Monthly Archives: September 2012

Vulnerability

One of my “blogosphere” new friends, persuaded2go, has a great new post called “The Vulnerability Scale.”   It’s so good that I thought about reposting it here exactly word-for-word, but then I thought that it wouldn’t have the same context and whatnot that it does over at her site.  So you’ll want to take a moment to read her post right there on her blog!

However, one part I do want to share was that her counselor gave her a Vulnerability Assessment and it’s in the form of a questionnaire.  It’s basically a true or false, and if it’s true, you highlight it.   Based on how many you highlight, you can see how vulnerable your marriage is to an affair.

Did you know you are at increased risk of having an affair simply if:

  • you have a Facebook account?
  • you have been dealing with stress (family, illness, work, marriage, new job)?
  • you have moved?
  • you have had to deal with the loss of a parent, child, sibling, pet, close friend, family member?
  • you have dealt with or are dealing with a physical/emotional illness (stress, depression, low self-esteem)?
  • you feel taken for granted or taken advantage of at work, at home, in life?
  • you have had to deal with children that are teenagers, rebellious, or unruly?
  • you have felt self-conscious of aging, a bulging mid-section, receding hairline, sagging breasts, erectile dysfunction, major weight loss/gain?
  • you have felt sexually inadequate or second-rate in bed?
  • you confide easily in others?
  • you lack clear goals or dreams or sense of purpose for your life?
  • you have thought or spoke negatively about yourself?
  • you have a lack of self-awareness concerning infidelity, such as:
  1. “This couldn’t happen to me.”
  2. “I’m committed to working on my marriage.”
  3. “No one would be interested in me.”
  4. “I would recognize the signs.”
  5. “I can be his/her friend only.”
  6. “He/She is only a friend.”
  7. “He/She is not attractive to me, so this is OK.”
  8. “We are both married.”
  9. “This will not get out of hand.”
  • you have a high need for affirmation from others in your life?
  • you feel sorry for yourself?
  • you often see things as ALL or NOTHING?
  • you are unable to communicate your thoughts and emotions to your spouse?
  • perhaps you have been dishonest with them about difficult issues because you fear them rejecting you or punishing you, or because you think it will protect them…”What they don’t know won’t hurt.”
  • compared to others, you view yourself as: morally superior, smarter than, or more self-aware?
  • your spouse embarrasses you in public?
  • your marriage is “keeping up the image” to others?
  • you have felt your sex life lacked quality, passion or adventure, and/or it has not been frequent enough?
  • you are disconnected sexually because of emotional starvation?
  • you have married friends who complain about their marriages?
  • you spend time alone?

This isn’t the entire list but doesn’t it make you stop and think?  How vulnerable is your marriage?  Based on this list, are you vulnerable and you didn’t even know?  I knew all about affairs, love kindlers and extinguishers, all of it, and even *I* was vulnerable!!!

Okay now head over the persuaded2go and take a peek at her post: “The Vulnerability Scale“–it just may open your eyes to how open to an affair your marriage may be!

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Back to Basics–Love Extinguishers #7 Security Neglect -AND- Save Our Marriage Saturday

Today, we look at the last behavior that can put out the fire of love:  Security Neglect!  This Love Extinguisher has to do with not being that safe, secure place for your spouse, mentally, emotionally and physically.   Security Neglect is inflicting harm by becoming the sort of spouse who:

  • Has Angry Explosions
  • Is an Attack Dog (Verbal/Emotional Abuse)
  • Is a Passive Warmonger (Passive-Aggressive)
  • Is Physically Abusive
  • Is Not Being a Safe Haven

Over the next few weeks, we’ll go ahead and continue our “Back to Basics” by going over all our Basic Concepts.   To understand what a Love Extinguisher is, you could read the Basic Concepts article to get a more in depth explanation.  Briefly, to help you envision the idea, think of your marriage like a campfire. There are actions that can quench the fire of love, and those actions are Love Extinguishers.  BUT there are also actions that stoke the fire of love and make it hotter–those are Love Kindlers.

