I have tried up side, down side ways.
I can't fix them. She feels like there's no hope for us. A lot of people say the apple doesn't fall too far from the trees. My wife has let me know that she wants to separate and move out. And what to do. Welcome to Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller "The 5 Love Languages" . Today, our post-Thanksgiving Dear Gary broadcast, where Dr. Chapman addresses your questions, your feedback, marriage struggles and dating concerns. And if you have a question, write down the number and give us a call. You may hear the issue that you're struggling with on a future broadcast.
So here's the number. Call and leave a message at 1-866-424-GARY. Featured Resource Day is the Love Languages Devotional Bible. Gary, with Thanksgiving behind us, Christmas is ahead of us. And then the first of the year coming up, how about making a resolution to study the Bible together and not wait until the New Year. You can do it right now. I think sometimes, Chris, we make New Year's resolutions and we follow them for a few weeks and then they just kind of fall by the wayside. I think if we started on the non-holiday, which would be today, or whatever, you know, let's start it now.
Certainly, it's a great idea for a married couple to do this together, or for that matter, even two teenage siblings to do it together. But I think if we have that goal, and I think many people do somewhere along in their life, they think, I'm going to read the whole Bible through you. I'm going to study this Bible here. And why not start it, you know, not at the first of the year, but start it now. Get a head start. So, always better if you're wrestling with something and you really want to do it. Start now.
Don't wait until a particular time. What can happen, particularly with a married couple, that go through the Bible together and read the devotions that you have in there? I think what happens, Chris, it opens up conversation, you know, after reading that passage. Or maybe even next week, you know, one of you will say, you know, last week when we were talking about, and you read that and we were talking about this, and it just opens up conversations between the two of you about spiritual matters. And let's face it, unless we're doing something like this, we probably are not going to share with each other things that we've read in the Bible personally. We may each have our own personal time with God every day, but there's not a time in which it kind of seems normal to share some of what we're reading, what it means to us. But when you're doing it together, then you're far more likely to discuss it at the time, but also maybe a week or two or a month later when something comes back that you've discussed before. So I think it just stimulates communication between couples. You can find out more about the Love Languages Devotional Bible at our website, buildingrelationships.us.
Again, go to buildingrelationships.us. Well, let's get to our first call today, Gary. And this caller has a problem with a word used in describing fathers who don't have custody of their children. Hey, Gary, I was listening to your audiobook and I was hearing the part where you make a reference to the noncustodial parent. It feels a little bit sad to make a reference to the father. In the United States, most of the fathers, most of the dads, we are noncustodial parents.
It's hurtful about the way you are putting things on your audiobook or your book. You make it seem or maybe your wording make it seem like noncustodial parents, dads, which is the highest percentage versus women because there are some few women that are noncustodial parents. Dads don't care and don't want to spend time with our kids. Maybe that was some decades ago, but nowadays fatherhood has changed, but we still are being punished for a lot of the bad behaviors that happened in the past. Nowadays dads do want to spend more time with the kids. However, the current civil court system, family court system, is tremendously unbalanced towards where it has been hurting fathers for the longest time. There's a lot of fathers that try to see the kids more.
However, the mom does not allow for that. It is a significant amount of people. So I'm thinking that it would be beneficial for the world if there are some adjustments on the way this is explained that reflect the truth of this situation. I appreciate you listening to my comment. I'm sure you're going to research it.
You will do something helpful for our society. We have lots of children that are going without dads because of the family court system. Thank you. Well, you know, Chris, I am very empathetic with this caller.
I sense his heart. There are many fathers who, after divorce, do not have as much time with their children as they would like. And I can see how that can be very painful. It is true that when there is a divorce, children are split between a mom and a dad who are not living with each other. It's a very difficult situation for a child, no matter how much time they spend with their mother or how much with their father. And what I think has happened so many times is because before the divorce, the couple were adversarial with each other. That's what led to the divorce.
And so they're not eager for children to spend time with the other parent more than with them because they don't have a high regard for the other person. Otherwise, they wouldn't have divorced. So I think it's a carryover from the pain and hurt that led to the divorce.
