Saturday, June 18, 2011

Federal Way spouses discuss infidelity on Oprah's network

Here's a great article that ran on the front page of the Federal Way Mirror on Saturday June 18, 2011.

Federal Way Mirror Editor

Jun 16 2011, 7:57 PM

After a fairy tale wedding and honeymoon, Jason and Debby Coleman quickly ran into trouble.
The couple had married young — she was 19 at the time, and he was 22. From the start, Jason was working long hours on evenings and weekends. This became free time for Debby. Outside of her college classes, she spent a lot of time socializing with friends. Communication between the newlyweds was at a minimum, and their expectations of marriage were, in hindsight, unrealistic.
About six weeks into the marriage, Debby and a male acquaintance began an affair.
“Reality slapped me in the face the second we got home from our honeymoon,” Debby said. “I continued to go out with other friends and not really act like I was married. ... I never should have been in those situations.”
The infidelity lasted a couple of months until Jason discovered a letter written by Debby to the other man. In the letter, she wrote about ending the forbidden relationship. Blindsided by the revelation, Jason confronted his wife and asked her to leave.
“I knew we weren’t getting along too well,” Jason said. “I had no idea it had gone to that extreme. It was a total shock to me.”
The Federal Way couple shared their story for the TV series “Unfaithful: Stories of Betrayal,” which airs 9 p.m. Monday, June 20, on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. In June 2010, the Colemans published their self-help book “Discovering Your Amazing Marriage” that includes advice on learning to communicate and protect a marriage from infidelity.
Devastated by the affair, the couple eventually reconciled and began the long road toward repairing their marriage. They underwent heartache, late discussions and counseling while improving their communication and nurturing their spiritual sides.
In rebuilding trust, the couple kept each other more accountable.
“This was long before the day of cell phone,” Jason said. “I’m not too proud to admit I checked the mileage on the car” to see if Debby was driving elsewhere. “I was not trying to catch her doing things wrong, but to catch her doing things right.”
“I was perfectly fine with him doing that,” Debby added. “I wanted him to know I was in it 110 percent.”
Almost 22 years and four children later, the Colemans — now in their 40s — credit the infidelity for strengthening their marriage.
“I’m so completely and utterly ashamed of my behavior. I have to believe we went through all of this for a reason,” Debby said. “There are people out there who are struggling and need to know other people have been through the same thing.”
The couple acknowledges that it’s been a tough road, and that their marriage is not perfect.
“Our resolve came in knowing there was something better for us and making a conscious decision to love each other. Love is not a feeling, it’s not an emotion. Love is a consicous decision,” Jason said. “Amid the hurt, anger and broken trust, we chose to love each other.”
Learn more
• To learn more about the Colemans or to check out their book “Discovering Your Amazing Marriage,” visit Those interested in purchasing the book can enter the coupon code “federalwaymirror” for a 25 percent discount.
• The couple’s segment on “Unfaithful: Stories of Betrayal” airs at 9 p.m. Monday, June 20, on the cable channel OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

For the past several weeks the media and the American public has been captivated with the ever-increasing story of Congressman Weiner-his poor judgment, lies, and potential sexual indiscretions. With the recent announcement that his wife is pregnant this story has taken a bizarre twist and intensifies the intrigue.

With increasing frequency we are learning of the private decisions public officials make that are potentially career-ending. As this story develops, the cries for resignation are gaining momentum. It is therefore not out of political gain, but out of a respect for the sanctity of marriage and the relationship that he could potentially lose with his wife of less than one year that causes me to join those who are calling for his resignation.

Here are 5 steps that I believe Congressman Weiner must take if he desires to save his marriage:

1) Resign immediately. Congressman Weiner, or any public official, cannot mend fences at home while remaining in the public spotlight. His alleged indiscretions are a private matter between he and his wife and they should remain private. The longer Congressman Weiner remains a member of Congress and the longer he maintains his refusal to allow this firestorm to destroy his political career, he longer restoration between he and his wife will be delayed. He needs to remove himself from the public spotlight and work these matters out with his wife.

 2) Break off all contact. Congressman Weiner must break off all contact from the women he was tweeting and texting with. It is critical that he cease all contact and interaction and that he begins to build a wall around him and his wife. He needs to fortify his position at home and guard his heart. I suggest he shut down his Twitter and Facebook accounts, and any other social media he uses to interact with his constituents.

Guarding against intruders is vital to building, achieving, and main­taining an amazing marriage. It is equally vital to rebuilding the trust that has been shattered in this relationship. We cannot say enough about accountabil­ity when it comes to the preservation and protection of your marriage against intruders. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and given the right set of circumstances you may find yourself facing a situation that you aren’t prepared for.

3) Reveal everything. In private with his wife he needs to be completely truthful and reveal everything he was involved with. It is paramount that he does this, as the truth will come out eventually from other sources and it is critical that he be as transparent as possible with his wife. This will most likely be a very hurtful and difficult time for them both, but everything must be laid out in the open so they can assess the damage before rebuilding.

4) Rebuild trust. Rebuilding trust will take time and is a tough thing to do but is absolutely necessary. This will undoubtedly be a long and tiresome process, but one that is fundamental to their relation­ship.  Trust is one of the primary foundations of a healthy relationship. There’s not much you can build in your relationship if there is an absence of trust. Trust, after all, is the cornerstone of marriage. Trust means having a complete assurance that circumstances will not influence the relationship we share with one another. The vow that many of us have taken that states “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health” simplifies this concept of trust.

Accountability is one of the biggest components of rebuilding trust. Congressman Weiner should seek an accountability partner with whom he can talk about his struggles and who will hold him accountable to do what is right for his marriage.

My wife and I give each other full access to any and all screen names and computers we may be using at any given time. We know each other’s passwords and we have an understanding that if the passwords change, we must inform each other of the change and why. This is not a privacy issue; it is a matter of respect. We respect each other enough to let the other have access to every corner of our lives. It is not a lack of trust, rather a measure of confidence in one an­other and a willingness to be completely open and transparent. There is no area that is off limits in our marriage. If one of us asks for access to anything it is granted, and a discussion follows with regard to the reasons why, if necessary.

Spouses owe it to each other to be honest and transparent with re­gards to concerns the other may have and they should always be brought up in a discussion. Not only does transparency and honesty help guard your heart, but it protects your marriage as well.

5) Make his wife feel as if she is the most important person in the world.

This could be one of the most important steps in rebuilding a relationship and maintaining a relationship. Love is a choice; it is not a feeling or an emotion, but rather a conscious decision that is made on a daily basis. My wife and I have discovered that an amazing marriage is a rare bond between a husband and a wife wherein each one knows that they are the most important person in the eyes of their spouse.

An amazing marriage is the result of the choices you make each and every day. Choices about how you will treat your spouse, how you will talk to your spouse, and so much more.

If Congressman Weiner wants his marriage to be truly dynamic and unique, he needs to be purposeful about the choices he makes and exercise a determined effort in rebuilding his relationship. The same can be said of you and me.

Congressman Weiner, you’ve made some very poor choices. Begin today by choosing to save your marriage and take the necessary steps to rebuilding that which you have begun to destroy. It may be too late for your political career, but your private relationship with your wife is more meaningful and, hopefully, more important.