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Dear Gary

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
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January 25, 2020 7:03 am

Dear Gary

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

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January 25, 2020 7:03 am

​What would you say to a woman whose husband has said, “I’ve fallen out of love?” What would you say to a husband whose wife has cheated on him? Coming up on the next Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, it’s our January Dear Gary edition as the New York Times bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages takes questions and comments from his listener line. Hear some honest struggles shared on the next Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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People are catching on to "The 5 Love Languages" . We've been talking with Dr. Gary Chapman, the author of the mega successful book, "The 5 Love Languages" . The need to feel loved by the significant people in your life is the deepest emotional need we have. My boyfriend and I read it together and we quickly realized like we are the exact opposite on the love language scale because we took the quizzes.

I'm on with the Gary Chapman. I mean love languages and I'm right here in the middle of it. I don't believe this. Words of affirmation! Get ready for some challenging questions about marriage, family struggles, and the love languages.

All coming up today on Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. He does not love me anymore. I'm wondering how you get around Romans chapter 7 verses 1 through 3. We do not get along. How can I overcome my jealousy? I'm just calling for encouragement. Where do I go?

What do I do? Welcome to Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Today your questions for this trusted author, pastor, and counselor. It's our January edition of Dear Gary. We always look forward to your questions and your feedback about the program. It's great to hear your response to other calls and questions. Sometimes you might disagree with something Gary says. We have a caller who poses a question to him here today. We can do that. Might give him a chance to clarify something. Here's our number 866-424-GARY. Leave your question. We can't call you back.

But if you call 1-866-424-GARY you might hear an answer on a future broadcast. Our featured resource today is a book that was just released a little earlier this month. 52 Uncommon Ways to Unwind Together.

You'll find it at Gary, that's interesting, the concept of not just unwinding, but unwinding together. Yeah, Chris, this is actually a book on how to have a date together. That would be really relaxing for both of you. Something that at least one of you enjoys. You know, that the other enthusiastically joins in with that. So that we're both enjoying it, we're relaxed, we're unwinding with each other. Really good ideas. And of course, certain of the ideas will appeal to some couples and other ideas to others. But it's a great resource for couples that really would like to keep the marriage exciting. And have the sense that, hey, we're in this thing together.

Yeah. You know, one of the things that I do for Andrea is drive her places. And she could drive better than I can. But it just allows her to kind of sit back and relax and not have to worry about any of the traffic or how to get there.

And, you know, what roads to take and all that. And I find that we have some really good conversations when something like that happens. Carolyn drives me around sometimes, Chris.

I like that too. Because if I'm driving, I'm saying, honey, do I turn right at the next intersection here or is it the second one? She's much better than I on the directions. So, yeah, a lot of times she drives and I just sit back and relax.

So I'm identifying with Andrea on that one. Well, you can find the resource at It might be something that you can give each other for Valentine's Day.

I know it's coming up. 52 Uncommon Ways to Unwind Together. Again, go to This is our Dear Gary broadcast for right here at the end of January. So let's begin the conversation with a question from a hurting wife who needs some wise counsel.

Hi, Gary. I recently read your book and I read it in two days and I thought it was amazing. And my husband and I read it together over the course of several months. He has expressed to me that he does not love me anymore. He cares for me very much.

He loves our two children but has expressed to me that he does not want to be married any longer and that he plans on filing for divorce. This is, of course, very devastating because I have been with him since I was 16. We met in high school and we've only been with each other. Neither one of us has ever been with anyone else. I've spent more than half my life with him. We've grown together. We have changed as individuals but I strongly believe in fighting for our marriage. I would like to find a way to fix this but he says that there is no reconciliation. He just keeps telling me that he's not happy. So we're still living together. Life is going on as normal.

The kids have no idea. He took off his wedding ring about a year ago. Something similar happened which led us to read the book together. He said he would try. We attempted therapy and he went once and did not want to pursue the therapy which was very frustrating for me on my end because I desperately wanted to work on our marriage. I don't know what to do anymore. I'm really at a loss. I'm not ready to give up even though it seems that he has.