I certainly can understand that there are many, many fathers who would like to spend more time with their children and because of the ruling that has come down on the courts, they're not able to do that. I think it's just part of the overflow of the reality of how divorce makes life more difficult. You know, sometimes couples who are divorcing think, well, I'm going to get out of this mess. But they find themselves in another mess, particularly if they have children. So that's why, of course, I spend so much of my time trying to help couples learn how to build a marriage that's loving and supportive and caring for each other. Rather than allowing our differences to divide us, let's try to learn how to understand the differences and accept those that cannot be changed and learn how to work together as a team. But for those who have gone through divorce, I think also the concept of teamwork is important. The question is, what is best for the children? And if the two of you can take that as a premise, what we want is what's best for our children and then talk about how we can work together as a team, even though we're divorced, work together to decide what is best for the children and how can we work that out, you know, between the two of us and our schedules that the children can have meaningful time with both the mother and the father.
Yeah. And I think the reason that he called the term non-custodial parent just sounds kind of cold and detached. I don't know how to change that terminology other than saying the parent who doesn't have as much time with the children as the other parent. But I think at the heart of what he's saying is something that I've heard from men through the decades as well, and that is it feels like we are not valued. And I know that's what you want to a child whose parents who have divorce needs a dad, needs a father in his or her life. And yeah, there are some really hard situations out there, but there are a lot of dads who feel like, no, they're not listening. So I wanted to present that to you today so that you'd say something to his heart.
Yeah. And I think, as I said, I'm very empathetic with that. And for those who are in the whole judicial system, I think we need to hear, we need to listen to what he was saying. I don't know what the answer is, you know, but I do think we need to be empathetic and think through.
Again, the question is, what is best for the child? Our program is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, and this is our Dear Gary broadcast for November. If you have a relationship question, call our number 1-866-424-GARY. This is not a counseling line. We can't call you back. But if you'll keep your question as brief as possible, we'll try to address it here on the program.
Also, be sure to turn down any music or the radio in the background. So call us today, 1-866-424-GARY. Our featured resource is The Love Languages Devotional Bible. It might be what you and your spouse need to draw closer together as you draw close to God. You can find out more about that at buildingrelationships.us. We have a lot of questions today about marriage. Here's our first one who doesn't see a whole lot of hope.
Gary, on October the 11th, I would have been married to my husband for 31 years. But we are going through a separation and a divorce because he has lied to me. He has kept money from me. He also has a sex addiction, and I have tried upside, downward, sideways. I can't fix him.
He's got to fix himself, but he does not want to fix himself. So I told him Thursday with the marriage counselor that I wanted a divorce because I'm tired. I can't deal with this anymore.
Thank you and have a blessed one. Well, you know, Chris, I've heard that many times over the last 40 years in my own office where a husband or a wife, more often a wife, but sometimes a husband, who feels like they have done everything they can do to try to change the other person or get them to change, and they've been unsuccessful in doing that. And emotionally, physically, they are simply tired and just feel like I cannot go on like this anymore. And I'm empathetic with that.
I can see how a person can get to that place. And it's not always the issues that she's talking about here with her husband. It can be other issues. But whatever the issues, when you feel like you're unheard, when you feel like that whatever they're doing that's detrimental to the marriage, they are not open or willing to reach out and get help to deal with that problem, you do come to the place where you just feel like, you know, there's no hope.
I can't go on like this. One of the things I do share, however, is that in that situation, when you're just emotionally depleted, a separation can be good. Even though you're thinking divorce, if you just step back a little bit and say, why don't we separate for a while?
And let's see what happens, rather than just deciding I'm going to get a divorce now. You know, in the state of North Carolina, where I live, you have to be separated from each other physically for a year before you can get a divorce. I think that's a tremendous law, because it allows you a year to work through your emotions. And many times during that year, the person who has not changed was not willing to go for help. During that time, they wake up, and they decide, I need to deal with this.
And they do reach out and get help. In fact, I have a couple that I was just working with not long ago, about six months ago, after a year separation. My counseling them individually, and then as a couple, after a year separation, they were both ready to make a recommitment to each other.
And for the last six months, they've had a wonderful time together. So I'm understanding and empathetic with the feeling of, it's over and it's over now. I want a divorce. But I would just encourage the individuals involved in these situations to take some time. Because emotionally, you have to deal with your own stress and hurt. And the other person has to decide, is this what I want?
