Tag Archives: Love Kindler

What the Disloyal Spouse Can Do to Save Their Marriage

 

apology1. No Contact with the Other Person (OP).  Under no circumstance should you in any way have any contact with the Other Person!! Delete them from your contacts and then delete the means by which you stayed in touch, and if that means the inconvenience of changing your cell phone number then so be it. Endure the consequence of choosing to use that device to compromise your marriage! For me, I had been in touch via a secret email account , via a second FB account, via a game, and via the game’s forum…so I deleted the secret email altogether, deleted the second FB account and then stayed off FB altogether, removed the shortcuts for the game, deleted the game, and removed the bookmarks for the forum. The point here is not to think “What’s the bare minimum I need to do here in order to appear like I’m removing all contact while keeping one last way of contact open?” but rather to REALLY HONESTLY DO IT. Cut that person out of your life. Go over and above to remove not just the ways you did contact, but ways you could be tempted to contact.

Final thought: often people use their cell phone to either text with or call the OP, and it’s not enough to “remove them from the contact list.” It is much more thorough to get a new phone number. Now you may be tempted to think: “But all my work contacts have that number and it would be so inconvenient….” but you know what that shows? You are thinking of yourself and making YOUR life easy and “to heck with my spouse!” You are a grown up and you chose to be unfaithful, so it is reasonable for you to now endure a little inconvenience in order to go all out in ending contact. You may others endure pain for you–now it’s your turn, and it’s fair.

2. Transparency. This one will be difficult and scary, I guarantee! Being transparent is not just being honest, but rather being “see through.” Right now you have been hiding behind masks of “who you are” “what you think” and “what you feel”…holding up a false facade for your spouse to think you are who you are not. My guess is that you felt things that hurt and you were afraid to say them out loud or you felt unheard. My guess is that you thought things that were were ugly and things you knew would hurt your spouse so you didn’t want to share them…maybe avoiding the trouble you’d get into if you said “the truth.” My guess is that you want people to see you as “a fine, upstanding pillar of the community” and speak highly of you…when you are not ACTING like a fine, upstanding pillar of the community with high morals and character! Soooo…..you lied. And the lies caught up to you! NOW in order to save your marriage you are going to have to go against what you’ve gotten used to, and not only “tell the truth” but also open up about WHO you are, what you honestly FEEL, and what you truly THINK.

To me there were two parts to this transparency thing. First, I had hidden my computer, my secret email, my second FB, etc. from my Dear Hubby, so Part One was relatively easy–I let him in. I realized that a GIGANTIC part of my issue was that I had shut him out of my life and myself by excluding him. So Part One was to actively INCLUDE him in every single thing I did all day long. The easy stuff was letting him see my computer, letting him have my passwords, not locking things down and hiding them from him, letting him see my secret stuff, and letting him see me delete it all. We deleted everything TOGETHER so that it was like a ritual of ending the old/beginning the new. As I said, this was the easier part for me!

Part Two was to actively practice letting him see the True Me…with all my warts and everything… and then see if he really loved me! If I had a thought that was not so lovely, but it was true–I shared it. If I had a feeling that was painful, I didn’t bury it but instead I shared it. And sometimes my thoughts and feelings were “not all that great” and I let him see it! Now, did I come right out and say everything unedited? No. I realize that sometimes, in the heat of the moment my head “sees red” and I think swear words, and repeating that wouldn’t be productive–but what I WOULD do is let him know I was angry…REALLY angry…and that in order to be respectful to him I needed some time to settle down before I could discuss it. So share the truth (anger) but in a way that is still respectful.

3. Commit to actually DOING the work, not talking about it. Lots of people miss this one. They talk about “going to a counselor” and they talk about “doing whatever it takes to save our marriage” but then when it comes down to facing themselves in counseling or facing their fears or facing what they’ve truly done…it’s too much and they avoid, run, hide, flee. So right now, purpose in your heart that you KNOW you are going to have to look at YOU and ways YOU perceive things and ways YOU cope with things, and it’s going to be hard and scary…but you are going to DO it. When your counselor says “Write this journal or list”…you do it. When you come up to something that is hard or scary or painful, rather than avoiding it, make a promise in your heart to not run away. Rather than falling into your old pattern (which got you in this mess in the first place), remember and try the NEW pattern.

