Ok, so i'm watching Oprah... NOT something i do very often. I have issues with her and her agendas, but when i saw the topic of today (affair-proofing your marriage) i knew that i had to watch the remainder of the show. (half way through the second part of a 2 part series) And the the number one recommendation that the expert provided was to Appreciate your spouse, and SHOW your spouse appreciation.
I have to tell you, i nearly had to jump out of my seat and scream "YES!" because this guy is right on the nose! Oprah was handling the whole conversation very tastefully and neutrally, and one woman had to get out there and tell oprah that she was being too sensitive toward the men, and that she just needed to "give it to them" and Oprah very calmly replied that her purpose was to understand the situations behind affairs so that others could prevent them. and there were a few ideas that were brought up by this woman, that i had to post about because i think they are REALLY common fallacies that many women believe and it may be costing them their marriage! This is an issue that is close to my heart for a variety of reasons. After being married 14+ years, while neither of us have had a physical affair, we have both made poor choices, and compromised our marriage as a result.
Fallacy #1- Affairs are all about your upbringing. (Ie. a GOOD person would never have an affair.
This is absolutely untrue. If it were all about MY upbringing, i have to tell you, i'd be a complete criminal, and a wholly useless human being. The thing is, that God is faithful and can often provide where our lives lacked. Just because you were raised in a negative way does NOT mean that you are in any way destined to be a rotten person or an adulterer. In contrast, you could be raised in the most perfect, wonderful, Christian home, and STILL fall prey to the sin of adultery. Granted, a person who cheats on his or her spouse is likely NOT in a great place as far as relationship with God, but relationships with God, like relationships with people are fluid and ever-changing. And the bottom line is, LIFE HAPPENS. I've heard SO many describe their affairs as happening during a "perfect storm of events" That is no coincidence. We are ALL sinners, and we ALL have the potential to be broken down by life to the point of doing things we would never have imagined possible.
Fallacy #2 its wrong to suggest that an affair could have been prevented by a the spouse's behavior. I mean after all, we as women have SO Much already to do, one more thing is unreasonable to expect.
Oprah very wisely pointed out that to suggest ways that an event could be prevented is NOT the same as assigning blame. Personally, i believe that spouses DO have a responsibility to one another, to encourage them, and edify them and help them in whatever ways necessary. So if this lady is saying that there's no TIME to be an attentive wife, i'd have to disagree 100%. If you are too busy to complement your husband here and there, to notice when he does nice things for you, to recognize when he's worked a really hard day and let him know you appreciate all he does for your family, then you need to SERIOUSLY re-evaluate what is causing you to be so "busy" and if indeed you even want to be a part of a married couple, because that's NOT something you can ignore! Not if you want to stay married anyway! Especially if you are a Christian woman, you need to get the world's way of living OUT of your mind, because it is a *LIE* If you want a happy, healthy marriage you need to put TIME into it, you need FAR more than the average 12 minutes a day of meaningful conversation, you need date nights, you need a good, strong, sexual relationship, you need to make your spouse feel SPECIAL, so they won't be drawn away by someone ELSE that is willing to make them feel special.
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY- So now i know you are all thinking, "But wait, having an affair is a CHOICE, anyone can just choose to NOT to have an affair!" And to that i'd say that i'm not assigning any "BLAME" to the spouse, even though i DO think that their behavior can either build up a spouse or tear him or her down, and so there is some element of responsibility there, like it or not, that is life. We as a married couple are ONE body, we are ONE being, and we affect the well being of each other regularily. That's just part of being married! Bottom line, there comes a point where you have to trust in the character of your spouse. Given NORMAL HEALTHY marital relations, a spouse with a good moral fiber will NOT be tempted to cheat, but i think that given the right perfect storm, any one person CAN indeed fall. Its a delicate balance. I don't believe its necessary to be an alarmist and think that if you aren't having physical relations with your husband every day that he'll be tempted to cheat. However, it IS a necessity to be having frequent satisfying physical relations with your spouse. You can't play the "I don't have time" card. Your first priority in life, if you are married, SHOULD be to be an attentive spouse, so make time for that, and if you are a guy, make time for doting on your wife, making her feel special, taking a hated chore off her hands. ITs the BEST aphrodisiac, i can attest to this PERSONALLY! But don't forget about the little things you can do to build up your spouse, because they ADD UP!
There's much more to be said, i'm sure, but life goes on and dinner must be served to grumpy children so i'm signing out! I just hope to encourage you ladies to really BE there for your spouse! to make an affair an incomprehensible concept. To be able to say to yourself IF the unspeakable DOES happen in your family, that you did EVERYTHING in your power to prevent it. Marriage is SO under attack in our society and there's SO few voices defending it.