Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Advanced Happy Valentine’s Day!

Probably the most read and commented post in this blog is the one I wrote about adultery, concubinage and psychological violence. Most of the e-mail I receive come from men and women whose spouses are involved in extramarital affairs.

I have previously written several articles on marital infidelity in my Salt and Light blog which you might want to read. These are Sad Movies Always Make Me Cry”; Surviving Marital Infidelity; and Marital infidelity: causes, consequences and conclusions.

Other articles from that you might want to read for this Valentine’s Day are:

The dynamics of extramarital affairs; friends and co-workers commonly turn out to be the adulterous partners

It never ceases to amaze me that what marriage counselors have been warning about all these years have oftentimes been blatantly disregarded by men and women, with the end result that numerous marriages have been wrecked, sometimes irreparably.

What is this simple but often disregarded warning?

Most adulterous affairs are between friends and co-workers; proper boundaries must therefore be established. Dr. Ed Wheat, in his classic book Love Life for Every Married Couple written decades ago, even went to the extent of advising people never to confide their relationship or marital problems with a friend of the opposite sex. (Please take note that I am using the word adulterous in its generic sense, not in its technical meaning under the Revised Penal Code as I discussed in that post I cited above.)

Author and marriage counselor Nancy C. Anderson has written an article titled “Safeguard Against Workplace Temptations” for (At the right hand sidebar of this blog, you can see links to articles from Crosswalk on marriage, parenting and singleness). The article is based on Anderson’s book “Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome: How to Grow Affair Proof Hedges Around Your Marriage.” (Kregel Publications 2004)

Some of the guidelines Anderson gives to men and women are:
1. People of the opposite sex should not ride in a car together without a third party present.

2. Don’t make personal (non-work related) phone calls to a coworker of the opposite sex.

3. Don’t have lunch with the same person every day. Move around the lunchroom or break-room and if you go out to a restaurant, go in a group.

4. Make sure that your e-mails and other correspondence are not suggestive, inappropriate, or flirtatious.

5. Talk about your spouse in positive terms, making it clear that you’re married and intend to stay that way.

6. Be careful not to make any lingering eye contact.

7. The only appropriate touch between business associates of the opposite sex is a handshake.
What makes Anderson’s guidelines cogent and realistic is her brutally honest confession that twenty five years ago, she herself became involved in an adulterous relationship that nearly devastated her marriage.

Some other articles by Anderson you might be interested in are:
Is Your Marriage Malnourished?

The Warning Signs of Infidelity

"Small Stuff" Can Ruin Our Families

Forgiving the Unforgivable: Adultery

Five Creative Dates for Couples

Have You Lost that Lovin' Feelin'?

Can a Christian Marriage Survive an Affair?

Avoid the 'Greener Grass' Syndrome: Water Your Own Marriage

Is Your Home a Danger Zone for Your Marriage?

The Parable of the Coffee Filter

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