By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS, CPCS
The romantic stage of a relationship lasts an average of 12-24 months. And once it passes maintaining a strong emotional connection can be difficult for most married couples. The busyness of life, the addition of children and simply being too inwardly focused are all factors that contribute to couples drifting apart emotionally. But there is another factor that comes into play when we discuss the changing dynamics of a relationship between couples. They tend to take each other for granted.
We begin to simply “expect” our spouse will always be available to serve without needing to be appreciated for the value they bring to the relationship. Over time, these couples find themselves walking through marriage on parallel paths. They may engage engulf themselves in work; make the kids the number one priority in the household; involve themselves in excessive activities like computer surfing, gaming, and hobbies that allow them to avoid engaging with their partner on an emotionally intimate level.
But as time passes, one or both individuals start to become discontent with the relationship and feel there is something missing. To correct this negative trend, they need to start chasing each other. Chasing is a process that consists of three steps.
- Put Aside Your Fears. As couples stop attempting to engage with each other on an emotional level fear is established. This is the fear of “being rejected” should they try to re-engage with their spouse. The rejection fear develops over time as individuals make attempts to engage but find themselves ignored or dismissed. After a while, they just stop trying to engage. But that is exactly where Satan wants you. While he understands he may not be able to destroy your marriage, he can certainly attempt to make it a miserable one. Drop the fear and take a chance.
- The Chase. Make daily efforts to genuinely engage with your spouse. For 10 to 15 minutes, take the focus off of yourself or the kids and place it solely on your partner and what is going on in his/her life. You also can: send cute and funny text messages; leave a romantic card on their pillow; buy inexpensive gifts; offer to do them a favor. The key is to generate a new perception in your spouse’s mind that you are actively thinking about them.
- Allow Yourself to Get Caught. If your spouse is making an effort to chase you, slow down enough to get caught. Don’t bush them aside by saying how busy you are but instead notice the energy they are putting into the relationship. Getting caught doesn’t take much effort – what it takes is being aware that you’re being chased.
By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CCSAS, CPCS
It is a question I get at least once a week from a client in my counseling practice, “why did God allow this to happen to me?”. And my answer is always based on my understanding of Scripture, which includes, but is not limited to:
- We live in a fallen world where we experience heartache and pain due to injustice, evil, disease and natural disasters (Rom. 8:22)
- Satan is alive and well and busy trying to turn us away from God (Eph. 6:10-12)
- We have free will. And those people with hardened and evil hearts use it to cause emotional, mental and physical pain to others (Matt. 15:19)
Usually, that is not enough to ease the distress an individual is suffering. And I can understand that. However, I do believe the words of the Apostle Paul who tells us:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Rom. 8:28
What is troubling for us is we can’t see the work God is doing as we are dealing with our storms. In fact, I heard a quote once, I can’t remember who said it, or the exact words, so I will paraphrase.
God is busy creating a beautiful painting of your life that is filled with love and hope. It is unlike any piece of art you have ever seen. However, you can’t see what He’s creating at this moment, because you are standing behind the canvas.
That is a fantastic word picture used to accurately describe the parallel of God at work while we are suffering. So when do we get to see what’s on the other side of the canvas? In His time. That could be tomorrow, next year, or in the world to come. We don’t know.
But this I am sure of, for those who have suffered greatly in this lifetime and remained faithful to God, He has eternity to make it up to them.
By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS
He is not doing enough,” exclaimed Susan speaking about her husband Artie who betrayed her with his numerous affairs and pornography use.
Her statement left me a little puzzled since I thought Artie had been doing well in his recovery. And from what I could see, Artie certainly had been doing everything that was asked of him. So, I asked Susan, “What do you need that he is not doing?”
“I don’t know,” she answered. “But he is not doing enough.”
Then it hit me. “Are you saying he is not doing enough in his recovery or he is not doing enough to help your recovery,” I asked her.”
“It’s always about him,” she said as tears formed in her eyes. “What about me? When does he start to focus on how much I am hurting?”
Susan felt Artie was rushing her recovery and wanted her to “get over it” so they could return to their normal life. What Artie did not understand is they could not return to their former relationship. In Susan’s eyes that relationship didn’t work. And she was right. There was no going back. The only road to travel – if they were to remain together – was forward. Continue reading “Help Her Heal: Walk into the Fire”
By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CCSAS
Every year the conversation in our home surrounding what to sacrifice for Lent is pretty entertaining. Each individual throws out an idea, while other family members counter argue why they believe it is not a true sacrifice. It’s always the usual list including sweets, bread, or electronics. In reality, all are good ideas and serve the purpose of denying oneself over a period of 40 days.
Last year I proposed men make a sacrifice that could have long-term and healthy outcomes for themselves and their relationships.
“Give up Lust for Lent.” Continue reading “Give Up For Lent”
By Eddie Capparucci, MA, LPC
Quite often I am asked by one of my clients who abuse sex “what is the time frame for being cured?”. They are a little taken aback when I respond “never”. Their wives also are disappointed and worried when they hear this news.
However, it is not all bad news. Like any other addiction, the desire to abuse sex doesn’t evaporate into thin air after a man has done his work and followed a recovery program designed to achieve sexual integrity. And I do not need to tell you that sexual temptation loudly surrounds us.
In fact, there is really little escape from the endless imagines and triggers that engross us on a daily basis. That is why the focus of recovery needs to be not simply on changing our behavior but instead changing our hearts. A critical component of that change is realizing we could become vulnerable if we let down our guard. Read what the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:12. Continue reading “Can Sex Addiction Recovery Be Permanent?”