Monthly Archives: August 2013

My Advice To Married Couples After Divorcing My Wife Of 16 Years

 

 By Gerald Rogers

I read this post today and it was just so well written I had to share with you all, so I have reposted it exactly as the author wrote it.  Enjoy!

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Obviously, I’m not a relationship expert. But there’s something about my divorce being finalized this week that gives me perspective of things I wish I would have done different… After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I would have had

1. Never stop courting. Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.

2. Protect your own heart. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.

3. Fall in love over and over again. You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.

4. Always see the best in her. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to be have this woman as your wife.

5. It’s not your job to change or fix her… your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.

6. Take full accountability for your own emotions: It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she CAN’T make you sad. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.

7. Never blame your wife if you get frustrated or angry at her, it is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU. They are YOUR emotions, and your responsibility. When you feel those feelings take time to get present and to look within and understand what it is inside of YOU that is asking to be healed. You were attracted to this woman because she was the person best suited to trigger all of your childhood wounds in the most painful way so that you could heal them… when you heal yourself, you will no longer be triggered by her, and you will wonder why you ever were.

8. Allow your woman to just be. When she’s sad or upset, it’s not your job to fix it, it’s your job to HOLD HER and let her know it’s ok. Let her know that you hear her, and that she’s important and that you are that pillar on which she can always lean. The feminine spirit is about change and emotion and like a storm her emotions will roll in and out, and as you remain strong and unjudging she will trust you and open her soul to you… DON’T RUN-AWAY WHEN SHE’S UPSET. Stand present and strong and let her know you aren’t going anywhere. Listen to what she is really saying behind the words and emotion.

9. Be silly… don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Laugh. And make her laugh. Laughter makes everything else easier.

10. Fill her soul everyday… learn her love languages and the specific ways that she feels important and validated and CHERISHED. Ask her to create a list of 10 THINGS that make her feel loved and memorize those things and make it a priority everyday to make her feel like a queen.

11. Be present. Give her not only your time, but your focus, your attention and your soul. Do whatever it takes to clear your head so that when you are with her you are fully WITH HER. Treat her as you would your most valuable client. She is.

12. Be willing to take her sexually, to carry her away in the power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with your strength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul. Let her melt into her feminine softness as she knows she can trust you fully.

13. Don’t be an idiot…. And don’t be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. You’re not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid.

14. Give her space… The woman is so good at giving and giving, and sometimes she will need to be reminded to take time to nurture herself. Sometimes she will need to fly from your branches to go and find what feeds her soul, and if you give her that space she will come back with new songs to sing…. (okay, getting a little too poetic here, but you get the point. Tell her to take time for herself, ESPECIALLY after you have kids. She needs that space to renew and get re-centered, and to find herself after she gets lost in serving you, the kids and the world.)

15. Be vulnerable… you don’t have to have it all together. Be willing to share your fears and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes.

16. Be fully transparent. If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING… Especially those things you don’t want to share. It takes courage to fully love, to fully open your heart and let her in when you don’t know i she will like what she finds… Part of that courage is allowing her to love you completely, your darkness as well as your light. DROP THE MASK… If you feel like you need to wear a mask around her, and show up perfect all the time, you will never experience the full dimension of what love can be.

17. Never stop growing together… The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working on your relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.

18. Don’t worry about money. Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strength to win.

19. Forgive immediately and focus on the future rather than carrying weight from the past. Don’t let your history hold you hostage. Holding onto past mistakes that either you or she makes, is like a heavy anchor to your marriage and will hold you back. FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM. Cut the anchor loose and always choose love.

20. Always choose love. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. In the end, this is the only advice you need. If this is the guiding principle through which all your choices is governed, there is nothing that will threaten the happiness of your marriage. Love will always endure.

In the end marriage isn’t about happily ever after. It’s about work. And a commitment to grow together and a willingness to continually invest in creating something that can endure eternity. Through that work, the happiness will come. Marriage is life, and it will bring ups and downs. Embracing all of the cycles and learning to learn from and love each experience will bring the strength and perspective to keep building, one brick at a time.

These are lessons I learned the hard way. These are lessons I learned too late. But these are lessons I am learning and committed in carrying forward. Truth is, I loved being married, and in time, I will get married again, and when I do, I will build it with a foundation that will endure any storm and any amount of time.

