Wifey Wednesday: Changing the Dynamic In Your Marriage

Christian Marriage Advice
It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and you all write on it on your own blogs and then put your link in here, or leave a comment in the comment section!

I’m really busy today doing some work behind the scenes on the blog, so I’d like to reprint this Wifey Wednesday from a few years ago. It dovetails nicely with what I said on Monday about realizing you do have choice, even in difficult situations.

Because I speak at marriage conferences, I get a lot of hard questions from people in marriages that are very difficult. Perhaps I’m a little jaded, then, when it comes to marriage, because I see all the problems that are going on behind the surface in many people’s marriages that you would never guess from just looking at them. I think many of us are hurting more than we let on.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that your marriage is bad. I went through about four really rocky years in our marriage. I never contemplated leaving Keith, but I wasn’t happy and I cried a lot. But it’s great now.

So just because you’re going through a rough patch doesn’t mean that it will always be that way.

Today I want to share something I wrote to some people on an internet thread, where they were talking about verbally abusive or just plain mean spouses. Their spouses never said anything positive, lectured them constantly, and belittled them, even when they were highly successful and capable individuals. They were finding themselves completely contemptuous of their spouses now, and everything their spouses did bothered them, because of this verbal negativity. It poisoned everything.

What do you do?

Here’s my answer, and I’ll edit it a bit so it’s more generic.

Sometimes in marriage we simply are not getting our legitimate needs met.

God gave us a need for connection and intimacy. Ultimately that’s met in Him, but He also gave us spouses to help with that need. If you live with someone who is very negative, you’re likely not getting that need met.

However, too often when we’re in this negative cycle we actually start contributing to it by creating a pattern of negative behaviour.

Your spouse is negative, and we sit there and take it. We perpetuate it.

But here’s the thing about a pattern: there are two ways to change it. Either you can wait for the other person to change (which rarely happens spontaneously, unless they are knocked by a 2×4 from Jesus), or you can change yourself.

Relationships have their own equilibrium. Just like a teeter totter, they come to rest at a balance, where you each play your role. That balance isn’t necessarily healthy. He may be too controlling, and you may be too timid, or vice versa. But there are two ways to upset that balance: either you move or he moves. And when one of you moves, that teeter totter will shift and find a new balance. When you start acting differently, your spouse often acts differently in return.

UPDATE: As someone pointed out in the comments, this doesn’t apply if you are in an abusive relationship. If you fear that your spouse is abusive, and not just negative, please get some help or some counsel from wise people around you who can guide you through this.

Changing the Dynamic in Your Marriage

Now don’t put your back up just yet; when I talk about changing yourself, I don’t necessarily mean being what we would call “nicer”. Yes, I believe in showing unconditional kindness. Yes, I believe in affection. But sometimes in marriage that ceases working. In fact, it can become detrimental, because if the person has disconnected from you emotionally, and then you start trying to show them how much you love them, you actually end up looking needy (which turns them off even more).

So how do you change? James Dobson, in his book Love Must be Tough, talked about letting a person experience the consequences of their actions. To truly love someone is to want the best for them. If you have a spouse who is very negative, that is not God’s best.

It isn’t God’s best that your husband disparage you, or berate you in front of the kids. What’s best is if both spouses learn to truly love each other intimately. So if you are committed to that–committed to loving your husband, committed to honouring the marriage, and committed to seeing that marriage become healthy–you have to make some changes.

These changes that I’m going to talk about won’t work if you’re angry or out to get your spouse. They won’t work if you’re thinking leaving is the better solution. If you keep that anger and that bitterness, the changes will create a “now it’s your turn to see how it feels” pattern, and that’s even worse. But if you dedicate yourself to God’s best for your marriage and for yourself, you just may find that things change.

