Monthly Archives: February 2010

How to fight so your marriage is affair-free

Dear Hubby and I had an argument this week. It was on Monday and it was a fairly major disagreement primarily brought about because God’s plan for marriage is for a husband and wife to commit to one another for a lifetime–not to have second spouses! Being a second spouse is trying at times, and impossibly difficult at others, because no matter how much the first spouse leaves, moves on, and claims to be done, there will always be some need for connection or communication (sometimes for the children, and sometimes over lingering legal matters). Anyway, the disagreement arose due to interference from one of our exes regarding preparing taxes. In short, the ex believes that they can claim a dependent when they do not support that dependent throughout the year.

The reason this argument was important, though, was not so much the subject matter. It’s significance was primarily in that Dear Hubby and I rarely disagree; we are just so much alike and both so easy-going that if the other asks for something we usually go with it. Why not? In the big scheme of things we agree, at least in theory, on the big things: politics, religion, how things should run in the house, and who does what. πŸ˜› It’s significant because we often here couples say: “We fight all the time! He or she is so mean (spiteful, hateful, etc.)!! I can’t take it and I’m thinking of leaving!” Fights can often easily turn into MAJOR, HUGE Love Extinguishers of angry explosions, disrespectful judging, blaming, name calling, and criticizing–even threatening the security of the marriage!

So how do two individualized people in a couple disagree without it becoming World War III and making their marriage vulnerable to an affair? Here are our rules:

  1. Let the fight to be in private–Don’t fight in front of kids, neighbors or boss. Fighting in front of the kids can emotionally harm them, and fighting in front of neighbors or boss does nothing but degrade and embarrass. Use self-control to contain yourself and speak privately.
  2. Let the fight be respectful–Don’t let the fight degenerate into a personal attack. Stay focused on the issue.
  3. Let the fight be pertinent–Don’t bring up old events or old arguments. Put boundaries around the issue you’ll be discussing.
  4. Let the fight be focused–Don’t fuss and fume about the symptoms of the problem; tackle the problem. Transparently discuss the issue that’s really bothering you.
  5. Let the intensity of the fight be appropriate to the issue–Don’t make every little disagreement an earth-shattering drama, nor threaten the stability of your commitment during each argument. Have a small discussion while the issue is small; and be firmly intense but loving for the larger issues.
  6. Let the fight be solution-oriented–Have a goal in mind, request the solution you want, and work together to find a solution that you can both agree to enthusiastically.
  7. Let there be a time limit–Don’t let an argument stretch on forever leading into days or even weeks of spite, silence, or the cold shoulder.
  8. Let your partner retreat with dignity–Give them a way to apologize or joke and save some face. End the fight with resolution, forgiveness and acceptance.



Yesterday, about mid-day, the internet at our house died for no apparent reason. I was typing along on the internet, working away, when it started to run slower and then eventually disconnected altogether. We happen to be customers of a large, national company that provides phone, internet and cable TV services–on the occasion that company does a tweek here or a service thing there, and the internet has a little hiccup, so at first we just waited for service to come back. As a few minutes stretched into half an hour we knew it was more than a “blip” so we tried resetting the router in the house. That didn’t work so we tried resetting the modem from the company…and that’s when we saw it. The modem was getting a signal but it was not sending one out. Furthermore, when we turned it off to reset it, there had been three lights and now there were only two. Something was definitely wrong! Once we realized something was actually wrong, we decided to call the company for service. After all they can often do a few things over the phone and presto! Well…the phones could dial and we could hear them but they couldn’t hear us. What in the world was going on?

Just so you know, we did finally figure out what happened–we had a huge power surge at the house. We called the company using a cell phone and managed to get through to have them do several diagnostics and walk us through a few things. Apparently the power surge took out a power supply, the company modem and affected our phones. We had to struggle through the night with no internet whatsoever, but in the morning the repairman came to the house to replace the company modem, we installed a new power supply and everything seems just fine. I was tickled to be able to be online today!

Being without the internet, we had to resort to connecting the old-school way: talking. We spent the night talking about ideas, writing articles, discussing concepts, reading the Bible and contemplating what it meant, reading a story that we’re reading together, and even watching a movie with our son. But being without the internet taught me an important lesson. How often do we as lovers and parents sit at our computers at night and play a game or goof around on Facebook, and let hours pass by when we are not really connecting with our spouses or children? Last night we had ALL KINDS of time to be with each other, discuss ourselves and our feelings and our days, spend time with our children and read the Bible. Other nights it seems like we have so little time–yet it’s the same 24 hours that we always have every day. What was the difference? No internet.

So I learned that like quicksand, the internet can suck a person in–even if they are sucked into working on a good cause! Slowly more and more time and attention is spent online: writing, talking, replying, even playing. Is the internet evil? No. But it’s just another way that a couple can be distracted from their obligation to connect to their spouse, to be present for them, or to demonstrate loving actions. Yes the internet can be a tool to connect also but just a word for the wise–is the internet preventing you from spending time with your spouse? Could your marriage be weakened or vulnerable due to the internet? Build a strong, affair-free marriage by not allowing a communication tool to capture your time, energy and thoughts…and offer those instead to the one you love.

