Marriage Dilma

Question on the table from a close friend.
1)Is there an Biblical order in marriage?
2)How is this lived out in the home?
3)Is the Husband the lead & everything rests on him in the home or is there joint leadership with spouse & both rest on them?
4) How does this pan out since the family is blended both children are if the wife?
5)Is it seriously neccessary for the husband to talk & share his thoughts & feelings?
6)What to do when he does, issues arises, which now he thinks its better to be silent about everything vs sharing?
7)The connection spiritually, emotionally, physically is very disconnected, all the effort to get connected closer causes more heartache & wounds…what to do then?

Obviously, heavy situation…is this a spiritual growth experience for one or both spouses? Is this a bad decision of a union? What is the feedback should I even give to this brother?

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Hello, @QBulla! Lots of questions to consider here, and my heart breaks to hear of his struggle in his marriage. With Connect being a global community, I’m sure there will be differing Biblical interpretations and opinions on a number of these questions.

To begin with, I don’t think we can be overly prescriptive here. These are deep questions that will require him to wrestle with them individually as well as jointly, if possible, with his wife.

To Question 1 (biblical order of marriage?), some say yes; some say no. Both schools of thought are rooted in strong exegesis. Most evangelicals (I imagine) would subscribe to the belief that ‘the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is head of the church’ (Eph. 5:23), though what that actually looks like will probably differ.

Questions 2-4 will depend on what view they decide to take on Q1 and what agreement he and his wife reach.

To Questions 5-7, I would argue that emotional intimacy/honesty in marriage is incredibly important, but it sounds like that when he opens up, it is taken ‘badly’. I hate that for him.

Without knowing the people or the situation, it’s difficult to say much else. On the surface, it sounds like they are just missing each other (as one misses a target).

If they both want to better this relationship, then they both have to be committed to the work it will take. Mediated conversation might be one tactic, but they both need to agree to show up. Sounds like it’s going to take a lot of humility on both of their parts to engage with and forgive one another and come to compromise and a plan for the future.

Is this something the both of them are willing to work on, or is it just one…or neither?

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The forgoing is a brief summary of the advise of Mort Fortell of Marriage Fitness : https://marriagefitness.com/

I understand the questions and the dilemma and I believe Marriage Fitness would help in this situation.

In a nut shell: None of the questions or issues you’ve listed can be dealt with effectively until number 7 is sufficiently strengthened.: 7) The connection spiritually, emotionally, physically is very disconnected, all the effort to get connected closer causes more heartache & wounds…what to do then?

Tor clarity: Put the list of problems on the shelf for a time (you’ll come back to them) to focus a deliberate and intentional effort to strengthen a loving and caring marriage relationship. The course deals with the dilemma of how to do this in the midst of your crisis.

https://marriagefitness.com/
:

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Hey @KMac appreciate your feedback back…from what I have gathered it seems like they both are willing up until the engagement of conversation because everything is stemming from their differences in thoughts thus causing very liw agreements to come to oneness or even being on the sane page. The husband says his biggest hardship is how is he supposed to be husband father if he isnt heard on issues that he’s seeing in the home…for example he said that typically the husband or father isnt present in the home as he should here in his unique situation his wife isnt present there. So with a 14yr old daughter & 10yr old son she the mother is constantly working on something & on her phone even to the point of bringing it to bed. So when the husband has said his thoughts & feelings on these what to him seems as basic 101 of relationship matters he’s ran into some serious conflicts…he says hes concerned if the relationship would last with no strong closeness with his wife on these issues. He’s struggling with coparenting because his wife often disagrees or if he addresses disobeying for example with either children the mother underminds his decision…Its a Obvious tough experience. I’m praying for all of them & I think thats why he was wondering should he just give up on being the “lead point person” in the home on which is what he was taught to be…& of course from a spiritual perspective not a male Chauvinist view… your reply is helpful it seems I’ll definitely pass this on.

@timotto God Bless, I will pass this on to the couple. Prayerfully they are both seriously willing to do the work as KMac mentioned & Obviously seeing the need to really address the area you highlighted. To the both of you Thank you & please partner with me in prayer for them that more than anything God’s will be manifested here for the family.
Thanks
QB

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Will do.
FYI the Marriage Fitness course material also speaks to the situation where only one spouse is willing to try… they call this version their “Lone Ranger Tract”.

