Tag Archives: family

Married and Thinking of Having an Affair? – Think Again….


”Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”?

The statistics on the numbers of persons engaging in infidelity or cheating on their mate are not always conclusive because people simply do not tell the truth on surveys or when polled. Conservatively, 60 percent of men and 40 percent of women will have an extramarital affair – and the number of marriages affected is much higher – about 80 percent.

We all know or hear of someone who is not being faithful to their marriage vows and there are similar accounts and stories told that paint a picture when someone steps out of the marriage ring. And the picture is not a rosy one.

There are many variables why people look to others for their emotional or sexual happiness. Some of them are looking for particular traits that their mate lacks, some may be bored or unhappy with their partner’s looks, habits or attitudes, and others may like the variety and excitement in living on the edge and risking that they ‘may be caught’.

Affairs can happen in any neighborhood, company, workplace, schools, churches, between friends, with in-laws; anyplace where two people can meet and form an alliance. Almost 30 percent start on the internet in chat rooms or online conversations. Some men and women are more vulnerable than others; some are more needy than others, and some put their self interests above others.

In any affair, the commitment to the other person in the marriage is violated and dishonored. Temptations and/or attention from the opposite sex can happen in any of the circumstances above, but a committed, honest and strong marriage will override them. Besides the religious inference and family members involved, the dynamics and spirit of a relationship between husband and wife is seriously changed because of an affair, even if the marital union was strong and unified.

The down-side aspects of cheating far outweigh the excitement of forbidden love and heightened emotional feelings. Persons who have affairs say things like this:

“I’ve never felt like this in my whole life.

He’s/she’s my soul mate.

We have so many interests the same; we enjoy every minute we are together.

I would do anything for him/her.

If it wasn’t for the kids, we would be together.

My husband and/or wife is a great mother and wife, or a great father and husband, but this attraction is stronger than him/her.

We talk about everything; I’ve never been so open with a person.

I can hardly wait till I see him/her again; we call each other or email all the time.

It’s like an obsession that I can’t stop.”

You only live once, why fight it.

The sex is unbelievable”.

Persons who feel like this are caught up in the first excitement and feelings of attractions, which are emotional and physical and think about the other person constantly. The “couple” make plans for vacations or weekends or any time that they can be together. This euphoria peaks because it is novel and new and they are love-smitten like teen-agers. There is no responsibility for taking care of a house, caring for kids or pets, or paying bills together, or sharing bathrooms or helping the other through a bad cold at 3:00 am in the morning. The relationship is purely fun, sensual, light-hearted, flirty and non-committed. They are having fun, dressing up for a ‘date’, share great conversations and have no money, in-law or religious problems.

Starting the affair is the first step in deception. Deception creates lies and untruths; once it begins, it can and usually escalates. One of the ‘couple’ may start to feels stressed and/or hemmed in. Every time the phone rings or the chance when they are together of meeting someone who knows them is around every corner or in every restaurant. There are restrictions all around and one of them usually gets more frustrated than the other. If one is married and one is not, it is even more stressful; the single one will urge and push for them to be ‘together’ and to leave the married mate.

It is unrealistic and a play world where the real life is actually home in their separate houses. The ultimate goal of a committed couple is to be together forever.  And an ‘affair together’ is usually a broken string of stolen or hurried moments.

Eventually, one of the ‘couple’ starts to feel dissatisfaction. Maybe one is married and the other is not, or both may be married. One wants to be with the other more and starts to feel melancholy and depressed on birthdays and holidays. He or she is frustrated in not being with the ‘loved one’ on these special days and wants to be together more and more. The other one may want to be together, too, but this dissatisfaction is usually more one-sided. The other may not be ready to commit to leaving the house and didn’t plan on making commitments. There may be children to consider. And responsibilities. And relationships. And family and friends.

All kinds of scenarios can happen. They can get caught and it will come out in the open and everyone gets hurt, especially if the mate did not suspect. Even if the relationship of the married couple was a good one, trust and respect have been destroyed and can take a long time in being restored, if ever. Emotions change the euphoria of the ‘couple’ and it can get nasty and ugly. Accusations and hurt feelings can cause emotional see-saws and the erring couple may find out things about their new-found loved one that they did not know existed. Reality sets in. If there are children, they might be brought into the turmoil and everyone gets hurt.