Marriage Week 2009

What we did for Marriage Week:

Today I have a very special gift for you all. Today the link for LOVEveryday: Thoughts on Loving Amidst the Chaos of Life is live! This book is the result of working collaboratively with some of the most wonderful people, all passionate about the sacredness of marriage. These people come with expertise in many different areas of life, and together we agree that a great marriage is so worth it…but it’s not easy! Inspired by Seth Grodin’s What Matters Now we wondered if we could do something like that for marriage. How exactly does one wake up and fall in love with the same person every day?

Here’s the impressive list of authors who contributed to LOVEveryday:

  1. Dr. Michelle Gannon – Marriage Prep 101
  2. Paul Byerly – The Generous Husband
  3. Lori Byerly β€” The Generous Wife
  4. Denee King – She Just Got Married
  5. Corey Allan – The Simple Marriage
  6. Toni & Alisa DiLorenzo – One Extraordinary Marriage
  7. Stu Gray – The Marry Blogger
  8. Dustin Riechmann – Engaged Marriage
  9. Lori Lowe – Life Gems
  10. Chelle Stein – It Might Be Love
  11. Sheri Kruger – Zen Family Habits Serene Journey
  12. Mandi Ehman – Organizing Your Way
  13. Maureen Shaw – Feeling Flirty
  14. Trudy Sargent – Love Talk
  15. Isabella Mori – Change Therapy
  16. Cindy J. Taylor – Affair Care
  17. Alisa Bowman – Project Happily Ever After
  18. J. Money – Budgets Are Sexy
  19. Dan Miller – 48 Days
  20. Damien Riley –
  21. Samantha Mellen – Mama Notes
  22. Pat Flynn – Smart Passive Income Blog
  23. Kathleen Quiring – Project M
  24. Jeff Nickles – My Super-Charged Life
  25. Brad Chaffee – Enemy of Debt
  26. Nate Desmond – Practical Manliness
  27. Carrie Burgan – Make Mine Happen

What YOU can do

Here’s what you need to do
: Read LOVEveryday by clicking on this link. Then share it with EVERYONE you know by email, Twitter, Facebook, blogging, word-of-mouth and any other way you can. It’s totally free and we urge you to help us spread it around the world.

Please leave a comment below with your thoughts and share this e-book freely. I will leave a link to it in my sidebar as well, so you can send people here to Affaircare to find it if you prefer.

And if you are new here welcome! I invite you to sign-up for free updates via our RSS or newsletter and I’ll send you new posts whenever they’re posted for you to read at your convenience. You can also get connected via our page on Facebook or on Twitter.

Thank you again for your support of this project. Please do your best to LOVEveryday!

It’s Here! It’s Here! LOVEveryday!


This week is Marriage Week, and to kick off a week that focuses on having a marriage that is affair-free, I want to put the spotlight on a new resource that is arriving tomorrow–just in time for Valentine’s Day! The resource is the new ebook “Love Everyday”— a collaborative effort between 27 authors and bloggers who are passionate about marriage. Each brings an expertise and wisdom, and each has a tip on how to love your spouse every day to build a marriage that is amazing and affair-free.

When Stu Gray (The Marry Blogger) asked me to work with this noteworthy group of marriage experts, I was thrilled to even be considered. The team of writers make up an eclectic group including myself, trained psychologists and even budget specialists. Some are fairly well known–Dustin from “Engaged Marriage,” Dr. Michelle from “Dr. Michelle Gannon” who’s been quoted in magazines and tv, and even Dan Miller of “48 Days to the Work You Love.” A wide variety of topics were assigned that address how to show love to your spouse all through the day…from the time the alarm clock goes off to the time your heads hit the pillows at night. And it’s not just “Ten Nice Things….” or romance tips! The topics are specific, practical, and down to earth. How does a tired mom and dad find time for the children and time for themselves?
“Love Everyday” was written for the couple that want it all–not five or six years of passion that gradually dies, but a lifelong partnership of intimate love. “Love Everyday” will help you to focus on the Love Kindlers that stoked the flames of love when you met, and discover new ways to kindle an even hotter fire.

Tomorrow, “Love Everyday” will be available for download–just in time for Valentine’s Day–for free. This post will be updated with a download link on the picture at the top of this article, and another link will be available to the right on the Affaircare sidebar. What a way to start off Marriage Week–but downloading a book to show love to your spouse all day long! I am so excited about this project and cannot wait to share the book with you. I consider myself blessed to be a part of this project!

