Leslie will be Focus on the Family To Discuss her book “Lord I Just Want To Be Happy”
FREE WEBINAR TOMORROW – Leslie and her colleague, pastor and batterer intervention specialist Chris Moles will be doing a free webinar on Effective Strategies in Counseling the Emotionally Destructive Person. Please let your pastor, counselor and marriage mentor ministry leader know of this important free class.CLICK HERE to Register.
February 16th – Leslie will be featured on New Life Live. More details to come.
3 Crucial Truths About Maintenance and Repairs
By Leslie Vernick
There is a law of nature that we often ignore, to our own detriment. The law is: What we don’t maintain will deteriorate. This is true of our cars, our yards, our homes, and even our bodies. Who smells better after three days if you haven’t showered? No one. If you don’t take out your the trash for a month, what will your house look like? Smell like?
One summer I was so busy writing one of my books, I never weeded my garden out back. I was so busy I never even stepped outside to see my back yard. Eight weeks later to my absolute horror, the weeds were taller than me and covered most of my beautiful perennial garden. It was ugly and a good lesson on the law of maintenance. If we don’t do regular maintenance, things don’t automatically or naturally get better, they always get worse.
Then why do we believe that our marriage or other important relationships should thrive when we put no effort into maintaining them? It’s impossible.
When my daughter was a college student, she was given a car to use. It was an older car that ran well and served its purpose. One day the check oil light came on. My daughter told herself that since the car seemed to be running fine, she didn’t have to pay attention to that light just yet. After all she was busy, she didn’t have much extra money so maintenance could wait.
She was wrong. When the car stalled, she had it towed it to the mechanic. She said it needed more oil. She was wrong. The car had a much more serious problem. It needed a new engine. Because she failed to do maintenance, it now needed major repairs, a far more expensive problem than maintaining it would have been.
In the same way, when we fail to regularly maintain our relationships, eventually they will break down. Sometimes I receive a phone call from a desperate husband who wants to save his marriage. He says he must get an appointment for marriage counseling right away. His wife has moved out or filed for divorce and he’s desperate to fix this problem. When I ask him if this is the first time he knew there were marriage problems brewing I always hear a loud sigh at the other end. “Not exactly” he says, “but I just never took her seriously until now.”
Don’t get me wrong, even with regular maintenance sometimes things break down and need repairs. A car may need a new transmission or a house needs to have a broken pipe fixed. When we refuse to repair what’s broken, it doesn’t get fixed on it’s own. A pattern of ignoring problems leads to more problems and less warmth, fun, and connection in your relationships.
If you want better relationships, remember these crucial truths.
Maintenance is necessary for all relationships to flourish. Invest time and energy in getting to know your spouse and building your relationship.
1. Take time to clear the air, resolve small hurts, miscommunications and misunderstandings. Don’t allow them to build and fester. Like my daughter’s problem with her car, ignoring maintenance can lead to more costly and extensive problems.
2. Sometimes even good cars, healthy bodies, and new homes need repairs. To ignore necessary repairs only creates more problems. Even the most loving relationships need repair work at times. If you needed a plumber or a mechanic to fix what was broken you hire one. You may need to hire a counselor, coach, or at the very least humble yourself and ask wise, trusted friends for help so that you make the necessary repairs to your relationship.
3. One person cannot be responsible for all the maintenance and repair work of a relationship. Even when there is serious sin by one party and he or she has been repentant, the offended spouse must also forgive and be willing to rebuild if the relationship is to heal.
However, when a marriage has been fractured by a spouse’s sinful behaviors, it may take a consistent effort by that person to repair broken trust. Forgiveness is always a gift, but broken trust still must still be rebuilt. That takes time.
If you recognize that you’ve not been maintaining or repairing your relationships start now, start today, before there is further deterioration.
Question: I believe my husband has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I have been married for 16 years and after the first month he devalued me, my thoughts and actions (to the point of disdaining me for taking vitamins).
I had been divorced but not married as a Christian to a Christian and was so very happy to marry this relatively successful and handsome man.
