Relationships and Marriage

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Woman Wants Husband-to-Be's Relationship With Female Friend to End

How should I respond when my bride-to-be insists that I break off all ties with a lifelong female friend? This friend and I have been close since childhood. We grew up next door to each other. Our relationship, which has always been purely platonic, remains strong in spite of the fact that she's been married for the past five years (she and her husband actually introduced me to my betrothed). Now, with the wedding just a month away, my bride-to-be tells me that this friendship has to end. I realize that my relationship with my female friend must change in some important ways (it already has), but given our history, I can't help feeling that this is an unreasonable request. What do you think?

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Woman Wants Her Lover to Leave His Wife

How can I motivate my lover to stop dragging his feet and leave his wife? I'm eager to start a new life with him, but as long as he's tied to her I'm relegated to playing second fiddle. I know this isn't an easy step for him to take, even though she has treated him like dirt the whole time they've been married. But it's been frustrating and disappointing waiting for him to break free so that we can pursue our own happy lives together. What should I do?

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When and How to Tell Family About Marital Crisis

When should I tell the members of my immediate family – my parents and siblings – that my marriage is on the rocks? My wife and I have been struggling for a long time, and we've recently begun to talk about a possible separation. We're seeing a counselor and we both want the relationship to work, but so far things aren't getting any better. I've purposely kept our difficulties from the rest of the family, feeling that this would be in the best interest of our marriage. But the direction things are moving, I don't know how long I can or should continue to do so.

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Still Can't Sleep in Same Bed With Formerly Unfaithful Spouse

Does the fact that I'm not ready to sleep in the same bed with my husband since learning of his affair mean that I haven't forgiven him? Several months ago I discovered that he had been involved with another woman for more than four years. He's sorry about it now and has cut off the relationship, but for some reason I'm still not at a place where I feel comfortable getting close to him or being intimate with him. He's frustrated by this and says that I obviously haven't forgiven him. He has also suggested that it might be best if he sleeps at a friend's house (of the same sex) until I'm ready to come back to bed with him. What should I do?

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Husband and Stepdad Viewing Child Pornography

How would you advise a woman who has just discovered that her husband is viewing child pornography? I'm very sorry to say that this is my personal situation. I have a young daughter from a previous marriage who lives with us. I love my husband and want our marriage to survive, but at the same time I need to protect my daughter and make sure she remains safe. What should I do?

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Husband Looks at Other Women

Do I have reason to feel hurt and upset when I see my husband turn his head and look at other women? He has always been faithful to and affirming of me. I trust him, and he's the last guy I'd characterize as a womanizer. Still, it bothers me to see him react this way when he's out in public. Am I too sensitive about this?

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Husband Refuses to Work

Is there anything I can do about a husband who simply refuses to get a job and work? We've been married for twelve years, and for the last ten he's stayed home and done nothing all day while I've gone off to work. He contributes nothing to our home and family. It's all "take" and no "give" with him. One of our kids was recently diagnosed with a medical condition that will be costly to treat and my job will no longer cover our expenses. Yet he still plans to maintain the status quo. Do you have any advice for me?

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How to Confess an Affair to Your Spouse

How do I go about telling my wife that I've been unfaithful to her? I recently ended a longtime affair with another woman. After wrestling with my guilt for a long time and confessing my sin before God, I've come to the conclusion that it's best to disclose this information and share the whole story with my spouse. How can I do this in a way that will inflict the least amount of damage?

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Liberating Marital Sex From Disturbing Memories of the Past

Is it possible for a married couple to have a healthy sexual relationship in the present even if they've had troubling experiences with sex in the past? I was sexually abused as a child and my spouse was promiscuous during adolescence. Now these issues have come back to haunt us and are major roadblocks to intimacy in our marriage. What can we do to get past these barriers?

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Information and Referral to Focus on the Family Marriage Ministries

Does Focus on the Family offer marriage retreats and conferences for couples?

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Infidelity: Distinguishing the Difference Between Forgiveness and Reconciliation

Is there a difference between forgiveness and reconciliation in a case of marital infidelity? Over a year ago, I discovered that my husband had resumed an emotional affair with a good friend of mine. Altogether, the two episodes covered a span of nearly ten years. After I confronted him for the second time, he wept and said he was very sorry. He has assured me – and I think he is sincere – that the relationship has ended. I honestly believe in my heart that I have forgiven my husband, but in spite of this I have had a hard time trusting him or feeling any affection for him. This upsets him. He says that it should be enough for me to know that the affair is over and that he has promised never to be unfaithful again. Even our counselor – who has never talked with us about what went on during the affair or the pain it has caused me – has said that my feelings are evidence that I haven't forgiven my husband. I'm hurt and confused. Can you help me?

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Infertility Testing During Engagement

Would it be okay for me to ask my bride-to-be to get tested for infertility before we're married? I can't understand the current trend toward "intentional childlessness" or the apparent devaluation of children in our culture in fact, I've wanted kids for as long as I can remember! I also believe that marriage, sex, and children are all part of the same package (I'm sure your ministry agrees). Instead of choosing childlessness, I'm determined to be intentional about having kids. If I can't do this with my betrothed, I'm not sure I want to pursue marrying her. What do you think?

