Relationships and Marriage

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Submission of Wives to Husbands

What does the Bible really mean when it instructs wives to submit to their husbands? As a capable and independent woman, who is also a new Christian, I was disturbed to hear about this biblical admonition. I've asked others at my church about it in order to try and get some clarification, and have heard a wide range of opinions, including the idea that it's not relevant for believers and married couples today. What are your thoughts?

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Concerns About Husband's Old College Buddies

I have some serious reservations about the friends my husband keeps in touch with from his college days. Some of these guys are married and some aren't. They plan frequent "boys' weekends," and they also organize a lot of parties for special occasions. What concerns me is what goes on at these events. On a trip last year, one of them invited a woman to spend the night with him in the hotel room they were all sharing. Another time, one friend got drunk and was arrested for unruly behavior. My husband argues that there's nothing wrong with married couples having separate getaways. But I'm not comfortable with this, and it has led to some serious trust issues in our marriage. What do you think?

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Pedophilia in Marriage

What should I do after having just discovered that my husband has been sexually abusing our six-year-old niece? I won't go into details, but I do have solid evidence that he's been engaging in unspeakable acts with this sweet, innocent child. He isn't aware that I know about this yet, and I'm ashamed to say that I feel tempted to look the other way. Yes, I'm angry, but I'm also terribly afraid. I know I need to do something to protect my niece, but I fear that if this comes to light everything in my life will be destroyed, including my marriage. Not only will I lose my husband, but I'm scared that family and friends will regard both of us as outcasts from this point forward. Should I report him? If so, how do I go about it? Under the circumstances, do you think there's any possibility that our marriage can be saved?

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Fatherless Child Seeking Assistance

Can you help me deal with the pain of being abandoned by my father? He left the family when I was young. Now that I'm getting older and really need his input, he's not here for me. What should I do?

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Hereditary Defects and Marriage

Should I go ahead with my plans to get married after learning that I am a carrier of a serious genetic disease? The doctor just told me about this, and my fiancé is still unaware of the situation. Is this something we need to take into consideration before going forward? If so, what's the best way to raise the subject?

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Dad Wants to Help Stay-at-Home Mom

What can I do to help shoulder the burden my wife carries as a stay-at-home mother of two small children? I know it can be stressful attending to the needs of little kids all day long, and I'd like some practical ways to lighten her load. Any suggestions?

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Dealing with an Irresponsible Spouse

What can I do about my spouse's disorganized and scatter-brained behavior? He's extremely irresponsible, and it's making my life impossible. Not only does he misplace things around the house (bills, important personal documents, etc.), but he travels regularly as part of his job, and we're constantly having to replace expensive electronic devices - cell phones, laptops - that he loses on the road. It's costing us a small fortune and driving me crazy! When I try to discuss the problem with him, he gets defensive and says, "You lose lots of things too!" Any suggestions?

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Encouragement for Caregiver of an Elderly Spouse

Do you have any advice regarding the care of an aging spouse with serious health challenges? My husband and I are both getting on in years. I'm still healthy, but he isn't. As a result, I've become his caregiver, and we've lost a lot of our social life. Other couples our age are still able to do things that we no longer can. I'm not complaining, but sometimes the burden gets very heavy. Can you offer me any encouragement?

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Husband Concerned about Wife's Postpartum Depression

Is it normal for a woman to feel emotionally low and exhausted in the weeks after giving birth? The birth of our child was one of the highlights of our married life, but now my wife is frequently depressed. She doesn't communicate with me and resists any romantic advances on my part. All of this is taking a serious toll on our marriage. Is her behavior normal? What can I do about it?

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Interracial/Intercultural Marriage

Can a man and a woman who come from different racial or ethnic backgrounds have a successful marriage? Can you point out any good reasons why they shouldn't try to build a life together?

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Managing Military Separations and Homecomings

How am I supposed to handle the sudden role-changes that accompany my military spouse's comings and goings? He is a wonderful husband and father, but we're often apart for long periods of time. When he's deployed, I have to take care of all aspects of our family's life; when he returns, he takes the upper hand in certain areas. I want to defer to his leadership, but shifting gears is hard for me. How can I do a better job of transitioning?

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Husband Feels That Wife Doesn't like His Friends

What can I do about my wife's obvious distaste for my old bachelor buddies? We're still newlyweds, and we have a great relationship - all except for the fact that she doesn't get along with my friends. This has often led to arguments and tension between us. Is there a way to solve this problem?

