Why I closed my AMA Women Facebook Group
After many months of praying on the matter,
I closed my 2+ year old private Facebook group of 2,100 members- “AMA Women”.
This post is explaining some of my reasons.
Part 2: This second post is a follow up to some comments and speculations about it.
(if you care to read any more than this post)
1. As the group has grown, it’s been difficult to maintain the
original purpose and mission of why I created it.
Plus the amount of time needed to monitor the group to maintain its integrity
has exceeded what I can provide, to do it well.
My goal for the AMA Women FB group has always been
to help women gain support to get over their affairs and
learn how to lean on God to move forward.
I wanted women to know they were not alone in their pain
and feel encouraged to live with honor even when it’s difficult.
I believe this has been the result for some, but I believe for some-
this group has just become a sounding board
to share how much they miss the AP and to complain about their husbands.
2. It’s become increasingly difficult to ensure the level of privacy needed;
plus validating each member is not foolproof and very time consuming.
As my blog has been discovered, so also has the potential risk increased of
someone requesting to join the group who does not belong.
The privacy of this group is a definite concern of mine as the admin of this group- as I know it is for many of you as members.
The amount of people who would like to join just to see the comments shared here is a concern of mine-
from someone’s AP, a friend of an AP, an AP’s wife, a member’s husband, or a friend of a member,
not to mention troll’s or just creepy men who would like to see what unfaithful women post about…
these are real threats- even if it doesn’t happen often.
But the potential is there, we can’t be naive to this, and I was responsible for protecting each woman.
Anyone can create a Facebook account and impersonate someone else to gain access to a group.
This puts the members at risk of all their private conversations and personal life being exposed to the world.
Especially regarding infidelity- I just didn’t feel right any longer having the group open and trying to
mitigate that risk any longer.
The responsibility of that was upon my shoulders, nobody else.
3. When in God’s word are we told to gather together for the sole purpose of
talking about our sins and to continue sharing our struggles?
What is the end goal of sharing our previous failures supposed to be?
I’ve struggled with this one, coming from some recovery myself.
I’m not saying it’s necessarily wrong to do this.
I know we are told in the bible to bear one another’s burdens; but infidelity is beyond just “a burden”.
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.”
But doesn’t a Facebook group go beyond ‘just confessing’, into the realm of continually talking about those sins?
Does continuing to talk about those sins and failures truly give you the strength to walk away from them?
Or is it sometimes helping to console yourself that you’re not so bad, when you know other women have committed the same sin as you?
4. I’ve come to believe that a Facebook group is not really
the best way to stop one’s affair and heal from it.
If I truly thought a Facebook group of thousands of women in different places of their recovery
would really help women become more honorable and run from their affair, then I would have
been more likely to keep it open.
But I saw that Facebook groups can NOT do this for people-especially in this type of subject.
Ladies, I did not have a Facebook group when I ended my affair, and when I was getting over the AP.
This was at a time when I lost a lot of friends, and most (not all) of my church family were more hurtful than helpful,
and my family of origin also didn’t want to talk to me during that time.
I felt destitute and completely alone 99% of the time.
I spent many days crying my eyes out in my bedroom, and not knowing how I was going to put my life back together.
But I was doing exactly what I needed to be doing to get through it by turning to Jesus with all my pain.
There was no FB group that could have truly mended my life or healed my broken heart.
5. Will some women feel more discouraged in their marital recovery
when they hear about others failed marriages?
And can I really control what is said to prevent that discouragement,
or a lack of desire to keep trying, because of what others are reporting about their failed marriage?
I kept wondering if the posts about feeling a ‘lack of love for my husband’ or ‘we are getting divorced because of him doing…’
-are really helping everyone in the group as a whole?
Although it always feels nice to ‘be heard’ and share our complaints and struggles with others who we think will understand,
is this helpful, or hurtful, to those who are holding onto any hope they have that their marriage can survive?
Some complaints from others can be easily accepted as our own, when some similarities are given…
this can lead to an attitude toward one’s spouse, or a lack of desire to stick with a marriage onto healing,
if one develops an attitude based on what others have also complained about.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds….
but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
6. Does talking about missing the AP, or the ‘lost feelings’ one felt during the affair
REALLY helping everyone move forward?
…Especially since this FB group is supposed to be about AFTER an affair?
I also questioned how much my moderators and I are really able to hold that back.
Most of you who have been here for any length of time KNOW that I (and my moderators)
try to keep a tight rein on not allowing posts about missing one’s AP and all the feelings one had during the affair.
