– Gerry Couchman

For musos and old-timers like myself, the lyrics of the song by the Animals, The House Of The Rising Sun, will be very familiar – “Mothers tell your children, not to do what I have done!” How often we as parents are guilty of not challenging our children’s behaviour, particularly once they are married, and have their own kids. We don’t talk about our marriage struggles and about seasonal danger points.

Divorce is a reality
As we all know, the divorce rate in South Africa and the world is horrifying! 40-50% of all marriages will statistically end in divorce. This fact applies to both Christians and non-Christians. We live in denial or la-la land if we think it will never happen in our family. Of all the causes for divorce, infidelity is number one. Most times, we are totally shocked when this happens, and can’t believe it could happen to ‘that couple’. I know that there are many reasons infidelity happens, but let me share one perspective. 

Reasons for infidelity
A few years back, I heard a great talk by Gordon MacDonald. He said “Fathers, warn your sons and daughters about the Season of Seconds. When you start out after high school it’s the Season of Firsts. Your first job, your first pay cheque, your first car, etc. It’s an exciting time. Then comes your first marriage, your first wife, your first home together, and your first child. Still very exciting! Husbands are full of ambition, and hope for great things. This is followed by the dangerous Season of Seconds!

Season of Seconds
Things are no longer ‘new’! Life becomes a repetitive and sometimes boring. Along comes your second and maybe even your third child. Mom is under constant pressure meeting all the needs of the children, and the husband is no longer ‘king’ in his household. At the same time, reality strikes the husband! He’s probably 35-40 years old, and he realises that he’s not the superstar he thought he was, and he’s probably never going to achieve the lofty heights of his dreams. 

The danger of this season
This is the danger zone of the Season of Seconds. He doesn’t feel appreciated at home or at work. His self-confidence is low, and he’s very vulnerable to any form of attention from members of the opposite sex. Someone that will affirm him, flatter him, and tell him how ‘wonderful’ he is. Someone that will help him feel like he did in the exciting Season of First’s. This is when infidelity can happen!

It is up to you!
Remember that 50% of marriages fail. The failure rate will stay there unless we do something. Let’s take up Gordon’s challenge and let’s share not only this story, and also other trouble areas in marriage that we have experienced. Let’s start open conversations with our spouses and our married children. Let’s never stop praying for God to be the cement in our marriages. Trust me, I know first-hand the pain of a failed marriage!

Article source: JOY! Magazine

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