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Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

7 Myths About Infidelity

posted by Linda Mintle

affairMyth #1- Everybody is doing it.

Marital fidelity is still the norm even though Hollywood depicts it as a dying possibility. Survey data suggests that 15% of women and 25% of men confess to straying. While these numbers are still too high, they don’t suggest that everyone is being unfaithful.

Myth #2 – Affairs help a marriage.

This is absurd. An affair is a break of covenant and does damage. But all you have to do is read Cosmopolitan or Playboy (I am not suggesting you do!) and you will be given the idea that affairs can rev up a dying relationship. I’ve even heard some marriage therapists suggest an affair to an unhappy spouse. This is ridiculous and harmful.

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Myth #3 – Affairs are a result of lost love.

Usually it is the other way around–affairs bring on feelings of lost love. Affairs have more to do with the person who has the affair. It is a choice usually related to issues of identity and values. Friendship, not love, can be a primary motivator.

The reasons for affairs vary tremendously but the bottom line spiritually is a spouse who has strayed from his/her intimate relationship with God.

Myth #4-The affair is about sex.

Obviously affairs involve sex although 20% of people have what are called “emotional affairs” in which they admit to limited sexual intimacy. It is not that affair partners are better looking, more accomplished or sexually more impressive. It is a connection based on some fantasy or emotional tie that has overstepped its limit.

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Myth #5-It’s best not to know about an affair.

Because this behavior is a breaking of the covenant, it must be confessed to the betrayed. Lies and deceit will produce problems. Spouses often fear that if they confess, their partners will leave. This does happen. But when the betrayer is sincerely remorseful, has stopped the affair and confessed to God and you, then reconciliation should be tried.

Myth #6- Affairs are caused by the spouse.

An affair is a choice that is made by one partner. You cannot blame the other person for this behavior. Marital dissatisfaction may be a joint or loner feeling. But the decision of how to deal with unhappiness or dissatisfaction is made by one person. If there is any hope of repair, the affair must stop. Whatever the marital issues, the betrayed is not responsible for the betrayer’s behavior.

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Myth #7-An affair leads to divorce.

It can. An affair is a marital crisis and brings a set of problems that may intensify and change the landscape of the marriage. Certainly those in repeated affairs who cannot tolerate intimacy have more serious problems that make marriage difficult to sustain. But those who want to work on the marriage and feel guilty for the betrayal, have stopped and want to return to marital commitment should be given the chance. Affairs are sin. Sin can be forgiven and because of that forgiveness, we are to forgive one another. Once forgiveness begins, it is imperative for the betrayer to figure out what motivated the choice to act out and how to prevent it from ever occurring again. The power of the Holy Spirit in someone makes it possible to change and be faithful to vows.

 

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Do You Get Along with Your Mother-In-Law? 5 Tips to Help

posted by Linda Mintle

distress womanIn a few weeks, I will become the mother-in-law. For years, I have helped people in therapy deal with their  in-laws. In-laws can easily become out-laws in families.

In fact, researcher, Sylvia Mikucki-Enyart at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point polled mothers whose child was about to marry. She overwhelming found that moms were more worried when their sons married than their daughters.

Why?

Moms felt more uncertainty and insecurity with the daughter-in-laws to be, wondering how they might influence their sons when it comes to family relationships. Mothers also worried that the wife may change their sons in ways that would create distance. And daughter-in-laws wondered about their mother-in-laws, are they talking about me, going to be too involved, etc.

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When the two women dance around each other and don’t work out their relationship, distance can occur. The key is to work through the uncertainty of the relationship, defining it as you go. Sons need their mothers and new wives to work out their relationships. Mothers-in-laws can be strong advocates, helpers and supports to a couple.

So here are a few tips to help make those relationships positive:

1) Mothers do better when requests come from their sons. If something has upset his wife, a son should ask his mom to behave in a way that doesn’t upset her, not just tell her that she upsets his wife. Talk through strategies as to how to approach and solve problems quickly. But make sure those strategies are healthy. For example, a son can’t ask his mom to avoid problems. Relationships don’t grow that way.

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2) Daughters-in-laws should keep their mother-in-laws involved in the family. Spend time together and pick their battles. Like any relationship, spending time together and working through issues strengthens relationships. This relationship is too important to ignore or be a battle. Working through conflict is essential. Don’t keep problems inside and don’t avoid.

3) Both should avoid seeing their relationship with the son/husband as a competition. It’s not and both love differently.

