Real Talk w/Terry (formerly Relationships-411)

Couple of the Week Recap

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7 (ESV)

These are the beautiful couples we profiled this past month. They both offer great advice and demonstrate that love endures all things.

Paul & Linda

Married: July 22, 1978

Divorced: August 22, 1996

Re-married: December 31, 1997

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Their Word of Wisdom to other couples, “Marriage is a commitment between three: God, the husband and the wife. No one person on earth will fulfill all your needs. That is why marriages need a Christ-centered relationship, so Christ can fulfill all your needs that the spouse can’t; there is no room for selfishness in marriage. Treat your spouse as though they are your best friend.”

Izzy & DeBorah

Married June 3rd

IMG_6369Izzy ( nickname ) and DeBorah met while in college, at the time he was going through a divorce. And DeBorah was totally disabled, the result of a car accident. After two homes and raising a blended family of five children the couple has been together for 22 years 17 of them married. DeBorah says, “my husband is a very funny yet intelligent man, family oriented and makes me grateful to be alive.”

Advice the couple offers to other couples is to remember why you fell in love with your spouse and always remember the good that they do on a daily basis … this will help you overlook their ‘supposed’ shortcomings; keep a list of their good qualities and look at it everyday so that every time you look at them or look into their eyes you will always remember the good that you loved about them.

Is Infidelity Grounds For A Divorce?

A couple of years ago, I had an encounter with a young lady who was at her wits end. She had just learned that her husband and children’s father had an affair and had fathered, not one, but two children outside of their marriage. She was extremely frustrated at the fact that many people in her circle of friends and acquaintances knew of this affair and the first love child, and chose not to tell her. She learned of the affair as the mistress was about to give birth to baby number two. As a Christian, she solicited my advice concerning what I felt she should do in the situation. She point blank asked me, “can I leave my husband, he cheated on me?” I was a little speechless, and was trying to think fast on my feet. I knew that she was eager to hear what I had to say, but more importantly I knew that I could not say something that could lead this young lady to make one of the most important decisions of her life. I then responded, “let’s see what the bible says about divorce.” She continued sharing as I frantically looked for scriptures on my Bible Gateway app to share with her. I feverishly scrolled through the Old Testament then the New Testament looking for scriptures to share.

First off, in Malachi 2:6, the bible says, “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect” says the Lord Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful. The scripture passage before this one ends with the words, do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth. God knows the pain and shame that is caused by a spouse’s unfaithfulness and warns of infidelity by telling husbands not to harm their wives by first of all hating them, then by being unfaithful and finally divorcing them. God clearly does not like divorce, however, God knows that man and woman are not perfect and that we live in a fallen world. He knew that infidelity would exist. And therefore gave Moses guidelines in the Law where divorce was acceptable. In Deuteronomy 24:1, the bible says that a man can divorce his wife if he finds something indecent about her; and in the New Testament in Matthew 5:32 the bible clearly states sexual immorality as an acceptable reason for a divorce.

Now back to my conversation with this young lady, I tried to distract her from the subject as much as possible, but did read through the scriptures that I found concerning divorce. And she of course was relieved and jubilant when I read Matthew 5:32, exclaiming, “see, the bible says that sexual immorality is a reason for divorce!” I could not disagree with her, but continued my tactic of distracting her.

Matthew 5:32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (NIV)

Based on what the bible says about divorce, one would conclude that a spouse can divorce based on unfaithfulness. This being true, it is not God’s original design for marriage. Realizing it was not good for man to be alone, God created Eve for Adam and stated that they were one flesh. And regarding marriage, “that for this reason shall a man leave his father and mother.” The man leaves his father and mother to become one with his wife. Clearly God’s original blue print for marriage was that it would be until death parted the couple. However, the part of the vow that says, “until death do us part” is not the reality for many couples. And like the young lady I was talking to, divorce becomes not only an option, but their reality.

Where is the TRUST in this relationship?

