Category Archives: Fidelity

Biblical Precepts on Adultery: The New Testament [Podcast]

bible-and-rings

My spouse is cheating, and I’m a Christian, but I’m so upset I don’t know what God wants me to do! I’m the spouse who cheated and I am a Christian, but I ended the affair and confessed to God–do I have to tell my spouse?

In this week’s episode, we continue our new our series “Biblical Precepts on Adultery” as we begin a summer study of what the Bible has to say about infidelity and how God would have us act. Today we discuss three topics we can glean from the NEW Testament about adultery: 1) God is concerned not only with the outer man, but also with our hearts and minds…our INNER man , 2) The one moral exception clause for divorce: infidelity, and 3) Those who commit adultery do not inherit the kingdom of God and will be judged by God.

 

Every “adultery” verse in the New Testament:

Matthew 5:27 NIRV

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.'(Exodus 20:14)

Matthew 5:28 NIRV

28 But here is what I tell you. Do not even look at a woman in the wrong way. Anyone who does has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Matthew 5:32 NIRV

32 But here is what I tell you. Anyone who divorces his wife causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who gets married to the divorced woman commits adultery. A man may divorce his wife only if she has not been faithful to him.

Matthew 15:19 NIRV

19 Evil thoughts come out of the heart. So do murder, adultery, and other sexual sins. And so do stealing, false witness, and telling lies about others.

Matthew 19:9 NIRV

9 Here is what I tell you. Anyone who divorces his wife and gets married to another woman commits adultery. A man may divorce his wife only if she has not been faithful to him.”

Matthew 19:18 NIRV

18 “Which ones?” the man asked. Jesus said, ” ‘Do not commit murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not give false witness.

Mark 7:21 NIRV

21 Evil thoughts come from the inside, from people’s hearts. So do sexual sins, stealing and murder. Adultery,

Mark 10:11 NIRV

11 He answered, “What if a man divorces his wife and gets married to another woman? He commits adultery against her.

Mark 10:12 NIRV

12 And what if she divorces her husband and gets married to another man? She commits adultery.”

Mark 10:19 NIRV

19 You know what the commandments say. ‘Do not commit murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not give false witness. Do not cheat. Honor your father and mother.’ “(Exodus 20:12-16; Deuteronomy 5:16-20)

Luke 16:18 NIRV

18 “Anyone who divorces his wife and gets married to another woman commits adultery. Also, the man who gets married to a divorced woman commits adultery.

Luke 18:11 NIRV

11 “The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself. ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people,’ he said. ‘I am not like robbers or those who do other evil things. I am not like those who commit adultery. I am not even like this tax collector.

Luke 18:20 NIRV

20 You know what the commandments say. ‘Do not commit adultery. Do not commit murder. Do not steal. Do not give false witness. Honor your father and mother.’ “(Exodus 20:12-16; Deuteronomy 5:16-20)

John 8:3 NIRV

3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman. She had been caught in adultery. They made her stand in front of the group.

Romans 2:22 NIRV

22 You say that people should not commit adultery. But you commit adultery! You hate statues of gods. But you rob temples!

Romans 7:3 NIRV

3 But suppose that married woman gets married again while her husband is still alive. Then she is called a woman who commits adultery. But suppose her husband dies. Then she is free from that law. She is not guilty of adultery even if she marries another man.

Romans 13:9 NIRV

9 Here are some commandments to think about. “Do not commit adultery.” “Do not commit murder.” “Do not steal.” “Do not want what belongs to others.”(Exodus 20:13-15,17; Deuteronomy 5:17-19,21) These and other commandments are all included in one rule. Here’s what it is. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”(Leviticus 19:18)

1 Corinthians 6:9 NIRV

9 Don’t you know that evil people will not receive God’s kingdom? Don’t be fooled. Those who commit sexual sins will not receive the kingdom. Neither will those who worship statues of gods or commit adultery. Neither will men who are prostitutes or who commit homosexual acts.

1 Timothy 1:10 NIRV

10 It is for those who commit adultery. It is for those who have a twisted view of sex. It is for people who buy and sell slaves. It is for liars. It is for those who give witness to things that aren’t true. And it is for anything else that is the opposite of true teaching.

Hebrews 13:4 NIRV

4 All of you should honor marriage. You should keep the marriage bed pure. God will judge the person who commits adultery. He will judge everyone who commits sexual sins.

James 2:11 NIRV

11 God said, “Do not commit adultery.”(Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18) He also said, “Do not commit murder.”(Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17) Suppose you don’t commit adultery but do commit murder. Then you have broken the Law.

Revelation 2:22 NIRV

22 She sinned on a bed. So I will make her suffer on a bed. And those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly. Their only way out is to turn away from what she taught them to do.

 

The “Biblical Precepts” series:

  1.  Introduction
  2.  Old Testament precepts about adultery
  3. Today: New Testament precepts about adultery
  4. Notable adultery in the Bible and what we can learn
[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/2016/NT+Precepts.mp3]

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Top 10 Acts of Service to Make Your Partner Feel Loved

Recently, David and I have discovered a great little site: Twoofus.org.

Since one of our Reconciliation Tools is The Five Love Languages (as seen on our Quizzes page), we found this little article about the love language “Acts of Service” and thought it was so good, that we’d just repost the whole thing!  The original of this article can be found here: http://www.twoofus.org/educational-content/articles/top-10-acts-of-service-to-make-your-partner-feel-loved-/index.aspx  (Warning: it loads REALLY slowly)


 

acts-of-service

In Gary Chapman’s best-selling book, The Five Love Languages, he explains that people express and receive love in different ways. Dr. Chapman identifies these the five languages of love as: quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service and physical touch.

For people who have “acts of service” as their primary love language, helpful acts are seen as very powerful expressions of love and devotion. Actions like cooking a meal, setting a table, washing dishes, vacuuming, taking out the garbage, mowing the grass, etc. are all acts of service. If done with a positive spirit and without expecting something in return, they are indeed expressions of love.

Within every language, there are many dialects. If you have a significant other with acts of service as his/her primary love language, find out the specific things he/she would like by asking. If you are the person with that specific love language, let your spouse know which actions mean the most to you.

We asked people what acts(s) of service they think are most valued by a spouse are here are some of the responses:

  1. During the cold months, put a towel in the dryer while your spouse is showering so it’s all fluffy and warm when he/she gets out.
  2. Clean the kitchen or bathroom
  3. Men: Be a gentleman and walk on the “dangerous” side of the road so she feels protected.
  4. Fix things that the other can’t fix.
  5. Buy or make him/her lunch and bring it to him/her at work, even if (especially if) it’s out of your way.
  6. Cook a special meal that you know he/she likes.
  7. Fill up your gas tank without being asked.
  8. Drop your spouse at the door when it is raining.
  9. Men: Open car doors for your wife.
  10. Go to the grocery store and buy items you know he/she loves—without being asked

Love Kindler #2 Spiritual Commitment [Podcast]

Are you trying to reconcile your marriage after an affair? Are you committed to your spouse’s spiritual well-being?


Our new program, “90 Days to Save Your Marriage and Save You” will teach you and how your spouse how to recover after infidelity, and to help introduce our new program, I’m reviewing our Basic Concepts.  This week we are talking about the Love Kindlers, and this video is all about Love Kindler #2 Spiritual Commitment, the gospel, and what it means to create an environment where your spouse can grow spiritually.

~Cindy

 

[audio: http://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/Spiritual-Commitment.mp4]

Love Kindler #1 Emotional Commitment [Podcast]

How do people fall in love? How do you get that loving feeling back for your spouse after something like infidelity?


This month we are letting you know about our new “90 Days to Save Your Marriage and Save You” program by introducing you to our most Basic Concepts. This week we are going over the Love Kindlers and today is the very first one: Love Kindler #1 Emotional Commitment. What does that mean?