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I’ve been married for 19 years now, and I look back at the one thing my wife did early in our marriage;
she told my mum and dad in law how good I was at things; even though I knew quietly that some of the things she said were a little exaggerated;
I felt very affirmed and respected and this made me want to do more, to grow more into the role of being a husband; and in particular I wanted to love my wife more and cherish her… Looking back I think this was one of they key factors that really set a strong foundation. I think women in the marriage have a lot power; to build up the husband so he will want be more of a man; or to tear him down so the marriage becomes less stable. Do we have our ups and downs; of course. Do we have disagreements about things; absolutely.

I also wanted a strong marriage too; and did my best to show love. I’ve read a number of books on marriage and raising kids; and probably the most helpful ones for me were the ‘5 love languages’ from Gary Chapman; if we are trying to communicate to each other, but using the wrong ‘love language’ to communicate then the message can be lost. This goes for kids too. I also learnt that kids that have full ‘love tanks’ tend to feel secure and understand that discipline and loving boundaries are for their own good. We only have one daughter of 16 so I’m always careful not to advise others who have multiple kids as I have no experience whatsoever in that area.

The other two books that I think are quite good are ‘For Men Only’, and ‘For Women Only’ by Shaunti Feldhahn and Jeff Feldhahn. Maybe your friend and his wife and read the books together and say ‘yeah that’s me’ or no that’s not me.?

in relation to your question 1;
I’ve heard a pastor say about the passage in Ephesians 5 (husbands love, wives submit), that husbands need to go read the passage addressed to them, and wives their own.

The passage does not say ‘husbands because you are boss of the home, take it upon yourselves to make sure that your wives submit’… it says ‘he that loves his wife loves his own body’…

Please don’t read this as if I have it together, I’m like most guys dealing with a stressful day at work and coming home hungry and tired (hangry :slight_smile:) , complicated family relationships, worried that my teen daughter will follow Jesus and grow to maturity (picking the battles on things that count and not sweating the small stuff), and trying to balance the family budget and teach daughter how to be good steward of money and not serve it etc etc, trying to understand my wife (complicated!!, but amazing woman).

Christ loved us while we were sinners, and we can see that sacrificial love on the cross. We (Christians) are the bride of Christ that responds and submits to his authority.

I just do wonder if men had the ‘love your wives’ bit together or at least working towards it, would not wives feel more secure, protected and cherished ( like Christ cherished the church and gave himself for it) - and would have less of a problem with the submission part because they can see they are of equal value and position within the marriage…

another 2 good resources with lots of free articles I’ve found useful is https://fiercemarriage.com/ and https://www.focusonthefamily.com/

In thinking of relationships as a house; are we building it stronger each day; are we neglecting it and not ‘clearing away the cobwebs and weeds’; or are we actually tearing it down…

hoping that your friend and his wife can ‘wind the clock back’ and reflect on why they loved each other at the beginning; and start to build the relationship together.

just some thoughts; hopefully some might be helpful…

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@matthew.western man!!! As the other 2 bro & sis in the Lord… it is indeed q blessing to have followers of Christ to help in the time of need & being the hands & feet of Christ. I will pass this on as well & thank you again bro.
QB

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I shared the info with our bro… he seemed a lil encouraged but it is obvious that this experience is wearing on him… He ask this question point blank… what does it mean when you attempt to Express yourself & immediately its shut down or disregarded?.. again Im reaching out for assistance in how to & what to reply

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Such a complex question. Even the terms you’ve used are a lot to think about.

‘shutting down’ might mean

  • stopping to think about things
  • not wanting to further inflame a situation
  • unable to process complex thoughts and emotions as fast as another person (especially in the heat of the moment)
  • stonewalling
  • unable to deal with previous grief

‘disregarded’ might mean

  • a previous pattern is showing itself
  • not thinking that this particular thing is important right at this moment
  • lack of respect or a lack of trust

then asking ‘what does it mean’ is almost impossible to answer as this would probably be on the level of marriage counselling, or as Kathleen says, mediated communication if needed. The root cause of any of these things are so incredibly complex and far-reaching back into each person’s history and personality. I don’t think it’s wise to even try to unravel on a forum.

