requests/replies - PSAs/sobbing, sex, working wives/Russia - 1/02
cmfce at smartmarriages.com
Tue Jan 8 12:47:45 EST 2002
subject: requests/replies - PSAs/sobbing, sex, working wives/Russia - 1/02
from: Smart Marriages
I'm wondering who out there is doing public service announcements on
marriage? I know the fatherhood folks have some great ones on fathers,
who's doing the same thing for marriage? I believe the Tennessee First
Things First group or the Cleveland group has something in the area but I'd
like to know what all is out there that we can obtain free or for cold hard
Dept. of Human Development, Consumer & Family Sciences
South Dakota State University
I'll collect these and share any info with the list. - diane
REPLIES TO AND FROM SOBBING IN OHIO:
Please let sobbing in Ohio know that she's not alone. My husband had a 1 1/2
year affair with his secretary. Only difference is that we were newlyweds!
I'm not sure what is worse - 20 years or 20 days. Regardless, I agree with
your advice and also suggest Frank Pittman's book: Private Lies. It is
excellent! Our marriage is now 7 years strong and still going. We spent a
weekend at Retrovaille and now participate regularly in ACME (Marriage
enrichment). Your site is also an inspiration and we often read the articles
together in the evenings. Keep up your good work! It is appreciated by all!
Stronger than Ever in Georgia!
Thanks and so proud of you - I'll add Private Lies and Grow Up to the
Infidelity page w/ your endorsement. - diane
> I mean no disrespect, but as a counselor for SMART MARRIAGES, I disagree
> with what you said to my e-mail.. . If you scroll down you will see where
> you said that I am punishing myself because he FELL. I really have a hard
> time with that philosophy on adultery. To fall, is to fall down, get up, it
> was an accident. Adultery is not an "accident". When people casually say,
> oh he fell, he is just a man, he is human,,,,,,then what are the women???
> It is as though you are saying, "he stepped in the room and a big wind
> caught him and blew his clothes off and he landed on top of her, he fell, it
> was an accident." That happened off and on again on a regular basis for 3
> years? I can't believe that marriage "professionals" believe it is an
> accident. It is a deliberate step; especially to stay in that relationship
> for 3 years. You don't think that permament damage is done by that kind of
> conduct? I believe it is a man who lacks the courage, yes a coward, who
> cannot resist the advances of another woman, especially another married
> woman. That is the sign of a weak man. A man with no integrity. If he
> can't be trusted with a vow he made for life, to the woman he promised to be
> faithful to, in front of hundreds of witnesses, then what is his word worth
> in any other situation??? I am serious. I believe the television, movies
> and songs have made adultery an acceptable behavior. How can that be? It
> hurts so many many people in the long run. Truly, adultery is not just a
> slip on a banana peel.
Fall has many meanings. You can continue like this, spending your energy
convincing yourself and strangers like me that what he did is unforgivable,
or you can begin to work with him to reestablish your marriage and hopefully
heal the breech. It's true that a "fall" can mean just a slip on a banana
peel, or it can mean a fall from grace, trust, responsibility, goodness -
and happiness. I never said adultery was an accident or that he was
blameless. If that were the case there would be no need for you to work to
forgive him. It hurts to read how badly you hurt. Many, many of us have
walked in your shoes - or in his, or in your children's. We all hope you
can find a way to recover what you've lost.
Maybe you might want to put some effort into working on the media and its
messages. I just finished reading "A Man In Full" by Tom Wolfe - that's
certainly an anti-adultry book! - I wish it could be made required reading
in our high schools. I'm guessing that Wolfe read all of Frank Pittman's
books before he wrote his novel - Man Enough, Private Lies, and Grow Up! -
Following up to Still sobbing in Ohio:
I can imagine that the pain of being on the receiving end of infidelity is
excruciating; it should be. After all, it's a violation to the core of your
personal trust and your marital oneness. And the healing is neither simple,
nor quick. It won't happen through denial, techniques, or pretending. But,
neither will it happen by extended focusing on the wound. Certainly there
needs to be some time given to expressing (and being heard about) the pain.
But whatever your particular route to healing, whatever seminars or other
help you might seek, I believe the following three elements can be helpful
parts of your ultimate return to wholeness and intimacy; and--as Diane
said--very possibly steps forward toward a stronger marriage than you've
ever experienced before:
1. Forgiveness, of course, is the salve crucial to eventual healing; you
already know that. Without it, any appearance of healing is only that: an
appearance. And yet, forgiveness is the very thing we least feel like
offering; withholding forgiveness may feel like the only thing you have
control over--given that you were on the receiving end of his moral failure.
But, in the face of this tortuous dilemma--to forgive or not to forgive, I
have found Lew Smedes' comment in Forgive and Forget: Healing the Hurts We
Don't Deserve to be the most helpful observation I've ever heard about the
challenge of forgiveness: "In forgiving you set a prisoner free, but you
discover that the real prisoner was yourself."
2. For the person of (Judeo-Christian) faith (skip over this point if this
doesn't describe you), we inevitably are faced with God's invitation to
consider how far short of His righteousness every one of us has fallen and,
therefore, how incredibly great has been His forgiveness of us; far, far
greater (if you can imagine it) than even forgiving infidelity. On what
grounds, then, dare we respond to those who've wronged us (ultimately, as
we're able) with any less grace?