The first week of September, we examined the Love Kindlers.  Then we had two weeks off while Dear Hubby was in the hospital….but today we conclude the Love Extinguishers.  The first week of October we’ll look at the Seven Steps to End an Affair, and for the second week of October God willing, we’ll review the Seven Steps to Rebuilding After an Affair.  We hope you’ll join us on this journey to get “Back to the Basics”!!

Today is also Save Our Marriage Saturday.

We have a tradition here at Affaircare. We call it “Save Our Marriage Saturday”–and we’re sharing the love.  Link-love that is!  Every Saturday we hold a link-up party so you can share a post of your own and we can all help each other to save our marriages!

Please share your post on any and all things related to saving your marriage after an affair, reconciling after you committed adultery, recovering your marriage after finding out that your spouse cheated, or keeping your marriage affair-free!

1. Please link to your actual “Save Our Marriage Saturday” post, not just the address to your blog or site home page.

2. Please leave me a comment–I would love to visit your site, return the favor, and follow you!

3. Please share the love with your fellow bloggers–Read and leave a comment on at least the two blogs above yours.

4. Please help me spread the word. Let’s create a community of Christian believers who want to bring glory to God by teaching our brothers and sisters about how to have a godly marriage, how to avoid the typical traps that lead to infidelity, and how to be a living testimony of forgiveness and reconciliation if one spouse is unfaithful.

5. Link back to this community, either by using the button below or a text link. You can find the button code here for you to insert in your post:

HTML CODE:



.
I LINK TO THESE GODLY LINK-UPS:
Beholding Glory’s Blog Hop List, No Ordinary Blog Hop: Family-Parenting-Marriage , The Alabaster Jar-Marital Oneness Mondays, Revive Your Marriage MondaysTime-Warp Wife-Titus 2sdays, …to Love, Honor and Vacuum–Wifey Wednesdays, Unveiled WifeGrace Alone/Women Taking a Stand–Thankful Thursdays, and Beholding Glory–Faith Filled Fridays.

Back to Basics–Love Extinguishers #6 Social Neglect

Today, we look at the sixth behavior that can put out the fire of love:  Social Neglect!  This extinguisher may sound like you have to be a “social butterfly” and hey…some people are introverts.   Actually this Love Extinguisher has more to do with treating your spouse in a discourteous way and neglecting to do things with your spouse–excluding them.  Social Neglect is inflicting harm by becoming the sort of spouse who:

  • Has Irritating Habits (Impolite)–I’m not talking about smacking your lips or elbows on the table (although those can be a bit irritating).  I’m talking about the spouse who treats their spouse rudely.  I mean the person who is discourteous and treats their spouse in a disrespectful,  inconsiderate, graceless way.  Do you treat your spouse with as many manners as you do a house guest?  Do you say “Please” and “Thank You?”  If not, you may be extinguishing the blazing fire of love in your marriage.
  • Still Acts Like They’re Single and Independent–This kind of socially neglectful spouse continues to behave in a way that does not consider their spouse in everything they do, especially neglecting how their actions affect their spouse.  They make choices as if they were unattached; they don’t consult with their spouse on any decisions; and there is definitely NOT unity!  If you treat your spouse like an after-thought and act as if you are completely independent of them, then you are dumping water onto the blaze of love, and putting out the fire.
  • Does Not Share Activities or Free Time–This is the spouse who always has a million activities scheduled, but does not make the time to be with their spouse–even if the activities are good ones!  For example, the “church lady” who leaves her spouse and kids sitting at home while she has AWANA on Mondays, volunteering on Tuesday, church on Wednesday, women’s bible study Thursday, prayer meeting on Friday, youth group on Saturday and Sunday School on Sunday!  God does love it when we serve Him, but we serve Him best by building strong, loving, faithful marriages that are an image of His love for His bride, the Church. Those are all “good activities” but not if all those activities extinguish the fire of love in your spouse’s heart.
  • Gives ‘The Silent Treatment’ or Does Not Listen Actively–Are you the spouse  who punishes your spouse by giving them the cold shoulder or the silent treatment?  Are you the spouse who SAYS they are listening when really you’re still playing your game or watching the TV and saying “Uh huh”?   Are you the spouse who doesn’t listen to understand, but rather listens so you can reply…or worse yet, who already know what you’re going to say and is just waiting for your spouse to take a breath so you can interrupt?  Then you are dumping water onto the passionate blaze and putting out the fire of love.
  • Is So Jealous or Controlling Your Spouse Can’t Have Any Friends–It is one thing for your spouse to have hundreds of admiring opposite sex friends, and quite another for your spouse to be so smothered they can’t go out once with a same sex friend without facing an accusing inquisition.  If you are the spouse who tries to stop your spouse from having friends, who will make threats or try to sabotage the rare personal night, or who interferes with your spouse and tries to keep them from having a support system, then you are dumping water onto the love fire and extinguishing the love in your marriage.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll go ahead and continue our “Back to Basics” by going over all our Basic Concepts.   To understand what a Love Extinguisher is, you could read the Basic Concepts article to get a more in depth explanation.  Briefly, to help you envision the idea, think of your marriage like a campfire. There are actions that can quench the fire of love, and those actions are Love Extinguishers.  BUT there are also actions that stoke the fire of love and make it hotter–those are Love Kindlers.

