Hope

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

He will keep you on the path of hope.

Just listen for His voice.

Never give up.

Lessons Learned from a Vindictive Wife

When I first started specializing in the Psychology of Men & Marriage, people would often ask how it happened that a woman like me – who knew so much about men & romance – wasn’t married.

Maybe they didn’t realize that I had been married. Twice.
And divorced. Twice.

Sitting through hour after hour of marriage counseling (with me as the counselor), I often envied women whose husbands were enduring so much.

Men who were fighting for their marriages.
Even when their wives were fighting so hard against them.

And I thought of many women I’ve known.
Some of them have been pretty mean.
But they still had husbands.
And I didn’t.

One might be tempted to believe that being a Mean Girl is the only way to get & keep a husband. How do they do it? Why do these men stay? (I’ll have to answer the latter question in another post.)

Never take another woman’s advice. Never ever.

Shortly after I met The Cute Boy, a female acquaintance offered her advice. “Expert advice” because – she proudly announced – she once worked as a receptionist in a counselor’s office (not mine, fortunately). Therefore, she felt compelled to share her own love story as a “good example” of how to keep a man.

As a young teenager, she’d become infatuated with a boy who was several years older. He didn’t treat her well. But she hung around anyway. Like a lovesick puppy.

When all of his friends had deserted him because he was so self-centered, she was still there. And he started being kind to her. Spending all his time with her. By then, there wasn’t anybody else for him to hang out with.

Once she’d “set the hook,” however, she changed her approach. Drastically.

After he’d declared his love and married her, she announced – out loud, I believe – that she was going to “make him pay” for all the time he’d ignored her when she was following him around.

She gleefully reported,

“I treat him like $#@!. Then when he feels really bad, I do something really nice for him. Like cook his favorite meal. Or have sex with him. And that’s how I keep him in line. He can flirt with other women. They don’t intimidate me. I’m the one he’s always going to come home to.”

When I met this couple, they’d been married nearly 30 years.

  • Did that mean she had it figured out?
  • Did her husband realize what she was still doing?

What was his point of view?

Her husband had been dealing with some pretty serious digestive problems. He ended up in surgery.

A few months after that, I was standing next to him at a presentation about Victorian costuming when someone asked why they never had any workshops for men’s costumes.

He turned to me and mumbled sarcastically, “Ya. ‘How to Make Armor.’”

And I wonder if she cares that – in that same conversation – he referred to wives as “blood-suckers.”

As a psychologist, I’m convinced there’s a connection with his poor health. Being treated badly would make anyone’s stomach hurt.

On the other hand, some men have no better advice than women.

I was carpooling with a group of friends and sat next to a middle-aged single man. He was aware of my interest in the Psychology of Men and took the opportunity to tell me “an insider’s secret” about men.

“Guys don’t like to date a woman they see as too perfect. It makes them nervous that they’ll never be able to deserve her. So they’ll dump her.”

So … it would seem that I’d been going about romance all wrong. I should first pick a Bad Boy, then become a Mean Girl who flaunts her flaws as though they are virtues & treats men as slaves?

I just couldn’t see myself doing that.

And I have absolutely no desire to even try to pull that off. Not ever. As a Christian, my goal is always to become more like Christ. Whether any man ever loved me or not, I want to be governed by

  • love
  • joy
  • peace
  • patience
  • kindness
  • goodness
  • gentleness
  • faithfulness
  • and self-control.

And I most certainly didn’t want to be the kind of woman that makes a man feel like he needs to wear armor when he’s around her.

What I needed & wanted in my life was a man who had the same goal that I have – to be more like Christ.

What kind of partner do you want?

Solving Cinderella’s Problem

I have often identified with Cinderella. She gets just one brief night of fantasy at The Royal Ball where she falls in love with the Handsome Prince, and he likewise falls in love with her.

But then she must return to her life of Poverty and Rejection.