~Cindy

 

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/Emotional-Commitment.mp4]

How to Cope in Crisis

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Every marriage goes through times of crisis.  The crisis could be a personal, emotional crisis for one of the family members, financial crisis, a death in the family, a devastating illness or accident, or the focus of this site–infidelity.  Here are some tips on how to keep hope alive and cope during this time:

1. Assess Your Commitment 

“(Love)…does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” ~1 Corinthians 13: 5

During a crisis, it is fairly typical for one spouse or the other to think, “I did not sign up for this.  I want to quit!”  So one of the most important steps to dealing with any crisis is to evaluate your commitment.  Re-read your marriage vows and remind yourself why you married your spouse.  Even if your spouse is behaving badly, be sure that YOU are behaving in a way that honors the verse above!  Sometimes, in the pain of the crisis, your spouse will say something hurtful, so determine not that you will not give up on your marriage no matter what your spouse may say.  Decide that whatever happens in your marriage, it’s important to you to know that you gave it your best shot and that you tried everything you knew to do.

2. Improve Communication Patterns  

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”  ~Ephesians 4:29

During a crisis, it is also fairly typical for good communication skills to go out the window and for bad habits to take over.  Spouses in pain tend to do everything from yelling and screaming, to blaming…from freaking out, to bad mouthing each other.  Now is the time to pull out the communication techniques and tools you’ve learned and discipline yourself to use them.  Use “I Statements”(not, “You always do this and never do that!”). Use tools like W-T-F-S (“When you… I Think… I Feel… So I’d like to ask….”) and M.U.U.  (Mutual United Understanding).  And for a couple of “Don’ts”… don’t take everything your spouse says personally; don’t blame each other; and don’t bad mouth your spouse to the children or other family members.

3. Change Your Thoughts   

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  ~Romans 8:28

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  ~Romans 12:2

It is typical, during a crisis, to think very negatively about the crisis and what is causing you pain; very often people let that negativity drift over into also thinking negatively about their spouse.  So now is the time to discipline your mind and think in new ways:

First, make a conscious choice to remain positive and to have the expectation that something good and helpful will come out of this experience in the long run. This is not to say that you have to be a Pollyanna and deny the crisis or that it’s painful, but rather, when your mind wanders into those hurtful, angry, negative thoughts, remind yourself that even suffering is used by God to teach us to be more like Him.  God uses all things for good, and although we may not see it now and we may want the pain to stop, HE is using this crisis for good for you.

Second, really anchor in your mind that how you react to the situation will have a major impact on how things go from here.  Keep focused on the present crisis rather than bringing up the past or bringing up “what’s going to happen” because we do not know what the future may hold.

4. Care for Your Spouse–Exercise Compassion 

 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  ~Ephesians 4: 32

Envision the current crisis–for example let’s say it is a financial crisis where neither one of you can find a job and rent is due.  The tendency might be for you to think things about your spouse that are less-than-loving and blame them for the situation you’re in.  But the real truth is that every human being makes mistakes (even you) and that every human being wants to be loved and treated kindly.  Even if you spouse really is to blame for the crisis, think about them as a fellow human and think about how much you want your marriage to survive.  Face the crisis together as a team rather than as opponents.  And if your spouse is a person who processes crisis internally, honor your spouse’s request for emotional space.

The only exception to the rule of “emotional space” is if your spouse is cheating and they ask for “space.” In that instance they are not asking for “emotional space”–that usually means they want to be free to fool around with the other person without you being in the picture.  In that case, it is reasonable to NOT disappear into the woodwork and just let them cheat!

5. Care for Yourself–Draw Strength from Community 

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ”  ~Galatians 6:2

In the same way that your spouse is a human being, remember that you are not a superhero either!  You have your limits physically, emotionally, and mentally, so it is also reasonable for you to take care of yourself. Make yourself take the time to eat every meal, to get the proper sleep, and to get up and move.  Give yourself time.  Allow yourself to be “confused.” Make a list of all the different things you can do to ground yourself and get more balanced emotionally and physically.

6. Grow in Your Faith 

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”   ~Psalm 56:3

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”  ~Romans 5:3-4

Now is the time to build your faith:

  • Study the Bible-don’t just read it, study it!  Go to church or bible study because God tells us that “faith comes by hearing and hearing from the word of God”  (Rom. 10:17).
  • Actively love others–usually I recommend volunteering during a crisis.  “What?  Are you kidding?” you might ask, but no I’m not kidding.  When you have a crisis and go to the homeless shelter to help someone less fortunate, you are quickly reminded of all you DO have and all the ways you ARE blessed.
  • Trust in God–it can be really hard to let go of the thought that you control your own destiny, but in real life GOD is the one in control, not you.  He created the entire universe and keeps it flawlessly–He can handle this crisis.
  • Pray–God is not a vending machine.  Do not expect to insert a prayer, push the button, and He will dispense what you asked for.  He is the Almighty God of Heaven and Earth!  When you enter His presence, pray as He taught us.  Honor God’s holiness–praise Him.  Ask for strength to do HIS WILL.  Make your requests known to God.  Intercede for others.  Thank Him for everything (I Thes. 5:18)

 

What REAL Love Looks Like (and it’s not what you think!)

What your spouse does for you

Lately I’ve been reading other people’s blogs and they’ve inspired me to write my own.  This time, I was reading Lisa Baker’s blog “When you think your love story is boring” and it got to me.  All too often, we look at the movies or TV and we think that’s what “real life” is supposed to be like!  Star-crossed lovers lock eyes across a crowded room, and candles are magically lit and romantic music pours from their souls.  They overcome incredible obstacles so they can chase each other across an airport (or across a field of beautiful flowers) , fall together in a flurry of passionate kisses and to be together forever, living happily ever after and eternally “in-love.”

Did you know that is not what Real Love looks like at all?  I adore my Dear Hubby and I know for a fact he adores me, and yet he has never once chased me across an airport.  Apparently neither has Lisa Baker’s husband.  So what, EXACTLY, does everyday, Real Love look like??

1. Emotional Commitment in REAL Love

  • Your spouse loses his/her job and feels bad, and you tell them out loud all the ways they are still helping at home and making you feel good and trying really hard to contribute.  You VALUE them.
  • Your spouse is a football-crazy fan, and you don’t nag them to stop being who they are.  You put on your jersey, cut up the beefstick and cheese, and watch with them!
  • Your spouse says they would rather pay bill A than bill B, and you disagree, but your spouse has great intuition and is VERY good with the money and paying the bills.  You RESPECT their recommendation and go with bill A.
  • Your spouse comes home from work, the two of you grab some dinner, and afterward sit down to watch your favorite shows.  You hug them and kiss them for no reason other than that you love them.  You sit together and  hold hands while you watch the show.  Now and then you touch him/her on the arm or put your hand on their leg.
  • Your spouse does not speak the same Love Language as you do, so you take the time to find out if they need to hear admiring words, if they need little acts of kindness, if they need thoughtful little gifts, if they need time where you focus on them, or if they need touch.  And then you give them LOVE in their way….not yours.

2. Spiritual Commitment in REAL Love

  • Our spouses make mistakes–and I’m talking about the smaller, day-to-day mistakes here.  This means, when your spouse does the wrong thing (note, not “if” but WHEN because they are human and they will make a mistake) you don’t hold it over their head forever–you offer them forgiveness and understanding as a fellow, fallible human.
  • Respecting your spouse’s beliefs and
  • Disciplining yourself to live a life that is transparent to your spouse and moral.  Transparent means that you let your spouse see who you really are and include them in every part of your life–you don’t hide anything from them. This means they get to see you at your worst, warts and all.  Also when you are a little but hurt or upset by something your spouse said or did, you let them know you weren’t okay with that and you’d request X, Y or Z…you don’t hold onto it and let them all build up until you explode.  Living a moral life means obeying God! This means you’ll “WANT” to do something, and you do not allow yourself to act or think in a way that would displease God.  When you live like He wants us to live, it means that you know your own self and your own weak points, and you build a wall of protection around yourself and your spouse so that your weaknesses do not hurt or harm yourself, your spouse or your marriage.  

