My Birthday and the Start of a New Series!

I may be on a bloggy break BUT I still love a Party!  So let’s keep my birthday party going with Women Living Well’s Wednesday Link-Up Party!!! Join the fun, do a little blog hopping and don’t forget if you join below -please add the Women Living Well Wednesdays button to your post so your readers can find us here! (Posts can include the topics of marriage, parenting, homemaking, finances, recipes, organization and more!)


To find the code go to the sidebar – or right click and “save as” the button and then upload it into your post! :)

You will find the “link-up” down at the bottom of this post from last Friday! 

I’ll be back on Monday with the start of the New Marriage Series!  Thank you for your comments and questions so far.  Many of your questions have been deep, troubling, heart breaking and are making me think.  I am praying for you all and praying over my answers.  I’ll be back on Monday!

****************************************************** 
(Previously posted on Friday, August 26, 2011)

Guess what?  I have a birthday twin!!!   Today is my birthday AND it’s Janelle’s birthday (from Comfy In The Kitchen) !  Isn’t that crazy?  Too fun!  So she has the day off from cooking and they’ll be no featured recipe today!  The picture above is from when she and I celebrated with friends earlier this week.

I’ve shared in the past that on my birthday, I always read verses addressing the issue of selfishness.

 Why address selfishness on my birthday? Because I have noticed in past years – since having children – that the temptation to feel that I deserve a “special” day on my birthday has begun to creep in.  Of course – when it actually turns out really special and everything goes my way – I am happy. But oh – if the kids are difficult and my husband has forgotten to buy me a present – I turn into a grouch and for some reason I feel justified – it’s my birthday! But I don’t see an exception clause in the Bible for selfishness on special occasions (like Mother’s Day – for some reason selfishness creeps in on that day too – yucko!).

I Corinthians 13:5 says Love “is not self-seeking” – so whether it’s my birthday or not – my kids should not have to go through the day with a “self-seeking” mommy. Philippians 2:3 says “Do nothing out of selfish ambition” – my husband should not have to go through the day on pins and needles trying to make his wife happy.

Acts 20:35 says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

This principle is true everyday of the year and on Birthdays too – because God’s word is always true. “It is more blessed to give than to receive” – even on my birthday!

~Originally posted 8/26/09

So it’s a new day and a new year!  I’m 36 years old today and feeling blessed! So to kick off my new year, I’m giving myself a BLOGGY BREAK lol!  I am taking next week off from blogging but I’ll be around on Facebook and Twitter. 

When I return it will be September and I will begin A NEW SERIES ON MARRIAGE.  Over the years, I have received hundreds of emails with marriage questions and I regret that I cannot answer them all.  So while I am on break, if you have a burning marriage question, would you quietly slip it into the comments section on this post here publicly (not in my inbox).  You can post anonymously – just enter your email address as anonymous@anonymous.comI will choose a handful of questions to answer publicly in the month of September. 

If you are an older, wiser woman who reads my blog or you have experience in counselling or working with married couples in your church, please feel free to advise ladies in my comments section, as I will not be able to answer all the questions that are posted (if more than a handful are asked).  I look forward to this discussion as we journey together toward being the wives God has called us to be.   For those who participate in Women Living Well’s Wednesday link-up, it will be on the bottom of this post on Wednesday (I’ll plug in Linky Tools on Tuesday night at 10pmish!)

See you in September!

Walk with the King!

Ps. While I’m off, enrollment for the Fall Good Morning Girls session will begin.  I hope you will join me for a study in the book of I John.  Click here for all the details.

Comments

  1. says

    Happy birthday to you my dear Courtney. I been exciting about your new series!!!!!!!!!!!
    I will pray for you today. Have a nice and blessed day ;0)

  2. Anon says

    My husband has zero sex drive. I’ve always had a higher sex drive, but his is really really low. (This is partly due to meds he chooses to take.) We’ve been married almost a decade and this summer we’ve had sex once. ONCE! I’m tired of being rejected constantly and being the one to initiate every time. He doesn’t see sex as important so he doesn’t get the big deal. Every book I’ve read addresses sex as the struggle for a woman…are there any Christian resources for women who want sex, but their husbands refuse? I know I can’t change him, but something needs to give…my self esteem and identity in our marriage is shattered! I feel like a maid and cook, not a wife :( (PS…No, he isn’t addicted to porn, nor is he having an affair.)

    • anon says

      i feel for you. our problem is the opposite; it is me with ZERO and i mean ZERO sex drive. it is a real issue in our marriage. i DO love my husband, i just have the HARDEST time showing it “that” way, which i think is his “love language” LOL. It could be and probably is, that your husband might have something physical going on and he should get checked. Has he had a physical lately? sometimes, stress can wreak havoc on a man’s sex drive, or emotional issues/depression. when you are not in bed, you should gently approach the subject with him. I would encourage you not to take it personally, as my hubby does any time i don’t jump for joy at his advances. i really try to be accomodating but then that leads (after a while) to resentment creeping in. i have been praying for 17 years about this. yes, it has been a problem since we were married and i cannot figure out why. i have been checked out physically and been in counseling and there is nothing “wrong” with me. But my husband can tell when i’m really not “into it” (which is pretty much every time because it hurts physically, and leaves me extremely frustrated), and then he gets hurt even more. it is a lose-lose situation.

