Relationships

Vices and Virtues in Marriage: Jealousy vs. TrustPremium Content

Have you ever had to deal with a jealous husband or wife? Most marriages at some time or another go through a period of mistrust and jealousy when their spouse does something to merit mistrust. Maybe they flirted or maybe they had an affair or it could be that they didn't do anything at all to warrant distrust.

More often than not when a spouse is jealous of the other without merit it means they do not trust themselves. If they don't trust themselves they usually are jealous, suspicious, controlling, and insecure. This can be a living nightmare for the spouse who has to take this sort of abuse. But it doesn't have to be like this.

Ask yourself. Why am I jealous? Why do I not trust my spouse? What have they done to merit my suspicions of them? Maybe you have good reason to feel the way you do. But more than likely your misgivings about your spouse have gotten out of hand. We need to be honest with our self about the actions we take in life. The heart of the matter is, we either trust our spouse or we don't, there is no in between here.

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Building Healthier RelationshipsPremium Content

Hang my locket around your neck; wear my ring on your finger. Love is invincible facing danger and death. Passion laughs at the terrors of hell. The fire of love stops at nothing - it sweeps everything before it. Song of Solomon 8:6 Msg

My journey into the mystery of love B.C. (Before Christ) was fraught with rejection, repeated failure, pain, nagging doubts, confusion, dashed hopes, withdrawal, shattered dreams and broken relationships. I even at times explored in my mind the so-called benefits of the life of a recluse; which my twin brother actually chose.

I made a multitude of mistakes while attempting to re-build significant and lasting relationships. At that point, enduring joy and peace were not on my relational radar! Dys-function and Dys-grace were a more common theme in my relational reality. Patient trial and error became non-negotiable in my journey toward hope-filled, healthier relationships.

But as the mystery of the love discovered in Christ has been unveiled within my inquisitive soul, I have taken the bait again and encountered myself risking and unmasking! Slowly and surely, the rewards of function and grace have provided impetus for timid, albeit safer forward motion relationally. Over the course of forty plus years I am experiencing more and more relational success.

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My Husband Cheated On Me. What Can I Do?Premium Content

Ask Angie: My husband cheated on me with another woman and now I find it hard to forgive him. I can't trust him anymore. Our marriage is falling apart. We can go on for weeks without speaking and we are so uncomfortable. Although it hurts me I don't know what to do anymore.

Ask Angie: Hello Angie, thanks for the Good work that you're doing. My husband is involved in infidelity, I have know about it and confronted him but he continues to do it, his parents have talked to him but no change, am real hurt by his behaviors. He sleeps out, never eats at home, he come late in the night from that woman. Every thing about us has died, we don't talk, plan together any more. I'm confused; I want my marriage to be better again.

Ask Angie: My husband is a womanizer and he has cheated on me, had girl in my house while I was at work. I have no problem with him talking to other women but why do they call while I'm at work and hang up in my face. I can't shake this nor let it go.

Marriage Guidance: It is very hard to forgive if a spouse has committed adultery, and especially if they continue to commit sexual sin over and over again. But even so it is what Christ asks us to do. Why do you think Jesus wants us to forgive a spouse of adultery? If we don't forgive others when they trespass against us Christ will not forgive us!

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14

True Forgiveness Is Only Found Through Our Own

Faith In Jesus Christ

If we call ourselves Christians are we living the Christian life? Forgiving others is living the principles taught to us by Jesus Christ. If we are living the Christian life then we find forgiveness in our hearts when others have hurt us. Jesus gives us the power to forgive!

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Roles. Do we box ourselves in?Premium Content

When we're little girls, many of us have, at some point, wanted to be an actress. I did. I was "bitten" by the bug at age nine, when I played a baby doll in a school play. From there, I acted in various productions and eventually graduated from college as a theater major.

And during that time, I was exposed to Shakespeare and of course, his female characters. Juliet, Ophelia, Queen Gertrude and Lady Macbeth were the most influential to me.

I first encountered the Juliet character on a Brady Bunch episode (Marcia Brady was cast as Juliet in a school play). I know. It was during the time Franco Zefferelli's film was out, portraying our young star crossed lovers. And, by the time I hit high school, I'd seen the film. What wasn't to like? Drama, a love story and two very beautiful lead actors; Juliet was played by Olivia Hussey. Anyway, it lines right up with my desire to be beautiful. And that was, of course, a large part of wanting to be an actress.

And so, it begins - acting.

By the time I entered college, I decided to be a theater major. I was a great way to express myself - and a nifty way to avoid having to take math classes as well. (I was hopeless at algebra). Anyway, by college, I was introduced to Hamlet - and the leading lady role of the young, fragile - and crazy- Ophelia. She was the love interest of Hamlet (again, the star-crossed lovers theme) and I bought into its mystique.