Seems like forever since I’ve posted on this blog, but it’s only been about a month, the optimist in me keeps saying just a few weeks – I do however appreciate all of my followers and TRUST that you will continue to follow my relationship blog despite the fact that I have not posted as regularly as I have in the past. I am just now realizing how hard it is to consistently write when there is a small infant in your constant care and a pre-schooler who still needs mommy for a lot of things. 🙂

I did however, get a sudden inspiration to post after watching one of my new favorite reality shows, VH1’s “Couples Therapy”; not sure why I’m mesmerized by and must watch this newest reality debacle, but I confess, I’m hooked!

In this particular episode one of the couples, Kasey Kahl (“Bachelorette”) and Vienna Girardi (“The Bachelor”) got into a heated arguement because Kasey had read Vienna’s text messages while she was in the shower and he discovered that she was communicating with another male while they were attending couple’s therapy.

Kasey felt as if their attending the therapy and trying to make amends was a big lie since she was anxiously awaiting meeting up with another man.

Kasey reading Vienna’s text messages brought up a hot issue in the couple’s therapy, is it okay for your partner to go through your cell phone? Dr. Jenn stated that if there is trust in the relationship a partner going through the other’s phone usually is not a problem, but for a couple that already has trust issues – a partner going through the other’s cell phone is a major issue.

Personally, I never think about going through my husband’s cell phone; perhaps, that is because I trust him. Fortunately, he has never given me a reason not to trust him. Besides, snooping on the other partner never solves the underlying problem of trust anyway. When there is an issue with trust, the couple must deal with this head on and begin to build the foundation in their relationship where trust is reestablished.

Rebuilding trust is especially hard for those who have been cheated on – this was discussed by Hulk Hogan’s ex-wife Linda and DMX’s estranged wife Tashera; both women discussed how they felt when they learned that they had been cheated on by their husbands. The episode ended with the couples listening to and trying to help other couples work through their trust issues.

In closing, I once heard the statement, “if you go looking for wrong, you will not find right.” Do you think it is okay for couples to look through their partner’s cell phone?

Kim K’s 20.5 kt Wedding Ring

There has been much talk since Kim Kardashian announced that she had filed for divorce from her husband Kris Humphries after only 72 days of marriage. Most of the gossip has been about her lavish 20.5-carat wedding ring which is a 16.5-carat emerald cut center stone set between two 2-carat trapezoids. Considering the short duration of the marriage and the cost of the ring, should she give the ring back? Is it right that she keeps the ring after only 72 days of marriage?


The line tends to be pretty clear concerning the etiquette of giving back an engagement ring if the bride or groom-to-be calls off the wedding, however, the water gets muddy in a situation where the wedding actually happens, but the marriage is short lived as in the Kardashian situation. Many are saying she should give the ring AND her wedding gifts back.
Regarding the engagement ring, apparently there is a prenuptial agreement between Kim K. and Kris Humphries; if Kim wants to keep the ring – sounds like she does – she will have to pay Kris the original purchase price, a reported $2 million. As for the wedding gifts, Kim K. has reportedly donated their gifts to the Dream Foundation, a charity which grants wishes to terminally ill adults. This donation unbeknownst to Kris … the marriage really was over before it even started!

Top 5 Reasons for a Divorce

A few months ago, my husband and I had the opportunity to teach a marriage enrichment class to the married and engaged couples at our church. My husband suggested that we cover communication in marriage and tasked me with researching the topic and starting the outline to our notes. After researching communication in marriage and starting our notes, I soon realized that our subject matter had greatly expanded. Not only did I cover the topic of communication in marriage, but I expanded it to include the top 3 reasons why people divorce, and one reason being communication issues.

After finishing our notes, I proudly emailed them to my husband for his review and input; he wanted to know how our topic had morphed from communication in marriage to the top 3 reasons for divorce in marriage. My explanation of how I incorporated the other material and expanded our topic didn’t quite convince him that I had correctly interpreted what he said – at this point we were working through our own little “miscommunication,” needless to say after much urging on my part, he understood my point and we
went forth with the top 3 reasons for divorce.