      I would encourage you not to hang your entire identity or esteem on this one issue. It may be painful, but you have to talk to your husband in a non-threatening way (i would suggest NOT in the bedroom or after he has refused you) and really dig down to the real issue. ALLOW him to feel safe in sharing his thoughts with you, even if they hurt to hear. TRY NOT TO get defensive or feeling sorry for yourself. I can tell you from the opposite side of the fence, i do not feel I can be completely honest with my husband about this subject because he will feel hurt and take it personally and give me the cold shoulder and we will not get anywhere. If your husband feels he can really open up to you, without the threat of you using his words against him, with the SINCERE attitude of wanting to understand, i would be willing to bet things will change tremendously. I will write more later, but have to go pick up a kid at school (yes, we managed to have 3 kids!). I feel for you, and will be happy to share the point of view from the “other side” if you want. i really would love to help you. maybe it would help me too.

      • annon says

        I also could honestly go the rest of my life without sex. HOWEVER, I love my husband with all my heart. Just because your husband doesn’t feel like having sex, please don’t hang your entire self worth and marriage on this! You need to look at all the ways he DOES show you he loves you. Does he leave little notes of love for you? Does he rub your feet at the end of the day? Does he give you a night off once a week so you can go to Bible study? Sex isn’t the only way a couple can show each other that they love each other!!

        I wish my husband was more romantic- I really thrive off surprises and thoughtfulness. I personally don’t see how hard it is for him to do this, especially since he knows how much it makes me happy. But, he doesn’t take the time to do this. So instead of being upset over it, I choose to focus on all the way he DOES show me he loves me. He helps around the house, he lets me sleep in on Saturdays, he makes me laugh. If I let myself feel sorry for myself that I don’t get romance, it would be easy to feel resentful towards my husband and our marriage would suffer. I choose to focus on the positive instead.

        To be honest, I’d probably have a higher sex drive if I felt more romance in our marriage and my husband took better care of himself. We still have sex, but not as often as I know he would like. Since I have no sex drive, I try to go out of my way to do a lot of other things to make him feel special and show him I appreciate him. (Make him special dinners, leave love notes in his car, praise him when we are with friends, etc) We have talked about this and he knows that my sex drive would probably increase if I felt more romance, but since he chooses to not do that, then I choose to focus on everything he does do for me so that I don’t fall into a bad attitude towards our marriage.

        Also, I hope this isn’t too crude…but maybe if he doesn’t feel like having sex with you you can try other things? Like if you guys are laying in bed with each other kissing, maybe you can “take care of yourself?”

        If your husband has no sex drive because of medication he is choosing to take, is it because he has to have the medicine to treat his depression? His high cholesterol? I ask, because most people take meds for health reasons. If he is taking medication to improve his quality of life, then I would focus on that…that he is healthy and that you will have him around for a longer time.

        I’m sorry you are so frustrated with your sex life, but please focus on the positive. Phil 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. By focusing on everything that is good in your marriage, you can deal with the not so good.

        Lastly, I would encourage you to pray and fast to God about this. Not to change your husband, but to change your heart on the issue. I find when I ask God to help me with my attitude on a certain subject instead of what I feel is my husband’s shortcomings, God works in a more mighty way.

        This is just what I have found to help me, so I hope that it will help you too. God bless!

      • Anon says

        My husband takes high doses of hydrocodone for chronic pain associated with an autoimmune disorder. He eats horribly and isn’t exercising, which is causing some of the problems. The doses are so high that his medicines are being overseen by a pain clinic.

        • says

          Is it possible that he could be have a 2nd opinion or be reevaluated for another treatment plan? His condition sounds very serious, but sometimes our society is quick to solve the pain problems, rather than treat them.

    • says

      I would also like to know what meds. as well! Also what type of work does he do I know this is an issue in my marriage as well I am the one with the extreme sex drive hubby not so much. We have prayed and counseled it has been hard. My hubby’s issue is an extremely busy and stressful work load , he is a computer engineer and here in Vegas being a 24 hour town he has to work many crazy hours and doesnt sleep right and doctors say this has alot to do with it. When men are overly worried, stressed, tired, or taking certain medications they can and do have sex drive issues. It does sound like you to need to seek help in this area so he can find out the source of issue and also to understand how you are feeling and then a compromise must be made between the two of you withholding is only ok for a little time of PRAYER and one time all summer is for sure an issue that needs to be addressed!! After my hubby and I communicated and compromised it has gotten alot better so hang in there sis and start by talking to hubby and getting to the source of the issue! God Bless

      • Anon says

        My husband takes high doses of hydrocodone for chronic pain associated with an autoimmune disorder. He eats horribly and isn’t exercising, which is causing some of the problems. The doses are so high that his medicines are being overseen by a pain clinic.

        The sex drive thing has been an issue since our first year of marriage :( He has a job he loves and isn’t over stressed most of the time. His relationship with Christ is almost nonexistent (only goes to church on Sundays, doesn’t read the Bible or pray) so that could be the issue, too.

        We’ve been to counseling. He knows how I feel. But nothing ever changes. I’ve given up talking to him about it because it only leads to arguments.

        I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only one! And I’m really glad you’ve worked things out. It gives me a glimmer of hope!