Final thought: There is no “say”…only do. Do not tell your spouse a bunch of promises about committing or doing anything blahblahblah. Your spouse does not believe you right now, AND by your actions you’ve already demonstrated that your commitment means nothing. So instead of telling them, just let your actions show them. Seriously, do not promise. Just DO IT.

4. Gather evidence of love to get through withdrawal. When you have an affair, it’s very similar to being an addict, because what you are addicted to is the “high” good feeling of someone thinking you’re wonderful. There actually is brain chemistry that goes off when you’re “in love” (infatuated) and thus, once you feel that rush of good feeling, you want more of it and the affair continues. When you end your affair and return to your spouse, to you it is going to feel like you are losing the “good feelings” high from OP, and turning to the person who made you feel bad in the first place (NOTE: I’m not saying that is the truth–just “how it feels.”) To you, it will feel like a huge LOSS because you are losing that person who thought you were great–the person who gave you that ‘infatuation high’ feeling!

So once you initiate No Contact, there is going to be a period of what I call “withdrawal.” Again, it is an analogy and not exactly like addiction withdrawal, but it is somewhat similar enough that it helps people understand. When you were in contact, the contact was “the drug”…so when you remove “the drug” you go into withdrawal: namely, the first couple days every few minutes you think about the OP, you think of excuses to contact them, you crave that contact, you NEED that contact! Gradually it begins to feel more desperate, and to some degree just like cold turkey, you just have to get through this. I did two things: 1) I told myself to wait 15 minutes “I will put this off for 15 minutes and check how I feel in 15 minutes.” Then in 15 min. I put it off again for 15 min. all through the day. The next day I put it off half an hour, then an hour, and so on and so on. 2) I gathered reminders of love, so that when I was craving something positive, something that loving, something that shows caring about me, I looked at my Dear Hubbies old love letters, an old card from him, a drawing he made, songs he wrote, etc. If I need the positive “high” of love, I went to my DEAR HUBBY to get it…no one else.

5. Spend “fun” time with your spouse. Right now, when your spouse thinks of “you” s/he associates you with painful emotions and hurtful thoughts. YOU=Pain, to your spouse. Often times, people get so focused on saving their marriage, and working to fix it, that all they do is the deep, long, intense talks and the tears…and they forget to be the kind of person their spouse would want to be with. So that association of YOU=Pain is enforced (because you=deep, long intense talks, navel gazing, and tears). It is REALLY important right now to begin to look at yourself and think: “If I were in my spouse’s shoes, would I date me right now?” and if the answer is no, then start to become the person they would date again. I’m not talking about “Go buy roses” –I mean being the kind of person with whom they would associate good or happy times! Be the sort of person who is interesting. At some point, you had things in common that you both enjoyed or that you shared together: music, sports, hobbies…something. So rather than being “a downer” who always talks about hurtful stuff all the time…on the occasion, take the pressure off, tell your spouse you just want to be best friends right now who really care about each other, view your spouse as your very best friend to whom you tell everything, and once-in-a-while, take them to something fun. Go to a concert, not as their date, but someone who is interested in a band they also love, and share the fun of hearing a band you both like. Begin to change to YOU=Positive. You=listen without judgement. You=share fun times. You=good feelings. Get it?

6. Be accountable to someone. This reconciling is HARD, so don’t think to yourself, “Oh I got this. I can do this by myself.” Find someone who is a GUY who can be your mentor. Find someone who will know when you are lying and sneaking around and who will call you on it!

7. End Love Extinguishers. Okay I view the love in a marriage like a campfire. There is stuff you can do to the love that builds the fire (that’s a love kindler) and there’s stuff you can do that puts out the fire (that’s a love extinguisher). We all do both, but lots of times what happens is we get so caught up in life, work and bills that we don’t realize we pretty much love extinguish ALL DAY LONG… and we’ve kind of dropped the love kindlers. Now most counselors will tell you to “date your spouse again” and whatnot, and that almost never works, but here’s why! You take your spouse out to dinner (love kindler to them) but then you complain about the bill and make a scene to get a free dessert (extinguisher to them). YOU think you should “get credit” for the dinner, but the dinner was a positive and a negative to the flame of love, and nothing built up! So it feels like spinning your wheels (because you are)!! In reality you don’t need to start dating your spouse–you need to stop the love extinguishers!