Thanks so much. Bye-bye. Well, Chris, I'm very empathetic with this wife and I would be empathetic if it were a husband with the same kind of story. My guess, and this is just a guess, is that her husband is already involved with someone else. Most husbands do not take off their wedding band and do not continue to say to the spouse, I don't love you anymore and I'm not happy and I'm filing for divorce. Most men do not do that unless they're already involved with someone else. That makes it much more difficult to reconcile. Because if a person is involved with someone else, they're in a very euphoric state with that other person. Flip back to when you fell in love with somebody. It is euphoric. And so he's comparing that new relationship with the relationship in which he's in.

And apparently he hasn't been happy in that relationship for whatever reason. So I don't want to discourage this wife. In fact, I want to encourage her. She said she didn't want to give up. I would say, great, don't give up. Pray. There's not a whole lot you can actually do right at the moment. Because if you focus on speaking his love language, in his mind he's saying it's too late.

You should have done that 15 years ago. Whatever you do that's positive, trying to reach out to him, he's going to disregard it. Especially if he is indeed involved with someone else. I think prayer, that God would work in his life, in his heart, that God would open his eyes to reality. That God would help him make the right decision. Remember, God doesn't make people do right, but God does put roadblocks in front of people. God does cause things to happen and bring people into their lives that tend to wake people up. So don't underestimate the power of prayer. If he has a good friend that you're aware of, I would talk to the friend and ask if he would be willing to talk with your husband. You know, I did write a book that's called One More Try, What To Do When Your Marriage Is Falling Apart.

And I think it would be good for you to read that book because it may give you some ideas. But what I'm suggesting is, this is probably not going to be a quick fix. He's probably going to have to run down this road for a while and maybe he won't come back. I don't know. We never know. Because one person cannot create a marriage. Cannot keep a marriage together. And that's why I'm often troubled when people just pitch divorced people into one category and have a negative attitude toward people that are divorced. Listen, one person cannot keep the other person from divorcing. And when that happens, then they are divorced. But divorces are not created equally. So I just want to encourage her to stick with God, stick with your friends. You say the children don't know this yet.

That's another whole issue that you're going to have to deal with when the time comes because you can't divorce, you can't separate without it affecting the children. So you've got a hard road in front of you. But don't give up. I would say give it at least two years in your mind. If you can say, I'm going to give this two years. I'm going to stick with him. I'm going to be faithful to him.

I don't care what he does. He can leave me. He can divorce me.

I'm not going to get involved with anybody else. I'm going to seek to be a mom to my children. I'm going to seek to be available to reconciliation. And just see what God does in those two years. I think whatever happens at the end of the two years, you'll be stable. You'll be with God. You'll be able to make it. Let me encourage you with the attitude that you've already expressed that you don't want to give up.

Hi, Gary. I just was listening to your program and heard a caller that had, he'd been divorced twice, married and divorced twice to the same woman, and then had married another woman. And he was saying something about being concerned about the marriage not being proper since his first wife was still alive. And you were saying that wasn't really an issue and he should stay committed to a second marriage. I'm wondering how you get around Romans chapter 7 verses 1 through 3. Know ye not, brethren, for I speak to them that know the law, how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth. For the woman which hath a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth. But if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then, if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she should be called an adulteress.

But if her husband be dead, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. And this topic comes up in another area of Scripture as well. That one seems to me pretty clear-cut. I wonder what your response would be to that. Thank you.

Bye. Well, there's no question that God hates divorce. The Bible is very clear about that. And there's no question that the ideal, is one man and one woman for a lifetime. That's God's plan. Anything less than that is less than what God intended marriage to be.

The fact is, however, God does allow people to do wrong, and God does not give up on people when they do wrong. So, in this particular example, there's a man who had been married twice to his first wife, and then, for whatever reason, he's now in another marriage. And I'm certainly not going to suggest to him that he divorce the woman to whom he's now married and go back to his first wife.

I mean, who knows? She may already be remarried by now. You know, we are where we are.

I guess that's one of the points I was trying to make. Whether it's a first marriage or a third or fourth marriage, we are where we are. And what I try to say is, wherever you are in your marriage, let's make this the kind of marriage that God intended us to have. A loving, supportive, caring relationship. One in which the husband views his wife in the same way that Christ views the church and is willing to serve her and give himself for her as Christ did the church. When he does that, there are not many women that will run away from a man who has that attitude toward her. So, what I'm saying is, we are where we are.

