Silence is Not Your Friend

♥ ♥ ♥ 3 days until Valentine’s Day! ♥ ♥ ♥

Every so often I’ll have a gal pull me aside and share about her marriage. She’ll talk about the years of relational pain and her confusion over why she can’t “make things better.” Up until that point she has shared this with very few people (if any), prayed, and tried any number of things to “be a better person” so her husband won’t be “upset or disappointed in her.” Usually at this point, she is starting to use the words “emotional abuse”, but it’s hard to own that someone she loves could treat her so badly. Surely there must be some other explanation. Can I help her fix her marriage?

Abuse is about the abuser and doesn’t really have anything to do with the one suffering the abuse. The abuse is an expression of the abuser’s pain, sin, and personal mess.

Silence is Not Your Friend - Speak up and get help.

No matter how hard the victim of abuse tries they cannot “be good enough” or “do well enough” to stop the abuse. The abuser is usually pretty good at the blame game and can rationalize, minimize, or explain away their own behavior. (Please understand, I am not talking about the bumps and hurts that every couple deals with. I’m talking about one spouse systematically harming and diminishing the worth of the other.)

An emotionally destructive marriage is one where one’s personhood, dignity, and freedom of choice is regularly denied, criticized, or crushed. This can be done through words, behaviors, economics, attitudes, and misusing the Scriptures.  Leslie Vernick

If you are often left hurting there is a problem in your marriage. Don’t remain silent.

I’ll say that again. Don’t remain silent. Silence is not your friend.

Sometimes you are just dealing with two broken people in a broken relationship (you still need to speak up and get help), but sometimes it is a situation where you are being emotionally abused by your spouse (and you really, really, really need to speak up and get help). Start with a private talk with the safest person you know. If your spouse has isolated you, call the number below.

If you are not sure about it, I would encourage you to read Leslie Vernick’s book, The Emotionally Destructive Marriage. It puts different destructive behaviors into words that make sense and are understandable. It can help you see the difference between “my sweetie and I have problems and need to get help” and “my husband is crushing me and I need a safe place.”

Again, I don’t want y’all to think I am saying every husband who gets up on the wrong side of the bed is an abuser. I’m saying be honest about the problems in your marriage. Invite your husband to work with you to address them. If he won’t or if you are always to blame, that’s like a hint. Speak up. Get help.

If you are in danger, please seek help immediately.
You need to deal with your marriage from a place of safety. 
http://www.ndvh.org hotline: 1-800-799-7233

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Prayer Prompt: Ask God to help you and your husband face and deal with your marriage problems, large or small.

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He Matters

♥ ♥ ♥ 4 days until Valentine’s Day! ♥ ♥ ♥

Over the weekend, say no to an activity and then spend that time with your husband.

He Matters - Say no to an activity and then spend that time with your husband.

It’s a practical way of saying that time with him matters … that he matters.

You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.  Charles Buxton 

Prayer Prompt: Ask God to help you see opportunities to spend time with your man.
 

 The Forgiven Wife: 10 Ideas You Can Use to Initiate Sex Fun and easy to do!
 

Happy Home Fairy : 3 Phrases That Will Change Your Marriage Build a marriage that builds the kingdom.

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As You Wish

♥ ♥ ♥ 5 days until Valentine’s Day! ♥ ♥ ♥

Invite your husband to make a wish list.

As You Wish - Make a list of wishes and then make them come true.

His list can include small and large wishes. It can include things like fixing his favorite meal, trying a new position in bed, or going back to school.

Actually it wouldn’t hurt if you both made a running list of wishes and visited them once a month or so to see what can be done to make your wishes come true.

Don’t let your dream be only a hope or a wish, turn your dreams into goals and make them a reality. Catherine Puslifer

Prayer Prompt: Ask God to help you and your husband be gentle with each other’s wishes.
 

 Heaven Made Marriage: A Fun Creative Valentine’s Day Idea A few items and a bit of creativity spells romance.
 

 Her View From Home: Want To Become a Minimalist? Start Here. Baby steps for a simpler, saner life.

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Guard Your Energy Levels

♥ ♥ ♥ 6 days until Valentine’s Day! ♥ ♥ ♥

A few days ago I talked about developing my personal goals.

I made the goal of having sex more days than not and I keep track in my bullet journal (because I’m terrible about keeping track of things like that in my head).

I knew I had been slacking off a bit, but what surprised me is that on a number of days I was pretty tired at bedtime and not interested. When that happens now and then, it’s no big deal. When it happens more often, there’s something going on.

Guard Your Energy Levels - Save enough energy for the things you value most.

I came to the conclusion that I typically don’t think about energy levels. I just have an overall list of things I want to do in my day. If something doesn’t get done, it gets moved to another day. This is not a great plan where sex is concerned because it’s typically one of the last things in my day. I can’t keep moving it to the next day and the next and the next.

To deal with my lack of energy awareness, I now check in around dinnertime. How much energy do I have? What do I need to do or not do to look forward to sex later that evening?

It’s been interesting. Sometimes I boot an evening activity to the next day. Sometimes I talk to Paul about what is stressing me. There are any number of things that have sucked up my evening energy. It’s been an exercise in knowing myself and making choices about how I spend my personal energy.

Speaking of exercise: One of my new goals is to exercise 3 times a week. I have a Gentle Exercise class two nights a week (the class really should have been named something far more evil). It positively wears me out. In the long run it will be good for my health and sexuality, but I have to think creatively about sex on those days (because it’s a given I will be a slug the rest of the evening).

Who and what is important to you? Do you routinely not have enough energy for those things? Rethink your energy use.

I’m becoming more and more aware of what’s really worth my energy.  Author Unknown

Prayer Prompt: Ask God to help you guard your energy for the things you value most.
 

Gary Thomas: Understanding the Mind of the Man You Married Your hubby is just wired differently.
 

Michael Hyatt: How to Achieve Big Goals with Your Spouse Great advice on navigating your differences (podcast and transcript).

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Way Back Wednesday – Good Moments

♥ ♥ ♥ 7 days until Valentine’s Day! ♥ ♥ ♥

(Originally posted on February 22, 2015.)

Think back over this last week. What moments in your marriage were sweet? 

Good Moments - In the last week, what moments in your marriage were sweet? 

Here are a few from my week:

Watching Paul deconstruct a cabinet where our standing desks will go in the RV (nothing says happiness like a guy taking something apart).
Playing gin rummy with Paul while the dog played at our feet with his new bone.
Paul and I sharing coffee with our son, daughter-in-law, and new grandson. It doesn’t get much better than that.

This might be a good journaling project from week to week. It’s a good habit to hold on to those sweet memories and they help build a sense of gratitude.

Memories are timeless treasures of the heart.  Author Unknown

Prayer Prompt: Ask God to help you gather and hold those good memories in your heart.
 

 The Forgiven Wife: Sexual Healing and Wholeness You are not alone on the journey to wholeness.
 

 Married & Naked: 4 Excuses To Stop Making in Your Marriage Build a strong connection in your marriage.

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