Sunday, July 25, 2010

Questions and Answers...

Once a week I will feature a Question and Answer segment on the blog to attempt to answer any questions or respond to any feedback I’ve gotten during the previous week. Where there are specific quotes, identities have been protected to ensure confidentiality. One thing I know for sure is that people are really trying to figure this marriage thing out. And while I don’t claim to have all of the answers, I have had the opportunity to experience a lot of things in my marriage that has prepared me to encourage you from an informed place. Understand, I don’t have a license in Marriage and Family therapy or a PhD in Sociology, but I do operate from a place of “practical application” with success and that, my friend, is my “qualifier!”

Q: What do you do with feelings for someone who is not your spouse?

A: The short answer: NOTHING!

The long answer: If you find yourself attracted to someone else, you must first do practical things like setting boundaries and minimizing your contact with that person. The more time you spend “interacting” with that individual, even on a platonic basis, you will be ultimately set up for a fall. On a deeper layer, what attributes are so attractive about this person that they deserve the energy that should be reserved only for your spouse? Remember, the grass is not greener on the other side, it is greener where you water it. Got a drought? Pray for rain!

Q: What do you do when your spouse does not support you making a career change?

A: Try to come from a place of understanding and get to the root of why they’re not supportive. Could it be in how you’ve approached the matter? Did you just walk in the house one day and announce that you’ve resigned from your job? Have you made earnest efforts to understand their point of view and help them understand your dreams and desires? Or did you just go into the corner and pout about it or rehearse it to five of your girlfriends about how unsupportive your husband is? When spouses are unsupportive, it is usually based out of fear of the unknown (How will we pay our bills?) or from a place of insecurity. If you feel they are insecure, work with them on feeling secure about the changes you desire to make that will ultimately be for the good of the union, not just for you.

Q: How do you help your spouse understand or realize that the family needs to have a mission/vision and not just exist?

A: Communicate. Demonstrate. Appreciate.
  • Communicate to your spouse some of your desires for the family. Listen for their feedback. And when you get the feedback, don’t discount it.
  • Demonstrate the change you would like to see. For example, if you desire for the family to be on a spending plan, begin to implement some changes in your own spending and share them with your family.
  • Appreciate them for being who they are. You are not married to a child. You are married to an adult, and no grown person wants to be talked to like a child. However, if you begin to honor them with your words and line that up with corresponding action, change is inevitable.

Here is a snippet from a letter I received after my last blog post, “Don’t Start Nothing, Won’t be Nothing”:

“[I] just wanted to thank you for the last installment of Marriage Ain't for Wimps. My husband and I are right there! And your blog described us perfectly. My flesh wants out, [but] my spirit doesn't feel released and I am getting worn waiting for a word from the Lord. Thank you for putting it into words. We are in counseling now but we haven't begun to scratch the surface of what is really going on. Pray for us. I want God to be glorified...but I want relief too.”

My response:

“My heart feels you. My husband & I were there several years ago. I remember wanting out of the marriage so badly, but in my spirit I knew that God was a Healer & a Restorer. I'd gotten to the point, though, where I didn't want to be healed or restored. I just wanted out! What I will say is that if you know what is right in your Spirit Man, don't discount it. It is a lie from the enemy that you will be better off without your husband. Your marriage is to help you not to hurt you. You're in counseling. Congratulations! Take full advantage of it. Don't hold back. Trust the process so that you and your marriage can be healed. Know that your story is being played out a million times over in households all over the world. That tells me one thing: that the enemy is after our prize because if we're distracted, we're ineffective for the Kingdom. Please be encouraged and know that you ALREADY have the victory. Refuse to receive anything less!”

In closing, know that having a successful union requires a lot of personal sacrifice. Your goal should be to give the advantage and not to take the advantage. That’s a hard pill to swallow, at times, and may not initially come so easily. Pride, hurt, and anger can hinder you from getting the results you really want in your marriage. But, unless you’re married to a fool who refuses to change (and sometimes you are, LOL!), you will see positive outcomes with consistent, genuine effort.

To Marriage With Love,


  1. Wow, Tangie. Thank God for your widsom. I will pass along your blog to others and keep it handy for myself, for that time when God sends the real blessing my way. (I made some REAL mistakes in this area in the past and learning to WAIT ON GOD!). God bless you sister and praise God.

  2. I was laughinging about "don't start nothing, won't be nothing". I had just rehearsed a conversation I was going to have with my spouse. I was assuming his responses and I was ready to "get him" with mine...(wrong attitude!). I will remember and practice to offer words of kindness instead of words of daggers.

    The short answer about "feelings" had me laughing out loud. It caught me off guard, but the point was made. The long answer was very thought provoking. We are always looking at the grass across the street, but are never focusing on that somebody is over there watering it....doing the work! Definitely got to get me some marriage "gardening tools".

    "Consistent, genuine effort" that's how you use those tools!

    Thank you for the laughs and the wisdom! 0

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