  3. says

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY sweet Courtney! I pray that your day is filled with many blessings and thank you for reminding us about selfishness. It does creep up on all of us and taking the time to give to someone else always is the best medicine. Enjoy your break and cant wait for the next series! Love ya girl

  4. Kelly Ma says

    Happy birthday, Courtney! Thank you for all your wisdom, insight and inspiration! Enjoy your bloggy break.

  5. says

    Happy Birthday Courtney!! Praying you have a blessed day. Looking forward to your upcoming series and GMG fall session. I have already started a new group and we are up to 26 members. I just had a lady join the group from Costa Rica! So excited!

  6. Lorraine says

    First of all Happy Birthday! Hope you have a wonderful day.
    I would appreciate it, if, in your marriage series, you would talk about what to do if you have a husband who is very critical of his wife and is verbally abusive. Both husband and wife are saved and serving in a good church. Thanks.

    • Sarah says

      Hi. If your husband is really crossing the line into verbal abuse, I would take some time to pray about it steadily, and maybe ask a friend to pray for your marriage for a few weeks, too. You don’t have to say why, just ask for prayer. Then I think you should look into your own heart, at whether you’ve been kind and loving and respectful yourself. Repent of any sin and focus on loving him wholeheartedly, though he may not be deserving it right now. Then take a quiet moment to ask him if you can talk about it. Maybe write him a letter telling him how you’re feeling. If this does not effect any change I would not hesitate to speak to the elders or pastors at your church. There is church discipline for a reason, and wives should be protected from abuse of all kinds. But is it really abuse or just sharpness or him not being sensitive? If you think it crosses that line go to church authority humbly and ask for help.

  7. Momofthree says

    Happy Birthday! My birthday is tomorrow (turning 35) and I too have to remind myself about selfishness at this time of year. This year I am focusing on making it a day for the family rather than a day just about me. We have some fun activities planned that the kids will love, a big family dinner with my in-laws and an evening out with my hubby and some friends.

  8. says

    Happy Birthday Courtney! Boy, your words about being selfless really spoke to me! You’re so right, the Bible does not make any exceptions for acting selfish on birthdays or Mother’s Day. Do nothing out of selfish ambition and it is more blessed to give than receive are words I will carry with me today. Many blessings!

  9. Jenny C. says

    Courtney, have a peace-filled, joyful birthday celebrating the life God has given you! You are a sweet blessing to me :-) Love, Jenny C.

  10. Michelle says

    Happy birthday to you! You look great!! Have a nice day and enjoy your break from blogging. Looking forward to the marriage series. Love your blog.
    God bless!

  11. Anon says

    Happy Birthday! For the marriage series, could you cover disappointment? Going into a marriage thinking you are on the same page spiritually, but you find out after that you’re not, and not knowing before the “I do’s” that there would be such an issue with laziness? Resentment sets in, and years get lost while hoping and praying for your husband to be the spiritual leader and provider that you thought he was going to be? It affects every aspect of the relationship, and it’s hard to reconcile your life and dreams with reality, especially as time passes so quickly.

  12. Christina says

    Happy birthday, Courtney!!! I have to say, you totally just described me. On my birthday I do feel that it’s MY day. My ONE day of the whole year that is all about ME. Amazingly, I’ve never really thought of it as selfishness…until now. You definitely have given me something to think about. Thanks for blessing others…even on your birthday. :-) I’m so excited about your upcoming marriage series!! You are awesome!

  13. anon says

    WOW! i wish i had read this last December 27th!!! I had the extreme pity party for myself because my husband not only didn’t make a big deal of my bday but he forgot to wish me happy birthday…at 3 a.m. when we were racing out the door to spend the next 5 days in Jamaica with my entire family to celebrate my parents 50th anniversary. I spent the ENTIRE vacation mad at my husband because he didn’t make a big deal of MY big day. We didn’t get along for the whole time, which is so sad, all because I could not let go of my (what i recognize now as!) selfishness! wow. smacked right between the eyes!
    BUT…as God always does, He used that horrible week to do some MAJOR things in our marriage. see, we had let our marriage disintegrate into shambles by this point. not just the birthday thing but LOTS of things. I let my group exercise “career” (teaching 1 or 2 classes a week…not really a career!) get more important than my own marriage and kids. I only saw the injustices lobbed MY way by my husband. i never considered that MY actions and selfishness (there it is again!) were contributing to the problem! I/we did what SO many couples did…we got so BUSY with the kids and their activities (Not a bad thing in and of itself) that we ignored the issues we had, hoping they’d go away.

    We returned home on new years eve. for the last 10 minutes of 2010, i watched the clock and prayed for the Lord to make some HUGE changes because we were both miserable. we had a few good friends get divorced over the past year, even Christian friends such as ourselves. I was ready to walk out and just “deal” with the aftermath of shattering our 3 kids’ lives. I endured the first week of 2011 with hubby ignoring and giving me the cold shoulder. And then BAM, the Lord laid on my heart what *I* had done to contribute to the situation, and the ways that *I* had been acting wrongly towards my husband. I have made some huge changes in how i spend my time, including quitting teaching my group ex class, grieving the loss of some friendships that now i know were bad influences on my marriage and family, and re-investing in my kids and hubby. I have gained some weight since i don’t work out like i used to, and i’m sad about that, but i’d rather have a “fit” family than a “fit” body (and I do think you can have both…you just have to keep it in balance!). i have NEVER felt more at peace with where God has me. And my mom was just diagnosed with a glioblastoma, which is the WORST kind of brain tumor you can have. The road ahead is ROCKY, but my marriage is on solid ground, and now being aware of the selfishness aspect of my birthday or mother’s day, etc. I know I will keep my thoughts in check!!! Thank you Courtney! your words always reach me right where I am!! Happy Blessed Birthday!