Women would regularly want to post how they resumed contact with their AP again…
holding those comments back from the group was like trying to hold back a flood with some sandbags.
Some people will say we shouldn’t try to-
that women should be able to air all their longings for their AP in this ‘safe place’….I disagree.
The more we talk about these things, the more they grow in our hearts and our minds.
Many things that some want to share are better left instead to a private journal,
a counseling session or especially in prayer to God- who knows you best.
I often noticed that some women would do a sympathetic “there there, it’s okay you contacted him”
type of post to those who relapsed yet again.
I am all for compassion and sympathy, but I don’t think those types of responses encourage someone
to run from adultery no matter what it takes.
Also, some things shared only triggered those who are trying to let go of the past and move forward, and frankly,
hurt the one posting it too- keeping them stuck.
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
7. Does this Facebook group truly provide motivation
to help women turn FROM their sin and turn TO God in repentance?
Or is it just a place to vent and commiserate about the affair?
Many of you will not agree with this, and it’s not true for all of you.
Some women in the AMA group really do want to learn how to stop and how to turn their life around-
But that’s not everyone’s goal.
My heart has always been to help women who felt lost and alone because of their adultery-
to know they are still loved by God and know they are not alone in what they’ve done.|
Sounds great doesn’t it?
And it can be.
BUT…it’s that desperate awareness of how dark and terrible our sin is that should drive us to our knees to God
and cry out for HIS forgiveness in total repentance…that is where God’s healing can begin.
Some people say that talking about “religion” in an affair recovery page is not relevant-
I strongly disagree.
It has everything to do with God! It’s to HIM ultimately we have sinned against,
but if someone doesn’t believe what they did was sin, or they don’t believe in God-
I could understand why it wouldn’t seem relevant.
I really do not believe that a few posts or comments from strangers in a Facebook group
will help you through those life altering moments when you’re at the end of yourself.
No Facebook group can really do that for you.
So instead of privately seeking God, who truly loves you more than any human ever can,
you’re spending time in a Facebook group trying to find advice and answers from others
who (for the most part) are just as confused and in turmoil as you are.
8. What is the long term fruit of the group?
Meaning…what is the end result for women who’ve been in the group awhile?
Although these things are hard to measure, I’ve wondered if the women who have been in the group the longest
are always better off or if there’s no real change on their part?
Does the group promote a godly type of sorrow that leads to repentance?
Or, is there just an ‘acknowledgement of wrongdoing’ and still remaining the same?
Unfortunately, for some women, being in a group like this will
breed a familiarity with the sin of adultery-
taking the sting out of what they did being that bad, and defeating the whole purpose for why I created it.
Some women will say they’ve been encouraged by this group to end their affair;
to go completely no contact with their AP, and seek a life of honor after hearing other women’s stories.
I’m always glad to hear this.
Most of the time, those women will leave the group once they’re better.
(Although some dear women have stayed on to help others, which I’m grateful for).
But what is the fruit in the women’s lives who have remained in the group at least a few months, a year or even more?
Has this group helped them decide to wake up out of their deception and hate their sin more because of this FB group?
There’s a huge difference between godly sorrow and feeling sorry for doing it, or sad about one’s consequences,
2 Corinthians 7:10 says:
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
9. Ultimately, I’ve had to ask, is this Facebook group honoring and pleasing to God?
This is a tough one to answer for me and it’s why I’ve delayed closing the group until I felt more sure of God’s view about it.
But this past week I found a verse that God spoke to me and then confirmed it again another way that made me feel more resolved.
It’s Ephesians 5:11-12
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.”
(I encourage you to actually read all of Ephesians 5:1-15)
(Again, keep in mind I’m saying GOD SPOKE THIS TO ME….it was the verse HE used in multiple random ways
in one day to confirm it was time to close the group. You may not agree with my interpretation of this,
but I’m not trying to write a commentary on the verses full meaning-
it’s just how God confirmed my question about the group to me that I’m sharing with you).
Again, I had to ask myself the obvious question- don’t we speak about our affairs quite often here?
Is this talk honoring God and helping women overcome their desires to continue in it?
Or is it giving place to those things that we should not be?
Some of you won’t see it to be wrong, and I understand that.
Although I don’t believe God is telling us to pretend we don’t struggle with sin-
we do need to be careful how we speak of it and to be aware that just talking about our sin doesn’t give us power to overcome it.
God’s word teaches us to abide in Christ and we can do nothing apart from him.
