Relationships and Marriage

Answer

Nothing To Hide Booklet

How can I get a copy of the booklet "Nothing To Hide"?

Read more

Answer

Opposite-Sex Friendships in Marriage

Is it wrong for a married person to have a friend of the opposite sex? While my spouse was away on a week-long missions trip, I enlisted a male friend from work to come over and help me care for our eighteen-month-old daughter. In the process, we ended up watching movies together or working on office-related projects after my daughter went to bed. When my husband came home, he was very unhappy about this and expressed fear that I might be involved in an affair. He seems to think it's impossible for two adults of the opposite sex to have a non-sexual relationship. He's even asked that I never spend time with this co-worker again. I'm cooperating with his request, but I can't help feeling resentful of his unfounded suspicions. What do you think?

Read more

Answer

Parents Estranged From Son and Daughter-in-Law

How can we keep up a relationship with our son when his wife has forbidden him to have any contact with us? This has been our situation for years, and we're heartbroken because of it. We have asked them many times to please tell us how we've wronged them so we can make amends, but there has been no response. They've made their wishes clear, and we want to respect that. But we also want to assure our son and daughter-in-law of our love and that our hearts remain open to a relationship with them. What should we do?

Read more

Answer

Pastor Husband Is Compromising His Integrity

What should a pastor's wife do if she becomes aware that her spouse is "embellishing" his sermons with half-truths or outright lies? My husband will often tell stories about himself in the pulpit that I know to be either greatly exaggerated or borrowed from some other source. I've never directly confronted him, but on the few occasions when I've gently questioned him about this, he has become extremely defensive and attempted to justify the practice. I keep hoping the Holy Spirit will convict him, but at the same time I'm worried about the impact his behavior is likely to have on our kids. I'm also aware that it's my biblical duty to honor my husband. Is this something I should just learn to live with?

Read more

Answer

Parents Blocking Grandparents' Relationship With Grandchildren

We really want to develop a meaningful relationship with our grandchildren, but over time our daughter and son-in-law have pushed us away to the point where it seems they don't want much to do with us. As a result, we have very little interaction with the grandkids. When their parents do allow it, the time is very limited. What is the best way to approach this situation?

Read more

Answer

Unsure About Whether to Confess an Affair to Spouse

Should I tell my husband that I've been unfaithful to him? I recently ended a relationship with another man, but I have serious doubts about the wisdom of revealing this to my spouse. As things stand, he has no idea that anything of this kind has been going on. I've confessed my sin before God, but why hurt him and risk destroying our marriage by bringing it up? Would it be better just to sweep the whole thing under the rug?

Read more

Answer

Wondering If Spouse Is Truly Repentant Over Affair

How can I be sure that my spouse is really repentant for the pain he has caused me? A year ago, I discovered he'd been involved in an emotional affair with another woman for nearly a decade. He also has a history of explosive anger which has often led to verbal abuse. On a number of occasions he has actually thrown things at me. Though he's ended the extramarital relationship, softened his demeanor somewhat, and even says that he's eager to go to counseling and work on our marriage, I can't help feeling confused. Once he said to me, "I know I've messed up in the past, but you have a pretty good thing going with me." Several times when I've mentioned his violent behavior, he has responded with, "Yes, I threw things at you, but I missed." He also maintains that he only concealed the affair from me for ten years because he "didn't want to hurt me." I don't feel we can move forward until this is resolved in my mind. What do you think?

Read more

Answer

Young Man Attracted to His Girlfriend's Sister

What should I do if I find myself increasingly drawn to my girlfriend's sister? I've been dating a very good, kind, and godly young lady for about three months now, and in the process I've spent a lot of time getting to know her entire family. I didn't anticipate that I would end up feeling a greater affinity for and a stronger attraction to her sister, but that's exactly what has happened. Bottom line: I'd like to pursue a deeper relationship with the sister, but I don't want to be responsible for causing dissension within the family. I've sought the counsel of several wise friends, but they all tell me something different. I feel lost and stuck. Any advice?

Read more

Answer

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?

Read more

Answer

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?

Read more

Answer

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.

Read more

Answer

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?

Read more

Answer

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?

Read more

Answer

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?

Read more

Answer

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?

Read more

Answer

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?

Read more

Answer

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?

Read more

Answer

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?

Read more

Answer

Information and Referral to Focus on the Family Marriage Ministries

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

Read more

Answer

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?

Read more

Answer

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?

Read more

Answer

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?

Read more

Answer

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?

Read more

Answer

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?

Read more