Category: Marriage 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.

Q&A: What does God say about an abusive husband?

Question: What does God say about an abusive, angry, and bitter husband, who insults his wife in front of their kids and blames the wife for everything that goes wrong?

Answer: Jesus said, “You have heard it said, ‘love your neighbor and hate your enemy’, but I say, ‘love your enemies. Bless those who curse you and pray for those who use you and persecute you.’”  Sounds to me like your husband qualifies. Now, don’t miss-understand Jesus. He did not say “have warm feelings toward a husband who is angry, abusive, and bitter.” What he said was, love and bless such a husband.

Love is an attitude with appropriate behavior. Love says, “I’m married to you and I choose to do what I can to enhance your life.”  This attitude leads to positive actions. Now, love is not always tender.  Sometimes love is tough. “I love you too much to sit here and do nothing.” Therefore, I am going to take the kids and move in with friends until you are willing to deal with your anger. Have your counselor call me when he wants to talk to me.”

Love requires action.

Q&A: What does God say about an abusive husband?

Question: What does God say about an abusive, angry, and bitter husband, who insults his wife in front of their kids and blames the wife for everything that goes wrong?

Answer: Jesus said, “You have heard it said, ‘love your neighbor and hate your enemy’, but I say, ‘love your enemies. Bless those who curse you and pray for those who use you and persecute you.’”  Sounds to me like your husband qualifies. Now, don’t miss-understand Jesus. He did not say “have warm feelings toward a husband who is angry, abusive, and bitter.” What he said was, love and bless such a husband.

Love is an attitude with appropriate behavior. Love says, “I’m married to you and I choose to do what I can to enhance your life.”  This attitude leads to positive actions. Now, love is not always tender.  Sometimes love is tough. “I love you too much to sit here and do nothing.” Therefore, I am going to take the kids and move in with friends until you are willing to deal with your anger. Have your counselor call me when he wants to talk to me.”

Love requires action.

Q&A: A Husband’s Comments About Other Women

Q: We are a newlywed couple. My husband jokes about good-looking women in front of me. I am offended. He says, “it doesn’t mean anything.” I’m having serious jealousy issues. What should I do?

Answer:  You may both be right. It may not ‘mean anything’ to him. But, you are hurt and jealous.  Those would be normal feelings. Many men make comments about ‘good looking women.’  When a man is single, these comments are most often made to other men. However, not many women want to hear such comments from their husbands. In fact, I don’t know any women that welcome such comments.

So, tell him that you find that offensive. Remind him that he is married, and that you are not ‘one of the boys.’ Give him a little slack. It takes a while to break old habits. But whatever you do, don’t accept these comments as appropriate. You are newly married and this is the time to ‘set the record straight’ that such comments are not acceptable. Also, be open to his requests for changes in your speech or behavior. This is a normal part of early marital adjustments.

Q&A: My husband comments about other women. Help!

Question: We are a newlywed couple. My husband jokes about good-looking women, in front of me. I am offended. He says, “it doesn’t mean anything.” I’m having serious jealousy issues.

Answer:  You may both be right. It may not ‘mean anything’ to him. But, you are hurt and jealous.  Those would be normal feelings. Many men make comments about ‘good looking women’.  When a man is single, these comments are most often made to other men. However, not many women want to hear such comments from their husbands. In fact, I don’t know any women that welcome such comments.

So, tell him that you find that offensive. Remind him that he is married, and that you are not ‘one of the boys’. Give him a little slack. It takes a while to break old habits. But whatever you do, don’t accept these comments as appropriate. You are newly married and this is the time to ‘set the record straight’ that such comments are not acceptable. Also, be open to his requests for changes in your speech or behavior. This is a normal part of early marital adjustments.

Q&A: Can our marriage grow if we are apart often?

Question: My husband is a long haul truck driver and only home a short time. How can you have a growing marriage when you only see each other about 36 hours per week?

Answer: First of all, think about our military couples who don’t see each other at all for 12 months. Marriage is not about proximity. Marriage is about two hearts beating together for each other. Together or apart, we are seeking each other’s well-being. We are praying for them, doing what we can to help them, and keeping in touch via phone, e-mail, or texting.

I would encourage you to make the most of the 36 hours you have together each week. Be kind, thoughtful, and loving. Speak each others love language. If you have issues, talk with a pastor or counselor, or read a book. When your time together is pleasant, then your time apart can also be pleasant. Of course, if you argue when you are together, then there is no comfort while you are apart. A strong marriage can endure times of separation.

Q&A: Can our marriage grow if we are apart often?

Question: My husband is a long haul truck driver and only home a short time. How can you have a growing marriage when you only see each other about 36 hours per week?

Answer: First of all, think about our military couples who don’t see each other at all for 12 months. Marriage is not about proximity. Marriage is about two hearts beating together for each other. Together or apart, we are seeking each other’s well-being. We are praying for them, doing what we can to help them, and keeping in touch via phone, e-mail, or texting.

I would encourage you to make the most of the 36 hours you have together each week. Be kind, thoughtful, and loving. Speak each others love language. If you have issues, talk with a pastor or counselor, or read a book. When your time together is pleasant, then your time apart can also be pleasant. Of course, if you argue when you are together, then there is no comfort while you are apart. A strong marriage can endure times of separation.

The Road to Growth

When Christian couples walk out on each other, it normally stems from one of three problems: (1) lack of an intimate relationship with God, (2) lack of an intimate relationship with the spouse, or (3) lack of an intimate understanding and acceptance of oneself.

The good news is that the first and last of these problems can be corrected without the help of your spouse. If you’re willing to get more intimate with God, and take a fresh look at yourself, you’re on the road to growth.

Seek the help of a mature Christian friend, a pastor, or a Christian counselor. Read Christian books on spiritual growth and self-understanding. Pray that God will show you the changes that need to be made in your thinking and behavior. Ask God to show you how and when to express both tender and tough love.

Q&A: Are We to Forgive Without Receiving an Apology?

Question: Jesus said that we are to forgive 70 X 7. Does that mean with an apology or without an apology? My wife never apologizes and I’m having a hard time dealing with the hurt.

Answer: We are to forgive others as God forgives us. So, how does God forgive us? The Scriptures say, “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive our sins.” If we don’t confess, the Scriptures indicate that God will discipline us (Hebrews 12). Jesus gave us clear instructions in Luke 17: 3, “If your brother (or wife) sins against you, confront him or her. If they repent forgive them.”

In Matthew 18 Jesus said we should make more than one attempt at confronting them. Eventually, if they don’t repent, we are to treat them as a pagan. How do we treat pagans? We pray for them; we love them; we return good for evil. It is unconditional love that often touches the heart of the offender. You will need God’s help to follow God’s plan, but it is the most powerful thing you can do when someone refuses to apologize.

Q&A: Are we to forgive without receiving an apology?

Question: Jesus said that we are to forgive 70 X 7. Does that mean with an apology or without an apology? My wife never apologizes and I’m having a hard time dealing with the hurt.

Answer: We are to forgive others as God forgives us. So, how does God forgive us? The Scriptures say, “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive our sins.” If we don’t confess, the Scriptures indicate that God will discipline us (Hebrews 12). Jesus gave us clear instructions in Luke 17: 3, “If your brother (or wife) sins against you, confront him or her. If they repent forgive them.”

In Matthew 18 Jesus said we should make more than one attempt at confronting them. Eventually, if they don’t repent, we are to treat them as a pagan. How do we treat pagans? We pray for them; we love them; we return good for evil. It is unconditional love that often touches the heart of the offender. You will need God’s help to follow God’s plan, but it is the most powerful thing you can do when someone refuses to apologize.