To separate and go to divorce? Or am I willing to deal with the problems that I have in this part of the relationship? And I believe in that year of meaningful separation, in which your attitude is, you know, I'm not going to abandon you at this point, but I am going to separate. I need help.
You need help. Let's see if that can happen while we're apart, because it's certainly not happening while we're together. And then the decision to divorce or to be reconciled will take place somewhere in the course of that year. I think it's a good sign that they have a counselor and that they're both, you know, there's so many marriages that I hear, one or the other won't go, you know.
And so he's at least going there. But like our first caller, you've been heard here today and I thank you for expressing that. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . And this is our Dear Gary broadcast for November post-Thanksgiving. We had enough turkey. We wanted to come to the microphone with you today. And here's our next call. A husband who's having a marriage struggle with his wife.
Hi, Gary. I just discovered your book after having issues with my wife and retired from the fire service 28 years. We just moved to North Carolina. And then my wife wants to separate. She says it's because I neglected her in the past. And all I can say is I have worked hard to be a provider, a good father and work hard. And I have discovered your book and trying to convince her to understand that we were speaking different languages. I don't know what to do. Please help.
Thanks. Well, I think it is a shock when a husband realizes that his wife has been unhappy for a long time and apparently has not expressed it because he seems to be shocked by the fact that she's saying she wants a separation. And he's at a place now where I don't know if he's retired.
He says 28 years as a fireman. And now moved to North Carolina hoping to have a wonderful life now. And I can see how if that's the situation, it would be very disturbing for him. I do think the love languages has helped many couples in that situation realize what happened. That is, they look back and realize that they were not speaking each other's language. They were in their own minds loving each other, but it wasn't coming across to the other person. And after many, many years of not feeling loved by their spouse, they get to the place where they think, well, I'm just going to bail out here. The love languages can often help them understand what happened and why it happened. And if you're both willing to take the quiz, discover each other's language and say, hey, let's try this.
Let's try if we can learn to speak each other's language and see what happens here. The other red flag that I think sometimes is waving there is that there are times in which the person who's now asking for separation is involved with someone else emotionally, if not physically, emotionally. And so consequently, they have those euphoric feelings that come when we talk about being in love with somebody and they have these strong, positive feelings for them and think if they were my spouse, I'd have a wonderful life. The reality, of course, is if that's the case, those feelings last for two years.
That's the average and we come down off that high. And now we're married to a human and humans will not agree on everything. And consequently, that's why divorce rates in second marriages are higher than divorce rates in first marriages. So I think if I were you, I would, one of the things at least you could do would be, even though you're in a new community, find a Christian counselor and make an appointment and tell your wife, I am going for counseling because obviously it seems like I'm a big part of the problem. And I would really like for you to go with me so you can explain to the counselor why you feel the way you do. And I want to hear you and I want the advice of somebody that can help us. So you can't make your spouse go for counseling, but you can take the initiative and say, even if you don't go, I'm going to go because I need help in how to process this.
But I hope that you'll go with me and help me understand what I have done wrong through these years and where I need to change. The worst thing you can do is blame her for this decision, come down on her head and say, well, you know, you shouldn't be doing this, etc., etc. You have to be empathetic with where she is. And she is at a breaking point, it sounds like.
So that would be my suggestion. If she would read the book, "The 5 Love Languages" , that would be yes, that would be ideal, but you can't make her do that. But you can tell her, you know, 20 million people have read this book and many of them have said this saved our marriage. So would you at least give it a try? And perhaps you will.
Yeah, I think it's more than 20 million because somebody bought the book and then somebody else grabbed it from their shelf and read it. But, you know, the thing that I hear coming from his heart the most is I tried hard. He said twice that he was a hard worker. I've worked hard and not only at his job, you know, in the providing and everything, but I thought I was doing everything right. And this is why it blindsided him when she said, I want to be here. And I hear that from a lot of men.
I have tried so hard at this and I don't understand. And so just sitting in that emotion that he has, the incredulity of it all, that's a really hard place to be, isn't it? It is hard because you're just shocked. You know, why would you feel that way? You see, in his mind, he very likely has been an ideal husband. He's provided, you know, and whatever else he's done around the house and so forth. But obviously he realizes now he was not speaking her language. He's read the Love Language book and he realizes apparently I was not speaking her language. But even now he may not know what it was or what it is unless she's willing to take the quiz and see.