So have that out with God first, and let go of your anger so that your primary focus is on loving your husband, and your marriage, towards health.Sometimes when you’re the target of negativity, it’s hard to imagine ever loving that person again because everything has become so negative. Little things they do now grate on you. Their personality grates. But what I’ve found is that personality issues are almost always directly related to relationship issues. My husband bites his fingernails. When I’m mad at him, and he does this in public, it drives me nuts. When I’m happy with him, it barely registers. Don’t assume that because you don’t like a lot about him that you never will again. Work on the relationship, and don’t focus on his personality. Your perspective may actually change in time.

So let’s deal with the relationship issues, not the personality ones.

Have a conversation with your husband in which you tell him that you want your home to be a positive one–with your children, with your relationship–and because of that, you won’t participate in conversations that aren’t positive. You’ll be glad to talk about issues as long as you’re working towards a solution and not calling each other names. But you don’t want negativity; you want love.Then, next time he starts lecturing, put your hand gently on his arm, tell him you love him, but tell him that you won’t participate in this unless he wants to talk, rather than lecture.

Sometimes we get into this dynamic where we never set boundaries, and then other people walk all over us. That’s not healthy. Jesus has boundaries, after all! Show love, yes. Pray for the person. Show kindness to them. But don’t encourage them to act in an ungodly way, which you do when you perpetuate negative communication patterns.

Instead, suggest that you spend some time talking about the positive things in your day. If he starts bad-mouthing an acquaintance, tell him you would prefer not to hear negative things about someone else. Keep that up for a while and you’ve now changed the dynamic in your marriage, and possibly gained some more respect.

When people respect us, they tend to value us more.

When they walk all over us (as if we were doormats), they don’t value us (and often that’s why sexual attraction goes). Become the person that you want to be, and that God is calling you to be. Then act out that person within your marriage–loving him, but also setting limits. As you do that, you just may find the dynamic changes.

I hope that helps. I know this is really tough. But I don’t think just chucking the relationship is the answer, either. Often people chuck the marriage before they realize that they do have within them the opportunity to change the way you relate. So shake things up a bit. Set boundaries. Set limits. Learn to treat yourself with respect, and go to God to help you be the kind of person others will respect. As you do that, you just may find your relationship changing.

My book, To Love, Honor and Vacuum, talks a lot about how to regain respect in a marriage. If you’re battling with this, I know To Love, Honor and Vacuum can help!

Now, do you have a word of wisdom about marriage? Or a question about marriage? Write your own blog post and put the link in our Linky below! We’d love to hear your thoughts!


  1. I am glad you re-posted this, I had not read it before :) It reminds me of the series you did a while back on peacemaking versus peacekeeping.
    This is a tough place to be in marriage and it takes God’s enabling and daily death to self to find victory.
    I think this is also an important message for every couple to understand, even those that don’t have a chronic situation in their marriage. At one time or another, most of us will need to extend grace where we aren’t receiving it.
    Great thoughts and reminder, as always!
    Ngina Otiende recently posted…11 Confessions of a Marriage & Growth Blogging WifeMy Profile

  2. I recently wrote, ‘Front Row Seat to Adultery’ and appreciate the opportunity to post it here.


    My husband and I actually plan to begin writing our next book shortly and it will be a book on marriage as well. Can’t wait!

    I’ve been following your for a bit on Twitter and really enjoy what you have to say and appreciate the topics you cover. I plan to pick up one of your books…not only for myself but also for my daughter-in-laws. Keep up the great work and know there are so many people out there who are blessed by your ministry and your heart!



  3. If only it were so simple. Having lived in a verbally, mentally and spiritually abusive marriage for 20 years and yes, trying so hard to change myself and talk with him about how I would like our marriage to be loving and positive, my ex-husband still chose to continue in his abusive ways towards me and our two sons. On occasions where I worked up the courage to try and sit with him to explain how the negative atmosphere in the home was not working to create a loving marriage or family, he became more volatile. You do not have a normal, healthy conversation like that with an abusive person.

