Over the past few weeks, you may have heard the name ‘Ashley Madison’ on a number of occasions. She’s not a person, it’s a website. A dating website that allows married people to cheat anonymously.
At first I ignored the story, not really caring either way (as I know it doesn’t affect me). Then I realised that it’s too easy to get complacent in a marriage or to neglect one’s spouse (when the baby arrives), so much so, that an Ashley Madison type situation can occur.
Below are my ways of avoiding the Ashley Madison trap.
1. It starts with Me
Since I’ve been married, I’ve grown to realise that I’m ultimately responsible for my own happiness. It’s not my husband’s job to make me happy. This may seem strange to some, but I’ll briefly explain.
If I’m needy, dependant or in a low frame of mind, my expectations of those around me will be very high and possibly unreasonable. This means those people will inevitably fail to meet these expectations of mine, and ultimately, I will feel worse as a result. However, if I find ways to change my mood and take myself to a happier place – on my own – I can enjoy my relationships better because I’ve removed the invisible obstacles I’d placed in the way.
2. You, Me and God
As a Christian wife, the scriptures are an excellent source because so many passages deal with love, relationships and marriage. Proverbs 31:10-31 is my ultimate goal because I want to be that wife of noble character. I always pray for myself, my hubby, our marriage and our family.
A very wise lady (my mother) gave me a prayer point; she said I should “pray for the grace to be Papa Nate’s wife”. It’s so simple but so true. I’m not just a wife, I’m HIS wife. Going back to point #1 above, the prayer is not that God should change my spouse, but it is about me and my reactions.
3. Don’t sweat the small stuff
Seriously, there’s no point. This is a classic Ashley Madison trap/cliché. A husband goes to work and he doesn’t hear about how he left the toilet seat up/down or left his shoes in the hallway or pressed the toothpaste from the middle. He comes home and gets all that and more. Whilst he may be guilty of all the above, does it really matter in the grand scheme of things? No one likes being told what to do, especially if it’s non stop, 24/7. It can be draining for both parties. So, it’s not everything I see that I comment on.
4. Make time and make an effort
Love is not just a noun, it is a doing word. It requires action. Don’t stop making time for your spouse, especially when your beautiful, amazing baby arrives. That baby, who is a product of your love, can so easily relegate your spouse to another division entirely. When this happens, some men fall straight into that Ashley Madison trap.
Make time for your spouse and make an effort (with everything), an you will experience growth as a couple and as a family.
5. The grass is only greener where you water it
I don’t believe that the grass is greener on the other side. There’s no other side for me. I said “I do” to Papa Nate. So I don’t look at what’s going on in my neighbour’s garden. Doing so would be wasting time that I could be investing in my relationship. Don’t compare your relationship to others, you will never fully know what goes on behind closed doors. (Especially with the smiley lovey posts on social media).
Focus on strengthening your relationship by doing the things mentioned above (as a minimum) and you will thank yourself later.
I’ll leave you with a post I read on the Focus on the Family blog about the Ashley Madison drama. The blog is an excellent resource and there’s an App as well which I would recommend.
Thanks for stopping by.