So I would encourage, you know, if she won't read the book, at least take the quiz. And it only takes, what, 10 minutes or 15 at the most and it's free. And Chris, they told me 100 million people have taken the quiz. That's crazy. That's just amazing.
All right. So if you go to buildingrelationships.us, you can access that quiz right there. And again, it's free buildingrelationships.us. Dr. Gary Chapman is the author of "The 5 Love Languages" , a New York Times bestseller. And here is, speaking of love languages, here's a love language question I don't think we've ever heard before.
Hi Gary. I'm wondering about the overlap or if there is an overlap between spiritual gifts and the love languages, particularly the love language of gift-giving. So if your spiritual gift is giving, does that tend to be an overlap with that your love language is giving? Or do you see that as a difference, as two totally separate things, people who have the spiritual gift of giving may have completely different love languages? Just wondered.
Thanks. You know, I can't give a dogmatic answer to that question. It does make sense that spiritual gifts and love languages might overlap, at least certain of those gifts. But I have never done any research to see if that is in fact true. And I don't know how important it is to do that, though I can see the interest in that.
Because if you have a spiritual gift of giving, for example, you would think that that might indicate your love language would be receiving gifts. But at any rate, it's an interesting thought. And if somebody out there wants to do research on it, that'd be fine with me. But I can't give a definitive answer to that question.
But it's really interesting that you're thinking at that level with this concept. So thank you for the question. And if you have a question for Dr. Chapman, call our listener line, leave a message at 866-424-GARY, 1-866-424-GARY. And you might hear an answer to the question on a future Dear Gary broadcast. Here's another before we take a quick break. A dating question. Here's our next caller.
Hi, Gary. I'm just having trouble right now with my relationship. My girlfriend and I, we started off, things felt amazing, like nothing else we'd ever experienced.
And it just felt so easy. And there was so much love between the two of us. But after that, I just went into this depressive state, failed to communicate things that I should have been communicating with her. She currently feels like she can't trust me anymore.
She's lost that. She feels like there's no hope for us. And she's talked about this with me the past four times where she's brought this up and I've tried to fix it. I've never really tried to fix myself and really address the issues that I have that I need to fix internally. For the first time, I've asked her to forgive me genuinely, and I'm going to go ahead and start therapy, seeing if I can really change what is wrong personally. But I don't know what else you recommend, Gary. I'm currently reading your book, and I really appreciate just all this insight that you give on relationships.
I wish I would have read it before. But thank you for listening, Gary, and I hope to hear from you. Well, I think this caller has taken a big step, and that is he's going for counseling. Because apparently the depression is not something that just happened this one time. It's probably been other times in which he's gone through depression. So to move out to get counseling for that is the first and most important step, I think.
And he's already taking that. Because we need to find out what's behind the depression. Is it physically based, or is it situationally based, and what kind of depression is it? And apparently he's never ever dealt with trying to really understand that and then learning how to walk through depression. So I think the caller is moving in the right direction, and I would just encourage him with that. Whether she will be open to considering continuing the relationship remains to be seen. You know, dating is a time in which we are getting to know each other, learning out things about each other. And many times in a dating relationship, couples get to the place where one of them has learned enough about the other person that they just say to themselves, no, I don't want to marry someone who has this problem. And that's why I think dating is a positive thing, because it does give us an opportunity to get to know each other, and not simply go with those euphoric feelings that we have many times in the early stages of a dating relationship. So she has to decide what she will do about that.
But you have the rest of your life to live. So dealing with your depression and finding out the source of that and what you can do about it is going to help you. If not in this relationship, then somewhere down the line in another relationship. But when she sees you taking initiative to do this, and she sees you begin to make progress in dealing with this, you know, who knows?
You know, she may rethink her present thoughts about breaking up the relationship. So I think you're moving in the right direction. And listen, thousands of people in this country suffer from depression. And so there is help out there. And I think you're moving in the right direction when you start counseling. If you enjoy Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, visit the website buildingrelationships.us. There you'll find out more about Dr. Chapman, his New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" , and more. Our resource for today is The Love Languages Devotional Bible.
Just go to buildingrelationships.us to find out more. On our Dear Gary broadcast, we take your questions. And if you want to ask one, call us 1-866-424-GARY.
