Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Is Your Co-Worker’s Affair Any of Your Business?

posted by Linda Mintle

It’s no secret that Andrew and his co-worker, Renee were having an affair at the office.

What is surprising is that no one seems to care!

According to Vault.com’s 2013 Office Romance Survey, the majority of people surveyed thought that office affairs are no big deal and none of their business. Maybe that is because 56% of those surveyed said they have been involved in office romance and 35% have had an office tryst.

It gets dicier: Almost a third of those surveyed said they had  an office “wife or husband”–meaning, they did not a romantic relationship at work, but had someone in the office with whom they hung out with all the time. Why is this a problem? Because we know that proximity and spending a lot of time together are risk factors for affairs. It’s like playing with fire.

So should we care?

Affairs are about betrayal and secrecy so, yes, we should care. People are always hurt in the end.

And here is the part I find incredible, 76% said that a romantic office relationship did NOT impact their personal or professional relationships with other co-workers. If you are sneaking around, cheating on your partner, blurring the lines of authority, etc., why wouldn’t that spill over to other relationships in the work place? It reminds me of  women who marry cheating men and then expect them to be faithful. If he cheated on you, chances are it will happen again if no changes are made.

Like President Clinton who shook his finger at the camera and told America he did not have sex with that woman, we try to compartmentalize our lives when it comes to office romance. Compartmentalizing is when you put part of your life on one shelf (an affair at the office), another on a different shelf (a family at home) and believe the two shelves will never touch each other. I think we all know how well that eventually works out. Ask the former President. The shelves eventually come crashing down.

In my mind, if you care about a co-worker and know he/she is having an affair, care enough to talk to the person about it. Help the person see that betrayal and secrecy never end well. You might help save a marriage and help avoid a great deal of emotional pain.

Feel Alone in Marriage?

posted by Linda Mintle

Feeling alone in your marriage? Well you are not alone–at least when it comes to that feeling.

According to a comprehensive study of marriage by Penn State researcher Paul Amato and others, couples are spending less time together than ever. Spouses are eating alone, doing friend and other activities apart from their spouses. For some couples this trend is troubling. It loosens the attachment so important to creating a strong marriage.

When emotional connections are stronger with those outside the marriage than inside, there is a risk for affairs. And maintaining the marital friendship is the foundation of what Gottman calls a strong marital house. So what can a couple do if they find themselves drifting apart and vacationing alone?

One idea is to find an emotionally focused couples therapist (EFT–emotionally focused therapy) who works on creating a safe and secure attachment in the marriage. The therapy can help couples develop a feeling of togetherness, become more open and responsive to each other. Therapy helps couples look at deeper feelings under their behavior and resolve hurts and wounds that may be prompting the separateness. Others couples may just need to make spending time together a priority and re-engage in together activities again. When couples spend time together and turn to each other in times of difficulty, the marital bond grows.

So if you are feeling alone, pay attention to that feeling and do something about it. While you may be one of the few people who is not bothered by living a parallel life with your partner, most of us want that secure and safe attachment based on marital friendship and togetherness.

Study from: Alone Together: How Marriage in America Is Changing, (Harvard University Press, 2007)

The Benefit of Romance

posted by Linda Mintle

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my 92 year old father!

Love is definitely the topic of today.

Love has many benefits, especially when we are talking about romantic love.

Did you know that having a romantic relationship makes both men and women happier? Ok, I know some of you are thinking, not in my case. It’s true, relationships can also be a source of great pain and conflict. But overall, romantic relationships make us happy. And the stronger the commitment, the happier we are!

When researchers at Cornell University and Penn State University compared married couples to singles or cohabitators, they found that even when the marriage is not so happy, both partners have a better sense of well-being than singles or couples living together. A reason for this could be that marriage brings a sense of stability, given the commitment.

And here is the kicker. It’s not that happy people necessarily get into happy relationships. Instead, relationships seem to make people more happy. So if you want to improve your well-being, find that special someone. And if you are in a relationship on this special day, celebrate your happiness. Romance makes us happy!

 

Singles and Sex: The Survey Says…

posted by Linda Mintle

According to an online survey of 5,481 singles, ages 21 and older, who are not in a relationship, conducted by Market Tools Inc. for Match.com (Margin of error plus/minus 1.32 percentage points), this is what singles are saying about their sexual behavior:

  • –42% would not date a virgin. This is really sad and a remarkable change through the decades. Consider the sexual baggage and potential STIs that are brought to relationships from multiple sex partners. And this is certainly not in line with God’s plan to wait for sex in marriage.
  • –47% of singles reported a “friends with benefits” relationship. One has to wonder how much media have impacted this casual view of sex. On most TV shows, it is almost expected that you hook up with someone while dating. And casual friendships that involve sex are viewed as  conveniences as long as they don’t hurt  friendships. Sex is reduced to a physical act versus an intimate act of marriage. Based on my conversations with singles, I am not convinced that anyone handles casual sex well.
  • –44% of women and 63% of men have had one-night stands. The temptation is great, especially when this is not viewed as sin.
  • –Almost one-third (28%) say they’ve had sex by the third date; almost half (46%) by the sixth date. Speaks to the expectation that casual sex is not frowned upon as it was in years past.

 

What is disturbing about this survey is that we are seeing almost half of singles willing to hook up with dates and treat sex in a casual way. What isn’t talked about is the fall out emotionally, spiritually and relationally when sex is treated casually. The heartache of giving yourself to a person who doesn’t stay with you creates more of an impact than people lead you to believe. I’ve heard hundreds of stories from women and men who can’t shake the images of prior sexual behavior from their memories when they do get into a relationship they would like to go long term. The number of STIs continues to rise,  a permanent reminder of prior sexual relationships to those who marry other people.

 

Sexual relationships are not free and easy as we are led to believe. The consequences are rarely shown or discussed but often leave scars, wounds and feelings of shame that can only be dealt with through the healing power of a relationship with Christ. God’s prescription for sex in marriage is not some punitive measure to keep up from having fun, but a protection for our hearts. Any other message is simply a lie, but apparently more and more singles are buying the lies.

 

 

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