3. Physical Commitment in REAL Love

  • Touch regularly and in a way you both enjoy, like leaning against each other, touching his/her arm, massages…anything!
  • Kiss regularly and in a way you both enjoy, not just that peck goodbye kiss but a thousand different kinds of kisses.  In every day love, you might kiss goodbye, rush out the door and be off … but when you get home it’s drop the briefcase and stand there and kiss her.
  • Hug regularly.  Period.  And often!
  • Express physical tenderness, like cuddling or scratching his back or rubbing her feet.  Don’t be afraid of your spouse’s body and don’t be afraid to let them enjoy yours.
  • Have a sex life that is fulfilling for both of you.  Don’t turn sex into a power struggle–it’s too important.  It’s the way men connect and the way women feel desired, so don’t mess with it and try to be in charge of when or how often.  Be receptive to your spouse and MAKE THE TIME even if you have a job and kids!  Connect sexually and express yourself sexually.
  • Both of you maintain personal hygiene and continue to dress in a way that is flattering, so that both of you stay attracted to one another.  Don’t shower once a month or wear sweats all day because you have to chase kids–make the effort to LOOK and SMELL good to your spouse.

4. Financial Commitment  in REAL Love

  • Before you have children, talk to your spouse about finances, evaluate where you both stand (what assets do you have and what debts do you have), and don’t hide money trouble.
  • Decide ahead of time what kind of lifestyle you BOTH want.  One of you is likely to be a “saver” and the other is likely to be a “spender” but decide if you are okay living “happy but poor,” if you want a more “middle class” approach like a job with some benefits and vacation, or if your lifestyle as a couple is “the rich and famous.”
  • Contribute to the family income, whether you are the main provider and a SAH who does a little home business, or you both work.  EVERYONE who is an adult contributes!
  • Both of you live by the budget.  If you discuss money and agree to not go to that sale at Macy’s …. don’t go!  If you agree you can’t afford that cook tech gadget right now, don’t go get it!  Honor your agreement and live by the budget so you don’t get your family in financial hot water.

5. Family Commitment  in REAL Love

  • In real life, family commitment means spending adult time alone with your spouse.  The best foundation you can give your family is a firm marriage, so don’t neglect it!
  • Everyday love shares household chores.  I guarantee both of you will think you are doing “more” and both of you will be tired, but REAL love does the chores together and sometimes, just to be nice, will do one of your spouse’s chores just to give them a break.
  • Children are not polite and well-raised by magic–unlike in the movies.  Child rearing takes time and consistency, and in real life…in REAL love…children need both a mom and a dad in their life, preferably married to each other and in the same home!  REAL love is helping get the kids dressed, helping them with homework, knowing them and their friends, playing with them, watching their “kid shows” or their game with them, talking about things, laying under the stars and learning astronomy together, teaching them to be polite by being polite yourself, and taking the time to RAISE them.  Real love is being present to raise the children you created and honoring your spouse in front of the children.

6. Social Commitment  in REAL Love

  • Oh this one is so fun!  In REAL love you include your spouse in everything: you let them into your life.  So they know and have met the people at work, at church, your friends…everyone.  And they are INCLUDED with all those people.  If they are not welcomed and wanted in a group, then you leave!  That’s  how it is in real life.
  • What if you’re an introvert and your spouse is an extrovert.  It would be hard for you to “go out” all the time and hard for them to “sit home” all the time.  Well…you LOVE your spouse so Real Love would have the two of you sit down and figure out how to make sure both of you have your needs met.  Maybe they go out but to a quieter place (like a bookstore or coffeeshop).  Maybe they go to a restaurant once a week and church.  Whatever, in Real Love you care enough about your spouse to want their need for social interaction to be met.
  • You do fun things together.  That is to say, not only do you love each other and have a family together, if you weren’t married, you two would LIKE each other because you have similar interests and enjoy similar stuff.  Do you both read?  Like hot rods?  Go to dog shows?  Play tennis?  What is your “fun” as a couple?  That’s REAL love
  • When you have nothing to do and no one to do it with, REAL lovers talk to each other about topics they both find interesting.  Usually, in Real Love, the couple has many things in common so they could sit and talk about politics, religion, a game they both play, a show they both watch, what’s on Facebook, something they read or heard… and they make the effort to learn about their spouse’s interests.  If he loves cars and she knows nothing about them, maybe she’ll do some research online about what a cam shaft is, and then talk to him about it.  Yes believe it or not, that is REAL LOVE.

7. Security Commitment  in REAL Love

  • There is a thing that is pretty hard to define but that I think almost everyone understands: “Being There” for your spouse in times of crisis.  What movies show us though is so fake.  One spouse doesn’t always break down crying while the other spouse comforts them.  Some people respond in a crisis by grieving sure, but in REAL Love you know your spouse and how they deal with crisis.  Some people go quiet and deal with it internally, and once they have a grip they can come out and be with you.  Some people deal with it externally and want someone to hug them.  Some people need to talk it out.  Some need quiet.  So REAL Love is not only knowing your spouse’s way of dealing with a crisis–it’s letting them deal with it their way and accepting that is part of who they are.
  • REAL, Everyday Love is giving 100% of your loyalty and affection to your spouse and only your spouse.  If you are giving a little affection to the lady at the office or the guy at the gym, you need to be honest with yourself and stop it.  REAL Love is knowing where your own weaknesses are and protecting your spouse (and your marriage) from being hurt.  Real Love is turning down the lady at the office or the guy at the gym, and instead, spending that time and energy loving your spouse.
  • Being “a soft place” for your spouse to fall–a safe haven.  When your spouse comes home, do they think “THANK GOD, I’m finally somewhere safe!” or do they feel like they left the stress of “out there” only to come home to more stress and blame and fighting?  REAL Love is being the one place your spouse feels like they are always safe to be who they are and they will be LOVED…consistently.  Home is the one place it’s okay to be as weird, and funny, and odd as they are and yet someone still finds them interesting, attractive, and valuable.

The love we see in the movies isn’t much like REAL Love, is it?  Are you still looking for “movie love”?  Do you feel like your love story is boring?  Want to talk to your spouse about REAL Love?  Go to our Assessments page, and fill out the Love Kindlers Questionnaire.  Fill out one for you and let your spouse fill out one for themselves, and then share the answers.

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Respect Dare Day 3: My Godly-Wife Report Card

report card

It’s Day Three of the Respect Dare here at Affaircare, and we are joining with Jennifer at Unbroken Woman as she leads us through Nina Roesner’s The Respect Dare: 40 Days to a Deeper Connection with God and Your Husband.”  Jennifer is over half way through her Respect Dare, but here at Affaircare we are looking at this Dare with just a little twist: how do our childhood scars relate to infidelity? What can we learn to keep our marriages affair-free OR bring them back from the brink of unfaithfulness? Or if that has been an affair, can learning about our pasts free a couple to help  them rebuild?

To join us on our Affaircare Respect Dare journey, please get Nina’s book (or e-book) and all the info by CLICKING HERE.

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On Day 3 for the Respect Dare, Nina Roesner asks us to assess ourselves by asking some poignant questions to identify areas where we might grow.  The assessment focuses on areas that the Bible has identified as virtues of a godly wife, and so she asks us to give ourselves a “report card” in the areas of : Discipleship, Household Manager, Communicator, and Confident and Assured Woman.

Yesterday, I wrote about the concept that often, when a marriage has been damaged by an affair, that one very typical response is for both spouses to say “HE DID THIS!” or “SHE DID THAT!” each one point the blame at the other.  Another very typical response is to want to know WHY a spouse would be unfaithful, and in striving to explain it, the Loyal Spouse might say “Well s/he had an abusive childhood and they were scarred forever by their parent’s divorce….” or the Disloyal Spouse might say “I couldn’t help myself!  I was sexually abused by a neighbor when I was a child so I had an affair now.”

In reality, in order to recover after an affair, both spouses need to stop looking at ‘the other guy’ and start looking at the person in the mirror.  And this assessment helps us to do exactly that.  Where do *I* need to grow?

