Thursday, May 26, 2011

Arnie and Maria, and affair-proofing your marriage

New post here


I read this post on Michael Hyatt's blog on Tuesday and found out there for the first time about Arnie and Maria.

(in my view, his is one of the best blogs out there on intentional living, leadership and productivity and also very practical)

To say I am devastated is an understatement.

I could hardly think straight after that.

Ever since I first "met" Maria on Oprah's show, I have loved her.

I love her spunk, her passion, her ideas on child-rearing, etc.

I don't know what happened in their marriage but I have a no-tolerance view of affairs for me/ us.

We were just chatting about it in the office.

When D and I used to be in ministry, we had boundaries for ourselves as pastors, and when I ran the consultants ministry.

There was counselling sessions, meetings with leaders, and the one-on-one assessments.

If a girl had to assess a boy, our rule was that another consultant would be assessing at the same time.

Always, no exceptions.

Same with D and me. When we had leadership meetings, we would never be alone with a person of the opposite sex.

So as to avoid the very appearance of anything inappropriate.

D and I also have rules. We each have one or two work colleagues of the opposite sex we're friendly enough with to have lunch/ coffee/ etc.

We tell each other when we're meeting the friend and always meet in a public place. I have my lunches right here in my work coffee shop in full view of everyone :) He does the same.

Aside from this, we have a rule to not talk to other people about things we really should be discussing with one another.

Do you have boundaries for affair-proofing your marriage?

PS Tomorrow I'm doing a giveaway to celebrate 100 followers
PPS I recently heard from a work friend that her friend who has 8-month-old twins is getting divorced, not due to infidelity but unfortunately due to the stress of having multiples. Sadly, it doesn't even surprise me because it's so hard!


  1. I have to say that I adore Maria too - Arnie must be stupid. In any event, we also have some boundaries.

    I have read somewhere that you are twice as likely to divorce if you have multiples. That really scares me, but maybe that is what one needs to hear to do your fireproofing well.

  2. It sad to hear when people get divorced due to stress regarding children like multiples, disabilities etc. Isn't it suppose to keep people together? I mean, it is going to be harder coping with multiples or disabilities when one is a single parent.
    Me and hubby also have a no tolerance policy regarding infidelity. We aren't people who make friends at work (just the way we are) and when we do talk to other people at work or other places, we tend to mention our significant other, so much in the conversation. Which is good :) Like I am in a male dominant company and I don't like to talk to any of them more than just saying: "Morning, Good Afternoon or How Are you?"

  3. I also have a zero tolerance for infidelity.

    Here's a question - how is your agreement with your husband affair proofing your marriage? If your husband was off in a hotel with some woman - you would still never know!

    A marriage can never be affair proofed. Never. But you can make it very clear how you feel about affairs, so that there is absolutely no doubt about what would happen if there was one. And then you must have the courage to carry that threat out.

    My friend's father (aged 70) has been having an affair for 10 years, and just came clean about it, and asked for a divorce. Never. Ever. In a million years. Would my friend have expected it from him!

  4. Mash, I don't think it's affair proofing, per se, but it is making each of us less vulnerable to outside advances.

    Although, if any man were interested in me (hahaha) he'd need an eye test first - flabby tum, bums and thighs.... :_)

  5. We don't have any official boundaries, but we always know what we're doing and who we're with. And if we're not working, we usually want to be together. Yes, a lot of parents of multiples do get divorced. I'm glad we had 14 years of marriage under our belt by the time the boys came into our lives. I think it all comes back to communication. No matter what your life throws at you both, if you can communicate with your spouse, everything will be fine.

  6. I have to agree that there is no such thing as affair-proofing. That being said, I trust my husband. If I had any reasons to doubt him then we would talk. Heather is so right, communication is critical!

    I also set boundaries. Somethings are purely his life, same for me. If I go snooping, then I had best be ready to handle whatever I find. That's not to say that what I don't know won't hurt me, but I would like to think that in an open and honest relationship I wouldn't feel the need to snoop.

    I don't think my kids would ever be the cause of my marriage failing. I will admit that multiples most definitely bring stress to a family, but I see a marriage as being between two partners. My children don't impact my marriage all that much. Now my husband being lazy, that's a big impact! I think separating your roles are parents and partners helps us. At least it's working here!

    I think I will go out on a limb and say that although I would be greatly hurt and would most likely develop trust issues, an affair would not end my marriage. If anything it would be the breaking of my trust that would ultimately end my marriage. I can appreciate the value of sex, and of an affair being "just sex". How 21st century of me!

  7. I also LOVE Maria. She is so passionate and so dynamic and funny and beautiful. We do have unspoken rules - I guess you could call them boundaries. Things like me meeting my male friends in public places etc.

    That is really sad about your friend. I hope that they can find a way to work it out. Having just ONE baby can put a strain on ones marriage. I don't even want to begin to imagine what having multiples can do.

  8. Is it terrible that I know nothing about Maria? Always very sad to hear about a separation/divorce though.
    Also have a zero tolerance about infidelity. I'm not sure how people can rebuild up trust after it's been shattered in that way.
    One thing that we do is tell each other if someone flatters us or if we find someone attractive etc. It's crazy to think we won't ever -- so it's nice to share it and to chuckle at each other over it. Also, if I ever feel "threatened" by some floozy (kidding!), even if I feel silly for feeling that way, I'll tell DH so at least he's aware of it... that saves paranoia! Hasn't happened often over the last 15 years but it's nice to keep things in the open :) x

  9. Hubby and I have never talked about boundaries like that. I think our unspoken rule of thumb is that, if I were to do something that I wouldn't want him to know about, then I shouldn't be doing it, and vice versa. One of Hubby's favorite mantras is, "Character is how you behave...when nobody is looking," and I think we both try to live by that rule.

    That's so sad to hear about the divorce of the couple with 8-month old twins. Of course I have absolutely no background on that situation whatsoever, so it's unfair of me to begin to comment...but that first year is really brutal in so many ways. If their split is truly just due to "stress", I wish they would be able to have faith that some of the "stress" will subside after a little more time. My thoughts are with them...

  10. We dont have rules as such but we talk about everything and are pretty open in terms of our emails, sms etc - so there is no hiding phones or stuff which add to the feeling of insecurity.

    I know who the people are in his life and he knows the ones in mine.

    Both of us come from experience with cheating so are both very aware of how destructive a relationship without trust can be.


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