    Setting boundaries with an abusive spouse typically does not work, at least not while you are still living together or even if separated for a time to try and heal. Yes, some people will choose to acknowledge, repent and work to change their destructive behaviors, but if that person is truly abusive and not a Christian, they will not.

    When my ex walked out on me and our two sons 4 1/2 years ago as a means in his eyes for me to come to my senses and stop being the bad spouse, his abuse actually escalated. While people from the church we attended at that time put the blame on me as the wife and upheld my ex as head of the household repeatedly telling me he was really trying to change, I on the receiving end of his private emails did not see that change. One elderly couple from that church (which needless to say I do not attend anymore) stood by me and were not fooled by my ex.

    They too could see that he was not truly repentant and changing. He did not have the fruits of the Spirit in him and continually blamed the situation on me to everyone and anyone that would listen.

    If you live with a negative spouse, then yes, you do need to sit and talk about how you want the marriage to be healthier and set boundaries for what you will and will not accept, and pray for God to work in both of your hearts to make changes where needed. A true Christian will hopefully look within and choose to make positive changes because that person wants to be the best spouse they can. And yes, it may take time to see results, but I believe that if someone is truly repentant and willing to change you will begin to see at least small steps in that direction.

    Anyway, sorry this got long, but unfortunately it was things like this post that kept me feeling trapped in an abusive marriage. Christians telling me that I needed to respect and submit more so he would change his behavior towards me and Christian marriage books explaining how the wife is to lovingly sit with her spouse and explain how his harsh behavior hurts. I wanted nothing more than to be the wife that God called me to be and so I kept trying for years to change myself. I could not understand how a loving God would not help me, but it wasn’t until literally the day after my ex walked out that my eyes were opened to the fact that God had been trying to help me all those years. He had sent “help” in the form of people, books and His Word. But those around me only seemed to hold up marriage as being more important than the people in it and I felt like the ultimate sinner for even thinking of leaving.

    Kind of like the story of the man stranded on his roof top during a flood who refuses help from a passing boat, helicopter and such, then drowns. When he gets to heaven he ask God why he didn’t rescue him…God replies, “but I did…I sent a boat, a helicopter…what more do you want!”

    And anyone wants to question whether verbally abusing someone is “real”, I can tell you after being remarried for a 1 1/2 years to a wonderful loving, caring man that yes, it is real. For years I struggled with the idea that what was occurring in my first marriage was really abuse. The first time someone ever said that to me I was actually taken aback and said no way. It took me another 10 years into that marriage to finally be able to say the word aloud.

    I am in a healthy relationship today and I now know just how destructive, unhealthy and yes, abusive, my first marriage was.

    If you can sit and talk with your spouse, then do. If you both can work together to improve your marriage, then do. Keeping a marriage should be the ultimate goal. It was mine for two decades. But ultimately my health and that of my boys became far more important than returning to a destructive marriage.

    I highly recommend Leslie Vernick’s blog on dealing with destructive relationships…www.leslievernick.com/blog. She is a Christian counselor and has written a couple books on destructive relationships.

    I also recommend the book, Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft…he is not a Christian, but really explains the dynamics of angry, controlling men.

    • Verbal abuse definitely is real, Amy, and you’re absolutely right that it is horrible and debilitating. I can’t say whether or not something is bad enough to leave, or whether something is abusive, because every case is different. I think it’s so important if you are in a really negative relationship to get people around you who are wise and who care about you, who can counsel you on what to do. So if anyone reading this fears that your husband is more than just negative, but that he’s actually abusive, then I’d really encourage you to get some help and to talk to someone who can guide you in making some difficult decisions. !

      • Please know Sheila that I think your post was really good and my response was not intended to tear it down. I just want other women to know there is a difference between someone being negative and actively abusively…it can be a fine line for sure.
        Amy recently posted…Breathing it all in…My Profile

  4. ButterflyWings says:

    I too was in a very abusive marriage and didn’t escape him until one of his mistresses trapped him.

