Marriage Alive!                         August/September 2002

                                                                                              Volume 1 issue 1  
Heaven Ministries

The Online Newsletter of Love & Marriage

To My Readers

Articles

Detach With Love

Independence & Submission

Respect

Resources

 Interview With A Husband E-Books

How To Stay Happily Married

An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have; the older she gets the more interested he is in her.

 Agatha Christie

 

  A good marriage is like a casserole; only those responsible for it really know what goes in it.  -- Anonymous

Welcome to the online newsletter where you will find fresh written articles and no annoying ads. Enjoy!

Detach With Love

 

Learning to detach from things that are negative in your marriage, could very well be one of the most important decisions you make for yourself and your loved ones.

When a person detaches emotionally from their partner, they arenít detaching from love or from giving love, they are detaching from the emotional negativities that cloud the heart and mind. When we are clouded with such negative thoughts, we are unable to see clearly to solve the issue and someone elseís problem becomes our own.  We end up living in misery.

Sometimes when we become too attached to our partner and their weaknessí we canít distinguish our own individuality from theirs.  We donít see ourselves; therefore we canít utilize what we have to offer.  Because of this we believe our partners weakness to be our own. This is why we call the boss, when our partner canít get out of bed because of too much alcohol the night before. Or why we keep coming back for more insults and criticism from our partner even though weíre hurting terribly inside. 

Some of us get so carried away with the emotional imbalances of others that we blame ourselves. Some wives actually blame themselves when their husbands have affairs.   No one can really make someone else do something. The notion that one partner is responsible for the acts of another is pure brainwash. People do what they want to do and they are accountable for their actions. If a wife says to her husband, ďyou made me do it because of so and so,Ē itís just an act of blaming on her part.  You see, if she can shift the blame of her actions onto her husband it will make her look and feel like the perfect partner.

If you are blamed for the acts of another, detach with love by still being supportive. Tell your partner, ďI donít believe it is my fault that you get drunk every night. From now on you are responsible for your actions. If you want help for this disease, I will be supportive, but until then youíre on your own.Ē This is different then enabling immoral or destructive behavior.  Itís very destructive to the relationship when blaming goes on.

If there is an addiction problem in the home, just little things you say and do may be enabling him or her to sustain their addiction.  Such as putting them to bed at night, instead of leaving them sprawled out on the hard floor. Or lying to the children and making excuses to your family and friends about the partner with the addiction.  This is assisting in your partnerís destructive behavior instead of being supportive.

To be supportive, you would tell them that next time they pass out on the floor, youíre leaving them there. You would explain to them that you love them (not the disease) so much that you are going to leave them on the floor so they can see what theyíre doing to themselves. Sound mean? Well itís not! This is what your partner needs to help them out of the denial they are in.  And by detaching yourself emotionally from them, you will learn to stop babying the addiction.

To be supportive, you would tell your partner that youíre leaving until they stop their destructive and unproductive lifestyle. You would explain to them that their immoral behavior is affecting the whole household and that you arenít going to make it everyone elseísí problem anymore.  Be sure that this is what you want to do before you tell them. Once you tell your partner your boundaries, you canít go back.  You canít call wolf and later expect them to believe you. So you must carry out what you set out to accomplish. 

To be supportive you would stop lying to everyone about your partnerís addiction. Remember, your partnerís problem is not yours, unless you stop making it your problem and assuming responsibility for it.  Stop taking the responsibility and start taking care of your self. Only then will your partner wake up to their denial and get help.  Enabling behavior by you affirms the denial in the addicted person.

If your partner often insults, criticizes or defines your being and you allow this behavior, you are assisting them to carry on with this harmful behavior.  Donít allow your partner to destroy your spirit.  Often times they donít even realize that they are doing this. Speak up for yourself and set limits on how youíre partner may treat you. You have every right to not allow emotional abuse of any kind from your partner. 

If your partner finds fault and continually puts you down, there are underlying issues that need to be dealt with. But if you allow your partner to mistreat you this issue will never get resolved.  When you are glued to your partner and believe you need them for everything is when that partner will mistreat you. They sense your dependence upon them and therefore feel secure knowing they can treat you anyway they want.  Dependent individuals never speak up for themselves-just sit there and agree with the insults.  Later they become resentful over it and start believing that what their partner says about them is true.   

You can stop emotional abuse by responding in an assertive fashion while expressing your feelings and establishing boundaries for those who trespass.  By doing this on a continual basis, you will come out from inside of yourself and start becoming who you are, not what your partner says you are.   Let go of the emotional abuse of another by simply not allowing it.  People who are attached emotionally to another are inside of themselves; donít know themselves, and so take their partners identity to take the place of their own hidden identity.

You can stop emotional abuse by walking away from it.  When emotional abuse continues it is because it is allowed to continue. Let your partner understand through your actions, that what they say isnít going to upset you anymore. Donít let your partner see you upset.

Detach from that which is negative by learning to express your feelings and expressing who you really are. Locking feelings inside allows for others to make up your feelings for you.  Since you donít talk, your partner will do it for you. When your partner talks for you and defines you, it isnít who you are, but who they say you are. They are trespassing against you spirit. 

When you voice your feelings instead of being the timid mouse you have been, your partner will realize that you are an individual, separate from them.  How can they insult and mistreat you when you have spoken up on behalf of yourself? They canít and that is when respect comes in. So the three things you can do for yourself are to be assertive, express your feelings and set boundaries for yourself. Your partner will appreciate you more for it.  Your spirit will grow and you will find yourself.