Let's make the marriage we're now in what God intended marriage to be. Here's our next caller who has a struggle that I think a lot of people are going to identify with. Whether it is a friendship that you have or it's a romantic relationship.

Hey, Gary. We've been together for two years and we've been hitting bumps in the road. How can I overcome my jealousy and what causes me to be jealous? Of other men that Noel must be friends with?

Thank you. Well, often jealousy can be traced to our history. That is, if you've been in a relationship in the past, a dating relationship, and they broke up the relationship, and if this happens once or twice, then you do become concerned about the person in the present relationship you're in. If you see her, in this case her, talking to someone else, then that whole sense is, oh no, here it's coming again.

So, that may be the history that is bringing you to feel jealousy toward her talking to other men. However, what we have to recognize is that every individual is an individual and we shouldn't judge them based on how somebody else treated us in the past. We acknowledge that we have a tendency to do that because of our experience, but we want to be fair to them. In any dating relationship, there's nothing wrong with either one of you talking to someone else of the opposite sex. It may or may not have anything to do with romance, but it's simply being a human.

We interface with people on a daily basis. So, I think if you can look at your own past, and if you see something like that, recognize where it's coming from, and then say to yourself and to God, Lord, I want to treat this lady that I'm now dating with respect. I want to give her the benefit of the doubt. I don't want to read into her behavior, something that's not there, because if you do, you'll destroy this relationship.

If you start accusing her, telling her she shouldn't talk to anyone else, then you're going to push her away, and you'll go through another separation. So, I just think treating her with dignity and respect and asking God to help you do that, in spite of the feelings that might surface from time to time, is the road you ought to walk. So, are you saying jealousy is a choice? I think the feeling of jealousy is not a choice. The feeling, the emotion that comes with that simply grabs us.

But I do think that we can choose our attitude toward the other person, and the attitude should be one of trust as opposed to jealousy. I like that, and I wonder if you ever felt that way about, you and Carol have been married for how long? 58 years.

That's just incredible, 58 years. Okay, so did you ever experience jealousy about an old flame or vice versa? No, Chris, not really. Carolyn's best girlfriend was my girlfriend in high school, but later she was in our wedding, and we've both known her through the years, but Carolyn never sensed that I was going back. In fact, I told Carolyn before we married, I said, don't worry about me going back to her. She broke my heart once.

She's not going to break it again. And I've always given Carolyn the freedom to talk to other people. Even as adults and been married all these years, she talks to a lot of men at church. She has a listening ear. She gives encouraging words to them on how to treat their spouse. They talk to her in the lobby.

She's not a counselor, but she's a listener, and she certainly advises people that ask her questions about what they should do. No, jealousy has never been a part. After 58 years, you've gained this trust of her. So as your trust has gone up, the jealousy is just nonexistent, and maybe that will also help the caller. The more you trust this relationship with her, the more you feel confident about that, then the less you will be jealous if she talks with somebody else. Yeah, and spend your time together focusing on enjoying each other's company, not criticizing them for something they may have done or something you think they did. Spend your time together. Make it pleasant. She'll want to come back and date you again.

But if it's unpleasant, then why should she keep dating you? This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. You can find out more about him, "The 5 Love Languages" , at And our featured resource today is 52 Uncommon Ways to Unwind Together.

Go to A husband and wife have a lot of conflict. Can Gary help? Here's our next caller.

Hi, Gary. My significant other and I, we are in our 40s, and we have a three-year-old trying to discover what our love language is because we have bad communication. We love each other and want to be together, but we do not get along, but we want to get along. He's an over-the-road truck driver, so it's a little complicated, and he was asking, is there an audio that he can listen to while on his truck opposed to the paperback or the book, or what do you suggest for us as a couple to come together and figure out our love languages and how to communicate better? Thank you so very much, and I hope all is well, and I hope you can help. Thank you.

Bye-bye. Well, I do think you're moving in the right direction, and it sounds like you have a good foundation on which to build your marriage because you said you both love each other, you want to be with each other, you want this marriage to be good and positive, and learning each other's love language is, I think, one of the foundation stones in building a healthy marriage. It's not everything, but it's an important part of the relationship. So the answer to your question about an audio version of "The 5 Love Languages" is yes, there is an audio version of "The 5 Love Languages" , and I find that many people prefer listening to a book as opposed to reading a book. So I would say make every effort to get that in his hands so that he can listen as he's riding down the road. And then, after he has been exposed to the concept of "The 5 Love Languages" , I would encourage both of you to take the online quiz at, which is designed to help you discover your primary love language and his primary love language. And then you speak it, and as you speak it, both of you begin to feel, oh, this is so good, I feel loved.

