm. I love the ease and non-sticky (it’s a word now) texture of Aquaphor for my lips. The multi-purpose moisturizer can also be dabbed onto your eyelids for a natural sheen to brighten your eyes, instead of the glittery white powder eye shadow you’ve probably been using. Aquaphor is also great for those raw, rashy spots babies get in their chubby little fat-rolls…just sayin’.

More subdued nails also made a showing, but the nail art craze was not completely forgotten. Models for Monique Lhuillier walked down the runway with peach and cream nails in an ombré effect.

Eye makeup ranged from nonexistent to “who would ever wear that”, but a smokey eye never goes out of style and was seen with softer brown shades or with a hint of winged eyeliner. Liquid eyeliner applied girl about townand tipped up at the outer corner is a fun look for the upcoming holiday parties.

If natural just isn’t your cup of tea, you are not alone. The models who were selected for the Carolina Herrrera show dominated social media, posting multiple selfies wearing bright fuschia lipstick. According to Vogue, the shade of the moment is MAC’s Girl About Town.

Braids are still having a moment, thank goodness, but were less bohemian than the looks we saw during the summer. Instead, hair was slicked back to the crown with a single plait in back. This did vary from a traditional braid to intricate fishtail braids, but polished was the common denominator.

Typically, I roll my eyes and skim right over articles about runway looks, because they are so rarely wearable. The lovely, glowing faces this year, however, kept catching my attention and are both beautiful and achievable.

If I can just get past the fact that it takes more effort to look natural than made-up some days…hmmph, I’m just not going to think about it and enjoy the moment.

AndiHave a question for Andi Douglas, a mama of three who loves hair, make-up and researching fashion trends? Email her at mamas{at}nwaMotherlode{dot}com. She loves to review products and write about them in a way that always makes us smile.

Giveaway: Win a Keurig 2.0 Brewer!

Today we’re giving away something we know is going to make you one happy mama. It’s a brand new Keurig 2.0 Brewing System! If you love coffee — or hot tea, flavored iced tea, hot cocoa, lattes or mochas — this machine can make it in a matter of minutes. What’s new about this machine is that, not only can it brew a cup of your favorite drink, it can also brew a whole carafe that holds up to four cups of whatever drink you’re making. Isn’t it pretty?

keurig 2.0With cool temperatures arriving, this is the perfect time to set up one of these beauties in your kitchen. I know, from personal experience, that this machine keurig win3has the “cool factor.” I just WON a Keurig 2.0 in a door prize drawing while Shannon and I were attending the Arkansas Women Bloggers’ conference at the Embassy Suites in Rogers on September 6, 2014. The Keurig came courtesy of one of the conference sponsors, the Kendal King Group, who works with national brands like Keurig and many others. (The Kendal King Group just launched a new digital influence division called Velocity. If you’re a blogger who’s interested in working with national brands, you might want to get to know the people at Velocity.)

The Velocity folks are smart, so not only did they hook us up with a new Keurig for ourselves, they gave us an extra one to give away to one of our readers so we can share the love.

I’ve been whipping up hot drinks for a few weeks now, and so far, we’re loving the results. And because I’m just vain enough to care, I have to tell you that the new Keurig looks really great on the kitchen counter. The design is sleek and features a beautiful touch-screen color display that you can change the look of anytime you want. If you want the 80-ounce water reservoir to have a beautiful blue glow at night, you can do that. And when the Hogs are about to play, you can change it over to red. When the holidays roll around, switch it over to green. You’ll never get tired of the same old look because you can kei love coffeeep changing it up.

This machine scans the top of each K-cup so it knows exactly what you’re making and it gives you the option to brew it stronger, if you like. You can also get hot water on-demand. Just be sure to buy K-cups that have the official checkmark on the outside of the box. It should say “for use in all Keurig K-cup brewers.” If the box has that checkmark and verbiage, it’ll work in the new Keurig 2.0 with no problem. Here’s what you should look for on the packaging:

kcup seal3HOW TO ENTER: To throw your name in the online hat to win the new Keurig 2.0 brewer, click on the words “post a comment” at the bottom of this post and tell us what your favorite drink is. (Are you like Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory, who likes to serve a hot beverage when someone is feeling distressed? :-) ) Shannon and I are both hot chocolate girls, but we also love a good cup of hot tea on a cold morning.

INCREASE YOUR ODDS OF WINNING: If you’d like to increase your odds of winning the awesome Keurig 2.0, just share! Email friends and family about the giveaway and CC us so we’ll be sure to give you credit. We’ll give you an extra chance to win for each person you tell. The email is giveaways@nwaMotherlode.com.

(You can also earn an extra chance to win by signing up to receive the free email newsletter we send once a week. The sign-up box is at the top right of this page.)

BE SOCIAL: You can also earn extra chances to win by commenting on our Facebook page, following us on Twitter or following us on Pinterest. If you do any of those, just mention it in your comment or email so we can give you proper credit.

Good luck! We’ll notify the winner via email at the end of the week, so you can be brewing your favorite drink by this weekend! Watch your inbox for the news.

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