Angie Lewis copyright2001  All Rights Reserved

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Marriage resembles a pair of shears, so joined that they cannot be separated; often moving in opposite directions, yet always punishing anyone who comes between them. -- Sydney Smith

 

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Independence & Submission

Can a woman be independent and still submit to her husband? Of course! Some of you might think it sounds insincere, but itís not. You might wonder, how you can maintain your individuality and still surrender yourself to your husbandís authority? Many women feel that when they surrender to their husbandís authority, they will lose their independence. 

A mature independent woman can indeed maintain her individuality and still submit to her husbandís authority in spiritual matters. The only time a wife should think twice about not honoring her husband in decision-making is when he is using the scripture incorrectly to manipulate and coerce the relationship.  Unfortunately this does happen.

How you can tell when it happens?  A Christ-Honoring man will not try and control his wife. He will not demand that she do anything that would place her in a degrading, dangerous or deprived situation.  When a Divinely inspired husband sets dreams and goals for his family, he does it through what he feels in his heart is the will of God. The same applies when a major decision needs to be fulfilled. 

If a husband becomes demanding because of his own selfish reasons, then a wife need not submit to that kind of authority.  This is called ďself-seekingĒ authority for it comes from his own ideas and schemes, not from a godly position and is used to manipulate and control a person and relationship.

If a man controls his wife with offensive or otherwise, cruel channels just to get her to do something that she feels is against the will of God, as she knows it, she should assert herself right away to her husband by explaining her feelings on the matter. 

Explain why you feel it is not what God would want for the family.  Set forth examples through scripture. Let your husband understand that you arenít demeaning his decision, but that you donít think it feels ethically constructive to make this decision at this time. Challenge your husband to see if he can figure out a new method of dealing with the issue instead of you taking the lead and making the decision.

Communicating feelings is so very important in situations where decisions need to be made.  Sometimes other issues may be troubling your husband and his decision may not be prudent or wise.  Communicate why you might not think a deciding issue to be wise and nine times out of ten, your husband will agree.  Expressing yourself properly to your husband shows independence.  He will be grateful that you spoke up and explained yourself.

An independent-minded Christian woman can sustain her individuality and still be submissive to her husbandís authority. Submission means to respect and honor the man you married. How can respecting the man you married take independence away from you? It canít.  When a Christian wife rebels knowingly against the divine authority of her husband, she will also be rebelling against the will of God. 

If a wife respects her husband, she is then able to be independent.  If a woman is independent and knows who she is, she will respect her husband. A woman who understands and loves herself will submit and respect her husband through good times and bad. And a man will forever love his wife if she respects him.

What happens if there is a major decision to be made and both husband and wife are steering in different directions?

First the wife should express her beliefs and ideas about the issue with her Christ-Honoring husband.  If he is still adamant about his decision and if it rests on a Godly foundation, then the wife should submit to her husband.

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Respect

Respect is recognizing and accepting your partner for who they are.  When we consider our partners feelings by giving them room to be what God created them to become, we are respecting our partner.

Respect your partner and they will be more productive and creative in the relationship.  The marriage will grow and you will be happier.  The partner who feels good about who they are is respected by their mate. Why is that? We all need validation and there is no better person to feed our ego then our partner.  When our partner validates us, it letís us know that what we do and what we say is okay. If our actions are okay, then we must be okay.  

But, you say that your partner must earn your respect. What for? This is like saying, ďI wonít forgive my husband for having an affair-ever because Iím the victim here.Ē 

If you feel you are the victim of circumstance, ask yourself, ďdid I put myself into the position of being the victim? If your husband had the affair, it seems to me that he would be the victim, not you. You see we make ourselves victims by behaving in ways as if weíre being victimized.  But essentially, what your husband did has nothing to do with you. 

Any woman who loves her husband would feel awful if her Husband was having an affair, but we canít allow ourselves to become victimized over it. If we feel victimized, we become the victim.

If a person believes that someone needs to ďearnĒ (do good by) respect, then that person feels like a victim of circumstance. Otherwise they would be able to accept what is and continue on with life instead of feeling victimized by others.  You will never be able to respect others if you feel like a victim. 

Treat others the way you would like to be treated is the old adage here. Using this concept in marriage and putting it into action is how we begin to understand what it is like to respect others and to be respected. 

Next time we feel disrespected or otherwise insulted by our partner, letís detach from their negative emotions.  Give it back to them by walking away from it. Donít accept what they are saying as real. And donít accept the role of victim and you wonít become the victim. 

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Interview With A Husband

Q.     What is marriage?

A.     God has sanctified marriage. God is the author of marriage.  If God is not the author of marriage, who is? Is it your husband/wife or the state? If marriage is just a contract between the marriage couple and the state then anyone of these can dictate and or interfere with how that marriage is perceived and what it will become.

Q.     What do you think are the three main causes of divorce?

A.      It is in the nature of man/woman to try and find ways out of complex and painful situations. Each situation is unique and personal and depends on the coupleís relationship with their creator.  In some situations there are circumstances where a person needs to detach.   

Q.      Describe for me, what you think is the perfect marriage?

A.      I canít give you a blueprint of what the perfect marriage would be.  But in my eyes, the perfect marriage model would be the institution resting on the foundation of God. In my opinion a good marriage is when both couples are mature enough to love their partner the way they want to be loved and to treat their partner the way they want to be treated. 

Q.      What do you think is the best part about marriage?

A.       Companionship.  Doing things together.                       

To My Readers

Dear subscribers, I hope that you have enjoyed your first newsletter.  I will be adding some interactive projects to the Heaven Ministries marriage web site as well.  Donít forget to save the site to your bookmarks or favorites for easier downloading in the future.

What would you like to see in the next issue of ĎMarriage Alive  E-mail me with your comments.

Until next time!

May your marriage shine like the brightest star!

Angie Lewis

Email Author

Angie Lewis http://www.heavenministries.com/

copyright © 2002 All Rights Reserved