Monthly Archives: November 2013
The family unit is at the heart of raising healthy, happy, successful children, and achieving one’s maximum life fulfillment as a parent. It is therefore necessary to pay attention to the family unit and protect it from impending danger. The family loves, protects, supports, guides, and nurtures all of its members unconditionally. The acknowledgement of the importance of this unit has led to support and services from a variety of sources: the government, the community, the school system, the religious community, and many more. These entities make up an external support system, all coming from outside the family unit. It is vital to look closer and evaluate the quality of the support from within the family, especially how its leadership is piloting the affairs of the family, including the physical and emotional health of all its members. Like every institution, the quality of a family’s leadership depends on the ability and wisdom of its leader to exercise sound judgment in the best interests of all its members.
Parents and family members become natural leaders within their own families. What values, skills, and competences must these natural leaders have to do their jobs well? I will only touch on one value: faithfulness to one’s marriage vow. Infidelity and Related Sins (I & RS) are among the worst triggers of family dysfunction, and it is time to aggressively protect the family against them.
According to Wikipedia, a dysfunctional family is “a family in which conflict, misbehavior, and often child neglect or abuse on the part of individual parents occur continually and regularly, leading other members to accommodate such actions.” Most children growing up in such families tend to understand this as normal and may repeat this unhealthy process in their future relationships and families, so the vicious circle continues. Infidelity occurs when a partner goes outside the relationship for physical or emotional needs; the other partner may end the relationship or may forgive the offender and stay, but either way, extramarital affairs deal major blows that send painful ripples to all members of the family, causing permanent damage.
In most families, these offenders are usually men, but these days females are catching up with men in this dangerous behavior. For now, I will focus on the male. In most circumstances, he is the head of the household: the provider, protector, leader, lover, role model, and more. You can imagine the magnitude of disappointment and betrayal other family members must feel to see their idol indulge in such demeaning actions like infidelity, sometimes repeatedly, and with no apology, as is the case of families with outdated cultural values that have little respect for women and children. Can such a leader ever be effective or enjoy the loyalty, respect, and trust of family members even when he demands them after a careless act of infidelity? Why should he complain or feel disappointed if he loses their cooperation? Are such serious consequences not enough to deter these behaviors?
Recently a friend called me to report that her husband, after over thirty years of marriage, moved out of their home because he “did not get any respect or cooperation from his wife and children.” Later, I found out the truth about the situation. He was having extramarital affairs, and when his wife and children discovered this and confronted him, instead of being apologetic, he became defensive, citing faults of every member in the family, and praising his mistress in their faces. At this point, he lost every last atom of respect from them and so had to leave.
A leader who can risk losing his family for selfish and personal gratification has no wisdom and no family goals. His leadership will more than likely meet a dead end. No intelligent person will follow a leader who lacks direction. Therefore, family leaders, male or female, do not demand respect as a birthright, but instead try to earn respect by exhibiting integrity and wisdom and the knowledge of the direction in which the family is heading. Faithfulness to your marriage vow is vital for the success of your leadership. We are in the 21st century, and most people, especially women, are speaking out and making better and healthier choices in their lives. The era of coping with bad behavior is over. Be wise and reject Infidelity and Related Sins (I & RS) and enjoy the peace and harmony of a happy home.
–Dr. Mother Love, The Infidelity Doctor.