Just from the man’s perspective, here’s a sample from the ‘For Men Only’ book; enough to encourage (without violating copyright). More sample of book at https://books.google.com.au/books?id=FDGTXATbjHIC&pg=PA9&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=3#v=onepage&q&f=false

Think of the deals you’ve struck in your life. Your first car. Your first real job. Your first house. You saw what you wanted, did what you had to do to get it—and you came home with a done deal. No deal compares to winning a wife, though. You pursued her with all the courage, creativity, and resources you could muster. Then, one day, you closed the deal. Your wedding day was the day you proved your love to the world and to her. Divorce stats to the contrary, I’d bet that—since you’re reading this book—your marriage feels like the most obviously closed deal in your whole life. Right? Well, not exactly. As we’ll explain in this chapter, it just feels closed for you. No, your wife isn’t still out looking for suitors. But in an unusual and powerful way that married men don’t really understand, your wife doesn’t feel permanently loved once the marriage papers are signed. She may have a subconscious question about your love. She may know you love her, but there will be times when her feelings will need to be convinced and reassured. Sometimes over and over again.

It’s no surprise that a woman needs to feel loved. What is a surprise is how easy it is for her to not feel loved. It turns out that buried inside most women—even those in great relationships—is a latent insecurity about whether their man really loves them and even whether they are truly lovable. In our research, women described it as a subconscious question: Would he choose me all over again? This sense of vulnerability may usually be under the surface of their minds, but when it is triggered, most women start worrying about whether the relationship is okay and show signs of distress until the concern is resolved. You can read “show signs of distress” as “drive their man nuts” if you want.

Fact is, you’re going to see (as I did) that many of the things that perplex and even anger us about our wife or girlfriend are signals that she is feeling insecure about our love or the relationship. Have you ever wondered why she:

  • asks, “Do you love me?” even though you’ve done nothing to indicate you’ve changed your mind about loving her? (In fact, you said “I love you” this morning on your way out the door!)
  • takes your need for space or “cave” time as an indication that you’re upset with her and trying to get away from her?
  • wants to talk, talk, talk about your relationship—especially at the times you least want to?
  • seems to turn critical or angry with you for no reason you can figure?
  • gets crabby or emotional and seems to push you away—but then gets even more unhappy when you stay away?
  • gets upset or wants to punish you for spending time with the guys or doing other things away from her?

If you’re like me, you react to these seemingly unrelated behaviors with confusion and frustration—or worse. If it happens a lot, you may get angry back or you may withdraw and just try to endure, hoping things will someday change. Or you may become convinced that you’ll never know what she wants and could never please her if you did.

But our research for For Men Only persuaded me that all of those behaviors are related and many are easy to resolve. Once you’re clued in, you’ll see those “drive you nuts” behaviors as red warning lights signaling a breach in your wife’s confidence about whether you really love her. In fact, the more extreme the behavior, the more serious her doubt. I know it sounds crazy that your wife might ever wonder whether you love her, especially when things are going fine. But as it turns out, your “I do” actually didn’t bring permanent emotional closure, forever putting her mind to rest about your feelings for her. It doesn’t erase the insecurity about your love that lives under the surface in even the most happily married woman—an insecurity that, when triggered, becomes a deeply felt uncertainty: “Do you still love me? Are we okay?” Now, you might be thinking, Surely this doesn’t apply to my wife! She knows I

love her! Yes, she probably does. But we’re not talking about what she knows logically but rather about the feeling that rises up when something triggers it. And it turns out that understanding and knowing how to address this one thing functions as a kind of “open sesame” that brings a man a lot more peace and pleasure at home.

  1. During Conflict, Reassure Her of Your Love

If you’re like most guys, when you’re in the middle of a conflict, you need time alone to process things. Most women we heard from react exactly the opposite—only 9 percent wanted to handle their feelings of insecurity alone. The problem, of course, is that your pulling away to get space pushes her “Does he love me?” turmoil through the roof. If you need to get space, reassure her of your love first. This is the magic bullet that almost every woman told us would make all the difference: if their man would say something like “I’m angry right now, and I need some space, but I want you to know: we’re okay.” On the survey, a whopping 95 percent of women said that this one step on our part would diminish or even eliminate the emotional turmoil on their part!

