Day: March 30, 2017
I hope you enjoy this article I found about forgiveness and deciding to stay in a marriage where there has been infidelity. I hope it encourages you… to make the right choice.
By: Davida Brown
Romantic Comedy is my favorite genre. Romance films make me feel warm and tingly, as they pull on all my heart strings: love, commitment, faith and unity.
I happened to watch “the Vow” a few days ago, and there was a scene in that movie that made my heart stop, a line that captured the essence of what I say day in and day out to my clients. If you’re not familiar with this movie, it’s about a young married couple, Leo and Paige, who are in a car accident, resulting in Paige losing a chunk of her memory. To Leo’s chagrin, she has no memory of him, their relationship or marriage. The movie chronicles their journey back to each other.
During the movie, we learn that Paige and her parents were estranged for a number of years. Paige can’t remember why and no one in her family will tell her what caused the fallout. Eventually, Paige discovers that her father had an affair with one of her friends. Paige is distraught and angry. She confronts her mother, spewing contempt. She doesn’t understand how she could stay after what he did. Her mother responds, “I couldn’t leave. I made a choice. I chose to stay with him for all the things he’s done right; not leave for the one thing he did wrong. I chose to forgive him.”
Her words hit me like a mack truck. YEEEESSSSSS, I screamed inwardly. Marriage is a choice. Choosing to stay married when your spouse violates your trust is a choice. Choosing to acknowledge and appreciate all the things your spouse does right, despite the breach in trust, is a choice. Forgiveness is a choice.
When the movie ended, I reflected on this scene for quite some time. Years ago, I too made the choice to stay after the love of my life cheated on me. I chose not to end our relationship because of his mistake. I chose to forgive and trust again.
It wasn’t easy folks. NOT AT ALL. I was angry, hurt, disappointed, embarrassed and on and on. How dare he step out on me? We had a great relationship, or so I thought. Why would he do this to me, to us? I eventually had to come to grips with the fact that I would never understand why he cheated. We often think that if we know why he or she did it, it’ll help us get over it. It doesn’t and in my opinion is a waste of time and energy. Did I ask why he cheated? Of course. But at the end of the day none of the reasons made any difference in how I felt. Cheating is a choice and my husband made that choice. It was inexcusable and no explanation would change that. So instead of trying to “understand” why he made that choice, I directed my energy to figuring out what I wanted. Did I want my relationship? Yes or No? I grappled with this question for months. I thought about all the good things about him, about us. Was his mistake bigger than us?
Ultimately I decided that I wanted my relationship. Making that decision was the biggest hurdle. Once I did, my actions from that day forward were in alignment with that choice. That meant I had to forgive and had to figure out a way to trust him again. It didn’t happen overnight, but with a lot of effort, together, we found a way to rebuild the trust. While I certainly wish the infidelity never happened, I can honestly say that we are now in a great place, and I am so glad that I made the choice to give him another chance.
There are many of you reading this article that believe that infidelity is unforgivable, that once the trust is broken it simply can’t be restored, that if you choose to save your marriage you are weak or insecure. If that’s you, you certainly are entitled to feel that way. Only you know what’s best for you and only you are equipped to make that decision. But, if you are committed to trying to save your marriage, if your spouse is committed to trying to save your marriage, I want you to know that moving past the infidelity can be done. We did it and so have many couples we coach. I want you to know that choosing to give your spouse and marriage another chance does not mean you are weak, insecure or lacking in self-respect. Only you know the value of your marriage. Only you know if your marriage is worth fighting for. Take the time to consider everything before making a choice. I did. Take the time to pray for discernment and to listen for that voice inside you. And if you decide that you want your marriage (spouse must want it too), take the necessary steps together to implement that choice.
Another great article from the folks at Fight The New Drug, (www.fightthenewdrug.org), enjoy:
Science is finally catching up with the truth and its findings cannot be ignored: porn is harmful. Did you know that porn can mess with your head, actually rewiring the actual chemistry of your brain?
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter (a chemical that relays messages to and from the brain) and it is central to our brain’s understanding of rewards and pleasure. It is released when we experience pleasure (could be anything from eating a delicious meal or watching a comedy to shooting up heroin or watching porn) and of course it makes us feel good. Normally, this release of dopamine is a good thing; it helps our brains to recognize things that keep us happy and healthy, and it is one of the chemicals that allows us to form relationships and fall in love.
On the flip side, an oversupply of dopamine can be triggered when the pleasure stimulus is too frequent or too prolonged (as is the case with all addictions) or unnaturally stimulating. When it comes to porn, think about the hours and hours that can be spent clicking on new videos and shocking the mind with every type of sex imaginable and unimaginable. You better believe that this habit is unnaturally stimulating to the viewer and forces a prolonged rush of pleasure chemicals in their brain. And what happens is that this causes the brain becomes desensitized to dopamine, which is majorly bad news.
The reason why this is so harmful to the brain is because the end result of dopamine desensitization is that the brain no longer recognizes the pleasure signals. In order to adjust to this frequent and prolonged chemical release, the neuroconnectors in our brain have to lessen. When the brain is no longer recognizing the dopamine release (the reward) from its usual stimulus, it craves stronger and more frequent hits to feel something. This desire can become quite consuming, causing obsessive behavior and detracting focus from other important areas. Worst of all, it fuels habitual use, or even addiction, and makes the compulsion (that must have it now! feeling) stronger than ever.
Addiction of any kind—alcohol, drugs, porn, whatever it may be—is a huge cause of dopamine desensitization. And if that’s not enough, addiction or compulsively watching can also cause dysfunction in the stress circuits of your brain. Dysfunction in stress circuitry means that stress of any kind, be it physical (illness) or emotional (a fight with your boyfriend/girlfriend), makes the addict especially prone to seeking out that behavior to numb the pain. Relapsing, of course, means further exposing the brain to the addictive stimulus, which brings on more dysfunction in the stress circuits, which means more susceptibility to relapse… and we’re back at square one.
Your frontal cortex is the part of your brain that directs tasks like decision making, problem solving, planning, weighing pros and cons, focusing, and controlling impulses (you know, like the urge to yell at your boss or eat an entire chocolate cake). Decreases in the function of your brain’s reward circuits can cause activity in your frontal cortex to start plummeting too. Bam. Now your frontal cortex is operating below what it should, and your ability to perform all those important decision making functions will suffer. This can make things pretty difficult when you need to solve problems in your relationships, make decisions at work, focus on your schoolwork, or just make overall healthy life choices. Not good.
And then, of course, the stress of realizing you have these problems is only going to wreak havoc on your already malfunctioning stress circuits. Your brain’s going to crave porn to forget about the stress and the resulting dopamine release won’t fully register because it’s desensitized…and on and on the cycle of the porn habit goes.
This ugly cycle drives the viewer further and further into a porn struggle, and farther away from a happy, healthy, and passionate life. So the next time you think watching porn is harmless, think again. It can mess with your head—literally.
article source: http://fightthenewdrug.org/watching-porn-can-mess-brain-v2/?utm_expid=19046507-1.HyXL65kBT7a6WMmRQWBZQw.1&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=organic_social&utm_campaign=ftnd_general&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2FfHisbel8E5