I lived in denial about my part in my husbands’ infidelity. I was in denial about my part in pushing him away. I was in denial about my need to take responsibility for my choices for my life so that I could move forward with the big destiny that God was calling me to walk in.
I remember the first time my husband stayed out all night. I was frantic with worry. I called the police department. The hospitals. I called every number I could think of and each time I was relieved to not hear them verify his name. And with each passing moment, my anxiety of his whereabouts grew and grew. When he finally showed up, he was so calm and casual. To my horror, this type of activity became a major existence of my life with him. I turned into a miserable, angry, bitter woman.
Adultery doesn’t just ‘happen’. Adultery occurs because a series of progressively enticing thoughts (and possibly actions) occur over time. Scripture clearly tells us that our sin is a result of what we have entertained in our minds. Temptation comes from what we already desire.
Things did not change though. The more hurt, anger, bitterness and rage that I displayed towards him, the more distant, uncaring and unfeeling he displayed towards me. It was a nightmare that I was fully awake to and lived through. What I am about to share with you are 5 unhelpful things that I did to ‘tear down my own house with my own hands’. What I am hoping that you will do is take advantage of this tuition-free knowledge.
Mistake #1: I did not support his goals for the family.
He had a goal of saving a certain amount of money and then I would stop working. I trivialized his goal. I minimized it. I mocked it. In fact, I fought him because I wanted control. This all communicated to him disrespect and a lack of support.
Mistake #2: I did not respect or trust his judgement as a leader of our home.
I had at my disposal a large sum of money. We were evaluating a real estate deal during the time shortly before the real estate boom in Florida. In short, we could have acquired a really nice home on a corner lot for little to nothing in comparison to the worth. But because I did not understand real estate, I did not trust the person bringing the deal and I did not trust my husband’s judgement I disagreed with the deal. After all, it was ‘MY MONEY’ so we did not do the deal.
Mistake #3: I turned him down for sex on a regular basis.
I did not understand my role as his wife and the super importance of sex in a man’s life. The only legitimate way (before God) for sex is within the covenant of marriage. I did not grasp the fact that my body is the only ‘store open’ for him for sex. There is no other legitimate place for him to go. So, when I turned him down or wasn’t ‘into it’ or made excuses not to, it left him starving – literally.
Mistake #4: I disrespected him in front of his family and the kids.
I pretty regularly would say things that undermined his manhood in front of his family and our children. I am now aware that I learned this bad habit from the home I grew up in. I am not excusing my behavior, but I am explaining it to you. In short, I emasculated him on a regular basis.
Mistake #5:I did not do anything to make him feel loved.
I was led to read the story of Hosea and Gomer. I had always had misgivings about reading the story because I heard it was about a prophet who was married to a prostitute and God required the prophet to stay with the prostitute. It was through this study that I realized that although my husband did many things (albeit things not in my love language) to make me feel loved, I didn’t do anything to make him feel loved. My bitterness produced this negativity.
What I learned about me….
‣ It wasn’t until I took responsibility for my part in the destruction of my marriage that I could even have an open pathway to forgiveness and eventually healing.
‣I had trust issues long before I married my husband.
‣I had no idea what a healthy marriage looked like or how to build one.
If you see yourself in any of these negative behaviors, for the love of God –STOP. Get help. Heal. I understand you may be hurting, but please know that you are not the only one hurting. There is collateral damage around you.
This is an excerpt from my e-book. if you would like the full version, you can find it here —> bit.ly/turnhubby
Its Fathers Day and I imagine some of you are feeling “some kind of way”. Some may be happily celebrating it. Some may be feeling sorrowful because your Dad is no longer with us. Some may be feeling resentful either because your Father was/has been or is an absentee or merely a sperm donor. OR because the Father of your child/children are not in their rightful place. Whatever the place your heart is in on this day, remember the only power a thing or person has over you is the power you give them.
Here I am pictured with my Daddy. It was taken on Fathers Day 2009. Three years before he left us. I could still be angry at my Dad because of the things I experienced as a child. Because of his adultery that I discovered while in middle school, I could be bitter. It robbed me of parts of my childhood. His choices altered my life forever.