4) The couple should be a team and present as a united front. This means couples need to work through the issues and decide how to deal with them together.

5) Two women come from two different family systems. Both need to learn to accommodate the other but work on healthy strategies for relationships. For example, if one woman doesn’t hold boundaries, that is an area of work. If the other avoids conflict, that needs to be worked on too. Dysfunctional family patterns should be addressed to improve the relationship. After all, feminist say we marry our mothers. When both women have worked on healthy patterns in their own families, the relationship between them will go better.

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What Happened to Funny Girl Amanda Bynes?

posted by Linda Mintle

I remember watching The Amanda Show with my kids and laughing a lot. We thought Amanda Bynes had a funny sense of humor and an entertaining show, but now, she is a mess. What happened to this teen star?

The 27-year-old actress was recently arrested and charged with reckless endangerment, tampering with physical evidence and criminal possession of marijuana. She denies it all. She doesn’t speak to her parents, rants on Twitter and sounds completely paranoid and behaves in erratic ways. She has a DUI pending in Souther California and had two hit and run incidents dismissed against her last year. And she was put on three years of probation for driving with a suspended license. She looks like a crazy person in court wearing a disheveled  blonde wig!

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She’s acting bizarre and needs help. Her behavior is not normal and she is imploding in the public eye. Instead of making news headlines for crazy actions, it would be nice to see someone like her get help. It’s so sad to see these child stars like Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and such implode in the public arena. Child stars like Corey Haim died from an accidental drug overdose, Growing Pains actor Andrew Koenig committed suicide. Tracey Gold became anorexic, MacKenzie Phillips battled substance abuse and admitted to being raped by her rock star father… the list goes on and on.

Occasionally, we see a child star like Ron Howard or Brooke Shields manage the transition, but that seems rare. But maybe it has to do with the families protecting their kids and keeping them in some normalcy.

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AKA, Fred Savage, cute star of the Wonder Years. Fred’s family kept him out of the Hollywood fray. Life stayed normal in a modest house with siblings around. Fred grew up, graduated from Stanford with an English degree, married his childhood sweetheart and seems to be a good citizen, avoiding relentless scandal. I credit his family for helping him navigate stardom.

And that is the key in my opinion–families, can help or create entitled kids who miss out on childhood and are exposed to way too much before they can ever handle it.

What is most saddening is the public comments I see that are just plain mean-spirited to these fallen child stars. They need our prayers. They need help, many need rehab and family work.

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When I see those paparazzi pictures of child stars gone wild and crazy, I wish managers and families would be more proactive about helping them and get them out of the public eye. But I know the actor has to want it too and that is not always the case.

You can’t help people who don’t want your help. But there was a time when family members did hold some power regarding creating normalcy. Maybe that is the lesson to remember.

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10 Ways to Remember on Memorial Day

posted by Linda Mintle

Memorial Day usually means a day off, time to relax, barbecue, the beach and time with friends.

But I hope on this Memorial Day you also take time to remember the significance of the day –honoring the people who have served our country and given their lives for our freedom.

It is an especially sobering day for me. I lost a brother during the Viet Nam war. That loss forever changed our family. And this year, I won’t be with my 91-year-old father (he served in WWII) who will place flowers on my brother’s grave. My mom, who has gone to be with the Lord, and dad always took us to the military part of cemetery to decorate graves.

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And because I live in a military town, I am acutely aware of all the families that lost loved ones to recent wars as well.

So this year, here are 10 ways to honor our soldiers who died:

1) Explain the significance of the day to your children.

2) Fly the American flag at half-mast.

3) Visit a war museum or memorial.

4) Place  a red poppy on the grave of a veteran (a symbol of the blood of heroes that never dies).

5) Take a moment for a silent prayer and pray for those still in harm’s way.

6) Attend a parade or religious service honoring our fallen soldiers.

7) Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance (pause at 3:00p.m. your time zone).

8) Give a donation to a veteran charity like the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

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9) Sponsor a  thank you bouquet through the National Memorial Day Foundation (www.memorialdayfoundation.org ). You can dedicate your bouquet to a fallen soldier.

10) Ask your school to be involved in the Adopt a Grave program –the school takes care of a grave of a fallen soldier by keeping it clean and placing flowers on it.

There aren’t words to express the gratitude I feel to those who bravely fought for our freedom. Thank you to all the soldiers.

 

 

 

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