Leslie Vernick
February 17th, 2015                                                                                
What's New?
  • For All Our Southern California Friends:  Leslie will be speaking for Celebrate Forever Wednesday March 11, 6:30-8pm.    Casablanca Bridal Flagship Store
    Crystal Cove Shopping Center
    7942 East Pacific Coast Highway, Newport Coast, CA 92657
    Our R.S.V.P. is: 949.205.1440 or [email protected]
 
 
 
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Don't Turn Your Disappointing Relationship Into A Destructive One

By Leslie Vernick
 
When working with individuals preparing for marriage, I always tell them, no one gets all 52 cards in a deck.  What I mean by that is there is no “perfect” man, or spouse.
 
For example, you might marry a man that is naturally handy around the house, can fix anything that’s broken but won’t read a book or have a deep discussion with you.
 
Other women marry men who are capable of wonderful deep conversations on all kinds of topics but when the toilet overflows and is leaking its foul contents through their ceiling light onto their dining room table, they have no clue how to fix it. In other words, sooner or later in some way your husband (or wife) will fail to live up to your dreams, your desires or your expectations. 
 
This happens in all marriages and is not a bad thing.  It’s part of learning how to live and love a real person rather than your ideal fantasy person. When you fail to navigate this disappointment wisely, you can turn an ordinary imperfect or disappointing marriage into something destructive to you, to your spouse, your children, and to your marriage.
 
Many of us have grown up with an unrealistic picture of what love and marriage are supposed look like. We’ve been educated through Hollywood, pornography, and romance novels that when you find the right person, he (or she) will fulfill you and make you happy.  He will be your soul mate and if you’ve found Mr. or Mrs. Right, marriage will be easy.
 
Hollywood tells us that when a relationship has enough sexual passion and romance, everything else will fall into place. It’s a lie. The truth is no one person can fulfill us or love us perfectly. Marriage is hard work because by nature we’re self-centered and want our way.
 
Sexual passion, although a wonderful thing, wears thin when the bills are left unpaid, the kids are up all night, the toilet doesn’t work, or you can’t have a decent discussion about anything meaningful.
 
A while back I was doing a radio program on How to be Happy in a C + Marriage. Many women responded. They shared story after story of how they turned their C+ marriage into a D- marriage by their complaints, criticism and making fun of their husband’s weaknesses. 
 
Continually pointing out our spouse’s flaws usually doesn’t motivate him (or her) to improve or make the marriage better.  More often, it causes him to withdraw from you and shut down. He may even lob a few verbal bombs back at you in retaliation. One of the most common complaints I hear from the men I counsel and coach is “I don’t know how to make her happy, so I’ve stopped trying.”
 
Instead of aiming for an A+ marriage, aim for A+ moments. Learn to appreciate a wonderful evening together, a good talk while walking in the park, a shared prayer or a hilarious movie. Every marriage needs a good dose of A+ moments but when we expect those times to be all the time, we set ourselves up for chronic disappointment.
 
Most marriages will also have a few D- moments when our sinful selfish side gets the best of us. But if we handle those times humbly and honestly, applying the balm of repentance and forgiveness, we can move through them without destroying ourselves, our spouse, or our marriage.
 
 
 
 
How Do I Minister To  My Unbelieving Abusive Husband?

 
 
Question: I don’t think my husband is a genuine Christian. Three years ago after things got really unhealthy in our marriage I made a decision to make it my ministry to be an instrument of God to be used in his conversion process in whatever way God would be pleased to do so.
 
I’ve tried to practice 1 Peter 3 (See: Does God Want me to Submit to Mistreatment according to 1 Peter 3 ) Without being born again, how can he have true conviction that his actions and attitudes are sinful? Can we hold our unsaved spouses who are emotionally destructive responsible for their actions when they cannot even “see” their sin and need for God’s ultimate forgiveness? Grace and undeserved mercy, as the Bible describes them, isn’t something he fully comprehends from what I can tell which is why he justifies his behaviors and refuses to take responsibility for his abusive actions.
 
If so, what is the biblical way for a wife to respond to her emotionally destructive husband, whom she does not want to divorce nor separate, but at the same time does not want to be victim any longer to his abusive ways (verbally/emotionally/physically – i.e. slapping my leg, arm, head/shoving)?
 
Answer: First, let me encourage your heart. You obviously want to honor your vows and be a good example in order to draw your husband to Christ’s love, forgiveness, and mercy. That is very hard to actually want to do in a culture that doesn’t value self-sacrifice or staying in an unhappy marriage. God sees your heart and will help you accomplish his purposes but don’t think that means you must stay a passive victim. You talk about not wanting to hold your husband’s sin against him as if you are the judge. You’re right, your place is not to judge, but that does not mean that you are not to speak truth in love or prevent him from experiencing the consequences of his sinfulness.
 
You ask, “Can we hold our unregenerated spouses who are emotionally destructive responsible for their actions when they cannot even “see” their sin and need for God’s ultimate forgiveness?” Let me ask you something. Do you think God holds people accountable when they are blind to their sin?  
 