It's our deepest emotional need to feel loved by the significant people in our lives, and if you're married, the most important person is that you feel loved by your spouse. So I would say take time to work through it, take time to discuss it, take time then to speak each other's language, and I think you're going to be on a positive road. And I have been privileged to read a lot of those audiobooks for Gary. If you go there, every time I do one of these, "The 5 Love Languages" of teenagers or the military edition, every time I come away with a new insight of something that I forgot the last time I read this book.

So I hope you hear my voice on "The 5 Love Languages" and that audio version. But let me ask you this, Gary. Her significant other, she said, is a truck driver. Is a truck driver gone much of the week, if not driving over the road for a couple of weeks and coming back and spending the weekend or a few days and then going back again? That's kind of like a military marriage, isn't it? It is, Chris, in the sense that they are apart a great deal of time. And in the military edition, as you know, we talk about how to speak these love languages.

When you are deployed. Now, driving a truck across country is not exactly like being in another country. But that book would have some ideas on how to do that. But all the more important that you speak each other's love language when you are apart for long periods of time like that. One other question. She mentioned conflict. They're going through a lot of conflict. I think many couples think that if you have a good marriage, you won't have conflict.

What do you say to that? Every couple has conflict for one simple reason. We're human. And humans don't think the same way about anything. And they don't have the same emotions. So having conflicts is not the problem. The problem is we don't know how to solve conflicts without arguing. So we end up arguing. Because both of us think our idea is the best idea. And so we try to tell the other person why that won't work. And why ours is the thing we ought to do. And two people who are arguing are not going to have a healthy marriage.

Because who wants to be yelled at? Who wants to be told that their ideas are wrong? So I think we have to learn how to solve conflicts.

I deal with that in a book called The Marriage You've Always Wanted. How to solve conflicts without arguing. And it involves learning how to listen, putting yourself in the shoes of the other person, and trying to see things from their perspective, rather than simply trying to make sure that they get your perspective. So learning how to listen to each other, and affirm each other's ideas, and then say, okay, we disagree. It's okay, now how do we solve it?

And you spend your energy trying to solve it, rather than spending your energy trying to win the argument. A huge factor in having a healthy marriage. That's Dr. Gary Chapman, we have just a couple of minutes before our next break. I want to read something, a question from

It's a great website to go to if you've never been there, Laurie writes, if my touch language is a 2, and my husband's is a 10, how can I get myself to speak his language, as that also involves me wanting to be touched? What do you say to Laurie? You know, love is a choice. And what I hear her saying is that she doesn't get a lot out of physical touch. So how can she learn to speak his language of physical touch?

Here's the good news. All of the love languages can be learned, even if they're not comfortable to you. And let's face it, if you didn't receive these growing up, they will not be comfortable to you. They will not seem natural to you.

But you can learn how to speak these languages. His physical touch is his language. You start with the little things. You give him a pat on the shoulder, rather than just walking by and not touching him. You reach over when you're having dinner, put your hand on his leg. Or you're driving down the road and you do the same thing. Or you just reach over as you're walking into a store and take his hand. Just the simple things that do not come natural for you.

No, you'll have to think about it. But as you do those things, every time you give him an affirming touch, you're communicating love to him. Whatever your language is, you know how it makes you feel when he speaks your love language? That's how he feels when you touch him. So we go not by our feelings. We go because we know this is important to them.

Love is something you do for someone else, not something you do for yourself. Again, go to If you have a question for us to cover, call our number, leave a message. We can't call you back, but you might hear an answer here on the program. 1-866-424-GARY is the number.

1-866-424-GARY. The love languages can help a lot of marriages, a lot of relationships. But what about when adultery and betrayal happen? Here's our next question.

Hi, Chris, and hi, Dr. Chapman. My wife's love language is gift, but she's done some horrible things. I mean, she's cheated on me. She's betrayed me. And I still am with her, trying to work as I'd like God wants me to. The more that I give her, the worse she treats me. Can you help me with that?

