Monthly Archives: December 2010

Is Our Marriage Perfect?

When a person, or in our instance a couple, works with others to build better, stronger marriages or recover after an affair, at some point someone says, “Oh yeah!?  Well is YOUR marriage perfect?”  I hope you don’t mind but I’d like to address that question because I think it’s very pertinent.  I would like to state right here and now that Dear Hubby and I do not have a perfect marriage.  We are just like everyone else: we sin, we occasionally disagree, and now and then we even fight.  In our pasts, neither one of us was perfect–in fact far from it!  We didn’t grow up in perfect middle-income America with manicured lawns in suburbia.  We both had families that went to church and learned some from that as children, but neither family was perfect either.  And when we grew up, both of us chose to do what we knew was wrong and ended up marrying people who were not a wise choice for a Christian believer.  We both chose people who were non-believers, and we both tried to stick with our marriages but paid the price for it.  We both did ungodly things like drinking, smoking, partying and general rabble-rousing.  We both made bad decisions or selfish decisions–and at times we still do to this day!

Why is this important now?  Well some people think that in order to help others or minister that it has to be someone who has been married 40 years, never disagreed, and never, ever sinned personally.  Some people think that if you try to help others that you’re saying “Hello!  I have all the answers!”  but I personally disagree with that.  I believe that every single one of us is a sinner–even those folks who grew up in manicured suburbia who had perfect families who went to church and they grew up and married a believer and had 2.5 perfect kids.  I believe that every one of us falls short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23) and yet we are called on to use our gifts to edify each other–even while we are imperfect!  (I Cor. 12)

So no, we don’t have a perfect marriage.  We sometimes get lax with each other too, or avoid a topic that’s painful.  We think of ourselves and not of each other.  We feel like we do all the work and our spouse just rides on our coat-tails (and the funniest part…we both feel that way at the same time!).  We disagree–which is fine–but sometimes we get snarky about it.  But I think the difference is that when we do make a mistake like that in our imperfect marriage, we have learned how to fix it.  We have also learned some good habits over time and learned some generally helpful things about our personalities, love languages, what builds love and what tears it down…and those are the things we want to share with you.

Happy Birthday Affaircare Blog!

One year ago, I began in earnest to write regularly on the Affaircare blog.  I began the year with a bang, writing eleven posts all about Christmas, rekindling love, Her Christmas List and much more.  And here we are, one year later, still blogging along and once again right in the middle of the Christmas season.  Isn’t this just the perfect time of year to celebrate a rebirth?

Affaircare was actually born in June of 2007–that was when I first went onto blogspot and reserved the name and picked out the blog’s design and whatnot.  At that time I was several years past my divorce, I had moved to Oregon, and Dear Hubby and I were married.  I had just ended my job as the Administrator for a large political party and was just beginning my work-at-home career, and while I was working-at-home I had a crazy idea to start a website and a blog to help people survive the trauma of infidelity.  I came up with the name “Affaircare” because we give people care after an affair!  Seriously!  Isn’t that funny?  Still when I first began working-at-home I was very focused on the job and did not yet quite envision Affaircare as a ministry, so I put it aside for a couple years as I grew my home business and did some additional training.  

I’m not sure what “possessed” me in December last year to really begin a more dedicated approach to Affaircare, but I had an inner passion for the topic and for helping couples–especially when I know what it’s like “in the trenches”!  At first you lose your mind–then everything you thought was dependable is destroyed–and it seems so hard and hopeless!  Well, I knew a way through…and a way that often leads to reconciliation and if not, a way that leads to recovery for the individual.  A way that leads to a stronger, happier, more intimate marriage.  See?  I had to share that!  

So one year ago we began to post regularly, and as I posted Dear Hubby joined in more and more…we had guest posts…and here we are today!  

Want to help us celebrate?  We’re going to review some of our FAVORITE posts from throughout the past year, and share some of our hopes and goals for the future.  How about you?  What were some of your Favorites?  Where would you like to see on the Affaircare blog?  Do you have a question you’d like us to write about?  Want to just say “Happy Birthday”?  Here’s the place!

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Prince of Peace

Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)

“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

It’s the second week of Advent, which is the week of Peace, so I wanted to take a moment to write about peace.

So often we have this vision of peace that is laid-back, pacifist, compromising, and non-confrontational.  We envision a doormat who’s peacefulness is taken advantage of and who is a “Casper Milquetoast” kind of guy.  Or sometimes we might think of someone who’s a hippie and into “Peace and love,man!  Love everybody!”
In the Old Testament the word used for peace is “shalom”and according to Strong’s Lexicon that word was translated: “peace, well, peaceably, welfare, salute, prosperity, did, safe, health, peaceable” and “pay, peace, recompense, reward, render, restore, repay, perform, good, end, requite, restitution, finished, again, amends, full.”  In New Testament Greek the word for “peace” is “eirene”  which means “have peace, be at peace, one, rest, quietness.”