The first week of September, we examined the Love Kindlers.  Then we had two weeks off while Dear Hubby was in the hospital….but tomorrow we’ll conclude the Love Extinguishers.  The first week of October we’ll look at the Seven Steps to End an Affair, and for the second week of October God willing, we’ll review the Seven Steps to Rebuilding After an Affair.  We hope you’ll join us on this journey to get “Back to the Basics”!!

Beholding Glory

Back to Basics–Love Extinguisher #5 Family Neglect

Family

Today, we look at the fifth behavior that can put out the fire of love:  Family Neglect!  This extinguisher involves disregarding your spouse’s need for help with the family and in fact inflicting emotional harm by becoming the sort of spouse who is:

  • Refusing to Leave and Cleave–Are you the wife who goes running to your mom every time you and your husband have an argument?  Or are you the husband who let’s his mom schedule his day for him and let’s her tell your wife she’s not cooking right?  If so, then you are extinguishing your spouse’s love fire, and you need to leave your family of origin and cleave to your spouse!
  • Not Making Time for Personal Adult Time–As a married couple, you aren’t just there to work, do chores, and take care of the kids; you also vowed to love your spouse until one of you dies.  So if you are the kind of spouse who does not designate daily time for your spouse and some weekend time just to do things together and have some mutual hobbies and interests, then you are putting out the flame of love.
  • Not Making Time for Child Rearing–Are you the mom who says, “Just WAIT until your dad gets home!” and you make you husband do all the discipline?  Are you the dad who sits and plays WoW while your wife struggles with the kids’ homework, bath time, and taking care of them by herself?  If so, then your spouse is going to build resentment over your lack of participation and you will be dumping water all over the blazing fire of love.
  • Not Equitably Contributing to Household Chores–I understand you go out into the wild world to work for a living, but that doesn’t mean that laundry is washed, dried and folded–or that dishes are washed and put away–or that the carpet  is vacuumed   And that doesn’t even mention watching the children, making 3 meals a day for everyone, scrubbing the bathtub and sinks, etc.!  Even if your spouse is a Stay-At-Home parent, don’t let them do all the chores by themselves or they will feel resentment, and you will be extinguishing the blaze of love.
  • Getting Too Comfortable–This spouse is the one who acts like “well I caught you and now I don’t have to put any more effort into this relationship.”   If you are the spouse who has gotten lax in the relationship, has stopped putting forth effort, has stopped saying loving words or doing loving touches or sending flowers or doing acts of kindness, then you may be getting too comfortable.  If you think “Well what we had was special and that could never happen to us” then FOR SURE you have gotten too comfortable, and you are pouring water onto the love fire of your spouse!