Thank you. Well, I don't know if the adultery, he says she cheated on him. I don't know if that was an event or if it's an ongoing thing. Obviously, you cannot have a good marriage if one of you is involved with someone else sexually. And giving gifts, even if it is her love language, is not going to help the relationship if she's involved with someone else. If the relationship is ongoing, then there has to be a confrontation. Essentially, you're saying to her, I love you too much to do nothing about what's happening. You're having a relationship with someone else.

You're living in our house. I can't go on like this. This is not marriage, and I can't go on like this. Now, if you're willing to go for counseling, I'll go with you for counseling, and we'll try to see if we can't work this out. But I'm not simply going to go on providing everything for you here in the house while you're seeing someone else.

It's that kind of tough love that brings things to a head. So, she either makes the decision she's going with the other person or she's going to go with you for counseling. But simply thinking that the passing of time will make a difference or that you're giving her gifts is going to make a difference and will not likely cause her to break off the relationship.

She has to make a fundamental decision. Is she going to work with you on the marriage or is she going to leave and go with the other person? I do deal with this concept in my book, One More Try, What to Do When Your Marriage is Falling Apart. I deal with the issue where one of them is having an affair.

I think you'd find that to be helpful. And there is no magic thing that happens. If I just get the right gift, then everything's going to be okay. And I think that tough love comes in here, Gary, that you care too much to let things go on the way they're going. And he doesn't have any control over her response then. No, but I do think, Chris, that tough love sometimes is the only love that the person will respond to in a positive way. And I emphasize, it's love. When you're forcing a person who's being sexually unfaithful to you to face the issue because you care about them and you care about the marriage and you cannot simply sit here and let this continue to go on, it is an act of love. And often it does awaken the other person to realize, ooh, I'm about to lose something here.

Is this really the route I want to walk? So, it can be a sincere act of love. The website, again, is, where you can find out more about that book, One More Try. Here is a single caller, Gary, and there is so much emotion and struggle that's in here. She's been told something quite devastating.

Here we go. Hi, Gary. I am a committed follower of Jesus Christ and seemingly an old maid. I will not participate in premarital relations, and I really struggle with why God has not fulfilled the desires of my heart by now. I alluded to the fact that I'm an old maid, as I can call that.

I am 51, however, I am very energetic, active, very engaged with my 58 nieces and nephews. I've been blessed with a wonderful circle of friends, but my life partner has eluded me, and one of my Sunday school classmates blurted out that she believes it's because I won't engage in the sexual part of a relationship, which was very disheartening to me. So I just was calling for encouragement. Where do I go?

What do I do? I just came out of a five-year, solid relationship that I was sure was of God, but the other part of me couldn't, wouldn't commit to marriage, and so I ended that relationship. So hoping that you had some advice for a child of God who knows that she's not alone, but longs to have the desires of her heart fulfilled.

Thank you, Dr. Gary, and be blessed. Well, again, I'm very empathetic with this caller. I think anyone listening can sense the pain and the hurt that she's experiencing, and having just come out of a five-year relationship, obviously, that she anticipated was going to lead to marriage, but did not. It's an intense moment in her life. It's unfortunate, in my opinion, that a Christian would encourage her to have premarital sex and essentially be saying, you're not going to get married unless you do. We never break God's commands in order to make something happen, and the Bible is very clear that sexual intercourse is for a husband and a wife. It's in the context of marriage that we're sexually intimate with each other. So I think it's unfortunate that she received that kind of advice.

The first thing I would say is what you've already said. You know you're not alone. God is with you. It is God's plan for some people not to be married. Jesus himself was not married, and we've all known people who did not marry. But for most people, it is God's plan for them to get married. So I would say, first of all, don't give up.

You're much too young to give up, okay? I would also say, seek to find a person who has the same commitment you have to living a godly life, and especially when it comes to the sexual part of the relationship. I don't know if you've gone online to some of the Christian dating services, but I'm finding that a lot of people are finding someone online in those sites where they have a chance to talk and talk about these kind of things before they ever even get in the relationship.

So what I'm saying, I guess, is maybe get out of your comfort zone in terms of looking for or exposing yourself to people who might have the potential of being a husband for you. It may be going to another church if they have a singles group for midlife singles. But essentially, you're asking God to guide your efforts. You're not simply sitting around waiting for someone to knock on your door. We have to be moving for God to guide us.