Also it admonishes us to think and speak only on things that are noble, pure etc….. Why?
Because the enemy of our souls can easily get a foothold when we put our focus on the evil and not on our source of strength.
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just,
whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue
and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
10. Where does your help come from?
What advice are you heeding? Where is that persons viewpoint coming from?
People recovering from affairs are very vulnerable and you need to be careful who you’re listening to right now.
That includes to me. Test the counselor or person’s faith and philosophy.
A Facebook group is fertile ground to offer opinions and advice that sounds good and helpful but
an be founded in nonsense, and if you’re not careful you could be following after things advice that
does more harm than good.
What I meant in my first post about the damage that can be done by continuing to talk about these
things from your past that you’re ashamed of is from this verse:
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.|
Others may have been offended by this verse I posted on the original post:
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.”
That simply means being aware of where your advice (counsel) is coming from.
As a Christian, I look to the Lord and His word (law) as guidance for what to do.
Some have misconstrued what I said here to mean I hate non-believers.
Trust me, I know how much bad advice another Christian can even give someone.
I’m simply sharing God’s word and that HIS word is the foundation
of my morality and my life- not the opinions and empty babbling’s of man.
And as believers in Christ, we need to guard our hearts and mind and be
aware of what we believe and the advice we are given- this can mean from
family, friends, other church members and yes even a FB group.
11. What this is NOT about:
You can read more about what this group closing was not and my response to comment I received regarding it here.
- This is not about money, or my lack of revenue from the FB group.
For the few cynical people out there that somehow thought I was closing the FB group because it didn’t generate revenue for me-
let me set some things straight.I never got money from the group for the 2.5 years it existed, but I did it anyway to help women.
Those who say this don’t know anything about what the online marketing ‘guru’s suggest.
They say having a FB group is important if you have a blog or website to ‘sell your services’ to those inside your FB group!
Why do you think so many online marketers host FB groups?So most of these ‘experts’ would highly disagree with my decision from a financial standpoint as I’ve just lost my
ready ‘customers’ to sell to. BUT, it was never about money to me- not then and not now.
I genuinely thought a FB group would help women overall, early on.YES, I know that closing the AMA FB group down makes me lose potential ‘customers’ for anything else
I may decide to do in the future…but I don’t care.
THAT is how you know this really was not about money for me and should silence the gossip about that.
- This is not about my marriage or about seeing an old AP again.
Again, some haters have said these terrible things, all because I decided to close the group and they like to speculate.
My marriage is wonderful, my husband is a great man and we are very happy together.If anything, having this group has put a strain on us because it was (at times) stressful for me to maintain,
and hey, it’s not always a pleasant thing to constantly be talking about affairs!No, I never want to see or talk to my AP again.
I’m sorry these ladies go to that thought right away, but it’s because that’s where their current struggle is- but it’s no longer mine.
Just because I closed the AMA group (and my husband closed his) doesn’t mean I’ve relapsed.
Why would I return to my worst mistake ever?
- Some say I closed the group because it didn’t serve me anymore.
Those who say “the group didn’t serve me anymore” don’t really understand the whole point of my opening the group.
It never ‘served me’ because it wasn’t about me- it never was for me- it was for women.I was happy to serve and help when I did, but it never did anything for me personally.
Is it tiring or easy to manage a FB group of 2,100 women talking about getting over an affair? Yes!
If I didn’t care what everyone posted- or let everyone say whatever they thought no matter how unhelpful it was to others,
or I didn’t try to verify each member then managing the group would have been 90% easier!!And I also work hard at maintaining the blog that I pay for this hosting myself, trying my best to answer the emails I get from people
wanting personal help and advice, etc…So, If you haven’t walked in my shoes, please hold your comments and judgements about it.
Ladies, I believe you are able to overcome this and become the woman of honor that you really want to be!
Don’t believe the lies in your mind that are holding you back from ending your affair, turn to God for His help!
Important final note added:
I had planned on reopening Rebloom (this summer-2021 ) as another way of more closely helping women
that are serious about their recovery from their affair and teaching how to heal your soul,
your marriage and your relationship with God;
but honestly I am not sure if I am definitely going to open up Rebloom.
I need some time to get through this season and take a step back to decide if it’s worth it opening up again to women, honestly.
I’ll be praying for God to give me direction on what He wants me to do now-
being certain I’m in His perfect will before I do another group.
Thank you for understanding.
If I know enough people want the group, I may consider it again.