Relationships and Marriage

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Use of Contraceptives in Marriage

What is your opinion on the use of birth control? We're a newly married young couple trying to make up our minds about the best way to approach contraception, but we're getting mixed messages from our friends, family members, and physicians. One Christian couple we know believes that birth control of any kind is against God's will. We're not sure what to think.

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Cohabiting Boyfriend Is Negligent and Abusive

Do you have any answers for someone who's stuck in a destructive relationship? I just had a baby with my boyfriend of six years. We've always had problems, but things took a turn for the worse when we moved in together a year and a half ago. Our plan was to share rent and other expenses, but I've ended up doing everything myself. I wanted out a long time ago, but when I got pregnant I thought I should give it another shot so that our child would have a family. We're still together, but things are horrible. He's become emotionally abusive and has even smacked me twice. I'm honestly afraid to leave our son with him. He says that if I leave him, he won't pay child support. I have no family to fall back on. What should I do?

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Protecting Yourself and Your Marriage from Social Media Domination

How can I guard against the danger of online social networking taking up too much of my time and negatively impacting my marriage? When I first started using sites like Facebook I thought they were a great way to keep in touch with family and friends. But now it seems we're on the verge of allowing this kind of activity to rule our lives. Any advice?

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Using Social Media to Strengthen Your Marriage

Can you suggest ways my spouse and I might use social media to encourage one another and strengthen our marriage?

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Protecting Your Marriage from Social Media Pitfalls

What are some of the common dangers of social media and what can my spouse and I do to safeguard our marriage against them? Are there any tools available that can help provide accountability and safeguards

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Social Media Red Flags for Married Couples

Can you offer any guidelines as to how much social media communication is appropriate for married persons when it involves individuals of the opposite sex? Are there any signs that might indicate when an online relationship is in danger of crossing the line of impropriety?

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Social Media: Signs of Negative Impact on Marriage

How can I tell if my involvement with social media-Facebook, Twitter, etc.-is detrimental to my marriage? I don't think this is the case at present, but I don't want to be taken by surprise either. Do you have any words of wisdom for me?

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Messaging Opposite-Sex Friends on Social Media

As a married person, is it okay to chat online or send private messages to Facebook members of the opposite sex?

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Spouse Is Receiving Flirty Messages on Facebook

How should I respond if my spouse receives inappropriate and flirtatious messages via social media? I ran across something like this on her page the other day and it's been bothering me ever since. What can I do about it

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Venting about Marriage on Social Media

Is there anything wrong with seeking support from my Facebook friends when I need to let off steam about my marriage? Sometimes I get frustrated and upset with my spouse, and at those times I feel like I need to express my feelings to someone who cares and understands. Do you think this is a healthy way to handle these emotions?

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"Friend" Requests from Old Flames on Social Media

Should I accept a Facebook "friend" request from a former boyfriend? He has indicated an interest in connecting with me via social media. I'm very much in love with and committed to my husband, so I feel sure that this will not pose a threat to our marriage relationship. What do you think?

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"Friending" an Old Flame on Social Media

Is it okay to connect with former lovers on Facebook? While browsing around online I ran across an old boyfriend from my high school and college days. It's been years since we've been in touch and I'm curious to know what he's been up to. I'm very much in love with my husband and our relationship is strong, so I don't see this as a threat to my marriage. Any advice?

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Social Media Accounts and Passwords: Best Practices for Married Couples

Do you think it's okay for spouses to have separate social media accounts with separate passwords? My husband does. He thinks it's important for couples to trust one another and respect each other's privacy. I, on the other hand, see some potential pitfalls here. I believe the health of any marriage depends upon openness, honesty, and accountability. What would you suggest?

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Married Daughter Is Disrespectful to Husband

What can I do about an adult child who mistreats her spouse? Our daughter is married to a good, kind, giving man. We love them both very much, but most of the time my daughter is disrespectful and mean to her husband. He's passive and just takes it from her. It pains me to see her constantly treat him this way in front of us, their children, and other people. I want to speak with my daughter about her behavior, but my husband feels like I would be overstepping my bounds. Our entire extended family is aware of and upset by this, and the situation is only getting worse. What should we do?