I recently revisited the top reasons why couple’s divorce and have listed the top five reasons for divorce as of 2009:

  1. Infidelity – topping the list was infidelity or unfaithfulness in the marriage.  Most everyone has a theory on why spouses cheat, whatever the reason, infidelity is usually a deal breaker for the spouse who has been the victim of a cheating spouse. Despite this being the leading cause of divorces, there are many couples who seek out counseling, forgive and move on with their lives after an affair.
  2. Finances – financial difficulties and/or differences in spending and saving habits was the second most common reason cited for divorce. The present economic climate has put a lot of strain on marriages because there are many households where one or both spouses have either been laid off or one of the spouses may be underemployed.
  3. Communication – poor communication or lack thereof in a marriage has caused the demise of one too many marriages. Oftentimes, a husband and wife will have different communication styles, there is nothing wrong with this, however differing communication styles will take understanding from both partners to correctly interpret what is being said in a conversation. I once heard the saying, “what you don’t say, sometimes speaks louder than what you do say.” Remember silence can be golden or deadly!
  4. Incompatibility – some say opposites attract and perhaps this is a good thing for those who appreciate the difference in their spouse. However, incompatibility is not a trivial matter. There are some basics that every couple should agree on such as: money management, how they will raise their children, religious beliefs, and their career goals and aspirations.
  5. Physical, Sexual, Emotional Abuse – abuse in marriage is seldom talked about until it involves a celebrity and is in the national news. Sadly there are many women and some men who endure years of abuse in an attempt to make their marriage work. Without a strong commitment and desire to change from the abuser, the victim in many abuse situations walks away from the marriage.

Other popular reasons cited for a divorce in 2009 were gambling and substance abuse. In 2011, as evidenced by recent research regarding trends in divorce, social networking is making tracks considering it was not even on the list in 2009. We now know that social networking and Facebook is being cited as the cause for many divorces.

Suggested Sites:

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/healthymarriage/

http://www.healthymarriageinfo.org/index.aspx

http://www.preventingdivorce.com/

HELP! I Married Mrs./Mr. Wrong

For most people their wedding day is one that they  will never forgot. It doesn’t matter if there was some sort of mishap or if the day went off without a glitch, most have fond memories of the day they exchanged  nuptials. For those of us who are married –and have been for any number of  years – know that after every wedding comes a marriage.

For some couples their marriage has its share of ups  and downs; for other couples they unfortunately realize sooner rather than later that they married Mrs./Mr. Wrong! We all know them, the people who were married for what some term a “hot minute.”

One such person that I spoke with who was married  for one year, and knew her husband for one year prior to marrying, stated that she soon realized there were major issues in the marriage when he would not accept her children from a prior relationship. Her ex-husband made no effort at all to have a relationship with her children. For this person, not accepting her children was a deal breaker – she felt the marriage was not worth saving. Her advice to those desiring to be married is to seek God first, pray and meditate before marrying anyone.

My advice to anyone desiring to be married is to first of all work on becoming the best you that you can be, second as my interviewee stated seek God for direction and guidance, third keep your options open – sometimes what we need is not always what we want, and lastly during the dating phase of your relationship with anyone you are strongly considering marrying, use that time to collect data.

The dating period should be the time when you find out as much about a person as you can. Such as do you have the same views on religion, money, sex, child rearing, and career goals/aspirations. During this time nothing should be off limits for discussion. If a potential mate wants to continue delaying a particular topic, proceed with caution, this is a potential red flag.

My advice to those who are currently in a marriage and they feel as if they married the wrong person is to seek out marital counseling; bring in an unbiased third party to help you sort out your problems. Some marriages are not salvageable, however, there are many that are, this will mandate that both partners put their pride and egos aside and do what is best for their marriage in the long run.

In situations where a marriage can be saved, both partners must agree on the course of action they will take to make the marriage work.