  14. annon says

    Happy Birthday! Hope you have a wonderful day and upcoming year!
    For your series, could you talk about how to handle when your husband is not on the same page as you are in feeling God telling you to be home with your children. I’ve prayed and prayed and prayed. I’m afraid I will resent him in this area for the rest of our lives! I’m also afraid when he realizes that I should, it’ll be too late. =( Thanks for all your great advice…

  15. Anne says

    (English is not my native language, but I will try :-)) Could you please write about how to really forgive your husband? My husband had a depression which caused him to treat me very, very bad and I was so scared of him sometimes… Now he has been given treatment, both medication and talking to a psychiatrist and I feel that we should be happy… But it´s like I´m looking for mistakes, looking for reasons to get so very MAD at him! I can´t see him as I used to, as a man to look up to and admire. I hate thinking that way but every time I get angry I get so mad that I kind of just want the marriage to be over. But we also have three children…

    • says

      I would suggest counseling, sharing with others & prayer! I experience the same thing with my husband. But I had to learn to rely on God. My husband is human and not perfect…. Just like I am not perfect! I cannot expect my husband to forgive & forget things I have done, when I cannot do the same for him.

      Also, have you had a chance to express your hurt to your husband & given him a chance to apologize?

      We are called as Christians to love & forgive as Christ! That is a tall order, but with God all things are possible! Ask God to dissolve your anger & soften your heart towards your husband. And be sure to thank God that your husband is receiving treatment… That is something to admire & look up to.

  16. Karen says

    Hope your birthday is full of joy.

    A topic of interest to me is wives that are the primary or only wage earner for the family. Maybe a discussion of the challenges with the reversal of Biblical roles that can occur in this situation, such as keeper of the home, child rearing, etc. How to remain a submissive and respectful wife when a wife is taking on some of husband’s role?

    Thanks.

  17. Deborah says

    HaPpY BiRtHdAy, Courtney…and to Janelle too!!! You both look so pretty in the pic above! How wonderful to have good friends, who live close to you, to share special times with. That is a true gift from the Lord! May the Lord bless you both today. Praying HIS blessings overflow in your lives and ministries this coming year.

  18. Anon says

    What advice would you give to a wife whose husband refuses to talk about finances and gets defensive whenever she suggests creating a budget? Hubby and I have been married for almost 8 years, and we have NEVER been on a budget. This always bothered me, but he wanted to be the responsible party for our finances, and I submitted to him in that area. Now we find ourselves in the process of filing for bankruptcy (DH was a self-employed building contractor when the housing market fell.), and he still doesn’t seem to “get it”. I feel shame and disappointment.

    • Stephanie says

      My first advice is to stay diligent in prayer. Don’t push praying about your finances with your husband if you know it’s going to irritate the matter. Instead, pray during your own quiet time, not only about your husband’s role in this matter, but also your own. Pray for ways to support him. My husband was laid off shortly after we married, and it hurt his heart so badly feeling that he wasn’t fulfilling his responsibility for his family (even though I was working at the time and put no pressure on him for being out of work). If you are feeling shame and disappointment, think about how your husband must feel. He may be avoiding the subject because he feels trapped, helpless, or frustrated.

      Second, I encourage you to consider these verses from 1 Peter 1-2:
      “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” Live out the example of good stewardship. Don’t nag and use your words to persuade him; use your life as an example. Just make sure not to do that in a self-righteous or judgmental manner. Do it with the intent of glorifying God, not showing your husband how he should be doing things.

      As an example of living out good stewardship, if you have any expensive personal items of your own (not your husbands, of course!) such as a camera, designer clothes, unnecessary kitchen or technological equipment, etc., sell them to help pay bills. Be frugal with the household responsibilities that are yours. For my family that means planning to cook meals that I know my husband likes so that we aren’t tempted to eat out. I shop around for the best food prices and hunt down needed clothing at Goodwill. I try to avoid getting sucked in to buying the latest and greatest items, no matter how good the TV or my favorite blogs make them seem. If I do want to make a larger purchase, I try to wait 30 days to avoid impulse spending. My husband and I also have an agreement that if one of us wants to buy something that costs more than a certain amount, we will consult the other person before buying. It gives us both accountability and keeps the line of communication open about major purchases (which can sometimes be budget busters).

      Third, you may have to alter your expectations, especially if you once had plenty and are now in a time where you are financially hurting. If you lose your home, car, etc due to the bankruptcy, you cannot hold that against your husband. You and he together need to create a new normal and praise God for what you do have.

      Finally, but most important in my view, is to make sure you are giving back to God. You may feel you do not have the money to give a financial tithe, or your husband may not agree to that at this time. If that is the case, give of your time serving others in God’s name. I’ll be praying for your family and that these words speak to your heart.

