In a previous article, I wrote about some of the disheartening times when Paul’s Holy Spirit-inspired words on sexual intimacy in 1 Corinthians 7 were spun so as to justify one-sided coercion rather than mutual consent. Unfortunately, throughout history many husbands have taken a one-sided position to 1 Corinthians 7:4 and demanded fulfillment of their male conjugal rights. This is clearly contrary to Abba Father's revelation to husbands and wives and ignores the second half of 1 Corinthians 7:4.Read More
Sadly, over the years I have received many emails from husbands who have committed the worst of marital offenses—adultery. Fortunately, those writing me are doing so because they have confessed their sins to their wives, as well as to God, have repented of their iniquities, and have recommitted themselves to the sacred vow they had previously made to their wife. However, just because they have made such strides does not mean their wife has accepted them fully back, and they often write me and ask for advice in navigating through this desert of distrust from their wife.Read More
Are you in or have you come through a marital crisis? You could be the innocent victim with a wounded heart who experienced shock or the remorseful offender with a contrite heart who experienced shame. There could have been any number of reasons for the crisis. Typically, though, a crisis falls under one or more of what Emerson refers to as the six A’s: adultery, abandonment, abuse, addiction, adversity, and apathy. Your situation may involve something outside of those, but join Emerson and Jonathan this week as they discuss this topic and email Emerson regarding how you are making it through or made it through the crisis at email@example.com, including if you are listening to this months or years after it was posted. There is an attached document in the show notes available for download to guide your thinking and email.Read More
Have you come through a marital crisis? I’d love to hear your story. You could be the innocent victim with a wounded heart who experienced shock or the remorseful offender with a contrite heart who experienced shame. But before you e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, perhaps you could answer some questions that would spark your memory.
The Six A's
Let me say upfront that there could have been any number of reasons for the crisis.Read More
A husband writes, “I am sure, like most authors and conference promoters, you are going to present your success stories and downplay (if you present them at all) the failures. However, I would like to hear from some who have tried and failed at your approach.
Maybe we can learn as much from them as the successes. What I feel concerns me the most so far is reading the repeated (and oft repeated) assumption that "your spouse is a person of basic good will".Read More
I hear often from discouraged husbands and wives who say their marriage simply does not work. They feel they have tried everything – even love and respect – and it didn't work. They are ready to give up. If this describes you, are you willing to try a new approach?
But my spouse doesn't respond!
What is your worst fear in marriage? Is it that you will do all you can to love and respect unconditionally but your spouse will not respond? If so, you are not alone in that fear. After all, it takes two, right? And if your spouse has already given up, there is nothing left to do.Read More
What should we say to the person who dismisses the Love and Respect approach to relationships by declaring their situation is too complex and the message is too simple? First, seek to agree with the reality of difficult times. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:1-5,
"But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power."Read More
Q: I have heard you refer to “good will” a lot. What does that really mean and how do I know if my spouse has good will or evil will toward me? Dr. E says: Good question! The line between good and evil will can certainly get blurred when couples are spinning on the Crazy Cycle! Let me try to unpack this in less than 1,000 words. Good intentions, poor delivery.Read More
FAQ: Is it Too Late to Save Our Marriage? There is no love left between us, and we are tired of working at a loveless marriage. I understand your discouragement. Nearly every marriage goes through times when the love seems to be gone and one or both spouses want to give up. You are not alone! Is it too late?Read More
If we listen to the culture, we could feel pretty hopeless about marriage. But those of us who are Christ followers, have HOPE – as the Johnson’s shared in my last blog. Allow me to share one more hope story…this time from a husband who had thrown his marriage away by failing to deal with his sin.Read More
When I talk about unconditional respect being equal to unconditional love (Ephesians 5:33), one of the questions I hear the most is some variation of, “Are you telling me I have to unconditionally respect my husband’s bad behavior and become a door mat? Everyone knows respect must be earned!”Read More
Q: It seems like the principles of love and respect are too simplistic. For example, how can you respect a spouse who is committing adultery, has addictions, or is abusive? Dr E says: Let’s not confuse unconditional love or respect with condoning sinful behavior!Read More
Many of us squirm a bit when we read our Lord’s words: “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15 NLT).Read More
I receive a lot of email from couples who are ready for divorce. Often they ask, “Is it too late for us? My spouse isn’t interested, and I feel I can’t go on. We are headed for divorce.” Of course, such a plea is usually accompanied by several horrifying and depressing details of what went wrong. It’s no wonder they think their situation is hopeless!Read More
I would like to tell you a very personal story. I can recall instances from my early childhood when my dad would go into a rage. On one occasion my mother had purchased several pieces of new furniture and had it delivered to the house.Read More
A question I often ask the couples I counsel is, “In general, is your spouse getting up in the morning with the purpose of trying to displease you or show you a lack of concern? Is your spouse intending to be unloving or disrespectful?” For the most part, couples answered, “No, I wouldn’t be so strong as to say my spouse is premeditating evil.” “So,” I pressed, “even though on occasion your spouse can be nasty or selfish, you are married to a person who has basic goodwill toward you?” Almost all the couples answer the same: “Yes.”Read More
I hear this expression many times, "I want to find a way to mend my marriage and get it on the right path" (KW). When I think of Christian couples who have gotten off track in their marriage and feel they have ruined their chances of restoring their marriage, a contemporary phenomena comes to mind. The GPS unit -- the global positioning system.Read More
Daily, Sarah and I receive e-mails from people across the nation and around the world that profoundly touch us, and I mean profoundly to the point that we sometimes weep. We're overwhelmed with the tender hearts, teachable spirits, and inner longings of the people who write us. The below e-mail brought tears to our eyes not only because of this woman's personal situation but because she represents so many people right now who if they heard the love and respect message might be able to turn the corner on a marriage that appears destined for collapse. This woman read my book CRACKING THE COMMUNICATION CODE (Now titled The Language of Love & Respect) and realized that possibly she could've done things differently. She did not hold herself 100% responsible for the collapse of the marriage but... well, read what she said:Read More