So if you really, really want to start working on building love, look at your own self. What harmful spirits do you have inside you that are putting out the blaze of love in your marriage? Are you a scorekeeper? A faultfinder? Disrespectful to your spouse? Withholding? No tender touches that don’t lead to sex? Unstable employment? Hidden debt? Don’t help with the house or kids? Discourteous? Give them the silent treatment? Angry explosions? Attack dog…attacking your spouse? Passive-aggressive?

Don’t think “Yeah, but s/he….” or “Those describe my spouse!” because what we are doing here today is to look at YOURSELF–HONESTLY. If you can say to yourself, just privately, “Yes, I do that” then pick that one and work on that one. If you are a scorekeeper, how can you learn to stop keeping score and give of yourself, your time, and your everything freely without expecting a reward for what you did? If you have had unstable employment, how can you demonstrate with your actions that you want your spouse to feel safe financially like they aren’t going to have to scramble to pay rent right before eviction? Again, this is not the time to make promises…just pick a couple of those typical love extinguishers and work on them, and let your actions speak for themselves.

8. Re-start Love Kindlers. After you’ve worked on becoming the person you want to be, after you’ve done the work and made changes, after you’ve stopped some of the bad habits that have inadvertently been destroying your marriage–THEN if your spouse is willing, you can re-start love kindlers. These are the things that people do to show love through their actions, and this is probably easier for people to do than the love extinguishers and that’s why they start here! However, think about this: at one point you and your spouse got along well enough that you two wanted to get married. You had some similar interests, enjoyed each other’s company, couldn’t wait to be together, couldn’t wait to talk, and did all kinds of goofy things to help love grow. Well…that means you already have a foundation to rebuild on! Think back to the days when you were dating, and become the person who attracted them again. They liked you! So there is hope….

In conclusion, I want to remind you that you committed adultery. Say it: ADULTERY. Your spouse would be 100% within their moral rights to walk away and never give you another chance. Some people are not able to get over infidelity and it is a deal-breaker for them. Period. And here’s the super important part: THEY are not the one who broke the marriage–YOU ARE because they were faithful and you went outside the marriage! If your spouse chooses to walk away, they are walking away from the rubble of the marriage that was, because you nuked it. If your spouse does give you any sort of chance, you have GOT TO think of it not as something they owe you or as a second chance you expect, but as A GIFT. Priceless and Precious.

You can choose to change whether your spouse continues the marriage or not, and I personally suggest that you do change. And here’s how we can tell if the change is “real”–we would see you doing 180 degrees the opposite of what you used to be doing, and more importantly, we would see you taking the time for your life to demonstrate, through your behavior and actions, that you are DIFFERENT! The thief doesn’t only stop robbing-they do actions that help others! The liar doesn’t only stop lying–they start telling the truth. The adulterer doesn’t only stop the affair–they start acting in a way that protects their marriage and spouse FROM YOUR OWN WEAKNESSES.

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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]

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 Kindlers #7 Security Commitment ~AND~ Save Our Marriage Saturday

We are continuing our month-long “Back to School–Back to Basics” series and this week we’ll be going over the seven Love Kindlers.  To understand what a Love Kindler 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.

Today the third Love Kindler to stoke the blaze of passion and love in your marriage today  is:  Social Commitment!   Security commitment is meeting your spouse’s needs such as:

  • Supporting your spouse in times of crisis
  • Turning to your spouse when you have a crisis
  • Standing by your spouse
  • Being loyal and committed to the marriage first
  • Presenting a united front
  • Making sure the relationship is secure
  • Being “a soft place” for your spouse to fall–a safe haven

Over this month, we will be going “Back to School” by going over all our Basic Concepts.   This week we will examine the Love Kindlers–next week the Love Extinguishers.  During the third week of September we’ll look at the Seven Steps to End an Affair, and for the last week of the month, 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:



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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 Mondays, Time-Warp Wife-Titus 2sdays, …to Love, Honor and Vacuum–Wifey Wednesdays, Unveiled Wives Wednesdays, Grace Alone/Women Taking a Stand–Thankful Thursdays, and Beholding Glory–Faith Filled Fridays.

Back to Basics–Love Kindlers #6 Social Commitment


We are continuing our month-long “Back to School–Back to Basics” series and this week we’ll be going over the seven Love Kindlers.  To understand what a Love Kindler 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.

