Category: Q&A

Q&A: Military Couple How to Speak Love over Distance

Q: I am recently engaged and we are in the military stationed on opposite sides of the country. With physical touch and quality time being our LL’s, how can we survive?”

Gary: You would think that physical touch is impossible half a world away. But, I remember one lady who said, “I put my hand on a sheet of paper. I traced my hand and I mailed it to him with a note that said, ‘Put your hand on my hand, I want to hold your hand.'” He told me later, “Gary, every time I put my hand on that paper, I felt her.” It’s not literal touch but it’s emotional touch. I suggest you get the book: The 5 Love Languages Military Edition. It will give you a lot of practical ideas on how to speak the love languages long distance.

Q&A: Astrological Signs and Compatibility

Q: If my and my significant other’s astrological signs are not compatible, will this cause problems in the long run?

Gary: There are people who put a lot of stock in astrological signs, I am not one of them. I believe that our relationship with God is the thing that really impacts our relationships with each other more than anything else. If you seek God and you seek to follow His Word, and you build your relationship on the principles of scripture, then you’re going to have good marriage regardless of what your signs might be.

The Purpose of Marriage

Q: I’m dating and always getting ultimatums for things from my girlfriend. She says I value friends and family above her.

Gary: Recognize the purpose of dating is to get to know each other and to decide if this will lead to marriage or not. Many times the dating relationship does not lead to marriage, rather it helps us understand this person well enough to know that we are not meant for each other. I would be encouraged by the fact that you’re having conflicts in the dating relationship. And if you can’t resolve those things while you are dating, it’s a pretty good sign you’re not going to make it in marriage. Because if one person has to have their way all the time and you’re always condemned on the other side, that doesn’t lead to a happy marriage. 

Q&A: Fighting Fair

Q: Fighting in my marriage has really affected me. How can I be more patient and tolerant?

Gary: Fighting in a marriage is never healthy, unless we fight fairly. And most of us have never learned how to fight fairly. So we lash out at each other, we say harsh and mean things to each other, and consequently it creates a barrier between the two of us. I think we should always be willing to confess our failures and reach out and ask for forgiveness. Then, we have to learn new patterns of relating to each other. One of those patterns is to call a time-out. When you realize you’re about to get into a fight, simply call time-out and say, “I’ve got to take a walk, we’ll talk about this later.” If you do that, you’re more likely when you come back to have a civil conversation rather than a fight.

Q&A: Can God Bless My New Marriage after a Divorce?

Q: Three years ago I had an affair that broke up my marriage and we’ve both since remarried. Can God still bless my new marriage?

Gary: Let’s face it, all of us are sinners. We may differ in what we do, but we are all sinners. And God is the great forgiver. Now forgiveness does not remove all the consequences. And where there’s been affairs, divorce, and then remarriage; there are consequences to that. And we have to live with those consequences. There’s scars personally in our lives. And the effect of children is also there. So can God bless a second marriage, a third marriage, a fourth marriage? God can bless us wherever we turn to Him. He can give us a good relationship with that person but we must continue to live with the scars of our choices.

My Husband Is a Daddy’s Boy

Q: My husband is a Daddy’s boy and confides in him more than me, what can I do?” 

Gary: There’s nothing wrong with having a good relationship with your father. Often, if you’ve had a good relationship with your father,  you will often turn to your father for advice in your marriage. There is nothing unhealthy about that. But what I do hear this wife saying is, “I feel like he’s not open to my opinion; he’s not asking me for my input; he’s relying more on his father than he’s relying on me.” That of course is not a healthy thing in a relationship. First verbalize it to him, let him know how you’re feeling. But also affirm him, that he’s man enough to reach out for advice and not try to make decisions simply with his own wisdom.

A Friendship with a Female Online Gaming Partner

Q: My husband seems to be pursuing a “friendship” with a female gaming partner online. He says there is nothing going on, but it makes me uncomfortable.

Gary: I think many wives can identify with this question. Let’s face it, most affairs do not begin with the affair. It begins with interaction with another person, often online, and bit by bit it develops into something. So, maybe there is nothing really going on that’s improper here. But, the very fact that you’re concerned and you’re sharing that with your husband, which I think you should share it with him. It ought to trigger in him a desire to please you and be willing to draw back from that. So, pray that God will touch his heart and make sure that he knows you’re not happy with this.

Q&A: Helping My Child with a Bad Attitude

Q: My son continually has a bad attitude. We would like to help him with it, what can we do?

Gary: Make sure your son feels loved. I know that you love him, the question is does your son feel loved? Sincerity is not enough. The deepest emotional need a child has is to feel loved by the parents. When that need is unmet children often experience anger, which shows up in their behavior. Dr. Ross Campbell and I wrote a book that has just been updated and released called The 5 Love Languages of ChildrenIt shares information on how to identify a child’s primary love language and how speaking this language interfaces with the child’s anger, learning, and with discipline. Many parents have shared that when they started speaking their child’s love language they saw a dramatic change in the child’s behavior.

Q&A: My Wife Never Apologizes

Q: My wife never apologizes, how can I help her with this?

Gary: 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.” Jesus gave us clear instructions in Luke 17 verse 3: If your brother or wife sins against you, confront him or her. If they repent, forgive 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: Balancing Grad School and Getting Married

Q: How do you suggest my fiancé and I handle getting married as well as going to Grad school?

Gary: My first suggestion is postpone the marriage. If you are 20 years old and already applying to graduate schools you must be exceedingly smart. So use your smarts, don’t get married till you both have been accepted into graduate schools and have part time jobs. This will give you a realistic idea of how much time will be left over for your relationship. You have plenty of time for marriage. Why not finish graduate school before you get married. If, however, you decide to get married while still in school, I can tell you from experience that you will have minimal time for each other. I got married at 23 while in graduate school and we had some very difficult years. Before you get married, talk with at least two couples who got married while in graduate school. They will give you realistic advice.