Family Works: Speaking on affairs
by By ROB COOMBS ID. Min. Ph.D.
Jun 02, 2013 | 1047 views | 0 0 comments | 59 59 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The recent destruction brought about by the tornado near Oklahoma City was absolutely devastating. So many homes were brought down to their foundations that for many the reality they face is not an issue of repairing, but rebuilding.

There is much to consider. Is our home worth rebuilding? Do we really want to stay here? Is it time to move on to a new place, a new life? Can we make it through the emotional strain that rebuilding demands? If we rebuild, is it best to try to build the same house again or should we consider something completely different? If we rebuild, will we face this again?

No wonder so many are so overwhelmed. There is little question that some will give up, others will attempt to at least reclaim the life they had before the storm, and some will rebuild a much more substantial home that is better equipped to handle the inevitable storms in the future.

Like a tornado, the destruction caused by an affair is equally devastating. Faced with sadness, sorrow, and disappointment, the issue that must be faced by couples caught in this storm is not so much an issue of repairing their marriage, but of rebuilding it. Like a tornado, affairs rip and destroy the foundation of marriage — basic trust. Intimacy is based on trust. The greater the trust, the greater the potential for intimacy. The less the trust, the less of a possibility to be intimate.

Since affairs destroy trust, they shatter every level of home–belief systems, fondness, admiration, innocence, safety, and love. No wonder intimacy is no longer possible. If a marriage is to survive, a foundation of trust must be rebuilt, not just repaired.

Understandably, couples experiencing the devastation of an affair ask the same basic questions many are now asking in Oklahoma City. Is our marriage worth rebuilding? Do we really want to stay in this marriage? Is this the time to bury this relationship and move on to a new life? Can we make it through the emotional strain that rebuilding our marriage demands? If we rebuild, can we ever reclaim the marriage we had or should we try to construct a completely different relationship? If we rebuild, will we face this again?

No wonder so many are so overwhelmed. There is little question that some will give up; others will attempt to at least reclaim the marriage they had before the affair, and some will rebuild a much more substantial marriage, a marriage that can avoid some storms all together and, if need be, face the storms that are inevitable.

If you are facing this storm, there are some things you can do that might save your marriage:

(1) Seek help. Don’t try to ride out this storm alone. There is plenty of assistance out there that is trained, ready and willing to help you rebuild your lives.

(2) Focus on rebuilding. Accept that this rebuilding will take time. Clearing out the rubbish is not only physically exhausting but emotionally overwhelming. Sorting through the debris, trying to decide what to keep and what to toss is a terribly sad and slow process as there are often so many memories, so much history. Accept that this is an especially difficult part of the process.

(3) Maintain hope. Whatever you may eventually build can be stronger, more substantial, and certainly more worthwhile. Life can be better than you have ever known it to be if you allow this storm to make you rather than break you.

If you are thinking about entering this storm, don’t. It isn’t worth it. Don’t be as foolish as some who actually throw tornado parties, laughing in the face of possible horrible destruction, refusing to believe their own vulnerabilities.

Recognize the devastation of such a storm and maintain the wisdom to avoid it at any cost. Understand that such storms are hardly a surprise.

If you pay attention, you can see the storm collecting force, recognize its potential destruction and seek the help you need to evacuate quickly.