So I would say, begin moving in directions that maybe you haven't before in terms of finding someone who has the same beliefs that you have and thus would be a prospect for a husband. Would it be a good idea too to bring in trusted friends and say, Hey, here's my prayer for this new year in 2020. This is my prayer that God would allow me to find this life mate. Would you pray with me for that? Not that you're putting the timetable on God, but I think sometimes we can be too timid to ask God things that are the real desire of our hearts. I think you're right, Chris, and I think it's always good to bring friends into your life and then ask those friends to pray for you because this is a huge issue.

Obviously, in this caller, it's a huge issue. And so to ask friends to pray with you that God would guide you in this and bring someone into your life if this is His plan for you. Yes, again, the Scriptures say we have not because we ask not. And so if you were sick, you'd probably ask some friends to pray for you that God would heal you.

So why not ask them to pray about this as well? It's interesting that she used that phrase, old maid, that that's what she's been called at 51. It boggles my mind that anybody would put her in that category. But you haven't talked about contentment. I just bring that up to say there is a sense that there is a deep longing that I think God puts there.

And contentment is a choice, too. Should she just be content where she is while she looks? I think, Chris, she should make the most of her life while she's waiting to see if God is going to lead her into marriage. I mean, at 51, she says she's energetic. She obviously has a lot going for her. She has a lot to give. And she is investing in her nieces and nephews, she said.

I think she said she had 58 of them. A full-time job there. But yeah, I would say make the most of your life as a single. And if God then has someone for you, they're coming to a lady who is doing something worthwhile with her life, not someone who's sitting around praying that somebody will come along and make her happy. She is happy in Christ, and she is happy in serving other people. And this, after all, is the source of real satisfaction in life, giving ourselves and using our talents and our abilities for God.

Thank you, Gary, for taking my call. I'm just wondering that we have a second cousin that had done an ancestry test, and she, through her ancestors test, she had found out that possibly one of her grandfather's two uncles may have bothered a child before they were married. I am just wondering how to react to this. It would be my father, and I talk to my siblings, and they don't want to get any tests done. And I'm just wondering that there's something so private in their lives, and they're no longer living. And is this something that she should be pursuing?

I just don't know how to handle it because I'm so concerned because it's so private in their lives that I don't know if they want it to come to light this way. Please give me your answer. Thank you so much.

I appreciate your time. Bye-bye. Well, Chris, this is an interesting question with people looking into their ancestry. It's amazing what you might find. Some of it may not be too pleasant. I don't know that we should get involved so much in trying to trace down members of our family that we're not aware of.

I don't know what the advantage of that would be. It can often stir up emotions and feelings and all sorts of things through your family members. Some of us are more inquisitive than others. I understand that. And if you feel you must trace this down, that's up to you.

It's your choice. Some things, however, I feel it's just better to let them be. If somebody else brings them up or confronts a person with it and they come to you about it, then you can try to help them work through their emotions.

I don't know that I'd want to pursue trying to find someone that is in my ancestry line that I didn't know about, that maybe was born out of wedlock. I think I'd let that ride and let God handle that. If he wants to really surface it, let him handle it.

Yeah. But what do you do with some family member who is more inquisitive? Do you confront the person or do you just kind of let that be whatever it is with them? I think in that case, I think the cousin came to her about this thing she discovered about her father. I think I just share with the cousin your own feelings. If you don't want to pursue it, just say to her, it's fine that you found this and you shared it with me. I just choose not to pursue it and I hope that you won't pursue it.

That's my request of you. Obviously, she can't keep them from pursuing it if they want to. If they want to confront the father, it's up to them. But I think share with them your idea as to how you'd like to handle this and make a request of them.

I think her father had passed away. So we're dealing with this history that the past that gets into the present and will affect the future, how do you not have bad feelings for the cousin then? How do you not hold this over them the rest of their lives? You brought this out and the truth will set you free. Well, yeah, but the truth can really be hurtful at times too. Yeah. And I think for the person who is digging into their ancestry, they need to be sensitive about what they discover and whether they ought to share it with family members or not share it with family members, especially if there's nothing productive that could come out of it. I don't know anything that productive could come out of this.