The Resolution of version of here Story depends upon the Handsome Prince.

Fortunately for Cinderella, the Handsome Prince feels her loss deeply. He cannot live without her, determines to find her no matter the cost, and makes her his wife.

Happily ever after.

  • But what if the Problem is not her life of Poverty and Rejection?
  • What if the Problem is the false identity she has accepted?
  • What if the Problem is how she sees herself?
  • As a woman with no value?

What Can Cinderella Do About Her Own Problem?

Rather than wait for the Prince to rescue her, she would be a Wise Woman to discover her True Identity.

Which – by the way – would make it a lot easier for the Handsome Prince to find her because she would be in plain sight rather than hiding – or being hidden by the lies that have surrounded her. A Double Win!!

How well do you know yourself?

Being created in the image of God means we are designed to reflect aspects of His character.

love. hope. passion.
wisdom. faithfulness. joy.
power. peace. goodness.

Which of these is your main reason for doing what you do?

Being able to describe your personality when you’re at your best can also provide insight into how things can go sideways for you.

And when you’re sideways, other people appear to be sideways, too.

“There’s nothing like a new relationship to bring up old issues.”

Jodi C.

Soon after meeting The Cute Boy (Summer 2011), my greatest fears & deepest longings, as well as my past pain, unexpectedly crashed onto the scene with a vengeance.

I was excited beyond measure. But I had trouble seeing The Cute Boy as the man he truly is.

Because I unwittingly began to interpret everything he did through the lens of my past experience.

Always on the lookout for anything that looked remotely like the attitudes & actions of the other men who had hurt me. (We all do this!)

However, just because he is male does not guarantee that he is just like all other men.

In fact, he is unlike any other man on this earth.

Indeed, he is the most unique & beautiful man I have ever known.

And although he’s more like me than anyone I have ever met, he is nevertheless a man. Consequently, I can never assume that our similar personalities will play out exactly the same.

Because I’m a girl, and he is not.

After all these years, I am still on a quest to know more about who he is & who he is becoming. But first I know I must more fully understand myself.

  • I need to know my own vulnerabilities & defensiveness.
  • Otherwise, I will use them as filters through which I will interpret him.
  • That would make for a very muddy picture of him … as well as myself!

If you want to create a fulfilling relationship, you will need to do the same.

The following personality descriptions will help you get started.

So let’s dig in! Who do you think you are? You need to do that before you can truly understand him. And you’ll need to remember that your gender differences are in your DNA. So pay attention to them, too. (Likewise, if you’re a man reading this, you must start with understanding yourself before you can hope to understand her!)

A Brief Personality Test

Being created in the image of God means we are wonderfully complex. Therefore, a description of your personality includes (at least):

  1. Your DNA: Male or Female
  2. How You Know: Feeling, Thinking, Intuition
  3. Where You Focus Your Attention: Inside or Outside
  4. Your Response Pattern: What You Do When Life Goes Sideways
  5. Your Perspective of God’s Perspective: What You Believe God Believes About You

Would you like to know more? Are you interested in a full assessment of your strengths & ways you can grow … as well as how you can connect better with your mate? I’m here to help.

Schedule your free 30-minute video consultation to learn more.


Perhaps You Should Just Give Up

You feel all alone. This is not how you had your life or your love planned.

You have hoped & dreamed & been disappointed.

Over & over again.

You don’t understand.

And you don’t have any idea how this situation could ever work out for your good.

You’ve run out of advice for God, which has been thinly disguised as fervent prayer.

  • You are desperate for change.
  • But your mind is muddled & tired.

Then you remember Who God is.

  • He binds up the brokenhearted.
  • He resurrects your lost dreams.
  • He specializes in the impossible.

He is your Hope.

You have no idea how He works. All you have are His promises. They are in your personal spiritual bank. And you don’t know how that works either. So you just give up & let Him handle it.

For no word from God will ever fail.
LUKE 1:37