D. Charles Williams, Ph.D.
Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist
Author: WHAT’S DONE IN THE DARK: Affair-Proofing and Recovery from Infidelity: A Self-Help Guide for Couples
“A goal without a plan is just a wish”
There are no perfect marriages precisely because there are no perfect people. Although relationships seem to “just happen” between two star-struck people, those same relationships will eventually need a lot of work if they are going to last. Everyone wants to have a great marriage and find happiness with their life partner. Yet a good marriage is like a fit body. We have to work on it to make it what we want it to be. It has to be intentional and we need to pay attention to it everyday.
All marriages matter! Even one divorce negatively impacts dozens of people. It affects the couple, both sets of parents, their siblings and their families, the couple’s children, their close friends, nearby neighbors, their church family, colleagues at work……and the list goes on. Not all marriages begin well and some couples have more hurdles to overcome then others. Yet those relationships are still important one even though they may require more attention.
Research has shown that problematic marriages are more susceptible to affairs. When you struggle in your day to day relationship, the possibilities with someone new ….a person whom you have not gotten to really know yet, seems appealing. Initial impressions are not often what they appear to be. Likewise, being “there” is often not better than being “here.” So put your efforts into the marriage you have.
Research also tells us that affairs always cause problems in a marriage. Even if your spouse doesn’t know you have cheated, you know. That secret always changes the way you treat him or her. The guilty flee when no one pursues is a proverb that means when we have a dark secret of deceit, we react defensively even to innocent questions from others.
All marriages matter! It is up to each person to work on his or her part of the relationship. Be the first to lead the way even if you think you are making the most effort and it doesn’t seem fair. The power of example and just one person intentionally showing love can soften a callous, cold heart. Don’t wait for infidelity to occur or the threat of divorce to motivate you. Personally take the initiative because…….your marriage matters.