Chances are, in the midst of conflict, your woman is feeling unloved (even unlovable) and needs you to look her in the eye and tell her that you love her and you’re not going anywhere. Yes, this can be difficult. It’s one thing for us to give reassurances when things are peachy, but it’s quite another when we’re at odds with each other and we’d rather stomp out to the garage and split a block of wood with our bare hands. But the survey also showed that 86 percent of women said that, bolstered by our “I want you to know that we’re okay” reassurance, they’d be better able to give us the space we need. (Do you see the possibilities? Reassure her of your love, then stomp out to the garage!) Why? Because we’ve reassured them on the original question: “Does he still love me?”

There is one final step to making this magic bullet really work. After you’ve had your space for a while, you have to come back and be willing to address the original issue without making her bring it up. Easy? No. Effective? You bet. Because, as one woman said, “The fact that he comes back often matters more than the reason for the conflict in the first place.”

This advise below alone has made a huge difference for me; even when things are all going wrong especially with relationships, don’t try and fix it; just listen and hug and say nothing and just ‘be there’. Listening is actually fixing things.

  1. If She’s Upset, Realize That She Doesn’t Need Space—She Needs a Hug

When our wife or girlfriend is upset, we do what we would do with other guys:
we give her space to work things out. But with few exceptions, when women are upset, they don’t want space; they want a hug. I think this next comment is one of the most valuable “just do this” quotes in the book:

“All I want is him to know that half the time I’m just as confused as he is. Instead of getting upset and leaving me alone to “calm down,” I just want him to come close and give me a huge hug and let me know he loves me and he wants me to feel better again.*”

When I shared this comment at a marriage conference, one man shouted out in a joking way (sort of), “You mean hug the porcupine?!” All the men laughed and then looked astonished when all the women shouted “Yes!” and started clapping. Here’s how one woman tried to explain it to the men:

“We don’t see ourselves as being that intimidating or ‘prickly’ when we are upset, but I guess we are. If he would just move toward me rather than away—if he would just take a deep breath and hug me instead of retreating—he’d see those porcupine quills melt.”

Feldhahn, Shaunti. For Men Only, Revised and Updated Edition. The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Both of those books are well worth buying, the ‘For Women Only’ is equally as helpful; focusing on what men need (respect, and affirmation so they can go and conquer the world for their lady). It also explains Why men retreat during times of emotional discussion; different wiring of men’s brains. Preview of book here.
https://books.google.com.au/books?id=SEwbSC99jKgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=for+women+only&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiVv4qg1_flAhWTbn0KHd_TDDsQ6AEIKjAA#v=onepage&q=for%20women%20only&f=false

I hope this is encouraging; i don’t think it’s possible to give an in depth answer to this question on a forum… thinking of your friend and his wife.:pray::pray:

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Hello again, @QBulla!

Ugh, my heart goes out to your friend in his frustration. I agree with @matthew.western – the issues he’s dealing with here are most likely many and deep. I’d be curious in what way he feels shut down/disregarded when he attempts to express himself to his wife.

And what is he trying to express to/communicate with her? Because it could be the case that she’s shutting down the message, but unwillingly (or perhaps willingly ) ‘killing’ the messenger at the same time. A lot would depend on what she is actually hearing when he speaks.

Although I have a good bit of pushback against the excerpt Matt posted above (:smirk:) , I believe there is some truth in the idea that women (along with men) need their spouse to engage with (i.e not be afraid of and love them in) their chaos – not run from it, turn their back on it, or dismiss it. And this situation seems rather chaotic and filled with tension for all involved.

I’ve just re-read your first response to me from earlier in the week, and it sounds like they will have to reach some compromises. Expectations (esp. regarding spousal roles, relationship to work, and co-parenting) need to be addressed. Most importantly, I believe, feelings of hurt, disappointment, rejection, disrespect, etc. will need to be explored together.

Am I correct in understanding that he’s the stepfather in this situation? That adds another layer of negotiation. If they haven’t been married long, then he could be considered an ‘intruder’ in the parenting space.

They could try to work it out themselves, but they would have to be quite determined to do so. That’s why I mentioned a mediated conversation…someone they both trust, who could function as an outside observer/voice, could be a huge help.

Continuing to pray that you, Quincy, would be a life-giving presence for your friend. I pray for your conversations with him!

