Category: Marriage help

Retreat Is Not The Road To Victory

Marital separation sometimes brings a temporary sense of ‘peace’. One husband said, “This is the first week of peace I’ve had for years.” Of course he felt peace; he had left the battlefield. However, retreat is not the road to victory. You must come from that retreat with a renewed determination to defeat the enemy of your marriage. If you are separated, use this time to examine the biblical principles for building a marriage. Discover where you went wrong and how to correct it. Reach out for God’s help. I wrote the book: Hope for the Separated to help you do this. Separation is not necessarily the end. It may be the beginning of rediscovering the dream you shared when you were first married.

There Is Hope For The Separated

You dreamed of a marriage where each made the other supremely happy. Now one of you has walked out. Separation is not the time to capitulate. Your dream can live again. But not without work–work that will demand listening, understanding, discipline and change. That work will likely involve the help of an outside counselor; someone who can help you think, evaluate, and reach out for God’s help. I know you’ve tried before, but sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. One of God’s great gifts is the gift of choice. It is extremely important that you make the right choices. Don’t go it alone. Reach out to a pastor, a counselor, or a friend. There is hope for the separated.

When Your Spouse Walks Out

When your spouse walks out, is there still hope for your marriage? Separation does not equal divorce. Separation may be the valley of restoration, and the pain you feel may be the labor pains that will give rebirth to your marriage. What happens will be determined by what you and your spouse say and do in the next few weeks and months. In a very real sense, separation calls for intensive care, much like that given to one in grave physical danger. The condition of your marriage is ‘critical’. Things can go either way at any moment. Be assured, God is concerned about the outcome. Begin each day with prayer for His wisdom. When you ask, you will receive.


Q&A: How To Deal With A Jealous Spouse

Q: What are some ways to deal with a jealous spouse?

A: Well the first thing is to find out why the spouse is jealous. Is it their own insecurities? Have they always been jealous of boyfriends or girlfriends before they got married? Are they the kind of person that feels if they don’t have their undivided attention all the time that you don’t love them anymore? Sometimes it is insecurity that causes jealousy. But other times it’s a lack of feeling loved, which means the answer would be to speak their love language on a regular bases so they l secure in your love. If they feel secure in your love, they are less likely to be jealous of you. So it’s essential to find out why they’re jealous and then address the issue.

Your Marriage is Worth it

Does divorce seem like the best alternative to you? If so, I hope you’ll read my book, Desperate Marriages. Divorce, unlike death, does not end contact with the other person, especially if you have children, nor is divorce a pretty picture financially. Research indicates that 73 % of divorced women experience a decline in standard of living.

One wife said, “Our marriage was bad, but our divorce is even worse. I still have all the responsibilities I had when we were married, but now I have less time and less money.”  The effects of divorce linger for a lifetime. So do yourself a favor, call a counselor, read a book, or reach out to a pastor. Your marriage is worth it.


Divorce and Remarriage

Q: Do divorced couples still have opportunities to speak each other’s love languages and happily remarry?

A: What I’ve found is there are a number of couples that have said to me, after they’ve divorced, they read my book The Five Love Languages and the lights came on. They looked back over their marriage, realized where they had failed each other, started dating and began to discuss this together, as well as speak each other’s love language. Then emotional love came back into the relationship and they were able to make a commitment to each other again and remarry.

Yes, I believe that many couples who separate and divorce could be reconciled if they learn to speak each other’s language and then spend enough time with each other to see that they are learning how to communicate love.

Do Your Child A Favor

When parents divorce, typically children feel intensely rejected. Children get angry at their parents for violating the basic rule of parenthood–parents are supposed to make sacrifices for children, not the other way around. Because we are creatures of memory, we may carry the pain of broken relationships for a lifetime.

After the divorce, most parents plan to continue good relationships with their children, but parent-child relationships are forever altered by divorce. As adults, they often fear that their own marriage will fail. And in fact, the divorce rate for ‘children of divorce’ is higher than for those whose parents stay together. So, do your children a favor, continue to work on your marriage.

Q&A: Lying About The Past

Q: How do I learn to forgive my husband for lying about his past?

A: I think one of the most difficult things to get over is a spouse who lies to you about their past. I think, however, you can forgive for that. There has to be genuine repentance, they have to acknowledge to you that they were wrong and regret that they lied. But I do think that when they apologize to you and repent, as Christians, we must stand ready to forgive.

The Scriptures say we are to forgive as God has forgiven us. God forgives us when we confess our sins and when our spouses confess their sins, I think we have to stand ready to forgive them. It doesn’t remove all the hurt but when the hurt comes back you say to God, “I thank you that that is now forgiven.”

The Answer is Learning

There are three radical and negative approaches to a troubled marriage: suicide, homicide, and divorce. The first two are considered unthinkable by intelligent, mentally healthy people. On the other hand, divorce is often seen as a humane way of ending the pain of an unhealthy marriage. Some have divorced two, three or more times and are still in search of a happy marriage.

When I did the research for my book: Desperate Marriages, I discovered that divorce does not solve problems; it creates problems—problems that never go away. The answer is not found in running but in learning. Learn what is behind your spouse’s bad behavior and then you can ask God for wisdom on how to respond. You can be a part of the solution.

Change Agent

Do you feel like giving up on your marriage? I’ve been counseling people with marital struggles for over thirty years and often they have no hope. They are living in very difficult marriages. I am under no illusion that I can give a magic formula to bring healing to all such marriages, but I do believe that in every troubled marriage, steps can be taken by one partner, that have the potential for changing the emotional climate between the two of them.

The first step is to make the decision not to give up. Read a book, talk with a counselor or pastor, share with a trusted friend, but don’t give up. I wrote my book: Desperate Marriages for people like you. You can be a  positive ‘change agent’ in a difficult marriage.