Direct Answers - Column for the week of September 15, 2003
I have a couple of questions for you. If a person no longer feels they love their spouse, is it time to divorce?
Also, do you think a person who has had an affair can change enough for the betrayed to forgive and continue the marriage? Is it possible to salvage a marriage after the affair?
Marie, a book could be written on each of your questions, but the last question sounds like the one you are really asking. What do you mean by salvage?
Do you mean the cake just fell on the floor and the guests are arriving. Can we patch it together and serve it from the kitchen so no one notices what happened? Or do you mean, after an affair, can you have the kind of marriage you would wish for your son or daughter?
Marriage is a relationship different from all others. You can date many people, you can be friends with many people, you can be neighbors to many people. But the act of getting married says I choose this one unique being to share everything with me for the rest of my life.
The basis for willingly binding yourself to one person is love. Their fidelity allows you to believe in their love. Their fidelity allows you to sustain your love. But if that person is unfaithful then they, not you, have brought their love into question. Infidelity validates your doubts about their love.
The idea of fidelity is in the marital vows because it is essential. Fidelity is the one thing promised in virtually every religious tradition and understood worldwide. Why? Because breaking faith breaks the marriage.
It is possible to forgive betrayal, but in our experience it is not possible to forget it. That would be like forgetting you have kids. It isn't going to happen. The unfaithful person would like the other person to forget, and the one betrayed would like to forget, but barring amnesia they cannot.
How do you believe "I love you" after you have been betrayed? That is what people ask us years and even decades afterwards. For some people who stay in the marriage, divorce was not an option. For many people, it is not the case that they healed after infidelity. They simply live with the pain. Is that a "marriage" salvaged?
Others claim you can get over infidelity. We say you may not be able to overcome infidelity. The difference is we focus on the innocent party.
Wayne & Tamara
I am an advice columnist myself, a Dutch one from Holland. I read your column online because I appreciate your work, your tone and style. My question is how do you get your quotes from world literature?
I mean, the questions from your correspondents are pretty much straightforward. Mostly I agree with your advice, but you quite often have allusions to Shakespeare or Hemingway or other writers, allusions which corroborate your point in a wonderful, illuminating way.
How come you have these citations at hand so easily? Do you go through books when answering questions? Do you have citation books or indexes? Or just an excellent memory?
Beatrijs, a poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti talks about a pickpocket who looks at a saint and sees nothing but pockets. We write about relationships because we see the world as nothing but relationships.
When we look at a letter, our experience and these allusions just pop out. In the case of your letter, it was a line from a poem one of us read decades ago.
We don't have perfect memories either. Most of us know much more than we think we know. Part of finding the answer to our problems involves letting what we know out. Part of finding the answer to our problems involves reading each situation with the sum total of our life experience.
Wayne & Tamara
About The Author
Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at www.WayneAndTamara.com.
Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email: DirectAnswers@WayneAndTamara.com.
The Ant Philosophy
Over the years I've been teaching kids about a simple but powerful concept - the ant philosophy.
The Karate Kid
I have an unexpected relationship problem. It's hard to believe it has become such an issue but it has. The whole thing started very innocently when my boyfriend and I were watching some silly action movie. The female heroine was kicking butt, and I mentioned to my boyfriend I took a semester's worth of judo classes in college and could probably give him a run for his money.
True Inner Guidance
It's easy to tell the difference between true inner guidance (spirit) and ego-driven guidance: the first is attended with Love and the second with Fear.
Inspired Intuition - Following Your Inner Voice
"Some people call the still, small voice insight or intuition?Our insight is a gift from God, not to be taken lightly or for granted... If we acknowledge that the voice doesn't just pop up in our mind like some haphazard jack-in-the-box, that it is available to us always, we have the most important source of assistance in building our dreams. We can turn random intuition into regular inspired insight." From Building Your Field of Dreams by Mary Manin Morrissey
Trouble, trouble, trouble. Nothing but trouble. The night before, I was just talking to a friend-cum-feng-shui master about the direction of my life. The horrible things that are currently going in my life right now. The things that could go wrong, is going to go wrong or has gone wrong. I spent a total of 3 hours complaining, ranting and raving about how unfair life is and how come others who are close to me or my husband can afford luxurious lifestyles. How come they have 2 family cars and we have to share 1 car. How come they can afford to have four computers for the four family members of their home. The youngest being barely 3 have her own computer at all ? like she's got tons of work to do on her own and absolutely needs her own computer, you know what I mean? I was just ranting and raving about how my kids have to fight with me for the computer ? me rushing things out for my clients and my kids sitting right next to me, waiting for me to finish with the consistent but patient enquiries like, 'Mom, are you done yet?' or 'Have you made enough money yet?'.