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Sibling Won't Contribute to Financial Support of Aging Parent

How do we deal with a sibling who refuses to participate financially in caring for an elderly parent? My mom is in her late eighties and now needs assisted living care. She has limited income, and her assets are insufficient to cover the cost. My oldest sister and I are going to be tightening our belts in order to help out. Unfortunately, our other sister and her husband say they won't be able to join us due to lack of financial resources. Their response isn't surprising, but it doesn't jibe with reality. They both have good jobs and very healthy incomes. They're in the habit of buying expensive cars and going on extravagant annual vacations. Meanwhile, the two families who are helping out - to the tune of $1,000.00 a month - are doing so willingly but at great sacrifice. It's hard not to feel upset and resentful. What should we do?

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Conflict With Parents Over Wedding Plans

How should we handle a potentially explosive disagreement with my parents over our upcoming wedding? They've expressed strong objections to our serving wine and having dancing at our reception. My fiancé and I are financially independent, and we'd be willing to cover the wedding expenses ourselves. But this wouldn't really solve the problem, since my mother has made it very clear that they will not attend either the wedding or the reception if dancing or alcohol are present. To be honest, these things aren't that important to us. But I'm afraid that if we capitulate she'll be emboldened to try to control us in other ways. What should we do?

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Adult Child Struggling with Parent's Affair and New Partner

My parents recently got divorced because my mom was having an affair. Since then, she's moved in with this other man and plans to marry him within a few weeks. My husband and I live out of state, and it's been very difficult to deal with all of this. My mom is angry with me for not embracing her boyfriend with open arms. She's threatening to boycott family functions unless he is welcomed to take part, but frankly, I don't want to welcome him. I think I'm struggling to work out how I "feel" before I make up my mind how to behave. Does that make sense? What do you think? Should I be more accepting of my mom's decision? Should I readily accept her new husband?

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Christian Calling vs. Family Commitments

As a Christian, how do I sort out the difference between my obligation to family on the one hand and to the work of the gospel on the other? And what's my responsibility to my extended family as compared with my obligation to my immediate, nuclear family? Is there any distinction between the two? My feeling is that many believers are too quick to try to save the rest of the world when what we really need is to become more effective missionaries at home and to create stronger, godlier extended families. What do you think?

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Encouraging Family Fun and Humor

Why do we need to laugh together as a family? I've always felt that this is important, but I've been wondering: does the Bible have anything to say about family fun? What do the experts have to say about this aspect of relationships? How can we use humor to create a more cheerful, upbeat, encouraging, and healthy atmosphere in our home?

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Spouse Has Issues with In-Laws

How should I respond to my spouse's dislike for my parents and siblings? My mom and dad have always enjoyed hosting big get-togethers with the extended family, especially during the holidays, but the conflicts have become so intense that my spouse doesn't even want to go anymore. I'm tired of dealing with all this tension and dissension. Can you suggest a solution?

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Spiritual Leadership in the Home

What does it mean to be the "spiritual head" of a family? Is this primarily a man's responsibility?

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Dealing with Overindulgent Grandparents

How can I encourage my parents to stop spoiling our children? Grandma and Grandpa give my kids whatever they ask for, sometimes in complete disregard of my wishes. I don't want to alienate my parents, but I've got to do something. Any ideas?

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Conflict with In-Laws Who Drop by Unannounced

What can a young couple do about parents who often stop in for a visit unexpectedly? My husband and I are newly married, and my in-laws have a habit of making unannounced visits. We've asked them to call first, but so far nothing has changed. Is there a way to let them know that we need our space and privacy without offending them?

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Confronting a Disrespectful and Controlling Mother-in-Law

How should I respond to my spouse's mother when she expresses disapproval of my parenting style and speaks to me disrespectfully in front of my husband and our children? I've put up with this kind of treatment for years, but I think I've reached my limit. What can I do?

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