How do you change the dynamic in your marriage?

It’s often in the little decisions you make, everyday. And that’s what the main segment on today’s podcast is all about. 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 this podcast “extras”. If you want to go deeper into what I talked about in the podcast, here are some more things to help you.

But first, here’s the podcast:

Main Segment: Are you moving towards each other, or away from each other?

In your everyday decisions, are  you choosing to build good marriage habits, or to BREAK good marriage habits? I’m picking up on what I talked about on Tuesday, when we looked at the turning points in a marriage.

Want more on how a marriage can change? Check out these posts!

Millennial Marriage: You can’t find a husband if you don’t talk to guys

Rebecca and I jumped into a discussion on how young women need to be taught how to have healthy relationships with guys. Sometimes we focus so much on wanting “to stay pure” that we stay away from guys altogether, because we don’t want to give them the impression that we’re interested in them “that way”. The problem is that then we can never make any friendships would could eventually lead to something else. I do think that’s one of the reasons for so many who grew up in the purity movement now being single.

So let’s talk about how to find that balance! (And here’s a question for the comments: Can there be such a thing as healthy flirting? I’d love to talk about that!)

Reader Question: Is It Wrong to Expect My Husband to Regret his Sexual Past?

This is a really tough one, because the truth is that some people have long relationships with people they truly love that they later break up with, and they don’t necessarily regret that those relationships happened. And when it happened before they knew Christ, it’s hard to expect them to have acted differently.

Here’s the question:

​​I am engaged to a man who has come back to his Christian faith but unfortunately he has slept with several women before me. He was in a relationship with all of them, and loved them all.  We have slept together, he is my only sexual partner. He’s an overall great man who loves me and wants a future with me but I cannot get over his past. I have made great strides in my thinking, I used to picture him with the other women and I no longer do that. I have such pain from comparison however – he has so much more experience than me and I constantly worry I don’t measure up.  Part of the problem is that he also has never told me he regrets his sexual past. Do I have the right to ask him if he regrets it? I have forgiven him because I am a sinner too but the emotional damage has been done and I’m not sure if I can handle this or how to heal from this. I have read many comments that say their husband told them he regrets his past actions or the wife knows that her husband didn’t love his past sexual partners and the wife has been their husbands only love but neither of those apply to me. I don’t feel special to him sexually and I never realized how important this would be since I hadn’t had to deal with it.

I understand how difficult this is for her, and besides what I said in the podcast, these two posts may be of help for her situation now. The first one is about how to stop obsessing over your husband’s past. In this case, she’s not married yet. But before she marries, she has to be able to agree to put his past behind them and not bring it up again or judge him for it. If she can’t do that, then marriage is likely not a good idea. The second is a general one about how God does want us to save sex for marriage, and the fact that they are having sex now may be part of what is causing her angst.

Difficult question, though! What would you say?

Comment: A biblical counsellor missed the significance of postpartum depression

I’ve had a lot of flak (and a lot of support!) for what I’ve been writing about the potential problems with biblical counselors. I have my FINAL post coming out on that tomorrow (at least I really hope it’s my final post. I tried to only write one, but then people kept asking for clarification. Tomorrow I’m going to propose a code of ethics and best practices that biblical counsellors could adopt that could address a lot of these problems).

Two things I want to highlight today: First, guest poster Kristen Draughan, over at Wondering Eagle, has a thorough explanation of why biblical counselling can be problematic, especially going in to the treatments that secular counsellors use that we know work, and how seeing things through a sin lens is problematic.

In the podcast, though, I read out Kay’s comment from my original post:

I already see comments on Facebook saying you have mischaracterized biblical counseling. I beg to differ. I saw a biblical counselor when I was struggling with PPD and had just had a psychotic episode. The very first session I was told that my PPD was a sinful response to stressful circumstances, that no temptation had seized me except what is common to man (which is exceptional disturbing to hear when just a few days earlier I could have killed my baby and myself if God hadn’t protected us from psychosis), and I was told to just do the right thing no matter how I felt. Just *trying harder* to follow God’s way would free me from my depression.

To some extent, hearing it was my fault felt like good news at first because then I could fix it. The problem was the harder I tried to be godly, the more manic I became, and very soon was full blown suicidal because no matter how hard I tried to do things “God’s way,” I couldn’t break free. I finally switched to a Christian counselor trained in PPD and **the very first session** I was hospitalized. I saw the biblical counselor for months and she missed it. I was NOT okay. Not even a little bit okay. That hospitalization was the turning point in my journey. I wish I had gone months earlier instead of wasting all that time with a biblical counselor.

You can see the original posts here:

So listen in to the podcast, click on some of these links, and have fun on some rabbit trails!

And let me know what you think, too! Can you “flirt” in a good way? How do you get over your spouse’s past? Let’s talk in the comments!

SheilaSidebarAboutMe - PODCAST PLUS: Changing the Dynamic in Your Marriage! 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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