PS, as an alternative to the For Men Only perspective above, I give you Ed Welch from CCEF in Philadelphia. The article is entitled, ‘Men on Conversation Overload’. :smile:

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Hi @KMac, sorry to give a one-sided perspective only;

I liked the article; as it hit the nail on the head about ‘conversation overload’ :slight_smile: . It’s spot on about how ladies and men process things differently; I know personally I don’t (unsure if I don’t like to, or if it’s even possible :slight_smile: ) talk through my feelings in the heat of the moment, I process them internally and the implications of actions and follow all the possible ‘paths’ and results of my future actions. When I have finishing thinking about it, and a decision is made, I ‘shut the box’ on that area of life and move on to the next thing. Very compartmentalised. :slight_smile:

It’s amazing how different God has made men and ladies! I don’t pretend to even begin to understand how complex my wife is, but can only try and be what God called husbands to be. Ephesians 5 also doesn’t say ‘men, analyse and figure out your wifes brain, and make some sort of value judgements about how it works like a science experiment’. major fail!! it says LOVE your wife as Christ loved the church; and my wife reminds of this sometimes when I get too analytical… I love marriage and wish everyone could have a happy marriage.

anyway, hopefully to restore some balance to my original post, here is the flipside from the ‘for women only’ book, especially about when men ‘check out’ of conversations (which I would have thought seems much more common??)… hopefully helpful…

A few years after the original edition of this book was released, I was at my desk working when the phone rang. It was a dear friend in another city, seven months pregnant with her second child, in tears after an argument with her husband. Each of them had hurt the other’s feelings, and when the conflict escalated, her husband had quietly left the house and driven away. “I can’t handle this anymore—he’s done this several times,” she sobbed. “How can he do this to me? He must not love me very much.”

One thing about writing these books about the inner lives of men is that I sometimes find myself very able to see things from the guy’s point of view—and it’s not always comfortable. Feeling like a traitor, I asked my friend, “Um, when you and he had your first big conflict, did he end up leaving the room?” I could hear the sniffles on the other end of the line. “Yes. Can you believe that? I told him exactly how he made me feel, and instead of talking about it, he wanted to walk away! I know he was upset with me too, but he wouldn’t even explain why!” “Uh … and did you follow him and continue to ask him questions about what he was thinking?” “Yes! But he wouldn’t answer me. He said he didn’t want to talk yet. He just seemed to shut down—like he didn’t even care that he hurt my feelings.” I told her that I was pretty sure why he had left the house and that it had nothing to do with him not caring. She listened in surprise as I shared my guess that he had probably left because he cared about her but couldn’t figure out how to respond in the moment. Her emotions had probably flustered him. Then he probably got angry that he was flustered and couldn’t think clearly. And then, I suggested, he most likely felt he couldn’t risk saying or doing anything for fear of hurting her even more. All he could do was escape. The next day she told me that when her husband had returned, he had explained it in almost that exact way—and she realized he had tried to get the point across plenty of times before, but she had never really understood what he was saying. Much to my friend’s surprise, I laughed. “Join the club!”

What I didn’t see before.
My husband is a thoughtful guy, but in the first half of our marriage, I often found myself completely baffled or hurt during a conflict by how Jeff communicated with me. Or didn’t. A typical scenario might have gone something like this: We’d stumble into a disagreement or misunderstanding. We’d each try to make—and win—our point. Temperatures would rise. Soon I’d feel hurt (he would too). But more than anything, I’d feel a huge need to talk things out. Right then, though, Jeff would want to step away. But why? We’d both been told in premarital counseling how dangerous it was to not communicate when there was conflict! My reaction would be to pursue him. Upset, I’d follow him down the hallway, asking him something like, “Well, what do you think about what I just said? Don’t leave before we’ve worked this out! At least tell me what you’re feeling!” But instead of talking, he would head downstairs, face tight, aiming for the solace of his home office. “I don’t know what I’m thinking, and I just can’t talk about it,” he’d say and disappear, leaving me shattered that my usually loving husband suddenly didn’t care enough to engage on such an important issue. Any of that sound familiar? As our research continued, Jeff and I realized that a big truth was hiding underneath the stormy surface of these conflicts. A truth that applies not just to conflict but to all areas of verbal communication—and can dramatically reduce how often conflict happens in the first place. You see, caring husbands or boyfriends want to communicate with the women they love. But how they need to go about it is likely to be very different from the way you or I automatically prefer. Understanding that difference offers great promise for our relationships, and that difference is what this chapter—new for this edition—is all about.