The concept of “peace” is actually tied to the fourth commandment: “Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.”  Is that really a commandment to go to church on Sundays or telling Jews to go to shul on Saturdays?  Not really–although I’m pretty sure our pastors or rabbis might want it to be!   The concept of that commandment is to never, ever forget the “Sabbath rest” we are able to enjoy due to God’s work.  When God created the universe, He was not “tired”–He rested as symbol of the Sabbath rest to come–the saving work of His Son–and *THAT* is what He wanted us to remember.  God’s work was that while we were sinners, and undeserving of ANY peace or rest–Christ died for us. While we were in a pit of doing what we knew was wrong and not doing what we knew was right, and digging ourselves deeper every day, God became flesh (that’s what this Advent anticipation and Christmas is all about) and lived among us.  He lived the perfect life and did not deserve death–we were NOT perfect and were dead already!  But Christ took our punishment, bore our blame, and died on our behalf.   He lifted us up out of the hole and now we are at rest! The fourth commandment is to “Remember the Sabbath rest to keep it holy” — and when we believe Christ died and rose again for us–then WE are at peace. The kind of peace Isaiah was talking about when he wrote those prophetic words.

Do you have troubles in your marriage? Are you facing infidelity? First come to the peace of Sabbath rest–believe Christ died and rose again for you, in your place.  Once you are at peace with God, He’s already lifted you out of the pit you were digging, so you are at peace with HIM! Then you can give God your marriage, dwell in peace with your spouse, (aka harmony, calmness, contentment, and tranquility) and let God change you.

There was a flood…a fire…IT’S NOT MY FAULT!

The news in the infidelity field today is all abuzz over two topics.  One topic is the ongoing debate over whether or not Facebook causes infidelity.  The latest volley is embodied in the article in the New York Magazine “Divorce Lawyers Can Thank Mark Zuckerberg for His ‘Portal to Infidelity’ ” in which the author quotes Rev. Cedric Miller, the pastor from NJ who told his church leaders to delete Facebook or resign who gave Facebook the ‘Portal’ name.  The other topic is the newly released study that infidelity is caused by genetics.  An example of that topic is the article on MSNBC “Honey, it’s not my fault! It’s the one-night stand gene” which reveals the findings of a study released this week on PloS ONE .  So while unfaithfulness is rampant and marriages crumble, destroying families and impacting lives–the best our churches and scientists can come up with is: “It’s NOT your fault!”  

Our generation desperately needs to be taught the concept of PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.  When we are children, we decide to do what we know is wrong and to some degree our parents share the responsibility with us for teaching us morals and values.  It is partially their job to stop us from doing something harmful and teach us to do the right thing even if it is difficult.  But once we reach the age of accountability–probably somewhere near puberty–personal responsibility transfers from the parent until it is more and more fully on the child.  As an adult they become fully personally responsible–namely they are responsible for the choices they make.   When they choose to act one way or the other, as adults they experience the consequences of their choice, whether they are good or bad.

But somewhere along the line, rather than facing our bad choices, admitting them, and learning from them, our society decided to find disorders, addictions, genetics–ANYTHING–on which we could blame our bad choices!  “Oh he can’t control his anger–he has a defiance disorder” “Oh she’s a drug addict so don’t take what she says personally” “You can’t expect me to be faithful to my spouse for a lifetime–it’s in our genes to commit adultery!”  It might be somewhat understandable for a young adult to attempt to shirk the accountability if their maturity level is not that high, but when our scientists assist in the blame shifting, it’s a sad commentary!  But the deepest sorrow is to see our churches–those who are supposed to be teaching the NEXT generation to follow God and live a godly life–joining in!

It is not Facebook that “makes you cheat.”  It is not a portal to infidelity.  Facebook is like any other tool that God has created or man has discovered: it can be used for good or it can but used for evil.  Don’t blame a pencil when you misspell a word–and don’t blame Facebook when you use it for sexual impurity. In both instances, it’s the operator, and in both instances the way to fix the problem is not to ban pencils or delete Facebook; the key is genuine repentance for sinning against God and then genuine change!  Likewise for the genetics.  Even worldly moral codes call on us to “do better” and rise above our human temptations, and this is a perfect example if we are genetically made to be tempted to stray, then this is precisely why marriage should not be entered into lightly!  Because you are promising another human being that you will FORSAKE ALL OTHERS!  That you will be faithful to them in all the circumstances of life, and here’s a newflash: life can get pretty tough!  We are supposed to rise above our “animal-instinct” and behave as though we control our urges–not our urges controlling us.   But as Christian Believers, we have an even larger calling–we are called to live a life that honors God!  He has told us it will not be easy.  He has told us everyone will be tempted and that He will give us a way out of it.  He already TOLD us that…and He has also already said that He expects us to be examples to the world and to live in a sexually pure way!  Our pastors need to return to guiding their parishioners to repenting for their sins!

So just stop it.  It’s not Facebook’s fault.  It’s not your genetics.  You broke your promise and made the choice to be unfaithful and sexually impure, so take personal responsibility and experience the consequences.

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