Chances are, you and I have never met. But I care deeply about you and all you’re going through in your marriage. And here’s why.
When I was almost 3, my mother packed up her friend’s car with as many belongings as she could fit in, including my 7-year-old brother and me. And we all left town. While my father was at work. He didn’t see it coming. I wouldn’t see him again for 37 years.
I still say my father left me. But the truth is, my mom took me away, and he didn’t follow.
So I married an 18-year-old when I was 18 years old. Six weeks after he finished college, our first son was born. We were both 21. We had two more sons before my husband decided he didn’t want to be married anymore. So I went back to work after 12 years of being a full-time mom. Our sons were 11, 8, and 5.
My boys lost both their father and their mother within 15 months.
A few years later, a group of ladies at my church encouraged me to follow my dream of going to college. So I earned my bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate – one right after the other. At the same time, I wanted to raise my sons to be strong, confident men who would become faithful husbands and fathers. But I had no idea how.
What could I possibly know about men?
Not much. Therefore, most of my academic research papers, including my doctoral dissertation, were about sons and their mothers. In the process, I began to understand why my father and my first husband did the things they did. They’d made a mess of things and were at a total loss about how to make things right again.
I not only learned the truth about men, I also learned a lot about myself.
So I started my Clinical Psychology Practice. My specialty? The Psychology of Men and Marriage. Who saw that coming? I have certainly collected enough personal evidence to build a case against men. But by the grace of God, my hunger for understanding took me in a different direction.
If you are a woman, my heart goes out to you.
I can feel your pain deep in my soul. You and your children should not have to go through what we did. I didn’t always have the help that I needed. Neither of us did. Would it have made a difference? I don’t know. But I still wish I’d known then what I know now.
That’s why I’ve poured my heart and soul into helping you discern the differences between what you can do and what you cannot do.
Unfortunately, I didn’t learn this myself until after our divorce. But I know now that when you focus on these three things, chances are you could create a Joyful Marriage.
- Become a brave, confident, and curious woman who knows her true strength.
- Learn as much as you can about who your husband is: what he thinks, how he feels, and why he does the things he does instead of something else.
- While praying for your husband to get a God-inspired upgrade, also keep working on your own upgrades. Because an upgraded husband will need an upgraded wife.
Men are much more complex and emotional than women realize.
If you are a man, I have great compassion for you.
You have the God-given responsibility of leadership. But you’re not sure how to get your wife – your Chief Operating Officer – on board. You feel disrespected by her more often than she knows. You had great hopes in the beginning. But now, you feel like you’re little more than a paycheck and an errand boy. She doesn’t know that about you.
Chances are, you have the power to change all of that.
No, you won’t need to become more like a woman. In fact, you will become a stronger man in the process.
And as your Guide into this Previously Uncharted Territory, I know how confusing your wife can be.
You’ll need encouragement. And a plan. So all along the way, we’ll focus on actionable steps that will flow from your ever-expanding Superpowers:
- The Power of Confidence: Because you were born to be a hero.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,
for The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. JOSHUA 1:9
- The Power of Compassion: Because you will be able to make sense of your wife.
He who finds a wife finds what is good and
receives favor from The Lord. PROVERBS 18:22
- The Power of Choice: Because you will learn more effective strategies and solutions.
I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life,
so that you and your children may live. DEUTERONOMY 30:19-20
Chances are, you can create a Joyful Marriage.
Not everyone has the opportunity to get counseling. And not everyone has a spouse who is willing to explore options together. That’s why I’m creating separate DIY resources for women, men, and couples.
Although none of these programs are intended to be a replacement for a professional evaluation of your mental and/or relational health, I believe they can do a lot to help deepen your understanding and provide actionable steps.
Three Different Programs for 2023
- A Wise Woman’s Guide to Men & Marriage: What Men Won’t Say
- A Quick Start Guide to Understanding Women: A Man’s Marriage Manual
- A Joyful Marriage: Faith, Science, & the Love of Your Life