He has gone 2 through periods of ‘punishing’ me by not speaking to me for months and is on the 3rd. He wants a divorce and has alienated me from any friends he can and all of his family (that wasn’t hard they’ve never really been nice to me).
My question is: what the heck is wrong with me that I still love him and am paralyzed with fear. Am I being self-destructive?
I am older and have returned to grad school. He is the breadwinner, but I can work so it is a sick emotional attachment of some sort.
This man treats me like I am less than worthless. He has completely ignored me for months now and comes and goes as he pleases – usually returning home around 11 pm.
Someone said I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I can’t concentrate and cry a lot – feel very anxious and worthless. What is wrong with me to want to stay with a man like this when it is obvious he despises me and wants out? Thanks for any help.
Answer: You are wise to recognize that your attachment to this man is not healthy and to do some exploration as to why. You have some initial thoughts or ideas about what’s wrong with him as well as you – but if you indeed are suffering from PTSD or even major depression which some of your symptoms suggest, you may need more help than I can give in this short blog.
Let me just go through the stages of being with someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Stage 1: Desire – he wants you. You are everything to him. You are the best thing that ever happened to him. No one can meet his needs like you do. You are intoxicated by the adoration that comes your way and you are captured by its allure. “Gee, am I that wonderful?” “Wow, no one has ever treated me this way before.” “I love being with him, he makes me feel so alive, so loved, so important, so valuable.”
Stage 2: Demands – now that you are captured, your role is to always meet his needs, always put him first, always pay attention to him and subjugate your own needs/wants/desires/feelings to his. If you refuse or fail, you will have a price to pay. You keep hoping and trying and pleading to get back to stage one, but it will never happen. It’s downhill from here.
Stage 3: Devalue – If you try to have a real relationship with mutuality and reciprocity, you will be criticized and devalued or demeaned. You are not to ask for your own needs to be met – you are to have no needs or desires other than to be in his presence, build him up, serve him, love him, make him happy, adore him no matter what he does. When you want him to treat you like he did in stage 1 he will mock you and make you feel like you are worthless and a huge disappointment to him.
Fear was not part of God’s original agenda for his creation.It slithered onto the scene when Adam and Eve sinned, causing a tear in their relationship with God. And even though fear touches every life and can still debilitate people today, the news isn’t all bad.
Popular speaker and author Grace Fox demonstrates how believers can face their fear and actually let it be a catalyst for change.
Readers will learn how to stop hiding from God and instead develop a deeper relationship with Him. This is what she calls “the upside of fear”:When we cry out to God for help, He answers, and we experience Him in new ways.
If you would like to enter to win, you can click hereto provide your name and email address.
Winners of The Wellness Journey Of A Lifetime by Vicki Heath are Nancy H. and Purvi P.
February 8th, 2016
Leslie will be Focus on the Family To Discuss her book “Lord I Just Want To Be Happy“
April 8th, 2016
Faith Church, Trexlertown.
Foundations Family Conference – Conference Open to the public. CLICK HERE to register
April 28th – 29th, 2016
Faith United Methodist Church
More Information To Come
HERE'S WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT LESLIE'S COACHING
“Coaching with Leslie Vernick helped me recognize and replace my old destructive relational habits with healthy new ways to approach my spouse. Now I’m beginning to live and relate from my CORE, a place that keeps me focused on the LORD and is so strong to rescue me from feeling like I’m drowning in my circumstances and emotions. Now my marriage is on a renewed and better track.
I can definitely see a positive turn in my attitude and this, by the grace of God, has invited my spouse to begin to relate to me differently too; the LORD is at work! Leslie’s approach was both practical and spiritual. She provided scripture to bolster me along the way and her suggestions were right on target to help. To anyone wanting to escape the burden of a repetitious harmful behaviors in life I would recommend, without reservation, Leslie Vernick as a coach!
– SH (a woman in a
LESLIE WELCOMES YOUR QUESTIONS
Leslie wants to help you grow in your personal and relational effectiveness. Please submit your questions by clicking here.
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