Keep it as brief as possible. Let us know what's going on in your life. And then hopefully we'll be able to answer your question down the road. 1-866-424-GARY. Now a question of importance to many singles who may be listening today. Hi, Gary. I kind of have a two-part question.
And I'll try to make it quick. For the first one, I've been reading the book, Things I Wish I Knew Before I Get Married. And I'm reading that and I'm currently dating someone. And basically I read the chapter about families. And I have a concern because the way our families look is very different. And particularly his parents. They're of a different culture, but it's a lot more old school as far as traditional gender roles.
It lacks intimacy. And just also within the family and culture, I've noticed a lot of pride. And so these are some issues that I've seen in my boyfriend.
I know working through the book would be beneficial. But I also want to see, you know, a lot of the people say the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. So just your input on how much I look into that. I definitely discuss it with him. But, you know, if he denies things that I see a little hint of, how do I approach that? And then the second part would be, if my parents have kind of voiced some concerns or maybe noticed some things that they think is concerning regarding my boyfriend, you know, I definitely want to have my own thoughts and opinions in mind when it comes to making decisions with us. But how much weight do you feel like that should carry, especially being that I do trust my parents, but I definitely just want to make my own decisions. But how much do you think that should weigh on my decision to be with this person, just knowing that we've also had, you know, some things and issues that we're trying to work through, me and my boyfriend, and are in counseling now. So if you could provide any insight on both of those questions, that would be great.
Thank you so much. Well, I'm glad that this person is thinking seriously about this dating relationship and not simply being swept along by the in-love feelings that may be there. I think, first of all, family differences. And it sounds like these are cultural differences as well, that he is a different culture from hers. And cultures are very important. Some of you know that my background, I studied anthropology, cultural anthropology, how cultures are organized.
And how they function. And no question about it, cultural differences are there. My wife, for example, went to a wedding just this past week, where one was Hispanic and one was Anglo-English. And she was talking about how different the wedding itself was.
The Hispanic flavor and all of that. It doesn't mean that we should never marry across cultural lines, but don't hear me saying that at all. But I think we do have to be honest and open about cultural differences. This is also true, of course, if we're both the same culture. Our families can be very, very different, have different ideas about what marriage is to be like, and about expectations after marriage, and how we are going to relate to each of those families. It's a huge issue because, listen, we all have a family in which we grew up in, and we are strongly influenced by that family. So that certainly needs to be considered and not simply brushed away. So I would say take those things seriously.
Talk about possible conflicts that you can see arising out of the differences, and weigh those carefully. In terms of your parents' opinion, I would say this. Parents can see things that we cannot see when we're in love.
Because in love, we are blinded with our strong emotions for this other person and caught up in that. And so parents can see things that we don't see. I would take what they say seriously. It doesn't mean that you have to do what they would say you should do in a situation.
You're right. You need to make your own decision. But I would certainly weigh what your parents say, especially if they are loving, caring parents.
I would also weigh what close friends who may know you and him, I would weigh what they have to say, because they also may see things that you don't see in the relationship. Before we make a decision to marry, we want to explore everything we can to help us get some realistic concept of what marriage to this person would be like. And then make our decision based on reality rather than simply based on the fact that, quote, we are in love with each other. Because as I've said many times, those in love feelings fade.
The average lifespan is two years. I've said that before even on this program. And so we don't want to base a decision to get married on those feelings because those feelings are temporary. Great advice from Dr. Gary Chapman on today's program. This is our Dear Gary broadcast here at the end of November. Keep listening because there's more to come. And this next question is one that we have heard over and over and over, and maybe even in shades of it, even in today's program, he's willing to give the marriage another try. She isn't. Here's our next caller.
Hi, Gary. My wife has let me know that she wants to separate and move out. And while this took me by surprise, I immediately read your love language book and the four seasons of marriage. I draw a lot of conclusions in correlation between the stories you write about in your books and what has been happening in my marriage. I'm willing to give it a shot, but my spouse isn't.
What can I do? The first thing I would say is you cannot force your spouse to give it a second chance. We each have to make our own decisions, but your desire to give it a second chance, I think is positive.
Anytime someone's willing to give it a second chance, there's hope. I would say the understanding of where she is. Let her share with you, perhaps if she's willing, why she feels so strongly that she's not willing to give it a second chance, maybe go for counseling with you. Obviously, I would guess that obviously she has been hurt over a long period of time. She may have complained about things that you have not been willing to listen or to change or to try to change.
