Relationships and Marriage

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Sexual Intimacy After Mastectomy/Hysterectomy

Is it normal for a husband to lose interest in sex after his wife has had a hysterectomy or mastectomy? Several years ago I underwent a hysterectomy. More recently, a bout with cancer meant the loss of one of my breasts. That's bad enough, but it gets worse: since my last surgery, my husband has distanced himself emotionally and doesn't seem to care at all about sex. I'm devastated. Can you help me?

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Sorting Out Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders

What's the difference between obsessive-compulsive disorder and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder? I'm confused about the terminology, which complicates my efforts to find help for my spouse, who (in my opinion) exhibits a number of obsessive compulsive traits. Can you clarify the difference for me?

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Wife Wants Information About Sexual Intimacy During Menopause

How can I expect menopause to affect my sexual relationship with my husband? I've just started to experience irregular periods, hot flashes, mood swings, etc. These physical and emotional changes have already impacted our sex life, and I'm assuming that this aspect of the problem will grow over time. My husband doesn't understand, and I'm not sure I do either. What should we expect as I move through this phase?

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Practical, Moral, and Spiritual Implications of Sterilization

Do you have any thoughts on the moral and spiritual implications of vasectomy and tubal ligation? For a number of reasons my spouse and I would like to eliminate the possibility of any future pregnancies. What are the pros and cons of these procedures?

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Living With a Spouse Who Has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Do you have advice for living with a spouse whose life is dominated by aggravatingly senseless little rituals? It's become obvious to me that she's suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder. I'm not using this term informally or unadvisedly. She's anxious and worried all the time. She won't go to bed without checking the front door at least ten times. I earn a good salary, but she's constantly voicing her fears that we won't be able to pay our mortgage. It's starting to drive me crazy! Any thoughts or suggestions?

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Husband Concerned About Wife's Depression During Pregnancy

Is there anything I can do to help my expectant wife deal with the severe mood swings she's been experiencing? She's about three-quarters of the way through her pregnancy, and lately she's been terribly depressed. It's beginning to take a real toll on our relationship. I've heard a lot about post-partum depression, but is it normal for a woman to be feeling blue before the arrival of a baby?

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Wife Disturbed by Husband's Request for Suggestive Photos

Should I allow my husband to put sexually suggestive photos of me on his cell phone as a substitute for pornography? Is it even appropriate for a man to have such pictures of his wife? He's in the process of recovering from a long-term addiction to pornography and he thinks this might be a good way to speed up his progress. I'm not entirely sure what to think, but his request disturbs me. What's your reaction?

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Oral Sex As Appropriate Sexual Expression in Marriage

What's your opinion of oral sex? Is this a permissible form of sexual intimacy and expression between a husband and wife?

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Sexual Expression and Fantasy in Marriage

How can I tell the difference between what's appropriate and what's not appropriate in my sexual relationship with my spouse? In particular, is there any place for sexual fantasy in a marital relationship? What's your perspective on this subject?

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Oral and Anal Sex: Biblical Guidelines for Intimacy in Marriage

How can I tell the difference between what's appropriate and what's not appropriate in my sexual relationship with my spouse? In particular, are oral and anal sex okay in a marital context? What's your perspective on these practices?

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Spouse Is a "Messie"

How can I get my husband to help keep the house clean? I never noticed that he was a "messie" before we were married because his roommates were neat and tidy. Since I'm the one who likes the house clean and orderly, I'm the one who picks up after him and does all the housework. I'm getting tired of it, but I refuse to have a messy house. What should I do?

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Finding a Good Marriage Therapist

How do we locate a qualified marriage counselor? Do you have any recommendations? My spouse and I need help, but we don't know who to see or what to look for.

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Boundaries in Marriage: Helping the Opposite-Sex With Problems

What's the proper protocol for spouses when it comes to helping other people of the opposite sex with problems – especially problems of the marital variety? Sadly, my brother and his wife are in the process of divorcing. My sister-in-law called my husband the other night to see if he would meet with her to provide counseling and advice. I think this crosses a line – she should be discussing her problems with another woman, not my husband! He, on the other hand, feels that he might be able to help in some way. What do you think?

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Resolving Conflict With an Overly Sensitive Spouse

Do you have any suggestions for dealing with a spouse who becomes emotionally agitated and irrational whenever we experience even the slightest disagreement? We've got a good marriage, but she's hypersensitive and feels threatened by conflict of any kind. This has created a situation in which differences are simply dropped and never really dealt with. How can we develop a healthier approach to constructive communication?

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Building a Marriage That Will Last a Lifetime

As newlyweds, what can my spouse and I do to ensure that our relationship will go the distance and weather the storms that life is likely to throw at us?

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Marriage and Life-Threatening Illness

How should we expect a cancer diagnosis to affect our marital relationship? We just learned my spouse has cancer, and we're reeling. We have the best possible medical care, but there's one important area in which the doctors can't help us: what can we do to keep the disease from harming our marriage?

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Preserving Romance in Marriage

Is it common for a couple to "fall out of love"? We've been married a couple of years, and already I sense that something has begun to change in our relationship. The original "glow" of our romance seems to have faded. To be honest, our life together is becoming rather routine and dull. Is something wrong with us?

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How Children Impact Married Life

Do kids really change your life – and your relationship with your spouse – as much as some people claim they do? My spouse and I have been thinking about starting a family, but we're nervous about "taking the plunge." Are we worrying unnecessarily?

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In-Law Obligations

Can you help me gain a clearer understanding of what my relationship with my wife's parents and siblings should look like? I got married because I was in love with my spouse. I wasn't figuring on her the rest of her family becoming a major part of my life as well. What are my relational obligations to my in-laws?

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Marriage: Disagreements About Church

How can my spouse and I resolve our differences when it comes to church attendance and various styles of worship? I'm attracted to a more upbeat expression of praise, but my spouse is a traditionalist who wants nothing to do with "contemporary" worship. Can you help us resolve our disagreements in this area?

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Finding Forgiveness in Marriage

How can I get my spouse to forgive me for the ways I've hurt her over the past couple of years? She's withdrawn from me emotionally, and I'm not sure how to convince her I've changed. Where do I begin to address this problem?

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Working Through Differences in Marriage

How can my spouse and I work through our many unresolved conflicts? At this point we're practically living separate lives, and the problem is only getting worse. Should we simply agree to disagree about our differences?

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Dealing With a Touchy Spouse

Do you have any ideas for dealing with a spouse who is overly sensitive, like a land-mine just waiting to go off? I walk around the house on eggshells, trying desperately to avoid triggering yet another emotional overreaction. Is there a better way to deal with this?

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Spouse Avoids Conflict

How can I encourage my spouse to do the hard work of talking about the unresolved issues that are boiling beneath the surface of our marriage? He avoids conflict and seems to want "peace at any price." As a result, we're growing more emotionally distant with every passing day. Is there a way to turn things around before it's too late?

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