Soon you hear remarks like this from the cheating couple:

“She got so manipulative; she was going to call my wife and tell her.

He follows us when we go out on family outings and it makes me nervous.

I can’t concentrate at work; my boss asked me if something was wrong in my personal life.

The office knows because he calls me constantly, especially since I told him it was over.

I’ve lost weight and can’t concentrate; I’m so confused.

All we talk about now is how we would live if we left our partners and started over.

My wife and I don’t talk much and when we do, we fight.

The kids aren’t doing well in school, my son started to smoke.

I feel like I’m married to two people and I don’t get along with either one of them.

I guess the ‘grass isn’t greener’ on the other side.

You know what you have – you don’t know what you’re going to get”.

Still thinking about it? Here are some statistics to think about:

About 10 percent of affairs are a one-time and one-day event;

About 10 percent last more than one day, but less than a month;

Approximately half of affairs last more than a month but less than a year;

The rest last longer than a year, but few last more than four or more years.

Very few end in marriage – in the office, only 3 percent of the men married their lovers.   Ref:  {Catalogs.com)

Adultery betrays the marriage covenant of faithfulness. One of the Ten Commandments is : “Thou shalt not commit adultery” And yet, by the statistics above, many people do. And some get married twice or three times. And some commit adultery over and over and say that once you take the first plunge, it gets easier the next time.

If you get tempted and in this fast-changing world, many of us do, watch the movie Fatal Attraction with Michael Douglas and Glenn Close. You might save yourself entanglements, bitterness and life-changing events in your life that you really didn’t mean to have happen.

© Marie Coppola  March 2014

 

 

Lending Money to Friends or Family; IOUs and Promissory Notes


“Before borrowing money from a friend, decide which you need more.”  A. Hallock

Desperate times call for desperate measures and borrowing money can be one of those measures. Most people do not like to be in the position of asking a friend or family member for a loan, but in these economy-challenged times, the prospect of making a loan looms as a possibility due to shortage of funds. Banks are now reluctant to make loans and many families are experiencing job loss or foreclosures. To meet monetary responsibilities, some may look to their families or friends to ‘make a loan’.

It has been said that if you decide to lend money to family or friends for whatever reason, to treat such a loan as a gift. Part of your decision to lend it, should carry the mentality that many people will simply not repay you. It is fair to assume that everyone reading this has borrowed some amount of money to a friend or relative, and never been repaid. Sometimes it’s a ten dollar amount and sometimes it is in the thousands.

It has also been said that all loans to relatives should be considered that it is indeed a gift. Since it is a close relationship and you may be aware of the personal circumstances surrounding the request for a loan, the relative may find relief in that it is money that does not have to be paid back quickly because you know what a bind they are in and will have patience until they ‘get on their feet’ to pay you back. It the repayment is put on the ‘back burner’ of the recipient for a long period of time, they may either ‘forget’ about the loan or simply feel that since it is in the family, it need not be paid back soon….. or ever.

It’s difficult to refuse to help a relative money-wise when times are going rough for them. If you prefer not to lend money, perhaps you could offer to help them out in some way — to pay for an expense that is due, or aid them in paying a household expense or other outstanding charges they may have. Again, because of the relationship with family, and also with close friends, it may be uncomfortable to ask them for an IOU [I Owe You] stating the amount and date of the loan.

An IOU is a written statement of a borrower’s obligation to pay back a loan or a debt, but makes no promises on how or when the loan will be repaid. If the IOU has the borrower’s name, signature, address, date, amount stated, it could considered a contract that could be enforceable by a court of law to be repaid. Note that State laws and statutes of limitations may vary on the conditions to do so. IOUs are not usually notarized, but it wouldn’t hurt if it is a sizeable amount and if something happened to the borrower and you needed to make a claim against his/her estate.

IOU SAMPLE:

I, [Borrower Name] , residing at ________________________________________________, borrowed $____________ [amount]

from [Lender’s Printed Name] ______________________________ on [Date:____________________] and promise to repay the loan.

Lender’s Printed Name & Signature __________________________________________

The difference between an IOU and a promissory note is that an IOU only states an amount that is owed to another party. A promissory note states the amount as well as the steps necessary to pay back the debt and the consequences if it is not. It may also be called a loan agreement or personal loan agreement.

