Something’s wrong in your marriage. So what do you do about it?
This month I’m running my iron sharpens iron series, about how marriage is supposed to make you better people. But it can’t do that if we don’t speak up when things are wrong! So today on the podcast I’m continuing my discussion about how to confront your spouse if something’s bugging you.
So first, please listen to the podcast! Then I’ll have more links and extras below.
But First–Focus on the Family Issues a Statement About Me
Before we got into the main segment, I spent about two minutes of the podcast on this.
Focus on the Family has issued a statement about me and Love & Respect. In it, they spread factually inaccurate information about me–information that they KNOW is untrue. They also double down on Love & Respect, saying that it is a “biblically sound and empowering message for wives.” (Again, I still don’t understand how anyone could possibly say that a book which states that the purpose of sex is for a husband’s physical release, and never once mentions a woman’s pleasure, is “biblically sound and empowering for women”, let alone all the other things I critiqued it for. But we won’t rehash that now.
How do you confront your spouse when something’s wrong?
I elaborated on my post from last week on how it’s not a sin to confront your spouse–even though we often hear messages that make it sound like it is!
- You can’t change others; you can only change yourself
- You shouldn’t have expectations in marriage
- If you meet your spouse’s needs first, they’ll meet yours
- Husbands, sacrifice for your wives
- Wives, submit to your husbands
- Wives, don’t show your husband disrespect
All of those things are partially right, but we need the whole picture, which is always centred around these two things:
- God wants us to look more and more like Jesus (Romans 8:29)
- Seek first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33)
So listen in to the podcast to get a fuller view of what these things mean!
And here are the posts that I referred to:
Iron Sharpens Iron Posts
- Iron Sharpens Iron: How Marriage Should Make Us Better People
- Iron Sharpens Iron: It’s Not a Sin to Confront Your Spouse
- Iron Sharpens Iron: How to Speak up When Something’s Bugging You
- Our podcast last week on how it’s not disrespectful to bring up issues
Other Posts Mentioned
Reader Question: A Pretty Ridiculous Scenario–“How do I give it to God?”
A woman wrote in with a heartbreaking story from her marriage.
Several years ago my husband lost his job. When that happened he sort of went off the deep end. Drinking, staying out to all hours, refusing to find work. I was working 1 full time job and 3 part-time jobs just trying to pay the bills. Of course we had arguments and the typical issues. In the process of all this I was diagnosed with a significant illness. I was told there was nothing wrong with me I just needed to get off my lazy &-+ and go back to work. I was so sick, I couldn’t walk 4 foot without falling! He didn’t care! He finally found a job and refused to put me on his insurance. I couldn’t find insurance because of my medical issues. I went a year and a half without medical care. Then he started calling and texting a “friend” he works with. I found out who she was. I let it ride, then a year and a half ago I see a different number on the phone bill, hours and hours of phone time and up to 50 texts per day. I find out who it is. Then he is visiting with our adult daughter and asks her how to tell me he has found someone special. I corner him up, he swears it’s over, well it came up again then again just this December. He had never ended it. He claims now it is over. My problem is, if it was me and it was a person I worked with, he would have made me quit my job and wouldn’t let me out of his sight. He is still working with her, he still says they are friends. I have turned it all over to God, but my issue is how do I trust him again?
The issue here is not how can she turn it over to God; it’s that God does not want us enabling sin, and He does not expect to put up with this kind of behaviour. So it’s time for a pep talk (and listen in! You’re worth it!). Also, this is not a gendered issue, as I said on the podcast. Many women treat their husbands like this, too. And it isn’t okay.
Reader Question: My Husband won’t let me have a different opinion than his
What if expressing a differing opinion causes a fight? A woman writes after reading last week’s post:
My husband has been what could be seen as verbally abusive throughout our marriage, but not often, and with much decreasing regularity. He was recently having thoughts of “how do I even know God is real”, and asked me if I think that the spiritual atmosphere could influence you. I told him I think it’s a possibility, but I also think that the enemy knows his weakness. He said something else in favour of what he thinks and I had another reason to substantiate my point of view, and he flipped out, started fighting with me in front of the kids, saying that I always think I’m right (I do struggle with that, but I thought we were having a conversation, I really wasn’t inferring he was wrong). I said that I was just having a conversation with him and that I can never have an opinion that differs from his, and then I was accused of turning everything around to make it his fault.
I’m not perfect by a long shot. but when he gets like that he really puts me down and really hurts me. What bothers me, is that he apologized for the way he spoke to me, but not for what he said. I still feel that if I disagreed with him that the same thing would happen. I’m becoming distant, because frankly being on my own at the moment is better than being shouted at. I know that it’s not wrong to confront him, I just honestly don’t have the energy for it!
For this one, I gave some simple advice: speak up at the time, and make it about expressing differing opinions, don’t double down on the actual thing you’re discussing. Listen in and see what you think!
So that’s it for this week’s podcast. Next week Keith and I will be doing our “Start Your Engines” podcast geared more towards men, talking about what to do if your wife withholds sex for significant periods of time.
Have any opinions on that one? Or any answers to these reader questions? Or even any encouragement about Focus on the Family’s statement? Chime in in the comments!