It’s time for a new episode of the To Love, Honor and Vacuum podcast!

I hope you all will listen, but if you don’t have time, I’ll have some links and rabbit trails below so you can read all you want as well!

And consider these links as extras to the podcast, too. They’re things I mentioned in the podcast, but didn’t have time to say. So here’s where you can go more in-depth!

But first, here’s the podcast:

Main Segment: We need to learn to control HOW WE THINK

Yesterday on the blog I kind of went off on a rant to a woman who said that she regretted having kids, and that the two worst days of her life were when she discovered she was pregnant and when she had her son. I was far too harsh in retrospect (some commenters took me to task for that, rightly), but I do think it had to be said.

The main point of what I wanted to say to her, though, was that whatever you focus on expands. And she is feeding the thoughts that are making her miserable, rather than replacing them with thoughts that can help her grow in peace and joy.

Seriously, you have to take control of your thoughts, which is the main point of my book 9 Thoughts that Can Change Your Marriage.

How are you THINKING about your marriage?

51ARlATfBaL - PODCAST: You Don't Get to Be Selfish, Love Bombing, and More!

And what if it’s actually your THOUGHTS that are holding you back from a great marriage?

Learn how to change what you think about marriage–and then you’ll be able to figure out how to act to get a great marriage, too!

I’ve written more about this concept of changing how you think, and you may find these posts interesting in addition to what I said in the podcast:

Millennial Marriage: Why aren’t Millennials Going to Church?

Here’s the article we were discussing:

Young adults are dropping out of church in large numbers

Here’s Rebecca’s twitter thread that we were talking about:

Rebecca and I decided that millennials really need authenticity and community, something that church often doesn’t provide. What do you think?

Here’s an article I wrote about church and community, too.

Reader Question: How Do We Rebuild Trust After an Affair?

A woman wrote in saying that she’s trying to rebuild her marriage after an affair–but the problem is she finds it hard to trust him. And she’s admitting that she’s the reason that he had an affair.

We really need to stop accepting blame for things that are not our fault. Yes, you may have contributed to the marriage breaking down. But he made the decision to cheat! Often we’re quick to accept blame because then, if we’re to blame, if we change we can keep the marriage together. But the point is to work towards honesty, not just towards a marriage staying together. If you want real intimacy, you have to build trust.

More posts on that:

And some other posts I told her she should start with:

READER COMMENT: Beware of the Abuse/Affection Cycle

In my post about healing from emotional abuse a while ago, a very insightful reader left this comment:

The hardest thing about abusive relationships are the cycles of abuse vs affection. Constant severe abuse is often a lot easier to walk away from, as it is obvious and there is no ‘reward’ to pull you back. Emotional manipulation/abuse is far worse as you are trained to put up with more due to the carrot/stick behaviour. Just when you start to gather up the courage to leave, the abuser will switch into ‘nice’ mode to draw you back in again. Then the relationship will be roses for a while and you think everything is alright, let down your guard, start planning for the future again. Then one day the abuse restarts and you feel completely thrown. And the constant swings in emotion destroy your self esteem and leave you unable to accurately judge whether the abuse is really that bad (since ‘they can be so lovely at other times’). It’s exhausting and it gets harder and harder to find the energy to stand up to the bad times. You eventually just give up and assume that is how your life will be forever. The cycles of abuse/affection become your new normal as you forget what a real normal, healthy relationship is like (assuming you’ve ever experienced one).

She’s absolutely right. That was one of my criticisms in the Love & Respect book, too, about how Emerson Eggerichs spoke about a man who had been physically and emotionally abusive–he was let back in the home “after he repented.”

Saying you’re sorry and looking like you’re heartbroken for what you have done is a NORMAL part of the abuse cycle. It isn’t enough for someone to say they’re sorry. They must:

  • Take responsibility for what they did, and be able to name what they did that was wrong
  • Tell those who will listen that it was their fault, not yours
  • Tell those close to you what they did, so that they are owning the problem
  • Get counselling
  • Live out a life of repentance for a significant period of time

That is what repentance should look like. So it’s not about saying you’re sorry; it’s about living it out.

That’s true in other things, too, not just abuse. It should be true for getting over porn use; it should be true for getting over affairs. 

That’s it for today! Hope you enjoyed. Keith and I are in sunny Florida right now getting ready for my Girl Talk in Jacksonville on Friday night. Let me know if there’s anything else you want me to talk about in the podcast!

SheilaSidebarAboutMe - PODCAST: You Don't Get to Be Selfish, Love Bombing, and More! Sheila Wray Gregoire has been married for 27 years and happily married for 22! She loves traveling around North America with her hubby in their RV, giving her signature "Girl Talk" about sex and marriage. And she's written 8 books. About sex and marriage. See a theme here? Plus she knits. Even in line at the grocery store.
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