Monday, November 26, 2012

Beware who's comforting your spouse?

I am not making a judgement. I want to sound a warning, to myself and all couples.

Have no doubt that emotional intimacy plays a crucial role in a couple's relationship. It is even more important than sexual intimacy.

Many extra-marital affairs begin with an emotional attachment between the parties.  A stressed out husband with a wife who does not empathize him, a wife without her husband's attention or affection, or a couple who is too busy with their career to have time for each other, suddenly finds someone who is willing to listen, who pays attention to his/her laments and offers comfort - this potent combination opens the door to the slippery path.

Many men and women alike cite the lack of emotional support from their spouse and the attention showered upon them by a third party, as the reason for being led into an extra-marital affair.

Notice that I used the phrase "being led into ...". This blame game has its foundation at the fall of Adam and Eve. "It is not my fault, you drove me into this ..."

Everyone needs a confidante; someone whom we can confide our deepest thoughts with. Who is the best person to take this role?

Not your best friend, not your mother and certainly not someone of the opposite sex (other than your spouse). It has to be the one whom you vowed your love and life to, one whom you pledged to have and to hold, for better or worst, in health and in sickness, for richer or poorer ...

I want to remind Michelle and I that we must always be emotionally intimate with one another. We must not fail to avail our shoulder for each other to cry on, open our arms to hug and give comfort, and to have the patience and compassion to listen to each others' fears, frustrations and hurts.

Most importantly, I want to take the lead to be that lover whom Michelle will run to unreservedly, unashamedly and confidently whenever she is in need of an emotional uplift. I know that if I do that, I will build her up to do the same to me.

Michelle and I do our best to build up our emotional intimacy. We know that if we don't, we are both open to temptations and attacks, which will only do harm to our relationship.

While we are not perfect and still irritate each other, we deliberately focus on being the best lover for one another. It means that we chose to serve and consider the other higher than our self.

It also means that we give more than we expect to take. It requires us to give up many of our "rights" so that we can let the other enjoy his/her rights.

"Can it work?", you may ask, "you don't know my spouse, he/she will simply take advantage of my goodness."

You are right, I don't know your spouse. But I am willing to let my wife take full advantage of my goodness for a simple reason; I love her and I am committed to her.

I know that by giving of myself to Michelle, she is touched to reciprocate my love for her. It works for us. I know it will work for other couples if they are willing let it work.

Who's comforting your spouse? Beware if it is not you!


Your comments and sharing are most welcome. Fuel debate, share your experience and ask questions. Click "Comment" to have you say! You are also encouraged to mark your reaction to my post....


Nicole said...

Thank you for sharing your blog!

I agree that emotional intimacy is vital in a marriage. My husband and I do NOT speak the same love language, which makes things difficult. Its admiring to read your entries.

I allowed myself to be vulnerable in a therapy session with my husband. He verbally ATTACKED ME! Our therapist immediately pointed out what he was doing. I can't say I've allowed myself to be vulnerable with him since! (Its been at least 5 years ago.)

A lot of the time, I feel unloved. I know it is a "slippery slope" if you allow yourself to be emotionally intimate with someone else...He argues with me and LAUGHS in my face because of some reasons why I may be hurt. I can recall maybe twice (in 12 yrs) when he has comforted my hurts with reassurance that his love will always be there.

I'm not sure if he's the wrong guy for me, or if he'll ever know me on an intimate level emotionally. :(

Steven Chan said...

Dear Nicole

Thank you for sharing your experience.

My wife and I learned to submit our weaknesses to a more Supreme Being. We ask Him for help time and time again and He has never fail us.

Spiritual intimacy precedes emotional intimacy, even if you are the only person starting on it. Check out

Do seek professional help for your husband and yourself. Check out Reach Counseling Services or Focus On The Family Singapore. They provide good help to reconcile marriages.

Take deliberate actions to stop sliding down the slippery road. Attend the Marriage Convention that Families for Life (MSF) is organizing next month. Find a way to get your husband to attend with you.