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You’re not satisfied with your marriage. You’re afraid of ending up alone--but married. Or maybe you fear losing your marriage entirely. Look, we know how tough marriage can be but, like you, we believe marriage should be forever. Many have told us that these weekly shows have helped them to create a marriage they love today and they’re going to treasure for a lifetime. You can see their comments in our reviews. Listen, you don’t have to be unhappy in your marriage. Or alone. Or even considering divorce. Start your marriage towards enjoyment and security today: first, subscribe to our podcast. Second, get our worksheets and other bonus content via Patreon. Third, build a thriving, passionate marriage! Who are we? Caleb has his Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy and brings you solid, research-based marriage advice once a week through this show. Verlynda keeps his two feet firmly planted on planet Earth! Together, we bring you The Marriage Podcast for Smart People from OnlyYouForever.com.
Why Is My Spouse So Controlling?
Having a spouse who frequently wants to control you can be frustrating. But control issues commonly come from a specific place. Typically, they are rooted in fear, underlying mental health issues (sometimes linked to fear), perfectionism, low self-esteem, betrayal, insecurities, or unhealthy ideas of what a relationship should look like.
Knowing where your spouse’s desire to control comes from will likely help you feel more compassionate and understanding towards your spouse. Once you can see the source of the issues, you may be able to alleviate some of your spouse’s fears, get professional help, or set appropriate boundaries so that your marriage can thrive.
Defining Emotionally Abusive Behavior
Sometimes, when you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, it is hard to see it at the time. Knowing the signs of abuse can help you recognize it if your romantic relationship is emotionally abusive. Emotional abuse is always a pattern, so seeing one of these signs once, or noticing them during conflict is not a sign of emotional abuse. However, if you are seeing a number of the signs repeating themselves in your romantic relationship, that’s a sign that your partner is emotionally abusive.
Some of the signs of emotional abuse include: gaslighting, unpredictability, isolation, criticism and blaming, avoiding responsibility for unacceptable behavior, deliberate accidents, control, blame, shame, and humiliation. It’s important to recognize these signs and realize you are in an emotionally abusive relationship so that you can set boundaries to keep yourself safe from emotional abuse.
How Do I Know When/If I Can Trust My Spouse After Betrayal?
Infidelity is a difficult, often traumatic experience, and the process of healing takes time. Understanding the effects of betrayal trauma as well as the signs that your spouse is trustworthy again can help you in the journey of healing and rebuilding trust in your marriage (provided your spouse is in a place where they can be trusted again).
While to some degree, every betrayed spouse’s response to betrayal is different, there are also common trauma reactions that most betrayed spouses experience to one degree or another that can make it hard to trust your spouse again, and recognizing these responses is an important part of healing and rebuilding trust in your marriage. There are also certain things to watch for that will help you determine whether or not your spouse is now committed to acting with openness, honesty and integrity in your relationship.
Some signs of trustworthiness include: decreased defensiveness, voices their commitment to the marriage, accepts responsibility, demonstrates personal growth, is willing to be accountable, and demonstrates a preference towards honesty over self-protection. If these are present in your marriage, it is likely that you can begin to trust your spouse again as you work on rebuilding your relationship.
The 5 Pillars of Attachment
Understanding the five pillars of attachment helps you understand how your relationship with your primary caregiver has influenced the way you interact with your romantic partner. The five pillars of attachment are: a sense of felt safety, a sense of being seen and known (attunement), the experience of felt comfort (soothing), a sense of being valued (expressed delight), and a sense of support for being and becoming one’s unique best self.
It is natural that if your attachment needs were not met as a child, your relationship with your spouse will suffer in some way. Feeling unworthy of your spouse’s affection, feeling you should constantly be fussing over your spouse, or being unable to handle conflict are all possible signs of a poor attachment bond with a caregiver that is affecting your relationship with your spouse.
The good news about attachment is that even if you didn’t have a parent who was able to meet your attachment needs, it is possible to develop a more secure attachment style. Listen to this episode to learn more about how to grow into a more secure attachment with your spouse.
What Causes Infidelity?
Infidelity can happen for many reasons, and individuals can experience it differently. Some spouses are fully aware of what they did and how it happened. Other spouses feel disconnected from their actions, and unsure about how they got there.
There are a number of things that make a marriage more vulnerable to infidelity. These include: low marital satisfaction, a lack of sexual intimacy, doubts the marriage will last, multiple sexual partners prior to marriage, crisis, psychiatric problems, infertility, and gender-role conflict. Some of these are not issues for all couples, but they can all be a contributing factor to infidelity in some marriages.
Regardless of any obstacles that may come up in your marriage, or even if you have had sexual infidelity in your marriage, there is hope for you and your spouse. If you both commit to working on your marriage and taking responsibility for your actions, there is hope for you to have a thriving, passionate marriage.
How To Balance Parenting and Marriage (Even During a Pandemic)
Children always bring changes in your relationship with your spouse. It can be a challenge to create time for your spouse when the demands of parenting are competing for your time, but it’s important to prioritize making time for your spouse, and it is no less important during a pandemic.
Society places a lot of demands on parents to have their kids excel
In different areas. And there are some practical ways that you can balance the demands of parenting with making time for your spouse. You can be intentional about having a stress-reducing conversation with your spouse to express any frustrations either of you may have felt during the day. You can also be really intentional about creating time to spend just with one another. Furthermore, you can discuss the division of labor in your marriage, learn to communicate with kindness, and cultivate a friendship between each other. By making time for your marriage, you’re really benefiting both your marriage and your kids, since having a strong marriage also provides your children with a sense of security.
Thank you for some great tips for helping us have a healthy marriage. It’s been so helpful!
Raw and Authentic teaching.
My husband and I just recently started listening to this podcast because our marriage of 30 years hit some rocky roads due to some major family crisis and empty nesting. I can’t say enough how each episode relates and challenges us to do more for us. I’m so very excited to keep going and grow our marriage to greater heights. Thank you.
If you’re looking for a Christian marriage podcast, this is it!
I just can’t say enough about how much I adore this podcast! Caleb and Verlynda bring such compassionate insight to marriage while providing incredibly valuable research-based information. Love is patient, love is kind; love never gives up and is always hopeful - if you’re looking for advice from a friend who truly understands and embodies this truth and will run all the advice they give you through this filter, OYF is it. This is hands-down the best Christian marriage podcast I have been able to find — Caleb and Verlynda, you truly are a blessing to many more people than you know!