October 5, 2012
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.”
October 1, 2012
Q: “My wife says she wants me to be more intimate with her publicly.”
A: If she’s talking about such things as reaching over and holding her hands in public, standing close to her, or putting your arm around her shoulder when you’re in a crowd, she’s probably telling you that Physical Touch is her language. And when you don’t touch her in the presence of other people, she has the sense that you don’t like being with her—she’s feeling unloved because you’re not speaking her love languges. When in a crowd, try reaching out and hold her hand or perhaps walk close by to her and say, “out of all the people that are here tonight, you are the most beautiful.” If Words of Affirmation is also her language, that would really speak to her. Take the complaint seriously because the complaint is revealing her love language.
September 28, 2012
Q: “Is there a checklist or time frame that’s realistic for knowing when to get married?”
A: Many people, I think, marry far too soon. They don’t know each other well enough and haven’t explored the foundations for building a marriage—for example, learning how to handle anger in a realtionship. Not necessarily in your relationship because if you’re in love, you probably don’t feel much anger toward each other. But how does the other person handle anger toward their mother or father or someone at work? That’s a huge thing. You don’t want to get married until you find out if they can handle those kinds of emotions.
So yes, I think there are things that you have to explore before you get married. And when you see those things coming together, you see those traits in the person, it gives you a great deal of more confidence that they have the ability to build a healthy marriage.
September 24, 2012
Q: My husband is resorting to “tests” to prove my devotion. How can I make him more secure in our relationship?
A: When a spouse is putting you to the test and saying, “If you love me you would…” or “You don’t love me because you don’t…” They’re telling you that they are not getting enough love in their love language. So rather than getting defensive about it, which is what we typically do, I would suggest you really focus on speaking their love language. If you don’t know their love language, then go to 5lovelanguages.com, take the free quiz and ask your spouse to take the quiz so that you each know the other’s love language. Then, focus on giving them heavy doses of their primary love language. When they feel secure in your love, they are less likely to be doing what you’re calling, “testing your love.”
September 21, 2012
Q: What are some ways to restore trust after an affair?
A: First of all, there has to be a clear-cut break from the adulterous relationship. Then, what rebuilds trust is that the person who has been involved in the affair says to their spouse, “No more deceit…You can check my email any time you like. If I’m going over to George’s house to help him work on his car, you can call over there to make sure I’m there. I want you to know that from here on out, you can trust me.” If you take that approach and allow your spouse to do those things, over time trust will grow. You see trust is broken because we are unreliable and when we become reliable and trustworthy, then trust can be reborn.
February 3, 2012
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.