Over the next few weeks, we’ll go ahead and continue our “Back to Basics” by going over all our Basic Concepts.   To understand what a Love Extinguisher is, you could read the Basic Concepts article to get a more in depth explanation.  Briefly, to help you envision the idea, think of your marriage like a campfire. There are actions that can quench the fire of love, and those actions are Love Extinguishers.  BUT there are also actions that stoke the fire of love and make it hotter–those are Love Kindlers.  The first week of September, we examined the Love Kindlers.  Then we had two weeks off while Dear Hubby was in the hospital….but this week we’ll continue the Love Extinguishers.  The first week of October we’ll look at the Seven Steps to End an Affair, and for the second week of October God willing, we’ll review the Seven Steps to Rebuilding After an Affair.  We hope you’ll join us on this journey to get “Back to the Basics”!!

Back to Basics–Love Extinguisher #4 Financial Neglect

debt

Today, we look at the third behavior that can put out the fire of love:  Financial Neglect!  The two most common complains we hear are “She only wants me for my wallet” and “He only wants me for my body.”  Well guess what folks, both are partly true and there is nothing wrong with either one. We addressed the men’s side with yesterday’s “Love Extinguisher #3 Physical Neglect” — and today it’s the ladies’ turn.  Oftentimes, women are created to long for security for themselves and their children–and a man who can provide that security for her family can win her heart!  But whether it’s the man or the woman, this particular extinguisher involves disregarding your spouse’s financial needs by becoming the sort of spouse who:

  • Is unemployed long-term due to lack of trying, and it is not part of a mutual agreementPlease bear in mind that this is NOT (I repeat NOT) a stay-at-home-parent where you agreed as a couple to have one parent raise the children and not work.  This is also NOT an earner who lost their job and is trying and trying and trying but the economy is bad they can’t find a job.  This is the person sits on the couch, playing video games all day, doesn’t help with the household chores or contribute to the family, doesn’t apply for work, and just expects their spouse to “take care of them.”  Behaving like that puts out the blazing fire of love.
  • Is unwilling/unable to live by a budget–This is the person who either just WILL NOT agree to a budget and spends impulsively -OR- the person who will agree to a budget to your face, but then when they see this or that item in the grocery store “that they need” they’re unable to exercise self-control and wait.  Either way, this person is choosing to put out the fire in their marriage by killing the love.
  • Has hidden debt–There are a couple kinds of people under this type of love extinguisher.  First there’s the person who ran up some debts when they were younger and they’re ashamed so they keep the debt a secret; they try to deal with it on their own, and it harms the marriage by putting a wedge between the husband and wife.  They are sprinkling water onto the fire of love.  Then there’s the person who is much, MUCH more harmful: the person who secretly gets a credit card and doesn’t tell their spouse or takes out a second mortgage without informing their spouse.  They put their spouse into financial hardship and literally pour water onto the blazing fire, extinguishing quite a bit!  Finally there’s a person who is actually a criminal, who takes out credit cards by forging a fake social security number or in their spouse’s name, or who takes out a loan in their spouse’s name without their permission, or who does devious financial things like hiding property to stay one step ahead of the Repo Man.  This person is DUMPING water onto the fire of love their spouse may have once had for them!!
  • Hides their spending or overspends–The dynamic is something we have all heard: The husband “has a talk” with his wife and tells her what she can and can not spend, and she feels like getting back at him for “controlling” her so she runs out, but a new pair of designer shoes, and hides them in the trunk -OR- she’s paying the bills and tells him they can’t afford this or that so he gets mad and just to prove he’s the boss, he buys a new fishing boat or motorcycle!  Whether its hiding a smaller purchase or overspending on a huge new toy, these people are killing their marriage and putting out the blaze of passion.
  • Has IRS or legal financial trouble like judgments or liens–You know, I don’t consider the IRS to be a friendly and cooperative group with flexible customer service…but when you have the IRS or the courts giving you legal financial troubles, the financial stress on the couple can be like a sieve pouring water on the fire.  If you avoid your legal financial troubles they don’t go away and you will slowly put out any passion your spouse felt for you.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll go ahead and continue our “Back to Basics” by going over all our Basic Concepts.   To understand what a Love Extinguisher is, you could read the Basic Concepts article to get a more indepth explanation.  Briefly, to help you envision the idea, think of your marriage like a campfire. There are actions that can quench the fire of love, and those actions are Love Extinguishers.  BUT there are also actions that stoke the fire of love and make it hotter–those are Love Kindlers.  The first week of September, we examined the Love Kindlers.  Then we had two weeks off while Dear Hubby was in the hospital….but this week we’ll continue the Love Extinguishers.  The first week of October we’ll look at the Seven Steps to End an Affair, and for the second week of October God willing, we’ll review the Seven Steps to Rebuilding After an Affair.  We hope you’ll join us on this journey to get “Back to the Basics”!!

