Keep Your Sanity when your Spouse Doesn’t Meet your Needs

Keep Your Sanity when your Spouse Doesn’t Meet your Needs

Your spouse should do more to meet your needs. Really, how could your husband or wife be that insensitive, clueless, even hostile? You’ve tried to tell them over and over again how much you need help around the house, or someone to listen, or an engaged sexual partner, or someone to help shoulder the brunt of the in-law attacks or financial burdens. Is a little kindness, respect, and love too much to expect? But regardless of what you do or say, your spouse doesn’t meet your needs.

It gets old, doesn’t it? You expected certain things, and your spouse hasn’t lived up to those expectations. Wasn’t getting married supposed to assure your needs would be met?

Well, no.

News flash; your spouse is NOT going to meet your needs. Guaranteed. And if you keep waiting for them to do so, you are certain to become bitter, empty, and angry.

Intellectually you may realize that a human being was never intended to meet all your needs. But surely your spouse is the exception! You really need that respect, intimacy, attention, tenderness, partnership, support, and love. Isn’t that why you got married?

Actually, no.

Your needs don’t get met by you trying to pull it out of your spouse, or manipulating or shaming them into trying, or wilting away in the corner hoping they will wise up.

Yes, you have needs. Real needs. It’s more than wants; it’s needs. But here’s an inconvenient truth;

Every human being has unmet needs, including you and your spouse.

Continue reading...
5 Healthy Steps to Handling Conflict in Marriage

5 Healthy Steps to Handling Conflict in Marriage

Money. Intimacy. In-laws. Parenting. What do you and your spouse fight about? Conflict happens in any marriage. The complete absence of conflict may often be a big red flag indicating more apathy than love. It’s not if you will have conflict; it’s what you do when conflict arises that matters.

There are many unhealthy ways of handling conflict in marriage, and you’ve probably engaged in many of them. That may be yell and scream, manipulate and control, withdraw completely, withhold or demand sex, demean and criticize your spouse, give in to your spouse’s demands, walk on eggshells, or pronounce Bible verses to prove you’re right.

Have any of those resulted in a happier marriage? A stronger relationship?

As with communication, most of us grow up unconsciously learning how to handle conflict from experiencing how our parents or other caregivers did. Responding in healthier ways does not happen simply by deciding you don’t want to repeat what your parents did. You will need to consciously develop new skills and habit patterns to prevent conflict from destroying your relationship.

The good news is that couples who intentionally work through conflict can develop a stronger bond and more understanding than they had previously. Conflict can be the fuel to intentionally communicate, solve problems, and develop even deeper intimacy.

Following these steps when conflict arises will help you do just that.

Continue reading...
Pornography and your Christian Marriage

Pornography and your Christian Marriage

If the gospel is good for anything it must have an answer to the worst problems humans face. As believers we know that intellectually, but the body of Christ frequently hides from some of the really bad stuff. Pornography and your Christian marriage may seem like things that should not be said in the same sentence. But in 21st century culture it’s something we must acknowledge, and find God’s answer for.

I hear from people every week who struggle with this. I hear from the small-church pastor who feels he has no one to help him out of his addiction to pornography, the godly wife who just found out her husband has been watching porn for years, the young Christian woman who weeps in shame over her continued failure to stop engaging in internet pornography.

Although statistically more men than women get hooked by sexually-charged images and videos, pornography is an equal-opportunity destroyer. Men and women, married and single, Christian and unbeliever, young and old – it affects them all. Our sexualized society spends multi-billions of dollars on this. It starts young; your ten-year-old (or younger) can watch it on their cell-phone while riding the bus to school. (That’s a whole article – or book – in itself!)

Dr Juli Slattery, psychologist, author, and media professional, has stated that she no longer asks couples whether pornography is an issue for them; she asks what role pornography is playing in their relationship.

So what is a Christian to do? Refusing to address pornography is putting your head in the sand, especially if you’re married or contemplating marriage. But as with all human brokenness God has an answer – if you’re addicted, if your spouse is addicted, or if you want to proactively protect your marriage.

Continue reading...
The Water in your Soul: Dry, Stagnant, or Flowing?

The Water in your Soul: Dry, Stagnant, or Flowing?

What is the state of the water in your soul?

Sometimes you feel dry. You’ve given until you have nothing left. If anyone asks or expects anything more from you, you may just explode.

Sometimes you feel stagnant. Your heart and life feel sluggish. Nothing good is happening. You’re grasping at various things to feel better but nothing works.

And sometimes you feel awesome. THIS is what you were made for. Your productivity, joy, and sense of being Fully Alive seem to overflow.

Notice how even the words we use to describe the state of our soul have so much to do with water. And those words hint at a profound truth about the way God’s universe works, and about how He made you and me.

Continue reading...
5 Things Your Husband Needs From You

5 Things Your Husband Needs From You

So many people look at marriage as a way to get their own needs met. In a godly healthy marriage you will have many needs met. But as an adult, as a believer, and as a wife, you will be much happier, more satisfied, and find more success in your marriage if you focus more of your efforts on what your husband needs from you rather than first seeking to get your own needs met.

Your husband is responsible for his own behavior. Always. But as his wife you have much more influence and “power” in your relationship than you probably realize. You are fully equal to your husband in the sight of God, but He has given you a role and responsibility in your husband’s life that is unique.

For your own sake, pay attention to these 5 things your husband needs from you. These are needs that no one else can meet to the degree that you as his wife can. Meeting some of these needs may feel unnatural to you, but just do it. Don’t worry about doing it perfectly. But if you proactively seek to understand and meet these needs in your husband you can be the catalyst God uses support him in becoming the man God created him to be.

Continue reading...