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XXX Theater has ruined my marriage!

Q:  “My husband and I have been going to XXX Theater for lots years. He wanted to start swinging, and so I did. He says I enjoy it more than I should, and now he wants nothing to do with me and is angry at me all the time. We’ve been married a long time and I don’t want to lose his love. What can I do?”

A:  As Dr. Phil would ask: “How’s that working for you?”  Obviously, it isn’t. But, I could have told you that before you set foot in the door the first time. It started out really “simple,” didn’t it? What does a harmless porn movie do? It excites and spices up romance between a couple. It can. But, the lingering effects aren’t nearly as exciting as the “moment” of pleasure.

Statistics have proven the harmful effects of pornography far outweigh its benefits.  The percentages of people addicted to pornography is amazing, and it is no respecter of race, creed or belief system. It has infiltrated countless Christian homes and is ruining endless marriages! Prayerfully yours will not be among those ended after many years of investment.

The “simplicity” of your husband’s invitation bought you both more problems than he likely bargained for at the beginning of the “thrill.” One sin manifested into another and another and another. Now, you have years of experimenting with others, and it has dulled the senses leaving your love shattered.

Can you recapture what you’ve lost? Perhaps. But not without a couple of things in place.

#1:  Cease and desist. You’ll have to leave your former life behind. Clearly it has not been your friend, only a fanciful pastime and a way to dismiss what you really have been missing at home: commitment. “Lots of years” of spiciness might be difficult to walk away from, but not when you consider the tremendous loss you have facing you if you don’t.

#2: Replace your habit. What do people who struggle with any addiction do, whether it’s cigarettes, alcohol or narcotics? They get a plan and find a substitute for their addiction. I will be quick to offer one to you–JESUS! He promises He will carry our burdens, and He does. He promises we can do ALL things through Him who strengthens us…and we can. Each of you will have to decide, number one, to step out of your previous lifestyle; number two, to substitute what you had with Jesus as well as one another; and, number three, make every effort to get back to the place you were when you first married–completely in love and totally devoted to one another.

#3:  Forget the past. You can’t move into a better future without putting the past behind you. It will take forgiveness–of your spouse and yourself. You will never make progress without putting forgiveness at the forefront of your mending.  Again, Jesus is the Master Forgiver…and you must understand how He models it to ensure that you truly can forgive and move on.

#4: Learn to love again. For “lots of years” you have been looking for contentment. I will assure you it will never come from worldly pleasure. Perhaps you and your husband struggled with what true love really is, but it’s time to learn how he needs to be loved and vice-versa. God never intended for us to be happy. He wants us to be blessed. You are missing the most beautiful blessing life can afford–an abiding love.

#5: Begin counseling. You can do this without professional help from a counselor, mentor or pastor, but I would encourage you to seek guidance. Open the Bible; it’s a great starting point. But, seek out someone who will sort through your baggage and help you both get your feet on solid ground. Your marriage is not hopeless, but it certainly is hurting! If he won’t agree to go with you, go alone. You will need to figure out how to navigate life with the brokenness that now exists, as well as what’s on the horizon. You also need an encourager and/or accountability person to help you manage to break free from what will be the ruination of not only your marriage but of you.

Here’s a bit of truth: You can live temporarily without immorality, but you will die eternally with it.  Whatever it takes…step out of this lifestyle.

I think my husband is having an affair…with my best friend!

Q: “I think my husband is having an affair with my best friend. I don’t have proof; it’s just a feeling. There are no conversations I can trace on his phone, and I see no unusual credit card expenditures. But when we’re together, they are constantly talking and laughing, and touching each other a lot, like on the arms or legs. He has a lot more conversations with her than he ever does with me. I love my husband and don’t want to lose him. What should I do?”

A:  Sounds like it’s time to find a new friend…but I wouldn’t trade in the husband just yet.

No proof is a good thing.  I’m liking that there’s no evidence on the phone and no unusual credit card expenses.  Not to play the Devil’s advocate, I am, however, concerned about the levels of “connection” they seem to exhibit in front of you.