Additional Resources:

http://www.counsel-search.com/resources.aspx

http://www.strongmarriagenow.com/FixYourMarriage/?gclid=CKu56J3m8asCFR5CgwodjmHRKA

http://www.marriagesherpa.com/marriage_report/optin/4238?pid=www.counsel-search.com&cid=5316070170&gclid=CK27lM3m8asCFSVpgwodyRquIg

FACEBOOK RUINED MY MARRIAGE

Recent research has shown that 20% of divorcees have  listed “Facebook” or some other form of social networking as the reason for  their divorce; counselors have also noted that an increasing number of couples seeking marital counseling have cited Facebook as a major problem in their relationship. A New Jersey pastor who has counseled more than 20 couples who say Facebook has caused problems in their marriage has asked his parishioners to either delete their Facebook accounts or create a family page; he also asked 50 married officials at his church to delete their Facebook account or resign.

Some feel as though social networking, Facebook in particular, does not ruin marriages – people ruin their own marriages. That whether there be a Facebook or not some people would cheat regardless – once a cheater, always a cheater.

I found several couples who blame their divorce and/or marital problems specifically on Facebook. One lady shared that her husband “friended” an ex-girlfriend from high school; and began having an affair with this woman. The wife found out about the affair after the husband cheated on and left the ex-girlfriend for someone else he had become friends with on Facebook. The couple is currently going through a divorce. A spouse cheating on their wife or husband with an ex-girl/boyfriend from high school has repeated itself more times than I care to mention. Then there is the gentleman who at the urging of his wife set-up a Facebook account and sent a friend request to his wife. The wife accepted the friend request, but blocked her friend list – the husband questioned this and the wife became very defensive refusing to unblock her friend list. The wife eventually deactivated her Facebook account.  The husband now feels as if his wife was hiding something from him. And finally, there are those who excessively spend hours on the internet chatting or are on Facebook, neglecting their spouse. Many spouses expressed a concern that the excessive time that their spouse spends on Facebook could be spent with them.

After hearing of the problems these couples were having, I compiled a list of tips for married couples who use Facebook.

Facebook etiquette for married couples:

1) Do not friend an ex-girl/boyfriend.
This one seems like a no brainer. However, some people may feel as if there is  no harm in Facebook friending a person they have dated – I caution against  this, this seems to be the common thread shared by those spouses who learn of  their partner’s infidelity connected to Facebook; the spouse befriended an old  girl/boyfriend.

2) Do not feel obligated to friend  everyone from your past. Some people are in your past for a  reason; it’s okay to leave them there – don’t feel obligated to accept a friend  request from someone in your past who you feel has no place in your present or  future.

3) Do not friend people you don’t know.
Once again, this one seems like a no brainer, however, some people have/do  friend people who they don’t know because they either share friends or have  common interests. I again caution against this. You may friend them as a nice  gesture not knowing what the person’s ulterior motives are – unfortunately some people use social networking sites such as Facebook as a breeding ground for  finding companionship – you don’t want to be a target – there are some who  could care less that a person is married.

4) Don’t flirt.
Never ever flirt with someone who is not your spouse. A little flirting here and there might seem  meaningless to some – however, this is the door that has led to many  affairs.

5) Allow your spouse full access to  your Facebook page. In a marriage there should be full  disclosure always. Even if you have nothing to hide, limiting your spouse’s access to your Facebook page just seems suspicious. I agree that there should  be trust in a marriage, this goes both ways – your spouse should trust you enough to not care about having full access to your page and vice versa, and you should be open and honest enough to offer your spouse full access to your page.

6) Limit your time on Facebook. Be cognizant of the time you spend on the internet and Facebook. I have said more than once, a huge time waster is Facebook. If you find yourself complaining that you do not have enough time in the day to do what needs to be done, take a break from Facebook and observe how much time you might have to do other things.

I realize that there are still those who believe that Facebook and other social networking sites is not responsible for the  demise of so many marriages, however, I say the proof is in the pudding which are the recent divorce decrees that specifically list “Facebook” as having caused and/or contributed to the reason for the divorce.

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