We’ve all heard comments similar to these from a husband, boyfriend, or son:

  • (frustrated) “I don’t know what I’m thinking right now!”
  • (wearily) “I just need a few minutes to decompress before you hit me with your day.”
  • (angrily) “I figured it out already, okay!”
  • (pleading) “Can we please talk about this later?”
  • (in front of the television) “Sorry, honey … Did you say something?”

No matter how they strike us at the time, these are not necessarily signals of a lack of care or a lack of desire to address important issues. More than likely, they are signals of one of four significant differences in the way men seem to process and talk about thoughts and emotions—differences largely related to the wiring of the male brain.

Processing Difference 1: Men Often Have to Think Something Through Before They Can Talk It Through
Women tend to be verbal processors—we usually think something through by talking it through. We have lots of connections between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, allowing us to do fast, surface-level processing—and talk about—many thoughts and feelings at the same time. For example, if I need to figure out how to handle an upsetting situation with the kids, thinking out loud and talking it through with someone helps me deepen and clarify my thoughts. As I circle through the options (probably several times), I get more and more clarity. I also feel better because I have talked through—and thus processed—all those feelings. For most men, however, that process can be bewildering—and is certainly the polar opposite of their own. Men tend to be internal processors. In most cases (although not all), it is actively difficult for a man to think something through by talking it through. He can choose to do so, but the more important or emotionally demanding the issue, the more difficult that becomes. A man’s brain is wired to process one thing at a time, going deep within each one, rather than having all the interhemisphere connections that easily juggle many functions at once. So he’s more inclined to (a) talk about something, or (b) think about it, or © feel something about it. His brain will tackle each task deeply over a period of time, but it won’t easily do any of them together. (That is, if it is something requiring any thought. Rhapsodizing on his team’s last-second win doesn’t count.)

In practice, then, if someone (ahem) presses your husband, son, or boyfriend to talk, that makes it harder for him to think things through. If feelings are swirling around, he’ll struggle even more. That’s why many men have learned that it usually works far better to get some distance to think about something first. Let’s say he’s wondering how to handle a tricky situation with the kids. Here’s how guys have described it to me: He will think through each option deeply, finish that thought, with all its implications, and then move on to the next one. Then, perhaps, he’ll move on to exploring his feelings about the matter. Only when he has processed the issue internally will his brain be able to move on to the next item in line, which is being able to talk about it. And only then will he feel capable of the type of robust and multilayered discussion that is likely to occur when he finally does talk with his mate.

I often was skeptical of Jeff’s heat-of-the-moment comments such as, “I don’t know what I’m thinking” and “I don’t know what I’m feeling.” How can you not know what you’re thinking or feeling? I would wonder. But now I realize that he was essentially saying, “I don’t know what I’m thinking or feeling yet—but I will once I process it for a while.” The truth of this was clear on the second national survey. I asked the men what happened when they’d had a tiff and their wives wanted to talk about it and they didn’t. Less than a third said it was because they were simply mad and didn’t want to talk. Instead, more than seven out of ten gave answers that fell into the category of needing the space to process it and figure out a solution before they could talk coherently, or so they didn’t say something in anger that they’d regret later.

Thinking to Talk? Or Just to Think?
Now, it is important to note another piece of this truth: if a man is going to actually talk about something important, he has to know he’s going to talk about it, so he can include that in his processing. As one young man told me,

" I can think something through deeply, in order to decide on the right course of action, and still not be able to articulate it. I can have done the entire internal chess match in my head, and have thought through all the variables, but if I didn’t think about needing to explain them, I am sometimes totally stumped when my girlfriend asks, “Why?” It’s like I did the math problem in my head, not on paper, so I can’t show her the steps—even though I actually did do them."

He went on to say that he’s fine as long as he knows ahead of time that he’ll need to explain why: it simply means that “part of my thinking has to include how to do that.”