If you are reading this and find wisdom in my pain, share it those those young husbands whose hearts are still full of hope, and with those couples you may know who may have forgotten how to love. One of those men may be like I was, and in these hard earned lessons perhaps something will awaken in him and he will learn to be the man his lady has been waiting for.

MEN– THIS IS YOUR CHARGE: Commit to being an EPIC LOVER. There is no greater challenge, and no greater prize. Your woman deserves that from. Be the type of husband your wife can’t help but brag about.

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Respect Dare Day 4: The Vision

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It’s Day Four 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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In Nina Roesner’s book she say’s “He (God) has a specific purposes in mind that you were specially created to breathe life into for His people and His Glory.”

Another thing Nina say’s is “if you are married, one purpose for your life is to become Holy within the context of your marriage, shining His light to the world.”

It is EXTREMELY important to note that Nina says that if you are married, that your life’s purpose is “…within the context of your marriage…” because too often I’ve heard people say that God called them to leave their spouse so they could join with some other person at church and have a more effective ministry!  I’ve heard of churches and pastors who have looked the other way, knowing that one member of the choir is having an affair with the choir director, because they need the music ministry.  Seriously!  I can’t make this up!   And yet God has made it clear that He hates divorce and that we should not commit adultery–just look at the Ten Commandments.  If we are married, our life’s purpose is to shine HIS LIGHT within the context of our marriage.

This is not to say that you are expected to stay in a situation that is physically abusive or to continue in co-dependent or unhealthy dynamics.  Nope,  But how often have you heard people use the excuse of “abuse” and then come to find out that their spouse screamed at them for hours because they JUST found out about their adultery?!  So make no mistake–it is reasonable to be safe, but if you are married, your life purpose IS within your marriage…not with someone else.

Today, we are asked to use the assessment we did for Dare 3 and “write a positive purpose statement in the present tense, describing how and who you intend to be in four months.” “We are to keep them positive, avoiding “I’m no longer”, “I’m not”, or” I don’t” statements.  Write about two hundred words, being as descriptive as possible.”

When we’re finished, we are to rewrite it as a prayer and put it somewhere where we can see it at least once a day. “Begin the discipline of praying this statement as a daily prayer, from the heart, as you go through the remaining days of The Respect Dare.”

I love that we are asked to write this in the present tense, because although I may not perfectly display all the fruits of the spirit, guess what?  In real life, I AM a beloved daughter of the Most High God with the Holy Spirit living within me!  I am dead to sin and alive to God.  So this IS who I AM even if I am not fully sanctified yet.  For my vision statement, I’m using Galatians 5: 22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

I am loving toward my husband, my children, my neighbors, and myself.  By “love” I mean agape–Godly love, the kind of love that serves and is looking out for the other person’s highest best, even when they don’t want to hear it and it is hard. Love is helping others to obey God and love Him.

I am filled with joy, which is joy because of God’s grace, delighting in Him.  He’s literally the cause of my joy, not others, not my possessions, and not my circumstances.

I am peaceful, as in a wholesome sense of wellness and peace of mind.  Tranquility; a mild and friendly spirit.  Hey, let’s be honest.  When most people would be worried or stressed out, I am calm and at peace because I know that My Father is completely sovereign and has it all in His control!

I am patient, meaning I have tolerance and stay-power that is only produced by God.  If there are troubles, I can bare them and you know what?  Still be filled with joy!

I am kind.  You know what this one is?  Meeting real needs, in God’s way, in His timing.  It’s being useful to other people.

I am good, and I don’t mean that “righteous” kind of good.  I mean that kind where it’s a personal characteristic, like doing “good works” and behaving in a morally excellent way.

I am faithful, trustworthy, reliable, someone who keeps her promises.  My word is my guarantee.

I am gentle.  I LOVE this one!!!  This means I have divine power expressed with reservation and mildness; meekness.

I have self-control.  This one I take to mean that as a Believer I have mastery over my natural self, my old nature.  I have self-restraint; true mastery from within.