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Overcoming the Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse on Marriage

How can I prevent memories of childhood sexual trauma from having a negative impact on my relationship with my spouse? I was abused a long time ago and though it wasn't easy, I've forgiven the people who violated me. But after twelve years of marriage I still can't enjoy sex with my husband without feeling guilty. Is there any hope for me?

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Husband Still Struggling after Wife's Affair

How can we move forward in our marriage after going through a crisis of infidelity? A year and a half ago, I committed adultery. My spouse says he forgives me, but it's obvious that he still has a lot of anger. I'm doing everything I can to show him that I love him and that I'm repentant. I've asked God to forgive me, and I believe He has, but I want to feel that my spouse forgives me too. What can I do to help him stop dwelling on the past?

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Fallout of an Affair: Low Self-Esteem and Forgiveness Issues

Could my feelings of inferiority have anything to do with an inability to forgive my husband for being unfaithful with a close friend of mine? The affair happened a year ago, but we've since reconciled and our marriage is on track to become something much better than it has ever been before. In spite of this, I still struggle with a sense of low self-esteem. Is there some kind of connection here?

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In-Law Conflicts: Favoritism

How should I respond when my mother-in-law continually shows partiality by giving preference to my husband's sister and her family? When I called about visiting on Mother's Day, I was told to come the day after since she had already made plans with her daughter. More recently when I asked about Thanksgiving, she said that she "would have to let me know" after finding out what was going on with her daughter's family. I deeply resent the fact that our family doesn't get equal recognition and I'm tired of making plans around my sister-in-law. What do you think we should do?

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Doesn't Like to Talk with Spouse and Kids

Is it wrong of me – especially in a family setting – to keep silent when others want me to converse? I'm an introverted person, and there are times when I just don't feel like talking. My spouse understands, but my kids get upset. Can't I just be quiet if I want to?

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Married Couple Can't Agree on Charitable Giving

How can my wife and I agree on how much money we should be donating to our church? She thinks tithing is just a "starting point" - that dedicated Christians should make it their goal to give more than ten percent! I have no problem with giving when we have enough to spare, but I don't see any reason to get legalistic about it, and I certainly don't believe we should place our own family at financial risk. What do you think?

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Mom's Fiancé Doesn't Understand Toddler

Now that I've found the man I want to marry, how can I help him connect with my three-year-old daughter? He loves her and is genuinely excited about becoming a dad to her (she's never had a relationship with her biological father). The problem is that he doesn't understand what toddlers are like, never having had any children of his own. He seems to think that because my daughter can say a couple of sentences and answer simple questions that she should be more responsible than she is. If she cries or whines, he gets upset with her. Since he wasn't around to watch her grow from birth to age three, it's hard for me to explain this stage of her development and maturity in terms he can grasp. Any advice?

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Becoming a Successful Blended Family

As a recently remarried stepparent, what can I do to make the transition to blended family life as smooth as possible for my children, my spouse's kids, and everyone else concerned?

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Wife Critical of Husband's Children in Blended Family

My current wife is biased against my children from my first marriage. We have four kids altogether - two from my first marriage and two from this one - but she clearly favors her own. At first she seemed to accept the older kids, but lately her attitude towards them has become unfairly critical and overbearing. Does this kind of thing happen often in blended families? What can I do about it?

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Husband Can't Forgive Wife

How can I get beyond my spouse's critical attitude and forget about the many cruel things she's said to me in the past? After several years of marriage, I've come to point where I just can't take it anymore. I don't believe in divorce, so we're sleeping in separate rooms and living separate lives under the same roof. Now she wants me to forgive her so that we can move forward in our marriage, but from my perspective it's not quite that easy. Her cutting words still burn in my memory, and I'm not ready to become vulnerable again. What should I do?

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Critical Wife Seeking Husband's Forgiveness

How can I get my husband to forgive me for being so harsh with him in the past? I know I've been overly critical of him, and as a result we're now we're sleeping in separate rooms and living separate lives under the same roof. Can you help us turn this situation around and move forward in our marriage?

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Couple at Odds about Having Kids

How can my spouse and I resolve our disagreement about starting a family? I'm anxious to be a mother, but he says he isn't ready to have children yet. My biological clock is ticking away, and the tension between us is growing. What should I do?

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