However, many years later, after his diagnosis of Alzheimers, I used it as a gift to process all that happened in my childhood and eventually forgave him. Forgiveness is a choice and my life has been better because of it. Because of my choice to forgive, it helped me to see the good and positive things that occurred in my life as a result of him being my father. I shared them in this post about the 3 Things I Learned From My Daddy. You can do and have this too!
Because of the freedom that I’ve achieved through forgiveness, it has allowed me to heal and become my calling. I think all along, the things that happened to me was a a part of God’s Plan and Hand so that I would be a witness to testify to you that you can achieve freedom through forgiveness — even of the people who hurt you the most. Even your childrens’ Father. Even your Father.
What about you?? What valuable lessons did your Dad teach you? Or, if your Dad was not present in your life, what have you learned in spite of that reality? How has it changed you for the better? How has it inhibited you – if so – what are you doing to make up for it?
Some of you may have lost touch with your Heavenly Father and are feeling the weight of it. He is always beckoning you to come back and be near Him. In fact, I’m hosting a free webinar in which I will address this. Click HERE to learn more.
Peace & Blessings,
I wasn’t a groupie, I worked in Sales at the Atlanta Hawks. I had access (and met) such basketball greats such as Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley. I was young, inexperienced (though I didn’t think so at the time) and full of myself. I actually THOUGHT that he was serious about me. The reality is that I was really fooling myself. I believed what I chose to believe. I was deep in deception. I was having a ‘good time’.
Looking back on that period of time I ask myself, “Girl, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!!?” You were not RAISED to allow ANYONE to treat you that way.
Now I know. I WASN’T THINKING! I was allowing the thrill and excitement of having the attention of an NBA legend cloud my judgement. There is no way I would allow a ‘regular’ Joe treat me that way.
Can you relate?
Have you ever had a time or relationship in your past where you say to yourself ‘what was I thinking’? Are you still living with that regret? Do you still feel sad or mad about what happened?
God made us to be in relationship with each other. He even said “it is not good for man (or woman) to be alone”. Everyone wants to be loved and accepted and have someone to share that love with. Sometimes, therein lies the problem. We want to be loved and accepted and meet ‘the one’.
Just the other day, a friend reached out to me to ask me to pray for her. She wanted me to pray that she stay of sound mind because she’d recently met a man she’s really interested in and doesn’t want to make a mistake with this one. She further shared that she wants to proceed with care because she is recently divorced.
She wants to make sure that her heart and her head are working congruently.
But how do you do that? How do you get your heart AND head working together in relationships?
One way is being careful to make sure it is safe to attach and bond with that person in the beginning. Dr. Jon Van Epp, founder of Love Thinks developed the relationship attachment model or RAM that focuses on 5 bonding areas for a healthy relationship to grow: know, trust, rely, commit and THEN touch. The RAM shows that you no longer have to rely upon the powerless ‘love is blind’ approach to dating. I remember my Mama asking me about the new love in my life when I began ‘dating’ the NBA player saying “was he nice”? Now I know better! Charles Manson was ‘nice’! How else could he attract those women?
These days we need more on board than ‘nice’.
Once you meet someone, you need to get to know them; then you start to trust them. As they prove they are trustworthy, you spend more time and get to know how they react in certain situations you see if they are reliable. Once you are able to rely on them, you can become more committed and once the commitment level is high–on both sides–then you can add romantic touch.
There are two rules that go with this.
The safe zone is there is no level is higher than the previous one. In other words, you shouldn’t touch more than you are committed; you shouldn’t commit more than you rely; you shouldn’t rely more than you trust and you shouldn’t trust more than you know.
Many relationships are out of balance from the start – and may be doomed for failure, heartbreak and disappointment because we go from meeting a person to straight to bed with them. Steve Harvey had at least a part of it right in his book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man in which he advises readers to not have sex until after 90 days. It takes at least 90 days for red flags to start to show up. I’m not going to mention what I think about sex before marriage. I will address that at a later date, but I will share that I think that character flaws can ‘hide’ even within the 90 day range.
IF you want to have a healthy relationship, my recommendation is to observe your love interest in many, different especially stressful situations. That is really when the rubber meets the road. How does this person react to stress or challenging times? Do you see lemon or do you see lemonade?