    • says

      This sounds almost identical to where I was 2 years ago. The thing that worked for us was to join a Dave Ramsey’s class. He realized that we can actually get where we want to be faster WITH planning/budget. We also became involved in different outreach opportunities at church. This helped us both to realize that there are more important things to put our money towards.
      We are still in the process of digging ourselves out of everything, but we have become so much closer from this experience. We almost lost everything & it forced us to rely on only eachother! It was one of the most difficult things I have ever been through, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.
      You can’t do the work for your husband. He has to do that himself. But just like Stephanie said above, live out by example.

  19. says

    God bless you on your birthday Courtney! I hope you have a wonderful year ahead and I’m sure that God has big plans for you! Enjoy your break .. I hope you have lots of fun.

  20. says

    Happy Birthday Courtney!! I am pretty new here and already you have greatly inspired me on many occasions. Thank you.

    Here’s my question:
    How can I best respond when my friends talk critically of their husbands?

    I was one of those wives early in our marriage so I understand how easy it is to slip in to complaint mode. I want to let them know I do not support that attitude and help them to change their way of thinking. I’ve cut ties with a few woman who were particularly bad about this and wouldn’t stop but a few of my friends do it from time to time and some are relatives so I can’t get away. Help! :)

    • Anon says

      Yes! I’d love to hear this too. I have one friend in particular that constantly complains, and I feel like I’m running out of ways to respond politely without joining her in putting him down or coming off as “holier than thou”. Thanks!

  21. says

    Happy birthday, Courtney!! AND MANY MORE!!!

    Oddly enough the only reason I signed on the computer was to email you a marriage-related question – ha!! I’m just wondering how often you & your husband date or how often you suggest that couples w/ small children should date. I have 3 small children (3.5 years, 2 years, & 2 months). My husband & I just started once-a-month dating in the spring of this year. Right now I feel overwhelmed w/ my ministry as a mom & I want a little extra time to remember that I’m a Mrs., but I wonder if I shouldn’t take more time away from our family time. Does this even make sense? I know it’s really a simple issue, but I’m torn between taking another date night each month & keeping as much all-of-us-together family time as possible. I know you are in a different season, but do you have an opinion on this for my particular season in life?

    • anon says

      tonya, date night with hubby is NOT taking away from the family! it is building a more solid foundation FOR the family. i wish my hubby and i had done this more often when our kids were your kids ages, but we didn’t. and then we disconnected. then it was just all about the kids as they grew up a little and had more activities. now that they are old enough (15, 13, and 9) to be home alone, we are trying to do date night once a week to try to rebuild our marriage. we have a lot of bad habits and issues that we let fester for YEARS that caused a lot of damage. lots of hurt feelings and resentments. Do it NOW, make it part of your monthly schedule NOW and your kids will never feel that you are ignoring them. you are setting a good example for THEM. similarly, something I also didn’t do, make time for YOU to recharge your batteries. you can be a much better wife and mom if you feel that you get a regular “break”. do not feel guilty for this (just pick your friends wisely as i did NOT when i finally started getting more breaks for me…). Make it part of the family routine NOW. I would be willing to bet your hubby regularly does things that recharge his batteries, most hubbies don’t have a problem doing this but most wives i know feel so GUILTY about doing it, so they dont and then they get BURNED OUT. that is not good for the marriage or the family! Priority works best when it is GOD, husband, then kids. hard to do because many times kids are more demanding (and cuter!) than hubby but you have to try. i fail all the time. but God’s still working on me!

  22. anon says

    Happy belated birthday Courtney! I am soooooo looking forward to your new marriage series!!!!! After counseling I have always struggled w/ understanding how to completely trust in my husband & allow him to be the leader in our family.
    Blessings!

  23. Anonymous says

    My question has to do with remarriage. When there are biblical reasons for divorce, when one spouse walks away from another, dose God allow for remarriage? Are there scriptures that specifically speak of remarriage? If God hates divorce but in certain circumstances allows for it, dose He there for allow for remarriage?

  24. Anon says

    Hi Courtney and happy birthday! Could you write something about this phenomenon of ‘work wives/husbands’ where a spouse has too close a friend at his/her workplace and how to move past an incident like this in a marriage? My husband had a good friend at work which turned into an emotional affair about a year ago, and I still struggle to move past this and am disappointed that I am having so much trouble. We have been in counseling and our marriage is much stronger now and I know I have no reason to worry, but we are both teachers and getting ready to go back to work and my anxiety level just keeps rising. I am kind of freaking out for no good reason at this point! :) The worst part is I have to see the other individual quite frequently- which is really hard for me, because she said a lot of awful things about me and knows intimate details about my marriage. I don’t even know if anyone else has issues like this, but thanks for letting me share.

  25. Anonymous says

    How much “privacy” should be expected in a marriage? I know all of my husbands passwords to e-mail, voicemail/texts, and facebook and randomly look through them. We had some issues with pornography a few years ago and a few months prior to that I found out, by perusing through his fb messages, that at a wedding he was in – he went out drinking with some guys and girls after the rehearsal. He did not cheat on me and we are not against having a beer or something, but I was on the other side of the country and he was with females and the risk for temptation could have turned ugly. I trust him, but still feel the need to check these things – partly for my own assurance and partly for his protection (he had a coworker email him some disgusting pornographic pictures, which he told me about immediately after slamming the computer down and asked me to go back and delete them) Anyway, he also has my passwords and stuff, yet doesn’t feel comfortable or that it’s his place to look in my things. I have no problem with it because there is nothing to hide. He has never said he doesn’t like me going through his stuff and anytime I have found something, he owns up to it immediately. Am I invading his privacy if these things happened 4 years ago and there hasn’t been anything since? Or am I doing the right thing? I don’t know what the answer is…

    PS – Happy Birthday and I look forward to this new series!!