Discipleship — I have been really struggling in this area lately.  My Dear Hubby is ill, and I have been focusing my thoughts and time and worries on caring for him, but it has thrown me off and I haven’t been having regular bible time, study, prayer or even church attendance.  My Dear Hubby can not go to church very often, but the dwindling fellowship with other Believers and dwindling fellowship time with God has left me feeling sucked dry.  I need to “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things will be added unto (me).”       Grade: D

Household Management — I am sort of struggling with this as well, because I am not an utter neat freak, but Dear Hubby’s illness has been long and chronic.  We had our arrangement that I was the one who “earned the family money” and he was the one who “cared for the house” to give him the flexibility to rest when needed, but as he got more and more ill, I had to pick up the slack and do most of the household chores.  Now don’t get me wrong: I *LOVE* to clean the house, make it pretty, make it smell fresh, clean the laundry, hang it out on the line, and make our house a haven.  I love everything but doing dishes, really, and on dishes well it’s a chore I need to do and so I do.  But many of the chores have fallen by the wayside (like our flowerbeds and backyard this year are untended), and many … well I feel like if the ladies from the church came over, they would judge me for not being a very good housekeeper!  Now, I have partially put aside some cleaning purposefully–choosing instead to go on picnics with Dear Hubby and go to every one of his doctor appointments.  For those, I realize it’s a choice I’ve made consciously and I’m at peace that it’s not going to be perfect.  But I wish I did better at this one.  I have the skills to do better and the knowledge to run a house like a tight ship!  But I just don’t have 26 hours a day!  *sigh*      Grade: C+

Communicator — You know, some of this is kind of hard to grade your own self on, but for this area I believe I do pretty well.  I do not tend to be disrespectful in my speech nor demanding.  I can admit I’m wrong; I’m not easily angered or defensive; and I fight fairly.   I’m not sarcastic or easily provoked, I don’t all names or scream.  And when I do need to say something (like if something is not okay with me) I do speak up and say something, sometimes even if I’m a little afraid it will cause a disagreement or hurt him to hear the truth.  Hey…the truth can be painful sometimes!  Also we have been through a LOT of major changes as a couple, and we got through them by communicating with each other and adjusting. If anything I think I like to “chit chat” talk and Dear Hubby likes quietness more, so I could learn to just enjoy his presence and not talk so much.   I do have one funny thing: Dear Hubby says I’m a good listener…when I hear it.  LOL!       Grade: B+

Confident and Assured Woman — Dear Hubby joke: “You are actually fairly confident, unless you’re not sure of what you’re doing in which case you lose confidence.  And you’re pretty sure of yourself unless you’re not sure what you’re doing in which case…” LOL.  Gotta love a man with that kind of sense of humor!   Do I handle life’s challenges and problems gracefully?  Well I do in a way.  I’m not great with change.  It throws me for a loop!  But what I do is stop–stop what I’m doing, stop the running in circles in my head–wait until I’ve had a chance to settle.  It also took me FOR-EV-ER to get here, but I’m also fairly confident with my body and assured that it’s something my Dear Hubby enjoys and loves to see.  And I’m confident in “who I am”–a dearly beloved daughter of the Most High God.      Grade: B+

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I have copied this quiz from PeacefulWife’s Day 3 post, because it was just so good, I wanted to share it with you.  If you agree that it is awesome, please go to her blog and let her know!

Please get out a piece of paper and mark a tally for any of these items on Part 1 that apply in your heart about your marriage on a daily or weekly basis:

PART 1

  1.  I think about divorce sometimes, or fantasize about leaving my husband.  I think marrying this man was a mistake.
  2.  I imagine being with a better man, thinking that my problems would be solved if I just had a great husband.
  3. I drown my disappointment and pain in alcohol/drugs/workaholism/perfectionism/control/spending money/addictions.
  4. I set my heart on things that I just KNOW will make me happy.  If I could just have X, I would be content and everything would be great.
  5. I have a lot of anger, resentment, unforgiveness and bitterness towards my husband and maybe towards other people, too.  I hold grudges.
  6. I want to forgive sometimes, but it just seems impossible to really forgive.  I have been hurt too much.
  7. I talk about my husband in a negative way to other people.  I feel like I am trapped and powerless to do anything to change my situation – and I just have to get the weight of all of this off of my chest by venting to my friends, family and coworkers.  Then they’ll see how wrong my husband is and they will understand why I have to act the way I do.
  8. I encourage other wives to talk negatively about their husbands.
  9. I am primarily concerned with my rights, my desires, my wants and getting my way.  If I don’t get what I want, I am going to explain why I should get what I want until my husband until he gives me what I want.  I am pretty insistent on doing things my way.
  10. If I am provoked, I will scream, cuss, throw things, call names or say hateful things to my husband and maybe even to other people in my life.  If people would just treat me right, I would be able to be more respectful.
  11. I compare my husband to other men a lot, and I compare my life to the lives of others and feel like I have gotten a rotten deal in life.  I deserve so much more than this.
  12. I look at porn or flirt with other men or message/email/text/call/visit with other men.  I like the attention other men give me.  My husband never compliments me anymore.  I need some male attention.  Flirting never hurt anyone.  I know I would never have an affair, so it’s no big deal.
  13. I like to dress to turn other men’s heads.
  14. I like to use sarcasm and am pretty skilled at making my husband the target of my jokes and criticism.
  15. I often point out the things my husband does wrong to others.
  16. I complain when I don’t like something.
  17. I have a lot of regrets about how I treat people.
  18. I want things to be perfect, and tend to focus on things that aren’t right in others and in our home so I can fix them and make things as perfect as possible.
  19. I tell God that my husband needs to change and needs to change NOW.  He is impossible to live with.  He’s unloving and unplugged or, he’s unloving and mean.
  20. My husband is not a good spiritual leader.  I tell him all the things he needs to do to be more godly, but he won’t listen to me.  Nothing seems to change.
  21. If I want something, I am going to do whatever it takes to have it.
  22. I withhold myself sexually from my husband to teach him a lesson many times, to show him he can’t treat me the way he does.
  23. I only give myself sexually to my husband when I am in the mood or if I want something from him.
  24. I believe that I am always right and my husband is always wrong.  If he would just do what I say, everything would be fine!
  25. When I am hormonal, I feel totally out of control and I think, say and do the most awful things.
  26. If my husband doesn’t like my best friend, I continue to visit and talk with her as much as I want to.  After all, she and I have been BFFs longer than my husband and I have been married.
  27. I expect my husband to make me happy and be responsible for my emotions.  If I am upset, it is his job to fix it.
  28. My mind is always swirling with worry and fear about the future and how I am going to make things work out right.
  29. I only have peace for a few moments, and then my mind uncontrollably keeps playing the same “videos” over and over again of things people have done to hurt me or things that I am worried and afraid about.  I feel very anxious a lot of times.
  30. I expect to be treated like the heroine in a romantic movie or like a Disney princess by my husband.  I wish he would be as romantic as the men in romance novels and movies.
  31. If I don’t make things work out right, everything will be a disaster.
  32. I am very concerned about what my parents and my husband’s parents, our siblings and friends think.  I try to make everyone around me happy. It is exhausting!  I hate for other people to be upset with me.
  33. If I don’t tell my husband what to do and how to do it, everything will fall apart!

Please start a new section or column and make a tally mark beside all of these items in Part 2 that generally apply on a frequent (weekly or daily) basis in your life:

PART 2

  1. I am able to respond gently with love and respect even when my husband is unloving or unkind to me.
  2. I have joy and peace in Christ no matter what my husband does or does not do.
  3. It is really important to me to spend significant amounts of time in prayer and in God’s Word every day.  I can’t make it without that time!
  4. I have my heart completely set on Jesus – I want HIM, His will and His glory more than anything else in my life by a long shot.
  5. I rarely lose my temper with my husband.
  6. I understand how to treat my husband with respect and seek to show him unconditional respect out of reverence for God and His Word.
  7. I set an atmosphere of peace in our home.  Our home is emotionally and spiritually an oasis and sanctuary for my husband and family.
  8. I do not raise my voice at my husband or roll my eyes or sigh when I disagree with him.  I know I am responsible to God for my response to my husband no matter what my husband has done to me.
  9. I appreciate my husband and am thankful for him on a daily basis.
  10. I practice gratitude towards God daily for the countless number of blessings He has given me.
  11. If my husband has concerns, I listen to him carefully and try to cooperate with his wisdom.
  12. I view suffering as an opportunity to grow in my faith and to draw nearer to Christ and shine for Him.
  13. When my husband is having a bad day, I try to think of something I can do to cheer him up, surprise him or take some stress off of his shoulders.  Or, I know when I need to leave him alone and give him the gift of space and quiet so he can think and process.  I am gracious about this gift.  I don’t resent him needing some time to himself.
  14. I like serving my husband.  It’s an honor.  I’m glad to do it.
  15. My goal is to please Christ, and after that, to please my husband – the opinions of other people don’t really matter much to me compared to seeking praise from God.  If other family or friends or coworkers disapprove of me or my husband or are upset with me, I am able to seek to love them and treat them with respect but I am not devastated if I don’t have others’ approval.
  16. I see the good in other people, including my husband, and use my words to praise, encourage and affirm others.
  17. I am thankful for the chance to make our house a home and to take care of it.  It is a way I show love and respect for my husband and family.
  18. I don’t freak out about small things, but am able to roll with the punches and be flexible when unexpected problems crop up.
  19. I don’t get upset if my husband leaves a mess sometimes.  I’m so glad he’s in my life and we get to live together.
  20. If I want something, I ask for what I want politely and respectfully with a pleasant tone of voice and a smile.
  21. If I don’t get what I want, I am gracious and accepting of “no” and “wait.”  I am more concerned with God’s will than my will.
  22. If things go wrong, I am generally able to respond with grace, peace and joy and keep things in proper perspective.
  23. I am careful not to develop close friendships with other men. I guard and protect my heart and my marriage.
  24. If my husband responds to me harshly, I answer gently.
  25. I understand that Hollywood and romantic novels do not portray real life.  I avoid those things if they create a spirit of discontentment in my heart.
  26. I speak highly of my husband to other people.
  27. I very rarely argue with or complain to my husband.
  28. I have faith in my husband.  I know I can trust him. (Or, I am working to rebuild lost trust and I want to learn to trust him again.)
  29. I have faith that God will lead me through my husband, even if my husband sometimes makes mistakes.
  30. I trust God to speak to my husband and grow him spiritually without me having to verbally prod him or lecture my husband about spiritual things.  If my husband is far from God right now, I don’t talk about spiritual things, the Bible or church.  I allow my glowing joy in Christ, my spirit of willing cooperation with my husband’s leadership and my genuine respect for the good in my husband to draw him to Christ.  I trust God to open my husband’s spiritual eyes.  I know that only God can change people and waken them to His truth.
  31. I trust most of my husband’s decisions and cooperate with him often.
  32. I try to have a spirit of saying, “yes!” to things that are important to my husband.
  33. I give myself freely and joyfully to my husband sexually.  I don’t withhold myself.
  34. I am trustworthy.
  35. I am responsible with money, time, our children, my husband’s feelings, our home and the resources God has given to us.
  36. I consciously work to do good to my husband no matter what happens.
  37. I watch my words, my tone of voice, my facial expressions and my actions to be sure that I bless my husband and don’t become nasty, hateful, unkind or negative.
  38. I trust God in His sovereignty to work everything out ultimately for my good (by His definition) and for His glory, so I don’t freak out when bad things happen.  I know that God is in control and I can’t lose.  I might have to suffer or go through pain, but as long as I have God’s Spirit, I know I will be ok.
  39. I don’t worry about the future.  I take my needs and concerns to God and my husband and I leave the weight of the problems there and trust God and my husband to figure things out.  I say what I want and what I believe is best.  I share my perspective with God and my husband.  Then I rest in God’s love and peace, trusting His wisdom.  And I rest in my husband’s love – trusting God to lead me through him.

This test comes from Galatians 5:19-23.  It reveals whether my sinful nature or God’s Spirit is in control of my life. 

  • Part 1 shows what I am like when my sinful nature has control. 
  • Part 2 is what I am like when God’s Spirit has control.

How did you do on the quiz?

______________

Now to see what other’s have written about Respect Dare Day 2, here are some links:

The Respect Dare, Day 3 – My Godly Wife Report Card by PeacefulWife
The Respect Dare – Day 3 by Tiffani at My Beloved is Mine
Dare 3 ~ Biblical Wife – by Jennifer at Unbroken Woman (our “Fearless Leader”)
Day 3 – The Respect Dare by Nina Roesner by Kamila at Your Marriage Is Your First Ministry
Respect Dare 3: Inside My Comfort Zone by Forgiven Wife

The RESPECT DARE blog … with Nina Roesner

In the comments below, please share thoughts and where we can pray for you. If it is private, please email us at affaircare@gmail.com or share your prayer request with us anonymously.

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Respect Dare Day 2: Childhood Scars

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It’s Day Two of the Respect Dare here at Affaircare, and we are joining with Jennifer at Unbroken Woman as she leads us through Nina Roesner’s The Respect Dare: 40 Days to a Deeper Connection with God and Your Husband.” Jennifer is a little over half way through her Respect Dare, but here at Affaircare we are looking at this Dare with just a little twist: how do our childhood scars relate to infidelity? What can we learn to keep our marriages affair-free OR bring them back from the brink of unfaithfulness? Or if that has been an affair, can learning about our pasts free a couple to help  them rebuild?

To join us on our Affaircare Respect Dare journey, please get Nina’s book (or e-book) and all the info by CLICKING HERE.

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As we go through this Respect Dare together, one thing I’m trying to do is to talk about the correlation between some of the topics of the Respect Dare and Infidelity.  How do they relate?  Is this something we often see in marriages that are struggling with an affair?  This topic is particularly related to unfaithfulness.  Time and again we hear from Loyal Spouses something like “Well my spouse had their affair because they were abused as a child” or “Oh S/He couldn’t help themselves–they had a bad childhood.”  For all I know, you may be a Disloyal Spouse thinking that right now!

But if there is ONE THING I’d like readers to take from this Respect Dare, it’s that whether your spouse is the cheater or you were the cheater, the person you need to start with is the person in the mirror.  We ALL have childhood scars.  We ALL have incidents in our lives that affect us for the rest of our lives–some good, some…not so good.  But rather than looking at your spouse and thinking of all the ways that they need to change, look at yourself.  Keeping ahold of the past or abuses from your childhood is an excuse for you to behave poorly–or a justification for having an affair–or a rationalization for your bad choices.

As children these events affected us.  They impacted the way we see ourselves and our spouses and our families and our lives.  But we are not children anymore; we are adults.  If you are an adult, and you KNOW that you had a traumatic event in your childhood (or your whole childhood was one big trauma) you are responsible for yourself now.  When you know that you have PTSD flashbacks from the abuse you suffered as a child and do nothing, you are not a  helpless child; you are an adult choosing to harm others so you don’t have to face yourself.  When you know you have a skewed view of Love and Sex due to sexual assault at a young age and do nothing, you are not a helpless child; you are an adult choosing to harm those who love you whom you love so you don’t have to face yourself.

To defend your marriage against infidelity, sometimes we have to be brave enough to face our childhood dragons and admit that “It’s me!  I need to work on myself and my wounds so I can be a healthy adult.”

Today in the Respect Dare book we are asked to ”be aware that our experiences with our parents’ marriage as a child has impacted the experiences, beliefs, and unconscious behaviors in our own marriage.” “Sometimes our beliefs are healthy; some are not.” “Sometimes our beliefs are not grounded in Truth, but these beliefs still become the filter through which we see our own circumstances.” 

We are asked to pray and ask for wisdom in understanding a key experience that has impacted the way you currently walk through marriage.  After praying, wait for an incident to come to mind and work with it to answer these questions.  In one sentence, respond to the following questions about the incident that came to mind:

This particular Respect Dare is EXTREMELY hard for me, because I had a very painful, abusive childhood.  My father was and still is an alcoholic, although at times he has dry spells when he’s ill.  My mother was and still is undiagnosed bipolar–she has a degree in “Sociology” so in her mind she *couldn’t* have a mental illness, although pretty much everyone who knows her agrees she has mood patterns.  When my parents were not christians, they would drink and become physically violent with each other.  When they became christians, they “hid” their alcoholism and mental illness so they looked like good christians, and behind closed doors they hit us children.  And then my dad had an affair, my mom went nuts with grief and pain (understandably), and they divorced.  Rough childhood!

Question 1: Who was there? When was the incident? Where were you?

I have my incident in mind.  I was there and my mom was there.  The incident was when I was about 14 years old.  We were in the kitchen.

Question 2: What happen? If this is something that happened many times, pick one of those times and describe it as best as you can, as if you were reliving that moment in time.