That is when the ‘heart’ of a person shows up because in dating, most people put their best self forward. It may take several months and/or several situations to see serious patterns or behaviors surface.
But what if you are saying, “Stephanie, its too late. Where was this information when I needed it? I’ve just gotten out of a relationship that I never should have been in in the first place. I feel terrible about my decision and now my life is forever altered. What’s more, I’m still mad, sad, resentful, regretful or hurting over it”.
We all make mistakes and no one can erase the past. What we can do is something about the future. Make better decisions. Go in to relationships with open eyes and a heart of wisdom.
If you (or someone you know) still DO NEED to process those feelings of the past, I have a solution for you. If you (or someone you know) are still living in the ‘what ifs’, ‘what was I thinking’ or ‘how did I let him treat me that way’ then contact me for a FREE session to help you along the way so you can begin to put the past where it belongs–in the past!
Peace & Blessings,
When I got serious about my walk with The Lord. When I first was filled with The Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, I was on fire! The first thing that I learned was spiritual warfare. In fact, the prayer that I prayed when I was filled with the Spirit was a warfare prayer. I had an unquenchable hunger and thirst for Him and His Word. I searched, searched and searched for bible studies, classes, books and whatever I could get my hands on to learn more about Him. His Way. His blessings. His answers.
I was tired of what the world had to offer. I was not getting the answers or a solution to my problems doing it my way, what I had learned from home, the worlds way or my friends way. So out of the PAIN in my life, I reached out to God and He saved me. Saved me from my past. Saved me from my present situation and gave me HOPE for my future.
There are some misconceptions about what it means to be saved. There are some lies and deception out there about what it means. It does NOT mean you are now perfect. Your life is perfect. Your marriage is perfect. Your children are perfect. Your/work – life is perfect. What it means is NOW you have direct access to The One who IS perfect. It means that you are now forgiven and you have the freedom to live your life as such. You are no longer bound to the ‘sins’ or demons of your past. You are now FREE to live and walk in your NEW life. Without judgement. Without condemnation.
You are no longer bound by what others say or think about you. The ONLY opinion (truly) that matters is God’s opinion of you. I spoke about this more here.
Back to my story – I was very comfortable with my relationship with God and The Holy Spirit. My relationship with the two was (serving me) well. WoW! I was ‘using them’ because they were ‘serving’ me! How prideful of me! Hey, I’m telling the truth! I was falling more and more in love with them both. I was growing despite all the dark, painful, dreadful days, weeks and years I walked with them. I was growing more and more dependent on them both.
Jesus…I kept Him at a distance. Was he my Savior? Yes! Did I believe that He was born, lived, died and resurrected? A resounding YES! But…I kept Him at a distance. It wasn’t until God showed me my PRIDE, rebelliousness and flat out disobedience that I began to realize my distance from Jesus. You see, as I saw it, Jesus was not ‘serving’ me in the way God and The Holy Spirit was. I felt like if I got to know Jesus as intimately as I did God and The Holy Spirit that somehow I would now become ‘responsible’ for that knowledge. That I would then have to live as He did -which was SELFLESSLY!!!
I felt that if I did that, my life would be a big OUCH! I felt that I had suffered enough throughout my walk. I wanted some RELIEF not more PAIN. Then I reasoned to myself (in a good way). “Stephanie, you are suffering anyway – why not suffer and get something GOOD out of it? The way you are doing it, the only thing you’re getting out of it is to suffer pain and the outcome of that is NOTHING or worse”. So, I did what Joyce Meyer says – I did it afraid!
I discovered a secret when I made that decision and actually did it. I gained spiritual power! I gained more strength to overcome things that defeated me for years in my past. And. It. Felt. Good!
I am VICTORIOUS instead of victim! I am JOYFUL instead of depressed and defeated! I am living in my sweet spot and excited about the adventure of life.
Imagine that? Assess yourself. Have you made Jesus your SAVIOR + your LORD? Are you living that way? Do you need to reconnect? Is something holding you back? If so, what is it? What baby steps can you take towards connection or reconnection? Do you have questions? If so, do you have anyone to talk about it with? If you don’t, you can talk to me. You can message me here.