    • Anon says

      I’d like to read more on this subject, too. We had a similar instance in my marriage last year– where my husband, without my knowing, put himself in a place of temptation and purposely kept it from me. He also looked at porn several times during our marriage. I do not know any of his passwords, though, and don’t believe he would give them to me (I haven’t pressed the issue, but he isn’t offering them up). I do trust him now, and we’ve had conversations about what is “allowed” and not allowed in our marriage, but I still find myself wishing I could check up on him. Ugh.

  26. Anonymous says

    I’ve been married 35 years; have never had much of a sex drive, but as time goes on it only gets worse. I don’t understand. I know the Lord has given sex as a gift to married couples. I continually seek the Lord in prayer about it, but it isn’t something I want to talk with in person to a counselor. Do you know of any books/resources that could help? I noticed a couple of other women also had this problem. I don’t like to kiss. (dry closed lip kisses are preferred.) I don’t enjoy my husband touching me; I tense up. Hugging me is great, but nothing more. I wish I/we had gotten help many years ago. Since I’ve never had an orgasm I don’t know what the big deal is. I don’t like the foreplay. If you or anyone else has some suggestions it would be much appreciated.
    Thank you for your ministry. I’m finished with my homeschooling years and am now an empty nester, but reading of your life is interesting and helpful.

    • says

      I’m wondering if you have any anxiety and/or control issues. Or any past sexual abuse. I have battled with the same problem and I know it is because of anxiety & control issues.
      Foreplay, sex & everything that goes along with it make me incredibly uncomfortable, because I’m not in control. I have had times where I can barely stand my husband kissing or touching me. Not because he is doing something wrong, but because my anxiety is through the roof, I can’t relax. I could never orgasm, until I learned to fully relax. This mostly stems from my past sexual abuse, but I know other women that have had the same problem & never had any sexual abuse.
      Counseling and/or medication may be the best solution. You don’t necessarily have to talk about sex. You could talk about if you have anxiety, control issues, or where these may stem from.

  27. says

    Hi Courtney! I recently started reading your blog, as it was a suggestion from a friend when I was looking for resources after discovering that my husband was having an affair. We are going to counseling and we are both aware that the only hope for our marriage is turning to God and allowing Him to heal us and help us to build a more Christ-centered marriage…but it’s SO hard. I do trust that God will use all things to His greater glory and that He does have a plan for me and for us, but I don’t know how to get past the overwhelming feelings of betrayal and anger and sadness. Some days are easier, but other days, those emotions are all I can think about. I struggle, because I know that the Lord has already forgiven my husband, and still loves him completely, and that I am called to do the same. I KNOW this, but I don’t know how to LIVE it.

    I certainly would appreciate any suggestions, advice, thoughts, resources, books, anything. Thank you so much for your ministry!

    • Anonymous says

      Megan,
      Make sure to get a NANC (National Association of Nouthetic Counselors) certified Biblical counselor. Just because it is called Biblical counseling doesn’t mean that they are relying on the Word of God for healing. His Word will bring healing and forgiveness to you both. Megan, for a start, spend time in the Word fully comprehending your sin and guilt and how much Christ has forgiven you, then you will better be able to fully forgive your husband.

      • Stephanie says

        Thank you for that link, I have been searching for a biblical counselor for my children. My husband is terminally ill and they are struggling with their emotions and I have debtaed counseling. I just don’t want to expose them to any “worldly” theroies in the process. I found on on this list that is not too far from where we live!

  28. Anonymous Annie says

    Oh, Where to begin.

    My husband and I are EXTREMELY spiritually mismatched. For the first several years we were together, we were on the same “worldly” page. However, In the past few years someone extremely close to me passed away and I see things completely different. I do not find comfort, nor look for joy in things of the world anymore. He knows that I try to live by the word as much as possible. He disagrees, GREATLY.

    Because he knows I live by the word, and I have a STRONG conviction of it, I feel he uses as great leverage that the man is supposed to be the spiritual leader of the household. One day he even suggested that I bring the laundry from one side of the house to another (while i was in the middle of something else) and because I didn’t “JUMP!,” He quickly announced (in front of our two children) that I was setting a horrible example of living out bible principles & following my convictions, because in me not doing as he asked, I was not “following him” or letting him “lead me.”

    He assumes the role of spiritual leader quickly when he wants me to shut up about how our 6 year old daughter & 8 year old son should not watch a rated R movie since we are capable of covering their eyes/ears. He assumes the role of spiritual leader when he hears me telling the kids that worldly things are not eternal things therefore we shouldn’t be investing in them. Anytime he hears me telling the kids about Jesus or telling them what different verses mean he jumps in and quickly tells me to leave the subject alone because, by the standards & Holy Word that I live by HE is the spiritual leader and, so ONLY HE should lead them in that area.