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Husband-to-Be Has Been Sexually Active Before Marriage

As a bride-to-be, how can I get past the struggle and disappointment I'm experiencing due to the fact that the man I'm marrying isn't a virgin? I don't hold this against him. In fact, I almost feel guilty for having these feelings because he is a devoted Christian, gentle and kind, and a man of deep character. At the same time, I can't help but worry that this may have some kind of effect on our marriage and how we interact with one another as husband and wife. I have been lying awake at night wondering if this struggle will ever go away. Can you help me?

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Engaged Couple Wants to Know Why Premarital Sex Isn't Okay

Now that we are committed to be married, why should we wait to have sexual intercourse? How can there be anything wrong with our love-making when we've already promised to spend our lives together?

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Emotional Affairs and Grounds for Divorce

Are repeated emotional affairs biblical grounds for divorce? On several occasions my husband has become emotionally involved with other women in ways that have been seriously destructive to our marriage. The most recent incident involved a lady with whom he'd been emotionally intimate in the past. I'm tired of his betrayals, and though we've been in counseling together for some time, I see nothing in him to indicate that there's any hope of change in the future. What should I do?

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Emotional Affairs and Ongoing Friendships

Should my husband and I discontinue our friendship with another couple simply because the man and I became involved in an emotional affair? It's over now, and my spouse and the man's wife have taken a firm but conciliatory attitude towards the whole thing. For obvious reasons, we've also suspended our normal get-togethers for the time being. Quite frankly, this has been one of the hardest aspects of the entire situation. It's a huge loss for all of us. Now that the affair is in the past, do you think it would be okay to go back to "life as usual"? Or should this special friendship be permanently ended?

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Guidelines for Online Dating

What's your opinion of online dating? I'm in my mid-twenties and have developed a friendship with a young woman I met on the internet. She lives in another state and we've talked quite a bit on the phone since then. We've both expressed an interest in exploring this relationship further, but so far we've never met in person. Do you have any advice as to how we should proceed?

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STD Testing for Unfaithful Spouse

Should a spouse who has had an affair be tested for sexually transmitted diseases and infections? My husband recently ended an affair, and we are working toward reconciliation. It's a touchy process and I don't want to do anything that might suggest a lack of trust or indicate that I haven't forgiven him. At the same time, I don't think my concerns are unreasonable. What should I do?

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Spouse Misrepresents Husband / Wife

What should I do when my spouse frequently makes inaccurate or embarrassing statements about me in the company of family or friends? I don't think it's intentional, but these comments often cast me in a bad light or seriously misrepresent my character. This has been going on for several years now. At first, out of respect for my spouse, I would wait until we were alone to set the record straight. More recently this has become such a regular occurrence that I'm beginning to feel the need to defend my reputation in public. What would you recommend?

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The Impact of Gender Distinctions on Marriage

How do gender distinctions – psychological and emotional as well as physical and sexual – impact male-female relationships and the business of everyday life within the context of marriage? What do husbands and wives need to know about this subject, and how will that knowledge help them build a stronger marital bond?

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Cohabiting Boyfriend Has Been Unfaithful

What should I do about my boyfriend who recently cheated on me? We've been living together for the past couple of years, but I recently found out that he's been sexting a "friend" of mine. When I confronted him, he said it's my fault. Then he left me and our baby and is now staying with his dad. I guess that makes me a single mother. I feel so alone, hurt, and betrayed. What should I do?

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Denominationally Mismatched Romance

Should I pursue a serious relationship with someone of another denomination whose theological framework is radically different from my own? While serving on a short-term mission this summer, I met a young lady for whom I have developed deep feelings and great respect. We've been corresponding since we returned to the States, and our friendship has reached a point where a "next step" is being prayerfully considered. While we share the same biblical values and passionate commitment to Christ, we come from different (some might even suggest conflicting) doctrinal backgrounds. She firmly adheres to the fundamental tenets of the faith (i.e., the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds), but there are some people in my church who I'm certain would consider the beliefs and doctrines of her denomination heretical. What should I do?

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Age Differences in Romantic Relationships

Is it wrong for me to be dating a woman who is much younger than I am? I'm 41 and she's 25. We've been together about six months and have a great relationship. We also share a strong faith and have many goals and interests in common. The subject of marriage has come up, but I'm hesitant to move ahead. I can't help wondering what friends and family will say. What do you think?

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Christian Romantically Involved With a Non-Christian

Is it okay to be romantically involved with a guy who doesn't share my Christian faith? He asked me out on a date six months ago, and though at the time I didn't think it was a good idea, I went ahead and accepted. Now he's captured my heart and I don't know what to do. I'm in pretty deep, but unless he makes a commitment to follow Jesus I don't think I can marry him. At the same time, if there's a chance that he may accept Christ, I don't want to break things off and throw away the most wonderful relationship I've ever experienced. What should I do?

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