For example, do you think God will give the Pharisee’s in Christ’s day a pass because they did not see their envy or their pride or their hypocrisy, even when Jesus directly told them? Read Jesus’ words to them in Matthew 23:13-38
 
Second, you say, “Grace and undeserved mercy, as the Bible describes them, isn’t something he fully comprehends from what I can tell which is why he justifies his behaviors and refuses to take responsibility for his abusive actions.” I don’t think your husband’s primary problem is that he doesn’t understand grace and mercy, although he may not understand these truths.
 
His primary problem is that he feels entitled to abuse you when he doesn’t get his way or what he wants. There are many, many non-Christian men who know nothing of God’s grace and mercy yet they treat their wives with love and respect. They do not verbally, emotionally, sexually, or physically abuse them. It has nothing to do with your husband’s lack of understanding of God’s grace and everything to do with his attitude of entitlement.
 
That takes us to your last question, how do you respond? If you want to “minister” to your husband as a Godly wife, what does that look like specifically? Does it mean that you are to simply continue to allow your husband to sin against you without consequence? Is that the best way you can “love” your husband?Or, is a more bold love required?
 
A love that is strong enough to hold him responsible and accountable for his sinful choices. A love that might call the police and let him experience the legal consequences of his abusive behavior which very well could be a wake-up call that helps him “see” the sinfulness of his behaviors.
 
There is no easy answer here, but finally, if you do not want to be a victim any longer you must take steps to prevent your own victimization. (Tweet this)
 
You can do this lovingly but firmly as you leave the house when he escalates, refuse to engage in arguments, call the police when he gets violent and separate from him until he gets the help he needs to change his sinful behavior so that your marriage has a chance of being healed.
 
If not, trust me, nothing will change. It will only get worse.Remember, you are not just taking these steps for you. You are also doing them for him with the hope that as you draw a line in the sand and say “no more” your husband will begin to repent of his abusive behavior and want to change.

 

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IN THIS ISSUE
 
ARTICLE

Don't Turn Your Disappointing Relationship Into A Destructive One

 

COACHING 
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WHAT'S NEW? 
Take a look at the upcoming events to watch for from Leslie
 
BOOK GIVEAWAY 
Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spagethi
 
LESLIE ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS
How Do I Minister To  My Unbelieving Abusive Husband?

 
 
COACHING INFORMATION
For more information on Leslie's coaching program, please click below:

 

Coaching Programs

 
 
BOOK GIVEAWAY
Interesting Image
Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spagethi
by
Bill and Pam Farrel

With over 300,000 copies sold, bestselling authors Bill and Pam Farrel help you find the humor in yourself as you gain biblical wisdom, solid insight, and workable skills to help your relationships flourish --all served up in just the right combination so that readers can feast on enticing ways to keep communication cooking let gender differences work for--not against--them.

 

End-of-chapter questions and exercises make this unique and fun look at the different ways men and women regard life a terrific tool for not only marriage, but also for a reader's relationships at work, at home, at church, and with friends.

 

Excellent book! I have read several relationship books and this is the FIRST one that I have totally agreed with. It's amazing. They've described the workings of my relationship with my girlfriend perfectly. (now she's my wife) It has done wonders. I know I will never totally understand her, but at least now I understand why she sees things the way she does. Also, it's almost worth buying just for the humorous sections. :o) Thanks Bill and Pam Farrel!.
 
-S.B.H
 
If you would like to enter to win, you can click here to provide your name and email address.

 

The Winners of Avoiding The 12 Relationships Mistakes Women Make by Georgia Shaffer are Cathryn H. & Cinnomin Y.

 
 
 
UPCOMING EVENTS
 

March 6, 2015
First Friday Event
SouthLake, TX
 
April 17-18, 2015
Desire Biblical Counseling Conference
Clarks Summit, PA
 
February 24, 2015
Listen to Leslie talk with Dr. Sheri Keffer and Steve Arterburn on Destructive Relationships on New Life Live Radio.
 
March 11, 2015

Leslie will be speaking for Celebrate Forever Wednesday March 11, 6:30-8pm.    Casablanca Bridal Flagship Store
Crystal Cove Shopping Center
7942 East Pacific Coast Highway, Newport Coast, CA 92657
Our R.S.V.P. is: 949.205.1440 or [email protected]

 
 
HERE'S WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT LESLIE'S COACHING
 

 

"I always knew my marriage was difficult, but since my husband was a public figure I trusted no one. I could not find a way to go to counseling without being “found out”. 

 

But then through a series of e-books I read, I finally stumbled upon Leslie Vernick’s book – the Emotionally Destructive Marriage. It read like an autobiography. I knew I could not continue thinking I could pray my way to a better relationship with my husband.

 

When I saw she offered coaching over the phone, I realized this was an opportunity I could not pass up. Leslie’s sessions were so helpful to me. She records them so I didn’t feel worried about taking notes.  Listening to a recording of yourself talk about your problems later also helped me to see where I did or did not have clear thinking.

 

She helped me to see what are things I can change (me) and the things I cannot change. Leslie always listens well and asked questions to help me see where I am off track.

 

She sums up with good advice, scriptures to ponder and a take away to follow up on so as to keep me accountable. And finally she prays for you. I would encourage anyone in a difficult marriage to sign up for her coaching program.


I hope someday to get to hear her speak  in person.


- Wife in Texas

 
 
LESLIE WELCOMES YOUR QUESTIONS
 

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