Or rather, I bought into the ingénue's mystique. Ingénue. According to its definition, it means:

An unsophisticated girl or young woman: a girl or young woman who is naive and lacks experience or understanding of life;
A naive character in drama: a character in a play or a movie who is a naive inexperienced young woman

Really?

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My Husband is Too Controlling. What Can I Do?Premium Content

Ask Angie: My husband is too controlling, every time I think things are going to work out, they go back to the way it was before, he bit my face a couple weeks ago, I didn't do anything, he starts feeling a certain way and thinks I'm lying to him. I've been with him for 16 years, and it hasn't gotten better, he's made some changes, not as violent, but the constant grief I get, I can't take it anymore... my heart is breaking.

One of our kids is acting out, the 2 older ones don't want to be at our house, he's great with our baby. I don't know what to do. My family is about to wipe their hands of me because I keep going back... I don't know what to do, I want to be a good wife and mother, he says I'm letting my kids tell me what to do, but I do see their pain, my older two, especially my middle one who is a great boy. Thank you for listening.

Marriage Guidance: Please print out this marriage column and preview and discuss it with your husband.

Why do people try and control others? What does controlling someone mean? People who control others with words, threats, fist, lies, and manipulative behavior usually have underlying insecurities within themselves. Perhaps they are afraid of losing something or someone. They have to get to the bottom of these insecurities to understand how to accept the things they cannot change and the courage to only change the things they can – themselves.

Your husband’s behavior is definitely not right. Using any kind of verbal or physical force to get your way is controlling behavior. Your husband may need to get some spiritual counseling if he behaves violent towards you. Please have him contact us for some biblical guidance in this area.

Don’t misunderstand the usage of the word "control." Only when a husband or wife controls in a negative way is it actually controlling or trying to change that person. If couples have to scream at one another, demand things from one another, hit one another and manipulate one another then it is using controlling behavior. But if a husband or a wife is acting out as part of their God-given position then it is not control. Christ is a husband’s director and a Godly husband directs his wife and family under the direction of Christ.

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My Husband Cheated On Me. I am Having Major Trust Issues.Premium Content

Ask Angie: My husband cheated on me and says he's sorry. It went on for 4 1/2 months in front of me, whether it was text messaging while I was cooking dinner or helping with homework, or just while I was in the shower and all during work. Then he made a trip to Dallas and had her meet him there. I found out about them when I saw a text message on his phone that she sent him a song and loved him and he said he loved her… when confronted, he denied it and then when I had facts I could place together, said he didn’t know why he did it and it was nothing. I asked if it was nothing, then why was he in love with her? It goes on… he says it’s over and hasn’t had any contact with her, but I know he has another email address and refuses to give me any passwords to check out his story. I am obviously having major issues forgiving him and trusting him again. I don't know what to do. We've talked, we've expressed, we've been intimate; however, he never lost his intimacy during the 4 ½ months, so I feel as if he is just doing this and will make it seem as if we are doing fine, then go back to the way it was. Help.

Marriage Guidance: I can certainly understand the suspicions you have towards your husband. But suspicions will not repair and restore your marriage. Please print out this marriage column and read it together with your husband. Then you can both come together in Christ and begin working on the broken links of your marriage. It takes both wife and husband to put in effort towards restoration. I would like to encourage you to take care of YOU! Your husband NEEDS to take responsibility for his actions and change if he wants to really SAVE this marriage.

For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes NOT from the Father but from the world. 1 John 2:16

Since we know that lustful thinking and behavior is a worldly thing, it means then, to be able to save your marriage, you both need to come to Christ in repentance and ask for forgiveness of your sins…and live your marriage under the influence of Jesus Christ. If you want to be forgiven for your trespasses (adultery) you must be willing to forgive others their trespasses and repent of any wrong doing you have done against the marriage. If you are not willing to do that then I can’t support or encourage you any longer. You have come to the wrong ministry for help.

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How To Love The Woman You Married

God created the sexes equal and yet they each have different temperaments, personalities, and behaviors that compliment one another. The best way to love the woman you married is to understand those differences. Your wife likes it when you express your feelings to her, rather than keeping your feelings bottled up. She wants details from your heart and mind, not curt yes and no answers. You’re not with the guys anymore when you come home from work.

A woman feels closer to her man when he talks about himself and can openly discuss issues within himself. Tell her what is bothering you. Don’t hold stuff in and get resentful over it. Emotional and psychological infidelities are caused from the lack of emotional intimacy between couples. Always keep the communication lines open between you and your wife. This will keep the marriage intimate and active. When couples stop talking, that’s when to start worrying.

