Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome: How to Grow Affair Proof Hedges Around Your Marriage January 17, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:48 am
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Extramarital affairs are certainly not the social taboo that they once were, and may be more prevalent now than ever. Unfortunately, Christians are not exempt. With the anonymity of the Internet and the privacy of personal mobile phones, the temptation to cheat on one’s spouse has fertile ground to grow.

After straying to the other side of this marital fence–and returning to find forgiveness and restoration–Anderson brings this practical book about predicting and preventing an extramarital affair. Based on the principle that the grass is always greener when it’s watered, Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndromefocuses on how to grow a beautiful marriage by establishing six protective hedges around it.

This second edition includes a new chapter on repairing marriage following infidelity, as well as an appendix considering the Andersons’ own marriage before and after the affair from Ron’s point of view.

My thoughts:

This is a very helpful and practical book. This book could be read before or after an affair, although I think reading it before would be best to keep you from jumping onto the “greener grass.”

The book starts with Nancy’s story. No one should compare their own story to hers. She was able to break away from her affair quickly. She made all the right choices. I had no desire to do that immediately, not that she had the desire, but she had the strength. It took me a few weeks before I was really ready to say, “Okay, I’m going to focus on my marriage.” But Nancy made that commitment almost immediately after her confession. And that might have made the difference. She confessed, I got caught. She had control, I didn’t. That probably plays a huge factor in how you handle it afterwards.

The HEDGES advice is great and every marriage should be following it to build a strong marriage. I also enjoyed hearing from Ron at the end and his preservative on things. Their marriage is definitely a Genesis 5020.

Visit Nancy here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

 

Part X-The Storm April 20, 2012

I have been struggling all week knowing I would write this post today. I have shared my story many times but I have never actually written it down. I will be honest.

I am scared.

I don’t understand why. We shared our story with the church, a couple hundred people at a time. But to write these words seems much harder.

Nevertheless, here I go.

Last week I shared with you the calm before the storm. Today I share the storm.

If you have been reading from the beginning you know my story. You know how I was abused, how I met my husband, and how God won my heart.   You know I had an emotional affair that nearly ruined my marriage. I thought having my son would fix me.

We left off at the beginning of 2009. During that time I heard many people talk about Facebook. I knew all the reasons I shouldn’t get on Facebook. It would be like an alcoholic going into a bar. Not a good idea.

In February of 2009 I reached a point where I almost felt left out because everyone I knew was on Facebook. I started toying with the idea of getting on. One friend said to me, “You really should get on Facebook, it’s awesome.”

She had no clue about my past. But her words rattled around in my brain until I convinced myself that I would be fine and I could handle Facebook. I was healed.

I signed up for Facebook. I didn’t tell Patrick I was doing it but I did tell him as soon as I signed up.

He was mad.

There is no other words to describe it. But I talked circles around him to make him believe I was fine, God had cured me. Didn’t he trust God?

I think I did believe what I said, yet there was a part of me that wasn’t very confident of those words. I told Patrick he could even have my password and check my account whenever he wanted.

Soon after getting on I found an old friend. I guy I dated a bit in high school and on and off my first couple of years in college. The relationship never blossomed, even though I wanted it to, because he told me, “I was too nice of girl for him.” And he didn’t want to settle down.

We became friends on Facebook and started talking. It was nothing, just small chit-chat really. Patrick later told me he even saw some of these first exchanges. I didn’t know at the time he was checking my account.

But then Patrick stopped checking.

The enemy was at work. He knew when Patrick stopped checking and that is when my conversations with this other man slowly changed.

Actually, it wasn’t that slow. One weekend I was upset with this man for his political beliefs and the next I was making plans to see him. It seemed slow but it all happened quickly.

Patrick and I had fallen asleep in our marriage, again. We stopped doing all the things we knew we needed to do to show each other love. I was hungry for attention.

This man started to say wonderful things to me, like, “I should have married your when I had the chance,” and “you are such and awesome person.”

He wasn’t married, never had been married. and he felt like he lost me when he should have held on to me.

It was a slow fade. I started sharing with this man very personal things. Like the abuse, which at the time only a handful of people knew about. I shared with him about the emotional affair.

This all opened doors for him to see into my heart. Places someone who I was not married to never should see.

One day we made plans to see each other. Just get together and talk. At first the date was set for a couple of weeks away but then an urgency hit me and I moved the date up a week earlier.

That is what the enemy does. He convinces us we must act NOW. The quicker he can get us to make a decision the more likely we won’t change our minds.

I knew Patrick would never notice anything strange because I felt he never noticed me.

And he didn’t notice.

I drove to this man’s house.

I had a physical affair.

I didn’t know who I was. What I had become. I hated myself, yet I loved the power I felt I possessed.

For the first time in my life I felt powerful. What a lie.

Two days later Patrick went to check my email. I had changed my password because my conversations had moved to email instead of Facebook.

Changing my password was a big red flag to Patrick, since I had the same password since college.

He confronted me and I denied anything going on.

This all took place on a Sunday. I remember sitting in church thinking, my marriage is going to end. I will need to leave the church and find a place to live.

In that moment, that’s what I wanted. I wanted to leave, runaway and start a new life.

Thankfully, God had other plans.

I made it through the day without really talking to Patrick much until I went to bed. I finally admitted a little of what I had done. I couldn’t admit that I had an actual affair, only that I was having an emotional one.

I spoke my old familiar words, “I don’t love you, I never loved you. We never should have gotten married. Don’t you see we aren’t meant to be together?”

I wanted to set Patrick free from me. I knew I had done a horrible thing to him and he deserved to be happy. I couldn’t make him happy.

The lies swirled around me and I didn’t want to let go of the other relationship. I wanted to let go of my marriage.

There is so much to write but I feel I need to stop here. A lot  happened in a short period of time. I want to handle this delicately so God is glorified, I don’t want to rush any parts and skip over anything that God did during that time.

It is nothing short of miraculous.

When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Psalm 32:3-4 NIV

Have you found that the enemy makes things seems urgent? That you better to this “thing” now or you will miss your chance? It could be anything, a great sale when you know you shouldn’t be spending money, saying something you know will hurt another person, etc.?