Today the third Love Kindler to stoke the blaze of passion and love in your marriage today  is:  Social Commitment!  Social Commitment is meeting your spouse’s social needs, such as:

  • Including your spouse in your social activities
  • Encouraging your spouse’s social life
  • Sharing fun recreational activities together
  • Sharing joy and laughter
  • Publicly expressing affection
  • Spending free time with each other
  • Offering personal free time
  • Being your companion
  • Engaging in conversation about topics you find interesting
  • Expressing interest and caring by listening well

Over this month, we will be going “Back to School” by going over all our Basic Concepts.   This week we will examine the Love Kindlers–next week the Love Extinguishers.  During the third week of September we’ll look at the Seven Steps to End an Affair, and for the last week of the month, 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 Kindlers #5 Family Commitment

We are continuing our month-long “Back to School–Back to Basics” series and this week we’ll be going over the seven Love Kindlers.  To understand what a Love Kindler 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.

Today the third Love Kindler to stoke the blaze of passion and love in your marriage today  is:  Family Commitment!   Family Commitment is meeting your spouse’s needs for:

Over this month, we will be going “Back to School” by going over all our Basic Concepts.   This week we will examine the Love Kindlers–next week the Love Extinguishers.  During the third week of September we’ll look at the Seven Steps to End an Affair, and for the last week of the month, 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 Kindlers #4 Financial Commitment

We are continuing our month-long “Back to School–Back to Basics” series and this week we’ll be going over the seven Love Kindlers.  To understand what a Love Kindler 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.

Today the third Love Kindler to stoke the blaze of passion and love in your marriage today  is:  Financial Commitment!  Financial Commitment is meeting your spouse’s monetary needs:

  • Providing financially for the family and children
  • Able to pay monthly bills
  • Living a lifestyle that’s mutually acceptable to both of you
  • Contributing to family income
  • Contributing to paying off family debt
  • Able to plan for future financial stability
  • Living by a budget

It’s a perpetual debate really: women say that “men only want me for my looks (or my body)” and men say that “women only want me for my wallet.”  The funny thing is…both sides are correct, and neither side is shallow because of it.  People do “fall-in-love,” and the blaze of love keeps burning brightly, when the things that kindled the love in the first place are ongoing.  So for example, when he was young and looking for a girl, chances are good he was looking for someone whom he thought was attractive: with pretty hair, nice eyes, a warm smile, make up that made her look even more pretty, a clean body with a good smell, and clothing that fit well and complimented her figure!  But likewise, when she was young and pretty and looking for a nice young man, part of what attracted her to a certain fella was the fact that he was able to “pay for the date” or get her gifts.  She may have considered whether he was training in a profession that would likely provide some security for her and whatever family they might choose to have as a couple.  The idea that she and her children would likely be secure was PART of what made her “fall in love” with that very young, nerdy guy!

In the same way that it’s not shallow for a husband to want his wife to stay attractive, dress well, keep herself clean and physically fit…it is not shallow for a wife to want her husband to keep their family FINANCIALLY fit, living a lifestyle to which they agree, not put them into debt and financial ruin.  And it is just as reasonable for a husband to want his wife to contribute financially, either by working herself OR by living within a budget, not overspending, not living beyond their means, and managing the household in a way that is appropriate to their financial reality!

The classic financial collision occurs when the wife is complaining about needing more money and overspending–that is to say, she is living beyond their means and demanding more, More, MORE—but then also complaining that he is always at work and never spends any time with her.  Ladies, here it is in a nutshell: if you want him to spend more time with you that is absolutely reasonable, but … that means he will be working LESS, and you are going to have to discipline yourself to live WITHIN THE BUDGET!  You’ll have to do “without” the dinners out and the trips/vacations…but the payoff is that he will be there with you paying attention and enjoying your company.  So which is worth more to you?  Pick ONE and then be content with the consequence of your choice.

Likewise, if your wife met and fell in love with you because you were a decent, middle-management, white-collar kind of guy…then don’t be surprised when her love dies QUICKLY when you are unemployed and for three years don’t even look for a job and don’t contribute to the household!  The economy is rough these days, and not everyone who loses a job finds one right away, even if they look every day and look hard!  But if you sit around in your sweats and play Xbox all day, don’t care for the children, and let the household chores go ignored while she has to “do it all”–you are setting your marriage up for destruction, and it’s because of a lack of Financial Commitment.