3. And, finally, it will take time. The process can't be rushed; but it
won't take forever. Don't lose hope. This is why it's generally better not
to try to go through it alone; we can easily discourage ourselves into
giving up. Here's where those family, friends, clergy, etc. that Diane
mentioned can prove crucial to supporting us through the tough times when we
wonder whether we have the strength to get to the finish line.
May God grant you the grace sufficient for the task.
- - - - - - - - -
Reading the email from Sobbing in Ohio brought back many memories. I was in
her position 6 years ago, wondering if I would survive the emotional
onslaught from his 5 year affair. I am happy to say, that 6 years later, my
husband and I are still married. Through a lot of work, patience and
understanding, my husband and I have worked through a lot of the issues that
resulted in his affair. It does take time, and it does take effort, and it
does take patience. Looking back on these 6 years, I have learned a lot,
and I have grown a lot.
I do trust him again, but a lot of that has to do not with what I have done,
but what he eventually did to earn the trust again. No, I can't say that
we've had a monogamous marriage, but I can say I like the marriage we have
now a whole lot better than the one we had 6 years ago. It takes one day at
a time to build a new marriage from the ashes that are left behind.
INFIDELITY RESEARCH COMMENT:
Diane, on the infidelity research project, you MIGHT suggest to her that you
should be the go between so people get the questionaire through you, or thru
a website. They will not want to get it directly from the PhD candidate.
WORLD CLASS RUSSIAN MARRIAGE:
I wanted to let you know of our latest exciting news--that World Class
Marriage will be published in Russia by Stupeni Publishing House in Moscow!
This will bring to seven our foreign translations--starting with the
Netherlands (where Partners! as it is called was published this past year),
then Hungary (as Ötcsillagos Házasság --debuting in March this year), then
to be followed by France, Germany, Mexico and China!
Interestingly, our Russian publisher will also publish a limited edition of
World Class Marriage in English for use in teaching social workers at
Far-Eastern State Technical University in Vladivostok--the largest
university in Eastern Russia.
It is very exciting for us to have World Class Marriage making its way
around the world--especially in a place like Russia!
Patty Howell, President
WORKING WIVES RESEARCH:
***I NEED YOUR HELP RESEARCHING MY NEW BOOK!***
by Azriela Jaffe, author of "Honey, I Want to start my Own Business, a
Planning Guide for Couples, and "Two Jews Can Still be a Mixed Marriage,
Reconciling Differences Regarding Judaism in Your Marriage", publisher
of the ECS newsletter and presenter at the Smart Marriages 2002 conference.
I have a new book in the works and I need YOUR input for my research.
Please read the posting below, and PLEASE, take a few moments to respond to
my queries if you have expertise on this subject as a marriage
professional, or a married person. Thank you. I know that many of you have
much wisdom to share on this timely topic.
"Permission to Prosper, What Working Wives Crave from Their Husbands and
How to Get it!" (Prima Publishing, Fall, 2002)
Following are questions for married men and women, followed by questions
specifically for the marriage counseling and research professionals on this
Women - Are you struggling in a marriage to a man who is subtly or
blatantly resentful of your commitments to your working life? Do you feel
that you sometimes need to make a choice between keeping your husband
happy, or giving your career the commitment of time and energy that it
needs? Are you driven by a craving for your husband's approval? Are you so
averse to his disapproval, you'll put your own needs aside in order to keep
him happy? Do you sometimes sabotage your career success because it seems
to threaten your husband's ego or make you too unavailable to him? Are you
outearning your husband and concerned about how this is impacting your
Or, are you a woman with good news to share -- an incredibly supportive
cheerleader husband who encourages you to be successful in your working
life, while still enjoying an intimate and loving marriage? You honestly
believe that you wouldn't be where you are today, in your career, if it
were not for your husband. What exactly does he do for you that helps you
feel that you can prosper, with his total encouragement and endorsement?
What are each of you doing right to create a successful dual-career
Men - I want to hear from you on both sides of this issue -- whether you
are struggling with your wife's career commitments and the subsequent
sacrifices you must make -- or whether you are thoroughly delighted with
all of the fame, income, and self-satisfaction she can bring into the
household -- the more the better!
mailto:azriela at mindspring.com. Email me your personal stories, your
insight, your fears, your frustration, your questions, and a description of
those "lightbulb moments" in your life when you suddenly became clear about
something related to this topic.
Please include where you live, your sex and age, how long you are married,
and whether you wish to be included in the book with your real name, or
anonymously. Once I hear from you, I will follow up with more questions.
Marriage counselors and professionals: How is this issue showing up in your
practice? What strategies are you recommending for helping couples heal
from this crisis? What do you believe are the root causes? What have you
seen couples or married individuals do that DOES NOT work? That DOES work?
What do you think men are really afraid of when they resist their wives'
prosperity? What do you think women are afraid of when they sabotage
themselves in order to keep their husbands' approval? What's that deeply
felt craving for a husband's approval all about? Do you think that husbands
also crave their wives' approval? To the same extent? How is it different?
Please email me your thoughts, and tell me of your expertise.
mailto:azriela at mindspring.com
Authors: If you have written a book that would be helpful to couples in
crisis, please send me a review copy to 793 Sumter Drive, yardley, PA
19067. If I can use it in my research and help you promote it by mentioning
it in my book, I'm happy to do so.
Also, tell me that you saw this posting in Smart Marriages
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