The first week of February is significant

The first week of February is a very significant week for me personally. It was during this week, long ago, that my ex (husband at the time) left me for his other woman and moved to another state, and for a few weeks no one knew where he was. It was during this week that my own Dear Hubby’s ex (wife at the time) left him and moved out so she could “be happy.” It was during this week, years after my divorce, that I sent my Dear Hubby the first post and asked him what his username meant (he has a very unique username that he uses on forums and being a person who loves the meaning of names I had been puzzling over his for a while). And it was during this week, one year ago to be precise, that a man I look up to very much, my Dear Hubby’s uncle, passed from life on this earth to life with God.

When my ex left, there was NO WAY that I could imagine that it would work out for good for me or the children. I mean, I know the verse that God works all things for good for those who are the called, according to His purpose… but how could a husband and father leaving his family and business and home and even STATE be used for GOOD? No way that I could envision! Those days were mostly dark for me, especially since he went to another state and no one really knew where he was–even his mom called and asked me if I’d heard from him. In those dark days I know for a fact I did grieve, but I also did two things that did work good out of this awful situation. First, I went to personal counseling and two support groups. I felt a little like a support-group-aholic (Is SA for Self-help-aholics Anonymous? Hi I’m Cindy and I’m addicted to therapy!) but it was so helpful to be with other women who were in my shoes…maybe a step or two ahead of me…and I could see that they were making it so I knew I would make it too. Second, I went to a forum that specialized in surviving affairs, and the site really helped me with direct steps I could take. People hung in there with me when I didn’t listen…and didn’t say “told you so” but gave advice what to do now. From that site I learned that there WERE people who helped others save their marriage and survive an affair. Even though it didn’t work for me, I knew that it could work! The good that God worked in me was that I knew this was what I wanted to do for a living and I began to study to become a marriage coach.

When my Dear Hubby’s ex left him, he was not like me. Yes, he was upset and hurt, but he had been trying to save their marriage since before he knew about the affair, and when he found proof he had some professional and peer advice to help along the way with how to deal with it. His ex was determined and refused to stop the affair or admit she was wrong, so she told him she was planning to move out (thinking she’d “have it all” with her other man), and she moved out in the first week of February. Seriously it would be untrue to say that it wasn’t painful, but he knew it was coming and watched his wife choose to leave the marriage. The difference was that he had a little time to prepare, and he had the house and the kids as protected as possible. In his mind, he was going to spend the rest of his life as a single father, raising his children and not looking for love in his life. The phoenix that rose from the ashes of this destruction was that he had the tools to know how to be a GREAT husband…just no one to use those tools on!

Another fateful event in the first week of February. Years had gone by for me, and I had finished my training to be a marriage coach. I was still on the forum that had helped me so much, but this time I was the one doing the helping and it was wonderful. The kids and I were doing alright, and I was honestly enjoying single life except for one thing. I had enjoyed sharing my life with someone and really hoped that someday I could do it again–I just figured that it was unlikely since I was getting older, I didn’t have a perfect body, and I had children. At the same time, Dear Hubby was on the same forum that I was and I knew of his existence but to be honest, I didn’t even speak to men on the site (just to avoid even possibility of tempting someone). He spoke with men who came to the forum and had issues or questions, and I spoke with ladies. Yet a couple of his posts caught my eye and were really well-written and I admired his thoughts. Then I began to notice that he was a night owl like me, but still I didn’t say anything to him directly. We were both writing on a thread about being late night owls (people talking about insomnia or just being late nighters) and finally one night, we were on at the same time. That night–the first week of February–I asked him what his name meant. Well, he told me and literally the rest is history! He may not have known it at the time, but he swept me off my feet with his wit and intelligence–he was (and still is) AMAZING!

Finally, one year ago this week, a man whom admire very much and whom I think of very highly passed from this life to the next. My Dear Hubby’s uncle was one of the most excellent people I’ve ever met, and I’ve met a LOT of people! He worked hard his whole life to provide for his wife and children, and he was a loving father and grandfather. He literally delighted in his granddaughters–they were the joy of his life and the light of his days. He was a quiet man, in that he didn’t say a lot out loud, but he spoke VOLUMES with his actions and with the few words he did speak. At family gatherings he would often sit back and let others yak away while he sat quietly, listening. Just when you thought he wasn’t paying attention anymore, he would very softly make the most hilarious, witty comment … or the wisest statement. While the women in the family would jibber away when something happened, he would take it in, think about it, and then when he spoke it was so obvious and wise it made me wonder, “Why didn’t we see that?” But over and above all this, my Dear Hubby’s uncle was a devoted husband to his wife. They met when they were young and that I know he never wavered from her once. Now I know that all marriages have their difficulties and are imperfect, so don’t get me wrong, but he LOVED her every minute that he breathed. He made the choice to devote himself to her and only her, and by his life he demonstrated that a marriage can have ups and downs, difficulities and joys, but when the spouses work on loving each other, they can for a lifetime.

Yes, the first week of February is a very significant week. Thank you, God, for the things that took place this week.