    But I don’t think Sheila’s article is wrong. I just think your marriage, like mine, went past the point of this advice being able to fix it. There is a point that abusers cross where nothing except their choices can fix things. But I do believe there is an earlier point where the above advice does work.

    When my husband first became abusive, I thought it was the good christian wife thing to do to support him no matter what he did. And I realised not long after our separation (perhaps even before we separated) that I was wrong. If I had stood up to his abuse when it was just verbal, not supported his criminal behaviour (eg getting my parents to bail him out of jail when he was busted for drugs etc), and pressed charges when he first started hitting me, in the early days, back when he still realised his actions were wrong, I think I could have our marriage and saved him from the destructive path he went down. By the time I realised I was damaging him not helping him by supporting him no matter what he did, it was too late for him. All the years I’d supported him had led him to believe that I condoned it, and that it was ok to do it, and he no longer believed violence and drug use and theft were wrong.

    In the last few years of our marriage, I was in the situation you were in – where nothing I could do would have made any difference. But I am sure that had I followed what Sheila talks about above in the early years of our marriage, it would have made a world of difference

    Unfortunately hindsight is always 20/20. I honestly believed I was doing the Godly thing supporting him no matter what, and I was wrong. And it is something that will haunt me for the rest of my days.

    I have remarried and have a wonderful husband (even if he drives me absolutely crazy sometimes as he’s wonderful not perfect), but part of me will always grieve over the man my exhusband became. Not for myself, but for him, for our daughter who no longer has a biological father in her life, for her half brother that she will probably know and who is being raised in appalling conditions, for the extended family on his side of the family who he has cut off from my daughter (although ultimately that is their choice), my heart breaks for all of those involved and will always wonder if I had shown tough love before it was too late, how different things would have been.

    I definitely think tough love can be very important, but sometimes when an abuser is involved, there does come a time when tough love is too late – but it doesn’t mean it can’t help those who it isn’t too late for.

    • I agree, ButterflyWings, I do not think Sheila’s post is wrong at all. Being able to talk with your spouse about what you want and need from your marriage, and setting boundaries on what you will and will not allow should always be the first step. But when you try to do that and your spouse only becomes more volatile and makes no changes in a reasonable amount of time, then there is something more than negativity going on.

      My current husband allows me to talk with him about anything and makes me feel safe in doing so. We may not always agree or solve everything, but I know I can go to him and he won’t try to shut me down like my ex would. That is a healthy relationship.

      And I think I did try to lovingly talk with my ex in how his behaviors were hurting our boys and our marriage, but he only got worse whenever I did. Perhaps like you have said, if I had taken a stronger stance in the beginning the outcome might have been different. Yet for me the only advice I heard was to submit to and respect him no matter what, and whether he changed or not I married him and I could not leave because God hates divorce. Pretty hard to set boundaries and practice tough love when I was told to just turn the other cheek and forgive him over and over.
      Amy recently posted…Breathing it all in…My Profile

      • Yes, Amy, I think that’s very common. Too often we hear “support him, support him, stand by him”, but we forget that there are healthy ways to do that, and unhealthy ways to do that. And what works in many marriages–going under his leadership, submitting, being super nice, etc.,–does not work with a controlling man. And that’s why I think blog posts like this are necessary, to tell women EARLY in the relationship that sometimes the best thing you can do is to draw those boundaries and lovingly enforce them. Sometimes the most loving thing you can do to someone is to say, “your behaviour stops here.” And I don’t think this is a male-female issue; I know many of the male readers of the blog need to do the same thing with their wives, and I have known women to be very controlling, angry, or abusive.

        It’s not about men-women; it’s about a fallen human nature, where many people for whatever reason seek to control others and live through rage, and that is not healthy.

    • I love what you said here: “By the time I realised I was damaging him not helping him by supporting him no matter what he did, it was too late for him. ” Shout it from the rooftops!

      Our actions should always point people TO God, not AWAY from Him. If we put up with ungodly behaviour, we reinforce that behaviour.