Back to Basics–Love Extinguisher #3 Physical Neglect

After our little 2 week long hiatus, today we continue the second collection in our “Back to School–Back to Basics” series.  The rest of this week we’ll be going over the remaining Love Extinguishers.  To understand what a Love Extinguisher is, you could read the Basic Concepts article to get a more indepth explanation.  Briefly, to help you envision the idea, think of your marriage like a campfire. There are actions that can quench the fire of love, and those actions are Love Extinguishers.  BUT there are also actions that stoke the fire of love and make it hotter–those are Love Kindlers.  When you make the decision to love, you choose to act in a way that is likely to kindle feelings of interest and passion; so you decide to act in a Love Kindling way.  When you get married and do not make diligent efforts to keep stoking the fire, life, bills, and children intervene and you begin to gradually take your spouse for granted and act in a Love Extinguishing way.

Today, we look at the third behavior that can put out the fire of love:  Physical Neglect!   This extinguisher involves disregarding your spouse’s physical needs by becoming the sort of spouse who:

  • Outlaws Tender Touches (Hugs, Kisses, Touches)–when infants are left in a sterile orphanage and given plenty of food, but not touched, they died. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7982860  When they were just touched and hugged by surrogate grandparents, not only did the babies thrive, but the older surrogate grandparents did as well!  http://www.benbenjamin.net/pdfs/Issue2.pdf
  • Withholds Sexual Fulfillment–when a person marries, their only moral outlet for their sexuality is with their spouse.  When a spouse purposely withholds sexual fulfillment as a way to manipulate or punish their spouse, it’s not only an action that extinguishes love, it’s cruelty.  God created us as sexual beings (Song of Solomon, Prov. 5:18-20) and He specifically told us that in a marriage our body is not our own, but our spouse’s to share ( I Cor. 7:4).  If you are withholding sex as a way to teach your spouse a lesson, you are KILLING your marriage.
  • Abandons Physical Attractiveness–The two most common complains we hear are “She only wants me for my wallet” and “He only wants me for my body.”  Well guess what folks, both are partly true and there is nothing wrong with either one.  Men are created to be VISUAL beings, and that means that part of what he likes about his lady is that he finds her physically attractive.  Now this does not mean it’s kosher to want to leave your marriage if she puts on a few pounds after the kids, but rather that a part of the mix of what drew him in like a magnet was the way you look!  So you used to fix your hair, throw on a complimentary outfit, and maybe put on some lipstick before he came over?  And now, with 2 toddlers you don’t do your hair, haven’t worn makeup in ages, and LIVE in sweats?  Guess what?  You’re extinguishing your spouse’s love for you and they probably don’t know how to tell you without causing a big fight!  It’s okay for a man to want a wife whom he looks at and thinks “YOWZA!!”  and likewise the same goes for women.  Fellas–did you used to wear a little cologne and dress up to take her out on the town….and have a muscle or two from working out to impress her?  And now do you sit on the couch with a beer gut, in a tattered work shirt and no shower for a few days and wonder why she isn’t “turned on”?  You are putting out the fire!  Tend to your spouse’s physical need for attractiveness!  And that doesn’t mean being physically perfect or going on a crash diet, but rather, work with what you’ve got.  Fix your hair–wear clothes that fit you well and compliment what God gave ya–take a shower or bath and smell “purdy”–do what you can to LOOK GOOD.
  • Refuses to Care For Your Spouse’s Body–This one actually hit home with me just this week.  As a young couple you rarely think that one day one of you is going to need to be “cared for” but during your lifetime at least one of you will have some sort of medical issue.  That means that the other one is going to have to take care of their spouse’s body.  Maybe it’ll mean that you aren’t diabetic, but you have to go on a sugar-free diet for your spouse who IS diabetic.  Or maybe it will mean you have to deal with symptoms of a chronic illness that will never be cured.  Or maybe, like with me, it will mean that you HATE to exercise, but your spouse needs it, so you have to do what you hate.  The point is that if you refuse to care for your spouse’s body–if you don’t champion their physical dignity and privacy in places like the hospital or care facility–if you don’t cooperate with medications, diets or orders from the doctor that your spouse NEEDS–you will be throwing buckets of water onto that blaze of love and extinguishing the fire.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll go ahead and continue our “Back to Basics” by going over all our Basic Concepts.   The first week of September, we examined the Love Kindlers.  Then we had two weeks off while Dear Hubby was in the hospital….but this week we’ll continue the Love Extinguishers.  The first week of October we’ll look at the Seven Steps to End an Affair, and for the second week of October God willing, we’ll review the Seven Steps to Rebuilding After an Affair.  We hope you’ll join us on this journey to get “Back to the Basics”!!