Walking The Walk
Direct Answers - Column for the week of July 14, 2003
Just Think of Kyle!
This morning at 5:22am to 6am, I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed is an understatement considering I am still crying and it's like 7:15am. I am at work typing away.
One Night Stand
Direct Answers - Column for the week of February 24, 2003
Choicemaking: Self-Help Secrets Revealed
We all assume that making choices is a simple process. We seewhat's in front of us and we choose the best option. That's the way it goes in this choicemaking process.
Why Be Great?
Have you ever thought of what it would take to make you "truly great" at what you do?
Resistance to Change
All of us are resistant to change, whether it's in using a different tool, a technique a choice in partners, or lifestyle.
Who is the Pilot?
It was a mild summer day in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina when I boarded United Airline flight 7318 to Washington, DC. Like usual, I promptly located my window seat, with no doubts that the pilots would safely take me to my destination. Suddenly, as I sat gazing out of the window waiting for take-off, certain questions unfolded in my mind. I wondered, "Who are these pilots that I wholeheartedly entrust with my life?" I wondered about my surety of knowing that they would, or could take me to my destination. I also pondered on "Why it is that I -- or we as individuals, trustingly and unwaveringly allow others to continuously pilot our lives without questions or reservations?" We permit others to pilot our lives while we unquestionably find our seat near the window - just watching - watching our lives quickly pass by. We lack faith in ourselves, because too often, we allow others such as bosses, friends, family and even enemies, to navigate our lives. We allow others to pilot our lives because of their negative words. We allow others to pilot our lives because they claim to know what is best for us. We live on autopilot without a clue as to where we are headed, or how we will get there. We must declare that we will no longer allow other people to take control of our lives - or of our future. No matter how cloudy things look, no matter how dark our past is, we must remember that God is in control. Allow God to be your pilot -- as you co-pilot your own life into a prosperous and promising future. Declare today: I will no longer sit back and allow other people to control my life into an uncertain and discontented future. The past is behind me -- and only the best is yet to come! Copyright 2003 by Audrina Jones Bunton. REPRINTING THIS ARTICLE: Permission is granted to reproduce or distribute this article only in its entirety and provided copyright is acknowledged. You can find other articles to choose from at http://www.purposefully-living.com/mailing%20list.htmMotivational Speaker, Audrina Jones Bunton was born the seventh of eight children in her household in Pinehurst, North Carolina into a loving and committed Christian home. As she has 2 children, over 40 nieces and nephews and great- nieces and nephews, it is not unusual to find her under the same roof with many of her maternal five-generation family on weekends and on holidays. In her youth, she fondly recalls traveling throughout the U.S. with her family, as her parents ministered from state to state year after year-helping people as they traveled.
Just Let ?Em Go!
I remember when I was just a little guy probably about 4 or 5 years old, I was fascinated by snakes. Not any particular type of snake ? just snakes in general. I remember being really curious about how they could move around so easily without any legs or feet. I remember liking the colors on the garter snakes that slithered through our Nebraska summer garden.
Direct Answers - Column for the week of July 8, 2002
Life Lessons I Learned from My Cat
Even if you are not a cat person, bear with me, as this story goes far beyond cat mania. Our little tabby cat was frightened and highly-sensitive from the day we rescued her from the SPCA, two and a half years ago. No doubt being jailed there for four months messed her mind. As we came to learn "Shylo's" nature we renamed her "Shybaby."
What Legacy Are We Leaving Our Children?
Children can seem exhausting, annoying, wonderful, loud and funny all at the same time. They are a lot of work especially in the beginning years but what we need to realize is that they are our future so what we do with them in the early to teen years is important because they will become the leaders while we behold the golden years. How we raise them now affects how our future is in our later years and in theirs. When you see how our current situation is with illiteracy in schools, and crime, it can seem daunting to us.
If you walk up to a stranger in the grocery store and ask them to define "simple," as in "simple life," they'll probably say something like "having less stuff." Or they might hit you with a frozen turkey. But probably they'll associate simple with stuff.
Whats Your Reason For Waiting?
The fever had been high late into the night, but at 2:30 A.M., it broke. The little girl's mother breathed out in relief. She'll be O.K. in the morning, she thought.
Five Reasons To Journal
Keeping a journal during the coaching process is one of the most simple and effective aids a client can use. Below you will find five reasons why I encourage my clients to use a journal during their coaching time. I hope that you will be motivated to commit your creative pursuits to a journal.
Have You Been Lucky In Life?
Each moment in life, "lucky" or "unlucky", is to be savored, learned from, and appreciated. Easier said than done? Read this heartfelt story and see for yourself.
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