I don’t care how long you have been married your wife still wants to hear the words “I love you” every single day. Many wives want to be held by you for at least one full minute every single day. She wants to be “shown” your love for her by your manly protection of her. Do not be intimidated to exert your God-given headship position in the marriage. That is what God made you for. This is actually the proper way to love and care for the woman you married. Be her man so she can be your woman.

My Husband Puts Me Down Constantly. What Should I Do?

Ask Angie: What should a wife do when the husband puts her down constantly and is verbally abusive?

Guidance: Your husband is having problems within himself. He is manifesting his feelings in aggressive verbal language to you because he us unable to manage his emotions properly. Usually people who put down others (judgmental and critical) are unhappy within themselves. Please print out this marriage column and read together with your husband.

Have you tried reading the bible together as a study and discussion about what you read? Have you prayed and asked God to help your husband find peace of mind? You see many times we are so concerned about ourselves that we often overlook the obvious. Your husband is having a difficult time expressing himself properly and his anger is making him bitter and cold inside. It's almost like living with an alcoholic.

You need to detach with love. How do you do that? Easy! Simply walk away when he becomes verbally abusive or when he begins to disrespect you. Do not take his verbal abuse – let it slide right off your shoulders – let it go in one ear and out the other. I realize that no sane person can actually do this, but you are going to try and do it, and eventually it will make you feel better doing it. There is no other way. You can't make your husband be nice to you. Only he has the power within himself to change himself.

Why let his misery control how you feel? Walk away from it. And when he asks you why you are not getting angry back or why you are leaving the room, tell him that you are not going to talk to him when he is abusive. You have to take care of your own emotional and spiritual well-being. How can you do that when you are constantly getting trampled on? Rescue yourself from the abuse.

The worse thing you can do is to get verbally abusive back. What does that show? It shows your husband that you have a problem and not him. When you stop letting the abuse bother you, he will actually "see" his own behavior and how rotten he has been behaving. Your husband has to take responsibility for his own behavior. You are responsible for your behavior.

When Loving a Spouse is Difficult

Ask Angie: I cannot seem to find love for my husband. We have been through difficult times and we were not able to work together on anything. There were months when we did not speak to each other and just went on with our lives without communication. I have been hurt so much…. It is wrong but I cannot find forgiveness for him nor seem to be able to detach with love. Our children see the problem we have and now have issues in their lives since we did not show them a good marriage/ family…I have been working on my spirituality so much but still find that my heart is heavy.

Ask Angie: Dear Angie, It's me again. I was reading the stories about the women who are married to alcoholics. My husband is not an alcoholic though he displays the same kind of behaviors. Life with him is unbearable at times. He told me last night, again, that most of the time he does not want to be married, and during those times he treats me like he does not want to be married. The few times he does want to be married, he looks at me with kindness, it's very short lived. Then the cycle repeats itself. I am tired. I am getting physically sick from it. How does a Christian woman stay with a (Pastor) husband that 95 percent of the time does not want to be married and shows his wife no love?

Marriage Guidance: I will address the issues that are italicized above. Both of these women are experiencing similar issues in their marriage. Although one is having difficulty loving her husband, the other's husband is having difficulty loving his wife. Please print out this marriage column and give it to your husbands. Read through the article resources together. Talk about the questions at the end of the articles. Marriage needs both husband and wife to be willing to put in the effort.

I Love You But I'm Not "In Love With You" AnymorePremium Content

Has your spouse told you they weren't "in love" with you anymore? Well do I have news for you. The saying "I love you but I'm not in love with you anymore" is a worn out cliché. It's not possible to "fall out of love" because you weren't "in love" to begin with. The excuse "I'm not in love with you anymore" is nonsensical. Let me tell you why.

There is no such emotional condition as falling out of love; it's a justification for doing whatever you are planning on doing. It's a way to let your spouse down easy. What you're really feeling and should be saying is "I don't want to love you anymore". It usually means that the attitude towards your spouse and marriage is not what it once was. Perhaps you are talking yourself into having an affair or perhaps you have already had an affair.

The person who says "I'm not in love with you anymore" is searching for a feeling.

The marriage has stopped giving them a feeling they want and expect to have. It is an attitude that builds up after months and or years of a lifeless marriage - a marriage that has no intimacy. This is why quality time spent together (intimacy) is more important than sex in a marriage. Not that sex isn't important, because it is, but that sex IS NOT INTIMACY. Sex may be a part of intimacy but it is not the whole picture.

Intimacy can be as simple as playing a board game or planting seeds together in your garden; or intimacy can be as complex as working together in a business or getting involved in a hobby with your spouse. But couples aren't doing any of these things together anymore! They have drifted apart, each doing their own thing. When couples stop doing things together they lose the intimate bond between them they once shared when they were first married.

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