  5. Heather D says:

    I’m so thankful to have read this today. My husband of nearly 7 years and I rarely fight. We have learned a peaceful balance that works, but it never really occurred to me that it might not be a healthy arrangement. I tend to put up with a lot of things that would normally bother me, but I do it to keep the peace. I now see that I must be the catalyst to change our relationship so we can love more intimately and not just put up with each other.

  6. Great thoughts, Sheila! I’m going to share this with a friend who is very much as you’ve described here–needing a change in the dynamic of her marriage. Thanks so much for this wisdom and for hosting Wifey Wednesday!

  7. I guess I need help the other direction. I tend to be negative. I love my husband and my kids, but when they don’t live up to my expectations, they hear about it a LOT. I see it with my parents, and my sisters’ in their families too. I can’t seem to stop myself.

  8. Verbal abuse is real in a very very limited number of cases. Though real, it is not, as is popularly held, worse than being beaten. I know the cliches about the hidden scars and they are wrong. I can say all of this because of living it. The thing is, there is no such thing as physical abuse that is not also verbal. One doesn’t quietly beat someone. Second point, ask the women with the punctured lung if she’d rather have been verbally abused (I asked that of my mother) or ask if, while being choked if she could switch the guy back to verbal….wou.d she. Yes. Finally, the emotional scars are there for both kinds of abuse. It destroys the credibility of sympathy seekers on verbal abuse when they suggest that silly equivalence.

    One study showed that what is called verbal abuse is mainly arguments. Those take two people. That one escalates more does not assuage the other of guilt.

    I’ve read a recent…..last couple decades….trend in so called spiritual abuse. This is being perpetrated by the task list approach to spiritual leadership that creates unrealistic expectations.

    Your post is good without the need to equivocate about it. Verbal abuse and so called emotional abuse are almost never grounds for Christians to divorce, but sadly comprise the majority of cited reasons for today’s church divorces. How sad. It needs to be boldly rebuked for the benefit of those who are still married. If those who are divorced are put out by it…..too bad…..we don’t go mealy mouthed on other sins based on hurting those who have done them. Neither should we on this one.

    • ButterflyWings says:

      Empathologism, I know you mean well, but I know you are wrong, because I have suffered both – horrific physical and verbal/emotional abuse. And I’m telling you the reason so many victims say that verbal abuse is worse than physical abuse is because they have lived both and that is how they (and I) feel.

      Have you lived the direct abuse? Or have you only witnessed it (it sounds like you have witness your mother go through it). When you are the battered spouse, it is very different from being the child. I’ve been in both positions, having seen my mother abuse my father. And it’s very different being the child of an abuse and being a partner of one. Both are terrible things but the experience is different.

      I have lived it and many others have lived it. And the answer isn’t a simple one is worse than the other. Every situation is different and every personality is different – some victims of both will say the verbal hurts worse, while others will say the physical hurts worse. The equivalence is not silly – for those who have been victims of both, they (and only they) have a right to say which hurts worse. While at the same time accepting that other people’s experiences may be different.

      While I agree with you that verbal/emotional abuse is rarely grounds for divorce, the only reason that physical abuse is more often grounds for at least separation than verbal/emotional abuse is purely based on safety. I can tell you beyond a doubt, that the pain over the verbal/emotional abuse from my first husband hurt far worse than any of the many times he tried to kill me or the time he injured my leg so badly that surgery couldn’t fit it, but it was his violence (actually againt our daughter not me) that led to our separation. I would not have left him for the verbal/emotional abuse even though that did far more damage than his physical blows, but I realised if the violence continued, he would kill me (or our daughter) and my daughter needed me alive and functioning to protect her.

      Ironically, neither his violence nor his emotional abuse is why we divorced. Our separation was only meant to be temporary but I found out not many days after we separated that instead of staying with family til he could get into rehab, that he was actually staying with a woman that I had believed was married, when in reality her husband had left her several weeks earlier because she was having an affair with my husband. She was not his only mistress. He demanded a divorce to marry
      one of his other mistresses.