Over this month, we will be going “Back to School” by going over all our Basic Concepts.   This week we will examine the Love Kindlers–next week the Love Extinguishers.  During the third week of September we’ll look at the Seven Steps to End an Affair, and for the last week of the month, 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 Kindlers #3 Physical Commitment

We are continuing our month-long “Back to School–Back to Basics” series and this week we’ll be going over the seven Love Kindlers.  To understand what a Love Kindler 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.

Today the third Love Kindler to stoke the blaze of passion and love in your marriage today  is:  Physical Commitment!  Physical Commitment is meeting your spouse’s needs:

  • To be touched regularly and in a way they enjoy
  • To be kissed regularly and in a way they enjoy
  • To be hugged regularly and in a way they enjoy
  • To have physical tenderness expressed, like by holding hands or cuddling
  • For a sex life that is fulfilling for both of you
  • To be physically attracted to you

When people talk about the Physical Commitment of marriage, they often think of sex, and that’s understandable because that topic is so prevalent in our society.   But there is so much more to Physical Commitment than just physical intimacy!!   Of course, one major issue that marriages can have is one spouse with a higher sex drive and one with a lower sex drive.  No two people are ever exactly the same, and sometimes our attitudes about sex and/or the physical release and pleasure that comes with sex can be deeply affected by events in our pasts.  HOWEVER, the one moral place of God-sanctioned, sacred sexuality is within a marriage commitment!!  So if you are using sex as a weapon to control your spouse, or you are withholding sex as a punishment for not doing what you want, you are denying your spouse the one legitimate place to enjoy their God-given sexuality.

As I mentioned, though, Physical Commitment is so much more than just sex.  Marriage is a commitment for life, and as life goes on and a couple ages, the hormones that drive sexuality decrease–this is natural.  It happens to everyone.  So Physical Commitment also encompasses being dedicated to giving your spouse positive physical touches (like hugs and kisses) and affectionate touches that are not related to sex.  Beyond that, as our bodies age, there is the Physical Commitment of caring for your spouse’s body: helping with medical care, encouraging them to lose weight or exercise, helping them to eat foods that are physically beneficial by preparing wholesome meals, and doing what you can to care for them physically such as providing massages.  Part of the fidelity of marriage is choosing to act in a way that benefits your spouse physically.

Over this month, we will be going “Back to School” by going over all our Basic Concepts.   This week we will examine the Love Kindlers–next week the Love Extinguishers.  During the third week of September we’ll look at the Seven Steps to End an Affair, and for the last week of the month, 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 Kindlers #2 Spiritual Commitment

Today we are continuing our month-long “Back to School–Back to Basics” series and this week we’ll be going over the seven Love Kindlers.  To understand what a Love Kindler 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.

Today, to stoke the blaze of passion and love in your marriage today, the second Love Kindler is:  Spiritual Commitment!  

  • Offering your spouse forgiveness
  • Supporting your spouse’s spiritual values
  • Having a shared spiritual life
  • Respecting your spouse’s beliefs
  • Living a personally transparent, moral life

The “spiritual” part of this kindler has to do with your spiritual lives as a couple and as a family.  As you know, here are Affaircare we are Christian Nouthetic counselors, so we do take a distinctly Christian view on what spirituality is and what that means in your marriage.  Thus, to be spiritually committed to your spouse means that you recognize that BOTH of you are forgiven sinners.  You hope for some degree of mercy and forgiveness when you are less-than-perfect, and so does your spouse.  But on an even deeper level, spiritual commitment means that you care about the spiritual life of your spouse enough that you will encourage them to grow in their relationship to God, encourage them to read the Bible regularly, encourage them to pray personally and with you, encourage them to attend church and edify the Body of Christ, and encourage your spouse to live a life that is pleasing to and obedient to God!   If you are a husband, you will love your wife as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for her and you will lead your wife and your family in a godly way.  If you are a wife, you will respect your husband as the one with god-appointed authority in your relationship and submit to him as we, The Church, submit to Christ, our Lord.

Over this month, we will be going “Back to School” by going over all our Basic Concepts.   This week we will examine the Love Kindlers–next week the Love Extinguishers.  During the third week of September we’ll look at the Seven Steps to End an Affair, and for the last week of the month, 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”!!

The Alabaster Jar