Welcome to the online home of Audra Jennings, a book publicist and crafter. Here I share about both. I hope you'll find books you'll want to read and crafts you will want to order. I live a rather boring, single life. At times I would like to think I am humorous. The kids I teach in Bible class tend to think so. I also blog about current seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. I don't know why, I just do.
Extramarital affairs are not the social taboo they once
were and might be more prevalent now than ever thanks to the anonymity of the
Internet and ease of connection via smartphones. Living in a culture that
pushes the belief that “life is short and you deserve to be happy” doesn’t
help. All of these provide fertile ground for the temptation to cheat to grow,
and Christians are not exempt from these influences.
After straying to the other side of this marital fence
and returning to find forgiveness and restoration, Nancy Anderson brings
personal experience and an authority about predicting and preventing an
extramarital affair in her book Avoiding
the Greener Grass Syndrome: How to Grow Affair-Proof Hedges Around Your
Marriage (Kregel Publications). “Many marriage books that are based upon theories, statistics, and
clinical studies of infidelity,” she explains. “Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome is a book about real life in
the real world. I’m an expert on infidelity because I lived it and survived.
Thirty-eight years after my affair and reconciliation, Ron and I continue
taking what we learned and helping couples prevent, predict, and pardon
Q: When many people get married, they
believe their husband or wife’s job is to make them happy. Why is it dangerous
to believe this lie?
No one can meet all the needs of another person. If we look only to our
mate to fulfill us, we’ll always be disappointed. Ron and I both had
unrealistic expectations of what marriage should look like, and we were both
waiting to be served by the other. However, it should be the opposite.
A healthy marriage is created when each person is willing to serve the
other. Happiness and contentment come from knowing you are doing all you can to
“water” your marriage. Trading partners is not a good solution to a troubled
marriage because divorce rates go up with each subsequent marriage.
Q: Speaking of lies about happiness,
the world discourages working through hard times by saying, “Life is short, and
you deserve to be happy.” What does the Bible say about deserving happiness?
The truth is, marriage is both difficult and effortless, magnificent and
excruciating, blissful and tedious. Sometimes it’s all those things within the
same day—even within the same hour.
I know how hard it is to stay in a less-than-perfect marriage while TV
talk shows and well-meaning friends are preaching “you deserve to be happy.” I
looked for that verse in the Bible. Trust me—it’s not there. What the Bible
does teach about happiness is that it has little to do with our external
circumstances (married or single, rich or poor, healthy or ill) and more to do
with our choice to be content. Philippians 4:12–13 tells us, “12I know how to live on almost
nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every
situation, whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want; 13for I can do everything
God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power”
Q: You confess that you complained and
criticized your way through your first year of marriage. If you could go back
in time, how would you have approached your new role as a wife differently?
On one hand, I wish that were possible, as it would have saved a lot of
pain and heartache, but on the other hand, the lessons I learned in that dark
valley shaped the rest of my life for the better. In a way, I am getting a
do-over when I help another couple avert a disaster in their marriage. By
helping them avoid the snare that caught me, I am using what was evil for good
My role as a wife now is 180 degrees from what it was in 1978. My approach
to Ron now is that we are on the same team, working toward the same goals. When
we differ on which path to take, I don’t see it as him against me. I also have
learned to value our differences instead of resenting them, even though I still
don’t understand why he is relentlessly cheerful and chatty before I’ve had my morning
Q: The man with whom you had an affair
was a co-worker of yours. How can we safeguard our relationships when it is
inevitable we will encounter members of the opposite sex in the workplace and
the course of daily activities?
I recently read about the guidelines Vice President Pence implements in
his relationships with coworkers and other women who are not his wife. He is
very careful to avoid any appearance of and opportunity for inappropriate
behavior, and I agree with his high standards!
If you’re in doubt as to what conduct is inappropriate, ask yourself, Would I do this in front of my spouse? If
you’re still not sure, ask yourself, Would
I do it in front of the Lord? (You are, you know.) Here is a simple rule to
keep you on the straight and narrow: If you’d have to hide it or lie about it, don’t
In the workplace,make sure
your emails and other correspondences are not suggestive, inappropriate, or
flirtatious. Talk about your spouse positively, making it clear that you’re married
and intend to stay that way. Be careful not to have any lingering eye contact
or make comments that are suggestive. The book has suggestions for safeguards
for business travel, relationships with neighbors, babysitters, and even
co-laborers at church.
Q: Once a couple decides to commit to
repairing their marriage, what is the first step toward reconciliation?
After we made the decision to reconcile and reform our marriage, we
immediately sought advice from many different sources. We went to a Christian
marriage counselor who helped us learn to communicate more effectively. We also
read several books about “starting over” and attended marriage retreats and
workshops. One of the most important things we did was join a wonderful church
and faithfully attend worship services and adult Sunday school classes. We
received solid biblical teaching from a godly pastor and acted on his
The new chapter, titled “Affair Repair,” offers seven steps to recovery.
The first step is reveal, which means coming clean and admitting the betrayal. Without
that first step, the others are not effective.
Q: How long did it take for your marriage to heal after
you and Ron decided to remain committed to each other?
was a slow process. We’d developed many destructive habits, and some of them
took years to die. My feelings were still connected to Jake, but I decided to
stay with Ron and hoped and prayed that my affection for Ron would come back
with time. I worked hard to regain his trust, and we both made a big effort to
be polite and kind to each other, hoping to rebuild a friendship before a
romance. I would estimate that it took two years before we felt whole again.
Q: You write about Ron forgiving you
but also about how you struggled with the sorrow of regret. Why do you think he
was able to trust you more than you could trust yourself at that time?
Ron is an amazing man, and one of his best qualities is his optimism. He
saw my sincere apology and changed behavior as indicators that our marriage
could be healed. He heard me break it off with Jake and quit my job, so he was
confident I’d really changed. I knew, however, I still struggled with trusting
myself and was distraught I had fallen so far. My healing took longer than his,
perhaps because I had prided myself on being the stronger Christian and knowing
I’d also betrayed the Lord broke my heart.
Q: What words of encouragement would
you offer to someone in a struggling marriage who thinks divorce is the only
option following an affair?
be grounds for a divorce, especially if there is repeated infidelity and no
willingness to change. However, we encourage couples to try all other options
first, with divorce as the last resort. We know that God can heal any marriage
if both partners are willing to figure out what went wrong and make positive
changes in attitude and behavior.