A promissory note is a written promise to repay a loan or debt under specific terms. These notes could exist between any relationship consisting of two persons: parent and child, friends, co-workers, etc. This is usually defined by date, and specified series of payments, or simply paid back upon demand. It also verifies the borrower’s obligation to repay a debt [with or without interest].

As a note here: Interest is regulated by the state and there are laws regulating it (Usury is defined as the act of lending money at an unreasonably high interest rate, this rate is defined at the state level. Repayment of loans at a usurious rate makes repayment excessively difficult to impossible for borrowers. This is also called “loan sharking” or “predatory lending”. Ref: UsuryLaw.com)

The note contains the amount of the loan, terms of the loan, the interest rate – if applicable, the payment schedule and the rights and obligations of the lender and borrower. Promissory notes, like IOUs, do not have to be notarized in order to be considered valid. But again, it wouldn’t hurt and could ensure repayment.

Typically, promissory notes are kept by the lender until the amount of money has been paid in full, at which time the payee can request the right to retrieve the promissory note for his or her records along with a written and signed receipt. This should consider the debt paid in full.

Information that should be included in Promissory notes are: Full legal names of both parties, Address to which payment will be sent ;

Interest rate if applicable (see Usury note above); Due dates for payments of both principal and interest; Signatures of both borrower and lender.

There are persons who genuinely honor their obligations and repay their loans. They will keep you up-to-date on their ability to pay amounts and when and how the payments will be made. These persons are very appreciative of the trust you offered and are eternally grateful.

Sadly there are more of the other variety, who make excuses, sometimes end friendships before they repay their debt or simply seem to forget about the loan.

Marie Coppola © Revised January 2014

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. The reader should seek and employ qualified legal counsel and not rely on information presented here for any purpose.

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Memories

 

“Over the River and Through the Woods” is a well-known Thanksgiving song written by Lydia Maria Child. It was originally written as a poem, entitled “A Boy’s Thanksgiving Day and celebrated childhood memories of Lydia Maria visiting her grandparent’s house. Although it is sometimes substituted as a song for Christmas, our family never failed to sing this song in our unmelodic voices on our way to Thanksgiving Dinner at Nana and Grandpa’s house. Usually driving over a bridge precipitates it and we break into song. It is a tradition that spills over into the grandkids. It goes:

“Over the river, and through the wood, To Grandmother’s house we go; The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh through the white and drifted snow. Ohhh”

Over the river, and through the wood—Oh, how the wind does blow! It stings the toes and bites the nose , As over the ground we go.”

Thanksgiving, like Christmas, is a traditional family gathering either at our parents, if we still are fortunate enough to have them, or a sibling or whichever family member does the cooking that year. The holiday conjures up memories of other Thanksgivings and more often than not, there is a big stuffed turkey, with lots of vegetables and trimmings. If you are Italian, or any other nationality, there is sure to be favored ethnic dishes piled high. We try to make sure we have room for the pumpkin, apple and mince pies – what is Thanksgiving without the memories of feasts we’ve shared?

The day, of course, is in gratitude for all our blessings and family members. As we gather round, we are grateful for the gathering and maybe some new additions to the family. There may also be some empty chairs for many reasons that once were filled, and we are grateful for the memories we hold for these family members, too.

We probably all have similar sayings and customs for this “Thank You Day” or “Turkey Day”. I always say something which my mother always said when we sit down at 3:00 pm for dinner, “Do you realize how many people are doing this same thing right now?”…..and most likely my daughter will say it someday when I’m not around in memory and fun. She does so already.

Here are some of our happenings on this special holiday.

  • After our first blessing, I ask one of the children to say grace. Children love to be part of an adult gathering and they love to say grace. They are thankful for everything, so make sure all the plates are covered against getting cold. The rest of the children want to add their thanks, too, and you get a good idea of what makes these little people the happiest. Anyone who wants to add a prayer, is welcomed.
  • After dinner, we always go round the table and each person tells everyone what they are most thankful for this year. The kids enjoy this part the most. This is always special as some people always joke; some always get very serious; some get emotional; and some articulate beautiful thanks to someone there who especially went the extra mile to help them. This part of the meal – while digesting – and before dessert – is very family-oriented. No hand-held video games, iPods, or cell phones are brought to the table.
  • During dessert, we ask if anyone wants to do the ‘Christmas grab bag gift’ idea. We started this when the family and kids and grand kids started to number 30. Instead of buying small gifts for everybody, we have a grab bag. Everyone’s name goes in the hat and each person picks a name and buys a gift for that person and that person only. We put a price tag on it – one year it was $25.00 and that was a little too much for the teens and kids, so we settled on $15 or $10.