My chore as a child was to do the dishes after dinner.  We had a dishwasher, so I would load the dishes and everything, then wash the pans by hand.  This incident occurred over two nights. The first night, I did my chore and afterward I was spanked with a brush from my knees to  my shoulders for not using Comet in the sink after finishing the dishes.  The next night, I did my chore and afterward I very wisely thought “Ah ha!  I am going to avoid the spanking by using the Comet this time!” and that night I was spanked with a brush from my knees to my shoulders for not getting permission first.  Why didn’t my dad stop her from hitting me?  I don’t think he was home; I think he was at a bar at the time.

Question 3. What was revealed to you about how you interact in your marriage as a result of this incident?

Two things: #1 My first instinct is to try to please others.  I don’t want to get hurt so I’ll “please you.”  #2 When someone is mad I just SHUT DOWN because I learned that there is no figuring it out, just shut up and take it.

Question 4: What possible interpretations exist of that one event? List as may as you can in seven minutes.

  • I misunderstood what I was being punished for.
  • My mom was just making up reasons to punish me.
  • I was completely innocent and didn’t deserve either spanking (LOL)!
  • I completely deserved BOTH spankings, because I’m a little devil (lol)!
  • My mom had an issue or weakness that didn’t really involve me at all.
  • Comet is good on Monday-Wednesday-Friday but on Tuesday-Thursday it’s bad
  • It wasn’t about me or Comet or the sink at all.

Question 5: Write out a prayer of release from any unhealthy habits of thinking you’ve developed as a result of that incident.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Creator of Heaven and Earth and my wise and loving Father. Thank You for bringing this memory to mind tonight, as I go through the Respect Dare, share myself, and lead those who are joining me on this journey.  Thank You for giving me the parents You gave me, so I could grow up to be the dearly beloved daughter of the Most High God that I am today.  Thank You for never leaving my side as I lived through those painful times, and for never leaving my side when I made choices that were not pleasing to You.  Thank You for your faithfulness in teaching me to grow more and more like Christ, even though it was not easy!  Thank You for giving me the emotional and physical strength to survive and even thrive!  I pray that as I remember this particular incident, that You would help me to remember my parents were human beings just like I am a human being–imperfect and weak.  They had their own issues and their own struggles; and although they may have been struggling “in their own strength” they did the best they could do at the time with what they knew.  Help me to forgive them and deal with them with grace and mercy.   Remind me that YOU forgave me, and give me Your heart toward them both.  Help me to let it go–that is to say, to release any hurt or pain I have held onto, and to release any desire I have to keep it as an excuse for sin now.  Help me to keep my focus on You and pleasing You and doing what is holy in Your sight, right now.  Thank You for promising that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me–I claim that promise.  In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray.  Amen.

Now to see what other’s have written about Respect Dare Day 2, here are some links:

The Respect Dare, Day 2 – Childhood Scars by PeacefulWife
The Respect Dare – Day 2 by Tiffani at My Beloved is Mine
Dare 2 ~ Childhood Scars~ by Jennifer at Unbroken Woman (our “Fearless Leader”)
The Respect Dare: Day Two by Orenda at Broken But Not Forgotten
Day 2 ~ Childhood by Kamila at Your Marriage Is Your First Ministry
Respect Dare 2: This One Hurt by Forgiven Wife

The RESPECT DARE blog … with Nina Roesner

In the comments below, please share thoughts and where we can pray for you. If it is private, please email us at affaircare@gmail.com or share your prayer request with us anonymously.

Respect Dare Day 1: Expectations and Adultery

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It’s Day One of the Respect Dare here at Affaircare, and we are joining with Jennifer at Unbroken Woman as she leads us through Nina Roesner’s  “The Respect Dare: 40 Days to a Deeper Connection with God and Your Husband.”  Jennifer is a little over half way through her Respect Dare, but here at Affaircare we are looking at this Dare with just a little twist: how does respect (or lack thereof) relate to infidelity?  What can we learn to keep our marriages affair-free OR bring them back from the brink of unfaithfulness?  Or if that has been an affair, can learning about respect help a couple rebuild?

To join us on our Affaircare Respect Dare journey, please get Nina’s book (or e-book) and all the info by  CLICKING HERE.

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Today’s Respect Dare topic is about Expectations.

Expectations (according to the dictionary) are “something looked forward to, whether feared or hoped for”; “a prospect of future benefit or fortune” or “the degree of probability that something will occur.”  An expectation of myself might be that I anticipate that if I do X…I expect Y will occur, and either I HOPE that happens or I am AFRAID that it will.  It’s putting my eyes on the future, and kind of gambling that this or that will occur !

In marriages, I see expectations do the most damage when one spouse EXPECTS the other to do something or respond in some way, and when the spouse doesn’t do it, they are disappointed and allow the unfulfilled expectation to turn to bitterness or resentment  Let me give you an example from my own life:

When I was a younger married person, I expected my husband to help me with household chores.  I would ask him to load the dishwasher sometimes, and he would do it but he always would grumble and put it off and procrastinate.  Plus he always loaded it WRONG!  “God how many times do I have to tell you to load pans on the TOP?” I’d moan.  Well no wonder he hated to load dishes!  A) He already worked all day and was tired, and B) When he did do it, he’d get yelled at for doing it!.  Finally one day, he loaded it wrong again, and I yelled at him again, and he said a life-changing thing to me: “Who cares if the pans are on the top or bottom?  Either way they get washed don’t they?”

Oh my goodness!!  

He was so right!!!!  I felt so embarrassed because in that moment I realized that there are more than one ways to load a dishwasher, and here he was actually doing what I asked and getting punished for it!  Somehow I had learned that my way was the “right” way and any other way was the “wrong” way….and that I didn’t have to ask people to do it my way…they should “just know” that it’s right.

I had a major case of “EXPECTATIONS.”

What’s worse, is that over the years, my expectations had chipped and chiseled and whittled away at the foundation of my marriage, doing great harm.  This damage was a little opening that left my spouse vulnerable to sin when another woman came along who showed him some admiration and interest instead of always showing him how “wrong” he was!  Now he still did have a responsibility to say “no” to that temptation–so don’t get me wrong–but why put our spouses into the position of being vulnerable to attack, when we can put up DEFENSES and shield our marriages by letting go of unreasonable expectations?  By looking at the woman in the mirror and realizing that *I* was the one who had to change, I was protecting my spouse and my family from enemy attack!

So for this Respect Dare Day 1, our assignments are:

  1. In your journal, under the heading “Expectations for My Progress ,” write out three tangible, measurable statements that would indicate progress is being made for you.
  2. On a separate piece of paper, under the heading “Expectations of My Husband That I Release,” write three tangible, measurable statements that are expectations you have held for your husband

I personally have not purchased a notebook or pretty journal for this Respect Dare because I’m going to be using this blog as my journal, right out in the open.  You may want to buy a journal (Walmart has school notebooks for 17 cents right now) or you may want to start an online journal (My-Diary.org or Diary.com).

So here are my personal entries for Respect Dare Day 1:

1.  In your journal, under the heading “Expectations for My Progress ,” write out three tangible, measurable statements that would indicate progress is being made for you.  I am going to take this to mean that I should think of three things like goals that would be one way for me to tell I’ve grown in respect for my husband.  Wow.  This is hard! PeacefulWife has an AMAZING list on her Dare Day 1 blog, and it got me started thinking.  I am very blessed, personally, to have a pretty solid, respectful relationship with my Dear Hubby.  The fact is, in real life, I do respect him!  LOL  But I think I learned respect more like “this is a healthy relationship technique” (psychology) rather than learning how to express respect because it’s God-pleasing.  So my “Expectations for Progress” are going to focus on growing in pleasing God.  Soooo…here are my three tangible, measureable expectations:

  • I will spend 15 minutes or more in the bible with my husband (if he’ll join me) every single day
  • I will release my worries about my Dear Hubby’s health every day
  • I will spend 2 hours every night with my Dear Hubby doing things with him instead of doing “work”

2. Under the heading “Expectations of My Husband That I Release,” write three tangible, measurable statements that are expectations you have held for your husband.  Okay I have to confess, this one makes me laugh.  I did not think I really held many expectations of my Dear Hubby, because he is who he is and I like him for who he is.  But after reading PeacefulWife’s list I do see I few I can release:

  • be romantic by my definition every day
  • lead me spiritually in the ways I think he should
  • go to the church I want to go to and go when I want to go

Now to see what other’s have written about Respect Dare Day 1, here are some links:

The Respect Dare, Day 1 – Expectations by PeacefulWife (I love her!)
The Respect Dare – Day 1 by Tiffani at My Beloved is Mine
Dare 1 ~ Expectations by Jennifer at Unbroken Woman (our “Fearless Leader”)
The Respect Dare by Orenda at Broken But Not Forgotten
Day 1 ~ Expectations by Kamila at Your Marriage Is Your First Ministry
Respect Dare 1: Already a Challenge by Forgiven Wife

The RESPECT DARE blog … with Nina Roesner

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Need HELP for your marriage? Here are some folks I recommend!

