"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and get united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh" (Ephesians 5:31).
I know that it is not Wednesday today, but this post really hit a cord with me.
When discussing living separate lives, I think huge red flags should be going up.
This was what it was like for us early in our marriage. We were newly weds. We were happy, free, but living separate lives, although not realizing it. He had his job, and I had mine. I had a 40 minute commute, working at an awesome Christian school. I LOVED my job, my students, the staff, the town, and the community. Oftentimes, when I had a meeting at school, I would stay at school. I spent lots of time with my dear friend and colleague. I also spent time joining a co-ed volleyball league. While playing volleyball, I met some new friends, primarily of the opposite gender. I should have seen the red flags, but I didn't. We continued to live our separate lives, being completely oblivious to that fact.
Meanwhile, my husband was at home, keeping busy with his job (running his own business). However, as we continued to live our separate lives, he found it more difficult to fight against his secret sin of being addicted to pornography. I was not "there" for him, in the way that a good, godly wife should be. I was definitely not his "helpmate".
Our purpose on earth is to glorify God and to become more like Him (sanctification). I also believe this is true in marriage with the addition to helping each other become more like Christ (mutual sanctification). A marriage is not a healthy marriage if the wife and husband are living separate lives.
I am thankful to God that my husband finally approached me regarding the time I was spending with my new (male) friends. I wish that I had seen the error in my ways earlier in my marriage, or that someone would have helped me see the red flags (I don't know if I would have agreed with them, though-unfortunately).
I am also very thankful to God that I discovered my husband's pornography addiction and that that was brought to the light. We travelled a difficult road of healing together. We had a fabulous Christian marriage counsellor, great friends, and supportive family. By God's good grace, He granted us healing and restoration in our marriage, for which I am so grateful.
I love Sheila's list to help live "parallel lives".
I would add to list by suggesting the following:
-if needed, do not hesitate to seek advice from a Christian counselor or mentor
-read the Bible or devotions together
-pray together and FOR each other (preferably out loud in front of each other)
-have fun together! Find something that you both enjoy and do it together. Or do something that you don't necessarily like, but do it for/ with your spouse anyways!
-carve out alone time (especially important if you have children)
-no cell phones or electronics in bed and no TV in the bedroom