Between all husbands and wives there is a dynamic called "criticism-and-withdrawal.” For example, a wife criticizes her husband for being late again for dinner. He withdraws by going quiet and feeling miffed by what he feels is an unfair criticism since his boss demanded he stay late again.Read More
To many husbands and wives, solving every single marital problem that arises means two completely different things concerning the quality of their marriage. Much of this stems from the different ways they each prefer to handle conflict.Read More
I believe a husband is to act lovingly whether or not he feels it. God’s command in Ephesians 5:33 for a husband to love his wife is to be followed as an act of obedience, not as a conditional response toward her respect for him.Read More
This should in no way be surprising to hear, but simply realizing the causes and effects of the Crazy Cycle does not mean you and your spouse will stop taking spins on them. Learning about her pink way of communicating and interpreting the world, as opposed to your blue perspective on life, does not mean you will always like her pink way of going about things or that she will always speak to you in a way that your blue hearing aids correctly interpret as a respectful response. And even if a wife always keeps Ephesians 5:33 at the forefront of her mind and shows unconditional respect, reinforced by the greatest Respect Talk known to man, this does not mean her husband will love her perfectly, all the time, in a way that is music to her pink ears.Read More
A wife longs for her husband to hear her heart. She becomes insecure when he does not. What can she do?
Given your husband has goodwill and wants to do God's will, I suggest looking in four areas and trying to “H.E.A.R.” your husband.
H: Honor his desire to honor God. If there is any positive thing you see in his walk with God, say, "I want to honor your desire to honor God. I have noticed how you _____." Fill in the blank. While most likely there are things you wish he did in his walk with God that he isn't currently doing, don't go there. This exercise is about addressing the positive—how you see your husband honoring God—because it is true, honorable, and right.
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!”
Interestingly, in our culture we don’t have a problem understanding unconditional love… in fact, we see unconditional love as the right of every human being. Imagine expecting our children to “earn” our love! We would disapprove of such parenting. Most of us have no problem separating the person from their behavior when it comes to love. Love the person, hate the sin. Right?
A wife emails, "We began to have our usual discussion about his mom when the subject of priorities came up. This time it was linked to how each of us prioritized life. In short, he prioritizes on a scale of several things: task at hand, commitments, immediacy or emergency, etc. I prioritize based on relationships: a pecking order or hierarchy. This seemed odd to him, as his way seemed odd to me. But the more we talked, the more I thought this might be an instance of "pink" versus "blue"—neither one is wrong, just different.”Read More
Let’s say you and your spouse were faced with an unexpected expenditure that needed to be paid, like a $5,000 car expense due to a major problem with the engine. This expense overwhelmed and shocked both of you, becoming a problem you had to deal with together, as the two of you decided long ago that decisions on major expenses would best be handled together.Read More
I was once talking with another man about his marriage, and he shared with me that whenever he and his wife would get into a fight, she would get “historical.” Curious at his choice of words, I asked him if he meant “hysterical.” He replied, “No, historical. She keeps dredging everything up from the past.”Read More
Much has been written and discussed about the “Proverbs 31 woman.” This oracle taught by the king’s mother describes quite the strong woman. - She “works with willing hands” (v. 13).Read More
Why does the Crazy Cycle happen? Oftentimes, it is because either one or both marriage partners are letting speculation drive their responses instead of facts. I recall a commercial wherein a wife is informed that her husband is flirting with a woman at the jewelry store. The scene moves forward with the wife coming down the street toward the jewelry store with a rolling pin in hand and a growing crowd marching behind to watch her catch him red-handed. As she enters the store, she observes her smiling husband purchasing a diamond for her. The other female is the clerk behind the counter. This husband was innocent, but the warring wife did not have the facts. Sketchy or misconstrued information is dangerous.Read More
There’s a stand-out moment in the Old Testament story of Job that almost definitely has caught the eye of every married person who has read it. In Job 2:9, Job’s wife tells him to “Curse God and die.” Curse God and die? What awful thing had Job done to her? Infidelity? Physical abuse? Verbal assault?
No. None of these or anything else like it. Her condemning anger toward her husband was in response to all the horrific things that God had allowed Satan to do to their family—including loss of children, destruction of property, and excruciating boils covering her husband from head to toe.Read More
Have you ever meditated on 1 Corinthians 7:11, which says, ". . . (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife"? What's the backstory to this verse? Paul does not mention adultery or abandonment in this text—the two traditional justifications for biblical divorce—so it is safe to infer that biblical grounds for divorce are not in play here. He simply says that the husband is not to divorce and the wife should not marry someone else in the event that she leaves her husband.Read More
The Crazy Cycle, as explained in my book Love & Respect, says, “Without love she reacts without respect. Without respect he reacts without love.” If neither husband nor wife is mature and calm enough to recognize this cycle and to step off in order to slow it down, it will only strengthen and keep on spinning. Unfortunately, many couples when in conflict do not recognize that they have stepped onto the Crazy Cycle and nothing begins to simmer down until one of them, typically the husband, storms off and withdraws from the fight, with the attitude to simply “live to fight another day.”Read More
Have you ever realized that the most impactful influence on your children’s marriage—whether they are two years old and barely able to say “da-da” or twenty-two and about to walk down the aisle—is your marriage? Yes, you! Your marriage to their mom or dad teaches them both directly and indirectly how a married couple works together.
This certainly includes the way you love and respect each other. Your kids may not yet have learned the biblical emphasis on love and respect or even be old enough to know what “respect” means, but they are learning all about it nonetheless . . . from you!Read More
We read in Genesis 2:24, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” It is from this verse that we get the well-known saying that a husband “leaves and cleaves.” But for the husband who interprets this scriptural command to “leave and cleave” and become “one flesh” as purely sexual, I have some disappointing news to share with them. For most wives, cleaving does indeed mean a face-to-face closeness, but not in a sexual way. For her, this face-to-face closeness entails talking about the things that matter to her.Read More
In your experience, have you found that any of the following approaches have worked to influence, motivate, and energize your spouse? Keeping track of the other’s wrongs with resentment, nagging and criticizing without seeing any good, judging and shaming from a spirit of self-righteousness, getting angry to the point of showing hostility and contempt, manipulating to achieve a selfish or worthy agenda, blaming without any acknowledgment of one’s own faults, and fighting for control, not for win-win.Read More