Category: Marriage help

Money Saving Tips

Saving money is good stewardship. One way to save money is to spend less. One way to spend less is to do “seasonal shopping” This is especially helpful when buying clothing. Shop at the end of the season sales. I don’t mean the first day of the sale. I mean after the items have been reduced two or three times. My wife recently came home with a $399 outfit that she purchased for $59.00. I love that kind of shopping. When it comes to food and household items, don’t forget
“discount shopping.” In most towns there are good stores that sell cheaper than others. Why not buy your groceries there? Their bananas come off the same boat as the bananas at the more expensive store. And by using manufacturer’s coupons, you can save even more.

Seasons of Marriage

If we use the seasons to describe the quality of a marriage, many people have a ‘winter’ marriage. Their marriage is characterized by coldness, harshness, and bitterness. The dreams of spring are covered with layers of ice and the weather forecast calls for more freezing rain. Have you been there? Are you there now? The good news is that you don’t have to remain in a winter marriage. No, I’m not suggesting you leave your spouse in hopes of a new “spring” relationship with someone else. I’m suggesting that you determine how long you stay in winter by your attitude and your actions. The first step out of winter is to say, “I’m sorry.” I know it’s not all your fault, but neither are you perfect. Blame your spouse and winter continues. Admit your failures and spring is on the way.

Q&A: Still Attracted to Other Women

Q: I’m newly married but I’m still attracted to other women. How do I turn these feelings off?

Gary: I’m wondering if you were involved with women before you got married. I’m also wondering if you had a pornography addiction. Often, either of these two things make marriage difficult because they pattern your mind for changing persons. I think you have to turn to God and ask him to deliver you from your past and give you a biblical commitment to your wife. Don’t allow the enemy to keep you in bondage to past experiences.

Q&A: Taking a Break from Your Spouse

Q: My friends are telling me that I need to take a break from my spouse to refresh our love for each other. Is this healthy?

Gary: We all need time alone, but marriage consists of more than refreshing ourselves; it has to do with building intimacy between the two of you. Separation may give you some temporary relief from arguing, if that is happening, but you don’t win the battle by retreating. You win by staying on the battlefield and finding ways to solve the problems that are destroying your marriage. So, I cannot recommend separation as a means for enriching your marriage. That comes when the two of you engage with each other in a deep and meaningful way.

Q&A: Reconciling With Someone You’ve Verbally Abused

Q: I’ve verbally abused my wife for years but I want to change. How can I show her?

Gary: Verbal abuse strikes at the heart of the person abused. Even if you confess this, recognize that it is wrong, and stop speaking harsh words, it will take time for your spouse to realize that you are sincere. How can you regain her trust and belief in you? I would say by your behavior. If you turn the harsh critical words into loving caring words, you will demonstrate that you have radically changed. If you will also learn her primary love language and speak it to her on a regular basis, chances are that overtime she’ll begin to see that you sincerely and honestly love her.

Improving a Marriage

The first step in improving a difficult marriage is learning to speak the love language of your spouse. I know you would like for your spouse to apologize for all the hurt they have caused. But you can’t wait for an apology to start loving. Jesus taught us to return good for evil. It’s important how you express love. If your husband’s love language is Words of Affirmation, then nothing is more important than looking for things he is doing right and express appreciation. On the other hand, if gifts is your wife’s love language then Words of Affirmation will seem empty. She may respond, “Cut the words. Where are the gifts?” Speak the right love language and you create a positive atmosphere where you can then deal realistically with your past failures. Give love a chance.

Q&A: Handling Anger in a Healthy Way

Q: My husband has a very bad temper. What things can I do to help with this?

Gary: Mismanaged anger causes problems in many marriages, and also children’s relationships with parents. Most of us do not know how to handle anger in a positive way. I wrote a book a few years ago called Anger: Handling a Powerful Emotion in a Healthy Way. I suggest you get it for your husband. He may not go for counseling, but he may read a book. The two of you could discuss each chapter and talk (in a non-accusatory way) about how he could improve in this area. This could greatly assist him in processing his anger healthily.

Q&A: Getting Someone to Attend a Marriage Conference

Q: Gary, I really want my husband to attend one of your marriage conferences with me. Can you help me convince him it will be helpful? 

Gary: I wish I had a secret to do that. Many wives are more open to attending marriage conferences than are their husbands. I don’t know all the dynamics in that, but I think I would just be very straight-forward and say something like, “Honey, you know something that would make me very happy? If you would go to that marriage conference with me.” You’re just asking; you’re not demanding, you’re not being belligerent, but you’re making a simple request for something that would make you feel loved. He is far more likely to respond to a request than he is to a demand.

Sexual Oneness in Marriage

We live in a society that is saturated with sex. Why do so many couples struggle in this area of their marriage? One reasons is that we fail to communicate; your wife will never know your feelings, needs, and desires unless you express them. Your husband will never know what pleases you unless you communicate. I’ve never known a couple who’s gained sexual oneness without candid communication about sexual matters. Make a list containing suggestions for your spouse to make sex better. If you would like to read a list made by other husbands and wives, see my book The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted. Communication is the road to finding mutual sexual fulfillment in marriage.

Q&A: A Husband’s Lack of Sexual Interest

Q: How much pressure should I put on my husband to be more intimate with me? It seems that I’m the only one interested in this aspect of our marriage

Dr. Gary Chapman: If by intimacy you mean sex and your husband isn’t interested, there’s definitely a reason. There are numerous possibilities as to why, and you should find out. Perhaps he has homosexual tendencies, perhaps he has a pornography addiction, or he may even be involved with someone else. There could also be a physical reason, and if so you need to encourage him to see a doctor because there’s medication that can help with that. It’s a matter of figuring out the reason for his lack of interesting and then taking positive steps to correct it.