How to Resist Temptation

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A big part of resisting temptation is having self-control. It doesn’t matter if you’re married or single. You don’t have to give in to your urges or lusts. Just like if you see a beautiful buffet of food doesn’t mean that you have to sample everything. There are always consequences when you do. It may not be immediate, but believe me, there will be some. Here are some ways to do that:

1. There is always somebody that can relate to you. Always know that there are many other people going through a similar situation. It’s not just you.

2. Seek wise counsel. You don’t want to get advice from a friend that would suggest cheating on your spouse or just doing what you feel. Unfortunately, that what society tells you. Doing what you want and feel will get you into trouble. If you don’t have anyone that you’re comfortable confiding in, you can always talk to a counselor. They aren’t biased or judgmental. Sometimes our friends and family can be very judgmental or cannot relate to our plight. For a matter this serious, be careful who you confide in.

3. Avoid that irresistible person or thing. . The best way to avoid temptation is to not put yourself in that situation. You don’t want to spend too much time around an attractive person of the opposite sex that you enjoy talking to. That can lead to lunches, dinners, and “cardiovascular activities”. Once you cross that line, there’s no coming back from it.

4. Think about the worst case scenario if you crossed the line. Losing your family, home, and trust from the people that care about you can be a result of your infidelity. God can bring you back from anything, but I wouldn’t want to hit rock bottom. Don’t put your family at risk for a meaningless fling.

5. Think about how wonderful your spouse is. If you need to, list 10 things that you love most about your spouse. Think about about how smart, sexy, and talented they are. Every time that other person comes to mind, think of that list.

Remember, the real thing is never as good as the fantasy. You may find out something really disturbing about that person. They may be fine, but they may also be crazy on top of that. Some people that appear to be so self-confident may in fact be very insecure. You already know what you’re getting with your spouse. They love you for who you are, including your flaws. You’ve invested so much into your marriage over the years. When you feel a weak moment coming on, pray about it. Again, the key is self-control. You’ll thank me later.

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How to Avoid Getting a Divorce

The best way to avoid getting a divorce is not waiting to seek help when things are not going well.  In my profession a lot of couples decide to come in for counseling as a last resort.  It should be the first.  It is difficult to help a marriage if there is so much anger that neither spouse is willing to listen to the other.  There needs to be positive interaction before each can feel safe to share how they are feeling.  If blaming is predominant it is impossible to share because neither spouse is listening.  They are shut down.

Learning to communicate, listen and validate the other person is essential in building safety.  Doing those things are tough if you have not been taught the skills to do them.  I always tell couples you can leave the relationship, but you still take you with you.  You will just take your baggage with you to the next relationship.  Better to stay and try and work it out.

The DNA of Relationships, by Gary Smalley, is a great book that identifies ways to build a strong marriage. We all have core fears and we react to those fears when we are triggered by events or people.  If we grew up in an unsafe environment then we will view our relationship with others as unsafe.  It is a subconscious belief that we usually are not even aware that we have. It is destructive and it effects the way we see our world.

Drs. John and Julie Gottman identify the 4 predictors of divorce and calls them “The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse”.  They are criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling.  These are all signs of dysfunctional interaction in relationships. If you are experiencing any of these then it is a sign that your marriage is in trouble.  Get some professional help.

If you want to avoid divorce, treat your spouse with love and respect.  Don’t have unrealistic expectations and don’t expect them to make you happy.  They make mistakes and we can’t fall apart every time they let us down.

Good relationships don’t just happen. It takes work to build solid, lasting, secure, and loving marriages. Use the resources available to empower you and your spouse and do the things you need to do to heal your relationship.  It will be worth it.

Vickie Parker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

To read more of my blogs or make an online counseling appointment visit my web site @ vickiemft.com