      But whether you like it or not, it doesn’t change the fact that in my case, verbal/emotional abuse did far more damage than the physical abuse. I have permanent agonising back and knee injuries from what my exhusband did. I will never forget the times he wrapped his hands around my throat as I struggled to hang on to breathing – and no I would not have chosen to switch back to the crushing verbal blows in those times. In the heat of the moment as it was happening, I just prayed that my death would come without pain because I couldn’t take the emotional abuse being dished out.

      I’m a martial artist and a bit of a masochist, I’ve kept sparring with a broken arm, I’ve gone into tournaments the day after snapping ligaments in my knee. Also in the past I have struggled with self harm during deep clinical depression. Not everyone is bothered by physical pain. Yet usually we who are not bothered by physical pain are the ones cut the deepest by emotional abuse.

      While I totally agree with you that many people who use “verbal abuse” for grounds for divorce have no genuine biblical grounds for divorce, please do not EVER attack those who have been through hell and deny the severity of their pain or that emotional abuse can be worse than the physical abuse. Because for some people, it can be. Please do not make victims feel even worse by downplaying or basically outright attacking how they feel. When someone has been a victim of both verbal/emotional and physical abuse, it is up to THEM not you to say which had the most profound effect on them.

      • Butterfly Wings, you said:

        I know you mean well, but I know you are wrong, because I have suffered both – horrific physical and verbal/emotional abuse. And I’m telling you the reason so many victims say that verbal abuse is worse than physical abuse is because they have lived both and that is how they (and I) feel.

        It makes no logical sense, what you are saying. There is NO SUCH THING as ONLY physical abuse. So, what you are saying is that verbal abuse is worse than verbal and physical abuse combined. There is not any other rational possible way to say that.

        If you lived with both, then you lived with both, and they are inter laced and entwined. You simply cannot make a value judgement on this, you cannot separate the experiences.

        Its all the rage to elevate things to the level of “abuse”. Its like recruiting, Ive seen women describe their circumstances and other women rush to convince them its ok to call it “abuse”.

        I will never forget the times he wrapped his hands around my throat as I struggled to hang on to breathing – and no I would not have chosen to switch back to the crushing verbal blows in those times. In the heat of the moment as it was happening, I just prayed that my death would come without pain because I couldn’t take the emotional abuse being dished out.

        I am sorry to be so blunt, but I do not believe that someone would choose to die over choosing to be verbally abused. I believe this way of remembering it is somehow cathartic for you, but unless you had a constant death wish, a living person would not choose to die over choosing to be berated. Verbal abuse needs a threshold of proof that is not reachable. As I said, I do not deny its existence, but I rightly question its supposed widespread occurrence. The vast majority of women who divorce claim verbal abuse. You say verbal abuse is worse than physical. Connect the dots. Two out of five married men will be committing a form of abuse that is worse than physical, based on present divorce stats. Sorry, just is not true.

        Please do not play the “you don’t know” card. I’m not here to change how you feel about your situation, and how you feel about it will set how you remember and believe. But the logical consideration of all the facts at hand prove unequivocally that there is far more allegation than perpetration of this nebulous thing called verbal (and emotional) abuse.

        The reason so many people say verbal abuse is worse than physical is far more nefarious than simply it being the case. The issue needs to be looked at dispassionately, and it is seemingly impossible to do so. The totality of my life experience would have me in full throat agreement with you. I would be marching as an advocate and I would take any and all claims of abuse as dire. I actually did until I saw it from the other side, which opened my eyes to seeing it, again and again, from the other side until I was compelled to look deeper and deeper. The burden of proof is on the accuser. When proof is harder to achieve, the second path is to ramp up th4e alleged severity, and adopt terminology that should shut down discussion because polite people do not ever ever ever question invocation of “abuse”