I have a privilege of working with a lot of other bloggers and Christians who are passionate, not only about making marriages better, but also about helping people live in such a way that their covenant with the Lord is reflected in every part of their lives.  I wanted to take a moment and acknowledge these people, whom I am proud to call associates:

A Desert Experience – Juan Benito: I am a simple father of three beautiful children and a lovely and beautiful wife. I love God, my family and my friends. But my life was not always so simple. Only six months ago, my family was falling apart, my wife of ten years had left me for someone else. I was left without a job, without a home and three children to care for, 1,000 miles away from all of my friends and family.

A Grown Up Marriage – Kentucky Colonel: Do you remember playing house with the kids in your neighborhood growing up? I don’t know about you but when I played house I usually got told what a daddy and husband was supposed to do and in all honesty I was probably a little bossy about what a mommy and wife was supposed to do as well. Thirty plus years later I can look back at those games and see the expectations my playmates and I held about marriage and roles within marriage. A lot has changed in those thirty plus years but having expectations hasn’t changed at all.

Auntie Em’s Guide To Life – Melinda Stanton: Hi! My name’s Melinda and I’m a teacher. Not just a school teacher- I am that too, but I love teaching anybody anything. Nothing scratches my itch like somebody saying that something I said helped them, or something I showed them made a difference. I like to cook, to read, to garden.

Becoming His Eve – Hannah Williams: I am an aspiring writer and spunky housewife who loves the Lord and her husband, Adam! I have a passion for young women, writing, books, baking, nature, and music! I want to use my gifts, talents, and abilities to help transform relationships and communities for the Kingdom of Christ.

Cassandra’s Marriage Mints Ministry – Cassandra Salamone: This page offers refreshing and sweet counsel and encouragement concerning marriage in the form of pics, poetry, Bible verses, and other assorted writings.

Christian Home and Family – Carey Green: Helping you make Christ the center of your home.

Christian Mommy Blogger – Nikki Hughes: Charge your eMinistry! We are here to educate, encourage and energize you on your eMinistry journey!

Chronic Marriage – Helena Madsen: Imagine having a chronic illness AND an extraordinary marriage. Sound possible? Chronic Marriage is for “chronic couples” – those relationships in which chronic health issues are present – who desire not only to survive but thrive in their marriage despite living with chronic illness.

Do Not Disturb – Justin & Megan Wright: We believe Sex was given freely as a gift from our Creator and should be freely reflected in one’s marriage. After discussing marriage and intimacy with many young couples, we’ve come to recognize we should do whatever it takes to help other marriages recognize this freedom. This blog is one small aspect of this mission, and we hope you find the posts within useful in more ways than one.

Elevate Your Marriage – Edward Lee:  I am a husband and father that loves making the deep stuff of the Bible easy to understand…because that is what saved my relationship and marriage. As I talk about openly in the first HWG book my wife and I had a rough five years of dating and first few years of marriage – fairly literally, we broke up every weekend. What I now share in my books, speaking and through this blog is what I know that God can do – from the experience of my own relationship. God really can save marriages as couples grow in their relationship with Christ.

Encourage Your Spouse – Lori Ferguson: a wife, mom to grown kids, and Christ follower. This blog is for husbands & wives leading meaningful lives – encouraging each other and making a difference in the world around them.

Genuine Husband – Thomas Bittner: I am an ordinary man who serves an extraordinary God. I long to be a better servant, husband, father and brother.

God’s Help For Marriage – Daniel Robertson: At God’s Help For Marriage we believe that God’s desire for your marriage is an extension of His mission for the Church. Namely, marriages are designed to foster evangelism and discipleship by partnering with your spouse to grow more Christlike as you face and overcome the challenges of married life, and by reflecting God’s love for both His children and the lost.

Hombres de Dios 360 – Hector Cortes: Trials for men who want to glorify God in their relationships and in all areas of your life.

Hot, Holy & Humorous – “J” (Anonymous): I am…a Christian, a wife, a mom, a writer, and a work in progress. What I write about in this blog is the kind of stuff I would talk to my closest girlfriend about in confidence, but plenty of us don’t have someone who’ll chat biblically and bluntly with them. Read my posts to see how sex in a Christian marriage can be HOT, HOLY & HUMOROUS!

Intentional By Grace – Leigh Ann Dutton: We believe that by inspiring, teaching, and equipping women with not only the Gospel but Gospel application, we can change the world one woman at a time thus impacting families around the world. We believe we can, together as an Intentional By Grace community, truly make a difference.

Intimacy In Marriage – Julie Sibert: Encouraging Christian women toward healthy sexual intimacy.

Journey To Surrender – Scott Means: The Journey to Surrender is about exploring, discovering and attaining the fullest potential in Christian marriage. It is an exciting expedition available to every Christian couple willing to travel the biblical path of God’s design for marriage, a path filled with fiery passion, unmatched intimacy and joyous freedom.

Live Simply Love – Merritt Onsa: Todd and I are newlyweds. We married somewhat later in life, because that’s just how it worked out. We certainly aren’t perfect, but we thought we did everything we could BEFORE the wedding day to be prepared. The first few months taught us there was nothing but MARRIAGE that could have prepared us for this.

Manna For Marriage – Tami Myer: Whether you feel that you are starving in your marriage or feasting, God has truth that will nourish and strengthen your relationship. Your marriage is worth nurturing because your marriage represents people who are worth loving.

Maranatha Life – Rich Murphy: More than anything, Maranatha Life is a missions organization working in Latin America. Our focus is to minister to pastors and Christian leaders; providing them with trainging, resources, advice and spiritual support as they complete the vision that God has placed upon their hearts.

Marriage By Divine Design – Scott & Nicole Gower: On June 21, 1997, we began our lives as a married couple, but it wasn’t until much more recently that we truly understood God’s design for marriage. By the grace of God, we have survived many challenges in our marriage and we desire to encourage others as they seek out His design for their own marriages.

MarriageDance – Dawn McDowell: MarriageDance combines the beauty and romance of partner dancing with scriptural truth about marriage. The result is a celebration of God’s relationship plan. MarriageDance believes our Creator made us for adventure, intimacy and joy. Would your marriage benefit from more of those?

Marriage Gems – Lori D. Lowe: For the last several years I’ve interviewed couples who have used adversity to improve their marriages. The result is “FIRST KISS TO LASTING BLISS: HOPE & INSPIRATION FOR YOUR MARRIAGE”. In it, I share couples’ experiences with drug addiction, infidelity, military separation, opposing religions, stranger rape, life-threatening illness, differing races, financial crises and much more.

Marriage Life – Clint & Alecia Stark: Every week, we’ll provide you with a Marriage Truth. Tell it to yourself in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, in the shower, in the car, write it on a post it note, put it on your smartphone, say it in your mind, say it out loud, say it to your spouse. There are a thousand different ways to tell ourselves the truth. But the important thing is to tell yourself the truth.

Marriage Missions – Steve & Cindy Wright: This Christian marriage website seeks to help those who are married and those preparing for marriage to be PRO-ACTIVE in helping to save marriage from divorce and to enrich it by offering INSPIRATIONAL, skill-building information which REFLECTS the HEART of CHRIST.

Marriage Works! – Kevin & Cetelia Bullard: We create resources and experiences that help couples build & sustain a healthy, functional marriage.