I wish you all a blessed and memorable Thanksgiving ~~~

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 107:1

Marie Coppola November 2013

 

How to End a Bad Relationship

You can get along with all of the people some of the time; you can get along with some of the people all of the time but you can’t get along with all of the people all of the time.    A spin on the old adage.

It is an unfortunate fact of life that we simply can’t get along with everybody. If we are lucky, we have good relationships with our family and friends and in-laws, but every once in awhile, there is someone who becomes a ‘literal thorn in our side’. Sometimes, it is apparent why this happens. But other times, as much as we analyze and pick the relationship apart, conversation by conversation, we can’t understand totally why this happens.

Call it karma, call it fate, call it ‘that’s life in the big city’, it can play havoc with our lives. This is especially so, if it is a family member, a spouse, or an in-law.  It can be someone we are close to and see frequently; or it can be someone we’re not so close to and see infrequently. The latter can be spaced out in visits (if you have to visit them at all) and can be managed. Somewhat.

But, what do you do when it is a sibling, a parent or God forbid, a spouse?

If and when you are immersed in a dysfunctional relationship, emotions can override logic. If it is a parent or sibling, we are talking a major challenge. If it is a spouse, it can be catastrophic.

    

What do you do? Do you bite your tongue in all conversations, hold back lashing down to a minimum, feign sickness to avoid them? Work more; socialize less, bury yourself in a book?

Or do you join in when they are around, feel stressed out and pray that the day turns out ok and not into a fiasco. Others are counting on you to ‘join’ in the group and just ‘keep cool’ or ‘chill out’ or anything short of sitting on you and duct-taping your mouth.

Well, there are many variables here.  In a family matter – a parent, a sibling, a child – there is a history here and lots of interchanges. Some issues are so interchangeably tangled, that unless the ‘diametrically-opposed players’ come to a prayerful compromise and exchange of promises and a sincere heart change, there is little hope that they will link arms and have a drink together. In fact, drinking may make it worse.

A spouse you don’t get along with is much more challenging. This is a life commitment you both made. Serious and truthful conversations, role playing (perhaps with a third party), and a sincere desire to change the situation is warranted if you want to right it. It’s not going to go away by itself. One person can’t change it; it needs both. Make that three – add God. Positive actions, prayers and verbal affirmations help to get issues out in the air and looked at.   Three steps forward and two steps back – but keep forging ahead and praying while you do it.

It may work out.  It has worked out.  And made relationships stronger. But it also hasn’t worked out.  And relationships end.

I had such a person in my life. This was a ‘long-history person’. We simply were like oil and water. Things said were not taken the way they were meant; get-togethers became strained with stress; attempts to make it better made it worse; and the chasm opened wide and threatened to swallow us.

This relationship caused additional spiritual stress for me: didn’t God tell us to forgive seventy times seven?   Aren’t we supposed to ‘love one another as He loves us”?  How could I reconcile this fractured relationship with my faith?   How could I change into something I wasn’t?   I tried and tried and couldn’t and didn’t .

One day, at church service, there was a visiting minister.  His topic was ‘You Can’t Get Along With Everybody’.  I was all ears.   His sermon was loving, prayerful, scriptural and reality. He looked out at all of us and said, “You have to face the fact that you won’t get along with everybody in life – it could be someone close, a loved one or even a child of yours. You simply will not have a good relationship with them.” And then he offered, “Even Jesus did not get along with everyone. As a native Nazarene, he was not always welcome in his own neighborhood; people mocked him that “he was a carpenter’s son – how can He think he is a Son of God; we knew Him as a child playing’.” Jesus left his hometown and started traveling with His ministry. And when He and/or the Apostles were not welcome in a town, He told them to ‘wipe the dust off their feet’ and move on.

Please understand that this minister was not suggesting that you disregard any and all people that you don’t get along with and wipe them off like dust.  Remember, we are all imperfect.

Life is a compromise with almost everybody. It is usually a loving compromise and returned as such. Sometimes people have life changes and within those changes, people temporarily behave differently and relationships change with them. They may be going through a rough time; and they need your patience and love. I’m not talking about these kinds of ‘not getting along’. They are transient and natural in all our lives.