Here are some things to consider.

Are you a jealous person? Have you had these kinds of suspicions in the past?  If so, were they unfounded? Being brutally honest about a situation can save lots of heartache. It’s not always easy to admit our own problems, but in order to assess situations fairly, this is a time for self-assessment.  Now, having that out of the way, let’s look at the situation.

Is this behavior between your husband and your friend something recent? Perhaps they’ve always been friendly, but the sense I’m getting from you is that this is a new occurrence. It’s certainly something that has recently caught your attention and is now troubling you.

Is your husband simply a friendly, outgoing kind of guy? Does he interact with all of your friends, and his, in this manner? Again, the sense I’m getting from you is that their conduct has become different than in the past. But, I don’t want you to make more of this than there is if he’s really friendly to everyone. Perhaps it’s your friend who has misinterpreted his response, but he is certainly adding to it by his advances, and he is absolutely the one who can stop any misunderstanding she has.

Does he look forward to get-togethers when she’s involved? That’s a definite red flag. Although, again, be fair in your assessment of whether he has always “looked forward” to being with friends in the same regard—yours or his.

Regarding the phone and credit cards. Whereas I’m encouraged there aren’t any red flags there, let’s not be naïve enough to think that there couldn’t be another phone you’re unaware of and cash could be used in lieu of debit/credit cards. I’m not necessarily validating your suspicions, however, I do want to advise you about things that could present themselves in disguise.

Now, let’s address my real source of concern about your question: Your suspicions.  I believe spouses know one another well enough to realize when something isn’t quite right. So, let’s get you a plan to address the situation and get your husband back to giving you the attention he gives your friend.

  1. Ask the question. To both of them—husband and friend: “Are you involved with one another? Are you having an affair?” Yes, just ask. We are often reluctant to boldly ask difficult questions, especially when the answer could be one we don’t want to hear. But, you need to know. If they both say no, that’s a beginning, but watch their body language, their eyes, their tone. People who have affairs are liars. They are concealing sinful behavior, something they know is not right, something they know will only damage one and most often both families. So, pay close attention to their responses. If they’re taken by surprise, insulted, offended, outraged, it could be a good sign that there’s nothing going on, but it also gives you a starting place to address the uneasy feeling the two of them give you when they’re together.
  2. It needs to stop. If there is no affair going on, the touchy-feely conduct needs to cease and desist. It’s not an appropriate behavior, number one, but, number two, it invites temptation. No family legacy deserves to be interrupted, and one sure way to preserve it is to remove tempting obstacles. Once the appearance their interactions are giving to others, and especially you, has been brought to their attention, both should be more aware to rein in their actions to one another.
  3. Lose the friend. Broaching your concerns will likely put a strain on the relationship with you and your friend for certain. If it doesn’t and she ceases her behavior toward your husband, she is a true friend. If it does cause a strain, she’s a good one to lose.
  4. Beef up the intimacy. Most people are territorial when it comes to love, or should be. Overt jealousy is another issue altogether. But, when we feel threatened by someone moving in on our ground, it should alert us that something might be missing in our relationship with our spouse. How has your intimate life been lately? Again, time for an honest assessment. And, I don’t want to stop at sexual intimacy. How has your emotional intimacy been? Connecting verbally and sexually have equal value. We tend to forget that our husbands have emotions—but they do, and it’s important that we communicate to them through meaningful conversations (not just about kids), laugh with them, praise them, stroke their ego. They need to know that we respect them, find them attractive and desirable. It’s as important to our men as it is to us women that they feel valued. Take a look at your relationship and figure out where it needs tweaking. Truth told, most marriages need an injection of more love and attention.
  5. Plan some rendezvouses for the two of you. Nothing says you’re mine more than making special events focused on “just the two of us.” Whether you go away for the weekend or you set up a picnic in the bedroom for a night, nurture the love you two have. It’ll do you both good!

Make it happen. Share your feelings. Reclaim what’s yours. Get love back on track. Preserve your legacy. It’s yours! Don’t let it go.





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