Messy Marriage – Beth Steffaniak: We offer support and resources to Christian and non-Christian couples who experience the messiness of life and marriage. We address anything from light issues like personality differences and/or conflict resolution to extreme issues like adultery and/or pornography addiction.

Mission:Husband – Gerad Harris: On May 5th, 2005, in a little house in Wallowa Lake Oregon (because our outside ceremony got rained out), I committed to “love, honor, and cherish” Valerie Russell “til death do us part, and took on the mission I now call “Mission Husband”. It hasn’t always been easy. It hasn’t always been fun. There has been amazing good times, and really hard bad times. But the things that have remained constant regardless, are our faith in God, and our love and commitment to each other.

Mission:Wife – Valerie Harris: My mission, is to be the best wife I can be to Gerad and my goal is to encourage you on your journey to be the best wife to your husband.

My Beloved Is Mine! (SongSix3) – Jason & Tiffani Graves: We are a couple who love Jesus without hesitation, have been married since August 1987, and have been through the fires of hell in our marriage journey.  We have 6 children (2 grown and 4 young ones) and a grandchild, a shared heart for music ministry, and a calling to help other couples make their marriages be ALL that God intended them to be.

Mystery32 – Erin Baxter: Mystery32 is based off of Ephesians 5:32 that says of marriage: “This is a profound mystery — but I am talking about Christ and the church.” Marriage is a powerful thing in the eyes of the Lord. It is used to describe His Love and commitment to us and I do not take that lightly. Marriage can be an absolute blessing but marriage also needs constant maintenance.

ONE Extraordinary Marriage – Tony & Alisa DiLorenzo: The intention of ONE Extraordinary Marriage is not to make this a one-sided conversation about a day in the life. The ONE podcast is a dialogue between Tony, Alisa, and YOU! Start listening and start implementing little changes in your marriage that can take it to extraordinary levels.

One Flesh Marriage – Brad & Kate Aldrich: We have been together for 18 years, married for 12! Over those 18 years, we have been blessed to experience God’s reality of a “One Flesh” marriage. We hope to share that blessing with you.

One HeartBeat – David & Lorrie McIntyre: Not too many years ago Lorrie and I were on a destructive path in our marriage. Both of us were on a train traveling a hundred miles an hour away from each other. Over time and with help we turned things around and we work to continue to grow together and desire to help you do the same. That is what One HeartBeat is all about. Strengthening marriages in our community.

Passionate Christian Marriage – Sis: I have a passion for helping marriages survive in this fallen world and for encouraging wives to love their husbands.  I have been married almost ten years now and have survived some very rough times in our marriage.  We have lost all hope and then been surprised by how God keeps His promises, works and molds me through the awful things.

PeacefulWife’s Blog – April Cassidy: My journey toward becoming a respectful, submissive, joyful wife with a gentle, peaceful and quiet spirit that does not give way to fear.

Pearl’s OysterBed – Pearl: Helping women understand their men, marriage and sex….and a little bit about themselves along the way.

Rebel For His Cause – Melissa Titus: I chose to let God use my rebel personality for His cause. My husband and I are still married. God has restored our marriage and our lives. As always, we are still a work in progress. I have learned to stop trying to control other people, including my husband. It never, ever works.

Redeeming Marriages – Jack & Janet Surrett: After 20 years of a bad marriage that nearly ended in divorce four times, we have learned a few things about the difference in a good marriage and a bad one. We have also learned a great deal about God’s redeeming love after He took our last near divorce experience in 2002 and turned us upside down. We now enjoy a deep committment of Love for each other and our Lord.

Romantic Act Of The Day – Rich Murphy: Help for all those desperate men out there who haven’t got a clue and want to find one. Here’s a clue: if you want your wife to be loving to you, be loving to her. She understands the word “loving” as “romantic.” What’s that? Find out here. By the way, ladies, this site is restricted FOR MEN ONLY! Go ahead and call me a chauvinist, I’m doing it for your benefit.

Sensuous Happy Hubby – Andre Pottas: I believe in the sanctity of marriage and monogamous relationships, and that within the bounds of marriage couples are free to fully explore their passion. I write honestly and openly based on my personal experience.

Shocking Marriage – Jerry McColgin: The goal of this blog is to highlight successful marriages and techniques that keep the joy and excitement in the relationship for the long term. It’s sad but true, but a great marriage is a Shocking Marriage. And that’s worth blogging about.

Square 1 Ministries – Rob Thorpe: To educate, equip, encourage and mentor husbands and wives who are passionate about their walk with Jesus, and their mission to bring Him glory in their marriage.

Stupendous Marriage – Stu & Lisa Gray: We Want You To Have a Stupendous Marriage!

The Alabaster Jar – Jolene Engle: Encouraging, Equipping and Inspiring Godly Women, Wives and Mothers.

The Generous Husband – Paul Byerly: Generosity seems to be in limited supply these days, even in our marriages. This list is about learning how to “go the extra mile” for our wife, rather than doing only what we think is “required”. Each day you will receive one tip or suggestion for being a more generous husband.

The Generous Wife – Lori Byerly: A daily reminder to grow your marriage.

The Marriage Bed – Paul & Lori Byerly: The Marriage Bed provides a Christian alternative for married and engaged couples seeking information about marital intimacy. We combine the truth of the Bible with biological facts to educate, encourage, and minister to those seeking God’s best for their marriage relationship.

The Marriage Concierge – The Marriage Concierge: We provide a wide-range of Concierge services tailored for Married Husbands & Wives! We plan the details,while you 2 as 1, Perfect your Vows to each other! Love the BEST Gift of all!

The Marriage Guy and Gal – Tim & Michelle Croyle: The Marriage Guy and Gal, Tim and Michelle, have been married for going on two decades. They are not traditional marriage counselors, but advocates believing that practically all marriages are savable, if both partners are willing to do the hard work necessary to get them back on track. However, Tim and Michelle don’t advocate waiting until your marriage is headed for divorce court to seek help. It is their conviction that the choices that are made each day by each partner are ones that can build strength or tear down.

The Pure Bed – The Pure Bed: To promote a healthy discussion about marriage, faith and sex.

The Respected Husband – Greg Cassidy: Insights on Love and Respect from a Male Perspective.

The Romantic Vineyard – Tom & Debi Walter: A Rich Harvest of Ideas to Help Your Marriage Grow.

To Love, Honor and Vacuum – Sheila Wray Gregoire: Real marriage. No pretensions. With author Sheila Wray Gregoire.

Too Darn Happy – Kim Hall: Welcome, welcome, to your bright spot on the web, where you can find everything from toddler to family sized servings of optimism and joy, a helping hand and a fresh point of view. Set your cares by the door along with everyone else’s, and join me. Slide onto the sofa, hang out in the hammock, or collapse into a comfy big chair. You are welcome just as you are.

True Agape – Cassie Celestain: Hi our names are Ryan and Cassie and we are the creators of this site. We created this site because we feel there is a lack of commitment, personal responsibility and willingness to make marriage work. It seems that divorce has become the easy way out and is actually acceptable.

Vicki Tiede Ministries – Vicki Tiede: Vicki Tiede is an inspiring Bible teacher, conference speaker, and author. Her passion is to open the Scriptures with women in order to share God’s grace and enduring faithfulness. She transparently relates life experiences that resonate and draw others into a lifelong pursuit of knowing God.

Warrior Wives – Elizabeth Spence: I’m young. I’m 32 years old. I’ve only been married 8 1/2 years. I am deep in the trenches here. I am learning new lessons about marriage and about my husband daily. But I have a passion for young marriages. I think it is so, so important to get grounded now…to get a good start…to get good habits and godly thinking patterns engrained in our heads and hearts. I want to come alongside you and encourage you to know that with God’s help, you can do it.

Writing Out My Rehab – Mal Davis: One woman’s journey through the aftermath of adultery. It’s very blunt.

Young Wife’s Guide – Jami Balmet: Welcome! I’m Jami and this is Young Wife’s Guide to Gospel Centered Homemaking or simply YWG. I began my blogging journey in October 2009 shortly after I got married. I have fallen in love over the years with blogging and the community and friends I have met along the way.
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