Back in the Saddle Again…

We had started a series on all of Affaircare’s Basic Concepts for “Back to School–Back to Basics.” We were planning to have four series on “Love Kindlers” “Love Extinguishers” “7 Steps to Ending the Affair” and “7 Steps to Reconciling” for this wonderful month of September when everyone heads back to school. But…God intervened and sent us a bit of a medical emergency!

We had gotten through the Love Kindlers, and had just started the Love Extinguishers when God pushed the PAUSE button and Dear Hubby had to go to the emergency room. That turned into a one-week stay in the hospital and boy–if he’s there so am I! Thanks be to God, and the wonders of medical science, Dear Hubby is feeling somewhat better and we’re home now, so we’ll be completing Love Extinguishers this week.

I have to say Love Extinguishers are the topic I dislike the most–know why? It’s so convicting! I see myself in so many of these actions that put out the blaze of love, and yet I also know that if I am honest with myself that I do them, I can also grow in God and become the wife He wants me to be.

Glad to be back in the saddle!

The Alabaster Jar

Save Our Marriage Saturday 9/22

Today is Save Our Marriage Saturday.

We have a tradition here at Affaircare. We call it “Save Our Marriage Saturday”–and we’re sharing the love.  Link-love that is!  Every Saturday we hold a link-up party so you can share a post of your own and we can all help each other to save our marriages!

Please share your post on any and all things related to saving your marriage after an affair, reconciling after you committed adultery, recovering your marriage after finding out that your spouse cheated, or keeping your marriage affair-free!

1. Please link to your actual “Save Our Marriage Saturday” post, not just the address to your blog or site home page.

2. Please leave me a comment–I would love to visit your site, return the favor, and follow you!

3. Please share the love with your fellow bloggers–Read and leave a comment on at least the two blogs above yours.

4. Please help me spread the word. Let’s create a community of Christian believers who want to bring glory to God by teaching our brothers and sisters about how to have a godly marriage, how to avoid the typical traps that lead to infidelity, and how to be a living testimony of forgiveness and reconciliation if one spouse is unfaithful.

5. Link back to this community, either by using the button below or a text link. You can find the button code here for you to insert in your post:

HTML CODE:



.
I LINK TO THESE GODLY LINK-UPS:
Beholding Glory’s Blog Hop List, No Ordinary Blog Hop: Family-Parenting-Marriage , The Alabaster Jar-Marital Oneness Mondays, Revive Your Marriage MondaysTime-Warp Wife-Titus 2sdays, …to Love, Honor and Vacuum–Wifey Wednesdays, Unveiled WifeGrace Alone/Women Taking a Stand–Thankful Thursdays, and Beholding Glory–Faith Filled Fridays.