Does what I’ve said resonate with you? Do you have any experience with or like this? Tell me below in the comments. I’d love to hear your opinion.
Peace & Blessings,
A young woman contemplating marriage wonders, “should I marry him if he cheats”? Hear my answer in this first series of videos titled “Don’t Marry Him If He Cheats”.
I walked in the house with excited anticipation. After all, it had been TWO YEARS since I set foot in my Mama’s house. The house that shaped me, made me, LOVED me! I was met with ALL my favorite foods. I squealed with delight. The look on my Mamas face was one of pure joy as she loved to love on me. And her way of doing so is food!!
As I made my way through the country themed kitchen into the den, I stopped to see the shrine that my Mama had made of her grands and me! It’s almost embarrassing – the number of pictures of me. But I have to understand – I’m my Mama’s only child.
I journeyed down the tan wall paneled hallway into the bedroom that held most of my stuff from high school. My Mama had long since turned my bedroom into her bedroom. But, there I was with all my old stuff!
I didn’t realize HOW MUCH I missed home! Home was where I birthed my dreams of how my life was supposed to turn out. I had realized much of those dreams, but a huge part was missing!
I never planned on the hard parts. The marathon of suffering that I was enduring. The pain and suffering of life.
To my surprise, I experienced a new birth of such. First, I vowed that I would never stay away from home that long again. Next, I remembered those dreams. Dreams that I would do great things in my life. That moment propelled me to this moment. It wasn’t instantaneous, but I was a a fork in the road. I took a slight turn. Dusted off my dreams and recommitted to them.
That slight turn eventually led me to where I am today!
You have a duty to yourself to remember your own dreams. Your own purpose. You belong to God who created you for a purpose. You have a responsibility to find that purpose, develop what you need to live it, and finally fulfill it!
Fight the good fight of Faith. Don’t give up. Keep going. Keep searching. Chances are when you seek it – you will find it when you search with all of your heart!
Peace & Joy!
One year ago last week God came to get my father. We’d suffered with Alzheimer’s for over 13 years. If there is any beauty in Alzheimer’s it’s the fact that you get the opportunity to work out every conflict; every angry feeling; every issue that I had with him while he was still here. You get the opportunity to forgive while they are still living.
So when he left this Earth, I experienced a feeling of joy. I considered it a gift from God that my Daddy left on Easter Sunday.
It is very strange that I had peace in my heart even though I loved my Daddy dearly. I was thankful that I did not have to see him suffer anymore and I am sure that I will see him again one day.
Which brings me to this question for you. Who is it in your past, including childhood, that you still need to forgive? You may have even buried it within your heart, but believe me, if you buried it alive…..it’s STILL alive!! The longer you keep it there, the more it grows and becomes more entrenched.
Oftentimes, people get it twisted about forgiveness. Forgiveness is to grant free pardon to an offense or debt. It is a choice. It does NOT mean:
“Choose” to do yourself a favor. Forgive! Reminds me of a quote that I think about sometimes.
We all have it from time to time. Pain. Frustration. Disappointment. Bad days. To put it simply…Anger!
We have been taught by society and others that anger is bad. That we should not even feel anger. And we definitely should not express it. However, anger is real. Sometimes it is necessary. Even JESUS got angry. The problem with anger is that most of the time, we don’t express it in a healthy way. We don’t process it in a healthy way.
What do you do with it? Do you take it out on yourself? Do you take it out on your kids? Do you take it out at your workplace? Do you drink it away? Do you take illegal substances? Do you use sex? Do you participate in risky behaviors?
It is very necessary for yourself, the health of your emotions and the people around you that you process, learn and heal from your anger. but how?
Here is one suggestion. I learned of this method through The Embassy Institute and Bill Gothard. This is something you do alone. It takes 5 steps and could be just the tool to help you learn to respond in a positive, more productive way. I have also found that I gain spiritual power when I do this.
When someone hurts you. When you get upset. When you are persecuted or offended. You don’t have to get even. You can choose to have a GREAT response.
It may seem weird or uncomfortable at first, but trust the process. Stick to it. You should see results.
Until Next Time,
Peace & Joy!