Relationships and Marriage

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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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Cohabiting Senior Couples: Financial and Moral Considerations

Is it wrong for seniors to live together for financial reasons? My elderly father recently moved in with a woman he's been dating for several months. When I objected, he told me that they had discussed marriage many times but ultimately rejected the idea for financial reasons. According to my dad, it's a matter of protecting their individual assets and preserving each partner's Social Security benefits. He says they would actually lose a sizable portion of their monthly income if they were to get married. Now he's talking about having a "commitment ceremony" at church as an alternative to legal marriage. What's your take on this? Does the Bible have anything to say about a couple being married in the eyes of the church but not according to the laws of the state?

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Premarital Cohabitation for Financial Reasons

Should my boyfriend and I live together to save money for our wedding? As we've discussed the matter, it has occurred to us that sharing an apartment before the wedding – just as a temporary measure – might be a practical step for us financially. The plan is for my boyfriend to have his own room while I share the other bedroom with my six-year-old daughter (who, by the way, loves my boyfriend dearly). What do you think?

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Cohabitation and Its Implications for Marriage

Is living together before marriage a good test of marital compatibility? My boyfriend and I both come from broken homes. We've been talking about spending our lives together, but we're afraid of ending up divorced like our parents. How do you suggest we handle this?

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Why the Marriage License and Wedding Ceremony Are Important

Why do Christians need a church wedding and a piece of paper from the state to make their marriage "official"? My girlfriend and I are both dedicated believers and we intend to spend the rest of our lives together. We've been wondering why we should bother applying for a marriage license. Isn't marriage a private, personal covenant? And isn't the spiritual aspect of that covenant more important than anything else? If we move in together and start having sex, doesn't that make us married in the eyes of God?

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Restoring Trust in Marriage

What can a couple do to renew a sense of confidence in one another after many years of marriage that have included numerous painful circumstances requiring forgiveness on the part of both spouses? How can we restore trust to our relationship?

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Protecting Your Marriage From Infidelity

Can my spouse and I do anything to affair-proof our relationship? It seems like adultery is becoming more common these days. Although there's nothing wrong with our marriage, I wonder if there's something specific we can do to make sure infidelity never becomes an issue. Any thoughts?

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Unfaithful Husband Wants to Date Other Women

How should I respond to my husband's repeated infidelities and his blatant request to date other women? We've had a troubled marriage for years. Recently he confessed to extra-marital affairs. I've forgiven him for adulteries, but now he says he wants to develop "outside relationships" while continuing to live in our home. I'm desperate to save our marriage, so I don't want to provoke him unnecessarily. Can you help me?

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How to Help a Depressed Spouse

How can I convince my spouse to seek help for possible depression? I have reason to believe that he's struggling in this area, but he refuses to admit that this might be true or to take my concerns seriously. I'm not sure if it's pride, fear, or something else that's standing in the way, but I do know that this situation is really taking a toll on our marriage and our family. What should I do?

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Marriage Assessment Tools Available From Focus on the Family

What marriage assessment tools are available from Focus on the Family?

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Pornography As Grounds for Divorce

Would it be fair to say that my spouse's use of pornography amounts to the same thing as marital infidelity? Here's why I ask. Jesus said that to look with lust is to commit adultery in your heart (Matthew 5:27, 28). My husband's porn addiction is a huge problem in itself, but what I really want to know at this point is whether I can cite it as valid grounds for divorce (Matthew 5:32). What do you think?

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My Spouse Is Verbally and Emotionally Abusive

How should I respond to my spouse's insensitive words, manipulative mind games, and cruel put-downs? This has been a problem for the greater part of our marriage. I have never been physically harmed in any way, but the constant verbal and emotional abuse have made my life miserable. Some of my friends say I should pursue a divorce, but others have suggested that I don't have biblical grounds. A few folks in this second group have even told me that my only concern is to "submit" and continue loving my spouse in spite of the mistreatment. What do you think I should I do?

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Husband Recovering From Porn Addiction, No Desire for Sex

Is it normal for a man who has been deeply involved with sexually explicit material to have no desire for marital intimacy? My husband and I haven't had sex in eight months. He knows that I desire a physical relationship, but he isn't interested. I suspect it has something to do with a recent online affair he had, as well as an addiction to pornography from which he's recovering. I feel so hurt and rejected. How can I turn our situation around?

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Pornography As Possible Grounds for Separation

Is my spouse's addiction to sexually explicit material a reason to leave him? He continues to struggle with this problem despite deep feelings of remorse and many attempts to get outside help. Is a permanent separation the only way to resolve this conflict?

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Affair With a Member of the Extended Family

Should I tell my husband about the one-time sexual encounter I had with his brother? It happened over a year ago in a moment of weakness. Both of us immediately acknowledged that this was wrong and nothing further has happened since. Our families see each other regularly and are very close. Neither of us has told our spouses. Should we?

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Mutual Attraction Between Married Friends

How should I deal with the romantic feelings I've developed for my best friend's wife? This woman and I recently acknowledged to one another that the attraction is mutual and that we needed to put some safeguards in place to protect our marriages, but we're not sure how to go about it. My wife and I have been business partners with this couple for over ten years. Do you have any suggestions?

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Wife Never Really Loved Husband

Is it possible for me to fall in love with a spouse for whom I never had any romantic feelings in the first place? I married my husband for pragmatic reasons. As a single mom, I believed he would make a great father to my child. Now I realize that I never really had romantic feelings for him. Is there hope for our relationship?

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Aging and Sexual Intimacy in Marriage

How does the aging process affect a couple's libido and love life? My spouse and I have already passed the age of retirement, and now we're facing some health issues that I fear may have negative implications for our relationship in the bedroom. Is sexual fulfillment something that decreases as we get older?

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Husband Wants Information About Sexual Intimacy During Menopause

Does menopause have to spell the end of physical intimacy in a marriage? My wife is going through what our mother's generation called "the change of life," and as a result she's almost never "in the mood." She even complains that sex has become physically uncomfortable. Is she just making excuses? Is it all in her head? Or is our sex life actually over?

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Woman Is Sexually Unresponsive

Is it wrong that I don't want to have sexual intercourse as often as my husband does? Is my libido unhealthy or deficient? I try to accommodate him as often as I can, both out of love and a sense of duty, but there are times when I simply can't respond no matter how hard I try. We're both frustrated.

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Wife Frustrated With and Hurt Over Husband's Low Sex Drive

Why does my husband have such a low libido and so little interest in maintaining a healthy sex life? Our situation doesn't seem to fit the typical reports I hear about sexual problems in marriage – usually it's the man who's complaining about his wife's lack of sexual desire. I would love to have sex "only" once a week! We've gone months and years without it! I'm very hurt and frustrated.

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Wives Who Initiate Sex

Is it healthy and appropriate for wives to take the lead when it comes to lovemaking? My husband and I enjoy a fulfilling and satisfying sex life, but that's one thing I've wondered about: There are times when I desire physical intimacy, but I have doubts about whether it's right for me to get things started. I guess I've always felt that should be the man's place. What are your thoughts?

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Concerns About Having Sex When Kids Are in the House

How can we be intimate and maintain a healthy sex life when our children are around all the time? My wife is always afraid of being "heard" or "interrupted" in the act. Again and again she rejects my advances by asking, "What if the kids walked in?"

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