    He NEVER (and I mean NEVER) defends God. He doesn’t defend going to church, listening to “christian” or “gospel” music, watching family movies (He didn’t even like the movie Fireproof because, in his words, “the innuendos were not BLUNT or REAL enough!”).

    However, he ALWAYS, and without cause to be defensive because NOONE is addressing it, defends drinking (because Jesus created & Drank wine), cussing, smoking, going to any type of gentlemen’s clubs, being bi-sexual (because he claims he is), girls dressing completely inappropriate (because it’s what you’d see at the beach [even though we are NOWHERE NEAR ONE]), he had a great “man talk” with our son when he found out (thanks to me) that our 8 year old son is watching INTENSE p*rn on his computer (and my husband will not put a block on the computer and WILL NOT allow me to put one on there!!!) and his [best?] friend is a ped*phile (luckily I KNOW THIS & KEEP THAT GUY AWAY FROM MY KIDS!!!!!!!!!!!!)

    Also, this year, God called me to homeschool our kids. And we are… However, my husband told me that if I do not get, yet ANOTHER job, then the kids WILL stop homeschooling & go back to public school in a heartbeat. Why? Because God didn’t tell HIM to homeschool them – so it’s not HIS job to be responsible for the financial load of that “calling.” So, now, he not only wants me to do the roles the bible calls a woman to do, but only SOME of those that the bible calls a man to do – because well, we couldn’t have ME being the spiritual leader of the household, now could we?

    Also, for those who may suggest… Christian counseling is OUT of the picture because anyone who is a Christian (which oddly enough, my husband claims to be one through and through) has a “higher than thou” attitude and he just can’t handle such simple mindedness and will not listen to anyone.

    Sorry that was so long. And to think, that’s not even HALF OF IT.

    *Sigh.*

    • Anonymous says

      Your husband may not want Biblical counseling, but you could search for a counselor associated with NANC (National Association of Nouthetic Counselors). These are wonderful certified Biblical counselors. They will lead you in the right direction. If your husband doesn’t want you to homeshool, then you should submit to his leadership and put the children in the schooling of his choice. If your husband does not ask you to sin then you should submit to his desires.

      • Anonymous Annie says

        HE does want us to homeschool. He is more against public school than most anyone I know. However, he is using the excuse that since God didn’t call him to homeschool, he shouldn’t have to bear that financial load. It’s just a cop out, I feel, in order for him to still use my beliefs for leverage of him having his way no matter what.

        He claims that I never want to spend any time with him, but his spare time is filled with watching things I find inappropriate on TV, all of the time. I can’t stomach watching shows I wouldn’t feel comfortable watching with my children (Dexter, True Blood, Hot Tub Time Machine, The L Word, etc [and that’s his MODEST chose of shows]).

        He says I shouldn’t train the children in the ways of the Lord, because then when they get older – they will mentally break from trying to live a “perfect life” out of fear. However, they should come to those choices on their own & we shouldn’t introduce them to any certain beliefs. As he says, “That way we’ll know we can find comfort in knowing we didn’t ‘force’ any certain way to believe on the kids. Because that is a lot of pressure to put on a child.” Around me, he simply refuses to accept that I am not trying to instill the-fear-of-not-being-perfect, into the kids, but rather – self control.

        He even told me today that is was NOT HIS JOB as spiritual leader to live out an example of what he feels we should live like [Jesus], because then it’d make it easier for someone to view how he looks on ‘the outside’ which would make it easier to address how he was walking his walk with Jesus. Meaning, everything he experiences with Jesus is on the inside and noone can see it or share it with him, because once people sees that’s how he lives, then when he messes up and isn’t perfect – they’ll judge him a lot harder. So, he’s not going to make the judging part easy for anyone. ((I hope I made that make sense like he meant it.))

        I really do try to submit to him. It is my hearts desires. I never cease in prayer. But I find it SO SO HARD to be led by a man who isn’t led by God himself.

    • says

      A christian counselor would be best, but I can almost guarantee that ANYONE would agree that your 8 year looking at porn is not okay! And that is sin for your son, so putting a block up would not be wrong.

      Do you consider your home to be a safe place for your children?
      I will be in prayer for you. This is a lot to handle. But our God is bigger than all of these things.

  29. says

    I was looking at this post when my 2 year old looked at the picture of you and said, “Tangled!!”. She loves the movie “Tangled” and she evidently thinks you look just like Rapunzel:). I hope that brings a smile to you today.

  30. Anonymous says

    First Happy Birthday.
    I would love to hear tyour thoughts about taking offence. Like when your hubby makes a commend and you take it offence by it. This can be taken so easily.
    Also if your hubby would discipline your children in a way that you do not approve of what do you do?

  31. To: Anonymous Annie says

    I suggest you read Created to be his helpmeet by Debi Pearl. Be careful but there are is A LOT of great advice.

  32. Worried says

    I also am interested in what the bible says about divorce and remarriage. I am separated from my husband and firmly believe that my children and I are in a much better place because of this. The children are no longer walking on egg shells (neither am I) and my husband has shown time and again that he wasn’t the man I thought I had married. However, I do wonder where this puts me with the Lord. I believe I made the right decision for my family.