I’m talking about the constant, never-ending, always-the-same negative and destructive relationship that causes stress every time you connect.

I talked with the minister after the service and told him I felt bad about this relationship that I just couldn’t seem to embrace. He answered, “There are some relationships you can’t fix. Thank God they are few, but they simply will never be what they are supposed to be. You have to walk away and leave them. Withdraw from them; they will eventually harm you. Wipe the dust from your feet and move on. But always, always pray for that person, forgive them and forgive yourself.   But always pray for them.”

I found a serene feeling of letting go that day. And I followed his advice. I also began praying for that person. And that was very difficult for me.  The first few prayers were stifled and stiff and seemed to get stuck in my throat.  But I kept at it and in time, sincerely meant the prayer. I pray for this person to this day. I pray for her peace; I wish her well-being and remind myself that she is loved as a child of God just as I am.   With my change in attitude and prayer, I feel differently about this person.  We may – never be close but the awful feelings of animosity are gone.

There is no judgment or blame here — it’s just that….”As one face differs from another, so does one’s heart.”

©Marie Coppola  Revised May 2013

Why go to Church? I don’t have time.

 

We live in an ultra-busy world. Technology gets us there faster, enables us to work faster, gives us computers, fax machines, cell phones, our Blackberry, iPods, notebooks – everything is speeded up so we can dance as fast as we can. Sometimes, economically, we have to work 2 jobs or both partners work; life is entangled. We’re all on roller skates. There’s barely enough time to do all we have to do – who has time to give a whole day and put it aside and keep it holy?

Question:  Who has time for faith? How do I get faith? I’d like to have faith, but where and how do you get it?

Answer You can start, get and keep faith by keeping the Sabbath holy.  At the least, most faiths have services for an hour on Saturday or Sunday. This is time for regrouping of family; renewal of faith and refreshment. Keeping the Sabbath sets the pace for a ’day of rest’ be it spending a couple of hours ’together’ and/or awareness of God at least one day of the week. Some of us have to work on the weekends, but there are services during the week – as a day of rest- or at least a sharing of a Scripture over breakfast or dinner or watch a spiritual TV show to ‘keep a day holy’.

Faith begins and grows with God’s Word, the Bible.  Some find Scripture hard to read and understand.  Joining a Bible class may aid you.  For those who get frustrated easily, they can start with a New American Bible or a Good News Bible which is easier to understand.   Sometimes reading the New Testament and/or Jesus’ words, usually in red or bold, is an incentive to pursue the Bible as a whole entity.

Question:  What is Sabbath? 

Answer:   Sabbath is a day of religious observance and abstinence from work, kept by Jews from Friday evening to Saturday evening, and by most Christians on Sunday.

It is one of the 10 Commandments given to Moses by God.

Question:  Why should we remember the Sabbath and keep it holy?

Answer:  Sabbath is a sign in respect for the day during which God rested after having completed Creation in six days (Genesis 2:2-3,  Exodus 20:8).

The Bible tells us it is a weekly day of rest and time of worship.  It is observed in Judaism and Christianity and informs a similar occasion in several other faiths.

It is true today that many families have broken the tradition of keeping the Sabbath holy.    Many families are Easter/Christmas/Channukah families and do not attend services the rest of the year.   Many churches are attended by mostly seniors and children making rites in their faith, but young people, young mothers and fathers are sorely absent. And once the children finish their rites, they disappear from church with their families.

When folks ask me, ‘how did you get your faith’, or ‘how can I get faith’ – I tell them to attend a church, temple or place of worship.   There are many different denominational churches or temples like there are many people, and it’s important to go to one where there’s a good fit for your beliefs.    Sermons, homilies and services should provide  direction and instructions from the Bible.   Worship communities help bridge the gap between the Bible and today’s world and how we apply it to our lives.

A person or family gets used to church very easily – it becomes a habit or ritual – going as a unit to worship or learn about God and His Word.   Community of church are the people that attend church with you who can be tremendous helpmates in learning about God or sharing in life’s events with you.

He gives us each week of our lives; why not give Him one hour of it?   Bring your mate and family.  Parents: It is the best gift you can give your children.

Try it ~ you’ll like it – and God will bless you.

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Copyright ©  Marie Coppola  Revised November 2016