Will Maria Shriver’s marriage survive Arnold Schwarzenegger’s admission of infidelity? I hope so (Part 13)

Christina Schwarzenegger Governor Schwarzenegger goes to cast his vote on election day with his wife Maria Shriver and their daughters Christina and Katherine (her first time voting), at the Kenter Canyon elementary school in Brentwood.

The Schwarzenegger Family Voting

Governor Schwarzenegger goes to cast his vote on election day with his wife Maria Shriver and their daughters Christina and Katherine (her first time voting), at the Kenter Canyon elementary school in Brentwood.

Maria Shriver Asks – How Do You Handle Transitions in Your Life?

Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted to his wife several months ago that he had fathered a child about 10 years ago with a member of their household staff. Maria moved out, but has not filed for divorce. In the you tube clip above she comments:

“Like a lot of you I’m in transition: people come up to me all the time, asking, what are you doing next?” she said, adding: “It’s so stressful to not know what you are doing next when people ask what you are doing and they can’t believe you don’t know what you are doing.”

“I’d like to hear from other people who are in transition,” she said. “How did you find your transition: Personal, professional, emotional, spiritual, financial? How did you get through it?”

Mrs. Shriver has asked for spiritual input and I personally think that unless she gets the spiritual help that she needs then she will end up in the divorce court. I am starting a series on how a marriage can survive an infidelity. My first suggestion would be to attend a “Weekend to Remember” put on by the organization “Family Life” out of Little Rock, Arkansas. I actually posted this as a response to Mrs. Shriver’s request on you tube.

I wanted to share the article “He Had Two Affairs in 18 Months,” by Mary May Larmoyeux. I found it very helpful on this subject. Here is the first portion:

…Angela was about six months pregnant when Michael finally confessed his second affair in two years. It had been going on for about four months. Angela tried not to hyperventilate. She thought, This doesn’t happen to people like me.

He said, again, that he wanted a divorce. He said she should go live with her mom and dad.

The marriage conference

A month or so after Angela and Michael separated for the second time, Angela’s mother heard a radio advertisement for a Weekend to Remember®, a marriage getaway put on by FamilyLife. The ad promised help for struggling marriages, so she offered to send Michael and Angela to it.

At first Michael said he didn’t want to attend the conference. Divorce papers had already been completed. He just wasn’t interested.

Angela had an ultrasound and learned that she would have a little girl. After showing her husband the ultrasound pictures, she again asked if he would attend the marriage conference. He agreed to give it a try.

At the conference, “the walls came down” for Michael. He had allowed pent-up resentment to form a barrier between himself and his wife. “I didn’t understand a lot of what God’s purpose was for my life,” he says, “and I definitely couldn’t understand what His love meant.” When the speakers discussed the difference that Christ can make, “for the first time I decided to trust Jesus with my life and marriage.”

On the Saturday night of the conference weekend, Michael called Angela’s parents and apologized for the poor decisions he had made and for what he had put them through. As he talked, Angela thought about how much she did not want to be a single mom. “I wanted our daughter to have her dad,” she says. “And I wanted to be with him.”

Rebuilding a marriage

After the life-changing weekend, the tough work of marriage rebuilding began. Angela had to learn to trust Michael, and that was extremely difficult. “I told him for this [marriage] to really work, I was going to need to see that he wanted to change and that we weren’t going to go through this every year.”

Angela needed reassurance that Michael truly wanted to be married to her. Before the conference he would generally work late whenever asked to. Afterwards, that started to change. He showed his wife that spending time with her was a priority.

“That was huge to me,” Angela says.

Angela and Michael joined a church where they both grew spiritually and connected with other believers. As Michael got to know the men in his small group, he realized that many of his struggles (such as pornography and lust) were very common.

When their child was born, Michael and Angela were more committed than ever to make their marriage work. They continued to apply the principles they learned at the Weekend to Remember. Michael realized that he is supposed to come alongside his wife “in the better days and the worse days, like we said in our marriage vows,” and that Angela is his helpmate during both good and bad times.

Describing herself as an emotional person, Angela says the Weekend to Remember was an eye-opener. She realized her need to share feelings without using accusatory statements. “I remember being able to talk with each other more,” she says. At the end of the conference, the young couple signed a marriage covenant that was witnessed by one of the speakers. Angela felt that Michael was truly committed to rebuilding their marriage for the long haul.

Several months later they renewed their wedding vows with new rings. This time, when Angela pledged her commitment, she had experienced loving her husband for better and for worse. When Michael promised his lifelong faithfulness to his wife, he really meant it.

Today Michael and Angela are the proud parents of two daughters. “It brings me back to earth sometimes,” Michael says, “when I think about what could have happened with us not being together as a family.” 

Angela says that she and Michael are much closer today than they might have been without their trials. “I love him so much,” she says, “and I am so glad that he decided to stick with me.”

When Michael recalls the sense of utter desperation he felt years ago when he parked in the middle of the bridge, he doesn’t know why he didn’t follow through with his original plan and jump.

“The only thing that I can say to explain it is that God had a bigger purpose and I’m still here today.”

Weekend To Remember Conference Testimony

Here’s a couple who went to a FamilyLife Conference and how it made a difference in their marriage.

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