  33. Tithing says

    I am a Christian and my husband is not. He was raised Catholic until he was 10 (he moved) and hasn’t been to church much since then. We have been married for 6 years and we have not been tithing. I really have felt a pull to give God 10% of my income but my husband does not feel this same need. We have a joint bank account and we make decisions together on our budget. We have really felt like our budget is tight after having our two girls, so that adds to his concern about giving money away. He doesn’t really believe that God will provide for us. Any help will be appreciated.

  34. anonymous says

    Question for marriage series:

    How does having children change and affect a marriage? (I’m getting to the “now or never” age and my husband and I aren’t sure if we want/should have kids — which makes me feel quite abnormal since most women grow up wanting to be moms!)

  35. Renee says

    Happy Birthday! I do have a question. My husband and I have been married for two years now. We are out of the newlywed phase and over the “terrible twos” (not terrible, but we did a lot of growing from newlyweds to married life). A constant struggle I face is not getting the support I feel like I need. I am involved with a youth ministry. Originally my husband and I were suppose to do it together, but since that time he has taken a step back and decided he wouldn’t like to be involved. I have choosen to stay with the ministry on my own. My problem is that I don’t get any support I need. It is a large time commitment and a big headache sometimes but in my opinion TOTALLY worth it. He is always telling me I should just walk away from it. We even had a BBQ this weekend for the famalies of everyone involved and he actually left during the BBQ and said he would come back to pick me up later. I felt really hurt that he couldn’t be there for me. I don’t understand because normally he is SO amazing and helps me out. He is normally my biggest cheerleader and support source. Any words of wisdom for addressing this without causing a fight?

  36. says

    i am newly married (three weeks!) and as my husband and i settle into the routines of our new home, i’d ask what you suggest are good ways of discussing the breakdown of work. i currently work outside the home (and will do so until we have children) but there are of course, countless things to do at home, for the home etc. how to share the chores?

    happy birthday! xx

  37. Lanie says

    Hello Courtney & Others,
    I have been married just over two years and have had every brides worst midnight – controlling in-laws. I never saw it coming until we arrived back on our honeymoon and everything was taken from under us. I have too many stories of my in-laws that I onced believe were only on T.V. and not in the “real world.” I soon realized I was wrong. My husband and I are trying to biblically “fireproof” our marriage by cutting off all strings. We love them and respect them, but how do you cut strings from in-laws LOVINGLY and respectfully? I am well aware that these are life long relationships so I want to try to keep peace in our home, but I know that if my husband and I do not just have us in our marrige, it was kill us in the end. THANK you for your advice!!! I look forward to reading your comments.

    • anonymous says

      I hope this one is addressed!

      My husband and I also struggle a LOT with this. How do I honor God in my relationship with my in-laws, when what I view as a reasonable boundary, they view as disrespectful or pushing them away or not “acting like family”? It feels like what we do to protect our marriage could destroy the testimony of love that we so want to display to unbelieving parents.

  38. Anon says

    Hey Courtney – Happy Birthday! Hope it was a great one.

    I am excited about your marriage series coming up.

    Can you please discuss emotional and physical abuse? I have been abused by my husband in the past but he has been working to change that. He hasn’t hurt me in over a year. Obviously, I hold a lot of resentment and find it hard to forgive him. We are separated at the moment but I see the ways that the Lord is working in his life and helping him mature and grow.

    My family really doesn’t like him anymore (which is understandable). I feel like I am being pulled in two directions. Is it possible to forgive someone for doing something like that? I know God tells us of forgiveness but if it was my sister being abused I would have to tell her to never go back…

    He is a great father. He had a horrible childhood and encountered extreme trama while growing up.

    Please just find a way to include some portion of your series on abuse.

    Thank you,

  39. takeya says

    I just wanted to say that i just came across your blog and im loving it, im recently married and going thur some rough patches and i know that it is another test but it seem that im failing the test and i dont like to fail and i really want my marriage to work but i feel that im the only one. Me and my husband are both saved but he is seems to be tempted by the emeny and doesn’t seem to want to be married and im praying to God to work it out.. I have been encourged by reading your post Thank you

  40. says

    Hi Courtney,

    Bless you for opening up your blog for questions about marriage. It’s such an important topic and vital facet of our lives. The more we learn, the better!

    My DH and I have been married for 33 years (I guess that qualifies me as an “older woman”). I host a Blog Hop every other week called Marriage Monday. If any of your readers would like to join us, we would be blessed! Our group topic on September 12, 2011 is “Communication.”

    Meanwhile, I’ll see if there’s a question or two here that I can answer.

    Blessings,

    e-Mom @ Chrysalis ღ

    http://www.chrysaliscafe.com
    http://www.susannahskitchen.com
    http://www.facebook.com/ChrysalisCafe

  41. Anonymous says

    Happy Birthday!

    My husband and I have been married for nine years. I was saved just over two years ago but my husband is not. Now the kids and I go to church each Sunday and read bible stories and pray together but my husband is indiferent to it all. I pray daily that his heart will turn to God. Daily routines and decisions can be a struggle as I try to live out God’s word and turn my children to Jesus when he is not a part of it. How do I make this work until the day he is saved?

  42. says

    Happy Happy Birthday you two! Enjoy your break and I can’t wait for the series on marriage! Christian marriage in particular! My husband and I are newly married and I love learning so I know I am not by myself and marriage is work for everyone!

    ~Blessings!

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