Dr. Cregg Chandler is a retired Air Force chaplain who has done extensive research on what he refers to as an ethical epidemic in the military: fidelity. Chandler recently published his book, A Separation Survival Guide for Military Couples, on said topic and was featured on CBS This Morning in mid November.
Here we dive a little deeper into his book, what inspired him to research such a sensitive subject and how he successfully markets his work in the competitive book industry.
WestBow Press: What made you interested in learning more about the infidelity issues and concerns many military couples face?
Cregg Chandler: While completing my doctoral research, “Addressing the Issues of Family Separation,” I considered the many concerns that couples were dealing with. I wanted to understand how well the military was addressing and assisting couples in those areas. In my research, the military was addressing and assisting in the areas of re-integration, finances, communication, parenting, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, marriage enrichment, relationship issues and other areas.
While interviewing professionals, these concerns were discussed, however infidelity surfaced as a major concern for military couples. I’d observed and was aware that infidelity existed, however it appeared that it had escalated over the past 10 years. This is when I began to focus my attention more on the issue of infidelity. I saw it as an area that was not fully addressed extensively.
WBP: You did some extensive research for your book. How did you stay motivated to reach your goal of seeing your book published?
CC: I stayed motivated by continually asking God for His guidance in the process. When I felt like giving up, I would receive encouragement through a dream, vision, scripture or written inspirations to inspire me to keep going. I also utilized the advice and encouragement from my academic advisors, family and friends. I continued to see marriages fail due to the demise of the issues written about in my book. I saw it happening to people nationally, locally and most notably to people that I knew. I saw it as a major problem to be solved.
WBP: Can you share a few tips from your book for military couples struggling to overcome concern about infidelity?
CC: For the first tip, I encourage couples not to create undue stress concerning whether their spouse is being unfaithful if there is no obvious evidence, because they are already facing the many challenges that military couples experience.
Another tip is to take careful measures to insure that they are not participating in activities that would jeopardize their relationship. This would include disassociation with relationships, environments or social media connections that would come between them.
The third tip would be to seek out books, principles, marriage enrichment activities and experiences that would bolster their relationship.
The fourth would be to take time to understand themselves and to understand their spouse in the areas of their needs and their commitment to each other.
WBP: Why did you decide to publish your book?
CC: Actually, I was thrilled to have completed my doctoral work. I was ready for a break and then return to full-time ministry. After a couple of months, I had a dream regarding my notebook calendar, a black notebook and my research compilation sitting on a table. In the dream, my professor said, “Now what are you going to do with the work that you’ve accomplished?” When I awoke, I knew the answer.
After all the research and findings that I’d accomplished, I understood the following concept: What good would it be to have my work sit in the reference library at the University, online at the dissertation libraries, at home on my bookshelf and not be made available to assist couples in circumventing pain and becoming successful in their marriage. I understood that God wanted me to pursue with publishing the book.
WBP: You were recently featured on CBS This Morning. Do you have any advice for new authors struggling to garner media attention for their book’s message?
CC: Utilize the resources available through WestBow Press and their affiliates. Make use of one’s profession, career, organization or affiliations as a platform to attract media attention. Another way is by networking through individuals or sources that are connected to media. If one has the skills and ability, connect directly to the media sources. I don’t see how I would have made the connection with CBS This Morning without the assistance of WestBow Press. Divine intervention, timing and guidance would also be a major factor. It certainly was for me.
WBP: Do you plan on writing and publishing another book?
CC: Yes, I do. I believe that God has charged me to write. I’ve had other book ideas in my heart for many years now. Some of which, I believe are divinely inspired. The books that I am considering will solve problems, provide instructions, and/or inspire contemplation for life application or future implications.