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Reality has a way of bursting the bubble of illusion, and an affair is one of the biggest illusions that anyone can experience in life. It's based almost entirely on emotions with almost no logic to support it. That fact becomes clear when children, employers, clergy, family, and friends all hear about the affair. Because they are not in the fog, they see the affair for what it really is: the cruelest, most devastating, and selfish act anyone can ever inflict on a spouse. With so many people seeing the situation logically and not emotionally, the unfaithful spouse has an opportunity to be advised and influenced by these people. Furthermore, the betrayed spouse gains support when he or she needs it the most.
Willard F. Harley Jr.
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Don't cohabitate. Don't fornicate. Don't look at pornography. Don't create a standard of beauty. Have your spouse be your standard of beauty. This is one of the great devastating effects of pornography: you lust after people and compare your spouse to them. It's impossible to be satisfied in your marriage if you don't have a standard that is biblical; that standard is always your spouse.
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As a reporter, I spent a great deal of time in court. During brief breaks in testimony, I would often look at the spouse, usually the wife, of the accused. I began to wonder how listening to the details of a crime purportedly committed by your spouse would affect that person's view of her husband.
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Put Your Spouse First: When the children are grown and move out of the home, who will be left but your spouse? Nurture that relationship first and foremost. It is your role, together, to be the best parents you can be and what better way to do that than by parenting together and teaching your children (by what you say and do) that the bond of marriage is stronger than any other earthly commitment
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Encouragement requires empathy and seeing the world from your spouse's perspective. We must first learn what is important to our spouse. Only then can we give encouragement. With verbal encouragement, we are trying to communicate, "I know. I care. I am with you. How can I help?" We are trying to show that we believe in him and in his abilities. We are giving credit and praise.
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Destructive behavior-or simply behavior that constantly annoys your spouse to the point of desperation-is not right, and there will always be a serious consequence for it in your marriage and personal life. But every attempt you make to rid yourself of that behavior and do what's right will bring reward. Today, ask God to help break any bad habits that you or your spouse may have.
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You can only afford to be generous if you actually have some money in the bank to give. In the same way, if your only source of love and meaning is your spouse, then anytime he or she fails you, it will not just cause grief but a psychological cataclysm. If, however, you know something of the work of the Spirit in your life, you have enough love "in the bank" to be generous to your spouse even when you are not getting much affection or kindness at the moment.
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Husbands and wives, recognize that in marriage you have become one flesh. If you live for your private pleasure at the expense of your spouse, you are living against yourself and destroying your joy. But if you devote yourself with all your heart to the holy joy of your spouse, you will also be living for your joy and making a marriage after the image of Christ and His church.
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Marriage isn't a contest to see who is most often right. Marriage requires being what the Japanese call 'the wise bamboo,' which means you bend so you don't break. Treat your spouse with the flexibility and respect you would give to a top client. Think how we treat clients; We smile, we are polite, we listen to their ideas. Never forget that your spouse is your most important client.
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Once you identify and learn to speak your spouse's primary love language, I believe that you will have discovered the key to a long-lasting, loving marriage. Love need not evaporate after the wedding, but in order to keep it alive most of us will have to put forth effort to learn a secondary love language. We cannot rely on our native tongue if our spouse does not understand it. If we want them to feel the love we are trying to communicate, we must express it in his or her primary love language.
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Within this Christian vision for marriage, here's what it means to fall in love. It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of the person God is creating, and to say, "I see who God is making you, and it excites me! I want to be part of that. I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to his throne. And when we get there, I will look at your magnificence and say, 'I always knew you could be like this. I got glimpses of it on earth, but now look at you!'" Each spouse should see the great thing that Jesus is doing in the life of their mate through the Word, the gospel. Each spouse then should give him- or herself to be a vehicle for that work and envision the day that you will stand together before God, seeing each other presented in spotless beauty and glory.
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While it only takes one spouse to be friendly, it takes both spouses to be friends. When both spouses are unfriendly, the marriage is marked by conflict and coldness. When one spouse is friendly and the other is unfriendly, the marriage is marked by selfishness and sadness. But when both spouses each make a deep, heartfelt covenant with God to continually seek to become a better friend, increasing love and laughter mark the marriage.
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Marriage includes a spouse, and often children. But the goal, center, and purpose of marriage is not self, spouse, or children. The ultimate goal of marriage and family is the glory of God. Only when marriage and family exist for God's glory - and not to serve as replacement idols - are we able to truly love and be loved. Remember, neither your child nor your husband (or wife) should be who you worship, but instead who you worship with.
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People in one of two states in a relationship. The first is what I call positive sentiment override, where positive emotion overrides irritability. It's a buffer. Their spouse will do something bad, and they'll say, 'Oh, he's just in a crummy mood.'Or they can be in negative sentiment override, said that even a relatively new tool thing that a partner says get perceived as negative. In negative sentiment override state, people draw lasting conclusions about each other. If their spouse does something positive, it's a selfish person doing a positive thing. It's really hard to change their states, and those states determine whether when one party tries to repair things, the other party sees that as repair or hostile manipulation.
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