Category: Marriage help

Q&A: How can I help my spouse better understand my needs?

Question: I am a newlywed and would like to know what I can do to have my husband better understand my emotional and physical needs?

Answer: One of the best things, I’ve found, is to encourage couples to share a book with each other. Ask a friend if you don’t have an idea for a book. You each read a chapter separately and at the end of the week, you share one thing you learned about yourself in that chapter and then they share one thing they learned about themselves. What you’re doing is being exposed to ideas and learning about yourself. Now if the book has assignments, I would suggest you do this assignments. It’s like self-counseling. Sharing a book is a good idea.

Q&A: How can I help my spouse better understand my needs?

Question: I am a newlywed and would like to know what I can do to have my husband better understand my emotional and physical needs?

Answer: One of the best things, I’ve found, is to encourage couples to share a book with each other. Ask a friend if you don’t have an idea for a book. You each read a chapter separately and at the end of the week, you share one thing you learned about yourself in that chapter and then they share one thing they learned about themselves. What you’re doing is being exposed to ideas and learning about yourself. Now if the book has assignments, I would suggest you do this assignments. It’s like self-counseling. Sharing a book is a good idea.

Q&A: We are to the point of divorce. Can you help?

Question: My husband and I are at the point of divorce. Though he has agreed to look at some of your materials with me. Can you give us a starting point?

Answer: I would suggest you start with my book: The Five Love Languages. Ask him if he would be willing to read the first chapter this week if you read the first chapter. And at the end of the week, you will share one thing you learned and he will share one thing he learned. It’s a good way to get started. Then, if he feels good about it and you feel good about it, take chapter two the next week. Work your way through the book one chapter per week.

By the end of the book, I think you both will have rediscovered how to love each other, and how to stimulate warm feelings toward each other. Chances are he’ll be willing to share another book with you. Sharing a book is one way to stimulate marital growth.

Q&A: We are to the point of divorce. Can you help?

Question: My husband and I are at the point of divorce. Though he has agreed to look at some of your materials with me. Can you give us a starting point?

Answer: I would suggest you start with my book: The Five Love Languages. Ask him if he would be willing to read the first chapter this week if you read the first chapter. And at the end of the week, you will share one thing you learned and he will share one thing he learned. It’s a good way to get started. Then, if he feels good about it and you feel good about it, take chapter two the next week. Work your way through the book one chapter per week.

By the end of the book, I think you both will have rediscovered how to love each other, and how to stimulate warm feelings toward each other. Chances are he’ll be willing to share another book with you. Sharing a book is one way to stimulate marital growth.

What Does Forgiving Your Spouse Look Like?

So, your spouse has failed you. But now, they have confessed their wrong and are seeking to change their behavior. What are you to do? In the Scriptures, forgiveness is always the Christian response to confession and repentance. Remember, forgiveness is not a feeling. It is a decision to lift the penalty and declare the person pardoned.

Forgiveness means that you will no longer hold that failure against your spouse. Human forgiveness is based on God’s forgiveness.  Christ paid the penalty for our sins. When we confess and repent, God forgives us. The same principle applies in human relationships. There are no healthy marriages without confession, repentance, and forgiveness.

Remove Barriers in Your Marriage

You don’t have to be perfect to have a good marriage. But, you do need to deal effectively with your failures. Otherwise they sit as barriers to a growing marriage. How do you get rid of past failures? First, you identify them–write them down. Second, you confess them as wrong–to God and to your spouse. Third, you repent–change your behavior.

To confess this week, and then repeat the same behavior next week, does not remove barriers. It makes things worse. God is in the business of changing lives. Why not sign up for God’s rehabilitation program. Let Him give you the power to break old habits and replace them with acts of kindness and love. You can become the person, your spouse deserves.

 

 

Moving forward

Would you like to put the past behind you and start over?

I’m talking about in your marriage. Many couples have so much pain from past failures that they have a hard time moving ahead. Time alone, will not heal hurts. Healing comes when we are willing to confess our failures and change our behavior. Some of us would like to leave out the confession part and just focus on being different in the future.

However, confession is essential to the healing process. Even God requires confession before He forgives. I John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” Confession means that we admit to our spouse that what we did is wrong. We accept responsibility for our failure and request forgiveness.

Q&A: What should I do if my husband wants a divorce?

Question: We haven’t even been married 2 years yet and my husband is telling his friends he wants a divorce after every fight. Do you think he means it? What should I do?

Answer: Yes, the thought of divorce is in his mind. No one likes conflicts that end in ‘fights’ or ‘arguments’. When things don’t get resolved, we begin to think: “Oh no, I married the wrong person.” Then follows the thoughts of divorce. Of course, divorce is not the answer. The answer is in learning how to resolve conflicts. All couples have conflicts. Some couples learn how to listen with a view to understanding each other, then looking for a solution.

Other couples approach every conflict as an argument. They focus on winning the argument instead of solving the problem. In my book, Happily Ever After, I have a section on Solving Conflicts Without Arguing. I suggest you read it and discuss it together. If he is unwilling, then make an appointment with a counselor and invite him to go with you. If he refuses, then go alone. Bottom line? Don’t ignore the problem. Seek help.

Q&A: What should I do if my husband wants a divorce?

Question: We haven’t even been married 2 years yet and my husband is telling his friends he wants a divorce after every fight. Do you think he means it? What should I do?

Answer: Yes, the thought of divorce is in his mind. No one likes conflicts that end in ‘fights’ or ‘arguments’. When things don’t get resolved, we begin to think: “Oh no, I married the wrong person.” Then follows the thoughts of divorce. Of course, divorce is not the answer. The answer is in learning how to resolve conflicts. All couples have conflicts. Some couples learn how to listen with a view to understanding each other, then looking for a solution.

Other couples approach every conflict as an argument. They focus on winning the argument instead of solving the problem. In my book, Happily Ever After, I have a section on Solving Conflicts Without Arguing. I suggest you read it and discuss it together. If he is unwilling, then make an appointment with a counselor and invite him to go with you. If he refuses, then go alone. Bottom line? Don’t ignore the problem. Seek help.

Q&A: What do I do if my husband has an addiction?

Question: We’ve been married for 2 months and I just found out that my husband is using drugs and gambling. What now?

Answer: I know this doesn’t help, but for the sake of our listeners I must ask the question: Did you not see this before you got married? To the singles who are listening: Please keep your eyes open and ask questions. Dating is a time to get to know each other. These issues are best faced before you get married. Now, having said that to singles, I’ll answer your question. Confront your husband with tough love. Don’t ignore his gambling and drug use.

Continue to love him and to speak his love language, but also let him know that you love him too much to do nothing while he moves down a negative pathway. If he responds negatively, then contact a pastor or counselor and let them advise you. They can help you apply tough love. He needs help and unless he gets help, he will never reach his potential. Confront him—the sooner, the better. This problem will not go away simply with the passing of time.