I don't know what the dynamics are that have brought her to this place, but I do understand how a person can get to that place. So I would say whatever she's complained about through the years, you take it seriously. And you say to yourself, I am going to work on these issues. Whether she agrees to go with me for counseling, I'm going to deal with my issues, whatever they are. And if you don't understand what they are, ask her.
She will tell you what they are again if you want to hear it again. And you take initiative to work on those issues, hoping that somewhere along the line, she will be willing to give you another chance. Again, praying, if you know God in a personal way, praying that God will help you make wise decisions and that God will work in her heart to give her an understanding of what she might do that could help in this situation. But don't try to force her. Don't preach to her. Don't tell her, you know, you've got to do this.
That simply pushes her further and further away. So accept the fact that she's deeply hurt and that's the heart of why she's deciding not to give it a second chance. It doesn't mean there isn't a second chance. You never give up.
You never give up. Even after divorce, in my opinion, you don't give up. Now, if she divorces and remarries, then yes, obviously, there's not going to be reconciliation. But until she remarries, there is always the possibility of reconciliation. So see this as a time in which you're going through a severe trial in your life, something that's hurting you more than anything you've ever experienced before. And she likely is going through the same pain on the other side, though for different reasons. And ask God to help you walk through this.
And whatever her final decision is, God will be with you if you choose to walk closely with Him. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . You can find out more about the Love Languages concept. Take an assessment to discover your love language absolutely free.
Plus, see the featured resource just in time for Christmas. It's the Love Languages Devotional Bible. Go to buildingrelationships.us to find out more. That's buildingrelationships.us. Well, Gary, her question is about the love languages. But my question is, is that really her question? Here's our next caller.
Hi, Gary. So I've been in the relationship for six years and his love language is acts of service, which I wholeheartedly did throughout the probably five years of our relationship. And then I got a little deflated because honestly, he just wasn't speaking my love language probably very well. I just felt kind of exhausted and taken for granted. So I kind of cut back a little bit. I realized that was wrong for me to do that because that's my expression of love, too. And so I could tell that I felt maybe some resentment from not being able to do those things.
Maybe a little bit of bitterness just inside of me because I wanted to do it so bad. So God really did join us together. Well, you know, because I love doing this. I love speaking his love language. So my question, though, is he recently wanted to break up with me and he wants to move out and have his own space. And so I for the past month after he wanted to break up, I've been strongly speaking his love language, almost probably to the point where he's getting annoyed.
And so I have to have a balance there. But I'm almost maybe making I don't know, I feel like I might be making things worse by trying to do so much if he moves out. But he still wants me to continue doing these acts of service. I mean, should I I mean, I know it's the key to his heart because I noticed that when I would speak his love language, things were better between us than when I didn't. I don't want to lose him.
He said he needs to spend a year apart from me and figure out clear his mind and figure out if I'm the right one for him. So do I keep speaking this love language? Because pretty much I'm like the secretary of things for him. So do I continue to do all these things?
And if he has his own apartment, like clean his apartment and do his laundry and, you know, help him with his tax returns and all these little things that he might say, you know, can I help with? I feel like in my heart, I want to I feel like everybody else would tell me not to. I don't know if he would miss me more if I didn't do those things or if I do, if there's more of a chance that we can stay together, you know, that he would choose me in the end. I want to do the right thing.
I don't want to listen to everybody else telling me that I shouldn't do those things and to not do it. If ultimately that's what's going to bring us back together and because I still will be loving him even while he isn't loving me and what to do. I appreciate the heart of this caller because it seems to me she really wants to do what is right in this situation. And also, it seems that she really does love him and wants to continue having a relationship with him.
Here's my first question to her. Why is it that he is deciding he wants to move out and stop the relationship? Is he involved with someone else?
That's always a possibility. If not, then what are his reasons for wanting to move out? Something's going on inside of him that's leading him to take this step.
Now, here's the reality. If he chooses to move out, but things do not change between the two of you, that is you continue to do everything you've been doing for him, all of his secretary work and all the other things that you mentioned, the laundry and all of that, and sexual relationships because you've been living together for six years or five years. I'm assuming you've had sexual relationships all this time. So is he going to turn back to you for that as well? I just think his decision to move out, there should be some things different than what it has been. Otherwise, he simply has his freedom.