I think it's just a warning for us to think before we act on these issues. Yeah. Well, I don't think we've ever gotten that question before and it's a really, really good one. If you want to leave a question for Dr. Gary Chapman, you can call us at 866-424-GARY, 1-866-424-GARY. Now, when you have a spouse who is constantly negative, what do you do? Here's our next caller.

Hi, Gary. I'm calling because I've been with my husband for 28 years and he has been the most unhappy, miserable, pessimistic, negative person that I've ever met in my life and this is how our marriage has been. And he's younger than I am and I'm getting old.

He lost his job in November and he hasn't found a job yet. I am seeing a counselor and I don't know what else I can do. My husband is going to church with me and he's a believer, but he's so negative about everything. You know, personalities are different. Some folks are more jovial and everything's positive and they see the positive things in life and others are exactly the opposite of that. No question about it.

One is better than the other and will make life easier for others. To have lived together for 28 years and lived with this kind of person has been very difficult, I'm sure. I am glad you're seeing a counselor. I think that's helpful because you need someone outside of the setting to help you think about what steps you might take. I think it's positive that her husband is a Christian, that he is going to church. Hopefully, he'd be hearing some things from the Scriptures that would challenge him with his attitude in life. But it's very difficult when a person has developed that kind of lifestyle where everything is negative. No matter what you say, their perspective is it's something bad. Many times, it's grown out of a childhood experience where they were in a home where they were either abused or they were disappointed again and again and again.

And so, this kind of became the mindset, the way they approached all of life, that everything was bad around them. If they would go for counseling, that would be the most positive thing. If the husband would agree to go for counseling so that someone can help him think through his life and how he became to be the person he is, because there are dynamics in his life that brought him to be this kind of person.

And when we understand ourselves better and then have some encouragement to work with God in letting God change the negative parts of our personality and grow more and more like Christ, I mean, this is the road to real victory. I would tell him how much you're getting out of the counseling and I would encourage him to get counseling. You might even at some juncture talk to a good friend of his or someone that you think he might respect and ask them if they would encourage him to get counseling and maybe provide information on a counselor they think would be helpful for him rather than just saying, get counseling. So, here's a counselor. Here's the phone number. This person is skilled in this area.

I think you'd really find it helpful. If he would go for counseling, that would be the best possibility that there could be change in his life. There's one thing I've heard you say. It's that you cannot change your spouse, but you can influence or any relationship. You can't change the other person, but you can influence. Is there any way that she can influence him to not be so negative? You're negative all the time and, you know, hold up a sign when he's negative or, you know, stop saying it. Is there any way she can influence him toward a more positive outlook? Well, you know, Chris, what I suggest when I'm counseling people in a situation similar to this is you speak his love language for six months unconditionally, whatever his love language is, even if he stays the way he is, you speak his love language six months, once or twice a week, so that he begins to feel loved. Now, he may feel condemned by you if you brought this up to him. You're just so negative.

You're just so negative. And he feels condemned by you, but you speak his love language over a six-month period, and if nothing changes, you can say, you know, honey, I don't know how you feel about this, but I feel like I've really been loving you. I do love you. I've been expressing love to you. It seems to me, however, you don't really care about us. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me you don't really care. So I don't know.

I'm trying to decide what do I need to do. You know, you're getting serious with him now because you've been giving him what he really needs emotionally, and he's not responding. He's not reciprocating. So that kind of approach to me has the best possibility of your being a positive influence on him.

And many times, I've seen that person respond back to the one who's loving them because they're feeling loved now and not condemned. Well, before we conclude today, here's our number where you can leave a message for Dr. Chapman or a question, 1-866-424-GARY. Maybe you want to comment on something that he said in today's broadcast, 1-866-424-GARY, and we'd love to hear from you. Don't forget to check out our featured resource at the website, It's 52 uncommon ways to unwind together.

Again, go to And coming up next week, a conversation about the division we see in America in politics, society, even the church. Don't miss a conversation with Brandon O'Brien. Looking forward to it, Gary. A big thank you to our production team, Steve Wick and Janice Todd. Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman is a production of Moody Radio in Chicago in association with Moody Publishers, a ministry of Moody Bible Institute. Thanks for listening.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-20 19:13:47 / 2023-08-20 19:31:44 / 18

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