        I will let this lay now
        Emphalogism recently posted…Customizing Imbalance 2: The Patterned PlateMy Profile

  9. I just have to give you kudos Sheila! Your blog is real, honest, and still Christ centered! I am naturally a peace keeper (notice I said keeper not maker, lol). I always thought that combined with my husbands strong,decisive personality we were a good match since we rarely argued. But 13 years later I realize I have really just submitted in a way to avoid conflict not work through it. This behavior only worsened when I became a Christian and used the excuse that I was being the Godly wife by not voicing my concern on real issues. Your blog is one of the few Christian blogs that really teach and equip women to speak truth in love and ways to practically apply it to a hardened, criticaland negative spouse. Most other sites I’ve read (it’s a lot) simply talk about loving him more. I now feel like the needy wife and am stuck in a cycle. But we are going to counseling now and am hopeful. Thanks for your amazing encouragement and letting the Lord use you

    • Thank you, Stefani. That means a lot.

      One thing I’ve never understood about saying, “you just need to respect him more” or “you just need to love him more”. That implies that the reason that he is acting as he is is because of YOU. What if it’s not?

      Let’s take the example of a man who spends too much and puts his family into debt. I’ve heard people say, “if you just let him lead he would step up to the plate”, as if the reason that he is in debt is because of something the wife did. What if it’s because he wasn’t parented well? What if he never learned about money? What if he has deep insecurity issues and masks them by spending money to appear richer than he is? What if it’s just pure and simple greed? There are many reasons a person may act the way that they do that have nothing to do with the spouse. That’s why I think dealing with the issue openly and forthrightly is the better route to go.

  10. calls me a b****, an idiot, stupid, and yesterday he told me I was worthless. He is addicted to porn and I have tried everything from manipulation to talking to a pastor about the porn, no progress. No remorse. We’ve been married for less than 3 years and I feel so weary, almost like I don’t even have a soul anymore.
    I’m about ready to leave him (no kids, thank God) but also don’t want to ruin his ministry.
    What do I do?

    • Susan, that sounds horrible. If he’s in ministry, though, that’s even more reason why you have to do something about it. I wrote an article specifically about husbands who are in ministry and who are addicted to porn here, and I hope that helps.

      Prayers for you as you walk this difficult path,

  11. We have been married 21 years. We blended 6 children together. Although only 4 ever lived with us full time. 3 of mine and 1 of his. Now they are all over 25 years old. I am having some very strong emotional issues with his 30 year old daughter. She dropped out of college at 18. Joined the Navy but never made it in because she was pg. she moved in with the dad and eventually married him. She did not like that his job took him out of town for a few weeks at a time, so she had a couple affairs. One that led to another baby. Her husband divorced her. Those boys are now 11 and 7. The relationship with the second father was abusive and has led to a restraining order. So quite a bit of drama. During all this my husband has helped his daughter so much that he still gets and opens her mail, manages most of her finances etc. I don’t mind helping but it feels like there is another woman in our relationship. When I try to talk with him things spin. He points out that she is making better choices, and she has. She went back to college, got her degree and has been working a good job. I am tired of the almost daily drop ins, calls and cry for help. Can you recommend a resource that deals with this type of situation?

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  3. […] want us to have a vibrant sex life. But I CANNOT do that when you are ogling other women/using porn/verbally abusing me (whatever it may be). I don’t want us to go on like this. Can we talk about how to help me […]

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  5. […] They’re all little changes. But as you add one new marriage habit to your life, it can change the dynamic of your relationship. And when you do it for long enough, it becomes a positive habit. Then you can add something else […]

  6. […] hard to reach out when you’re lonely and frustrated, but if you do that, you really can change the dynamic in your marriage. Things won’t change if you sit there and do nothing. But if you decide to find things to be […]

  7. […] Changing the Dynamic in my Marriage The Two Ingredients of All Successful Marriages Be a Spouse, Not an Enabler Tackling Huge Marriage Problems […]

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