He's moved out. He can do what he wants to do. He can see other people if he wants to see other people. And if you continue to do all these things for him, why would he come back? Especially if he gets interested in someone else. So I think you really want to do what is right.
And the question is, what is the best thing you could do for him? And what I'm saying is, I think there should be some difference in the relationship if he moves out. There is a reason why he's moving out.
My guess is, he wants freedom. Freedom to perhaps explore other relationships. And for him to have that kind of freedom, and still you do everything for him, I just question whether that would be the best thing for you to do. You see, there are consequences to decisions that we make. And if he's making the decision to move out, then there should be some consequences that follow with that decision.
And he would need to wrestle with those. If you have loved him, like you indicate you've loved him by speaking his love language all these years, you stop doing that, he certainly is going to miss that. And unless he is already involved with somebody else, or gets involved rather soon with someone else, his missing that is a greater motivation for him to come back than his receiving all of that from you, and simply using your efforts on his behalf. I just think him suffering some consequences of his decision would be a greater motivator than simply continuing to do what you've always done.
Which brings me back to my statement at the beginning. What is her real question? And it seemed to me as I listen, and I've heard it several times now, I've tried to hear her heart in this. I think her question is, how do I keep him? How do I not lose this guy? Because I've invested all this time, and it's like we've been married for six years, even though we're not, I'm assuming.
How do I keep him? And I don't think that's really her question. I think her real question is, with all that we've invested together, do we move forward together, and what is my life going to look like?
And that's a scary thing to think about. It's like when a couple is married, and they choose divorce. There are legal ramifications to all of that, in terms of where this leaves you financially, etc. When you live together without marriage, and everything else is like a marriage would be, then there's no legal responsibilities that he has. And I think that's why people choose to live together, rather than get married. So we just live together, enjoy everything we would as if we were married. But if we decide to leave, we don't have any responsibility for each other. It's really an irresponsible lifestyle. And so you're suffering the pain of divorce, because you live together as though you were married, but you weren't. And this is what many, many couples today are facing, because many of the relationships, in fact, I think most of the relationships where people live together before they get married, they don't get married. And consequently, there's no responsibility on either side. So it's an irresponsible lifestyle. And consequently, when it's over, one of them decides it's over, and it's over. And you're left with basically nothing financially.
And I don't know what your arrangement was while you were living together, but there's no obligation on his part to do anything for you. Right. You're judging me, though.
You're judging me because I'm living with my boyfriend or living with my girlfriend. Really, what you're talking about is looking lovingly at where you are and why you are where you are. That's what you're talking about.
Yeah, exactly, Chris. And no question about it, I have an opinion on this. And research indicates that this is also true in terms of living together without getting married.
Though it's very, very popular in our day, I'm not questioning that. I'm just saying, I don't think that is the lifestyle that the Scriptures would teach. And consequently, we have to live with the results of that.
But I'm empathetic with emotions. You know, we're people, and she's bonded, obviously bonded with him. She doesn't want to lose him.
That bonding is still there. He is free to make that decision because there's no commitment there, legally or otherwise. So we have to understand that's part of living together without marriage. That's part of the reason is that there's no commitment. Either one of us can walk out whenever we wish. You know, if we could open the phone lines right now and hear from those who have been in that situation before, you know, we were living together for six years and then something happened. My guess is that you would hear a lot of people calling in and agreeing with what you've just said.
Maybe we'd get some people disagreeing. So let me give you the number here at the end of the program. 866-424-GARY. Respond to what we've just heard and Gary's answer to her. Do you agree?
Do you disagree? What would you like to say about that? 1-866-424-GARY. And maybe you have a different question about relationships that you'd like to pose on the program. If you go to the website buildingrelationships.us, when you go there, you'll see our featured resource, The Love Languages Devotional Bible. Find out more about that again at buildingrelationships.us. And next week, Max Lucado wants you to experience fresh strength and purpose in your life. Don't miss the conversation in one week. A big thank you to our production team, Steve Wick and Janice Backing. Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman is a production of Moody Radio in association with Moody Publishers, a ministry of Moody Bible Institute. Thanks for listening.
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