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

The Respect Dare, Day 4 – A Godly Purpose Statement by PeacefulWife
The Respect Dare – Day 4 by Tiffani at My Beloved is Mine
Dare 2 ~Vision~  by Jennifer at Unbroken Woman (our “Fearless Leader”)
The Respect Dare: Day Two by Orenda at Broken But Not Forgotten
Day 4 by Kamila at Your Marriage Is Your First Ministry
Respect Dare 4: Who I Will Become 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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If you use Gmail to get the Affaircare Newsletter…you need to read this!

Last week, Gmail made some changes to your inbox that you may not have even noticed.  Gmail added “Category Tabs” to the inbox.  Now, their plan was that emails that match certain criteria would be automatically sorted, so your inbox is easier to manage.  Sounds kind of nice, right?

UGH!  Wrong! 

By default, the categories are “Primary , Social, and Promotions” and sometimes people also see “Forums and Updates.” See the picture right here, where I have the Promotions tab highlighted in red:

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What do these tabs mean?  Well…Gmail decides FOR YOU, rather than allowing you to decide or filter.  Forums is supposed to filter emails relating to groups and forums–for example, your mailing list subscriptions.  Social groups all social networking messages together (surprise, right?).  Updates tab gathers emails that Gmail thinks are receipts, bills and statements. The Primary tab is the catch-all for other emails.  But the one that’s a little wonky is the Promotions tab.  Promotions is fairly self-explanatory, you’d think — it’s all of your offers, marketing mail, etc.

And these Category Tabs might be cool, if Gmail had allowed us to customize tabs for ourselves–like filter what does or doesn’t go into them, or make our own like a “Family” tab.  That would be GREAT!  But sadly that’s not how it works!  These are the only five tabs we can have, we can’t choose what goes into them or even rename them!

Here’s why this matters to you:  In a lot of cases, Gmail labels newsletters you’ve signed up for and asked for as “Promotions.”

That means, our weekly newsletter full of content you want because you want to save your marriage after an affair, will be featured alongside spammy marketing emails!!  That is so uncool!

People who opted in to our mailing list — and double confirmed their email — may not get our newsletters because Gmail decided to but up this wall between Affaircare and our community!

How to Ensure You Never Miss an Affaircare Newsletter or an Email from Cindy and David at Affaircare

Now we know you like the updates we share — which is why you’re on our list.  You also know that our goal has always been to provide wise, godly content that will help you save your marriage.  Plus, it’s not like we spam and bother people who don’t want anything to do with us; we respect our community and if you ask us, we email you.

We are POSITIVE you don’t want to miss out on emails like our newsletter or the Respect Dare daily email,  letting you know something that can either make – or break – your marriage after an affair.

So if that’s how you feel, we’ll show you what to do so you don’t miss out on emails from us.

You have two options.

Option #1–Disable Category Tabs

First, are you like us?  If you are, you want to be in control of ALL the email that gets sent to you (as opposed to trusting some shifty algorithm).  Right now if you get an email from Facebook and Gmail sorts it into the Social Tab, the only place that has any notification there’s an unread email is if you are in the Social Tab–your Inbox doesn’t show an unread email at all so you miss that comment from Facebook!  NOT COOL.  So do what we did:

Click the little X at the top right of your inbox — next to the tabs. It’s kind of small so look closely at the screenshot right here:

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Then, when that pops up, uncheck the “Social and Promotions” box, and click save:

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Then you’ll revert to the traditional, much BETTER Gmail inbox where YOU are in charge of seeing every single email!  YAY!!

Option #2 — Put Emails You Choose into Primary Tab

If you want to keep those crazy tabs for some reason, maybe for your email amusement (giggle) , but you don’t want to miss out on emails like ours that you want, do this:

Step 1: Go to the Promotions Tab (like this):

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Step 2: Find an Email from “Cindy and David at Affaircare” in your inbox. You can do ‘Control+F’ for Find, and then search for our name.

Step 3: Drag that email into your Primary Inbox.  Then, you’ll get an alert saying, “This conversation has been moved to “Primary.” Do this for future messages from affaircare@gmail.com?” And click “YES!”

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Thank you for caring about Affaircare and wanting to share in a community that helps couples recover after an affair!

 

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Respect Dare Day 3: My Godly-Wife Report Card

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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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Save Our Marriage Saturday — August 3rd

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:



Please click on the froggy to see the blog hop!

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.

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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

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 requestwith us anonymously.