Feldhahn, Shaunti. For Women Only, Revised and Updated Edition (p. 79). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

(book continues with other processing differences…)

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Thanks my brother @matthew.western

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Thank you sis @KMac

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@QBulla Praying for these precious people loved by our Lord who are struggling to communicate :slight_smile: @KMac and @matthew.western offered some great thoughts! There was one thing you said that I thought may point to a potential reason that their conversations end before they start.

You said:

When you say differences in thoughts do you mean that they disagree about the role of the husband / wife in the house? Or do they have other issues about which they have strong disagreements?

If the wife feels that the husband is trying to force his perspective on her (even if that is not the case) that could explain her defensive response. If that is the case, I do not think the husband should begin with Biblical teaching about his role in the home, but rather by loving her in every way possible while praying together with her each day until he has rebuilt trust in the marriage. I realize this may require some sacrifice and patience on his part, but I think that without her trust and an outpouring of sacrificial love it will be hard to overcome these differences. And it could take some patient endurance on his part over months to build that solid foundation of trust that is necessary to safely work through differences. Though I may be misunderstanding the situation.

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Quincy,

Stormie Omartian has written a wildly popular serious titled The Power of a Praying Wife and The Power of a Praying Husband. Combined, well over 2 million copies sold and many have found them helpful. One of the foundational elements to both is that prayer can be so powerful that even if only one partner prays, the results can be incredible. For me, what I found is that I was changed by reading it as it caused me to consider my wife differently and to pray for her more expansively.

Finding middle ground might be facilitated by an active spouse to spouse prayer life and maybe this can be a good resource for each of them.

Kevin

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Thanks @kumquat my brother. I’ll share this info God Bless you and yours

@SeanO hey bro. As with everyone who has given insight & resource links, I’ll definitely pass this info along. Much appreciated. To answer your question the best I can…The husband says he feels like the wife rejects his views on parenting issues that arise, financial decisions, & the basic day to day living & having to do life together. He says that if he ask any questions about why this or that is done (saying he’s trying to understand) because she makes allot of decisions without him…so him asking questions he gets backlash, if he’s asked questions & shares his thoughts he gets backlash. It seems like he’s backed in a corner… like she doesn’t respect him or something neither does the children… he says its obvious that they attempt to pit him. So he’s saying if he doesn’t say anything or share his thoughts on things trying to avoid any arguments or addressing the children he’s accused of leaving everything up to her to decided & figure out & deal with. But when he does its like he is punished for his view or response to situation that need to be addressed… he is frustrated & hurting because he strongly feels like he’s being abused & not heard. Ive sked him does she feel like you’re trying to control her or does she understand the roles of marriage… he said he asked her literally do she think or feel like he’s trying to control her…he says she says no & asked again for reassurance & she says she doesn’t feel or think that. He said he asked her does she understand the roles in marriage & what was her ideal of marriage & parenting… he says she says she dont know & don’t have any ideals. He says he asked is she bitter for anything that he has done or haven’t again he says she says no… so now he has told her a few times thats its hard to believe that he’s not doing anything wrong based off how she is reacting. It seems like a vicious pickle of a situation…Thoughts?

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Hey @KMac yes hes the stepfather & he says thats a heavy dilemma, he said he has initiated several outside sources & he said they’ve went to them…each said pretty much that they will have to have the hard uncomfortable conversations. Then he says thats where the heated arguments come in. He says he feels like his wife doesn’t want to deal with the issues & he is saying she not taking responsibility for her actions & very lil asking for forgiveness of any hurts caused & doesn’t accept his asking for forgiveness whether he’s right or wrong. He feels like his wife is a runner for sure, he says he retreats when he gets heated because he doesn’t want to continue in the heated out of control conversation & he says he be hurt when hes engaged in that… I am not sure if I am helping at all… but I am concerned about them…

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@QBulla Yes, that must be very difficult for them both. Have they attended counseling? If she really does not feel injured by him in any way, she may not be aware of her own actions and may be acting the way she does as a result of her family of origin, personal hurts from the past, or any number of other causes. Or there may be something in the relationship I am not aware of that makes her hesitant to voice her actual concerns. I think that they need someone to help them identify the root causes of the miscommunication and address them. Just telling them to communicate more will probably not solve the problem if those root causes are not addressed. Praying for wisdom :slight_smile:

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