Sunday, July 20, 2008


(Q) - It was recently discovered that my wife has had a 2 year physical affair with another woman (her best friend). We have 4 children and have been married for 16 years. During this 2 year period, my wife and I have had no intimacy. My wife wants to stay in the marriage, but what is the likelihood that she can go from a same sex relationship to an opposite sex relationship just because she was caught? Also, she wants to remain friends with this other woman (if I allow it), is it likely that she will revert to the physical relationship with the other woman again?

(A) - I’m sure this is a very difficult time as you struggle to sort things out. But I think you are asking the wrong questions. Your wife has had an affair and the two of you haven’t been intimate for two years. The gender of the lover doesn’t matter. What matters is that you and your wife have let yourselves get so far apart. Neither one of you has been dealing with the sad state of your marriage. Your wife broke her vows and had an affair. You let two years go by without confronting the problem.

With 4 children to think about, it’s important to at least see if you can repair things. Get yourselves to an experienced couples counselor and do the hard work you need to do. You and your wife once loved each other enough to marry and bring 4 babies into the world. There may be enough of a core commitment left to pull back from this mess. As for whether your wife should stay friends with her lover, ask yourself this: What would you do if the friend was male? My guess is that you wouldn’t think twice about asking her to choose.

I wish you well.

[Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker]

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Divorce IS Damaging To Children

The National Child Development Study in the U.K. tracks 17,000 people born in Britain during the same week in 1958. Comparing those individuals with those born years later, the study revealed those in both generations with divorced parents were more likely to suffer from depression and do poorer in school and careers than their peers.

They also were more likely to go through a divorce of their own. Jenny Tyree, associate marriage analyst at Focus on the Family Action, said the social acceptance of divorce doesn't change a child's need for a mom and a dad.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Why So Much Stress?

Why do I feel the need to carry so much stress? What am I hiding from or covering up? What hole in my life am I trying to fill with stress?

Those are tough questions. But if you don’t deal with them, none of my stress-busting tips are going to do you any good—not for long, anyway. If you want to be free from stress, you have to learn to say no.

You have to pick the events and "yeses" that will yield the greatest reward in your life. Here’s an idea: next time you know your response should be no, don’t leave room for compromise.

When your stressed-out friend asks you to co-chair the graduation committee, don’t just say, “Let me think about it.” Instead say, “Right now, that’s impossible.” And shake your head from side to side as you say it.

Studies show that when you do that, the person you addressed is much more likely to hear no.

Even Jesus had to say no to those around him when it was time to be still and listen for the voice of God. Remember what happened after Jesus fed the five thousand? The people were so impressed that they were ready to make him their earthly king—by force if necessary. No doubt it was flattering to be asked. I know I would be very tempted to give in if somebody wanted to make me their king! But that wasn’t what Jesus was there to do. So instead of going along, saying yes, taking on one more thing, he “withdrew again to a mountain by himself” (John 6:15 NIV).

When the high-pitched whine of our earthly stress jams every signal around us, we not only lose perspective, we lose an opportunity to hear from our heart, from our loved ones and from God himself. Before you say your next “Yes!”, ask yourself if you are prepared to add the accompanying stress to your life.

I look at it this way: If the vessel is already full, where are you going to put that golden opportunity for success or for ministry when it finally arrives? You hear it every morning at the coffee shop: “Would you like room for cream?” Yeah, this time I would. Thanks.

[John Tesh]